Monday, 27 July 2015

Detroit Catholic Militant Group Drives Their Own Statue Around to 'Counteract' Baphomet Statue

Catholic group sticks their own angel statue on a truck and performs their own magical counter ritual!
There's so much awesome going down in Detroit that, although I usually don't cover American news, I really must write about the wild and insane reactions evangelical Christian groups are having in Detroit to a statue.

I won't go into the whole story. You can read about how an impressive Baphomet statue was crowdfunded by the Satanic Temple to counter a Ten Commandments monument on Oklahoma Capitol grounds. The legislators there pulled some sort of ridiculous voodoo and blocked the statue.

After being shafted by so-called secular government several times, the Satanists decided to unveil the completed statue in Detroit, where they have a significant presence. This caused the local Christian population to flip out and all sorts of nasty threats were made by these good Jesus followers.

Here's a sampling of just how welcoming and ecumenical some local Christian groups were. It's a panel discussion between Satanic Temple's Jex Blackmore - who is calm, intelligent, and rational - and pastor David Bullock - who appears scared, irrational and ... well... like he's lost his shit.

Fox 2 News Headlines

The good pastor is rather rude, quite frankly. One of the other preachers at the start of the video even suggested that a mere statue will rain down woe upon the city! Because: it's cursed!
The will affect our families, our homes and our marriage! We will not allow it in the city of Detroit!
The Catholics tried praying, but it didn't work! Satan is so strong!
Area Catholics held a special mass aimed at countering the spirit of the Satanists.

About 250 parishioners and supporters gathered Saturday morning at St. Joseph Catholic Church to pray for Detroit.
Well, during the unveiling, a crack squad of Militant Catholics strapped a statue of Archangel Michael to the back of a truck and drove it around the building housing the satanic statue thrice! They have protected Detroit! found the location, and several of its staff infiltrated the building, “where a loud party was in full swing,” the Catholic group said on its website.

“An earlier downpour had come through the roof and flooded the dance floor, and approximately 100 people milled around the dark, smoke-filled room. As the rain ceased, more people trickled in, and towards midnight the number went up to about 400. On one side of the room stood an inverted red cross, and on the other the nine-foot-tall statue of Baphomet, covered in a white sheet.”

But Church Militant brought their own version of a heavenly statue, only instead of a fallen angel, theirs was a sculpture of the Archangel Michael.

Church Militant had a 6-foot bronze statue of the archangel, which they hauled in a flatbed truck and prayed the prayer of St. Michael while encircling the site three times.
“We brought our six-foot bronze statue of St. Michael, who normally rests in our Abp. Fulton J. Sheen studio, as a counter-witness to the blasphemous goat-headed statue of Baphomet, meant to represent Satan,” the Catholic group said on its website. “According to Scripture, St. Michael is the angel who did battle against Lucifer and cast him out of Heaven into the Abyss.”
Spooky Statue Wars! I'm sure that will work though.

Why did they choose this particular statue? Well, it's more ecumenicalism.
The Book of Revelation (12:7-9) describes a war in heaven in which Michael, being stronger, defeats Satan: there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

I bet that makes the Satanists feel great. I look forward to these two groups working together in the future.

So, after being shutdown by city councils and threatened by angry Christians, the statue was unveiled in Lauhoff Corporation building in the Rivertown Warehouse District. That's right, they were chased into the warehouse district. Truly, the Christians are oppressed.

The Satanic Temple plans to move the statue to Arkansas because their state capitol has also decided to show unconstitutional deference to Christianity.

One fantastic novel which opened my eyes to alternate points of view of Satan is Anatole France's Révolte des anges (Revolte of the Angels) - which casts the devil and his angels as struggling against a tyrant overlord god.

(Image source)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Montrealers! Check Out 'Moutons No More'

It has been entered into the public record that on May 23rd, 2015, I had a pretty bad hair day. I also sat for a few minutes on a state speaking into a microphone next to two men who were better dressed than me.

Or so this picture on the Moutons No More (Sheep No More) website will make abundantly clear.

This was my first visit with the skeptical entertainment group right here in Montreal. They put on a show called Funny You Should Think That. Each table in the audience discussed important news stories at the time and tried to look at them with a critical eye. At the end of these breakouts, some audience members went to the front to share their opinions. Since I've almost always got an opinion, I ended up at the front for a few minutes.

This is just one of many productions the Moutons No More put on. The website hosts several evidence-based media producers.
Moutons No More is like a movie production company. One banner, multiple productions, all led by different creative minds. What brings us together? Rationality. Forget the dry, academic stuff: Moutons No More is creative enough to insert “fun” into “reason”.

With Moutons No More, you can learn about science, listen to voices of reason on contentious issues, see the paranormal debunked before your very eyes, and watch grounded takes on the irrationality that surrounds us. And once a month, all of our producers get together in Montreal to throw an amazing and ever-changing stage show that combines comedy, reason… and alcohol!
I'll admit that the Montreal scene - if you will - does appear to be rather distinct compared to others I've learned about on the web in other towns. Or perhaps the landscape is changing? All this to say, it took me awhile to find this lot using regular means.

This entertainment and media-production approach does seem to fit Montreal well though. This is a troupe of scientists, stand up comedians and other artists.

I'm really looking forward to joining another fantastic evening! We'll see how my hair looks - cuz that's what's really important to me.

Meanwhile, check out the videos, podcasts and other media over at the Moutons No More website!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Religion Starting to Understand Climate Change... But It's Still Frustrating

I'm in a cranky mood today, so expect some kvetching over minor things. Take for example this piece by Bill McKibben, who is a excellent activist. I him support in his effort to get universities to divest from fossil fuel companies. This effort is so worthwhile, as it hits these companies where it hurts - the wallet and public image.

My nitpicking starts with the mere title of the piece: What religion can teach climate scientists.

More on this later. Take a look at the first two paragraphs.
Pope Francis’s remarkable encyclical, Laudato Si’, has been rightly hailed as a watershed moment in the climate debate, the moment when religion finally took note of what science had been saying for a couple of decades. As with all watersheds, though, the river at the bottom draws its power from all the creeks that feed in along the way — it’s worth remembering just how many people (a large number of them in Massachusetts) have worked over the years to build a true faith-based environmental movement. How they’ve managed to do it holds lessons for all of us trying to spread the word about climate change.

Twenty-five years ago, when this work was just getting started, there was nothing easy about it: In liberal churches and synagogues, environmentalism was considered slightly elitist, a task to be gotten to once the serious business of war and hunger had been dealt with. In conservative congregations, anything green was considered a depot on the track to paganism.
Can we all stop and ask why the Roman Catholic Church - the leader of which is apparently an infallible conduit for the word of God himself - is now finally tuning in to what scientists have been screaming, ever louder each year, for decades?

Then you have evangelicals who are still in denial against all evidence and reason. How many more decades can we afford to waste trying to drag them kicking and screaming into reality?

And after all of this... they will mark it proudly on flags and wave them about for everyone: we've always known that climate change is legit! In fact, it was the Christians and Christianity which was instrumental in the environmental movement. Praise Jesus.

It has been this way with slavery in the South and it will be so for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. It's good they are catching up, finally, but it's bloody aggravating.
In the end, it may be less the political power of faith communities that matters and more their ability to transform the bleak message of scientists into something that more people can hear. Faith-based environmentalists, after all, are allowed to have some hope that if they work hard, the world might meet them halfway.
Such is the problem with basing your environmentalism on faith rather than evidence and science - you'll remain obstinately behind the times - perhaps with fatal results for our species and thousands of others on this planet.

(Image source)

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