To ban or not to ban? That is the question. You would think that the artistic board of Newtownabbey council would have learnt from the ridiculous banning of The Life of Brian back in 1980, but no. Last week they banned a play of the Reduced Shakespeare Company entitled “The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)” on grounds of blasphemy. Some council members claimed it mocked Christianity. However they later came to their senses with other members claiming the decision made them look like a laughing stock and they reversed the decision. So if you can’t be bothered to read the Bible (and let’s face it not many can), why not catch their show tomorrow night or the night after in Newtownabbey. The show promises to address great theological questions including whether Adam and Eve had navels. Check out their website for more information.
First they banned veils in France, now they are banning UK nurses from wearing skimpy attire. The administration staff claims that this is a health and safety rather than an Islamic Shariah law issue. A number of hospitals have been affected including the Lister in Stevenage. A new six-page dress code explains that denim, shorts, leggings, miniskirts and excessive cleavage are not permitted. Sounds like I’ve been going to the wrong hospitals. In a possibly unrelated case, a British man by the name of Sean Murphy decided to treat himself rather than going to hospital. He tranquillized himself with lager and then used a shotgun to remove a wart on his hand. Unfortunately he also removed most of his finger and got a 16 week suspended prison sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm. Mr. Murphy said he is glad that the wart is gone.
Ganesha is one of the most recognizable Hindu deities, thanks to His elephant head. He is revered as the Lord of Beginnings, patron of arts and sciences and the God of intellect and wisdom. When the council of Coeur D’Alene in Idaho allowed a sculpture of Ganesha to be displayed on it’s streets, the local Constitution Party published an article calling it a Hindu demon, approved by a godless group of individuals. The anti-gay, anti-abortion party claim to stand for the ideas of the original founding fathers of the United States, but have clearly dismissed the idea of separation of religion and state. A call for a protest against the so called abomination last Friday, drew a handful of protestors along with another handful of supporters for the art. It was overall a demonstration of Apathy by the masses. Well done everyone!
The controversial new French law banning women from wearing a veil in public has come into force. It is largely seen as a ban on the Muslim burca although it also prohibits the use of balaclavas and other devices for concealing identities. I wonder are hoodies illegal? Probably not. Two women protesting the law by wearing a veil outside Notre Dame cathedral were arrested this morning, soon after the law came into effect. Police officers have expressed concerns about enforcing the law. Riots have previously broken out in response to alleged harassment of Muslims, so it is unlikely that police will charge into Venissieux or Trappes in order to enforce the ban. They will also need to tread carefully when wealthy Saudis are shopping on the Champs Elysees. The French public have been warned not to take the law into their own hands. There are to be no de-veilings. The police will take any offenders to a police station, where they can be identified and given a small fine. Men who force their women to wear such veils face up to a year in prison and substantial fines. Belgium was the first country to introduce a total ban last year and Holland, Spain and Switzerland may follow suit.
A mum who bought a toy farm for a child was puzzled when she found it contained a pig sty, but no toy pig. Even though there was a switch to trigger the pig sound when the pig was placed on it, the pig itself was missing. When she complained to the Early Learning Centre about the omission, she was told that it had been removed for religious reasons. She wrote to customer services and received an email reply saying that the pig had been removed for fear of upsetting Muslim and Jewish parents. Muslims, Jews and a number of other religions, ban eating pork. Jews, in fact, also believe camels, some birds, hares, shellfish and some fish are also off limits. Even though most people don’t eat dogs either, the dog was allowed to remain in the farm, along with a horse (also not eaten much outside France), a cow, a sheep, a chicken and two humans (also not eaten very often). Personally, I think that if there was a God who didn’t want us to eat pigs, She wouldn’t have made them taste so good. The good news is, that the Early Learning Centre, have realised the error of their political over-correctness and are reinstating the pig into the Happyland Goosefeather Farm.
In a move to try and protect the few remaining fish in the Sea of Galilee, the Israeli government has banned fishing on the lake for two years. The most sought after catch from these waters is known as St. Peter’s Fish, but most restaurants serving them today are supplied from fish farms. It’s a sad reflection of our times that it is necessary to take such drastic measures in an area that has provided a plentiful source of fish for hundreds of years. I guess all the fishermen will have to become fishers of men.
On Good Friday Jesus died and the pubs are shut in Ireland. What’s good about it? One of the biggest Irish rugby fixtures of the year, between Munster and Leinster, has been scheduled for Good Friday, causing outrage among Irish fans. In Ireland, sales of alcohol are banned on Good Friday, so the traditional venue for fans to congregate and cheer their team on is closed. Celtic Rugby, who organise Magrers League fixtures with Setanta Sports, set the date. It suits both teams, as they have European fixtures the following week. Publicans and politicians are fighting for a six-hour exemption to the archaic alcohol ban to enable pubs to open and cash in on the deal. The planned exemption is to cover all licensed pubs in the Limerick area, which is most unfair to the rest of the country.
The local Franciscan Friars have also condemned the date. Brother Sean O’Connor, head of the Moyross friars said
“If you identify yourself as a catholic, then you should be nowhere near Thomand Park or a pub on that day.”
Thousands of fans however, unable to get a ticket for one of the 26,000 sold out seats, wait to see if the pubs will be open. It is unlikely that anyone will be excommunicated, executed or have their children victimised as a result. Not so in other parts of the world.
In Denver, Colorado, the Catholic Archbishop Charles J Chaput is defending a decision not to re-enroll two children to a Catholic school, as it became known that their parents are lesbians. Why they would want their children to be raised as Catholics, I don’t know.
In Iran, Mohammad Amin Valian’s appeal against his death penalty for “moharebeh”, used to punish political protesters, has been rejected. Using moharebeh to defend the regime has been widely critised. A further appeal is still possible.
Back in Ireland again, the police have detained 7 Muslims suspected of plotting to murder the Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, whose depiction of the prophet Mohammad caused outrage among Muslims over two years ago.
It’s a crazy world out there. I’m glad I’m an Apathist.
Jesus has been accused of being gay and has been pictured holding beer and a cigarette. No wonder He is appearing in flames.
Elton says Jesus was gay
In an online interview for parade.com, Elton John started a torrent of internet outrage by claiming
I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.
He also stated
On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel.
These remarks complimenting Jesus, have lead bloggers and tweeters to post many outraged responses.
Textbook shows Jesus holding beer and a cigarette
Meanwhile over in the Indian state of Meghalaya, the government has had to confiscate school textbooks depicting Jesus holding a cigarette and a beer can.
Over 70% of the population are Christian and are outraged.
The State Education Minister is considering taking legal action against Skyline Publications, of New Delhi, who are the publishers.
The picture was discovered in a cursive writing textbook in a private school.
Although private schools are not obliged to use prescribed textbooks, the government has reacted by seizing all copies of the book from shops and schools.
The catholic church too has reacted, by banning all textbooks from Skyline Publications in all its schools.
They also asked the government to take strict action against the publisher and to ban any such objectionable publications from schools in the future.
Jesus appears in flames
Perhaps this is unrelated, but apparitions of Jesus have moved away from foodstuffs, to fire. While traditionally fire is associated more with the Devil than Jesus, when Rob Millist saw the face in his gas fire, he immediately pointed out Christ’s face to his partner’s mother.
The face formed by patterns of ash on one of the burning logs remained visible for 20 minutes before it disintegrated into ash at the bottom of the open fire. Ashes to ashes. Mr. Miller however had grabbed his iPhone and recorded the apparition. He stated:
I would like to believe it was the face of Jesus, but it could be an incredible coincidence.
Yes, it could.
Stores in UK continue to ban customers in Apathetic clothing.
No doubt inspired by MPs in France clearing proposals to ban Muslim women from wearing a burqa, a Tesco store in Cardiff, Wales, has banned Apathist clothing. A spokesman said that the signs banning nightwear and bare feet were purely to avoid offending other customers and denied any religious connection. However he confirmed that if people chose to express their Apathy by not bothering to get dressed or putting on footwear, they would be asked to leave the store.
Tesco stores seem determined to stamp out any expression of Apathy through clothing. Last summer a woman who didn’t bother to put any clothing over her bikini top, was asked to leave a Tesco store in Lincolnshire. The spokesman claimed that was a totally unrelated case and again denied any religious connection.
One of the most visible expressions of Apathy, not bothering to dress when going out, is practiced my millions every day. Shopping in your PJs is a very effective way of showing your Apathy. Stores should not be permitted to persecute these individuals for their disinterested religious belief. The Apathists will be outraged, or perhaps they won’t care.
Should the Swiss have banned minarets? Why not church towers also? Noisy calls to pray can be irritating to non-believers.