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Posts tagged "England"

A Mockingbird World Cup Review (So Far)

A Mockingbird World Cup Review (So Far)

I gave myself whiplash celebrating a USA goal. When Jermaine Jones scored in the 64th minute for the US to even the score at 1-1 with Portugal, I raised my fists and snapped my head back so rapidly as I roared that I had quite the headache, and was left massaging my neck. Yes, it was idiotic, but no, I don’t regret it.

I have fully bought into the fanaticism of the World Cup. I took a little bit too much pride in being able to recite all of the possible outcomes for the US going into the final day of…

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A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

A Mockingbird Guide to the World Cup

I was nine. It was the summer of 2002 in the early hours of the morning that the US shocked Mexico in the Round of 16 in the World Cup to advance to the quarterfinal. The excitement was electric. Nobody had expected it, but the cries of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” filled the room. It was the best the USA has ever done in a World Cup.

The World Cup is a sporting event like no other. It ignites more passion than any other, and it starts in less than a week. I realized that this is only the sixth World Cup I’ve…

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NBC Cut the Best Part of the Opening Ceremonies

NBC Cut the Best Part of the Opening Ceremonies

Like most of you (I’m guessing), I’m a huge fan of the Olympics. I’m a total sucker for hour after hour of swimming, diving, gymnastics, handball, whatever, and have spent the last few days stuck to the couch alongside my wife and kids. Unlike most of you (I’m guessing), I’m also a huge fan of opening ceremonies (at least since Beijing). Maybe it’s my inner chick (is it wrong that two of my fave flicks are Pride and Prejudice and Moulin Rouge?), but there’s something that moves me about any attempt to capture a nation’s history, culture and aesthetic sensibility…

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Welcome to Mbird 2.0!

Welcome to Mbird 2.0!

At long last, the new site is here! We encourage you to explore. Beyond the crisper presentation, there are a variety of new features for you to check out. One of our chief aims with this new site was to create a platform that made better use of our increasingly vast archives (there’s gold in them hills…); we understand that the range of topics we cover can be a bit frustrating for folks who are only interested in certain aspects. To that end, we’ve introduced a number of new ways for content to “bubble up,” that is, to find past…

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PZ's Podcast: Bishop Bell's Speech

PZ’s Podcast: Bishop Bell’s Speech

EPISODE 41

If we ever needed Bishop Bell again, we need him today!

George K.A. Bell (1883-1958) was Bishop of Chichester in the Church of England during the Second World War. Bell became controversial — highly unpopular — because of a speech he made in the House of Lords on February 9, 1944, opposing RAF Bomber Command’s ‘carpet bombing’ of German cities. Winston Churchill’s War Cabinet regarded such bombing as the way to end the War. Bishop Bell regarded it as a war crime.

Today Bell’s speech is regarded as one of the high points of Christian witness in England during the…

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Taking the Bait: The Urge to Escape

This morning, over at I Think I Believe, a blog written by theology student Arni Zachariassen (living in Manchester, England), Mockingbird got a mention… and was baited. Arni posted a video, called it “Mockingbird bait”, and said it would be right up our alley. So here we are, taking the bait. The video:

So, what to make? Well, that WOULD be a great stunt, if I thought the “winners” weren’t corporate plants in crowd! (It’s got to be tough to predict that a guy’s vision of a perfect escape will be a trip to Lapland!) But I think…

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PZ's Podcast: Protestant Interiors (Whistling Dixie)

PZ’s Podcast: Protestant Interiors (Whistling Dixie)

EPISODES 31&32

You can say all you want about a certain thing, yet people won’t believe you. They will simply not believe you. You can present old documents and ancient photographs, accompanied by diaries and essays by people who were “there”; and they still won’t believe you. For whatever reasons of their own, they won’t believe you.

That’s the experience I have had for almost 40 years in trying to convince people that Anglican Christianity is a Protestant phenomenon, or at least was once Protestant.

The fact that this is an empirical fact, which can be proven from the evidence and…

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde and St. Paul

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde and St. Paul

Two particularly stirring passages from Robert Louis Stevenson’s masterpiece (of Romans 7 anthropology):

“It was thus rather the exacting nature of my aspirations, than any particular degradation in my faults, that made me what I was, and with even a deeper trench than the majority of men, severed in me those provinces of good and ill which divide and compound man’s dual nature. In this case, I was driven to reflect deeply and inveterately on that hard law of life, which lies at the root of religion, and is one of the most plentiful springs of distress. Though so profound a…

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Luther didn't start the fire: John Wycliffe (1324-1384)

Luther didn’t start the fire: John Wycliffe (1324-1384)

From here: John Wycliffe lived almost 200 years before the Reformation, but his beliefs and teachings closely match those of Luther, Calvin and other reformers. As a man ahead of his time, historians have called Wycliffe the “Morning star of the Reformation.” Born in the 1300s, Wycliffe criticized abuses and false teachings in the Church. In 1382 he translated an English Bible—the first complete European translation done in nearly 1,000 years. The Lollards, itinerant preachers he sent throughout England, inspired a spiritual revolution.But the Lollardy movement was short-lived. The Church expelled Wycliffe…

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The Exposed Lies of "Saints"

The Exposed Lies of "Saints"

This month’s issue of Christianity Today has an interesting piece on William Wilberforce, and, in particular, the dark side of the abolitionist that has just recently come to light. It turns out that Wilberforce, a 19th century politician best known for bringing down the slave trade in England, was the very same politician who sanctioned the use of apprenticeship (thinly-veiled slavery with a different name) in Sierra Leone.

To be honest, I’m pretty glad this sort of story hasn’t caught significant national attention. It has parallels to “Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith” from Time a few years back, only…

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Nothing but Misconceptions Between You and Your Calvin

Nothing but Misconceptions Between You and Your Calvin

This comes to us from our very own resident Mockingcalvinist, Michael Cooper. We thought that we would take this day to remember one of our other favorite Reformers, John Calvin. . . not that we had a choice, mind you:) Enjoy!

On May 26 the Church of England commemorates John Calvin as a saint of the church. Not much reason to celebrate, some might say. Let’s have a parade for the Karl Rove of the Reformation, the more sardonic might suggest. B.G Armstrong pretty much sums up the picture John Calvin evokes in the minds of many:

“Except…

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Superhero Undergraduates and the Culture of Overachievement

Superhero Undergraduates and the Culture of Overachievement

From a rather frightening article in the recent Harvard Alumni Magazine entitled “Nonstop: Today’s Undergraduates Do 3,000 Things At 150 Percent”. We talk a lot on this site about the perils/realities of achievement-based identity (justification by works), yet after reading this article, one honestly wonders how much further we as Americans can take it. While the article approaches the “crackberry” phenomenon from an understandably Harvard-centric perspective, we could easily substitute “New Yorker” for “Harvard undergraduate” – or “undergraduate at any remotely competitive college” or “high school student” or “30something suburbanite” or almost anything else, for that matter. Ernest Becker would…

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