Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Walmart ISIS Cake Causes Major Butt Hurt.

In Slidell, Louisiana a good ol' boy peckerwood redneck gentlemen went in his local Walmart and attempted to purchase a cake decorated with a replica of the Confederate battle flag with the words "Heritage, not Hate" spelled out atop the flag.

When Walmart refused to decorate the cake according to his instructions, the good ol' boy peckerwood redneck gentlemen underwent a major butt hurt.

As explained in in his Youtube video, the good ol' boy peckerwood redneck gentlemen printed a copy of an ISIS flag and took that design to another Walmart location in order to have a cake decorated with it.

The good ol' boy peckerwood redneck gentlemen does not explain why he took the ISIS design to a different Walmart. I suspect the good ol' boy peckerwood redneck gentlemen created a scene at the first location and was either too embarrased to return or else was banned from that particular Walmart for acting out.

The good ol' boy peckerwood redneck gentlemen goes on to vent his outrage toward Walmart, saying the company had some 'splainin' to do.

Knowing Walmart associates as I do, I'm reasonably sure that the cake decorator at the second Walmart had no idea the image was that of the ISIS flag. It's also quite possible that the cake decorator believed the flag to be a 'sex toy flag' like the one flown in a London gay pride parade.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Farrakhan Confirms Limbaugh's Flag Prediction

When the brouhaha over the Confederate flag erupted recently, Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience that  the American flag would be next.

"Can you just hear it now? I can hear it now: ‘The United States flag has flown over slavery and symbolized racism, discrimination, bigotry, homophobia for hundreds of years; the Confederate flag flew only four years, and we’re getting rid of the Confederate flag.’ Mark my words."

Hearing Limbaugh's comments, Fox News reporter, Ed Henry said that Limbaugh Is "Engaging In Hyperbole ... The American Flag Is Not Next"

Now, just days later, Louis Farrakhan proved Rush right with his remarks before the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC:

"I don’t know what the hell the fight is about over the Confederate flag. We need to put the American flag down. Because we’ve caught as much hell under that as the Confederate flag," comments that were met with cheers and applause. He added, "Who are we fighting today? It’s the people that carry the American flag."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Atheist and The Confederate Flag.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote how I had found myself in agreement with "a guy that sports a tattoo on his neck" in our mutual dislike of Pat Robertson. As I wrote then, atheist Dan Arel isn't a fan of the televangelist and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and neither am I - albeit for different reasons.

After coming upon a post Arel had published on patheos.com, I learned that he and I share a similar disgust for the Confederate flag currently flying in South Carolina's capital. Although his post contained a bit of snark, we both agree that the flag is a symbol of racism and does not deserve our respect.

However, I don't understand why he is opposed to the Confederate flag. As a Christian, I know why I oppose it and I have no trouble explaining my opposition.

Christianity teachings us that we are all children of God, that we are all created in His image. I listen when Christ says, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me". I believe when we mistreat our brothers and sisters we are mistreating Jesus as well.

I realize that some will counter that some Christians have used their misunderstanding of the faith to justify their racist beliefs. That does not, however, address the question I have for the atheist.

If one does not believe in any God - whether we're talking about the Christian deity, or Allah or even Vishnu, for that matter - if you do not believe in the existence of any Supreme Being or Creator, the only alternative is the belief that we are the product of a random collection of material "stuff" that accidentally came together without any "purpose" behind it all. If we were not created by a "creative intelligence" then we are the end result of a cosmic mishmash.

If the atheist view is the correct one, why does it matter in the least how we treat other human beings?

I know why I believe racism is sinful. I just don't understand why the atheist thinks so.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Progressives Attempt to Divide Conservatives With Laudato Si.

There is no lack of "news" headlines on the Internet attempting to spin the Pope's "climate change" encyclical into a political groove.

From USA Today - Pope's climate change statement a challenge for Republicans.

Desmogblog writes - Republican Presidential Candidates Attack Pope’s Climate Change Encyclical

And from Huffington Post - Right Wing Steamed Over Pope's Climate Change Encyclical

Hoping to divide Republicans, Democrats are overjoyed that GOP Catholics more convinced about climate change than other Republicans.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has even gone so far as to say, "We really must listen to his Holiness as we go forward.".

Are the Democrats ready to embrace Pope Francis and his encyclical, Laudato si completely?

Is Pelosi, fellow CINO John Kerry, and Democrat Presidential favorite, Hillary Clinton ready to accept what is written concerning abortion in Laudato si ?

nationaljournal.com quotes the papal encyclical:

"Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?"

Another bothersome quote for Democrats:

Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of "reproductive health". Yet "while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development." To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.

I've read Pope Francis' latest encyclical and I've found nothing in it that I can object to. I'm not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, so my thoughts on whether the planet is experiencing anthropogenic climate change involves a certain amount of trust in "authorities". I trust Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and their ilk about as far as I can hurl the planet Earth, but I don't put much faith in the scientific views of Rush Limbaugh or Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe either.

Is the Earth warming? If so, is that warming due, in large part to human activity? I have absolutely no proof one way or the other, but I trust Pope Francis more than anyone else speaking on the issue.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Papal Encyclical, 'Laudato si' Available For Download.

Yesterday, Thursday, June 18, 2015 at noon Central European Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time) the Vatican released Pope Francis' second encyclical, Laudato si - On the care for our common home. Translations of the encyclical are available in Arabic, English, French, German,Italian,Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.

Criticism of the encyclical have already appeared on the Internet.

I've begun reading the encyclical, although as I write this, I haven't finished it. Therefore, I will not offer any detailed thoughts on it in this post. I'll only say that, at this point, I haven't come across anything that I would call unreasonable or "disgraceful" or "unjust", as some are referring to it. I have this crazy idea that one should read, study and seriously contemplate Laudato si before evaluating it.

Those interested in reading the encyclical can find it online at the Vatican's website. It can also be read and downloaded as a pdf by going here.

My personal preference is to read books and documents as mobi using, either a Kindle, or a similar app for my android. After downloading the pdf, I went to online-convert.com for the conversion. For those too lazy to go to all the work of converting the pdf to mobi, I've made my copy of the mobi available for download at my website.

I'll finish reading the document and will eventually post further thoughts on the encyclical. Don't expect that post today.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Disgraceful Video Attacks Papal Encyclical.

I almost missed this video; the link to it arrived in an email that was automatically sent to spam.

It's come to the point now that both sides of the climate change issue are making use of scare tactics, relying less on the science and more on whatever it might take to frighten folks.

It this video, the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (ELII) has begun to criticize the Pope's encyclical and the Pope's advisers before the actual release of Laudato si, claiming the encyclical will lead to "European style" energy restrictions which will actually harm the most vulnerable among us. The encyclical is being called "unjust" and  "disgraceful".

The creators of the video steer away from criticizing Pope Francis directly, rather they attack his advisers. Not having read the encyclical - which is due for release later today - I can't comment on the actual substance of the encyclical. I can say, however, that the video is, itself disgraceful and insulting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Italian Magazine Leaks Papal Encyclical

As I write this, Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change, Laudato Sii has not yet been officially released and an embargo on it's publication remains in effect until Thursday, June 18.

Never the less, an Italian magazine, L’Espresso has posted a leaked draft of the encyclical on line.

Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi has stated that the version posted by L’Espresso is not the final version of the text. The copy is in Italian. So far, no reliable English translation has been published. Of course that hasn't stopped The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times from commenting.

It also hasn't stopped the anti-Catholic and anti-Pope folks from leaving comments on the WSJ website. Many are calling Pope Francis "a socialist and a total leftie".

From one -
"Well. . .this is one Catholic who will embrace this encyclical with the same fervor as modern Catholics have for the past 50 years when it comes to practicing artificial means of birth control.
And if this leftist claptrap gets preached in the Homily, watch the flight of American Catholic dollars from the Dioceses."

"It must be divine knowledge from god since this liberation theory catholic has joined with the left on more issues than this one. What does any of this have to do with saving souls? It certainly gives him street cred with all the other fools out there."

"The Vatican is calling the 3 day early release a 'heinous act'. As Catholics, what difference does it make whether we're humiliated by the arrogance and ignorance of this Pope now or three days from now? "

I'm reasonably certain that quite a few Catholics will loudly object to the Pope's encyclical. The majority of American Catholics have ignored infallible Church teaching on artificial birth control; they aren't going to heed this statement, which is not being delivered ex cathedra.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Senator James Inhofe Wants Pope to Stay Out of Climate Debate.

Oklahoma senator James Inhofe, who calls global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" has taken issue with Pope Francis and the Pope's upcoming encyclical on climate change.

In a report from theguardian.com Inhofe was quoted, as saying,

"Everyone is going to ride the pope now. Isn’t that wonderful," he said. "The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours."
A few moments later, Inhofe said: "I am not going to talk about the pope. Let him run his shop, and we’ll run ours."

"The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours."? As far back as two years ago, Senator Inhofe said the Bible refutes climate change.

Eliason: Senator, we’re going to talk about your book for a minute, you state in your book which by the way is called The Greatest Hoax, you state in your book that one of your favorite Bible verses, Genesis 8:22, ‘while the earth remaineth seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease,’ what is the significance of these verses to this issue?

Inhofe: Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.

All I can say is, Senator, if you demand that Pope ought to stay with his job, while you stay with yours, shouldn't you stay out of his job?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Purple is the New Orange.

The BBC has announced that the network will begin production soon on a semi-reality program based on the adventures of the western tourists arrested in Malaysia on charges of stripping naked atop Mount Kinabalu.

Reliable sources inform us that the program is tentatively titled, "Purple is the New Orange".

I, for one, am looking forward to watching the program whenever it becomes available in my area.

Philippine Independence Day

In celebration of Philippine Independence Day (June 12), Google has incorporated the Filipino flag onto the search page for google.com/ph.

For today, at least, you should be able to see it by clicking on https://g.co/doodle/zhqyeg.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Altai Throat Singing Video.

Found this video at the Siberian Times website.

It's called Altai throat singing.

To Liberals, Being Called Racist is Worse than Being Called Murderer: Part Two.

This photo provided by New York State Governor's office shows the note left by two convicted murderers who used power tools to cut through steel pipes at a maximum-security prison in Dannemora, NY, near the Canadian border and escaped through a manhole, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, June 6, 2015. He said Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, "are two dangerous individuals."

In another example of how To Liberals, Being Called Racist is Worse than Being Called Murderer, Huffington Post is reporting that Escaped Murderers Left Behind Racist 'Have A Nice Day' Note.

According to the story,

"Richard Matt and David Sweat, the two men who were discovered this weekend to have escaped a maximum security prison in upstate New York, left a parting message: 'Have a nice day!' But they certainly didn't mean it in a nice way."

"The note also includes a racist image -- a 'yellow square of paper with a smiling, bucktoothed face,' as the Associated Press describes it."

One person commenting on the story summed it up rather well;

"This article reminds me of something I once heard a comedian say about Jeffery Dahmer - the murder and cannibal. Someone in the news complained that he was a racist because he killed fewer whites. The comedian pointed out, maybe so, but isn't his racism way down on the list of things that are wrong with this guy?"

Obama: US Misjudged ISIL Threat

In what was obviously a slip of the tongue, Obama stated in a "60 Minutes" interview that "US misjudged ISIL threat".

Surely, he does not mean "US", but "I".

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pat Robertson:Baby Who Died Could've Been Another Hitler

It isn't often that I can say I find agreement with a guy that sports a tattoo on his neck, but I can say that this time, I do agree with atheist Dan Arel's dislike of televangelist and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Pat Robertson.......just not necessarily for the same reasons.

As reported on more than one website, when a woman wrote in to The 700 Club asking what she should tell a grieving co-worker whose three-year old baby had died and who had asked her (the letter writer) how she can believe in a god who would take her child from her, Robertson replied,

"As far as God’s concerned, he knows the end from the beginning and He sees a little baby and that little baby could grow up to be Adolf Hitler, he could grow up to be Joseph Stalin, he could grow up to be some serial killer, or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease. God sees all of that, and for that life to be terminated while he’s a baby, he’s going to be with God forever in Heaven so it isn’t a bad thing".

Not believing in God, Arel questions why any God would create a child who would grow up to be any of those things, and comes to the further conclusion that Robertson is an "insensitive dickhead".

I can't argue with his assessment of Robertson, but my main problem with the televangelist is his corruption of Christian teaching. I don't believe Robertson will ever have much success winning over atheists with his particular brand of lunacy.

Taking Robertson's comments to their "logical" conclusion, one could even believe that God supports abortion........after all, the aborted fetus could have become an Adolf Hitler as well.

Greater men than Robertson (or Arel) have struggled with the problem of evil in this world and why the innocent must suffer. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to satisfy either one with my answer. Unlike Robertson, I don't believe I can read God's thoughts, but unlike Arel, I believe God has the answer.

The Problem With Internet Quotes..........

In a recent post [Trust thou not in fake memes – Not William Shakespeare] Mark Shea was expressing his frustration over people who generate fake memes by taking a phony quote, pasting the quote onto a photo of Pope Francis, and attributing the phony quote to the Pope.

Someone left the following in the comment box:

"The problem with Internet quotes is that you can't always depend on their accuracy." - Abraham Lincoln, 1864

I remembered seeing that quote before. I was reasonably certain that I had also seen the joke used as a quote from other famous (and infamous) pre-Internet folk.

I've gathered a few of the memes from Google Images and added a few of my own.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Blonde Dalai Lama.

Like all Progressives, American Buddhists have no sense of humor.

I classify American Buddhists with Progressives, because for the most part they are political Progressives who were looking for some religious meaning in this world and have latched on to an Americanized version of Buddhism because, simply put, it isn't.....well, Christianity.

For the Progressive, Christianity just isn't hip enough; Christianity isn't for those special folks - the elite, the Brights. But, you can call yourself a Buddhist and go on believing whatever un-Buddhist depravity you want to believe and no one is going to know the difference. No one is going to call you out on your American Buddhism but me, and who am I?

To show just how little sense of  humor the America Buddhists have, we need look no further than their reaction to the latest story concerning the Dalai Lama.

For years, the Chinese government has been attempting to co-op the Dalai Lama's next reincarnation so as to exercise more control over the people of Tibet. In what can probably be called a bit of tongue in cheek poking at the Chinese government, the Dalai Lama recently said in an interview, that after he has finally shed this mortal coil, he will most likely reincarnate as a mischievous, blond female. He added that she will have an attractive face because no one will pay attention to her otherwise.

Over at the Buddhist channel at Patheos.com, not a few irate American Buddhists have their knickers in a twist over his comments.

One such Buddhist wrote:

"The Dalai Lama is a fraud. And this comment reflects his true nature.He talks of peace and tolerance abroad and destroys it in the Tibetan exile community. He talks of harmony and has caused division amongst Buddhists. He talks of kindness and eats veal. He is the worst example of a Buddhist, let alone a monk or a human being."

Another writes:

"Wow can it get any worse. The world's most famous "Buddhist" talks about reincarnation in this way? I'm so grateful this politician is not my teacher. And to say a woman will only receive attention if her face is attractive...what a creep. Forget all that stuff Buddha taught about cultivating a good heart hey! AND what's with the mischievous bit your "holiness"?"

In Asia, however, comic artists in Taiwan and Hong Kong have been inspired by the Dalai Lama's comments to draw images and to write stories of the future 15th Dalai Lama as a blonde woman. They've even gone so far as to create their own Facebook page (what else?) The Blonde Dalai Lama .

The page is in Chinese, but there are lots of drawings, and we all know the relationship between words and pictures.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

God and the Machine.

If one looks to the right of this post and scrolls down a bit, you'll come upon a list of links under the heading of News Sources. Of course, the list is pretty much self explanatory; I want to keep up with what's going on and I go to a wide variety of websites in order to stay reasonably informed.

One certainly can't accuse me of following websites that simply cater to my world view. You can't put news sites like Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, Fox, the Washington Times and China Daily into the same basket, politically.

If ones scrolls down a little further, you'll see listed under Places of Interest, a number of blogs that I'll check up on frequently.

One of those blogs frequented is Mark Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It!. One thing you can be absolutely certain of, is that I do not agree with everything Mark has to say. He and I agree on quite a lot of issues.....like abortion, torture, and capital punishment. On the other hand, when he goes off on a screed concerning the minimum wage, we have to part ways.

On the plus side, I do like the fact that he has quite a lot of folks leaving comments on his blog and, for the most part, it's anything goes.

A week or so back, I followed a link to his radio program, "Connecting The Dots" and there I came across one of his fellow columnists at patheos.com, Thomas L. McDonald. I can't recommend too highly McDonald's blog, God and the Machine. It has become one of my new favorites.

Some of McDonald's post which I especially like are What Should We Call Bruce Jenner? ,“The eraser is an instrument of the devil” Sez Credentialed Moron, and The Media Hate All Religions: An Example.

Unfortunately, McDonald has turned off all comments to his blog. He has a lengthy and well written comment policy, but he has chosen instead to simply not allow any comments whatsoever.

I can't even leave a comment letting him know how much I enjoy his writing. That's why I'm writing this particular post, although it's unlikely that McDonald will ever read this.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

America's First Jewish President?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is no secret that there is little love between the Obamas and the Clintons.

President Obama may feel some pride in the fact that his daughter is worth more than the Clintons' daughter when it comes to a Kenyan Bride Token. Having one's oldest child given the value of 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats must be extremely heart warming for Barack and Michele.

On the other side, I'm certain that it bothers Obama to no end that Bill Clinton was the first "First Black President". Not being satisfied with being the second "First Black President", Barack Obama has proclaimed himself to be America's First Jewish President.

From the Washington Times:

"In an interview by an Israeli TV station, former Obama adviser David Axelrod recalled the president venting in a moment of contemplation about criticisms that he doesn’t support Israel strongly enough, JPupdates.com reported.

'You know, I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office,' the president told Mr. Axelrod".

Monday, June 1, 2015

Female Bishops Call God "She".

Enough, apparently isn't enough. At least that's the way it appears to be with the Church of England and it's never ending struggle to separate Christianity from it's Traditional teachings.

First, we have England's King Henry VIII's separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church due to the Pope's refusal to allow Henry a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. The Church of England and it's "Supreme Head" did not accept Christianity's traditional views on divorce.

Next, we have the Church of England producing it's own version of scripture, commonly known as the King James Version, which leaves out seven books of the Old Testament traditionally considered canonical.

In a jump from the 17th Century to the 20th, we have the Church of England becoming the first Christian denomination to break from traditional Christian teaching regarding contraception during the Lambeth Conference of 1930.

Closer to our time, we have homosexual Priests and Bishops in the Church of England and the Anglican community, and the ordination of female Priests, Bishops and Deacons as well.

Finally, today, support is growing within the Church of England to rewrite its official liturgy to refer to God as female. [ telegraph.co.uk and dailymail.co.uk ].

Referring to God as female flies in the face of some of the earliest, most basic teachings of the Church. In two of the Gospels ( Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11 ) we have Christ teaching us how to pray. Although slightly different, both instruct us to pray to "Our Father".

In the Apostle's Creed we have "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth" followed by "and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord".

On the cross ( Luke 23:34 ) Jesus says "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do".

As Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, who left the Church of England and became Catholic following the decision to ordain women priests rightly said,

"God clearly isn’t a She as a She can’t be a father. This is plain silly, unbiblical and ridiculous. I think it’s the work of a few lunatics".