Ancient Israelites got high in temple

Archaeologists from the Israel Museum and colleagues found residue of cannabis containing THC on an altar in the ancient Israelite temple of Tel Arad. Apparently, the discovery in this 2,700-year-old temple south of Tel Aviv, Israel, is the first proof that ancient Jews used weed in rituals. From the BBC News:

Researchers concluded that cannabis may have been burned in order to induce a high among worshippers.[...]

Frankincense was found on one altar, which was unsurprising because of its prominence in holy texts, the study's authors told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.[...] However, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) - all compounds found in cannabis - were found on the second altar.

"Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad" (Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University) Read the rest

Priest in Italy accidentally leaves on camera's filters during online service, hilarity ensues

An unidentified priest in Italy didn't let the coronavirus situation stop him from doing mass. He simply live-streamed the service instead. Amusingly though, he left on his camera's filters which overlayed a space helmet, some glitter, dumbbells (?), and a Walter White hat and sunglasses get-up onto his otherwise serious broadcast.

Twitter user Gavin Shoebridge shared the footage:

screengrab via Gavin Shoebridge/Twitter Read the rest

Idiot pastor in Ohio holds Sunday service in his megachurch

In Warren County, Ohio, a state where the governor has issued a stay-at-home mandate to slow the spread of coronavirus, Solid Rock Church pastor Lawrence Bishop invited worshippers yesterday to his megachurch just north of Cincinnati for in-person Sunday services. See the message below from the church's website. This is the same church where a massive Jesus statue was destroyed by lightning in 2010; a new one has been built in its place (see above.) From WCPO:

While the church’s pews were not filled to capacity for either Sunday service, the live stream showed the church’s choir and congregants standing next to one another and those delivering remarks appeared to share microphones.

Congregants and leaders prayed together, heads inclined toward one another while sitting on the steps to the stage during the morning service. Some people could be seen shaking hands after the service ended...

Supporters of Solid Rock commented on Facebook that Bishop was “fearless” and asked that “God bless him with boldness.”

Read the rest

Watch this preacher cure coronavirus through the TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgKH_p_C5Ns

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland urges you to put your hand on that television set and he, or rather Jesus, will cure you of COVID-19. Amen. Read the rest

Russian priests must stop blessing nuclear weapons, says Russian Orthodox Church patriarch

“The blessing of military weapons is not reflected in the tradition of the Orthodox Church and does not correspond to the content of the Rite,” reads a new document on the website of the Moscow patriarchate of the the Russian Orthodox Church.

Russian priests should stop blessing nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction that can inflict indiscriminate loss of life, according to new guidelines being discussed.

It's an unusual display of independence by the church. Read the rest

The Catholic Church broke its promise to publish a list of "credibly accused" abuser priests, so Propublica did it for them

In 2019 the Pennsylvania Attorney General published a 900-page grand jury report on sexual predators in the Catholic Church and the coverups the church and its official had undertaken; at the time, the church promised to end the coverup and engage in truth and reconciliation with the parishoners who'd been preyed upon by clergy. Read the rest

Listen to the Christmas Eve message from the first humans orbiting another world (1968)

On Christmas Eve, 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first humans to orbit another world, delivered a Christmas Eve message from above the lunar surface. From NASA:

"We were told that on Christmas Eve we would have the largest audience that had ever listened to a human voice," recalled Borman during 40th anniversary celebrations in 2008. "And the only instructions that we got from NASA was to do something appropriate." "The firs

t ten verses of Genesis is the foundation of many of the world's religions, not just the Christian religion," added Lovell. "There are more people in other religions than the Christian religion around the world, and so this would be appropriate to that and so that's how it came to pass."

The mission was also famous for the iconic "Earthrise" image, snapped by Anders, which would give humankind a new perspective on their home planet. Anders has said that despite all the training and preparation for an exploration of the moon, the astronauts ended up discovering Earth.

Read the rest

Catholic church dumped holy water from airplane onto the town below

A Roman Catholic church in the rural community of Cow Island, Louisiana dumped 100 gallons of holy water from a crop duster airplane onto the people and their land below. From NPR:

"I've blessed some buckets for people and such, but never that much water," (Rev. Matthew Barzare of St. Anne Church) said.

The pilot had instructions to drizzle certain parts of the community, including churches, schools, grocery stores and other community gathering places...

The idea was first proposed by a parishioner who is studying to become a missionary who was looking for a way to spread both community togetherness and holy water across Cow Island.

And the more Barzare considered it, the more it made sense.

"Most parishes have a central location, but my area that I have to cover is a good 30 minutes to the next church, and so by plane, we realized, it might be the easiest way to sprinkle people's fields, rather than me going in a car to different locations," he said.

Read the rest

Christianity Today: Trump should be impeached and removed, 'morally lost and confused'

Yep.

Sounds about right. Read the rest

Congregants allegedly pressured to to sell their own blood and donate the funds to their church

For all the good that many organized religions try to do in the world (albeit, often with ulterior motives,) there's no end to the amount of greasy shit that individual preachers and congregations get up too. Every creed has its assholes. Many are worse than others. If the allegations against SPAC Nation—a UK-based Christian organization, praised for working with young men and women in London to reduce the amount of knife violence that the city has been plagued by of late—are true, they'll have positioned themselves pretty high up there in the scummy religious ranks.

From The Telegram:

A scandal-hit church is being investigated by the charity watchdog over claims that pastors pressured young congregants into selling their blood for money to donate to the church.

The Charity Commission today announced that it had opened an inquiry into SPAC Nation, based in London, to probe financial and safeguarding concerns.

The commission, which describes the church as a charity set up to "advance Christianity" and that works particularly with young people, has ordered it to bank all cash while the investigation takes place.

The announcement comes after HuffPost UK reported allegations that some members of the church had been taking teenagers to donate blood for medical trials in a practice known as "bleeding for seed".

The publication reported that that some members go to donate blood and are paid up to £100 by medical trial companies. This money is then handed by the young people over to the church’s pastors.

I mean, is it on the same level as torturing and robbing native children of their cultural heritage in a residential school, marginalizing the rights of women or sexually abusing defenseless congregants? Read the rest

Church elder tried to pay for Grindr sex with Arby's card, say police

“Sir? This is an Arby's card.”

Church nativity scene puts the holy family in cages, because that's how America deals with asylum-seekers like Christ

Jesus and his fam were refugees, so it's only fitting that the folks at Claremont United Methodist Church decided to put its nativity figures in cages behind razorwire. Read the rest

Pennsylvania to Ohio: we see your terrible life-threatening anti-abortion bill and raise you with funerals for unimplanted, fertilized eggs

Pennsylvania has one-upped Ohio's lethal anti-abortion bill (which requires OB/GYNs to perform a non-existent operation to implant fertilized eggs from ectopic pregnancies in women's uteruses, on penalty of prison time), with anti-choice lawmakers introducing House Bill 1890, the Pennsylvania Final Disposition of Fetal Remains, which provides for prison sentences and fines for anyone disposing of a fertilized human egg without obtaining a death certificate and then holding a funeral for it. Read the rest

Christian TV pastor Rick Wiles: Impeachment is a "Jew coup"

It's kind of fun to say: Jew coup, Jew coup, Jew coup. Read the rest

Kentucky atheist can get ‘IM GOD’ license plate, US court rules

A federal court ruled today that an atheist gentleman from Kentucky should be permitted to get a personalized license plate from the state with the phrase “IM GOD” on it. The man is committed to his cause -- this only took three years of legal fighting. Read the rest

Federal Court: Kentucky discriminated by disallowing "IM GOD" license plate

In 2016, Bennie L. Hart applied for a vanity license plate emblazoned with "IM GOD." The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet refused to issue the plate, apparently because it was related to religion. With the support of the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Hart took the matter to court. And finally, U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove ruled that the First Amendment limits the state's power to put the kibosh on the plate. From WDRB:

(The judge wrote) that courts have ruled that such plates convey a “personalized message with intrinsic meaning … specific to the owner.” Even the state’s own statute establishing the program describes such plates as consisting of “personal letters or numbers significant to the applicant,” the judge wrote.

Further, the judge wrote, if the cabinet’s permission to use a vanity plate constituted a “stamp of approval” from the state, the government would be “babbling prodigiously” and “saying many unseemly things...."

“If the Transportation Cabinet genuinely wants to avoid controversy on Kentucky’s highways by preventing ‘promotion of any specific faith, religion, or anti-religion’ from appearing on vanity plates,” the judge wrote, “then it should have denied 'IM4GOD', 'ASKGOD', 'GR8GOD', 'LUVGOD'. But it did not," (Van Tatenhove wrote.)

Read the rest

High school will require mandatory drug tests for students

Badin High School, a private Catholic school in Cincinnati, Ohio, announced that starting next year, all students will undergo mandatory drug tests at least annually. According to the school's new policy, "If a student refuses to test when required to do so, the test will be treated as a positive test." The policy does not list what drugs will be screened for by the test and whether faculty and staff will also be tested. From WLWT:

Positive drug tests will result in confidential counseling.

"This is in the best interests of the students," Pendergest said. "The impact of drug use on young students and their families is staggering, and our community is not immune to this issue. Being proactive on drug testing is the appropriate action on our part..."

"We're talking about a health and wellness issue, not a punitive issue," (principal Brian) Pendergest added. "For their own wellbeing, students should not be doing drugs. We want to help them to make the right choices."

Read the rest

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