Biologist PZ Myers tortured Jesus.

Well, he drove a nail into a communion wafer (as well as pages of the Muslim Qur’an and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion), then threw it out with a banana and coffee grounds. For his sacrilege, he says, the atheist professor got thousands of e-mails from angry Christians, some threatening, some just saying they’d pray for his depraved soul. His response: “It’s just a cracker.”

Silly, provocative, maybe even mean-spirited, but damned if I don’t wish I’d thought of it first. After all, the only torment caused here is metaphysical, which I sure don’t believe in (permanent disclosure: My co-writer Cole is a Christian; I’m an atheist). I’m not sure of my colleague’s thoughts on the matter, Protestant as he is. It seems this act of passive-aggression would violate God’s commandments on blasphemy even if this is just a cracker. The real sinful act would be the provocation of the Catholics.

Also: That is one weak-looking cracker.


While Catholics and Jews get to mix their religion with plenty of culture, Protestants get mocked for their utter lack of it. At least we, or the Mormons anyway, now have some fetish porn of our own. It’s “Latter Day Sinners,” a feature-length gay porn DVD about two Mormon boys who fool around when Mom’s not home.

While Mormons do have a certain cultural cachet previously given to Catholics, I’m still waiting for a good “hot Evangelical worship leader” plot. Preferably one with a real girl-next-door. However low Christian music sinks, I’m never going to imagine a lady with fake tits and nails really spends Sundays singing “Holy Spirit, come and fill me up.”

The American Family Association is boycotting McDonald’s.

“This boycott is not about hiring homosexuals,” says “It is not about homosexuals eating at McDonald’s. It is not about how homosexual employees are treated.”

It’s because “McDonald’s has taken up the rhetoric of gay activists, suggesting those who oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) are motivated by hate.”

In other words, it’s about homosexuals working and eating at McDonald’s. Or it’s because McDonald’s donated $20k to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and advertised San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade (I don’t remember seeing

So the AFA is worried that good Christians, until now so staunchly opposed to the man lying down with the man, will fall for the tricks of the devil now that McDonald’s has dared to try to get gay people’s money too.

But if any organization is big enough to ignore the Christian right, isn’t it McD’s? Boycotting an entertainment company like Disney is one thing; their product is the way of life. But unless McDonald’s is putting up posters of leather daddies on store windows in the heartland, not many people are going to make the connection. Not enough for any sort of legitimate boycott, anyway.

Of course the commenters on the boycott web site are loons with abnormally large (har har) families. Political blog Wonkette lists the best, such as:

McD’s, My family in which I grew up (yes, all 9 of us) loved your restaurant. In High School after the big game I couldn’t wait to get to McD’s. My family of 9, my wife and 7 children, will no longer go to your restaurant after your blatant disregard for what God says in His Word against the sinful lifestyle that you are choosing to promote. If you will reconsider, we may also. As for now, say goodbye to our business. Mike

A Muslim Law Professor explains that tomatos and cucumbers cannot be placed near each other in produce stands in Baghdad, for fear of whipping! A vendor explains:

“Look at this,” the vegetable seller said to me, holding up a tomato.  “What does it look like?”

“A tomato,” I said.

“Okay,” he relents, “what else might it resemble?  Notice it is red, like a woman’s lipstick.  It is soft and round.  Get it?  It reminds you of a woman’s flesh.”

Then he picked up the cucumber and was about to ask me what I thought it looked like, when I cut him off.  That one I could follow better.  If a tomato was a woman, I could well assume what a cucumber was.

“So the idea is that it reminds people of sex, it’s the mixing of the man and the woman, the cucumber and the tomato, and unlawful sex at that, and so they forbade it.”

Bob Dreher at Crunchy Con had a little fun with this, and argues that by this logic, Bob and Larry are infadel transvestites, filling  your kid’s head with sexual imagery.

It’s YouTube time! But it is also sad time. Because this short film from 2003 dramatizes a short story by Mark Twain, in which a messenger from God reveals the dark meaning of a patriotic prayer.

(Full text of “The War Prayer”)

Of course, many modern evangelical churches would never pray for military success per se; just for safety of troops. Could sentiments like Twain’s be what turned the New Evangelicals against the war in Iraq, or are they just following the rest of America in growing unrest?

Oklahoma Commissioner Brent Rinehart runs a crooked campaign, comes under fire, blames it all on a conspiracy of homosexuals, liberal do gooders, and good ol’ boys. Then, he writes and illustrates a hilariously defensive and paranoid comic strip and mails it to his constituents. The surreal screed is littered with self-righteousness, desperate ad hominem attacks insane propaganda.

If you squint, Satan almost looks like an Itchy and Scratchy character.

Download the whole shebang. It’s worth it.

via Reason

Turns out John Lennon was always a ‘big fan’ of Jesus, according to an unearthed interview.

He blames “the hypocrites” for being too “uptight” in reacting to his comments. “If the Beatles get on the side of Christ, which they always were, and let people know that, then maybe the churches won’t be full, but there’ll be a lot of Christians dancing in the dance halls. Whatever they celebrate, God and Christ, I don’t think it matters as long as they’re aware of Him and His message.”

Anyone who took him seriously recognized that Lennon’s notorious “bigger than Jesus” comment was an observation and even criticism of the Beatles’ out-of-control popularity. Still, it’s fascinating to hear Lennon speak in these terms, ones you might hear coming from the pulpits of today’s emergent churches.

A crazy pastor is setting up a worldwide shofar jam session. From World Net Daily:

You know how at sporting events they have “the wave” where one group starts it and then it cycles all the way around back to the beginning? Do you remember how at the year 2000 they showed on television all the New Year celebrations going on around the world as the new millennium began? …

Let’s have an around the world shofar assembly in every time zone on the Feast of Trumpets at sunset announcing to Messiah we are awake and anxiously anticipating His return. What a dress rehearsal! Won’t that stir His heart?

For those who ain’t heard, a shofar is a horn that was historically blown by the Jews during celebrations and war. When I was a kid, our church was shaken up when a collective of shofar enthusiasts attempted to hijack our worship services by blowing the shofars in order to “declare war” on evil spirits or whatever. After a year or so of this, enough people got so sick of the shrill, annoying roar of the shofar that the church leadership decided to ban their use. A bunch of people got mad and left the church permanently. Shofars are the best!

Check it:

Ugh, enough already.

When I was eleven, I went to my first rock concert. I went to see the Newsboys in Pittsburgh with my church youth group.  During the concert , a bunch of us moshed. It was a weak approximation, culled from images seen on MTV. Let’s just say, the Newsboys weren’t exactly Minor Threat.

Riding home in my mom’s Caravan that night, we listened to the local Christian talk radio station (WORD FM!), only to hear irate callers decrying the sins of moshing. It felt awesome.

Apparently we’re still having this discussion.

Raw physicality and self-inflicted pain are dominate themes. The testosterone level is palpable. It’s choreographed antisocial aggressive behavior. There are good reasons why heavy metal concerts have been called the “sensory equivalent to war.” Bruised and bloodied bodies leave concerts high on animal carnality and social disregard. Would we find Jesus at a heavy metal concert? Perhaps. But his face would be strewn with tears.


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