Friday, August 25, 2006

Turns out I was wrong...

I just received a forwarded e-mail from someone who apparently knows me well enough to send me this forward but does not know me well enough to know what I would think about it. Anyway, since I don't really know who this person is, if it is you, thanks. While from time to time this blog has been used to criticize the notion that America is God's favorite country and that following Jesus means waving a flag and singing God Bless America, this picture has destroyed all of my arguments.

Here's the e-mail:

This is a beautiful photo of a giant U.S. flag in Arizona. The photo is authentic and UN-Touched. The picture was taken on a regular Kodak 35mm film. The person who took the picture couldn't believe the image created by the suns rays. Nice of them to share it with the world! Read what is says under the picture....

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us....go ahead and delete this.
For the rest of us..pass this on.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Laughing at Science

On this sad, sad day when my all time favorite planet has been kicked off the list, I am focusing all of my rage at one man. But first, let me just point out one of several problems with this decision. What am I going to do about my pneumatic tool to remember the planets? Previously, I could think "Many Visual Examples Make Jake Sikora Understand New Problems" but now what? Further, I don't see why in the world adding more planets, the other proposal, is not a much better option. Instead of less planets we get more, opening the possibility for many more sci-fi channel original movies.

If you are looking for someone to blame, as I'm sure you are, I suggest blaming this man, Sir Patrick Moore.

Fearing absolute chaos, wherein every stray piece of mass in the solar system would become a planet, Sir Patrick Moore expressed grave concern over the possibility of adding three more planets instead of getting rid of Pluto. His presence in a CBS news report on the topic has made for one of the more memorable moments in TV news for some time. Thankfully, the clip can be found here on YouTube. Go check it out.

Schieffer, who I am just hoping goes full on Howard Beale before handing over the Evening News post this fall, could not contain himself when he saw the piece live on the air. Laughing at astronomers! Yes! Of course Schieffer is right, Moore is insane, or at least looks like it, but apparently Shieffer has never seen The Sky at Night, the popular science show from the BBC where Moore talks endlessly in insane ways.

For now, it seems as though it is Moore who is having the last laugh, science has insisted on being lame and removing one planet instead of adding three. Meanwhile, I encourage everyone to watch Schieffer every night before he is off the air. Last night he laughed about their being a patron saint of real estate. He can't help himself!

Just Like Adam: Christianity in Florida Part 1

For those of you who do not know but actually care, the parental force in the Sikora family are packing up their stuff and moving to Florida. To be honest, I have always had mostly terrible feelings about Florida, perhaps spawned by envy over being just miles from the ocean AND the gulf of mexico. Regardless, to prepare for said move, I have decided to do a little research about what is going on in the fair southwestern state in regards to your and mine favorite religion, the Jesus one.

Our first stop on Jesus in Florida tour is just outside of Tampa Florida where Jonathan Palmiter and his friends live out their spiritual disciplines au natural. Ever the purist, I am intrigued by anyone who can say they spend their days communing with God "just like Adam did." Now for you "textiles" who insist on wearing clothes, you may be prone to jump to the same conclusion I did, writing these believers off as ultra liberal, hippy Jesus freaks. In this case, you couldn't be more wrong.

According to Philip Wahba's article on the Columbia website, many of these nudists are coming out of fundamentalism. While often these individuals are forced to choose between their denominational affiliation and being vocal about nudism, the fundamentalist mindset is clear in their discussion of the issue. As Jim T. so perfectly put it, "As a conservative Christian, I had to let the Bible be my guide. I'm the one who'll have to answer to God." And this direct, divine justification for nudism comes in multiple forms. For Nathan Powers, who begins his days by praying naked in his backyard, being naked intensifies his quiet time. "“I feel closer to God. It'’s an act of humility. It is absolutely spiritual. I am how God made me."

But, like all fundamentalists, everything comes down to the Good Book. Paul Bowman, the Josh McDowell of conservative Christian nudism, self-published the decisive book on nudist biblical interpretation, Nakedness in the Bible. (sadly, not available on "The book cites key biblical events, including God's order to the prophet Isaiah to go naked for three years, and states that, contrary to popular belief, Jesus was naked when he washed the feet of his disciples, when he was baptized and when he was crucified and resurrected." For those of you who are instantly thinking of that messy scene where Noah is "seen naked" by his sons, Bowman's point is specifically that "nothing forbids nonsexual nudity and that misinterpretations of the Bible stem from faulty translations of ancient Hebrew words for nudity."

Turning from the scholarly opinions of Bowman to the decidedly Wright Hall sounding arguments of the lay naturists, I found the following two arguments in favor of Christian nudism particularly compelling. Citing Paul's claim to practice modesty, Jim T. and Shirley from Tampa suggest that the egotistical displays of women in church wearing "“designer clothes and $90 haircuts"” are more immodest than a naked person. While I would tend to believe that these are just two different types of immodesty, I am of course a "textile" and am biased to wearing clothes. Finally, in something that I swear came out of a Wright Hall RA's mouth in the fall of 2004, "Parker and his wife said they've attend many naked parties that were entirely wholesome. Some of the most spiritual conversations they'’ve had have been in hot tubs with other couples, he said." So, Rick Hammer, if you're out there, perhaps I should apologize for disagreeing with you on this one.

While I don't believe that my parents will be moving into this community, it will definitely have to be a stop along the way if I ever decide to make Jesus in Florida '06 a reality.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Theological Question

Can you be a theological pacifist and still love air shows?