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Paris_Tuileries_Garden_Facepalm_statue

Photo credit: Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm Statue: http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/

By Luke Moon @lukemoon1

Here at the IRD, we spend our days researching and covering events from a rather generic group we call the Religious Left.  It might come as a shock to some who read this blog on a daily basis, but there are actually bits of crazy that don’t make the cut.  We have decided to compile some of these bits of crazy for our new series called #Facepalm Friday.  Enjoy.

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Are you struggling to get your kids to make it through the evening readings of Calvin’s Institutes? Do your kids not yet wince at the words “free will”? Well, look no further than this newly release children’s book, “Help, Mom! There are Arminians Under My Bed!”

help mom arminian

I personally, found the publishers description rather irresistible. “Come along on a journey with Mitchell, as he recalls his nightmare for his mother. Mitchell was in a land of darkness and gloom, when due to no cooperation of his own, a Knight in shining armor saved him and all the other captives He intended to save. “Help, Mom”is a children’s allegory designed to teach your kids the Doctrines of Grace through the use of creative story-telling.”

Of course don’t take the publishers word for it.  Check out the review by B. Ditto who elected to purchase this book for her own children.

“We bought this for our three boys, Beza, Calvin, and Van Till! They loved every minute of this book! Buying this book will root my children in a holy fear of the Arminian heresy!!! The joy they got out of this book made me almost as happy as when little Calvin started quoting the Institutes, little Van Till argued for the existence of God by assuming He existed, and little Beza threw rocks at that Methodist kid in his class! I know that God has predestined them to great things!!! I am so proud of my three little supralapsarians!!!”

Available at amazon for just $15.17.

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Gay Alpha Anyone? 

The following excerpts were originally featured in the November 2002 publication The Witness and was written by Pat McCaughan.

When Carol Anderson, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, Calif., adapted Alpha, an introductory Christian course with “a bring-it-to-Jesus evangelical label,” for gays and lesbians, she advertised the change.

The program’s ads, You don’t know queer until you’ve tried to be both gay AND Christian, in nearby communities like West Hollywood have fueled a bring-it-to-All Saints result.

The audience for Alpha is increasingly unchurched people or people who have been hurt by the church,” says Anderson. “One of the things we’ve learned is that, regardless of content, what grabs people is the community and this is a real people-at-table-with-people experience.”

Professional sports figures, doctors and even pastors bounced from other denominations because of their sexual orientation have discovered grace in the course’s Ask! Tell! and welcoming approach.

Adapting the course for the gay community involves using the standard Alpha outline, with gay and lesbian teachers and table leaders. The experientially based 10-week sessions explore the validity of faith in daily life. It incorporates personal stories relevant to participants’ lives, says Randy Kimmler, parish coordinator of Communications and Adult Baptism.

“It’s an encouragement to use your own story, it puts it in a context of who Jesus is for you,” says Kimmler, who is also involved in the parish’s gay and lesbian ministry.

For example, Anderson contextualizes evil by saying: “evil exists and most of you have experienced it in the way you’ve been injured emotionally, spiritually, physically … in the way the church has put you down. A whole lot of nodding goes on with that,” she said.

The parish also offers the standard Alpha course and gays are invited to participate in either, but most opt for ‘Gay Alpha,’” said Kimmler.

Perhaps they should have renamed the course, Lambda.

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The last #facepalm is not church related, but give it some time and I’m sure someone will figure out how to make a connection to Jesus. Sign of Jonah maybe?

Opting for a Dolphin-Assisted Birth

Original story feature here.

CHARLOTTE (CBS Charlotte) — A North Carolina couple traveled to Hawaii in order to bring their baby into the world in a dolphin-assisted birth.

The Charlotte Observer reports Adam and Heather Barrington are staying with Star Newland, founder of The Sirius Institute, in Pohoa. According to the institute’s website, it is “dedicated to the creation of human/dolphin co-creative habitats where dolphins and people can learn from each other through music, underwater birth, dolphin sound healing and restoration.”

“It is about reconnecting as humans with the dolphins so we can coexist in this world together and learn from one another,” Heather Barrington told the Observer. “Having that connection with the pod of dolphins anytime – even if the birth doesn’t happen in the water – still brings peace, comfort and strength to the mother and baby during labor.”

The Barringtons have been prepping for an underwater birth by taking prenatal swims with dolphins.

“Dolphins are very intelligent and healing which in turn calms mother and baby for the whole process,” Heather Barrington said.

Medical Daily reports that many scientists have dismissed dolphin-assisted therapy. Studies have also shown that dolphins have been known to become aggressive toward people.

Despite the lack of science behind a dolphin-assisted birth, the Barringtons are looking forward to the unorthodox birth.

“It’s total relaxation for the mother,” Adam Barrington told the Observer.

The baby is expected to be due in July.”