It’s been a while since HBO caught my attention. Allow me to introduce the Righteous Gemstones…..
Holy crap! Gemstones is a new obsession. Televangelists – HBO just put you on notice. Don’t know where this is going, but oh man, so far it’s a great ride!
Owners of a roadside attraction in Williamstown, Kentucky are suing their insurance company for one million dollars. “Ark Encounter” accuses their insurance provider of acting in bad faith for refusal to cover full cost of damages caused by heavy rain in 2017 & 2018. Star attraction of the Biblical theme park, a 510 foot replica of Noah’s Ark miraculously escaped flood damage, due in part to placement on solid bedrock. At issue is a major landslide from a slope above which eroded structural stability along the access road. A road which carried a annual average of 2.2 million visitors since the park opened in 2016.
Ponder replica baby dinosaurs caged in the Ark. WTF?!!! http://kentuckytoday.com/stories/group-says-its-warning-schools-about-noahs-ark-attraction,4679
Ark’s insurance provider denied liability compensation on the basis of “design deficiencies and faulty workmanship”. Ark Encounter’s lawsuit accuses the insurer of breach of contract and acting with “oppression, fraud and malice”, a portion of the $1 million they’re after includes punitive damages.
Here’s the thing – Ark Encounter which opened in 2016, received substantial tax credits from the State of Kentucky. Activists like Jim Helton, spokesman for Tri-State Freethinkers cried foul, saying “Basically, this boat is a church raising scientifically illiterate children and lying to them about science”, “It’s a clear violation of separation of church and state. What they’re doing is utterly ridiculous and anywhere else, I don’t think it would be allowed”, he added.
Ark Encounter spokesman Ken Ham, president of Answers In Genesis, the Christian organization behind the project said the attraction was designed to be “the greatest Christian outreaches of this era in history”. The park website says – “Many of the animals that lived during Noah’s lifetime didn’t look much like the animals we see today”. (Creation speak for hey kids you can still play with plastic dinosaurs because God made them 6,000 years ago, look there they are, caged just where Noah put them next to the goats. Don’t see a T-Rex? Read your Bible child and stop asking questions! Look, see the baby dinosaurs? God is wise, God is great. )
I digress. Promise to keep you posted.
Meet anti-vaxxer extraordinaire Brittney Kara. According to her Amazon bio, Brittney is a master NLP practitioner (Neuro Linguistic Programming) hypnotherapist, nutrition coach, author and mother. https://www.amazon.com/Brittney-Kara/e/B00EJS3FEM
Anti-vaxxer jibber-jabber has Brittney to thank for a naturopathic epiphany of Biblical proportion – Vaccines are bad because God never mentioned them in the Bible. Seems Brittney decided to Google vaccines in the Bible, when no reference was found she went public. Watch a short video from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNxt-Npm5rNEJ4ySRsilF1A
In November 2017 auto maker Lamborghini gifted the Pope a custom Lamborghini Huracan. Thanks but no thanks replied the Vatican, seems the Pope is more of a conservative Popemobile kind of guy. The Vatican asked Sotheby’s in Monaco to auction it for charity in May 2018. The winning bid of over $900,000 US fell through, the Vatican was stuck with a Lamborghini signed and blessed by the Pope.
Pope Francis blesses a Lamborghini presented by representatives of the Italian automaker at the Vatican Nov. 15, 2017. The car will be offered as a prize in a raffle and the proceeds given to charity. (Credit: CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano.)
So what’s Lamborghini to do with a luxury car signed and blessed by the Pope? Offer the possibility that anyone could drive a blessed Lamborghini of course! For a mere $10 per ticket the prize is staggering. You and a friend flown to Rome, put up in a four star hotel, handed keys to your sweet ride at a ceremony attended by Francis himself and Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Lamborghini. According to contest entry site Omaze, his Holiness is “gifting it to YOU.” See contest home page link below.
Curiously Omaze omits pertinent contest details such as closing date. However, the site is quick to dangle “free spin” perks to those who buy in. The site asserts “Proceeds from this campaign will benefit a number of causes working to transform lives around the world. Your support will help rebuild villages that have been devastated by violence and war, assist victims of human trafficking, provide medical care and education to those living in poverty, and more incredible, live-saving work. Donations will be distributed through Charities Aid Foundation of America [CAFA, a 501(c)(3) public charity] to causes working to support these communities in need.”
Hang on, I stand corrected – buried deep within the fine print a closing date of January 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST. Entrants must be 18 and not residents of Belgium, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Singapore, Sudan, Syria or Thailand. Why Belgium? Thailand?
Catholic charity is no stranger to raffling off gifts to the Pope. In 2015, $12 bought a chance to win unwanted Papal gifts including a new four wheel drive Fiat Panda, a Homero Ortega Panama style hat, a leather suitcase, an espresso coffee maker, watches and bicycles gifted to the Pope. It’s hysterical!
In practical terms I suppose the Pope has to do something with all the gifts bestowed upon him. Maybe I’d feel better if proceeds went to victims of Catholic abuse, hard to say let alone put into words how absurd the notion of raffling off a Pope signed Lamborghini strikes me.
This question appeared in my Quora feed – “Why do many atheists attack and offend Christians?” Gone are the days when I might have taken issue, trolls will fish, but I won’t bite. Can’t say why I hesitated, all I know is Connor Cuevo’s answer filled the screen – https://www.quora.com/profile/Connor-Cuevo
Connor Cuevo describes himself as a good Christian, this atheist defines him as a decent human being. Ponder the words of a good Christian –
I’m a Christian here. I also know many atheists.
Have atheists ever scoffed at us when we helped the poor and downtrodden in their affliction?
Did they mock us when we cried, asked the Lord for forgiveness, and resolved to be better people?
Were they spiteful when we were generous with friends and strangers?
Do they attack us when we forgive someone who has wronged us?
Are they offensive when we act with humility, giving glory to God?
When we sought to bring peace, or tend to the sick, or feed the hungry, or visit the imprisoned, or bury the dead, were they hostile?
I have never known an atheist to do any of these things.
I have known atheists to be critical of us, typically when we:
Hoard wealth in our churches.
Justify our sinful behavior.
Shut out and oppress other groups of people.
Lust for blood with impunity.
Boast and act ostentatiously.
Do little or nothing to combat structural violence , systemic poverty or rampant illness.
Be guilty of all these things and still try to impose our “wisdom” on others.
If you are a good Christian, you will probably never get any trouble from atheists. You may even get praise.
In all honesty, I have found that atheists are the most effective force to guide, counsel and affirm Christian values ever devised!
According to howtorepent.org good Christians have some work to do. It seems the Bible lists 667 sins. From birth God records every transgression in his Book of Sins. Failure to repent even one of those 667 sins guarantees a one way ticket to Hell. God’s sin list is staggering, as is the preamble and content contained in the link below.
Click to access 667-Sins-List.pdf
Ponder 667 sins, then name a single Christian who rises above the sin test. Why is it that theists claim moral superiority yet spend a lifetime repenting sin?
Like it or not church news is a global barometer. In no particular order, pondering church news starts with Father Jacques Lacroix, the French priest who face slapped a crying baby during baptism on June 21, 2018. When this video went viral the following day, a statement issued by the Meaux Dioceses said in part – 89 year old Father Lacroix “was suspended from all baptism and marriage celebrations.”, adding “This short video is an excerpt from the celebration which the baby cries a lot. The elderly priest loses his temper and slaps the child. Aware of this inappropriate gesture, the priest apologized to the family at the end of the baptism.” Official statement ended with – the priest was likely tired, but that “does not excuse him.”.
California State Bill AB 2943 (passed first reading in April, expected to pass state senate by the end of summer ) targets “conversion therapy”. Specifically the advertising or sale of “sexual orientation change efforts” by religious organizations. The bill states “sexual orientation change efforts” are defined as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation.” “This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex,” the bill reads.
This image from ChristianHeadlines.com fills my mouth with bile. The image chosen by fundamentalist Christians to illustrate outrage over state bill AR 2943 is nothing short of insane. Anyone with a glimmer of common sense knows sexual orientation isn’t a choice . Never the less, fundamentalist tongues wag –
“A pastor paid to speak at an event addressing current social topics could not encourage attendees that they can prevail over same-sex desires or feelings that they were born the wrong sex.”
“A religious ministry could not hold a conference on maintaining sexual purity if the conference encourages attendees to avoid homosexual behavior.”
“A licensed counselor could not help a married mother of three who is experiencing unwanted attraction to a close female friend or confusion over her gender identity overcome those feelings.”
“A bookstore (including online bookstores like Amazon) could not sell many recently published books challenging gender identity ideology and advocating that these beliefs should be rejected by society.”
Knock, knock, anyone home at the pulpit? Conversion therapy is a multi-million dollar business marketed as everything from talk and addiction counseling models to electroshock treatments and isolation therapy. It’s misguided, unethical, abusive and predominantly geared toward adolescents.
It’s getting late, whatever point flickered an hour ago is lost. Church news is still a barometer, but I’m done for tonight. Forgive me for my last gasp on the subject –
Spiritual leader Rev. Sean Moon presides over World Peace and Unification, a breakaway of his late father Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification church. Followers are encouraged to bring assault rifles to church, AR-15s represent “rods of iron” in the book of Revelation. Parishioners pray for “a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing.” Outside, state police draw a line between protesters and pious rod of iron Unification faithful. Alarmed Wallenpaupack Area School District officials evacuate an elementary school several blocks away. Bewildered devotees can’t imagine what the fuss is about. They stand with iron rod indifference toward a nation traumatized by 17 students gunned down by an AR-15 in Parkland, Florida. As far as they’re concerned, “an attendant checked each weapon at the door to make sure it was unloaded and secured with a zip tie, and the elaborate commitment ceremony went off without a hitch.”
Beyond women in white, men in black, AR-15 assault rifles in the hands of many, ponder bullets fashioned into gold crowns. Witness dozens of followers attending a “commitment ceremony” to exchange and renew wedding vows. The ceremony, Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Hearth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing, was part of a week long “Festival of Grace” .
Religious “gun-damentalism”, equal parts NRA propaganda, calculated manipulation of truth and wack-a-doodle bible study. Followers unable to legally obtain a assault rifle in time for the ceremony were urged to purchase $700 gun store gift certificates as evidence they would secure rods of iron in the near future. The church insists they do not worship or bless guns, rather “God centered families are sovereign and prepared to defend themselves with the rod of iron, which is represented in the AR-15.”
World Peace and Unification hold fast to their God given right to protect themselves from “sickos and evil psychopaths.” Oblivious to all but rod of iron ceremony. “People have the right to bear arms, and in God’s kingdom, you have to protect that”
Full credit to WordPresser Scottie at https://scottiestoybox.com/ for posting an image so absurd my jaw actually dropped.