And in this corner, weighing in with annual sales of $50 billion-plus: [CENSORED], an American multinational corporation specializing in web-related services and products, with cyber-algorithms roaming the Internet just waiting to take down any column with naughty words like [CENSORED] Riot, George W. [CENSORED] and Tricky [CENSORED] Nixon.
What happens when you put the two champions together in the same progressive religion article? It’s a heavyweight match for the ages, ladies and gentlemen. Someone is going down! (Probably just the author.)
You gotta love the United States of America.
This week, thousands of Christians gathered at the U.S. Capitol and in state capitals throughout the nation to engage in the traditional Bible Reading Marathon leading up to the National Day of Prayer—men like Ron Harmon of Laurel, Montana, who on May 2 greeted the Hump Day morn by reading aloud from the book of Ezekiel “inside a rental truck [in] a parking lot south of the airport on Overlook Drive.”
Not exactly the front steps of the Montana State Capitol, mind you, but the article link above claims the Montana Bible Reading Marathon had to be moved for safety reasons. Who knows, maybe they were worried Richard Dawkins would show up with a bazooka.
Also, the article balks at identifying the specific biblical passage which Harmon read aloud—only noting that it was about “the coming day of wrath.”
Gee, I wonder if it was that divine warning in Ezekiel 20 about the Egyptian lady of the night who “lusted after her lovers, whose [RHYMES WITH “WEENUSES”] were like those of donkeys and whose [RHYMES WITH “FIRM”] was like that of horses.”
You blasphemer! It says no such thing in the Bible.
Actually, it does: right next to the verse where it talks about the evening lady getting her [CENSORED] fondled.
Of course, the Bible has nice verses about [RHYMES WITH “TUBES”], too. Proverbs 5 is practically Dante Gabriel Rossetti, what with the “wife of your youth” and her satisfying knockers. Better be careful now: cyber-spiders are crawling all over the place. No more references to mammary glands—and I promise no articles below about purity balls.
And this is where the whole Christianity vs. Major Internet Company That Shall Not Be Named thing enters in. I find it a gas, plain and simple, that the Holy Bible is so sexually shocking that if I were to quote the whole shebang from Genesis to Revelation, this article would be instantly banned from the Internet.
But what’s disgusting is that I could quote dozens of horrific, violent passages from the Bible, and the Cyber Censors of our “Unnamed Company” could care less. For instance, Judges 19:29:
When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.
Yawn! Not so much as a whoop-de-do! However, I wouldn’t recommend teaching that one in Sunday School to the little kiddies.
All to say, I wonder just how many Christians found themselves a wee bit shocked over the course of the Bible Reading Marathon when they stumbled upon passages that I am not allowed to use in this article.
As I once wrote in my five-part “X-Rated Bible” series:
Ah, the Bible. It is not the cookbook text that the Evangelical high priests proclaim it to be. It is not simple. Neither is it chaste. It is at times an X-rated labyrinth of theodicy—with no easy answers.
Yet I apologize! You didn’t come here for a lecture on censorship and horny biblical passages, you came here for the tour of the new Baptismal Font & Log Flume Splash Park—just one of several “cosmetic architectural improvements” in the newly christened Cubic Zirconia Cathedral!
I see you brought your two-piece and some galoshes. Good planning.
Now, if you’ve never submitted to the wondrous waters of holy baptism, first, go climb Jacob’s Ladder over yonder. When you get to the top, wait for the log canoe to come along. Then you and your fellow pagans hop in, and, trust me, you’re in for the ride of your life! When you reach the bottom of the flume, you’ll be soaked in spiritual suds and emerge ready to enjoy the rest of the water park!
I have to warn you, though: avoid the Sarah Palin Spiritual Waterboard Extravaganza. That’s only for Christians contemplating backsliding.
Oh, and here’s a free pass for the Noah’s Ark Petting Zoo. Careful, though, don’t step in any T-Rex pies. Now you know why I recommended the galoshes.
Please turn in your hymnals to No. 1673.
I am C
I am C-O
I am C-O-N-F-U-S-E-D
as those with C-H-R-I-S-T
in their H-E-A-R-T
yet choose to vote for R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N-S
5. Who’s Going to Say that Verse about the Whore Who Lusted After Donkey Dong?, over at Christian Broadcasting Network: “Bible Reading Marathon Held on Steps of US Capitol”
Christians read the Bible, front to cover, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol this week. No surprise, really, as that happens every morning in the chambers of Justice Alito.
Unfortunately, in a related matter, one Marge Schottleberry from Topeka, Kansas, died of sheer boredom while reading genealogies in Numbers.
By the way, in case you aren’t aware, the annual Bible Reading Marathon is a preface to the National Day of Prayer, which was enacted by the signature of one President Harry S Truman in 1952. Thank God Truman didn’t add as a legislative postscript that this day must conclude with the dropping of atomic bombs on our national enemies.
Any-who, I have nothing against reading the Bible. I love the Bible! It’s the most complex text ever created. Besides, I’m a Proverbs 5 kind of dude. Nor do I have anything against prayer. Every day in fact I pray that Ken Ham will stumble upon a young-Earth Velociraptor.
It’s just that I’m a little scared that these things are happening while individuals like the sitting Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice implies publicly that the First Amendment only applies to Christians.
Folks, remember, you heard it here first. Chief Justice Roy Moore: Be afraid, be very afraid.
4. Something to Sink Your Speech Into, according to Christian Broadcasting Network: “Free Speech Farce: Rise of American Fascism”
This might actually be one of the most interesting articles we’ve ever cited in the CRWU.
Tolerance vs. Intolerance.
Just in the past few months, we’ve seen the hot water one can get into now in the United States from unpopular political donations and private conversations. We’ve also seen the impact a movement like StopRush can have.
And many progressives might agree that the “stepping down” of Brendan Eich, the NBA lifetime ban of Donald Sterling and the squashing of Rush Limbaugh are not particularly regrettable occurrences.
Yet this article by Dale Hurd is on to something. What it’s not “on to” is the correct use of the word “fascism”—although I sometimes doubt there are more than 100 people in the world that actually know how to use the word correctly.
What it is “on to” is the following: what happens when both ends of the political spectrum become too afraid to voice their sincerely held beliefs for fear of facing arrest by a state that will do anything to keep the hoi polloi at bay? Case in point: UK parliamentarian candidate Paul Weston was recently arrested for quoting a (albeit not very kind to Muslims) passage from Winston Churchill’s book The River War.
Here in fact is that passage from The River War:
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.
The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.
A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.
The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.
No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.
What if I offered no interpretation of these words? What is the consequence? Not just now, but in our near-future?
3. Brunei Not Likely to Erect Statues of Churchill Anytime Soon, via Charisma News: “Why Christians May Be Flogged, Dismembered or Stoned to Death in Brunei”
I admit I wasn’t too sure about this one. After all, the Charisma News mission is to report “on what the Holy Spirit is doing around the world.” That seems a bit biased for any news organization. So, I checked out this story on CNN. And, indeed, the 420,000 citizens of the Southeast Asian country of Brunei will soon be subject to Sharia Law.
Of course, the dimwittedness of this article makes it sound like only Christians are going to be subject to persecution. I wonder how atheist homosexuals in Brunei will fare in the coming days and weeks.
But we should take pause and realize that this is what life will be like in the U.S. if folks like Chief Justice Roy Moore, Sarah Palin and Franklin Graham ever get their way.
ARE YOU READING THIS?!?! VOTE PROGRESSIVE ON NOVEMBER 4, 2014!!
What is interesting, of course, is to overlay Churchill’s words above with the average reader’s general sentiment about the Sultan of Brunei’s legalistic proclamation.
Whom among us disagree about the dangers of religious “fanatical frenzy”? As for the rest, Churchill sucked a$$. But then, so does the Sultan of Brunei.
Hey, Hassanal: God farts in your general direction!
Let us think on these things.
2. Nye Accused of “Hamming” it Up, over at Christian Post: “Ken Ham, Bill Nye Continue Sparring on Creationism; Ham Accuses Nye of ‘Mocking Tone’”
Flat-Earther and Biblical Hermeneutical Abuser Ken Ham is upset that Bill Nye doesn’t take Creationists seriously.
The entire article is a report on the pouty feelings expressed by Ken Ham after Nye’s recent article for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, during which Nye presented his first-hand account of the Ham on Nye Battle for Causality, which includes such zingers as:
After the debate, my agent and I were driven back to our hotel. We were, by agreement, accompanied by two of Ham’s security people. They were absolutely grim. I admit it made me feel good. They had the countenance of a team that had been beaten—beaten badly in their own stadium. Incidentally, if the situation were reversed, I am pretty sure they are trained to feel bad about feeling good. They would manage to feel bad either way, which is consistent with Mr. Ham’s insistence on The Fall, when humankind took its first turn for the worse. And by his reckoning, we’ve been plummeting ever since.
Cry me a river, Ham. I’m still ready to take you on.
By the way, I’m elated to learn that more than 6 million people watched the Ham on Nye Debate—a good many of whom, I assure you, were children in fundamentalist Creationist homes who otherwise would never have heard the bullet points of the scientific method and basic cosmology and evolutionary theory until they had been unchained at the age of 18.
1. Theology of the Weird: Evil Seahorses Intentionally Defile Biblical Traditional Reproduction
Sometimes it cracks me up to think what happens in a Young Earther’s mind when it comes to seahorse reproduction. Uh-oh. Better describe this carefully so the Cyber-Censors don’t catch wind.
In case you weren’t aware, female seahorses deposit their eggs in the male’s pregnancy pouch. The eggs are then fertilized on the male seahorse’s ‘person,’ which then carries them to term.
Guess God just wanted to mix things up a bit on Day Five of Creation.
That’s a wrap!
Please turn in your hymnals to No. 67.
Living in America. Gotta love it.
And just why do we present the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up each week?
Um, because “Christian News” is a multi-BILLION-dollar industry.
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) alone nets nearly $300 million per year in revenue. Then again, CBN is dwarfed in comparison to the nearly $900 million raked in annually by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
By the way, don’t forget that the Christian Right accounts for nearly one-third of America’s voters.
Not only that, but here’s a list of what’s on the line in November 2014:
—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives
—33 seats in the U.S. Senate
—46 State Legislatures
—And 38 State and Territorial Governorships.
SO, UM, PLEASE VOTE PROGRESSIVE!
The November 2014 Election is only this many days away.
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