December 27th, 2014
(Yes, I'm pretty sure that's meant to be the United Nations HQ in New York.)
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December 17th, 2014
(Sorry, I can't remember who pointed me towards this a few days ago.)
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February 18th, 2014
Why Jerusalem renters are wary of the Messiah's arrival:
In apartment contracts around the city, there are clauses stipulating what will happen to the apartment if or when the Jewish Messiah, or mashiach, comes. The owners, generally religious Jews living abroad, are concerned that he will arrive, build a third temple, and turn Israel into paradise – and they will be stuck waiting for their apartment tenants' contracts to run out before they can move back.
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October 11th, 2013
Southern Baptist stock photo makes pornography seem glorious, or, to put it another way, "Lobbyists for the Religious Right, choose your stock photos with care."
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September 15th, 2013
Jim Macdonald leads us on a romp through the story of which books did and didn't make it into the most epic piece of fanfic ever written:
Speaking of tours of Heaven and Hell, there's the Book of Enoch. This is in the Old Testament of the Ethiopian Church, but didn't make it into Athanasius's list. (Since Ethiopia didn't belong to the Empire they didn't care.) Enoch himself gets about one line in Genesis. But it's in the Book of Enoch, all about his adventures after being taken up to Heaven by the angel Uriel and told the secret history that we get the story of the Watcher Angels. Angels, as I'm sure everyone knows, get all turned on when they see human women's hair and they go on and seduce and boink those women. The women then have children who turn out to be man-eating giants (don't you hate when that happens?) Which is where the "giants in the earth" come from in Genesis (right before the story of the Flood). Didn't make the cut because it doesn't include the genealogy of Jesus or any New Testament prophecies but this story, the Book of Enoch, would have been known to Paul and he'd have no way of knowing that it would be left out of orthodox scripture a few centuries later; that's why he admonishes women in church to cover their hair, because angels hang out around churches and you don't want them to pull out the flowers and chocolates, do you?
But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. … Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.
1 Corinthians 11:5-10
Enoch inspired the 16th century con artist Edward Kelley, Dr. Dee's running buddy, to come up with the Enochian Alphabet for communicating with angels. (What the angels said was "Edward Kelley should totally boink Mrs. Dee." Dr. Dee was all, "Well, if the angels say so we don't have a choice." What Mrs. Dee thought of this I don't know.)
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May 22nd, 2013
President Barack Obama reveals What Happens To Us When We Die?, from Patrick Farley's sketchblog.
[Via homunculus, commenting at MetaFilter]
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May 19th, 2013
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Wesson Goes to Church:
When does life begin for a gun? Is it first casting, first barrel boring, first test fire? Is it before the gun is formed when the metal is mined, or the carbon fiber manufactured?
A thoroughly mischievous little piece.
[Via The Browser]
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March 30th, 2012
Oh, My Hand: Complaints Medieval Monks Scribbled in the Margins of Illuminated Manuscripts.
As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.
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August 21st, 2011
Stakes, Perky Hairdos, and Other Things That Matter:
Those of you with no experience of Australian Protestant culture might assume that we'd be okay with tv shows. Those with a little more experience might assume that we'd run away from all slightly dubious tv shows, proclaim them satanic, and start boycotting everyone in sight.
You wouldn't be far off – but my church wasn't quite that bad. We were avid Friends fans, happily read the Harry Potter books, and used clips from The Matrix in sermons. The only pop culture we really stayed away from was the worst of the worst: shows which had demons, or witches, or pagan gods.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had all of those, and more. There were lesbians, resurrection spells, sex, demon possession, and explosions. It was not something that any good Christian girl should be watching.
I… was rather sick of being a good Christian girl. So, with a few doubts and hesitations, and the firm conviction that I was not going to let my parents find out, I started watching. Anything to get another fun and distracting form of entertainment.
(Then it went and changed my life. That was unexpected.)
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