Advice from a cartoon princess

August 30, 2010

Via The Daily Wh.at


Need gas? Believe or leave!

August 30, 2010

South Carolinians are sweet Christian folks, who want you to leave if you don’t believe like they do.

Ahhh, utopia. A place where everyone is the same.

Yeshua Fog™, you never cease to amaze me.


What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC

August 30, 2010

From ReasonTV | August 28, 2010

On August 28, 2010, Fox News host Glenn Beck held his “Restoring Honor” rally at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The aim of the event, explained the lachrymose TV personality, was to “come celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future.”

As the Washington Post reports,

“For too long, this country has wandered in darkness, and we have wandered in darkness in periods from the beginning,” Beck said, at times pacing at the memorial. “We have had moments of brilliance and moments of darkness. But this country has spent far too long worried about scars and thinking about the scars and concentrating on the scars.

“Today,” he continued, “we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished – and the things that we can do tomorrow. The story of America is the story of humankind.”

Despite the presence of former Gov. Sarah Palin and many Tea Party trappings, the event was not political, or at least not in any conventional sense. Rather, the speakers called for bringing religion into the public square and using it as the guiding force in all aspects of American life.

Reason.tv was on hand to take in the day and talk with some of the thousands of people who showed up (crowd estimates were unavailable at the time of this writing, though the crowd felt thinner than the one at last year’s Tea Party rally). Most of the people we talked to were openly skeptical of politicians of both major parties and agreed strongly with the religious bent of the rally, often arguing that some sort of religious orientation was necessary for what that saw as a return to national greatness.

“What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC” was shot by Jim Epstein with help from Josh Swain. Edited by Epstein and Meredith Bragg. Hosted by Nick Gillespie.

Visit http://www.reason.tv for downloadable versions of the video and subscribe to Reason.tv’s YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.


Last night’s wedding … in a nutshell

August 29, 2010

Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to a wedding in Grand Rapids, MI last night. The wedding was pretty damn redneck. The couple is young. My cousin is 23, I think. The last time I thought I knew the bride’s age, I was corrected.

The weddings I’ve been to in Grand Rapids with my family are done on the cheap. At the wedding last night, they rolled the cooked pig up just outside the doors and let everyone gawk and take pictures. Then they pulled it apart and fed everyone.

But it’s a fun party and everyone had a good time.

I wanted to post this one picture from the wedding to give you an idea of the overall feel of the evening. This shot was the bride and groom leaving the church to go to the reception.


The difference between religiosity and secularism

August 28, 2010

This morning, Tina and I are headed back to Grand Rapids. This time it’s a scheduled trip for my second cousin Morgan Witteveen’s wedding. She’s getting married today at 4 p.m. followed by a pig roast at a country club.

It should be exciting.

We’re staying at my cousin Todd’s house, whose wife doesn’t like dogs. So this is the first time we’re traveling without Talulah. I sorta get what it’s like to be a parent right now as I”m about to leave Talulah with a friend who will be dogsitting.

What a bitch!

In other news, I’m dying to post more pictures from some shoots I’ve had, but I’ve been playing major catchup. There are still many from regular-reader Xina’s wedding that I’m hoping to share.

I called Xina yesterday to see what she thought of the amount of photos I gave her, and she was very pleased. I gave her closer to 500. I’m happy, because I saw another woman’s photos from her wedding recently, and she received probably a 1/16 of what I sent Xina, and they weren’t nearly as creative or fun.

Not to mention, this other woman hired an agency that charges over double what I charge just for the photographer. That doesn’t include books, prints, or funny one-liners that I deliver so easily.

The other day when I was driving to a shoot, I was thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could call my blog and leave a post?” Well, apparently the wordpress people were already working on it, and it’s now available. This synchronicity is what religious people often call, “An answer to prayer.”

I remember the first time it donned on me that things I prayed for were what secular people hoped for. The word “hope” and “prayer” is interchangeable … at least to me. It’s often things that would probably come about anyway. I’ll pray/hope that you get a job. I pray/hope you’ll get through this hard time.

I’ve heard stories like, “We didn’t have money for our bills, and a check showed up for the amount of our need.” This was not a story from the Yeshua Fog. It was a story from a non-believing couple. I heard those exact same words from believers, only they included the notion of prayer. Both instances ended positively.

Or I heard, “We bought a new dishwasher, and our old one was fine. We called my friend and asked if they needed on, and wouldn’t you know it … they did!” There was no, “Praise, Jesus” after it, like I grew accustomed to in North Carolina. There was just thankfulness.

Do you know the biggest difference between religiosity and secularism?

It’s vocabulary.


Martin Luther sings the blues

August 28, 2010

“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but – more frequently than not – struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God”

–Martin Luther

Via Kilre

Be sure to check out Kilre’s post on anal sex toys in Mississippi.


Underwater fort!

August 27, 2010


Taiwanese animation of Islamaphobia in America

August 27, 2010

Awesome.


And you thought you were a good stage diver

August 27, 2010


You’re all fools!

August 27, 2010

On facebook, a pastor “friend” — named Shannon (a male) from high school posted a prayer request this morning. It seems someone has died and the pastor asked for prayers for the loved ones that the deceased has left behind.

Oh, did I fail to mention the deceased died in a plane crash and he left behind his wife and two small children.

I cannot be sarcastic enough when I say, “And this was god’s plan?”

Just a few minutes ago, Shannon updated again. This time, he posted Ecclesiastes 10:2.

A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish (A)man’s heart directs him toward the left.

Surely he didn’t say whether he was speaking politically, but there is a movement of right-y tighties to use this verse to validate their political affiliation.

Shannon and I have battled over politics before on facebook. I blogged it, but I can’t find it now. He advised his flock via facebook about a local story and how it reflected what they were teaching about Christianity and its connection to right-wing politics. I was appalled, and one of his Christian buddies and I laid into him.

Hard.

The Ecclesiastical verse is referring to the ancient notion of good and evil. The ancients code named good and evil, right and left. Hence why sitting at the right hand of Jesus is considered special. Culturally it has no relevant context in terms of American politics. Tell that to a tea-baggin’ loud mouth.

It’s where you get the term “righteous” in English. It even informed the notion of left-handed wickedness, before science could do a great PR move on that one (My left-handed brother thanks you, science.).

So I responded to Shannon with a simple verse reference. He responded immediately. Screen cap:

To be clear, Matthew 5:22 says:

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before (A)the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘[a]You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before [b](B)the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the [c](C)fiery hell.

The great thing is, there’s a couple things wrong with my response.

One, I was being a dick. Calling people a fool is contradictory in the bible. Ol’ Solomon seems to be fond of the term. Jesus chastised those who used it. I lean toward calling people out who favor calling people a fool. Which makes me a complete dick.

Two, I used the Matthew verse out of context. I was hoping to scare Shannon into not calling people fools by threatening hell on him. We all know that hell doesn’t exist. So why use it as a threat?

If there’s one thing you can find out beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s that hell — as a supernatural place for torment and punishment — is a complete cultural ruse. And this verse is one of the greats to point to.

The footnote connected to the “fire of hell” in the verse says, “Literally Gehenna of Fire” (wiki link).  When Jesus refers to hell, he’s referring to an actual place outside of Jerusalem. It’s literally on the map. It’s not some mysterious place found in the supernatural afterlife. It’s not a place where the devil lives. Even Jesus — taken in context — taught this. Hell makes much more sense once you read the bible that way. I’m not sure how many times I need to address this.

Gehenna was a dump where outcasts and homeless people started fires, and they seemed to burn constantly. Even at the time, the place was considered a shithole. Why? Because it’s where people threw out their shit. Mythologies developed over the centuries and turned the notion from a literal place to a supernatural dwelling for the devil and bad people.

So to Shannon and any of you Christian readers out there, I apologize for misleading my readers to thinking that 1) I was a dick and 2) the supernatural version of hell exists.

Many apologies.

And if “hell” is the recompense for calling someone a fool … surely, you’re all fools.

Honk!

Make it a point to call someone a fool today. You’ll feel great!


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