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Just Pray

from Huff Post

The Church of England (CoE) has warned of a “chilling” effect on free speech and threatened legal action after UK cinemas refused to show an advertisement featuring the Lord’s Prayer.
The Church said that the refusal to show the 60-second film, which it had planned to show around the country ahead of the new Star Wars film, was “plain silly”.
But the Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency, which handles cinema advertising, said that there were fears that the advert could offend non-Christians.
The advert, entitled ‘Just Pray’ features a range of people reciting the Lord’s Prayer, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, police officers, weight lifters and school children.
It ends with the tagline: “Prayer is for everyone”.
prayer
Weight lifters recite the Lord’s Prayer in the advert
The advert promotes the CoE’s new website, JustPray.uk, which was launched to create a place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray. The site also provides a “live prayer” feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine.
But the UK’s three largest cinema chains Odeon, Cineworld and Vue – who control 80% of cinema screens around the country – have refused to show the advert because they believe it “carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences”.
This is despite the film receiving clearance from both the Cinema Advertising Authority and British Board of Film Classification.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said that the move was “extraordinary”.
He told the Mail on Sunday: “I find it extraordinary that cinemas rule that it is inappropriate for an advert on prayer to be shown in the week before Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Billions of people across the world pray this prayer on a daily basis. I think they would be astonished and deeply saddened by this decision, especially in the light of the terrorist attack in Paris where many people have found comfort and solace in prayer.
“This advert is about as ‘offensive’ as a carol service on Christmas Day.”
According to the Press Association, the CoE has threatened legal action over the decision.
The Rev. Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Church of England, said: “The prospect of a multi-generational cultural event offered by the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on 18 December – a week before Christmas Day – was too good an opportunity to miss and we are bewildered by the decision of the cinemas.

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14 Things the Bible Says NOT to Do, But Hypocritical Bible-Thumpers Do Anyway

The Bible bans a lot of things. Just ask right-wingers when they use it to defend their incessant attempts to discriminate against the LGBT community. As we all know, putting one’s devil stick in another man’s hell-hole is forbidden by the Bible–but other stuff is, as well. Like, umm…OK, that’s pretty much the extent of right-wingers’ understanding of the Bible.

Did you know, though, that there is more to the book than the wildly-misrepresented same-sex boom-boom verses in Leviticus? It’s true–we checked! The Bible says “no” to a lot of other things, too. Yes, it’s true that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross means that we are no longer under the particular set of laws that covers many of them but the thing about cherry-picking verses from Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament is that if one irrational, invalid, and downright stupid “law” is valid the rest must be, as well!

Here’s a short list of some other things the Bible bans — but Bible-thumpers often do anyway!

14. Cheeseburgers

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Leviticus 3:17

It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

Cheeseburgers are full of fat, which is a no-no according to Leviticus!

13. Bacon

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Leviticus 11:7

And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.

Who doesn’t love bacon, right? Well, the Bible doesn’t!

12. Blended Fabrics

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Leviticus 19:19

Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Like polyester blends? Well, God doesn’t. You’re going to Hell, sinner!

11. Tearing Your Clothes

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Leviticus 10:6

And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.

Yeah…it’s happened to all of us. We’ve all torn a shirt when it snags on something, or fallen and ripped the knee of a pair of pants. Well, according to the Bible…we’re gonna die!

10. Going to Church After giving Birth

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Leviticus 12:2

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

Leviticus 12:4

And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.

Leviticus 12:5

But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.

Women have it rough according to the decrees set forth in the Good Book. If your first instinct is to go to church and show off your new baby, though, you are doing it wrong! Interestingly, you need to stay away from church TWICE as long if you squeeze a little girl our of your sin oven. Your baby can go, but you can’t.

9. Creating Idols, or “Metal Gods”

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Leviticus 19:4

Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

So…about all those Jesus statues and pendants…

8. Trimming Your Beard

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Leviticus 19:27

Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Ever thought of giving the old beard a trim? Well, sinner, G-man says “no” to that! At least we know the Duck Dynasty guys are fine…

7. Tattoos

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Leviticus 19:28

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

Sometimes, you get the urge to pop down to your local tattoo artist and show your love for Jesus by getting his image forever imprinted on your chest. Well, we have some news for you…

6. Mistreating Foreigners

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Leviticus 19:33

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

Boy, if only right-wing Christians actually read their Bibles…

5. Rounded Haircuts

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Leviticus 19:27 

Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Hey Ben Shapiro…you’re going to burn for all eternity…for more than just your haircut.

4. Remarrying After a Divorce

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 Mark 10:11

And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Hey Newt…we have some bad news for you….

3. Pulling Out

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Genesis 38:9

And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

Genesis 38:10

And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

Not everyone wears a condom…but if you choose not to, you’d better be willing to go all the way with it or you’re gonna BURRRRNNNN.

2.Wearing Gold

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1 Timothy 2:9

“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.”

Ladies, pack up your gold and pearls…because Jesus no likie!

1. No Alcohol in Church

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Leviticus 10:9 

Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die.

OK, God, you’re confusing us now. Is Communion OK, or not?

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Baby Jesus – no crib for his bed

HUFFPOST

Copyright © 2013 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. | “The Huffington Post” is a registered trademark of TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
THE BLOG
Baby Jesus: Not Welcome Here
Cheryl MochDec 17, 2013
If you have any doubt that we live in a Christian country, you only have to look at a list of Federal holidays. There are only 10, and one of them is Christmas.

But as Americans (especially here in New York where I live) we enjoy the illusion that we are a humanistic, pluralistic society: a rainbow-hued 21st century melting pot. Sometimes we bump up hard against that illusion.

This happened to me the other morning when I arrived at work in my New York City government office.

I had been enjoying the festive decorations adorning our drab offices for the last couple of weeks — every day people added to the glitter and cheer with tinsel, candy canes, Santas and so on. As I do every year, I put out decorations of my own: Rudolph, a small plaster gingerbread house, an old cardboard pop-up of Santa’s sled near a snow-covered farmhouse.

But when I arrived at work the other day I saw something new on the front desk of our reception area, something that had never been displayed before: a crèche — a small crèche, but still, a crèche.

As politely as I could, I told the receptionists who had placed it there that crèches are not allowed as public displays on New York City government property. These two, kindly women were incredulous, and quickly pointed to the menorah as though it was a magical antidote to the crèche. Yes, good — I see that you have a menorah. But still, crèches are not allowed. They asked why, and as I tried to explain I found I could not. Instead of offering any reasonable explanation as to why the crèche was different than the menorah, I found that I was voiceless, speechless. I certainly didn’t mean to insult their tradition but I was very uncomfortable at the sight of the crèche, however small and unassuming. I stuttered and sputtered: “Because it is not allowed, that’s why. It’s the law.”

I went to my desk and Googled “nativity scene New York City.” Was I right? I quickly found a 2006 court decision called Skorus vs. the City of New York that banned nativity scenes — but did it apply only to New York City public schools? There was also a 1989 SCOTUS case, County of Allegheny vs. the ACLU, which banned crèches on government property — but not menorahs. I complained to my boss who then spoke to her boss who spoke to the EEO officer who spoke to the legal department. By the end of the day, word had gotten around. I had been yelled at and spurned by colleagues. I had received an outraged email to the effect of “How can you of all people, who is so liberal and open-minded, be so intolerant and wrong on this issue?” Meaning, “How could you — who is so Jewish yet we manage to tolerate you — object to our customs?” A Jewish colleague took me aside to say that she didn’t mind the little crèche at all. And (she added gratuitously) I like Christmas music!” Her clear message: She would not be a foot soldier in my misguided war on Christmas.

The crèche was still there later when I requested a meeting with the EEO officer who asked me, pen in hand: “What is your objection?” Again, I sputtered: “It’s the law, isn’t it?” “So you are objecting because you think it is against the law?” Again, I failed. I was wordless, voiceless. Instead I asked her, “Why does it fall to the minority to have to explain?”

The next day, I spoke to my wise and perceptive daughter, who said it’s because the symbol is too close to us as Jews. If it was Ganesha or some other distant symbol we wouldn’t care, however deeply religious and holy the symbol. But for Jews, the crèche cuts close and deep: The nativity scene is not the beginning, it’s the beginning of the end. Those are Jews in that manger, and they are giving birth to a hatred of Jews that has burned and swelled and murdered us for over two thousand years.

Maybe she didn’t say all that, but that is what she meant. And that is what I meant but could not possibly say at work to my Christian colleagues who snarled at me for quoting law as the reason I wanted the crèche removed. While you are rejoicing at the birth of baby Jesus I am searching for a safe place to hide with my family. Was my discomfort atavistic, genetically programmed into me by centuries of persecution?

If only I could tell them: A crèche is different because the United States is different because, here, there is separation of Church and state. And I cherish that, don’t you? It is my safety; it is what makes America different than Europe. And we work for the government: hence, no baby Jesus. I can admire your trees and your lights in this dark season and your Santa with his merry laugh. I can smile at your elves and shake my head at the seasonal madness at the malls.

But it all gets too serious when I see that manger with its empty cradle waiting for the birth of a baby who will be proclaimed the Son of God and whose horrible death will be blamed on me. And my tax dollars pay for that reception area and it’s a public space where Christians and Jews and Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Buddhists and atheists and every one else are welcome. And baby Jesus is not.

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In case you missed it – wedding dress, Houston

In case you missed it - wedding dress, Houston

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September 13, 2013 · 23:32