Sunday, October 02, 2005

Monkey Business: Quiz #9

Welcome to this week’s installment of Holier Than Thou, where William Bennett ponders an eyebrow-raising crime fighting strategy, a Christian hero reveals her secret weapon, God goes to court, the Christian Coalition runs out of money, and the Virgin Mary makes another exciting appearance on E-Bay!

So, how well have you been paying attention this week? Sharpen up those pencils and let’s find out!

1) Former Education Secretary William J. Bennett, vaunted media darling of the Religious Right and author of several books about leading a Christianly life including “The Book of Virtues,” recently made some controversial comments on his syndicated radio show, “Morning in America.” In a discussion with a listener about crime, Bennett said “if that were your sole purpose [to reduce crime], you could…:

A) …make prayer in elementary school mandatory for all children, regardless of their religious backgrounds, and your crime rate would go down.”
B) …force prison inmates to participate in mandatory daily Bible studies, and your crime rate would go down.”
C) …increase government spending on programs for mentoring at risk children and your crime rate would go down.”
D) …abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”

2) Talk about revelations! In her new book, “Unlikely Angel,” Ashley Smith, who gained national attention and became a darling of the evangelical movement last March when she was taken hostage by Atlanta courthouse gunman Brian Nichols, writes that she got Nichols to release her by talking about her faith in God and doing WHAT?

A) Speaking in tongues while they prayed together.
B) Reading passages from her diary in which she described the agony of losing her husband four years earlier.
C) Showing him the image of Jesus in her new living room carpet as a sign that God existed.
D) Digging into her illegal stash of crystal meth that Nichols then snorted.

3) Meanwhile, the big news this week surrounds the “Intelligent Design” lawsuit in Harrisburg, Pa., where a group of parents is suing the Dover school board there for inserting Intelligent Design into the ninth-grade biology curriculum. But before we look at the current legal battle, it’s important to understand previous legal precedents in this matter. So, just how long has it been since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Arkansas law that banned the teaching of evolution in the public schools there?

A) 1925
B) 1935
C) 1952
D) 1968
E) 1987

4) And in what year did the Supreme Court finally ban the teaching of Creationism in the public schools?

A) 1925
B) 1935
C) 1952
D) 1968
E) 1987

5) The central tenant of this so-called “Intelligent Design” theory is that life is too complex NOT to have been created by someone who knew what He was doing. How does this differ from Creationism?

A) It is built on scientific principals that are easily testable.
B) It has the support of large portions of the scientific community.
C) It is taught in schools throughout Europe.
D) It does not mention God by name.
E) It offers a thorough explanation of the process of extinction.

6) Okay, back to the current Dover controversy. If the Dover School board has its way, what is the name of the Intelligent Design textbook that the ninth grade biology students would be referred to in order to learn more about the theory:

A) “Of Pandas and People”
B) “An Alternative Origin of the Species”
C) “Man or Monkey?”
D) “On the Sixth Day”

7) The pro-Intelligent Design argument in the Dover case is being argued by the Thomas Moore Law Center, a powerful non-profit Christian law firm founded by the founder of WHAT fast-food chain?

A) Quiznos
B) Dominos
C) In-n-Out Burger
D) Krispy Kreme

8) While we’re on the topic of schools and Christian principles, why did the Ontario Christian School in Southern California expel 14-year-old Shay Clark?

A) She was pregnant.
B) She refused to say the phrase “under God” while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
C) Her parents are lesbians.
D) She got an F in her Bible Studies class.
E) She was overheard saying “God damn” on the playground during lunch.

9) As a way to bring more people the Good News of Jesus Christ and save some souls, Reverend Michael Hinton, a Church of England Vicar, has recently unveiled:

A) An ultra-condensed edition of the Bible that can be read in just over an hour and a half.
B) A Jesus Christ doll that recites the tenets of Christianity when squeezed.
C) A drive-thru window at his church where commuters can receive a quick dose of Christian fellowship.
D) A virtual baptism, where would-be Christians can have their souls cleansed online without the fuss and muss of actual submersion in water.

10) The mayor of the small Colorado town of Ramah recently apologized to the Secret Garden Coven, a group of about a dozen pagans, for the local Baptist minister’s attempts to rally the town to stop the group’s upcoming Halloween-related festival and fundraiser at the city’s American Legion Hall. Just what is the Secret Garden Coven trying to raise funds for?

A) A trip to the annual American Satanists United convention in Las Vegas.
B) A publicity campaign to save the TV series “Charmed” from cancellation.
C) Planned Parenthood
D) The American Civil Liberties Union
E) St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

11) Speaking of fund raising, what did Ramon Godinez, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Aquascalientes in Mexico, do when the church was offered alms from known drug traffickers?

A) Turned it away as “blood money.”
B) Called local authorities to have the drug traffickers arrested.
C) Accepted the money as a way to “purify” it.

12) Pass the collection plate. The Christian Coalition, the Evangelical political movement founded by Pat Robertson, has fallen on hard times and is having trouble paying its bills. This past June, Pitney Bowes filed a civil suit against the group seeking $13,000 in unpaid bills for what?

A) Postage
B) Copier toner
C) Mailing envelopes
D) Letterhead

13) And while we’re on the subject of the Christian Coalition, it wasn’t that long ago that the group paid $300,000 to its employees to settle a lawsuit accusing the group of what?

A) Placing listening devices in the headquarters break room.
B) Forcing black staffers to use a separate entrance at its headquarters.
C) Failing to install handicapped access ramps at its headquarters.
D) Invasion of privacy

14) Get out your credit card! E-Bay shoppers were all abuzz last week as an image of the Virgin Mary seen in WHAT was offered for sale?

A) A baked ham
B) A sonogram of an 8-week old embryo
C) A piece of plywood that helped to shield a Biloxi, Miss., home from Hurricane Katrina.
D) A grass-stained football uniform of a Texas Christian University player after the team unexpectedly beat longtime rival Oklahoma.

15) How much did the item ultimately sell for?

A) $14
B) $79.25
C) $129.50
D) $553


1) D: Bennett went on to call aborting all black babies “an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.” Tricky is one word for it, Bill.
2) D: Crystal meth. Smith, who says she quit using drugs after her ordeal, did not bother to share that detail with the authorities.
3) D: 1968
4) E: 1987
5) D: Does not mention “God” by name
6) A: “Of Pandas and People”
7) B: Dominos
8) C: Her parents are lesbians. However, school officials say she could have remained enrolled if one of her parents were heterosexual.
9) A: Titled the “100 Minute Bible,” the book claims to neatly summarize every teaching from the Creation to the Revelation.
10) E: St. Jude’s
11) C: Accepted it
12) A: Unpaid postage
13) B: Separate entrance for black employees
14) B: Sonogram
15) C: $129.50

So, how well did you do this week?

15-10 correct answers: You’re so smart, that you could probably read that Bible in 85 minutes, tops!

9-5 correct answers: Been reading “Of Pandas and People” again, haven’t you?

4-0 correct answers: Sorry, but we fear you’re a good example of how not all of God’s creatures were designed intelligently!


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