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Remarkable Realm of Religion4 min read

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In what may become a semi-regular series, I present to you the strange and unusual from the world of faith – the Remarkable Realm of Religion.

A judge has ordered criminals a chance to get on the “straight and narrow.” He has been giving those convicted of drug or alcohol related crimes the chance to avoid jail time by instead attending “worship services”. Of course, the ACLU is involved.

Bloggers, have you ever wanted to live blog a sermon from the church pew? You may be getting the chance. A church in England is installing WiFi in the pews for those in attendance to quietly surf the web or email during services. Let’s hope they have filters.

Where is the best place to advertise for new priests? If you said the local bar then you should work for the British Catholic Church, who are advertising their need of priests on beer mats.

The multi-million dollar auction of Pope John Paul II’s car has been put on hold because of a disagreement between a father and son. I’m sure this was the legacy, Pope John Paul wanted to leave.

No need to worry about droughts or a bad harvest, the cows have spoken. Sacred Cambodian cows predicted abundant rain and good harvest. Of course, in a similar ceremony two weeks ago in neighbouring Thailand, sacred oxen predicted abundant rains and healthy crops, the same prediction as last year, which saw one of the worst droughts on record. Who can you count on if not sacred cows?

A Catholic deacon in California has been issued a restraining order by the church he served. After he was told that he would not be ordained as a priest, he began to act strange. A tip led church officials to search his room, where they found six guns and nine boxes of bullets.

A New Jersey State Assemblyman, who is also a Baptist deacon, has a little too much time on his hands. He wants to rename the New Jersey Devils because of the satanic name. Accordingly, the team has responded that there is “no way in hell” they would change the name.

A Danish Lutheran minister who claimed there was “no heavenly God” was reinstated and back behind the pulpit Sunday. What I find even stranger about this is that according to the story, Lutheran ministers in Denmark “are employed by the state and only the government can fire them or take them to court.” In one of these supposedly progressive, religiously neutral European nations, the government and religion are more intertwined than in America. Should we export the ACLU to Denmark?

And finally, in what has to be my favorite story, five Thai monks were fined after a brawl with monks from a nearby temple. I thought this was just a Baptist problem during church softball season, but apparently it crosses relgious lines.

Why were the monks fighting you ask, because for years the two temples have had monks on the opposite side of the road collecting alms. While collecting alms the monks often engaged in curses, insults and rude gestures. One of the monks, Boonlert Boonpan said, “When an ordinary person is given a middle-finger sign, he will be mad. So am I.”

In his defense, Boonlert, argued that “if senators can fight in parliament, why can’t monks?” Indeed, we expect the lowest from our political figures already, why not our religious figures as well?