Lawsuit over the Statue of Liberty

You know the  “forever” stamp with a closeup of the face of the Statue of Liberty?  A few years ago, there was a bit of controversy when it was discovered that the image on the stamp is not of the Lady Liberty who presides over the harbor at New York City.  Rather, it is a copy of the cheesy fake statue at the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas!

That’s bad enough.  But now the sculptor is suing the US Postal Service for copyright infringement and may be entitled to royalties for every stamp sold (which comes to 4 billion).  In his lawsuit, the artist, Robert S. Davidson, claims that he “brought a new face to the iconic statue — a face which audiences found appeared more ‘fresh-faced,’ ‘sultry’ and ‘even sexier’ than the original.”  Maybe Mr. Davidson should pay a royalty for plagiarizing–if not vandalizing–the national monument!  Read about the case and compare the images after the jump. [Read more…]

“The Lord sustains my life”

A Nigerian ship sank to the bottom of the Atlantic.  Three days later, divers went down to recover the bodies.  As a diver reached out to a floating hand, the hand grabbed him.  A man survived, thanks to an air pocket and a bottle of Coke.  And, of course, God.  All through his ordeal, he was praying the Psalm, texted to him by his wife:  “Oh God, by your name, save me. … The Lord sustains my life.”

After the jump, read the details and watch the dramatic video of the rescue, which includes the hand and the diver’s reaction when it grabs him. [Read more…]

Man as hybrid of chimp and pig

A prominent evolutionary scientist, Dr. Eugene M. McCarthy, is advancing a new theory about the origins of man.  He says that while it is true that a chimpanzee is our closest genetic relative, human beings have characteristics that are unlike any other primate.  For example, we lack the hairy hide of chimps and instead have just plain skin; under that skin, we have a layer of subcutaneous fat, whereas you never see an obese chimp; we have a protuding nose, whereas an ape’s nose is flat; and there are scores of other differences.  Dr. McCarthy postulates that human beings may be a hybrid of two different kinds of animal.  The animal that has those other characteristics–skin, fat, protuding nose, etc.– is the pig. [Read more…]

What’s the matter with kids these days?

My former student Brett Harris shows that he was paying attention when our literature class studied irony.  But notice his overall point:

Young people have absolutely NOTHING to offer. The sooner they realize this and stop trying to do grownup stuff the better for everyone.

For example, this 13-year-old girl got so overwhelmed visiting a neonatal unit in Kenya that she ran outside and passed out!

LET’S FACE IT: Young people are too incompetent and irresponsible to make a difference in the world. They should focus on staying entertained and out of the way.

Unfortunately, this girl didn’t learn her lesson the first time. [Read more…]

Charismatic sacrament, charismatic liturgy

Charismatic Christians consider “praise and worship songs” to be, in effect, sacramental, bringing worshippers into the presence of God.  So observes Matthew Sigler, who supports this tradition.  Furthermore, he says, the music and other features of contemporary worship, as the Charismatics devised it, unfolds in a specific sequence according to a theological model.  That is (in my words), it is liturgical.  Problems come, he says, when non-Charismatic Christians lift this music and these worship practices outside of their original context, borrowing them while leaving behind the theology and “pneumatology” that goes with them.

So worship implies a theology, and theology is embodied in worship.  And you can’t just mix and match.  It’s illuminating to hear this from a Charismatic perspective.  And it is both illuminating and ironic to hear an advocate of  contemporary worship (because of his Charismatic theology) agree with us advocates of traditional liturgy (because of our Lutheran theology).  The link and an excerpt after the jump. [Read more…]

Government crack down on music teachers

The Federal Trade Commission is bringing to bear its anti-trust, anti-price-fixing powers against the Robber Barons who give little kids piano lessons. [Read more…]