A tale of three bus ads

What is this about?

…..a political entrepreneur across the Atlantic is getting on the bus ad wagon. Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger (and, thus, anomaly) in Manhattan, has a particular gripe against Islam. Together with Stop the Islamization of America, a New York-based organization, Geller made an ad buy voicing her concern….

Alg_islam_bus_ad

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

Taken from the ‘Killing the Buddha’ blog – read the full article here.

Baptist megachurch commits $115m for massive campus

Is it me?

I must admit, I find this difficult to come to terms with:

First Baptist Church of Dallas has raised more than $115 million for a new campus, surpassing what any Protestant megachurch has ever collected toward a project.

Pastor Robert Jeffress called it a miracle, especially for a congregation that’s a fraction of the size of some of the largest churches in the country.

“Let’s never forget our Red Sea moment as a church,” he said Sunday after the capital campaign result was announced. “For generations to come people will look at May 16, 2010, as the day God parted the Red Sea and performed a miracle for the First Baptist Church of Dallas, a miracle that should fill our hearts with gratitude toward God and faith for the future.”

That is a lot of money to spend on a building!

I wonder if anyone in leadership at First Baptist Church of Dallas considered bucking the trend and using the money to feed the hungry, house the homeless and heal the sick?  Now that really would have had an impact on downtown Dallas!

What do you think?

Lord Jesus Christ Suffers Minor Injuries

What is this about?  Bizarre or what?

Late last week, there was a car accident in Massachusetts, USA, with holy implications. Patrick Johnson in The Republic reports:

A 20-year-old Pittsfield driver was cited by police Tuesday after she ran down Lord Jesus Christ in a marked crosswalk at Main Street and Strong Avenue, police said.Brittany E. Cantarella was cited for a crosswalk violation, said Northampton police Capt. Scott Savino.

Christ, 50, of Belchertown, was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital for treatment of minor injuries following the 3:30 p.m. accident. He was treated at the hospital and then released.

Cantarella was making a left turn from Strong Avenue onto Main Street when her car, a 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, struck Christ.

Christ was in a marked crosswalk at the time of the accident, Savino said.

Savino said officers checked Christ’s identification at the scene and confirmed it was his legal name.

Taken from Killing the Buddha here.

Texas megachurch to give out cars and TVs at Easter services

Outlook

What is this about?  I find the following a saddening and deeply worrying development, and as far as I am concerned, it is just wrong on so many levels:
“Easter at a megachurch in Corpus Christi, Texas, will look like the popular TV game show “The Price Is Right.”

Sixteen cars, 15 flat-screen televisions, furniture sets and other prizes are lined up at Bay Area Fellowship Church and ready to be claimed by anyone who attends the church’s Easter services on Sunday.

Though the church of some 7,000 weekly attendees has regularly flexed its creative muscles to draw the unchurched, the upcoming “Ultimate Giveaway” is like no other outreach it has ever attempted.

Pastor Bil Cornelius, who made the game show analogy, admits it’s a bit “outrageous.”

But he sees it as “an opportunity to share Christ with people who may never go to a church for any reason,” he told The Christian Post.

The prizes are worth over $2 million and are all donated items or sponsored by members of the church. Pastor Cornelius asked the congregation to give and to get their businesses involved for the bold effort. Bay Area members signed up to give cars, bikes, laptops, gym memberships and other gifts.

We may laugh, be appauled or even admire what is happening here, but it raises some serious questions.  How should consumerism be dealt with in the church?  Is enticing people into church services through the promise of material gifts the right way to offer the gospel of Jesus?

Read the original article in the Christian Post here

Battling the Antichrist by outlawing microchips

Have a read of this article posted on the Religion Dispatches blog yesterday about how the Virginia House of Delegates has just voted to prohibit the involuntary implantation of microchips into human beings – not only as a protection of civil liberties but also because of religious paranoia and fear of “the mark of the beast”.

But Virginia is not alone since state legislators in Wisconsin, California, and North Dakota have already passed similar legislation to protect their citizens from “unwanted subdermal implants”. A similar bill has also just passed the house in Tennessee, and the Georgia State Senate also passed an anti-microchip bill last month.

As the article explains:

“The sponsors of these bills, all of them Republicans and outspoken conservative Christians, claim that preventing the forced implantation of microchips is a civil rights issue: they seek to protect citizens from unwanted bodily intrusions by employers and especially what they depict as a big brother-esque government. Yet the technology to embed radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips into animals and people has existed since the early nineties, and so far no one has attempted a forced implantation of the populace.

There are, of course, purely secular reasons against forced implantation of RFID chips and in favor of policies that particularly protect the truly vulnerable. But the true impetus behind these laws…….appears to lie squarely in Christian dispensationalism and speculation about “the mark of the beast” described in the Book of Revelation.”

What do you think? Paranoid dispensationalist clap-trap or reasonable protection of civil liberties?

After the Rapture – who will look after your pets?

This really made me laugh out loud, but believe it or not – this is for real!

I saw it on the Killing the Buddha blog – and thought it was worth repeating here.

For the Christians out there who take a pre-tribulation Rapture position – this is a serious question  😛

Who will look after your pets when the Church has gone?

Don’t worry – help is at hand – in the form of an insurance policy guaranteeing that your pets will be looked after by card carrying but pet loving atheists, just in case Jesus returns before you can sort out long term care provision.

As the article explains:

“Never mind friends and family who’ll be left behind when you’re Raptured—what about those you really love? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, “The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” promises “to step in when you step up to Jesus.” Purchase a ten-year Rapture insurance plan for just $110, and rest easy, knowing that an atheist—not just any old non-believer like a Jew or Satanist but an honest-to-God, non-spiritual, non-religious atheist—will tenderly care for your pet in the event of your heavenly ascension.”

Unbelievable!

Read the full article here.

In case you were wondering what the Killing the Buddha blog is all about – here is some blurb off their Manifesto page:

“Killing the Buddha is a religion magazine for people made anxious by churches, people embarrassed to be caught in the “spirituality” section of a bookstore, people both hostile and drawn to talk of God. It is for people who somehow want to be religious, who want to know what it means to know the divine, but for good reasons are not and do not. If the religious have come to own religious discourse it is because they alone have had places where religious language could be spoken and understood. Now there is a forum for the supposedly non-religious to think and talk about what religion is, is not and might be. Killing the Buddha is it.”

What I like about KtB is that the majority of the contributions are tongue-in-cheek about spirituality and faith, and sceptical to a large extent rather than cynical or critical for no reason.  I enjoy reading their view from the ‘other side’ of spirituality – and can’t help but laugh sometimes at just how ridiculous we people of faith must seem to those of, lets say, a more secular persuasion.  🙂