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Religion

APOCALYPSE WATCH: Westboro Baptist Church Found a Way to Make Us All Happy

wbc-protest-islam

THINK FAST: Who do you hate more? The terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or the Westboro Baptist “Church”? Hard to choose, but to help make the decision, I believe we would all love to see a no-disqualification cage match.

Whelp, you may get your chance soon enough. Yes, seriously. 

An Australian comic named Adam Hills heard about Westboro’s plans to picket the funeral of Robin Williams. Speaking on behalf of the rest of us, he wondered how far those idiots would take their God-loathing, humanity-hating bravado. So, he offered to pay for them to fly to Iraq and picket ISIS.

And Westboro accepted. See? You’re smiling, aren’t you? Happiness achieved.

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With the US Muslim Population Growing, Marketers Are Missing a Consumer Opportunity

muslim familyUnless you were celebrating Ramadan or know someone who was, you may have missed the fact that the month-long religious fast ended on Monday. Unlike other times of year, Ramadan doesn’t have a national day of recognition. That includes a day or days that shoppers can score a deal as a means of acknowledgement.

The Atlantic argues that should change.

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What Would Madea Do? Sue Someone in Jesus’ Name.

madea jesusJanie Tinklenberg, 47, a youth pastor from Holland, Mich., wanted to make Jesus a central part of her student’s lives by asking one salient question in Bible study. Another idea would be to brand that query somehow — pencils, pens, notepads — and then it hit her: beaded bracelets.

So, in 1989 she approached a local marketing firm about developing a brand and “W.W.J.D.” was born. However, not protected. By the time Tinklenberg decided to call the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it was determined that the logo was already so popular, it would remain public domain. (Source: Salon.)

Fast forward to 2014: two people decided to earn some extra dough and sued for the trademark of the ecumenical acronym. And this guy won because that’s what Jesus would do, right?

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Pope Francis: ‘No One Should Work on the Sabbath. Now, Which Day is That?’

pope francis throne

Because I love it when you call me ‘Il Papa!’

Your humble servants at PRNewser kinda’ dig Pope Francis. And what he said over the weekend gave us another reason to consider this man to be a righteous dude. (And pun seriously intended. Shout out to Jesus!)

Recently he visited an agricultural region of southern Italy called Molise. Unemployment is grossly out of whack, poverty is widespread, yet faith is still a priority. It was there, according to this story in Yahoo! News (via AP), that he indicated that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays as a way to create jobs wasn’t beneficial for society.

In fact, he believes if church folk won’t work on Sundays, then no one should work on Sundays.

And the Church said, “AMEN!”

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Sufi Muslims Around the World Are Protesting Designer Roberto Cavalli’s Perfume Logo

just cavalliSo it’s not just companies that are tweeting the World Cup that are completely insensitive and out of touch. High-end designer Roberto Cavalli has kicked up some controversy with the new logo for his perfume, Just Cavalli, which closely resembles a symbol for “God” that’s used by Sufi Muslims. Oh goodness.

According to The Gloss, Cavalli’s logo is only slightly different and turned to the side.

“We have this sign that to us represents blessed peace. It’s a refuge. To see it disgraced like this for a company to make money is heartbreaking,” said Nasim Bahadorani, who has organized protests against the company over the ad.

According to The Independent, protests have taken place around the world — in Chicago, London, Texas and Germany — to have the symbol removed.

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Pope Francis Excommunicates The Mafia, Angers State of New Jersey

pope francis fans

Thanks, ladies. Check me at the Bada Bing!

It’s no secret that Pope Francis is thoroughly beloved around the world. He has been considered the “Patron Saint of PR.” He thinks the “Internet is a gift from God.” He has even helped the publishing industry by getting his own weekly rag. Also, he can even act like a diva and only follow himself on Twitter (really).

The man is almost immune to #PRFail, so he is able to roll up his sacrosanct sleeves and flex some of that righteous papal muscle when he needs to do so. And boy, did he ever.

From the Holy See: Hey, bad guys. What are youse looking at? Youse guys thinking about Heaven? Fuhgeddaboudit!

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Visitors Say the 9/11 Museum’s Depiction of Islam Needs Revision

911 museumSome visitors to the 9/11 Museum say the depiction of Islam in one of the films in the exhibit, The Rise of Islam, unfairly and erroneously depicts the Muslim faith.

“I think they should have talked about Islam more, just so people understand that there is a difference between Islam and people who do terrorist attacks but who also happen to be Islamic,” one visitor, a 22-year-old man from San Francisco, told The New York Times. “It kind of gives Islam a bad vibe.”

The issues expressed in the quote above echo the concerns by an advisory panel who viewed the short film before the museum opened for the public. “At issue is whether it is inflammatory for the museum to use terms like ‘Islamist’ and ‘jihad’ in conjunction with the Sept. 11 attack, without making clear that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful. The panel has urged the use of more specific language, such as ‘Al Qaeda-inspired terrorism’ and doing more to explain the meaning of jihad,” the group of clergy said. The lone imam on the panel, Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy, resigned to protest the film.

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N.J. Atheist Sues for Reverse Religious Discrimination

8theist

It’s New Jersey: not even the last notch in the Bible Belt

For years, Christians — the ardent, serious ones, not the “fruits, nuts, and flakes” cereal crowd — have espoused that the only legal prejudice left on earth is against them. Anyone is allowed to hate on the Church, but let someone hate on [insert your alternate house of worship here] and it’s national news.

Fair? Another topic for another day.

This story, however concerns religious freedom and the right to not care to exercise it. So, there’s this woman who wanted the license plate above, and was denied by the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission. Concerned about that, she typed in “B-A-P-T-I-S-T” on the NJ MVC website, and it was accepted.

Annnnnnd then she called her attorney.

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STUDY: Is the Internet Losing Our Religion?

Computer button Enter - Christian crossSince the advent of the Internet, people have replaced it with many things.

Used to read the paper? Scroll a website. Ever gone out to get something to eat, or even use a phone? Pull up the website. Shopping much? Find a website. And then there’s too tired for going to church? Surf a sermon via website.

Countless churches that can afford the technology streamcast messages. Why? It’s sure not for the people who need an extra jolt of inspiration on a Tuesday afternoon. It’s for those who can’t roll out of bed on Sunday morning. Guilt-free viewing.

So, when I saw this study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about the correlation between the rise of the Internet and the decline, I wasn’t surprised. Just sad…

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Atlanta Archbishop has Catholics Rethinking Vow of Poverty

Gregory's House

Because that reeks of a humble rectory, right?

If you belong to a Catholic Church, you may know the three vows clerics take when entering the ministry – chastity, conformity, and poverty. Be the life cenobitic (in a monastery) or eremitic (as a hermit), anyone in the clergy is to take on a vow to personify and illustrate the life of Christ.

In terms of the media and PR, this hasn’t been the case for clerics with horrendous stories of altar boys and stuff. Conformity is also something that has been in debate, all the way up to the Pontiff discussing the rights of marriage in the clergy and among the congregation. And now, poverty has taken center stage thanks to Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta.

How? He owns a $2.2 million home and now, he’s being “asked” to sell it.  Read more

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