Showing 1 - 10 of 16 posts found matching keyword: religion

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe."

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "Hey, wait. This is just makeup." Jesus said to him, "April Fools!"

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Tuesday night, I went to the fabulous Fox Theater and watched the The Book of Mormon. I had been holding out for a movie, but I couldn't turn this opportunity down when it came. As The Guy Who Hates Everything, I was determined not to be entertained. My resolve failed halfway through the opening number, "Hello."

It's no great surprise that a Trey Parker and Matt Stone venture is both offensively irreverent and hysterically funny, but I expected that the best jokes in The Book of Mormon would be retreads from their earlier skewering of the Mormon religion in South Park episodes. Full credit to the genius of Parker/Stone: they've found a lot to things laugh at in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Once again, I found myself in awe of Parker & Stone's ability to tell a great joke. They start with a topic that should be toxic, have someone make a reasonable reaction to the uncomfortable situation, then knock it down with a left-field punchline that is simultaneously rude and hysterical. I wish I could make people laugh as hard as they can make me laugh. But then I guess I'd be the multi-millionaire Tony Award winner and not some schlub with a blog.

My favorite part of the play was the performance of "Turn It Off," in which a dutiful Mormon missionary provides instructions in denying your own homosexuality. It's a catchy little number that says nothing about my own sexual preferences. Really. I just like musical theater. Ahem.

So if you like South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut or Team America (fuck yeah!), make it a point to see The Book of Mormon. I still hope that they turn it into a movie; I'd like to watch it again and again.

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The BBC has reported that a man was killed last week by the collapse of a 100-ft tall crucifix near Cevo, Italy. The crucifix was erected in honor of Pope John Paul II, canonized last Sunday.

Now read the following line — excerpted directly from the BBC report — with a British accent while trying to keep a straight face:

It is not the first death caused by a falling crucifix in Italy.

Is that irony? Metaphor? Sedition? Tragedy plus time may equal comedy, but it sure helps to have a snarky copywriter.

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Three things I learned from the internet:

Lesson 1: Sea-Monkeys® support hate. Harold von Braunhut, the man who in 1957 began marketing brine shrimp -- specifically a patented hybrid involving Artemia salina, used his fortune to support the Aryan Nation. This despite the fact that von Braunhut was born an ethnic Jew. Note: other than Sea-Monkeys, von Braunhut literally holds patents for, among other things, X-Ray Cameras and an aquarium watch. ("A wearer of such a timepiece is then able to contemporaneously tell time and enjoy watching the aquatic pets." Thank you, Google Patents!)

Lesson 2: Eat dolphins and die. Further investigation into the life cycle of the brine shrimp accidentally led me to discover that the Japanese annually hunt dolphins. Many in the East consider dolphin meat to be a delicacy, and the hunting of dolphins continues despite the fact that they frequently contain more than 10 times the legal Japanese allowable tolerance of mercury. Note: Mercury poisoning is blamed for many neurological conditions, one of which may be developing a taste for dolphin meat.

Lesson 3: Mormons control the world's fish supply. Utah is among the world's foremost suppliers of brine shrimp (at one time controlling up to 90% of the market), as the Great Salt Lake is an ideal breeding ground for the little critters. (The brine shrimp is, in fact, the largest animal living in the saline lake.) Commercially, brine shrimp are used as food for birds and farmed aquatic life, biomedical experimentation, and, of course, pets. Brine shrimp fishing on the Great Salt Lake has its own lobby, the Utah Artemia Association, that relies on the tiny organism for life support like a tapeworm. Note: despite their nearly microscopic size, brine shrimp can carry and transmit real tapeworms.

If I can learn all of this, quite by accident, in 5 minutes on the internet, I believe that this clearly demonstrates that it is finally time to stop throwing away money on public education. I never learned anything as interesting or useful in my high school French classes. (What did I learn in French?
Je ne sais pas.)

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More in the same vein as Sunday's post. While the "I" in the following story is not me, the story was related to me by an impeccable source as a true story.

Driving down the road the other day, I was shocked to encounter the van of a commercial exterminator which had printed on the side the biblical passage Revelations 22:7, "Behold! I come quickly." All I could think at the time was how completely inappropriate that was!

Suffice it to say that I'm sure they could have used a less appropriate biblical passage, such as, say, Deuteronomy 5:17, "Thou shall not kill," or Leviticus 12:3, "And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin will be circumcised." But then, I'm certainly no biblical scholar.

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Urgent announcement: I've found religion! And his name is Michael Phelps.

In the past week, I've heard how Phelps has overcome a childhood broken home and a crippling illness (ADHD) to become the greatest swimmer Olympian human being in the history of mankind. Did I say history of mankind? I meant ever. Anywhere. In the Universe. Who needs to walk on water when you can swim through it so fast? He even wins events despite his water-tight goggles filling with water. It must be a miracle.

On NBC, the anchors have coined such phrases as "an achievement of Phelpsian proportions" (in regards to the women's diving competition) while praising Phelps in a manner reminiscent of some religion based in Rome, including asking whether we weren't "underestimating Phelps amid all the hype." The most devoted of Phelps' Phollowers (I believe they call themselves Phelps Phans) is Chris Collinsworth, who moments after the completion of the 400 medley relay told gold medal-winner Jason Lezak that his greatest claim to fame would be helping Phelps win the relay events. Meanwhile, ESPN says that Phelps is the savior of the Olympic Games. ESPN wouldn't lie to me, would it?

Poseidon is not going to be happy about this. Phelps stole Zeus' thunder!

All right, fine. Sign me up. If Michael Phelps is the greatest thing since Jesus, I want on board. I'll watch him as The Bachelor. I'll buy the products that the first mom, Debbie Phelps, the Official Mother of the Olympic Games, pitches for Johnson's. Heck, I'll even dash out and buy a pair of tighter-than-skin Speedos to wear while talking on my AT&T Wireless Phone on historic Ellis Island. That's what the Olympics are all about, right?

By the way, I just heard that Phelps' urine cures cancer. Maybe that's why everyone seems to have his dick in their mouth.

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As you may have heard, Georgia is in the midst of a drought. Yesterday, our Governor, Sonny Perdue, led a public prayer for rain on the grounds of the state capital. Amusingly enough, the prayer was protested.

Sure, I might have problems with state sponsored prayer. But I've really got better things to do than to protest against people praying for rain. I mean, where's the up side in that protest? If you're right, and faith shouldn't be invoked to solve the drought, how do you propose that we force the atmosphere to deliver us precipitation? If you're wrong, and appeasing a higher power is what is required to make it rain, you've doomed us all. In either case, by raining on this parade, you're not helping to make it any more wet around here.

Now that it's raining a day later, clearly proving that prayer works (sorry all you people who lost loved ones to disease, God doesn't love you as much as he loves Sonny Perdue), those same protesters are no doubt worried that solutions to other local problems will be sought with prayer instead of legislation. Maybe God can prevent a recurrence of the perfect storm that led to Genarlow Wilson becoming national news at Georgia's expense. Or maybe God can decide what to do about the pesky problems with Atlanta traffic jams. Or potential construction costs and controversial plans for the Hartsfield-Jackson airport expansion. Or what to do about putting too much salt on a police officer's complementary hamburger. (Or even police officers who arrest people for putting too much salt on their complementary hamburgers.)

Hell, why don't we just go ahead and put God to the ultimate test: see if he can make the Atlanta Falcons football team have two consecutive winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. (That's asking for just 18 wins over two seasons.) Or what if we pray that the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team wins a game in the playoffs? (They were the best team in the regular season last year. How hard can it be to win one post season game?) Or, if we're looking for a real challenge, how about giving the Atlanta Hawks basketball team a .500 or better season. (Not only hasn't this happened this century, the Hawks' playoff record makes the Thrashers appear to be over-achievers.)

I'm not asking for miracles here. I'm just looking for Atlanta professional sports to not suck. That doesn't seem nearly as hard as making it rain, does it?

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Earlier this month, the Roman Catholic Church paid a staggering $660 million to settle child molestation charges against their priests in Los Angeles, California alone. According to the CIA, there are more than 2 dozen countries in the world that do not have a Gross Domestic Product of at least $660 million.

Last Thanksgiving, my brother and I were trying to think of the most offensive potential video game concept ever. In the end, our number one choice was that the gamer would play as Jesus Christ and the goal of the game would be to rape children. After recent events, I'm beginning to think that our game idea might have a market.

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I often wonder what it must be like to believe in something so fervently that it controls your life, like for religious fanatics or gossip junkies. It's really those people who drive society, especially in the political arena. I seriously think that if I could fake enthusiasm for some idiocy, any idiocy, I could rule the world. But I'm positive that it's not worth the effort.

Despotism is a fickle business. One day you're on top of the world, the next you're dangling from the end of a rope. Or if you're really lucky, your decaying corpse gets to lie in state for a week while people who never met you wander by your casket. (If you're really, really lucky, you get to lie in state forever in a glass coffin. Now that's effective despotism!) In either case, both government and people's lives go on without you.

Even in Skeletor's hands, it looks like a plastic sword.

Take, for example, Skeletor. He's got the chops for world domination. He's got a wicked blue and violet armored motif. He's got a yellow skull for a head. He wears a sinister hood. He's got spectacularly complex plans that always seem to work, at least for a moment or two at a time. And he's got passion for world domination in spades.

Skeletor spent years opposing He-Man, for no apparent reason other than the fact that He-Man likes to fight things. (I mean, he REALLY likes to fight things. Seriously, He-Man. Look into some anger management classes.) If it wasn't for the relentless assault of He-Man, the pro-establishment supporting alter-ego of a cowardly prince, Skeletor would have likely taken over the realm of Eternia with little effort. Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn, and Tri-Klops certainly weren't going to tell someone with a bad ass skull for a face "no."

But where has all that sadomasochistic combat in fetish gear gotten him? Where is Skeletor now? Has Snake Mountain been repossessed for lack of property tax payments? Do people still circulate the money with his face on it? Are giant pro-Skeletor propaganda posters of Skeletor with his skeleton staff on his skeleton throne circulated on eBay? Did Skeletor make any mark on the world worth mentioning?

I couldn't have said it better myself, Superman.

No, Skeletor has returned to the toy box from whence he sprang, a discarded and forgotten piece of history from a time now passed. And we didn't even get to watch 19 continuous hours of his departure on CNN. Sorry, Skeletor.

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In the movie Robocop, when post-resurrection Alex Murphy is having a flashback to his previous life in the now-abandoned house, his son is sitting in front of the tv (watching the show T.J. Lazer - thank you, Shatner!) with a bunch of comic books in front of him. Those are Marvel ROM, Spaceknight comic books. Clearly the design for ROM, a toy turned into a comic, was one of many that influenced the Robocop costume. But I think it's odd that a movie that takes place in the future would depict a boy reading comic books that were canceled before the movie was ever released.

It's perhaps a little more odd that the director of Robocop, Paul Verhoeven (also director of Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Starship Troopers, and Hollow Man) believed that Robocop was the story of Jesus Christ in the future. Like Jesus, Murphy rose from the dead and saved his people - police, not Christians - from persecution. It should be pointed out that Verhoeven was the director, NOT the writer of Robocop, who got the idea from Blade Runner. I think the fact that Robocop was driven largely by vengeance sort of puts the whole thing outside the realm of comparison. If Paul wanted to make a point, I think he should have made a film where Jesus crawls out of his cave and goes all biblical on the Romans' ass.

As I read back on what I just wrote, I realize that I'm talking about a movie that was released in 1987. That was 19 years ago. It's those sorts of realizations that start to make you feel old. My parents wouldn't let me see Robocop because it was rated R. Yet I was allowed to see Good Morning, Vietnam, even though it was rated R. It's those sorts of realizations that start to make you understand why you're fucked up.

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To be continued...

 

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