Catholic Diocese Hopes to Reach Teens with “Urban Feel” of Hip-Hop Catechism

It might sound like a Stephen Colbert “aging pundit tries to appeal to young viewers with cringe-worthy attempts to prove he gets them” skit, but it’s not.

The West Virginia Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has a project with the edgy name of VCAT — Video Catechism — aimed at the young ‘uns. The goal is “to effectively reach this generation of teens with the richness and beauty of [the] Catholic faith.” Since teens “consume… a staggering” amount of media each day, much of it video, the messages are video-based.

If the name doesn’t win back the young, erstwhile Catholic demographic, the content is sure to make an impression. Content like one of the latest VCAT productions: a hip-hop video catechism called “Love God/Love Each Other” written by youth icon and Franciscan University Professor Bob Rice.

Explaining the purpose of this and other VCAT productions, he states

What we are doing with these 18 videos is show young people that the commandments of God actually set us free and don’t restrict us.

While that may be their intent, it seems like an overly optimistic goal considering the production in question.

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Ohio House Bill Would Undermine the Teaching of Evolution

Ohio’s House Bill 597 would amend existing education law to include this bit about science:

The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and encourage students to analyze, critique, and review, in an objective manner, the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the standards.

That’s all code for “teach kids that evolution is questioned by credible scientists”… which it’s not.

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Pastor Won’t Swallow Starbucks’ Gay Propaganda, Spits That Its Lattes Contain the “Semen of Sodomites”

We’ve met Harlem Pastor James David Manning before, back when he warned African-American women that “white homos” will take their men, and when he wished cancer, syphilis, HIV, and hellfire on gay-rights supporters.

Manning still isn’t taking his meds, I guess. If you thought his previous rants were bizarre, well, you ain’t heard nothing yet.

This week, the good pastor released a video in which he warns that Starbucks coffees are flavored with the “semen of sodomites.” Apparently, that’s a reference to a new ad for the coffee peddler in which two drag artists perform: American Idol star Adore Delano and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio.

The commercial was too much for Manning, who appears to be fighting against man-on-man action with the same hotblooded zeal that distinguished totally straight folks like Pastor Ted Haggard and the Reverend George Rekers.

This is how he came to learn — and broadcast — the truth about Semengate:

Pastor James David Manning, of the ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem, claimed last week that Starbucks was “ground zero” for Ebola, which is being spread by “upscale sodomites.” His remarks sparked a protest in which gay rights advocates handed out free coffee outside his church — which has provoked Manning into another attack on Starbucks.

He said in [a subsequent] video rant: “They had a big bucket of Starbucks coffee. They said that this church is a hate church, and that I’m a hate preacher.”

Citing a satirical news report — which he appeared to take seriously — Manning said: “Starbucks is a place where these types frequent and a lot of body fluids are exchanged there.”

Then it gets, I dunno, almost weird. Watch and listen:

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A Christian’s Plea to Get Her Community to Stand Up for Atheists

Rebecca Florence Miller, one of the evangelical Christian bloggers on Patheos, recently got in a conversation with a bunch of atheists (on this site, I believe), and came away with a few important conclusions:

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Why These Ex-Muslims Critique Islam, and Why They’re Fed Up With “Relativist Liberals” Who “Pretend We Don’t Exist”

This is a commentary written by members of the Council of ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB). It addresses an opinion piece by Andrew Brown in the Guardian headlined “Why I don’t believe people who say they loathe Islam but not Muslims.”

As ex-Muslims, we critique Islam because there are many aspects of Islam that need to be critiqued. In particular, we seek to oppose Islam’s apostasy codes, which are oppressive and lead to persecution.

We have found it is quite difficult to get some people to listen to our stories because they fear that acknowledging these issues will contribute to a critical view towards Islam.

The idea is that particularly reactionary teachings and aspects of belief that lead to critical judgements of Islam are in and of themselves prejudiced. The resulting logic of this is that Islam should have special privileges, inasmuch as basic human conscience and ethical critical judgement of people living in a secular culture should not apply, or be expressed, towards Islam.

The fact that criticism exists is the offense.

Effectively, this is to propose a kind of proxy blasphemy code and apostasy code, wherein the liberal secular space defers to Islamic taboos. Dissenting Muslims and ex-Muslims have to conform to these proxy codes too. Everyone else is free to critique their own religion, and other faiths and ideas too. But Islam must be protected.

However, Muslims are free to critique all religions, belief systems and moralities, because evangelizing Islam, and proffering critique and judgment is not only a divine prerogative, but the closing down of ethical, critical judgment towards Islam is also a divine right.

As we can see, this is an ethical and moral mess.

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