Why more American Muslims are celebrating Christmas this year: For many Muslims, Christmas activates all kinds of anxieties. A religious holiday that challenges the Muslim interpretation of Jesus, it’s also a secular celebration—almost impossible to avoid—which is far more influential than any Muslim celebration in the West. See also: 6 things you didn’t know about Jesus in Islam.
Arms Wide Open. Inside Rio's iconic statue of Cristo Redentor.
He considered himself an artist, but his work, while popular and incendiary, showed little talent or originality. Later in life he took up working with precious metals, and that would be the craft he’s remembered for, but earlier in his career he printed his own engravings, or his version of the work of others. Earlier this year at Brown University’s John Hay Library, something very rare was discovered. One of Paul Revere’s prints depicting the Baptism of Christ was found tucked in an old textbook. While not a particularly valuable work or great art, this rare print does tell us a bit about the man as an artist, and about his faith. [more inside]
The opening song from Jesus Christ Superstar has been sung by many people. Here are some of them. [more inside]
The Jesus Project, established by The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, is "the first methodologically agnostic examination of the question of Jesus’ historical existence." The Project recently held its first conference, which included presentations from several individuals who argue against the historical existence of Jesus. R. Joseph Hoffmann, Chair of the CSER, writes, "I do not think we are dealing with a man who became god, but a god who was made man."
Masseiana - Containing the three major works of Gerald Massey and his minor work commonly titled: The Lectures. Published here in their entirety, fully revised and amended, with additional material by the editor.
God's Pottery is described on their website as "a Christian acoustic duo formed to spread the Word while addressing the issues facing today's Youth and the Spiritual Community at large." But actually, they're one of the funniest new up and coming musical comedy acts, already nominated for an ECNY award in Best Musical Comedy Act. They workshop with the audience to get to know them better and sing songs about Pre-Marital Sex (The Pants Come Off, When The Ring Goes On), Alcoholism (Jesus I Need a Drink!), and they're always playing for Team Jesus. They went to the "Eden-berg" Fringe Festival and even stayed in character when interviewed by ITV2, because they are that good.
Based on research (from the Barna Group) that shows Christians act no better than non-Christians the Community Christian Church have made a series of Mac vs PC parodies (1,2,3,4) that criticize a certain type of Christian. The pastor of the CCC goes even further by saying the last thing the world needs is more Christians. Interesting discussion about the parody clips from Christian/Christ followers can be found here.
Mexican government bans American Catholics who sued Mexico City Prelate The Mexican government took the unprecedented and controversial step of banning Dave Clohessy of SNAP and Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer specializing in abuse cases, from entering the country for five years. The men had filed a lawsuit against Mexico City Archbishop Norbeto Rivera, who they allege covered up sex abuse in his diocese.
Jesus would run Ubuntu So all I have to do is take a copy of Ubuntu, add in a couple apps, and I too can start peddling mugs, tshirts, ballcaps, etc. using their trademarks? I guess so. I must be getting too used to Apple putting the smack-down on everyone lately, or something...
David Byrne blogs, including a recent post on Jesus Camp. (Via BoingBoing. Jesus Camp, previously on Metafilter
Kids on Fire Summer School of Ministry is not, actually, a school about setting children on fire. Unless you mean the fire of religious fervor! Jesus Camp indoctrinates young kids in the true dangers inherent in our secular lifestyle, including a proper fear of gays, Harry Potter & all other manner of sin. Camp activities include the pentacostalist trifecta: laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, and letting the holy spirit inhabit you. A brief clip from an A&E documentary about the school can be seen here, with the highlight (for me) being at 2:25 in.
Jesus walked on the
water ice. So sayeth... um... well, this guy at Florida State. Doron Nof has released a paper positing that when Jesus walked on the water in Galilee, he was actually walking on a patch of floating ice. What's interesting about science like this to me is that it both validates and invalidates scripture, since if Jesus was walking on ice... no miracle (although, it's a miracle he didn't slip and fall, har har har). But if Jesus was walking on ice, then at least he historically existed, which is still an open question at least in some quarters. In case you think you recognize Mr. Nof's name, you may be remembering his work explaining that the parting of the Red Sea was totally possible (flash video link).
Offensive cartoons aren't limited to Islam. Others: 1,2,3,4, 5. The cartoonist's name? (wait for it) Christian Keesee. In the current environment, Radford's Whim Internet Magazine is getting "exciting" media attention.
Did Jesus Really Exist? Also some notes on the doubtful existence of Hannibal.
The Passion of the Benny Hill. What if Benny Hill had made Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ?
(Probably NSFW, though not for the usual Benny Hill reasons)
(Probably NSFW, though not for the usual Benny Hill reasons)
Why does the National Council of Churches hate America? The NCC -- a coalition of 36 Christian denominations -- makes a firm statement against the war in Iraq: "This year our nation is at war as we observe the 4th of July, a day that honors those founders who spoke out for independence from tyranny. Today in Iraq a cruel dictator has been deposed, yet the suffering of the Iraqi people continues. Mandated elections have been held, yet the future of Iraq remains as uncertain as ever. Day by day the cost of this war for the United States, for Iraq, for peace grows clearer. No weapons of mass destruction have been found; no link to the attacks on September 11, 2001 has been shown. It has become clear that the rationale for invasion was at best a tragic mistake, at worst a clever deception." Mainstream Christians are starting to take back Christianity from the theocrats.
Christian Video Games set to make comeback? Tired of destroying the same old cliched monsters, day in day out? Want to engross yourself in a more morally sound, Religious video game experience? Well if the Christian gaming community has their way, we'll soon all be playing them (or at least a few % of gamers): "As believers in Christ, we pray that God will be glorified through our work and that each of us draw nearer to him as we develop and grow as a business," the Christian game company says
Jesus Christ Supercop. (QT required)
The War on Christmas. "What we are witnessing here are hate crimes against Christianity." Angered by perceived attacks on the Christ part of Christmas, Christians are taking a page from GWB and staging pre-emptive cultural strikes around the country. Or are they? Is this effort a bigger attack against Judaism and the rest of the nonbelievers/scapegoats, an honest attempt by Christians to "save" the holiday, or a media-manufactured controversy? (Air out your holiday spirit, but save your own personal grievances for December 23.)
A Clown Ministry Christmas. With the ever-present crush of Yuletide commercialism, perhaps this can help you remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. More generalized Clown Ministry skits can be found here.
Christ out of Christmas Have the retailers won the war on Christmas over the religious folks? (WMP)
There appear to be many similarities between the lives of Krishna and Jesus Christ. Exploring the linkage between the two does make one wonder whether the similarities are coincidences or for a very good reason.
It's not Christmas just yet, but get your hands on the Jesus Christ Action Figure. With walk-on-water action!
MillionForChrist.com? Gays versus God? Looks like there's a race between people who support Christ and people who support same-sex marriages. They're both looking for a million signatures. Conincidence? Any bets on who's gonna win?
John Debney fought with Satan to score "The Passion of the Christ." Literally: "I had all these computers and synthesizers in my studio and the hard drives would go down and the digital picture that lives on the computer with the music would just freeze on his [Satan's] face... and I was verbalizing and saying to Satan, 'Manifest yourself right now...'"
This is a rather strange, poorly reported, context free article about some troubling things that were recently said by Mel Gibson's parents. It's especially interesting, considering that Gibson has just directed a film called "The Passion", detailing the final days of Christ. Is anyone out there aware of the various controversies surrounding this film? Charges of anti-semitism, historical revisionism, and the bizarre decisions whether or not to include subtitles (the film was, daringly, I guess, shot in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin) abound. What the hell is going on here?
New! Jesus Sports Statues. When you saw the Buddy Christ idea in the movie Dogma you thought it was a funny, yet biting swipe at the Catholic Church. But apparently Catholics think it's a great idea. These figurines have already sold out. Jesus playing tackle football is my favorite.
ABC censors "Christ"? Very odd. On the 5/18 broadcast of Politically Incorrect on ABC, a word was bleeped (either "Christ" or "Jesus") and Bill Maher's lips digitally obscured when he was making a joke/observation that Christ/Jesus (it wasn't clear which he was saying) would be compassionate to someone who needed the drug to ease their pain. Does anyone know more on this?
Buddy Christ. Perfect for your dashboard.