Tag Archives | Religion

Top 10 UFO Videos of 2014

The folks at OpenMinds compiled a nice list of the top 10 UFO Videos of 2014.

Via OpenMinds:

These are the best UFO videos of 2014, and most remain unidentified.

Top 10 lists are very subjective. I wonder if I am the first author to start a top 10 list admitting that. UFO video identification can often also be subjective. However, it is this author’s opinion that many of the following videos remain mysteries. Those that were identified either made a large impact, or were just cool lookin’.

This list is in no particular order. I do not necessarily feel that any are better than the other. But they are all very interesting. Every year I almost dread putting together the year in review story. I think, “Wow, not much happened that was that interesting. Am I going to be able to come up with a decent list?” Sure enough, every year I am pleasantly surprised by all of the great news that was covered over the last year.

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Malaysian Christmas and the Backdrop of Allah

John Stratford (CC BY 2.0)

John Stratford (CC BY 2.0)

Mohd Abdul Alam writes at Al Jazeera English:

Malaysian Christians, who account for less than 10 percent of the population, have always celebrated Christmas with great joy and enthusiasm.

Christians also enjoy Muslim-majority Malaysia’s friendly holiday-time culture with shopping malls extensively decorated with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and reindeers – as “Jingle Bells” plays in the background.

Malaysian Muslims have happily accepted Christmas get-together invitations from their friends, and the atmosphere during this holiday season has always been a pleasant one.

This year, however, Christmas celebrations may be held with mixed feelings against the backdrop of the bitter “Allah” case that concluded in June. 

That’s when an Islamic court ruled the word “Allah” could not be used in local Christian publications. Christians say “Allah” had been used for centuries in Malay-language Bibles and other literature to refer to “God” outside of Islam.

The case caught the attention of the public with large crowds of Malay Muslims gathering at the court entrance demanding the court ban local Christian publications from using “Allah”.

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3 Reasons Why God is a Nihilist; Or, Showing Sympathy for God

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Paul Chiariello writes at Applied Sentience:

I want to start with a disclaimer and a qualification.

First, this post isn’t about bashing God.  This post is about understanding humanity.  It’s about finding joy as flourishing individuals and friends.  It’s about exploring meaning and morality in a difficult world.  In this way, this post isn’t about God at all – it’s about you and me.  With this goal in mind, I’m hoping to explore someone I see as a literary figure, just like Aesop’s Tortoise and Hare, Heinlein’s Valentine Michel Smith, or anyone else from the infinite list of fictional characters out there.  Regardless of whether you love Him or hate Him, whether you’re a theist or an atheist like me, God is probably one of the most interesting and novel characters of all time, and certainly the one with the biggest fandoms and fanfics ever.

Second, as to my qualification, there are a wide range of nihilisms.  Someone might be called a nihilist for their skepticism of external reality or for their refutation of any legitimate political institutions or for their dismissal of certain religious beliefs.  Here I’ll be referring specifically to moral nihilism, or at least certain kinds of moral nihilisms.  And just so I’m being clear and up front, I’m specifically arguing that God doesn’t believe in objective or non-arbitray ethics or values, or, at very least, simply lives in a world where He knows about these things but yet cannot take part in them.

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Anton LaVey Blackhouse Photographs 1998 by Nicholas Syracuse

 Nicholas Syracuse "LaVey Altar" 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

Nicholas Syracuse “LaVey Altar” 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

 

Anton LaVey Blackhouse Photographs 1998 by Nicholas Syracuse 2012.

The house and HQ for the Church of Satan in San Francisco.

The house was leveled to make way for some cheap condos.

The murals were designed and painted by Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, according to information provided to the photographer by LaVey’s daughter Karla.

Included in the exhibition “Abundatia Cornu Copiae” December 4 – February 28 2015

The photographs were taken in 1998 and printed in 2012.

at Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

http://www.shishigami.com/srfa/copiae/

 

 Nicholas Syracuse "Octo" 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

Nicholas Syracuse “Octo” 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

 

 Nicholas Syracuse "Fire" 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

Nicholas Syracuse “Fire” 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

 

 Nicholas Syracuse "Devil" 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

Nicholas Syracuse “Devil” 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

 

 Nicholas Syracuse "Merbeast" 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

Nicholas Syracuse “Merbeast” 2012 courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn

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David Barton’s Plan for Biblical Slavery for America

fusion-of-horizons (CC BY 2.0)

fusion-of-horizons (CC BY 2.0)

From 2011, Hrafnkell Haraldsson writing at PoliticusUSA:

On the WallBuilders website, home of David Barton, ideological advisor to both Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee, you will find an article by Stephen McDowell, a colleague of his, explaining the joys of biblical slavery. As Bruce Wilson writes on Talk To Action,

Christian Reconstructionism endorses “Biblical slavery” and founder of the movement R.J. Rushdoony expressed the sentiment that African-Americans were lucky to be slaves, writing, “Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off.”.

It wasn’t that the Southern system was wrong, you see, for endorsing slavery; it was wrong because it wasn’t biblical slavery. And America awake!: R.J. Rushdoony asserts that what was permissible according to Biblical scripture is permissible now: including slavery.

As Wilson writes,

McDowell’s article cites R.J.

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It’s Not Rape if He’s a God–Or Thinks He Is

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Via IEET:

Stories like the Virgin Birth lack freely given female consent. Why don’t they bother us more? Powerful gods and demi-gods impregnating human women—it’s a common theme in the history of religion, and it’s more than a little rapey.

Zeus comes to Danae in the form of a golden shower, cutting “the knot of intact virginity” and leaving her pregnant with the Greek hero, Perseus.

Jupiter forcibly overcomes Europa by transforming himself into a white bull and abducting her. He imprisons her on the Isle of Crete, over time fathering three children.

Pan copulates with a shepherdess to produce Hermes.

The legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus are conceived when the Roman god Mars impregnates Rea Silvia, a vestal virgin.

Helen of Troy, the rare female offspring of a god-human mating, is produced when Zeus takes the form of a swan to get access to Leda.

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My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon

Frank Schaeffer writes at Salon:

I am a white, privileged, well-off, 61-year-old former Republican religious right-wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago. The New York Times profiled my change of heart saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious-right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.”

You see, only in the Mafia, the British Royal family and big time American religion is a nepotistic rise to power seen as normal. And I was good at it. And I hated it while hypocritically profiting from it — until, that is, in the mid-1980s, I quit. These days I describe myself as an atheist who believes in God.

Ironically I helped my father become famous in the religion sector. In the 1970s I directed and produced two film series featuring Dad with book companions that became evangelical bestsellers: “How Should We Then Live?” and “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” By the time Dad and I completed two nationwide seminar tours launching those projects, I was being invited to speak at the biggest religious gatherings, including the Southern Baptist Convention and the annual meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters.

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Officials order Ohio man to take down zombie Nativity scene

facebook.com via Buzzfeed.

facebook.com via Buzzfeed.

via Reuters:

(Reuters) – A suburban Cincinnati man’s zombie-themed Nativity scene has caused quite a stir in his neighborhood, with some considering it a holiday treat. But others see a nightmare before Christmas.

Responding to two anonymous complaints, officials in Ohio’s Sycamore Township said on Tuesday they have ordered Jasen Dixon to take down his display by Friday because it violates local property maintenance codes.

Dixon, who manages a haunted attraction in Indiana, faces a $1,000 fine if he does not remove the 10-foot by 10-foot structure he built three weeks ago.

He said he made the models for the zombie Mary and three wise men and borrowed props to make the Joseph and Jesus zombie figures. The baby Jesus is pale with totally white eyes, while the other life-sized figures are partly skeletal.

Dixon said many people approve of the display, which is lit by red and green lights.

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