Saturday, April 21, 2007

'Far East Side Story': Rival Buddhist monk gangs rumble in the street

To dispel the myth that Buddhist monks sit around all day meditating on their navels, rival gangs of Vietnamese and Cambodian monks tried to put a little whoop-ass on each other in Cambodia on Friday. I can't help but think of the movie West Side Story when I think of these monks in flowing orange robes smacking each other around.

I don't even pretend to understand what their beef is with each other. You can read the story yourself, or just look at the pictures.

I hear ya snapping your fingers and singing to yourself, "When you're a Jet...." Me too.

Duh-NA-NA-na-nah....

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Miami pastor sports '666' tattoo; claims to be Antichrist, 'the best person in the world'

Previously posted on Feb. 19. Moved back to the top to reflect the 4/19/07 update.

Just what we need, another reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

And of course, like the Original, this one is pissing off other religious leaders. He's already being compared to Jim Jones and David Koresh, though no one's drinking Kool-Aid® or marrying eleven-year olds quite yet.

Not only does Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, or "Daddy" as his thousands of followers call him, sport a "666" tattoo, he claims to be God.

"The spirit that is in me is the same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth," de Jesus says.

The "mark of the devil" and a God-complex.... Ah, the Pharisees and Sadduces, the Catholics and the Baptists will all have a field day with this man. Already branded as a "cult-leader" by cult experts Rick Ross and Prof. Daniel Alvarez, de Jesus is poised to soon become famous. He has appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 [watch video on YouTube] recently, and NBC's Today Show (where he referred to himself as "Jesus Christ Man") several months ago. CNN published yet another article about him today.

De Jesus is proud of his 666 tattoo, saying not only has the Anti-Christ been misunderstood, but that he is the Anti-Christ. The Antichrist is not the devil, de Jesus tells his congregation; he's the being who replaces Jesus on Earth.

"Antichrist is the best person in the world," he says. "Antichrist means don't put your eyes on Jesus because Jesus of Nazareth wasn't a Christian. Antichrist means do not put your eyes on Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Put it on Jesus after the cross."

Apparently his particular "vision" is working. He was born poor in Puerto Rico 61 years ago, has survived prisons stints for petty theft, and is a former heroin addict. His church, which boasts "thousands of members in more than 30 countries," pays him a $136,000 per year salary. He sports Rolex watches and drives BMWs and Lexuses, which he says are gifts from members. He formed the group "Growing in Grace" in the 1980s, after his 1973 epiphany in which the resurrected Christ "integrated himself within me."

His church members love him. Last week, 30 of them gathered in Miami to go en masse to a tattoo parlor to get their very own "666" tats.

UPDATE Thurs., April 19: The Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have banned Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda from entering their countries. Miranda was scheduled to be in Guatemala on April 21 and 22 to celebrate his 61st birthday with his followers. Thanks to Jennifer Emick at altreligion.about.com for the heads-up on this update.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

I saw Jesus in the sky!

You'd think if Jesus wanted His name painted across the sky He would do it Himself.

But since He hasn't, Jerry Stevens of Holy Smoke, Inc., of south central Florida, is doing it for Him.

This photo was taken by a blogger at Distant Creations who was visiting Disney World recently. There was a smiley face, too, that he said didn't fit into the camera frame. Commenters at his blog say that ol' Jerry is up there most every weekend — so often that locals pay him no attention — burning gas for God.

You can probably hire Jerry to annoy the pagans and granfalloon the Christians at Disney World or other Florida attractions during your vacation by visiting his website. There's also a link there that, according to its title, you can click on to "accept God's Love."

Sources: Distant Creations and BoingBoing

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Then I guess I'll have a beer

The Coca-Cola Company doesn't mind placing its logo in the hands of hundreds of various movie characters, unless his name happens to be Jesus.

The Italian film Seven Kilometers from Jerusalem has been pulled from its scheduled release today, after Coke lawyers complained that the modern-day Jesus depicted in the movie drinking their product gives the company a bad image.

"We are not interested in this kind of product placement," a Coca-Cola Italia spokeswoman said.

The film will be re-edited, and should be released before the end of April, Variety reported.

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sweet Jesus! Chocolate Christ art exhibit canceled after Catholics protest

Sweet Jesus!

A New York hotel has canceled an exhibit of a giant naked chocolate Jesus, the AP reported.

The Catholic League or Religious and Civil Rights had called for a boycott of the hotel, which had planned the event to correspond with Holy Week.

The hotel canceled the showing, and issued a statement saying the threat was "crystal clear and has brought to our attention the unintended reaction of you and other conscientious friends of ours to the exhibition of Cosimo Cavallaro.... We have caused the cancellation of the exhibition and wish to affirm the dignity and responsibility of the hotel in all its affairs," the statement said.

The director of the art gallery that was to set up the display admitted the hotel did not know the chocolate Christ was to be exhibited, but said the artwork was not irreverent.

"It's intended as a meditation on the Holy Week," Matthew Semler said of the sculpture.

The news report says the artwork is called "My Sweet Lord," but the artist's website lists its title as "I did it daddy."

Image: "I did it daddy," from the artist's website.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

If Jesus invited Moroni over for coffee, would the angel say no?

The Mormon church has trademarked the angel Moroni, or so they claim. I guess they can have him; they're the ones who made him up, after all, aren't they?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a.k.a. The Mormons, have gotten their halos in a twitch over a t-shirt produced by two coffee-sellin' joes that shows the Moronic Angel swilling coffee through his trumpet.

Taylorville, Utah "Just Add Coffee" coffee shop co-owner Ed Beazer said he and partner Van Lidell have been using the Moroni symbol for about a year, and added it to the back of a now-best-selling t-shirt around Christmas. On March 9, they ran a print ad locally featuring the logo, and promptly heard from the LDS Church's attorneys, the Deseret News reported.

Can you imagine the panic in the streets when Jesus returns and demands licensing fees for all the abuse His Name has taken in the past 2,000 years? All the people who've said "Jesus H. (or F***ing) Christ!" as an interjection and all the Hispanics who've named their children after Jesus will probably get off with just a warning, perhaps even a touch on the face or a pat on the head.

It's all those preachers and ministers and priests and popes who've been b.s.ing us for two millenia, saying "Jesus spoke to me!" and "Jesus wants you to [fill in the blank]!", who are going to catch Hell.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rev. Ron Saunders channels Jesus!

A city manager for Largo, Florida recently came out of the closet and announced he was planning to have a sex change operation, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The town held a hearing with plans to fire Steve (soon to be Susan) Stanton from the job he had held for 14 years.

As you might expect, the council voted to fire him.

Townspeople packed the city hall for the meeting.

"If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee you he'd want him terminated," said Pastor Ron Saunders of Largo's Lighthouse Baptist Church. "Make no mistake about it."

Who died and made him Jesus' spokesman?

Not content just to show his supernatural ability to channel Jesus, Saunders, who is the pastor of a church with thirty — count 'em, thirty! — members showed his knowledge of biology and psychology by adding, "He's not going to be a man, and he's not going to be a female. He's going to be an 'it.' It's going to be the most sorrowful decision he has ever made."

Stanton is married, with a 13-year-old son. He says he's wanted to be a woman ever since he was a child.

Image: A very feminine-looking Jesus tiptoeing across the Sea of Galilee

Additional links:
Video of Stanton's speech to the council, from the St. Petersburg Times
The Florida Masochist
Sticks of Fire
Alien Intelligencer
The Delightful Yank
Blurbex
Pushing Rope


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What bank would Jesus use?

A 21-year old man was arrested Monday after he tried to cash a check for $50,000 at the Chase Bank in Hobart that was signed "King Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Servant," the AP reported.

Kevin Russell had several other checks with him that were signed the same way but made out in different dollar amounts, including one for $100,000.

He was charged with one count of attempted check fraud and one count of intimidation, both felonies, and one count of resisting law enforcement, a misdemeanor.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Priest and nuns sentenced to prison after botched crucifixion/exorcism

A priest and four nuns were sentenced to prison yesterday for their roles in the death of a nun during an exorcism to rid her of "the devil," Ireland Online reported today.

Sister Maricica Irina Cornici, 23, who was being treated for schizophrenia, said she believed the devil was talking to her.

Daniel Petru Corogeanu, a monk who served as the priest for a secluded Holy Trinity convent in northeast Romania, and four other nuns, chained Cornici to a cross in an attempt at exorcism.

She survived several days without food or water, but died of dehydration, exhaustion and suffocation.

"God has performed a miracle for her, finally Irina is delivered from evil," the priest told reporters back in June, 2005 when this crime occurred.

"I don't understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this. Exorcism is a common practice in the heart of the Romanian Orthodox church and my methods are not at all unknown to other priests," Father Daniel added.

What is it about religion that makes people so damn crazy? How do certain illogical beliefs become so all-encompassing that you'll willingly place yourself in a position to kill like this, or to be killed like this?

Image: Father Daniel Petru Corogeanu

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Las Vegas priest assaults church worker

George Chaanine, a Roman Catholic priest was arrested Thursday in Arizona after allegedly beating, groping and choking a member of his congregation and church employee at his Las Vegas church, CNN reported.

The alleged assault occured on Jan. 26 at the Our Lady of Las Vegas parish office.

He has been charged wtih attempted murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and battery with a deadly weapon. He allegedly broke a full bottle of wine over the woman's head and dragged her down a hall by her hair.

She fought back, lost consciousness and awoke with Chaanine groping her breasts and genitals, police said. She continued fighting until Chaanine straddled her and grabbed her throat, police said.

The woman said she began praying, and the priest stopped his assault and said he was going to kill himself, and left.

Chaanine has been suspended with pay from his position as church administrative pastor.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jesus returns!

After nearly a year, a stolen Baby Jesus has been returned, along with his travelogue, the AP reports.

Stolen last Christmas from a Buffalo, NY homeowner's front yard, the statue of the Christ Child was returned recently with a photo album showing His visits to highway exits in Binghamton, Rochester, Albany and Poughkeepsie. He also posed on a bicycle, on a horse, wearing a seat belt in a car, in a chair next to a campfire and in someone's kitchen.

A note said the prank wasn't meant to be "blasphemous or disrespectful."

John Leising, from whose yard the statue was purloined last year, said the real Jesus would have forgiven the pranksters, so he does, too.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jesus supports gay rights, Anglican priests say

South African Anglican priest Jo Mdhlela says that Jesus supports gay rights. His church doesn't like it, it has been reported.

But Mdhlela compares to denying equal rights to gays is equivalent to supporting apartheid.

Jesus is challenging churches," he told his congregation. "Jesus is saying if you said apartheid was unjust then you must say laws discriminating against homosexual people are unjust."

South Africa backs the official Anglican line that gay priests may be ordained as long as they remain celibate. But Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane has distanced himself from conservative African bishops who say being gay is wrong.

His famed predecessor Desmond Tutu said he was "ashamed to be Anglican" when the church rejected proposals to reform its stance on gay clergy in 1998, according to a new biography, and has compared homophobia to apartheid.

Compare that to comments by Lagos Archbishop Peter Akinola, Africa's leading opponent of gay clergy: "I personally think that this is an attack on the Church of God, a Satanic attack.

"I cannot think of how a man in his senses would be having a sexual relationship with another man. It is so unnatural, so unscriptural. Even in the world of animals, dogs, cows, lions, we don't hear of such things."

Studies have shown that the more homophobic a man, the more likely he is a closet homosexual.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Artists fill in pages of Pat Robertson and Friends coloring book

Powells.com booksellers have commissioned 56 artists to color pages from their new Pat Robertson and Friends coloring book. You can find the link to the colored pages from their site.
Publisher Comments:

Fundamentalists, politicians, journalists and criminals... meet them all in this easy-to-understand guide to the world of Pat Robertson.

The Pat Robertson and Friends Coloring Book transforms some of Robertson's most outrageous public pronouncements on the weather, politics, national defense and weight lifting into graceful, easy-to-color illustrations. The book includes cameos from many of Robertson's conservative allies and a Table of Apocalyptic Predictions That Did Not Come True.

According to Pat Robertson 75 to 80 percent of the illnesses in the United States are psychosomatic, and George W. Bush promised there would be no casualties in the Iraq War. Artist Kevin Stone illustrates these and other quotes from Barbara Bush, Jerry Falwell, Ann Coulter and many others in the Pat Robertson and Friends Coloring Book. Also included is a Pat Robertson Paper Doll, and commentary from Mackie Blanton.
"But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths... Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" — Barbara Bush, March 18, 2003

"Did you know that Pat Robertson, through rigorous training, leg-pressed 2,000 pounds?" — The Christian Broadcasting Network Website

"Now, further evidence that the creators of the series intend for Tinky Winky to be a gay role model have surfaced. He is purple — the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shapped like a triangle." — Rev. Jerry Falwell, on Teletubbies, December 13, 2005

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Southwestern Baptist Seminary forbids speaking in tongues

Using the baseball metaphor of "you don't wear a Yankees uniform when you play for the Mets," the Southern Baptist Convention's Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson defended his resolution banning Baptist seminarians from speaking in tongues or talking about it in their sermons.

Patterson submitted the resolution to trustees Tuesday, it has been reported.

It states: "Southwestern will not knowingly endorse in any way, advertise, or commend the conclusions of the contemporary charismatic movement including private prayer language. Neither will Southwestern knowingly employ professors or administrators who promote such practices."

Pentacostal and charismatic Christians say speaking in tongues is a distinctly Biblical thing to do. Patterson and the Southern Baptists disagree.

"I have opposed (speaking in tongues) for all of these years because I think it's an erroneous interpretation of the Bible," he said.

"Southern Baptists traditionally have stood against what we feel like are the excesses of the charismatic movement. All we're doing is restating where we've always been."

Dissident voices responded by saying, "Sed euismod pede a lectus ornare aliquam. Phasellus suscipit enim aliquet risus. Maecenas posuere, sapien vitae venenatis porttitor, lorem mauris dictum metus, quis hendrerit nisi nunc ac sem. Vestibulum tempus lorem a lectus. Ut vulputate. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas."

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Pope Benedict goes all moral on us: Deviant love no longer acceptable

The Burning Taper has already covered Pope Benedict's rant yesterday about "deviant love" better than I can, so I'll just point to the article "No More Deviant Love for You!" and let you bask in the blasphemy of that Freemason known as the Widow's Son as he mocks the pontiff for moralizing against gay marriage while he covers up for hundreds of homosexual and pedophile priests.

Image: Does this hat make me look gay?

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Act of God? Storm puts cross in Jesus's hands

A recent storm left a trail of fallen limbs in its wake.

WXIA-11 in Atlanta reported a story from Bufflao, New York where two limbs fell into the shape of a cross, into the hands of a statue of Jesus in a closed Catholic school's yard.

Locals proclaimed it a miracle, a sign "there is a higher power."

Six people died as a result of this storm, and the statue lost all the fingers on one hand.

The power of the human mind to see what it wants to see is truly amazing.

Watch the news report.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Vatican to release cartoon of Pope John Paul II's life

Cartoon Jesus from South Park will soon have a new friend to play with in Cartoonland.

The Vatican announced today it will release this week a cartoon about the life of the late Pope John Paul II.

Depicting the life of Karol Wojtyla, the hour-long program shows the future pope from his humble beginnings in Poland to his death last year at age 84.

The cartoon is titled John Paul II — The Friend Of All Humanity. It has been dubbed into seven languages.

I wonder if Cartoon Pope will bless — or eat — the cartoon crop from Veggie Tales....

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Priests steal $8.6 million from church

Monsignor John Skehan, who was pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, Florida for over 40 years, was arrested Wednesday night on charges that he stole $8.6 million from the church, using the money to buy property and other assets, CNN reported.

The 79-year-old priest was arrested at Palm Beach International Airport as he returned from Ireland and was being held on $400,000 bond on grand theft charges.

Another priest, Francis Guinan, who succeeded Skehan as church minister three years ago, has disappeared. Police said he allegedly stole money to take gambling trips to Las Vegas and the Bahamas.

Forty years! No wonder ministers call their congregations their "flock" — what a herd of sheep, ripe for shearing.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

NBC edits Jesus, God and the Bible out of cartoon 'Veggie Tales'

NBC has stirred up the pot — of vegetable stew.

Two weeks ago, the network began airing episodes of the Veggie Tales video series in its Saturday morning children's lineup. The popular series encourages moral behavior based on Christian and biblical principles.

NBC has edited the programs to reduce or get rid of totally references to God and the Bible. The show's creator, Phil Vischer, said he had no idea such editing would be done, or he wouldn't have signed the contract.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

'Jerusalem. There is no such city!'

Jerusalem — three of the world's "great religions" call it home and consider it holy.

Recently tens of thousands of city sightseeing brochures were published saying there's no such place as Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem. There is no such city!" the Jerusalem municipality said in the English-language version it had published originally in Hebrew.

The correct translation: "Jerusalem. There is no city like it!"

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Put a Huggable Jesus doll under your kid's Christmas tree

When I was a wee lad being dragged to Sunday School kicking and screaming, my little sister would mangle the lyrics to the hymn "Love Lifted Me" by singing "Love Tiny Tears," a reference to a doll of that name that was then popular.

Today, maybe they actually write hymns about dolls, for all I know.

Just in time for Christmas, that most pagan of all Christian holidays, Boston Bible-thumper Cliff Rockwood and his unnamed wife are hawking $9.99 Huggable Jesus, Huggable Esther and Huggable Moses, plush dolls "that pack fun and faith into one lovable, kid-sized package."

Huggable Moses holds two pilliow-like tablets and recites the Ten Commandments. Huggable Esther, wearing royal robes and a crown, says, "God had a plan for my life just like he has one for yours."

Rockwood told reporters, "I wanted [my daughter] to have a doll that delivers a message of love and moral grounds. It's better than giving a toy gun."

Were those the only two choices, sacrilegious dolls or a toy gun?

Huggable Jesus recites John 14:6: "I'm the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the father except through me." You can hear all his words on the Huggable website.

The couples' website calls the dolls "a wholesome alternative to teddy bears and stuffed animals."

Are stuffed animals and teddy bears unwholesome? Oh, yeah, now I remember the Satanic stink over the stuffed rainbow-colored "My Little Pony" several years ago.

Future Huggable Old Testament dolls are planned, including Jonah, David and Noah. No word yet on whether the couple will also offer "bad guy" dolls like Satan, King Herod, and the Caananites for the good guys to trounce and destroy.

My favorite remarks about the Huggables comes from blog Conservatives for American Ideals:
...This is not a stuffed representation of the Jesus we all know and love. This is not the Jesus that hates sodomites, loves unfettered free market capitalism, and supports the War on Terror. This doll is a false idol of a false god created by liberals who want to undermine our Christian faith. These liberal nonbelievers co-opted Christ and remade him in their own twisted image. They created a pseudo-Jesus who preaches tolerance toward all, respect for women, and a concern for the poor. I hate this so-called Christ with every fiber of my being.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Eris proves science exists, but she's lying, it's true

In honor of Eris, newest member of our Solar System, we offer the following pages from Principia Discordia, or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her. No hot dog buns.

GP: Is Eris true?
M2: Everything is true.
GP: Even false things?
M2: Even false things are true.
GP: How can that be?
M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.


THE MYTH OF THE APPLE OF DISCORD

It seems that Zeus was preparing a wedding banquet for Peleus and Thetis and did not want to invite Eris because of Her reputation as a trouble maker.*

This made Eris angry, and so She fashioned an apple of pure gold** and inscribed upon it KALLISTI ("To The Prettiest One") and on the day of the fete She rolled it into the banquet hall and then left to be alone and joyously partake of a hot dog.

Now, three of the invited goddesses,*** Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, each immediately claimed it to belong to herself because of the inscription. And they started fighting, and they started throwing punch all over the place and everything.

Finally Zeus calmed things down and declared that an arbitrator must be selected, which was a reasonable suggestion, and all agreed. He sent them to a shepherd of Troy, whose name was Paris because his mother had had a lot of gaul and had married a Frenchman; but each of the sneaky goddesses tried to outwit the others by going early and offering a bribe to Paris.

Athena offered him Heroic War Victories, Hera offered him Great Wealth, and Aphrodite offered him the Most Beautiful Woman on Earth. Being a healthy young Trojan lad, Paris promptly accepted Aphrodite's bribe and she got the apple and he got screwed.

As she had promised, she maneuvered earthly happenings so that Paris could have Helen (the Helen) then living with her husband Menelaus, King of Sparta. Anyway, everyone knows that the Trojan War followed when Sparta demanded their Queen back and that the Trojan War is said to be The First War among men.

And so we suffer because of the Original Snub. And so a Discordian is to partake of No Hot Dog Buns.

Do you believe that?
________________

* This is called THE DOCTRINE OF THE ORIGINAL SNUB
** There is historic disagreement concerning whether this apple was of metallic gold or acapulco.
*** Actually there were five goddesses, but the Greeks did not know the Law of Fives.


What We Know About ERIS (not much)

The Romans left a likeness of Her for posterity — She was shown as a grotesque woman with a pale and ghastly look, Her eyes afire, Her garment ripped and torn, and as concealing a dagger in Her Bosom. Actually, most women look pale and ghastly when concealing a chilly dagger in their bosoms.

Her geneology is from the Greeks and is utterly confused. Either She was the twin of Ares and the daughter of Zeus and Hera; or She was the daughter of Nyx, goddess of night (who was either the daughter or wife of Chaos, or both), and Nyx's brother, Erebus, and whose brothers and sisters include Death, Doom, Mockery, and Friendship. And that She begat Forgetfullness, Quarrels, Lies, and a bunch of gods and goddesses like that.

One day Mal-2 consulted his Pineal Gland* and asked Eris if She really created all of those terrible things. She told him that She had always liked the Old Greeks, but that they cannot be trusted with historic matters. "They were," She added, "victims of indigestion, you know."

Suffice it to say that Eris is not hateful or malicious. But She is mischievous, and does get a little bitchy at times.

*THE PINEAL GLAND is where each and every one of us can talk to Eris. If you have trouble activating your Pineal, then try the appendix which does almost as well. Reference: DOGMA I, METAPHYSICS #3, "The Indoctrine of the Pineal Gland"

Image: Courtesy Grouchogandhi, the beer that made Milwaukee famous


This article is stolen from either BurningTaper.com or SacredFems.com. We're not sure.

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So much for papal infallability: The Pope incites a riot

Pope Benedict is sorry Muslims were offended by a speech that provoked fury in the Islamic world and led to calls for the leader of the Catholic church to apologize personally, the Vatican said on Saturday.

"We feel he has committed a grave error against us and that this mistake will only be removed through a personal apology," the Brotherhood's deputy leader, Mohammed Habib, told Reuters.

Muslims are so easily offended.

"The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers," Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said in a statement.

Basically, the Pope said that early Muslims had spread their religion by violence. I can't believe the fact is disputed. Of course it was.

But so was Christianity.

Religion is the number one cause of war, hatred and injustice.

Read the Five Steps to Peace.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Fake rabbi scams Christians

A con man pretending to be a rabbi pulled the lambskin over the eyes of a fake rabbi conned a churchfull of Christians in Oregon. Masquerading as a Jewish leader from Milkwaukee, "Ari Crockett," whose real name is Timothy Wilton Ehrmantrout, didn't fight in the invasions of Panama or Grenada. And he really didn't lose a leg to a terrorist bomb, but in a motorcycle accident.

Ehrmentrout tried to steal $7,000 from the church, which eventually led to the congregants discovering his true past, which included not only a stint in a Federal prison, but time on the lam after a prison break. He had boasted of having been a college professor, a computer scientist, an international lawyer, and of being friends with Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates.

Not all the congregants have abandoned the good rabbi. Over 80 members still attend his services at Beth El church in Milwaukee. Beth El is affiliated with the Church of God.

"Who you were yesterday is not what God cares about," said Ann Seregow, a Beth El spokeswoman. "It's what you do right now that matters."

Crockett responded to recent inquiries from the press with a statement.

"Even since the earliest days of our ministry we have never hidden the fact that I had been a convicted criminal, in fact we promote it," Crockett wrote.

"Beth El is a place of second chances for all who have been damaged by bad choices in life. God has given me a second chance, and I wish to dedicate my life to living that out that chance and not just talking about it."

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Evangelist drowns trying to walk on water

Several sources, including World Net Daily, have reported that evangelist Rev. Frank Kabele, of Libreville, Gabon, in Africa, told his congregation that he could emulate Jesus by walking on water. He then walked into the sea and promptly drowned.

An eyewitness said, "He told churchgoers he'd had a revelation that if he had enough faith, he could walk on water like Jesus. He took his congregation to the beach saying he would walk across the Komo estuary, which takes 20 minutes by boat. He walked into the water, which soon passed over his head and he never came back."

If it hasn't happened already, I'm sure he'll soon be nominated for the distiguished Darwin Awards.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

What would Bush do? What would Jesus do?

In the last several years, we've come to hear the phrase "the Christian Right" so many times that we sometimes forget there is a Christian Left, too.

They even have a website called — wouldn't you know it? — "The Religious Left."

Recently that site ran an interesting side-by-side comparison of the Christian Right's darling, President Bush, with all Christians supposed Numero Uno, Jesus the Christ.

For example, regarding forgiveness:
  • Bush indicated that he was running out of patience. Asked if he planned to set an ultimatum for Saddam's compliance, Bush suggested that would be pointless, like extending "another, another, another last chance." (CBS News, Feb 18, 2003)
  • Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:22)
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Always look on the bright side of life

Our friends at Cristo Lumen remind you to always look on the bright side of life, by posting this video excerpt from Monty Python's Life of Brian.

It hits the spot when you need a quick pick-me-up!

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Friday, August 18, 2006

'Head of Christ' painting stolen from school hallway

Sometimes God moves in mysterious ways.

In June, we wrote about the Harrison County, West Virginia school board's refusal to remove the painting "Head of Christ" which had been hanging in a high school hallway for the past 37 years.

Last night, an intruder stole the painting, leaving behind the gilded frame and backing, Schools Superintendent Carl Friebel said.

"The picture was the only thing stolen, so the deliberate intent was to steal the picture and only the picture," Friebel said.

The school was sued in June by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the West Virginia American Civil Liberties Union, who said the painting sends the message that the school endorses Christianity as its official religion.

Just a few days ago, the school board decided to fight the lawsuit after a group called the Christian Freedom Fund raised more than $150,000 to pay the board's legal costs. The board has previously twice voted to keep the painting hanging.

A trial is set to being in February. The American Family Association has offered to assist in the school board's defense.

Richard Katskee, attorney for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, of the says it is money that could have been better spent. He has written the school board several letters pleading with it to take down the portrait in order to avoid a trial.

"The law is absolutely clear here, but sometimes people need to fight a battle and lose themselves to find out," he said. "That's the mistake this board is making."

Police have no leads in the case.

I would hope that the painting was removed by an "insider," someone within the school board or school system who is simply trying to save the board's $150,000 (plus!) for something better than legal fees to fight a battle they are going to lose.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Myth of Jesus Christ

The Modern Masonic Journal has republished a most interesting article called "The Christ Myth," originally written in 1941 by John G. Jackson.

Jackson takes you through a hypothetical December day in the life of a young Israeli child, a few years before Jesus's supposed birth. Visiting first the Roman part of town, then the Persian, then the Egyptian. Everywhere the child goes, he finds people preparing for the feast day of December 25. Each culture is preparing to honor their Sun God, re-born on the 25th of December each year.

Well documented and footnoted, Jackson's article explores the historical evidence for the man Jesus. Other than a few most-likely bogus additions to Josephus, there isn't a lot of literary evidence. The Biblical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are about all we have to work with. Jackson shows with example after example how these four records give, basically, four different accounts of the life of Jesus.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

What really happened to Sodom and Gomorrah?

Over at the Pagan Temple they're writing today about those Las Vegas/Reno twin cities of the ancient world, Sodom and Gomorrah. What really caused them to catch on fire? Rampant sex-mongering, buggery and the offering up of Lot's virgin daughters, or just a rude and inhospitable tourism board?

According to the article, the names Sodom and Gomorrah mean "burned" and "a ruined heap," respectively, and these names were given to the towns after they were destroyed by rains of fire.

Meanwhile, over at Cristo Lumen, we learn that as gays and lesbians gather in Jerusalem for WorldPride events, Muslims, Christians and Jews are taking a break from killing each other to attack the homosexuals. One flyer offers a $4,500 reward to anyone who ""brings about the death of the denizens of Sodom and Gomorrah."

Image: "Forced Sodomy"

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Who would Jesus date?

Last week I signed up the Born Jesus blog at the Top 1000 Christian, Top 1000 Baptist, and the Fundamentalist Top Sites websites. You may have noticed the logos over in the righthand sidebar (now removed).

Apparently, Born Jesus didn't cut the mustard with the Powers That Be. What? We don't qualify as a Christian site? I can no longer find Born Jesus on any of their lists. Oh, dear!

I was eyeballing the lists on these sites this morning, and noticed many interesting things. For example, after the top ten or twenty sites, many of which seem inter-related and/or related to the Top 1000 franchise themselves, the statistics recorded by these services show that most sites listed are receiving between 0 and 500 pageviews (not unique visitors, but pageviews) per day.

Today's site #318 on the Top 1000 Baptist list caught my eye: FundamentalistBaptistSingles.com. Oh, boy! Not just a Christian dating site, but a Fundamentalist Baptist dating site.

The first thing I noticed, from the Top 1000 list itself, was that FundamentalistBaptistSingles.com recorded 82 pageviews yesterday. Eighty-freaking-two looks. You can find more potential dates on a slow day in the produce aisle at the grocery store than you can on this website!

Of course I wanted to browse the selection of prospects. My soulmate might be there. But when I tried, I ran up against a few, shall we say, barriers.

Without registering, I was allowed to see only one profile, or rather, one photo and the basic stats. They offered me a 31-year old Alabama chubster, who is seeking, in her own words, "Anything." Repeated attempts at seeing a profile always returned "BethAnne."

Shall I join so I can see more fundie hotties? Intrigued, I try. But first, of course, I should read the membership rules fine print, to make sure I'm Kosher.
  • They check IP addresses to make sure you live in the area you say you do. If it doesn't match, even if you made an error, you're tossed off the system, with no refund.
  • No married person, even if legally separated, is allowed to join. If they discover you are married, they threaten to report you to not only local law enforcement agencies but your spouse. If you hold an "ordained Biblical office" such as Pastor or Deacon, they'll rat on you to your church, too.
Their Terms of Service agreement adds these burdens:
  • If you don't respond to their emails about anything within 30 days, they assume you are hiding something.
  • "You will not include in your profile any offensive anatomical or sexual references, or offensive sexually suggestive or connotative language, and you will not post any photos containing nudity. You also acknowledge that you are single (never married), divorced, widowed or legally separated."
  • You cannot give out your real email address, last name, phone number, address or any other info using their system. How the hell are you supposed to connect with your Dream Date?
  • "No photographs will be approved which depict non-modest attire, nakedness or have a sexual overtone. Bathing suits, halter tops and shorts, exposed torso and stomach, etc., are examples of photographs which are not acceptable. Non-modest attire includes, but, is not limited to the aforesaid examples. No photos of pets by themselves will be allowed either. Because the nature of this website is to edify Christ and adhere to the principles established in the Word of God, any photograph which is not in compliance with modest dress, will not be posted to the website. "
  • "This website is for KJV Fundamental Baptists and to that end, we believe that the Authorized King James Bible is the holy, preserved and inerrant Word of God. While you may choose to use another version of the Bible in your reading, this is the only Bible used on this website. Any comment on the forums, personal essays and/or in chats, attempting to attack, diminish or discount the King James Bible will cause your account to be cancelled."
  • These people are so into Being In Charge that they won't accept you if you use a free email service. "We don't accept memberships from free internet email accounts, including but not limited to juno.com, gmail.com, hotmail.com and/or yahoo.com. Additionally we will no longer accept email accounts from online services such as AOL, CompuServe and/or Prodigy."
Jesus would have never been able to get to first base with Mary Magdalene if he'd had to meet her on this site. I'm pretty sure it must be more fun to be Amish than it is to be a Fundamentalist Christian. You probably get laid more often, and you might even be allowed to enjoy it.

Image: Jesus and Mary, uncredited, from Jewlicious.com

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Where Would Jesus Live? There are too many churches in my town, Texas mayor bemoans

Jesus has long since been co-opted by Christians. The Jews, God's Chosen People, didn't exactly, well, you know... anyway, Jesus certainly wouldn't chose to go back to His roots in Israel to live. Too much missle-launching and rock-throwing.

So where would He live?

I don't know where He would live (maybe in Malibu, near His pal Mel Gibson), but it's a cinch He 1) already has too many homes in Stafford, Texas and 2) would run all His business enterprises in Florida.

In a recent Los Angeles Times story (click quick, they tend to lock their stories away in the vaults pretty fast) Mayor Leonard Scarcella says, "Our city has an excessive number of churches."

Currently there are 51 tax-exempt religious institutions within the city limits, and the mayor doesn't want to see Number 52.

Located near Houston, this town of 19,277 has 51 chuches and religious organizations packed into its seven square miles.

Scarcella is mayor of this Houston-area community, which has 51 churches and other religious institutions packed into its 7 square miles. With only 300 undeveloped acres left in town, the mayor is crying out for businesses — someone to pay taxes — to move into their town.

Stafford is the largest city in Texas that doesn't have a property tax. Its government is run on the proceeds of sales taxes and business fees.

But churches don't pay sales taxes and business fees.

"It's thrown everything out of balance, plus providing zero revenue. Somebody's got to pay for police, fire and schools," City Councilman Cecil Willis said.

Churches are everywhere, in traditional church buildings as well as in strip shopping centers. There are 17 churches within a quarter-mile of the city's center. There's even one tucked in behind a muffler shop. Southern Baptists, Formosan Baptists, Chinese Baptists, Formosan Evangelicals, Buddhists, Muslims, Filipino Baptists, Spanish-speaking Baptists (my, there are a lot of Baptists — but, interestingly, not a single synagogue), and "every other variety of Christian you can imagine," Scarcella said.

An ordinance was eventually passed that required those who wanted to build a church — and other public gathering places, such as bowling alleys and community halls — to undergo a rigorous review process and obtain City Council approval.

Before the ordinance, "you could pretty much come in here and say, 'I want to open up a church,' and I'd say, 'OK,'" said Gene Bane, the city's director of building permits.

"If you can't find religion in Stafford, Texas, you ain't looking hard enough," Bane said.

Very few of the church-goers actually live in or even near Stafford. "As best as we've been able to determine, the overwhelming majority of people who attend here don't even live in Stafford; they're coming from everywhere else," Willis said. Stafford is about 15 miles from both Houston and Sugarland.

"I don't hate God. I'm not against America and apple pie," Willis said. "We just have to protect what's left for commercial development."

Willis said he asked the last six applicants why they wanted to build a church in Stafford. "Every one of them said they prayed about it, and God said to come here," he said. "I can't compete with that, so here we are."

Apparently some business investors have been praying, too, seeking exactly where Jesus wanted them to open Bible-themed enterprises. His Answer: Florida!

Move over, Walt! Move over, Domino's Catholic City! Here's comes Bible Land!

On July 1, 2006, Florida Statute 196.1987 went into effect, granting tax-free status (no sales tax liability or need to pay property tax) to any business run by a church organization that wishes to "exhibit, illustrate, and interpret Biblical manuscripts, codices, stone tablets, and other Biblical archives; provide live and recorded demonstrations, explanations, reenactments, and illustrations of Biblical history and Biblical worship; and exhibit times, places, and events of Biblical history and significance, when such activity is open to the public and is available to the public for no admission charge at least one day each calendar year...."

Wow... one day a year you gotta let a few people in for free, and the rest of the time, make money hand-over-fist (okay, assuming anyone actually wants to visit Bible Land) the other 364 days of the year.

Tax advisor and law professor Linda Beale writes that this law was passed specifically to make life easier for an Orlando-based themepark called the Holy Land Experience. She said Kent Hovind, the creationist who says dinosaurs roamed the earth during Bible times, is trying his Dinoland theme park under this law, too.

(I wonder if the Holy Land Experience themepark has rides where you get to shoot missiles at your neighbors?)

Of course, lawyers and lobbyists for Bhagavad-Gita Playland and Six Flags over Mecca will cry religious discrimination, keeping this tied up in court and in the legislature until Jesus's return finally settles it Once and For All.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

"What are you looking at, Sugar Tits?": Mel Gibson's arrest for drunk driving

Actor-director Mel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu, California (which he told the arresting officer he owned) on Friday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.

Written police reports appear to have been later doctored, ostensibily because someone in the sheriff's department wanted to downplay Gibson's anti-Jewish rant in which he called everyone he saw "f***ing Jews!", saying that the Mideast situation was "way too inflammatory" for the world to hear about Mel's anti-Semite outbursts. Jeez....

As he was being booked, he reported shouted to a female sergeant, "What are you looking at, sugar tits?!"

Sources say that the arresting officer was later told to re-write the police report, leaving out the incendiary comments and conduct. He did so, but some pages from the original report and an audiotape have since been found and made available via the Internet.

I guess we've all wondered, in our meditative moments.... What Would Mel Do?

Well, now we know.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bush heals German chancellor by laying on of hands

The George W. Buddha blog reports that our Commander in Chief wasn't actually giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel a shoulder massage at the recent G-8 Summit. Instead, he was laying on his hands to restore her to health after she suffered a cardiac arrest.

"Be still," Bush said. "I command the demon inside of you to be released."

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Southern Baptist Convention passes resolution calling for new alcohol Prohibition; Jesus's wine-drinking would make him unwelcome in Baptist churches

In June, the Southern Baptist Convention met in Greensboro, N.C. They overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for a new government Prohibition of alcohol.

Jesus, ostensibly the whole point of Christianity, shot to fame and A-list celebrity status after performing His first miracle at a wedding in Cana: He turned water into wine (John 2: 1-11). No doubt with a history of promoting alcohol with such reckless abandon, J.C. wouldn't be welcome in any Southern Baptist church today.
Southern Baptist Convention Resolution on Alcohol

WHEREAS, Years of research confirm biblical warnings that alcohol use leads to physical, mental, and emotional damage (e.g. Proverbs 23:29-35); and

WHEREAS, Alcohol use has led to countless injuries and deaths on our nation’s highways; and

WHEREAS, The breakup of families and homes can be directly and indirectly attributed to alcohol use by one or more members of a family;

And
WHEREAS, The use of alcohol as a recreational beverage has been shown to lead individuals down a path of addiction to alcohol and toward the use of other kinds of drugs, both legal and illegal; and

WHEREAS, There are some religious leaders who are now advocating the consumption of alcoholic beverages based on a misinterpretation of the doctrine of “our freedom in Christ”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to take an active role in supporting legislation that is intended to curb alcohol use in our communities and nation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptist to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of alcoholic beverages; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we commend organizations and ministries that treat alcohol-related problems from a biblical perspective and promote abstinence and encourage local churches to begin and/or support such biblically-based ministries.
Image: "Marriage at Cana," painted 1376-78 by Giusto de'Menabuoi, as a fresco in the baptistry of a cathedral in Padua

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Vatican says Da Vinci Code controversy was "gigantic marketing strategy"

Reprinted with permission from SacredFems.com

In an amazing display of hypocrisy, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, mouthpiece for the Catholic Church, writes that the furor over the release of the film The Da Vinci Code was "much ado about nothing" and that the controversy surrounding the film was instigated by the producers of the film, not by the Church, AP reports.

Two months ago Catholics and Protestants and even Muslims were urging massive boycotts of the film. Protesters were marching outside theatres, carrying signs and passing out literature. Theatres were torched. Muslim countries banned the movie. Nuns and priests and even cheesy evangelical preachers were making public statements denouncing Satan for spreading Lies and Deceptions. People were writing nasty blogs about the "blasphemy" to their precious Lord and Savior. One fundamentalist pastor even re-wrote the ending of the book to have Robert Langdon repent of his sins and become a Christian.

Now that the movie has proven to be less than a cinematic success, the Church is saying, "Oh, pshaw! We never were worried about that."

I gotta call "bullsh*t!" You guys were about to wet your pants, you were so distraught.

The Vatican newspaper called the uproar leading up to the movie "probably the most gigantic marketing strategy of a book and a film seen in the last few decades."

Search this blog for "Da Vinci Code" and you'll find quite a few stories about the Church's fears about this movie, including:...and many more.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Top ten signs you're a fundamentalist Christian

10 — You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 — You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 — You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 — Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in Exodus and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in Joshua including women, children, and trees!

6 — You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 — You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 — You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects — will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 — While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor "speaking in tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 — You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 — You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history — but still call yourself a Christian.

— Reprinted with permission from EvilBible.com.

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Why are there no dinosaurs in the Bible?

Georgia-born comedian Bill Hicks (1961-1994) on fundamentalist Christianity and dinosaurs:
Fundamentalist Christianity. Fascinating. These people actually believe the world is 12 thousand years old. Swear to God! Based on what? I asked them. "Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible, and we added them up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages — 12 thousand years." Well, how f***ing scientific! Okay. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good.

You believe the world's 12 thousand years old? "That's right." Okay, I got one word to ask you. A one-word question. Ready? "Uh-uh." Dinosaurs.

You know, the world's 12 thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and they existed in that time... you'd think it would have been mentioned in the f***ing Bible at some point. "And lo, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in his paw. And O, the disciples did run a-shrieking: "What a big f***ing lizard, Lord!" But Jesus was unafraid, and he took the splinter from the brontosaurus's paw, and the big lizard became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch for O, so many years, inviting thousands of American tourists to bring their fat f***ing families and their fat dollar bills. And O, Scotland did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord."

You ever notice how people who believe in creationism look really unevolved?
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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hallucinogenic research finds magic mushrooms enhance spirituality

I thought it was settled in the 1960s, when millions of hippies and shamans and college students went self-exploring, that magic mushrooms would help you "see God," but I guess it takes a scientist to makes things official.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that an active agent contained in "sacred mushrooms" can induce strikingly similar mystical experiences in different subjects; and the experiences seem to be descriptively identical to spontaneous epiphanies that people have reported for centuries. Preempting accusations of pseudoscience due to the nature and subject matter under investigation, the researchers emphasized that their experiments followed a strict and meticulous scientific methodology. Interestingly, the researchers observed that exposure to the hallucinogen had a residual effect on subjects, with reported positive changes in behavior often lasting for several months.
Read more....

Image: "Transfiguration," a painting by Alex Grey.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Jesus Christ conquers the Martians

Sometimes people you meet when you're young go on to great things when they get older. Or maybe I'm just impressed 'cause I can't draw very well. At any rate, someone I met a few times nearly 20 years ago has gone Hollywood, and here's some of his handiwork.

His self-written bio says:
David Merrill was born in Georgia sometime in the 20th century. He's been cartooning since he was 6 and has self-published dozens of comics, zines, flyers, and libelous agitprop. Since 1995 he's been chairman of Anime Weekend Atlanta, the southeast's prominent Japanese cartoon festival. He created the "Anime Hell" event now seen at conventions and gatherings nationwide. His work has appeared in the anthologies DRUNK TANK and JUKU, as well as the annual publication for the FLUKE minicomics festival. David Merrill received a BFA in Illustration from Georgia State University.
Dave Merrill is pretty good with pen and ink and swear words. Enjoy.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Christian sex toys: What would Jesus do?

Joy Wilson sells sex toys online, but only to Christians.

Not willing to give business to sex shops that also sell pornography, the 35-year-old mother of two started an online business with the help of a Texas pastor and his wife to sell "marital aids," according to the Toronto Star.

Her company is called Book22, after the 22nd book of the Bible, "The Song of Solomon," a love poem between Solomon and one of his wives, or harem girls, or something. Or between Jesus and his bride the Church, if you believe certain fundamentalists.

Condoms. Lube. Vibrating panties. Her best-selling item is the jelly egg, a wear-it-all-day insertable vibrator. But you can't stick it in unless you're married and a Christian!

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