The conversion of Steve McQueen

Southern Gospel Yankee has an interesting account of how the late actor Steve McQueen(a.k.a. “the King of Cool”) became a Christian.  (The narrative is the familiar one of a flagrant sinner getting witnessed to, “accepting Christ,” and becoming a changed person.  The details, though, are intriguing.)

via Greater Grace: A Story of God, Redemption, and Steve McQueen | Southern Gospel Yankee.

 

HT:  Nicholas

Has the lost tribe of Mannaseh been found?

A tribal community in India that calls itself Bnei Menashe (Hebrew for “children of Mannaseh”) is claiming to be the the remnant of the Hebrew tribe of Mannaseh, one of the “lost tribes” that was taken into captivity by the Assyrians some 3000 years ago.  And the state of Israel is recognizing their legitimacy by according them the “right of return,” whereby all Jews are allowed to immigrate to Israel.  Some of the Bnei Menashe have moved to Israel, which some Christian groups are hailing as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.  See ‘Lost Tribe’s’ Return to Israel Fulfilling Prophecy? – Inside Israel – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com.

The tribe does seem to have some traditional songs and legends with echoes of the Exodus.  But according to the Wikipedia article, the Bnei Menashe are part of a larger tribal culture of animists and headhunters that converted to Christianity in the 19th century.   In 1951, a Pentecostalist preacher in the tribe said that he had a vision from God that the people should turn back to their ancient religion of Judaism.  (So do the Christians getting all excited about this believe that this was the work of the Holy Spirit?  Telling people to give up their Christianity?)  [Read more…]

The trillion dollar coin reconsidered

Here is a solution to our national debt problem that is  being floated seriously with various economists and Congressmen buying into it:  Mint a trillion dollar coin out of platinum (other metals have statutory limits on how much they can be worth) and put it in the bank.  We blogged about this idea during last year’s crisis, but it has come back, perhaps in a more sophisticated form.

Economist Joe Wiesenthal, in explaining the scheme, argues that the coin would not necessarily spark hyperinflation and other dangers of creating money from thin air as long as it is not plopped into the economy, but simply deposited into the Federal Reserve as a technical solution to the technical problem of the national debt limit, allowing the government to simply continue paying its bills as it has been.  (But if the government pays bills without either having money or incurring debt, won’t that still inject unbacked money into the economy with all of the consequent hyperinflation?)  Anyway, let’s let Wiesenthal have his say: [Read more…]

Atheist church

An Atheist church has opened in London:

Yesterday [January 6] saw the first ‘service’ of The Sunday Assembly, London’s first atheist church.

Priding itself on its tagline ‘live better, help often, wonder more,’ The Sunday Assembly is the brainchild of Sanderson Jones and musical comedian Pippa Evans, and aims to take the best things about religion and religious ceremonies, but to do it without all the god-talk. Or, as Sanderson himself has put it, it’s “a godless congregation that will meet on the first Sunday of every month to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life.”

The first ‘service’ was held yesterday morning at the deconsecrated church The Nave in north London, and featured a talk by children’s author Andy Stanton and was shaped around the theme ‘Beginnings’.

via Comedian Sanderson Jones opens ‘London’s first atheist church’ – TNT Magazine.

Do atheists believe in “the wonder of life” like religious people do?  I thought atheists are scientific, materialist reductionists who think everything has a rational explanation.  Anyway, it’s touching, though somewhat inexplicable, that some people like church as long as God is left out of it. [Read more…]

Protect our rights with a police state?

My colleague Mark Mitchell feels some cognitive dissonance with the NRA’s response to gun violence in schools:

NRA president Wayne LaPierre called for a new initiative to place policemen in every school in America. It’s curious that in attempting to defend one right, the consequence is a dramatically increased police force. While I am doubtful that limiting the sale of certain guns will have any dramatic impact of gun violence, it is disappointing (though perhaps not surprising) that the best the NRA leadership can do is propose more policemen. And why stop at one policeman per school? With the size of many public schools, one police officer is simply inadequate. An officer in every hall might be a better plan. In short, we need a police state to protect our right to own all the guns we want? That’s the best idea the NRA has?

via NRA Proposes More Policemen | Front Porch Republic.

The fines begin for Obamacare abortifacient mandate

The $100 per day, per employee, fines have gone into effect for employers that refuse to provide insurance that includes free contraception and abortion-causing drugs.

Churches are exempt, and non-profit religious organizations were granted a one-year reprieve, but companies owned by pro-life individuals must either comply or start paying the fines.

Meanwhile, court cases have ruled all over the map on this issue.  For where things stand now, see   Courts Issue Contradictory Rulings as Contracepti… | Christianity Today.


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