From CATHOLIC AND ENJOYING IT:
Who is this Chris and why has he got it in for gay people?
A man from Russia's Chelyabinsk city has changed his name to Yeshua Ben Maryam Al-Masih, which means in Hebrew "Jesus Son of Mary, Messiah". Originally named Vyacheslav, the 49-year-old man had already changed the personal information on his passport four times. This time he has changed his name and passport on the basis of his religious beliefs.
Father Igor Shestakov, secretary of the Chelyabinsk eparchy, said the Orthodox Church usually has no strong position on the changing of names, but this case was different.
"If a person says they are the Messiah, then they are either, if you'll excuse the expression, a psycho or a provocateur," Igor told the TV channel.
Yep, that's pretty much what the Roman and Jewish authorities thought about Jesus.
From THE WARWICK ADVERTISER:
Well, that's the Orthodox for you - always predictable.
From YAHOO NEWS:
A recent poll showing that a slim majority of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana made national headlines. And now, the pro-pot movement appears to have taken another step forward, with a survey showing that nearly half of all young Christians in the U.S. also favor legalizing cannabis. In the poll, 45 percent of self-identified Christian youths ages 18-29 favor legalizing marijuana. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed say they oppose legalization. Only 22 percent of Christian seniors who took part in the survey said they favor legalization.
From THE WASHINGTON POST:
The story of a Long Island Catholic ousted from his parish jobs for marrying his male partner generated headlines, outrage and an 18,000-signature petition to Bishop William Murphy to have Nicholas Coppola reinstated. But now the tale has an odd coda: Murphy, who heads the Diocese of Rockville Centre, mailed the petitions back to Coppola with a one-line cover letter on the bishop’s stationery that reads: “FROM YOUR FAITHFUL ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP.” No signature, nothing else. What’s more, instead of sending the package to Faithful America, one of the liberal advocacy groups that has taken up Coppola’s cause, Murphy’s office sent it to Faith in Public Life, a social justice lobby based in Washington. Faith in Public Life forwarded the package to Faithful America, which said it received it on Tuesday (April 23).
“I really don’t understand what sort of message Bishop Murphy is trying to send,” Coppola said in a statement provided by GLAAD, a gay rights organization that has also been promoting his case. “Is he no longer listening to the voices of the faithful? I have more questions than anything now.”
Sean Dolan, a spokesperson for Murphy, on Thursday confirmed that the bishop had sent the 300 sheets of paper with the signatures back to Coppola. In a statement, Dolan said the petition and the way its delivery was staged for the media “was designed to misinform the press and the intended recipient,” and was “only designed to promote the organizations behind this spectacle.”
I'm not surprised by the bishop's actions. I have personally experienced the petty arrogance of the episcopacy. Those men do not like their judgement to be questioned.
From THE WASHINGTON TIMES:
Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels was participating in a debate on blasphemy laws when four women, representing the feminist group FEMEN, took to the stage, where they stripped naked to reveal painted slogans such as “My body my rules” on their bare chests and backs.
The women doused the archbishop with water from bottles shaped like the Virgin Mary, and he sat drenched with water with his eyes closed in prayer. After the ordeal was over, the archbishop then kissed the image of the Virgin Mary on one of the water bottles.
Talk about playing to the gallery. What a drama queen!
From JAKARTA GLOBE:
Former child singer Adi Bing Slamet on Wednesday night filed a report with the Jakarta Police accusing celebrity spiritual guru Subur of blasphemy. Adi’s lawyer, Fahmi Bachdim, said that Subur — known as Eyang (grandfather) Subur by his followers — has allegedly spread heresy by encouraging his followers not to pray.
Adi, who claimed he was a follower of Subur for 17 years, said that he regularly went to Subur’s house with many other followers. However, he soon realized that the self-claimed spiritual guru was extorting his followers by asking them to take part in unusual rituals such as drinking salt-water and sugarless coffee.
Oh heck! Now I'm for it. I never put sugar in my coffee, or tea for that matter. Arrest me now. Lock me up and throw away the key!
From DAILY MIRROR:
A Buddhist flag 1,000 feet in length is being taken by villagers from Kadahapola at Narammala to be offered at the Sri Maha Bodhi for the 'Kap Ruk Puja' to seek blessings and peace for Sri Lanka. They began the walk on April 21 and are expected to arrive at the Sri Maha Bodhi on April 29. The villagers are hoping that some 5,000 devotees will join them on the way to Anuradhapura.
Shoplifters. Shirtlifters. What is the difference? Nothing, according to this nasty, little man.
From EWTN NEWS:
Former government minister Ann Widdecombe says Christians need to put pressure on the UK government to stop the persecution of Christians overseas and to stop it developing here. Speaking at an event Tuesday in south London, the media personality warned that today's "small scale persecution" of UK Christians could dramatically worsen unless people began to "fight back."
We ought to listen to her. As she is a Roman Catholic (actually, as she is an English churchgoer) she will be an expert on "small scale persecution."
From EWTN NEWS:
After a Vatican official stated that the Church could support same-sex civil unions, a Swiss theologian is saying that if they are equated with marriage these unions discriminate against married heterosexual couples.
"Besides containing an erroneous moral message, it actually means to objectively discriminate against married people, who intentionally have engaged in a union ordered towards the task of the transmission of human life, accepting all the burdens and responsibilities of this task," said Swiss theologian Father Martin Rhonheimer.
"Conferring legal equality to same-sex unions signifies to publicly establish, in the law system, the principle of dissociation of sexuality and procreation," he explained in an April 22 telephone interview with CNA.
Oh heck, again! I really am striking out today. First the sugarless coffee and now getting married and not having any kids. I'm sending out "erroneous moral messages" all over the place. Please accept my apologies all you opposite gender married couples with children, I did not set out to ruin your lives, honest. I blame the gays. Nobody mentioned how evil being married but not having children was until people of the same gender started saying they wanted to get married as well. When I was young, even a woman well passed the menopause with absolutely no chance of ever conceiving could get married in church without any fear of being cast into hell for all eternity. Now, if the wife isn't popping out sprogs every nine months you are no better than Hitler or, even worse, no better than a shoplifter.
Father Martin Rhonheimer is a member of Opus Dei.
I believe that using Communion as such a manipulative tool surely profanes the sacrament. Perhaps these Catholic leaders should revisit their church’s theology of the Eucharist. Reception of the body and blood of Christ at Communion is God’s gift to God’s people, not a reward for right behavior. We receive Communion not because we are worthy of it, but because God’s offers us the body and blood of Christ despite our unworthiness. (Bishop Gene Robinson THE WASHINGTON POST)
Oh dear, now Bishop Gene is going to be accused of being Anti-Catholic, just like I am every time I make this accusation.
Go read the rest of Bishop Gene's essay! It's very good.
Oh, and my apologies for not using Gene's full title which is "Gay Bishop Gene Robinson" according to the world's media.
From THE DAILY EASTERN NEWS:
A husband and wife stepped outside the Doudna Fine Arts Center steps Monday to preach religious views — and what followed was a battle of beliefs and social issues between them and Eastern students.
“We want to warn the wicked and have them repent for their sins,” said Cindy Smock, one of the preachers.
More than 100 students showed up to the preaching. Wearing a tiara and holding signs with phrases like “God hates figs and only figs,” Michael Bilek, a junior biological sciences major, paced behind Cindy Smock as she tried to speak to the students. Bilek grabbed another male student from the crowd and kissed him on the lips in front of Smock as she tried to tell the students why the Bible does not allow gay marriage.
Bilek said, "Some of the students are pretty riled up over this, so I like to interject humor if I can.”
Emalie Thornton, a freshman secondary education major, ran in front of the Doudna steps, a Bible in her hand, asking those there what they would give for the book. She ended up getting a bag of potato chips for the Bible, which she quickly gave away.
Scott Otto, a sophomore sociology major, said the way Cindy and her husband, Jed Smock, were preaching reminded him of organizations he saw while on tour in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“They’re on the cusp of religious extremists,” he said.
Jalisa Israel, a junior communication studies major, said she asked the preachers to move over to the Library Quad and was met with hostility from Jed Smock.
“I told him his time was up and asked to clear the steps, and he said, ‘The colored girl wants me to move.’”
She said she was shocked by Jed Smock’s choice of words.
“I need a minute,” Israel said. “I can’t believe he just called me that.”
From THE SUN HERALD:
Vatican employees won't receive the special bonus they are traditionally awarded when a new pope is elected, the Vatican confirmed on Thursday, under orders from Pope Francis to give extra money to charity instead.
What a generous man. Generous with other people's money, that is. I bet all those poorly paid secretaries, cleaners and porters were looking forward to a bit of extra cash. And I thought this bloke was supposed to be on the side of the poor.
Expelled from the Church. Welcomed unconditionally by his college football team. And we moan that young people are deciding to play sports on Sunday morning rather than go to church. My guess is that they have sussed us out.
From THE GUARDIAN:
An anarchist group in Spain has been sending bombs to prominent Roman Catholics, hiding the explosives inside packages containing vibrators. At least two such mini-bombs have been sent by a group that calls itself the Anticlerical Pro Sex Toys Group, according to Spain's state-owned EFE news agency. One device exploded at a postal sorting office, slightly injuring the woman who was handling the package.
Sending vibrators to prominent Roman Catholics - childish but funny.
From BIKYA NEWS:
A Tunisian woman who sparked controversy after exposing her breasts online in protest of how Arab women are being treated said this week she would go topless again as part of Ukrainian women’s rights group Femen continues its women’s rights push for the Arab world using nudity.
“I don’t want to leave Tunisia before doing a topless protest. I will do a topless protest then I will leave,” she said in the video posted on Femen’s Facebook page.
Police say a man caught huffing paint over the weekend told them he was using the paint to catch devil worshippers who were trying to sexually assault him.
From NBC SPORTS:
(In) his interview in the May “GQ” reveals a much different Barry Zito than that which exists in casual, popular perception. Turns out that he found God in 2011 and he and his wife have immersed themselves in “the Christian faith” to use Zito’s term. Also: while he still surfs and does yoga, he has a new passion:
You’ve been written about a great deal, as you pointed out. But is there anything you’re interested in that we don’t know about?
Let’s see. I’ve kind of picked up a new hobby of shooting firearms. So that’s something that I’ve really gotten excited about lately. I think when you have a family and you understand that you have so much to lose if some lunatic is gonna come off the street and try to do something in your home, it makes you feel a little better to know that I’ll be able to defend my family. It’s a utilitarian thing. That’s basically what it’s about.
From HURRIYET DAILY NEWS:
Autism associations around Turkey have reacted angrily after the head of Adana’s Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children reportedly said autistic children were “atheists due to a lack of a section for faith in their brains.”
“Autistic children do not know how to believe in God because they do not have a section for faith in their brains,” sociologist Fehmi Kaya reportedly said. “That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness [or religion] in these children through methods of therapy.”
He also reportedly said atheism was a form of autism.
From THE TELEGRAPH (Australia):
Dee Why woman Nora Barican is convinced the photograph she took while travelling on a bus over the Spit Bridge recently captured the image of a messenger from God. The devout Catholic was on her way to church in the city when something prompted her to look out the window as she was praying. She immediately grabbed her mobile phone to take a photo.
"It just dawned on me that I was looking at an angel," Mrs Barican told the Manly Daily. "
I wondered 'What's the message?' That's what I'm trying to figure out."
I've taken the trouble of checking this out for Nora and it turns out the message is that since cirrus clouds arrive in advance of a frontal system or tropical cyclone, the weather conditions may soon deteriorate. (Wikipedia)
From THE TELEGRAPH:
The Islamic Society of North America, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has published an article that calls Andalusia – the hottest bit of Spain – a “paradise” that will return when “the only victor is Allah.” It reads like part travelogue and part religious tract, claiming that Andalusia was a region of tolerance “for 800 years” when occupied by Muslims, was then ruined by “the insanity following the Spanish reconquista” and, only today, has regained some of its former lustre thanks to growing interest in Islam in the region. Quote: “In 2006, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said that Spain was indebted to Islam for its great historical contributions.” Mr Zapatero also legalised gay marriage, so it’s fair to presume that he’s not too keen for the Caliphate to come back.
Sounds fair, as long as we can have Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire back - and Syria, and North Africa and all those Balkan and former USSR countries that were the subject of bloody Arab conquest in the past.
From SIKH SIYASAT:
It is learnt that on April 23, 2013 the UK became the first European country to pass legislation on caste discrimination. Many including all Sikh organisations agree caste discrimination is ‘unacceptable and must not be tolerated’ as stated by the Government Minister.
Our republicans will be pleased to hear this. No more Royal Family, lords, duchesses, earls and the like. And no more prime ministers and archbishops of Canterbury getting the job because they went to Eton. I'm glad England is finally getting rid of the oppressive Norman caste system. I wonder if this means that the 55% of England that the French aristocracy still own even after 1000 years will be given back to the English.
Erm? Doesn't that mean that Father Harrison is blaspheming against his Creator by deliberately remaining celibate?
From RAW STORY:
On Sunday, Mars Hill Church Pastor, Mark Driscoll, told female parishioners that God wanted them to submit to their husbands and that they shouldn’t be a “nag,” likening them to Chinese water torture.
The Anglican ambassador to the Vatican, David Richardson, has attacked the Roman Catholic "raid'' on the Anglican Church two years ago as offensive and embarrassing. Australian Canon Richardson, a former dean of St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, said the special Anglican wing the Vatican set up to provide a home for Anglican dissidents would not last more than 20 years.
From RAW STORY:
Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi boycotted an inter-faith dialogue conference that opened in Doha on Tuesday, rejecting to sit in the meeting also attended by Jewish representatives.
The compound of the Saint Paul Apostolic Mission Church in Slipway in Central Monrovia was the scene of drama last Saturday, when a group of angry women attempted disrupting an ongoing wedding ceremony. The situation was a "dog fight" between two women-one of whom was finally chosen as the bride for the man they both loved so much. The pastor, who performed ceremony, became speechless and confused when the women stormed his church.
Esther and Rufus were reportedly in court when he quietly made his decision to marry another woman. Gossipers are reported to have informed her that Rufus, her husband-to- be was wedding another woman instead of her. Esther, upon hearing the news, mobilized a group of women already in sympathy with her, in the Slipway and West point Communities to storm the church to demand Rufus out. At the church, they chanted anti-Rufus slogans, describing him as traitor.
"Men are deceitful; they cannot be trusted by women. Instead of them loving and caring for you, they are there caring for others outside," said a middle-age woman said, while another snouted: "If I was Esther, I would have burnt down the whole church for the pastor, family members of the two, including sympathizers and friends to die in the process."
In spite of the confusion, the ceremony went ahead, but was hastily done for the wedded couple to leave the vicinity as quickly as possible.
This week, the Rev. Billy Talen will lead his Church of Earthalujah, complete with rollicking choir, around the Bay Area for what he calls his “Extinction/Resurrection” campaign. The white-clad faux cleric, who sports a platinum blond pompadour, has taken on the Golden Toad as the first example of a species that needs resurrection. The small, shiny orangeish species known as Bufo periglenes has not been seen since 1989 in the tropical forests of Costa Rica, where it was once abundant. Scientists listed global warming as one possible reason it went extinct.
“We inhabit dead and dying animal species who come back to life and invade the high church of banks,” said Talen, explaining why he is likely to be seen this week stomping and ranting outside a San Francisco bank or two while his followers parade around him dressed as extinct toads. “It is a strategical blasphemy, in this climate change era.”
A former Muslim Brotherhood terrorist claims a bizarre video released out of Egypt demonstrates the “demonic” spirit that has gripped the nation since its 2011 Islamic revolution. The video shows a wedding celebration in which a group of men in a frenzy tear apart a live chicken by hand, then scrabble over its pieces to eat its raw flesh.
“The video is a glimpse into the dark and incomprehensible spirit that has possessed the souls of Egypt,” claims Walid Shoebat, a former Palestinian Liberation Organization operative who has since renounced his terrorist ways. “Lawlessness has abounded, excesses have gone unrestricted and the full force of Islam has greatly dimmed the land with its dark clouds, thundering about and striking without discrimination.”
From GREEK REPORTER:
Whenever monk Joseph of Mount Athos hears the sound of an aircraft, he stands close to the edge of a cliff above the Aegean and waves a huge Greek – or sometimes Byzantine – flag at the Greek Air Force pilots flying over the peninsula of Athos in northern Greece. The pilots fly low in response to the monk’s special greeting, paying respect to the man who is known among the Greek Air force circles as the patron of pilots.
But how did this strange, yet fascinating greeting story begin? Some years ago, when monk Joseph traveled to the island of Skyros for a local fair, he also visited the airbase of the island. A pilot recognized him as the monk living on a Mount Athos top that happens to be a turning point for aircraft. After their acquaintance, the pilot used to fly low every time over that point so that he could greet the monk in this special way. Then the monk would wave back in response, until one day Joseph took a huge Greek flag and started waving it back at the pilot.
From THE LEADER:
The Bishop of Orihuela - Alicante has confirmed that the priest in Monforte del Cid was correct to refuse a disabled girl the rights to her first holy communion when her mother applied in September, on the grounds that he was unable to understand what the girl was saying, as it “responds to the rules of the church”.
From MAIL ONLINE:
Hymns have been dropped from assemblies at a Church of England school which has also introduced separate prayer rooms for girls and boys to cater to its mostly Muslim students. Daily assemblies at Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College, where 75 per cent of pupils are Muslim, are not based specifically on the Bible, but may make reference to it alongside other religious texts. All of the the meat served at the secondary school, which has over 1,000 pupils aged between 11 and 19, is halal.
From THE STAR:
Attempt by John Cardinal Njue to block the media from covering a multi-million shillings property dispute in which he is a party has failed after a judge dismissed his plea. In the case Cardinal Njue and nun Marie Therese Gachambi of the Assumption Sisters are accused of trying to take over the property of St Mary's mission hospitals unlawfully, but the two have denied the allegations.
On April 6, hundreds of thousands of men and boys spread out across the sweltering Bangladesh capital Dhaka to call for, among other things, the hanging of atheists. The mass mobilization of Islamists was spurred by a handful of “atheist” bloggers who are supposedly so offensive to Islam that they should face the hangman’s noose.
From HUFFINGTON POST:
Doug Wilson, a pastor from Moscow, Idaho, argues in his book "Black and Tan" that the abolitionist movement was wrong and the Civil War should never happened, because if Southern slave-owners had been allowed to implement the Bible's teachings on slavery, then a more humane transition would have taken place through "gospel gradualism."
I was reading exactly the same argument in The Spectator this morning. Except the tory writer of that piece was on about gay marriage not black slaves.
Approximately 60 clergy and lay Catholics gathered on the sidewalk outside Siena Heights University to protest the University’s student performances of “The Vagina Monologues” on April 19 and 20. A male student stood nearby with an opposing sign that read: "God Loves Vaginas and Hates Pedophiles." The priest who serves as chaplain at the University also came out publicly to support the student production.
From RAW STORY:
A pastor in Nigeria told authorities he stole a woman’s underwear so that he could pray for her.
Tommy Issachar, a 25-year-old pastor of All Nations Evangelical Church, was accused of stealing two pants, one bra and money from a female church member earlier this month. He plead not guilty to charges of breach of public peace and stealing.
Why the money, Tommy? You have let the sisterhood down!