Shroud of Turin back on display
18 minutes ago
I was born an artist, much to the distress of my parents. This, aside from everything else, the autism that while nameless was surely visible, the multiple personality that probably became visible in bits and pieces, had they only looked; worst of all, I was an artist, and thus doomed to live and die in poverty, unable to support my parents in their old age, due to my inherent appreciation of symmetry, balance, composition, and the accurate perception and portrayal of reality.
A rotten year for Jesus Christ, American - The GuardianThey say the devil has all the best tunes. It's been a rotten year for Jesus at the movies, too.
Used to be you could depend on the Church for great art, but not any more. The evangelical movement is also the bedrock of American philistinism and the anti-intellectualism diagnosed by the historian Richard Hofstadter. The De Medicis and the Renaissance popes were no less corrupt and hypocritical than this crew, but at least they had taste. At one extreme, there's Titian, Michelangelo, Tiepolo. At the other are the paintings that adorn the walls of Reverend Ted Haggard's mega-church in Colorado Springs: sub-heavy-metal album-cover art by way of some fascistically devout Aryan brotherhood prison tattoo parlour. All the paintings - of warriors for God in their ripped T-shirts, of chesty virgins bearing gourds of massage oil to soothe the toiler's aching bones - seem wildly, cluelessly homoerotic, no matter how many coyly half-exposed DD-cup breasts are depicted. In a subculture whose "artists", like LaHaye, can style themselves without irony as "salespeople for the Gospel", the battle for good art is already lost, and their Willy Loman will never arrive.
- As the name "Positive Confession"/"Word-Faith" implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts. The term "positive confession" refers to the teaching that words have creative power. What you say, Word-Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your "confessions," that is, the things you say -- especially the favors you demand of God -- must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer. Word-Faith believers view their positive confessions as an incantation by which they can conjure up anything they desire: "Believe it in your heart; say it with your mouth. That is the principle of faith. You can have what you say" (Charismatic Chaos, pp. 281, 285).I had yet to deeply study the occult, but I had read my Andre Norton - "Witch World" was the Harry Potter of my day - and I recognised ritual magic when I saw it. And when the spirits started moving and tried to climb into my ears and up my pants legs, I found out that the shielding rituals mentioned in Norton's stories actually worked.