Superstition and Other Silliness: December 2003 Archives

December 27, 2003

...and we don't care!

Australia: Christian religious leaders are in a tizzy because the latest census shows massive increases in the numbers of people describing themselves as Pagan, witches and atheists. Although the numbers are still tiny, National Church Life Survey researcher Ruth Powell, claimed After 2000 years of dominance, some people say we are now moving into the post-Christendom era and said that if churches did not act, the Christian epoch could come to an end.

Catholic Cardinal George Pell, who undoubtedly eats pork and wears mixed fibres, declared people were being lost to a pick'n'mix belief system the goal of which he described as "selfish" inner tranquillity. Christianity's toughest test of faith- The Australian, 27th December 2003.

Coming up trumps

A group of evangelists has decided to encourage comments about them talking out of their arses by making themselves fart more. Having noticed that no-one is going to church any more, and especially not young people, Mission Scotland are organising events such as curry nights to to make connections with people who don't have any church background. Our Father, give us this day our daily nan bread - Edinburgh Evening News, 26th December 2003.

December 21, 2003

Excuse of the year

Japan: A train conductor facing punishment for smoking on duty has an original explanation for his actions: It was the first time I'd ever done something like this. I was possessed by a demon.

'Possessed' conductor lights up on trainMainichi Daily News, 21st December 2003.

December 18, 2003

Not So Charming

Nigeria: Ashi Terfa, a traditional doctor in central Nigeria, has been shot dead by a patient, Umaa Akor, who was testing the potency of an anti-bullet charm the herbalist had prepared for him.

To confirm its efficacy, the herbalist tied the charm around his neck and insisted that Akor should fire a gun at him. The experiment proved fatal for the herbalist and his skull was shattered, he [police spokesman Bode Fakeye] added. He died immediately.

'Bullet-proof' man shot dead - News24, 17th December 2003.

December 15, 2003

A devil of a hand job

Philippines: An anonymous presidential palace official has declared that a hand gesture used by opposition candidate Raul Roco is really an evil, Satanic symbol. He says he got his information off the net. The offending gesture is used in American Sign Language to mean I love you and is widely understood by young Filipinos. A representative for Roco commented:

This Palace official is totally desperate. It's a sign of desperation. It's not within the normal realm of imagination to research on the Internet and link satanism to a hand symbol that's been universally known and accepted as 'I love you,' he added.

Roco camp chides Malacañang for saying hand signal 'satanic' - The Manila Times, 16th December 2003.

Twinkle, twinkle...

Australia: The outgoing director of the National Museum of Australia, Dawn Casey, has complained that politically-motivated members of the council have behaved in bizarre ways to prevent her doing her job. They seem to have some interesting opinions too:

Mr Barnett distrusts the museum's staff, dislikes its exhibitions and claims still that the museum's architecture was deliberately encoded with sinister messages, she says.
He imagines, for example, that the night sky ceiling of tiny twinkling lights at the entrance to the First Australians gallery is an encoded reference to the Holocaust. This makes just as much sense as saying it endorses astrology or witchcraft. These and other bizarre assumptions have been politely refuted and disproved again and again, but continue to be offered as evidence of the museum's problematic bias - despite rejections of bias by the museum's recent review, Ms Casey writes.

Casey's farewell to 'white-anters' - The Weekend Australian, 15th December 2003.

December 9, 2003

Groundhog Day

United States: Proving that weird fundy phenomenon of seeing god in a potato, the latest object they have latched onto is a movie; Groundhog Day. The Museum of Modern Art has included it in it's The Hidden God: Film and Faith, retrospective of religious films.

Don't think that it's just one flavour of fundies who believe that the movie beautifully expresses Christian belief, apparently Groundhog Day crossed all religious boundaries. Rabbis are using it because of its illustration of the Jewish faith and the Buddhists are claiming it is quintessentially Buddhist.

December 7, 2003

The Lord Moves in Mysterious Ways

Germany: Frithjof Schwesig, vicar in the southwestern town of Lampoldshausen, ordered 300 copies of a video film portraying the life of Christ as told by the gospel according to Luke.

Unfortunately there was a wee bit of a mix up at the Munich video copying plant when they accidentally sent through the wrong movie. At a marathon viewing session that night, the good vicar and his staff established that 200 of the videos were pornographic.

December 5, 2003

Fighting the Myths of AIDS

South Africa: South African-based health workers and researchers are struggling to educate the public about safe sex, but it's a tough battle when they are have to combat some of the insane myths about the disease.

December 3, 2003

Scaredy cats scared of cats

Israel: You'd think the population of Tel Aviv would have more pressing concerns, but a municipal vet has banned a black cat from the stairwell of a block of flats because some residents are scared of him.

Even if this reaction is based on superstition, people who are afraid of the cat should not be forced to encounter it on the stairwell, particularly when the area is not illuminated, the letter said. It ordered the couple to carry the cat when walking down the stairs.

Kooshi's minions are contesting the order and have contacted an experienced animal rights lawyer, who said that the order is illegal.

The city of Rishon Letzion doesn't have a leg to stand on, he said. A veterinarian can issue an order like this only if an animal constitutes a threat to public health or to public order. Kooshi is clean, he's been vaccinated and neutered, and is extremely well mannered. He's being singled out only because of his color.

Black Cat Banned From Tel Aviv Stairwell - Yahoo! News, 2nd December 2003.

December 1, 2003

Virus spreads through risqué lyrics.

Kenya: Anti-AIDS campaigners complain that their efforts to prevent the disease are frustrated by traditional beliefs:

Leaders attending an Aids conference in Kisumu said self-proclaimed cultural experts were using a Kenya Broadcasting Corporation radio programme -- Abila -- to frustrate the fight against the disease by linking it to witchcraft...
...Talks on the Luo culture by some elders are retrogressive. They make people believe that Aids doesn't exist and instead link all illnesses to chira (curse), Ms Oketch said.

Rather then using it as a hook to get people talking about AIDS, the campaigners wish the community would be a little less sex-obsessed:

Moi University Chancellor Bethwel Ogot urged the community to stop some customs which tied sexuality to all important family events such as planting, weeding and harvesting. Such cultures misled people to believing nothing important could be done in a family without sexual intercourse.
The conference blamed Luo musicians for contributing to the spread of Aids, saying a majority of Benga and Ohangla singers composed songs with strong sexual messages that lured their fans to risky sexual behaviour.
Our musicians sing nothing but sex. Women dancers are barely dressed while on stage and this is a setback to the fight, said Ms Oketch .

She did not explain how HIV passes from exposed flesh on stage to the audience. Cultural traits blamed for Aids spread - Daily Nation, 1st December 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Superstition and Other Silliness category from December 2003.

Superstition and Other Silliness: November 2003 is the previous archive.

Superstition and Other Silliness: January 2004 is the next archive.

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