A Miscellany 147
Recently in the News
To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.
God hates Jerry Falwell
The kooks of Westboro Baptist Church led by the Reverend Fred Phelps are going to picket the funeral of Jerry Falwell. Why? Is it that Falwell was not homophobic enough? No! Apparently it is because Falwell preached that "God is love." Followers of Phelps know that God hates everyone.
Friendly match cancelled
In an attempt to establish understanding and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims in Norway, a soccer game was arranged between ministers and imams. When the Christian team showed up with a mixed team of male and female ministers, the Muslims refused to play because playing against women would be against their beliefs.
The Christians are in the wrong here; they should have recognized this would be a problem that the Muslims would be unable to compromise on.
Pill pusher canonized
During his visit to Brazil, Pope Benedict canonized Friar Antonio de Sant'Anna Galvao. Three successfully documented miracle cures are credited to the new saint. In the early 19th century, he started the practice of making pills out of rice paper upon which a prayer is written. The rice paper is rolled up into a tiny pill. Pills are supposed to be taken over a nine day period, with the prayer being said as the pill is consumed. After the nine day regime, the cure is supposed to come into effect. The manufacture of these pills has been continued by nuns since Friar Galvao's death in 1822 and hundreds of millions of the pills distributed to credulous Brazilians over nearly two centuries.
No doubt a number of people got over their ailments after taking the pills. Between the placebo effect and the curative power of time, this is not surprising given the volume of pills distributed. But we wonder how many people died because they chose the magic of rice paper prayer pills over genuine medical advice.
Death to accordions
In Saskatchewan, a man got into a domestic dispute over "a church related matter." He then shot his accordion. He got probation and is forbidden to possess firearms for ten years.
Make a note in your calender - in ten years when he's got his weapons back, start sending Kenneth Runge the rest of the world's accordions. See if he'll take bagpipes too.