Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

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How Tarantino movies help me read the Bible better

tarantino movies bible

It takes a special sort of artist to be the subject of conspiracy theories that make their work more compelling. Not less. The Internet is full of bad conspiracy theories about art. Theories that draw from the same gene pool as the backwards masking movement from the early days of rock music. Theories that see ghosts operating in the machine. Theories from the Third Eagle of the Apocalypse. Theories are a dime a dozen. There are five that I choose to believe.

  1. Radiohead orchestrated a secret album within two albums called 0110 (previously).
  2. TV writers are trying to organise cross-overs between characters (not actors) from a range of programs that means most of the TV we consume is happening within the dreams of a character named Tommy Westphall from a show you’ve probably never heard of (previously).
  3. Pixar’s movies are all united in the same universe (previously).
  4. The Office UK and the Office US exist in the same universe and thus broke any laws of probability by the exact same day happening in two offices across the Atlantic (previously)
  5. Quentin Tarantino’s movies are all either set in the same universe, or are movies watched by people who live in that universe (more).

What I love about these is they are all (if true) demonstrations of intricate creativity being deliberately laid out over a significant amount of time with a huge degree of deliberation. If true they are the work of master craftspeople. People at the top of their creative games, and at the top of the creative game. The beauty of these theories (well not really the Office one – it’s just fun) is that you don’t have to notice them to appreciate the individual texts (movies and albums) involved, but when you do notice them, or experience them through the lens the theories provide, there is a greater richness in the experience and a greater appreciation of the mastery on display.

I choose to believe that Tarantino is a master story teller. A master of very deliberate decision making in the creative process. I think the best stories are layered. They reward multiple readings (or viewings). They get richer over time, not simpler.

My working theory in this post is that God is the ultimate deliberate creator. The ultimate story teller. And when we drill down into what makes excellent human story telling excellent we gain a new appreciation of the excellence of the story God has been telling since before the beginning of time that includes, but is not limited to, the story told by the Bible (I say this because I think a case can be made that the Bible is a demonstration of the story God has been telling through history since he created the world.

Tarantino’s approach to telling stories through deliberate and intricate plots helps me appreciate the story of the Bible.


Image Credit: IGN, The Intricate, Expansive Universe of Quentin Tarantino.

What the Bible is…

Like Tarantino’s movie corpus which includes all his films, occuring within one universe, the Bible is a collection of books put together across a span of time. Christians believe the creative intent behind the linking of these books and the stories and story they tell is the result of the deliberate creativity of a divine author – God – who doesn’t just deliberately author these texts with a particular creative intent, but all of human history.

The Bible is a set of books that work as discrete units with specific purposes that tell complete stories, books that form part of different genre based corpora (like the Law, the Writings, and the Prophets in the Old Testament. Just as Kill Bill is one story told over two episodes to give Tarantino more space, there are narrative based books of the Bible that come in two parts – like 1-2 Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The books in the Old Testament often include a variety of sources and references to other texts in their time – Proverbs, for example, includes references to several foreign kings whose collections have been included in Israel’s official collection of theological wisdom. Genesis contains Jewish versions of stories (like the flood) that are retold by other cultures with other emphases (see, for example, the Gilgamesh Epic). The Bible uses these stories with a particular agenda according to God’s purposes. The Bible doesn’t contain all the stories God is telling in his world, because: a) there isn’t enough room, as John says at the end of his Gospel…

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” – John 21:25

b) every human life is a story, and part of this story. Like in Tarantino’s movie universe – All these stories – the stories told in the Bible, and the stories told in history through our lives, are connected through God’s meta-narrative. The story of his son. Jesus.

Like Tarantino’s movies, this story involves an act of hyper-violence. The story of the Bible (at least so far as it claims it is one story) is the story of the lamb slain before the creation of the world – and how that slaying plays out for each one of us. Are we slayers or was he slain for us? How’s this stuff from Revelation 13 for Tarantinoesque… Just let the symbolism of this stuff wash over you – the really important bit is in the bolded verse, but that only really makes sense in its context.

People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. – Revelation 13:4-8

We all play a part in God’s story – either we’re on team dragon or team lamb. And God’s story centres on this one particular violent event. Deliberately. As Peter puts it in Acts 2 when he speaks to the Jewish crowd the narrative of Luke-Acts holds responsible for killing Jesus…

This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. – Acts 2:23.

This chapter comes soon after (but in volume 2) Luke records Jesus telling us how to read the Bible as one intricate story with one agenda.

“He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” – Luke 24:44-47

This mind opening that Jesus performs for his disciples is something like that light that turns on when you hear the theory that Tarantino’s movies are all connected. It’s what happens when you’re given the key to understanding a bunch of stories you’d never quite connected.

Look. The Bible’s writers could have made all this stuff up. Maybe. I’m familiar with the argument about puddles that some people believe does away with the need for an intelligent designer in a fine-tuned universe. And I’m really advocating a view of a finely told story… And this construct Jesus suggests for reading the Bible actually does work, it gives us (or at least me), a particularly satisfying approach to an ancient text, tracing myriad threads through the Old Testament to the foot of the Cross and the feet of King Jesus. This could be the work of some very clever humans. It could be an artificial frame to put around a bunch of random text – as a hole in the ground is a random frame that perfectly encompasses a puddle… But bear with me for a moment.

Consider the crucifixion of Jesus as a massive triumph of deliberate planning. The orchestration of literature, events, and human behaviour. Masterfully woven together. Where written story (the Old Testament) and human history come together in an utterly sublime, but yet totally surprising, way. I love reading essays like I, Pencil (which is also a YouTube video now), or a recent article about Thermos sending a hot coffee by freight across the US, and all the things that have to fall neatly into place in the supply chain to get that coffee from farm to mouth.

I love thinking about the intricacies and deliberation required to achieve certain desired results.

I love the idea that true creativity is about finding an intricate, elegant (aesthetically pleasing), or deliberately and aptly selected (sledgehammers can be creatively applied) approach to achieving such results. This is why I love Rube Goldberg machines and OK Go film clips and uphold them as archetypal forms of creativity or ingenuity. It’s why I enjoy Tarantino movies and the theory they all take place in the same interwoven universe. They are examples of intricate, elegant, and deliberate story telling. But they are not the ultimate version of this sort of storytelling…

What is more intricate, elegant, and deliberate than having human history unfold in such a way that a specific person, born in a specific place, to a specific category of mother, killed by specific people, in a specific way, with specific events plausibly surrounding this specific death? That sounds a little like a potential plot line for a Tarantino movie. The ‘deliberate’ planning involved to get Jesus to the Cross blows my mind…

Consider the deliberate marshalling of human history and events both local and geo-political in order to have Jesus killed through an unexpected agreement between a particular surviving people group from the Ancient Near East (whose very survival was unlikely) – Israel – who believed that being hung on a tree was a sign of God’s curse and their bitter enemy – the occupiers – Rome –  the most powerful human empire and propaganda machine the world had ever seen, who used crucifixion as a violent symbol in a PR war to keep sedition at bay.

Consider the sheer unlikelihood of the rise of Christianity amongst both Jews, with their views on crucifixion – theologically driven, and ancient, and Romans. Jews looked at crucifixion through the lens of Deuteronomy 21, which says:

“If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.” – Deuteronomy 21:22-23

While Romans had the rhetorical power of the cross hammered into them by its use in events like the crucifixion of Spartacus’ army in 73BC. Where 6,000 Roman slaves were executed and displayed for all to see on the Appian Way – a 200km highway between Rome and Capua.

Consider that crucifixion was so violent and barbaric that Roman citizens were not permitted to be crucified. That sort of cultural aversion had to be developed in order for the cross to have its inverted rhetorical power in the Christian story. In order for its sheer unlikelihood as a means of heralding and coronating a king to be significantly subversive.

That’s the level of intricacy in this story’s supply chain.

That’s the sort of creativity involved in God’s story-telling.

Even if the puddle theory could be applied to this level of fine-tuning – there’s a sublime amount of creativity applied to weave all these elements together across genres, languages (from Hebrew to Greek (via Aramaic), through different political regimes (the nomadic patriarchy, the Jewish monarchy, exile under Assyria, exile under Persia, the return from exile, exile under Greece, exile under Rome), and to link them with an incredibly consistent application of tropes, and amazingly intricate intertextuality (both inside and outside the Biblical canon).

Whatever the explanation for the creative force behind this intricacy – be it a cabal of human editors working over that span to advance some sort of nefarious agenda (or simply for creativity’s sake), or divine (and I’m not sure the human alternative is all that plausible, even if I’m a sucker for creative literary conspiracy theories) – it is sublimely creative and exciting. It is deliberate, intricate, and elegant.

This is what sets the Bible’s story apart from the rest, in the same way that Tarantino’s movies sit apart from contemporary works or those within similar genres. But here are three areas where appreciating the deliberation and creativity in Tarantino’s movies helps me to get a sense of the greater creativity at play in the pages of the Bible – a much older text.

Intertextuality

One of the interesting implications of the Tarantino theory (certain parts of which have been confirmed) is what it means for all the movies from our real universe that Tarantino references in his “realer than real” universe and also in the “movies that exist within the realer than real” universe. His movie universe is a movie universe where most of our texts also exist (in order for them to be referenced in whatever homage he chooses to pay them). Curiously. The Bible exists in the Tarantino universe. Pulp Fiction hitman, Jules Winnfield, quotes Ezekiel as he shoots his victims. Only. He doesn’t. This is what Jules says:

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”

Ezekiel 25:17 actually says:

I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I take vengeance on them.”

That’s a distraction from this concept of intertextuality. Intertextuality – speaking to, and with, other texts from within a text, is a sure-fire way to create intricacy and integration.

There’s quite a bit of language in this video that claims to contain every pop culture reference Tarantino makes in his movies. This “definitive guide” goes beyond mentions of other cultural artefacts within Tarantino’s work to explore the way he pays homage to a wide variety of texts. Here’s how the characters in his movies (and the movies of Robert Rodriguez) are interconnected.


Image Source: The Adventures of an Insomniac

The Bible is chock full of cross-references – interactions with other cultural texts, for sure, but the incredible number of cross references between the 66 books that became the Christian Bible is quite amazing. There are 63,000 cross references in the Bible depicted in this graphic.

Bible-Cross-References-Infographic

Some of these cross references are more hefty than others – but the way the Bible links the words of the prophets in the Old Testament with the actions and words of Jesus is pretty stunning story-telling (more stunning if the connections are what actually happened, not just things creative writers invented – and I believe they are). This sort of intertextuality is Tarantino on steroids – that definitive guide to Tarantino, impressive though it is, contains 179 examples. Examples from one guy. From 18 of his movies. This infographic depicts about 352 times the number of references Tarantino managed, from 66 books, written by about 40 authors. The Bible’s intertextuality, in my opinion, is significantly more impressive because of the integration of the creativity of so many people, over so long, to tell a coherent story that also does both pop culture references and references within the universe of the Biblical texts.

As far as I’m concerned there are two options with the Bible. It is definitely an amazingly integrated story full of deliberation, intricacy and elegance – transcending a bunch of archaic genres that we aren’t particularly well equipped to grapple with. This story is either fiction, invented by a string of genius Tarantino like humans, operating across cultures, or it is truth, divinely authored through a string of genius Tarantino like humans. I like the concluding remarks from the essay I, Pencil mentioned above, at this point. I think what is true in this paragraph about the making of a pencil is truer about the writing of the Bible.

“I, Pencil, am a complex combination of miracles: a tree, zinc, copper, graphite, and so on. But to these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding! Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.”

The use of tropes (type-scenes, reoccuring metaphors, images, objects, patterns, or ideas) in both narrative and meta-narrative

Tarantino has certain trademarks – some more offensive than others – that reoccur throughout his movies. These serve to link the movies together as ‘Tarantino’ movies. They are part of his distinctives. They are part of his personality.

The Bible is chock full of trademarks, or motifs, that reoccur across different books. There are also threads that carry the narrative across these books, through the cross references depicted above, to link the books of the Bible as one unfolding story. That’s part of the added appeal.

Here are just a few.

1. Women who can’t conceive falling pregnant and giving birth to a miraculous child after being visited by a messenger from God, the child then plays a significant part in God’s rescue plan. Starting with Abraham and Sarah (Isaac), then Jacob and Rachel (Joseph), then Sampson’s parents (his mother isn’t named), Elkanah and Hannah (who have Samuel), Zechariah and Elizabeth (John the Baptist), then, of course, Mary – the most unlikely mother – gives birth to Jesus.

2. Animal interactions as indicative of God’s judgment, or humanity’s obedience to God. From the snake in the garden, to Balaam and his talking donkey, to Jonah and the whale, to Elisha and his attack she-bears, to Sampson and David ripping apart lions and (not tigers) bears as signs of strength, animals are a reoccuring plot device in the Bible.

3. Gold. There’s Gold in Eden, at the start of the Bible, and from there on, gold (and the jewels also mentioned in Genesis 2) becomes like a thermometer that tests the temperature of humanity’s relationship with the creator and his world. The gold is plundered from Egypt during the Exodus, used to make a golden calf when Moses gets the 10 Commandments, used to construct the Temple and the clothes of the priests, and then the temple treasures are handed over to the bad guys on Israel’s road to exile.

4. Character names as determinative puns. Right from Adam, whose name means “of the ground” to Jesus, whose name means “God with us” – the Bible uses character names to move plot, and indicate where things have changed – for example, when Abram’s name is changed to Abraham.

5. Numbers. The Bible uses reoccuring numbers – like 12 (tribes and disciples) and 40 (days of rain for Noah, years in the wilderness for Israel, days in the desert for Jesus) – to link stories and events.

There are also tropes within books. Genesis, which starts in the Garden, spends the rest of the book playing with the idea of ‘seed’ – including the weird story of Onan. Judges is full of people killing using improvised weaponry. 1-2 Samuel reads like a mafia novel – Kings (or Godfathers) rely on their hitmen (Abner for Saul, Joab for David) to carry off increasingly nasty hits. Quite a few books in the histories section involve stories about people building markers to recognise significant places or events that are said to “remain till this day”…

My favourite thread that helps carry the narrative is the good old “image of God” thread – which isn’t just about the ideal human and our relationship to God, but is a constant criticism of the idolatry of the nations that Israel keeps taking up. People are meant to be living images of the living God, but they’re so keen to make dead images (still, wooden, stone, or metal) of dead gods. This thread helps explain the prohibitions against making images of God, and the problems Israel have with being the people God wants them to be. The Bible is pretty clear that the things we make our gods shape us. When Israel is shaped by the living God things are good (this doesn’t happen often), when they are shaped by idols, they die. This carries through to Jesus, who the Bible tells us is the image of God. Who transforms dead people who have turned away from God into live people, reconnected with God. It’s a big story of recreation – the end of the Bible, Revelation, is a perfect world, with a Garden, where God is present with people restored to his image.

The individual integrity and brilliance of the parts but greater integrity and brilliance of the canon

I like some Tarantino movies better than others. I can appreciate things about his movies that I don’t like. But this Tarantino universe theory – and the ingenuity underpinning it – excites me. It opens up new ways to appreciate each movie. The connection to something bigger makes the individual movie richer. Each movie stands on its own. Each movie is a coherent and discrete unit. But they’re linked – not just by the name on the can. Tarantino. But by the use of tropes, by the intertextual approach, the signature style, all that stuff. The more aware of this stuff I am, the more I appreciate about Tarantino’s work.

It’s the same with the Bible. Each book of the Bible offers something different (maybe with the exception of Chronicles as they relate to 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings). Each stands alone as art. Each is a work of creativity. Each has a relatively clear meaning and purpose – but this clarity becomes richer with time, the more one understands the creativity at play in the text. The books that take a narrative form stand alone as stories with beginnings and endings. With characters. With a purpose. With the artistic development of ideas and images. But what makes the Bible really sing is when each book takes its place next to the others as this unfolding story. God’s story. The story that brings all the tropes, all the threads, all the events, together in one person. Jesus. God’s king. The king anticipated by the Old Testament. The author writing himself into the story in order to be known. The master story teller who becomes part of the story, and dies for the sake of the characters he loves. That’s when the story becomes deliberate. Intricate. Elegant. And a model of creativity at its most sublime.

How the internet works: trending topics

This is a pretty funny story about how internet conspiracy theories spread. It all started with a serious Wired story about a vaccine that may mitigate stress related hormonal damage to your brain.

Headline: Under Pressure: The search for a stress vaccine.

It became a four hundred word tabloid story about a vaccine for stress.

Headline:Jab that could put a stop to stress without slowing us down.

Then a little conspiracy committee decided that what was going on was some sort of clinical trials of a mind altering, brain eating, drug that would be a tool of the nefarious one world government.

Headline: Establishment Media Pushes Brain Eating Vaccines.

This last group encouraged readers to search “brain eating vaccine” on google – and it quickly hit the google trends charts. One day I’m going to spend a bit of energy blogging specifically about the words that are on that chart at the time to see what happens to my traffic.

“Objective Ministries” is neither

Poe’s Law is in effect here people. I can’t tell if this is satire or serious.

Objective Ministries seem to epitomise everything that is bad about Christianity in America. Any “ministry” that contextualises by changing “LOL” to mean “Love our Lord” and then puts it on underpants as merchandise raises serious questions for me:

Laughing Jesus Thong

Laughing Jesus Thong
$8.50

They also have a “rock” ministry. Jacob Aranza says no.

Their homepage objectiveministries.org promotes a litany of extremist Christian campaigns.

The US is slouching towards secularism because Obama didn’t use a Bible in his second swearing in (after the botched first swearing).

The page features this cartoon…

Our Fallen World #1, by Peggy Miller

… and these ads.

Palin + Jindal 2012
Palin + Jindal: God’s Unbeatable Ticket — Start Prayer Campaigns Today — YES, GOD CAN!

ELECT THE ELECT in 2012!

Put the Bible back in our schools!

Guns don't kill people, Evolutionism does.

And an opportunity to pray for France. Because they need it…

This is the type of site we’re dealing with. I am giving you the context so you treat this next point with appropriate gravity.

There is a mission to put a massive crucifix on the moon.

That sentence is worth bolding. I’ll say it again.

There is a mission to put a massive cruficix on the moon.

The page featured a news update about the mission not receiving tax deductible status (there’s now an appeal). If I lived in America, and my taxes went towards putting a crucifix on the moon, I would move to Australia.

The moon campaign follows a similar effort, from a man named Arthur Blessitt (either he changed his name or this is a bizarre case of nominal determinism) to have a cross orbiting as a salvific satellite. That campaign was based on a series of malapropriated Bible verses:

“Then the Sign of the Son of Man will appear in the Sky!
Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”
Jesus
(Matthew 24:30)

“And I, if I am lifted up from the Earth will draw all unto Me”
Jesus
(John 12:32)

“Like a Faithful Witness in the Sky”
David
(Psalms 89:37)

“Now see my witness in the Sky!”
Job
(Job 16:19)

Oh, and a theophany.

“The glory of the coming of the Lord is at Hand”
God to Arthur Blessitt

Objective Ministries’ moon campaign raises an important question (tangentially) about what happens to people who send their ashes into space when the rapture occurs. Apparently you miss out.

Blessitt’s space mission failed – the ashes transport service he was piggy backing with failed. The ashes were lost. You might remember the story – because Scotty from Star Trek’s ashes were on board. Which proved a distraction for the “Mainstream Secular Media” when it came to reporting the mission’s failure…

When the MSM (Mainstream Secular Media) reported on Falcon 1’s failure, they focused on the loss of the cremated remains of James Doohan, an actor who played “Scotty” on the Secular TV show Star Trek, rather than Blessitt’s more important payload. In fact, the Media didn’t report on the cross payload at all, either before or after the failed orbital delivery.

The Objective Ministries founder had a better idea (since superseded):

I propose launching into polar orbit a cross of significant dimensions, with a sun-reflecting surface that will be easily visible in the night sky to the naked eyes of unbelievers. This space-age testimonial will fly over Communist China, Mussulmanned Saudi Arabia, Hindooed India, Godless France, and all other nations in need of the simple yet profound message of Christ’s sacrifice and His offer of Salvation. All the people of the world will see it shine, like a beacon of hope on the runway of the aircraft carrier of the night sky, an omnipresent reminder of the Lordship of Jesus over our world.

Unlike Mr. Blessitt’s plan, mine will require a more elaborate cross design and access to more costly launch services, as it would necessarily require multiple single-payload launches. Fortunately I feel that my connections within the Department of Defense will help bring this plan to fruition.

Orbital Cross Alpha Design:

Orbital Cross Alpha
Potential design of Orbital Cross Alpha, with approaching Space Shuttle.

In order to be viewable and identifiable as a cross to the naked eye, my calculations show that OCA will need to be at least 1000 feet along its main axis and 500 feet along the perpendicular, and placed into Medium Earth Orbit (between 1,243 and 22,236 miles; dimensions will need to be increased for visibility at higher orbits). By being at MEO, it will be high enough to catch and reflect the Sun’s light throughout the entire night.

But wait, there’s more… a new “Cross on the Moon” campaign has begun in earnest. Here’s what the Objective Ministries people say:

The Cross on the Moon Foundation (COM) is a newly formed, non-profit organization dedicated to advocate, design, and implement the placement of a Christian Cross on the surface of Earth’s Moon in 2011. Besides setting their goals on the Moon instead of Medium Earth Orbit, their plan differs from mine in that they will acquire passage for the Cross aboard a private spacecraft. As of this writing they are still developing the details of the Lunar Cross — two leading candidates include a gold plated one that would be visible from a live HD video feed and one formed from a constellation of reflective targets that would be illuminated by earthbound lasers to make it visible to the naked eye — and the transfer mechanism they will use to plant it into the Moon’s surface.

I do not see their plan as a competitor to my own. Rather, it will be one of the many Crosses that will fill the Heavens to proclaim the Glory of our Lord to all spacefarers of the future. We need Crosses not only in MEO and on the Moon, but on every planet, satellite (natural or otherwise), asteroid, space station, and Lagrange point in our Solar System. No quadrant of our system should be left bereft of the sign of His Sacrifice. Therefore, I welcome COM’s participation in this, Mankind’s greatest pre-Rapture adventure.

Also, given that our current non-Christian Commander in Chief does not share in our common creed and consequently will hinder military involvement in Witnessing Missions such as I propose, COM might represent our best opportunity to place a Cross in the heavens before we retake the government in 2012. But fear not; my contacts in the Palin camp confirm that she will be solidly behind OCA when the time comes.

But the evil “secular” government didn’t want this mission taking place… or at least not with tax deductability. And it’s all because Obama is a Muslim… or so they say…

Cross on the Moon Foundation (COM), a non-profit organization dedicated to the private launch of a space vehicle carrying a Christian Cross to be placed on the Moon, has been denied 501 (c)-3 status by the IRS. The reasons given by the IRS are unclear and seemingly contradict the granting of 501 (c) status to other organizations — namely the Lunar X Prize Foundation — engaged in similar private, Secular space missions.

“Secular” appears to be the operative word. While COM President M.N. Clark remains restrained in his words (he still hopes to negotiate and appeal the ruling), it is clear that this decision is a political one based on anti-Christian bigotry handed down from on high in the Obama administration — possibly coming directly from the President’s desk.

How can we know this? It’s a matter of simple deduction: Muslims consider the Moon to be sacred, and would never — if in a position of power to dictate such things, as Obama now is — allow a symbol of Christianity to be erected there. The denial of tax-exemption is not only consistent with Obama’s crypto-Muslim leanings, it further confirms them. This — combined with institutional pressure from Evolutionists deeply entrenched in NASA who want space to remain a Christ-free environment — means that COM will likely never get the tax-exempt status, nor the government issued launch certifications or safety documents that the IRS claim are necessary, as long as the current regime is in power.

Yeah. The current regime is holding us Christians back from our plans to dominate the heavens. The heavens that the Bible says already declare God’s majesty and existence (Romans 1, Psalm 19)…

But wait… there’s more… an update…

Our intercessory prayers have convinced God to alter the mind of the IRS agent overseeing COM’s case and he is now allowing the case to be reopened following a minor change in COM’s by-laws. Glory! But COM also still needs our help in the form of donations. COM President M.N. Clark explains why:

This is probably a good time to summarize why we are asking for donations. First we believe in having a personal relationship with God. Placing a cross on the moon will encourage theological dialogs. Already discussions have begun, mostly on confused atheist web sites. That’s ok. Our God is the creator of the Universe. The more we study the person and the works of Jesus, the stronger our faith becomes. The donations are needed to send the cross to the moon. Several companies are testing components so they can be the first to claim the Google Lunar X Prize, a 501 C-3 philanthropic organization. We need donations in preparation for sending these companies an RFQ (request for quote). If our resources are enough, we will place a physical cross on the moon. Obviously the size of the cross would have significant restrictions. A lower cost option might be to place a cross decal on the rover.

No target is too small for Objective Ministries – they also want to shut down anti-Christian parody site Landover Baptist (perhaps so that people don’t confuse their own site with parody) because, Christians own the internet.

The Internet was created by the United States of Americaa Christian nation [ref. 1, 2, 3] – and should not be used to spread anti-Christian, secular, or non-Christian propaganda and hatespeech. This is our Internet, and we should exercise our position as its owners and as the guardians of civilization to stop its misuse.

We should shut down stuff we don’t like because that’s exactly the kind of things Christians should be advocating in an increasingly secular country… right? And satire is the worst thing on the Internet. It’s what Christians should be campaigning against. Right?

Perhaps my favourite bit, and the thing that led me to the site in the first place, is this children’s guide for dealing with scary atheists

Hacking Hawkings

I hereby launch a conspiracy theory into the wild.

Respected theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has a degenerative muscle disease that means he communicates with the aid of a machine.

In recent weeks Hawking has made two slightly controversial claims – claims that if not made by a respected theoretical physicist would be laughed off as science fiction. Firstly, he claimed that we shouldn’t seek aliens out because they’re unlikely to be friendly. Secondly, he suggested that time travel is possible under certain parameters.

I think that it is plausible that some science fiction geeks have hacked into Hawking’s computerised voice box forcing him to make such outlandish claims.

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The number crunching of the beast

Here’s one for the “bankcard is the devil” conspiracy theorists out there – the ones who think that the interlocking “b”s on your card are a 666…

“Visa, the world’s largest credit card network, can predict how likely you are to get a divorce. There’s no consumer-protection legislation for that.”

Spooky. How do they do this, and why do they care? Good questions. Basically they want to make sure you’re going to pay your debts. They’re mining your data people (but hands up those of you who didn’t know this already). The real conspiracy theorists grow their own vegetables, pay cash only, or barter, and they walk around in dark sunglasses and beanies because of all the secret cameras that are watching their every move… and they don’t join “frequent fliers” clubs, or have loyalty cards, or location tracking mobile phones… and they never use Google.

Companies are building profiles on you – and they no doubt make for really interesting reading. I bought a pair of socks, some deodorant and a razor two nights ago. What does that say about me?

“Cardholders who purchased carbon-monoxide detectors, premium birdseed, and felt pads for the bottoms of their chair legs rarely missed a payment. On the other hand, those who bought cheap motor oil and visited a Montreal pool bar called “Sharx” were a higher risk. “If you show us what you buy, we can tell you who you are, maybe even better than you know yourself,” a former Canadian Tire exec said. “

You better start buying felt pads for your furniture even if you don’t need them. Your credit rating depends on it…

But don’t worry. You too can play this game – finding out things about yourself that you didn’t know before.

The New York-based startup Hunch offers personalized recommendations after users answer a series of questions that give the site a sense of their tastes. Do you live in the suburbs? Do you like bumper cars? Are you more likely to spoon or be spooned? Out of this examination, Hunch generates a “taste profile” for each of its users.

Hunch then looks for statistical correlations between the information that all of its users provide, revealing fascinating links between people’s seemingly unrelated preferences. For instance, Hunch has revealed that people who enjoy dancing are more apt to want to buy a Mac, that people who like The Count on Sesame Street tend to support legalizing marijuana, that pug owners are often fans of The Shawshank Redemption, and that users who prefer aisle seats on planes “spend more money on other people than themselves.”

That’s some useful data right there. But you can game the system, if you’re game. You can take advantage of the “generosity” of Casinos by playing like a poor person if you’re rich… and you’ll score a free dinner.

“With its “Total Rewards” card, Harrah’s casinos track everything that players win and lose, in real time, and then analyze their demographic information to calculate their “pain point”—the maximum amount of money they’re likely to be willing to lose and still come back to the casino in the future. Players who get too close to their pain point are likely to be offered a free dinner that gets them off the casino floor.”

This is all from a review of a book called “Super Crunchers” here at an eerily titled blog – “The Daily Beast”… Spooky.

Databases are the future, friends. The future. So be afraid… as Revelation 13 so clearly says (regarding the beast):

16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

18This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

You know what’s even freakier. This post has 666 words.

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“Spiritual” Style

Someone has decided that someone at the Associated Press has decided that when Christians talk about the Holy Spirit’s guidance they actually mean something else.

That’s the only conclusion I can draw from this AP story about Catholics and celibacy.

Here’s the offending (or offensive) paragraph…

“Apparently seeking to squash any speculation that Rome had been courting the disaffected Anglicans, the Vatican said the “Holy Spirit” inspired Anglicans to “petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion” individually and as a group.”

Actually, the “journalist” has gone a “little nuts” with the “quotation marks” as though every “noun”, “adjective” or “clause” that is a little “complex” needs “punctuating”…

Here’s the post that raised the conspiracy theory. I think it more likely that the journo was providing quotes from the document he cited in the first paragraph.

Is West the new McCartney

One wonders how rumours of the demise of celebrities spread and conspiracy theories were hatched prior to the internet. I’m pretty surprised by the heights reached by the McCartney theory, and we have our own present day equivalent. Kanye West is apparently dead. And autotune is being used to cover this up…

The rapper’s next release, “Love Lockdown,” displayed a major idiosyncrasy. No rapping is audible, only auto-tuned singing, which is supposedly the Viking symbol of death.

Then came the rapper’s latest album: 808s and Heartbreak, with even more auto-tune.

Twitter is abuzz with #ripkanye buzz – which is what Twitter does best.