Where is PETA when you need it?

According to MSNBC:

Researchers say they’ve forced microbes from a California lake to consume arsenic.

Life as we don’t know it … on Earth?

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Christian woman faces death for blasphemy – GOD, CHRIST: QUESTIONS & FAITH

 

NBC’s Carol Grisanti and Fakhar ur Rehman report on MSNBC’s World Blog – Christian woman faces death for blasphemy:

imageITTAN WALLI, Pakistan – In early November, in the dusty city of Sheikhupura in Pakistan’s heartland, Asia Bibi, an illiterate Christian woman and mother of five, was sentenced to death by hanging under the country’s blasphemy laws.

Her crime? She allegedly insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

Almost immediately, the death sentence unleashed international condemnation, and put pressure on Pakistan’s government to overturn the verdict and amend the country’s blasphemy laws – a holdover from a 19th century penal code designed to protect minority religious sects during British colonial times. 

The law was radicalized during the 1980’s under the military dictatorship of General Zia ul Haq. He imposed life sentences, even death, for blasphemy to appease the mullahs and legitimize his grip on power.

Pope Benedict XVI appealed for clemency but hard-line Islamic groups have threatened civil war if the government pardons Bibi or attempts to amend the law.

Full article World Blog – Christian woman faces death for blasphemy

Pakistani Christian woman faces death for blasphemy – GOD, CHRIST: QUESTIONS & FAITH

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Bishop Charles Bennison Should Resign

Episcopal News Service:

The 227th annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, by a vote of 341-134, has asked Bishop Charles Bennison Jr. to "resign immediately."

A resolution containing the request also said that Bennison "does not have the trust of the people and clergy of the Diocese of Pennsylvania to continue to serve as their bishop."

Bennison made no comment on the resolution after it passed.

Passage of the resolution came hours after Bishop Paul Marshall of the neighboring Diocese of Bethlehem wrote to Bennison and the convention, calling on him to resign and suggesting that convention participants urge Bennison to leave.

"You need to realize, I humbly submit, that you are the premier diocese of the Episcopal Church in this Commonwealth, and arguably (along with Connecticut) the mother diocese of our church in this country," Marshall wrote. "It matters to the rest of us, and to the world, how you get along. It is not a confession of sin to admit that things have not worked out well, but it is surely a matter of empirical evidence."

Marshall also suggested that the diocesan leadership "examine with humility and contrition the extent to which they have mirrored attitudes and actions that they profess to reject," noting that "the concept of systemic change is harder to assess than that of mere personnel change."

Episcopal Life Online – DIOCESAN DIGEST

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Christopher Hitchens vs Peter Hitchens: Can Civilization Survive without God

From Shroud of Turin Blog:

Can civilization survive without God? Do watch the video. It is quite good. I have a great deal of respect for Christopher even though I pretty much disagree with most of what he has to say.

image Brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens squared off Tuesday in a debate over whether civilization can survive without God. Christopher, the older of the two, is a renowned image atheist thinker and author. Peter, the lesser known of the two, is a practicing Christian and also a well-regarded author.

The Two Hitchens Brothers Debate if Civilization Can Survive without God « Shroud of Turin Blog

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Junk Science Warning: New Shroud of Turin 3D Web Site

We are referring here to some 3D work done on the Shroud of Turin images that is dubious. Unfortunately it is being widely displayed in some churches.

The pastor of a large parish in New Orleans wrote to me by email:

I think this new 3D image is the most convincing scientific evidence yet for arguing that the shroud is authentic.”

image I strongly disagree. The pastor is referring to the red-cyan anaglyph image of the Shroud that you can see only with red and cyan 3D glasses. Personally, I feel that this is a work of art, an artist’s impression of what Jesus may have looked like, expressed in 3D. It doesn’t prove anything any more than the animated 3D movie, “Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus”  proves that horses can fly.

. . . Don’t get me wrong. There is 3D data in the Shroud’s images. It is the most important quality for knowing that these are not images formed by reflected light as a painter would envision or a camera would capture a human form. The 3D data is a quality that must be accounted for in any hypothesis attempting to explain how the images were formed, be it miraculously, naturally, by fakery or even as honest art. Indeed, this quality, treated scientifically without various forms of electronic manipulation, sooner or later, may suggest how the images were formed.

Troubled by the New Shroud of Turin 3D Web Site « Shroud of Turin Blog

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Vatican and Christian communities in Mideast

Highlights from a CNN article:

  • The Catholic Church warns that attacks on Christians are increasing with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism
  • Vatican: Muslims don’t distinguish between religion and politics
  • The Middle East is about 1.6 percent Catholic, and 5.6 percent Christian, the Vatican says
  • Vatican aims to strengthen Christian communities in Mideast – CNN.com

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    Maybe the Yogurt can figure out the Shroud of Turin’s image.

    image A week later, during breakfast, the yogurt used the granola she had mixed with it to spell out the message WE HAVE SOLVED FUSION. TAKE US TO YOUR LEADERS.

    Short story.  When the Yogurt Took Over: A Short Story « Whatever

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