This is super weird.

This is a picture of a group of christians praying to the golden bull on wall street.  They’re asking God for money to rain down from the heavens.  Seriously.  From the group’s website:

“We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems,” she said.  “While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble.”

Apparently, God visited evangelist Cindy Jacobs and told her to head on down to NYC today, and call Oct 29, 2008 a “day of prayer for the world’s economies”. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but this is absolutely bonkers.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: davidsemeniuk.com

12 Responses to “This is super weird.”

  1. RustyBadger

    On behalf of Christendom, I offer my abject apologies. These whackjobs, along with the Westboro Baptist freaks, are to Christianity as Al Qaeda is to Islam.

    I seem to recall a similar story involving Moses, the Ten Commandments, a golden calf, and much wrath. Perhaps the world’s economies weren’t involved, but there were eerie similarities.

    I wonder if they prayed for their enemies’ economies as well?

    I also wonder if they realise the significance of asking God to control the economic systems. Christ’s advice was to sell everything and give it to the poor; I don’t think that will sit too well with this group of people whose 401K funds just tanked!

  2. changeoperspectives

    As irrational and uncomprehensible as these people’s actions appear, your comment does absolutely nothing except to make fun of a group of people. C’mon, if you are even going to bother putting anything on here at all then make it worth people’s time to read, not just another: ‘”oh, these people are freaks, and look at them, they are dumb”

  3. Nick

    There’s a quote I keep coming back to when I think about American Christianity:

    Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.

    (from http://www.harpers.org/archive/2005/08/0080695)

    As an atheist, I’m not sure I have much to contribute to what are essentially theological arguments, but these things bug me nonetheless.

  4. Dave Semeniuk

    “oh, these people are freaks, and look at them, they are dumb”

    I didn’t say that. I said this scenario was bonkers (although the people very well could be). This is less about a people’s beliefs as much as it is about their actions.

    Anyway, this post was meant to spur discussion, and it has. Now, one might argue that this is hardly representative of the United States electorate, or the US Christian electorate, or even the US Evangelist electorate, but this is what people outside the US hear and see most often.

  5. RustyBadger

    Unfortunately, I know a lot of American Christians who hold the exact same views as this group. They see nothing strange at all about this behaviour; in fact, it is lauded as ‘progressive’ and ‘proactive’ (although it isn’t very proactive at all!). American Christians have a belief that is unique among Christianity as a whole: that is, that God will bless them financially if they do His will. They equate financial success with spiritual success. If you are on ‘hard times’, it is because you have displeased God in some way.

    It is not surprising to see American Evangelicals (all of them also devoutly Right-winged) interceding with God for the rescue of their crumbling finances. Many little religious empires depend on the active flow of money from individuals to corporate coffers, and when time get tough, those organisations (like the 700 Club) feel the pinch very quickly!

  6. Brenda

    Nick, you’re correct when you say that those who reference the Bible will discover that it says firstly to love the Lord your God, then to love others as yourself. And whether you’re an atheist or evangelical Christian, there’s no distorting that fact. As a devout Christian, it makes me really uncomfortable to see these people praying to God through some kind of “idol entity,” which is contrary to Biblical teachings – connecting to, once again, “love the Lord your God,” not “love some representation of wealth” or “love thy wealth.” That is also why tithing is such an important part of Christian life, because among other things, it’s a reminder that money is not god, that it is transitory.

  7. Brenda

    RustyBadger: “American Evangelicals (all of them also devoutly Right-winged)”: please be careful in making assumptions about any groups of people, especially by stating “all” are one way or another. There are large groups and movements of evangelicals – read, those who believe in carrying out the mission of Jesus on Earth as outlined in the Bible – who would be considered “left-wing” by association of their involvement with social justice, equality, the environment and sustainability, poverty relief, affordable housing, … etc. An example would be the Emergent Church, which is by no means alone in its works and beliefs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_church
    I also want to address changeoperspectives’s point that it’s no good ridiculing anyone if the concept of Terry is to address global issues. This blog in theory incorporates the arts/humanities with the sciences, and there are issues that are treated skeptically

  8. Brenda

    or with contempt by the science-y bloggers, because they are not empirical, testable hard science. One of which being the concept of faith and organized religion. It’s not hard science… but to understand the global context, you need it. To understand the world without either science OR the humanities would not make sense, which is why this blog was conceptualized, correct?

  9. changeoperspectives

    You may not have said that, but what then do you expect me to understand by the extent of your comment: “they are bonkers”…

    You continue saying:

    “this post was meant to spur discussion, and it has. Now, one might argue that this is hardly representative of the United States electorate, or the US Christian electorate, or even the US Evangelist electorate, but this is what people outside the US hear and see most often.”

    Of course the article will spur discussion, and that CAN be a good thing, depending on the type of discussion you are really interested in generating. This type of news obviously is seen and heard most often not only outside of the US, but also inside of the US as well. My problem with your post and most of the articles coming out about the issue is that it is just passing on the type of information that is put forth by the media to create antagonism or labeling of certain groups of people (by this I am not saying that you yourself are creating this or intend to offend or categorize people, just that that is the result that these types of posts generate). In your case, why not just post the article and ask people to comment, and then when you have more time or interest, actually give some information as to why you think they really are insane. Instead of helping to educate us on where these people’s beliefs originate and why they do what they do, to try to understand them, we just dismiss them as insane (I agree, it is the easy thing to do, and this is the quick labeling of people that is biased towards what people want to hear… “that they really are crazy”…). What I am trying to say (forgive me if I am not stating my position correctly on this particular issue… I can try to clarify if you don’t undertand what I am saying) is that just because a bunch of people are worshipping a bull and you don’t understand it, it doesn’t mean that they are crazy. Hindus value cattle and consider them to be sacred animals, to the point of veneration. We can by this logic also dismiss them, and for that matter any faith based action, as irrational and crazy. This is what I believe lies at the foundation of your post… Our culture’s inability to comprehend faith and dismiss it as crazy. If you are interested in actually knowing what stirs people to do what they do in terms of their faith, then lets talk about it. That is what terry is here for. To stir conversation that builds something, not continues to just dismiss people as crazy (although believe me I’ve done it in the past and it is by far the easy route).

    As I understand form the purpose of the Terry website, it is to generate discussion that is analytical and indeed critical, but not just sentimental or emotional. It is good to express your emotions and sentiments of horror and disbelief at people’s actions, but to dismiss them as insane really gives us nothing to construct upon, and infact detracts from the mission of Terry (as is the purpose of the TED confereces), to pursue understanding.

    Maybe at the end of the discussion we will conclude that they ARE really are bonkers, but why? That is the question we should be asking… and there are many other similar questions that will arise if we build upon our discussion in this way. Other commentators have done this, and I commend them for this.

    I would suspect you have further things to comment, but for fear of “offending” people, you have kept yourself from exposing your true believes on the issue. Either that, or you really are not interested in these people, in which case you should have refrained from commenting and should have just posted it to let others with more constructive insights comment.

  10. Dave Semeniuk

    Thanks for commenting changeoperspectives. I’m happy to see insightful and thoughtful commentary from you (and everyone) on the site.

  11. RustyBadger

    Brenda, my apologies for the ambiguity in my statement. My ‘Right-wing’ comment was meant to apply only to those people referred to in the article. And you are also correct about the Emergent Church movement and its desire to embrace Christ’s more ‘socialistic’ teachings. I would consider myself a member of that group (if I had to define myself in this manner), given my own Libertarian viewpoints.

    As for the discussion around the use of the term ‘bonkers’, while I am sure the folks in question are not clinically insane, I think in the more common use of the word, they are indeed bonkers. I would arrive at this conclusion based on statements made by Christ regarding money and the love of it, as well as my observations of this group’s fanatical devotion to the Free Market Economy.

    It appears that inspite of this blog’s generally anti-Christian leanings, a lot of us read it. (I am not saying there’s an overtly anti-Christian or hostile tone here; but a lot of credence is given to strongly anti-Christian people like Dawkins, which could leave your average Christian feeling a bit defensive.) I read Terry precisely for the reasons we’ve seen in this discussion- rational people from different walks explaining their understanding of a topic. There are wingnuts on every side of an issue, but hopefully they’ll stay away from here!

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