Thanks a lot, guy in the yellow shirt!
Thanks a lot, guy in the yellow shirt!
Wannabe cannibal children’s puppeteer planned to abduct, kill, and eat child:
The Christian Television Network kids program Joy Junction regularly featured Brown and his ventriloquist dummy “Marty,” who would warn about things like… pornography.
Brown, an active member of the Gulf Coast Church in Largo, and an accomplice, Michael Arnett, were planning to abduct a specific child who was a member of the church and who took part in Brown’s “Puppet Ministry Kidz Zone” youth ministry program.
Homeland Security agents who searched Brown’s home and tool shed yesterday discovered images of bound and gagged kids, photographs of dead children and a flier for a missing child.
Just goes to show how incredibly creepy puppeteers are.
All are via Christian Nightmares.
I often go back and forth on whether or not most people are complete idiots. I have an innate aversion to absolute conviction; if you are 100% sure about something and are getting all riled up about it, chances are that something is wrong with your thought process. If idiot preachers are so convinced of everyone else being idiots, why should I be immune from being similarly deluded?
I think that the answer is because I ask questions like that. Perhaps the essence of being an idiot is in not questioning your assumptions and thinking un-critically. Anyway, this is just a selection of stupid Christians:
Hell’s Bells: The Dangers of Rock ‘N’ Roll:
The whole series.
From Rabbi Rami:
“Paper?” I said.
“No thanks,” he said, “I never read the thing. When I want to know what’s going on in the world I turn to the only source you can trust, the Bible.”
“Fair and balanced,” I said smiling.
“Just and true,” he said, not smiling.
“Really?” I said. “The Bible keeps you up on the day’s news?”
“It tells me what’s really going on. You think those papers know anything? They distract you with the surface stuff, but the real news is that Jesus is coming back and soon. All these wars and the debt ceiling are just signs of the Apocalypse. The world comes to an end December 21, 2012.”
“That may be,” I said, “but that isn’t in the Bible, that’s the Mayans.”
“The Mayans were Jews who came here before Jesus, and Jesus came to them and gave them their calendar and told them and us when the world was going to end and when he was coming back.”
“That may be,” I said, “but that isn’t in the Bible, that’s sort of from the Book of Mormon.”
“I don’t know about Mormons, but I know about the Bible. December 21, 2012—the end. But you know that don’t you?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re the rabbi. I’ve seen your picture in the paper.”
“I thought you didn’t read…”
“You know Jesus is coming back and you’re doing everything you can to stop it.”
“You and all the other Jews who deny the Lord.”
“That’s pretty much all of us,” I said. “In fact, in American today, that pretty much defines what it means to be a Jew: we are just like you except we deny the Lord.” I was trying to bond with this guy, and failing miserably.
“Damn straight. You know you can’t stop him, and he is going to kill you all. All but some who will go to Israel to welcome him and worship him.”
“144,000,” I said.
“That’s right. Why don’t you want to be among them?”
“What makes you think I don’t want to be among them?” I said.
“Well, you’re sitting here in IHOP rather than in Jerusalem. He won’t come until all you Jews move to Israel.”
“Where he will kill us.”
“Yeah, but only if you don’t accept him as your Lord and Savior.”
“And that is going to happen on December 12, 2012? What about the pastor who says it’s going to happen on October 21, 2011.”
“He doesn’t know his Bible,” he said.
“Maybe he does. Maybe he knows it better. Maybe he’s just not a Mayan Mormon like you.”
Harold Camping and Family Radio sure don’t lack for commitment. They have maintained a fleet of 25 vans stuffed with volunteers roaming the country since at least last September. As 21 May rapidly approaches, I can’t help but wonder what is going through the minds of Family Radio followers. One thing I don’t really get is how in the Dicken’s he attracted so many followers; his voice is a long, droning monotone and he seems to be completely lacking in anything resembling charisma. Also, he is anything but a spring chicken. What’s his secret?
Barbara Hagerty from NPR reports:
“I no longer think about 401(k)s and retirement,” he says. “I’m not stressed about losing my job, which a lot of other people are in this economy. I’m just a lot less stressed, and in a way I’m more carefree.”
He’s tried to warn his friends and family. They think he’s crazy. And that saddens him.
“Oh, it’s very hard,” he says. “I worry about friends and family and loved ones. But I guess more recently, I’m just really looking forward to it.”
Haubert is 33 and single. Brown is married with several young children, and none of them shares his beliefs. It’s caused a rift with his wife — but he says that, too, was predicted in the Bible.
“God says, ‘Do you love husband or wife over me? Do you love son or daughter over me?’ There is a test. There is a trial here that the believers are going through. It’s a fiery trial.”
As May 21 nears, Brown says he feels as if he’s on a “roller coaster.” What if he is raptured but his family is left behind?
“I’m crying over my loved ones one minute; I’m elated the next minute,” he says. “It’s all over the place.”
Harold Camping, the network’s 89-year-old founder, has been interpreting the Bible on the air for years. He says that everyone knows there would be a judgment day at some point.
“We just happen to be in that time in history,” he said in an interview. “And whether we like it or not, we’re here.”
Camping’s predictions have inspired other groups to rally behind the May 21 date. People have quit their jobs and left their families to get the message out.
“Knowing the date of the end of the world changes all your future plans,” says 27-year-old Adrienne Martinez.
She thought she’d go to medical school, until she began tuning in to Family Radio. She and her husband, Joel, lived and worked in New York City. But a year ago, they decided they wanted to spend their remaining time on Earth with their infant daughter.
“My mentality was, why are we going to work for more money? It just seemed kind of greedy to me. And unnecessary,” she says.
And so, her husband adds, “God just made it possible — he opened doors. He allowed us to quit our jobs, and we just moved, and here we are.”
Now they are in Orlando, in a rented house, passing out tracts and reading the Bible. Their daughter is 2 years old, and their second child is due in June. Joel says they’re spending the last of their savings. They don’t see a need for one more dollar.
“You know, you think about retirement and stuff like that,” he says. “What’s the point of having some money just sitting there?”
“We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left,” Adrienne adds.
Nothing, except for the fervent hope that all of them will be raptured.
Camping is not the first person to fix a date for the end of the world. There have been dozens of such prophets, and so far, they’ve all been wrong.
Camping himself, has had to do some recalculation. He first predicted the end would come Sept. 6, 1994. He now explains that he had not completed his biblical research.
“For example, I at that time had not gone through the book of Jeremiah,” he explains, “which is a big book in the Bible that has a whole lot to say about the end of the world.”
So he’s not planning for May 22?
“Absolutely not,” Camping says. “It is going to happen, There is no Plan B.”
I’ve asked a dozen of Camping’s followers the same question. Everyone said even entertaining the possibility that May 21 would come and go without event is an offense to God. They all hope they’ll be raptured. Some worry about being left behind.
“If I’m here on May 22, and I wake up, I’m going to be in hell,” says Brown. “And that’s where I don’t want to be. So there is going to be a May 22, and we don’t want to be here.”
Be sure to tune in on the 21st!
EDIT: The quote, “If I’m here on May 22, and I wake up, I’m going to be in hell” is both interesting and sad. Whether or not he is right about the end of the world, he will be in some kind of hell on 22 May. Family Radio radio is starting to get really interesting with people calling in with practical questions about what to do as the End comes closer.
To put it crudely, if Christianity is a fantasy religion, then Judaism is a science fiction religion. If the former is individualistic, magical, and salvationist, the latter is collective, technical, and this-worldly. Judaism’s divine drama is connected with a specific people in a specific place within a specific history. Its halakhic core is not, I think, convincingly represented in fantasy allegory. In its rabbinic elaboration, even the messianic idea is shorn of its mythic and apocalyptic potential. Whereas fantasy grows naturally out of Christian soil, Judaism’s more adamant separation from myth and magic render classic elements of the fantasy genre undeveloped or suspect in the Jewish imaginative tradition. Let us take two central examples: the magical world and the idea of evil.
Christianity has a much more vivid memory and even appreciation of the pagan worlds which preceded it than does Judaism. Neither Canaanite nor Egyptian civilizations exercise much fascination for the Jewish imagination, and certainly not as a place of enchantment or escape. In contrast, the Christian imagination found in Lewis and Tolkien often moves, like Beowulf or Sir Gawain, through an older pagan world in which spirits of place and mythical beings are still potent. Nor is this limited to fauns and elves. This anterior world can be dark and frighteningly alien, as Tolkien has Gandalf indicate in The Two Towers. “Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves,” the wizard says, “the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not.” Lewis sounds the same note in Perelandra when, far below the surface of the planet Venus, his protagonist catches an unsettling glimpse of alien creatures, and wonders if there might be “some way to renew the old Pagan practice of propitiating the local gods of unknown places in such fashion that it was no offence to God Himself but only a prudent and courteous apology for trespass.”