Church Brawl in North Carolina

I wish this one was on video. According to Citizen-Times.com, The Greater New Zion Baptist Church in Fletcher, North Carolina had a good ol’ fashioned church brawl and the police were called in. Not just one or two cops, but 30 police from five different agencies in the surrounding area. What was the fighting all about? Who should be church pastor.

Keith Knox, one of the members, says he’s embarrassed for he church, but he did what he had to do once he saw his female cousin struck and another one with her hair being pulled. Family is family, the brethren be damned. Knox has roots in New Zion Baptist, his grandparents and great-grandparents helped to found it, but he’s planning on leaving.

What was at stake was that the church was split on either keeping Reverend Levonia Ray or finding someone younger with newer ideas. In New Zion such a decision is not made by a church board, it’s a vote by the entire congregation. Welcome to church politics.

Does Christ really make people act any differently than their secular counterparts? This is an extreme and admittedly funny example–I readily admit most Baptists don’t get into fist fights (the entire church should go on Jerry Springer)–but “in-fighting” is pretty common and can get particularly nasty. Again, if the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, why are there so many damned churches in America? The Christian church is divided, not united and their squabbles are as petty as any organization.

BlueRidgeNow.com has a more in-depth article with the aftermath reaction from parishioners. It’s interesting that no one got together and simply prayed for God to make a decision? …Oh right, I forgot. God don’t talk.

Escaping Church

Churches actually can be pretty cool for little kids to run around in. The exteriors are usually blah these days because they’re built on the cheap, but inside they have all kinds of rooms, closets and hallways to more rooms. However, if you were forced to be inside then of course you want to escape–and that’s a fun game in of itself.

BET, Black Entertainment Television Exploits Viewers

Just in time for Black History month–I said I wasn’t going to let this go and maybe I’ll be the lone voice in the wilderness but I think BET is shameful for giving airtime to Peter Popoff. It’s one thing to give airtime to the likes of questionable “motivational” preachers or informercials, etc, but Popoff’s fraud is documented.

If you think this cartoon turns an intelligent black man into a gangsta–you got the point. By taking Popoff’s money and allowing him to exploit African American viewers, many of whom have debt problems in this crappy economy, BET execs have lowered themselves to the street. I know business is all about the money and that it may not be as simple as one person saying “no” to Popoff but there has to be a black man or woman in the BET Hierarchy with a conscience that can speak their mind. Sell airtime to Popoff on the Travel Channel or some other channel–stop targeting black people though!

Jesus Eye Doctor Cartoon

Would you rather have an ophthamologist or Jesus the eye doctor slinging mud? We give so much creedence to miracles written down in a book that supposedly relates events 2000 years ago and yet humans figured out how to fix God’s mistakes on their own with modern science. Hmm, could it be that mud doesn’t heal eyes? Why mud anyways–isn’t the better miracle to simply snap your fingers? So many questions about an event that can’t be witnessed. Sigh.

Superbowl Rejects John 3:16

I’ve begun to suspect that marketeers submit their ad proposals to the Superbowl committee with hopes of being rejected–because it gains them free publicity. I mean could JesusHatesObama.com really have afforded the price tag of a Superbowl commercial?

The latest rejectee is a an organization called Fixed Point who sponsors debates between Christians and Atheists on college campuses–which I wholeheartedly approve of. In the past, they have welcomed such well known speakers as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. The ad would feature the commonly seen sign amongst the spectators “John 3:16” which is a favorite conversion verse for Christians. I had to memorize it when I was a kid. ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Damn if I don’t still remember it; I typed it out without looking it up–though, don’t ask me what translation, probably King James.

In this instance, it does look like Fixed Point was willing to pony up the cash, all 3.1 million of it. Larry Taunton pushed Fox to accept the commercial but Fox came back with that they, “”…would not air anything with religious doctrine.” In addition, a Fox spokesman said that it was the policy of Fox Broadcasting Network to not accept advertising from religious organizations for the purpose of advancing beliefs (evangelizing).

From a business perspective, I guess this makes sense, though, I doubt most viewers would care. I’m actually for Fixed Point being able to advertise because if they can do then so can atheists. And promoting those debates are good for introducing believers to unbelievers. However, Fox is not publicly owned and therefore this does not fall into a free speech issue.

But, as a result of the decision, Fox unfortunately gave Fixed Point some gospel ammo. They came out with their own statement: “It seems one can advertise just about anything else. Few movie trailers are deemed too violent or beer commercials too sexual for primetime. But religious messages, particularly Christian ones, well, that’s just too controversial.” It simply makes Fixed Point’s gospel more important than it really is and adds to the persecution complex American Christians have. We should be clear that this was a business decision and there’s nothing controversial about it. It is not good business to offend other religions or unbelievers who may object to evangelizing while they’re trying to enjoy the sporting event of the year. The same is true of idiot car salesmen who post “Honk if you love Jesus” on their marquees like the used car lot down the road from me (as an atheist, I’m not planning to ever buy from them. I’ll buy from the Christian who doesn’t feel it is necessary to mix their personal beliefs in with their business as I don’t tell my clients not to believe in god).  This is not Christian discrimination. I’m sure an atheist organizations would not be able to say, “John 3:16 is a bunch of hooey.”

I will concede one point though on behalf of both Christians and Atheists. The Mormons seem to get their commercials aired without any problems? Have they aired on the Fox Broadcasting Network? Maybe we’re not talking the Superbowl but did the recent Mormon commercial campaign run on any Fox affiliates? I don’t know, but if they did then Fixed Point should take Fox to task.

TBN Marketshare Ahead of NBC, CBS, and ABC?

ChristianNewsWire.com reports that TBN, that’s Trinity Broadcasting Network to the uninformed, ranks 3rd in broadcast ownership, ahead of what was once the 3 biggest networks–ABC, CBS and NBC. The Christian network reaches 102 million households with programming that features praise and worship, the usual sermonizing, but also popular entertainment like music videos, movies, documentaries, and plenty of kids’ shows. TBN started broadcasting all the way back in 1973.

The ranking list was compiled  “through the co-operation of TVNewsCheck.com and M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc.,” and the two broadcasters ahead of TBN were first place ION Media and second place Univision.

Congratulations TBN. While 3rd on the list for broadcast ownership, you’re first on the list for hosting some of the biggest scam artists in TV history.

Isn’t it a bit disconcerting that such a network can obtain such a large marketshare? Again, who are all these gullible people supporting Paul Crouch and his airhead wife Jan?

Well, to embarrass Christians further, I found it disappointing to see Billy Graham’s book Storm Warning as the January “love gift” (as in make a donation and we’ll send you the book, but we make pure profit if we call it a “love gift” because it is tax exampt). Billy Graham’s broadcasts are now appearing on TBN–for all I know this has been going on for quite some time. The reason I say disappointing is that while I disagree with Graham on matters of faith, I thought he had some integrity. I’m learning more and more that he doesn’t. A supposedly “respectable” ministry like Billy Graham Ministries should not be throwing support to TBN and legitimizing the network as a source for mainstream Christianity versus the nuthouse that it is. How can you lump Benny Hinn in with Billy Graham? Billy Graham should be ashamed.

SIDENOTE: There is a conspiracy theory afoot that TBN is actually run by atheists in order to make Christians look stupid.

Spam Does In Suicide Bomber

When I was shown this story originally I said, “Check to make sure it isn’t a hoax.” It just sounded too good to be true. So far I haven’t found any information to suggest this is nothing but the ridiculous truth–and you can thank spam for once.

The article is on MSNBC.com’s Technolog and says that a Russian woman with the nickname “The Black Widow,” who was suspected of being involved in a previous bombing at Moscow’s Domodevo airport, was getting ready for another attack planned for Red Square on New Year’s Eve. She received a spam text message wishing her a happy new year hours earlier. Unfortunately for her, she was using the same wireless device as her detonator and the text somehow activated the bombs without her knowledge.

Spam blew her up–literally!

You can imagine the comments being posted on Facebook, because this is where we found the original link to the story. I suppose we shouldn’t take delight in death, but I think it is excusable this one time. Most of us are just damned tired of suicide bombers.

SIDENOTE: I went searching for more information on this Russian “Black Widow” and I find this unrelated story of another woman dubbed “Black Widow” who was put on trial for raping 10 men. The tenth victim didn’t want to press charges because he enjoyed being assaulted by the woman. It’s a strange world…

Watching ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ Comic Strip

It’s always been interesting that C.S. Lewis chose the lion to represent Jesus. There’s an awful lot of killing of lions in the Old Testament from Samson to David. But there are some poetic passages too using the lion as a metaphor for strength. In the New Testament, in the book of Peter, a lion is used to describe the devil–“Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. “

TV Network Owner Decapitates Wife

It is always strange to read about this stuff going on in the United States, but AmericanThinker.com posted a story on Bridges TV Network Founder Muzzammil Hassan who is accused of decapitating his “estranged” wife. Where would he do such a thing? It happened at the network’s company office in New York on February 9th of 2009. The irony is that Hassan started the Bridges TV Network in order to improve the public image of the Islamic community.

The victim, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, was apparently a victim of domestic abuse prior to the killing which according to police records went on for years. The author of the article challenged the surrounding Buffalo-area Muslim community on why they did nothing about the abuse and suggested they be on trial too. I’m not sure that’s a fair assertion, but then it does sound like Hassan was an influential figure who maybe deserved more open criticism if this abuse was commonly known.

Muzzammil Hassan was granted the ability to act as his own lawyer for his defense after he argued with his lawyer named Jeremy Schwartz (hmm, Jewish last name? Could explain things between the two). 

I found the website for the Bridges TV Network. Among other things you’ll see an ads for “Sharia Compliant Investments” and “Islamic Clothing,” a video promoting “The Deen Show” which appears to have a host interviewing interesting Muslims and the evening news from a Muslim perspective. What a shame the founder has to be involved in such an embarrassing trial and a general embarrassment to American Muslims–at least we would hope it would be seen that way. It’s doubtful the Bridges Evening News will report the trial of their founder.

Hassan has quite a bit of explaining to do. It’s not everyday that a woman is beheaded which fits with the motive of an honor killing. Beheadings are downright archaic.

Mexican Actor to Build Biggest Pro-Life Clinic in US

ChristianCinema.com is reporting that Mexican actor Eduardo Verastegui is planning to build the biggest pro-life women’s clinic ever! But not in Mexico, in the United States. This project will be done through the actor’s organization Mantle of Guadalupe. Eduardo is known for the pro-life movie Bella and from his naturally good looks could probably get a woman pregnant just by looking at her (has that smoldering, Hispanic lust about him).  Beware white Protestants and Pope-hating denominational offshoots, Eduardo is a Hispanic Catholic and the announcement was given during a Catholic charity event in Beverly Hills. It’s pro-life competition and they may assist illegals in using tax-payer funded services. Or maybe Eduardo will foot the bill because it’s going to be the “biggest pro-life women’s clinic ever!”

Eduardo Verastegui is quoted as saying “I will not use my talents except to elevate my Christian, pro-life and Hispanic values.” …Isn’t that enough? I would assume he will use his talents to make movies too, plus flirtatious winks to helpless waitresses for better dinner service (am I stereotyping? I just know the Spanish accent, dark eyes and 5 0′ clock shadow drives American women wild).

It’s not quite clear what the pro-life clinic will do or what its focus will be? Providing shelter and support for pregnant women while at the same time protesting abortion? I think providing safe haven and supplies to pregnant mothers who make conscious decisions to keep their babies is fine. But I also know that some clinics have disguised themselves to appear to be abortion providers/counselors. Hopefully this will be a transparent charity. As someone who is pro-choice, I really don’t have a problem with charities like this as long as coercion or trickery is not involved. Some women will not want abortions and that is for them to decide. Providing support for their decision is better than harrassing  pro-choice women’s clinics.

I looked up the movie Bella (2006) since Christian Cinema said it was a pro-life film and it is about a soccer star on his way to a multi-million dollar deal until his plans are interrupted. He meets a waitress in New York and… well, it just says, “…until an impetuous action brings them together and turns an ordinary day into an unforgettable experience.” I immediately think they slept together.

Better go to Wiki. Much clearer in the description there. The waitress named Bella works in a Mexican restaurant in Manhatten and gets fired. Jose, the head chef, talks to her as she leaves and finds out she is pregnant and is considering an abortion. They get to know each other more and secrets are revealed. Doesn’t sound like much happens in the film except a lot of characterization and of course a certain decision is made at the end of the film. The film has received multiple awards including the Toronto International Film Festival’s “People’s Choice Award” and the Tony Bennett Media Excellence Award (there’s a Tony Bennett award?).