Legion of Super-Heroes #11

It’s time for our monthly, LSH frivolity break, so let’s climb aboard our time cube once again and travel to the 31st Century for another LSH adventure in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #11: Heartbreak On New Krypton
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils: Ryan Sook, Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, November 24, 2020

4 Stars


As in LSH #10, the reader bounces around the galaxy, from planet to planet…

  • On New Krypton, a small contingent of Legionnaires – Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Karate Kid, Phantom Girl, Shadow Lass, and Wildfire – await the return of Mon-El when Rogol Zaar and his deadly horde suddenly attack.
  • On Xanthu, Dr. Fate, Saturn Girl, and Superboy search for Mordru and stumble upon the tattered cape of Superman, Jon Kent’s father. As Dr. Fate attempts to examine the cape, he appears to, yikes, explode?!?!?!
  • On Rimbor, Bouncing Boy, Dawnstar, Lightning Lad, Monster Boy, and Timber Wolf look on as Ultra Boy accepts the position of Planet Leader from the War Council, only to dissolve the council and call for free elections.
  • On Earth, the three personas of Triplicate Girl interrupt a class given by Dream Girl, asking for clarification on the upcoming, “Great Darkness.”
  • Blok, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lass, and Rose Forrest arrive on Daxam to investigate the Horraz pirates, when they are attacked by Mordru and his minions. Blok is cast out into deep space. Rose Forrest’s loose-cannon “Thorn” persona emerges during the battle, but Mordru prevails, capturing Cosmic Boy.
  • Back on Earth, as Brainiac 5 and White Witch question Gold Lantern regarding the source of his powers, the emergency on Krypton is brought to light. In response, Brainy directs Saturn Girl and Superboy to immediately journey from Xanthu to Krypton and then assembles all available Legionnaires, including Element Lad, Ferro Lad, Invisible Kid, Matter-Eater Lad, Star Boy, Sun Boy and the as-of-yet-unidentified skeleton in a containment suit, to be teleported to that planet as well.
  • Superboy and Saturn Girl arrive on Krypton, only to find that Rogol Zaar has vanquished ALL of the other Legionnaires.


The dizzying array of planetary scenarios featuring almost the entire Legion roster (I didn’t spot Violet or Projectra) is a bit disconcerting. Some readers will walk away from this issue with the feeling that Bendis tried to force fit way too much plot into its twenty-three pages. Many questions remain regarding the discovery of Superman’s cape and the fate of Dr. Fate, Blok, and Cosmic Boy. The upcoming showdown between Superboy and Rogol Zaar will be epic.

Postscript #1: As happens quite often in comics, the cover art for issue #11 has nothing to do with the story inside.

Postscript #2: After eleven issues, we STILL don’t know the identity of the skeletal Legionnaire in the containment suit.

Postscript #3: There’s fleeting references to Kamandi and Darkseid in this issue that has Sheldon clones all atwitter.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/28/20

The fallout from the 2020 Presidential Election continues as Catholic prelates grapple with the reality of a Joe Biden presidency. After initially congratulating Biden, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), archbishop Jose Gomez (photo left), later announced the formation of a working group/task force to study the “problems” created by a Catholic president who supports abortion “rights” and LGBT social engineering. Some conservative bishops are openly calling for Biden to be barred from receiving the “Jesus wafer” communion.

While this story made tongue-in-cheek headlines across the globe, I imagine the incident will ultimately be attributed to hackers.

Catholics are still buzzing about the recent Vatican report acknowledging “saint” pope John Paul II’s enablement of pedophile predator, cardinal Ted McCarrick. Has the RCC ever rescinded sainthood for an individual after they were found to have been “seriously flawed”? Don’t hold your breath. JPII will continue to be “venerated” as if nothing happened. Well, we’re all seriously flawed and these revelations about JPII expose the fallacy of the RC’s canonization process and its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. As we’ve seen from the scandalous headlines over the past twenty years, popes, prelates, and priests are unable themselves to jump through the legalistic religious hoops to merit Heaven that they prescribe to their followers.

Rumors are flying about the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine/s, with some Christian alarmists saying the vaccine is the “mark of the beast.” Some Catholic bishops have already warned their followers not to get vaccinated because they claim the vaccines were developed using cells collected through abortions. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has countered the accusations with a memo stating that at least two of the vaccines are ethically sound.

Interesting to see the State of New York join with the victims of abuse in suing the RC Diocese of Buffalo for the decades of enablement and cover-up with regards to its predatory pedophile priests.

Back in December 2019, Bethel Redding church and many associated New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) churches made headlines by praying for days for the resurrection of Olive Heiligenthal, the two-year-old daughter of one of Bethel’s singers who had died from complications from a head injury. Olive was not resurrected. Rather than question the monstrous theology of Bethel pastor, Bill Johnston, credulous members continue to drink the Bethel/NAR Kool-Aid.

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #50: “No Graven Images”

Today, we have the final installment in our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. This week, the Catholic apologist concludes his last section of the book, “Catholic Life and Practice,” with this chapter, in which he attempts to defend the Roman church’s use of religious statues and paintings when the Bible says we should have “No Graven Images.”


Multiple statues and/or paintings of Jesus Christ, Mary, and the saints are present in every Roman Catholic church and many Catholics also have these icons in their homes. Catholics bow down and pray before these images. Yet, as Protestants point out, the Bible strictly forbids the use of graven images in worship:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:4-6

Broussard responds with two arguments:

(1) Broussard argues that “God can’t be condemning religious statues and images because elsewhere he explicitly commands making them” (p. 271). He cites such examples as the angelic cherubim statues placed over the ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:18-20), the large cherubim statues placed in the holy of holies inner sanctum of the Jerusalem temple built by Solomon (1 Kings 6:23-28), and the crafted bronze serpent used in the healing of Israelites who had been bitten by venomous snakes (Numbers 21:6-9).

(2) Broussard states that what Exodus 20:4-6 expressly forbids is the creation of physical idols for worship. He writes, “Catholics don’t treat statues or the people whom the statues represent as gods. As such the Biblical prohibition of idolatry doesn’t apply” (p. 272).

Let’s now respond to Broussard.

(1) It’s obviously true that God authorized the creation of the angelic statuary for the ark of the covenant and for the holy of holies of the Jerusalem temple and the creation of the bronze serpent recorded in Numbers 21. However, these objects were NOT created for worship. In both cases of the graven cherubim, only the high priest and his assistants were allowed to view them.

(2) Broussard insists that Catholics do not “worship” their graven images of Jesus, Mary, and the saints, but, of course, that is precisely what they do. They prostrate themselves before the icons and offer their prayers to them. Catholics insist they are not worshiping the icons, but rather “venerating” the persons that the icons represent. This is Catholic sophistry. Bowing and praying are certainly acts of worship. The pagans of antiquity worshiped their statues of false gods in the same way that Catholics worship statues of Mary and the saints, believing that the graven icons were conduits to deity. Nowhere in the Old or New Testament is there an example of genuine believers prostrating themselves before or praying to an icon in worship.

We’ve already discussed at great length Catholicism’ egregious error of worshiping Mary and the saints in our previous examinations of chapters 30 through 39 so there’s no need to repeat the arguments here. Suffice to say that Catholicism’s claim that it doesn’t worship Mary and the saints is based upon a circular reasoning fallacy, i.e., “We don’t worship Mary and the saints (despite the clear evidence to the contrary) because we say we don’t.”

What is a graven image?


My deep thanks to everyone who supported this “Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist” weekly series, which began all the way back on December 6, 2019. I thank the Lord for leading me out of the spiritually deadly errors of Roman Catholicism to the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Please remember to witness to Catholics and pray for them, that many will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone and come out of the Roman false church.

Next Friday, I will publish a comprehensive index to the 50 posts included in this series.

Throwback Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

For this week’s Throwback Thursday installment, I’m republishing this short post from previous years about something that never gets old; being grateful to the Lord for His bountiful blessings!


“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord here at the WordPress blogosphere! May your time today with your family and friends be joyous as we contemplate all of our blessings in Christ Jesus!

Soda? In Rochester, we call it “pop.”

When I was growing up back in the 1960s, there weren’t as many concerns about nutrition, and soda was a staple of the American diet. Here in Rochester, we referred to soda as “pop” and generally still do. When out-of-towners asked for a “soda” back in the day, we thought that was very strange.

Every weekend, our Dad and a few of us kids would hop in the station wagon and take a short drive to the cinder block building at 625 Shelford Road (photo below) and buy a case of large bottles of “pop” from a local manufacturer, “Fiz Pop,” which was a lot cheaper than the national brands. They had many flavors and it was fun to pick out my favorites as we filled the case. Fiz eventually moved out of that location and my Dad began buying six-packs of Coca-Cola at the big grocery. One of my sweetest high-school-era memories is sucking down ice-old Cokes in the summertime while watching my little black-and-white TV late at night in my hot, un-air-conditioned bedroom.

These days, health experts strongly discourage drinking soda. There’s 39 grams of “sugar” (i.e., high-fructose corn syrup) in a 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola, which translates to 9.75 teaspoons of sugar per can. That’s A LOT of sugar.

I don’t drink a lot of pop/soda, but I do like to crack open a cold one on Saturdays after doing the yard chores. I definitely have my favorites. I have a small stockpile of my favorite varieties with samples in the above photo:

From left to right:

  • Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda – Great combo! Was on the grocery shelf for a limited time during the Summer, but didn’t see it for awhile. It’s now back in six-packs of 16.9 oz. plastic bottles.
  • Coca-Cola, Orange Vanilla – Haven’t seen this Coke variety on the store shelves lately.
  • Vernors – A very gingery-tasting ginger-ale that originally hailed from Michigan. Wikipedia states that “soft,” full-flavored ginger-ales like Vernors were popular before Prohibition, but afterwards, less-flavorful “dry” varieties like Canada Dry caught on.
  • Coca-Cola, Vanilla – Haven’t seen this Coke variety on the store shelves lately.
  • A&W Cream Soda – Hard to find. Stocked sporadically.
  • Coca-Cola, Cherry Vanilla – Haven’t seen this Coke variety on the store shelves lately.

The only Coke on the local grocery shelves lately is Classic Coke and Diet Coke. Has Coke given up on its specialty varieties or have the purchasing agents at our two local grocery chains just gotten lazy? Articles on the internet state that Coke has NOT discontinued its specialty flavors, but that it’s had a hard time keeping up with the high demand during the C-19 pandemic.

What’s your favorite flavor of pop…er, I mean soda?

Above: The Fiz Pop brand was was eventually bought by the Petix family, owners of College Club Beverages. That’s brothers Louie and Joe Petix in the photo above.
I also occasionally like to pick up some bottles of Jarritos-brand Lime and Tamarind flavored soda from Mexico in in the imported foods aisle.
Above: The former Fiz Pop building at 625 Shelford Road, now subdivided into multiple apartments.

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #59

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Genesis 42:18-21 on “The Ghost of Guilt.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Psalm 3 on “Discouragement.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, November 8th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – The Ghost of Guilt

Pastor Cody Andrews – Discouragement

“Am I Catholic?” Praise God, NO, I am NOT Catholic!

Am I Catholic?: A Struggle with Faith, Humility, and Surrendering to God
By Kendra Von Esh
Self-published, Second edition, 2018, 176 pp.

1 Star

Several months ago, I was channel-surfing and happened upon the Daystar cable channel, which is similar in content to TBN, although on a smaller scale. Daystar is owned by Pentecostals, Marcus and Joni Lamb, and much of the content on Daystar includes references to prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues, meaning I generally wouldn’t view the channel myself or recommend it to anyone else.

However, what caught my eye that particular July 1st evening was Joni and Marcus interviewing author, Kendra Von Esh, on the station’s flagship show, “Ministry Now.” Von Esh was on the show promoting her book, “Am I Catholic?” Hmm, how would Joni and Marcus handle this? Marcus began the interview by stating that he realized that, “there are Protestant people, that, they don’t agree with some things about the Catholic church…but the test of salvation, when you ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins, that is the bottom line, and there are many truly born-again Catholics.” Marcus reiterates that it’s not denominational membership that saves, but whether a person is “a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Von Esh then began telling her story of having been raised in a nominal Catholic family and having no substantial connection to her religion until, as a middle-aged adult, her father had a life-threatening illness and surgery, which prompted her to begin delving deeply back into her Catholicism. Among other things, she described the joy of being able to confess her sins to a priest and receive forgiveness.

Joni nervously interjected at that point, because, what Von Esh was describing, didn’t sound like being born-again:

Joni: “When did you, like, have an, if you will, an understanding that Jesus died for your sins and that He [emphasis] forgives everything and it’s finished, it’s done, He paid the price at Calvary for us?

Von Esh replied with some nebulous, religious gobbledygook, but did not answer Joni’s question. Catholics believe, as they are taught by their church, that salvation is a lifelong process that is dependent on regularly receiving the sacraments and successfully obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules. Marcus and other misguided folks extend the hand of fellowship to Roman Catholics because they readily assent to the vague parlance of “asking Jesus to come into your heart” and of being a “believer.”

While it’s true that there are probably some Catholics who are saved, they are saved in spite of their church’s teachings, not because of them. Marcus is correct, that church and denominational membership saves no one, but Roman Catholics never get to hear the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone from their church’s pulpits. The Catholic church unapologetically teaches that salvation is by sacramental grace and merit. Joni sensed a problem with Von Esh’s “testimony” while she was gushing on and on about confessing her sins to a priest, but Joni didn’t follow up. Marcus and Joni failed Von Esh and their viewers by insinuating Roman Catholicism’s false gospel was legitimate or at least “close enough.”

I ordered Von Esh’s short book and read it in a couple of sittings. She describes the “joy” of rediscovering the traditions, rituals, and rules of her church. Many converts and reverts to Catholicism are enamored with the RCC system, but beneath the church’s gaudy “smells and bells” liturgicalism is a works-righteousness treadmill whereby no one can ever find salvation and eternal joy in Jesus Christ.

I said a prayer for Kendra Von Esh’s salvation. Stay away from Daystar, TBN, and other sources that muddy the genuine Gospel by embracing Roman Catholicism as a Christian entity.

For research purposes, I’m providing the video below to the “Ministry Now” July 1st episode in question. The interview with Von Esh begins at the 30:30 mark.

Above photo: Joni and Marcus Lamb muddy the Gospel with Roman Catholic, Kendra Von Esh

2020 Leaf Campaign Update – Week #4, the Grand Finale!

Photo above taken Saturday, Nov. 21st. No leaves remaining on the oak trees.

Last week was a VERY good week in the 2020 Leaf Campaign, with all of the oak trees prematurely releasing most of their leaves because of a warm stretch of weather, resulting in my hauling 34 tarps of leaves to the curb. This past week was the finale and there was a bit more work than I expected.

Thursday, Nov. 19 – The few remaining leaves had fallen from the oaks and some of my less-fastidious neighbors’ leaves had swirled into our yard due to some high winds, so I gave the entire yard a once-over with the leafblower, corralling the backyard leaves into piles and blowing the leaves in the front yard to the curb.

Friday, Nov. 20 – Seven tarpfulls. I raked the leaf piles in the backyard onto my tarp and made multiple trips dragging them to the curb. I also began removing the leaves from a large ivy patch in the back corner of our lot with my metal rake. It’s a very painstaking job, which is why I always save it for last. I removed about two-thirds of the leaves from the ivy patch, saving the balance for Saturday.

Saturday, Nov. 21 – One tarpfull. I finished removing the leaves from the ivy patch, accumulating one large tarpfull. I also got on the roof and blew out the small amount of leaves in the gutters before the snow falls.

Number of tarpfulls, week #4 = 8
Total number of tarpfulls to date = 67
Percentage of leaf campaign completed to date = 112%

Huh? 112%? I’ve always used 60 tarps as the estimated total number of tarps per seasonal campaign and it’s always worked out pretty close, but this year I ended up with 67 tarps. I’m guessing some of that spike can be attributed to the fact that I purposely didn’t load as many leaves onto the tarp on average due to my advancing age. 👴🏻

That’s it folks! I’m happy to say the 2020 Leaf Campaign is complete, a full two-weeks ahead of schedule! Thanks for all of the support and encouragement throughout the campaign!

Leaf campaign trivia: After raking leaves for 12 years, I finally broke down in 2016 and bought my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower. It’s been a HUGE help in dealing with the leaves, but it’s a bit temperamental. The salesperson warned me that I should use non-ethanol, specially-blended, high-octane, Husqvarna-brand gasoline sold in cans at the dealership. But that stuff is VERY expensive, especially for a guy like me with TONS of leaves. Instead, I buy non-ethanol, 89-octane gas at a Fastrac gas station near me, and add Husqvarna two-cycle engine oil. Sometimes the leafblower sputters like a Model-T jalopy and other times it roars like a well-tuned Pratt & Whitney jet engine. It still beats raking even when it’s not blowing air, full-throttle.

Week #1
Week #2
Week #3

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/21/20

I know most of you have had your fill of politics, but this week’s news feeds were dominated by stories of politically-conservative-minded Christians and Catholics grappling with Joe Biden’s apparent presidential victory.

Pastor Robert Jeffress (photo above) of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, an outspoken supporter of President Trump and the Republican Party and one of the leading torch-bearers of Falwellian Christian nationalism, has thrown in the towel and recognized Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. President Trump still has not conceded, eighteen-days after the election. Will he eventually concede or is this standoff leading to an unprecedented constitutional crisis?

This conservative Catholic parish priest in this story has warned all of the administrators and teachers of the parish’s school that they will be collecting unemployment checks if they continue to post pro-Biden remarks on the school’s Facebook account.

Cardinal Burke has been one of progressive pope Francis’s fiercest critics and now he also has to contend with a progressive Catholic in the White House.

While conservative American Catholic priests and prelates are wringing their hands over Joe Biden’s victory, their progressive pope is celebrating in the Vatican.

Last week, the Vatican released its report on the church’s mishandling of ex-cardinal and serial abuser, Ted McCarrick. “Saint” John Paul II was directly implicated in the cover-up. This shakes the “faith” of Catholics throughout the world, but especially in Poland where Karol Wojtyla is revered as semi-deity.

Homosexuality is rampant amongst Catholic priests and prelates. Credible sources put the percentage at 30% to 40%. The vast majority of pedophile priests’ victims, around 80%, were male children.

The LA County administration and the media jumped the gun by labeling three cases of COVID-19 at Grace Community Church as an “outbreak.” But as C-19 re-surges across the nation, GCC continues to defy county public health safety mandates and the legal battles continue.

I’m a bit late with this one, but on November 11th we celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth in 1620. The Pilgrims were separatists persecuted by the Church of England who came to America in search of religious freedom and would later be absorbed by the Puritans, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630. The Pilgrims celebrated the first “Thanksgiving” following their harvest in 1621.

The Presbyterian Church USA denomination is in the process of hammering out an ecumenical accord with the Roman Catholic church. The PCUSA “went liberal” way back in the 1920s and 1930s.

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #49: “Wine Is a Mocker”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next-to-last installment, the Catholic apologist continues his section on “Catholic Life and Practice” as he responds to the criticism of (some) Protestants that the Roman Catholic church permits the drinking of alcoholic beverages when the Bible says “Wine Is a Mocker.”


Protestants who believe in complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages cite Proverbs 20:1 among other passages:

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”

Broussard responds with three arguments:

(1) Broussard argues that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is not forbidden by the Bible in an absolute sense because the following verses and others seem to allow it: Deuteronomy 14:22-26, Genesis 14:18, Ecclesiastes 10:19, Psalm 104:15, 1 Timothy 5:23. Some evangelicals claim that the Israelites’/Jews’ standard table wine was diluted with so much water that it was nonintoxicating, but if that were the case, Broussard argues, there would not be so many admonitions against drunkenness in the Bible.

(2) Broussard then argues that Jesus was not absolutely opposed to fermented wine in His earthly ministry and presents the following proof texts: “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking…,” Luke 7:34, and “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now…,” John 2:1-11. Broussard forgets to include Jesus’s analogy of the wine skins and fermented wine in Mark 2:22.

(3) Broussard offers Isaiah 5:11 to argue that the Bible doesn’t forbid drinking alcoholic beverages, but only warns against overindulgence.

Let’s now respond to Broussard.

I’m one of those evangelicals who believes that the Bible doesn’t teach absolute abstinence when it comes to the consumption of alcoholic beverages, but that it warns against overindulgence and drunkenness. I wrote a post on this controversial topic way back in 2016 with supporting references (see here). Suffice to say that each believer must follow his/her own understanding and convictions regarding this matter and also must strive to not be a stumbling block to believers who hold to a different conviction.

Let’s not get sidetracked. The permissibility of consuming alcoholic beverages is a tertiary issue. The primary issue is Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Next up: “No Graven Images”