Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

A Vampire Free Zone   Leave a comment


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The Hill of Crosses is a site of pilgrimage about 12 km north of the city of Šiauliai, in northern Lithuania. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, but it is believed that the first crosses were placed on the former Jurgaičiai or Domantai hill fort after the 1831 Uprising. Over the generations, not only crosses and crucifixes, but statues of the Virgin Mary, carvings of Lithuanian patriots and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. The exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put it at about 55,000 in 1990 and 100,000 in 2006.

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Over the generations, the place has come to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism despite the threats it faced throughout history. After the 3rd partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, Lithuania became part of the Russian Empire. Poles and Lithuanians unsuccessfully rebelled against Russian authorities in 1831 and 1863. These two uprisings are connected with the beginnings of the hill: as families could not locate bodies of perished rebels, they started putting up symbolic crosses in place of a former hill fort.

When the old political structure of Eastern Europe fell apart in 1918, Lithuania once again declared its independence. Throughout this time, the Hill of Crosses was used as a place for Lithuanians to pray for peace, for their country, and for the loved ones they had lost during the Wars of Independence.

The site took on a special significance during the years 1944–1990, when Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Continuing to travel to the hill and leave their tributes, Lithuanians used it to demonstrate their allegiance to their original identity, religion and heritage. It was a venue of peaceful resistance, although the Soviets worked hard to remove new crosses, and bulldozed the site at least three times (including attempts in 1963 and 1973). There were even rumors that the authorities planned to build a dam on the nearby Kulvė River, a tributary to Mūša, so that the hill would end up underwater.

On September 7, 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses, declaring it a place for hope, peace, love and sacrifice. In 2000 a Franciscan hermitage was opened nearby. The interior decoration draws links with La Verna, the mountain where St. Francis is said to have received his stigmata. The hill remains under nobody’s jurisdiction; therefore people are free to build crosses as they see fit.

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The vampires will be destroyed if they venture near this holy hill.

 

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Posted December 13, 2016 by markosun in Religion

Religitoons   Leave a comment


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Posted October 12, 2016 by markosun in Religion, Religulous

The God of Genesis and Disney Inspiration for Replica Noah’s Ark in Kentucky   Leave a comment


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WILLIAMSTOWN, Kentucky – There’s an ark being built in Kentucky but it’s not for a flood, it’s for profit. Kentucky’s Bible-themed theme park is set to debut its $100 million life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark this summer.

Ark Encounter — a sister attraction to the nearby Creation Museum — released footage of the under-construction boat in landlocked Williamstown ahead of its July 7 grand opening.

The flyover video showed teams working on the 510-foot ark, which the park claims to be the biggest timber-frame construction in the U.S. The ark-centered theme park will also boast a petting zoo full of live animals and sculptures of exotic creatures not native to Kentucky, CBS News reported.

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But the creators aren’t preparing for a real flood; the wooden vessel can’t float as it’s anchored to a cement base.

The religious attraction has faced an onslaught of criticism ahead of its summer debut. While hiring for the grand opening, Ark Encounter announced it would require all park employees to be Christian — and sign a “statement of faith” avowing their beliefs. Critics slammed the religious hiring process as a violation of the separation of church and state since the park enjoys state tax breaks.

Ken Ham — president of Answers in Genesis, the religious group behind both the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter — insisted that the soon-to-open ark is being built through private funding.

“We are an overtly Christian organization — we don’t hide that fact,” he told CBS. “What we’re doing in using our religious preference is saying that people who work at Ark Encounter will need to testify that they’re Christian.”

The Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, about 40 miles north of Williamstown, in 2007. Answers in Genesis announced its plan to open the ark sister site in 2010.

Tickets to the ark alone will cost $40 for adults, while kids get in for $28. Combo-passes for Ark Adventure and the Creation Museum range between $60 and $45.

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The fellow building this thing can kill two birds with one stone: make a lot of money and proselytize to the border-line heathen at the same time.

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Posted June 21, 2016 by markosun in Religion, Religulous