Atheists in Streator, Illinois offended some Christians during Easter week by erecting a sign saying “Nobody died for our ‘sins’, Jesus Christ is a myth”. It was erected in protest against an Easter display of crosses in the same park. It caused so much offense that by Easter Sunday, the sign had disappeared and all that was left were two bent poles. In response the Atheist group, Freedom from Religion Foundation, offered a reward of $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. They also want it treated as a hate crime. The sign in the picture is a replacement sign, to which they have added the additional message, “P.S. your god says ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’”
Perhaps inspired by a recent visit to the Cliffs of Moher, Jesus has now shown up on a dead sting ray washed up on the shore of James Island, South Carolina. Erika Scheldt, 24, who photographed the fish, first thought it was a homeless bearded man, but now thinks it is Jesus and that it is interesting with Easter coming up. Wouldn’t it be great if it swam again on Easter Sunday?
Parishioners coming to church on Easter Sunday were surprised to find Jesus with red paint all over him. It wasn’t a bit of Easter decorating gone wrong, the statue outside Saint Peter Chanel church in Roswell, Georgia, USA, was vandalised to coincide with Easter Sunday. The eyes and hands were painted and a satanic symbol (pentagram) was used to shock churchgoers. The police were called in, as this kind of hate crime against a religious group is considered a felony. Police took paint samples before it was removed and are checking all video surveillance cameras in the area. Thankfully the $80,000 marble statue survived the ordeal and the paint was successfully removed after several hours. The church has published a thank you letter to all involved.
Following his Christmas message, “Why I’m an Atheist”, Ricky Gervais, now has an Easter Message for us outlining how he is a good Christian even though he doesn’t believe in God. It probably applies to most Atheists and is worth a read on his website.
The Tom Pepper pub in Clacton, in the UK, has upset Christian locals by placing a Thank Christ for the Easter Bank Holiday notice outside their premises. It shows a grinning Jesus giving the thumbs up to the special offers being made in the pub for the Easter Holiday. A 61-year-old local got in touch with the local Gazette to complain after seeing the poster. The manager of the pub, Michael Denny, defended the use of the poster claiming it is not meant to be offensive. They had considered using the Easter Bunny, but went with Jesus instead. The Easter Bunny would probably have been safer, as there are far less Bunny worshippers to be offended than Christians.
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?
Last Saturday the Heaven on Earth Church in Australia, staged a re-enactment of the crucifixion outside shops in Geelong. I’m proud to say that most of the people who passed by displayed their apathy openly before police brought the spectacle to an abrupt end. The nice folks at the church have placed a video of the crucifixion on YouTube so you can witness the fine display of apathy yourself. Enjoy!
Jesus made another food related appearance on Good Friday, to the Noden family of Plymouth, in Devon. When Nelly wanted to eat some crisps, she took the chewing gum from her mouth, as she usually does, and placed it on the mantelpiece. When she returned to reclaim the chewing gum, she immediately saw Jesus staring at her from the gum. The family was so excited by this discovery, on Good Friday of all days, that they jumped around the room. They have kept the piece of gum as a memento. How sweet!