Weird Religious Messages

chocolate-is-cheaper-than-therapy...aluminium-funny-wall-sign-ss-8988-pLatest Religious Messages
— Speaking on a popular Christian Internet podcast in March (reported by Houston’s KHOU-TV), Pastor John Benefiel of Oklahoma City’s Church on the Rock described how, in a 2007 blessing, he might have prayed “too hard.” He was attempting to help drought-stricken Texas and Oklahoma by using a specific prayer message (the “Baal divorce decree”), but that inadvertently resulted, he said, in “every lake” in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri rising above flood stage, causing thousands of people to lose their homes and 22 to lose their lives. [KHOU-TV, 3-26-2014]

— In his March 23 sermon (according to Huffington Post), Phoenix, Arizona, pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful World Baptist Church explained in detail why women in the congregation must refrain from speaking during services. Citing 1 Timothy 2:11 and 1 Corinthians 14, Anderson said the woman should learn only “in silence.” “Now obviously, before the service begins,” he conceded, “there’s chatting and talking going on that’s perfectly legitimate. (And when) we all sing praises to God, of course the ladies should also lift up their voices. But when it’s learning time, it’s silence time (for females).” (Also, he said, since the comment “Amen” means “That’s true,” it would be inappropriate for females to utter it.) [Huffington Post, 3-26-2014]

— At one Hindu temple in India’s Kerala state, the religious gift of choice — both for offerings to the deity Lord Muruga and for distribution from the deity to devotees — is the chocolate candy bar, which visitors bring in cartons, according to a March report by the Press Trust of India. (Muruga is the son of the lord Shiva and was originally worshiped as a child, leading to speculation that he would respond to chocolates.) [Press Trust of India via NDTV, 3-11-2014] — Details! After convicted murderer Loren Larson Jr. filed a federal lawsuit in Anchorage, Alaska, claiming that his prison wristband ID “defil(ed)” him religiously because it was a “mark of the devil,” a Goose Creek Correctional Center official lectured him on the Book of Revelation. Actually, wrote the official, we would be commanding the “mark of the beast” only if we ordered the ID either “in the right hand” or “in the forehead,” and neither is required by current wristband policy. (Hence, the double-murderer, serving 198 years, still qualifies to avoid hell.) [Anchorage Press, 3-20-2014]

— An unnamed British inmate published a letter in a prison newspaper in April alleging continuous religious discrimination against him by guards and officials. The man claims he is a practicing Jedi (and of course cannot reveal his name because he fears retaliation “from the dark side”) and complains that Jedi-ism, though officially recognized as a religion in the UK (the 7th-most popular, according to the census, with more than 175,000 adherents) is nonetheless unacknowledged by the National Offender Management Service. [The Guardian (London), 4-17-2014]

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