November 2003 Archives

November 29, 2003

Matthew, ch. 6, v. 1

United States: Jim Towey is the White House Deputy Assistant to the President and Director, Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and about halfway down this Q and A, is asked Do you feel that Pagan faith based groups should be given the same considerations as any other group that seeks aid? Now, personally, even though I've seen plenty of Pagans volunteering in the charity sector, I've never seen them form groups specifcally to push religion. And neither has Jim Towey, but he has a different reasoning. It's not because Pagans aren't obnoxiously religious about their charity work, it's because they're horrid, unloving people.

I haven't run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor! Once you make it clear to any applicant that public money must go to public purposes and can't be used to promote ideology, the fringe groups lose interest. Helping the poor is tough work and only those with loving hearts seem drawn to it.

Jim Towey hosts Ask the White House - White House web site, 26th November 2003 (via Internet Infidels).

The American Crusades

Ben Tanosborn has written a interesting article comparing Bush's attack on Iraq to Urban's call for arms against a bunch of pesky Turks who refused to bow and scrap before him. And we all know how well that turned out.

November 28, 2003

God is a poof.

Hopefully, some fundies will be upset by Joe Perez's assertions that God is Gay.

God made some men gay, because He made them in His image. God made gay men to love in gay ways, because God loves in gay ways. The beauty of gay men reflects the beauty of God. The beauty of gay ways of loving reflects the beauty of God's gay ways of loving. When someone fears and hates a gay man, he or she fears and hates God. When someone denegrates, despises, loathes, and harms a gay man, he or she denegrates, despises, loathes, and harms God.

Passionate Reply

Unlike every other Ultravox song ever, the meaning of Dancing With Tears in My Eyes is crystal clear. But an unnamed contributor to "What You Talking 'bout Willis?" The Meaning Behind Songs of the Eighties hears far too much

The song is more likely about Nuclear disaster or Armagedon than sex. Why? I used a vocal remover on the song and this uncovered a subliminal message (I kid you not) Lord is the Savior (or was it God..., I can't remember). Anyway, if you want to try it, it's easy to pick out, because it is in an extremely clear human voice, just before the begining of the lyrics. There are plenty of vocal removers on the internet to download. Don't bother trying to hear it without the vocal remover; you'll hear nothing. I tried to, but it is very well hidden. Point is, if this band is putting Christian subliminal messages into their music, I doubt highly that it has ANYTHING to do with sex!

Anyone want to point out the backwards bit in Rage in Eden?

Spelling Bee

United States: Wicca is one of the things parents bother rural school districts about, and they seem to think it's the same as gang violence.

This year and in years past the Sullivan and Bourbon School Districts have dealt with a number of issue's but one issue facing the districts is school violence and in particular recent incidents involving alleged art work and statements known as KTP, Kill The Preps, and reports of a small number of students interested in Wicca, witchcraft.

Reading that paragraph, and the headline of the article, I can spot at least one issue which is not being dealt with, and it's something that's definitely within a school's remit. School Violence Addressed As Local District's Deal With Issue's - Sullivan Independent News, 19th November 2003.

November 27, 2003

Sex and the Holy City

It has been 25 years since Pope John Paul was elected as commander in chief of men who wear frocks and funny hats. While many Catholics are celebrating his reign, millions of women around the world may feel they have reason to regret his long rule — and the global battles he has waged against contraception, abortion and condoms.

In a unique Panorama documentary, Steve Bradshaw investigates how the Pope, who tried to act in the best interests of women, came to be accused by his opponents of ruining so many lives.

Case law is dictatorship, says Cardinal

United States: The Roman Catholic archbishop of Chicago has declared that extending human rights is the end of democracy and the beginning of dictatorship. He is upset that the Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court recently concluded that denying civil marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. Earlier he had noted that An active homosexual lifestyle is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, but a search of the several Bibles in Prattle Alley Library reveals the following recorded words of Jesus on the matter: .

Gay Ruling Signals End Of Democracy & Beginning of Dictatorship, US Cardinal Claims,, 27th November 2003.

Bloody kids (again)

United States: Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after a black laborador puppy was found beheaded. But, despite the evidence on their plates, the police don't seem to believe that people are simply cruel to animals. No, this killing might have been a ritualistic mutilation tied to the Gothic subculture or Satanists.

A sheriff's press release said the killing was done apparently for satanic reasons, but a sheriff's captain who was once trained on satanic crime said it sounded like the work of a Gothic cult.
While not synonymous with Satanism, the two groups share some things in common when it comes to animal sacrifice, said Capt. Harry Bishop.

But in a rare example of press common sense, Alex Brietler of the Record Searchlight newspaper actually spoke to a representative from a Satanic church:

John D. Allee, founder and High Priest of the First Church of Satan in Salem, Mass., said Monday that Satanists do not kill animals for rituals.
If there was no survival issue involved, and if it was killing for the sake of killing, this would be abhorrent to a true Satanist, he said. I suppose some sick individuals may use Satanism as a cover for their behaviors, but Satanists also take responsibility for their actions. In my 30 years of practicing the occult and Satanism, I have never heard of a legitimate group or individual kill an animal or human for any ritualistic reason.

Puppy's death leads to charges - Record Searchlight, 25th November 2003. (and as an example of how horrid and cruel goths are, I refer you to this search on Slashgoth.)


Direct from Holy Corporation in Italy is Plug'n'Pray religion for the wired generation!

Do you need to change religion to grab the chance for a career outlook? Are you going to work abroad? Getting a new customised god is easy with Plug'n'Pray. A new spirituality and a new respectability can be yours at a mouse click.
Religious Gurus from all over the world compiled these kits for you. Religious and cultural habits are fully illustrated: audio and video files will teach you everything about prayers, mortification and purification rituals, as well as ready to use supplications, special formulas and sacred functions.

And don't think that you'll be left out if your stuck on the border where religious communities mix and discrimination rages. There's a the Plug'n'Pray Switch Edition. Conveniently available in Palestine (Muslim/Hebrew) and Ulster (Protestant/Catholic) versions.

Mark of the Beast

United States: Applied Digital Solutions are marketing the VeriChip as the world's only implantable ID technology, claiming they could one day replace credit cards. They are also receiving condemnation from some fundamentalist Christians who believe that this is the fabled 'mark of the beast' of biblical lore.

When Cash Is Only Skin Deep - Wired News, 25th November 2003 (via Opinions of the Wolf: News).

November 25, 2003

Interview with the vampire

Pravda has published a interview with a real-life vampire, assuring us that Vampirism is not merely an overused banality from horror movies, but a real disease. Usually genetically inherited, it can develop because of alcohol abuse. 53-year-old Vasily Gembitskiy turned to alcohol, and then blood, when his wife died:

Bargain of the Day: Jewish musical mug

No cup of tea can be complete without this environmentally-friendly Draydelettes Music Mug:

When picked up, the festive mug plays I Have A Little Draydel. No batteries required--music is activated by artificial or natural light.

Religious Turf Wars

Australia's Anglican Church is on the verge of a split, with the Archbishop of Sydney, the extraordinarily bigoted Peter Jensen, more than a little miffed over the church's position on the ordination of practicing homosexuals, in particular the Bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson. The good Reverend has decreed that there is every chance he will behave like a spoilt brat and cut ties with the Archbishop of Canterbury and instead ally his group of god-botherers with the equally silly Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.

I'm still wondering at the logic of a group, whose flock is rapidly dwindling, alienating people who want to join. But then it's not like churches have ever been big on giving a toss about their members when it gets in the way of their lust for power and money.

Religious Turf WarsSunday, 23rd November 2003.

November 24, 2003

Well that explains it

Pril has an interesting theory about Michael Jackson (not the beer one):

Several months prior to the release of Thriller, MJ was kidnapped by aliens. They replaced him with an extremely lifelike robot. Unfortunately, the robot was malfunctioning when it came off the assembly line (much like the Chrysler K-cars of the same period). Also, MJ has been letting Bat Boy live on the ranch, in a Kato Kaelin kind of way. The aliens, having realized their replacement wasn't functioning correctly, kindly left Bat Boy on the ranch to help keep an eye on him.

No hint as to how this information was acquired though.

Say eh-oh

Red Wolf is a regular commenter around these parts, and also sends me lots of fascinating links, so to save time I've invited her to join us here down Prattle Alley.

November 23, 2003

Coming Ready or Not

Melani McAlister, an associate professor of American studies at George Washington University, takes us on an interesting journey through the evangelical mind and its obsession with fulfilling its end times prophecy at any cost — as well as making a tidy profit on the side.

Bargain of the Day: Jewish patriotic religious tat

In case you thought Christians had a monopoly on religious patriotic tat, I present to you this AMERICAN FLAG SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS STAR OF DAVID PIN:

Old Glory interpreted in Swarovski crystal on a Star of David. Wear it proudly.

November 22, 2003

Ronaldo and the anal probe

Brazil: The mayor of Bocaiuva do Sul has asked his alien friends not to land their spaceship during this week's Brazil v Peru football match.

Elcio Berti told Estado de Sao Paulo online: I cancelled the landing because I was worried they might abduct one of the Brazilian footballers.
Mr Berti, the Mayor of Bocaiuva do Sul, claims to be in regular touch with aliens and says they are helping to fund a UFO landing pad he's building in the town.

Mayor cancels alien landing over abduction fears - Ananova, 21st November 2003 (via Gullibility isn't in the dictionary).

Bargain of the Day: Harvey Magila Doll

Today's delight from is a Harvey Magila Dancing Doll:

When you flip the switch under the doll's tush, this fuzzy chassid starts to shokkle to the tune of Hava Nagila. For fun-loving collectors of all ages. AA batteries included.

November 21, 2003

Another Bargain of the Day: Disney Chanukah tat

You know how it is - that time of year is fast approaching and you can't think of anything to get Cory Doctorow. Well here are a couple of suggestions. Firstly, we have a charming Mickey & Co. Hanukah Band Menorah.

Mickey and his friends are having lots of fun! Hand-painted poly resin sculpture on carved base. Golden metal vessels.

If $85 is just a little bit more than you wanted to pay, the Micky & Co. Roller Skating Menorah is slightly cheaper at $70:

Mickey and Minnie skate hand-in-hand followed 'round the corner by Pluto. Hand-painted poly resin sculpture on carved base with golden vessels.

And I promise this site will provide many more bargains in the days to come...

Bargain of the Day: Chanukah pinata

I didn't know there were that many Jews in Mexico, but there must be. Who else would be interested in this Chanukah Pinata?

16 inches in diameter. Big and colorful with dangling ribbons. New from the Everything Jewish catalog last year. Has minimal wear from storage. You just open it, fill it and hang it.

It all adds up

English Language Encoded with Calculation Proofs is a calculator which shows a Miracle Warning Designed into the English Language before it came into being, to Warn us and to Prove the Existence of God, Logically and Scientifically beyond all doubt.

Many have tried to calculate the number of the beast with many different ideas and methods tried, and it seems that most methods used point towards a 666 calculation. One of the end times prophets came up with using the English Alphabet and giving them a value from 1 to 26, then multiplying the results by 6. The results are very interesting. While 666 is not evil in itself, it is quite amazing when you see how the key words which are required to set up the computerised personal identification system are being revealed with this calculation to add up to 666. Coincidence?
It would seem that these have been provided as proof that there is something going on, beyond coincidence. Computers themselves are a numbering system, and convert various numbers to mean various letters and other keys and characters. Part of the development of the computer system was to have what is called the ASCII code, which gives every character a number value. Interestingly when the calculation is written into a computer program, the ASCII code gives us other values which would not otherwise be given a value by the English Alphabet multiplied by 6.

Except it doesn't calculate, not for me anyway. Presumably you need to sell your soul to Microsoft first, and we already have proof that Bill Gates is the Antichrist.

In Defense of Biblical Marriage

United States: Fundies in the US are getting in a tizzy over the Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision that limiting a cosy arrangement of one's financial affairs to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional, so some wag has consulted the Bible to determine how to redefine marriage to keep them happy:

The Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to: Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With any forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government.
Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles:
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women.(Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden.(Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10) *
G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

Two for the price of one!

United States: A murder trial in Denver has thrown up an interesting conundrum. A Native American medicine man has asked to have the same rights as the clergy of any other religion after he was pressurised by prosecution attorneys over an alleged confession made by the accused.

[Defense attorney Robert] Duthie wants evidence that investigators gathered from violating that privilege suppressed. He also argues that Herrera's confession should be suppressed because Herrera confessed after he knew the medicine man, 37-year-old Robert Cervantes, had testified.
Echo-Hawk said that a medicine man should not have to wear long black robes and hear confession in a booth to qualify for equal protection under the law. However, he said he is not surprised that law enforcement officials would treat a medicine man differently than they would a priest or preacher.

And as an extra bonus, the accused is alleged to have admitted murdering Brenda Chavez because he thought she was threatening him with witchcraft practices. Clergy right sought for medicine man - Denver Post, 20th November 2003.

November 20, 2003

Bargain of the Day: Islamic clocks

There are plenty of clocks, watches and software available to the discerning Muslim who needs to be sure of praying at the right times, but I suspect this Muslim Athan clock is not such a useful device. But this clock actually says one of the prayers!

Assalamu Alaikum This is the perfect alarm clock it says the athan in a beautiful, loud, clear voice. It says the athan for fajr prayer, and when you hear Alsalatu khairun min alnawm its hard to stay asleep.
Every muslim home should have one of these I definitly recomend it. Don't miss out on this wonderful offer. This alarm clock makes a great gift for yourself or that someone special. Remember EID is just around the corner! "Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

November 19, 2003

Right to spam, for the right only.

Australia: Fundies would be allowed to swamp Australian inboxes with hate speech under proposed anti-spam legislation, according to Senator Brian Greig.

Greig decried the proviso as farcical and said it was outrageous that fundamentalist churches were allowed to send spam containing campaign messages opposing abortion, contraception or homosexual law reform while groups with alternative view points were left without an avenue of reply.

The exception allows religious organisations, registered political parties and charities to send unsolicited messages containing factual informatiom. Hang on, wouldn't that proviso automatically outlaw the religious nonsense? Democrats lash-out over right wing 'spam-scam' - ZDNet Australia, 18th November 2003 (via Red Wolf).

Not Fortean Times

United States: Peter Ritter has written and interesting and sympathetic history of Fate magazine and it's editor Phyllis Glade.

A 57-year-old grandmother with a pronounced Midwestern drawl and an endearing habit of using heck as an invective, Galde looks less like a committed student of supernatural phenomena than she does a school teacher or church organist--both of which she once was. Nor does her home, at the terminus of a suburban cul-de-sac, show any outward signs of housing America's oldest and most esteemed journal of the paranormal, which it does.

Cosmic Truths of the Ages, REVEALED - Twin Cities Reader, 19th November 2003.

November 18, 2003

The new face of terror

United States: A 67-year-old woman has been charged with making terroistic threats after she blew her top at a Santiera priest who publicly sacrificed two roosters. In a letter, Violet Skendarian offered to sacrifice the priest, the mayor and his lawyer

It's time to make human sacrifices to make your ancestors even more happy, read the letter, which was mailed to Mota's religious store in Passaic on Nov. 10. YOU MOTA -- all your family members, your lawyer, Jesus Pena, Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera are all going to be sacrificed.
The letter also said: Santeria is an evil, pagan, ancient bloodthirsty cult which enjoys killing animals.

So, presumably, Christians have been eating Tofurky at Christmas all these years. Santeria Priest, Mayor Threatened After Animal Sacrifice - WNBC, 17th November 2003.

...and get stoned, all in my honour.

United States: Wiccan books were included in a display of drug paraphenalia for nearly a year in a Tennessee sheriff's department. They have since been removed after an enquiry, but no explanation has been given as to why they were there in the first place. Religious books removed from drug items display after inquiry - The Tennessean, 16th November 2003.

Voodoo to-do

United States: Menen Osorio-Fuentes, the losing candidate in a Democratic Party selection battle is suing the winner, Migdalia Castro, claiming she accused her of witchcraft and voodoo.

(Castro) made the said allegations knowing that a substantial number of the persons hearing said allegations, because of their ethnic and cultural heritage, would believe said allegations and would believe, as a result, that (Osorio-Fuentes) was a dangerous and evil person and would, as a result, hold (Osorio-Fuentes) in contempt, the lawsuit says.

But Castro's advisor thinks the allegation itself is racist:

Fair Haven has a large Puerto Rican and Dominican constituency, he said, and there might be some who practice Santeria, which melds Catholicism with indigenous religions in the Caribbean, but is a different belief system from witchcraft or voodoo.
The lawsuit does not mention Santeria, but Reyes said language that suggests some voters would be predisposed to believing witchcraft and voodoo accusations because of their ethnic and cultural heritage could be misleading and offensive.
I don't know how she's going to make a tie to the election. It's a specious claim. Even more, it's disrespectful of people who practice those religions Tomas Reyes said.

Lawsuit claims 'voodoo' slander - New Haven Register, 15th November 2003.

Bikini waxers against Bush!

Women are invited to take part in a most unusual protest this week, to coincide with George W. Bush's visit to the UK. The Scrap-Bush Women's Collective invites us to protest by

Shaving their bushes and sending the trimmings to the Queen. Put them in an envelope with a note saying, We've got rid of our bush, you get rid of yours! When you have done this please send us an e-mail at: You don't have to put your name if you don't want to, we would just like an idea of the number of women who have taken part in the action.

Among the reasons given for the protest is the observation that Women's liberation has been used as justification for the wars pursued by the Bush administration, yet women have been left exposed to high levels of violence in the countries the Bush administration has targeted and there has been no significant increase in women's rights. Call for Women's actions against Bush's visit - Indymedia UK, 4th November 2003.

One we missed

Egypt: The Matrix Reloaded has been banned because is promotes Zionism and may harm social peace and some commentators, such as Karen Jayes, seem to agree with this, to the point of appearing to support some kind of conspiracy theory to explain it.

The relationship between Trinity and Neo - he being the savior of Zion and her name representing the pillars of Christianity - could be seen as mirroring the long-standing Judeo-Christian alliance between the US and Israel. This idea comes to its climax when Neo brings Trinity back from the dead by superhumanly reaching into her heart and squeezing it back to life. Trinity rescued Neo in the first movie, and the first words she utters when she wakes in the sequel are gobsmackingly predictable: Now we're even.
There were other aspects of the movie that outraged me. Too many long-winded militaristic speeches from Morpheus (Lawrence Fishborne) and other army-style confrontations, peppered with the yes-sir, no-sir and with-all-due-respect sir interchanges which have become more or less run-of-the-mill Hollywood dialogue, turned the movie from the subversive philosophical kick at the system that the original movie was, into nothing more than another Hollywood propaganda favor to the White House.

And, to prove it all, she quotes an old, well-known chestnut from Marlon Brando - Hollywood is run by Jews. It is owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of people who are suffering. Hollywood movie promotes Zionism - Middle East Times, 20th June 2003.

November 13, 2003

Bargain of the Day: Dharma Beads Kit

It's not often we have Buddhist tat on offer, but today's special product is a DHARMA BEADS KIT:

This $24.95 kit is new, in box, still in original cellophane. The kit contains everything you'll need to make three 27-bead malas. *27 carnelian beads to foster well-being *27 tiger's eye beads to inspire courage *27 sandalwood beads to promote compassion *3 head beads and 3 crown beads *6 separator beads *red elastic, symbolizing the bloodline of the Buddha INCLUDED is a DHARMA BEADS book with full directions, history of the use of beads for meditation and prayer,development of malas in Buddhist tradition, simple suggestions for beginning a spiritual practice using the mala, colorful photographs from around the world.

Folklore of homeless children

United States: Redwolf points me at this interesting old article about the tales told by children in Miami's homeless shelters.

On Christmas night a year ago, God fled Heaven to escape an audacious demon attack -- a celestial Tet Offensive. The demons smashed to dust his palace of beautiful blue-moon marble. TV news kept it secret, but homeless children in shelters across the country report being awakened from troubled sleep and alerted by dead relatives. No one knows why God has never reappeared, leaving his stunned angels to defend his earthly estate against assaults from Hell. Demons found doors to our world, adds eight-year-old Miguel, who sits before Andre with the other children at the Salvation Army shelter. The demons' gateways from Hell include abandoned refrigerators, mirrors, Ghost Town (the nickname shelter children have for a cemetery somewhere in Dade County), and Jeep Cherokees with black windows. The demons are nourished by dark human emotions: jealousy, hate, fear.

Myths Over Miami - Miami New Times, 5th June 1997.

November 11, 2003

A mixed message

United States: According to the Metropolitan Community Church, a predominantly gay and lesbian Christian congregation, they received a letter from George W. Bush congratulating them on their 35th anniversary during a week officially dedicated to denying civil rights to lesbians and gay men!

In his letter dated October 14, 2003, to MCC Los Angeles, the founding congregation of Metropolitan Community Churches, President Bush wrote, By encouraging the celebration of faith and sharing of God's love and boundless mercy, churches like yours put hope in people's hearts and a sense of purpose in their lives. This milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on your years of service and to rejoice in God's faithfulness to your congregation.

The letter was written during the anti-gay Marriage Protection Week, an effort endorsed by President Bush and organized by such Religious Right leaders as Jerry Falwell, Dr. James Dobson, the Southern Baptist Convention and the American Family Association to deny equality under the law to gays and lesbians.

In his proclamation endorsing Marriage Protection Week, President Bush wrote, Marriage is a sacred institution, and its protection is essential to the continued strength of our society. Marriage Protection Week provides an opportunity to focus our efforts on preserving the sanctity of marriage and on building strong and healthy marriages in America.

The Metropolitan Community church performs more than 6,000 same-sex weddings annually in its 300 churches in 22 countries. U.S. President Bush Congratulates Predominantly Gay MCC Church On 35th Anniversary Letter Arrives During Bush-Endorsed Anti-Gay Marriage Protection Week - Metropolitan Community Church Press Release, 10th November 2003.

November 6, 2003

Bargain of the Day: soap challenge

Pericat persists: Think you can find any soap made from saint's relics?. The answer is no, but if you have any such bits of dead person around, it would be a doddle to make using a kit from the Soap Tub. And why do I mention this? Because they also sell ready-made soaps, and have a whole page dedicated to (Christian) religious soaps in wholesale quantities. Imagine what you could do with 100 glittery icthus guest bars of soap!

November 4, 2003

Devil makes work for self

United States: Satan has been hard at work if the number of times the Devil made me do it defence has cropped up in US courtrooms recently is anything to go by. The Californian looks at a number of cases and asks why such defences are used in this day and age:

The devil made me do it defense has been adopted as legal phraseology for any occasion when a defendant tries to excuse his or her actions by blaming something beside themselves. Twinkies, abusive parents and demonic control all have gotten major play in a number of high-profile cases, and now prosecutors and legal experts point to it as a trend in defense strategy.
Now we blame more modern things, said Terry Spitz, chief assistant Monterey County district attorney. But, generally, if you've got someone who is earnestly talking about the devil ... and you have some tape that shows there is probably some mental illness, then I know I am not really preparing for discussion of religious views but actually for some psychiatric or clinical issues.

Twinkies to demons: Defense seeks ploys - The Californian, 4th November 2003.

Bargain of the Day: Goddess soap

In the comments, Pericat asked What will they think of next to wrap in glycerin? Saint's relics?. Will a Goddess do? Stormsong Charm Soap is a pure glycerine soap made to your choice of shape and scent and Each one comes with a high quality sterling silver charm embedded inside which epitomizes the intent of the soap. Charms include: pentagram, Goddess, the Green Man, the moon and others. This is one of many products from R'Chel Enterprises:

We create candles & votives, lotions, soaps, bath gels, shampoos & conditioners, fragrance tarts, & more for both the wiccan & non wiccan communities.
Our fragrances are blended from oils, herbs & flowers infused together to customize each scent. Our products are handcreated in small batches from quality ingredients, and are tested by our family & friends. Our metaphysical recipes are the result of nearly 20 years of research and personal use.

Other products include Blessed Be soap and Hands of the Goddess soap.

November 3, 2003

Bargain of the Day: soap in dubious taste

Today we have more soap for you. It's impressive that a religion that used to emphatically reject personal hygeine should now support a thriving trade in toiletries for the faithful. The Bar of Faith Prayer Soap ™ is not a cynical attempt to exploit tragedy - it's a Christian gift of love.

How BAR OF FAITH PRAYER SOAP™ was born September 11th, it was a day no one will ever forget. Remember the picture of the twin towers coming down with dust, dust and more dust everywhere?

You had a sense you wanted to cleanse yourself from this monumental unhappiness. That is when Rosalie Holland came up with the idea for a 100% PURE GLYCERIN BAR OF FAITH PRAYER SOAP™. At times like these when Christians everywhere are reaching out for comfort and healing, how wonderful it is to start the day washing their hands and face with a clear soap that contains a beautiful floating cross.

There are testimonials, of course, from people completely unconnected with the company:

Rosalie's good friend Leticia Hart had this to say when she first used BAR OF FAITH PRAYER SOAP™, Whenever I take this soap in my hands, it's like a miracle, I feel good all over and closer to my faith. Everyone I know wants to get these soaps for themselves and for gifts as well.

November 2, 2003

Bargain of the Day: Christian witness soap

Wash away your sins and annoy your friends and co-workers with Christian Witness Soap:

As a Christian and a Handmade soap maker I want to share my Faith with all who will listen.One way is to give people soap with the shape of the Fish on it and a little booklet telling them what it means and that Jesus is the only way to Eternal life with our Father in Heaven. We've made this witnessing tool available at a very reasonable price so you to can give a gift with the intention of planting a seed and get that person to think about Jesus, Salvation & where they will end up when they die.

Available in two sizes and seven different scents.

Which witch is which?

United States: The Rubio case gets weirder. In support of his insanity defence, lawyers for John Rubio are trying to demonstrate that he thought he was an hereditary witch dedicated to driving evil from the world:

Authorities say Rubio told police that he was the son and grandson of witches who had been called upon to help drive evil from the world. He told police that he and Angela Camacho, 23, sequestered the family in the apartment after seeing a woman with the mark of the beast.
According to investigators, Rubio said his mother had cast a spell on the children and his dead grandmother was occupying the body of the eldest child, 3-year-old Julissa Quezada. Rubio admitted to killing Quezada first, 1-year-old John Esthefan Rubio second, and 2-month-old Mary Jane Rubio last.
Defense attorneys say Rubio believed the children were possessed by evil spirits and that in a moment of insanity he thought the only way to get rid of the spirits was to kill the children and sever their heads.

Countering this, an expert on Mexican culture pointed out that if they really believed this, there would be witchcraft paraphenalia in the house, and none was discovered. EXPERT: NO SIGNS OF WITCHCRAFT IN HOME - Tyler Morning Telegraph, 31st October 2003.

Bare scuddies

Home Secretary David Blunkett is likely to scrap a controversial clause in the Sexual Offences Bill which criminalised naturism, even on naturist beaches.

The original wording of clause 67b of the Bill, which will this week have its third reading in Parliament, stipulated that a person commits an offence if he exposes his genitals and ' knows or intends that someone will see them...'.

As naturists obviously 'know' that others on designated nudist campsites and beaches can see them, the clause caused alarm. Those found guilty of causing such an offence could have faced prison for up to two years.

The clause would also have criminalised Pagans who worship skyclad outdoors. Blunkett lets naturists off hook - The Observer, 2nd November 2003.

Letters to the Editor

Redwolf corresponds: Does Transcendental Meditation count as loonie fundie nonense?, and points us at this interesting article from HogBlog:

David Lynch is even weirder than you think: he's a devotee of Transcendental Meditation out to raise $1 billion to build 100 peace palaces around America in which crowds of Transcendental Meditators will whip up the fresh, creamy karma that will bring about instant and total world peace, no strings attached.
But he's still going to make disturbing films filled with sex and violence...

Thank you for that one. Pastor Best sends a Humanist press release:

Bishop Declares Jesus' Teachings Wrong
We've gone against, absolutely against, the word of Jesus in revising our regard for divorced people who want to remarry, said Bishop Gene Robinson in an interview in The Daily Telegraph.
He is the newly consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire in the USA and he pointed out that the teachings of Jesus on marriage, sex and slavery, as well as on divorce, were wrong.
This is the first time in recorded history that a Christian Bishop has corrected the teaching of Jesus, said Roy Saich of the Humanists web site.
When the Humanists led the campaign for divorce reform in the nineteen sixties the Bishops opposed it, as they have other important reforms, continued Mr. Saich, but I am pleased the new Bishop is honest enough to acknowledge that, like Humanist morality, Christian morality can change. Of course he is no longer a Christian if he opposes the teaching of Jesus on these issues. He can hardly claim Jesus as God incarnate, concluded Mr. Saich.

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