Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Quote of the Week

The following quote is readily applicable in a systemic manner to today's Episcopal Church, but it is also applicable to plenty of other denominations and, at a personal level, to hordes of individuals throughout Christendom. Frankly, I think it's one of the greates temptations of our modern, democratic times. I've ben guilty of it before, and I know I could be guilty again at the drop of a hat. One of the best reasons to read the Fathers of the Church is to provide an antitdote to the poison of wanting to make up my own religion.

If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you do not like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.
Contra Faustum, Book XVII

(Also translated as "to believe what you please, and not to believe what you please, is to believe yourselves, and not the gospel.")

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Difference Between Houston and Austin

Several years ago, Dear Sister gave my wife and myself a toad house as a gift. If you've never seen one, a toad house is a usually-ceramic little item that you put outside to provide shelter for the resident garden amphibian - it essentially makes a comfy and decorative little cave.

We get the occassional toad aroud here, but I hadn't seen one in the house for quite some time. My wife decided to move it to a different spot near the front pond. When she picked it up however, it was indeed occupied.

This clearly summarizes the difference between Austin and Houston. Our toads have more legs.

The local tarantulas, Aphenopelma hentzi, are, by the way, completely harmless. They are actually kind of cute - I have heard them referred to as "South Austin Chipmunks" by more than one person. I had been concerned that I hadn't seen any active spider burrows in my back 40 this year - but why dig when there's an open house for the taking? I need to buy some more toad houses.

Porn-Star-to-Priest UPDATE

An update to the post about the porn-star-turning-priest from the NY Times Letters to the Editor section, courtesy of Episcope:

I would like to clear some factual errors in the article by reporter Sharon Waxman, “Man of the Flesh to Man of the Cloth,” (Sunday July 15, Fashion and Style).

Mr. Ronald Boyer is not in any process for ordination in The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He has expressed an interest in ordained ministry, as do dozens of people every year. But the path to ordination is a long, careful, deliberate process, beginning with a discernment committee in the applicant’s own congregation, which over a period of time arrives at a prayerful recommendation as to whether or not to support the person’s application. At the diocesan level, the process involves the bishops, the Commission on Ministry and the Standing Committee of the diocese to ensure that candidates have an authentic call to ordained ministry, and that they are thoroughly trained and educated for the job. In other words, the decision to become a priest does not rest solely with the individual, and so far Mr. Boyer has taken none of the steps that would make him a viable candidate for ordination.

The article stated that Mr. Boyer met “with the second-ranking official of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Suffragan Chester L. Talton, to gain approval to establish a ministry among sex workers.” In fact, Mr. Boyer has not met with any of the bishops of the Diocese.

As Christians, we always rejoice at the news that a person has been transformed by the gospel of Christ into new life, leaving behind attitudes or activities that separate him or her from the love and mercy of God. In the Episcopal Church, all baptized members are invited to be involved in worthwhile and fulfilling forms of ministry, many of which do not require ordination. We encourage Mr. Boyer to continue seeking for the path that our Lord intends for him.

The Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

I have never been a fan of Bishop Bruno, but credit should be given where credit is due. The letter is clear, factual, and pastoral – most unusual for a Bishop in TEC. I hope it starts a trend.

The primary fault for misrepresentation in the original story appears to belong to the reporter, who apparently created an item of “faction” for her own editorial purposes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Based on the following passage excerpted from a New York Post column commenting on the arrival in America of soccer star David Beckham and wife Posh Spice:

NBC should get down on its knees and make a giant no vena of thanks that soccer star David Beckham was called back to Europe before it could finish filming his relentlessly self-promoting wife's reality series, "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America."

It looks like any return by Catholics to the Latin Mass may be delayed by the educational failures of both society and The Church. I’d love to meet the brilliant editor who “corrected” novena (a nine day prayer to obtain special graces - from the Latin novem, meaning nine) to no vena (no vein, in Spanish). The mental image of the NBC network president engaging in a do-it-yourself saphenectomy is something I could have lived without.

One more experimental verification of my theory for the failure of Western Civilization. If people don’t know anything, you can convince them that darn near anything, however silly, is true.
NovenaNo Vena

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Porn Star to Become Priest?

From The Taipei Times for Sunday, July 15, 2007:

Some people have their midlife crisis in reverse, like Ronald Boyer, who for most of his professional life has been better known as a star of pornographic films, Rod Fontana.

After 30 years of sowing the wildest of oats, Boyer, 54, has searched his soul and chosen, to the surprise of family and colleagues, to seek a priesthood in the Episcopal Church.

Where else?

From his work in the rented villas of the San Fernando Valley, where hard-core sex films are shot, Boyer has moved just a short distance west, to the Church of the Epiphany, which is guiding his transformation from pornography star to preacher.

The psychic distance, however, has been vast. In January, the lumbering 183cm performer was greeting fans on the red carpet of the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, along with the superstars of pornography like Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy.

In June, Boyer was carrying the Holy Bible and a text titled "Gospel Light" to a live Internet show where he preached on the relative evils of pornography.

"Is pornography a sin?" Boyer asked on the show, which is aimed at people in the sex industry. "Probably. Definitely," he answered, a response that reflected his own ambivalence as much as a desire not to alienate his audience. "So is eating carrot cake until you're sick to your stomach," he continued. "And so is punching somebody in the face. That's a sin."

[…] He has tired of performing in sex movies, but even now doesn't condemn it. "Not one time did Jesus refer to pornography, or homosexuality," he observed on the Internet show, which he began as a co-host in May. "Jesus could have commented. He didn't."

Thank you for Platitudinous Lie #1: “Jesus never said anything about pornography / homosexuality / group sex / sex outside of marriage / sex with ducks / .” No, Jesus never specifically said anything about pornography; he never said anything about rape, incest, or picking your nose in public, either. So what? The epistles of Paul reinforce the teachings of Moses on the matter (“fornication” is used to translate the Greek word “porneia,” which in first-century Jewish life would have been understood as referring to any sexual activity in violation of the Law of Moses). Christians accept the scriptures as inspired by the Holy Spirit; therefore God has certainly spoken on the matter, and there can be no disagreement within the Trinity. The immorality of pornography and homosexual activity has also been the ApostolicTeacing from the beginning of the Church. Please, at least get a new argument; that one has just gotten boring.

Still, to pursue a new path as a religious leader, he had to make a clear choice. At the end of January, Boyer, who is married to a recently retired adult-film star, Liza Harper, announced his own retirement and gave up directing and performing in hard-core movies, he said, for good. "I don't enjoy it anymore," he said at the time.

Boyer's embrace of Christianity was not a result of a bolt-from-the-blue conversion. It was a gradual awakening to spirituality, in part stirred by unsettling changes in the multibillion-dollar pornography industry, which has veered into extreme territory in search of new ways of selling sex.

His journey from one private corner of American society to another has, by chance, traced the contours of America's experiment with sexual liberation to a return to more traditional values.

For Boyer, his path completes a circle. He grew up in a conservative Southern Baptist community in South Carolina, where he was baptized.

The contradiction between giving up pornography and feeling its attraction was still apparent in June, four months after retiring. "I love sex," he said. "I love performing. I love the combination of the two. I could go back and do it again, but I don't think I would. I had a passion for that. I put it there. Now I've channeled my passion to a different place."

The process to priesthood will take several years. Boyer began by being confirmed in the Episcopal Church this year. He is undergoing training to become a deacon, which will allow him to conduct most aspects of ministering short of the sacraments.

"I am hoping he can bring hopefulness and a love of Christ to people who desperately need it," said the Reverend Hank Mitchel, vicar of the church, on a recent Sunday after services.

I really hope so, too. I will pray for him. It cannot be an easy thing to walk away from a life that provides one with money, notoriety, and public acclaim – even if the acclaim comes from people who might not be considered the “pillars of society.” And it is certainly true that some of the greatest priests and saints have been the ones who could say, “Been there. Done that. You don’t want to go there.” Augustine, Francis, Ignatius of Loyola – even men like Fr. John Corapi.

If the tenor of this article is accurate, however, I am not sure it will come to pass. It sounds very much like he has fallen out of the physical pornography of Hollywood into the theological pornography of the Episcopal Church. If his conversion is real, he will probably eventually see through the falsity, and embrace not acceptance but forgiveness – a much finer and more helpful thing to receive! If not, may the sin be upon the heads of those who have misled him. I'm not going to jump on a guy who has left his past behind, just because he has been entrapped by bad teaching on the part of those who are supposed to know better. May God,who has begun a good thing, bring him into the Kingdom of Light.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

American Squirrels Busted in Iran!

From YNet News:

Iranian intelligence operatives recently detained over a dozen squirrels found within the nation's borders, claiming the rodents were serving as spies for Western powers determined to undermine the Islamic Republic.

"In recent weeks, intelligence operatives have arrested 14 squirrels within Iran's borders," state-sponsored news agency IRNA reported. "The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence services."

Iranian police commander Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqadam confirmed the report, saying that a number of squirrels had been caught bearing foreign spy gear within Iran's borders.
"I heard of this but I have no specific knowledge on the subject," he said. He refused to give further details.

Recently, Iran has increased its efforts in combating espionage by the West. The use of rodents has not been documented in the past.

At first, I assumed that this was a Friday the Thirteenth Hoax, but then the Iranians produced photographic evidence:

Squirrel disembarks from American submarine and is towed in by SEAL team.
First squirrel hits the beach
Squirrels overpower Iranian border gaurds to sieze landing zone
Second wave of squirrels infiltrates by parachute
American agent caught in act, listening in on Mullahs' top-secret strategy conference
Meanwhile, trained asassains prepare to ambush and bury for the winter Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian nuts leaders

According to Washington sources, Nancy Pelosi adn Harry Reid are threatening to open hearings on the Bush Administration's "aggressive and out-of-control" attempts to destabilize the Iranian government.

Meanwhile, Adminstration spokesman Tony Snow has denied any knowledge of the alleged operation, and has warned the Iranian government that the United States expcts the captured squirrels tobe treated humanely. "We will be monitoring the Iranian leadership's menus to make sure there are no fricasees coming up," Snow stated.

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council is expected early next week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Unhappy? Just Kill Yourself (with Help!)

LifeSite News writes about the push to legalize assisted suicide for the unhappy:

One of America's most prestigious bioethics journals has recently published an article questioning the policies currently in place across the world that prevent access to euthanasia for the clinically depressed.

In the May-June issue of the Hastings Center Report, Jacob Appel, a university professor from Providence, R.I., refers to the 1994 Death with Dignity Act in Oregon as well as California's Compassionate Choices Act that was approved this March. Noting the high tolerance for euthanasia in Europe, Appel cites the famous case in Switzerland last November when the Federal High Court of Lausanne ruled that euthanasia should be accessible for mentally depressed patients.

The case involved a 53-year old man who had previously tried to commit suicide twice. Backed by Dignitas, he argued a "right to self-determination" under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court ruled that "incurable, permanent, severe psychological disorders" were sufficient reason to allow a person to commit suicide. Similarly, in 1993 the Dutch Supreme Court refused to penalize psychiatrist Boudewijn Chabot for assisting a chronically depressed patient, fifty-year old Hilly Bosscher, to commit suicide.

After providing these examples, Appel goes on to argue that assisted suicide may be a "rational" decision for sufferers of psychological illnesses, even if there is some promise of a possible cure in the future. Appel writes, "If the offer is that an effective treatment may eventually be found, but a person will have to suffer for some decades more until that happens, then it might still be rational to prefer suicide."

He also addressed the "competence of the decision maker," saying, "If the values championed by assisted suicide advocates are maximization of autonomy and minimization of suffering-even when they conflict with the extension of life-then it follows that chronically depressed, competent individuals would be ideal candidates for the procedure."

Quoting the Swiss Court decision, he states, "We are entering an era during which psychiatric patients do not need to be protected, but empowered. Our goal should be to maximize the options available to the mentally ill."

I don’t think we have to worry about empowering the insane; they seemto be the ones running Western society these days. Part of that insanity centers around the notion that suffering renders life unworthy of being lived. That is a perfectly logical conclusion in an atheistic world, where suffering is merely pain and can provide no value. One is forced to contrast, however, the death of Mr. Bosscher with the death of the late Pope John Paul II – or for that matter, of Christ on the Cross. Ultimately, the question is, "To whom do I belong? To myself? Or to God?" The answer to that question determines one's attitude toward assisted suicide. It also, I'm afraid, determines one's eternal destination.

Satan has gotten much more sophisticated. In the 1930’s and 40’s, Hitler rounded up the physically and mentally infirm and executed them, earning the condemnation of the world. Seventy years later, we have convinced the physically and mentally infirm to kill themselves, with the smiling approval of society, and without the expense of rounding them up. Score one for Old Nick.

Swishy Fishies and the Hypocrisy of Environmentalism

The following story (which has been known for years) is excerpted from the National Catholic Register.

When EPA-funded scientists at the University of Colorado studied fish in a pristine mountain stream known as Boulder Creek two years ago, they were shocked. Randomly netting 123 trout and other fish downstream from the city’s sewer plant, they found that 101 were female, 12 were male and 10 were strange “intersex” fish with male and female features.

It’s “the first thing that I’ve seen as a scientist that really scared me,” said then 59-year-old University of Colorado biologist John Woodling, speaking to the Denver Post in 2005.

They studied the fish and decided the main culprits were estrogens and other steroid hormones from birth-control pills and patches, excreted in urine into the city’s sewage system and then into the creek.

[...] Since their findings, stories have been emerging everywhere. Scientists in western Washington found that synthetic estrogen – a common ingredient in oral contraceptives – drastically reduces the fertility of male rainbow trout.

[…] What the Boulder scientists discovered, however, is that few people care.
Or, if they’re worried, they’re in denial.

“Nobody is getting passionately concerned about it,” Norris said. “It makes no sense to me at all that people aren’t more concerned.”

When the story of his finding hit Denver and Boulder newspapers, Norris anticipated an immediate response from environmentalists, who define the politics of Boulder and are known to picket in the streets demanding ends to questionable farming practices, global warming and pesticide treatments.

To the professor’s surprise, however, the hormone story was mostly ignored.

[…] Dave Georgis, who directs the Colorado Genetic Engineering Action Network, took to the streets of Boulder on several occasions to hold signs demanding that Boulder County regulate genetically modified crops from existence.

When asked about the genetically modified fish and the contaminated drinking water, however, he said: “It just has so much competition out there for stuff to work on.”

He told the Boulder Weekly that nobody needed to consider curtailing use of artificial contraceptives out of concern for the creek.

“You can’t have a zero impact, and this is one of the many, many impacts we have on the environment in everyday life,” Georgis said. “Nobody is to blame for this, and I don’t have a solution.”

[…] Catholics shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for environmentalists to advocate a boycott of contraceptives, said George Harden, a board member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, based in Steubenville, Ohio.

“If you’re killing mosquitoes to save people from the West Nile virus, you can count on secular environmentalists to lay down in front of the vapor truck, claiming some potential side effect that might result from the spray,” Harden said. “But if birth control deforms fish – backed by the proof of an EPA study – and threatens the drinking supply, mum will be the word.”

[…] “It’s going to start looking funny,” Harden said. “The radical environmentalists won’t eat a corn chip if the corn contacted a pesticide. But they view it a sacred right and obligation to consume synthetic chemicals that alter a woman’s natural biological functions, even if this practice threatens innocent aquatic life downstream.”

Despite growing and nationwide knowledge of birth-control pollution in rivers and streams, leading environmentalists remain unfazed – even in Boulder, where it’s been known about for years.

Curt Cunningham, water-quality-issues chairman for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Sierra Club International, worked tirelessly last year on a ballot measure that would force the City of Boulder to remove fluoride from drinking water, because some believe it has negative effects on health and the environment that outweigh its benefits. But Cunningham said he would never consider asking women to curtail use of birth-control pills and patches – despite what effect these synthetics have on rivers, streams and drinking water.

“I suspect people would not take kindly to that,” Cunningham said. “For many people it’s an economic necessity. It’s also a personal freedom issue.”

Therein lies the real issue. It's one thing to force other people not to eat a genetically engineered tomato that actually tastes like a tomato instead carboard. It's another thing entirely to be faced with a need to alter your own carefully engineered life to include children. The hypocrisy is thick enough to be cut with a knife.

I don't know how many people have had their lives shortened because of fluoride in the drinking water; I suspect the number is nonnegative and less than 1. But protesting it allows me to act like I'm saving the earth while doing nothing whatsoever to inconvenience myself. It is fine to ban SUVs as long as I wasn't intending to buy one in the first place. It's fine to ban genetically modified crops when I can buy all the produce I want in the grocery store; starvation in the Third World can be safely blamed on the Bush Administration (for one more year, at least). It's fine to abn nuclear power, as long as my lights go on when I flip the switch. But if something important to my gloriously autonomous lifestyle is really impacting the environment, well, “You can’t have a zero impact..."

If the choice is between Earth and Ego, guess who wins. I think this particular form of insanity should be named BSS - Barbara Streisand Syndrome, after the singer/actress who wanted everyone to dry their clothes on the line to save energy - herself excepted.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cats Saved from Menu (Odd News)


Chinese cat lovers mobilized online to save a truck load of cats from the cooking pot, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Veteran Shanghai cat rescuer Duo Zirong started off her mission of deliverance on Friday when she called police to stop a truck stuffed with some 800 live cats, the China Daily said.

The standoff happened at a parking lot in a southern suburb of Shanghai. It continued for hours while cat lovers spread word of the incident online, eventually raising $1,320 in donations to buy the whole load.

They now hope to place them in homes after posting their pictures and profiles on the Internet.
"They were so frightened," it quoted one of the rescuers, Huo Puyang, as saying.

[...] Cat meat is considered a delicacy in southern China and cats are sold live to markets where they are slaughtered fresh for customers.

Hmm... That's about a buck and a half a cat. It certainly explains why the egg rolls at UT are so cheap.

Question... If a restaurant that serves beef is a steakhouse, then is a restaurant that serves felines a cathouse?

Nebuchadnezzar's Eunuch Make's the News

This poor guy probably never thought he'd be an item in The Telegraph (UK) 2600 years after the fact. Not only was he castrated; not only was the fact recorded in the Bible; now it's in the flipping London newspaper. Some people just can't catch a break.

The sound of unbridled joy seldom breaks the quiet of the British Museum's great Arched Room, which holds its collection of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years.

[...] But Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, let out such a cry last Thursday. He had made what has been called the most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.

Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets, Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name he half remembered - Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.

Prof Jursa, an Assyriologist, checked the Old Testament and there in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled differently, the same name - Nebo-Sarsekim.

Nebo-Sarsekim, according to Jeremiah, was Nebuchadnezzar II's "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city.

The small tablet, the size of "a packet of 10 cigarettes" according to Irving Finkel, a British Museum expert, is a bill of receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin's payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon.

The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem.

Evidence from non-Biblical sources of people named in the Bible is not unknown, but Nabu-sharrussu-ukin would have been a relatively insignificant figure.

"This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find," Dr Finkel said yesterday. "If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power."

[...] The full translation of the tablet reads: (Regarding) 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered [it] to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

People are always making arguments against historical Judaism and Christianity based on missing or conflicting archeological evidence for the historicity of one Biblical passage or another. Every few years, some new archeological discovery turns up that sets the Biblical minimalists back a step. And every time, they come back with, "Well, okay, that turned out to be pretty accurate, but what about this?" And on and on it goes. David wasn't real; now he is. The tales of the Patriarchs were anachronistic; now they're not. Belshazzar wasn't a real guy; now he is. John's gospel was geographically inaccurate; now it's not. Whatever...

There are certainly still some problems and discrepancies between scripture and the archeological record, but - in general - the scriptures seem to hold up pretty well, considering that very few of the biblical books were written as history in anything aproaching the modern sense. They at least deserve the benefit of the doubt!

The other thing that I find amusing is that so much of our knowledge of ancient civlizations comes not from the historians or storytellers of the age, but from the accountants. people probably broke up the tablets with The Epic of King Zebubbawatsaphat after they read it, and used them for garden fill. The receipts, however, they kept forever. Never know when the King's Royal Tax Collector might show up for an audit.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Antichrist Sued for Divorce

From The Miami Herald:

Josefina De Jesus Torres gently runs her perfect French manicure across the pages of her wedding album, ruminating on life as the wife of the self-proclaimed Antichrist.

In one picture, church leader Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda pulls off her garter with his teeth. In another, the couple sip frothy champagne in front of a gleaming limo.

"He was my apostle, the perfect man . . . the Prince Charming - even better: God himself had come to love me,'' sighs Torres, a doe-eyed honey blonde. ``I felt better than the Virgin Mary.''

Torres says she often washed his feet and cut his fingernails and toenails as a sign of devotion.

Now, though, the romance that De Jesus told her was divinely decreed has ended in the most temporal of battlefields: divorce court. And, amid court revelations about his personal spending, she is speaking out publicly about life with the controversial Miami-based preacher.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Torres' legal action has forced her husband, head of the multinational Growing in Grace ministry, to give testimony that for the first time reveals how he paid personal expenses with donations to his tax-exempt church. This month, the judge in their divorce case sent a transcript of a recent hearing to federal prosecutors, saying he felt ''ethically compelled'' to bring it to their attention.

Satan may be a harsh master, but wait until he faces Internal Revenue...

De Jesus gained international notoriety by declaring himself to be Jesus Christ in 2004, then later claiming to be the Antichrist. His theory: As he is the Second Coming, his teachings supersede those of Jesus.

[…] Torres, 44, says her suit could help her husband find redemption.

''He himself teaches that unless you suffer something really hard, like prison or serious illness, you will never learn,'' she said. ``God always sends you a warning, `Look, that's bad, correct yourself.'

''That is why I am doing this, not to be judgmental, but something is not right,'' said Torres, who is seeking half of her husband's wealth.

[…] The pair met in late 1999, when De Jesus, who preaches that all sin was destroyed when Christ died on the cross, still called himself only "the Apostle.''

[…] As a teenager, Torres became known in Baranquilla for dressing up as a dancing nun called ''Sister YeYe'' and hosting first Communion parties in nightclubs. She parlayed that character into a children's TV program in the mid-1980s that she says featured early appearances by Shakira, then 8 years old, now a Grammy-winning singer.

What I want to know is whether, as the ex-wife of the Antichrist, she gets half of all the kingdoms of the world? Is the poor guy now just the Prince of the Power of Half the Air - maybe Prince of the Power of Nitrogen and Greenhouse Gases? Does he have to pay child support to all the Sons of Belial? And just who gets to keep the Key to the Bottomless Pit?

The Number of the Beast will soon be 333.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Is The Waffler Soft-Core?

According to the website Mingle2, my humble little blog is apparently not suitable for youngsters:

Free Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
death (9x)
abortion (7x)
crack (2x)
cum (1x)

It is a sad commentary on the state of Western Civilization that the default assumption regarding the meaning of "cum" is not the Latin preposition "with," as in "Et cum spritu tuo," but - well - something else. And the mention of "death " is unsuitable for those under the age of 17? The elimination of the inevitibility and nearness of death from the public conciousness is arguably one of the contributors to the collapse of morality in our modern age.

Interestingly, I had to edit the code supplied by Mingle2 in order to take out an advertisement for an on-line dating service. I guess I have a different notion of what should constitute "NC-17."

Yes, I'll lighten up - I'm being way too serious about something which is supposed to be amusing.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Martyr Mouse Meets Maker

From - apparently, Jihad Mickey has been whacked by those nefarious Jews.

A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas- affiliated children's television program was beaten to death in the show's final episode Friday.

In the final skit, "Farfour" was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a "terrorist."

"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.

The weekly show, featuring a giant black-and-white rodent with a high- pitched voice, had attracted worldwide attention because the character urged Palestinian children to fight Israel. It was broadcast on Hamas- affiliated Al Aqsa TV.

Station officials said Friday that Farfour was taken off the air to make room for new programs. Station manager Mohammed Bilal said he did not know what would be shown instead.

Hamas should have known it was coming; I'm sure they have read The Protocols of the Mousetraps of Zion. I wonder what the new show will be?

Tom and Jihad: A cute jihadist mouse chases a hook-nosed Jewish cat around the apartment with dynamite.

Sesame Shiite: Big Bird is hijacked and crashes into an American warship.

My Mother the Car Bomb: A mild-mannered shopkeeper's mother is reincarnated as a Mercedes packed with fuel oil and ammoniom nitrate. Hilarious antics ensue.

Mr. Rogers' Martyrdom: Mr. Rogers trades his sweater for a bomb vest and blows King Friday and his imperialist lackey's clean out of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Any better ideas?

Catholic Church Sues Embezzling Nun

(Excerpted from a Fox News article.)
In addition to a lawsuit against a nun accused of stealing church money, the Omaha Archdiocese has filed more lawsuits against her and some family members.

In April the archdiocese sued Sister Barbara Markey in an effort to recover $820,000 the archdiocese says she stole as director of the archdiocese's Catholic Family Life Office.

Her criminal trial on a charge of theft by deception was tentatively set for Sept. 17.

She was initially sued in April. This week the archdiocese filed a lawsuit against 11 of her relatives for a total of $73,800. They were not accused of theft, but the lawsuit says they benefited from the money, gifts or other items from Markey.

[...] A third lawsuit was filed in Park County, Colo., seeking a lien against a house there that has a tax valuation of $262,000. The archdiocese says Markey spent some of its money on the vacation home owned by members of her family, under the incorporated name of Bally Markey.

[...] Markey, a nationally and internationally known speaker, was fired in January after an audit turned up irregularities.

According to the audit, Markey spent $307,545 for her own use or without documentation between December 2003 and January 2006.

Prosecutors say nearly $900,000 hasn't been accounted for back to 1999, but the state won't be investigating further.

Criminal court documents say
at least $67,656 of the total was spent at casinos. She has denied any crime and has explained her spending as "complex accounting."

I can't help thinking that Internal Revenue might be interested in exploring her accounting principles. They frequently like to get a deep understanding of different people's "complex accounting."

The picture above is of Sister Markey. It comes as no surprise to me that she is one more nun not wearing a habit. She is Associate Director of the Center fot Family and Marriage at Creighton University. Interestingly, the Omaha Archdiocese recently severed ties with the Creighton U. Family Center after two researchers (one of whom is the Director of the Center) published an article in U.S. Catholic challenging the Church's stand on sex outside of marriage. Creighton is a Jesuit University. These days one has to ask whether being a Jesuit University means it is Jesuit and therefore Catholic, or Jesuit instead of Catholic.