Those suits! Those hair-dos! Those pop arrangements of venerable tunes! It's Lawrence Welk for Bible-thumpers.
Three more segments below the jump, and even more on YouTube..
Interview with Susanne Wenger from Jeremy Weate on Vimeo.
You know all those campy old films where explorers find a leopardskin-clad white woman ruling an African tribe? Well, while not quite the same, here's the story of Susanne Wenger
, who gave up European life for Yoruban culture.
And given that Wenger was once quite a looker
, maybe the Hollywood version is not so far off.
In 1940, Rev. Hansen started touring around the U.S. with his family, putting on a show in which he used trained birds to demonstrate lessons from the Bible. Newsweek
(Dec. 10, 1951) offered this description of the act:
A typical show opens with a six-canary choir accompanying Mrs. Hansen (on the vibra-harp) in "The Star-Spangled Banner," while an oriole pulls a string that hoists a flag on a tiny pole and a parakeet shinnies to the pole top to pose as an American eagle.
Other birds ride on a tiny electric train, eat at tables, and climb ladders while the Hansens appropriately quote the Bible. For example, when Tiger the canary sits on Catnip the cat while daughter Sylvia watches (see picture), Mr. Hansen quotes Isaiah 11:6, "... the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the faitling together; and a little child shall lead them."
Mr. Hansen feels that the whole act is "a demonstration of faith. Pete is not afraid of the flaming hoop because he knows I am holding it. Muggs has to stretch out his neck to swallow a sword that's as long as he is, but he has faith in us."
Amazingly, Hansen was able to continue putting on his Bible Birds show for 60 years, until he died in 2002. See Roadside America
for some more info.
Hansen makes Boom-Boom eat at a table
Tiger, Catnip, and Sylvia play
Alabama pastor Wesley Savage has decided to start holding Sunday services at the local Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in order to reach people who ordinarily "wouldn't go to a church." He's promoting this with the tagline "Wings. Prayer. Sports." The service will be held 45 minutes before the restaurant opens. Savage says the ministry will provide a place where people can "explore tough questions regarding God, their faith, and the world," and then stick around for some buffalo wings and live sports. Via kxly.com
. And here's the Facebook page
for the ministry.
I'm not sure if God sent a real elephant to get us to go to church, or if God Himself manifested as an elephant, or if the whole elephant thing is just a metaphor. But I do know that the next time I see an elephant, I will think of church.
Original ad here.
I've posted before about unusual coloring books, such as the E.F. Hutton Coloring Book
and the Anti-Terrorism Coloring Book
, so when a coloring book titled The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities
showed up in the news, it caught my eye.
A group called the Satanic Temple wants to hand out copies of this coloring book to children in Florida schools, arguing that Christian evangelical groups are allowed to distribute bibles and booklets in public schools, so why shouldn't they be allowed to distribute their satanic literature. Equal time for all religions, etc. Of course, there's no way in hell the school board is going to let this happen. [foxkc.com
, a design house out of San Francisco, is behind an idea for implanted tattoos that carry information about the wearer that could be exchanged by touch. The Bible has long been quoted about the mark of the beast and the Anti Christ being from the Middle East, guess where the CEO of the company is from, just sayin'.
Created by Argentinian artists Pool Paolini and Marianela Perelli as part of a "Barbie, The Plastic Religion" exhibit. Their idea was that, "If there’s a Barbie doctor, a teacher and a police officer, why shouldn’t there be a Virgin of Luján Barbie?” So they've created 33 different Barbie and Ken dolls portraying various religious figures from Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. Obviously controversy has ensued. More info: patheos.com