christian rep

9

COULD WE JUST TAKE A LITTLE WHILE AND APPRECIATE THE 17 YEAR OLD SOUTH EAST ASIAN’S FIRST EVER FIGURE ICE SKATER TO COMPETE IN 2014 SOCHI WINTER OLYMPICS?

We all knew that Yuzuru Hanyu has the most fans out there and the most popular representative in Asia. But could we give a little love to Michael Christian Martinez? This guy is called “the lone skater” because he’s the only one representing his own country and even with his asthma, he still wants to cope up with his dream. Damn, this kid, hardly had any gov’t support and has to mortage his own family house just to join the 2014 Sochi Olympics. HE ONLY TRAINED IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF FUNDS. BUT STILL, LOOK HOW FLAWLESS HIS PERFORMANCE IS. Because there is lack of ice skating trainers in the Philippines, he had to train in Southern California which costs his family and friends a LOT of dollars. 

While he may be short on funds, Martinez is not short on prayers. He’s hoping for one more miracle on the ice that can score an Olympic medal not just for him but for the Philippines. GO MICHAEL!

Dang son, he’s an inspiration to every ice skaters out there who wants to show their talent to the whole world; whatever their current status is. Bless this guy. AND WHAT A CUTIE asdfghjkl ;A;

Sometimes I think about how Christian Bale played Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight trilogy as a borderline-emotionless force of nature, and how those movies never really showed us Bruce’s compassionate, humanitarian side, or the emotional and mental consequences of the terrible things he had seen and been forced to do, and yet a lot of fanboys hold that trilogy up as the golden standard for not only Batman movies, but superhero movies in general. 

Meanwhile, Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman is the only live action version I’ve seen to actually address the fact that Bruce, as a character, is defined by the trauma he’s experienced (losing his parents, losing his son, ect.). The Bruce Wayne in that movie showed accurate and realistic PTSD symptoms in a way that was totally plausible given his experiences, but fanboys wrote it off as “lazy writing”  and claim that it “didn’t feel like Batman,” when the BvS version is actually much more comic-accurate than the Dark Knight version.

It’s almost like people can’t accept mental illness in media unless it’s associated with evil. 

Sambucus Nigra, or Elder

Most of you’ll know that you can make some really nice juice out of its flowers, but what more can be learned from this tree?

- In folklore, the elder is best known as a fairy tree, and it was connected to heathen gods and spirits. Frau Holle, from German folklore, is its most notable inhabitant. Note: the German word for ‘elder’ is ‘Holunder’.

- Elder isn’t only a fairies’ tree, but also protects against evil. Because it is such a powerful tree, one can not cut it, except under certain circumstances and while showing your utmost respect. Also: never burn elder wood, because the sprits that inhabit it will haunt you.

- Much heathen folklore has a bad rep in christian lore, and this maybe why it was an elder tree that Judas chose to hang himself from. Also, many say that the cross on which Christ was sacrificed, was made of elder wood. In my opinion this shows how powerful this tree still was.

- It’s probably because of the above, that a cross of elder wood was often hung in home and stable for protection.

- The English call the elder the ‘pipe-tree’ since its soft branches are perfect for making flutes. It’s use is very old - Pliny the Elder (yes, really) already mentions that the wood of the elder is best fit for making whistles and horns.

The above is all general folklore - I don’t have particular sources, but you can find them out for yourself if you google around a bit.

For me, it took me a while to appreciate this tree. It was only when I started to really look around, that I noted that the elder is everywhere, where I live. I’ve really made a connection with it, and through it with Holda. It’s such an elegant tree, with it’s white, sweet flowers and delicate, dark berries. And despite its look, there’s this connection to the under- and otherworld that I really appreciate.

Christianity and The Foxhole Court

One of the biggest, and in my opinion most important, forms of representation in tfc is it’s portrayal of Christianity.

Now you’re probably like, “Why? Christianity is every where.”

My response would be, “No, it’s really not.”

Christianity is often portrayed to be a roadblock, something the surrounding characters believe but the Enlightened MC doesn’t. It’s often portrayed as a prejudiced religion with an angry God. A God who is mad at his children and wants to destroy the world or whatever. Fire and Brimstone. Christianity has gained a rep for being extremely bigoted, because the media no longer takes the time to differentiate between people using God as an excuse to be close minded or flat out hurt other people, and (What I call) true Christianity, That’s not what true Christianity is. 

So yes, Christianity is everywhere. But it hasn’t been portrayed positively for a long time.

So it means so much to me that, not only do we have Christian characters who work to counteract those stereotypes, but Nora also take the time to differentiate between Christianity and Bigotry. 

The first quote we have about it is in Ch. 6 of The Foxhole Court when Neil describes Renee:

“The Foxes’ senior goalkeeper had bright white hair cut to her chin. The bottom two inches of her hair were dyed in alternating pastel colors. It was interesting enough to warrant a second look, but downright odd when paired with her scant make-up, conservative clothes, and delicate silver cross necklace. Nicky had called her the sweetheart of the team. Neil understood why as he listened to her talk. He had no idea how she qualified for the Foxes’ halfway-house team.”

Which when I was first reading I was like “nice nice nice!”. So not only do we have a positive Christian character who is not an ass, we have subtle commentary on how people tend to view Christianity, through Neil calling her dyed hair “downright odd” when paired with her more natural looks, and wondering how she “qualified” for the team. I figured that would be the end of it.

I was wrong, and I’ve never been more happy to be in my life.

The big one for me was during the conversation with Nicky in the library:

“My parents are kind of crazy, you know? There’s religious and there’s super psychotic religious. Me and Renee, we’re the decent sort, I think. We go to different churches and have different ideas, but we respect each other anyway. We understand that religion is just an interpretation of faith. But my parents are the black-and-white crazy kind. It’s only right and wrong with them: hell-fire and damnation and judgment from on high.”

At which point I almost cried. This paragraph comes right after Nicky has been describing why he loves Eric, and how Eric makes him feel safe. And then he says that line:

“There’s religious and there’s super psychotic religious.”

One line. One line, and a stereotype destroyed. There is a huge difference between Christianity and Bigotry, and the media’s blurring of the two has led to toxic stereotypes that make Christianity seems like some awful demoralizing religion. You can be Christian and be gay. You can be Christian and not be a bigot who hates change. We are not the people who use our religion to hurt other people. At the base level, those who are of the bigoted religion are no better than the Islamic terrorists, hiding behind religion to justify there inhumane actions and making everyone else who practices the religion suffer for it.

Then it’s followed by NIcky saying, “Yeah we don’t exactly agree about every little detail, but we understand that religion is just an interpretation of faith.” There are thousands of sects of Christianity, because Christianity is about your individual relationship with God. There are thousands of religions because people choose to interpret the world differently. Just because you believe this bible verse should be interpreted this way, not that way, doesn’t mean you can’t get along. Because the core values of Christianity are the same, regardless of sect. 

Which leads me to my next quote(also by NIcky):

“We cannot condone the sin,” Maria said.

“You don’t have to love the sin,“ Nicky said, "but you’re supposed to forgive and love the sinner. Isn’t that what faith is about?" 

At which point I started shrieking. This is exactly what faith is about. Exactly. This is what Christianity is about. It is not your job as a Christian to tell people their sins, or tell them how to live their lives, or punish them somehow for sinning. That is the opposite. Christianity is about helping those who need help, not about saving those who you feel need to be saved. Leave the saving up to God. That’s his job. Your job is to help those who need it without preaching scripture at them. Only if they enter your church and say, “Hey, will you tell me about Jesus?” do you have any right to go throwing your belief at them. And even then you don’t go listing their sins. You tell them the message of the bible, that Jesus died for all our sins, and here’s how they can accept Jesus into their heart, if that’s what they choose to do. It’s not that complicated.

So in one sentence she effectively points out and comments on the difference between religious and Bigotry. She calls out the Bigots, literally, “If the first step isn’t tolerance, where does a pair of bigots begin in fixing a mess like this?”, but also provides a glimpse of (ill placed) reasoning when Luther responds, “Faith is following the Lord’s creed” circling back to the idea that religion is an interpretation of faith(which is a whole ‘nother post regarding that and bigoted Christianity). 

(Also stfu Luther bc I’m pretty sure sending your son to a anti-gay camp and letting someone rape your nephew and creating a toxic and unsafe home for your children/nephews is pretty damn far from the “Lord’s creed” bye.)

Then she takes it one step further with Renee. Renee is a beautiful example of what Christianity is. She is kind and nice to everyone, she gives but doesn’t expect to take, she is sweet and polite, even to the Ravens, and she is a wonderful example of Christianity in practice. The core value of Christianity is basically, try to be a decent person. Renee is someone even other Christians can look to for inspiration. 

Then there is her quote:

“I am a bad person trying very hard to be a good person.”

This is so important, because never once is Renee framed in the light of her religion. She’s just a bad person trying to be good. She’s not trying to repent or convert or condemn. She’s just trying to be a good person. Like we should all aspire to be. But that’s exactly what make her such an important character from a Christian perspective. The Bible doesn’t even really ask you to be a good or perfect person, only that you try. And that’s exactly what Renee is trying to do. 

This quote is then followed by the first glimpse you get into Renee’s past:

“…”I’m not,” Renee said…”I know I should be, but that’s still something I’m working on. I know I was directly responsible for the circumstances that led to their murders, but to be honest I hated them. On top of that, without my mother’s death I never would have ended up here. With my mother dead and my biological father in the wind, the courts had no choice but to release me into foster care after my year at a juvenile facility,” Renee said. “I made life as difficult as I could for my foster families and jumped eight homes in two years. Stephanie Walker found out about me from one of my foster mothers at her high school reunion. She put in a request for me, pushed it until it was approved, and moved me to North Dakota as soon as it was finalized.  She gave me a new name, a new faith, and a new chance at life.”

In many ways, Renee’s story is like the ultimate Christian story. She was lost, but now she is found. She is happy, safe, and healing. She has made peace with herself and her past, and she is trying to be a good person. And that’s what Christianity is all about.

This is a Warrior film release interview (meaning post-Bronson & post-Inception but pre-Max) with Tom Hardy that’s both hilarious and insightful.  The interviewer did a good job capturing both the childlike playfulness of Hardy, and the edgy intimidating feel to being in a room with him.

Tom Hardy: ‘It’s a normal human impulse to watch two people kick the hell out of each other’ - Stuart Jeffries for the Guardian

[…]

Hardy jogs into the room flanked by minders as if he’s entering a boxing arena. How about sorting things out mano a mano, I suggest? It could make both our careers. He could get the slightly bonkers rep Christian Bale has had ever since he bawled out his director of photography on set, which might help establish him in Hollywood (Hardy’s current focus). And getting bopped by an angry thesp adds lustre to a hack’s CV. Hardy looks game: “What – out the back?” No, here. “Absolutely!”

Really, I was only joking. For one thing, Tom Hardy would batter me. You just have to look at his improbably pronounced neck muscles to realise that.

Hardy settles on the sofa and pours coffee. For the next hour he writhes and giggles as he chats about his career prospects. As he pours, I ask him about a line in the production notes for Warrior, in which he plays a troubled war vet who, for reasons that made sense when I saw the film, has to cage-fight his brother in a martial arts contest at the drama’s climax. It’s Raging Bull meets Rocky meets Rolf Harris’s song of fraternal solidarity, Two Little Boys. But one passage troubled me: “The son of a Cambridge academic father, Hardy is the first to admit that prior to Warrior he was not a fighting man and not intimately familiar with 'alpha male territory’.”

Surely this makes his dad sound like a mortar board-sporting ponce rather than what he was, namely, the esteemed writer of gags for comedian Dave Allen who, along with his artist mother, brought up their only child (Tom, born 15 September 1977) in the genteel London suburb of East Sheen. “The point is my father’s not really into throwing his fists. He’s got lightning wit, backchat and repartee to get himself out of a scrap – and nothing else. My father came from an intellectual and studious avenue as opposed to a brawler’s avenue. So I had to go further afield and I brought all kinds of unscrupulous oiks back home – earless, toothless vagabonds – to teach me the arts of the old bagarre.”

Hardy – with his machine-gun verbosity, rococo vocabulary and the non-remote possibility that he could turn at any moment and chuck me out of the window – is an appealingly odd interviewee. He pronounces bagarre with an exaggerated angry French accent. Then he repeats it. “Bagaaaaarrrre! It got me into an enormous amount of scrapes and trouble – and eventually I ended up in Warrior, where he [his character Tom Conlon] does it for a living.”

[…]

Hardy takes a sip of coffee, rolls on the sofa and stares at the ceiling. This would be the moment to take him. Cushion over the face. Shimmy down the fire escape. PR minder finds him later, open-mouthed and dead. Perhaps not. He sits up again. “In hindsight I can see it’s great drama, but when you’re getting your teeth kicked in and eating endless chicken and broccoli, you don’t really care.”

What does he mean? To look like a cage-fighter he had to eschew carbohydrates and eat chicken and broccoli incessantly. That wasn’t all. “I did two hours boxing a day, two hours muay thai, two hours ju jitsu followed by two hours choreography and two hours of weightlifting seven days a week for three months. So come on! You have to really want to do that, so it was a challenge.”

Hardy’s Warrior regimen put on 28lb of muscle. But what interests him is not the fighting style per se, but its spiritual dimension. “Ju jitsu is very Buddhist. All that we fear we hold close to ourselves to survive. So if you’re drowning and you see a corpse floating by, hang on to it because it will rescue you.”

Hardy rolls over to look at the ceiling. “But the embrace is about the breaking of cycles. The film asks: 'What part do we play in those cycles and what is fated?’ That’s very Greek.” But his character has to be beaten virtually to death by his brother to be spiritually reborn, which is very Christian.

Let’s not go nuts about Warrior’s spiritual dimension. It’s mostly blokes tearing lumps out of each other in a cage encircled by people screaming for blood and/or death. “Again, that’s Greek,” says Hardy. “It’s the gods who have decided to sacrifice this man. But let’s watch. Who do you want to win? Red car? Or blue car? Let’s watch two people kick the shit out of each other.”

[…]

Did that resonate for him because he was a drunk and a drug addict? Hardy collapsed in Soho after a crack binge in 2003. “That was a lesson to me, I was fed to the Kraken and popped out the other side. In death I was reborn, just like in the film. Because I’d always been this adrenal kid and then I became a little shit. I’m not now.” He’s eight years clean.

What did playing opposite a recovering alcoholic mean to him? (Nolte is also a recovering alcoholic.) “I guess I’m more sympathetic to the alcoholic. I know in recovery that you are entirely responsible for your actions but I also know you’re not the same person you were yesterday. Paddy doesn’t think he’s the same person he was yesterday, he doesn’t even understand that person.” So how can you be responsible? “Well, that’s the conundrum of the human condition, isn’t it? Deciding when you’re responsible is hard fucking work, man.”

[there’s a fun video interview (press junket - I’ll never find it again) in which Hardy and his Warrior co-star Joel Edgerton are both asked whether they now feel they could win a real fight.  They’d each done that crazy 8-10 hour per day training regimen listed above for 10 weeks before shooting started, and kept going during the shoot - so they both must have had some chops - but they both laughed answering basically ‘No way.’ They each commented that they’d talk their way out if they could, would get their asses kicked if they could’t - basically neither man is inclined to be aggressive in real life.]

anonymous asked:

You've probably been asked this away too much, but what're your thoughts on homosexuality and the Church's reactions to it?

yeah i get asked it a lot just bc Christians have a bad rep with that. i think that it’s unnecessary and unbiblical to hold a place of superiority over other people bc you think theyre doing something wrong. i think that there’s a lotta inside outness going on in Christianity right now. instead of introspectively tuning and adjusting yourself to line up with Christ and viewing others in a nonjudgmental light, theres more viewing yourself in non-judgment and trying to adjust others. 

basically, im going to love my neighbor no strings attached. 

anonymous asked:

So a woman at my church said that star wars was satanic and drew kids in to the devil because they say, "May the force be with you", and that kids also shouldn't watch it because Lucas is a Taoist. Do you agree that statement is BS?

Of course it’s BS.

By the same vein I could say Star Wars is a way of teaching people about being a Christian, and the force is the Holy Spirit.

It’s just a way of interpretation. And the way she interpreted it is stupid.

(People like that give Christians a bad rep -_-)