Posts Tagged ‘Jewish’

In case you are new to the Gospel, a couple of things:

  1. Welcome! Jesus loves you.
  2. Muslims aren’t huge fans of the Jews.

I wouldn't put this past him.

To the latter, I don’t mean as in not carrying a foam finger reading, “There’s only one Savior for me.” It’s more like, “I have hated your guts for 6,000 years. Ishmael is the man and you suck, YHWH dude.”

That is whenever it’s not convenient for a Muslim to become a tour guide for the site of one of Jesus’ most famed miracles. In that case, “Mohammad will show me the money. Praise be to Allah.”

Thanks to the Washington Post, we read about a man who has a truckload of bravery – meet Father Masoud Abu Hatoum.

Yeah, an Arab Christian. You would the circus came to town and he was the elephant jumping through a hoop of fire, but alas, he’s just a man who loves Jesus and business savvy.

In lieu of this economy and what it has done for Holy Land travel, Hatoum has decided to work on some grassroots marketing and keep the young ones from leaving their huts for uptown Nazareth.

After all, that’s where the real sanctimonious action is, right?

Father Masoud Abu Hatoum, nicknamed “the bulldozer” for his enthusiasm, has come up with a few ideas, like re-enacting the New Testament story of Jesus transforming the water for guests at a wedding in the Galilee hamlet of Cana, now this northern Israeli town of Kufr Kana.

What makes Father Bulldozer even more amazing is that the town of Kurf Kana post Arab-Israeli war of 1948 is now populated with 16,000 Muslims and only 4,000 Christians. Yet, there he is – a few credits short of an MBA and it seems, a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

On a recent Sunday, the Roman Catholic service at the stone-and-marble Cana Wedding Church only drew about 20 worshippers, most of them middle-aged. Another couple of dozen turned out at the smoky, dim and ornate Greek Orthodox church nearby in the old village center, where volunteers built a display for stone jars the church says held the water Jesus turned into wine.

That day attracted 40 people. Last summer, he only had 10. Business is booming for this guy. Moreover, this isn’t the only PR stunt up his mocked Nehru sleeves. Check out what he did on Christmas:

For Christmas, Abu Hatoum erected a scaffolding strung with blinking lights around 90 feet (27 eters) high over his church and he billed it the tallest Christmas tree in the Holy Land.

“I would have made it higher,” he said laughing, “but I would have needed a license for that.”

The gimmick was enough to attract an Israeli television crew, and a spot for the priest on local radio, pleasing parishioners who said nobody had expressed interest in their church before.

Will his chicanery be enough to show out the resurrected Christ and show up traffic and people to this dwindling town?

We shall see, but I’ll bet you one thing – as long as he can stand in front of his former cronies singing the praises of Jesus, I would say someone will cross that (bottom) line.

Peace be upon you, Padre.

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Christmas is a time to gather with family, eat like a glutton, think about the Christ child… and how he lived. How many Jesus movies did you watch this past week?

Me? 516. At least it felt that way with every church party I visited. I enjoy them wholeheartedly but after the 200th time, maybe its claim to the “Greatest Story Ever Told” wanes a skosh.

Anywhoo, during those wonderful films, I began thinking of all the people who claim they don’t believe in God; yet, they can be heard referring to “Jesus’ day.” How do they really know anyway?!

A Jewish home in the shadows of the Church of the Annunciation. Ironic. (Source: Dan Balilty, AP)

Then, this story from USA Today comes out and I now have a referral point to that ubiquitous time in history.

Archaeologists said Monday that they unearthed remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth that dates to Jesus’ era, a simple structure of two rooms and a courtyard, said Yardenna Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

I love how the aforementioned folk who don’t believe in Jesus of Nazareth are fascinated by everything else in Nazareth.

While these diligent archaeologists are not claiming it is the house where Jesus lived specifically, a young Jesus may have played around the house with cousins and friends, Alexandre said.

MEMO to the Pulpit Pimps and False ‘Profits’ out there: it’s okay to admit Jesus didn’t come from riches, but rags.

This was a modest community – you know, living in dirt homes, wearing tattered tunics and driving camels. And for many in Christendom, that now visual fact could bring healing to the millions who feel a seed here and keeping up with the Joneses there have done nothing but destroy their credit… and their faith.

Yes, later in life, you can argue the Christ-child wasn’t doing that bad financially.  Spare the doxology and psychobabble, this isn’t that kind of post.

My prayer is we can all take from this discovery and confirm where the Gospel message’s focus should be – it’s about who you are and are destined to be, not what you have and what you are determined to get.

That… or call Hollywood and claim we have the makings of a new movie, “Jewish Boyz in the Hood.” Nice.

Well, be warned about wasting $10 to see this film.

Man, my fraternal juices were flowing when I saw this movie and knew this post was coming (shout out to my Ice Cold brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.).

Why? Because I get to harangue a Q-Dog. No, no, not the “Atomic Dog” brothers but rather Quetzalcoatl – the triune man, dog and lizard of the Mayans who is supposed to return to earth and create his “Age of Transition” on December 21, 2012. Yawn.

Apparently, director Roland Emmerich has decided this calendar snafu was yet another excuse to destroy the world.

You see, I’ve seen most of his post-apocalyptic flicks and whether his tool for global carnage has been a radioactive iguana (“Godzilla“), global warming gone terribly awry (“The Day After Tomorrow“) or hacked-off aliens (“Independence Day“), the scripts usually blow about as bad as a drunk in a breathalyzer test.

This – fancy effects and a cacophony of explosions aside – was no exception at all.

You would think with the star power this movie had, a decent script could have been in order. Danny Glover was the president, John Cusack was our hero and Woody Harrelson even makes a cameo as a radio host with the Mayan calendar on his studio wall.

But, not so much as seen by the one obvious sci-fi nerd who left the movie early in a flurry of disgust and cussing in Klingon, or something like that.

I had to stick it out. This 2.5 hour movie feels more like 6.5, and a brother had to pee. Can I say that?

So why the commitment? I heard the kerfuffle about Emmerich deciding to destroy every Christian faith-based artifact in the world and wanted to see that for myself. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro were the first to go. Even a gaggle of priests gets smothered.

Poor St. Peter’s Basilica. First, the anti-matter bomb in “Angels & Demons” and now this disaster. Why do producers find Christians such an easy tag for their angst? And then it dawned on me… there’s nothing of Judaic, Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim relic being obliterated here. Why not?

(Spoiler alert) Even that cute Buddhist monk survives the flood over the Himalayas, but a priest can’t get any love!

Then I discovered why the protection over other relics, specifically Muslim. Fear.

“Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit,” Emmerich says. “But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. … We have to all … in the Western world … think about this. You can actually … let … Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.”

What the fatwa? Seriously? Muslims scare him so the Kaaba was off-limits but Christians are pansies so the Vatican was so getting crushed.

This is a man who makes no apologies for not being the biggest fan of organized religion; yet somehow Imams freak this dude out. Nice.

You would think an espoused atheist would show equality and express his vitriol for every religion, but no, once again it’s Christianity that gets the pass on etiquette. It’s okay to thrash what we love because there’s no fear of revolt. We just don’t do that.

Sure, it could be the whole “love thy neighbor” message, but I think it smacks more of apathy. It takes a lot to get Christians to unite under one banner. Call it abortion, politics or… well, that’s about it.

Do Christians as a whole picket abortion clinics? No, but the world thinks we do. Do Christians as a whole burn Harry Potter books like a scene from “Footloose”? No, but again we are lumped into that simpleton mentality as well. Many people claim to do these things in the name of Christianity, but really, it’s just their personal issues under the guise of their beliefs. And we all get blamed for it. Sigh.

I’m not calling for Christian extremism (there’s already enough of that). I’m just saying we need to learn what is worth begin disgusted about, and let God sort out the rest. So, allow this movie to be Hollywood existentialism and some sort of catharsis for Emmerich who needs to slay his own inner demons about Jesus.

As for me and my house, I would have rather put that $10 in the offering bucket where it will do some good than in this ballyhooed movie. I suggest you do the same. Bor. Ing.

 

Thanks to WOW News’ Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News’ “God & Country” fame, we have an interesting Gallup poll result that shows the most supportive and non-supportive religious groups of the BarackStar.

As much as the election cycle hit COGIC churches causing many pastors of the community to drool feverishly like Cujo, you would Protestants would skyrocket to the top of list. Nope.

Evidently, all this ballyhoo about socializeder, universal health care and offering every banking institution in this country a golden parachuteer, part of the stimulus package, it seems Jews heart the president.

Gallup Jews love the president

You do understand the irony here? Right?

President Obama isn’t the most “pro-Israeli” commander-in-chief. No, nothing about the whole “Hussein” thing; it’s his policy. Recently, in his United Nations’ speech, he declared, “Israel has been occupying the Palestinian State since 1967.”

While his ratings were glowing on Al-Jazzera TV, I’m sure there were a few Jews in this country – and their country – that weren’t too entirely thrilled to hear that mess.

Lots of American Jews, according to pollsters, tend to vote Democratic as seen in Florida and Pennsylvania last year. Notwithstanding that, this number has plummeted from 83 percent in January.

It seems all that shmoozing for Iranian favor has a few Jews… well, calling bupkes.

The moral of this poll? Anyone can fake it for a few months but after a while, even those you lie with begin to demand an explanation.

Religion and animals. They have been intertwined since the beginning of time.

  • Noah had the ark, and all the animals two-by-two
  • Muslims abstain from swine
  • Mayans have a movie coming out about Quetzalcoatl
  • Mythological creatures are typically morphed humans and horses or whatever
  • Treatment of animals is holy writ according to Judaic law
  • And then there are Hindus who give a new meaning to “Holy Cow”

Looks like something from a Disney movie really

Looks like something from a Disney movie really

Evidently, they are pretty sweet on elephants, at least according to this Christian group that has been picketing the Calgary (Alberta, Canada) Zoo.

The Calgary Zoo said it has no plans to remove a dancing elephant statue after a complaint from a Christian group that it’s an inappropriate religious icon.

A private donor gave the statue, modeled after the Hindu god Ganesh, to the zoo in 2006 to stand in front of the Asian elephant exhibit. As CBC News first reported, Concerned Christians Canada sent a letter raising its concerns that the statue was “selective religious partiality” to the zoo on Thursday.

MEMO to CCC: The ecumenical pachyderm here was donated to the zoo, and in lieu of the global economy, you think they are really going to give that up in account of, what did you call it again, “Selective religious partiality”? Uh, no.

“A lot of people are saying we’re being intolerant. I don’t consider asking that the zoo look at this from a balanced perspective being intolerant,” said national chairman Jim Blake on Friday.

What? You want a crucifix to dangle in the ape exhibit, as if to tell Charles Darwin where to stick it? Perhaps, a Bible in the snake exhibit with the tempting verse from Romans 16:20 that “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Great, but when that happens, watch out PETA because those will make some sweet boots. Just sayin’.

See here, the fallibility of this protest is most Christians will look at that cute elephant and think, “Aw, that’s cute.” They aren’t thinking, “I’ll bet that’s a surreptitious homage to Hinduism. I’m calling the manager.”

If you want to make a difference for Jesus, pick a cause everyone understands because right now you may as well be telling kids all over Canada that zoos are of the devil. And just how “concerning” is that?