Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Freedom to gather freely annulled: City threatens to fine couple up to $500 every time friends come over for Bible study

Depending on one's perception and beliefs, this is an "attack on Christianity", Big Brother/fascism, citizens vs. city hall, neighbors vs. neighbors. Probably some of all of those.

Freedom to gather freely annulled: City threatens to fine couple up to $500 every time friends come over for Bible study

Ukraine's nationalists protest Jewish pilgrimage

Ukraine's nationalists protest Jewish pilgrimage

The protesters shouted "Ukraine for Ukrainians" at Sunday's rally.
Even if you're Ukrainian but also Jewish? That would have surprised my grandparents. . .

Back then of course it wasn't "just" the Ukraine but Russia. Another example of shifting borders and names, and identities attached to both.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Too many atheists miss the point of religion, it's about how we live and not what we believe. ~ John Gray
Thanks to The Daily Grail for the quote.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Randall Sullivan: The Miricle Detective

 "I don't think we're here to serve science, science is here to serve us." ~ Randall Sullivan
A couple of years ago, I read Randall Sullivan's The Miricle Detective. I wanted to read it because it concerned a BVM apparition in a small Oregon town. I liked the book; Randall's honesty in describing his journey from non-believer to believer was enjoyable to read.

I just discovered his television program: The Miricle Detective on the OWN network. Randall, described as "a believer" and Indre Viskontas described as "a scientist" (and not as a skeptic, which she is) in the show's opening, explore cases of a supernatural/religious nature.

Randall discussing his experiences at Medjurgorje on the Oprah show.

Chris Cunnyngham: Rick Perry and the Satanic Statue of Liberty | Esoterica | Big Think

More chilling scary wtf news about Texas Governor Rick Perry and his fanatical ways: Rick Perry and the Satanic Statue of Liberty.
Cunnygham cites specifics in his article on the origins and meanings of the Stature of Liberty and John Benefiel's crazy theories.

Texas Governor Rick Perry's August 6th prayer rally, The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis, has already garnered criticism for being a Christians-only affair that blurred the line between church and state and featured speakers with extreme beliefs far outside of the mainstream. One of these beliefs in particular caught my eye – the claim by John Benefiel, head of the Heartland Apostolic Reformation Network, that the Statue of Liberty is "a demonic idol, right there in New York harbor."

John Benefiel believes the Stature of Liberty is a satanic idol. While Rick Perry himself doesn't say this (publicly anyway, who knows what he actually believes) the fact Perry supports Benefiel speaks volumes. Not only does Benefiel believe the Stature of Liberty is satanic, but wants to rename the District of Columbia to "District of Christ." Oy.

Easy to dismiss this as silly religious nut cases running amok among us, but the fact is, there are silly religious nut cases running amok among us, and they're serious. Combined with endless energy, whipped up blood lust (the execution cheer) sensibliblies and self-satisfied arbitrators of imposed moral superiority (anyone who doesn't like what the other person likes to do, or isn't getting themselves) they're dangerous silly religious nut cases running amok among us. Don't under estimate these seeming fools. Fools they may be, but harmless they're not.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Arizona church is house of prostitution, police say -

The Goddess Temple in Phoenix, Arizona, busted for prostitution:

The alleged brothel generated tens of thousands of dollars a month, Martos told CNN.
A history of neighbor complaints, a recent Phoenix newspaper article, and the temple's website were among the factors prompting authorities to conduct the undercover investigation, Martos said.
"What's unusual is that they were trying to hide behind religion or church, and under the guise of religious freedom, they were committing acts of prostitution," Martos said.
"We certainly respect First Amendment rights. However, religious freedom does not allow for criminal acts," Martos said.
Regarding the Goddess Temple's website, he said: "What they would talk about would seem to be religion. At the same time, they were implying or intimating that they were giving sex therapy."
The website says at one point: "Sex is a holy, sacred and divine healing force at the core (of) our beings. Once we embrace this force instead of deny it, we become successful, happy and powerful manifestors."

Can't argue with their philosophy, (the Raelians would probably agree) but seemingly, they were just bull shitting the masses. Kind of like most churches. . .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Folk Art: St. Maria Magdalene, Patroness of Fallen Women

About fifteen years ago, there was a local woman who sold religious folk art/outsider art items at her booth at the Saturday Market. Saturday Market is a long running street fair in Eugene (since 1970),  full of booths of hand made items, as well as food booths and lots of music.

I bought several things from her at the time and did a paper on her when I was studying folklore at the University of Oregon.

This is a beaded necklace, with a wood pendant. On the front is an image of St. Maria Magdalene. On the back is a little label: "St. Maria Magdalene Patroness of Fallen Women." This is what Books of the Times site has to say about St. Maria Magdalene:

There is a breathtaking moment in the Gospel of Philip, one of the Gnostic gospels, which were denounced by the church as heresy. The apostles witness Jesus kissing Mary Magdalene on the mouth. The apostles are horrified, jealous. ''Why do you love her more than us?'' they ask. Jesus' response is mysterious and enigmatic. ''Why do I not love you like her?'' he says.
What is the meaning of those kisses? Sexual passion? A profound friendship? Jesus anointing Mary Magdalene as his successor and as leader of the church?
Traditionally, Mary Magdalene has been seen as a reformed harlot, portrayed in paintings as red haired and bare breasted. But as Karen L. King, the Winn professor of ecclesiastical history at Harvard University, in the Divinity School, points out in her new book, ''The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle,'' nowhere does the Bible say that she was a prostitute.

I know I have that paper, with photos, around here somewhere. I also have other items that I hope to take snaps of and post. I think the woman -- a very colorful person! -- called herself "Sister Spirit" and I want to say "bear" was in there somewhere, but it's been many years and I don't remember.

She sold jewelry with decorated images of the saints and the BVM as well as Jesus. She was known for her Jesus nightlights: religious plastic nightlights of Jesus and Mary, (the kind you can buy at dime stores; I've even seen them at Dollar Store type places) painted, often with neon colors, and decorated with beads, glitter, feathers .

I haven't been to the Saturday Market for a couple of years; but when I have gone there, I didn't notice her around. I think she left the area some time ago, or at least, stopped making her wonderful folk art.

Gaeilo, PIzza, and the Moon

Gordon Kaswell keeps a low profile in UFO World, which is too bad because he has a special knowledge and insight into the technological aspect of UFOs that is an area we can all benefit from becoming familiar with. Here's what Gordon commented on Facebook about Domino's Pizza in regards to a previous UFO Mary post: Some Catholics still insist Galileo was wrong.
 And speaking of things Catholic, for years I've found interesting/amusing the story of Domino's Pizza. (Say, what?) Really. The reason is that Domino's was started by a guy named Tom Monaghan, who is a devout Catholic. He and his brother bought a pizza parlor then called Dominick's. Monaghan bought out his brother's share, and changed the name to Domino's. The name change is intriguing because in Latin, "domino" means "lord"! Monaghan (who is quite wealthy) has been building a town in Florida named Ave Maria, and as a planned community, it's Monaghan's intention that only Catholics live there, and follow his rules (no porn, no abortions, etc.). Civil rights groups have been fighting this, but I haven't kept track of the story, and don't know the current status on the issue. Monaghan spends a lot of his money on Catholic charities, radio and TV broadcast media, etc.
Today I came across this article about plans Domino's has for opening pizza parlors on the moon. Specifically, the Japanese division of Domino's, as reported on by Discovery Magazine:

The Japanese arm of the company has announced today that it wants to build the first pizzeria on the lunar surface: Domino's Moon Branch.
"We started thinking about this project last year, although we have not yet determined when the restaurant might open," Tomohide Matsunaga, a spokesman for Domino's, told the UK's The Daily Telegraph.

Positively crazy and irresponsible of course; it's estimated the cost would be around $23 billion dollars. But, as Ian O'Neill, writer of the above mentioned article remarks, this is very likely just a publicity stunt by Domino's -- no such plans are being made. Which is a relief, of course. But pizza in space isn't new; as O'Neill points out, Pizza Hut delivered a pizza to the International Space Station in 2001.