I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m living in a more “progressive” country or I’m seeing and hearing more incidence of what I call “Christ and Christian bashing” around me. Just this weekend, there was the Comedy Gala on TV and if I recall correctly, I heard at least three comedians having jokes that poke fun at Jesus and His followers. It seems to be the trend nowadays.

And it’s not only on the Comedy Gala show that night. I see other instances where Jesus is made the butt of their jokes or skits. There is even a comic book series like the Battle Pope by Funk-O-Tron productions that has as its “protagonist” a womanizer and drunk character called the Pope with a wimpy Jesus for a sidekick. In the world of webcomics, of which I’m a part of, gag webcomics would use jokes that demean Jesus and/or his followers.

I used to just ignore these things but lately, I’m growing more and more annoyed by the increasing number of these insulting jokes. What gets me even more is that a lot of people wants everybody to be more tolerant of others yet there are these people who unscrupulously make fun of Jesus Christ whom a lot of people consider the Son of God. It’s unbelievable! Where’s the tolerance?

Over the last week, I’ve heard a lot of insensitive comments on FM radio and podcasts about the failing health of the (now deceased) Pope. Being a Catholic, I was incensed by these DJs and podcasters. How dare they! They may not be Catholics but as decent human beings, isn’t it just good manners that they give respect to the elderly or the sick or the dying?

And then there’s the more subtle type of Christ and Christian bashing. By now, a lot of you may have already read Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code. I actually liked the book and how it weaved into its stories fancy stories about Christ and the Catholic Church. I thought it was okay until I realised that not everybody who’s going to read it will treat it as fiction.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who’ve read that novel actually believed what it’s saying about the Holy Grail being Mary Magdalene and how the Knights Templars were supposedly seeking it out during the Crusades and that the Church branded other books as heretic (and therefore excluded from the Bible) and how Constantine was essentially the founder of the modern Church. What a load of bull.

There are a lot of reading material out there that debunked the “facts” being claimed by the novel but this one seems to be a nice start if you haven’t read at least one yet: Dismantling the Da Vinci Code by Sandra Miesel of the Catholic Educator’s Resource Center.

Since I’m a Catholic, I also take offence at the insinuation of other Christians that we Catholics aren’t even Christians! I’m betting that the most popular Christian literature out there that is anti-Catholic are the infamous Chick Tracts produced by a Jack T. Chick. These are very small propaganda comic booklets that tells stories about how the Pope is supposed to be the Anti-Christ, Islam was created by the Catholic Church and other such nonesense.

Anyway, if you’re a Catholic and you’ve read these Chick Tracts and you started to feel confused about being a Catholic, you can read this: Chick Tracts, Their Origin and Refutation on the Catholic Answers website.

Now, I’m feeling an increasing inclination to educate people about Christ, Christians (in general) and Catholics (in particular). Of course, if I did an in-your-face type of education, it’ll be construed as preaching and people nowadays dislike that. It has to be subtle. I’m still thinking about what I should do.

Published in: on April 5, 2005 at 5:39 pm  Comments (2)  

So many books, so little time

The library system is amazing! Unlike in the Philippines where you’d only see dusty outdated books in the occasional public library, the libraries here in Australia offer audio CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMS, graphic novels, magazines and of course, books! Although they may not have the new releases immediately available, we sometimes only have to wait several weeks before they get a copy, specially if the author or artist is popular.

Another plus, they have online catalogues that you could browse and reserve items that you could borrow. Libraries from neighboring suburbs join forces, which enables them to offer a much bigger collection. If the item you want is in another library, they could transfer it to the library near you for your convenience and you could pick it up once they notify you by email or snail mail, depends on what you prefer. Some libraries would levy a small fee for reservations ($1.10 for the City Library) while others would do this service for free, like the Port Phillip library near our apartment.

Meaning… we could borrow most books from the public library and save on money without giving up reading. We could borrow a book and see if we like it enough to buy it. That way, we could save on bookshelf space as well as shopping money.

Below are the books that I’m currently reading (or have recently read) that are worth noting, even buying:

Travel writer Bill Bryson’s attempt in explaining the Big Bang, universe, and evolution in plain language. Some readers of this book have complained that some details have been glazed over but for a layman’s version of a highly complex subject, what do you expect? Sure it won’t make you an expert but if you’re really into these things, you could always pick up other books that would elaborate on the details. Treat this as an introduction or maybe even the cliffnotes version. Nonetheless, Bill Bryson’s writing style is entertaining and makes science and astronomy exciting and interesting again.

The Lucky Shopping Manual was put together by the staff of fashion magazine, Lucky. Their strategy of buying clothing staples and building your wardrobe from there is great! Tips on what to look for when shopping for particular items are very helpful (they have separate chapters for each item of clothing) and the glossy photos/drawings make it a good idea book (think mix and match tips, different styles and shapes to look for, etc). I liked this book so much I wasn’t ready to let it go when my 3-weeks with it ended. Great for people who’re clueless when it comes to fashion (read:me) or people who likes to shop for clothes (what woman doesn’t?)

Another great find, this book features recipes from several Asian countries. Arranged by country, the featured recipes are accompanied by colour photos that would just make you salivate over it and make you want to try out the recipes ASAP! Loaded with tips and special sections on sauces, finger foods and even drinks, this collection is simply gold. Chapters are separated by country – China, Indonesia, Singapore & Malaysia, The Philippines (often ignored in Asian cookbooks!), Thailand, Laos & Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, India & Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka. Absolutely a treasure-trove of good food!

Anyway, I have to finish this blog as I still have to do some serious reading!

Published in: on February 4, 2005 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment