Jewish date: 28 Nisan 5770 (Parashath Thazria‘-Meṣora‘).
Today’s holidays: Day 13 of the ‘Omer (Judaism), Monday of the Second Week of Easter (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Print Olive (Church of the SubGenius), Feast of Mary d’Este Sturges (Thelema).
Worthy causes of the day: “Fight Climate Change From All Fronts - The Petition Site”, “Congress: Enact Fair, Ambitious and Comprehensive Climate Legislation Now - The Petition Site”, and “Take Action: Send Congress Your State's Invoice for Foodborne Illness.”.
Topic 1: “UFO Cult Awaits Doomsday For 15th Time”: The cult in question is the Church of the SubGenius, which as far as your humble blogger can tell is on the border between serious religion and parody religion. The parody part involves lampooning serious religions, to the extent that they have created a model of reality which incorporates the most bizarre and unlikely religious ideas they could find. It is doubtful anyone takes this model seriously, but some people actually seem to find “truths” hidden within the exterior of absurdity. The Doomsday in question is X-Day, celebrated on July 5th. On X-Day, a group of aliens known as “X-ians” is supposed to invade Earth and bring about the end of the World as we know it. As should be expected for a parody religion, despite the repeated failure of the X-ians to invade, the “true believers” keep expecting it to happen every X-Day. The moral of this silliness is that rational people should question the reliability of those who make predictions which do not come to pass, especially multiple times.
See also: 220 Dates for the End of the world!!! Date Setters!, which has an extensive list of predictions for the end of the World, most of which have already occurred.
Image of an advertisement for a counter-protest to the Westboro Baptist Church by kristinamay via FlickrTopic 2: “W.Va. rallies against hatred of Westboro Baptist Church”. I have been especially requested to write about this topic. The Westboro Baptist Church, as noted in a previous post, is a church group which travels around the USA protesting very insensitively, claiming that God hates everyone who does not agree with them and that disasters are happening to the USA because of people’s sins. Descriptions for the reasons for their protests on their Web-site are poorly structured rants which make claims which have little to do with reality. A major question that those offended by the Westboro Baptist Church’s antics (i.e., almost everyone else) ask is how to deal with this bunch of delusional hate-mongers. Clearly many people just ignore them. However, as noted in this article, some people form counter-protests, as it is written about what happened recently in Charleston, WV:
Local people peacefully overwhelmed the Westboro group. They carried their own signs, including: "I Love Everyone" and "God Bless Our Troops and Veterans."
Others signs had humorous messages: "This is a Sign" and "God Hates Signs."
Arguably this is a valid approach. Given the disconnect of the Westboro Baptist Church from reality, nothing is likely to make them stop (at least quickly) other than physical force. (And considering that they are nonviolent hate-mongers, justifying that either in court or in many moral systems may be difficult or impossible.) Given that the point of the protests is attention, counter-protests serve to give anyone reporting on the protests an alternate message: that others do not quietly accept what the Westboro Baptist Church, that there are others who reject indiscriminate hate. Given all the trouble there is in our world, it is good to be reassured that not everything is wrong and hopeless.
Topic 3: For today’s religious humor: “I do not believe in”:
and “Buddha Cat”:
Peace be upon you and all the world.