America as kingdom of God

“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

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

Their homepage 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!


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”
(Matthew 24:30)

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

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

“Now see my witness in the Sky!”
(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

Biblical Sightations

A weapons manufacturer for the U.S military has come under fire for including inscriptions that cite Bible passages on their sights.

A separation of powers spokesperson said the following:

“It allows the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they’re being shot by Jesus rifles.”

Jesus did say he didn’t come to bring peace but a sword – although I suspect this misses the figurative sense he was speaking in…

Moses v Jesus

I just found this pretty interesting article (though it’s on Fox’s website so it’s probably inaccurate and full of bias) that concluded that Moses is more culturally important to the United States than Jesus.

Which I guess says a lot about some of the religious identity problems plaguing America.

“But as important as Jesus was to Americans’ private lives, he had far less influence than Moses on the great transformations of our public life. The themes of Jesus’ life – love, charity, alleviating poverty – would not make the list of the defining impulses of most Americans.

The themes of Moses’ life, by contrast – social mobility, standing up to authority, balancing freedom and law, dreaming of a promised land – would make any short list of America’s defining traits.”

On sticks and logs

Here’s a little story, picked up by the Friendly Atheist, that highlights why getting people who think they’re Christians to rightly understand how Biblical law works, how it should (or mostly shouldn’t) be applied today.

At the very least we should be able to point out that the law was written for the Jews, who were God’s people. So that they could be different to the people around them. It wasn’t written for the Jews to impose on everyone else.

An American redneck decided to use a little bit of Old Testament sanctioned force to bash a homosexual man.

He even has a tattoo that proclaims the need to understand homosexuality as an abomination.

Now, it’s all well and good emblazoning that sort of verse on your arm. But, as even atheists know, this is problematic given a verse that appears just a chapter later…

"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28″

We need to fix this kind of thing if we want to (rightly) argue that God’s intention for relationships between humans is for sex to occur in a marriage between a man and a woman. And that Christians should not be practising homosexuals (because the New Testament reaffirms God’s intentions and understandings of sexual expression).

Even Answers in Genesis can understand that this definition of marriage applies to Christians – they commented on a recent story where a judge in the US ruled that an interracial couple could not marry because the Bible forbids it… Which is strange.

What the Bible does say in the Old Testament is that Jews (the people of God) should not intermarry, and in the New Testament that Christians should ideally marry Christians – but that if two non-Christians marry and one becomes a Christian they should stay married.

Here’s what Ken Ham said (again mentioned in an article on the Friendly Atheist) when he was asked about interracial marriage in the Bible. It’s somewhat convoluted, but at the end of the day it is useful. From the Answers in Genesis website…

At AiG we have always taught that biologically there is only one race (Adam’s race), however, spiritually, there are two races (the saved and unsaved). It is the two spiritual “races” that God clearly instructs in His Word not to mix in marriage. In other words, when someone asks me “does the Bible deal with interracial marriage?” I answer, “it sure does, it makes it clear the saved ‘race’ should never knowingly marry the unsaved ‘race’—and that’s all the Bible teaches about ‘interracial’ marriage.’” Biologically, there is no such thing as “interracial” marriage as there is only one “race”—we are all descendants of one man, Adam.

I’m not sure that Ham’s stance would extend to the unsaved being able to enter into any marriage they want…

But at the end of the day we (Christians) need to make sure our house is in order before throwing stones, literally or otherwise.

They even provide this helpful infographic.

On the stupidity of pluralism

There’s an evangelical Christian quarterback in the NFL who paints bible verses in his eye paint. The stuff they put on their faces to avoid glare.

An American sportswriter can’t handle the idea that this quarterback believes that Jesus is the only way to avoid hell. So he wrote a feature on it. This is a triumph of pluralistic dumbness. The writer asserts that the player’s view that his way is the only right way is wrong – thus placing his own “enlightened” views over the players – and being the intolerant fool he is accusing the player of being.

If there’s one thing that annoys me more than the new atheists and their anti-dogma dogma it’s the pluralists and their confusing inconsistencies.

“But should we be pleased that the civic resource known as “our team” — a resource supported by the diverse whole through our ticket-buying, game-watching and tax-paying — is being leveraged by a one-truth evangelical campaign that has little appreciation for the beliefs of the rest of us?”

But wait, there’s more dumbness…

“But there’s a shadow side to this. If their take on God and truth and life is the only right one — which their creed boldly states — everyone else is wrong.

Really? You’re only just figuring that out. It’s pretty much what Jesus says. You know, the “I am the way” bit, where he says “no one comes to the father except through me”…

Not a mere abstraction, this exclusiveness sometimes morphs into a form of chauvinism and mistreatment of non-Christians. Witness the incident with the Washington Nationals baseball team in 2005, when the Christian chaplain was exposed as teaching that Jews go to hell.”

How dare the church teach that anyone go to hell… oh, but wait, that’s what the Bible says… you know, that those who aren’t Christians (which is their choice) go to Hell.

Freedom of religion does not make a value judgment on the religions people adhere to – all religions are not equal. All people have equal rights to choose what religion they adhere to. And the state shouldn’t make quality judgments on these religions (unless they’re pursuing them for tax fraud).

Our pluralism is a defining and positive reality of American life — but not one that is much valued by those who define the faith coursing through the veins of sports culture.

If America’s lifestyle is defined by pluralism and not freedom then they’re getting a lot of things wrong.

I don’t know why I read that article. I knew it was going to be stupid.

How to host a book burning

I have a new ambition in life… I want to write a book and have it burnt by the Amazing Grace Baptist church. You do too. You may not know it yet, but you’d be in great company. And if you go along you get BBQ or fried chicken – because they’re not works of Satan.

This video has been doing the rounds. It’s a news report on the Amazing Grace Baptist book burning – their list includes books by Billy Graham (a heretic), Mark Driskol (sic) (probably a heretic), and any version of the Bible that is not a King James. Because it, and only it, is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant word of God. I’ve always wondered what research the KJV only mob do to come to the conclusion that it was produced by better translators than our modern translators. I think I’ll try to contact this pastor guy and ask him. He has a church of 15, so he’ll have time. After the book burning of course…

Traffic jam

It seems I’m not alone in being inundated with traffic. Over at City on a Hill Jeff asked if Christians should be defending marriage – ie the traditional definition of marriage. I thought it was an interesting question, so I threw in my two cents and left. Unfortunately I left before the fun started.

Jeff was featured on the homepage and he got quite few comments. They make for interesting reading… one American guy suggested doing away with the separation of church and state.

You should read Jeff’s blog – his posts are bite sized, like meals at a fine restaurant.

Schaeffer on Fundamentalism

I haven’t watched this yet – but I read the transcript posted on the Friendly Atheist.

Frank Schaeffer is a little bit angry at some of the good parts of “fundamentalism” – and yes, there are good parts of seeing something as objective truth and fighting for it. He is a former “fundamentalist” and the son of Francis Schaeffer.

But when there’s a relatively large population of your country who are using the Bible to justify the belief that their president is the anti-Christ, while ignoring the other things the Bible has to say about governments (eg Romans 13), and the anti-Christ (1 John 2), someone needs to call it for what it is. Stupid shenanigans. And that’s what Schaeffer does.

“The mainstream not just media but culture doesn’t sufficiently take stock of the fact that within our culture we have a sub-culture, which is literally a fifth column of insanity, that is bred from birth through home-school, Christian school, evangelical college, whatever, to reject facts as a matter of faith.”

“Look, a village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot. It’s as simple as that, and we have to understand: we have a village idiot in this country. It’s called fundamentalist Christianity.”

One of the problems I have with the way Christianity is viewed comes from the fact that atheists hold up the relative strawmen of the fundamentalist fringe, and the actions of the nominal Christians without actually engaging with what Christianity (through the Bible) teaches.

On death do us part

Two death post in one night. This isn’t some morbid fixation (though I am watching Bones as I write)…

I have appreciated elements of the Pyromaniacs writing. They call a spade a spade. And I appreciate that. I’ve never really engaged in commenting on their posts – even though there have been some I disagreed with.

Until this post – where one of the “Team Pyro” guys wrote a long post about the death penalty on his personal blog. I hope the comments around this site never reach the sycophantic levels of rabid agreement that go on over there…

Now, I’m not against the death penalty. I’ve argued for it on previous occasions. But I think we should be encouraging a government that is careful, considerate and merciful. I agree that the law needs to pursue justice – and that that looks like retribution, rather than rehabilitation. But this post doesn’t hit that balance.

It also falls into the trap, in my opinion, of equating America with God’s kingdom.

Ben, from, led the way into the fray and I followed to see what had happened in his wake. It’s not really pretty. But feel free to join the fun.

After this experience, and having read through thoughtful analysis of the “ministry” of the Pyromaniacs on Ben’s blog, I’m much less interested in what the Pyros have to say about anything.

YouTube Toosday: Con job?

Young Cons – the Young Conservatives (unless it’s a parody) have some issues separating America from the “Kingdom of God”… but this is pretty funny.

“The more money we spend the more mine is worth jack, the Bible says we’re a nation under God…”

Umm, that’s probably the Pledge of Allegiance you’re confused with…

The indefensible

When I first saw this I thought it was a piece of bad atheist satire on the way Christians use the Bible to justify killing people. Turns out I was wrong. Thanks Mr Rumsfeld. There are heaps more – and the SMH is reporting it, which doesn’t make it “fact” but makes it much more believable than I first thought…

That’s right people. We’ve been wrong all these years. The armour of God is a tank.

No wonder Christians get picked on…

He’s not the Messiah, according to the "religious right"

I promise not to dwell on the US election for much longer. I keep finding new and interesting (to me) material as the pundits continue to dissect the results. There's a serious paucity of real political news to report now that the election is done and dusted. We've got two months left of George W Bush – but diplomatic gaff stories (and associated snubbings of antipodan PMs) will only entertain for so long. There is the ongoing selection of Obama's cabinet to occupy interested observers. But when all is said and done, the most interesting thing for political commentators to do is pull apart the reason for Obama's crushing victory – and in some cases the reasons certain areas bucked the trend. 

This particular finding may shock you. Evangelical Christians didn't take a shine to Obama . Funnily enough – where the evangelical population was most concentrated was where McCain did best. Who'd have thunk it? These are the voters who were the core of support for George W Bush. Who'd have thought arch conservatives wouldn't like Obama. I find it odd that I liked him so much given my own typical social conservatism. And evangelical beliefs. But then, I'm not an American and Americans (particularly the Christians) have this odd view that puts America at the heart of God's kingdom – and the President as a pseudo pope – their representative of God's kingdom. I don't understand a system of democracy where an individual's faith comes ahead of their ability to govern when they're leading a secular organisation (ie the government). By all means, appoint church leaders on the basis of their doctrine and teaching – as is biblical – but officials should be elected on merit.  
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