‘Atheizing’ the Dead, Religious Doughnuts, & Tax-Free Witching

Inspired by Mormon baptism practices, Atheize the Dead offers to convert your deceased loved one to atheism.

The Hartford, Connecticut city council found itself in hot water when it proposed a Muslim invocation for one of its pre-meeting prayers. After its website was inundated with protests against the planned invocations, the council decided to cancel prayers of any sort at the meetings and will open with an “interfaith moment of silence.”

Donald Trump offered to buy out one of the major investors in the Park51 project. The investors said thanks but no thanks.

A North Carolina teenager whose family is part of the Church of Body Modification has run into trouble with her school’s dress code. The 14-year-old is looking at a ten day suspension if she returns to school wearing her prohibited nose ring. In Roswell, New Mexico, a group of students have been suspended for giving their teachers boxes of doughnuts with religious messages attached to them.

Romania has decided not to tax its witches and fortunetellers. One reason being that the witches and fortunetellers aren’t good at keeping receipts.

Calvin College canceled a show by music group The New Pornographers because some people didn’t get the irony. The UK has banned an ice cream ad because some people might find its representation of a pregnant nun offensive. And a discotheque in Spain named “Mecca” has decided to change its name because the owners realized it was a bad idea to name a nightclub after the holy city.

Hordes of dirty tourists may be ruining the the Sistine Chapel’s priceless artwork.

Two stories on extreme sports and Islam: A skateboarder foiled an attempted Qur’an burning in Texas. As he put it to the book burners, “Dude, you have no Qur’an!” And BMX bicycle rider Shintaro Misawa has converted to Islam and changed his name to Rayyan Ibrahim.

On the opposite end of the sports and religion spectrum, the US Ryder Cup team is chock full of born-again Christian golfers. In football, Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow has been labled a “hyper-Christian” by Rolling Stone. A feature in this month’s issue, written by Matt Taibbi, nicknames Tebow “Kid Jesus.” 

A pair of Muslims from New York spent every night of Ramadan in a different mosque in a different state on what they called a “Ramadan Roadtrip.” 

A group of vengeful Oklahoma City atheists, reminding Oklahomans that they live in town too, erected a “Don’t Believe in God? Join the club” billboard provoking the ire of local Christians. One local pastor referred to the billboard as poking “a finger in your eye.”

Federal prosecutors are suing the city of Walnut, California for refusing a zoning permit to a group building a new Zen center. In Rockland County, New York, authorities are expecting sanitation violations by Orthodox Jews who perform the ritual of kaparot—which involves slaughtering a chicken. The ultra-Orthodox community in the county has rung up $15,000 in fines related to the ritual since 2007.

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