No one roots for natural disasters except assholes. When 350 homes are destroyed and a pair of folks die—the current tally in the horrendous ongoing wildfire in Denver which, at last update, is only 45% contained—one really shouldn't be feeling anything but heartbreak at the devastation, hopefully enough to lop a beer or two off a night's intake and donate the resulting mini-windfall to relief efforts.
But the fact that it's taking place in Colorado Springs, a mecca of terrible people who spend a good portion of their lives blaming victims, well, there's a certain delicious irony to the whole thing.
While it seems like a fine place to live, and is no doubt home to many fine people who've nothing but love in their hearts, the city is also home to enough evangelical organizations that it's earned the nickname of “the Evangelical Vatican.” Among the worst there include: 1) the Association of Christian Schools International, an organization whose goal is teaching kids that Scripture is Truth with a capital T; 2) Andrew Wommack Ministries, the HQ of Trinity Broadcasting Network's star faith-healer who claims he can perform any number of miracles including the raising of the dead; and, of course, 3) Focus on the Family, the ultra-conservative organization led by ass-pimple James Dobson. These are, in other words, the kinds of organizations who routinely point their fingers at victims of natural disasters while saying, “Look, this is what happens when you don't worship God.”
This kind of superstition-breeding nature-blaming has always been a mainstay of religion, and not just from noted blowhard (and luckily nearly-dead) Pat Robertson: Every religious-based human sacrifice on record—say, in advance of a coming harvest—can be traced back to this quirk of believing.
Which is all to ask, what kind of crazy shit you been up to, Colorado Springs? Why hath God decided to punish thou thusly? What changes must you make in order to guarantee further plagues don't ravage your land? Hey, maybe it's not entirely wrong to take this as a sign that God wants you to evict the religious assholes?
Onto the round-up!
- So, Israel put together a “Holocaust survivor beauty pageant,” featuring 14 women between the ages of 74 and 97 who relayed personal stories about Nazi persecution during WWII and were judged by a four-person panel, with “physical beauty” contributing to 10% of their ranking. Plenty of conflicting feelings on this, so I'm just going to let it sit here on its own.
- Buddhists may not be the peace-loving, everybody-just-chill-out-brah types we thought: In Myanmar, thousands of Muslims tried to flee after multiple attacks from the Buddhist majority. In some cases, they sailed back to their ancestry home of Bangladesh, only to be given some food, a little water, and told to turn the fuck around.
- “The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict” is a video game being developed by the Islamist Association of Students. It will reportedly ask gamers to “finish the job” issued by Ayatollah Khomeini 23 years ago, when he made Rushdie the target of one of those annoying fatwas.
- In Afghanistan, at least ten police officers were killed after the Taliban detonated some roadside bombs. Later in the week, the Taliban released a video of 17 decapitated Pakistani soldiers. On Sunday, another five people were killed after a bomb blew up on a bus near Ghazni, another probable Taliban-orchestrated strike. So, you know, they had a busy week.
- America's drones keep dronin' on, killing five “militants” in northwest Pakistan. Meanwhile, in southwest Pakistan, a bus carrying a bunch of Shi'ite pilgrims was bombed, killing at least ten. In Iraq it wasn't any easier for the Shia, as car bombs killed at least 14 and injured at least 50.
- In northern Mali, at least 20 were killed during a raging gun battle between local Tuareg separatists and Islamist militants who've been linked to al Qaeda. A few days later, the al Qaedas went ahead and claimed they now control the northern half of Mali.
- A mentally-disturbed man wearing an Elmo suit walked around New York's Central Park spewing all sorts of anti-semitic conspiratorial talk about “the international Jew” controlling the money supply or something. An ambulance carted him away shortly thereafter.
- An Argentine bishop resigned from his post in the Catholic Church after photos emerged of him “cavorting” on a Mexican beach with a blonde. In his resignation, he admitted to having “amorous ties” to the woman. This means boinking.
- Oreo posted a pro-gay photo on their Facebook feed, featuring one of their cookies with rainbow-colored creams inside. As you'd imagine, a whole bunch of idiots left comments attacking Oreo for supporting homosexuality and promising to “boycott” the cookie. Also as you'd imagine, there's a lot of God talk in there.
- A 22-year-old Jehovah's Witness died of sickle cell disease after he signed a “living will” in which he refused a blood transfusion due to religious reasons, seeing as one of their beliefs is not being allowed to “share blood with others.”
- On Sunday in Kenya, 15 were killed in a series of grenade-and-gun attacks on Catholic churches. Al-Shabab, the Islamist militants based in nearby Somalia, are thought to be responsible.
- Know the Loch Ness Monster? That grainy image of something that looks kind of like a dinosaur swimming around a Scottish lake that's already been confirmed as a hoax? Turns out, it's being cited by fundamentalist schools in Louisiana as proof that evolution cannot be a valid theory. Because, you know, then dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time, making Darwin an asshole.
- According to a German court, boys who are circumcised for religious reasons—say, the male children of the Jewish and the Muslims and, let me look down for a second here, the Catholics seemingly as well—are victims of assault. I don't really have a hog in this race. But the whole controversy is worth noting.
- And our Person of the Week: Whoever put together this super-cut of every utterance of the phrase “Goddamnit” in the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Because, goddamnit, why the hell not?
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