Hilarious Motivational Posters about Hazards, Hope, Humiliation and Incompetence

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Hilarious Motivational Posters about Futility, Work, Goals and Government

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Hilarious Motivational Posters about Flattery, Effort, Dreams and Dysfunction

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“Cartman’s Silly Hate Crime 2000” Lands Him in Juvy and the Boys in a Losing Sled Race (South Park Episode 401)

When Cartman hits token with a rock, the FBI misconstrues the whole event as a hate crime, what with Token being black and all. Cartman is sent to juvenile hall as a punishment for his crime, where he must navigate the difficult inner world of prison life to stay alive.

Stan, Kyle and Kenny desperately need Cartman out of juvy because they have a big sled race against the girls, and without Cartman’s weight sending them hurdling down the slope, they don’t have a great chance of winning (read: we need fat people in a variety of circumstances). Hilariously, some random girl on the girls’ team keeps taunting the boys about losing, calling them a variety of names related to being gay (fudge-packer, anal-spelunker, etc.).

Token’s father, one of the wealthiest and most educated men in town, is incensed that Cartman’s violence against his son has been misconstrued as a hate-crime when he knows that it’s nothing more than childish bickering. He tries to get the other children, who will do anything to get Cartman out of jail and back on their sledding team, to give a presentation to the mayor and others, in an attempt to convince them of the fact that Cartman’s act was not racially inspired. All in all, it’s a very eloquent explanation for the foolishness of dubbing most of what we do as hate crimes.

What do you think about the attribution of the label hate crime to crimes that may not be racially motivated? What did you think about this episode? What was your favorite part?

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Quran Read-A-Long: Al-‘Imran 55-63 Insists on Jesus’ Humanity, Not His Divinity

Verse 55 is interesting for the different ways it would be interpreted by whomever is reading it. For instance, Christians would read this and assume that it is an outright praise of their religion and a guarantee that they are going to heaven. Why? Because it says that those who follow Jesus are placed above denying the truth. However, Muslims would read this and understand that Jesus was not the son of God and so Christians who believed in such things (taken a step further, the Trinity) would be wrong in their beliefs. Though I suppose the verse doesn’t really guarantee much other than a place above those who deny the truth (disbelievers?) – and honestly, is being above disbelievers really anything to be thrilled about? That just means that you’re not a disbeliever. Hmm. This is an interesting verse but I don’t think I’ve really cracked what it has to offer. What do you think?

I like the affirmation of the value of good works in verse 57. I’ve always found that to be a very important concept – as opposed to say faith or especially grace – because it is good works that make the world go round, no matter your religion, beliefs or anything else. We’re all people and we all deserve each others’ help and respect.

Boy are verses 58-60 the ultimate renunciation of a central Christian creed: namely, that Jesus is not human (at least not human only) but actually God. The Quran is making a real point of denying Christian beliefs about Jesus because Islam is monotheistic in the true sense of the word; Muslims cannot accept (reasonably so) the notion that Jesus – whom Islam considers a prophet like the others – is actually God . . . and simultaneously the son of God. NO! The Quran makes clear in three verses: Jesus was like Adam – human and from dust.

Verse 61 proposes an interesting way of resolving the dispute about Jesus’ divinity: get everybody together and then pray for a curse on whomever is wrong. Asad writes this about the actual confrontation regarding this verse:

“According to all the reliable authorities, verses 59-63 of this surah were revealed in the year 10 H., on the occasion of a dispute between the Prophet and a deputation of the Christians of Najran who, like all other Christians, maintained that Jesus was “the son of God” and, therefore, God incarnate. Although they refused the “trial through prayer” (mubahalah) proposed to them by the Prophet, the latter accorded to them a treaty guaranteeing all their civic rights and the free exercise of their religion.”

What do you think about these verses? Can you help me illuminate some of their meaning better?

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Al-’Imran 55-63

55. Lo! God said: “O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me, and cleanse thee of [the presence of] those who are bent on denying the truth; and I shall place those who follow thee [far] above those who are bent on denying the truth, unto the Day of Resurrection. In the end, unto Me you all must return, and I shall judge between you with regard to all on which you were wont to differ. 56. “And as for those who are bent on denying the truth, I shall cause them to suffer a suffering severe in this world and in the life to come, and they shall have none to succour them; 57. whereas unto those who attain to faith and do good works He will grant their reward in full: for God does not love evildoers.” 58. THIS MESSAGE do We convey unto thee, and this tiding full of wisdom: 59. Verily, in the sight of God, the nature of Jesus is as the nature of Adam, whom He created out of dust and then said unto him, “Be” – and he is. 60 [This is] the truth from thy Sustainer; be not, then, among the doubters! 61. And if anyone should argue with thee about this [truth] after all the knowledge that has come unto thee, say: “Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves; and then let us pray [together] humbly and ardently, and let us invoke God’s curse upon those [of us] who are telling a lie.” 62. Behold, this is indeed the truth of the matter, and there is no deity whatever save God; and, verily, God – He alone – is almighty, truly wise. 63 And if they turn away [from this truth] – behold, God has full knowledge of the spreaders of corruption.