Anne Rice, famous for her novels about vampires, underwent a spiritual conversion and returned to her Roman Catholic faith over ten years ago, as she described in her recent book Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. She wrote a novel called Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt about the young Jesus from his own point of view, and it was quite well received by many. Continue reading Anne Rice quits Christianity
First, Elton John plays at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding. Then, he defies the pressure to boycott Israel and plays in Tel Aviv. Now, he’s played a gig in Arizona and taken the time to lash into those who would boycott that state because of the recently-passed law vis-à-vis illegal immigrants.
Those attending Christian churches this morning following the most common Lectionaries would, I think, have heard from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 11 (KJV):
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Take it where you find it: Democrats Shelve Climate Bill (at least until after November when a lame-duck Congress may prove the most reckless and destructive ever).
And Charlie Rangel is (finally) charged with multiple ethics violations. The former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, flouting the very tax law he wrote, and whatever else he could find to flout, is apparently going to receive a genuine wrist-slap. Ah, justice.
Geert Wilders is a Dutch political leader who has attracted most attention for his uncompromising warnings about and his courageous stand against the Islamification of Europe.
The other day, a website and forum called MuslimsDebate.com asked him point-blank “why he became anti-Islam and what is his message to the Muslims?”
His answer is highly worth reading. It serves as both a brief and clarifying summary of why he believes Muslims need to liberate themselves from Islam.
The creators of comment spam, in endeavoring to have their comments and their associated links approved by humble blog-operators, are endlessly creative. Today, I couldn’t help pausing and savoring this one, before zapping it into oblivion:
Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!
Shame indeed on those search engines. Come back again, flattering spam bot, anytime!
The evidence just keeps piling up. From the Beeb:
Having low vitamin D levels may increase a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life, say Finnish researchers. Continue reading Low Vitamin D levels linked to Parkinson’s Disease
Tom Jones’ new album is called Praise & Blame,and has a distinct tilt towards songs of faith, like What Good Am I?, Didn’t It Rain, and Lord Help the Poor and Needy. Now, an e-mail from the vice-president of Island Records, David Sharpe, has been leaked by someone, and it indicates some extreme displeasure with the Tom’s latest musical direction. From WalesOnline:
Mr Sharpe fumed to colleagues: “I have just listened to the album and want to know if this is some sick joke?”[…] [The e-mail] stated: “We did not invest a fortune in an established artist for him to deliver 12 tracks from the common book of prayer.
“This is certainly not what we paid for.”
Jones is not happy about this and is making his feelings clear.
“In the press it says that I’ve gone off and made something that the record company didn’t pay me for and that they don’t like it.
“People tell me that all publicity is good publicity, that’s what I’ve been told.
“People say to me ‘well it’s being talked about’, but to me it’s being talked about in a negative way.
“Hopefully, if there’s any good that comes out of it, it’s that people will wonder about [the new album]. But it isn’t the way I would handle it by going and making a stupid statement. That’s not going to help it.
“They’ve apologised, they can’t apologise enough – and they’ve said ‘we’ll make good on this’.”
Some people, perhaps including Tom Jones, are not entirely sure if this e-mail reflected Sharpe’s real opinions or if the leaking of it is in fact a kind of publicity stunt. However, I think we may mislead ourselves by assuming too much deviousness, when in fact Sharpe’s scathing response to Tom Jones’ gospel music is pretty much par for the course amongst record executives when one of their secular artists makes this kind of move.
It’s well established history how the execs at Columbia hated Bob Dylan’s gospel stuff, and went out of their way to bury Saved.(Some conspiracy theorists even suspect they sabotaged the mix on that record.) I’ve written in a different venue on how Paddy McAloon’s masterpiece Let’s Change the World With Musicwas dismissed, if not suppressed, by those in control of the purse strings at Sony in the U.K. back in 1992, reportedly because of discomfort with numerous references to the divine in the songs’ lyrics.
The only thing I wonder is this: In these cases, do the record company executives oppose songs of faith because they genuinely believe that kind of music won’t sell (in which case I think they’re grossly mistaken) or does the attitude come from a deep antipathy towards the very concept of belief in God?
Motivations tend to be messy, so what’s going on is probably a combination of the two, but I would not at all underestimate the latter cause.
I do note that it’s quite sad that an Englishman would refer to the venerable old Book of Common Prayer as the “common book of prayer.”
I know that Michael Steele has made a variety of gaffes since he’s been Chairman of the Republican National Committee, but all that has never been particularly interesting to me. Most people in America have at best only the vaguest idea of who he is and what he does — which is as it should be, for a position that is very inside-the-beltway and inside-politics — and so the things that have annoyed the other political junkies have seemed of little consequence to me, presuming that Steele is basically doing his job. But the comments he has made regarding the war in Afghanistan are simply off the charts. Continue reading Steele should melt away