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Category: Religion
Shroud of Turin Mystery Solved
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 11, 2005
In the debate about the Shroud of Turin, perhaps the strongest argument that the pro-Shroud side had going for it was that no one could figure out how a medieval forger could have created such a thing. How could the forger have etched a three-dimensional photo-negative image of a crucified man onto a piece of linen? Nathan Wilson has pretty much demolished this pro-shroud argument by showing that it would have been quite easy for a medieval forger to have done this. All he (or she, but probably he) would have needed is some white paint, a large piece of glass, and a piece of…
Categories: Religion Comments (106)
Virgin Mary Pretzel
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 06, 2005
The latest 'spawn-of-Virgin-Mary-Grilled-Cheese-Sandwich' on eBay is the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus Pretzel. This is a pretzel that may, if you're of the right frame of mind, look kind of like a Picasso-style rendition of the Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus. According to the description: "This totally unique and spiritual item was found by a 12 year old girl.  She was eating "Rold Gold" Honey Mustard flavored tiny twist pretzels, when she noticed the Virgin Mother holding Baby Jesus.  We all had a feeling of warmth and spirituality when holding the pretzel." The salty pretzel has been receiving news coverage, and bidding on…
Categories: eBay, Food, Religion Comments (32)
Sometimes Sweaty Statue Says Pope Will Live
Posted by The Curator on Sun Feb 27, 2005
A statue of Pope Sylvester II in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran is said to become damp when a Pope is about to die. The statue ain't sweating, so that means things are looking good for John Paul II. The accuracy of the statue as a medical diagnostic tool has been confirmed by "two elderly Italian nuns", so this is a pretty definite thing. (thanks to Gary for the link)
Categories: Death, Religion Comments (8)
Mohammed (peace be upon him)
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 17, 2005
The latest rumor spreading around that has people up in arms involves an unusual requirement that exam boards supposedly place upon Religious Education students in Britain (this would involve students in the British equivalent of Junior High School). Apparently "The exam board requires that every time Muhammad is written, the letters "pbuh" in parentheses be placed after it. This is shorthand for "peace be upon him". The writer therefore prays a blessing upon him everytime his name is written, as is the custom of Muslims." This has people upset because it seems bizarre to force people who aren't Muslim to pray a blessing upon Mohammed. It would be like forcing Muslims to make the sign of the cross every time…
Categories: Religion Comments (13)
Pigeon Religion
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 07, 2005
Pigeon Religion extolls the divine virtues of the oft-maligned pigeon. It's hard to tell if this is meant to be taken seriously. The text seems serious enough. Maybe. But the picture of a pigeon on the cross seems a bit over the top. However, I ran the phone number at the bottom of the page through a reverse phone directory and discovered that it was the number of the Companion Bird Club of Manhattan. Therefore, I'm concluding that Pigeon Religion is quite serious. (via Bifurcated Rivets)
Categories: Animals, Religion Comments (2)
Nuns on Stools
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 02, 2005
I just received this photo in my email. I suppose those stools the women are sitting on are real enough, though I have no idea if the women are really nuns, or if the whole scene was staged. It looks to me like the picture was taken somewhere in Europe, based on the drinks and signs behind the bar. Update: I added the picture that Charybdis linked to, since it's evident they belong together in a series. It must have been some kind of 'nuns on stools' photo shoot. (click images…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Religion Comments (14)
Jesus on the Half Shell
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 18, 2005
Here's another image-of-God-appears-in-food story. The BBC reports that a Swiss bar manager, Matteo Brandi, has found an oyster shell that bears the spitting image of Jesus Christ, though to me it looks more like what I imagine the Sea-God Poseidon should look like. Mr. Brandi said he found the shell when "The oyster stuck to his hand as if God was calling him." He also points out that his oyster shell is unique because, unlike the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich, it is "the work of nature." That's true. A few hundred years ago Mr. Brandi's shell would have been referred to as a Lusus Naturae.…
Categories: Food, Religion Comments (21)
Face of Christ in Painting
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 17, 2005
I received this email yesterday from an artist requesting my opinion. Feel free to leave your own opinion in the comments: Being an artist, in August of 1996 I painted a picture. It was supposed to be a simple picture of a large cross on a white background. The picture is 24 x 30. The two axis of the cross are 11.5 inches wide. Roughly 28 x 22.5. The cross was made by taking a pallet of mixed colors of paint and with one vertical and one horizontal swipe nothing more. When the paint…
Categories: Art, Religion Comments (68)
CIA Muezzin School
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 11, 2005
The Guardian reports that a story has been spreading around Islamic websites about a CIA muezzin school in which the CIA trains agents to pose as muezzins (the men who call Muslims to prayer five days a week times a day from the minaret towers of mosques). Supposedly the CIA feels that muezzins are in a uniquely advantageous position to view everything that's going on in Muslim communities. But in reality, this is another of those satire-mistaken-as-news stories. The story of the CIA Muezzin school originated on the satire-laced website of the The Rockall Times (Rockall is a tiny uninhabited island in the middle of the Atlantic). So this will join the growing list of spoofs…
Miracle M&M
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jan 09, 2005
I, like everyone else, should stop posting about these miracle foods that keep appearing on eBay. It's only encouraging their proliferation. But I just can't stop myself. So here's the latest one: A Miracle M&M. The seller says: Purchasing a handful of M&M from vending machine, I came across this very special M&M that I believe to be a likeness of Jesus with a crown on his head. This has been a life changing event for me. I am hoping that all of you see what I see.
Categories: eBay, Food, Religion Comments (17)
Santa in the Manger
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 17, 2004
In the same vein as the crucified Santa urban legend, here's an odd statue that would look great in any front yard. It's the Santa Kneeling by Baby Jesus Outdoor Statue. I wonder if they realize that Santa wasn't actually one of those three wise men that the Bible talks about? (via Bifurcated Rivets)
Categories: Religion Comments (26)
He’s Still an Atheist
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 14, 2004
A flurry of news stories last week announced the news that a famous atheist, 81-year-old Antony Flew, had changed his mind. Apparently he now believed that there was a God, of some sort. Except that it looks like the media jumped the gun a bit. In this article in Rationalist International Flew rebuts the rumors, reassuring everyone that "I'm Still an Atheist!" He then proceeds to explain how all the confusion happened, but unfortunately his explanation succeeded in confusing me even more. Something about positive vs. negative atheists (I'm not sure what he means by this).
Categories: Religion Comments (9)
End of World Causes Bank Failure
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 08, 2004
Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending spree was the Bank of Ephraim. They approved loans for one bizarre project after another: a watermelon farm that didn't grow watermelons, a construction company that made a loss on everything it sold…
Have You Forsaken Baby Jesus?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 07, 2004
Lots of people are linking to this floating Baby Jesus head that squeaks plaintively, occasionally moans 'WHY', and constantly demands 'WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?' One look at the URL told me that it was a spoof, because it's part of the Objective: Christian Ministries (O:CM) site, probably the most elaborate anti-fundamentalist parody site on the internet. But apparently not everyone is aware of O:CM, so they're getting creeped out thinking the floating Baby Jesus head is supposed to be taken seriously. O:CM has been around for a while. I first became aware of it in mid-2003, but it's older than that.…
Categories: Religion, Websites Comments (7)
Crucified Santa
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 03, 2004
According to urban legend there was once a department store in Japan that, shortly after the war, displayed a smiling crucified Santa at Christmas, mistakenly believing that that was how Santa was supposed to be displayed. In different versions of the legend the crucified Santa was either a small miniature or an 'enormous effigy'. There's no evidence that the Japanese crucified Santa ever existed. But people here in America have, of course, deliberately stuck Santas up on crosses. Here's an article that refers to a guy who delighted his neighbors back in 2002 by placing a crucified Santa in his front yard: A unique holiday display in Boise…
Categories: Religion, Urban Legends Comments (18)
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