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Pope Kitteh

I did not realize until Sissy Willis linked to this old post on her blog that the pope emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI, was a famous lover of cats. And it was mutual.

“Every time he met a cat, he would talk to it, sometimes for a long time. The cat would follow him. Once about 10 cats followed him into the Vatican, and one of the Swiss Guards intervened, saying ‘Look, your eminence, the cats are invading the Holy See.'”

Huh. An image search of “Ratzinger cat” turns up lots of images, bless ‘im. Anyway, looks like poor old Ratz isn’t well.

Perhaps Lady Bast will have him.

December 28, 2022 — 6:43 pm
Comments: 4

But, alas, I’m not qualified

Ever since the Atlantic printed that rosaries are associated with extremism, they’ve been flying off the shelves.

True story: I once seriously considered joining the Confraternity of the Rosary.

I liked the idea of making a lifetime commitment to an act of personal discipline. You vow to say a full rosary at least once a week, if not daily. I think repetitive prayers work like meditation on the brain and are good for you in the same way.

Plus, when you are in the Confraternity, you get: “A share during life, and even after death, in all the good works and prayers of the members of the Confraternity” and also the entire Dominican Order. So it’s like a giant feedback loop of goodness.

Problem is, I’m not a Catholic. A pretty strong requirement. I’m not even a believer. I don’t even believe in vibes, auras or karma. Or aliens or ghosts. My spiritual antenna got snapped off in a tragic accident.

Dead Pool tomorrow! Lest you forget…

August 18, 2022 — 7:31 pm
Comments: 5

Musta thought I needed it

This came through my mail slot at work today. Alas, it turns out the Apostolic Fellowship of Christ is a tame lot of serious Bible scholars. I was hoping for something fun and nutty.

There are a surprising number of odd Protestant denominations around here. Lots of Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example. The Strict and Particular Baptists, though I think they’re more of a historic footnote now.

Uncle B says it’s because the Church of England was for toffs. Rural working people wanted something different for themselves.

Oh, WORDLE 282 really pissed in my corn flakes today. I couldn’t believe my luck when my first guess had four hits. I couldn’t contain my rage when it took me four tries to get the correct first letter.



March 28, 2022 — 7:09 pm
Comments: 8

Is this a thing now…?

So I got a new phone for my b’day (woot!). Thankee, Uncle B. The old one just hasn’t been the same since I dropped it in the terlet.

It’s very nifty (it’s a Motorola, like the old one, but newer and bigger and everythinger). One of the apps it comes with is a radio player, so I’ve been busy trying to find my favorites from back home.

Wikipedia has a handy radio stations of Rhode Island page (though the picture is from radio stations of Connecticut, and I finally found the old favorite I was looking for under radio stations of Massachusetts).

I wasn’t particularly surprised to see the number of Spanish-language stations has exploded since I left, but I was very surprised to see the number of religious programming stations. Is that a thing? Since when? What exactly plays on religious programming, Catholic mass? Christian rock?

Yeah, I know I could just listen, but I thought you guys might be able to give me context.

For the record, the station I was looking for is WCTK in New Bedford, Mass. Yes, it’s a country station. If you haven’t listed to country in a while, it’s a long way from honky-tonk or Porter Wagoner these days. It’s weirdly accessible now, like Top 40 pop radio used to be — perfect for a sunny Saturday doing chores.

Also, I really like hearing traffic and weather reports that don’t affect me any more. For some reason.

May 8, 2018 — 9:41 pm
Comments: 21

Okay, *now* they’ve lost me


Well. So. They’ve spent the past year or so taking pictures of themselves with kittens to soften their image and attract new recruits(!). Now senior clerics have issued a fatwa against cats.

Raising cats indoors, anyhow. They’ve been going door to door in Mosul confiscating kittens.

“ISIS have issued a fatwa against cats because they say the animals are against a jihadist’s ‘vision, ideology and beliefs’.”


October 5, 2016 — 8:07 pm
Comments: 11

Jesus already knows, honey


So, this guy apparently walked naked through St Peter’s Basilica yesterday. Judging from his tiny, out-of-focus junk, I think I know the miracle he was praying for.


January 5, 2016 — 10:46 pm
Comments: 13

Can I just get the t-shirt?


I was banging around the web today — following a link that led to a link that led to another link, deeper and deeper into the forest — when I was startled to find myself invited to join the Knights Templar.

“Oooooo!” went the little rogue braincell that plays Skyrim and yearns to LARP.

They’re vague about who they are and what they’re doing. The news on site is topically British, but the domain was registered out of Arizona. They’re equally vague on what they want to do, though it’s obviously pro-Christian and anti-Islam. It’s £60 British or $90 Murican, which seems steep for something I don’t know what the hell it is all about.

I poked around a little. According to the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH), there are 1,700 groups calling themselves Templars. Which they are perfectly entitled to do. This includes the branch of the Masons that is explicitly Christian.

So, is this one a genuine grassroots movement of some kind or an opportunistic scam? Who knows. Love their t-shirts, though.

July 22, 2015 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 11

Let’s start a religion!


I ceased to believe in the central mysteries of Christianity a long time ago. The miraculous bits; all the things that make it a religion rather than merely a philosophy.

Problem is, I see a lot to admire in Christianity, even without the Resurrection. Two thousand years of Western moral thought has been set in the framework of biblical scripture. It runs through our law, our literature, our language. You can’t discard it entirely without throwing away too much of what’s good in our culture.

There are things I dislike about religion and the very religious. There are things I dislike about Christianity in particular. Original Sin always made me crazy, for example. The fact that I’m a dirty bird every day of my life — even the days I don’t do anything particularly evil — because sin is baked into my heritage. It seems so unfair, and fairness is what I would look to a deity to restore.

But there’s an awful lot of value. Fidelity. Humility. The power of the oath. A strict moral code. People like to do difficult things in support of higher causes.

I think there’s probably a measurable physiological benefit to prayer, which is why most religions have such a meditative component. Plus the psychological benefit of putting your troubles into language. And the soothing notion you can be forgiven and wiped clean, if you ask nicely (if only until your next major fuckup).

So, how would you go about building a secular Christianity (or religious mashup)?



Have an awesome Fourth and I’ll see you on Monday!

July 3, 2015 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 15

This guy

Hello! I’m back! Did you miss me?

Okay, I didn’t really go anywhere, but the principle stands.

As you might imagine, first day back, it’s been a howling bumhole of a day, but I couldn’t forget you, my imaginary internet friends. My bestest imaginary internet friends.

I passed this guy afternoon. No lie. He was walking up the sidewalk on a fairly rural road. I was, like, “holy shit — did you see that?” And everyone else was like, “What?” And I’m like, “you’re kidding me — there was a guy walking up the road with a giant cross on wheels!”

I assume it was this guy. There can’t be too many of them. I didn’t remember his face being old, but I only got a glimpse. Since that article is over two years old, he has now hauled that thing across upwards of 19 countries for almost thirty years. Huh.

Anyway, my thoughts on the election later. For now, rested and happy to be back.

May 11, 2015 — 10:43 pm
Comments: 7

Absolutely haram

Found this in a search of old novelty postcards. Abdul Hamid (1725–1789), Wikipedia tells me, was the 27th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He was very devout and something of an Islamic saint.

And this is an old postcard of him composed entirely of half-naked ladies.

It’s like, weren’t we better off when nobody gave a shit what blasphemy people got up to halfway around the world?


April 22, 2015 — 9:36 pm
Comments: 15