Monday, February 23, 2015

God Rebrands Himself As Neil Patrick Harris

Yahweh, commonly known to the multitudes as God, has announced that He is rebranding Himself as Neil Patrick Harris. This radical change is on the heels of the increasing awareness that God's former brand reflected an ideal that simply doesn't fit into the 21st century.

Rafael Kannard, the archangel who spearheads Yahweh's marketing team, stated that there were too many negative connotations associated with the old brand. "Our percentage in the Winning Hearts and Minds metric has been steadily decreasing in the upscale demographic. What we have been seeing is a surge with the psychologically unstable crowd, and let's face it, that's not an audience we want to base our brand on," the archangel confided.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mississippi Lawmaker Demands The Alphabet Be Abolished In Order To Raise Literacy Scores

Mississippi's state flag.
Jackson, Mississippi  Republican State Representative Arnold Stupeo has proposed a bill that would ban the teaching of the alphabet in public schools. House Bill  71 (HB 71), commonly known as Big Bird's Bill, has passed out of committee and ready for the full House to vote on.   

HB 71 is in response to the sad fact that more that 28% of third graders in the state are expected to fail the required reading test and will not proceed to the fourth grade. "The ingenious part of my bill is that we alter the state exam so that abolishing the alphabet is not an issue," Rep Stupeo stated. 

HB 71's nickname, Big Bird's Bill, is a nod to the federal government's role in educating the next generation of Mississippi voters. While the state is abandoning the building blocks of the English language, it is expected that Sesame Street will pick up the slack. "If Washington wants to tell us what to teach our kids, then I say we let them teach," Representative Stupeo went on to say. 

Dick and Jane without  all those
superfluous words.
The proposed law will replace teaching the alphabet with a rigorous curriculum centered around picture books. Students will learn the basics of proper grammar through such classics as See Spot Run, Dick and Jane Go, Go, Go, and The Diary of Anne Frank. However, all words will be cleansed from the books, leaving only vivid illustrations depicting character development and plot.

Tax payers are up in arms -- with excitement over the proposed savings HB 71 promises. The state is expected to save millions in the first year alone. The real problem dividing the public is how to spend the windfall: increase the funding for local football teams or tearing down the old State House and putting in its place a new one based on Solomon's Temple as depicted in the Old Testament. There is a buzz in the air that once math, science, and social studies are converted to an all picture book curriculum there will be more than enough money for both plans.

Students are looking forward to plunging into this new way of learning. Seventh grader Marci White went on the record saying, "I never got a whole lot out of school anyway. If they want to pretend to teach me, then I plan to do my best and pretend to learn."

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chapel Hill Shootings

The shooting of three Muslims near North Carolina University at Chapel Hill by Craig Stephen Hicks a "militant atheist" (The Telegraph's term, not mine) has been in the news for a day or so at this point. The specifics of the incident are appalling. Were the three young adults shot due to an altercation regarding a parking space or due to some deep seated hatred by Mr Hicks against Islam? Perhaps it was a combination of the two?

I posted this on the Facebook page of LiP, and thought I'd share it here.

I don't think I say this enough - although this is the message in a lot of the posts here in Purgatory and in my jokes - that the the cardinal characteristic to have for not acting like a lunatic is doubt Thinking Maybe I am wrong can go a long way in ameliorating suffering. People who are 100% sure of what they're doing are far more likely to blow up that bomb, invade that country, or in this sad case shoot three people.

Doubt is the firewall against the stupid and destructive tendencies of our species.

Even then there are no guarantees.

This is Purgatory.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

God, And The Real Reason Why Boston Is Getting All That Snow

A Boston man reflects on shoveling more snow.
Boston, MA New England's regional hub is reeling from a record snowfall this winter, and the Almighty is quick to claim credit for it. "I just want to make it clear that I am not cursing Boston in the same way the ancient Egyptians got it. You haven't noticed any frogs pouring out of the sky, have you? No. What I am doing is taking the piss out of Boston," Yahweh, Lord and Prime Mover explained.

Anonymous sources inside the celestial kingdom have been whispering that the God's team had not in fact
The mouthpiece of God.
won the big game on February 1, 2015. Like many others who watched the Patriots take on the Seahawks, God simply assumed Pete Caroll was going to run the ball into the end zone, and seal the deal on a Seattle victory. No one knows exactly why God diverted his attention and in doing so remove the umbrella of divine grace from the Seahawks, but the smart money is that he was predestining Kanye West's latest outburst at the Grammys.

Meanwhile Boston's religious leaders are scrambling to find a scapegoat to blame the snow disaster on. While more conservative pre-Vatican II Catholic priests want to go old school and blame the Jews, more moderate voices want to update their hypocrisy and blame gay marriage. A council is being convened so that a vote can be taken to decide what God really wants.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oxford University Press Demands That Authors Not Use Pictures In Children's Picture Books

Oxford University Press, Oxford, England Oxford University Press has issued a warning to its authors
and illustrators of children's picture books not to use any illustrations, graphics, or diagrams in order not to inflame the passions of some Muslims. 

The publisher of such classic books as Christopher's Caterpillars colouring in activity sheet, Goat and Donkey in the Great Outdoors, and Winnie the Witch's Sticker Book have decided to avoid the third rail of religion otherwise known as the Second Commandment.
Is the Cat in the Hat
the next target of
religious sensitivity?
In acknowledgement of our broad readership across many cultures and religions authors and illustrators can not use any visual representation of anything. The Second Commandment clearly states: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am o jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of then that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.' Exodus 20 4-6  - from the updated Oxford University Press' guidelines for children's picture books

Friday, January 9, 2015

Charlie Hebdo

It's difficult to find someone who isn't aware of the attack on the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.

There's been plenty of commentary (Stephen Law's piece What’s the point of lampooning religion? To upset the religious?  is worth reading), and I just wanted to resurrect two memes that reflect some of my thinking on the tragedy.

And this one from my post Priceless Gifts for an Atheist Dad.

This is Purgatory.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christian Mingle Now Includes Gay, Transsexual, and Bisexual Christians

Christian Mingle, the premiere dating site for single God fearing paid subscribers looking to find love, has been divinely altered to now include homosexual, transsexual, and bisexual Christians. While the change has occurred in the blink of an eye, the Almighty has been looking at the service with disdain for some time.

"Look at how cheeky their tagline is Find God's Match for You. I considered penning the organization a strongly worded email on how I, The Tamer of Leviathan, would never work for a bunch of yutzes likes them. It makes me sound like I'm coding their Goddamned (and I can say Goddamned as much as I want -- those Commandments are for you not me) algorithms for them. It's blasphemous."

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