Tag Archives | Christianity

Strange But True: Vatican Beefcake Calendar

PIC: Marek1990 (CC)

PIC: Marek1990 (CC)

Starting all the way back in 2004, the Vatican began releasing calenders featuring 12 of its hunkiest clergy.  Now in its 10th year, the featured holy-men can be viewed at this link.  Sorry to those hoping for something risqué: they are all dressed in cassock.

Via Religion News:

Now in its 10th edition, the annual wall calendar best known for its black-and-white photos of attractive priests continues to spark grumbles of controversy in Italy.

Officially, it’s called “Il Calendario Romano” — The Roman Calendar — but it is popularly referred to as the “Roman beefcake calendar.”

According to Piero Pazzi, the Venice-based photographer who takes the photos and produces the calendar each year, almost all of the men he photographs — many of them in front of churches or religious monuments — are priests or seminarians. But the religious connotations end there.

According to Italian media reports, the calendar has become a kind of icon for groups ranging from female Protestant clergy to gay men.

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Queer Christian Response to News About Fred Phelps Sr’s Health

How should the LGBT community respond to the (eventual) death of Fred Phelps?

PIC: WBC (PD)

PIC: WBC (PD)

William S. Burnett writes:

We’ll leave aside the question of the relationship between God and the “fags.” Using people’s funerals is a horrible way to communicate your beliefs to a wider audience. I don’t personally think that’s what was meant by “freedom of speech” or “freedom of assembly” in our Constitution. But I’m neither a Constitutional lawyer nor a judge, so I’ll leave that alone. I’ll just say that the expression of their hate knew no boundaries! In the Catholic community, we would call that “pastoral insensitivity” at the least; but I think “pastoral insensitivity” is a big understatement!

Over the years, I had been incredibly incensed by Fred Phelps, Sr. and his clan, both as a queer and as a Christian. As a queer, I was incensed because I was the primary target of their vehemence; and, because in their hate, they were trying to project an ugly, evil image of me that was far removed from who I was.

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Douchebag Megachurch Pastor Pays Over 200 Grand to Get His Book on the NYT Bestseller List For One Week

markdriscollIf you live in Seattle, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the antics of uber-douche “spiritual leader” Mark Driscoll, as his over the top douchebaggery is pretty much impossible to ignore around here. For those not in the know, he’s become rather famous by marketing a supposedly hip brand of Christianity (Christian rock can totally be a part of a church service dude!) to a younger demographic.

The problem is that his hip new faith embraces the same misogynist homophobia that most other conservative parishes in the Bible Belt embrace wholeheartedly. Women are not allowed to be a part of the clergy and are continually lectured in regards to the importance of submitting to their husband’s will. Being gay or getting an abortion will land you in hell. In fact, one of the weird things about Driscoll is that he somehow claims to know EXACTLY what God allows and doesn’t allow sexually.… Read the rest

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A Guide To Psychoactive Plants In The Bible

burning_bushSuppose Christians took a closer look at what their holy book is truly discussing? NeuroBrainstorm looks at a wide range of biblically-key plants with mind-altering properties:

Holy Anointing Oil – (Leviticus 10:6) Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (Exodus 29:7) Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head and anoint him.

The holy anointing oil is a potent psychedelic extract…essentially an anxiolytic-hallucinogen. The transdermal application of it led to its absorption and psychoactive effects, even in extremely low doses. The bible suggests anointing with a large amount of oil possibly to ensure a psychedelic response.

Manna – (Exodus 16 14, 31) Behold…there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

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Death, Illness And The Theological Reasoning Behind “Creation Science”

Pic: Mycota (PD)

Pic: Mycota (PD)

Here is what it is in a nutshell: Fear of death. Which is actually a biggie. I mean you can scoff at it when you are in your 20′s and in perfect health, but if you or a loved one has terminal cancer, for example, it tends to occupy your thoughts.

When faced with death, people really want to know if there is anything on the other side, and if there is then it’s hopefully something pleasant; even heavenly.

The way Christians traditionally worked this out is that death is un-natural. God is love, yet for some reason, perfectly nice relatives and friends are periodically taken from us sometimes, after experiencing protracted periods of horrible pain. The reason for this, theologically, is that death is a judgement; a punishment for sin. God, in his righteousness, had to punish sin but he felt bad about it. He felt so bad about it that he decided to punish himself instead on our behalf, so that we wouldn’t have to suffer and die.… Read the rest

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Watch How The Creationism Museum Depicts Teachers Who Teach Evolution

Buzzfeed's Matt Stopera visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky and takes note of the various attractions and lessons learned. The centerpiece is a Universal Studios-style multimedia movie experience ("Just think how it could change her life if Wendy found out there really is purpose and meaning to her existence!") designed to cement kids' scorn and skepticism of evolution-spouting teachers, with a simple but effective message – caring about science is for nerds:
They had this special effects show in a big theater with shaking chairs and water sprinklers. It was pretty cool and very Disney. This part caught my attention, though. They were constantly tearing down teachers. Teachers who teach evolution are the worst!
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How Belief In Hell Directly Benefits The Elite

Coppo_di_Marcovaldo,_HellIf there’s ever been any doubt in your mind that organized religion benefits the ruling class then a recent paper published by PLOS ONE, an open-access, peer reviewed online publication, should quash it for good.

Psychologists Azim F. Shariff of the University of Oregon and Lara B. Aknin of Simon Fraser University, British Columbia conducted a study in which they asked asked over four hundred Americans to write about Heaven, Hell or what they did yesterday. The Americans who wrote about Hell were more likely to show emotional negativity compared to the other groups.

This was consistent across believers and non-believers. Just thinking about Hell makes people ill and out of sorts, and they don’t even have to think that it’s real. It’s worse for the true believers: Individual belief in what the researchers referred to as “supernatural malevolence” (Coming soon to pay-per-view!) was associated with bad coping skills, low self-esteem and poor health resiliency.… Read the rest

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New Mexico Woman Says Jesus Appeared On Her Bruised Toe

toeDoes the Lord manifest Himself in the form of bodily bruising? Albuquerque's KRQE reports:
A couple says holy dirt from the northern New Mexico town has left a holy and healing mark. Just last weekend, Paula Osuna says she fell down the stairs at her home causing painful bruises all over her foot. Eventually she asked her fiancé to rub some of the holy Chimayo dirt he had saved from a pilgrimage there a couple years back. After putting the holy dirt on her foot and then bandaging it, she says the next day the bruise formed in the shape of Jesus on her second toe. Osuna says her family members first noticed the bruise. The bruise has since changed shape, but Osuna says she’s convinced of the holy sighting.
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