No Direction Home.

Hitchens vs. Blair re: Religion.

Munk debates is making this available for free streaming for the next few days.  It was great watching when it first came out—even if Blair’s position is painfully untenable, I’d definitely recommend it.

Rupert Murdoch: Bible Mogul

Most people know now that Rupert Murdoch presides over the News Corp media empire, and that he is fighting for his reputation after being forced to sink his scandal-laiden British newspaper News of the World, the most widely read English tabloid in the world. But few people know that Murdoch also owns Zondervan, the world’s largest publisher of Bibles. For 23 years, the News Corp family has included the leading seller of the best-selling book in history.

I know many Christians see the Bible’s publishing stature as validation of their chosen faith, but a savvy entrepreneur could simply see it as a business opportunity. Or perhaps the 80-year-old Murdoch, like any shrewd businessman, wanted diverse investments - a diversity that in his case ranged from a cleavage-saturated tabloid that ran headlines like, “F1 Boss Has Sick Nazi Orgy With 5 Hookers” to a publisher that offers Little Lamb’s Storybook Bible.

Zondervan, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, also sells Precious Princess Bible, Camo Bible (imagine “Holy Bible” on a camouflage cover), Soul Surfer Bible, Holy Bible: Stock Car Racing and 500 other styles of the holy book. The company owns exclusive North American print rights to the popular New International Version of the Bible which it says has sold over 300 million copies worldwide. Zondervan also publishes books by leading Christian authors like Rick Warren (over 30 million copies of his Purpose Driven Life have been sold), Tim LaHaye, Jim Wallis, Eugene Peterson, Brian McLaren and Shane Claiborne.


You cannot say you are a follower of the guy who said love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. The next line isn’t: and if that doesn’t work send a titanium fanged dog to rip his nuts off. Jesus lays on that hippie stuff pretty thick. He has lines that say: do not repay evil with evil and do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. Really. It’s in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but non-violence was kind of Jesus’ trademark. Kind of his big thing. To not follow that part of it is like joining Greenpeace and hating whales. I mean there’s interpreting and then there’s just ignoring. It’s just ignoring if you’re for torture. As are more evangelical Christians than any other religion. You’re supposed to look at figure of Christ on the cross and think, how could any man suffer like that and forgive, not: Romans are pussy, he still has his eye.

If you go to a baptism, and you hold the baby under until he starts talking, we’re missing the message. Like apparently our President who says he gets scripture on his Blackberry every morning, but who says on 60 Minutes anyone who questioned if Bin Laden should have been assassinated should have their head examined. Hey, Fox News, you missed a big headline: Obama thinks Jesus is nuts. To which I say, hallelujah because my favorite new government program is surprising violent religious zealots in the middle of the night and shooting them in the face. Sorry, Head Start, you’re number two now.

See, I can say that because I’m a non-Christian, just like most Christians.

Christians, I know, I’m sorry, I know you hate this and you want to square this circle but you can’t. I’m not even judging you, I’m just saying logically, if you ignore every single thing Jesus commanded you to do you’re not a Christian, you’re just auditing. You’re not Christ’s followers, you’re just fans. And if you believe the earth was given to you to kick ass on while gloating, you’re not really a Christian, you’re a Texan.


Bill Maher (via soupsoup)

(via kateoplis)

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