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17 posts categorized "Religion" Feed

September 14, 2010

I See Jesus in My Toast

Jesus toast  This morning, as I was making my toast, I heard a quirky little newsbit on NPR. It went a little something like this: "Some crazy-ass Vermont company is making toasters that crisp up your bread in the shape of Jesus. Isn't that cute?" 

Immediately, my own toast — a perfect, even brown, still hot from its descent into my Michael Graves for Target Black & Decker toaster — felt inadequate. Literally, it had a self-esteem meltdown. And, I have to admit, I liked my plain-Jane toast a little less after I heard what it could be — a glutenous slab of grain emblazoned with our savior's face. Now I need that Jesus Toaster. Bad. 

The Jesus Toaster is the brainchild of Galen Dively III, founder of Burnt Impressions, LLC, a company that began making novelty toasters this spring. From their HQ in Danville, Burnt Impressions sells toasters that will brand Jesus' face, peace signs or marijuana leaves into your toast. Because nothing says good morning like heady, pro-weed toast. 

Continue reading "I See Jesus in My Toast" »

August 06, 2010

Filmmaker Mac Parker to Face Trial in Fundraising Scheme

MacParkerFilmmaker Malcolm "Mac" Parker has lost his bid to have a series of charges, including securities fraud, dismissed. Instead, he'll face trial in early November in Vermont Superior Court, a judge ruled this week.

Parker is under scrutiny from state regulators for allegedly failing to register investments in his film Birth of Innocence as securities. He also faces charges of failing to register as an agent to sell securities and to provide investment advice, as well as securities fraud.

In the past 10 years, Parker has raised at least $12.8 million, of which more than three and a half million was paid to a "silent partner" who has since disappeared. Another $1.2 million was spent on the film, according to court records. However, that is the amount raised and spent as of mid-February 2007, and there were reportedly more significant deposits made between then and late 2009, when the state told Parker to stop fundraising and later froze his assets.

Continue reading "Filmmaker Mac Parker to Face Trial in Fundraising Scheme" »

July 20, 2010

Sarah Palin Protects Patriotic Americans From Racist Slurs

Freelance columnist for Seven Days Judith Levine sent this in:

Sarah-palin-thumb “Peaceful New Yorkers,” tweeted Sarah Palin, “pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.”

An hour later came another message: “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.”

These gentle words come in response to the proposal to build Cordoba House, an Islamic cultural complex including a mosque, on the site of the old Burlington Coat Factory building in downtown Manhattan near the site of the former World Trade Center.

Cordoba’s mission, according to its prospectus, is “promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture ... guided by Islamic values in their truest form – compassion, generosity, and respect for all.”

The Grizzly Mama in Chief adds her 140 characters of diplomacy to the less-couched comments of opponents testifying  against the complex at a New York landmarks hearing. These patriots denounced the mosque as a base for “spreading subversion,” “a citadel of Islamic supremacy” and tantamount to “moving the sunken ship from Pearl Harbor to erect a memorial for the Japanese kamikazes killed in the attack.”

Last we heard, Sarah (whose husband is a Yup’ik, in case you hadn’t heard) was expressing her outrage at the NAACP’s race-baiting demand that the Tea Party renounce its racist elements. “The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand,” posted Sarah on her Facebook page.

Never mind the pictures circulated by "Tea Party Americans" of President Obama as a fuzzy-hatted pimp.  Or a savage with a bone in his nose.

Or Tea Party Express’ Mark Williams’ endlessly Islamaphobic spewing.

I could go on, but that would be an UNNECESSARY provocation.

April 29, 2010

Burlington Selected to Join Elite 'Carbon War Room'

Covershot Burlington is among 15 cities from around the world that will take part in a 30-month challenge to develop new, market-driven solutions to combat climate change.

The Carbon War Room, a non-profit organization founded by Virgin mogul Sir Richard Branson, made the announcement Wednesday.

The thrust of the Carbon War Room, and the Green Capital Global Challenge, is to connect private investment and entrepreneurs with environmental projects – building a new economy based on green development that in the end is both good for the environment and investors' bottom line, said Joe Reinert, a spokesman for Mayor Kiss.

Mayor Bob Kiss attended a Carbon War Room forum in Vancouver, Canada in February during the Winter Olympics at the invitation of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who co-hosted the forum.

Continue reading "Burlington Selected to Join Elite 'Carbon War Room'" »

December 21, 2009

Couple Make History in Essex County

IMGP0136 It's not every day that I receive a press release from the town of Guildhall, the shire town of rural Essex County in the Northeast Kingdom.

With fewer than 300 people, Guildhall is a small town in arguably one of Vermont's more conservative counties.

That's why I was surprised to receive what can only be described as a ebullient email from Town Clerk Laura Wilson announcing Essex County's first same-sex marriage had taken place Saturday at the town's Guild Hall. Vermont's same-sex marriage law went into effect on September 1.

Teri Anderson and Rose Fitzgerald, who both live in Guildhall, were married in the town's Guild Hall. The ceremony was officiated by Barbara Peaslee Smith, Guildhall's Justice of the Peace and witnessed by a group of close friends and neighbors.

The celebration was followed by a solstice party attended by hundreds of loved ones which spilled out onto the historic Guildhall Town Green and included fireworks and a bonfire. Of course, the green isn't so  green in December.

Continue reading "Couple Make History in Essex County" »

November 04, 2009

From Log Cabin in Vermont, Couple Fights Reclusive Religious Sect

What would you do if your upbringing inside a fundamentalist Christian community left you scarred and confused — and estranged from family members still inside the sect?

F-bretheren For Tim Twinam, a software developer living in Williston, Vermont, the answer was: Launch a website dedicated to re-connecting lost members driven apart from family and friends by the religion's "doctrine of separation."

Twinam was raised inside The Exclusive Brethren in 1960s England. He couldn't eat or socialize with anyone outside the sect, and TV, radio and university education were strictly forbidden. Internet is also banned.

Today he is the webmaster of, an online community made up of former members of The Exclusive Brethren, which is the subject of this week's Seven Days cover story.

Twinam, and his wife Sallie (pictured), have devoted the last four years to exposing the secrets of the reclusive Brethren and creating a network of "helpers" to assist those who want to leave the religion but don't know how.

Now the Brethren are suing the Twinams in Vermont federal court for copyright infringement, claiming downloaded Brethren-owned sermons and letters that are property of the Brethren.

Lawyers for the sect say they're just protecting their legal property. The Twinams say it's a lawsuit meant to silence their criticism by bleeding them dry financially.

Two attempts to settle the suit have failed and a third attempt is slated for later this month. Meantime, the Twinams told their story in the hope it would raise awareness about a relatively unknown religion with 43,000 worldwide followers, one they say wields outsize influence in the worlds of business and politics.

We've linked to the story here to allow readers to comment.

Photo by Andy Duback.

September 04, 2009

Obama to Address Vermont Schools

Today, Vermont's Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca issued a statement in advance of Tuesday's planned speech by Pres. Barack Obama to the nation's schoolchildren.

The department has received calls from parents complaining about the planned speech, said Jill Remick, a department spokeswoman. 

Nationally, some parents and conservative talk show hosts have complained that Obama's speech is designed as some form of Communist indoctrination.

"We have gotten about a dozen calls, which is actually a lot for a specific topic like this, especially one that we don’t actually control," said Remick. "We don’t know of any districts in Vermont who will not air it."

Here is Vilaseca's letter:

Continue reading "Obama to Address Vermont Schools" »

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