Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Love thy Brother, Hey But Not That Much!

Think all Protestant religions are created equal? Ah, not so dear reader. To clear up any misunderstandings about how different Christian faiths stand on homosexuality (an issue that really seems to get the goats of most hell-fire Evangelicals), we at Holier Than Thou thought a little primer on the topic was in order.

Match the faith with its policy on homosexuality:

1) Methodists
2) Baptists
3) Presbyterians
4) Lutherans
5) United Church of Christ

A) Bans ordination or appointment of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” in the clergy. It defrocked a lesbian minister in October and backed a pastor who refused church membership to a gay man.

B) The U.S. Church rejects the ordination of sexually active gay and lesbian clergy. Current policy allows homosexual ordination, but requires sexual abstinence. Some churches in Europe allow gay clergy.

C) The largest U.S. group of this faith denounces homosexuality as a sin. It supports efforts to change gay people’s orientation to heterosexuality through faith. It bars gay ministers but some small liberal groups in the United States and some churches in other countries have begun to accept them.

D) This church has dropped an outright ban on gay clergy but said its ministers must live “either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness”. Some European churches in the Reformed tradition, to which the U.S. church belongs, allow gay clergy.

E) This U.S. church has been ordaining gay clergy for more than 30 years and it endorsed gay marriage at its 2005 synod.

1. Methodists: A
2. Baptists: C
3. Presbyterians: D
4. Lutherans: B
5. United Church of Christ: E Yikes! the Baptists must be praying for these liberal heretics who actually practice tolerance.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Boys Against Girls

While we don’t mean to criticize (OK, actually, we DO mean to criticize), it seems to us at “Holier Than Thou” that the Catholic Church has a double standard when dealing with the sexual activities of its male and female followers.

Take the following cases:

1) The Catholic St. Rose of Lima church in Brooklyn, NY, recently fired 26-year-old Michelle McCusker, saying she did not meet the church’s requirements that she “convey the teachings of the Catholic faith by…her words and actions.”

So, just what did McCusker do to get herself fired?

A) She is pregnant, but not married to the father of her unborn child.
B) She had an abortion after she and her husband discovered that her fetus had a terminal birth defect.
C) She and her husband started using birth control after she gave birth to her third baby in as many years.
D) She posed nude in Playboy magazine.

2) By contrast, while the Church was punishing McCusker for her less-than-holy sexual activities, it was rushing to the aid of the Rev. Thomas Graham, who was recently CONVICTED of sodomizing a boy in the rectory of St. Louis’s Old Cathedral, by posting his bail while Graham appeals his case.

Just how much Church (read: parishioner) money did the St. Louis Archdiocese post so they could keep a convicted child molester out on the streets?

A) $100,000
B) $200,000
C) $350,000
D) $500,000

3) Of course, the Church’s problems don’t end there. The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Monsignor Dale Fushek, was recently arrested on a variety of sexually related charges that he allegedly performed under the guise of performing WHICH Sacrament?

A) Confession
B) Communion
C) Marriage
D) Last Rites

4) In an effort to head off future sexual abuse problems, the Church has taken a hard-line approach to gays in the priesthoods — or at least what it considers to be a hard-line approach. Of course, since the Church thinks that sexual orientation can be a “transitory problem, for example, as in the case of an unfinished adolescence” (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean!), the guidelines might strike some of us who actually live in the real world as a little naive.

So, according to soon-to-be-release guidelines on recruiting new priests, how long must someone have “overcome” their homosexual tendencies before they can become ordained into the priesthood?

A) One year
B) Two years
C) Three years
D) Five years


1) A: McCusker is pregnant and unmarried. “I don’t understand how a religion that prides itself on forgiving and on valuing life could terminate me because I’m pregnant and choose to have this baby,” she said.
2) D: The Church posted $500,000 bond to keep CONVICTED child molester Rev. Thomas Graham out on the street while his appeal is pending.
3) A: The Monsignor was arrested on charges that he fondled boys and young men and asked them questions about sex that he misrepresented as being part of confession.
4) C: Seminarians must have overcome their homosexual tendencies for three years become becoming ordained. And we’re certain that the Church will come up with a foolproof test to make sure those tendencies have been overcome!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Everybody Loves a Parade

Welcome back, everybody. We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

While you were out enjoying Thanksgiving Day with friends and family, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family was out trying to “save” gays and lesbians at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Really, we aren’t making this stuff up!)

Seems members of the Christian group handed out thousands of promotional items referring parade-goers to a Focus on the Family website dedicated to, among other things, curing homosexuals through (what else?) evangelical Christianity.

“You’re not simply ‘wired that way,’” the website says. “Like other adult problems, homosexuality begins at home.”

As such, Focus on the Family maintains that there are many potential causes of homosexuality, including all but WHICH of the following?

A) Porn
B) The media
C) Seduction by peers
D) Faulty parenting
E) Tight jeans

E) Tight jeans. Although given some of the “science” the site refers to while backing up its claims (remember, these are the people who think that the earth is less than 10,000 years old), it’s only a matter of time before a link between homosexuality and Gap jeans is firmly established.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Merry #@&*ing Christmas!

Now that Thanksgiving is upon us and the holidays are fast approaching, we thought we’d give you a little taste of what you’re in for in the coming weeks — the Christmas Wars!

Think we’re kidding? Sadly, we’re not.

Forget about peace, love, and the spirit of giving. The upcoming season will be all about cramming evangelical Christmas beliefs, icons and rituals down our collective throats.

Please match the conservative religious organization with their most recent salvo in the Christmas wars.

1) Evangelical Pastor Jerry Falwell
2) The Alliance Defense Fund
3) The American Family Association
4) The Catholic Rights League

A) Launched the “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign,” with 750 lawyers standing by to sue public schools and institutions that seek to limit public Christmas displays and events.
B) Launched the Christmas Project, with the slogan: “Merry Christmas: It’s OK to say it,” with 800 lawyers standing by to sue public schools and institutions that seek to limit public Christmas displays and events.
C) Has called for a boycott on Target for its alleged ban on using “Merry Christmas” in its stories — a charge that Target officials vehemently deny.
D) Is criticizing Wal-Mart for telling its employees to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

1) A: Jerry Falwell launched the Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign
2) B: The Alliance Defense Fund is behind the Christmas Project and the slogan: “Merry Christmas: It’s OK to say it.”
3) C: The American Family Association is boycotting Target, even though signs saying “Merry Christmas” can be found in Target stories
4) D: The Catholic Rights League is after Wal-Mart and its “Happy Holidays” employee directive.

We’re sure Jesus is just elated that these “Christian” organizations are spending precious time and vital resources on these issues rather than feeding and clothing the needy and sharing the Good News.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Jagged Little Pill

First, it was Target that came under the wrath of women’s groups for its decision to allow its pharmacists not to fill prescriptions for the “morning after pill” if it violated the pharmacist’s holier-than-thou religious beliefs.

Now comes word that a major U.S. retailer won’t even CARRY the emergency contraception in ANY of its stores.

1) Which retailer is it?

A) Wal-Mart
B) Costco
C) Walgreens

2) Officials at the retailer in question maintain that the decision is not made on religious grounds, but for business reasons. What “business” excuse did they give?

A) Not enough women are prescribed the pill to make it cost-effective for the retailer to carry it.
B) The pill has a short shelf life, making it too expensive to carry.
C) The retailer makes too much money selling baby formula and diapers, and by lessening the number of babies being born, it would cut into their bottom line.
D) If the retailer did carry the pill, the ensuing boycotts from the Religious Right would hurt its business.


1) A: Yeah, it’s Wal-Mart. (Really, you can’t be surprised at by this point, can you?)
2) B: Wal-Mart claims that the drug’s shelf life is too short to make it cost-effective, even though other pharmacists maintain that the pill’s shelf life is a robust two years.

Monday, November 21, 2005

He Touched Me (Again)

With the constant headlines about the Catholic Church’s ongoing sexual abuse problems, it’s easy to forget that other denominations are having their own problems with members of their clergy and church workers letting their love for sexually assaulting under-aged parishioners trump their love of God.

Thankfully, you’ve got us here to remind you.

1) Christopher Fouts spent three years working for the Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, Calif., before being fired on charges that he molested two teenaged boys there. In what capacity did he work for the church?

A) Pastor
B) Choir Director
C) Youth Director
D) Janitor

2) Of course, when it comes to molesting parishioners, the Catholics are hard to beat. What percentage of priests from the 1972 graduating class of California’s St. John’s Seminary went on to allegedly molest children? (We’ll even give you a hint: since the 1950s, about 4 percent of all Catholic priests are alleged to be molesters.)

A) 5 percent
B) 10 percent
C) 25 percent
D) 30 percent


1) C: Fouts was the church’s youth director, which made molesting teenaged boys all the more convenient.
2) D: More than 30 percent, which is more than 700 percent higher than the national average. Is it something in the water?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Election Redux

Forgive us, but with so much going on in the past week or so, there are still a couple of final results from the Nov. 8 elections that we’d like to go back and take a look at.

By now we all know that the Religious Right took a beating in California (where the anti-abortion Prop. 73 was defeated) and in Pennsylvania (where eight pro-“Intelligent Design” school board members in Dover were defeated in their re-election bids).

But how well did the evangelicals do in some of their other political races around the country? Let’s find out.

1) The Reverend Jimmie Hicks Jr. was up for re-election to his city council seat in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, running against an openly gay opponent. The Rev. Hicks was well known to area voters for his efforts to stop the city’s
domestic partner registry, which recognized gay (and straight) couples living in a committed relationship, but gave them no legal status or marriage rights.

So, did the good Reverend win or lose his election?

2) Question 1 on the Maine state ballot sought to overturn a law that protected gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing and access to credit. The anti-gay measure was championed by the Christian Civic League of Maine.

So, was Question 1 passed or rejected by Maine voters?

3) Proposition 2 on the Texas state ballot sought to amend the state’s constitution by placing a ban on gay marriages — although state law currently bans gay marriages anyway. Prop. 2 also aimed to take things on step further, by stopping any future legislation that sought to grant legal rights and protections to gay couples that were similar to the rights that married couples were afforded. The measure was supported by several prominent evangelical groups and churches as well as the Ku Klux Klan.

So, was Proposition 2 passed or rejected by Texas voters?


1) Rev. Hicks lost his re-election campaign.
2) Question 1 was rejected by Maine voters.
3) Proposition 2 was passed by Texas voters. When the KKK and the evangelicals are in agreement, we wonder what Jesus thinks.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Retail Madness

We all remember how Jesus chased the moneychangers out of the temple, right? Well, he should have focused his efforts on the Big Box retailers instead, where Evangelical Christianity and hard, cold capitalism are colliding in increasingly strange ways.

How strange, you ask?


1) Which mass-market retailer has come under fire from Planned Parenthood for allowing its pharmacists NOT to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception if doing so offends their religious sensibilities?

A) Target
B) Wal-Mart
C) Costco
D) K-Mart

2) Which mass-market retailer avoided a boycott by the Catholic League after publicly apologizing for an employee who, while explaining to an angry Christian shopper why the retailer wished its customers “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” suggested that many Christmas symbols had their historical roots in non-Christian religions?

A) Target
B) Wal-Mart
C) Costco
D) K-Mart

1) A: Target lets its pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraceptives on religious grounds. No word if the retailer also lets its pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for Viagra.
2) B: Wal-Mart apologized for the employees action, although it will still wish customers “happy holidays” — a decision that Catholic League president Bill Donohue call’s “dumb.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Church of the FDA

Scientists and health officials have long complained that the influence of the Religious Right is hampering the development of legitimate medical progress.

It’s a claim that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has long denied, maintaining that its opposition on these hot button issues is driven by scientific research, not pressure from the Bush administration’s religious supporters.

But not so fast…

1) Now comes a report from the Government Accounting Office that suggests that top FDA officials decided to reject WHAT medical development BEFORE the FDA’s own advisory committee was able to gather all the scientific facts on the matter?

A) Federal funding of stem cell research
B) Granting over-the-counter status for the Plan B emergency contraception pill
C) Discussing condom use as part of high school sex education guidelines
D) Mirena, an intrauterine device (IUD) that creates a "hostile uterine environment" to prevent pregnancy

2) And what consumer product is the FDA considering putting warning labels on for the first time, despite objections from groups like Planned Parenthood?

A) Condoms
B) Personal lubricants
C) Sex toys
D) Pornographic magazines


1) B: Plan B. The over-the-counter status of this drug has become a major battle in the Religious Rights war against abortion rights, since many women are finding it next to impossible to find a pharmacist who will fill a legitimate prescription for it.
2) A: Condoms. The warning, championed by supporters of abstinence only sex education, warns that condoms decrease, but do not eliminate, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Santorum's Conversion

Epiphany? Conversion? Come-to-Jesus moment?

We at Holier Than Thou are still struggling to make sense of Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-Pa.) stunning reversal on the issue of so-called “Intelligent Design.”

If you recall, it wasn’t that long ago that the outspoken member of the Religious Right wrote in a Washington Times editorial that “Intelligent Design” is a “legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in the classroom.”

Yet, just last week, Santorum changed course, saying that I.D. doesn’t belong in the classroom and that simply, “science leads you where it leads you.”

Now, the cynical among us might think that this shift in his position had little to do with taking new marching orders from above, and more to do with the thumping at the ballot box that eight Republican proponents of “Intelligent Design” who were running for re-election to the Dover, Pa., school board took at the ballot box.

So, for the record, just how many days after the Dover officials were voted out of office because of their “Intelligent Design” support did Santorum change his tune?

A) Two days
B) Three days
C) Four days
D) Fix days

C) Four days. We can’t wait to hear what Pat Robertson has to say about this one, but we're willing to bet it's along the lines of if Rick faces a disaster at the polls next year, he shouldn't come praying to the Lord since he just threw God out of his political campaign...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Having It Down, Pat

Those who say that the Lord moves in mysterious ways obviously haven’t been paying attention to Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, who apparently has it all figured out. And thankfully, he took to the airwaves of his “The 700 Club” last week to explain it to the rest of us yet again.

1) Last week, Pat warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town that a catastrophe may strike there soon. "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city." Robertson is all fired up because the townspeople:

A) “Voted God out of your city” by ousting eight school board members who favored teaching intelligent design in an election last week.
B) Just opened a family planning clinic that performs abortions on what used to be the grounds of a Baptist church.
C) Have had a symbolic election in which they voted to withdraw American troops from Iraq immediately because the war was based on false intelligence.
D) Elected a gay man as mayor.

2) After a public outcry following Pat’s statements, this pious man of God issued a second, clarifying statement, saying he was simply trying to point out that “our spiritual actions have consequences.” He went on to say, “God is tolerant and loving, but we can’t keep sticking our finger in his eye forever…If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on:

A) …Jesus Christ, who is always ready to forgive the sinner.”
B) …George Bush, because look at how he handled hurricane Katrina.”
C) …Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.”

1) A: All eight Dover, Pa., school board members up for re-election were defeated after trying to introduce “intelligent design” — the belief that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power — as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

2) C: Charles Darwin.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Get Out the Vote

Are religious conservatives in California looking to turn the other cheek at the ballot box in 2006?

Fresh off the stinging defeat of their Prop. 73, which would have required teenage girls under 18 to notify their parents before having an abortion, evangelicals and the Religious Right are already pondering their next foray into the ballot initiative process.

(Just a quick aside here: We at Holier Than Thou still can’t believe that the Religious Right promoted Prop. 73 as a way to protect teenage girls from sexual predators.)

So, looking ahead to 2006, which of the following are these groups NOT discussing putting on the California ballot?

A) A measure to stop state-run Medi-Cal payments for abortions.
B) A measure to force the teaching of “Intelligent Design” in state schools.
C) A measure to restrict sex education in the state schools.
D) A constitutional amendment to ban “gay marriage” in the state.

B) Intelligent Design: Thus far, at least, evolution is still alive in well in the Golden State.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Despite how it might appear, we at “Holier Than Thou” are not obsessed with the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse problems.

No, we’re just obsessed with how the Catholic Church can continue to claim the moral high ground on ANY issue — say, California’s recent Prop. 73 parental notification for teen abortion measure, for example, or the recent Texas anti gay-marriage measure — while it’s still slogging its way through the scandal created by five decades of ignoring the repeated sexual molestation of parishioners by its priests.

Thus, today we thought we’d play a little game we like to call Match the Archdiocese to the Settlement Talks!

1) A grand jury recently concluded that this Archdiocese conspired to protect priests known to be sexually abusing children.
2) This Archdiocese recently agreed to pay $22 million to settle 43 cases of abuse dating back to the 1960s.
3) This Archdiocese plans to raise $90 million by selling off churches and church property to help it pay off previously reached sexual abuse settlements.
4) This Archdiocese failed to reach a settlement for any of the 560 sexual abuse cases pending against it, clearing the way for a judge to allow the first 44 of these cases to go to trial next year.

A) Philadelphia
B) Boston
C) Hartford
D) Los Angeles

1) A: The Philadelphia Archdiocese was found by a grand jury to have knowingly conspired to protect abusive priests.
2) C: The Hartford Archdiocese reached a $22 million settlement.
3) B: Boston Archdiocese is selling off churches to make some $90 million to pay off its settlements.
4) D: The Los Angeles Archdiocese failed to reach any settlements, setting the stage for the first of its trials.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

An Indecent Proposition

Yesterday, we noted that the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., has been informed by the IRS that it might lose its tax-exempt status for mixing politics and religion. Its alleged violation? A 2004 sermon at the height of the presidential campaign in which it was suggested that Jesus Christ would not be a big supporter of the Iraq war.

It was also noted that All Saints is one of the most liberal churches in the nation.

All the while, California was gearing up for yesterday’s elections, on which Proposition 73, which would require teens to notify their parents before getting an abortion, was on the ballot. So, just for the record, which of the following is NOT a political practice conducted by conservative churches in California in support of Prop. 73?

A) “Yes on 73” fliers slipped into church bulletins
B) Showing the two-minute anti-abortion DVD “Protect Me” to the congregation during Sunday services
C) Distributing anti-abortion homilies to the state’s 1,100 Catholic parishes
D) Distributing more than 50,000 “Yes on 73” communion wafers to more than 200 Central California Episcopal churches

D) No one distributed “Yes on 73” communion wafers — probably because they didn’t think of it in time.

Apparently, federal tax laws allow churches to discuss political ISSUES, just not individual candidates.

And, for the record, California’s Prop. 73 failed yesterday with some 52 percent of voters opposing it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

All Saint's Day (with the IRS)

The Bush administration has not been shy about using Evangelical Christian churches as a base of political power, campaigning heavily through churches in key states and pumping millions of federal dollars into churches’ charitable organizations as part of its faith-based initiatives program.

Yet it appears that even the Bush administration has a limit when it comes to mixing preaching and politics.

Seems that the Internal Revenue Service recently informed All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., that it might lose its tax-exempt status for its alleged political activities. Why?

A) For a sermon opposing abortion prior to the Nov. 8 California election in which an anti-abortion measure is on the ballot
B) For directing church funds into the Texas anti-gay marriage measure on the Nov. 8 ballot
C) For endorsing George Bush in the 2004 election
D) For performing six “gay marriages” last June
E) For a 2004 sermon that suggested that Jesus would have opposed the war in Iraq

E) Opposing the War in Iraq. Seems that All Saints Episcopal Church is not only one of the largest churches in California, it’s also one of the most liberal. And in the days before the 2004 election, the church’s pastor had told his flock that “good people of profound faith” could vote for either Bush or Kerry (who, after all, supported the war too), but that “I believe Jesus would say to Bush and Kerry: ‘War is itself the most extreme form of terrorism.”

No word yet from the Bush administration when all of those churches that supported the Bush re-election campaign, oppose abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage and the like will lose THEIR tax exempt status.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Who Would Jesus Boycott?

Today we are taking a closer look at an emerging tool in the Christian Right’s arsenal: the consumer product boycott. But lest you think this is a “What would Jesus drive?” attack against gas guzzling SUVs, the targets of these boycotts — and the reasons behind the boycotts — may surprise you.

So, for today’s question, we ask you to match the current and/or threatened boycott target of the Religious Right with the reason cited for the boycott.

1) Levi Strauss
2) Proctor & Gamble
3) Tylenol
4) Walgreens
5) American Girl dolls

A) Supports Planned Parenthood
B) Donates to Girls Inc. (formerly Girls Club of America), which it claims has a “pro-abortion and pro-lesbian agenda”)
C) Ran commercials on “Will & Grace” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”
D) Took out ads in a gay magazine
E) Is sponsoring the 2006 Gay Games

1) A: Levi’s supports Planned Parenthood
2) C: P&G ran ads on “Will & Grace” and “Queer Eye”
3) D: Tylenol ran ads in a gay magazine
4) E: Walgreens is sponsoring the Gay Games
5) B: American Girl donates to Girls Inc.

But, should your Evangelical leanings make you inclined to follow these boycott guidelines, but you fear your young daughter has her heart set on an American Girl doll for Christmas this year, fear not. The Pro-Life Action League, which is at the center of this boycott, is steering its members to purchase “A Life of Faith” doll, which “features stories of girls living out their Christian faith with heroism” instead.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Playing Doctor II

Abortion. Stem cell research. The Morning After Pill. Terri Schivo. Conscience clauses for pharmacists. The Religious Right has never backed down from a fight over medical procedures that it deems to be unholy.

Now comes word that conservative Christians have a new medical target on their hit list, and are marshalling the troops against WHAT?

A) Epidurals during birth, which they claim violates God’s intention that women suffer the pains of labor as punishment for Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit.
B) In Vitro Fertilization, which often leads to the destruction and several unwanted and unused human embryos.
C) The potentially life-saving cervical cancer vaccine for teens, which they fear will undermine their sexual abstinence campaign.
D) LibiGel, a “female Viagra” for post-menopausal women, which they fear will lead women into sexual relations outside their “wifely duties.”
E) Sperm Donation, because it involves masturbation.
F) Pat Robertson’s “Pat’s Age-Defying Shake,” which they claim is an ineffective scam.

C: The cervical cancer vaccine. Since this vaccine protects women from a sexually transmitted virus that causes cancerous lesions on the cervix, and therefore it would be most effective if administered prior to puberty and before women become sexually active, conservative Christians fear that this vaccine will send the message to young girls that it’s okay to have sex out of wedlock — which, in the Evangelical worldview, is apparently a fate far worse than dying of cancer

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Judge Dread

Yesterday we took a look at the role of religion and the United States Supreme Court. Today, we’re casting our gaze to the Utah state Supreme Court, where a hearing was held to see if Judge Walter Steed should be removed from his judgeship in the small town of Hildale. Why is the state trying to remove Steed from the bench?

A) He refuses to remove a copy of the Ten Commandments that hangs above his judge’s chambers
B) He acquitted a man accused of spousal abuse by citing Old Testament Biblical passages relating to a husband’s ownership of his wife.
C) He starts each case by reciting “The Lord’s Prayer.”
D) He is accused of molesting five young boys while serving as a Catholic priest in Phoenix 13 years earlier.
E) He has three wives.


E) True to his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints beliefs, he has three wives — all of them biological sisters for that matter. (The “Utah” part of this question should have given this answer away!) Steed’s attorney says that, in spite of Utah’s laws against polygamy, Steed’s plural marriages aren’t “affecting his performance on the bench…[This is] only about his private conduct.” State officials disagree, however, noting that as a judge Steed took an oath to uphold the law — he can’t now pick and choose which laws to follow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Now that the “trust us, she’s an evangelical Christian” nomination of Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court has fallen to the scrap heap of American history, President George Bush has shifted gears and tapped Samuel Alito for the job.

And, although we are constantly reminded that it’s not supposed to matter, if Alito is indeed confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, he will become the fifth Roman Catholic sitting on the highest court (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy being the other four).

Supporters of Alito note that he is a strict constructionist, and not one of those “activist judges” who so rankles the Religious Right. Which we at Holier Than Thou find just a bit ironic, given the Catholic League’s unique thoughts on Constitutional law.

So, just how does Bill Donahue, president of The Catholic League, suggest amending the Constitution?

A) Requiring a unanimous vote from all nine Supreme Court Justices before a law created by a simple majority of Congress can be overturned.
B) Requiring that all members of the U.S. Supreme Court be active church members or participate in other “faith-based” activities.
C) Requiring that all governmental institutions, including public schools and the U.S. Supreme Court, offer 10 minutes per day be devoted to prayer or silent meditation.
D) Barring Muslims from many top governmental jobs, including federal judgeships and therefore, the Supreme Court.

A) Shifting the balance of power guaranteed through the Constitution by requiring a unanimous vote from the Supreme Court before a law created by Congress could be overturned.

So much for a supporting a strict constructionist view of the Constitution, eh?

In the meantime, Holier Than Thou would also like to thank the good folks at DefConBlog for linking to our site. They can be found at

Also, in reference to our “Playing Doctor” posting on 10/19, we have since been told that Indiana State Sen. Miller has withdrawn her legislation that would have barred doctors from giving fertility treatments to women who couldn’t prove that they were regular churchgoers. Apparently, Sen. Miller noted that the issue was more complex than she had first thought, and so she needs to mull it over more before moving forward.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Today’s question comes straight from the United Methodist Church, the third-largest denomination in the nation.

Seems that the highest court within the United Methodist Church, the Judicial Council, just ruled to defrock 35-year-old Rev. Irene “Beth” Stroud, for engaging in practices deemed incompatible with Christian teachings.

So, just what did Stroud do?

A) Embezzled $278,000 in church funds
B) Lived in a lesbian relationship
C) Referred a 28-year-old single woman to a pharmacy where she could fill a prescription for the “morning after” pill.
D) Allegedly engaged in sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male parishioner.


B) Stroud is a lesbian, and has been since she was first ordained into the clergy in 1999. “There’s really no question that the United Methodist Church practices discrimination,” she said after the ruling. “That’s been made abundantly clear.”