March 20, 2007

The Fun Never Ends

Filed under: christianity, video — ted @ 12:37 pm

Whew, this sure is something else:


As the Jewish Atheist points out, today’s featured video is “a religious Montage of Jesus Christ being crucified and Clay Aiken sings “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” from his latest “A Thousand Different Ways” CD.”

A discriminating viewer has posted this critique:

Isn’t this song about Robin Hood? Doesn’t it say in the bible thou shalt not steal? sinning tosser!


February 24, 2007

Vocabulary vs. the Bible

Filed under: christianity, education, religion, research — ted @ 11:35 am

The Jewish Atheist has created some very interesting statistics on the relationship between a person’s vocabulary scores and their religious beliefs:

Here are some things I’ve come up with:

People who score higher on the vocabulary test are much less likely to believe that the Bible is “the word of God,” to be “fundamentalist,” to believe “God concerned with human beings personally,” to consider church “very important,” or to believe that “atheists shouldn’t hold public office.”

Here’s one of his graphs:

October 9, 2006

More Jesus Camp

Filed under: christianity, movies — ted @ 4:52 pm

How much can I read and post about Jesus Camp, being that I haven’t seen the movie, and won’t be able to until October 20 when it comes to Philadelphia? Let’s find out…

(Above: a picture from the movie’s filming).

Here’s the best of what I’ve found so far:

  • Two great YouTube clips, featuring Levi and Rachel, two campers who are featured in the movie.
  • One fair interview with the filmmakers, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, and one excellent interview with the filmmakers and pastor Becky Fischer who runs “Kids on Fire,” the camp in question. (At the end of this interview, the critic can’t resist the temptation to turn “from film critic into theologian.” This will be something to look out for in reviews of the movie.)
  • I’m more interested in reviews and responses from the Christian community, rather than bloggers who find it “the most disturbing film I’ve ever seen” (I’ve encountered this numerous times already), so this Focus on the Family review and this response from Ted Haggard, the megapastor featured in the film, are intriguing.
  • By far the best thing I’ve yet read was this homeschooling flavored response, from Home Education Magazine. Pointing out that the “75% of homeschooled kids are Evangelical” statistic cited in the film is erroneous, the writer responds to criticisms about homeschooling, specifically how it is portrayed in Jesus Camp, and adds a number of significant criticisms of the film.

October 5, 2006

Jesus Camp: Round 1

Filed under: christianity, movies — ted @ 1:48 pm

Surely you’ve heard about the upcoming documentary Jesus Camp? Seems to me this movie is going to be the centerpoint of quite a few conversations between now and the end of the year. Folks are getting pretty fired up about it — for good reason.

For example: Josh Timonen writing for The Richard Dawkins Foundation. I’m hoping to keep an eye on the blogosphere, where plenty of reviews and reactions will be posted. Here’s a Google Blog Search feed.

May 30, 2006

Design-your-own boyfriend

Filed under: christianity, literature, movies — ted @ 3:16 pm

A new story appearing in Salon today, "The perfect man," is suprisingly good. Set sometime in the near-distant future, it chronicles one girl's attempt to create a perfect AI boyfriend.

The latest Worth1000 photoshop contest asked for superhero/great art hacks. The results are delightful. For example:

In Slate, Benjamin Strong ruminates on the "subtle greatness of Terrence Malick's The New World." I could not agree more. Rent it on DVD (since you probably didn't see it in the theaters – it only played for a few weeks).

This past week, the President came to Philadelphia in promotion of nuclear energy. Greenpeace, as they are wont to do, prepared a counterattack in the form of a fact sheet. Sadly, they rushed the job, and printed the following:

In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE].

A Greenpeace spokesperson claims "a colleague was making a joke by inserting the language in a draft that was then mistakenly released." She also doesn't think it's funny.

And finally, a thing certain to scare the living shit out of you: Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a video game described thusly:

This game immerses children in present-day New York City — 500 square blocks, stretching from Wall Street to Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters, and Harlem. The game rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian. The game also offers players the opportunity to switch sides and fight for the army of the AntiChrist, releasing cloven-hoofed demons who feast on conservative Christians and their panicked proselytes […] The dialogue includes people saying, "Praise the Lord," as they blow infidels away.

The whole thing is really hard to believe, but it's for real. Be sure to check out the game description on this page. Some of it's selling points include:

  • Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices.
  • Control more than 30 units types – from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!

I know: I can't believe it either.

April 7, 2006

Gospel of Judas

Filed under: christianity — ted @ 11:44 am

According to a Times article, scholars have found a "Gospel of Judas," an ancient Gnostic text defending Judas' betrayal of Christ:

Unlike the accounts in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the anonymous author of the Gospel of Judas believed that Judas Iscariot alone among the 12 disciples understood the meaning of Jesus' teachings and acceded to his will. In the diversity of early Christian thought, a group known as Gnostics believed in a secret knowledge of how people could escape the prisons of their material bodies and return to the spiritual realm from which they came.

The complete article has more information.

UPDATE: A fine article from the S.F. Chronicle, with some pictures. 

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