Daily Archives: 15 Feb 2013

It Was As Inevitable as Sunrise: The First Lawsuit Against Carnival

With, doubtless, many more to follow.

The first lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines has been filed and it is expected to be the beginning of a wave of lawsuits against the ship’s owners.

Cassie Terry, 25, of Brazoria County, Texas, filed a lawsuit today in Miami federal court, calling the disabled Triumph cruise ship “a floating hell.”

“Plaintiff was forced to endure unbearable and horrendous odors on the filthy and disabled vessel, and wade through human feces in order to reach food lines where the wait was counted in hours, only to receive rations of spoiled food,” according to the lawsuit, obtained by ABCNews.com. “Plaintiff was forced to subsist for days in a floating toilet, a floating Petri dish, a floating hell.”

Oh dear- that’s not hell.  It may be unpleasant, but it isn’t hell.  Litigious Americans driven by nothing but greed and entitlement.  We are a country adrift, just like the Carnival cruise liner.  Except we’ve been adrift a lot longer and our moral condition is, metaphorically, not simply an overflowing toilet but a living, moving, advancing septic ocean.

Quote of the Week

calvin22Strange and monstrous are the longings of our pride. — John Calvin

What’s the Point…

calvin6“What is the point”, says Calvin, “of extolling man’s capacity for good when in fact even those who give every appearance of virtue are being constantly tempted to do evil?”  – (Inst II,3,4).


“When the will is enchained as the slave of sin, it cannot make a movement towards goodness, far less steadily pursue it.” (II,3,5).


“Since the Lord, in bringing assistance, supplies us with what is lacking, the nature of that assistance will immediately make manifest its converse, viz., our penury.”  (II,3,6).


“The Lord both corrects, or rather destroys, our depraved will, and also substitutes a good will from himself.”  (II,3,7).

A Word of Practical Advice for Dad’s With Daughters

obese-man-calendarLook, dad, you and I live in a society where our daughters are taught from their earliest days to be weight-conscious.  And that, we know, means self-critical.  How, then, can we get out little girls- especially once they hit their teens and into their 20’s and 30’s- to see themselves as we see them: as beautiful, wonderful, bright, and lovable?  How can we get them to stop seeing themselves through a distorted lens and imagining themselves to be ‘fat’?

Here’s how.  The next time your beautiful daughter complains about being ‘fat’ even though she isn’t, tell her that if she says it again you’ll take your shirt off and take a picture of yourself and send it to her.  And then if she insists on doing it again (i.e., calling herself fat) post your pic on her facebook wall and send it to her on twitter.  And do it!  If she wants to talk ‘fat’ show her what fat is.

Daughters- if I might address you directly- your dad’s love you and it pains them, literally, when you down yourselves.  If you don’t wish to feel our pain (by seeing us shirtless), in the name of all that is holy, love yourselves like we love you.

Lying Thieving Prosperity ‘Gospel’ Pentebabbleist Hustlers on the Rise in Brazil

Protestants are increasingly taking over and influencing Brazil’s religious landscape, making it a profitable time to be a Pentecostal pastor in the world’s largest Catholic nation.  According to Forbes, “prosperity theology” has allowed some pastors to hit the financial jackpotForbes reports that Edir Macedo, founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), is worth nearly $1 billion. Last Saturday, his autobiography made its American debut.

The news prompted disgruntled Americans to file a petition with the White House, asking the U.S. and Brazilian governments to investigate Macedo for “scandals allegedly draining money away specifically based for charity.”

Other richest pastors in Brazil include UCKG’s Valdemiro Santiago (estimated net worth: $220 million compared to Macedo’s $950 million); Silas Malafaia, the former leader of Brazil’s largest Pentecostal church ($150 million); and social-media savvy R.R. Soares, founder of the International Church of the Grace of God and regular contributor on Brazilian television ($125 million).

It’s a shame that the Brazilians have to endure the  miscreant pseudo-theology and mock-‘christianity’ of the pentebabbleist prosperity deceivers.  Via, with thanks to Gustavo Souteras on twitter for the mention.

Our Culture of Filth

This week, a billboard went up in downtown Chicago asserting that the “best kind of job is a blow job.” The ad is from an online company called Arrangement Finders, and the marketing director of the company spoke with RedEye about their approach:

Women using the site are typically seeking low-pressure relationships, and they tend to be in their 30s, sometimes with children … Two other factors unique to Chicago pushed the company to launch the billboards here: a struggling job market and a 3-to-1 ratio of women to men on the site, the highest in the country.

What we gleaned from this interview is that the company is targeting women who are struggling to find a job and support their children. The billboard makes light of this by suggesting that ideal work for women is a performing oral sex. This is offensive on so many levels, and yet the owner asserts that this is something he thought would “get a chuckle and also start some buzz.”

Let the ad company know you find this kind of demeaning vileness utterly unacceptable.  With thanks to Adrianna Wright for the mention.

It’s Certainly Worth Doing, Even Now

וְגַם־עַתָּה֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה שֻׁ֥בוּ עָדַ֖י בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶ֑ם וּבְצ֥וֹם וּבְבְכִ֖י וּבְמִסְפֵּֽד׃ 13 וְקִרְע֤וּ לְבַבְכֶם֙ וְאַל־בִּגְדֵיכֶ֔ם וְשׁ֖וּבוּ אֶל־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֑ם כִּֽי־חַנּ֤וּן וְרַחוּם֙ ה֔וּא אֶ֤רֶךְ אַפַּ֙יִם֙ וְרַב־חֶ֔סֶד וְנִחָ֖ם עַל־הָרָעָֽה׃ 14 מִ֥י יוֹדֵ֖עַ יָשׁ֣וּב וְנִחָ֑ם וְהִשְׁאִ֤יר אַֽחֲרָיו֙ בְּרָכָ֔ה מִנְחָ֣ה וָנֶ֔סֶךְ לַיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃ פ 15 תִּקְע֥וּ שׁוֹפָ֖ר בְּצִיּ֑וֹן קַדְּשׁוּ־צ֖וֹם קִרְא֥וּ עֲצָרָֽה׃ 16 אִסְפוּ־עָ֞ם קַדְּשׁ֤וּ קָהָל֙ קִבְצ֣וּ זְקֵנִ֔ים אִסְפוּ֙ עֽוֹלָלִ֔ים וְיֹנְקֵ֖י שָׁדָ֑יִם יֵצֵ֤א חָתָן֙ מֵֽחֶדְר֔וֹ וְכַלָּ֖ה מֵחֻפָּתָֽהּ׃ 17 בֵּ֤ין הָאוּלָם֙ וְלַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ יִבְכּוּ֙ הַכֹּ֣הֲנִ֔ים מְשָׁרְתֵ֖י יְהוָ֑ה וְֽיֹאמְר֞וּ ח֧וּסָה יְהוָ֣ה עַל־עַמֶּ֗ךָ וְאַל־תִּתֵּ֙ן נַחֲלָתְךָ֤ לְחֶרְפָּה֙ לִמְשָׁל־בָּ֣ם גּוֹיִ֔ם לָ֚מָּה יֹאמְר֣וּ בָֽעַמִּ֔ים אַיֵּ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם׃

Joel 2:12ff

What Next, Fired For Saying Wikipedia Isn’t a Reliable Research Source?

West Liberty University students and parents are questioning one professor after she reportedly issued a syllabus that filtered student’s research options.

Stephanie Wolfe’s syllabus highlights which sources students should use in a political science course. Among those, students are asked not to use are The Onion, an openly fictitious parody of real-life news, and Fox News, a professional news organization.

WLU President Robin Capehart was on Fox News Thursday afternoon to give his stance on the situation.

“This is a case where we obviously have a concern because as much as we will protect the academic freedom of the professor, we’ll also protect the academic freedom of our students to go out and find as many sources as possible,” said Capehart. “So obviously we were concerned.”

Oh the Stupid- IT BURNS!  (Thanks for the phrase, Scott Bailey).  Come on people, defending the use of clearly biased sources or purely fictional ones and calling it academic freedom?????  COME ON!  What next, firing a Prof for calling Wikipedia an unreliable research source because, you know, it is!

Oh the stupid… it burns…

Now Available: Wirkungsgeschichte At Its Finest

EQX-Lemche-PPC.inddEQX-Thompson-PPC.inddTwo volumes have recently arrived in the Copenhagen International Seminar series ‘Changing Perspectives’ and available from ISD here in the States and from Acumen in Britain/Europe.  The first by Niels Peter Lemche and the second by Thomas Thompson.  These volumes contain essays by their authors spanning the multiple-decades of their scholarly activity and reading through them, Wirkungsgeschichte style, one gets a very fine overview of where they’ve been, where they’ve journeyed, and where they are now.

As a whole the series is grand and the latest volumes continue that tradition.  It is, I have to say, very, very rewarding to be involved (on the editorial board) of such a fine series.  Very rewarding indeed.

I trust that you’ll take a look at these books.  They’re a joy to behold.

Pentebabbleist pseudo-theology is just a curse and a plague/

The insane Cindy Jacobs listens to her delusional husband tell a story about how the weather would not listen to their petulant demands, but relented when a five year old stomped her foot.

The stupid. It burns.

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Paula Fredriksen on Sin: The David L. Dungan Memorial Lecture

From the UT news page

Historian of religion Paula Fredriksen will focus on sin when she delivers the third annual David L. Dungan Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, February 19.  The event, hosted by the Department of Religious Studies, begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

If you’re in the area it would be worth your time to attend.  If I’m able to go (which I should be) I’ll blog it.

Going through the history of sin, Fredriksen will examine how ancient Christians invoked sin to account for a range of things, from the death of God’s son to the politics of the empire that eventually worshiped him. The lecture will survey the first four centuries in which Christian ideas about sin emerged, including the significant shift from sin as something one does to sin as a condition into which one is born.  “The changing ways in which early Christian leaders talked about sin continues to have a significant impact on how we understand ourselves and our world. Fredriksen’s work examines these early Christian conversations in their Roman context, while raising interesting questions about their modern implications,” said Tina Shepardson, associate professor of religious studies.

The Rise and Fall of Archaeology in the Service of Ideology in Israel

It’s a new essay in Bible and Interpretation worth reading by Rami Arav. He concludes with this amazing claim-

A prominent Tel Aviv University archaeologist, Z. Herzog, complained a few years ago in an article in the prestigious Israeli paper Haaretz that despite the fact that archaeology has totally changed our current understanding of the Bible, nobody pays attention. The public is apathetic and indifferent. The glorious heyday of iconic archaeology has gone forever.

The situation in America is totally different. Archaeology- especially of Israel- is the golden child and looks like it will continue to be that for the foreseeable future.

Video Of That Russian Meteor

Say, people, really, does everyone always drive around with video cameras rolling?  What’s the deal with people capturing things on vid as they happen these days?  I have a video function on my camera and on my phone but I don’t drive around with them on.  Should I?

Anyway, my wonderings aside, here’s video of that Russian Meteor:




Let the lawsuits against Carnival commence…