A statue of Jesus the Homeless was installed recently at Saint Albion’s Episcopal Church in North Carolina, depicting Jesus as a homeless vagrant sleeping on a park bench. One of the first people to see it as she drove past called the police, thinking it was a real person. The features of the statue are shrouded, expect for the feet which show the marks made by the crucifixion. The creator of the piece, Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, offered first casts to cathedrals in Toronto (St. Michael’s) and New York (St. Patrick’s), but both declined. The University of Toronto has one installed outside the Jesuit School of Theology. Last November Schmalz presented a miniature version to Pope Francis in Rome, who touched the knee of the sculpture, closed his eyes and prayed. If the City of Rome approve the installation, one will be placed on the Via della Conziliazione, leading to St. Peter’s Basilica. If you suddenly find someone sleeping on a bench outside your church, for the love of Jesus, don’t go calling the cops.
It’s July 4th and many Americans are at war within their own country, arguing whether they should be one nation under God, or just one nation. Originally the United States was founded with a clear separation of church and state. However in 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance was amended through legislation to have the words “under God” added to the end. There have been growing calls to remove them again and when NBC recently edited them out of a broadcast there was uproar. American Atheists have sponsored planes to fly today pulling banners stating “GodLESS America!” and “Atheism is Patriotic”. They are only flying in 26 states, as many companies have refused to pull the banners. A company in North Carolina stated “I’m not going to Hell flying that sign!” The Atheists would of course argue that they will not be going to Hell, or Heaven, in either case. American Atheists say that is exactly the sort of bigotry they are fighting. You can see the schedule of flights on their website. God bless America.
A recent poll by CNN found that 61% of Americans believe that Osama bin Laden is burning in hell. Only 5% said that they do not believe in hell. It always amazes me that so many Christians, who follow the message of love from Jesus, believe in a God that would have a soul tormented for all eternity rather than offering oblivion. Yes, there is a loving God who wants me to love him, but if I choose not to believe he will roast me forever. A recent book “Love Wins”, by Rob Bell a pastor of Mars Hill bible church in Michigan, addressed this very issue. Another pastor, Chad Holtz, of a Methodist Church in North Carolina wrote a note in Facebook, backing this book. Two days later following complaints from members of the church, Chad was dismissed from his position. Get the full story in the Times Free Press.
Personally, I believe that hell was invented by the church to help control people. If there is a God who torments souls forever, He doesn’t sound like the kind of being I could love. If I’m wrong, I’ll see you in hell.
Jesus following on from his last appearance in South Carolina, has now been sighted on a tree limb in North Carolina. Bill Johnson, of Winston-Salem, noticed the image on the limb, which had fallen from a cherry tree in his garden. “That looks like Jesus” he said, “It just amazed me.” Bill believes that this was a reminder for him to attend church more often, but he is missing the point. Look carefully at the miraculous image and you will notice an uncanny resemblance to Obi Wan Kenobi or some other Jedi Knight. In the centre of the picture you can clearly see his light sabre. Obviously Obi-Wan is a fictional character, so this must be Jesus paying homage to all those Apathists who write Jedi as their religion on census forms. Thank you for your support Jesus.