BTS Producer, Manuel Rápalo, discusses comedian Bill Maher’s recent comments concerning the innate problem with the religion of Islam that breeds extremism and violence and why it’s just the latest example of using Islamophobia to promote fear and intolerance.
Tag Archives | Religion
I just don’t know how to introduce an essay about Christ’s foreskin, known as the Holy Prepuce, so take it away Stassa Edwards at The New Inquiry:
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Europe’s history of penis worship was cast aside when the Catholic Church decided Jesus’s foreskin was too potent to control.
Grigori Rasputin’s dick is on display at the Museum of Erotics in Saint Petersburg. Housed in a jar of formaldehyde, the member, which the museum’s owner claims he obtained from a French antiquarian, is quite sizable. Actually, it’s enormous for a human penis: Wide and meaty, it measures about a foot long. According to the museum, just gazing on the preserved member can cure a range of problems, everything from infertility to a humdrum sex life. But the specimen isn’t a human penis. It more than likely came from a horse.
It wouldn’t be the first time something inhuman was passed off as Rasputin’s dick.
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The Church at Hampton Roads in Virginia is holding something called Porn Sunday. And no, it’s not what you’re thinking, you people with your dirty, filthy minds…
No, this Porn Sunday is about warning people that porn is sinful and dangerous and all that other stuff. But the fact that the church is advertising it with signs that just read “PORN SUNDAY” everywhere is a little off-putting.
Pastor Joel Brown explains, ““Pornography baits and switches you. It’s an addiction that will kill your business, your family, your relationships… It might be uncomfortable, but I think the best thing for us to do, if we truly love our kids, is to equip them before they go and see the collateral damage of an addiction.”
And on their website, the church explains the purpose of their Porn Sunday events:
We understand the devastation that pornography is having on our society– Marriages, relationships, our careers and our kids.
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The history of religious movements seems filled with examples of religious figures proudly proclaiming the imminent coming of God, along with redemption for the faithful and punishment for unbelievers. Many of these religious figures even go so far as to give a specific date when these things would come to pass and instruct their followers to wrap up their affairs and get ready for what was to come. And, sure enough, many followers would do just that, even to the point of quitting jobs or selling houses to await the promised day. That this day of judgment has yet to materialize and previous promises have failed in the past seems not to matter so much to the believers. Except for the inevitable disappointment afterward and the crisis of faith that always seems to follow.
And so it proved for Wibur Glenn Voliva.
WARNING: Leaving your religion can damage your health (courtesy of The Atlantic):
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…Americans are less religious than ever. A third of American adults under 30, and a fifth of all Americans don’t identify with any religion, according to a 2012 study by Pew Research (an increase from 15 percent in 2007). But though scientists have studied people who leave cults, research on the health effects of leaving religion is slim.
The most mainstream research on this is a 2010 study out of Pennsylvania State University, which examined data from 1972 to 2006. The study showed that 20 percent of people who have left religion report being in excellent health, versus 40 percent of people currently part of strict religious groups (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints) and 25 percent of people who switched from a strict religion to a more lenient religion. “Strict” in this study was defined as “high-cost sectarian groups that are theologically and culturally exclusive.”
There are some studies comparing the health of religious and nonreligious people.
Karen Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, says in a lengthy essay in The Guardian that “the popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple”:
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…[P]erhaps we should ask, instead, how it came about that we in the west developed our view of religion as a purely private pursuit, essentially separate from all other human activities, and especially distinct from politics. After all, warfare and violence have always been a feature of political life, and yet we alone drew the conclusion that separating the church from the state was a prerequisite for peace. Secularism has become so natural to us that we assume it emerged organically, as a necessary condition of any society’s progress into modernity.
John Bingham writes at the Telegraph:
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It has been one of the most fraught relationships of recent centuries, at least in the popular imagination.
But a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction – on religion.
Their case, set out in an essay in the journal Science, is being described a “watershed moment” for scientists and faith leaders alike.
It argues that engaging religious leaders, rather than relying on politicians, could hold the key to mobilising billions of people around the world to change aspects of their lifestyles to help prevent catastrophic climate change.
The article singles out Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion-strong network of followers, as the key but calls for religious leaders of every stripe to be recruited.
It argues that religion can provide a unique combination of “moral leadership” and global organisational structures required to bring about practical changes which could have an immediate effect, such as providing millions of the world’s poorest people with cleaner forms of fuel.
Benjamin Radford writes at Live Science:
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A public ceremony of Satanists planned in Oklahoma City this month has prompted protests, a lawsuit from the Catholic Church, talk of a “black mass,” and even the airing of laws against bloodletting. Such public images of fear are not uncommon when it comes to Satanist groups, though they may not be justified.
The ceremony for the Oklahoma City Satanists is slated for Sept. 21 in the city’s civic center and requires a ticket for admission. Officials from the city could not legally bar the group, as doing so would violate their First Amendment rights.
Officials did warn, however, that all laws must be followed, including fire codes and those involving public nudity; a spokeswoman for the parks and recreation department noted: “No bloodletting of any kind will be allowed.” (Though bloodletting and animal sacrifice are popularly associated with Satanism, they have historically been part of many religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.) [Tales of the Top 10 Craziest Cults]
The event has been described in the news media as a “black mass,” which, as James Lewis notes in his book “Satanism Today: An Encyclopedia of Religion, Folklore, and Popular Culture” (ABC-CLIO, 2001), “refers to a blasphemous parody of a conventional [Catholic] Mass that was traditionally thought to be the central rite of Satanism.” This ritual was typically said to involve perverse orgies, a torrent of various bodily fluids, obscene gestures and even “a black candle made from the fat of unbaptized babies,” Lewis wrote.
You are in luck, Disinfonauts! I was looking around in our storage room and I came across 5 extra editions of 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know Vol. 1 by Russ Kick. It had previously been sold out of our store. SRP price is $9.95, but we’re selling them for $7.98. Get ‘em while you can.
In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from the book itself.
Before he was Pope Pius II, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini was a poet, scholar, diplomat, and rakehell. And an author. In fact, he wrote a bestseller. People in fifteenth-century Europe couldn’t get enough of his Latin novella Historia de duobus amantibus. An article in a scholarly publication on literature claims that Historia “was undoubtedly one of the most read stories of the whole Renaissance.” The Oxford edition gives a Cliff Notes version of the storyline: “The Goodli History tells of the illicit love of Euralius, a high official in the retinue of the [German] Emperor Sigismund, and Lucres, a married lady from Siena [Italy].”
It was probably written in 1444, but the earliest known printing is from Antwerp in 1488.… Read the rest
Negativland, a longtime favorite band of many a disinfonaut, is back. Their new album (out in October, advance orders through negativland.com), IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD, finds the group tackling their biggest subject ever: why humans believe in God. Millennia-in-development, this ambitious and densely-crafted double CD is packaged inside an actual Holy Bible which has been appropriately repurposed into a “found” art object.
IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD intends to entertain, inform, and provoke. On the CDs, Negativland mixes found music, found sound, found dialogue, guest personalities and original electronic noises into a compelling and thoughtful musical essay that looks at monotheism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, neuroscience, suicide bombers, 9/11, colas, war, shaved chimps, and the all-important role played by the human brain in our beliefs. Reading the attached Bible is optional. Here’s the album trailer