Late Night: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

There’s a lot that’s going on out in the world and while some of it has nothing to do with Halloween it does provide some good fodder for costumes. Other costumes are in bad taste, “too soon” or not. What are you doing/wearing for Halloween?

Now for the very scary: According to a certain Christian sect very popular among elected conservatives, Ted Cruz is the Anointed King who will redistribute wealth. And why if liberals want to do it, distribution of wealth is Evil; but if Ted Cruz does it, it’s totally cool? The answer lies in a sermon delivered by Dominionist preacher Larry Huch at his megachurch August 26, 2012, where Ted Cruz’ father Rafael Cruz also delivered a sermon. Huch preached:

The number 12 means ‘divine government’, that God begins to rule and reign. Not Wall Street, not Washington – God’s people and his kingdom will begin to rule and reign…I know that’s why God got Rafael’s son elected – Ted Cruz, the next Senator. But here’s the exciting thing – and that’s why I know it’s timely for him to teach this, and bring this anointing. The rabbinical teaching is, especially amongst gentiles, who God opens their eyes, that in a few weeks begins that year 2012, and that this will begin what we call the “End Time Transfer of Wealth.

And that when these gentiles begin to receive this blessing, they will never go back financially through the valley again. They will grown and grow and grow. It’s said this way – that God is looking at the church, and everyone in it, and deciding, in the next 3 and 1/2 years, who will be his bankers. And the ones that say, “Here am I, Lord, you can trust me,” we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the Messiah. This message if for you. Would you welcome our good friend Rafael Cruz ? What a tremendous man of God.

The elder Cruz then took the pulpit and said:

The pastor [Huch] referred to Proverbs 13:22, a little while ago, which says that the wealth of the wicked is stored for the righteous. And it is through the kings, anointed to take dominion, that that transfer of wealth is going to occur. God, even though he’s sovereign, even though he’s omnipotent, he doesn’t let it rain out of the sky – he’s going to use people to do it.

The theological implications of this are huge, as are the political and social.  And scarier than any goblin at your doorstep.

Left Behind: Nic Cage Whores Himself Out

 

Times must still be tough for Nic Cage. He’s offered himself up to God the Left Behind movie series, and it’s really kinda gross. Well, maybe there are some gross points involved, though I wouldn’t hold my breath on the Academy Award-winning actor getting rich off those: The original Left Behind only grossed $4.2 million at the box office in 2001, making it the 18th most successful  Christian-themed/Christian-produced movie of all time, lagging far behind the The Passion of the Christ, the Narnia series, both The Omega Code movies (that  is pretty sad, those Omega Code flicks sucked massively), and a lot of movies that no one outside of a mega-church supper has ever heard of, like Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed  (no comment), End of the Spear, and One Night with the King (why do those last two titles make me think of M2M porn?).

According to the Christian Post, Paul Lalonde, CEO of Stoney Lake Entertainment and co-founder of Cloud Ten Pictures, which produced and distributed the first three Left Behinds, two of which went straight to video, said his company was rebooting Left Behind in order to give it the blockbuster treatment many fans and one of the bestselling novels’ authors, Tim LaHaye, had felt the original version deserved.  Producer Lalonde, who co-wrote the script for this version of Left Behind as well as co-writing the direct-to-video Left Behind II: Tribulation Force and having solo writing credits for the initial Left Behind, told the Christian Post:

It has always been my goal to produce a big-budget version of ‘Left Behind’ that would appeal to a wider audience. The resources to do this exist now where they didn’t back in 2000.

The “big budget” is estimated at $15million, small by today’s blockbuster standards but big enough to cover special effects and with teen-fan faves Chad Michael Murray and Ashley Tisdale (from High School Musical) and a PG-13 rating, it might draw enough to make its money back. Expect a lot of action: Director Vic Adams has worked as a stunt director on numerous films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo III, The Green Hornet, and Charlie’s Angels, and  began his career as a stuntman in You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He has directed one film, Army of One, but has an impressive résumé as a second unit director.

But Nicolas Cage? Srsly wtf are you thinking?  Nic Cage, by starring in this movie, you’re promoting a worldview that is negative, narrow, destructive, jingoistic, rigid, anti-sex, anti-comic books, anti-cool, and uptight. Left Behind upholds the pre-tribulation, absolutely nutbag, we-have-to-be-right-so-we’ll-bring-about-the-end-of-the-world thought process that’s at the foundation of the Assemblies of God, other Seven Hills Dominionists, and prophetic, evangelical Conservative Christians. Nic, don’t you understand that eschatology is scatology? Didn’t you used to be edgy, underground, bizarrely hip? This is not a risky role, this is pathetic. All I can think, aside from you needing cash, is that you wanted to give the internets some new memes. But Cage denies he takes roles for paychecks, telling the Guardian:

I’m one of those Americans who believes in working. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, you don’t just roll over on people or cave in, you find a way through it. But in film acting, for some reason you get criticised for working.

But this was the best role you felt you were offered for the time period? Wow.  In all fairness, Cage has three movies released or scheduled for release in 2013, the animated The Croods, Joe, and Frozen Ground which co-stars John Cusack and came out in June on limited release and video-on-demand. Left Behind, still in production, and Tokarev, an action film set in the Russian mob, now in post-production, will be released next year. Four other films have Nicolas Cage’s name attached, but only the Paul Schrader-directed  The Dying of the Light has a release date listed on IMDBpro.com.

At least Kirk Cameron, who starred in the original three  Left Behinds and Michael York who appeared in the execrable laugh/shite fest  The Omega Code and Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 have the excuse they are fundie Christians to fall back on. (Same could be said about John Travolta and Battlefield Earth, though Vinnie Barbarino was promoting a different, totalitarian belief system altogether.) The only thing that makes sense is that Cage needs money: At one point he owned two castles, fifteen luxury properties, a fleet of Rolls Royces, and a Gulfstream jet, and yet owed millions in back taxes to the tune of $14 million which he is paying off, And faced three multi-million dollar lawsuits. He blamed his business manager, who in turn blamed the actor’s lavish lifestyle, saying he had urged actor to cut back and to set aside $10 million as cushion:

to alleviate the financial pressure to take film roles that might be detrimental to his career.

Wow, a slave to Mamon indeed. I wonder how much of the estimated $15 million budget Cage is being paid. And did the film producers do their due diligence? Cage has said he has no religion and he donated to Al Gore’s campaign. But maybe that doesn’t matter to Cloud Ten Productions. But it might matter to the audience, though clearly, from the film’s poster, Cage does get left behind, so maybe that’s fairness in advertising.

(And Chad Michael Murray, who played super dreamboat Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill, is this the best you can do? I’m embarrassed for you. Maybe you’re embarrassed too, because your website doesn’t mention Left Behind in its news section. Though you did play young David Alexander in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, so maybe you’re acting on faith.)

Tim LaHaye, who conceived of and co-wrote the hugely successful Left Behind books with Jerry Jenkins, was a member of the original board of directors of the Moral Majority and an organizer of the Council for National Policy. And if that’s not enough conservative credentials, LaHaye was the former co-chair of Jack Kemp’s presidential campaign. But LaHaye is not happy about the script, telling the Christian Post:

It’s probably the worst script I’ve ever read. And I’ve read scores of them. The plot line is nothing like the book. The only thing they retain are the names of the people, and maybe places. There is no redemptive value to this movie.

But hell, LaHaye has never been happy about the Left Behind movies in the past, calling them

church basement movies.

He took Cloud Ten to court in a case that lasted nine years because he was disappointed that 2001′s Left Behind starring Kirk Cameron didn’t get the initial theatrical production he said the contract had called for and he had dreamed about. Um, because no one cared enough to invest in a large production?  Granted the film rights were negotiated between June 1996 and April 1997, before the Christian prophecy novels became a publishing phenomenon, but that’s a gamble everyone took. LaHaye lost the lawsuit, but had the option to remake the series, and if he did not exercise that option (which he didn’t), the rights would revert back to Cloud Ten (which they have). According to Left Behind’s website:

The LEFT BEHIND reboot will focus on the hours immediately following the rapture. It will not cover everything that the first book includes, but will be more specifically concentrated on those first few hours and the chaos of the world in the wake of millions of people vanishing with no explanation…

Without warning, millions of people around the globe simply vanish.

All that remains are their clothes and belongings … and an overwhelming sense of terror. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn.

Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. And there is no one to help or provide answers. In an instant, the earth has been plunged into darkness.

For RAY STEELE, the pilot of a jumbo jet, it means trying to calm his hysterical passengers who saw loved ones vanish before their eyes.

It remains to been seen if Nic Cage,who stars as Ray Steele, can redeem the Left Behind  franchise and/or if Christians will  flock to the  theaters to see a movie that stars a former -Papist-turned-non-believer and who’s been so crucified by the man who immaculately conceived the original canon. I just know I’m going to hell for making these jokes.

HT: Truth-out.org

Liberals, Religious Right Cursing NSA in Orgiastic Ritual

There’s a weird Top Sekrit location where the left, the middle, the conservatives, and the absolute raving bonkerites meet, dropping their armor and  laying aside all their other conflicts. Lately the meal served at this swingers club is a boiling stew of stupid cooked up by the NSA which has managed unite almost every group from the far right religious fringe to the tree hugging vegans on the left.

Case in point, the video below from Former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt of the ‘Pray In Jesus Name’ website  (and truly, after exploring his website, I’m really glad he’s no longer a military chaplain!):

There is a spirit of  secrecy that is really just lawbreaking in its lawlessness, and they’re doing this all behind the scenes and they’ll send out a public statement, ‘Oh we don’t have a domestic spying program.’ But they voted to fund a domestic spying program, they’re just calling it something else. And we’re exposing that, and really it has its roots in a Satanic evil spirit of violation, of tyranny really…

And then “Dr Chaps” goes on to quote some scripture and pray away the demon of tyranny who is

using the White House occupant, that demonic spirit that is oppressing us…Father, we hope that you will help the president repent, repent of this violation, of his defense now of violating our Fourth Amendment rights.

So on behalf of Americans everywhere: All races, colors and creeds, of all sexualities, all income levels and classes, let us now all come together and send out a rousing thank you to the NSA for uniting us against their snooping policies. Meanwhile, check our Dr Chaps in all his NSA demon bustin’ glory:

 

HT: Disinfo.com

James Franco’s Occult Experience (NSFW Video!)

Actor/musician/scholar/curator/bon-vivant/flâneur/bohemian/author James Franco is at it again, caressing the occult and hoping it won’t snap back. In December, Franco was supposed to be the vessel for the invocation of the Martial force of Bartzabel in a ritual designed by that great mage Aleister Crowley and performed by hip occultist Brian Butler. Only Franco didn’t show (he allegedly missed his flight), and clearly Bartzabel didn’t either, since the Not-James-Franco-Actor recited the exact same same lines from Crowley’s original work with rehearsed, overwrought precision which kinda made me wonder if this had all been a bait and switch. The event had great set dressing though, and featured Twilight: New Moon actress Noot Seear as one of the acolytes.

Now Franco’s back in the magick mode, directing two videos of the remixed song “Love in the Old Days” (which is blandly catchy) from his band Daddy that are loaded with occult imagery and are NSFW. Again, these videos are NSFW because of naked breasts. These NSFW videos feature ritual elements, Baphomet, esoteric images, and one of occultism’s few living legends, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, author of Hollywood Babylon and the guy who taught Anita Pallenberg how to nail a frog to cross, per author Tony Sanchez’s Up and Down with the Rolling Stones. And naked breasts.

Franco’s use of masked figures call to mind The Wicker Man (and David Icke’s fear of shape-shifting, flesh-eating reptiles who are allegedly the Royal family). But it remains to be seen if they’ll upset One Million Moms and Focus on the Family with their devilistic intent  and naked breasts.

(And btw the LA Times just wishes Franco would go away)

HT: Disinformation (more…)

Rick Perry Voodoo Dolls: This Witch Says “Banish Them!”

I am a practicing witch, and I can laugh at my belief system; I do easily and often. It is just as goofy sounding as other people’s (Transubstantiation? Space lice from exploding volcanoes? Flying donkey?). But I do cringe at things like these Rick Perry voodoo dolls because they perpetuate dangerous, off-base stereotypes and do nothing to help either pro-choice factions or non-Christians.

When it comes to the Texas Legislature and Governor Rick Perry’s plans to shut down Texas abortion clinics [corset maker Michelle Sinched of Mr. Sinched] is the exact opposite of amused. Now she’s taking the fight to the man she calls “Governor Goodhair” in her own way; with voodoo dolls of the Governor complete with tampon pins to act out your anger and or hexes upon his person…

Each Perry voodoo doll is handmade by Sinched from materials left over from her many other projects. You can purchase a casual Perry doll in a anti-abortion coat hanger T-shirt for $25, or a suited version for $30. They are also available as a pair for $50, and each comes with a blank sign so you may write the pro-life slogan or Perry gaffe of your choice. The clothes are removable.

Sinched plans to give all profits to Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this month at an Austin, Texas  rally

the prolife side sang Amazing Grace. The pro-abortion side tried to drown them out by shouting “Hail Satan!”

Now granted those leading the chant might have been agitators. Or they might have been anti-Christian pro-choicers. Still, yuck.

Fundamentalists view the battle against abortion as a holy war, a Crusade. Those who are pro-choice have a variety of reasons for wanting abortion rights and access to birth control. Despite what the creepier areas of the interwebs would like to make you believe, very few, if any, of those reasons have to do with sacrificing babies to some dark force which would then uh make things worse than they already are. Here’s where the theology gets complicated and stops making sense. But basically, for fundies abortion– followed closely by The Gays–is the reason everything is wrong in America.

Fundamentalists want to make abortion about religion, about theocratic control of the individual. By countering with voodoo dolls and chants of

Hail Satan

pro-choicers are just playing into their hands.

Ignorant Rick Warren’s Ugandan BFF is Dangerously Crazy

In a pre-election video, Rick Warren,who says he would never endorse a candidate but on moral issues makes it really clear whom he prefers–once again fondles a favorite rotting corpse of lies, that "for 5,000 years in every religion marriage has been one man and one woman." Then in an astounding leap of linguistic faith Pastor Rick says that:

There are about 2% of Americans who are homosexual or gay and lesbian people. We should not let 2% of the population change the definition of marriage.

This is not even just a Christian issue. It’s a humanitarian and human issue.

WTF?!  You wanna talk humanitarian issues, Pastor Rick? Let’s talk about your BFF  and partner in the fight on AIDS in Africa, Martin Ssempa who has appeared on stage at Saddleback Church twice and who moved your wife to tears as she declared

You are my brother, Martin, and I love you. 

Ssempa has burned condoms in the name of Jesus, called on newspapers to publish the names of known homosexuals and urged the imprisonment of gays.  And Ssempa is hugely crazy, one of the many evangelized African pastors dangerously obsessed with witchcraft.

As Max Blumenthal writes, Ssempa, who has a room set aside for exorcisms–when interviewed by  Dr. Helen Epstein, author of The Invisible Cure: Why We’re Losing The Fight Against AIDS In Africa–told the public health expert

that Satan worshipers hold meetings under Lake Victoria, where they are promised riches in exchange for human blood, which they collect by staging car accidents and kidnappings.

Blumenthal reports that Ssempe is a close friend with Uganda’s First Lady Janet Museveni, who on New Year’s Eve 1999 rededicated the country to the "lordship" of Jesus Christ during a stadium revival meeting. She was joined on stage by a pastor who announced:

We renounce idolatry, witchcraft, and Satanism in our land! 

Sounds a bit like Kenyan pastor Thomas Muthee who cast out witchcraft for Sarah Palin in her Wasilla church.

Last May in Kissii Kenya, 11 elderly people were killed and 50 houses torched as a mob went looking for witches. Residents accused the witches of causing their children to perform poorly in school.  Njoroge Ndirangu, the commissioner in charge of Kisii Central district said:

These people identified who is to be killed by accusing their victims of bewitching their sons and daughters.

Both a part of the continent’s history, traditionally "witchcraft" in Africa differed from sorcery. Witchcraft was an accidental inability to control magical powers, an involuntarily wandering evil eye, while sorcery was directed magic.  There were–and still are–also "witch doctors," sorcerers who cure people of both bewitchments and provide cures for illnesses using local herbs–and yes sometimes these are the same thing. And of course there are charlatans who claim magical powers and like many pastors, will take a fee for removing curses and witchery.

Since the 19th century, evangelical Christianity, which has grown more frantic and fanatic since the influx of billions of dollars in HIV funding, has muddied the difference and witches are seen everywhere.  Pastors tell parents that their children, some as young as nine months, who have fevers or cry are possessed and need to be delivered from witchcraft at a price.

Often pastors promise that children and women afflicted with witchery can be "delivered,"  that exorcised of the ability to bewitch, for  a price. But many times the children are abused and abandoned.

Helen Ukpabio, a wealthy Nigerian evangelist filmmaker and president of Liberty Gospel Church, claims to have done 20,000  "deliverances"  in Nigeria and America.

If you don’t deliver a witch, the family can never be at peace. Let us deliver the people who are witches. We should not allow sentiments to come in here, because witchcraft is real…Witchcraft in not only practised in Nigeria. When I went to North Carolina in the United States, there were very many witches. They came to me asking, "Please can you deliver me? Can you deliver me? Please deliver me."

Ukpabio made a popular video showing children allegedly eating corpse and being inducted into a coven.  She told AllAfrica that the film

warns parents to beware of the greed in their children as greedy children who receive everything they see from other children at school or the playground can easily be contaminated.

"Contaminated" by witchcraft. And how does witchcraft tie into HIV/AIDS education and prevention? Pastor Joe Ita, the preacher at Ukpabio’s Liberty Gospel Church explains:

But we cannot attribute all things to witches, they work on inclinations too, so they don’t create HIV, but if you are promiscuous then the witch will give you HIV.

HIV/AIDS activist Reggie Jerrison of Nata Botswana claims he was resurrected from death by Bishop Dr. Barnabas Lekganyane. Jerrison–who takes antiretrovirals after being diagnosed with HIV and works as a peer counsellor advocating condoms and testing–refuses to admit that he got HIV through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion and needle sharing. He says he got HIV through witchcraft.

"I have not been infected by this virus because I had an affair. It is all witchcraft. It is not because I slept with an HIV positive person."

Even after intense questioning on why he blames his infection on witchcraft, he is adamant that someone has bewitched him.

Western church groups need to continue educating people about the real causes of HIV/AIDS–and those causes aren’t witchcraft. European and and American churches working on African HIV/AIDS education–hello, Pastor Rick!–need to turn African evangelicals away from the insanity of riculous accustations which lead to the repulsive abuse of children and the elderly, often at a profit by pastors. To use Rick Warren’s words:

 This is not even just a Christian issue. It’s a humanitarian and human issue.

Christian Extremism: Witchcraft, Murder and Child Abuse

 (WARNING:  EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGES)

Christian religious extremism hits the American psyche when a fundamentalist church– Assemblies of God, which thinks Harry Potter is the gateway to Satanism, while facing charges of child abuse requests a $500,000 earmark from the federal government.  Or when Sarah Palin is cleansed of witchcraft by a Kenyan Assemblies of God minister

This form of religious extremism when exported to Africa is killing people and causing rampant child abuse.

For decades, fundamentalist evangelical churches have sprung up throughout Africa. Some are affiliated with American congregations, while others are a bit more free form; all claim belief in Jesus. Many of them of share a common hysterical belief in "witchcraft."

"Witch" gets misinterpreted as anyone who is different, weaker, who can be scapegoated for one’s troubles. Heck Sarah Palin and her pals "prayed a witch" out of Alaska. And the prayer group gleefully recounted the results.

In Akwa Ibom State, the center of the Nigerian child witch hysteria, the State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, lamented:

The church will torture children and some of the churches will pretend to use oil to try and remove witchcraft from a child. So far we have we have 165 children some of them are not up to 9 months old who have been thrown away by their parents because the church said those children will bring them misfortune.

The Governor  has taken a firm stance, declaring

The churches are busy deceiving people in many aspects including avoiding deaths. We have to do something to re-strengthen the Child Right Law. We must fight against the abuse of children and ensure proper education for them.

AllAfrica news service reports:

Analysts trace the phenomenon to poverty which drags parents to Churches and other spiritual centres to seek prosperity…Further investigations show that such parents are usually ready to pay anything to the spiritualists to "deliver" their children from the "grip of the devil."…In some cases, all that is needed for parents to begin to suspect their children of witchcraft, is a manifestation of certain "strange" behaviour. Others are "identified" any the presence of an "inexplicable" illness afflicting them.

Strange behaviors for the Assemblies of God?

Smoking
Drinking
Drugs
Homosexual behavior
Staying in room alone
Dressing in black (fingernails, lipstick)
Body piercings
Demonic symbols on jewelry & clothes
Music (Marilyn Manson, Godsmack, Korn)
Books (Majick, Harry Potter)
Unusual scars and burns on right hand

 Time to send Trey or Tiffie to Teen Boot Camp.

Or time to crack down on religious abuse of children at home and abroad.


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