Archive for December 22, 2008

The Middle East really hasn’t been a tourist haven of bliss lately given the wars and terroristic bombing sprees, but the times they are a ‘changin’, as noted in the USA Today.

After eight bleak years, Jesus’ birthplace finally has a Christmas season to cheer about. Hotels are booked solid through January, Manger Square is bustling with tourists, and Israeli and Palestinian forces are working to make things go smoothly.

happy_birthday_jesusApparently, there is a big tourism business – and Christian emigration – blossoming in Bethlehem… again. Nice to know the Christian pilgrims want to check out the “Disciples in the Hood.” So, obviously the local business owners are experiencing a little heaven on earth:

Bethlehem’s 19 hotels are fully booked through January, said Mayor Victor Batarseh. He said he expects 30,000 visitors on Christmas Eve alone, compared with 22,000 last year, with about 5,000 more expected during Orthodox rites in January.

To what can we attribute the recent buzz in Baby Jesus in the Holy Land? Brilliant marketing slogans like, “Wal-Mart has nothing on the lights we have for the holidays,” “Santa Claus Blows: Visit the real North Pole” or if the West Bank tourism board felt a little spunky, “Bethlehem: We are the bomb!” Too much?

Just imagine all the tchotchkeys they can sell from the Nativity story?!  ‘Going Kosher for the Holidays’ cookbooks, ‘I found Jesus’ t-shirts, birthday cake sales, quench your thirst with ‘Jesus Juice’ from the Jordan river…and all those “babe in a manger” onesies. Nice.

“Calm and an increase in tourism will create more job opportunities and encourage families to stay in the city,” said Batarseh, who is Christian. Officials say 40% of the town’s 32,000 residents are Christian, down from 90% in the 1950s. The rest are Muslim.

Yeah, the economy and um, Christian persecution, will have an affect on the housing market, eh?  But one thing I didn’t find in the story is does anyone know what Jesus would put on his “Me-mas tree”. Wait a while, it’ll take.

I understand being passionate about politics and real issues, not the psychotics rambling on about some talking point seen on paraphernalia or “Conspiracy Theorism Today” [made-up publication]. But then there are the dimwits who always seem to take it way to far.

What happened to Sarah Palin’s church epitomizes that salient point. In a word, arson!

A Friday night fire at Gov. Sarah Palin’s church caused an estimated $1 million in damage, and investigators say it could be the work of an arsonist. Firefighters were called to Wasilla Bible Church about 9:40 p.m. and found flames and smoke coming out windows at the back of the three-story structure, said James Steele, chief of the Central Mat-Su Fire Department.

Tragic, completely asinine and indicative of the kind of idiots who feel this is “their voice of disapproval.” Think about what just happened. People are out of a church home because some schizoid really digs that Tina Fey impression he saw on SNL. There is no ministry at the moment in Wasilla because of a crackpot who thinks Obama would have liked this blaze.

And ever being the lady (regardless of how you feel about her), Gov. Palin issues this statement:

“Gov. Palin stopped by the church this morning, and she told an assistant pastor that she apologizes if the incident is in any way connected to the undeserved negative attention the church has received since she became a vice-presidential candidate on Aug. 29. Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good.”

To which I say, “Amen, Gov!” Note the TV clip below, but ask yourself, “Um, anyone seen John McCain lately?” IJS.

Something is stinky in the Church lately. No, it’s not your pastor’s breath or that one dude on the prayer team (woof!) It’s the ill wind blowing of hypocrisy.

Aside from the dolts who plague pulpits nationally with their agendas, instead of discussing the Lord’s; evangelicals just don’t seem to get it – the Bible is a road map for all men to follow, not just those who call themselves, “Born Again.”

Case in point (from Beliefnet): Richard Cizik, now former vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals

On Fresh Air with Terry Gross, National Association of Evangelicals vice president of governmental affairs Rich Cizik admitted that his views on same sex unions are shifting.  While he made it clear that he does not favor same sex marriage, he did affirm the that he favors same sex civil unions.  Cizik also admitted that he voted for Barack Obama in the primary election, although he did not reveal for whom he voted in the general.  As a result of these comments, NAE president Leith Anderson asked Cizik to resign, which Cizik did.

republican-elephantThis is a man, a rebel, who has highhandedly provided more relevance for the “NeoCon” and evangelical movement than anyone, and you want him to split basically because of who his dangling chad favored?! Because make no mistake, that is the epicenter of the boot to his tail.

Since when did caring for the environment become a “liberal point of view”?! I seem to recall something in a Bible I read once about we (that would be Christians, or even evangelicals) are to have dominion in this piece. And why does voting for a Democrat mean you are an atheist?!

Listen, abortion is murder – there I said it. And HiScrivener, being the raging independent, has voted from something other than Republican. Yeah, I said that too. But abortion, or anything cherished “trendy” by the GOP, is not the only reason you should vote for a president, and Cizik understood that which has passed through the ears of so many of his predecessors.

The work Cizik inspired is replacing the old guard of the surriptious and much-maligned “Religious Right,” but now that work is left on the shelf for fear of liking a few trees and God’s people more than he did John McCain.

Brother put himself out there, and should be applauded for it, but since a few crusty curmudgeons and frozen chosen out there think it’s a sin to do anything that the local GOP doesn’t seem worthy. What happened to Richard Cizik wasn’t about salvation and Christianity, it was about business and politics. And if that is what he signed up for, then good thing he split, he will serve the Church much more effectively away from those jackleg fools.