Daily Archives: 13 May 2011

Another Jesus Sighting…

The May 21st ers are probably wondering why he’s showing up early… But here he is, showing up in odd places just like always…

A BETHESDA woman claims to have spotted an apparition of Jesus Christ on, of all things, her boyfriend’s garden shovel! Andrea Jones was having a cigarette in her garden when she noticed this ‘image’ in the shovel which was leaning against a rabbit hutch.

Or perhaps she has some dreadful brain disease which causes her to see things that aren’t there thanks to the foul smoking habit she seems to have picked up. Because there’s nothing on the shovel but crazy lines that look more like a dog.

Anyway, we all know that Jesus isn’t all that interested in second hand smoke so there’s no way he’d hang out in a garden with some woman spewing the tar and nicotene infested vapor of death.  Much less a British one!!!!!

(via David Meadows on FB)

The Nag Hammadi Codices Online

Pardon me if you’re already aware of this.  I hadn’t seen it before I heard from Gerardo Jofre González-Granda. Visit the Codices directly here.

An Interview with John Dominic Crossan: The Video


I like Dom.  He’s an authentically decent person.  Enjoy the interview.

Blogger Boondoggle

After nearly 24 hours of downtime, Google’s blogging platform Blogger is almost back to normal.  For much of Thursday and part of Friday, Blogger sites were in read-only mode because of maintenance issues. Content created between Wednesday and Thursday was removed during the outage, but Blogger says it will be back up soon.  Just before 1:30 p.m., Blogger Tech Manager Eddie Kessler announced that users could once again sign in to their blogs. Kessler also offered an apology and explanation for the blackout.

And you should use WordPress anyway.  So what caused the crisis?

[D]uring scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages.

Can you imagine the ABSOLUTE HORROR of pointing your browser at a good blog and ending up at some horrific and detestable mennonite blog or some musing pastor’s patch of wretchedness?  Ghastly.

And you should use WordPress anyway.  That way you don’t end up where you don’t want to go!

Total Depravity: The Thieving Waiter Edition

… a waiter at English’s Union Square restaurant, Olives, has been arrested for giving himself a very, very big tip.  The New York Post reports that server Mohammad Siraj has been charged with grand larceny for stealing over $91,000 in bogus gratuities. The two-year scam involved adding extra tip money onto his checks in the restaurant’s computer system. A source tells the Post Siraj’s profit came from the restaurant and not the customers.  Olive’s bookkeeper reported the racket to the NYPD after noticing “fraudulent charges…in the form of gratuities” the report says.  Waiters at Olives are paid an hourly wage plus tips, which apparently wasn’t enough for the 31 year-old Bronx man. Maybe he was tired all of New York’s bad tippers?

What surprises me is that no one – in two years – apparently noticed the discrepancy between actual receipts and tip claims.  I just hope he wasn’t stealing the money for jihad…

Houston, Texas is the Worst Place to be a Postal Service Carrier…

No surprise there.  It had to be somewhere in Texas (which is the worst place to be anything or anyone).

Houston is the most dangerous city in America in which to be a postman, the US postal service has disclosed. A survey found that mail deliverers were bitten 62 times by dogs in the Texan city last year. The tally was more than a third higher than in San Diego, California, and Columbus, Ohio, the joint second-most dangerous cities, where 45 bites were recorded. Matthew Lopez, the postmaster of Houston, said that his employees were undergoing special training to protect themselves from the city’s hounds. “Working with animal behaviour experts, we’ve developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership,” Mr Lopez said.

The most shocking and surprising part of the report? That they carriers haven’t been advised to pull a gun and kill the horrid beasts. You know they’re carrying. Everyone in Texas is. Even the schoolkids.

Osama or One of his Closest Underlings Wasn’t a very good Muslim After All

A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday.  The pornography recovered in bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on condition of anonymity.  The officials said they were not yet sure precisely where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it. Specifically, the officials said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials.

So Mr ‘the West is evil and its influences are ruining Islamic countries so we must kill them all’ had a rabbit under his own hat…  Typical.  If he were a ‘pastor’ I’d be forced to lump him in with all those other hypocritical pastors who say one thing to the crowd and live another way altogether.  And if it wasn’t bin Laden’s smut, it makes no difference.  As the Highway Patrol says when they stop a car and there’s beer in it- ‘it doesn’t matter who owned it- you own the car it’s in!’

Bloody, murderous hypocrites.

For radical Muslims, this should be the equivalent of Catholics finding out the Pope has a boy on the side.

Good Heavens: Beheaded at the Market

This is horrific

A British woman has been beheaded in a supermarket on the Spanish resort island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spanish authorities have announced. Officials in Tenerife identified the victim as a 62-year-old British woman. The suspect, believed to be a 28-year-old homeless Bulgarian man with a police record, was detained by security guards after he ran out of the supermarket in a shopping centre in Los Cristianos with the head in his hands. Security staff chased the man and rugby tackled him. The events took place shortly after 10am (0900 GMT). Manuel Reveron, a local a councillor said: “Apparently this gentleman without any motive or any reason, although for this there is no reasoning, entered the shop and then cut this woman’s neck and took the head in his hand outside up to the sidewalk.” A witness told broadcaster Cadena Ser that he saw the man drop a bloodstained woman’s head on the pavement after coming out of the shop.

Why????? Evil is afoot here.  God help her family.

The Emergent ‘Church’ Training Video

The Emergent approach nicely summed up.

The Australian eJournal of Theology is Alive, Again

I was going to say resurrected- which would be fitting, since the lead article is on precisely that topic.  Check it out.

The White House ‘Situation Room Photo’, Again

Oh if only!!!!!!

If this were true, the country would be far better off.  So would the world.

A Forthcoming Book to Watch For, and a Brilliant Young Scholar to Hire

First, the book- The Names of God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: A Basis for Interfaith Dialogue, by Máire Byrne. It’s a

… welcome solution to the growing need for a common language in interfaith dialogue; particularly between the three Abrahamic faiths in our modern pluralistic society. The book suggests that the names given to God in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur’an, could be the very foundations and building blocks for a common language between the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths. On both a formal interfaith level, as well as between everyday followers of each doctrine, this book facilitates a more fruitful and universal understanding and respect of each sacred text; exploring both the commonalities and differences between each theology and their individual receptions. In a practical application of the methodologies of comparative theology, Maire Byrne shows that the titles, names and epithets given to God in the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam contribute towards similar images of God in each case, and elucidates the importance of this for providing a viable starting point for interfaith dialogue.

Neat, huh.

Dr Byrne, at the SOTS Winter Meeting , 2011.

Second, the brilliant young scholar to hire.  That would be, unsurprisingly, Máire Byrne, the author of this volume.  I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her lecture and she’s simply excellent.  Her methodology is sound, her approach is sane and sensible, and her delivery is fantastically engaging.  She’s smart, sharp as a tack, and if I might be so bold, would be an unparalleled addition to any biblical studies or religious studies faculty.

If your department is looking for a young and coming scholar who will deliver the goods in the classroom and in printed studies and published materials with a grand future ahead of her, I think you should most seriously consider contacting her.  She’s easy to find.

Any University or College smart enough and wise enough to snatch her up will be glad they did.  No question.

This Is Why I Obsessively Check my Bank Account

There are horrible people out there and though I seldom use my debit card, stories like this make me very nervous indeed and why I check my bank account’s activity at least once a day.  Sometimes more.

If you shop at the popular Michaels craft store chain, your bank account may be in jeopardy.  The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a debit card fraud case that started in Illinois and has now spread to 20 states.  Investigators say crooks tampered with PIN pads in the Michaels checkout lanes, allowing them to capture customers’ debit card and PIN numbers.  Michaels now confirms that it found an astonishing 90 compromised PIN pads in 80 of its stores.

What I want to know is how the thieves replaced the pads without people in the store noticing.  Unless, of course, people in the store were responsible or aided and abetted the crooks… which is even more worrisome.

Apparently banks need to come up with something to replace the magnetic strip cards.  I suggest a scannable chip implanted in the right hand or forehead of every citizen with a number on it that is unique to each person….  [That sounds strangely familiar….  hmmmmm…..].

How’s That For Horrifying!

Your local news station may have the same sort of segment ours does.  In it, local restaurant health inspections scores are listed.  Today’s edition includes one that’s just horrifying and if I had ever eaten at the dump I would be getting a wide spectrum of blood tests.  Here’s some of what they found, and where-

Breakers Sports Bar at 5000 Clinton Highway is not only closed, it received an abysmal health inspection score.  … Breakers earned the lowest score Food for Thought has seen this year. The Knox County Health Department considers a score below 70 as unsanitary.  Failing by 40 points: Breakers Sports Bar – Grade: 30.


Employees were smoking in the kitchen, although smoking is banned.


A waitress serving food had bloody arms, according to the inspector. IV needles were found in the kitchen and in one of the bathrooms.

Yikes! Heaven alone knows what sorts of things were in the food they served… Disgusting. There’s nothing quite like a mainlining addict with needles around and blood dripping preparing and serving your dinner, is there…

Political Conservatives and Their Hypocrisy

A conservative group that has brought a string of potential presidential candidates to Iowa to lecture about the need to reduce government spending owes some of its past success to generous federal grants, which it has since rejected amid charges of hypocrisy.  …

The same group received more than half of its funding from federal grants over a five-year period when it operated under a different structure as The Iowa Family Policy Center. The group was among those that benefited from former President George Bush’s faith-based initiative, which made it easier for social and religious organizations involved in community work to win federal funding.

The organization defends taking the grants, the bulk of which helped provide marriage mentoring for couples, but decided last year to turn down the final $550,000 in grant money and operate free of government involvement. In all, the group had accepted more than $3 million in federal grants since 2004.

I just love those people and groups that complain about federal spending out of one side of their mouths and out of the other say ‘thanks for the money’ to the federal government.  Evidently such people are either incapable of noticing the rank hypocrisy of such actions or they see it and just don’t care.  Either way, they’re just old fashioned hypocrites.

Only in Texas Would they Assemble a List of ‘Hot’ Sex Offenders

Perhaps they don’t know that there’s absolutely nothing attractive about perversion or perverts or predators.

The Houston Press has released a list of the “10 Hottest Women on the Texas Sex Offenders List.”  Next to the mugshots (for which the Village Voice affiliate warns, “In some cases, we picked out the best of a series of mugshots. Alternative choices were starkly different. So click on each link before you send any marriage proposals.”) the blogger lists the women’s city, crime and victim information.  The offending “hotties” have assaulted boys and girls ranging from two to 16 years old.  “This kind of thinking that female sex offenders are harmless seductresses rather than predators or perpetrators can set us back decades,” said Torie Camp, deputy director the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA).

Ms. Camp is right.  There’s more than a little wrong with such a listing.

It’s Friday the 13th… So What’s Joel Doing?

Well he’s getting in trouble with the authorities.  Of course.

What happened inside Stephanie Stinson’s home in the rural Polk County town of Auburndale is almost unbelievable. She was already disturbed when she saw a camera in her closet, but when she saw the video cable running from her home to her neighbor’s trailer; she knew something was really wrong. Stinson was moving wrapping paper, at the top of her closet when she hit something. That something turned out to be a camera sticking out of a hole she never knew existed. The camera was pointed right at her bed. Then outside she found cables running from the home into the motor home owned by 49 year old Joel Watts Randall Courson. She called the Polk County Sheriff’s office. Deputies say Watts Courson had a VCR inside recording Stephanie and her husband’s most intimate moments. They found four tapes worth of video.

Gee Joel…  Seems the guy has snapped.  But that’s what happens when overtaking first place becomes an obsession…