no, it wasn’t my moving van on the way to iowa

Marijuana plants. Image courtesy: zztopblue/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Marijuana plants. Image courtesy: zztopblue/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

…but, the LAPD did find something during a traffic stop, and methinks it was a tad bit over an ounce:

Over a ton of marijuana has been found during a mid-city Los Angeles traffic stop.

A Torrance police officer stopped the car on July 8 and a drug-sniffing dog alerted the officer that there were drugs in the vehicle.

A Torrance police report released Wednesday says a search discovered more than 2,600 pounds of marijuana.

The investigation led to eight arrests.

The department hasn’t disclosed the reason for the traffic stop some 15 miles from Torrance.

I haven’t left yet, so don’t point the finger at me.

there really is a ‘council on biblical manhood and womanhood’

This morning, I came across something I did not know existed, and I initially thought was a joke. But alas, this incredible discovery is real (although, imho, it is still a joke).

Lo and behold, there exists (and I’m not making this up), a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. They even have a logo.

I kid you not – A Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood!

This is not an Onion article, nor is it satire. It’s a real organization. Their self-description (I kid you not – this is in the very first paragraph on their ‘About Us‘ page) reads:

In 1987, a group of pastors and scholars assembled to address their concerns over the influence of feminism not only in our culture but also in evangelical churches. Because of the widespread compromise of biblical understanding of manhood and womanhood and its tragic effects on the home and the church, these men and women established The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. (underlines mine)

Seriously! They formed their organization to “address their concerns over the influence of feminism not only in our culture but also in evangelical churches!” And they did so in nineteen eightyseven! Not nineteen fifty-seven, not eighteen eighty-seven, nineteen eighty-seven!

They go on to say that they stand in “opposition to the growing movement of feminist egalitarianism.” And they make no apologies: they are firmly against the equality of men and women! And it gets better. This group has:

articulated what is now known as the “complementarian position” which affirms that men and women are equal in the image of God, but maintain complementary differences in role and function. In the home, men lovingly are to lead their wives and family as women intelligently are to submit to the leadership of their husbands. In the church, while men and women share equally in the blessings of salvation, some governing and teaching roles are restricted to men. (emphasis, bold, red, quotes, and implied outrage all mine)

The group regularly rails against (surprise, surprise) same-sex marriage (in one article, the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa is said to be worse than a 500-year flood causing damage to the homes and farms of thousands of people), homosexuality, and feminism.

Here are pictures of those serving in leadership roles on their Board of Directors. (Should I be shocked that everyone but the secretary is a white male?) And here are the council members. (Again, I don’t know whether to be more aghast at the fact that everyone is white, or that the five women serving on the board all have ‘homemaker’ or ‘Pastor’s wife’ listed first as primary occupation, followed only then by ‘author’ or ‘consultant.’ I certainly don’t see the men listing ‘Loving Husband’ or ‘Father’ before their titles of ‘Founder and Chairman,’ ‘President,’ or ‘Executive Director’ in the members’ descriptions. Is it also telling that two of the women don’t even have pictures?)

The group’s latest job, it appears, is to criticize the new revision of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible (the first revision to the NIV in 25 years) because it includes “gender-neutral” language. The CBMW’s review of the NIV is here.

Sigh.

Here’s an observation: if this group had the word “Islamic” in it, and all of the members were citing the Qur’an and the women pictured were in burqas or veils, I’m guessing the members of this same CBMW group would condemn it as Sharia Law fundamentalism suppressing the rights of women. But somehow, because it’s a Christian organization and they’re citing the Bible, this group has no problem suppressing the roles of women, and citing divine authority in doing so.

The use of religion to suppress women is wrong regardless of the religion used to do so. This – THIS! – is precisely why non-Christians hate fundamentalist Christians: because they use scripture to keep women down, when all Jesus ever wanted to do was lift them up.

I shake my head…

ezekiel 23:20 is now apparently a drink at a new zealand pub

Scott Bailey has the story of the day:

A pub in New Zealand has introduced horse semen to its drinks menu, a stomach-churning addition tinged with the wholesome flavour of apple.

Yeah… ’cause ‘Apple’ makes everything go down better… especially Horse jizz. Dear God…

The Green Man Pub in Wellington offers the 30ml shots for a princely sum of £12 – and apparently it’s going down a treat with regulars.

The gastro-pub serves the drink chilled fresh from a Christchurch stallion farm and each shot contains about 300 million individual horse sperm cells.

Green Man pub co-owner Steven Drummond is to blame for the grimace-inducing drink, which he explained is knocked back by both male and female customers.

He advises his customers to shoot the sticky horse semen back in one gulp rather than attempt to sip the bizarre concoction.

He came up with the idea when trying to invent a new drink to spice-up a local food challenge.

—————————————————

I don’t know anyone from New Zealand, but I’m pretty much judging the country en masse right now…

Can you imagine the pickup lines in that pub?

Absolutely brutal. And yet, they’ll sell a ton of them, mostly on dares.

(BTW: Ezek 23:20 reads, “and lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of stallions.” At least it’s biblical, no?)

HT: Scott

unintentionally honest church sign of the day (via scott via matthew paul)

I know they didn’t necessarily mean to say it, but that’s precisely the point of this party.

CoC Block Party

They didn't necessarily mean to say it, but that's *precisely* the point of this party.

(Via Scott Bailey via Matthew Paul Turner)

fake martin luther king, jr. quote demonstrates how we got the apocrypha

MLK said what?There is a beautiful quote going around the internet. It reads:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is only one problem with this quote: Martin Luther King, Jr. never said it. As Megan McArdle and Erik Haugsjaa point out, the second part of the quote is from Dr. King’s 1963 Strength to Love, but the first sentence isn’t part of the original quote. It’s fake. Someone added it to the King quote to make it relevant to Osama bin Laden’s death.

MLK 'Strength to Love' on Google Books

The actual quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'Strength to Love' as demonstrated in Google Books. Note the first part of the quotation was not written by Dr. King.

The viral nature of this quote demonstrates how people will believe whatever they read if it fits their preconceived notions, especially when it is attributed to a well-respected authority or personality. This is precisely how we got the Apocrypha (the books that didn’t make it into the Bible), and a number of the books that actually did make it into the biblical canon. Someone writes something, it sounds like something someone authoritative would say, the quote or book is attributed to said authority, people read it, believe it, and pass it on. (Recommended reading: Forged by Bart Ehrman.)

It’s how we got the fake Bin Laden death photos, it’s how we got the MLK quote, and it’s how we got many of the books of the Bible (i.e., some letters attributed to Paul, all 4 Gospels, many of the pastoral letters, the Apocrypha, etc.).

What’s a shame in the modern age is that it’s actually quite easy to fact check. Unfortunately, people don’t. They just parrot misinformation without citations because they like the way it sounds. It reiterates the need for readers to check their facts, and for authors to cite their sources.

In the words of Al Gore, “This is not why I invented the internet.”1

1Al Gore did not make this statement.


UPDATE: See the Salon.com article by Drew Grant, who attributes the quote to a tweet from Penn Jillette, who got it on Facebook from someone named Jessica Dovey. A screenshot of Dovey’s Facebook message shows that she did, in fact, offset MLK’s quote from her own comments. So Penn (apparently) mis-attributed the first portion to Dr. King. Penn acknowledged his mistake, but not before it went viral.

This demonstrates that there are usually two attributions needed for a saying to become ‘authoritative’: attribution to a recognized respected authority, and the propagation by another respected/beloved figure. It also demonstrates a point that Bart Ehrman and his teacher, Bruce Metzger, both make: not all edits and changes are intentional. Like Penn in this case, it was an honest mistake, which, to his credit, he immediately corrected.

Excellent work Drew!!

czech researchers claim ‘gay caveman’ found

Archaeologists have unearthed 5,000-year-old male remains in Bubenec, Czech Republic, buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age. The skeleton was surrounded by domestic jugs.

Archaeologists have unearthed 5,000-year-old male remains in Bubenec, Czech Republic, buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age. The skeleton was surrounded by domestic jugs. Image by: Europics

No, it’s not a GEICO commercial‘s attempt at humor (or a bomb of short-lived television series), this may actually be legitimate.

Mara Gay reports that Kamila Remisova Vesinova and a team of researchers from the Czech Archeological Society are claiming to have discoverred the remains of an early homosexual man dating to 2900-2500 BCE, just outside of Prague.

During the Copper Age 5,000 years ago, men were traditionally buried facing the west, along with weapons and knives. But archaeologists in the Czech Republic say the skeletal remains of the newly discovered caveman were found facing the east, along with household items like water jugs and pots, funeral rites almost always reserved for women in the region during that time.

“From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously, so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake,” archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova told reporters Wednesday, according to London’s Telegraph. “Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual.”

So, because the 5,000-year old skeleton was buried with its head pointed toward the east rather than west (a position scholars say is reserved for women in the Corded Ware culture), and was surrounded by domestic items rather than by tools and weapons that typically accompany male remains, the researchers say the male was gay.

However, Katerina Semradova, another member of the team, conceded that the reverse has also been found: the same team previously unearthed a female from the Mesolithic period who was buried in the fashion of a man. So do these burials represent position in a society (i.e., wealth, status, etc.) or sexual orientation? Could it be a mixup? (It’s unlikely, but possible.) Beyond that, could it have been an intersexual individual (possessing both sexual organs, with a skeleton that researchers would interpret as male, but who was gendered as a female while alive?) And why can’t a straight male work in the domestic realm in antiquity like many straight males do today? Are the scholars playing into ‘ancient’ scholarly stereotypes by assuming that men only worked in non-domestic arenas? And if the researchers are assuming a male/female stereotype, why not conclude that the male was somehow being punished by those who buried him, for instance, for exhibiting what they might consider to be “cowardice,” say, for refusing to fight in a battle? (Or, do the researchers assume that the use of ‘male’ and ‘female’ labels and discrimination/persecution of homosexual individuals is merely a modern phenomenon)? To conclude the individual was gay may be superimposing a lot of modern stereotypes upon an ancient culture.

Methinks this may be a legit argument in the scholarly arena with serious implications for our understanding of sexuality in antiquity, if only we could keep the Telegraph and Daily Mail from running sensationalistic headlines.

(HT: John Lynch)

pole dancing for jesus. seriously.

Looking for the latest, greatest way to get people in the church door and stay in shape? and try out for the role of Charlie Sheen’s next girlfriend? How about a pole dancing for Jesus ministry.

As Crystal Deans, owner/instructor of Best Shape of Your Life, explains:

“On Sundays, we do pole fitness for Jesus. We do the upbeat contemporary Christian music because people have to bring their church program to get into the class, so we basically are just continuing the whole worship thing here.”

Exactly. Because pop and dance music are sinful. So, when they do their pole dancing(!), they use upbeat contemporary Christian music. It’s the upbeat contemporary Christian music makes it “Christian.” And, evidence of being a Christian is provided by the possession of a “church program,” which makes this the continuation of, like, “the whole worship thing.”

Because when you go to worship, you want to make sure to work your core and your glutes.

I shake my head. Where is the Church Lady when you need her?

HT: Scott Bailey

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