The cooked Book of Mormon

The president of the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints is being sued in Britain on fraud charges. The man filing the charges alleges Thomas Monson made more than $257 million from the Mormon Church in the United Kingdom by spreading lies, thus the fraud charges.

Those lies he allegedly told are the central tenets of the Mormon faith. The money is the contribution made to the church by its members.

Here are some of the lies Thomas Phillips claims Monson has been profiting off of fraudulently: Continue reading

Respek Knuckles: Louisiana Public Schools

Sometimes it seems as though the world is made of outrage and bad decisions. It’s the perfect environment for good satire. The classic example is Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, which was written when the wealthy were coming up with radical solutions to the problem of the poor (as well as England’s general attitude toward the Irish being generally hostile). A Modest Proposal outlined a solution of preparing the children of the poor as meals for the wealthy, thus reducing poverty and raising money through the extravagance of the meals. It mocked the bad decisions of the time and generated outrage, which could be turned from the satire to the real issues.

Now Louisiana’s Sabine Parish School Board has upgraded the level at which satire operates by turning it into a live performance art piece. Continue reading

The Religion Wars

Major religions are constantly at odds with one another. Each of them say they are the only ones who are right, with serious metaphysical implications for those who are not part of their religion. When they look for new members, it’s more than a business pursuing new customers; it’s a fight for everyone’s very soul.

Christianity, in its various forms, has long been the most evangelical, searching for new converts in a fervent desire to grow their ranks and save people from Hell. But now it’s their ancestors, the Jews, who are making serious inroads when it comes to finding new members, and they’re doing it in what has long been a base of Christian conversion: prisons. Continue reading

It’s a Terrible Afterlife

As we close in on Christmas, traditions are being brought out of storage and renewed. One tradition for NBC is showing the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life, and watching it is a yearly staple for many Americans.

The story of George Bailey being shown the tragic consequences of what would happen if he was granted his wish of having never been born is beloved, placing 11th on the American Film Institute’s original list of the 100 greatest American films ever made. It was also their top selection for most inspirational film ever made. Remember that as we go through this, that the body whose sole responsibility is judging films made in America chose this as their best inspirational film the country has ever produced.

Many people, of course, would agree with that assessment. George, facing a low point in his life on Christmas Eve, seems ready to kill himself, and makes that wish that he’d never been born. Angel-in-training Clarence comes to Earth in the nick of time with a splashy entrance, and shows George how much he has touched others’ lives. People learn the message that everyone can have a major impact on other people, being a force for good just by being good. That’s one lesson to learn. I learned a different lesson. Continue reading