7 things @ 9 o’clock (11.27)

1. Pope Francis made a big splash yesterday with Evangelii Gaudium — an 84-page “apostolic exhortation” that I hope to get to read more of soon. The snippets I’ve seen so far sound … feisty:

• “Today, everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

• “I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: ‘Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.’”

• “Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an ‘education’ that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized …”

• “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.”

• “The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.”

Some initial reactions and thoughts from: James Martin, Daniel Burke, Eric J. Lyman, David Badash, Adventus, Timothy Morgan.

2. Evangelii Gaudium means “Joy of the Gospel,” and Francis’ exhortation apparently urges Christians to conduct evangelism from a place of joy. Perhaps a more important consideration for Christian evangelism awaits us in an upcoming decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to determine whether or not American for-profit corporations are, in fact, persons with religious beliefs.

If the Supreme Court rules that corporations are religious people, then evangelicals will have to start preaching the gospel to this guy. No, not to the human being in the costume, but to the actual corporate entity, Burger King Worldwide Inc. (BKW).

If Hobby Lobby et. al. are determined to be such people — faithful, religious people — then our duty as Christians is clear: We must preach the gospel to all corporations and save their immortal souls.

It saddens me to think of all the corporations that may have been dissolved in bankruptcy before this legal decision. They died in their sins without ever hearing the gospel and having the chance to pray the sinners prayer.

We’re going to have to start flooding Wilmington, Del., with armies of missionaries to reach the unreached people groups of the NYSE and the NASDAQ.

3. Interesting and somewhat encouraging: “Truth Wins Out commended The Salvation Army today for removing links to two notorious ‘ex-gay’ ministries that it had listed as sexual addiction resources. The move is consistent with the organization’s new campaign against LGBT discrimination.”

4. Trigger warning for this because it’s a tale of rape, rape-culture and injustice. But it’s also a tale of enormous courage and righteous anger in response to all of that. Melissa Harris-Perry’s interview with Courtney Andrews is incredibly powerful.

5. District court nominations by white presidents filibustered in U.S. Senate in all of American history: 3

District court nominations by black presidents filibustered in U.S. Senate: 20

Senate filibusters of executive nominees by white presidents since World War II: 20

Senate filibusters of executive nominees by black presidents since World War II: 54

6. “Here too’s a cause divinely spun
For those whose eyes are on the sun,
Here in epitome
Is all disgrace
And epic wrong.
Like wine to brace
The minstrel heart, and blare it into song.
Surely, I said,
Now will the poets sing.
But they have raised no cry.
I wonder why.”

YouTube Preview Image

The gospel according to 1 Corinthians 13 (part 1)
Sunday WTF?
Flying blind and looking for any sign of light
Something happened and now I know
  • Launcifer

    Nah, she’s looking at the actress who’s about to steal all of the dreams she had for her own career by appearing in actual films.

  • Launcifer

    It almost makes you want to take a chance on Hell, actually, just in case all the fun stuff is kept in warehouses down there. Just turn left at the lake of fire.

  • MikeJ

    We’re going to have to start flooding Wilmington, Del., with armies of
    missionaries to reach the unreached people groups of the NYSE and the

    Nah. Once the Supremes rule that yelling “religion” allows you to ignore any law you don’t like, Wall Street is going to be a literal temple to Mammon. And that is a literal use of literal.

    Very soon after Wall Street converts to a religious sector, expect to hear from the rapture loons that finally the Temple has been rebuilt, Supply Side Jesus will be coming back any day!

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Oxen? “I will come and serve you”? I’d like a quick peek at the cookbook before I take a bite of what’s in all likelihood my heathen friends and family who didn’t get the banquet invite. The Lake of Fire is one giant crock-pot if you ask me.

  • Daniel

    The end of the world- a man grimmacing like a constipated chipmunk, a surprised woman and the smoke of two badly planned barbeques. Are you ready?

  • aunursa
  • Eric Boersma

    I really like the current Pope. I’m a Protestant and wince every time I hear him pray to the Virgin Mary for inspiration and support, but the guy’s doing a better job of living a Christ-like life than I ever have. Despite what the “Faith, Not Works” crowd says, I’m almost positive that makes him the better Christian.

    Not trying to be too hard on you here, because I think your heart is in the right place, but this paragraph is cringe-worthy. You seem to have a lot of misconceptions about what Catholics actually do and believe which could be resolved pretty quickly just by doing a bit of reading on basic Catholic theologies.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    The punchline to the article is pretty great.

  • Daniel

    Right to left-
    Chloe Williams (nee Steele)
    Cameron “Buck” Williams
    Hattie Durham
    Bruce Barnes
    Rayford Steele
    Nicolae Carpathia

  • esmerelda_ogg

    “I don’t think it’s going to happen based on the time we have here on Earth.” – Yeesh. Apparently he thinks we’re already living on the Timkins Timeline. Which is several steps farther into insanity than I realized any of these folks had traveled.

  • Daniel

    “Let’s give ‘em the business HAW HAW HAW!”

  • Daniel

    And conveniently manages to ignore that it’s been the best part of 20 years since the first book, and still no Rapture.* I think there may still be time. The greater worry is when Nicholas Cage is finally going to realise this is not all some terrible dream. It can’t be long…

    *I warned you I’d start italicising things all the time. I bet you thought I was joking, didn’t you?

  • commonlaw504

    “I have the power…” ? He looks nothing like He-Man.

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

    Hi, what’s a metaphorical turn of phrase?

  • Daniel

    [in the house in a heartbeat begins quietly. Shot of Chloe in slow motion, walking into baggage claim. Black screen]
    Booming voice of that trailer announcer: THIS SUMMER
    Chloe [on the phone]: Hi Buck, I’ve just arrived at the airport…
    Booming man: An ordinary trip to Chicago…
    [Shot of her watching the carousel.]
    Chloe: Yeah…I’m just waiting for my bag
    B.M: What she doesn’t know is
    [shot of the carousel. There are several bags there. Cut to Chloe's increasingly confused face]
    Chloe: Wait Buck… there are a few bags that look the same…
    B.M: Things are about to change forever
    Chloe: No, I’m sure my bag had a label…
    [Music gets to that bit.]
    Caption: What do you do when the world stops spinning?
    Chloe [terrified]: The label! It’s the label!
    Caption: When there’s nothing left to rely on?
    Chloe: Oh Buck! Someone! Help me! The label… It’s fallen off!
    Caption: This summer make sure you’re luggage isn’t


  • Daniel

    “I have the Power! Lucifer is Lord! You see, I don’t believe in God or Christianity, so I naturally worship the figures of that religion’s extended mythology! Everyone has to believe there’s something supernatural running things! HAW HAW HAW!”

  • chgo_liz

    These are charged words, known to be used to demean science. They’re being used erroneously. I’m sure it’s a case of ignorance, not malice, but it still perpetuates a false dichotomy between science and Christianity.

  • chgo_liz

    Which part is wrong? Do Catholics not pray to Mary for inspiration and support, or is the Pope not living a Christ-like (I would have said Christ-inspired) life? Serious question….I can’t figure out what the misconception could be in that paragraph.

  • aunursa

    As a Jew, I find it amusing and ironic that a Protestant would cringe at the thought of Catholics praying to the Virgin Mary.

  • J_Enigma32

    Actually, I think he’s probably making a reference to Social Darwinism – which is all about “survival of the fittest” in the misunderstood sense.

  • Daniel

    Eternal punishment on the right, bouncy castles, ice cream and gin on the left. That was the plot of a Twilight Zone that got a severe rewrite to become A Nice Place to Visit. Originally it was about a pearly queen taken to a lake of gin, mountains of ice cream and all the bouncy castles she could want. Black and white film really didn’t do the results justice.

  • Daniel

    “they shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat”
    Because that would be Socialism.

  • tatortotcassie

    Catholics ask Mary to pray for them and to intercede on their behalf with Jesus (see Wedding at Cana.) Why is that wince-worthy? I wouldn’t wince if you asked a friend to pray for you. This is the same idea.

    Writing the phrase “Despite what the “Faith, Not Works” crowd says” sort of makes you sound like you are part of the Fatih, Not Works party yourself.

  • Launcifer

    And I’ll have you know that grimace somehow encompasses more emotion than Brad Pitt managed to show during the entirety of World War Z – and if that’s getting a sequel then of course Cageford should get eleven of the buggers.

    Either that or someone on the production team seriously misinterpreted the meaning of the phrase “disaster movie”.

  • Eric Boersma

    See: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/do-catholics-pray-to-mary

    There’s nuance there that you seem to be missing. But more importantly, it’s language like “I wince every time”. You’re placing yourself in a culturally superior position simply by virtue of being protestant.

    Full disclosure: I’m a protestant. I have different beliefs than the Pope. I have a different theology. I think some of the things that protestant theology provides me are better than Catholic theology. I think some things Catholics believe are better than what protestants believe. But I recognize that our beliefs (both mine, and a given Catholic’s) are very tightly held, and I can respect and seek to understand those beliefs without being made uncomfortable by them or accepting them myself.

    What you originally posted was something of a backhanded compliment. That’s not helpful. It makes me sad to see someone else’s religion disrespected just as it makes me sad to see my own religion disrespected. Especially someone who has as much pull as the Pope. Especially this one.

  • Launcifer

    No, no, that’s a serious typographical error, right there. Repeat after me: Launcifer is Lord. There we go, all better now.

    On a related note, I would just like to make it absolutely clear that I have no idea why Stalin was giving me advice: I spent the whole damn night thinking I was talking to Errol Flynn’s stunt double.

  • Daniel

    I thought he was more Vincent Price or Charlton Heston in Touching Evil
    Oh, and hail Launcifer my dark lord.

  • The_L1985

    So it’s a case of Nicky Whelan looking very young for her age.

  • The_L1985

    10/10 would watch again

  • The_L1985

    You have to remember that Catholic prayer isn’t quite the same as Protestant prayer. To a Catholic, praying to beings other than the Trinity is simply a form of supernatural e-mail, and not a form of worship.

  • Anton_Mates

    Why would a leopard need to cooperate with a bear to climb a tree? Leopards are pretty good at that stuff. So are bears, for that matter, unless they’re big grizzlies or something.

  • Anton_Mates

    Probably had the converted Jews do it, since apparently they’re genetically programmed to continue sacrificing animals in the Millennial Kingdom, even though normally nobody eats them.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    But Daniel, everybody knows you never joke!

    As for Nicholas Cage – I wonder, is he a good enough actor to get away with snarking the material onscreen? You know he’ll want to.

  • L E

    More like calling customer service instead of calling the president of the company, but yeah…

    These metaphors really don’t work if you care about being blasphemous. Luckily I don’t.

  • Daniel

    “Not the locusts!”

  • Guest

    “Wall Street is going to be a literal temple to Mammon’

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    “Wall Street is going to be a literal temple to Mammon”

    ‘Is going to be’. That’s quaint.


  • Daniel

    Pet peeve of my pedantic self: “like…” is a simile, not a metaphor. Sorry. Blaspheme away, by all means.

  • Random_Lurker

    I assume that’s Chloe and Buck?

    She looks like Buck just grabbed her ass in public and she’s looking to see if anyone noticed, and he’s glaring possessively at her to make sure she [i]knows what will happen[/i] if she makes a scene.

    Who picks these poses?

  • emjb

    Well, bears are omnivores, so converting them to vegetarian wouldn’t be that hard (same for us). I can’t think what use a leopard or cheetah or wolf would be as a grazing animal; it’s a sleekly evolved hunting and killing machine. Who needs sharp teeth and claws if you’re eating berries and leaves? It would make more sense to have a kingdom simply devoid of carnivores altogether. Tigers and lions and wolves (and dogs and cats, and I guess. T-rexes?) would become faint memories of the fallen time. I guess animals wouldn’t reproduce or die anymore (except for the occasional bit of magically sacrificed beef on special occasions), so populations wouldn’t have to be kept in check.

    “Drenched in butter” (ew) is interesting also; for butter you need a lactating cow. Cows lactate because they are having calves. So are they magically lactating without giving birth or are calves being born? Or is it ersatz “butter” but not real butter?

    For that matter are chickens laying eggs? Are they only laying unfertilized eggs? And if chickens have to keep ovulating, do women? Or do we get freed from Eve’s curse, but not the poor chickens?

    I have so many questions. And also I’m now kind of hungry.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    This picture was what came to my mind, too.
    you can tell how popular that bull is by how well it’s been polished.

  • Random_Lurker

    +1 Internets for ordering out to other afterlives. I’d really like some of the wine they’ve got in Elysium.

    As for question, it’s kind of a necessary side effect of the whole “before the fall, everything was perfect and there was no death” thing.

  • Random_Lurker

    Actually that’s pretty appropriate for the phrase- the issue is that it doesn’t, and never, has anything to do with evolution (notwithstanding early misconceptions that thought it did). Scientists aren’t trying to correct the phrase so much as they want to disconnect it from evolution completely.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    In regards to Pope Francis: Yeah, the Catholic Church has always been an advocate for taxing the rich and giving to the poor. Or at least giving to the poor whatever’s left after Bishop Whoever gets his swag on. The old culture war game of implying that political conservatism, (as understood in the contemporary US) is as essential to Christianity across all denominations as the worship of Jesus itself (if not more so) is obviously chock full of logical holes. And of course our gracious host has made something of a living here pointing those out. It’s a lifetime job.
    That’s not to say that established churches with their established doctrines are naturally inclined to favor progressive causes either. There are many cases where that couldn’t be further from the truth. But it is to say that the Christian right’s attempt to use the Republican party platform as a means of uniting Christians across denominational lines has never been about governing the nation from ‘The’ Christian framework. It has only ever been about temporal power, about using the Christian name and its culturally normative status to make people feel morally compelled to default to conservatism.

  • arghous

    #2: … the Obama administration’s mandate that employers include free contraception coverage as part of their health plans.

    How nice of them to put the tell in the very first sentence of the article (“free” coverage). This was written by someone too stupid to know that women actually pay into the system, too, or too dizzy from all the right-wing spin. I don’t know if it matters any more. Anyway,

    Mammonthew 28:16-20

    The Greatest Commission

    16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Wall Street, into an exchange where Jesus had appointed them.

    17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some wished to reduce his bond rating.

    18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in this new world order.

    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all corporations, baptizing them in the name of the Farthing, and of the Sou, and of the Holy Guild:

    20 Teaching them to take a cut of all things whatsoever I have sequestered for you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the money supply. Amen.

  • AlexSeanchai

    To be fair: my contraception used to have a copay and does not anymore. ‘Free’ is not an unreasonable word to use for the new situation.

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

    Perhaps to be more accurate, “fully covered”?