Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Druids get legal by establishing their own non profitFrom overweight 40-year-old men playing Dungeons & Dragons in Mommy’s garage to now, being an official tax bracket, it seems worshiping the sun, moon, stars and tree sap is finally paying off, according to The Telegraph (UK).

The Druid Network has been given charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the quango that decides what counts as a genuine faith as well as regulating fundraising bodies.

It guarantees the modern group, set up in 2003, valuable tax breaks but also grants the ancient religion equal status to more mainstream denominations.

This could mean that Druids, the priestly caste in Celtic societies across Europe, are categorised separately in official surveys of religious believers.

“The Druid Network”?! Seriously?

Are we about to watch a gaggle of hooded trollish women about to instruct us on today’s top headlines? Now that these wanna-be Jawas from the set of “Star Wars” are too legit to quit, what’s next? Ask the lead Hobbitt from Tattooine:

Emma Restall Orr, founder of The Druid Network, added: “The Charity Commission now has a much greater understanding of Pagan, animist, and polytheist religions, so other groups from these minority religions – provided they meet the financial and public benefit criteria for registration as charities – should find registering a much shorter process than the pioneering one we have been through.”

See there? That’s what this is really about, folks. The Boys under the Hood want some kickbacks because all that traveling to Stonehenge can be costly. Air fare. Cab ride. And all that cheap fast food.

I know the robes are one size fits all, but even all those cheeseburgers and dancing under the stars really add the pounds. Good thing the ‘Network’ is banking. Maybe know they can join a gym. You know, with the Benedictine Monks.

This is a story with the happiest ending of all.

Once upon a time there was a man named Jesus who came to this jacked-up place to sacrifice his life for mankind.

You see, his Daddy determined a perfect sacrifice is what was necessary to redeem the lives of the rest of us. So, there he was. Resting on the cross, burdened with the sins of every nasty person on earth, asked by the masses, “How much do you love us?”

And he opened his arms t…h…i…s much… and he died.

It was a gift to all of us, but like with any coupon, you have to redeem it in order to reap the rewards. You know, that implies a choice. As in, a choice all of us have to make in order to experience what happened those more than 2,000 years ago.

Fast forward to today and we meet a boy named Barack who completely lied through his grape Kool-Aid stained lips and pearly whites to every child of God he met in order to win their vote. He told them he would go to church for a vote. And that he would talk about Jesus for a vote.

But… not so much. Just ask him, like this chic did.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Seriously. Anyone catch that dazzling epiphany?

I am a Christian by choice,” Obama began, standing beneath a blazing sun, when asked why he is a Christian. “I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said.

“Being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. Treating others as they would treat me. And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility that we all have to have as human beings.”

Man, that’s deep. He may be calling on Jesus, but I call B.S.

Doesn’t he understand this didn’t fool a soul?! He is a Christian… wait for it… by choice. Oh. Oh. Wait. One other thing. He is also subject to… wait for it… by the forces of gravity.

Yes, sports fans. As much as Barack Obama is compared to the Messiah, he really can’t walk on water, doesn’t encounter stigmata or get offended when folk cuss using his name. Yet when confronted by a mild-mannered victims of his romancing swoons of deceit regarding his faith, he issues two half-baked verses and connected them to some universal thought that would make Carlton Pearson shout for joy.

“This is a country that is still predominantly Christian, but we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists” and others, he said, adding that “their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own, and that is part of what makes this country what it is.

Country? Yes. Kingdom of God… you know, heaven? No way.

Someone needs to get a memo to our betrothed president and let him know that Jesus Christ is not a politician. In fact, he could care less. So while Barack Obama is wailing on and on about how folk in this country are singing Kumbaya, he still isn’t any closer to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ unless he stops farting around and gets real.

Choose that… then you’re a Christian. And not one second sooner. That’s no story, Mr. President. That’s real life. Brother.

And in other news: the sky is blue, water is wet and our economy is not doing so hot.

Seriously, why is this a headline? This stark revelation makes him no different than Al Sharpton – it’s media pimpdom. “Oh, I’m out of the news for a little while, so what can I talk about that will make the spotlight shine brighter in my relaxed hair?”

It’s a perfect storm really. Muslims. 9/11. Obama. And now Farrakhan. Well, Mazel Tov brother minister.

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Thursday an Islamic community center and mosque planned near ground zero should be built because Muslims were among those of many faiths who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “Why then should a mosque, a cultural center, not be constructed a few blocks away?” Farrakhan asked at a news conference in Washington, where he was joined by a coalition of African-American Muslims.

Barack Obama and Louis Farrakhan

See who is looking over your shoulder?

Let’s play that same game of logic, shall we brother minister?

You know, Jews died in the 9/11 attacks as well, so would you mind having interfaith dinners at the fellowship hall of said mosque. You would rather kiss a white woman, wouldn’t you?

This is separatist prattling as usual. Get that, “joined by a coalition of African-American Muslims.” Yes, there are a bevy of white Muslims but none of them stand for the “white man is the devil.”

Sure, they abstain from pork and pray five times daily, as all good Islamic believers do, but they have that pigment issue that prevents them from being asked to break bread.

Yes, Muslims have a certain unalienable right to practice their religion in America. Yes, stereotypes exist in this country. And yes, thanks to the tragic attacks on 9/11, Muslims are the ire of every evil stereotype there is, despite the right to avoid them.

There are good-minded, kind-spirited Muslims everywhere. There are also sardonic human beings that are extremist swine that murder in the name of their religion. Likewise, there are benevolent people who love Jesus Christ and represent him daily. There are also malevolent, twisted people who propagate their pablum to pad their pockets and mislead people, all under the guise of God and blessings.

The point is this: When you talk religion, you will hack off half the people in any room. And why? Because of the extremists. They exist in any religion, or lack thereof (I can think of a few Atheists that go way out of bounds).

MEMO to Farrakhan, while some televangelists and false prophets are creating a rouse to swindle money and fake healings, none of them got on a jet and killed thousands of people because they believed heaven was a place of vestal virgins waiting to congratulate them.

Do us all a favor? Go find a real cause and speak on that. Your support for the Ground Zero Mosque is about as inevitable as President Obama supporting one of your shindigs on the same day he is expected to have lunch with a gaggle of black pastors.

Moving on…

It all began with “The Passion of the Christ,” I suppose. And thank God it did.

Then, from the ashes of cutting floors everywhere sprouted wonderful films “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof” that did something most Christian movies didn’t – made Hollywood stand up and take notice.

Typically, and unfortunately, the term is “Christian movie” and not “movies that are Christian”. There is a difference because perception is reality and people determine that reality with their movie ticket. (Tell that to the makers of “The Omega Code“… woof!)

The Potter's House in Dallas, Bishop T. D. Jakes

If Jakes can fill this house weekly, a box office is far from unlikely

And now, comes the prolific Bishop T.D. Jakes – from preaching to writing to screenplays. Now, his movies are giving Hollywood pause, as seen in a recent article from the Christian Post:

Bishop T.D. Jakes is attempting to change the “Hollywood machine” – what has at times been considered a “tool of the devil” by Christians – into a platform to potentially reach millions of unchurched with Christian messages.

Jakes just completed shooting of his third film, “Jumping the Broom” described as “an upcoming faith and family movie that follows the clashing of two families from different backgrounds during a weekend wedding.”

Pastor of the more than 30,000-member church The Potter’s House, Jakes told The Christian Post that he was drawn to this film when he looked at the script and saw the many ways it speaks about bringing together people from different backgrounds.

The story about a husband and a wife from fictional Taylor and Watson families with divergent socioeconomic backgrounds is also a step – in the bishop’s mind – to de-alienate Christians from Hollywood. It’s a chance for Christians to get their message out through Hollywood’s “megaphone.”

Mel Gibson. Kirk Cameron. And Bishop T.D. Jakes?!

There’s a troika you wouldn’t expect, but it seems they have done the unthinkable – given Hollywood a little faith.

As a megachurch pastor, however, Jakes is looking for that “sweet spot” where he can find harmony between Hollywood’s definition of entertainment – where blood, gore and sex often overrule moral concern – and Christian, family values. “We are trying to find balance. I find that people, as a rule, don’t go to see films that are overtly medicinal. They really want to be entertained, so we are trying to find our sweet spot between entertainment and humor and message.”

A school of Christian fish. Classy.

WARNING: Certainly a bad driver

This is something so close to who I am in that an ichthus needs to stand for something more than shady business people, dolts looking for short cuts and manners that would Emily Post dog cuss your mama. Say what you will about the man, but his methods to bring awareness and glory for God is working.

“Christian movies” are largely considered to be cheap, poorly written, terribly acted and carries those three familiar words that most Christ followers have become accustomed, “Straight to DVD.”

Apparently, that’s the not the case any more. “Jumping the Broom” (which is slated for a Mother’s Day 2011 release) has an all-star cast featuring the incomparable Angela Bassett… and uh, a bunch of other folks whose name I don’t remember. (I’m so partial. Sue me.) Certainly, the script has dynamic possibilities. More importantly, there’s a cryptic message to be learned as well.

The term “Jumping the Broom” comes from slave wedding ceremonies that would offer both the husband and wife a chance for “Decision Making honors” in the home with a test of jumping height. Whoever wins, wins.

Such is life for what Bishop Jakes is trying to accomplish – let’s see if a “Christian movie” can jump high enough to capture box office supremacy for at least a week. It will create a buzz in Hollywood and could make the elite question what they do and how they do it.

Oh sure, the blood-gore-sex recipe will never fade, but possibly productions with a purpose can still make a profit. And let’s be honest, in that town, that’s the Gospel truth. Preach on, brother. Preach on.

Ramadan speeches. Clandestine trips to the Middle East. Fighting for Islamic equality.

Is it any secret that according to a recent Pew Research poll, 1 out of 5 Americans think Barack Obama is a Muslim? And if so, consider his middle name is Hussein and people in the country tend to be a skosh on the narrow-minded side of things.

What’s probably even more concerning is the amount of people in this country that can’t tell:

Alan Cooperman, associate director of research for the Pew Forum, says, “I think overall the picture that we see is of uncertainty and confusion about the president and religion.” Cooperman also says, “When we simply ask people, ‘Do you happen to know what is Barack Obama’s religion?’ it is only one-third of Americans who say he is a Christian. The largest single percentage, almost half of Americans, don’t know what religion he is.

The Graying of America

Being president can’t be easy, as seen by the rapid need for ‘Just for Men’ products on that cropped hair of his. Sure his teeth have gotten mysteriously whiter, but that head is becoming silver like the lining he keeps searching for on the clouds looming overhead.

But I digress… everyone wants to put him in a box. What side of the fence are you, Mr. President? What color are you, Mr. President? Where were you born, Mr. President? If you love the planet, you’ll get a hybrid… an American one, right Mr. President?

However, the one that has probably caused the most gray hairs high atop his afro is “What religion are you, Mr. President?”

This is a man whose trek to find a church became national headlines. As was his inability to find one. Sure, he says he is a Christian and many preachers vouch for the guy, but wouldn’t you fall in line with that one rudimentary principle in the Bible:

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:19-20 NKJV)

If you take this gig, you do so at your own peril. Everything you do will be under the microscope of American perception. So far, what has been perceived is the only fruits President Obama attracts are the ones who… ah, that’s too easy. Never mind, but you get the idea.

Jesus and President Obama - the odd couple?

Jesus is always looming over Obama's shoulder

Where is his prayer life taking him besides Martha’s Vineyard for some much needed R&R? Why does American media types only seem to catch him knee-deep in Arabic shawls and bowing to leaders of Middle Eastern nations? Other than Rick Warren at the inauguration, what relationship has this president had with the Christian population he so desperately tried to court in the election?

Ever since the kerfuffle about the Islamic activity center mosque place being suggested to be built around Ground Zero, this country has become the compass of the Church and demanding to see his “I got saved and baptized in the 80s” card.

Why? Or better yet, why now?

They lost interest years ago in his faith, but now that he seems to advocate an Imam with a death wish, inquiring (and narrow) minds want to know.

Of course, where the media is going for answers is rather obvious. No one is going to clown the president during a presser about the economy, so let’s ask someone who should know [cue CNN]:

Asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King if Franklin Graham had any doubts about Obama’s Christian faith, Graham, who has made controversial comments about Islam in the past, said the president’s background is fueling the false perception that he is a Muslim.

“I think the president’s problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name,” Graham said. “Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That is what he says he has done, I cannot say that he hasn’t. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said,” Graham continued.

Again with the “Perception is reality” card, Mr. President. Where is your fruit? Sitting in a bowl on the Resolute Desk? Somewhere in your chambers? Or are they seemingly like your Bible, resting comfortably in the rear windshield of your Suburban collecting dust?

The Christian Science Monitor recently wrote a great article about this very conundrum entitled “Why doesn’t Obama wear his religion on his sleeve?” In the article, it asks a question I dare you to answer objectively:

What will it take for President Obama to convince the world that he’s a Christian … or at least not a Muslim?

Is that his job? Really?

Isn’t he supposed to be about creating jobs for the 17 percent of Americans who either do not have a job or are egregiously underemployed? Isn’t the office of the President supposed to be about protecting our soldiers who fight for us to have this inane debate?

Then if that is so, does he really have to convince us of anything concerning faith? Sure, if it is determined that he is not saved and all he was doing was playing politics, then he’s a tool for lying to so many in the Body of Christ. However, that doesn’t affect his ability (or lack thereof) to govern. That rests in his resume post-election.

And if I was President Obama, I would be looking at that dimly scuttled portfolio and praying for results. See there? Fruit after all.