Rev. George Whitefield, an 18th century preacher much admired by Benjamin Franklin, was an astonishing orator. According to a contemporary source, he "could make his audiences weep or tremble
merely by varying his pronunciation of the word Mesopotamia. Garrick once said, 'I would give a hundred guineas if I could only say 'O!' like Mr. Whitefield.'"
posted by lolichka
on May 18, 2009 -
The PEW survey
recently released; summarised by Andrew Sullivan
reveals that evangelicals are most likely to approve of torture.
This survey coincides with Harpers May edition lead article ( presently behind a subscription firewall
) extracted here
. The article is by Jeff Sharlet - (previously
: How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history). The two are not unrelated. The division of the world into God's people and Satan's people enabled the Bush Administration
to support the most devilish behavior imaginable, all in the name of righteousness, as shown by General Boykin
then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
posted by adamvasco
on May 1, 2009 -
Is the west thwarting Arab plans for reform? Few Muslims now invest much hope in the democratic western powers (essentially the US, Britain and France) that back the rulers who oppress them, even if, against the odds, they still admire “western” values, science and culture. There is no endemic or intrinsic conflict between Christians and Muslims. Rather, the root of the problem is that a majority of Muslims is convinced that the west – interested only in a stability based on regional strongmen, the security of Israel and cheap oil – is engaged in a war against Islam and is bent on denying them the freedoms it claims for itself. That is why it is so self-defeating to collude in tyranny as ostensibly a lesser evil than political Islam. [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 14, 2009 -
India’s New Face.
"Meet Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and the brightest star in the Hindu-chauvinist Bharatiya Janata Party. Under Modi, Gujarat has become an economic dynamo. But he also presided over India’s worst communal riots in decades, a 2002 slaughter that left almost 2,000 Muslims dead. Exploiting the insecurities and tensions stoked by India’s opening to the world, Modi has turned his state into a stronghold of Hindu extremism, shredding Gandhi’s vision of secular coexistence in the process. One day, he could be governing the world’s largest democracy." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Mar 11, 2009 -
"You take the gatekeeper and you confuse his mind
. You threaten him and you throw him in the middle of nowhere. Then nobody knows where the gate is. As soon as you lose the whereabouts of the gate, then you have a culture going downhill. What keeps a village together is a handful of "gays and lesbians," as they call them in the modern world. In my village, lesbians are called witches, and gay men are known as the gatekeepers." The Dagara people
of Burkina Faso. [more inside]
posted by pinothefrog
on Feb 10, 2009 -
Let's Talk About Sex.
Challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys
show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sexual education courses and curriculum.
In the meantime, some churches
are offering their own curriculum
, based on guidelines
developed by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
posted by lunit
on Feb 3, 2009 -
"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."
~ George Washington /
"I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
~ Thomas Jefferson /
"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion."
~ Abraham Lincoln /
"A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison /
"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy /
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers
." ~ Barack Obama
posted by 0bvious
on Jan 20, 2009 -
The End of the World Cult
is a 2007 documentary about the Lord Our Righteousness Church, aka the Strong City Cult, as they count down the days before the end of the world on October 31st 2007. The film features unusually good access and especially focuses on the creepy sexual relationship cult leader Wayne Bent has with his mostly female followers. If you watch the film and are hankering after justice, you'll be pleased to know that yesterday Bent was sentenced
to eighteen years prison for sexual relations with minors. Oh, he also has a blog.
posted by dydecker
on Jan 1, 2009 -
The town of Shawano, WI claims a local group with a history of controversy
called the Samanta Roy Institute of Science & Technology (SIST)
profiled in this WSAW TV investigative series (part 1
, part 2
, part 3
& part 4
) is a murderous cult that tried to hire a hitman to assassinate 60 prominent citizens
including the mayor, city administrator, city treasurer, city attorney, police chief, judges, investigators & fire commissioners. SIST returns the favor & claims it's the mayor who's running a cult (part 1
, part 2
), calling her the Minister of Propaganda. As a CBS investigative team found out, things are tense
in this sleepy town. The FBI says it's keeping an eye on the situation
posted by scalefree
on Dec 18, 2008 -
Smoke and Mirrors: The Subversion of the EPA.
"This four-part series details how the Bush administration weakened the EPA
. It installed a pliant agency chief, Stephen L. Johnson. Under him, the EPA created pro-industry regulations later thrown out by the courts. It promoted a flawed voluntary program to fight climate change. It bypassed air pollution recommendations from its own scientists to satisfy the White House." [Via Reality Base]
posted by homunculus
on Dec 11, 2008 -
Concise, bite-size summaries of the wisdom of the BBC's pure and godly Platitude of the Day
presenters. With original text and speech.
posted by gman
on Dec 5, 2008 -
Summums want to place their own monument
in a park which contains the Ten Commandments, making the Supreme Court's heads explode
in a a hilariously weird oral argument[pdf]
: "Scalia: I don't know what that means. You keep saying it, and I don't know what it means. [...] Breyer: Suppose that there certain messages that private people had like "eat vitamins"—and then somebody comes along with a totally different content, "ride the roller coaster," and they say this part of the park is designed to get healthy children, not put children at risk." [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur
on Nov 13, 2008 -
's video game, The Night Journey
, is inspired by "the lives and writings of great historical figures including: Rumi, the 13th century Islamic poet and mystic; Ryokan, the 18th century Zen Buddhist poet; St. John of the Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic and poet; and Plotinus, the 3rd century philosopher" and "attempts to evoke in the player's mind a sense of the archetypal journey of enlightenment through the "mechanics" of the game experience". [more inside]
posted by pinothefrog
on Nov 11, 2008 -