Old Church Stuff

Look-it what I found going through old church stuff.
Here’s the church in 1898. Almost exactly the same as it is today.

St. Peter's Church 1898

Back in those days, a man really knew how to wear a beard. Note that he wears no moustache.

Rev. Clouser: 1870-1894

I have some relatives buried out back who were in Rev. Clouser’s congregation.

My great-granddad is in this picture. (back row, second one in from the right) He died three years after this picture was taken and two years before I was born. I think this is the only picture of him I’ve ever seen.

Group Shot

So yeah, I just got a scanner. Now I can bore the whole world with old photo albums and whatnot.

Evangelism

Church

When I was a little kid, my parents took me to this church for my weekly dose of Christianity and out-of-tune hymn-singing.

Many years have gone by since then, and now almost everyone who went to this church either stopped going, moved away, or got old and died.

The church is a few months away from total fiscal collapse unless someone can think up a good way to put some butts in the pews.

It’s too bad, really, because the building is very cool. It was built in the mid 1800’s on the site of the original log cabin church that was built in the 1700’s (supposedly, the first church in the Buffalo Valley).

There are still a few little old ladies who go to church here, and if their church goes kaputt, they are going to be very sad ladies indeed. So, I’ve been trying to help them come up with clever ideas for how to keep it going.

As you might expect, church stuff is really not my area of expertise.

I suspect that at least some of my readers are church-people. Do any of you have brilliant marketing/recruiting ideas, or know of websites, etc where such ideas might be hiding?

Real Belief-O-Matic

April Tomfoolery aside, these are my actual results from Belief-O-Matic.

It’s more or less what I expected, although I would have predicted that I was more Mahayana than Theravada.

1. Theravada Buddhism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
3. Secular Humanism (98%)
4. Liberal Quakers (85%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (72%)
6. Nontheist (71%)
7. Taoism (71%)
8. Neo-Pagan (71%)
9. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (60%)
10. Jainism (53%)
11. Orthodox Quaker (51%)
12. Hinduism (49%)
13. New Age (49%)
14. Sikhism (45%)
15. Reform Judaism (41%)
16. Scientology (37%)
17. New Thought (35%)
18. Baha’i Faith (34%)
19. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (29%)
20. Seventh Day Adventist (26%)
21. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (23%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (17%)
23. Eastern Orthodox (15%)
24. Islam (15%)
25. Orthodox Judaism (15%)
26. Roman Catholic (15%)
27. Jehovah’s Witness (11%)

Biking for Jesus

I took the belief-o-matic quiz, and whaddyaknow, turns out I’m an orthodox Christian.

As a result, there will be no more blasphemy on this blog, and I will henceforth ride my bicycle only in accordance with Christ-Centered living and with strict adherence to Biblical teaching.

My Results:
1. Eastern Orthodox (100%)
2. Roman Catholic (100%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (98%)
4. Seventh Day Adventist (92%)
5. Orthodox Quaker (84%)
6. Orthodox Judaism (72%)
7. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (67%)
8. Islam (66%)
9. Hinduism (58%)
10. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (58%)
11. Jehovah’s Witness (55%)
12. Sikhism (51%)
13. Baha’i Faith (47%)
14. Liberal Quakers (38%)
15. Reform Judaism (37%)
16. Jainism (35%)
17. Unitarian Universalism (30%)
18. Mahayana Buddhism (26%)
19. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (26%)
20. Theravada Buddhism (25%)
21. Scientology (22%)
22. Neo-Pagan (22%)
23. Nontheist (18%)
24. New Thought (17%)
25. New Age (14%)
26. Secular Humanism (12%)
27. Taoism (10%)

I never would have expected to have so much in common with the Catholics.

Hallelujah!
Hosanna!
Sola Scriptura!
Aprilibus Follis!

Books: Gospel of the Living Dead


Gospel of the Living Dead

Gospel of the Living Dead is a solid summary of the entire Romero Canon and the various remakes of some of the films.

The structure is very logical — Pretty much one chapter for each film. Each chapter begins with an extremely detailed summary of that movie, and ends with a discussion of the religious issues raised by that particular film. The religious commentary was essentially limited to comparing Romero’s vision for hell-on-earth with one of the various circles of Hell in the Divine Comedy.

Frankly, I was a bit disappointed. There is entirely too much retelling of the movie’s stories, and not enough religious discussion. If I’m buying a book like this, I think it’s safe to assume I’ve seen the films.

The author is a professor of religious studies, so I was expecting something with more depth than just Dante’s version of hell. Maybe I was in an overly analytical frame of mind from having just read The Undead and Philosophy a few weeks ago.

If you are new to zombie movies, and want to get up to speed on the Romero quadrillogy, this is probably a good place to start. If you’re looking for Romero’s take on the ontological argument, you’re out of luck.

There is a good discussion of the social criticisms in the Romero films. Racism, sexism, and materialism/consumerism are all discussed in some detail. If you think zombie movies are just mindless violence and escapism, you’re wrong, and this book will help sort you out.

Anyhow, I give Gospel of the Living Dead 3 Jihadis out of 5.

3 Jihadis out of 5

Books: The Quotable Atheist

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the waiting room at my mechanic’s, waiting for them to change the oil in my car. I was bored, and so I fired up the Kindle and bought this book over the wireless.

The Quotable Atheist

The Quotable Atheist is a collection of quotations from several atheists from ancient history to modern times.

It’s quite a fun book to read, and because each quote is very short, you can read it in tiny little intervals, which makes it an excellent toilet book.

Each entry consists of maybe a paragraph to introduce the author of the quote (so you have a little context), and then the quote itself. The editor often includes his own snarky remarks, which I found distracting.

Here are two of the quotes that I hadn’t heard before that I thought were funny.

“When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a
new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his
wisdom, didn’t work that way. So I just stole one and
asked him to forgive me.”
— Emo Phillips

“Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant
near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild
tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centuries, these
stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn
into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled.
Finally, this material was badly translated into several
languages successfully. The resultant text, creationists
feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical
subject.” ( creation vs. evolution).

–Tom Weller

I give The Quotable Atheist 3 jihadis out of 5

3 Jihadis out of 5

I would have given it 4, but the editor’s goofy commentary in the middle of the quotes was really, really annoying.

Change we can believe…oh nevermind

Well this is just fucking great.

Obama creates faith-based office with wide mission

Before signing the order in the Oval Office, Obama told a prayer breakfast it would show not favoritism to any religious group and would adhere to the strict separation of church and state.

Uh, forcing me to tithe to faiths I don’t believe in shows favoritism to those faiths. Giving government monies to religious groups is the very definition of violating the separation of church and state.

I really hope that Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is getting some loot out of this.