The Face of Jesus Appears in the Oddest Places

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.

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Here the face of Jesus manifests as a stain on a bathroom wall.

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Grilled cheese sandwich, actually this one is the Virgin Mary I think.

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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?

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Potato chip

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The image seems to materialize in hot places

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Pizza slice

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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.

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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.

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And then there are people nowadays who will never notice Jesus.

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Philippine President Duterte calls God ‘stupid’

Rodrigo Duterte

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.”

God (as depicted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel)

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.

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BBC

God Wants Me to Fly in Style

Prosperity Preacher Says God Wants Him to Have a New Private Jet, Asks Flock to Pay for It

Jesse Duplantis, one of America’s most popular prosperity preachers has his eyes on a new $54 million Dassault Falcon 7X private jet, but he wants his followers to pay for it.

Duplantis, who runs a ministry and a church in Destrehan, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans, already owns a private jet, in fact it’s already his third one. All of them have been paid for in cash with donations from his faithful flock, but he now wants them to once again come through for him so he can buy the three-engine Dassault Falcon 7X private jet which would allow him to fly “anywhere in the world in one stop,” increasing his global reach and reducing fuel costs, because he has his own fuel farm…

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“I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7X,” the 68-year-old prosperity gospel preacher said in a video appeal to his flock. “Now, some people believe that preachers shouldn’t have jets. I really believe that preachers ought to go on every available voice, every available outlet, to get this gospel preached to the world.”

He then goes on to tell viewers how he managed to buy his three previous private jets with donations from his followers, and explain how he could just use his current jet, which he bought in 2006, but that the $54 million Dassault Falcon 7X would actually help his ministry spread the gospel more efficiently, by reaching far away places on a single fuel stop.

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In the video, Duplantis claims that God told him “I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7x”, and when he asked how he was going to pay for it, the preacher said that he remembered what God told him back in 1978 – “Jesse, I didn’t ask you to pay for it, I asked you to believe for it.” So he’s now asking his flock to “pray about becoming a partner for to it”, which basically means donating money to his ministry.

“So pray about becoming a partner to it, if you’d like to,” the preacher says. “And if you don’t, you don’t have to, but I wish you would, because let me tell you something about it – all it’s gonna do is touch people, it’s gonna reach people, it’s gonna change lives, one soul at a time.”

“I really believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” Duplantis added. “He’d be in an airplane flying all over the world.”

Now, if that last line doesn’t convince you to donate a bit of money for this man’s new private jet, you must not be a true believer…

As you can imagine, Jesse Duplantis’ unusual crowdfunding efforts have attracted a lot of criticism from more conservative Christians, many of whom argued that the tens of millions of dollars in donations could be put to much better use than a new private jet. Some asked why Duplantis and other preachers needed private jets in the first place, when they could just jump on commercial flights instead. But the preacher clarifies that three years ago, when along with fellow televangelist Kenneth Copeland, he defended the need for a private jet.

“You just can’t manage that today, in this dope-filled world,” Copeland said. “You get in a long tube with a bunch of demons, and it’s deadly.” Both Copeland and Duplantis agreed that private jets were essential to fulfilling their ministries’ mission.

Greedy corrupt bastards!

Jerusalem Syndrome

Jerusalem syndrome is a group of mental phenomena involving the presence of either religiously themed obsessive ideas, delusions or other psychosis-like experiences that are triggered by a visit to the city of Jerusalem. It is not endemic to one single religion or denomination but has affected Jews, Christians, and Muslims of many different backgrounds.

The best known, although not the most prevalent, manifestation of Jerusalem syndrome is the phenomenon whereby a person who seems previously balanced and devoid of any signs of psychopathology becomes psychotic after arriving in Jerusalem. The psychosis is characterised by an intense religious theme and typically resolves to full recovery after a few weeks or after being removed from the area. The religious focus of Jerusalem syndrome distinguishes it from other phenomena, such as Stendhal syndrome in Florence or Paris syndrome for Japanese tourists.

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In a 2000 article in the British Journal of Psychiatry, Bar-El et al. claim to have identified and described a specific syndrome which emerges in tourists with no previous psychiatric history. However, this claim has been disputed by M. Kalian and E. Witztum. Kalian and Witztum stressed that nearly all of the tourists who demonstrated the described behaviours were mentally ill prior to their arrival in Jerusalem. They further noted that, of the small proportion of tourists alleged to have exhibited spontaneous psychosis after arrival in Jerusalem, Bar-El et al. had presented no evidence that the tourists had been well prior to their arrival in the city. Jerusalem syndrome is not listed or mentioned in the DSM nor in the ICD.

Jerusalem syndrome has previously been regarded as a form of hysteria, referred to as “Jerusalem squabble poison”, or “fièvre Jerusalemmiene”. It was first clinically described in the 1930s by Jerusalem psychiatrist Heinz Herman, one of the founders of modern psychiatric research in Israel. Whether or not these behaviors specifically arise from visiting Jerusalem is debated, as similar behaviors have been noted at other places of religious and historical importance such as Mecca and Rome. It is known that cases of the syndrome had already been observed during the Middle Ages, since it was described in the itinerary of Felix Fabri and the biography of Margery Kempe. Other cases were described in the vast literature of visitors to Jerusalem during the 19th century.

The classic Jerusalem syndrome, where a visit to Jerusalem seems to trigger an intense religious psychosis that resolves quickly or on departure, has been a subject of debate in the medical literature. Most of the discussion has centered on whether this definition of the Jerusalem syndrome is a distinct form of psychosis, or simply a re-expression of a previously existing psychotic illness that was not picked up by the medical authorities in Israel.

In response to this, Bar-El et al. classified the syndrome into three major types to reflect the different types of interactions between a visit to Jerusalem and unusual or psychosis-related thought processes. However Kalian and Witztum have objected, saying that Bar-El et al. presented no evidence to justify the detailed typology and prognosis presented and that the types in fact seem to be unrelated rather than different aspects of a syndrome.

Type I
Jerusalem syndrome imposed on a previous psychotic illness. This refers to individuals already diagnosed as having a psychotic illness before their visit to Jerusalem. They have typically gone to the city because of the influence of religious ideas, often with a goal or mission in mind that they believe needs to be completed on arrival or during their stay. For example, an affected person may believe himself to be an important historical religious figure or may be influenced by important religious ideas or concepts (such as causing the coming of the Messiah or the second coming of Christ).

Type II
Jerusalem syndrome superimposed on and complicated by idiosyncratic ideas. This does not necessarily take the form of mental illness and may simply be a culturally anomalous obsession with the significance of Jerusalem, either as an individual, or as part of a small religious group with idiosyncratic spiritual beliefs.

Type III
Jerusalem syndrome as a discrete form, uncompounded by previous mental illness. This describes the best-known type, whereby a previously mentally balanced person becomes psychotic after arriving in Jerusalem. The psychosis is characterised by an intense religious character and typically resolves to full recovery after a few weeks or after being removed from the locality. It shares some features with the diagnostic category of a “brief psychotic episode”, although a distinct pattern of behaviors has been noted.

Anxiety, agitation, nervousness and tension, plus other unspecified reactions.
Declaration of the desire to split away from the group or the family and to tour Jerusalem alone. Tour guides aware of the Jerusalem syndrome and of the significance of such declarations may at this point refer the tourist to an institution for psychiatric evaluation in an attempt to preempt the subsequent stages of the syndrome. If unattended, these stages are usually unavoidable.
A need to be clean and pure: obsession with taking baths and showers; compulsive fingernail and toenail cutting.
Preparation, often with the aid of hotel bed-linen, of a long, ankle-length, toga-like gown, which is always white.
The need to shout psalms or verses from the Bible, or to sing hymns or spirituals loudly. Manifestations of this type serve as a warning to hotel personnel and tourist guides, who should then attempt to have the tourist taken for professional treatment. Failing this, the two last stages will develop.
A procession or march to one of Jerusalem’s holy places, ex:The Western Wall.
Delivery of a sermon in a holy place. The sermon is typically based on a plea to humankind to adopt a more wholesome, moral, simple way of life. Such sermons are typically ill-prepared and disjointed.
Paranoid belief that a Jerusalem syndrome agency is after the individual, causing their symptoms of psychosis through poisoning and medicating.
Bar-El et al. reported 42 such cases over a period of 13 years, but in no case were they able to actually confirm that the condition was temporary.

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During a period of 13 years (1980–1993) for which admissions to the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Centre in Jerusalem were analysed, it was reported that 1,200 tourists with severe, Jerusalem-themed mental problems were referred to this clinic. Of these, 470 were admitted to hospital. On average, 100 such tourists have been seen annually, 40 of them requiring admission to hospital. About three and a half million tourists visit Jerusalem each year. Kalian and Witztum note that as a proportion of the total numbers of tourists visiting the city, this is not significantly different from any other city.

Wikipedia and Google