Monthly Archives: March 2011
Jesus is back on the pizza. He just can’t leave it alone. This time his face has appeared on a three-cheese pizza in Brisbane, Australia. Maree Phelan, who works at Posh Pizza, said her over was blessed with the presence of Jesus Christ. She insists the face got there by itself and it is not a fake. The power of this remarkable pizza has already been felt. Since discovering the pizza, the owner of the store has parked in a loading zone without getting a ticket. Incredible as this sounds, I wouldn’t go jumping off any cliffs. The entrepreneurial folk at Posh Pizza vacuum-packed the pizza and put it for sale on eBay. It was reported to have an offer of $65 Australian Dollars hours ago, but I can’t find it anywhere. There goes my chance of owning a genuine religious relic.
A recent study has concluded that organised religion is an endangered species. This follows a study of nine countries, selected because they have census figures with the relevant data over a significant time span. The countries involved were Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Daniel Abrams and Haley Yaple of Northwestern University together with Richard Wiener of the University of Arizona predict a continued growth of non-affiliation, tending toward the disappearance of religion in 85 regions around the world. Even in Ireland, which is mostly Catholic, the figure has risen from 0.04% in 1961 to 4.2% in 2006. Another census is taking place shortly in the UK and Ireland, so perhaps there will be more data to back it up shortly. So do you as an Apathist belong to the non-affiliated group or others? That’s right, you don’t care. Let someone else worry about it.
Apple approved an app last month, created by Exodus International, to help people troubled by their gay tendencies to cure themselves. The pro-Christian group promotes an “ex-gay” movement, encouraging freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus. Understandably, some gay individuals were a little bit disappointed that Apple let this app through. Usually they are very strict controlling inappropriate content. A petition to get Apple to withdraw the app was started on change.org and after 140,000 signatures, Apple appear to have removed the app.
Jesus is at it again, popping up everywhere. First Josh Mather, a restaurant owner in Mansfield, Massachusetts, saw the image on the left, which is of course Jesus and Mary on a Pizza tray. It prompted Josh to visit church after a 20 year absence. Jesus has always been fond of appearing on food related items. In Virginia the Norton family had a branch removed by a specialist from a tree and a few weeks later Jesus started to appear. Layma Norton says that the image was clearest on Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent. She shared the vision with her six children, her priest and now you. Her priest reminded her that she should go to the church more often. Two appearances so close together and so close to Easter must mean something. It can’t just be a co-incidence, can it?
The New American Bible is being released this Wednesday. The work which started 17 years ago, replaces words like ‘virgin’ and ‘booty’ which no longer have the same meaning. The word ‘virgin’ is being replaced with ‘young woman’, but the bishops stress that Mary remains a virgin and some passages retain the word. The word ‘booty’ has been replaced with ‘spoils of war’, although often the ‘spoils of war’ included the women folk, so it probably wasn’t too far removed. The word ‘holocaust’ has been replaced with ‘burnt offerings’ as it is now associated with the genocide of Jews during WWII. Also the word ‘cereal’ is now associated with breakfast, so it will be replaced with ‘grain’. I wonder if they changed all those references to being stoned? I really hope they have not changed ‘ass’ to ‘donkey’. I must check Exodus and see if Moses still walks a mile after tying his ass to a tree.
Today, the Hindu festival of Maha Shivratri begins, celebrating the marriage of Lord Shiva to the Goddess Parvati. This great night of Shiva occurs on the night before the new moon in the month of Maagha. Every year thousands of pilgrims travel to the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal including Sadus, or holy men, who live like hermits in caves. As part of their celebration the Sadus smoke cannabis. A loophole in the law allows this and at one time the government used to provide marijuana for the festival. However, this year in response to complaints from locals, the authorities, while still permitting the Sadus to smoke, are not permitting any sale of the drug. It seems like some unscrupulous people were posing as holy men to deal in drugs. So far plain-clothes officers have arrested 18 people.