Monday, February 22, 2010

Bye Bye Boobies

I think Apple is make a step toward decency.  I was tired of see all the sex apps for sale whenever I browsed the app store.

From the Article:
Late last week, Apple notified developer Chillifresh that its Wobble iBoobs application was being removed from the App Store due to its "overtly sexual" nature. Since then, it appears that Apple has gone on a rampage of sex-oriented app removals.  

. . . 
Chillifresh said on its Web site that an Apple representative told the developer that under its new App Store policy, it will not accept applications that in any way imply sexual content or include the following:
  -images of women in bikinis
  -images of men in bikinis
  -images of skin
  -silhouettes indicating that the app includes sexual images
  -sexual connotations or innuendo
  -sexually arousing content
Interestingly, some apps that include sexual content, such as Playboy's, seem to have been missed by the recent purge--so far, at least. Doing a search for "girls" on the App Store will bring up a variety of apps with bikini-clad women and others that appear to break the new rules Chillifresh said Apple outlined.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Movie Review: Legion a Theological Mess

Only in a country that has only a vague knowledge of scripture and even less knowledge of theology could a movie like Legion have been made.  It is a theological dump riddled with theological errors and half truths.  Contrary to many apocalyptic thrillers that puts good against evil, Legion sets good against good.  That is, God is set against the misguided sinful, though good, people of earth. 

The premises and pattern of the movie are simple take something from scripture that the audience will have a vague idea about, and then twist it to suit what you will.  This results in a sophomoric theological interpretations and imagery that make the story seem ridiculous to those who actually have studied scripture and theology.  For instance, the movie begins with the eleventh (or twelfth depending on your translation of the bible) verse from the thirty-fourth psalm flashed on the screen: Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  When taken out of context this verse might be fearful in itself.  However, when placed back into its proper context, one quickly learns that the speaker of the psalm is giving thanksgiving to the Lord for having been rescued.  The verse that the director plastered across the screen is one in which the speaker offers to teach his students (children) the fear of the Lord.  For the Jewish psalmist the phrase "fear of the Lord" is not about humanity being afraid of God, it is not about heading for the hills when God decides to smite the world, nor is it about ducking and covering from the falling fire and brimstone falling from the heavens.  The phrase simply means "love."  The fear of the Lord is a Jewish idiom that basically means "a fear of offending the Lord because you love Him."  The psalmist might as well have written, Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you how to love the Lord and not offend Him.

The movie is set in the small desert truck stop in the middle of nowhere called Paradise Falls, so in case you didn't know what was going to happen, the director spells it out for you.  At this truck stop can be found a Marian figured name Charlie who is 8 months pregnant by an unknown father.  There is a young man named Jeep who has dreams about the future, defends Charlie's honor against those who seek to disgrace her, and is seen doing carpentry in several sense of the movie.  In short he is the Joseph lie character.  This is perhaps even most visible when the movie ends with Jeep, Charlie and the baby (oh did I forget to mention that the baby is the hope of humanity?) driving off into the sunset in order to protect the baby with Charlie clothed in blue and white -- sounds strangely familiar to the Holy family's flight to Egypt, right?  Well the similarities start to pile up in a perverted mess of theological errors. 

Jeep drives off into the sun set hoping to save the child, the new hope for humanity, from its enemies except this go around the baby killer isn't Herod.  It is God Himself.  That is right.  God wants the baby killed.  In the movie, God has lost faith in humanity.  Something that has echoes of the flood story, but God only sought to cleans the world of sin in the flood.  In Legion, God seeks to exterminate mankind because as the Marian figure says at both the beginning and close of the movie, "God was just tired of the BS."  Fortunately, the only way that the all good and all loving God can possibly do this is if He kills Charlie's baby.

Luckily, there is a character that helps change God's mind.  It happens to be St. Michael, or just Michael as in the movie he is fallen.  The question is why would Michael, the one who is most like God, decide to go against God?  Simple, he thinks he is more right about man than the One Who made mankind.  Michael seems himself as more faithful that God Himself.  To put it another way, pride is what causes Michael to fall.  The parallel to another fallen angel due to pride begs the question in the whole movie.  Michael's goal is to protect the baby in an attempt to save humanity by means of disobey God's Will.  It is Michael's love for mankind over his love of God, his love of creation over the creator,  that results in his fall.

Staying true with the American mindset that obedience is the ultimate vice of the unenlightened and rebellion the virtue of the enlightened, Michael's rebellion and disobedience as well as the mercy shown to humanity is what ushers him back into God's heavenly court.  Mercy is key in the climax of the movie, as the audience learns that it is more important to be merciful than it is to follow God's will, than it is to Love, than it is to be just.  As long as you are merciful it matters not what you do.  Mercy will restore a person to God's grace.

However the opposite is true with Gabriel.  It is Gabriel's obedience to God's Will and Justice that ultimate leads to the angel's defeat. 

Fortunately, Michael is able to convince God that the chosen child is born and that there is hope for humanity, so God changes His mind and decides to let humanity live.  That was a close call, good thing Hollywood is there to clear things up for us.

All in all, the movie is a theological mess.  It is as if the director and writers wrote the movie by playing biblical roulette.  Perhaps they didn't realize that the house if often the winner in the circular game of chance.  The only theologically redeeming aspect of the movie is how the angles were portrayed.  For once Hollywood gets something correct.  Angels are presented as mighty warriors and not fat, chubby, winged naked babies.

Movie Review: Legion a Theological Mess

Only in a country that has only a vague knowledge of scripture and even less knowledge of theology could a movie like Legion have been made.  It is a theological dump riddled with theological errors and half truths.  Contrary to many apocalyptic thrillers that puts good against evil, Legion sets good against good.  That is, God is set against the misguided sinful, though good, people of earth. 

The premises and pattern of the movie are simple that something from scripture that the audience will have a vague idea about, and then twist it to suit what you will.  This results in a sophomoric theological interpretations and imagery that make the story seem ridiculous to those who actually have studied scripture and theology.  For instance, the movie begins with the eleventh (or twelfth depending on your translation of the bible) verse from the thirty-fourth psalm flashed on the screen: Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  When taken out of context this verse might be fearful in itself.  However, when placed back into its proper context, one quickly learns that the speaker of the psalm is giving thanksgiving to the Lord for having been rescued.  The verse that the director plastered across the screen is one in which the speaker offers to teach his students (children) the fear of the Lord.  For the Jewish psalmist the phrase "fear of the Lord" is not about humanity being afraid of God, it is not about heading for the hills when God decides to smite the world, nor is it about ducking and covering from the falling fire and brimstone falling from the heavens.  The phrase simply means "love."  The fear of the Lord is a Jewish idiom that basically means "a fear of offending the Lord because you love Him."  The psalmist might as well have written, Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you how to love the Lord and not offend Him.

The movie is set in the small desert truck stop in the middle of nowhere called Paradise Falls, so in case you didn't know what was going to happen, the director spells it out for you.  At this truck stop can be found a Marian figured name Charlie who is 8 months pregnant by an unknown father.  There is a young man named Jeep who has dreams about the future, defends Charlie's honor against those who seek to disgrace her, and is seen doing carpentry in several sense of the movie.  In short he is the Joseph lie character.  This is perhaps even most visible when the movie ends with Jeep, Charlie and the baby (oh did I forget to mention that the baby is the hope of humanity?) driving off into the sunset in order to protect the baby with Charlie clothed in blue and white -- sounds strangely familiar to the Holy family's flight to Egypt, right?  Well the similarities start to pile up in a perverted mess of theological errors. 

Jeep drives off into the sun set hoping to save the child, the new hope for humanity, from its enemies except this go around the baby killer isn't Herod.  It is God Himself.  That is right.  God wants the baby killed.  In the movie, God has lost faith in humanity.  Something that has echoes of the flood story, but God only sought to cleans the world of sin in the flood.  In Legion, God seeks to exterminate mankind because as the Marian figure says at both the beginning and close of the movie, "God was just tired of the BS."  Fortunately, the only way that the all good and all loving God can possibly do this is if He kills Charlie's baby.

Luckily, there is a character that helps change God's mind.  It happens to be St. Michael, or just Michael as in the movie he is fallen.  The question is why would Michael, the one who is most like God, decide to go against God?  Simple, he thinks he is more right about man than the One Who made mankind.  Michael seems himself as more faithful that God Himself.  To put it another way, pride is what causes Michael to fall.  The parallel to another fallen angel due to pride begs the question in the whole movie.  Michael's goal is to protect the baby in an attempt to save humanity by means of disobey God's Will.  It is Michael's love for mankind over his love of God, his love of creation over the creator,  that results in his fall.

Staying true with the American mindset that obedience is the ultimate vice of the unenlightened and rebellion the virtue of the enlightened, Michael's rebellion and disobedience as well as the mercy shown to humanity is what ushers him back into God's heavenly court.  Mercy is key in the climax of the movie, as the audience learns that it is more important to be merciful than it is to follow God's will, than it is to Love, than it is to be just.  As long as you are merciful it matters not what you do.  Mercy will restore a person to God's grace.

However the opposite is true with Gabriel.  It is Gabriel's obedience to God's Will and Justice that ultimate leads to the angel's defeat. 

Fortunately, Michael is able to convince God that the chosen child is born and that there is hope for humanity, so God changes His mind and decides to let humanity live.  That was a close call, good thing Hollywood is there to clear things up for us.

All in all, the movie is a theological mess.  It is as if the director and writers wrote the movie by playing biblical roulette.  Perhaps they didn't realize that the house if often the winner in the circular game of chance.  The only theologically redeeming aspect of the movie is how the angles were portrayed.  For once Hollywood gets something correct.  Angels are presented as mighty warriors and not fat, chubby, winged naked babies.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Lesson From The Exodus . . . of the New Orleans Saints

[My apologies for all the grammar and puncuation mistakes.  I have a massive headache and do not have the energy to focus on this for very long.]

For 43 years the City of New Orleans had undergone one of the greatest regional tragedies to date.  Despite being wiped clean when the city was nearly burned to its foundations, attacked during wars, famines, yellow fever epidemics , flooding from the Mississippi, several major hurricanes: Camile, Betsy, and Katrina, none of these caused as much heart ache for the the gulf coast region as the once had to love Saints (or Aints, as they were called during their less favorable years.)  Gone are the days when paper shopping bags double as hoods for the fans - shameful to show their public loyalty to the saints less they be scorned.  Gone are the days when Saints tickets could not be given away unless you greased your friends palm with a crisp twenty for refreshments.  Gone is "Next Year", "We'll get 'em next year", for "Next Year" is this year.

What lessons can a person learn from the 43 years that the Saints and their fans spent in their own exodus wondering as they wandered when they would enter the promise land and lift high the Lombardi trophy?  Lots.

1.  Though 43 years in wilderness feasting on the scraps of others, entry into the promise land is sweet.  There is no promise land without first the wilderness aimed at testing and challenging the team, the fans, the region. It reminds that there is no Easter Sunday apart from Good Friday.

2.  Redemptive is the suffering that happened for 43 years.  Those who allow suffering to be and just be without any meaning associated with it, without any goal in sight, with out learning something from their suffering might not understand this.  Though suffering for 43 years each season the management, the team, and the fans learned something, though what they learned sometimes seemed contrary to where they wanted to go.

3.  Dedication.  Perseverance.  Commitment.  It would have been very easy for the Owner of the Saints to drop trow and high tail it out of New Orleans to a more promising land -- after all, New Orleans isn't exactly the ideal economic machine like some of the other cities NFL teams call home.  This was especially true the year after Katrina when San Antonio was trying to court the Saints into moving to Texas.

4.  Unity.  This one is missed unless you experienced it first hand.  After the game, the best celebration happened.  It wasn't the best due to the copious amount of liquor.  It was the best because for just a few hours race, gender, age, wealth, upbringing, what kind of job you had, the car you drove, the section of the city you live in,  and where you went to high school didn't matter.  Everyone was a Who Dat.  Perhaps a bit idealistic, but could this have been a small, though  some what misguided, example of heavenly realities?  Perhaps. A unity here that crosses all boundaries.

In a perfect world the energies and lessons found here would be appropriately applied to not only finite things but also to eternal.  Dedication not only to the New Orleans Saints but also to the communion of Saints.  Though difficult, suffering can be turned into a good, a lesson.  Unity and love expressed not only because your horse came in, but because you see in every person and every culture a child of God.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Breaking News


From my phone.



We Win!!!





Car horns blowing. Alarms going off. People yejng can be heard from miles away. Fire works and gun. Shots. Katrina revisted? No. The new Orleans saints just won the superbowl.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Me on EWTN Radio

Set your alarm clock a little bit earlier tomorrow morning.  I'll be on the "Son Rise Morning Show" tomorrow morning doing a brief 10 min. conversation with the host about the God, Ghost and Goblins article.  The interview/conversation is set for 6:20 A.M Central Time.  Listen to it online here, go here to see if you have a local EWTN affiliate, or for you SIRIUS listeners tune to Channel 160.

God, Ghosts, and Goblins

Me over at CatholicExchange again.

From the Article.

When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing - they believe in anything — G.K. Chesterton.
Belief, of any sort, is part of the human psyche. Without faith in God, that belief may lie in science, so that one wonders of the mysteries of the universe whether or not they will be solved in one’s life time. Or that belief may lie in the realm of gods, pixies, warlocks, aliens, or the Easter Bunny. When a person stops believing, it is not that a person believes in anything, it is that they become distracted and thereby believe in lesser things. They believe in little green men and do not believe in little red devils. They believe in flying saucers and do not believe in flying angels. They believe in goddesses and goblins and do not believe in the glories of God.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Pascal's Wager and the Superbowl

[I'm not planning on getting any real teaching done on Friday, so I'm going to try to trick my students into learning about Pascal's Wager.  Here is the little intro to the lesson I will be using.  I'm posting via email, so I hope that all the formating will remain the same.]
 
 

You are a gambling man and a New Orleans Saints fan.  The Superbowl is quickly approaching and you have a decision to make.  Two choices are before you.  Choice number one is to bet on the saint to win.  Choice number two is to place no bet at all as being both a gambler and even more of a Saints fan leads you to the inability to bet on the opposing team.  Which will you choose?  Ultimately you have two things to lose: the money you bet and your pride; and two things at stake: your reason and your happiness; and your nature has two things to avoid: being wrong and being miserable.

Because you are both a Saints fan and a gambler you must choose.  Your reason is no more offensive if you choose one decision over the other.   But what is at stake is your happiness, your pride, and your money.

So let us examine the decisions and weigh them against each other and see what is gained and lost depending upon your choice. 

1.        If you believe the saints to win, and you bet on the saints to win, and they do win then you have shown your reason to be right, and you have gained the money that you bet plus your winnings and in turn have lost nothing.  In addition to financial gain, you will also gain a high level of happiness.

2.       If you believe the saints to win and in turn the Saints actually lose, then you have lost the money you have bet on the team and have gained some humility and wisdom in the process (two helpful things to have in life)

3.       Let us propose that you, because you are a Saints fan and cannot bet on the opposing team, believe that the Saint will not win.  However, the game is played, and the Saints do win.  In turn you have gained nothing, but feel foolish and miserable for not betting on the Saints and letting your doubts over power your reason, and you have lost nothing because you did not risk anything in the betting scheme and only feel even more stupid for not taking the chance.

4.       The final is that you believe that the Saints will not win and the Saints do not win.  You have lost nothing, but you have not gained anything other than your neighbors calling you a negative nay-saying Nancy for not cheering for the Saints.  In fact, your lack of belief is blamed for the loss.

You might be asking, how much am I wagering?  What do I win?  Let us say that you have the possibility, due to the Vegas Odds, with only a marginal wager to win as much money as needed to live comfortably for the remainder of your life.  Certainly the 'safe' bet, if you define 'safe' to mean not acting and not losing anything, is to not bet and pray that the Saints do not win.  But in Scripture it states that the man who horded his talent had his talent taken from him where as the men who risked their talent were only rewarded. 

So the real question is, which option promises gains and which one does not?  In the world of economics, it is a simple answer, you bet on the saints to win over not betting at all, for if you do not win money you will in turn at least win character that is necessary and highly praised in the world today.  Betting on the Saints is the sure action, the safe action, the reasonable action.

 

 

Saints Win

Saints do not win

 

 

I believe the Saints to Win and bet on the Saints.

Gain:

Money for comfortable living,

Happiness

 

Lose:

Nothing

Gain:

Humility and Wisdom

 

 

Lose:

Your marginal wager

 

 

I believe the saints to lose and do not bet on the Saints.

Gain:

Foolishness and misery

Nothing

 

 

Lose:

Nothing

Gain:

Nothing (but scorn from your neighbors)

 

 

Lose:

Nothing

 

 

For more info on Pascal's Wager see Dr. Kreeft's article "Argument from Pascan's Wager."

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