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Tag: Religion (1-10 of 48)

Paula Abdul plans belated Bat Mitzvah in Israel

Paula Abdul, an award-winning singer, dancer, choreographer, and TV personality, can add a new title to her resume: religious pilgrim.

The former American Idol and X Factor judge is on her first trip to Israel, where she is connecting to her Jewish roots and planning on holding a belated Bat Mitzvah — the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony girls typically have at age 12 or 13.

“Beyond being Jewish, I’ve always found myself to be very much in tune with spirituality,” the 51-year-old Abdul told The Associated Press. “I feel very grateful coming to Israel now, where as a woman I know who I am a lot more than even 10 years ago.”

An official guest of Israel’s ministry of tourism, Abdul has been touring the country and visiting holy sites, museums and markets in Jerusalem. Israeli President Shimon Peres also hosted the former Lakers Girl.

'Vanilla Ice Goes Amish': Yes, this really is a TV show

Stop, collaborate, and listen: Ice is back with a brand new reality show. It’s called Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, and it’s about — you guessed it — professional punchline Vanilla Ice (a.k.a. That’s My Boy star Rob Van Winkle) learning construction from an Amish community in Ohio.

This isn’t Ice’s first time at the reality rodeo, of course: He’s also currently starring in The Vanilla Ice Project, a home renovation series on the DIY network (which will air Amish as well.) And in the past, he’s appeared on the second season of trailblazing humiliation factory The Surreal Life, as well as competitions including Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, Dancing on IceCelebrity Boxing, and The Surreal Life: Fame Games. (Vanilla Ice was also a judge on Canada Sings in 2011 — who knew!)

At this point, there’s really nothing left to do but giggle quietly, pause to reflect on our lost youth, and try to come up with some snarky captions for the photo above. I’ll get the ball rolling:

“Raise the barn? I’d rather raise the roof — go ninja, go ninja, go!

Follow Hillary on Twitter

Read more:
Go ninja, go ninja, go! Turtles and Vanilla Ice team up for ‘Gangnam Style’ parody — VIDEO
Rebecca Black tops ’50 Worst Music Videos Ever’ — Who else made the list?
The worst songs of the ’90s named in new poll — Do you agree?

Pastor Joel Osteen responds to elaborate Internet hoax

No, Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen is not leaving the Christian faith — despite all “evidence” to the contrary.

The Internet was captivated yesterday by a message — supposedly posted by Osteen himself — in which the televangelist apparently claimed to be renouncing his religion. “Deep down in my heart, for a number of years now, I have been questioning the faith, Christianity, and whether Jesus Christ is really my, or anyone’s, ‘savior’,” the “press release” read in part. “I believe now that the Bible is a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times. There is zero evidence the Bible is the holy word of God. In fact, there is zero evidence ‘God’ even exists.”

These words were backed up by a Twitter account (@PastorJoelOsten), a series of YouTube videos posted by a supposed Christian News organization, and a blog called Christianity News Texas, which ran an “exclusive interview” in which Osteen discussed his resignation. READ FULL STORY

Stephen Colbert is the world's best 'Pope' punster -- VIDEO

Interested in lobbing some Pope-related wordplay in light of Benedict XVI’s recent retirement? Good luck — Stephen Colbert probably already beat you to the punch.

During this segment on last night’s Colbert Report, the fake pundit (and real-life practicing Roman Catholic) revealed that he’s the master of Pope punnery  via references to being “disimpopinated,” having a “popendectomy,” and, perhaps best of all, a franchise called Popemon — complete with an adorable illustration of the Catholic Church’s leader as Ash Ketchum. Hey, if you’ve got to lose, at least you’re losing to the best. Bask in Colbert’s reflected glory here: READ FULL STORY

Inside the Best Picture nominees: A deep dive into 'Life of Pi'

Name: Life of Pi

Release date: Nov. 21, 2012

DVD release date: March 12, 2013

Run time: 2 hours, 6 mins.

Box office: Opening weekend: $30.5 million; Total domestic box office: $106 million; Worldwide gross to date: $548 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88 percent

Life of Pi movie math: (‘Calvin and Hobbes’ + ‘Open Water’) x George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” / (Noah’s Ark + metaphors)  x π x ∞

Tweetable description: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Stuck in a boat with a Bengal tiger? Create your own reality.


Sarah Silverman's dad takes down critical rabbi: 'You don't f-- with my family'

Sarah Silverman’s father, Donald, isn’t exactly taciturn. Take the comedian’s word for it: “My dad is pretty much fearless, which makes him a natural showman and public speaker. He’s always the one asked to make a toast or a speech,” she wrote in her 2010 memoir. Donald is also the source of his daughter’s famous potty mouth: “When I was three years old, I learned to swear from my father, but he taught me with every intention to do so. It was like he was teaching a ‘cursing as a second language’ course for one.” So it should be no surprise that when a rabbi took aim at Sarah in an article published on The Jewish Press, Donald soon leapt to his youngest child’s defense — using language blue enough to make Sarah proud.

After spying a video for her “Let My People Vote” campaign, Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt penned an open letter to Sarah that criticizes her for pursuing a career in comedy instead of getting married and having Jewish babies. Seriously: “Surely you appreciate being alive and surely, if the wonder of your womb were afflicted with your weaknesses and blessed with your strengths, it would be happy to be alive, too,” he wrote. (See, because getting married is “the most basic desire of the feminine soul.”)


French satirical magazine publishes Muhammad cartoons

What’s more controversial than publishing a cartoon that depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammad? Publishing several cartoons — which is exactly what the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo did in its most recent issue, published Wednesday. As Reuters writes, the magazine’s cover depicts an Orthodox Jew pushing a turban-wearing figure seated in a wheelchair; the image is a reference to The Intouchables, a popular French film about a white man and his black caretaker. The word “Mahomet” is prominently displayed near the illustration.

Inside, Charlie Hebdo includes a number of other caricatures of Muhammad. In some of them, he is naked. This is not the publication’s first brush with controversy; in 2006, it was criticized for reprinting Muhammad-depicting cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper. READ FULL STORY

Salman Rushdie on 'Innocence of Muslims': 'Outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting' -- VIDEO

Twenty-three years ago, Booker Prize-winning writer Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding when his novel, The Satanic Verses, provoked fervent protests, death threats, and a fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. Now the author is telling the story of his life underground in a new memoir called Joseph Anton – the release of which just happens to come on the heels of Middle Eastern violence inspired by an inflammatory video called Innocence of Muslims.

But Rushdie doesn’t have much sympathy for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker apparently behind Innocence. “He’s done something malicious, and that’s a very different thing from writing a serious novel,” the writer told Today‘s Matt Lauer this morning. “He’s clearly set out to provoke, and he’s obviously unleashed a much bigger reaction than he hoped for. I mean, one of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting.”


Philip Seymour Hoffman really, really doesn't want to talk about Scientology, you idiot!


In The Master, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the charismatic founder of a spiritual movement he invented after World War II. His group claims to help practitioners free themselves from traumatic life experiences. Oh, and a boat is involved.

But Hoffman’s character, Lancaster Dodd, is definitely not a thinly-veiled version of L. Ron Hubbard. And his movement is definitely, definitely not a slightly altered spin on Scientology. Nope. Not at all.

The Oscar-winning actor said as much — early and often — in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. In fact, he’d really appreciate if everyone would just stop it with all the Scientology stuff: “It’s not a Scientology movie. It’s something else,” he told writer Rachel Dodes. And that’s pretty much all he would say, despite Dodes’ efforts to, you know, interview him:


The Bible is suddenly the hottest thing in Hollywood. What other scriptural tales could work as feature films?

Hollywood is — if nothing else — a land of over-stuffed bandwagons, and as studio suits begin to tire of super-sizing fairy tales, the latest micro-trend in “let’s-try-launching-this-kind-of-franchise” appears to be feature films based on the Bible.

The first, director Darren Aronofsky’s take on Noah, just recently wrapped filming in Iceland with Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins. The rest of the Bible-based projects remain in some stage of development without an official greenlight, but many have A-list names hovering around them. According to Deadline, there are two possible films about Moses, with Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg respectively circling the directors’ chairs. Will Smith is reportedly eyeing the story of Cain & Abel as his directorial debut. Paul Verhoeven is developing a biopic about Jesus, based on Verhoeven’s own book and research, that strips away all the miracles of the New Testament. Most recently, screenwriter Vera Blasi (Woman on Top) penned a script about Pontius Pilate — i.e. the man who condemned Jesus Christ to the cross — that was just snapped up by Warner Bros.

But that is just scratching the surface when it comes to Bible stories that are ready-made for the big screen, especially in the Old Testament. In the interest of providing Hollywood with even more half-baked ideas, my colleague Darren Franich and I humbly suggest the following ecclesiastical tales as sure-fire potential box office blockbusters:  READ FULL STORY

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