Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thou shalt not poke fun at stories involving religion

Man, are we ever glad that our subject line for today didn't get tucked in as the Eleventh Commandment, because, if it had, we would be completely screwed. For some reason today, religion has jumped out at us, forcing us to look at two stories revolving around systems of faith.

First up, the story of a woman going to court to discuss the custody of her children. At least, that's what she thought she was there for. As it turns out, the discussion turned towards her religious beliefs, including a long discussion about "the mark of the beast", before the court decided to award custody to her ex-husband. In fact, 41 of the 65 pages of the transcripts of the case detail religious discussion.

The scary thing here is that it's not like the woman was part of a fringe religious cult, bent on raising children simply for the purpose of brainwashing them later (that's what politics is for). It's also not like she was actively engaging in human sacrifice, or anything else that might have seriously endangered her children. She was just a Seventh-Day Adventist.

Maybe that's the catch. Maybe the judge felt that the children were at risk of being confused, because they went to church on Saturdays instead of Sundays. Why, it's all clear to us now. In fact, we'd say it's striking us like a vision of the Virgin Mary, but it's been awhile since we've had a muffin to eat.

Of course, when it comes to a bizarre news story revolving (at least slightly), one of the stranger we've seen is about a thief in Singapore. When it came time to replace his worn, ratty old Bible, he simply ignored the commandment that says, "Thou shalt not steal", and took a new one. Yes, you read that right. The thief stole one of the few books in existence that specifically tells you not to steal. He was consequently sentenced to four months in prison. However, through the kindness of his heart, the judge also gifted the thief with a new Bible, and then quickly admonished him to actually read the book.

Only in Singapore. If that story had happened in America, the man would've either been deprived of his children, or elected to public office. He certainly wouldn't have received a free Bible for his troubles. After all, those can only be gotten on college campuses.

And people say we aren't a religious nation.

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