May 26, 2021

WHEN the Vatican unveiled a new Easter stamp last year, it clearly hadn’t considered copyright issues regarding street art – and is now being sued for using an image of Jesus created by Alessia Babrow, above. Which is a tad ironic as the Catholic  Church fiercely protects its own intellectual property rights. When the stamp was issued, Catholic website Aleteia announced that it featured: A graffiti rendition of ‘The Ascension,’ by Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911). The ‘street art’ is located near… Read more

May 25, 2021

LAST Friday I became so engrossed poking around the innards of my laptop, trying to bring a dead trackpad back to life, that I completely forgot to remind readers that May 21 marked the 10th anniversary of the most expensive failed doomsday prediction of all time. Why would I want to remind readers of the $100-million End of the World campaign launched in 2011 by Harold Camping, above? Because I’d discovered that one of his most ardent supporters, Robert Fitzgerald,… Read more

May 24, 2021

WHEN I learned recently that Boseman was posthumously awarded Best Actor by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, I vowed to watch it for two reasons: first, because he was an astonishingly good performer with a crop of awards to to his name, and second because I am a lifelong blues and jazz fan. But it wasn’t until last night that I got to see Boseman’s last movie (he died… Read more

May 24, 2021

YOU’D think with all the problems engulfing the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), its leaders would have better things to do than attack LEGO for producing its first-ever rainbow set in honour of Pride month 2021. Last Friday, the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Albert Mohler, above, released a 2,300-word rant on his website condemning LEGO for giving in: To the corruption of  moral revolutionaries. Shame on the LGBTQ community for demanding this kind of affirmation. Shame on Lego… Read more

May 23, 2021

PUBLIC health officials in Colorado last summer attributed two large COVID-19 outbreaks to conferences staged by pastor Andrew Wommack, above. But the man who defied lockdown rules that resulted in one death and 134 infections showed no apparent concern at the time, and Andrew Wommack Ministries staged further events where health protocols were ignored. This led to several run-ins with the authorities and lawsuits. Now it’s come to light that Wommack is concerned about people’s health – but apparently only… Read more

May 22, 2021

IN a TV debate in 2019 the Kenyan Rastafarian pictured above argued that sugar and salt were both more addictive and harmful than cannabis, and he urged the government to allow its use for ‘sacramental’ and medical use. Rastafari have been pushing for the acceptance of the ‘holy herb’ for years in Kenya but upped the ante this week by petitioning the Kenyan high court for a change in the law, claiming that smoking cannabis is part of their religious… Read more

May 21, 2021

EVERY time a story breaks about the abuse inflicted on youngsters in religious environments, the response from church officials is always the same: a grovelling apology usually followed by blather that such incidents are things of the past that cannot possibly happen again. On Wednesday we reported on  “hip” pastor Jonathan Stockstill saying how sorry he was about gross acts of cruelty inflicted on youngsters in camps run by his church in Louisiana, and a day later we had the… Read more

May 20, 2021

UN EFFORTS to challenge violations of human rights should consider both oppressive laws which theocrats uphold in former colonies and efforts to impose similar agendas further afield. The United Nations recently asked NGOs with whom it works about the legacies of colonialism that still had adverse implications for human rights. Some of the worst systemic human rights abuses codified in the law of around 70 states are those criminalising consensual sex between adults of the same sex. About 40% of… Read more

May 19, 2021

A  CHURCH-run boot camp where teens were pushed so hard to find Jesus that some soiled themselves and puked has become the subject of an NBC News investigation. Operated between 2005 and 2013 by Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,  “Way of the Cross” Christian leadership programmes were so brutal that the current lead pastor, Jonathan Stockstill, above, was compelled to post a grovelling apology on Facebook last month. Participants who were Black or suspected of being gay were taunted… Read more

May 19, 2021

A ROW simmering in Germany over same-sex church blessings is fast reaching boiling point as priests continue to defy a ban on such ceremonies by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). When, in mid-March, the CDF  issued a document that shut down proposals to bless gay couples, the former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, above, reacted with fury: I was appalled. I was appalled by its language, appalled by the very idea a Vatican document would… Read more

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