Someone blew the whistle on Hookers for Jesus

The Department of Justice gives out grants to groups to help fight human trafficking. That's good!

But this year, the DOJ decided to ignore the expected recipients, who both received high marks from grant application reviewers, and gave around $500,000 each to the Lincoln Tubman Foundation, a new organization founded by the daughter of a prominent Trump-supporting South Carolina Republican, and the Nevada-based Hookers for Jesus.

Here's what Reuters, who broke the story, had to say about Hookers for Jesus:

Hookers for Jesus, which received $530,190 over three years, is run by a born-again Christian trafficking survivor who has lobbied against decriminalizing prostitution, a policy position aligning with many in the Republican Party.

Hookers for Jesus operates a safe house for female adult trafficking victims that, in 2010 and in 2018, maintained a policy of requiring guests to participate in religious activities, internal program manuals obtained by Reuters through public records requests show.

The safe house’s manuals had rules that included a ban on reading “secular magazines with articles, pictures, etc. that portray worldly views/advice on living, sex, clothing, makeup tips.” Other rules limited everything from who victims could call to banning them from bringing their purses with them on weekly shopping trips. Rule-breakers could be penalized by being assigned chores such as washing windows.

There are major issues here. First, that the policies around this particular grant forbid the government from funding any activity that is explicitly religious — that whole separation-of-church-and-state thing. Second, that the organizations that have received the grant in the past, and expected to receive it once again, were both involved in activities that were decidedly opposed to the Trump agenda. Read the rest

I have so many questions about this new video game where you play as Jesus

Yes, this is real. Someone actually made a first-person shooter for the New Testament. From the game's Steam page:

"I am Jesus Christ" is a realistic simulator game inspired by stories from the New Testament of the Bible. Get into old times and follow the same path of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Game is covering the period from Baptizing of Jesus Christ and to Resurrection. Have you ever wondered to be like Him - one of the most privileged and powerful people in the world?

Check if you can perform all famous miracles from the Bible like Jesus Christ. It is a simulation game and you can try to save the world as He did. Are you ready to fight with Satan in the desert, exorcising demons and curing sick people? Or calm the storm in the sea?

I have a lot of questions. Like, why is it possible to beat the game without dying? Can you change the outcome of Bible stories, or do you just have to recreate it step by step? Does that mean you get to kick the crap out of a bunch of greedy bankers in the game? Do you actually get to fight Satan, too? Like physically? Does that mean Jesus has attack skills? Are there power-ups to boost the abilities with which you've already been divinely bestowed? Why is Jesus taking Polaroid pictures of everyone he helps? Why isn't Jesus shaking his Polaroid pictures to help them develop before placing them in the Bible? Read the rest

Behold the Hipster Nativity Set

Look closely: the stable has a solar panel.

Sweet baby Jeebus, someone has made a Hipster Nativity Set.

Take special note of...

"Joseph" (who has a man bun we can't see) taking a selfie with newborn "Jesus" and the Starbucks-drinking, duck-faced "Mary":

The "Three Wise Men" on Segways, delivering Amazon Prime packages:

And, the teenage shepherd capturing the moment for social media:

Apparently this too-cool crèche came out last year and sold like gangbusters. It's available again this year and the price has come down. It's now $109.99.

Thanks, Diana F-W! Read the rest