Friday, September 29, 2006


Previously, we at Holier Than Thou have noted that several Polish priests were suspected of spying on then Pope John Paul II on behalf of communist Poland’s secret police.

But now it seems like the Polish church spying scandal has just gotten a lot bigger.

Keeping in mind that during the communist era, it was common for Poles to spy on one another for that country’s secret services.

But now, documents recently released by the now-democratically elected government of Poland show that
THIS percentage of the Polish clergy were also spying on the countrymen for the Polish secret service?

A. Five percent
B. Ten percent
C. Fifteen percent
D. Twenty percent

C: A full 15 percent of Polish priests were involved in passing information on their parishioners and fellow clergy to the communist government’s secret police — putting a whole new wrinkle on the sacrament of Confession.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Falwell’s Follies

The Rev. Jerry Falwell made some eye-popping remarks recently during a 40-minute address at the “Values Voter Summit,” sponsored by the country’s leading conservatives and featuring several Republicans who are considering running for president in 2008.

At a private prayer breakfast, Rev. Falwell declared that the possibility of a White House run by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would energize his base of religious conservatives even more than if:

A. Michael Moore were the Democratic nominee.
B. Osama bin Laden were the Democratic nominee.
C. Fidel Castro were the Democratic nominee.
D. Lucifer were the Democratic nominee.


D: The Prince of Darkness himself. “I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate,” Falwell said. “Because nothing will energize my (constituency) like Hillary Clinton.” The man of the cloth went on, “If Lucifer ran, he wouldn’t,” which drew a roomful of laughs and cheers. That’s a nice, Christianly reaction. Jesus was a big fan of derision and cheap shots. An aide to Falwell said the remarks were off-the-cuff and not intended to demonize the Democratic senator from New York. Oh really.

And by the way, attendees also were assured during the prayer breakfast that God would preserve a Republican majority in Congress.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Name Game

No wonder why they call election time the silly season.

In an effort to make his stance on a bread-and-butter issue of the Christian Right perfectly well known, an Idaho strawberry farmer and gubernatorial candidate — formerly known as Marvin Richardson — has officially changed his name to WHAT?

A. Pro-Life
B. School Prayer
C. No Gay Marriage
D. Jesus Christ

A: Pro-Life. A couple of years earlier, the man had changed his middle name to “Pro-Life” (as in Marvin Pro-Life Richardson), only to be told by the Idaho secretary of state that he wouldn’t allow the middle name to appear on the ballot — something about the legality of bringing an issue on the ballot itself.

That’s when Richardson took the plunge, dropping both his first and last name and replacing them with Pro-Life.

We’ll let Pro-Life take it from there.

“It seems like only a nut would do something like that, but I’m not a nutty kind of person at all,” Pro-Life said.

“My name being Pro-Life on the ballot will save a number of babies by the time I die.”

Of course, there are some other considerations as well.

For starters, his wife of 24 years, Kirsten Faith Richardson, is still trying to determine how the change impacts her. She’s leaning toward Kirsten Faith Pro-Life because she doesn’t want to loose the “Faith” part of her own name.

Likewise, what’s to become of the couple’s 10-year-old son Grant, who had earlier had his own middle name changed to Pro Life? Does that mean he now must go by Grant Pro-Life Pro-Life?

In the meantime, the senior Pro-Life said he plans to run for office every two years for the rest of his life. He’s already gearing up for the 2008 senate race.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Second Coming (Soon to a Theater Near You)

Has Hollywood finally found religion?

At least one major studio has. The studio is forming a new unit devoted to producing up to 12 Christian-themed movies a year. What will be the name of the new studio-backed film company?

A. Universal Truth Productions
B. Disney Devotional Films
C. Warner Bros. Revival
D. Sony Christian Classics
E: Fox Faith

E: Fox Faith, whose tagline will be (we kid you not), “Films You Can Believe In.”

No word yet on whether we can expect movie adaptations of Fox’s “The Simpsons” or “Nip/Tuck” to be released by Fox Faith anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Getting It Off His Chest

The Culture Wars took an interesting turn last week when the Rev. Bob Harrington of Texas decided that such issues as the War in Iraq, poverty in America and stem cell research took a back seat to the pressing problem of pop singers’ cleavage.

Noting that, “They don’t represent American standards, and certainly not Christian standards,” Rev. Harrington recently singled out female singers for his scorn, ranting in a magazine interview: “[They] will reap the dismal crops they are sowing. Their breasts will sag and their faces will wither and they will be left with nothing but a hollow shell.”

So, WHICH two singers was he talking about?

A. Madonna and Whitney Houston
B. J. Lo and Shakira
C. Jessica and Ashlee Simpson
D. Kelly Clarkson and Katharine McPhee
E. Beyonce and Christina Aguilera

C: The Rev. Harrington has obviously spending a lot of time thinking about the Simpson sisters’ breasts.

Ironically, Jessica and Ashlee’s father and manager, Joe, is himself a former Baptist minister, of whom Rev. Harrington noted, ”He has replaced holiness with horniness.”


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Men of the Cloth

It’s getting so you can’t tell the cult-like, child-molesting, Christian churches from one another without a scorecard.

The small towns of Washburn, Mo. and Blanco, Texas, were both recently rocked when they learned that their local, isolated, churches were actually cult-like havens for pedophiles performing their misdeeds under the name of Christ. What’s more, neither of the churches is Roman Catholic!

In Missouri, five leaders of the Grand Valley Baptist Church North and Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church were arrested on a host of child-molesting charges, while in Texas, five monks from the Christ of the Hills Monastery (which had been affiliated with Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia) were arrested on similar charges.

So, can you match the church to the charges?

1). Leaders of THIS church molested at least five underage girls, the youngest being four years old, going back to the 1970s.
A. Grand Valley Baptist
B. Christ of the Hills

2). Leaders of THIS church molested at least three teenaged boys going back to the 1990s.
A. Grand Valley Baptist
B. Christ of the Hills

3). Leaders of THIS church gave drugs and alcohol to their underage victims before making them perform oral sex or participate in orgies.
A. Grand Valley Baptist
B. Christ of the Hills

4). Leaders of THIS church molested their victims as part of religious ceremonies during which they were told that their bodies were being prepared for “service to God.”
A. Grand Valley Baptist
B. Christ of the Hills

5). Leaders of THIS church called the sexual touching of their victims “angel kisses.”
A. Grand Valley Baptist
B. Christ of the Hills

6). In addition to the molestation charges, leaders of THIS church fraudulently placed rose-scented water on a painting of the Virgin Mary, only to claim that the icon was weeping real tears as a way to attract money-donating visitors to the site.
A. Grand Valley Baptist
B. Christ of the Hills

1). A: Grand Valley Baptist, whose pastor, George Otis Johnston, told at least one of his victims that he was “ordained by God to fulfill her needs as a woman.”

2). B: Christ of the Hills, which Blanco County Sheriff William Elsbury called “a pedophile factory.”

3). B: Christ of the Hills, which chose as victims for these orgies young men who were receiving religious training at the monastery

4). A: Grand Valley Baptist

5). A: Grand Valley Baptist

6). B: Christ of the Hills. “It’s a scam,” said sheriff Elsbury of the monastery’s famous crying icon. “They would go in there at different times out of public view and place tears on there with an eyedropper. They got a lot of people snowed.”

Monday, September 18, 2006

Third Time’s a Charm

Speaking before a group of conservative journalists recently, President George W. Bush noted that he sensed a “Third Awakening” of religious devotion in the United States.

For those in the Conservative Christian movement, such a Third Awakening would indeed be a major historical event — the First Great Awakening refers to a rise in Christianity among the American colonies in the mid 1700s, while the Second Great Awakening is said to have happened between 1800 and 1830.

So, just what did Bush say is pushing this “Third Awakening” forward?

A. A growing embrace of the “Culture of Life” in America
B. Pro-family movements spurred on to fight gay marriage
C. The War on Terror
D. The recent passing of the millennium

1) C: The War on Terror is apparently making Americans — at least Christian Americans — more passionate in their beliefs, according to the president. The reason? “A lot of people in America see this [War on Terror] as a confrontation between good and evil,” he said. “Including me.”

A Bush aide was quick to point out that the President didn’t mean to imply that the War on Terror was a Christian battle against Islam.

“This is not ‘God is on our side’ or anything like that,” the aide clarified.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Exorcist

Not too long ago, we at Holier Than Thou looked at the life and times of Father Gabriele Amorth, Pope Benedict XVI’s official exorcist (“caster out of demons” in Vatican-speak), who revealed that, among other things, he has performed more than 30,000 exorcisms and that his favorite movie is indeed “The Exorcist.”

But it seems that Father Amorth is not the only one busy trying to cast out Satan — none other than top White House political aide Karl Rove has called upon the spiritual cleansing ritual as well.

1). According to the new Rove biography, The Architect, just HOW MANY Catholic priests did Karl Rove use to exorcise the spirit of Hilary Clinton from the White House?

A. One
B. Two
C. Three
D. Zero

2). What religion is Rove?

A. Catholic
B. Episcopalian
C. Baptist
D. Jewish

1). C: Three priests were apparently called upon to remove Hilary’s evil spirit from her old West Wing office, something that Rove has since denied, although a Baptist minister turned conservative Catholic named Deal Hudson says he witnessed the event.

2). B: Rove is Episcopalian

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

With Friends Like These

How do Americans think the two political parties stack up when it comes to religion?

Well, a recent Pew Research Center study asked Americans whether or not they thought the GOP was “friendly to religion.” And, perhaps surprisingly, most American’s find the Republicans to be less friendly than they did a year ago.

Please match the statement to its corresponding percentage.

1). Percentage drop since last year in the number of Americans who think the GOP is “friendly to religion”
2). Percentage drop since last year in the number of white evangelical conservatives who think that the GOP is “friendly to religion”
3). Percentage drop since last year in the number of white Catholics who think that the GOP is “friendly to religion”
4). Percentage of Americans who think that the Democratic Party is “friendly to religion”

A. 8 percentage points
B. 11 percentage points
C. 14 percentage points
D. 26 percentage points

1). A: 8 percent fewer Americans overall think the GOP is friendly to religion this year than last
2). C: White evangelicals are particularly pissed off at the GOP, dropping 14 percentage points
3). B: White Catholics dropped 11 percentage points
4). And only 26 percent of Americans — about the same as last year, think that the Democrats are friendly to religion.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Like Father, Like Son?

Karl Rove, nicknamed by President Bush as “boy genius” for his ruthless strategizing and smear campaigning, has been a seminal figure in pushing forth this administration’s conservative policies. But in the new book, “The Architect,” which chronicles Karl Roves’ life and conservative agenda, authors James Moore and Wayne Slater have found some interesting skeletons in Rove’s closet. The authors reveal that Rove’s father, Louis Rove, was WHAT?

A. Gay
B. Interested in black magic before he found Christ in 1979
C. An ex-convict who was jailed for embezzling from a church
D. A bigamist who had a second family in Pensacola, Fla.
E. The son of an abortionist

A: Gay. According to the book, Louis Rove left his family during the 1969 Christmas holidays and moved to Los Angeles where he eventually “came out.” Rove keeps a photograph of his father on his White House desk and has remarked to reporters that his father “lived life exactly the way he wanted to live it.” But apparently, Rove just doesn’t want any other gay person to live life exactly the way he or she wants to.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Texas Two-Step

It seems disgraced ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has plenty of time on his hands these days while he twiddles his thumb awaiting his trial in Texas for alleged political corruption.

1). So what’s the former exterminator doing to fill up those empty hours? Well, for one, DeLay wrote a serious letter about WHAT hit TV show directly addressing the viewers?

A. ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”
B. Fox’s “House”
C. CBS’s “Survivor”
D. NBC’s “The Office”
E. Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report”

2). Okay, okay, we’ll give you the answer, it was ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” which kicks off its new season on Tuesday. In DeLay’s stern missive, he exhorts viewers of the audience-participation show to WHAT?

A. Watch anything other than the show because the dancing is lascivious and too sexual for the family hour and promotes homosexuality.
B. Vote for Tucker Carlson, conservative contestant and host of MSNBC’s “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” because he’s a good man with a true heart.
C. Call ABC and demand that the contestants dress more modestly.
D. Vote for the Republican country singer and GOP supporter Sara Evans over contestant Jerry Springer, a liberal, because “we need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television.”

1). A: ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
2). D: Vote for Republican country singer Sara Evans. DeLay’s letter says, in part, “Sara Evans has been a strong supporter of the Republican Party and represents good American values in the media. From singing at the 2004 Republican Convention to appearing with candidates in the last several election cycles, we have always been able to count on Sara for her support of the things we all believe in. Let’s show Sara that same support by watching and voting for her each week to help her win this competition. One of her opponents on the show is ultra liberal talk who host Jerry Springer. We need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television by supporting good people like Sara Evans.”

Friday, September 08, 2006

John McCain School Daze

First, John McCain kissed and made up with Jerry Falwell by speaking at Falwell’s Liberty University.

Now, which other university that McCain criticized for its intolerance and anti-Catholic beliefs in his 2000 presidential campaign has the prospective GOP presidential candidate said he would consider speaking at this time around?

A. Brigham Young University
B. Bob Jones University
C. Texas Christian University
D. Ole Miss

B: Bob Jones University, which only recently lifted its ban on interracial dating and is seen by many as strongly anti-Catholic — so much so that President Bush once apologized to New York Cardinal John O’Connor after speaking there himself.

Said Bob Jones spokesman Jonathan Pait, “We haven’t changed our position [on Catholicism versus Protestantism] at all…We don’t hate Catholics. We certainly disagree with Catholicism, but I think it’s going a bit far to say it’s anti-Catholic.”

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dirty Words

While you’ve been busy living your life blissfully unaware, the American Family Association has been busy trying to protect you from one of the most dangerous forces in America — dirty words.

In fact, the AFA has been rallying its Christian troops against the broadcast of several television shows and events in recent years, such as “NYPD Blue.”

Now comes word that the group has sent an action alert to its membership, looking for them to send angry protest letters to the FCC urging a crackdown against WHAT upcoming broadcast?

A. F/X’s season premiere of “Nip/Tuck”
B. Lifetime’s season finale of “Cheerleader Nation”
C. CBS’s documentary “9/11”
D. TBS’s special “The World’s Funniest Commercials”
E. PBS’s kids show “It’s a Big, Big World”

C: CBS’s documentary “9/11,” which will air — as it has twice previously aired — unedited, firemen and other emergency workers swearing as they tried to save lives at the World Trade Center.

“Share this information with your Sunday School class,” the AFA alert says.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

No Sympathy for the Devil

In a recent interview, Father Gabriele Amorth, Pope Benedict XVI’s official exorcist (“caster out of demons” in Vatican-speak) provided some fascinating insights into the inner-workings of the devil and those whose mission it is to stop him.

Among these revelations:

1). Who among these World War II-era figures was actually possessed by the devil? (Hint: There is more than one correct answer here.)

A. Adolf Hitler
B. Benito Mussolini
C. Joseph Stalin
D. Emperor Hirohito
E. Harry S. Truman

2). Which of the above figures did then-Pope Pius XII attempt a “long distance” exorcism on?

A. Adolf Hitler
B. Benito Mussolini
C. Joseph Stalin
D. Emperor Hirohito
E. Harry S. Truman

3). Did the long-distance exorcism work?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Not Sure

4). What is Father Amorth’s, who is also the president of the International Association of Exorcists, favorite movie?

A. The Passion of the Christ
B. Gigi
C. The Godfather
D. The Exorcist
E. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

5). And lastly, which is greater, the number of exorcisms Father Amorth has performed, or the number of women Wilt Chamberlain slept with?

A. Father Amorth’s exorcisms
B. Wilt Chamberlain’s sex partners

1). A and C: According to master exorcist Father Amorth, Hitler and Stalin were both possessed by the devil. “You can tell by their behavior and their actions, from the horrors they committed and the atrocities that were committed on their orders,” he said. “That’s why we need to defend society from demons.”

2). A: Pope Pius XII tried a long distance exorcism on Hitler.

3). B: Sadly, it did not work. “It is very rare that praying and attempting to carry out an exorcism from distance works,” Father Amorth explained. “One of the key requirements for an exorcism is to be present in front of the possessed person and that person also has to be consenting and willing.”

4). D: Yes, his favorite movie really is “The Exorcist.” (“Harry Potter,” on the other hand, “hides the signature of the king of the…devil.”)

5). A: Father Amorth says he has performed some 30,000 exorcisms in his career, while Wilt the Stilt claims to have slept with only 20,000 women.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Family Values in Action

Randall Terry, Operation Rescue founder and darling of the Religious Right, is currently running for a state Senate seat in Florida.

And, as part of his campaign, he has focused on bread-and-butter “family values issues.”

Yet a recent campaign mailer Terry sent to his supporters, what members of Terry’s own family were missing? (Hint: There is more than one answer here.)

A. Terry’s alcoholic father
B. Terry’s gay son
C. Terry’s daughter, who had a child out of wedlock
D. Terry’s divorced wife

B and C: Terry’s son Jamiel, who came out of the closet in 2004, and his daughter Tila, who had a child out of wedlock.

Said son Jamiel, “He [Randall Terry] is very big on image. In a large way Tila and I mess up that image.”

Said Randall Terry himself, “The reason we don’t have a photo with Jamiel and Tila is that we haven’t been in the same room with them in about three years.”

Friday, September 01, 2006

Family Knows Best

Thank God we’ve got the Family Research Council to keep us safe.

While the rest of us are busy contemplating the dangers posed by Al Qaeda, the war in Iraq, global warming and the current hurricane season, the Family Research Council recently took out full-page newspaper ads urging the Justice Department and FBI to investigate WHAT?

A. Homosexuals working for outside contractors of the Pentagon in a possible violation of the “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy
B. Minors traveling across state lines to purchase the Plan B “morning after pill” without telling their parents first
C. Privately-funded stem cell research at Harvard University
D. Pay-per-view porn in the nation’s hotel chains

1) D: Pay-per-view porn in the nation’s hotels, which the group believes violate federal and state obscenity laws.

“These are places that you take your family — these are respectable institutions,” said Family Research Council Tony Perkins. “Anything that brings porn into the mainstream is a concern.”

Countered Hilton spokeswoman Kathy Shepard, “In their zest to have their personal morals prevail, they are eliminating choice for others.”