Dinosaurs Were Created, Too
“Uneasy answering questions about radiocarbon dating? Rock layers? Natural selection? Do you want to believe in six literal days, but you’re still confused about the big bang or Grand Canyon? You’ll find answers here!” Metafilter plans a day-trip to “the world’s most unusual museum,” (sorry, Ripley’s), The Creation Museum, soon to open in Petersburg, Kentucky. The “walk through history” museum — conveniently located near Cincinatti because “About 2/3 of America’s population can drive to Cincinnati in one day!” — will reposition its dinosaur models and fossils in such a way that they will “proclaim the authority and accuracy of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and will show that there is a Creator, and that this Creator is Jesus Christ.” (HT)
Same-Sex Unions Get Common-Law Coverage in Israel
Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has reversed his predecessor’s policy on same-sex unions, declaring that gay couples should be recognized by the state and given the same legal standing as common-law spouses in financial concerns such as taxation and inheritance.
“Warrior Monks.” Cool.
“‘Warrior Monk’ Sees His Calling on the Front,” by The Washington Post‘s Jackie Spinner, is the worst kind of religion reporting and war reporting. We suspect it’s supposed to be so “gritty” and “real” and respectful of the troops that there just isn’t room for girlie-man “context.” As in, how does this would-be Benedictine monk square his field mission with Catholic just war doctrine? We’re not saying it’s impossible, just that it’s an important question the Post deems less important than macho rhetoric such as: “‘I trust in God and keep the faith,’ Ramos said. ‘If God is with me, who can be against me, right?'” Yeah, dude. You’re invincible. Thanks, WaPo, for defending the faith.
Immigrant Jesus Finds a Home
The fiberglass statue of Jesus that washed up on the bank of the Rio Grande, and was named “Christ of the Undocumented Worker,” has found a permanent home at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Refuge: long a haven for immigrants who make it across the border from Mexico.
Sign O’ the Times
Pop culture participates in “The Great Relearning”: Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell has signed on with Christian music label Reunion Records, shortly after Mary J. Blige announced that Christ has improved her looks.
Brave New Blacklist
The on-screen version of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials — a battle story against church and a God-figure, “the Authority” — is to be purged of references to both God and Church, out of fear that the movie would be perceived as anti-religious. Pullman’s agent denied that the books were antireligious, but understood that the movie’s story-line would be altered. “‘You have to recognise that it is a challenge in the climate of Bush’s America.'”
Media Excretions
The Village Voice tears the Rev. Al Sharpton a new one. Hard to tell what stinks worse — the Rev.’s flatulent grandstanding, or the Voice‘s sewer-style “investigation.” And on the subject of NYC alt weeklies and revolting excretions, The New York Press‘ Matt Taibbi defies the memory wipe of modern media to recall, much more fully than the mainstream press, the 20th anniversary of the Union Carbide Bhopal chemical disaster. Back when the bodies were still bloating, the press satisfied itself with admiration for Union Carbide’s “courageous” CEO and profound insights into one of the world’s oldest civilizations, such as this from ABC: “Since India is a superstitious land, long hardened to deadly natural disasters, there is always the chance that the Bhopal tragedy will ultimately be dismissed as bad karma or God’s will.” But if you’re willing to remember — and hey, why not, since Union Carbide never cleaned up after itself — Taibbi offers a neat little memory device every journalist ought to have on a card in his or her wallet: “constant vaginal discharge.” Twenty years later. From then ’til now. Kinda brings it home, doesn’t it? So the next time you read about, say, the “fatalism” of the Middle East, or the “tribal” attitudes of an Iraqi family that’ve just had their house blown to bits and their youngest kid’s legs made into pulp, just repeat the magic, awful, horrifying words that the media can’t say: “constant vaginal discharge.” And thank Union Carbide, Bhopal, and the master media narrative that made it all possible.
Let’s All Give Ourselves a Big Round of Enemies
Ex-priest James Carroll sermonizes in The Boston Globe: “The United States has given itself an enemy that shows by its central tactic that it is fighting for God. Americans, meanwhile, are so confused about religion that we have just been through an election in which ‘religious values’ were defined as key, but precisely in ways that kept the war out of the discussion.”
Modern mythology: A newly discovered trove of photographs by Roald Dahl — dreamer of Oompa Loompas, giant peaches, and Willy Wonka — reveals the genesis of his creations: “It’s jolly good fun photographing such things as the brain of an earth worm,” wrote the myth-maker as a young man.
Answer the Question

White House press briefing, 12/06/04. Russell Mokhiber, editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter, takes Bush’s religion seriously. Too bad Bush’s spokesman, Scott McClellan, doesn’t.

Mokhiber: Scott, on the Middle East — many evangelical Christians in the United States are supporting right-wing Jews in Israel who want to rebuild the temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They (Evangelical Christians) believe this is a prerequisite for Christ’s return to earth. They believe that when Christ returns to earth — they call this the rapture — he will take back with him the true believers. And the rest — the non-believers — Jews, Muslims — will be left behind to face a violent death here on earth. My question is, as a born again Christian, does the President support efforts to rebuild the temple on the Temple Mount?

Scott McLellan: Russ, we can sit here and talk about religious issues. I will be glad to take your question, and if there is more, I will get back to you on that.

Mokhiber: Is he a born again Christian?

Scott McLellan: Thank you. (McLellan abruptly ends the press briefing and walks out.)

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