Monthly Archives: February 2011
Well only days after the iPhone confession app got the approval of a bishop in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the form of an imprimatur, Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, has criticized the app. The Catholic Church says that the sacrament requires a personal dialogue in order for absolution to be given. I guess the Catholic God doesn’t know what you are thinking unless a priest can interpret.
What could be more romantic on Valentine’s Day than a free condom? Well, lots of things, but last year the Department of Health (DoH) in the Philippines started the practice of handing out free condoms on Valentine’s Day. This was done as part of a campaign to stop the increase of HIV/AIDS in the country. A battle ensued between them and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), during which the DoH sent a basket of condoms to the CBCP to be blessed by the bishops as a conciliatory gesture. This year the DoH plan on handing them out again and the CBCP again have asked them not to, as it promotes casual sex outside of marriage. Of course, good Catholics don’t use condoms within a marriage either.
Following the example of the Church of Apathy, the Catholic Church, in the US at least, has approved confessions online. In particular, they approve of an iPhone confession app, which was designed with the aid of some priests. The app is available for sale on iTunes at $1.99, plus there is a charge for each confession you make using it. It brings users step by step through the confession and allows them to keep track of their sins. It was number 5 in Canada in the top paid lifestyle apps, just ahead of iKamasutra. If you want to save some money, head on over to the Church Of Apathy, or Church of Apathy Services on Facebook and confess for free? The Facebook service can even post a certificate of forgiveness on your wall.
UPDATE: See the post where the Vatican withdrew support for the app.
UPDATE 2: See our very own Church of Apathy App a church in your pocket.
If a fourteen year old girl has sex with her forty year old male cousin, who is to blame? If members of the man’s family then beat up the fourteen year old, what should happen next? The reports are confusing, she may have been fifteen and she may have been having an affair or it may have been rape. The girl, named Hena, lived in Bangladesh, so she was handed over to the village court, or Sharia Committee, who locked her up. The following day she was accused of immoral sexuality before marriage and sentenced to 100 lashes. After almost 80 lashes she passed out and was taken to the local hospital where she died days later.
Last July the Bangladesh government outlawed such fatwas, but it didn’t prevent this death or a similar one in December in which a woman died after receiving 40 lashes for sleeping with her stepson.
At least this time the government has taken action and arrested a Muslim cleric who sat on the Sharia Committee and three villagers, including the wife of the man involved in the incident.
Meanwhile, the government in Iran executes on average two people every day to implement Islamic law. Crimes subject to the death penalty include Apostacy, Murder, Armed Robbery, Drug Trafficking, Adultery and Rape. One of the latest people to fall foul of these laws was Abdolreza Gharabat. He claimed to be God and had succeeded in attracting a number of followers in the Khuzestan province. He was convicted of Apostacy and hanged on Wednesday. Surely his mental health must have been in question, to declare himself God in Iran and he should have received medical help instead of a death penalty. On the other hand, if he rises from the dead, he will certainly have a convincing argument.
Let us also remember the 35 people killed in clashes between Muslims and Christians last week in Nigeria and over 100 killed in another stampede at an Indian religious festival just over two weeks ago. Then there are the people of questionable sanity like Muzzammil Hassan and Miriam Smith. Mizzammil, on trial for the murder of his wife in 2009, claims that God gave him extra courage to kill her. Miriam was minding her nephew’s dog, a one year old pit bull, when it chewed her bible. She claims God told her it was a devil dog that had to be killed. She hung it from a tree, doused it in kerosene and set it on fire.
It all goes to show what can happen when people take religion too seriously. Thank God for Religious Apathy.