See the Holy Land as never before, thanks to the wizards at National Geographic.
Jerusalem is one of the world’s most important cities, held sacred by three religious traditions, and it’s now possible to virtually visit its holy places in an unprecedented way thanks to the vision and daring of the team behind “Jerusalem,” a new IMAX film presented by National Geographic Entertainment.Read more about the project here.
Producers Taran Davies, George Duffield, and Daniel Ferguson faced huge challenges to gain access to sacred spaces as well as the airspace above the holy city, which is usually a no-fly zone. They stated in a press release, “Our goal is to look at the roots of the universal attachment to Jerusalem: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. We hope the juxtaposition of these different religions and cultures — all with profound spiritual and historical connections to the city — will reveal how much Jews, Christians and Muslims have in common and inspire all of us to better understand each other.”
But how to tell the story of Jerusalem without just focusing on politics? Enter three teenage girls from each faith: Farah Ammouri, a Muslim, Nadia Tadros, from a Greek Orthodox and Catholic family, and Revital Zacharie, a Jew.
Ferguson asked each of the girls to take him (separately) on a one-day tour of Jerusalem, which he filmed. “What was really amazing was that they would bring me to some of the same places in the city and tell me entirely different things. Revital would point out Jewish history, but when I asked her if she knew about the Christian or Muslim attachment to the same places, she didn’t. The same was true of the other girls.”
Benedict Cumberbatch narrates the film, and Dr. Jodi Magness of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill features as lead archaeologist.
Check out the trailer at Deacon Greg's website: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2013/09/this-looks-thrilling-a-glimpse-at-the-new-imax-movie-jerusalem/
Sep 17, 2013
|President Putin: Flummoxed by his argument, his foes attacked him personally.|
It is hard to deny that Russian President Vladimir Putin hit a home run last week, in appealing directly to the American people through an op-ed piece in the New York Times not to launch a missile attack on Syria. Some conservative commentators said he made his case resoundingly. Liberals, while deploring it, had to concede that it was exceedingly well written. But what made it well written was the fact it was well reasoned.
Rational argument has almost disappeared from Western political discussion, principally because it has almost disappeared from Western education. We are enjoined not to think but to feel. The White House rationale for a missile attack on Syria, for instance, consisted almost entirely of videos of children who suffered and died from nerve-gas. Heart rending they certainly were, but the prevention of further attacks will not depend on what we feel, but on what we think, and what in consequence we do. Putin knows this, and so at one time did we. That's why his line of reasoning came to many as such a refreshing, even startling, change.
His article sets out four propositions:
1. The reason there has been no world war since 1945 lies in the veto power within the United Nations Security Council which assures that the council can only act unanimously.
2. The U.N. charter puts legal limitations on the right of any single power to start a war.
3. An American attack on Syria would not meet those conditions.
4. Hence an attack of Syria without Security Council approval would be illegal and possibly trigger a world war. Therefore, Americans, please dissuade your government from doing this.
If you can't beat the argument, beat the man
The liberal response has consisted almost wholly in a personal attack on Putin himself. Who, after all, was he to talk about rights and morality? Look at his record. All of which may be emotionally understandable, but did nothing whatever to refute his central contentions. It was the old argumentum ad hominem – if you can’t defeat a man's argument, attack the man himself instead.
- See the rest at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/641#sthash.vlglxNv4.dpuf
Sep 13, 2013
|What would Jesus do?|
Road rage is on the rise says the Washington Post, which polled people around the District of Columbia. It found the proportion of drivers admitting to often feeling “uncontrollable anger” at a fellow driver had doubled since a 2005 poll, to 12 percent.
The American Automobile Association got a similar result when it tracked police reports through the 1990s: traffic disputes that got violent rose 50 percent across America over one five-year period. According to a new Canadian study of eight years of complaints posted on Roadragers.com, the acts which most often trigger road rage are: cutting in and weaving (comprising 54 percent of posts), speeding (29 percent) and hostile displays (25 percent).
What’s causing it?
Underlying explanations differ widely depending on the source: sociologists suggest our sense of community is breaking down. Psychologists suspect that driving imparts a dangerous mix of entitlement and invincibility. Leon James, a University of Hawaii professor and author of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving, told the Post their 12 percent who admitted to road rage were just the honest ones. James’ own tests found 30 percent admitting to raging, while 85 percent had experienced it from other drivers, making James believe almost everyone rages.
But surely both numbers could be true: a smaller percentage of aggressive drivers impact many non-ragers as they weave through crowded traffic lanes. When they cut off another of their ilk, there is mutual rage: i.e. the New Jersey detective who recently shot and killed another driver, or the man and woman who waved a knife and gun at each other from separate vehicles on a D.C. expressway in March.
- See the rest at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/631#sthash.P8RD4AVh.dpuf
The idea that we would even be considering aiding these jihadis, and are already giving them weapons, is unconscionable. It will forever be a blot on the history of the United States. Even if Islamic supremacists write those histories, the theme of this chapter will be the spectacular success of their disinformation campaign in the U.S., and how they got the U.S. Government to come to the aid of al-Qaeda within twelve years of 9/11.
"Witness to a Syrian Execution: 'I Saw a Scene of Utter Cruelty,'" by Patrick Witty in Time, September 12 (thanks to Anne Crockett):
All wars are vicious, but the civil war in Syria seems every day to set new standards for brutality. As the fighting rages in its third year, increasing numbers of atrocities are committed by soldiers and fighters from forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad, as well as armed rebels and Islamic militants from the numerous, loosely aligned groups opposing Assad. The violence is frequently sectarian in nature, with fighters claiming they act in defense of their faith, be it Sunni, Alawite, Shiite or any of the other sects that contribute to Syria’s religious landscape.The perpetrators of atrocities themselves often use digital cameras or smartphones to photograph or film their acts of torture and murder, uploading the images to the Internet. These images and videos are used for propaganda, and their authenticity is often impossible to verify. It is very rare that a group of fighters from either side gives a professional photojournalist from a country outside Syria full and unfettered access to chronicle an atrocity as it unfolds. The images above are products of that access.
What follows is a harrowing series of photographs of Islamic militants publicly executing, by decapitation, a young Syrian in the town of Keferghan, near Aleppo, on August 31, 2013.
Because of the danger in reporting inside Syria, it was not possible to confirm the identity or political affiliation of the victim. Nor are we certain about the motivation of his killers. One eyewitness who lives in the area and was contacted by TIME a week after the beheadings said that the executioners were from ISIS, an Al-Qaeda franchise operating in Syria and Iraq.
Yes, their motivation is an utter and absolute mystery.
TIME obtained the images exclusively from a photographer who was recently in Syria. This decapitation was the last of four executions he documented that day. TIME has agreed not to publish the photographer’s name, to protect him from repercussions when he returns to Syria. What follows is an edited account of his experience:Read the rest at http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/09/i-saw-a-scene-of-utter-cruelty-eyewitness-account-of-syrian-jihadists-beheading-a-foe.html
Ciao, da bella Roma, Italia.
I am writing you from beautiful Roma, Italy. I’m here with my wonderful husband, Deacon Dominick. Yesterday we just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Pondering on this milestone in our lives, I realize even more now how celebrating a traditional marriage of 30-ye...
4:00 – Kresta Comments – Is the Pope Catholic? Two Columnists Say “No”
4:20 – Helping Disabled Catholics Access the Fullness of the Faith
The National Catholic Partnership on Disability is an organization that works collaboratively and effectively with the USCCB, dioceses and archdioceses and Catholic ministries across the country. The mission is to help create access to faith for Catholics with disabilities. This work is broad and deep, and includes creating specialized resources for faith formation and sacramental preparation, outreach to Hispanic families, as well as a vibrant program to support families facing an unexpected prenatal diagnosis, among many others. NCPD estimates there are about 14 million Catholics with some kind of a disability that need more access to the faith. Executive Director Jan Benton joins us.
5:00 – Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy, and Human Flourishing
Over the past fifty years, increasing numbers of American Catholics have abandoned the economic positions associated with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and chosen to embrace the principles of economic freedom and limited government: ideals upheld by Ronald Reagan and the Tea Party movement but also deeply rooted in the American Founding. This shift, alongside America’s growing polarization around economic questions, has generated fierce debates among Catholic Americans in recent years. Can a believing Catholic support free markets? Does the Catholic social justice commitment translate directly into big government? Do limited government Catholic Americans have something unique to contribute to the Church’s thinking about the economic challenges confronting all Catholics around the globe? Samuel Gregg draws upon Catholic teaching, natural law theory, and the thought of the only Catholic Signer of America’s Declaration of Independence to develop a Catholic case for the values and institutions associated with the free economy, limited government, and America’s experiment in ordered liberty.
5:40 – Kresta Comments – Is the Pope Catholic? Two Columnists Say “No”