Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘transsubstantiation’

Proselytization is a two-way street. So pity (a little bit) the poor attendees of the Southern Baptist Convention, who are going to have to deal with evangelization from PETAns:

Among the demonstrators who will be standing outside the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville as the SBC opens its two-day meeting on Tuesday will be one dressed as Jesus, carrying a sign reading “For Christ’s Sake, Go Vegetarian,” and another dressed as a chicken with a sign reading “Jesus Loves Me Too.”

Other members will be holding signs reading “Thou Shalt Not Kill. Go Vegetarian” and “Blessed Are the Merciful. Go Vegetarian.” They will also hand out leaflets that relate vegetarian living to Christian teachings.

Now, if you’ve read my book, you know that I’m not a big fan of granting people’s imaginary premises in order to engage with them.

If vegetarianism is a good idea, then PETA should be making the case that vegetarianism is a good idea. If a bacon cheeseburger, cooked medium rare, with aged cheddar cheese, two thick-cut strips of peppered bacon, a mix of mayonnaise and BBQ sauce that I like to call “BBQonnaise,” dill pickle chips, fried onion straws, crisp lettuce, ripe tomato, and sweet red onions isn’t the tastiest thing on the planet, they should be arguing that it isn’t the tastiest thing on the planet.

Instead, their argument contains the following pieces:

  • god’s mythological garden was vegetarian, according to the cave-people-written book of myths you cherish”
  • maybe the fish Jesus ate were only symbolic fish, just like the one that “got away” on your last trip to the lake
  • because Jesus “gave his life willingly,” eating his flesh and blood doesn’t actually count as eating flesh and blood (and possibly also because they’re actually crackers and wine, but we’re not going to mention this common sense fact, because we’re trying to participate in your fantasy world)
  • meat-eating is “part of the fallen creation” (whatever the hell that means)

You’ll have to forgive me for being skeptical that the PETAns actually believe any of these arguments, any more than they believe their arguments that “Mohammed only symbolically slaughtered the Banu Qurayza,” that “adhering to a vegetarian I-tal diet will increase the ‘life energy’ that Haile Selassie puts inside us,” or that “Bhai Gurdas’s praise of goat meat doesn’t really count because it was written in poetry form.”

Hopefully soon they’ll get back to more sensible behavior, like opposing the throwing of dead fish or hiring the granddaughter of a murderous guerilla to lend his violent cachet to their cause, or taking a brave stand for the rights of houseflies.

Read Full Post »

You’re probably familar with Alberto Cutié. Also known as “Father Oprah” (probably on account of his constant struggles with his weight, his habit of giving free Pontiacs to parishioners, and his millionaire-making endorsements of lousy books), he got caught by Cuban spies a few weeks ago cavorting on the beach with his girlfriend, a divorcée.

Now, Priests aren’t supposed to have girlfriends, and also the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize divorce, which got Cutié doubly in trouble. Instead of waiting around for a nun to beat him senseless with a ruler, he instead joined the Episcopal church, where he delivered his first sermon this morning:

The former priest received a standing ovation and told several jokes, quipping at one point that “my stuff is in storage.”

Thanks to a favor I once did for the Archbishop of Canterbury, I got a sneak peek at Cutié’s joke-filled opening monologue:

Finally, Father Oprah has come back to Anglicanism. [pause for laughter] Now, I know what some of you are thinking: Father Oprah’s just here for the lonely, divorced women. And I’m not going to bear false witness [pause for laughter], some of your divorcees estan muy buenas! [pause for laughter]

But it’s also a huge relief not to have to believe in transsubstantiation anymore. I mean, I can believe that someone could turn crackers into toffee [pause for laughter] or wine into sangria. [pause for laughter] But turning them into the flesh and blood of Jesus? That’s kind of gross!

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against people wanting to get flesh and bodily fluids in their mouths … especially when the people are hot divorcees! [pause for laughter] And especially when the flesh and fluids are mine! [pause for laughter and hoots] But crackers can’t turn into flesh. Again, crackers can’t turn into flesh. So ladies, next time you want to get your mouth on some “divinity,” you talk to Father Oprah, because [points at crotch] ain’t no crackers down there! Am I right, gentlemen? [pause for “woof, woof, woof” noises from male parishioners]

Also, I’ve got to say, it’s somewhat of a relief not to have to take marching orders from the Pope anymore. He’s definitely a smart man, there’s no doubt about that, but all that goose-stepping was giving me muscle cramps! [pause for laughter] And how much bratwurst can one cardinal eat? [pause for laughter] I swear, every time there was a conclave in Rome, I was shitting pig intestines for a week! [pause for laughter] One of my flights back to Miami someone thought there were WMDs in the bathroom! [pause for laughter] Wurst-Mess Dookies! [long pause for sustained laughter]

Anyway, it’s great to be here. I look forward to years of productive relationships with your divorcees. [pause for laughter] I mean, with all of you. [pause for applause] God bless!

Read Full Post »

Economic times are tough. Maybe you’re working for a bloated auto company that makes expensive cars no one wants to buy. Maybe you’re a schoolteacher without enough seniority to avoid the latest round of budget cuts. Maybe you work for a Canadian company losing business from “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill. Or maybe your job just sucks.

Well, according to the New York Times, you probably shouldn’t consider joining the clergy:

The anecdotal evidence collected by the Association of Theological Schools, which covers 250 graduate institutions in the United States and Canada, has found job listings for ministerial positions down by about one-third at major seminaries serving both evangelical and mainstream Protestant denominations. The Jewish newspaper The Forward reported last month that Jewish seminaries accustomed to placing nearly all their newly minted rabbis were finding jobs this year for only about half.

Also the pay isn’t that good (unless you run a “prosperity gospel” scam), and you have to wear a funny costume.

But if you’re really intent on being a religious leader, there is one option:

Only the Roman Catholic Church, with a well-known shortage of priests, has more openings than applicants. And that, in turn, has led to a round of mordant jokes among seminarians about converting to get a job.

Of course, they don’t bother to tell us any of these jokes, forcing us to speculate. I’m guessing they’re along the lines of

  • Sure, the Catholic Church may be The Great Whore of Babylon, but they do offer a steady paycheck!
  • I don’t agree with their boy-touching policies, but I do agree with their clergy-paying policies!
  • I bet if you pretend you work in a toll booth the days just fly by!
  • The celibacy sucks, but the exorcisms more than make up for it!
  • “WILL TRANSSUBSTANTIATE FOR FOOD”
  • Taking marching orders from a crazy ex-Hitler-Youth might be cool, just like in Apt Pupil!
  • Maybe I’ll get a free trip to Rome out of the deal. I hear the pizza there is amazing!
  • Come on guys, it’s not like any one of these crazy religions is any less false than all the others!

Read Full Post »

Here’s a promising-sounding new book: 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe:

Many Christians, new and seasoned alike, tend to bank on promises that God never made, says one pastor.

So when God doesn’t come through on those “promises,” some are likely to become angry at God.

And “that to me as a pastor over all my years is always one of the saddest things,” says Larry Osborne, teaching pastor at North Coast Church in Vista, Calif.

Osborne, whose church draws over 7,000 people, is hoping to spare a lot of Jesus followers from that anger. He’s also hoping Christians will peruse Scripture more and align themselves with what God really says rather than the “word on the street.”

Wait, that doesn’t sound promising at all! Does he at least have a good list of ten?

  1. Living God’s way will bring good fortune
  2. Faith can fix anything
  3. Forgiving means forgetting
  4. A godly home guarantees godly kids
  5. God has a blueprint for my life
  6. Christians shouldn’t judge
  7. Everything happens for a reason
  8. Let your conscience be your guide
  9. A valley means a wrong turn
  10. Dead people go to a better place.

Well, a number of those are stupid things. But if I were making a list of “Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe,” none of those would be on it. What’s that? You want to know what would be on it? Good question!

Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe

  1. A mistranslated book written by cave people is a reliable guide to the modern world.
  2. There’s an invisible man in the sky who likes to watch you while you’re showering.
  3. Two thousand years ago, an alter ego of this invisible man knocked up a Jewess whose husband wasn’t satisfying her.
  4. The progeny of this drunken coupling was both god and the son of god.
  5. This son of god was killed (but not really, since he’s also god, and god can’t die) and then came back to life to seek revenge, just like J.D. Walker.
  6. His killing was a necessary sacrifice in order that we might be forgiven for the sins of Eve, the first woman in the world, who lived 6000 years ago in a magical garden, where a talking snake convinced her to eat a forbidden apple.
  7. To show our thanks for this sacrifice, we should put special crackers and wine in our mouths, where they will be magically transformed into his flesh and blood, which we should then swallow despite taboos regarding cannibalism.
  8. If you don’t believe all the preceding items, then after you die you will be plunged into a lake of fire and tortured for all eternity.
  9. If you do believe all the preceding items, then after you die you’ll get to go to heaven, which is a cloud in outer space connected to the earth with a dotted line bent into a heart-shape
  10. Thomas Kinkade is an awesome painter.

Which book would you rather read?

Read Full Post »