Red Wolf: March 2004 Archives

March 31, 2004

Rennes le Chateau

France: Undiscovered is a nice looking site that reports on unusual Fortean style events, and takea a particular interest in a 19th century priest in France who built a lavish church, Rennes le Chateau, which is full of still-undeciphered symbols.

Basically there is a lot of lunacy out there (but where isn't there these days?) and there does seem to be quite a lot of persuasive evidence that the subject itself inspires a kind of madness, but once you get beyond the lunacy that has grown up around the subject the facts are quite straightforward.

Goat Collecting Buddhist

United States: Usually when goats are mentioned around here it's in the context of silly buggers killing them. This time it's a wingnut goat collector who blames his obsessive goat collecting problem on his religion — Buddhism.

State officials are investigating a man whose goats and his religious convictions against killing them have collided in a possibly inhumane and definitely stinky way.
There were three goats on the farm Chris Weathersbee's mother bought seven years ago. Now there are 300 — including 70 living in his house, much of which is covered with a mix of goat droppings and hay.

March 29, 2004

Child Witches Murdered

Angola: Many children seem to be cursed these days in the impoverished hinterlands of Angola — accused of witchcraft by their loony fundie families, then systematically abused, abandoned and even killed for imagined acts of witchcraft.

The scale and viciousness of the attacks on so-called criancas feiticeiras, or child witches, confounds even hardened human-rights workers in the war-haunted country, and some said the abuse is one of the most disturbing outbreaks of domestic violence seen in Africa in recent years.
In Uige, a sleepy hill town near the Congo border, children's advocates said that a teenager accused of sorcery was set ablaze by a mob that included his own relatives. Another boy was buried alive, beneath the corpse of a man he allegedly hexed, rights workers said. The luckier children are merely banished from their homes. They roam the streets like pariah dogs, surviving hand-to-mouth off food scraps from the markets.

Conspicuous Compassion

United Kingdom: One of the more annoying fundie traits that shits me no end, is their boundless ability to see someone in distress and use the bandaid of I'll pray for you to give themselves a warm and fuzzy feeling while not getting off their arses and actually helping. Alas it seems this problem is creeping into general society with a plague of conspicuous compassion.

According to a recent study, people who wear ribbons to show empathy with worthy causes and mourn in public for celebrities they have never met are part of a growing culture of ostentatious caring which is about feeling good, not doing good.

The report by thinktank Civitas argues that the trend towards public outpourings of compassion reveals not how altruistic society has become, but how selfish.

March 26, 2004

Oregon Bans All Marriages

United States: As far as Benton County in Oregon is concerned, if gay couples can't marry, no one can. Quite a kick in the teeth to the fundies.

In a new twist in the battle over same-sex marriage roiling the United States, a county in Oregon has banned all marriages — gay and heterosexual — until the state decides who can and who cannot wed.

The last marriage licenses were handed out in Benton County at 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday. As of Wednesday, officials in the county of 79,000 people will begin telling couples applying for licenses to go elsewhere until the gay marriage debate is settled.

Pesky Anarchic Gay People

United States: A loony fundie pastor has taken exception to all of those gay people wanting to formalise their love. In his tiny little mind they're nothing but anarchists.

The thousands of same-sex newlyweds who have tied the knot in San Francisco's City Hall in recent days are anarchists, to the mind of Pastor Joseph Fuiten.
This shows a high disregard for America. When you have leaders of government, as in the mayor of San Francisco, flaunting the law, we call that anarchy. This is really an anarchists' movement, says the 54-year-old senior pastor at Cedar Park Assembly of God Church.

Same-sex weddings are 'anarchist' - Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 21st February 2004.

Discrimination By Law

United States: Always eager to bend over for the loony fundies, Bush has bowed to their wishes and will allow these total wankers to fire employees based on their sexual preference.

Despite President Bush's pledge that homosexuals ought to have the same rights as all other people, his Administration this week ruled that homosexuals can now be fired from the federal workforce because of their sexual orientation.

March 22, 2004

Religious Leaders Urged to Stop Spreading Lies

Angola: Religious leaders, who cause more problems amongst HIV ravaged areas than anything, have been urged to drop their prejudicial whining and to get off their arse and help people instead.

Angola, emerging from almost three decades of civil war, faces the threat of a massive spread of HIV/AIDS and religious leaders must join the fight against the pandemic that has ravaged much of Africa, Christian Aid said.
Official statistics put prevalence rates in Angola at between five and seven percent, but Rachel Baggaley, head of Christian Aid's HIV unit, said the figure could soar to over 20 percent within five years if the country did not act immediately.
The church and other faith-based organisations have a massive role to play in HIV prevention and care, she said. The church is part of the problem. Church leaders often stigmatise people living with HIV and are not compassionate or open about HIV.

Churches Using TV to Pimp for Customers

United States: I'm a wee bit confused over church advertising. Wouldn't using television advertising to pimp for customers be in violation of their dodgy tax-free status? Not to mention a blatant misuse of funds.

Two weeks ago, first-time commercials for the United Church of Christ (UCC) began airing in six areas from Sarasota, Fla., to Oklahoma City in a bid to boost name recognition and worship attendance before Easter. Monday, the Unitarian Universalist Association began a national campaign to buy airtime for their Uncommon Denomination ads, first tested in Kansas City last year. This summer, the United Methodist Church will hear proposals for expanding what has been a four-year, $18 million campaign to replenish dwindling congregations.
For church marketers, TV ads have been the missing link between congregations with much to offer and individuals in search of a place where they feel welcome.
It may well be that the church we created in 1957 is just right for today's people, but they don't know we exist, said Ron Buford, coordinator of the UCC's campaign. The medium for today is TV. You don't exist if you're not on TV.
Yet for scholars of church trends, the dawn of mass marketing suggests that quest for church unity has given way to an ethic of survival of the fittest.

Mainstream churches take a leap of faith into TV advertising - Christian Science Monitor, 16th March 2004.

March 20, 2004

Wired Vicar Caught With Pants Down

United Kingdom: The good Father Bob has been suspended after shocked parishioners reported that a naked picture of him had been posted on an internet dating web site.

The picture allegedly shows Fr Bob Locke, 41, the Anglican vicar of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, and invites contact from women for sex.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Gladwin, suspended the married clergyman while the unsettling allegations are investigated.

Bargain of the Day: Bible-Zines for Boys

United States: From the loony fundies who brought you the bible-zine for girls, here's the version for boys. It's got to be hip, look there's a guitar, snowboarder and flamey logo on the cover. I'm betting that the most use this magazine is going to get is as a handy cover for hiding stroke mags from parents.

The world's largest publisher of religious material is selling the sizzle along with the solemn in a line of Bible-zines — repackaged Bibles aimed at hip Christian teen-agers.
Leaning on the successful slogan of famous Depression-era salesman Elmer Wheeler — Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle — Transit Books, the teen division of publisher Thomas Nelson, adopted the eye-popping format of mainstream teen magazines to create Revolve, a four-color, 388-page New Testament for teen-age girls.
The smashing success of Revolve, a one-time magazine that went on sale in July for $14.99, has led to the planned Easter launch of Refuel, a Bible-zine aimed at teen-age boys.
Revolve, which has no advertising, excerpts easy-to-digest biblical passages to answer the tough questions teen-agers often ask. Woven throughout is an easy-to-read Bible in a flashy format so teen-agers might feel more comfortable paging through it in public.
We've found a way to make the word of God exciting, relevant and fun for young women again, said Transit Books brand manager Laura Whaley.
Revolve does not duck once-forbidden topics, with one reviewer likening it to Seventeen magazine, only saintlier.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that the subjects in both mags are identical bar the gender switch. I'm guessing the target audience is judged as being none too bright.

Bible-Zine for Boys Set for Easter Launch - Reuters, 16th March 2004.

March 19, 2004

Abbott and Costello in Political Tiff

Australia: It would actually be amusing that Australia has Abbott and Costello loose in parliament if they weren't such a pair of tossers. Abbott, in particular, is a loony fundie who has been on a Bush inspired god-bothering bent of late, insisting on sharing (by law if he had his way) his weird little beliefs on how his imaginary friend thinks we should live our lives.

Jesus Peanut Butter Cups

Let it be noted that Aloysius is in danger of getting a bill for the removal of nasal filtered beverages from the interior of my keyboard.

Little pieces of the son of god in a milk chocolate cup. There's no wrong way to eat a Jesus.

goats: strip from March / 13 / 1998 - Goats, 13th March 1998 (via HogBlog).

Violent Christian Film Kills Again

United States: It appears that The Passion of the Christ has claimed yet another life, this time from a heart attack during one of the most violent moments of the film.

It was the highest emotional part of the movie, a spokeswoman for the station said. A crew from the station was at the special showing, which was sponsored by the ClearChannel Radio chain.

March 17, 2004

God Equation Total Bollocks

United Kingdom: Dr Stephen Unwin, Manchester University graduate and professional wingnut, has calculated that there is a 67% chance that God exists.

Dr Stephen Unwin has used a 200-year-old formula to calculate the probability of the existence of an omnipotent being. Bayes' Theory is usually used to work out the likelihood of events, such as nuclear power failure, by balancing the various factors that could affect a situation.
The Manchester University graduate, who now works as a risk assessor in Ohio, said the theory starts from the assumption that God has a 50/50 chance of existing, and then factors in the evidence both for and against the notion of a higher being.
Factors that were considered included recognition of goodness, which Dr Unwin said makes the existence of God more likely, countered by things like the existence of natural evil — including earthquakes and cancer.

Aloysius finds the whole claim a bunch of old cobblers.

DIY Crucifixion

United States: In an interesting attempt at suicide, one loony fundie decided to try a DIY crucifixion on himself. He claims not to have seen The Passion of the Christ, so we can only concluded that Christianity is evil and causes people to kill themselves.

A Hartland man was treated at a Pittsfield hospital after he nailed himself to a cross.

The 23-year-old man apparently was trying to commit suicide Thursday evening in his living room, the Bangor Daily News reported. Police said the man appeared delusional and told them he had been seeing pictures of God on the computer...

Lt. Pierre Boucher said the man took two pieces of wood, nailed them together in the form of a cross and placed them on the floor. He attached a suicide sign to the wood and then proceeded to nail one of his hands to the makeshift cross using a 14-penny nail and a hammer.

When he realized that he was unable to nail his other hand to the board, he called 911, Boucher said.

Man treated after attempting to nail himself to crossAP, 16th March 2004 (via Die Puny Humans).

March 13, 2004

The Earth, It Burns

United States: What weird fetish involves not allowing your feet to touch the earth? Isn't that the sort of loony direction Howard Hughes was heading before he popped his cogs?

For days now, the job at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County has been to follow the order from the White House through the Secret Service and down to the park workers:
The president's feet are not to touch the dirt...

One Invisible Friend to Rule Them All

United States: The loony fundies are pushing through a law that will make their invisible friend sovereign of all, and if you dare to take offence at anything done in the name of said invisible friend, you can expect swift and vengeful punishment for your heathen attempt at original thought.

One of the sticking points in crafting the just-signed interim constitution of the Pentagon cash cow formerly known as Iraq was the question of acknowledging Islam as the fundamental source of law. After much wrangling, a fudge was worked out that cites the Koran as a fundamental source of legal authority, with the proviso that no law can be passed that conflicts with Islam.

We in the enlightened West smile at such theocratic quibbling, of course: Imagine, national leaders insisting that a modern state be governed solely by divine authority! Governments guaranteeing the right of religious extremists to impose their views on society! What next — debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Oh, those poor, ignorant barbarians in Babylon!

Well, wipe that smile off your face. For even now, the ignorant barbarians in Washington are pushing a law through Congress that would acknowledge God as the sovereign source of law, liberty [and] government in the United States. What's more, it would forbid all legal challenges to government officials who use the power of the state to enforce their own view of God's sovereign authority. Any judge who dared even hear such a challenge could be removed from office.

March 12, 2004

Fundies Steam Ahead With Hate Campaign

United States: Terrified at the thought their hatred of homosexuals being condemned by the mainstream, a bunch of loony fundies, with the help of the notoriously bigoted American Family Association, is fighting Mayor Greg Nickels official recognition of same-sex marriages.

A group of ministers, troubled that Mayor Greg Nickels has signed an executive order recognizing same-sex marriages from other states, will gather today at the King County Courthouse to support a lawsuit demanding an end to it.

The American Family Association, a conservative advocacy group based in Tupelo, Miss., has dispatched lawyers to file legal papers challenging local governments from California to New York that have endorsed gay unions, and Seattle is their next stop.

March 11, 2004

The Masons Have Had a Rough Couple of Days

United States: On Monday night, a ritual inside Patchogue, New York's Southside Masonic Lodge No 493 ended with the accidental killing of a new initiate. Another member shot him in the face. The shooter was carrying two guns, one with blanks and one with live ammo, and grabbed the wrong one during the ritual — doh! Both the shoter and the initiate were old enough to know better.

The shooter, a 76-year-old Mason, Albert Eid, was carrying two guns, a .22-caliber handgun with blanks in his left pocket, and a .32-caliber gun with live rounds in his right pocket.
He reached into his right pants pocket, pulled out the wrong gun and shot William James, a 47-year-old fellow Mason, in the face, killing him, the authorities said.

March 9, 2004

Aristide a Victim of Voodoo

Haiti: The Telegraph isn't exactly renown for its journalistic integrity, and in a prime example of their love of Bugger the facts. What's the spin? we have the delightful story of President Aristide's kidnapping by the US military ignored in favour of voodoo being at fault.

The rise and fall of Mr Aristide, its first democratically elected leader and an ordained Catholic priest who adopted as his symbol the cockerel, a voodoo icon, illustrates this. Mr Aristide, whose library contained many books on the national religion, was guilty of the voodoo equivalent of hubris and then struck down by its version of nemesis, several voodo priests said this week.

Indoctrinating the Young and Impressionable

United States: Every wondered how so many insane, brainwashed fundies end up in US politics? Ever thought that there must be some farm where the terminally spineless were moulded into Pat Robertson clones? Turns out there is — the evil, little bastards are churned out of a specialist Hitler Youth style college controlled by evangelical wingnuts.

As one of 12 siblings taught at home by their parents in St. Croix Falls, Wis., Abram Olmstead knew he would fit right in at Patrick Henry College, the first college primarily for evangelical Christian home-schoolers. But what really sold him was the school's pipeline into conservative politics.

Of the nearly 100 interns working in the White House this semester, 7 are from the roughly 240 students enrolled in the four-year-old Patrick Henry College, in Purcellville. An eighth intern works for the president's re-election campaign. A former Patrick Henry intern now works on the paid staff of the president's top political adviser, Karl Rove. Over the last four years, 22 conservative members of Congress have employed one or more Patrick Henry interns in their offices or on their campaigns, according to the school's records...

March 8, 2004

Churches Caught Out By Same-Sex Marriages

United States: By getting married with a license in a church or synagogue, many couples are hoping to chip away at opposition to same-sex marriages among religious people.

For three weeks, the grand marble staircase at City Hall has been wedding central in San Francisco, with thousands of gay and lesbian couples lining up to be married by city officials.

But many of the couples are not stopping at the staircase. They are taking their marriage licenses and heading to a church or synagogue for a second ceremony or, in some cases, for an alternative to the civil proceeding.

The decision is driven largely by the religious convictions of the gay couples, clergy members who perform the ceremonies say. But there is also a deeply political undercurrent to the religious weddings that is creating divisions in some institutions, even those with a history of blessing gay and lesbian partnerships.

By getting married with a license in a church or synagogue, many couples are hoping to chip away at opposition to same-sex marriages among religious people, and thereby advance the broader goals of the gay rights movement.

Randy Rector Given The Boot

United Kingdom: A married rector has been disqualified from practising as a priest after he admitted getting his leg over with a woman in his parish.

Mr [Simon] Oberst, a Cambridge graduate who lists his hobbies as singing and music, admitted that he had made advances to two women in his parish. One refused his approaches, the other accepted and an affair followed.

March 5, 2004

Bargain of the Day: Passion Opportunists

United States: Over at the Prattle Towers satellite office, when we're not scouring the headlines to bring you the latest in naughty vicar stories, we're immersed in other web enterprises. Our main site runs Google ads and we have noticed an influx of god bothering wankers pushing crap for The Passion of The Christ.

I'd just assumed that most were trying to flog the same Passion tat that has already been highlighted here, but the lovely Feòrag pointed out several of the amusing and opportunistic little enterprises riding on the coattails of Lethal Weapon meets God.

From the school of You've seen the movie, now buy our crap, which comes in the exciting flavours of pro- and anti-Passion. Interesting to note that this particular ad was using the same googlejuice boosting techniques favoured by spammers.

Who really killed Jesus?
Do the Bible Codes predict The Passion controversy?

The sensationalist tabloid headline version of Buy our crap. Complete with fake endorsements — just like the movie.

Passion of Christ
Recent wave of Godly programs? Recent wave of Satanic programs?

There's the Convert, you godless heathens. Oh, and buy our crap kind of ad.

Passion — True to Script?
Read Jesus' exact words from the original eyewitness biographies.

The usual bunch of ads luring you to eBay or Amazon make an apearance. But there's also a curious group that figure if you've seen the movie, you'll be jonesing for a new bible. How can you resist a bible has been completely remastered and is touted as being a first edition.

Prepare for the Passion
1st edition copy of new Douay Bible Completely remastered, in leather.

The What the hell, learn a dead language marketing ploy, the site fudges the truth a little because you get presented with Hebrew instead of Aramaic. I think these guys are playing off the inherent stupidity of the loony fundies who will flock to the movie and not understand the difference.

Understand The Passion?
Learn Hebrew and Aramaic at Home No-Risk Video CD Course from Israel

The warez sites are not about the look a gift horse in the mouth, so there's also a heap of ads tempting you to download the movie or buy pirated versions.

You run one post about Mel's crappy vanity pick and you're innundated by tat merchants. Isn't there something in the bible about merchants being the spawn of satan?

Opinions of the Wolf: Opinion - Red Wolf, March 2004.

March 4, 2004

Girl Scouts Vilified by Fundies

United States: The loony fundies have always got their knickers in a knot over something, but this time the object of their wrath are the Girl Scouts. It seems that the Girl Scouts have been rubbing shoulders with Planned Parenthood and the fundies are terrified that their little angels may actually get a decent bloody sex education and have jumped on their usual wagon of hatred and bigotry.

The furor was started a few weeks ago by the leader of the anti-abortion group Pro-Life Waco, who sent out e-mails and ran ads on a Christian radio station urging people to boycott Girl Scout cookies because of the cozy relationship between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood.

Parents were upset to learn that the local Girl Scout organization had given a woman of distinction award last year to a Planned Parenthood executive. And they were disturbed to find out that the Girl Scout organization has been giving its endorsement for years to a Planned Parenthood sex-ed program in which girls and boys are given literature on homosexuality, masturbation and condoms.

It's not that we're a bunch of activists. We're just a bunch of moms who care about their kids, said Lisa Aguilar, who took her 10-year-old daughter out of her eight-member Girl Scout troop. For us, it's the morality. Where is Girl Scouts going?

Drunken Polish Nun Crashes her Tractor

Poland: After sampling the communal wine a Benedictine nun in Poland fired up the tractorgot herself in a bit of bother.

A Benedictine nun in Poland could lose her driving licence, after hitting a car parked outside her convent while drunk at the wheel of a tractor.
Police say the 45-year-old nun was not even in a fit state to blow into a breathalyser, after the accident at Krzeszow in the country's south-east.
A spokesman says officers are awaiting the results of a blood-alcohol test before charging her.

Drinking a factor as nun crashes tractor - AFP, 3rd March 2004.

What's Popcorn in Aramaic?

United Kingdom: The wits over at The Guardian have come up with a glossary of useful Aramaic phrases to help enrich your enjoyment of The Passion of The Christ.

B-kheeruut re'yaaneyh laa kaaley tsuuraathaa khteepaathaa, ellaa Zaynaa Mqatlaanaa Trayaanaa laytaw!
It may be uncompromising in its liberal use of graphic violence, but Lethal Weapon II it ain't.
Da'ek teleyfoon methta'naanaak, pquud. Guudaapaw!
Please turn off your mobile phone. It is blasphemous.
Shbuuq shuukhaaraa deel. Man ethnaggad udamshaa?
Sorry I'm late. Have I missed any scourging?
Aykaa beyt tadkeetha? Zaadeq lee d-asheeg eeday men perdey devshaanaayey haaleyn!
Where is the loo? I need to wash my hands of this popcorn.

March 3, 2004

Tattoo Ideas for Jesus

United States: Last week the always amusing Mark Markford proposed a question in his Morning Fix Newsletter; If Jesus Christ were to get a tattoo, what would it be of, where would it go, and why? And the responses rolled in.

Darwin fish, left ankle. Eye in the Pyramid, both palms. — David Mountain
It would be of Magdalene, as his consort. He would put it on his chest near his heart, and it would be of her because every Male deity needs have a female shakti to balance him. — Christine Berger

Catholic Group Is Told to Pay for Birth Control

United States: The courts have thrown out the attempt by fundie employers to weasel out of including birth control in medical coverage.

The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that Catholic Charities must provide its employees in California with medical coverage for birth control, in spite of its religious objections to contraception.

The ruling has sweeping implications for religion-based nonprofit organizations and hospitals throughout the state and could influence decisions made in at least 20 other states that have similar laws requiring employers to provide contraception as part of employee health coverage, legal experts said. A similar case, brought by Catholic and Protestant organizations, is winding its way through the New York courts.

Catholic Group Is Told to Pay for Birth ControlNew York Times, 2nd March 2004.

March 2, 2004

Computer Declares Passion The Mark Of The Beast

United States: The computerised ticket machines in a Georgia theatre seem to have a sense of humour, they stamped the tickets to The Passion of the Christ with the number 666.

Tickets at one movie theater screening Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ are being deemed decidedly unholy.
The number 666, which many Christians recognize as the mark of the beast, is appearing on movie tickets for Gibson's film at a Georgia theater, drawing complaints from some moviegoers.

Black Is Better Than Gay

United States: Apparently deciding that black people are a lesser evil than gay people, the loony fundies from the Family Research Council are trying to enlist black Christians to believe the lie that opposing gay marriage isn't a breach of civil rights.

Speaking recently to a group of black evangelical ministers and lay people here, Genevieve Wood of the conservative Family Research Council made an impassioned plea. Black Christians, she said, must speak out against advocates of gay marriage.
They are wrapping themselves in the flag of civil rights, said Ms. Wood, who is white, as visitors from across the country shook their heads in dismay. I can make arguments against that. But not nearly like you all can.

Both Sides Court Black Churches in the Debate Over Gay Marriage - New York Times [BugmeNot], 1st March 2004.

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