Jesus

Todd Starnes of Fox News reports that a non-denominational church in Mississippi that has a membership of about 1,200 people, but can only fit 275 in its sanctuary at one time, booked a conference room run by the University of Mississippi Medical Center in late January to handle expected large Easter crowds.

Two months later – and just a week and two days before Easter – the university abruptly canceled the contract. Marc Rolph, a spokesman for UMMC, told Starnes that “the booking should never have been made in the first place because they only allow their facilities to be used by health-related organizations.”

“The event is not health related and thus is not compliant with our policy,” Rolph had said.

“UMMC offered to let the church hold their service inside a medical mall instead. The church declined that offer. I mean – who wants to hold a church service in a mall?” Starnes continued. “The church has been forced to hold services in their small sanctuary. The pastor said they will accommodate the crowds by holding multiple services throughout the day.”

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IMAGE: Passion of the Christ screenshot

Brittney Cooper, an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and africana studies at Rutgers University, has some interesting views about Jesus.

Writing in Salon this week, she posits:

The Jesus I know, love, talk about and choose to retain was a radical, freedom-loving, justice-seeking, potentially queer (because he was either asexual or a priest married to a prostitute), feminist healer, unimpressed by scripture-quoters and religious law-keepers, seduced neither by power nor evil.

As shocking as that sounds, that view or similar ones is not out of the ordinary among some academics.

A Harvard professor has long maintained Jesus was probably married, citing a 4th century papyrus fragment that implies Jesus had a wife.

A 2013 guest lecture at Swarthmore College by a then-prominent homosexual seminary professor highlighted a growing argument among the queer community that Jesus was bisexual.

The scholar argued there are “seven models” to consider: the Erotic Christ; the Out Christ; the Liberator Christ; the Transgressive Christ; the Self-Loving Christ; the Interconnected Christ; and the Hybrid Christ.

“Jesus Christ is the embodiment of radical love because – in addition to crossing divine and social boundaries – Jesus also crosses sexual boundaries,” Rev. Patrick Cheng said at the time. “This is, Jesus’ life and ministry can be viewed as dissolving the rigid line between ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual.’ ”

The notion that Christianity embraces homosexuality is also not new.

This month last year, The College Fix reported on a “Queering Christianity” series hosted at the University of Kentucky that explored the intersections between the faith and LGBTQ community.

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They plan to put ‘our bodies and/or privilege on the line in visible, public solidarity’

Eric Garner’s dying words are comparable to Jesus Christ’s greetings to his disciples, according to a group of Catholic theologians calling for “a serious examination of both policing and racial injustice in the US.”

More than 430 theologians from Catholic universities as diverse as Marquette, DePaul, Santa Clara and Boston College; secular schools including Duke and Yale; and priests, high school teachers and other workers for religious organizations have signed the statement as of Sunday night.

It was written by Tobias Winright, a professor at Saint Louis University and former law enforcement officer, and published three weeks ago at Catholic Moral Theology, a hub for North American theologians who “want to avoid the standard ‘liberal /conservative’ divide that often characterizes contemporary conversation.”

“[T]his Advent, hope for a just peace must face the flagrant failures of a nation still bound by sin, our bondage to and complicity in racial injustice,” the statement opens.

The document criticizes “the failures of the grand jury process to indict some of the police officers involved” in the shootings of not only Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Garner in Staten Island, but also 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Detroit four years ago and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland last month.

“As Eric Garner’s dying words ‘I can’t breathe’ are chanted in the streets, and as people of faith, we hear the echo of Jesus’ breathing on his disciples, telling them, ‘Peace be with you,’” the statement reads.

Citing Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the statement says the “cup of endurance runs over” again for African Americans: “Our streets are filled with those exhausted by the need to explain yet again ‘why we can’t wait.’”

Just as King challenged “white moderate” Christians on civil rights , the statement reads, the “challenge to the White Christian community is as relevant today as it was over 50 years ago.”

“The time demands that we leave some mark that US Catholic theologians did not ignore what is happening in our midst – as the vast majority sadly did during the 1960s Civil Rights movement.”

The signatories pledged to take several actions, including fasting from meat on Fridays through “the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany” next month; “placing our bodies and/or privilege on the line in visible, public solidarity” with those protesting “deep-seated racism”; and pressuring their bishops to bring anti-racist teaching “to the forefront” of Catholic action.

Beyond calling for common police reforms, the signatories call for the establishment of “publicly accountable review boards” to act as a check on grand juries and local prosecutors when it comes to police misconduct. They also want a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine race in America,” based on a similar 2004 effort in North Carolina. (Other activists are making the same demand.)

“As part of this commitment, we pledge to continue listening to, praying for, and even joining in our streets with those struggling for justice through nonviolent protests and peaceful acts of civil disobedience,” the statement said.

College Fix reporter Nathan Rubbelke is a student at Saint Louis University.

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IMAGE: JInglis26/Flickr

 

 

Georgetown University sociology Professor Michael Eric Dyson not only likened President Obama to Jesus in a recent television appearance, but admitted many of the president’s supporters really look at him as a savior, and possibly thee savior:

“Now, Eric Holder is great!  Let me tell you what, Eric Holder, one of, what, five most powerful black figures EVER?  Obama, Holder, Clyburn, William Gray.  These figures have been extraordinarily important in politics.  But, you know, I’m a Christian preacher and God finally said, ‘Look, I can’t send nobody else, I got to go myself.’  And I ain’t sayin’ that Obama is Jesus, but for many of his followers he is.  But I’m saying, show up dog, and show us that you are seriously committed to the interests of your people, because your presence says something louder than even your words.”

So, I guess the message here is Obama is sorta, kinda Jesus – but he’s not doing a great job for his “people.” In the words of the esteemed professor: Show up, dog!

By the way, Dyson – named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans – is not the only professor who has compared Obama with Jesus.

There was also The Gospel According to Apostle Barack,” the title of a book penned by a Florida A&M University professor who compares Jesus with Obama and says God told her in a dream to write it.

p.s. Eric Holder is one of the worst attorney generals in this country’s history.

h/t Western Journalism

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Harvard Divinity Professor Karen King – who caused a worldwide controversy in 2012 when she unveiled a 4th Century papyrus fragment that implies Jesus was married – has now come out saying the parchment is legit, that it has stood up to tests to ensure it’s not a forgery.

Newser reports:

” … extensive testing by professors from Columbia, Harvard, and MIT in the fields of electrical engineering, chemistry, and biology has found no indications that it is a modern forgery, per an article by King published today in the Harvard Theological Review. The Boston Globe says it most likely dates to eighth-century Egypt, and the chemical composition of its ink is in line with the carbon-based inks the people of that country used at the time. But the Globe cautions that a master forger could have accessed the proper materials.”

King, in previous statements on the fragment as well as in the Harvard Theological Review, is careful to hedge her comments by saying no one knows for sure whether Jesus was really married. Although she has argued that her controversial evidence, in which Jesus supposedly refers to his “wife,” proves that the debate is far from over – despite the Vatican and other scholarly experts’ rejection of the papyrus scroll and its text as a fake and forgery.

The 1.5-by-3 inch, honey-colored scrap of papyrus paper hails from Egypt. It states in Coptic: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife . . . I dwell with her…’ ”

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A young boy brought a batch of candy canes to school, hoping to pass them out as gifts to his classmates, each bearing  a short religious message. That is, until his teacher stepped in, snatched them, ripped the messages off, and threw them in the trash.

Eric Owens reports for The Daily Caller:

A first-grade teacher at a public elementary school in Southern California allegedly snatched a bunch of candy canes bearing a brief religious message from a first-grade boy. She told the poor kid “Jesus is not allowed in school” and then — right in front of his little six-year-old eyes — ripped the religious messages from each candy cane and dumped them in a trashcan.

The boy’s name is Isaiah Martinez. He attends Merced Elementary School in the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina.

The first-grade teacher accused of religious bullying is Valerie Lu. One of the candy canes was for her. The rest were for Martinez’s classmates…

Attorney Robert H. Tyler, speaking on young Isaiah’s behalf, said “The pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction that public schools are becoming a place of hostility toward Christian and other religiously-based worldviews.”

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(JLWO.flickr)