Church

Video: Archbishop of Belgium has Pies Smashed in his Face

Why? For his pro-life, pro-marriage views:

A renowned Belgian prankster posted footage Wednesday showing the leader of Belgium’s Roman Catholic Church Andre-Joseph Leonard being hit four times by custard pies.

Footage obtained by AFP shows a stunned Leonard’s face and black winter coat covered in a white foam-like product.

It is the second time the archbishop has been targeted.

One of those who ran up and slapped a custard pie in Leonard’s face told Belgian media that “for all those homosexuals who daren’t tell their parents they are gay, for all those young girls who want to have an abortion, he absolutely deserved it.”


Shocking.

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Culture

On Israel

The Lord deals with the nations as the nations deal with the Jews

 – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister from 1874-1880

Then this via the Jerusalem Post:

An anti-tank missile shot from the Gaza Strip directly hit a school bus outside Kibbutz Sa’ad in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council on Thursday, injuring two people. Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to respond speedily and to attack using all means necessary…

 

Culture

Earthquake: Japan Hit Again!

A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit northeastern Japan late Thursday, seismologists said, prompting Japanese authorities to issue a localised tsunami alert.

Times Live:

The quake, which hit at 11:32 pm local time (1432 GMT), had a magnitude of 7.4, according to the US Geological Survey, which said it struck 66 kilometres (40 miles) east of Sendai. 

Japan’s weather bureau issued a tsunami alert for the Pacific coast, saying that waves of up to two metres could hit the shoreline. 

In a statement on its website the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said it did not expect a Pacific-wide tsunami. 

The quake had a depth of 25.6 kilometres (15.9 miles), the USGS said. 

Although the epicentre was at a distance of 333 kilometres (207 miles) from Tokyo, it caused buildings to shake in the Japanese capital. 

“Please do not hesitate to leave for higher ground, nor try to return to the coast line. Please do not try to check the status of the coastline,” broadcaster NHK said repeatedly. 

Its advise not to go to the coastline was supposedly addressed to fishermen worried about their boats.

According to the Telegraph, emergency workers at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have been ordered to evacuate.

Bible Archaeology

Dig for Mona Lisa’s Bones to Begin

Historians are resorting to grave-digging in an effort to learn the true identity of the woman in the iconic painting.

Discovery News:

The woman believed to have inspired Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa may be exhumed in a bid to recreate her face, Italian researchers announced this week.

Most scholars believe that the Mona Lisa, known as La Gioconda in Italian or La Joconde in French, is the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, a member of a minor noble family of rural origins who married the wealthy merchant Francesco del Giocondo.

“Her life is no longer a mystery,” said Giuseppe Pallanti, who carried out extensive research on the Renaissance woman.

Pallanti, who is not involved in the project, traced back Lisa’s life from her birth on June 15, 1479 to her death at the age of 63. He discovered that Lisa died in the convent of Sant’Orsola, a now derelict building in the heart of Florence.

The hunt for her bones will start there later this month…

More here.

Oh Dear, Oh Dear! What’s next?

Church

Episcopal Church: Littering is like a Crucifixion

From the Creative Minority Report:

From what I understand Good Friday and Earth Day fall on the same day this year. Hooray! I, however, will not be giving Earth Day a moment’s thought after I write this post (unless I think of something demeaning and funny to say about it later.) On Good Friday I will likely pray and watch “The Passion of the Christ” on DVD, not meditate and watch “An Inconvenient Truth.”

But it seems that an office of the Episcopalian Church sees great significance in the confluence of the calendar and want everyone to remember that it’s Earth Day. They even go so far as to compare littering with a crucifixion. Yup.

The Daily Caller reports:

The Episcopal Church’s office of Economic and Environmental Affairs released a statement urging followers to stay mindful of global warming, recycling and reducing carbon dioxide emissions while celebrating the ancient Christian holiday in 2011.

“This year Earth Day falls within Holy Week, specifically on Good Friday, a profound coincidence,” said Mike Schut, a church spokesman. “To fully honor Earth Day, we need to reclaim the theology that knows Earth is ‘very good,’ is holy. When we fully recognize that, our actions just may begin to create a more sustainable, compassionate economy and way of life.”…

Schut continued: “On Good Friday, the day we mark the crucifixion of Christ, God in the flesh, might we suggest that when Earth is degraded, when species go extinct, that another part of God’s body experiences yet another sort of crucifixion — that another way of seeing and experiencing God is diminished?”

The church set up a website for the celebration of Earth Day, complete with links to resources on how to best get involved on the extra special day.

Seriously? So littering is like a crucifixion? I think it’s about time someone took away the fax machine from the Episcopal Church’s office of Economic and Environmental Affairs.

Or maybe we could all spend Good Friday journaling about how the Risen Lord is just really a great step in recycling?

Bible Archaeology

The Myth of the Burning Garbage Dump of Gehenna

I have long wanted to do a little work to debunk the endlessly repeated myth that the Hinnom Valley (Gehenna) was a perpetually burning trash dump.  There simply is no evidence to support the idea, but because it seems a reasonable explanation for the origin of the Hinnom Valley as “hell,” writers and preachers accept and propagate the story…

The explanation for the “fire of Gehenna” lies not in a burning trash dump, but in the burning of sacrificed children…

Read the whole post over at Bible Places.