Monday, June 12, 2006

Mysterious Ways

Who knew that God has such an acute sense of irony?

Last Memorial Day, Daphne, Ala., resident Clara Jean Brown was struck by lightening during a powerful thunderstorm while doing what?

A. Sneaking money out of the church collection plate
B. Protesting outside an abortion clinic
C. Using the Lord’s name in vain
D. Praying

D: Praying. In fact, Brown was in the relative safety of her own kitchen and praying for her family’s safe return through the storm.

She had just said “Amen” when a bolt of lightening blew a hole in her kitchen floor, enveloped the room in flame and knocked Clara semi-unconscious (but otherwise left her unharmed).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Into the Lion’s Den

From our “We Just Couldn’t Resist” file comes a dispatch from Kiev, Ukraine, where a man climbed into the lion enclosure at the local zoo.

Apparently, the man was attempting to test his faith in God — or God’s faith in him — by lowering himself by a rope into the pen, taking off his shoes and walking right up to the King of the Beasts shouting: “God will save me, if He exists!”

So, what happened to the man?

A. The lions had recently been fed and showed no interest in him, thereby proving God’s existence
B. Zookeepers managed to wrestle him to the ground while fending off the lions, saving him and thereby proving God’s existence.
C. The man turned and ran away screaming once a lion approached him, but not before the lion ripped the seat of his pants out as he scrambled back to safety, but nonetheless, proving God’s existence
D. The lion killed him

D: “A lioness when straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery,” said a zoo official. We’ll leave it up to you as to whether this event proves that God doesn’t exist, or simply doesn’t like idiots.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Heaven's Idol

Which former member of the Backstreet Boys — the quintessential teen band whose hit songs include “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” “As Long As You Love Me” and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” — is now performing as a Christian pop singer?

A. Nick Carter
B. Howie Dorough
C. Brian Littrell
D. AJ McLean
E. Kevin Richardson

C: Brian Littrell, who now cites his days as a Backstreet Boy as a “mere stepping stone.”

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Family Matters

We at Holier Than Thou just love those politicians who claim to support “family values” – primarily because so few of them actually LIVE by those same values.

Case in point, Republican Jim Galley, a self-processed “pro-traditional family” candidate who ran for Congress in California’s 51st Congressional District in San Diego (just a stones throw from Duke Cunningham’s old seat).

Aside from espousing such traditional family values, what else can be said about Galley? (Careful: There’s more than one correct answer here…)

A. He has been married three times
B. He was married to two women at the same time
C. He defaulted on his child support payments
D. One of his ex-wives filed a restraining order against him, claiming he beat both her and their son
E. He was victorious is yesterday’s primary election

A, B, C and D are all correct! (Thankfully, he lost yesterday’s primary election.) Let’s hear it once again for Traditional Family Values!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Numbers Don’t Lie, But “Virgins” Do

We’ve all heard about teenagers becoming born-again Christians and taking virginity pledges, meaning they are supposed to remain chaste until they say “I do.” Well, we at Holier Than Thou certainly aren’t fans of teens having sex, but virginity pledges don’t seem like such an effective means of curbing sexual activity. These are teenagers we’re talking about after all. And then teaching abstinence-only sex education to these hormone-ravaged kids rather than providing them with the facts about the birds and the bees and sexually transmitted diseases, well, ignorance is seldom bliss. In fact, it often leads to tragedy. Whatever happened to “the truth will set you free” or “honesty is the best policy”?

Which leads us to a recent Harvard study that evaluated retractions of virginity pledges and reports of sexual histories among a nationally representative sample of seventh- through twelfth-grade students who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

1). Select the true statement(s):

A. Teenagers do not report their past sexual activity accurately, with virginity pledgers giving more inaccurate reports of their past sexual activity.
B. Adolescents who abandoned a born-again Christian identity were more than twice as likely as their peers to say they had never taken a virginity pledge.
C. About 13 percent of adolescents reported that they had taken a pledge of virginity. Just one year later, however, more than half of this group said they had never taken such a pledge.

1: A, B and C are all true. These findings imply that virginity pledgers often provide unreliable data, making assessment of abstinence-based sex education programs unreliable. In addition, these teens may also underestimate their risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.

"Teenagers do not report their past sexual activity accurately, with virginity pledgers giving more inaccurate reports of their past sexual activity," said study author Janet Rosenbaum, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Rule of Law

Now here’s a ruling we can get behind. In Des Moines, Iowa a judge has ruled that the Bible-based prison program Prison Fellowship Ministries violates the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause by using state funds to promote Christianity to inmates.

1). Prison Fellowship Ministries was recently ordered to cease its program at the Newton Correctional Facility AND:

A. Repay the state of Iowa $1.53 million
B. Send a letter of apology to all non-Christians housed at the facility for what many perceived to be their intolerance of other faiths
C. Remove all Bibles that they gave away to inmates
D. Sponsor an interfaith symposium at the correctional facility

2). Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed the suit against Prison Fellowship Ministries, says the group gave preferential treatment to inmates in their Christian program. Perks did NOT include one of the following:

A. Participation in a special Sunday brunch that served tasty, homemade dishes
B. Special visitation rights
C. Movie-watching privileges
D. Access to computers
E. Access to classes needed for early parole

1. A: State prison officials have said that they hired the religious group to improve inmate behavior and reduce recidivism — not promote Christianity. “This calls into question the funding for so many programs,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed the suit. “Anyone who doesn't stop it is putting a giant ‘sue me’ sign on top of their building.”

2. A: The inmates did NOT get special food on Sundays, but they did get special visitation rights, movie-watching privileges, access to computers and access to classes needed for early parole. U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt called the perks “seemingly minor benefits” that constituted unfair treatment to those not in the religious program. Despite any claims of rehabilitating inmates, the program “impermissibly endorses religion,” Pratt wrote.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Video Shame

Seems there’s no end to the ways that people can warp the basic tenets of Christianity — like loving thy neighbor and tolerance — to serve their own sick and twisted purposes. Case in point, there’s a new Christian video game slated for release this coming October that is nothing more than a paramilitary mission simulator for children. And if that’s not bad enough, its creators will be distributing it through mega-churches around the country. Yup, Christ, the Prince of Peace, would have just loved that! If you’re not already feeling ill from the hypocrisy and immorality of it all, read on.

1). In the video game, you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission — both a religious mission and a military mission to…

A. …spread the love of Jesus Christ by protecting His flock.
B. …forcefully save the souls of all you encounter.
C. …convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state — especially moderate, mainstream Christians.
D. …rid the city of child pornographers and abortionists by any means necessary.

2). This violent and hateful real-time Christian strategy video game is targeted for young boys and its creators are linked to:

A. The empire of mega-church pastor and Rick Warren, best selling author of “The Purpose Driven Life.”
B. Rev. Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network
C. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University
D. Actor and filmmaker Mel Gibson


1. C: The game immerses children in present-day New York City and rewards them for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian. Guess we missed that part in the New Testament where Christ strapped on a machine gun and threatened to use it if people didn’t start converting, pronto.

The game also offers players the opportunity to switch sides and fight for the army of the Antichrist, releasing cloven-hoofed demons that feast on conservative Christians and their panicked proselytes. The dialogue includes people saying, “Praise the Lord,” as they blow infidels away.

2. A: Man oh man Rick, you’ve got some explaining to do. The international director of Warren’s Purpose Driven Church, Mark Carver, is a former investment banker who serves on the Advisory Board of the corporation created in October 2001 to develop and market this game. They plan to distribute their merchandise through pastoral networks, especially mega-churches. God help us.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


No Playboy or Penthouse magazines in the clubhouse. Bible quotes hanging in the weight room. And players crowding into prayer and fellowship groups each Tuesday.

One perennially losing Major League Baseball is trying a new approach to making the playoffs — by turning Christian.

The team’s owners and management insist that while they will still hire non-Christian players, their focus on a Christian-based code of conduct is already paying dividends with God actually taking time out of His otherwise busy schedule to help them to win games.

As the team’s general manager puts it: “You look at some of the games we’re winning. Those aren’t just a coincidence. God definitely had a hand in this.”

So, just what is God’s newest favorite team?

A. The San Diego Padres
B. The Washington Nationals
C. The Colorado Rockies
D. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays

C: The Colorado Rockies. Says the team’s chairman and CEO, “Christians, and what they’ve endured, are some of the strongest people in baseball. I believe God sends signs, and we’re seeing those.”

Then again, as of this writing, the Rockies were in third place in the National League West, meaning that by Christian standards at least, God still likes the L.A. Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks just a bit more.