Daily Beast: Diogo Morgado Puts the Carnal in Incarnate, But Was Jesus Really A Babe?

Hollywood gives the son of god chiseled cheekbones and buns of steel. But what if—based on anthropological study of first-century Galilean males—Jesus had the build of a teenage girl?

How many new and different versions of the Jesus story can the medium of film accommodate? Judging by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s new film Son of God, not too many: this is the traditional, predictable, stripped-down niceness taught in Sunday schools and nativity plays. But for a bare-bones presentation of Jesus, there sure seems to be a lot of flesh on screen—and what attractive flesh it is. With carefully styled hair, omnipresent smile, and sparkly eyes that say, “I see into your soul,” Diogo Morgado’s Jesus really puts the carnal in incarnate.

Read more here.

Daily Beast: Bible Passages that Could Get You Killed

A pastor died trying to charm a snake because it says so in the Bible. Professor Candida Moss look at other Biblical directives that could get you killed.
Pastor Jamie Coots, a snake-handling minister from Middlesboro, Kentucky and former star of the National Geographic reality show Snake Salvation, died after being bitten by a snake in church
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Read more here.

Daily Beast: The Strange Science Behind Virgin Births

Turns out that nun who gave birth to a child named after the Pope is in good company in the long history of virgin births. Professor Candida Moss on all the strange excuses given when there’s no father.


Last week a nun in Italy gave birth to a baby boy after being rushed to hospital with stomach pains. She named the boy Francesco, or Francis, and nuns at her convent are said to be “very surprised” by the news. No one more so than the woman herself who remarked—in what could be a direct quote from the hit Discovery Channel TV show—“I didn’t know I was pregnant.” Still, while few details are available, she presumably knows how she got that way.

Full story here.

The pope and the president: What to look for in the Obama-Francis summit

From David Gibson’s piece: ‘Yet as Obama confronts Republican resistance on Capitol Hill, Francis is also facing strong headwinds from church conservatives and from the infamously sclerotic papal bureaucracy, the Roman Curia. He’s had to use the power of his message — and his considerable popularity — as much as his authority to try to turn around the Vatican. “Obama would be wise to talk politics with Francis,” Notre Dame’s Candida Moss wrote in Politico. “He might be able to pick up a few pointers.”’

POLITICO Magazine Cover Story: The Political Genius od Pope Francis

Late last year, when President Obama reviewed the draft of a speech he was scheduled to give on economic inequality, he sent it back with a request: He wanted his speechwriter to add a quote from Pope Francis’s recent letter to the Catholic church.
“Across the developed world, inequality has increased,” Obama said in the Dec. 4 speech. “Some of you may have seen just last week, the pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length. ‘How could it be,’ he wrote, ‘that it’s not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?’”
The rhetoric of quotation is subtle, but in this particular round of political name-checking, Francis is the authority brought in to lend credibility to Obama’s policies.

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How Santa Hurts Christmas

Yes, it’s true, but Mr. Claus is just about the worst thing to happen to Christianity. We make kids believe in a fat man who hands out gifts unfairly and makes out with mom, and then ask them to believe in Jesus. Right.


Santa is a fixture in a fixture in holiday calendars, at malls, and on lawns across suburbia. But who is Santa really, and does he embody “the spirit of the Holiday” of consumer Christmas?

Read more here

 

POLITICO: What TIME Magazine Got Wrong About Pope Francis

Wednesday’s announcement of Pope Francis as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” came as small surprise to anyone watching events in the Catholic Church over the past year. This pontiff is a media darling. His charismatic and photo-op friendly ministry has won the hearts and minds of both the Catholic faithful and, clearly, the global press. Time’s editors couldn’t be more correct when they declare that Pope Francis has changed the “tone and perception” of the Catholic Church.
But do they really understand him?

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/time-magazine-pope-francis-got-wrong-101057.html#ixzz2z04wNr8Q

CBS News: Why Pope Francis is TIME Magazine Person of the Year

 

CHICAGO — Popes have quite a few titles. Francis is also – among other things – Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church.
On Wednesday, he got one more: Time magazine named him Person of the Year, saying his message of compassion and humility had captured the imagination of millions.

Watch video here