Archive for June 2009

Vatican Finds Proof of Miracle

June 30, 2009

The Vatican has claimed to have found proof of a miracle in the recovery of Chase Kear after a pole vaulting accident in which he suffered traumatic brain injury. The miracle is being attributed to Father Emil Kapaun who died in 1951.

I’m not sure when the miracle occurred; whether it was before or after the team of doctors worked on him.

“Kear survived a catastrophic head injury in October 2008 during pole vaulting practice at Hutchinson Community College. His family said they believe his life was saved by his neurosurgeon and other doctors, but also by thousands of prayers to Kapaun.”

It is funny that they would jump right to the conclusion that it’s a miracle. It’s almost as if they had some sort of ulterior motive or something:

“Declaring it a miracle would help determine whether Father Emil Kapaun of Pilsen will be canonized as a saint of the Catholic Church.”

Ah, a new saint. And an American saint at that. So, a new saint in a country that has seen a reduction in church attendance in recent years. Could they have a motive? I’m sure they’re being sincere. But, being that it’s a miracle that helped him, I bet those doctors feel pretty silly wasting all their time working on him.

Al Franken, MN Senator!

June 30, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, Senator Al Franken

You’ll Always Have The Poor

June 29, 2009

Parishioners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park Illinois have melted down $75,000 dollar worth of gold to make crowns for their statues of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.Yes, real honest to goodness crowns made of gold, like kings wear … for statues.

Parishioners at a suburban Chicago Catholic church have donated 15 pounds of gold, which leaders at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel had melted into two 14-karat gold crowns worth $75,000 … The crowns were to be put on statues of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus at the church on Sunday.

Well, maybe this church just did this on their won. I’m sure the Pope will tell them not to praise material goods, that they should put the money to better use. Donate it to the poor perhaps:

Last month, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel pastor the Rev. Claudio Holzer and 35 parishioners traveled to Italy, where they had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI and he blessed the crowns.

Ok, I guess not. The Pope seems to be down with it. Plus the added air faire of 36 church members. Well, I guess they’ll “have the poor always”(Mark 14:7). But, if anyone can try to tell me how this is different from dancing around a golden bull I would be very happy. Please, comment away.

Pope Has Old Bones … Therefore God Exists

June 28, 2009

Well, apparently Pope Ratzinger does occasionally enjoy the science, though, he does seem to have some problems interpreting results. A bunch of bones from the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome have been dated to the 1st or 2nd century, therefor they are the bones of the apostle Paul. Yep, sounds like a bit of a leap to me, too. Perhaps he could get a job writing for the Weekly World News. He seems to have a knack for it.

Pope Benedict says carbon dating tests on the bone fragments show they date from the first or second century. Benedict says that seems to confirm what he says is “the unanimous and uncontested” tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul.

I guess the Pope is never going to be confused as a scientific genius anytime soon. We have some bones that are old, therefore they are the bones of Saint Paul. Well, I have seen the grave of Joseph Smith, therefore the Mormons are right, too; the angel Moroni appeared to him and revealed the location of the golden tablets from which he translated the book of Mormon.

If the bones of David Koresh are dated it will prove that he is the second coming of Jesus, as he claimed.

Pretty amazing what you can prove. All you have to do is lower your standards of proof.

I’m not sure what the Pope was trying to prove by dating the bones. They would have to have been pretty close to the 1st or 2nd century. But, unfortunately for the church, it only proves the existence of some old bones.

Ark of the Covenant Revealed

June 28, 2009

According to Weekly World News and World Net Daily are reporting that the infamous Ark of the Covenant is to be revealed in the Vatican … last Friday (6/25/09). So, do two notoriously bad sources equal one good source? Apparently not. Not unless every other news source in the world just happened to miss the story, that is. I know the death of Micheal Jackson really shook the world and knocked some other stories off the front page, but you would still think it would make the Faith and Values section. The Catholic news feed says nothing. Maybe it’s just not that big of a story. Or, maybe they opened it and every melted?

The Gas Station Ghost

June 27, 2009

Remember that Gas Station Ghost hoopla that a store owner in Parma Ohio was using to try to increase the business to his store? Funny stuff, sure. But the problem is that people actually believe in all that hoodoo voodoo and it reinforces superstition and uncritical thinking.

Well, don’t worry, Captain Disillusion is on the case.

He did a pretty good job debunking the claim, and did some pretty good and funny editing while he was at it. I subscribed to his You Tube channel, you should too.

For more fun, there is a blog called Science of Ghosts (yeah, terrible name, I know). They post ghost pics and let people guess at what they are in the comments. None of them are ghosts, of course, but  some of them are nice and creepy looking. There usually isn’t enough information to decode the mysterious object that looks like a leg and a shoe, but, if people die then spend the rest of eternity posing for ambigious pictures, I’ll be very very disapointed in the universe.

Religious Debate in the Hyborian Age

June 26, 2009

It took me  quite awhile to force convince Crystal to watch Conan The Barbarian with me. It is one of my favorite fantasy films, though, and pretty much the only movie I think Arnold does a bang up job acting in.

It may seem like nothing more than a piece of B movie schlock, but behind all the beheading and snake cults, there really is some provoking dialogue. In a pivotal character building scene, Conan and his traveling companion, Subotai, get into a religious debate:

Conan: What gods do you pray to?
Subotai: I pray to the four winds… and you?
Conan: To Crom… but I seldom pray to him, he doesn’t listen.
Subotai: What good is he then? Ah, it’s just as I’ve always said.
Conan: He is strong! If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, “What is the riddle of steel?” If I do not know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me. That’s Crom, strong on his mountain!
Subotai: Ah, my god is greater.
Conan: Crom laughs at your four winds. He laughs from his mountain.
Subotai: My god is stronger. He is the everlasting sky! Your god lives underneath him.

After that, Crystal looked at me and said, “So, things haven’t changed much, I see”.

No, indeed. They haven’t.

Conan

No slight ment to John W Loftus, but I would like to see Conan debate William Lane Craig. It would be quite a match.