There’s no theme for today’s Daily Links. Maybe the good folks on the interwebs have stopped pushing an agenda. Maybe I’ve lost my ability to see it. Or maybe, just maybe, the things going on in the world are too particular and strange to fit into tidy categories.

Take, for example, one Florida judge’s perception of “relatively normal Christian belief.” Apparently, it involves paranoid schizophrenia-induced multiple homicides and a prevailing conviction that you are the “Prince of God.”

Or take Mitt Romney’s charity.  Paul Ryan says it makes him a “good man.” So does the Nixon family (no, not that Nixon). But, as the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson points out, there seems to be a disconnect (or at least a troubling disharmony) between Romney’s actions on the personal and the political level.

Speaking of Romney… How Mormon is he, really? Is that a good or bad thing? Opinions are divided, bordering on confusing. Really, the public perception of Mormonism is fraught with ambiguity… or just plain old racism. Check out Stony Brook University’s free “Mormons in the Media 1830-2012” e-book charting the images used to represent Mormonism in the mainstream media.

While much about the Mormons may be ambiguous, the fact that the Church has a complicated (to say the least) relationship with race is long established. The folks at Religion Dispatches are well aware of this fact, and invited  in-house representative-of-all-things-Mormon, Joanna Brooks, to sit down with University of Pennsylvania Religious Studies professor Anthea Butler and others to discuss the new book “The Color of Christ” and the complicated interplay of religion and race. Check out “Mitt’s Jesus, Barack’s Jesus, and Why Christ’s Color Matters.”

A couple of weeks ago, the daily links included a story about certain organizations within the Religious Right seeking to put an end to anti-bullying campaigns using materials “produced by homosexual activist groups” (link is to the original article). Such a campaign already seemed strange at the time. But it appears the American Family Association is redoubling its efforts, now targeting “Mix it Up At Lunch Day” as “yet another manifestation of the gay agenda.” Because apparently making new friends is now part of the “gay agenda.” It makes a certain strange kind of sense, though, because I’m guessing the AFA members leading the charge are both straight and don’t have any friends.

In other difficult-to-describe news, apparently the Old Evangelization worked in Africa. In fact, the Catholic population there has grown 541% since 1962. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need teh New Evangelization. Or something. For a look at Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson’s recent speech in Toronto, see here. For the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “explanation” (defined very loosely) of what the New Evangelization actually is, see here.  For news on the Vatican’s delegation to Syria, announced today, see here.

This last link defies description in all the best ways. Check out Dirk Bruere’s “The Praxis,” a book which he describes as drawing explicit parallels between Transhumanism (also known as H+)  and conventional religions, particularly Gnostic Christianity. Don’t know what any of that means? Let Dirk explain it! And then spend some time meditating on the fact that, “Artificial General Intelligence in the form of Artilects [are] a parallel to the Messiah myth and the creation of beings that would effectively be gods.”

Nathan Schradle is a graduate student in the Religious Studies Program at NYU.
Images from:  stony brook.edu/commcms/mormon