In response to people having problems with the rising cost of gas (petrol to you Europeans), the Journey Church is sponsoring a 50c per gallon reduction for 2 hours this Saturday, April 12th. So if you are in the neighbourhood of Boca Raton, Florida, this weekend, drive on over and get some cheap gas with their blessing. They ran a similar “Gas Buy Down” last year and had a very good response. The Lead Pastor, Nelson Searcy, says it is a practical way to share God’s love and is a great way to be a blessing to the people of his community. The church has also partnered on outreach projects and seeks creative ways to make a difference in people’s lives. Very refreshing. So get yourself over to the Miracle Mart at 1380 North Federal Highway, Boca Racon, FL this Saturday between 11am and 1pm to fill your tank
Personally, I blame Homer Simpson. In one episode he prayed “I know I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please, save me, Superman!” So that got people thinking about the similarities between them. That in turn has led to Warner Bros targeting their Man of Steel movie at US Christian audiences by explicitly comparing Superman to Jesus. Together with a marketing firm, they have set up the Man of Steel – Ministry Resource web site, to encourage Ministers to use Superman in their sermons. They thoughtfully provide Sermon Outlines such as “Jesus – The Original Superhero” and “Jesus – More than our Super Man”. Unfortunately, I’ve missed all the advance screenings of Man of Steel for pastors, but I don’t think they were in my town anyway. How in God’s name are we going to nail the man of steel to a crucifix?
Atheists in Streator, Illinois offended some Christians during Easter week by erecting a sign saying “Nobody died for our ‘sins’, Jesus Christ is a myth”. It was erected in protest against an Easter display of crosses in the same park. It caused so much offense that by Easter Sunday, the sign had disappeared and all that was left were two bent poles. In response the Atheist group, Freedom from Religion Foundation, offered a reward of $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. They also want it treated as a hate crime. The sign in the picture is a replacement sign, to which they have added the additional message, “P.S. your god says ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’”
Do you have an imaginary friend? If you believe in a God then the Colorado Coalition of Reason think you do. They are putting up billboards declaring that God is an imaginary friend and urging people to choose reality because it will be better for all of us. They say the billboards are not intended to cause offense, but to let like minded Atheists know that they are not alone. On their website they say they are not asking people to stop believing in their version of a supernatural being, just to stop trying to make everyone else do the same. Amen Brother. God Bless Atheism.
It’s nearing the end of October when lots of people will have fun dressing up in weird costumes, setting off fireworks and otherwise celebrating the ancient pagan feast of Hallowen. Not if Paul Ade, a pastor from Calgary in Canada, has anything to do with it. He is promoting Jesus Ween, a Christian festival, which occurs on the very same date. Instead of skimpy costumes and ghoulish outfits, he wants people to wear white to symbolise righteousness. Is White Power making a comeback? He also hands out bibles instead of sweets. He sounds like a regular killjoy. In between composing Jesus Ween songs and running advertising campaigns on buses he found time to claim that the origins of Halloween come from early Christianity and All Hallow’s Eve. That in fact was the first hijacking of the Pagan feast, when the church introduced All Saint’s Day on November 1st. However, dressing up, eating fruit and candy and lighting bonfires is way more fun. I don’t think the Jesus Ween crowd will have much more luck attracting the masses. Next they will claim that Christmas is all about Jesus!
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.
Why do religious zealots need everyone else to believe what they believe? Family Radio spent a fortune on billboards trying to convince us that the world would end on May 21st this year. The leader of this cult is now saying that believers were saved on that day and it is now too late for salvation for the rest, although other broadcasters on the station are giving a different message. The icon on their website (wecanknow.com isn’t that ironic) is still a little calendar date of May 21, but there is no other mention of the date. They still say the world is about to end, but they are not so certain of the exact date anymore. The latest set of religious billboards to upset people are appearing in Sydney, Australia, sponsored by the Islamic group MyPeace. The slogan that seems to be causing most offense among Christians is “Jesus: Prophet of Islam”. They seem to think that would encourage Christians to see the similarities between the faiths, but it actually shows one of the fundamental differences. More details at onislam.net. Last Christmas we had an Atheist group, in New York, putting up billboards about the birth in a manger being a myth, which was counteracted by Christian billboards saying it was real. Before that it was billboards on buses, in the UK, saying there is definitely no God, again counteracted by there definitely is a God. The Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Atheist has a meditation on American religious billboards. Although it all provides great amusement for Apathists, who don’t care who is right, it is an awful waste of money that could be used for better purpose. So why do people spend so much trying to convince others to share their beliefs? My guess is that it’s easier to have strong beliefs in things that have no evidence or proof, if lots of other people believe it too. We can’t all be crazy, can we?