Category:
Religion

Crying Artist

Controversy recently struck the General Theologial Seminary in New York after it invited an artist to perform in the college chapel. Details from Church Times:

The Episcopalian seminary had invited the artist Lia Chavez to perform Water the Earth, in which she intended to sit in the college chapel and weep for five hours, as part of an expression of "tears as a sacred act", the press release for the event stated. Ms Chavez said that her performance would be "harnessing and ritualizing the mysteriously regenerative power of releasing emotional tears as an offering to the earth", and watchers would be invited to weep with her.

I know some people can cry on command, but for five hours?

The Episcopalian community thought the event sounded way too weird, forcing the seminary to cancel the performance before it happened.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 14, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Religion, Performance Art, Sadness

Worst Easter Pageant Ever

Somerset Daily American - Apr 8, 2004

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 31, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Religion, 2000s, Easter

Working on Sunday

The UK's Shops Act made it illegal to operate a shop on Sunday... unless one was Jewish (since the Jewish observed the sabbath on Saturday). So business owner Mike Robertson figured that to open his stores on Sunday he simply had to make his staff convert to Judaism.

The Shops Act had other oddities. According to the London Telegraph, a shop could stay open if it was "in an officially designated 'holiday resort area'" or if it restricted sales to "certain kinds of perishable goods, like fruit, flowers and vegetables; medical and surgical appliances, newspapers, cigarettes and refreshments."

Bristol Western Daily Press - Mar 8, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 22, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Law, Religion, 1970s

Smell of the Apocalypse

A fragrance recently released by Thomson & Craighead is described as "a complex fragrance based on olfactory materials detailed in The Book of Revelation as it appears in the King James Bible first published in 1611."

Some of those materials:

Thunder, blood, hail and fire, the creatures of the sea that have died, wormwood, a rod of iron, the opened earth, a grievous sore, the blood of a dead man, every living soul [who has] died in the sea, plagues, wine of her fornication, animal horns, filthiness of her fornication, blood of the martyrs of Jesus, flesh burned with fire, [and] a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 18, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Religion, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

The Recording Rosary

Damon Doherty invented the "Recording Rosary" so that people could pray the Rosary while driving. As a traveling jewelry salesman he found that "Rosary beads sometimes became tangled in the gear shift as he prayed his way from city to city." So he invented a solution (Design Patent 167,827).

I'm not Catholic, and know very little about praying the Rosary, but I've got a few questions about his invention.

First, is it considered okay to multitask while praying the Rosary? So it's okay to pray the Rosary while driving a car?

Second, the second article below notes that his Recording Rosary was "an actual Rosary of legitimate material." What are the 'legitimate' materials that Rosary beads can be made out of?



Boston Globe - Feb 22, 1953



Omaha Our Sunday Visitor - Mar 15, 1953

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 14, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Religion, Patents, 1950s, Cars

They Needed a Songbird in Heaven, So God Took Caruso Away

Never a good look for God, when He selfishly abducts entertainers for Heaven's Variety Show.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 02, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Music, Religion, 1920s

Pudsey Treacle Mines

Aug 1975: The Rev. Paul Needle attempted to convince 150 British children to embrace the Christian faith with the argument that if the Pudsey treacle mines don't really exist, then Jesus must.

The Rev. Paul Needle, the curate at the parish church, who organised the search, said: "When you realise that most people are prepared to half-believe in the Pudsey treacle mines, it gives a ray of hope that the much more reliable facts about Jesus may be considered and proved true.



The Guardian - Aug 21, 1975



Of course, the flaw in his argument was that the treacle mines are quite real, as explained by Don Gillan:

Natural treacle is formed over millenia in much the same way as petroleum. The whole area where Pudsey now stands was once a 'savannah' of sugar beet. Grazing dinosaurs cropped off the exposed greenery of the plants leaving the sugar rich beets lying untouched below the ground. Centuries upon centuries of this occurence led to the ground becoming saturated with monosaccharides as the decaying beets released their simple natural sugars. These filtered down through the ground until they encountered a barrier of impervious rock, where they pooled, and over the centuries under heat from the Earth's core below and pressure from the weight of the ground bearing down from on top were transformed into pure raw treacle, which was then absorbed into layers of porous rock.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 23, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Religion, Candy, 1970s

Miracle at Syracuse, NY

Not a "Christmas Miracle," but we'll take what we can get.









Posted By: Paul - Fri Dec 22, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Crowds, Groups, Mobs and Other Mass Movements, Religion, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, 1940s

Bishop in Space

Nov 1957: Lord Alastair Graham offered a solution for declining church attendance. Launch a bishop into space inside a sputnik.

For context, the Soviets had just a few days before (Nov 3, 1957) launched Sputnik 2 which carried the first living creature into space, a small dog named Laika. Graham's remark was evidently a reference to this.

However, while the Soviets had succeeded in getting Laika into space, they had made no plans for getting her back alive. It was a one-way trip. It's not clear that Graham realized this, but it definitely puts a different spin on his suggestion.

The Guardian - Nov 13, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 20, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Religion, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, 1950s

If God loves me, why can’t I get my locker open?

A profound theological puzzle. First published in 1980.

Lorraine Peterson is also the author of Why Isn't God Giving Cash Prizes?.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 09, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Religion, Books, 1980s

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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