Religion and war have always been mixing and closely related throughout history. Missouri-born artist Kris Kuksi took notice of this connection, repeating itself throughout history, and decided to unveil it in his Churchtanks sculpture series. By creating the juxtaposition between the classical world and the modern war gear, Kuksi transforms churches into tanks, blending the two structures smoothly and seamlessly.
As explained in his statement, creation of the sculptures is a “process that requires countless hours to assemble, collect, manipulate, cut, and re-shape thousands of individual parts, finally uniting them into an orchestral-like seamless cohesion that defines the historical rise and fall of civilization and envisions the possible future(s) of humanity.” Churchtanks thus represent the ability of art to fascinate and at the same time to raise awareness.
Jesus Christ is everywhere during Holy Week, but one Orlando woman thought she was going crazy when she saw his image in the bark of a dead tree in her front yard.
“It’s Treesus,” the homeowner, Kim, said on the eve of Resurrection Sunday. “I find it very odd. For me, it’s unmistakable, and I’m not particularly religious. So I don’t know what it means.”
The Orlando Sentinel agreed to withhold her full name and address because she fears her home would turn into a mecca of pilgrims wanting to see the image.
Here the face of Jesus manifests as a stain on a bathroom wall.
Grilled cheese sandwich, actually this one is the Virgin Mary I think.
There are no photos of Jesus (okay maybe the Shroud of Turin) and nobody painted him. So how did we determine that he looks like the guy on the Kit Kat chocolate bar?
The image seems to materialize in hot places
Why? Why would the Lord and Saviour, King of Kings, put his face on a bloody banana? He might only convert 2 or 3 people with this stunt. He should manifest on a giant billboard in Times Square.
Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.
There have been many instances of perceptions of religious imagery and themes, especially the faces of religious figures, in ordinary phenomena. Many involve images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the word Allah, or other religious phenomena: in September 2007 in Singapore, for example, a callus on a tree resembled a monkey, leading believers to pay homage to the “Monkey god” (either Sun Wukong or Hanuman) in the monkey tree phenomenon.
Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are “hard-wired” from birth to identify the human face. This allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor visibility but can also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being face.
Oh wow Jesus, this is really going to help people quite smoking.
And then there are people nowadays who will never notice Jesus.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called God “stupid”, sparking anger in the largely Catholic country.
In a televised speech, he slammed the story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in the Bible and the logic behind the Christian concept of original sin.
Mr Duterte is well known known for his outrageous statements and unfiltered attacks on his rivals.
While the church and many citizens condemned his remarks, his office said he was expressing personal beliefs.
The president has in the past also criticised the Pope in crude language and has racked up a string of other statements widely deemed as highly offensive, cruel or misogynist.
His latest comments came at a speech in Davao, the city he governed as a mayor before running as president.
Asking “Who is this stupid God?”, Mr Duterte criticised the Biblical story of creation and Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden after they ate the “forbidden fruit”.
“You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work,” he said.
The president also slammed the concept of original sin – whereby all humans are tainted by Adam and Eve’s wrongdoing – saying: “You weren’t born yet, but now you have original sin.”
“What kind of religion is that? I can’t accept it.”
Local Catholic bishop Arturo Bastes responded by calling the president a “madman” and urging people to pray for his “blasphemous utterances and dictatorial tendencies” to end.
Mr Duterte is a known and open critic of the Catholic Church in a country where more than 90% of the population are Christian and the vast majority of those are Catholics.
His outbursts therefore triggered a predictable backlash and debate online.
The president’s spokesman Harry Roque defended Mr Duterte’s comments as merely being his personal convictions. He also explained the outburst by referring to the president’s claim that he was abused by a priest at a Catholic school during his childhood.
Rodrigo Duterte took office in July 2016 on a hardline platform against crime and corruption. The brutal campaign of extrajudicial killings against drug dealers and users has since though sparked mounting criticism against the strongman.
Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary inquiry into crimes committed during the drugs purge.
In 2017, Mr Duterte admitted to stabbing someone to death as a teenager.
A very controversial record
His frequent rhetorical outbursts are often far beyond what’s considered acceptable by his critics.
He said he would be “happy” to slaughter millions of drug addicts in the country and has responded to international criticism of his policies by calling former US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and slamming the EU as hypocrites.
In April 2016, he spoke to an election campaign rally about the 1989 murder and rape of a female Australian missionary in Davao, where he was mayor at the time.
“I was angry because she was raped,” he said. “That’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first, what a waste.”
His office later apologised for the comments.
Earlier this year Mr Duterte told Filipino soldiers they should shoot female communist rebels in the vagina.
A few weeks ago he made headlines by making an overseas Filipina worker kiss him on stage during a live event.