Atheists Can Go To Heaven, New Pope Says

We’re still a little flabbergasted by this—we did just dispense with the Nazi Pope, after all—but apparently it’s not a mistranslation: Pope Francis (first of his name!) just told the world that even atheists are redeemed by Jesus Christ if they do good in this life. So you’re saying I had to wear a white Colonel Sanders suit to get first communion for nothing?

All your prayers were moot! There’s actually no reason to sing hymns! Pope Francis even cited the Gospel of Mark to make his point—take that, fundamentalists. Between this comment and his earlier remarks condemning a global culture of money that precludes compassion for the poor, he is really angling to make some conservative heads explode. For that, we must salute him.

But I’m also really enjoying this idea that people can be redeemed almost against their will. Take someone like Ricky Gervais, who’s completely obnoxious in his atheism but gives millions to charity—how mad would he be to find out that heaven exists and he has to hang out there with the devoutly religious for eternity? Jesus saves whether you like it or not, I guess. And if you don’t, better cook up some evil deeds.   

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Photo: The Independent

Happy Ash Wednesday, People With Dirty Foreheads!

Yesterday was Mardi Gras, and you know what that means: today is the first day of the Lenten season according to the Western Christian calendar! I hope you all thought of something good to give up for the next five-plus weeks, and by ‘you all’ I mean everyone walking around with some schmutz on their foreheads.

Yes, it’s an odd coincidence, but every year I’m amazed to find that the only folks who really celebrate Ash Wednesday do not have a morning face-washing routine, or don’t look at their own reflection in mirrors and windows very often. What’s more, they seem to be the type of people with friends who don’t tell them they’ve “got a little something right there.”

But the fact of the matter is the head-stained among us believe in the love of Jesus Christ; they believe in his forty days of wandering the desert; they believe he doesn’t even want them to wear a sweatband or hat to maybe cover that stuff up because man, it looks like you fell face-first into a fireplace. If we could just stop stereotyping them for two seconds, we might find some wisdom in their smudgy faith.

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It’s Time for a Canadian Pope

No word on whether Pope Benedict XVI will keep his Twitter account going when he officially steps down at the end of this month, but all in all we seem to have heard the last from this weirdo. Let the reign of an entirely new weirdo begin! May I suggest a Canadian one?

Specifically, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec, considered by betting houses to be a number two pick for papal succession, behind Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, who would be the first black pope and therefore probably known here in the states as Pope Obama. Let’s get real, though: the Vatican only recently acknowledged heliocentricity—it’ll be a while before they get to the existence of non-Caucasians.

We do, however, have the opportunity to shift the seat of Catholic power westward. As pope, Ouellet could teach the world “aboot” Christ’s love, organize the Holy See’s ragtag hockey team, make moose chili for church potluck dinners and give up poutine for Lent. It’s high time someone ran this religion like the extra-bigoted branch of the Boy Scouts it is, don’t you think?

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Please, Please, Tell Me This List Of Metal Bands Banned From Catholic College Radio Is Real

I fear this list is too good to be true.

Reddit user rht_rv posted a list two days ago of ungodly and saucily-named bands which are banned from playing on air at the Catholic college radio where he works. The blog The Daily Swarm identifies the user as the host of a metal show at Seton Hall "Pirate Radio," 89.5 WSOU — which makes me want to know everything about  Catholic shool students who listen to metal, what "pirate radio" means when you’re actually not a pirate radio at all, and why metal bands all name themselves after their genitalia. 

I’m sorry, jerks, but you don’t get to call yourself a pirate radio — by definition, "an illegal or unregulated radio transmission" — when you have a list one mile long of bands and artists you are regulating. 

The list warns DJs (are they still called DJs?) that if they discuss Deep Fried Abortion, Pussy Overload, Cuntsaw, Shitscum, Anal Cunt, or any of these other band names which sound like they were taken directly from someone screaming inside a subway car, YOU WILL BE SUSPENDED. The instructions warn the bands cannot be played nor can the names of the bands cannot be discussed. 

Additionally, sensitive topics like "Devil, Satan, God, Jesus or any other Catholic references that are portrayed in a negative light" are not appropriate to be discussed on air.

But most menacingly, if you say — and presumably play — "Nickelback," "Justin Bieber," "Lady Gaga," or "Fall Out Boy," YOU WILL BE FIRED.  

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The Seven People Pope Benedict XVI Follows On Twitter

Pope Benedict XVI just got a Twitter account—@Pontifex. Finally! And not tweeting a single thing so far has netted His Naziness Holiness well upwards of 100,000 followers. Dat’s alotta Catholics! Or people who find Catholicism funny (overlap: 70%). Since the digital world has been so keen to welcome Benny to their shores, might we check out the seven people he bothered to follow back?

1. @Pontifex_de: This is also the Pope, but in German! Makes sense. That’s where he’s from, we hear.

2. @Pontifex_es: ¡AY CARAMBA! The Pope en español! Again, just the main Pope Twitter feed in a different language, with added soap opera melodrama.

3. @Pontifex_pt: Almost certainly the best thing about this Portuguese version (hello Brazil!) is that here the Pope goes by “Papa Bento.”

4. @Pontifex_pl: The Polish edition, no doubt a tribute to Pope John Paul II. Will presumably have the Pope’s many, many Polish jokes edited out.

5. @Pontifex_it: Does Italy really need this? I thought the Pope just stood out on his balcony with a microphone when he wanted to talk to Italians.

6. @Pontifex_fr: France’s Pope Benoît XVI posts here. No word yet on whether Pope Benedict will excommunicate Benoît for blasphemy, or what this apparent schism means for the church.


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