Religious ideas and beliefs should not be above criticism or beyond satire we use both...we're different. * No written or expressed guarantees are made about the use of alternative, metaphysical or spiritual enlightenment tools, services and supplies. This site is for entertainment/enlightenment purposes only and is done in parody..."It's a joke son..."~Foghorn Leghorn
Even the the wisdom of heresy has it's own specific tune and melody unique to the wisdom of heresy.~Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
Friday, May 23, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Pastor Leandria Johnson has just taken preaching where no other pastor would have dared to go - she just told the congregation "stop sucking my titty." It was just as unscripted as it was shocking, and it just jumped out of her mouth once she hit the climax or shall I say, once she jumped "into the spirit.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
His Holiness' message begins at 31:00 minutes
Pope Francis sends a message to leading 'Word of Faith' teacher Kenneth Copeland via Bishop Tony Palmer saying that Charismatics and Catholics must unite.
The Real History of Christianity…
by Bill Zebub
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Jesus never spoke against homosexuality but he did speak out against divorce.
Why We Should Raise the Marriage Age
by Vivian Hamilton
My last series of posts argued that states should lower the voting age, since by mid-adolescence, teens have the cognitive-processing and reasoning capacities required for voting competence. But that is not to say that teens have attained adult-like capacities across all domains. To the contrary, context matters. And one context in which teens lack competence is marriage.
Through a single statutory adjustment — raising to 21 the age at which individuals may marry — legislators could reduce the percentage of marriages ending in divorce, improve women’s mental and physical health, and elevate women’s and children’s socioeconomic status.
More than 1 in 10 U.S. women surveyed between 2001 and 2002 had married before age 18, with 9.4 million having married at age 16 or younger. In 2010, some 520,000 U.S. teens were married, divorced, or widowed. In an article published last month, The Age of Marital Capacity: Reconsidering Civil Recognition of Adolescent Marriage, I describe more fully the social costs of early marriage and argue for an end to the practice.
The High Costs of Early Marriage
For decades, age at marriage has been the most consistent and unequivocal predictor of marital failure. Of marriages entered at age 25 or later, fewer than 30% end in divorce. Of marriages entered before age 18, on the other hand, nearly 70% end in divorce. The earliest marriers, those adolescents who enter marriage in their mid-teens, experience marital failure rates closer to a sobering 80%. Not until age 22 does marital stability improve significantly and do marriage dissolution rates begin to level off.
The costs of child marriages (entered before age 18) and early marriages more generally (entered at age 21 or younger) extend beyond their dissolution. Early marriers are more likely than those who delay or avoid marriage to discontinue their formal educations prematurely, earn low wages, and live in poverty. Women who marry early develop more mental and physical health problems than those who marry later. And following divorce, mothers (and their children) tend to suffer greater economic deprivation and instability than do their never-married counterparts. (See here, pp. 1799-1806)
Neither attaining age 18 (the near-universal age of presumptive marital capacity) nor obtaining the consent of parents and/or judges (generally required for those individuals seeking to marry before age 18) has an observable effect on marital stability. Only delay and factors integrally associated with it — such as more years of education — reliably increase marital stability.
Causes of Early Marriage Instability
Why are marriages entered at earlier ages so unstable? And what can be done about it? The answer to the first question is complicated; the answer to the second question is not.
Adolescents have the cognitive capacity to understand the nature of and consent to enter marriage. Yet modern marriage demands relationship skills and requires levels of emotional maturity that were not required to sustain the marriages of the past. (For those interested in the evolution of marriage in the United States, see here, pp. 1789-97.) Adolescents lack these capacities. Instead, adolescent cognitive maturity exists alongside socio-emotional immaturity. Developmental neuroscientists have begun to explain the neurological bases for the coexistence of these characteristics and now posit that two neural systems develop along different timelines. Psychologists too have long observed that during adolescence, individuals’ commitments and relationships tend to be in flux as they engage in a period of identity exploration that extends into the early 20′s. The development before marriage of personal identity and relational skills, which comes only with time and life experience, seems to improve the likelihood of marriages’ success and endurance.
Adolescents, moreover, will not have attained the postsecondary education or work experience increasingly required to obtain well-paying work in our information- and technology-based post-industrial economy. Women who marry before age 19 are 50% more likely to drop out of high school than are their unmarried counterparts, and 4 times less likely to complete college. Low-paying work and occupational instability hinders the ability to support a family, and financial insecurity stresses the marital relationship.
Higher educational attainment, on the other hand, seems to have a protective effect against marital instability, and that protective effect has grown significantly in recent decades. Among white individuals, having at least 16 years of education (compared to having less than 12) reduced the odds of marital failure by 39% between 1990 and 1994, compared with an 8% reduction between 1970 and 1979. For African Americans, the protective effect of education is even greater — 16 years or more correlated with a 75% reduction in the odds of marital failure between 1990 and 1994, compared with 19% between 1970 and 1979.
The median age at first marriage has steadily risen to what are now historic highs for both men and women (to 28 for men, and 26 for women), evincing popular acknowledgement of, and adaptation to, the new social context of marriage. The continued existence of too-early marriages, however, unnecessarily imposes significant costs — on early marriers, their children, and society. The state does well to respect individuals’ life choices, even when improvident. When those choices impose sufficiently high costs on others, however, the state and its legal institutions abrogate their proper roles by failing to respond appropriately. The high costs imposed by early marriage require a legal response through which the law, too, adapts to the new social context within which its members enter and endeavor to sustain marriage.
States should consider raising the presumptive age of marital capacity to 21 or 22. Empirical evidence suggests that delaying marriage to 22 would result in the most effective increase in stability. Stability continues to improve every year after 22, but at a much slower rate. At the same time, a number of age-related rights already accrue at 21. Given its current existence as a marker of maturity of sorts, then, there may be less political resistance to having the right to marry also accrue at 21.
States would also do well to remove altogether statutory exceptions allowing adolescents younger than 18 to marry. Again, however, given that age 18 is currently the age of legal majority in most states, there may be less resistance to a policy change that sets 18 as the minimum marital age, but that requires young people aged 18-20 to obtain judicial (not parental) approval before obtaining a marriage license. Parental approval has provided little or no safeguard against the instability of early marriages. Statutes might thus impose clearer (and higher) standards for judicial approval.
Law is only one of the influences on family formation, but legal change bringing the marital age in line with the modern social institution will go far to alleviate the strain on individuals and cost to society imposed by early marriage.
- Source: http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2013/01/why-we-should-raise-the-marriage-age.html
Raising the marriage age is a true step forward for women
Israel raises minimum marriage age to 18
Time to Innovate: UN International Day of the Girl Child 2013
Around one in seven girls marries before the age of 15 - some even marry as young as eight. . Child marriage profoundly impacts girls’ physical and mental well-being: it risks damaging their health and disproportionately exposes them to domestic and sexual violence. And child marriage almost inevitably puts an end to education for millions of girls.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
CHRISTIAN GROUP CANCELS EVENT FEATURING ‘DUCK DYNASTY’ STAR OVER THE ROBERTSONS’ LATEST BUSINESS VENTURE
Saturday, November 9, 2013
By Michelle Boorstein,
AUSTIN — Nadia Bolz-Weber bounds into the University United Methodist Church sanctuary like a superhero from Planet Alternative Christian. Her 6-foot-1 frame is plastered with tattoos, her arms are sculpted by competitive weightlifting and, to show it all off, this pastor is wearing a tight tank top and jeans.
Looking out at the hundreds of people crowded into the pews to hear her present the gospel of Jesus Christ, she sees: Dockers and blazers. Sensible shoes. Grandmothers and soccer moms. Nary a facial piercing.
To Bolz-Weber’s bafflement, this is now her congregation: mainstream America.
These are the people who put her memoir near the top of the New York Times bestseller list the week it came out in September. They are the ones who follow her every tweet and Facebook post by the thousands, and who have made the Lutheran minister a budding star for the liberal Christian set.
And who, as Bolz-Weber has described it in her frequently profane dialect, “are [mess]ing up my weird.”
A quick tour through her 44 years doesn’t seem likely to wind up here. It includes teen rebellion against her family’s fundamentalist Christianity, a nose dive into drug and alcohol addiction, a lifestyle of sleeping around and a stint doing stand-up in a grungy Denver comedy club. She is part of society’s outsiders, she writes in her memoir, its “underside dwellers . . . cynics, alcoholics and queers.”
Which is where — strangely enough — the match with her fans makes sense. The type of social liberals who typically fill the pews of mainline churches sometimes feel like outsiders among fellow liberals in their lives if they are truly believing Christians; if they are people who really experience Jesus and his resurrection, even if they can’t explain it scientifically; if they are people who want to hear words from the Apostles in church, not Thich Nhat Hanh or Barack Obama.
In her body and her theology, Bolz-Weber represents a new, muscular form of liberal Christianity, one that merges the passion and life-changing fervor of evangelicalism with the commitment to inclusiveness and social justice of mainline Protestantism. She’s a tatted-up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left.
“You show us all your dirty laundry! It’s all out there!” the Rev. John Elford of the University United Methodist Church booms, as if he is introducing a rock star, leading the cheering crowd into an impassioned round of hymn-singing.
Bolz-Weber springs onstage to do a reading from her book, but first she addresses the language that’s about to be unleashed on the pulpit: “I don’t think church leaders should pretend to be something they’re not.”
The crowd erupts into applause.
Bolz-Weber pulls out a few kitschy items that she raffles off to raise money for a local charity. She waves a gift certificate for a free tattoo. Then she speaks to her new reality:
“You ladies over 70 dig deep, because you know you want it!”
God without answers
Bolz-Weber’s appeal is unquestionably part packaging: dramatic back story, cool appearance, super-entertaining delivery. She launched a successful church for disaffected young people and has headlined youth gatherings tens of thousands strong. For a part of American religion that’s been in a long, slow institutional decline, this gives her major credibility.
She’s on a plane nearly every week to headline church leadership gatherings because of the way she articulates the place of the religious liberal in America. Next up is Calvary Baptist Church in Washington’s Chinatown, where she will speak to an overflow crowd of more than 600 people Tuesday evening.
Her message: Forget what you’ve been told about the golden rule — God doesn’t love you more if you do good things, or if you believe certain things. God, she argues, offers you grace regardless of who you are or what you do.
Christianity, Bolz-Weber preaches, has nothing to do with rules; it is the process of things constantly dying and then being made new. Those things, she says, might be the alcoholic who emerges into sobriety, some false narrative we have about ourselves, religious institutions that no longer inspire.
“I think God is wanting to be known. And my experience of God wanting to be known is much more in the person who is annoying me at the moment rather than in the sunset,” she says. God is present in these challenging interactions, she says.
“I never experience God in camping or trees or nature. I hate nature,” she told the Austin crowd as she paced the stage. “God invented takeout and duvets for a reason.”
This emphasis on experience over rules challenges conservatives, but it also bothers progressives who have turned church into what she views as essentially a nonprofit organization.
“This isn’t supposed to be the Elks Club with the Eucharist,” Bolz-Weber said in a taxi ride before her Austin talk. Religion should be “something that’s so devastatingly beautiful it can break your heart. Instead it’s been: ‘Recycle.’ And ‘Don’t sleep with your girlfriend.’ ”
Bolz-Weber says she abhors “spirituality,” which she sees as a limp kind of self-improvement plan. She prefers a cranky, troublemaking and real God who at times of loss and pain doesn’t have the answers either.
“God isn’t feeling smug about the whole thing,” she writes about Jesus’s resurrection and the idea that the story is used as fodder for judgment. “God is not distant at the cross. . . . God is there in the messy mascara-streaked middle of it, feeling as [bad] as the rest of us.”
This very physical way of talking about God is thrilling to a lot of people who grew up in liberal Christianity.
“Here’s Nadia — boom!” said Jeff Krehbiel, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor in the District who leads a national group on revitalizing U.S. congregations. “For her, this isn’t some metaphor, this is something real that changed the world and changed my life. How do we talk about this as people who want to use their heads? . . . I think people like her are resonating with a growing group of Christians who are asking the same kinds of questions.”
To Carmen Retzlaff, a newly ordained Lutheran pastor who came with her husband to the Austin talk, Bolz-Weber is liberating — partly because she’s “unapologetic” about her faith. “She talks a lot about JEE-sus” — Retzlaff giggles here — “which hasn’t always been a place of comfort in an increasingly secular world. I really love that.”
Some people, of course, really hate that. Her memoir’s title, in fact, comes from the nickname given to her by one of her critics who opposes female clergy. The book is called “Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint.”
From drugs to the pulpit
At the core of Bolz-Weber’s five-year-old Denver church, the House for All Sinners and Saints, are people who felt hurt by religion — as she did.
Early on, she says, she was aware of hypocrisy, homophobia and sexism in her fundamentalist upbringing. As a teenager, she had a thyroid disorder that caused her eyes to bug far out of her head, and she always had the feeling that she didn’t belong. She marinated her anger in drugs and alcohol for about a decade.
Yet she never stopped believing in God. She dabbled for years with Wicca and experimented with every liberal faith group, from Unitarians to Quakers. She performed stand-up as a type of no-cost therapy.
It was going through anti-addiction recovery that finally soothed her anger. Her encounter with a tall, cute, Lutheran seminary student named Matthew Weber brought her back to church. They married in 1996 and have two children.
She first heard the call to pastor in a downtown Denver comedy club at which she and a bunch of her old runaround pals gathered in 2004 to eulogize a friend who had hanged himself. As the only religious member, she was asked to lead the service. Her vocation to her fellow outsiders was born.
Four years and a seminary degree later, Bolz-Weber founded what today is casually called House. It’s a start-up of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with an “anti-excellence, pro-participation” policy. It meets in the parish hall of an Episcopal church.
Seating is arranged around an unelevated circle, lay people can pick up a card and help run the service, and sermons by Bolz-Weber are usually 12 minutes tops. Singing is all a capella and every service has a creative, congregant-run, interactive program.
“Sometimes I ask myself, why aren’t we at 1,000 people? This church is unbelievable,” said Aram Harotunian, a former evangelical megachurch pastor who goes to House. “For 21 years, I felt I had to keep people in line, and it felt like bondage to me. House has a lot of people burned by religion, and this still holds for me. It’s the only church I can stomach.”
But House has had its own unconventional crisis in recent years, after the suburbanites started showing up.
“It was awful,” Bolz-Weber writes. It seemed as if her “precious little indie boutique of a church” might be overrun by bankers and doctors. She called her pastor friends to ask, “Have you ever had normal people take over your church?”
The church had to call a meeting that is now basic House lore. The newcomers described how they felt inspired by the liturgy, and the younger outsider-types who had been there from the beginning wound up saying it was kind of nice to see someone who looked like their moms or dads but was accepting.
Bolz-Weber characterizes herself as having had “a heart transplant.” This is typical for someone who presents herself as the “anti-pastor”: cranky, intolerant, egotistical, but always open to Jesus making her better.
These days, about 180 people show up each Sunday, an eclectic mix of homeless and corporate types, punk teens and suburban baby boomers sitting on stacking chairs in the rented hall. Bolz-Weber’s growing popularity has forced the questions: How deeply into convention can she stand going? Can she stomach the idea of hiring staff? Of being mega?
The congregation is “becoming big and it’s freaking her out, because that’s not her gift,” said Harotunian. “It gets to her identity — what kind of pastor does she want to be? A lot of people think she’s going to climb the ladder. But I don’t think she can do that. It’s very precarious.”
For her part, Bolz-Weber is open about wondering how long she can be a nonstop tweeting-and-traveling machine.
“Christianity is supposed to give me a mild sense of discomfort. I don’t get to be in control,” she said. “It’s always putting me into something new.”
'Progressive Christianity' is an oxymoron . . . just like 'Intelligent Liberal'
A word from Pastor Cletus
"Jesus told us that we need to become like children if we want to get into Heaven. You see, Jesus doesn't want us to get puffed up with so-called education and knowledge, which is why He has anointed Barack Hussein Obama II. Scientists would have you believe that salvation can be found in the accumulation of knowledge. They say that "knowledge" will set you free. This is hogwash according to our Lord and Savior. Through Jesus, we know that all knowledge outside of the Holy Bible is a lie. A child could tell you that! During this time of Thanksgiving, science has yet to provide an explanation as to why there are still so many turkeys available after they were all killed last year. We will tell you why: Jesus blesses us with those turkeys, end of story. We don't need to read a book to find out where they come from! They come from Jesus!"
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Is this really the right time to erect a 105ft statue of Jesus on mountainside in war-torn Syria?
- Statue appeared in an area where Christians are being persecuted
- Has stood for three weeks without being vandalized on destroyed
- Backers of the project say erecting statue is 'what Jesus would do'
- Exodus 20:4 comes to mind. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
The height of the bronze statue is 39 m together with the plinth, which is taller than the statue of the Christ in Rio de Janeiro (38 m). One can see the sculpture from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. (Public Radio of Armenia)