7 things @ 9 o’clock (10.25)

1. Franklin Graham really doesn’t know how to party:

A major celebration is planned next month for the 95th birthday of the Rev. Billy Graham.

Graham’s son Franklin said Tuesday that between 600 and 700 people have been invited to the Nov. 7, party in Asheville, N.C. The Rev. Franklin Graham says among the invitees are President Bill Clinton, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and real estate mogul Donald Trump. The elder Graham will attend, but won’t give a speech.

Donald Trump? Nothing honors the legacy of a great evangelist more than inviting a pompous, racist, philandering billionaire to his 95th birthday party.

See also: “Tea Party Kills Billy Graham

“God Calls Samuel,” from the Taize Picture Bible, which Rachel Marie Stone rightly calls, “The Stunningly Illustrated Children’s Bible That Should Still Be in Print (But Isn’t).” (Click pic for link.)

2. After emergency heart surgery, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe remains stupid and cruel: “The 79-year-old senator is apparently unaware that millions of people his age are using government-run healthcare systems called Medicare and the Veterans Administration; doctors have so far withheld that information as he is still recovering from heart surgery.”

3. Christians might seem less dishonest if they stopped referring to things that are not abortifacients as “abortifacients.” Not lying is always a good way to appear less dishonest.

4. Meliorism! “I am surrounded by the 21st century, and I just don’t want to live in it. That’s nuts.”

5. Al Mohler predicts that Mormons and Southern Baptists “may go to jail together.” He is unable to articulate any specific reason why this might be true.

Mohler’s theory, apparently, is that one day, perhaps, an obsessive need to perceive oneself as beleaguered, aggrieved and “persecuted” will be grounds for actual persecution. Or something.

All Al Mohler is really sure about is that gays are getting married and that upsets him so much that you might as well just throw him in jail. And the Mormons, too, I guess.

6. At Think Progress, Scott Keyes reports on “The Most Innovative Homeless Service You’ve Never Heard Of.”

An innovative program from San Francisco is changing the game with a simple idea: bring all the service providers under one roof for an all-day fair.

Project Homeless Connect (PHC) began in 2004 under then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. If someone doesn’t have an ID for a bus pass, she doesn’t have to schlep across town to get one and come back tomorrow, because the DMV has a booth set up at the event. She doesn’t need to sign up for an appointment with a doctor or optometrist or dentist weeks in advance; she can walk up and be seen immediately. It’s a one-stop homeless shop, and it’s helped over 70,000 people in San Francisco alone over the last decade.

This is something other cities and communities could replicate. And there’s plenty of ways that churches, ministries and other faith-based agencies could contribute.

7.Do not take vaccines if you’ve chosen to die from the mumps.”

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  • James M

    “Mohler’s theory, apparently, is that one day, perhaps, an obsessive need
    to perceive oneself as beleaguered, aggrieved and “persecuted” will be
    grounds for actual persecution. Or something.”

    ## Catholics are not proof against such fantasies, sad to say. It is very sad that Christians go on like this – they really do not know how well-off they are. I find that very annoying, for all sorts of reasons. They do not know what persecution is.

  • smrnda

    I wonder what they based that friendship on. I know Hunter S Thompson was into guns, and as a paleo-conservative, perhaps that’s a point common between them?

  • smrnda

    I suspect the view of the OT comes from a very different view of scripture between Jews and Christians. The ‘sola scriptura’ approach that emerged from the Reformation would kind of imply that the entire Bible, unfiltered, *IS* a perfect moral and spiritual commentary, rather than something that can only be understood through the context of history and tradition.

  • James M

    The Elves did not turn up at Helm’s Deep – despite PJ. Halbarad Dunadan, a kinsman of Aragorn, did. Aragorn’s crown is explicitly said by Tolkien to have been modelled on a (Second Age) Numenorean war-helm, but PJ did not give Aragorn a Numenorean war-helm; because Aragorn is being portrayed as a second Elendil (just as the fall of Sauron & the Barad-dur is described in words that recall the fall of Numenor, from which Elendil came to Middle-Earth). So PJ should have. PJ missed a Lampshade.

    Shelob was nicely done, though – likewise Hobbiton & the Grey Havens. And PJ’s invention of the scene in the snow in which Boromir picks up the Ring, though well-nigh impossible, was admirable.

  • JessicaR

    It’s really fascinating how the filmmakers realize women have sex drives and a not insignificant portion of us have it bad for Hemsworth, which is a round about way of saying, I’m right with you girl, http://polyhymnia.tumblr.com/post/64985194189/marielikestodraw-what-even-is-this-im

  • James M

    One source [who? - IDK] claims that HP has 700 characters. If one includes all the characters at a Quidditch Match, including at least 200 Slytherins/their supporters, Hogwarts may have close to 800 students. That doesn’t include centaurs (c. 50 ?), giants, people in Hogsmeade, Mer-people, Death Eaters, & “others”

    Definitely a Doorstopper.

    Tolkien has about 700 characters from the Sil to TLOTR inclusive (not including UT & HoME).

  • MarkTemporis

    I highly doubt it.
    Monica was probably a better conversationalist, even with the obvious limitations.

  • Matthias

    To me it is not a binary question, not-love is not equal to hate. Apathy is just as much not love as hatred for if you love someone or something you don’t feel apathetic about it, Ignorance is not love, fear is not love, pride is not love and excluding someone for not meeting certain standards isn’t love either.

  • Jenny Islander

    The Mouth of Sauron was not actually a huge hideous mangled mouth in a helmet, he was an ordinary man who looked a lot like Aragorn, to hammer home the point that Sauron’s subject lands included huge chunks of country inhabited by Men of the West (and IIRC formerly part of the same kingdom as Gondor). The Oliphaunts were not eleventy feet tall, extra spiky, and capable of super speed. The Fellowship that walked the Paths of the Dead did not have to crunch along over a landslide made of human skulls. Also, goblins are not cockroaches. Basically the parts that really torque me off consist of Peter Jackson forgetting that he wasn’t making a gross-out monster movie.

    But the scenes with the Balrog were epic, Hobbiton was pitch-perfect, I loved the Ents from “HOOM-hom” right through “RELEASE THE RIVERRRR!”, and Eowyn slaying the Witch-King was AWESOME. (And what happened right afterward hurt my heart.) And there are some really good invented scenes. Even though I’ve seen it more times than I can count, I still drop everything for the lighting of the beacons–it makes me tear up every time. Arwen using her elven powers to watch over Aragorn while he is hundreds of miles away is a graceful realization of Tolkien’s own background work. And that bit toward the end, where the Hobbits who saved the entire Shire are meeting quietly over a pint or so and the big news in the pub is somebody’s record-breaking pumpkin? Just right.

  • Turcano

    Well, and booze. That and both people were able to put their respective political views aside.

  • themunck

    Denmark too. One of the reasons I’m scared of going to the US alone.

  • Turcano

    My major complaint is that Peter Jackson seemed intent on making just about every character an asshole and/or comic relief; this is followed by pacing and tone issues and a relative lack of narrative focus.

  • reynard61

    “Donald Trump? Nothing honors the legacy of a great evangelist more than inviting a pompous, racist, philandering billionaire to his 95th birthday party.”

    The Rev. Franklin Graham says among the invitees are (…) former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

    Then again, nothing also honors the legacy of a great evangelist more than inviting a pompous, blathering, failed-politician-turned-talking-head etc., etc.

    So, yeah; just one more step toward the utter destruction of his father’s good (for the moderately conservative Evangelical value of “good”) name and reputation.

    Stay classy, Frankie…

  • reynard61

    Careful, I’m sure that there are quite a few people out there who would take that as an invitation! (Or even a *challenge!*) Best wishes to you and your “bride”/”groom”!

  • reynard61

    As long as they think it’ll give them whatever perceived political advantage they’re looking for.

  • reynard61


    ‘Nuff said.

  • reynard61

    How about *not* posting “Wanted” posters of doctors (that often include home addresses and/or phone numbers) on the Internet, and actively discouraging those who do? (And reporting them to Law Enforcement if they persist in doing so.)

  • Ygorbla

    Some of the visuals just didn’t work. The part I found most amusing: When the ring is destroyed and the Lidless Eye of Sauron begins to fall, it sort of looks frantically back and forth as it does, kind of like it’s telegraphing “I don’t like where this is going!”

    I couldn’t avoid bursting out laughing at the scene.

    (Also, the lava looked cartoonishly fake and everything around it looked blatantly bluescreened.)

  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    And even if they did know for a fact that he was gay, they had no way of knowing what “lifestyle” he was leading. He could be saving himself for gay marriage for all they know. They went straight (see what I did there?) from “he must be gay” to “OMG he’s living that horrid sinful gay lifestyle!”

  • Carstonio

    Even if it turned out that orientation were a choice, that choice would still be no one else’s business. No one has a right to an opinion about the sexual orientations of other consenting adults.

  • Carstonio

    Sure, except that homophobes usually believe that committed same-sex relationships are nonexistent.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I wonder how they’d react if Joe Taxpayer told them that he couldn’t support their church anymore because his religion finds Christianity reprehensible.

  • tricksterson

    Can I assume by that he meant “Men fill ‘manly’ roles” and “women fill ‘womanly’ roles” and any deviation from the norm is verboten?

  • tricksterson

    My problem isn’t that Elves showed up but that no Dwarves did. Blatant racism.

  • The_L1985


    SO DO MY neighbors, SO DO MY friends. Anal sex isn’t just for gay men, because we all have anuses.

  • The_L1985

    Is it wrong that my brain is filling in the asterisks with “Jacob Jingleheimer-Smith?”?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    If it’s a pseudonym in honor of Jenkins that person shows a pretty amazing understanding of his naming customs.

  • The_L1985

    For me, it depends on one thing: Do the changes make the movie better, or worse? I’ll use the most recent Narnia films as an example.

    In TLtWatW, we get one sentence of exposition in Chapter One: “This is a story of something that happened when they were sent away from London because of the air-raids.” A kid in 1949 would understand that reference. A kid in the 21st century probably won’t, so the film includes a nice little intro that illustrates what that would mean (and IMO, enhances the film).

    In Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the changes tend, by and large, to be horrible. At least the BBC version had the decency to realize that you do not change Dream Island. Ever. At all. For any reason. (Also, I am still very angry that nobody has made The Horse and His Boy, one of my favorite children’s books, into a film. But no, they’ve always got to go by publication order.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    I kind of figure Disney’s waiting till the actors playing the Pevensies in the earlier books are grown enough to play the Pevensies in The Horse and His Boy.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I was NOT enthused about the Dawn Treader changes m’self. I really hope they get the Silver Chair to the big screen, but I worry they’ll change THAT, too.

  • The_L1985

    It’s like that in a lot of states too. Florida, for certain. But the problem is that “community service” doesn’t necessarily imply that they will learn from it.

  • The_L1985

    *shrugs* I’d always envisioned a sort of multi-Heaven, where you can travel to visit other people’s heavens if you want. Kind of like how Narnian-Heaven is connected to England-Heaven in the ONE GOOD SCENE from The Last Battle.

  • The_L1985

    I hope so. I want that to be a movie so very badly.

  • dpolicar

    (shrug) I’m sincerely afraid, on some level, that every car on the road is going to intentionally swerve and crash into me… even when I’m walking on the sidewalk.

    Of course, that isn’t going to happen, and I know that. I’ve got some kind of post-traumatic phobic thing going on. I expect this sort of thing is pretty common… not traffic per se, but some kind of irrational fear response to something.

    Knowing that doesn’t necessarily make me less afraid, though it sometimes encourages me to take steps to alleviate that fear.

    But it does stop me from acting as though other people were obligated to change their driving habits for my sake.

    I expect the same consideration from others.

  • The_L1985

    But is his name my name too?

  • Jenny Islander

    Yes, I wasn’t going to touch the “Instead of a burnt, horrible figure with one lidless eye, I’m a gargantuan eyeball that has a burnt, horrible figure inside if you look reeeeeal close, and also I work just like a searchlight.”

    But. BUT BUT BUT. Have you read The Silmarillion? If you haven’t, all you need to know for this next bit is that Tolkien describes the creation of Middle-Earth and the corruption thereof as a literal war of song. The theme of Morgoth’s side is described as loud, brassy, and repetitive. Meanwhile the good side is creating all kinds of beautiful and complex music. And–this is the part that drives Morgoth absolutely spare–every time he thinks he’s drowning out those namby-pamby good Valar, his music is taken up, woven into their themes, and made beautiful.

    Got that in mind? Okay? Good. Now find “Mordor’s Theme” on a soundtrack CD or in one of the parts of the DVDs that shows Mordor’s mighty armies, such as when Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are spying on the Black Gate, or just search on Youtube. Dahhh, DAAAAAHHH, dahhh, da-da-daaahhh, dahhh, DAAAAAHHH, da-da-dahhhh.

    Now go to the DVD of ROTK and turn up the volume. Fast forward to the part where the Dark Tower is falling. Listen closely. It’s just six notes.

    Howard Shore is a genius. And he was paying attention.

  • Donalbain

    I detest tipping in all its forms. I hate the relationship I feel it sets up between me and the person I am tipping.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Not surprised. As has been written by the author of the no-tips restaurant, being thought of as a bad tipper can lead to in some cases noticeably worse service.

    In one case, I was in a restaurant and I knew I would be there for some time. It was almost a teeth-pulling exercise to get my tea refilled, etc, so I finally decided to ask for the bill early, purposely put a 25% tip on, and after that it was like “more hot water?” without me even needing to raise my hand.

  • Donalbain

    When I tip, I feel I have been placed in a position of unearned authority. I feel it sets up a master/servant relationship that I feel very uncomfortable with. I think that is one of the reasons why in the classic British social situation, the pub, we disguise the process of tipping in the way that we do.

  • Aine

    It is really symptomatic of the historical ignorance of many Christians. “Pharisees” are mentioned in the NT a number of times, often in conjunction with difficult questions- there’s one about divorce, one about the lawfulness of paying taxes to the Romans, for example- which were interpreted by the writers of the Gospels, and currently many Christians, as attempts to “trick” Jesus and get him in trouble with the law.
    I’ve also read some religious historians pointing out that it was very likely that Jesus was a Pharisee and that many of his teachings were in line with their concerns and debates.

    Too many Christians don’t bother studying anything beyond the actual scriptures and think they have all the details needed to understand the history around them.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I feel something contrasting with this. I have very little money and am very conscious of this in others. I know too often that restaurants stiff their employees for tips. When I see prices that seem a little too reasonable, I want to tip the restaurant directly to make up a perceived difference. This potted crab pushes others up on its shoulders.

  • Alex Harman

    While it wouldn’t be remotely sexy (there are no circumstances under which Al Mohler would be remotely sexy), a ball gag would be a dramatic improvement over letting the idiot talk.

  • Alex Harman

    I liked the film of Prince Caspian a lot better than the book, but I think the series jumped the shark when Disney took over from Warner Bros. Voyage of the Dawn Treader was a huge, steaming mess.

  • aunursa

    Bill Clinton doesn’t strike me as the type of person who would try to show someone up, and certainly not at that type of event. I think that the conversation between them would be quite stimulating (no sexual pun intended.)

  • aunursa

    I deliberately saw each movie before I read the book. I didn’t want to know what was going to happen in each movie. That also meant that I couldn’t be disappointed by any differences between Tolkien and Jackson.

  • Sereg

    “I am surrounded by the 21st century, and I just don’t want to live in it. That’s why I joined the SCA!.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    *Snirk* But even the SCA (at least in An Tir) is happy to make use of 21st century innovations! I don’t think I’d go to events if they weren’t going to let us use porta-potties. :p

  • Naomi

    Minneapolis has had a PHC since 2005, and I’ve volunteered several times. They decided at some point that having a bunch of service providers together in one place was something that should exist all the time, rather than just twice a year, and created something called an Opportunity Center. Now they’re discontinuing the big events and trying to do a smaller, more frequent sort of event.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Barack Obama ‘approved tapping Angela Merkel’s phone 3 years ago’

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Is the entire US government composed of hypocrites who love talk of freedom but eagerly seek to undermine it at every turn?

    Mike Rogers, the chairman of the intelligence committee in the House of Representatives, said that America’s allies should be grateful for surveillance operations which targeted terrorist threats. “I would argue by the way, if the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks,” he told CNN’s State of the Union.

    Is this like that conveniently timed “OH LOOK WE USED ALL THIS SPY STUFF TO CATCH THE TERISTS” thing from about six months ago?

    Please. That tired old excuse has long since worn out its welcome.

    Another told the newspaper: “Without information from the Americans, there would have been successful terrorist attacks in Germany in the past years.”

    And this?

    Fuck off.

    “Accept our intrusiveness and sticking our nose into everyone’s communications on our say-so with no real evidence” – that ship sailed a LONG time ago, when people realized the Soviet Union pulled that all the time to justify turning itself into a giant prison.

  • AnonaMiss

    I did all 100 mandatory hours of my community service as a volunteer camp counselor at a girl scout camp, which didn’t broaden my horizons at all because I had already been a girl scout for ages and it was at a camp completely within my own social stratum.

    If community service is going to be required for graduation, it should be organized and administered by the school itself, so that it’s service that actually matters and might actually be boundary-expanding.

    We also as part of our ‘service’ requirement had to read and report on this insipid bullshit book called The Acorn People, which was all about some camp for disabled children and how the able-bodied counselors totally had their lives changed by working with them. I didn’t know that appropriation and othering were things to complain about at the time, and even so I was pissed off at the book for treating the disabled children not as actual people with personalities but as challenges for the able-bodied protagonists to rise to. Baaaarf.