Jesus' Fighting Game Found Offensive

An online game that allows players to stage fights involving Jesus, Muhammad and other religious figures was withdrawn after Muslim protests. But the creators have now posted a cheeky sequel, in which players must love all the figures equally in order to survive.

The first Faith Fighter game is "incendiary in its content and offensive to Muslims and Christians," a spokesman for the Jeddah-based Islamophobia Observatory of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) said.

Faith Fighter allows players to choose between Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, God, Ganesha and then fight each other in an old-style cartoon fashion with kicks and thunder bolts. The game's publishers, Molleindustria of Italy, which specialises in making games with a serious message, intended it as an ironic commentary on religious intolerance.

The accompanying guide reads: "Choose your belief and kick the s*** out of your enemies. Give vent to your intolerance!"

Molleindustria said on its website: "After an official statement from the Organisation of Islamic Conference we decided to remove the gameFaith Fighter from our site."
But apparently you can still play it here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/421199
Molleindustria said Faith Fighter was meant to be a game against intolerance that used over-the-top irony and a cartoonish style. "If an established organisation didn't understand the irony and the message of the game and is claiming it is inciting intolerance, we simply failed."

The game was released more than a year ago and has been played by millions of people on the internet.

Ministers for Mercy Marajuana

- Mayna Brachear of the Chicago Tribune
More than 60 religious leaders in Illinois are calling on state senators this week to pass a bill that would allow patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation and without criminal consequences.

"Medical marijuana is an issue of mercy and compassion,” said the Rev. Bill Pyatt of the First United Methodist Church of Carthage. “It is the job of religious leaders to give voice to those who cannot speak up for themselves. We pray that the Illinois legislature will have the compassion to stop this war on patients.”

Several studies suggest that marijuana can mitigate nausea, pain and anxiety for patients with illnesses such as HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. Theological arguments are based on these findings.

"There is a moral obligation to heal and address suffering," said Rev. Al Sharp, executive director of Chicago-based Protestants for the Common Good. "Jesus lived his life healing those where he could and bringing those to the absence of pain. This is entirely consistent with that."

Mormon Men on More than a Mission


A copy of the Book of Mormon and a controversial calendar depicting Mormon missionaries sit on a desk at a Las Vegas studio. The calendar showing chiseled Mormon men in scriptural settings is the idea of entrepreneur Chad Hardy.

'Men on a Mission' cost its publisher membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his degree from BYU. But he's shooting photos of 2010's hunks and plans a new calendar -- with sexy Mormon moms.

Pretty sure the Squirrel made him do it.

What Would Jesus Drive?

Currently there are 117 license plate designs available in Florida, but none that honor Jesus. So with apparently nothing better to do, state lawmakers are considering a bill to create license plates with the images of the Savior.

A state senator from Orlando wants to offer the new "Trinity" plate with a picture of Jesus Christ. Another proposed plate would feature a cross in a stained-glass window. Other lawmakers question whether it was appropriate to use religious symbols on license plates at all.

There are also no plates honoring squirrels.

Lego Jesus Debuts on Easter in Sweden

It took 1.5 years and almost 30,000 Lego bricks to construct a nearly six foot tall Jesus. The Oensta Gryta Church in Vaesteras created a replica of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsens’s 19th century statue “Christus”, which depicts the resurrection of Jesus.

The Pastor, Per Wilder, said that the statue would remain in the church, that it would not be sold on EBay, and that it wouldn't be moved to the children's department where he feared it would be disassembled and the bricks used to make Star Wars toys.

Spokane Declares War on Squirrels!

This major news story is from KXLY TV station in Spokane, WA.

SPOKANE -- In a press release ripped from the screenplay from the movie Caddyshack, the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department has declared war on the ground squirrels at Finch Arboretum.

The Parks and Rec Department, citing the ground squirrels' encroachment on the Finch Arboretum with approximately 100 to 150 of the rodents right now, has decided they present a clear and present danger to the arboretum.

The danger, says the Parks and Rec Department, includes "digging tunnels and holes that people can trip and fall into" especially "children with smaller limbs" who are "especially vulnerable," as well as eating tree roots, spreading diseases and spreading their own version of Manifest Destiny across the arboretum and into neighboring residences.

In the past the staff at the arboretum has resorted to chemical warfare - using "gas bombs" - but "they haven't been very effective."

Now the Parks and Rec Department has gone on the offensive, and their weapon of choice isn't a piece of plastic explosive shaped liked a bunny rabbit or a gopher but the Rodenator Pro, a device which pumps propane and oxygen into the squirrel-made trenches and tunnels.

An electrical spark then detonates the propane, with the ensuing detonation causing a shock wave that kills the squirrels and collapses their tunnel networks before they can make a great escape.

This, the Parks and Rec Department says, "humanely disposes of the ground squirrels and implodes their tunnels."

The blast caused by the Rodenator Pro issues a sound similar to a gunshot so officials are warning people they'll be using the device all this week. If you live in the area, the police are already aware there's blasting going on in the vicinity of the arboretum after they were alerted "by neighbors who thoughts the blasts sounded like dynamite or gunfire."
Jesus save the Squirrels!

Baby Preacher

I don't think this is what Jesus meant when he told his disciples to let the little children come to him.

This Is Why I Hop

Sometimes the Squirrel dresses like a bunny.

Jesus People: The Movie

The hit web series, "Jesus People" leaps from laptops to the big screen. It started as a webseries on FunnyorDie.com with the description of "Spinal Tap" set in the world of Christian dance-pop.

View the preview here:

President Reagan the Christian Evangelist

Since I grew up during the Cold War era I find the following story facinating. Even though I don't think it merits a JoS category, I thought I'd post it here as it is potentialy represents how a US President's religious beliefs affected his interactions with other global leaders.
Reagan tried to convert Gorbachev to Christianity?
Press Trust of India
Sunday, April 05, 2009, (London)

Former US President Ronald Reagan tried to convert his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev to Christianity, a top aide of the American leader has claimed.

Recently declassified documents cited in a new biography of the former US president -- The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan authored by former Los Angeles Times reporter James Mann -- discloses a secret exchange between the two leaders that left at least one top American official present convinced that Reagan had tried to persuade his counterpart of God's existence.

According to the book, during his summit meetings with Gorbachev, Reagan had apparently been convinced that the Soviet leader was a "closet Christian" after hearing him use the expression "God bless".

One of the men recording their conversation at the landmark Moscow Summit in May 1988, Rudolf Perina, a member of the US National Security Council, was convinced that Reagan had tried to convert his host.

Aware of how sensitive and potentially politically embarrassing the conversation was, Reagan swore the two American note-takers at the meeting to secrecy, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

"Reagan thought he could convert Gorbachev or make him see the light," Mann quoted Perina as saying in his book.

Even as top aides, including the then national security adviser Colin Powell, told the US President not to read too much into the expression, Reagan opened what appeared to be a pre-mediated discussion about God during their final summit meeting in Moscow in 1988, the report in the British daily said.

Reagan took the opportunity he sought when Gorbachev disclosed that he had been baptised into the Russian Orthodox faith by his mother but now had no religious belief. Gorbachev's mother and his late wife Raisa were believers. Speculation that Reagan may have been right mounted in March last year when Gorbachev appeared to pray for half an hour at a shrine of St Francis of Assisi.

The biography provides new insight into the former US president's religious convictions and the role they played in foreign policy.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostates?


KTVB.COM
PROVO - About 18,500 issues of the Daily Universe student newspaper at Brigham Young University were pulled from newsstands because a photo caption on the front page misidentified leaders of the Mormon church as apostates instead of apostles.

An apostate is a person who has abandoned religious faith, principles or a cause.

The photo was of members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the weekend general conference.

The caption called the group the "Quorum of the Twelve Apostates."

The papers were replaced with corrected copies later Monday.

University spokeswoman Carri Jenkins says the typo, caused when a copy editor was running spell check, was an honest mistake. BYU is owned by the church.

Save the Easter Chicks! Save the Children!

SEATTLE, April 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- Waking up Easter morning to find a basket filled with chocolates and live chicks is a springtime tradition that dates back to ancient Persian and Egyptian cultures. Chicks -- and their counterparts, the egg -- symbolize fertility and new life, a message today's Christians celebrate at Easter time. But this old tradition sometimes has fatal consequences. The American Humane Association warns that most chicks die within a few weeks due to rough handling or infection. And playing with live chicks or bunnies can be dangerous for children as well; young birds often carry salmonella, which can cause potentially life-threatening illness in humans.

There is a safe way to give live animals at Easter time: give them as gifts to families in need by purchasing the animals through World Vision's Gift Catalog. Rather than becoming an unwanted toy, live animals given to families struggling in the developing world become important sources of income and nutritional food.

"For families in the developing world, a chick is not a toy, not a plaything. It's a matter of survival," says Devin Hermanson, World Vision Gift Catalog National Director. Giving chicks, goats, fish, or even a water buffalo, through the World Vision Gift Catalog offers a new - and safe - twist on the Easter tradition of giving live animals. Through the gift catalog, you can:
  • Purchase two chickens to supply a family with eggs ($25)
  • Buy five ducks and two chickens - a valuable source of needed income ($55)
  • Give a goat, a source of milk and meat for hungry families ($75)
  • Help build a fishing pond and provide fishing equipment ($240)
  • Supply an alpaca for warm wool and increased income ($360, or $15 per share)
  • Buy a dairy cow to provide a family with milk to drink and sell ($500, or $50 per share)
    The gift donor in turn receives a special card describing the gift that was purchased and the impact it will have in the life of a person in need.
The World Vision Gift Catalog offers more than 100 poverty-fighting gifts ranging in price from $10 to $39,000 that can be purchased in the name of a child, friend, or loved one.

"Easter is a time for celebrating new life, and for giving back to others," says World Vision gift catalog manager Devin Hermanson. "There's no better way to celebrate than to provide a source of food and income to a needy family, while teaching your own children about giving to others." Another World Vision giving option helps needy families while filling Easter baskets: donors receive a plush toy - either a chick or a goat - with a gift of $25 or more to World Vision’s Maximum Impact Fund.

Since the Gift Catalog was first introduced in 1996, new gifts have been introduced and its popularity as a gift-giving alternative has grown substantially with more than 100,000 purchases made last year. Goats were the most popular item in 2008: over 30,000 goats were given to families in need thanks to the generous contributions of gift catalog donors.

To order World Vision gifts, visit the web site. To order by phone or to request a print catalog, call toll-free (888) 511-6511.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world's poor, regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org.

Earth Friendly Palm Fronds

As more Christian churches are getting on board with a more earth-friendly theology and practise, a movement has started to ensure that the palm fronds used on Palm Sunday for the reenactment of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem will be fair-trade palm fronds.

About 640,000 palm fronds will be distributed this Sunday in some 2,500 congregations as part of the this eco-palm program. So far this project has grown into a $4.5 million business.

Christian Neighbor or Christian Excuses?

A church in Albuquerque, New Mexico shares a strip mall with a tattoo parlor, just not very nicely.

Nicole Vawter, the owner of the Derma Dome Tattoo Parlor says that the noise from the church band is so loud, it knocks things off the wall.

"Basic problem is, a lot of the noise they have their equipment set right against my wall and they play it loud," she said.

Cindy Guajardo of Calles de Oro Christian Church says the noise is just part of their services.

"They've been complaining about the noise that we've been having. What we do is just worshipping the lord," she said.

What? Consideration for neighbors isn’t necessary when you are worshipping? Isn’t that like saying, “Sorry, but that noise ordinance doesn’t apply to us ‘cause we’re singing to Jesus. We have a spiritual loophole!”

But the irritation has gone both ways. The Church goers say they have been intimidated by the tattoo parlor owners. "Our kids are scared of him. We are scared of him. We can't be comfortable while church is going on," said Guajard.

What? One inked individual is intimidating the whole church? How about some creative reconciliation?

The church could invite the tattoo parlor manager to become the new worship team drummer, and the youth in the church could all get the Christian tattoos that we know they all want.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18

Squirrels in The Church

A small town had four churches Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic and Baptist.

All four had a serious problem with squirrels in the church. Each church in its own fashion had a meeting to deal with the problem.

The Presbyterians decided that it was predestined that squirrels be in the church and that they would just have to live with them.

The Methodists decided they should deal with the squirrels lovingly in the style of Charles Wesley. They humanely trapped them and released them in a park at the edge of town. Within three days, they were all back in the church.

The Catholics also humanely trapped them and attempted to teach them the "rhythm" method which of course did not work.

The Baptists had the best solution. They voted the squirrels in as members. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.