RNB QuickLinks: a compendium of blurbs and links to, for the most part, religion-related stories you may have missed — be it on purpose or otherwise.
Some of what follows is serious, some less so.
Da Vinci Code Stabbing
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Father Canio Canistri, 68, was among three people attacked by knifeman Marco Luzi, 25, after he burst into the church following a screening of Dan Brown’s blockbuster.
Police who searched Luzi’s house and found a picture of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper – a vital part of the plot.”
The Church Around The Corner
A pastor in Frankfort, Ky., was arrested for bringing poisonous snakes into the church service.
Not the excitement they were hoping for.
“A pair of peeping-Toms hoping to get an illicit look at a group of women at a mosque in Saudi Arabia got a beating instead.
A group of Saudi women beat two young men who sneaked into a mosque in the northwestern city of Hail to watch women praying during the taraweeh, a nightly prayer recited during Ramadan, the Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh reported on Sunday.”
Is English law related to Muslim law?
“[D]oes English law really owe a debt to Muslim law?
For some scholars, a historical connection to Islam is a “missing link” that explains why English common law is so different from classical Roman legal systems that hold sway across much of the rest of Europe.
It’s a controversial idea. Common law has inspired legal systems across the world. What’s more, calls for the UK to accommodate Islamic Sharia law have caused public outcry.”
“Thus, computer systems will have greater opportunity to learn from the collective behavior of billions of humans. They will get smarter, gleaning relationships between objects, nuances, intentions, meanings, and other deep conceptual information. Today’s Google search uses an early form of this approach, but in the future many more systems will be able to benefit from it.”
Puzzling Scientology Quote of the Day
“It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the similarities between Disney publicity and the Church of Scientology”
– Jeffrey Wells, in his review of Miracle at St. Anna.
Church of England claims Halloween is ‘similar’ to Christmas Eve
“A website created by the Church claims that the event, which is based on a pagan celebration and has no Biblical basis, represents “light coming in the darkness” similar to the arrival on Earth of Jesus Christ.
It is part of a campaign by clergy to stop the spread of the secular American interpretation of Hallowe’en that sees children dress in horror masks and demand “trick or treat” from neighbours, and revive its Christian meaning of a commemoration of saints.”
Having apparently finished spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or — who knows — doing the stuff: such as feeding the hungry and taking care of the poor, the Church of England now appears to have lots of time on its hands for such important issues as speaking out on Halloween, apologizing to Darwin, and praising Catholic saints:
“The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has held up a Roman Catholic saint as an inspiration to the faithful, in a ground breaking visit to the shrine of Lourdes. Dr Williams said the story of Bernadette Soubirous, the 19th century peasant girl whose visions of Mary led to the founding of the shrine, provided hope for those who were attempting to spread the Christian faith.”
Meanwhile, Muslims are picking up the crusade for Creationism. No apologies to Darwin here:
“Fundamentalist Christians in America are not the only ones leading a crusade against Darwin. Creationism and “intelligent design” are becoming increasingly popular among Turkey’s Muslims, too.”
Gospel Golden Oldie
Andrae Crouch at Amazon.com
Real Estate Problems
A millionaire businessman from Nottinghamshire, England, has said ghosts forced him to flee his 52-room mansion. Mr Rashid claimed that during the eight months the family lived there they were haunted by mysterious figures and found unexplained blood stains on bedclothes. He called in paranormal investigators and said he stopped paying the mortgage as a last resort.
The Ugliest Baby Jesus
We bet this is the ugliest ‘Baby Jesus’ you’ve ever seen.
If The World Could Vote?
Three guys from Iceland wanted to know who would be the next president of the United States of America – if the world could vote.
(Our view: the last time Christians voted for someome merely because he claimed to be a ‘Christian’ America ended up with someone who engaged in illegal warfare (on the basis of lies) while suggesting he did so under God’s guidance and with God’s blessing, promoted torture (while calling it something else), and trampled human rights in many other ways – for instance by virtually destroying people’s right to privacy.
One would want to ask those who voted on the basis of his professed faith: are you any better of today than you were before you helped elect that man?)
Obama, Satan, and Oprah
Cristian News Wire will apparently distribute anyone’s ‘religious content press release’ — for a price. That’s how we learned that “Barack Obama is directly linked to Satanic teachings through his close association with Oprah Winfrey”. (And yes, we put ‘nofollow’ tags on those links).
When we checked just now, Google News listed 502 stories for the keywords “Wall Street” and “praying”.
With a pillar of American power — its financial leadership — so badly shaken, there was a certain satisfaction among some of the attendees that the Bush administration, which had long lectured other nations about the benefits of unfettered markets, was now rejecting its own medicine by proposing a major bailout of financial firms.
“What you are seeing here is the letting off of some political steam,” said Mark Malloch Brown, a British cabinet minister and former senior United Nations official. “They are all remembering the very hard, unforgiving advice that they got from American financial institutions” to “deflate your economy, let your banks go to the wall,” he said. “There is a resentment at what they would see as a further evidence of double standards.”
The General Assembly has long served as a handy megaphone for American foes like Fidel Castro of Cuba or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran — who this year delivered his standard diatribe against the evils of America and Zionism. The extraordinary nature of the outpouring on Tuesday, however, was that it came from some of America’s closest allies and trading partners — not from those the United States would label political outcasts, but from mainstream countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Double standards? Employed by America? Say it isn’t so! Alas, this has been the case not just when it has to clean up the mess left behind by unrestrained greed. Under the leadership of an allegedly ‘Christian’ president double standards have also been employed when it comes to illegal warfare, torture, and human rights.
Prayer is called for indeed.
And finally…. here are the 10 most-recently uploaded photos of Church Signs uploaded to Flickr: