To say there was something fishy about the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes marriage would be an understatement; it had a stench worse than whatever you'd find in the belly of a whale after it ate a ship full of whores setting sail from New Orleans in 1891. (Yes, that's a long way to go—the whole thing stunk, is the point.) But instead of focusing on what went wrong, who's to blame, and what warning signs should have been heeded, we have to act like adults and side with Katie Holmes, even though she obviously chose to take the cash and shut it when she could've brought down Scientology.
All that news about Holmes being “Scientology's worst nightmare” before their divorce was final was no exaggeration. If she was as worried about keeping the Hubbard-lovers' paws off her kid as much as insiders say, the whole thing could've turned into quite the explosive atmosphere. It was like the equivalent of if Nancy Reagan divorced Ronnie and headed into Gorbachev's bed to sensually lick his birthmark and leak nuclear codes.
Katie Holmes, you had a golden chance to be a hero. It may not be too late. After all, your insane ex still has some visitation rights. So let's all help create a safe environment for her. Save the terrible jokes. If you read rumors about the Church going after her, believe them. Surely she's got some real dirt.
Onto the roundup!
- The Westboro Baptist Church is apparently starting to get weirdly specific: They protested Sunday's show by Death Cab for Cutie in Kansas City, Missouri, claiming that frontman Ben Gibbard is a “pervert” and “major fag-enabler.”
- Islamist militant rebels occupying Timbuktu (less in the symbolic camping-out way, more in the wielding-machine-guns variety) have vowed to smash every ancient mausoleum in the city, because they're considered “idolatrous.” So far, six have been destroyed.
- Some people are addicted to love, others (say, Father Dennis Carey) are addicted to jerking off to child pornography.
- A pastor invited all Christians to his annual “Pastors Conference” in Winfield, Alabama to gather together and bask in the glory of The Jesus. Only thing is, you gotta be white to attend. But it's not what you think. According to the pastor, it's not that they hate non-whites. It's just that, well, “the white race is God's chosen people.”
- Last November, U.S. forces ended up killing 24 Pakistani soldiers during an airstrike. Pakistan wasn't very pleased and ended up closing supply routes into Afghanistan. To try to get them reopened, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton performed an official mea culpa, which worked like a charm. Almost immediately, Pakistan-based Taliban responded by saying they'll attack any convoys using the newly-opened lines.
- Speaking of strained relations between the two countries, another U.S. drone took out 12 suspected militants on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. Of course, it's tough to get too angry at the U.S. when they're killing members of the Taliban, who are still pulling shit like publicly executing women accused of adultery.
- A Satanist couple in Mountain View, Colorado put up a sign on their front porch telling people to “Vote Satan.” (Previously, they've done the whole black Christmas tree thing, and threw up a bunch of 666s, so locals are no doubt getting sick of their shit.) Someone stole their sign, and now they're trying to get cops to put that burglary in the “hate crime” category, claiming that they're being persecuted for their religious beliefs.
- Brad Pitt's mother penned a letter to a local newspaper—always the sign of a completely sane person—where she attacks President Obama for supporting same-sex marriage. Kind of goes without saying, but she's a super-Christian.
- China and The Vatican got into this whole thing over the ordination of a new bishop. Apparently, China didn't get the official papal blessing, so the Pope's minions are calling for an official “excommunication.”
- Republicans in Texas, pretty much exclusively made up of the religious right, have decided the state's schools should teach abstinence-only education, go for a more home-schooling approach, and re-institute corporal punishment.
- New York City health officials are trying to regulate that Jewish circumcision ritual a bit more after two infants died from contracting herpes via the mouths of their disgusting rabbis.
- The Missouri Legislature introduced Constitutional Amendment HJR 2, which will try to get rid of that pesky church versus state thing by allowing students to pray in public schools.
- Syria, already in a bit of a mess, is about to get a whole bunch of al Qaeda introduced into the fray.
- In 2009, Polish pop star Doda—whose real, litigious, non-pop-star-name is Dorota Rabczewska—made a few anti-religious comments in an interview (ex: the Bible was “written by someone who was hammered on wine and who'd been smoking herbs”) and two religious folks got their feelings hurt. They filed an official complaint, and Doda was fined a little over 1,100 Euros. But instead of just paying off the fine and shutting her mouth, she's appealing her case to the European Court of Human Rights. Go get 'em, Doda!
- And finally, our Person of the Week: The group of 150 Mormons who signed a “Declaration of Independence from Mormonism,” officially quitting the church in a mass resignation ceremony. The group quit because they heartily disagree with the church's current stance against gay marriage, along with other teachings that most sane folk would consider either racist and sexist. Consider this a reminder to everyone currently practicing organized religions: You can always leave.
Previously - Natural Disasters
Epicly Later'd: Ed Templeton - Part 3
Meeting Earth's Strongest Men at the Top of the World
Welcome to the Bananapocalypse
The Return of Radioactive Man
The VICE Guide to Travel: Miss Camel Beauty Contest
Yakiri Rubio Killed Her Rapist in Self-Defense—Now She May Go to Prison
The VICE Podcast - Akhil Sharma and His New Novel, 'Family Life'
Fire Walk with Me
The Creator of the Greatest Criminal Defense Attorney YouTube Ad Is Also a Battle Rapper
VICE News: Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine - Part 5