The Jedi Strike Back Against Intolerance

Look, I’m a big Star Wars guy, have been from a very early age.  Watching a group of AT-ATs inexorably march across the frigid plains of Hoth towards the doomed Rebel base left an indelible impression on my young mind.

Over the years, I have contributed to the retirement fund (not to mention the college fund of 2 portly comic store employees) of one George Walton Lucas Jr. in the form of purchases varying from DVDs, cards, PEZ dispensers, figures, posters, puzzles et al.

Yes, like many a Star Wars fan I’ve fantasized about owning a real lightsaber only to be doused repeatedly with the bucket of cold water known as the laws of physics.

I dare say that in some instances, a Jedi mind trick or two would have been nice to have up my sleeve.

Yet, when I first encountered the fact that some kooks in the UK had actually started a religion based on the spiritual ideas of the Jedi, even I thought that was a bit overboard.

What is so weird about a group of people living by the tenets of whatever came out of the head of a USC grad the Jedi Code?  In all honesty, is that much different than upwards of a billion people living by the things that came out of the head of guy from Mecca? Or a few million people living by the machinations of a dude from Vermont?

Worldwide, there are about 500,000 followers of this so-called Jedi Church.

It was only a matter of time before one of the members of this so-called church to pull the “intolerance” card.  It wasn’t just any member of the rank-and-file but the founder, Daniel Jones.  Yes, the  Grand Poo bah himself.

Apparently, Mr. Jones (cue up the Crows) went to a store in the UK in full Jedi regalia (see Obi Wan Kenobi):

Obi Wan Kenobi
Only a Sith deals in absolutes” Guess they didn’t teach logic at the Jedi Temple

Jones was told to remove the hood or leave the store. According to this story,

As a result Jones, who also goes by the Jedi name Morda Hehol, claims he has been ‘victimised over his beliefs’ and left ’emotionally humiliated’ by the supermarket in Bangor, North Wales.

A Tesco spokesperson said,

‘Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.

‘If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.’

How good is that? Is the spokesperson insinuating that Jones, like the late Emperor, is a Sith? Now that’s a reason to go, and to sue, which Jones is planning on doing.

Incredible. Why couldn’t Jedi Jones, er Jedi Hehol simply mind trick the cruel and intolerant Tesco employees into letting him keep his hood on?

On a side note, I wonder how long it will be until this so-called church gains a strong foothold here in the States.

What is of more interest is whether or not voices such as these,

Therefore, students should be educated about different religions as early as possible. Wouldn’t it be great if elementary school children were celebrating Eid, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Hanukah (sic) in addition to Christmas each year in the classroom? They would learn about the traditions and cultures found within each religion and realize that each faith, at the very least, deserves to be respected and tolerated. This knowledge stays with each child so that by the time they reach adulthood, we no longer have misconceptions about basic religious beliefs and practices.

will ask for students to be educated about the Jedi Church? All you have to do is watch Episodes I-VI, right?

Comparing Barack Obama to Royalty

No, the post does not refer to the endless and erroneous comparisons to Camelot, the closest America has had to even a hint of royalty.

The comparison is to Princess Di and it came in one of the 2 columns referenced here.

Both of these pieces ran in the UK’s Daily Mail, quick someone cue up Paperback Writer!

One piece is written by Peter Hitchens (below)

The night we waved goodbye to America… our last best hope on Earth

peter-hitchens
To paraphrase Brian Giles, “his brother’s Christopher”

Whether or not Mr. Hitchens’ laid it on a little thick with the column’s title can only be ascertained after reading his opinion. I thought he made a couple of keen and dispassionate observations.

Here’s the intro to the column,

Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernise Heaven and Hell – or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead.

The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation. At least Mandela-worship – its nearest equivalent – is focused on a man who actually did something.

I really don’t see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.

It can be argued that Obamamania hasn’t been described any better than this.

The second piece is by Liz Jones and it focuses on our future First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Read more of this post

Sarah Palin Gets Some Love from the U.K.

Yes, despite the fact that the Republican Presidential nominee John McCain spoke tonight, it shall remain the Sarah Palin show here at Last Row (not to mention across the pond).

So not only did her historic speech garner huge numbers (37.2 million viewers according to this story), now she is being compared, by at least one British journalist, to one Margaret Hilda Thatcher (the one on the left by the way).

You rock, no, you rock

Here’s British journalist Richard Littlejohn’s story:
A pistol-packin’ Looby Loo: the Left’s worst nightmare

An excerpt:

The way the Left, both here and in America, are contorting themselves is a joy to behold. Sarah Palin is every Guardianista’s worst nightmare.

It’s reminiscent of how they used to patronise Mrs Thatcher 30 years ago. What did this small-town girl know about anything?

How could any woman expect to run a country and raise a family? What does she know about foreign affairs?

Of course, they weren’t saying that a woman couldn’t be Prime Minister, you understand. Just not this woman.

Oldest Person on Facebook Rocks

More often than not, older people (a relative term, ask a teenager and my 30 years on this earth make me “old”) are perceived to be technologically challenged or clueless.

Then you have Ivy Bean, a 102-year-old British woman who has a Facebook page.

Meet Ivy Bean – the world’s oldest Facebooker aged 102

An inspiration to all “old” people who wouldn’t know how to turn a computer on.

Smithers, Release the Hounds

The execution of Mr. Burns’ (right) famous command spells certain doom to any interloper foolishly attempting to storm his palatial estate.

Especially when said interloper is one Homer J. Simpson.

However I don’t think that Mr. Burns’ hounds would be very intimidating to the deer in the following story:

Pictured: The orphan deer adopted by a pack of bloodthirsty fox hounds

From the story,
The pack immediately accepted the lost fallow deer when they found him shivering by the Thompsons’ front gate just an hour after he had been born.

Rather than being overwhelmed by the attention of such a large pack of dogs, from the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt, the confused little fawn thought he’d found his family.
Here’s a pic of the honorary hound,

One only hopes that the hounds don’t come to their “senses” and rip the poor deer to shreds.

Minister goes Undercover in the UK

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgemental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road

Jesus payed much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ. — From “If We are the Body” by Casting Crowns

According to this story, “Priest disguises himself as a tramp to teach his own churchgoers a lesson.”

A Methodist minister in the UK dressed up as a homeless person (he “bought some scruffy clothes at a charity shop, ripped the trousers, and put on a straggly wig and thick, broken glasses” and “splashed lager” all over himself”) and stepped into his church and perhaps to no one’s surprise (given the comments at the bottom of the piece), none of his congregants recognized him, judgmental and condescending people that Christians are, especially the lot that attends church services.

At the risk of sounding like noted Christian toxicologists, there is much work to be done within the Church as to how we perceive people who look and smell differently. Given our penchant for the theology of “our Sunday best”, this flock’s reaction might be replayed in many an American (most definitely Mexican) church service (perhaps this drove the Casting Crowns lyric).

The perhaps pathological focus on dress and outward appearance is surprising to me, especially when the average churchgoer (who might or might not be a genuine Christian, remember attendance, even perfect attendance does not a Christian make) is completely oblivious to any serious understanding of doctrine and thus its application.
Read more of this post

How many Hail Gaias for an Apple Core?

Though I don’t fancy myself a Captain Planet type, it does bother me when people litter. Whether it’s a cigarette butt or the remains of a fast food meal being ceremoniously dumped out a moving vehicle, I can’t comprehend what compels people to do this. (Actually I do, for back when I was hitting the cancer sticks, I’d thoughtlessly do this and do it out of sheer laziness.)

I understand that there are some who would have such offenders pilloried and sent to Al Gore to say a few Hail Gaias.

While the man in the following story did not have to meet the movement’s High Priest, he was given the 3rd degree for allegedly dropping an apple core,
Man spends 18 hours in police cell and has his DNA taken for ‘dropping an apple core’

One can only wonder how different this goes down had Mr. Hirst dropped something that is not biodegradable?

New Favorite Line: “The Pudding May Have Been Over-Egged”

In light of recent revelations that American Idol finalist David Cook currently has an album out, I thought I’d drudge this story out from the proverbial archives.

“Is the Britain’s Got Talent choirboy REALLY a bullied kid from a sink estate? His mother admits: ‘The pudding may have been over-egged'”

Forget the story, which is almost inconsequential at this point, the truly priceless tidbit is the mother’s quote regarding the embellishments within,

The pudding may be been over-egged

Is there anyone who does colloquialisms better than the Brits?

British Teenager killed in India? Blame it on God of course!

An Indian co-worker of mine informed the rest of us of a tragic event which transpired in her native land. A 15-year-old British girl was raped and murdered in the city of Goa.

The puzzling circumstances surrounding the tragedy are further explored in the following article,
“Why was Scarlett left by herself in the first place, police want to question her mother over negligence”.

My co-worker’s revelation was met with the sadness and bile that gorge up upon hearing of tragedies like these. One of our number astutely pointed out that there are “sick people everywhere” and not so astutely proclaimed that this is further proof that God does not exist.

Yes, he knows that God does not exist because if there was a God he would have stopped this injustice.

What I do know is that the irrationality that such inanities betray is as much an indicator of fallen humanity’s depravity as the things that were done to this girl.

Indeed, God is not deceived by externals.

Prelutsky column reminds of the “Cultural Christianity” of Dr. Dawkins

Last month, Burt Prelutsky wrote a column titled,
“I’m Happy to Live in a Christian Nation”

in which he made it explicitly clear that “religion plays no part” in his life, save for his subscription to those nebulous “Judeo-Christian values”.

That being the case he also asserts,

although I do not accept that we are all fallen creatures or that Jesus Christ died for my sins, I am thankful that I live in a Christian nation.

He then goes on to explain why. His words could stand to be more charitable however.

Mr. Prelutsky’s column reminded me of Professor Richard Dawkins recent (relatively speaking) admission that he considers himself a cultural Christian, click here for that story.

By the way Dr. Albert Mohler commented on Prof. Dawkins’ words here.

Dr. Dawkins’ said this about the U.K.,

“I’m not one of those who wants to stop Christian traditions.

“This is historically a Christian country. I’m a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims.

“So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I’m not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.

“If there’s any threat these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists.”

That may be the case in the U.K but it seems that here in the States, this kind of thing is spearheaded by so-called atheists.