Friday, March 31, 2006

Sexual Abuse Scorecard: The 2005 Results Are In!

The nation’s Roman Catholic Church just released their annual report on sexual abuse allegations by members of its clergy.

Keep in mind that these are the same people who are so moral and Godly that they would rather allow parentless children in their care to remain orphans than allow them to be adopted by gay couples — presumably because gays can’t be trusted around children.

So, just how many new sexual abuse allegations against members of its own clergy did the Church receive in 2005?

A) 438
B) 519
C) 621
D) 783

D) 783 new cases were alleged — many of them going back decades. That brings the grand total of allegations against Catholic clergy to more than 12,000 since 1950.

Among the more recent highlights here are a case in Chicago where a priest accused of child molesting was allowed to remain in the ministry for months after the first allegation — in direct violation of new Church rules on the subject — and was finally removed from his post ONLY after he was criminally charged.

But our favorite is still the case of Bishop William Skylstad — accused of sexually abusing a woman when she was a child some four decades ago — who now still is active as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Once again, we at Holier Than Thou offer a simple compromise: We’ll start taking the Church’s claims to the moral high-ground in cases of abortion, birth-control, stem-cell research and homosexual rights seriously, when they stop letting their priests get away with sexually abusing children.

We fear we’ll be waiting on this one for quite a while…

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Red State Menace: Bible Study

Which (obviously red) state just passed a bill to put elective Bible courses in ALL of the state’s public high schools so that students can learn “the history recorded by the Old and New Testaments”? If this bill is signed into law by the governor — which is likely — this state will become the first in the nation to put Bible courses in all of its high public schools.

A) Kansas
B) Texas
C) Georgia
D) Florida
E) Utah

C) Georgia. Expect a legal showdown here, as courts have already ruled on several occasions that the Bible cannot be taught as “history.”

But that isn’t stopping like-minded red states including Alabama and Missouri from considering similar Bible study bills of their own.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Supreme Disrespect

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia got in hot water earlier this week when he did WHAT at his church's Sunday service?

A) Took five dollars change out of the collection plate after putting in a ten dollar bill
B) Wouldn't shake hands with the man next to him during the "peace be with you" part of the service
C) Dropped the host during communion
D) Made an obscene gesture on the church steps

D) That's right, the Catholic Supreme Court Justice made an obscene gesture while standing on the steps of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, prompting the Boston Herald to opine that it was "conduct unbecoming a 20-year veteran of the country's highest court — and just feet from the Mother Church's altar."

Scalia made the popular Sicilian obscene gesture — flicking his hand under his chin — after a Herald reporter asked him if he faced many questions over his impartiality when it came to matters of church and state. And when caught in the act by a photographer for a local Catholic newspaper, Scalia tried to cover his tracks by responding, "Don't publish that."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

State of Affairs: March Madness

Hello dear reader. Every month, we at “Holier Than Thou” like to check in on the various states of religious affairs in the states of the union.

So, can you match the states to their acts of religious zealotry run amok?

1) Kansas, Arizona, Nevada and Utah
2) Florida, Mississippi and Utah
3) Massachusetts
4) Missouri
5) Texas

A. Have an “opt-in” policy by which only children who get written permission from their parents will be taught sex education.
B. Have laws that explicitly bar gay adoption
C. Catholic Charities here have stopped ALL adoptions to ensure that gay couples won’t end up adopting their children
D. Voted down a plan to publicly fund contraception for fear of promoting promiscuity
E. A teacher here told a student to be quiet during the public school’s mandatory moment of silence because it was a “time for prayer.”

1) A: Kansas just joined Arizona, Nevada and Utah with an “opt-in” approach to sex education
2) B: These states explicitly bar gays from adopting
3) C: Catholic Charities in Massachusetts has stopped all adoptions to prevent gays from adopting
4) D: Missouri opposed birth control funding. Said a legislator opposed to the plan: “”If you hand out contraception to single women, we’re saying that promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that.”
5) E: A teacher in Dallas told a public school student that the moment of silence was a time for prayer — prompting a lawsuit from the student’s parents who complain Texas’ mandatory moment of silence is now unconstitutional.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Murder in a Small Town Church

The town of Selmer, Tenn., was shocked to discover that Matthew Winkler, minister at the Fourth Street Church of Christ who was known for his popular, straight-by-the-Bible sermons, was shot to death in a bedroom of the church’s parsonage.

But they were even more shocked to discover that Winkler had been killed by:

A) A gay couple that had just gotten married
B) A pregnant teenaged girl who didn’t want to ask her parent’s permission before getting an abortion
C) A pharmacist who sold the Plan B “morning after” contraceptive
D) A stem-cell researcher
E) An avid evolutionist
F) A sex education teacher
G) His wife and the mother of his three young daughters

G: Yes, sadly, Winker was killed by his wife, Mary, who has since confessed to the crime. Mary, who one congregant described as “adorable,” was also a substitute teacher at the local elementary school. Police have thus far released no motive for the crime…

Friday, March 24, 2006

Name That Holiday!Name That Holiday!

Our apologies…

It’s not like us at Holier Than Thou to miss such an important holiday, but apparently, yesterday was the seventh annual National Day of Prayer for WHAT?

A) Truckers
B) Soy Bean Farmers
C) Bowlers
D) Short-Order Cooks


A) It was the National Day of Prayer for Truckers.

On this day, ministries set up at some 100 travel plaza chapels (located primarily in truck stops) held special services designed to keep America’s more than 2.5 million truckers from succumbing to the temptations of booze, drugs and prostitutes while on the road — which, all joking aside, we at Holier Than Thou think is probably a good thing.

As Truckstop Ministries Inc. notes in its brochures, even Jesus “would have driven an 18-wheeler” — which, all joking aside, we at Holier Than Thou probably doubt…

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Now They’ll Really Have to Abstain

The Bush Administration, never one to shy away from funneling taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, took the unusual move of agreeing to stop funding a Christian-based teen abstinence program last week.

Why? Because the group was accused of using the more than $1 million in federal funds it received for Christian proselytizing, including giving away items inscribed with Bible verses and having its members tell teens how accepting Jesus has improved their lives.

Another hint: The group’s website reads: “We rely solely upon God’s redemptive grace for our existence, our vision, and our sustenance, trusting in His sovereignty as we seek to convey hope to all we serve.”

So, just what is the name of this group that got caught preaching the Good Word thanks to the help of your tax dollars?

A. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family
B. The Ohio Restoration Project
C. Pat Robertson’s Liberty University
D. The Silver Ring Thing


D) The Silver Ring Thing, which, among other things, gives teens silver rings inscribed with Bible verses to encourage them to abstain from sex. The group now will not be eligible for any more federal funding unless it ensures the money won’t be used for religious purposes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Catholicism Check Up

Today, we at Holier Than Thou have decided to check in to see what our Catholic friends have been up to recently.

1) A 70-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against Bishop William Skylstad, claiming that he sexually abused her as a teenager some 40 years ago. The move makes Skylstad one of the highest-ranking members of the U.S. Catholic Church to be accused of sexual abuse to date. Skylstad is also:

A. U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican
B. President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
C. Head of the New York Archdiocese
D. President-elect of the Catholic League

2) Meanwhile, Catholic Charities in Boston is facing the potential loss of millions of dollars in donations. Why?

A. Negative fall-out over the Church’s sexual abuse scandal has dried up donations.
B. The Church has had to dip into the charity’s coffers to pay its legal bills in the wake of the sexual abuse lawsuits.
C. The Church’s plan to bar gay couples from adopting children violates many large donors’ nondiscrimination policies.
D. Bad investments

3) And lastly, Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas Mohaghan has apparently backed down on his controversial (some might say crazy) plans to create a Florida city that would be governed by strict Catholic principals — no girlie magazines, no contraception, no X-rated channels on cable, etc.

Saying that it was all “a lot of misconceptions,” Monaghan clarified his earlier Catholic-only remarks, noting that his proposed town of Ave Maria will actually do WHAT?

A. Suggest but not prohibit businesses from selling adult magazines and contraceptives
B. Welcome synagogues “as well as Baptist churches”
C. Not restrict cable TV programming
D. Welcome homosexuals, despite the Church’s belief that homosexuality is a sin
E. All of the above

1) B: Bishop William Skylstad is President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He denies the sexual abuse charges.

2) C: If the Church indeed bars gay couples from adopting children from Catholic Charities, groups like the United Way will likely stop contributing to the Church. (For the record, since 1987, the church has placed only 13 children with gay couples — only a fraction of the 720 children it has placed since then.)

3) E: All of the above. Said a spokesman for the Ave Maria project: “The misconception we’re trying to clarify is that this is not going to be a strictly Catholic town… We’re truly just trying to create a town with traditional values.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Holy Crap!

Will someone please again explain to me why Christians think that they are the righteous ones who should get to rule the country based on their own sense of God-given morality?

1) Case in point, Roger Warren Evans, a 53-year-old volunteer Bible study teacher at the First Advent Christian Church in Tustin, CA, a suburb of the OC (Orange County for those who aren’t hip), who was recently arrested for WHAT offense?

A. Sexually abusing an under-aged boy
B. Sexually abusing an under-aged girl
C. Sexually abusing a female parishioner
D. Sexually abusing a stray cat

2) Where did this sexual abuse occur?

A. The church rectory
B. The church courtyard
C. The church basement
D. The church Bible-study class

3) And in addition to his Bible-study work with First Advent Christian Church, Evans is also a volunteer prayer counselor for WHAT organization?

A. The Trinity Broadcasting Network
B. The 700 Club
C. Focus on the Family
D. The Ohio Restoration Project

1. A: Evans sexually abused a 9-year-old boy
2. D: He did it in his Bible-study class
3. A: Evans is also a prayer counselor for the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Seems that over a two-year-period, Evans would single the boy in question out for disciplinary measures during his Bible-study class, then get the boy alone and spank him. The spanking, in turn, would sexually arouse Evans, who would next fondle the boy, and threaten to spank him even harder if he told anybody.

Police are now starting to look for more victims…

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Nine Commandments

It doesn’t get any better than this.

As a high-ranking member of President Bush’s inner circle, Claude Allen was tireless in trying to thrust his personal Born-Again Christian beliefs onto the rest of us by turning Christian tenants into public law.

Among other things, he supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, supported the right of military chaplains to mention Jesus in prayers at publicly funded military institutions, and was a big fan of abstinence-only sex education.

He also home-schooled his children, and was active in his Covenant Life church.

Yet despite all the trappings of being a Good Christian, Allen was leading a secret life, and when he recently resigned his post at the White House, he was subsequently accused of violating WHICH of the 10 Commandments?

A. Do not commit murder
B. Do not commit adultery
C. Do not steal
D. Do not testify as a false witness against your neighbor
E. Do not be envious of your neighbor's wife, his slave, his maid, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that is your neighbor's

C: He is accused of violating the 7th Commandment, “Do not steal.”

Specifically, Allen is charged with buying items from Target, taking them to his car, re-entering the store with his receipt, picking the SAME items off the shelf, and then taking them and his original receipt to the return desk for a refund. Investigators said Allen — who was making $161,000 a year from his White House job — tried to steal at least $5,000 from Target this way.

In typical White House fashion, Allen said he is innocent of the charges, blaming it all on a mix-up with his credit card. The obligatory statement from Allen’s church, meanwhile, said, “Our concern is for his soul.”

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Top o’ the morning to you dear reader. We at Holier Than Thou wish all you a happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

And because nobody, not even the Catholic Church, can turn down a good excuse to party, dozens of bishops across the country are granting a special one-day dispensation today to allow their parishioners to do WHAT?

A) Drink alcohol
B) Miss Mass
C) Eat meat
D) Watch HBO
E) Engage in homosexual relations

C) Eat meat. Since Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, and it is also Lent, and since Catholics are prohibited from eating meat on Fridays during Lent, many churchgoers found themselves in a dilemma: forego the traditional dish of corned beef and cabbage or commit a sin and risk eternal damnation.

Thankfully, bishops from New York to Chicago are granting their followers a one-day-only Get Out Of Hell Free card through special dispensation that will allow them to eat meat — and therefore corned beef — today after all.

Kind of makes you think they’re making all these rules up as they go along, huh?

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Here in Los Angeles, we are gearing up for the annual running of the Los Angeles Marathon, to be held this coming Sunday.

And, perhaps surprisingly, so is a local group of church leaders, who have joined together to ask the city to do WHAT to the annual event in the future?

A) Include a prayer service as part of its opening ceremony
B) Ask female runners not to compete in “inappropriate attire,” such as sports bras and short shorts
C) Donate 10 percent of race proceeds to local churches
D) Hold the event on a day other than a Sunday

D) Seems that church leaders claim that their congregants have trouble navigating the changing traffic patterns on Marathon day, and therefore, forego Sunday services. One church says that last year on race day, only 12 people made it to a service that typically draws 300.

To give credit where credit is due, the church leaders have asked city officers to avoid running the race on Saturdays (the Jewish day of worship) or Friday afternoon (the Muslim time of worship).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Homeland Insecurity

Last week, President Bush did WHAT to the Homeland Security Department?

(Hint: He already did it to the departments of Justice, Labor, Education and Health & Human Services.)

A) Said that prayer was its “best weapon” (in fighting terrorism)
B) Placed a 10 Commandments monument in its lobby
C) Created a new Center for Faith-Based Community
D) Asked the Supreme Court to abolish it

C: Created a Center for Faith-Based Community Initiatives whose job it is to make it easier for religious groups to provide services — and receive federal funding — primarily for disaster relief.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It’s Pat again and again…

Well dear reader, all we can say is that televangelist Pat Robertson has outdone himself once again. He makes it way too easy for us. Read on.

1) This week on Robertson’s live Christian news-and-talk program “The 700 Club” he said that Islam is not a religion of peace, and that radical Muslims are:

A. “… satanic.”
B. “… innately war-loving.”
C. “… a threat to the United States and at the very least, should be interned in prison camps.”
D. “… have tails.”

2) Never at a loss for words, Robertson went on to remark that the outpouring of Muslim rage elicited abroad by the cartoon drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, “just shows the kind of people we’re dealing with. These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it’s motivated by…

A. “… their hatred of our freedoms in the Western world and especially the United States.”
B. “… their hatred of Christianity and its teachings of love and tolerance.”
C. “… demonic power.”
D. “… the aid and comfort provided by the homosexuals, the liberals, and the Democrats here at home.”

1. A: Satanic. We couldn’t make this stuff up.
2. C: Demonic power. “It is satanic and it’s time we recognize what we’re dealing with.” In a statement issued soon after Robertson’s incendiary analysis, Robertson said he was referring specifically to terrorists who want to bomb innocent people as being motivated by Satan.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Few Follow Ups

Today, we at Holier Than Thou thought we’d follow up on some of the issues raised in this space a bit earlier.

After all, we’d hate to leave our readers hanging on issues of burning importance — or, at least, conservative Christianity run amok.

1) In yet another Intelligent Design battleground, we had earlier noted that the Utah state legislature was considering a bill that would require public school students to be told that evolution is NOT a fact, and that the state of Utah doesn’t endorse evolutionary theory.

So, did that law ultimately pass? Yes or No

2) We also noted that Wal-Mart was refusing to carry the Plan B “morning after” contraception in all of its stores except those in Illinois and Massachusetts where state law required them to.

So, has Wal-Mart since changed its stance on the issue? Yes or No

3) And lastly, we’ve been noting for months now the insanity that keeps pouring out of Rev. Pat Robertson’s mouth. You know, things like we should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, that God gave Ariel Sharon a stroke as punishment for pulling out of Gaza, and that the people of Dover, Pa., shouldn’t be surprised if God decided to smite them for voting out their Intelligent Design supporting school board.

Well, lest ye fear that such religious zealotry has no real consequences, it seems that those statements were the direct reason Pat Robertson was just voted out of WHAT organization?

A) President Bush’s federal Faith-Based Initiatives Task Force
B) The board of directors of the National Religious Broadcasters
C) The executive committee of the World Organization of Christian Churches
D) The alumni association of Liberty College

1) No, the Utah Intelligent Design law did not pass, but not because members of the legislature favor evolution, but because they feared that they would have to give the same “not a fact” disclosure to just about EVERY scientific theory taught in its schools — “from Quantum physics to Freud,” as one legislator put it.

Added another of esteemed Utah’s lawmakers: “I don’t believe that anybody…really wants their kids to be taught that their great-grandfather was an ape.”

2) Yes, Wal-Mart did an about face and is now stocking Plan B in all of its pharmacies. A response, it said, to its belief that more states will soon require it to do so. But the company will still allow its individual pharmacists to refuse to fill Plan B prescriptions, which also seems to violate those same state laws.

3) B: Robertson lost his re-election bid for the board of the National Religious Broadcasters. Said NRB President Frank Wright: “There was broad dismay with some of Pat’s comments and a feeling they were not helpful to Christian broadcasters in general.”

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Dark Side of the “Painter of Light”

We confess. We at Holier Than Thou had no idea that artist Thomas Kinkade, the self-professed “Painter of Light,” is a hero among the Evangelical Christian movement for his works of art that apparently profess themes of faith and family values. All we seem to remember from his paintings is sunlight streaming through clouds over an old farmhouse.

Nor did we know that the Born-Again Kinkade wears that mantle proudly, noting that none other than God himself guides his brush strokes.

But, like many a good Christian, Kinkade apparently has a dark side too.

According to accusations in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, when he’s not painting pictures, Kinkade has also done what?

A) Drunkenly heckled Siegfried & Roy onstage
B) Fondled an unsuspecting woman’s breasts at a signing party
C) Cursed a former employee’s wife who came to his aid after he fell off a barstool
D) Urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure at the Disneyland hotel saying, “This one’s for you Walt.”
E) All of the above

E: All of the Above. Which makes us wonder, if God is guiding his brushstrokes, what must the Man Upstairs have been guiding when Kinkade was peeing on poor old Winnie the Pooh?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Change of Plans for Westboro Church

We at Holier Than Thou have discussed Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church’s practice of protesting and heckling military families at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. These fallen patriots, it claims, were killed by God Almighty to punish America for tolerating homosexuality.

Thus, it came as a surprise that the church — which carries signs that read “God Made IEDs,” “God Hates Your Tears” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” — recently CANCELLED planned protests at funerals in Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin.

So why did the church change its plans?

A) The church members finally came to their senses.
B) Because David Phelps, grandson of Rev. Fred Phelps, was himself recently killed in Iraq
C) These states recently passed laws outlawing the protesting at funerals
D) Running low of funds, the church could not raise enough gas money to make the trips.

C: No, sadly, the church members did not come to their senses, realize what a reprehensible and acutely un-Christianly thing they were doing and pray for forgiveness for their sins. They simply didn’t want to be arrested in states that now outlaw their activities.

Said a church spokesman, “We obey the law.”

That said, the church is also considering a legal challenge to the law, which they claim denies them their First Amendment rights.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Whose Funeral Would Jesus Protest At?

Previously, we at Holier Than Thou have looked at Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Church in Topeka, Kan., and its penchant for staging noisy protests at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Westboro congregants have been disrupting funerals for several years now, holding signs that read “God Hates Fags” and “God Made IEDs” as American soldiers are laid to rest.

Why? To make their case that the soldiers were killed by God because they were fighting for a country that harbors homosexuals and adulterers. Really, we aren’t making this up.

Well, now even Republican lawmakers are starting to take notice, and several states are working on new laws to ban such protests at funerals.

1) So, how many states have such legislation in the works?

A) 5
B) 7
C) 14
D) 22

2) By comparison, how many congregants does the Westboro Church have?

A) 75
B) 200
C) 1,200
D) 22,000

1) C: 14 states, and most of them Red States, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

2) A: The church has only 75 congregants, most of them belonging to the extended family of Rev. Phelps.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Good Eggs

Well, it had to happen sooner or later.

In an effort to remain consistent with its strict dictum that human life begins at the moment of conception, a segment of the Catholic Church is now suggesting doing WHAT with the thousands of unused “surplus” embryos created by the in-vitro fertilization process?

A) Praying for them so their souls do not end up in Limbo.
B) Storing them at the Vatican to ensure that they are not used for stem cell research.
C) Burying them in accordance to Catholic cannon, complete with a full Mass, funeral procession and grave-side service.
D) Adoption by women who will have the embryos implanted in their wombs where they will, God willing, survive and make it to birth.

D) Adopting them. Just a thought, but perhaps the Church could instead start by adopting the thousands of all ready born children who are orphans and in dire need.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Separation of Church and State Be Damned!

Just when you think that the Christian Right can’t get any more drunk with power comes word — honest to God — that a state legislature is considering a bill that would turn Christianity into its official “majority” religion.

Other aspects of this bill would recognize “a Christian god,” and “protect the majority’s right to express their religious beliefs.”

Want more? The measure also recognizes that “a greater power exists,” and that only Christianity would receive “justified recognition.”

So, which of the 50 states is considering making Christianity it’s official state-sanctioned religion?

Missouri. The bill, House Concurrent Resolution 13 (as if that number 13 isn’t ironic enough), is now pending.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Supreme Intervention

We at Holier Than Thou felt a shiver run up our spines yesterday upon hearing that a U.S. Supreme Court justice recently sent a letter to a leading member of the Religious Right to thank him and his followers for their support.

“The prayers of so many people from around the country were a palpable and powerful force,” this high court justice wrote. “As long as I serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me.”

1) So, who was the judge who sent the thank you note?

A) Justice John Roberts
B) Justice Samuel Alito
C) Justice Antonin Scalia
D) Justice Clarence Thomas

2) And, who was the Evangelical leader he sent it to?

A) Rev. Pat Robertson
B) Rev. Robert Schuller
C) James Dobson
D) Rev. Rick Warren

1) B: Newly confirmed judge Samuel Alito sent the thank you note to…
2) C: …James Dobson of Focus on the Family

Americans United for Separation of Church and State Executive Director Rev. Barry W. Lynn called the note “grossly inappropriate,” adding it, “suggests that Alito is carrying out a right-wing agenda instead of being a justice for all.” (And yes, the executive director for AUSCS really is himself a Christian minister!)

To which Dobson responded: “Ridiculous.”

Thursday, March 02, 2006


In the past, we at Holier Than Thou have looked at Christian Exodus, a group of Evangelicals who are planning a mass Christian migration to South Carolina. Once there, they plan to take over the state government at the ballot box and ultimately turn America into a nation based on Biblical law.

So, we decided to check back in to see how the group, led by Cory Burnell, is doing.

Burnell reports that, thus far, more than 1,200 Evangelicals have signed up on his website either agreeing to move to South Carolina or giving money to the cause.

But how many of those people have actually made the move to South Carolina?

A) 20
B) 100
C) 250
D) 750

A. So far, it seems that a whopping 20 Christian Exodus members have made the big move to South Carolina — a state of some 4.2 million people.

Thus, we are glad to report, it seems that America will be free of living under Biblical law for a few more months at least!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My Little Town

Who says money can’t buy happiness?

It seems that a wealthy entrepreneur has big plans to create his own city. What’s more, his will be America’s first city founded on and run in accordance to strict Catholic principals. For starters, in his fiefdom abortions will not be allowed, pharmacies will not be able to stock condoms or birth control pills, and cable TV will not carry X-rated channels.

This city, to be built on 5,000 acres of farmland, ultimately calls for some 30,000 residents in addition to shops, businesses, and a Catholic university.

1) So, who is the man behind this planned Catholic haven?

A) Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
B) In-N-Out Burger founder Harry Snyder
C) Dominos Pizza founder Tom Monaghan
D) Icon Films founder (and actor) Mel Gibson

2) What is the name of his proposed town?

A) Ava Maria
B) Second Eden
C) Paradise
D) Jesusland

3) And what state will it be in?

A) Florida
B) Massachusetts
C) Kansas
D) Texas


1) C: Domino’s founder Tom Monaghan
2) A: Ava Maria
3) A: Florida

Monaghan plans to open Ava Maria for settlement in 2007, and is confident that he’ll prevail in the flurry of civil rights lawsuits that are sure to come once he, for example, tells drug stores that they can’t carry condoms.

After all, he says (citing a familiar refrain among the Religious Right), “I think it’s God’s will to do this.”