ISIS and Palmyra

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The best thing I’ve heard anyone say for weeks? Natalie Haynes in last night’s Evening Standard:

…why is it that those who proclaim the greatest religious fervour are so threatened by gods no longer worshipped.

Indeed.

As “Islamic State” continue their sacrilegious and totalitarian destruction of civilisation, culture, and history with the demolition of the ancient temple of Bel in Palmyra, I too am taking time out from my anguish and highly effectual hand-wringing to wonder: why are ISIS so scared of dead gods?

 © 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.blazingcatfur.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/An-aerial-view-taken-on-J-007-620×372.jpg

Why Is God Obsessed With Hair?

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God Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent Creator, the Exceedingly Beneficent, the Gentle, the Boundless, He Who Is Able To Do Anything, the Supremely Exalted, the Lord of Majesty and Generosity, the Owner of All Sovereignty, &c.

Those titles (and many more) are His, and nobody can doubt their accuracy (for it is written).

So here’s a question for the religious amongst us, given God’s undoubted perfection:

Why is God the Magnificent and Super Duper Excellent (etc.) so obsessed with… hair?

Sikhs can’t cut their hair. To protect it, they wrap it in a turban. And they grow their beards their whole life. If you’re a woman and really want to show how holy you are, you too can wear a turban!

Muslim men also must display a beard. But shaving off the ‘tache is fine. Conversely, Muslim women need to cover their head hair, and any beard they grow is irrelevant to the glorification of God. Male hair = good, female hair = bad??

Christians have to cover their hair in church — but only the women!

Jewish men grow beards, like Muslims, and Jewish women must cover their hair in Synogogue, like Christians. But Hasidic Jewish women shave their hair off and put on a wig. Jewish men must grow curly, long sideburns. They also need to cover their hair! …But only the crown (I think this is more to cover the bald spot).

Rastafarians must mat their hair into dreadlocks. The holiest type is where all of the hair has matted into one long lock.

Aren’t there more pressing moral issues than how to display or conceal one’s hair? Things such as rape (Gen 19:5-8), child abuse (2 Kings 2:23-24), genocide (1 Sam 15:2-8, 15:18-19), oppression of gay people (Lev 20:13), and so on. And grown-ups mutilating the genitals of helpless children, because God commanded them to (Gen 17:10-11).

So again, I ask: given the multiplicity of problems that beset mankind, problems that seem to be on the exponential increase:

Why the hell is God so obsessed with hair?

Over to you, people of God.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://quran2hadith.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/allah_names_with_english.jpeg

Jesus Mark Appears On Tree

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In the United States, a ‘Jesus’ mark has appeared on a tree to a grieving son. Brian Quirk says the resemblance of Christ popped up on a silver maple on the sixth anniversary of his father’s death. Read the full story here.

Now, I don’t wish to mock a grieving child who lost their father. I lost my father, too. But this is clearly a case of wishful thinking; why would the almighty maker of the universe, the being who set up the very laws of nature, the alpha and the omega, why would He manifest Himself in a slice of toast, some spilt coffee, or as in this case, a tree? Funny thing is, when I first saw this ‘Jesus’ mark, the first thing that sprung to mind wasn’t ‘Jesus’; I was genuinely stunned by how closely it resembles the FIFA World Cup trophy! It’s got its arms and legs in the right position, and it holds aloft a sphere. Clearly a sign that the USA is going to win the world cup…?

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Brian Quirk’s neighbour Nancy said, “Even speaking about it I get chills … It’s so evident what it is, it’s amazing”. Yes, it is amazing; USA, football world champs? Whodathunk?

images from http://footballnewsindia.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Copa_del_mundo_2010.jpg & https://uk.news.yahoo.com/jesus-mark-appears-tree-says-bereaved-son-220105685.html#s12msWz

© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry

 

 

‘Jesus’ Mark Appears On Tree, Says Bereaved Son

A US man says Jesus has appeared to him on a tree.

Brian Quirk says the resemblance of Christ popped up on a silver maple on the sixth anniversary of his father’s death.

Curious residents of North Providence, Rhode Island, have flocked to see the eye-catching 3in (7.6cm) mark.

Mr Quirk says he noticed the arboreal anomaly as he worked in the front yard of his home, after visiting his father’s grave.

He told the Valley Breeze: “Curiously, it is in the same area where my father would sit outside during his last few months before losing his battle with cancer.

“My mother remains with my family and is recovering from open-heart surgery. A devout Catholic, she finds comfort knowing the image is there.”

Mr Quirk’s neighbour, Nancy Ganem, was in no doubt that it was a sign from above.

“Even speaking about it I get chills,” she told CBS News.

“It’s so evident what it is, it’s so amazing.”