Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Swedish freedom from religion

Gud får inte vara med när skolan samlas i kyrkan

Anna Ekström, generaldirektör, Skolverket
Claes-Göran Aggebo, undervisningsråd, Skolverket
Dagens Nyheter debat

These two administrators of Swedish school system say that you can go ahead and let your school keep Christmas time celebrations in a church building but do not dare to mention God there. No prayer, no singing, no confession of faith.

Such is the freedom from religion in Sweden today.

The term church means a sacred building intended for divine worship.

Once a building has been consecrated as a church it may not be used again for a secular purpose.

IMHO Any Swedish Christian church that has been used in such an unholy secular celebration of December 25 becomes a place where most serious blasphemy has taken place. Such a building should be consecrated as a place of worship by a Bishop before it can be called a church again.

Also I humbly advise all Swedish school principals to keep end of semester celebrations in any other place but do not go and mock God in His own house and make it Devil's house.

Who am I to judge or advise?

Nobody, really...

So pay attention to what I say and not to who I am or am not :-|

Dutch scrap blasphemy law

BBC News told 29 November 2012 that
Dutch authorities have decided to approve a motion abandoning a law under which it is a crime to insult God.

The legislation, introduced in the 1930s, has not been invoked in the last half century.

However, it still remains illegal under Dutch law to be disrespectful to police officers or to insult Queen Beatrix, the country's monarch.
read the entire BBC News article here
Considering my comment on the movie Titan A.E. a few hours ago in this blog this piece of news is very timely.

The legislation against "insulting God" was not introduced in order to protect God but to protect people.

As we can see in the world today blasphemous people are doing very well and are not afraid of the wrath of God or gods.

Fools as they are.

The problem is that God of Israel does exactly what He wants and when He wants and there is nothing we can do except to pray for Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Titan A.E. (2000) catastrophe

Don Bluth (b. 1937) wikimedia
Famed movie director Don Bluth and his friend, director Gary Goldman, surely had their hopes high for the future of 20th Century Fox Animation with the fabulously animated Titan A.E. (After Earth). After all, with the cast of voices of Matt Demon as the hero Cale Tucker, Drew Barrymore as his love interest Akima Kunimoto and Bill Pullman as Captain Joseph Korso the movie had the required popular stars. The animation of the Ice Planet is spectacular and there is enough action and emotional involvement to keep everyone in the audience interested.

So why was this such a box office bomb making barely half of its seemingly unlimited budget of 75 million dollars? Titan A.E. caused the immediate collapse of Fox Animated.

It has been suggested that the problem was in poor marketing that confused the target audience. Is this an animated post-apocalyptic science fiction movie or a Disney competition aimed at very young audience with some childish characters?

The glory of God

Image Sci-Fi Movies
I have another and much more serious theory why Titan A.E. was such a disaster.

The deepest problem is that the plot that does not give glory to God. Hans Bauer and Randall McCormick imagined a post-Earth world in 3028 where it is professor Sam Tucker who had the truly divine powers to device a machine that can create another planet instead of the one destroyed by the Drej.

The God of Israel who is the only real God there is says through prophet Isaiah
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.
Isaiah 48:11 NIV 
The movie Titan A.E. is aimed at youngsters and young adults who are learning about the real world. It is corrupting the minds of these children as it does not give glory to God but instead elevates humans assigning them divine powers. (God has made as almost divine as Psalm 8 says).

So has the God of Israel no sense of humor then?

Is He really so jealous about His own glory that even an animated Science-Fiction movie, the words of a legendary pop singer or a Son of God like superhero capable of turning time back and raising a dead back to life can provoke His anger?

Fox Animation Studios is no more - it sank with Titan A.E. in 2000 A.D.
John Lennon (1940-1980) may have been more popular than Christ for Jesus never searched for the popularity of crowds.
Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) had to spend the rest of his life on wheelchair which he did splendidly but as disabled former Superman became also a global symbol of the fragility of us humans.

So my advise to Don Bluth and other gifted movie producers is: go and learn from Steven Spielberg how to give respect to God and how to glorify human spirit and achievement in a way that contains a dose of humility, as well.

"Abe" Spielberg is doing quite well, thank you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cyrus cylinder touring USA in 2013

Kyros sylinteri
BBC news

The Great King of Persia, Cyrus II (600 or 567-530 BC) ordered a document to be written after the conquest of Babylon in 539 BC.

British Museum expedition discovered the cuneiform seal in the ruins of Babylon in 1879 and it has since been on display in London.

During 2010-2011 the cylinder was on loan to Iran where about a million people came to see it.

According to BBC news the cylinder is now leaving for the first time to the USA. It will be on display first in Washington DC on March 2013 and continue from there to Houston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. (If all goes well it returns back to London after that... I am sure they have carefully chosen the insurance company to cover this trip.)

Cyrus grants religious freedom to the nations under Persian rule each worshipping their own gods according to their customs and permits exiled by the Babylonians to return home.

The document is first of its kind in the history of mankind watching over the rights of conquered people and the rights of minorities. It is therefore appropriate that a copy of the cylinder is on permanent display in the headquarters of United Nations in New York

Tomb of Cyrus II Pasargade, Iran
Alexander the Great visited the tomb twice

It is an interesting sign of our times and in a way saddening that the anonymous writer of the BBC news item does not refer to the holy Bible.

Great King Cyrus II is a central historical figure in the Jewish Bible and has a crucial role in the history of the Jewish people. The most magnificent texts are in Deutero-Isaiah where the God of Israel speaks about Cyrus

“Be silent before me, you islands!
    Let the nations renew their strength!
Let them come forward and speak;
    let us meet together at the place of judgment.
“Who has stirred up one from the east,
    calling him in righteousness to his service[a]?
He hands nations over to him
    and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
    to windblown chaff with his bow.
He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
    by a path his feet have not traveled before.
Who has done this and carried it through,
    calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
    and with the last—I am he.”

Isaiah 41:1-4

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Defiling entertainment (Angus T. Jones)

Sarah Butler as Jennifer Hill
The Day of the Woman (2010)
And no, Jesus is not talking about the dangers of non-kosher food.
Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said,
"Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them."

After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.
“Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.”(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

He went on:
“What comes out of a person is what defiles them.
For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder,  adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.
All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Mark 7:17-23

Quite a list that describes some of the story lines and plots we find so entertaining that millions of dollars are spent to defile us with the stuff. For without this, would it be true life, would it be even interesting?
We could easily give names of entertaining shows that are built around these themes rising from our human hearts

sexual immorality

Well, is there anything we good people can do about the entertainment industry - from movie theaters and Broadway shows to TV series and arcade games - that defile our children and us while enormously enriching those who do so?

Not much, I guess, for the show must go on.

It is still worth remembering the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.

Like a light in the night.

It is interesting in this context of the teaching of Jesus Christ in the New Testament that August T. Jones has apologised for calling Two and a Half Men "filth" and not to follow the example of the actors there.