Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Church of England's Cheese Problem

The Church of England's official rationale for refusing to ordain women bishops is that too many members would leave in protest -- making the church full of holes, "like a Gruyère cheese."

The church is so concerned, in fact, that it's proposing a law to create "spiritual havens" (i.e. separate churches) for opponents of gender equality.

Frankly, we think something's starting to smell a little moldy...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Progressive Christianity: Now With Free Stickers!

Jay Bakker, son of Jim and Tammy Faye, now runs a progressive, non-denominational church called Revolution. You can get the above sticker for free at the church's online store.

And check out this poster for services...

... which sure beats the traditional option:

More fun with church signs here and here!

Oh, and more on Jay Bakker.

Monday, April 28, 2008

In the News: Everyone Gets Kicked Out of Church

Cardinal Egan says that Rudy Giuliani shouldn't have taken communion during the Pope's visit, because of his pro-choice views.

The Church of England declares that there will be no female bishops before 2014, because "the Church would risk a mass walkout by opponents of women priests if women are put in positions of authority over them."

The Presbyterian Church is trying to decide if a Kentucky pastor violated church law by performing marriages for two lesbian couples.

To counteract this depressing week, here's a story I missed in January: the San Francisco presbytery approved lesbian pastor Lisa Larges for ordination. She had been trying for 23 years, and her lack of bitterness is inspiring: ""I still feel stunned, honestly, and deeply grateful both to the folks who supported me and to the presbytery for stepping up."

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Jehovah's Witnesses Explain the Recession

I was visited by my friendly neighborhood Jehovah's Witnesses again today. I told them I only had a minute, as my baby was upstairs sleeping (truth), so they took that minute to explain to me that the current economic downturn was predicted in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 6. Here's the passage they showed me, in the New King James Bible:

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

The Witnesses helpfully explained to me that wheat and barley were staples of the New Testament diet, and that a denarius was about a day's pay -- meaning that, according to God, a loaf of Wonderbread will soon cost us an entire paycheck.

I was curious where the wine and the oil came into it, but alas, I had a baby to get back to.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Video of the Week: 5000 Years of Religion in 90 Seconds

This fascinating video-map shows the spread of the world's major religions over the course of history. In the beginning, there was Krishna...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Continuing Adventures of Bibleman

So who is this Bibleman fellow, you ask? He's the titular hero of a popular Christian children's show, played until recently by Charles in Charge and Celebrity Fitness Club alum Willie Aames. He wears Biblically correct armor (the "breastplate of righteousness," "shield of faith," etc.):

He fights atheist villains by shouting Bible verses at them. He is, truth be told, a pretty boring superhero.

But there's still some fun to be had with Bibleman, and that fun lies in his incredibly offensive villains. Last week, author Daniel Radosh (whose book, Rapture Ready!, I'm very excited about) burned an "exclusive" Bibleman clip for the media gossip site Gawker. The clip shows Bibleman facing off against one of the show's many villains, most of whom evoke a startling degree of gayishness and/or Jewishness. Here's the guy from the clip, a belligerent talk show host with the most outlandish Jewish accent since vaudeville died:

Here's a guide to some other Bibleman villains, courtesy of WMFU's Beware of the Blog.

But there's more! A few years back, another blogger wrote to the Bibleman folks to complain about the show's anti-Semitism. She got a response directly from one of the actors; read the whole story here.

I know what you're thinking: you need to see more clips. Well okay then. Here's Bibleman getting tortured, Emperor Palpatine-style, by gayish villain Primordius Drool. And here's Bibleman fighting another enemy, Shadow of Doubt. And best of all, here's a trailer for the Bibleman videogame, in which Bibleman takes on the First Amendment.

That's right, meet Bibleman's arch-nemesis: Wacky Protester.