The Craziest Things You Will See Today

I’ve seen some pretty weird things in my lifetime, and these customized coffins rank right up there.

chocolate-box

Death is like a box of chocolates – you never…oh wait.

Talk about being deep into the Word...

There’s being deep into Scripture, and then there’s being six feet deep into Scripture…

This would be the one that *didn't* get away.

This would be the one that *didn’t* get away.

The iCasket? Is there an app for that?

The iCasket? Is there an app for that?

The only type of music you can play on that guitar would be Death Metal.

The only type of music you can play on that guitar would be Death Metal.

Perfect for rapists and pillagers!!

Perfect for looters and pillagers!!

(Source for all images)

If cremation is more your thing…

Putting the "Boo!" in "Boo-hoo I miss you".

Ghost urns: Putting the “Boo!” in “Boo-hoo I miss you”.

Star Trek urn: for the Red Shirt person in your life.

Star Trek urn: for the Red Shirt person in your life.

The Handbag urn: for the deceased who's going places.

The Handbag urn: for the deceased who’s going places.

Now this next one – I can see Wisconsin Bad Boy or Nod giving it a second thought.

Beer bottle urn: finest blend of hops, malt, and human ash.

Beer bottle urn: finest blend of hops, malt, and human ash.

This last one is…I have no words.

Yeah, this isn't creepy. At.All.

Yeah, this isn’t creepy. At.All.

(Source for all images)

From the site:

As you can see, this creepy cremation urn is shaped like a severed head. What a unique way to create a personalized urn! It does not require any complicated procedure on your part like, going for a mould or laser scan of your head. The company just requires a photo of the deceased and makes use of 3D imaging techniques.

I’ll pass, thanks. A sculpture or bust is one thing (and even then, I’m like – no thanks), but to have one specifically made to hold the cremated remains of a loved one? I suppose if you don’t want friends to ever visit you again, then yeah, go for it.

Time For A Catholic Drinking Game!

One of the great things about being Catholic is not being a Baptist, because one of the terrible things about being a Baptist is that you can’t drink (at least in front of fellow Baptists). And one of the great things about drinking is that you can play drinking games. Thus, being Catholic means you can play Catholic drinking games.

Now, I could take the easy way out and create a Catholic drinking game based on the Extraordinary Synod of the Family. But given the tone of some of the posts and tweets I’ve seen the past few days, I’m thinking some bloggers may have been drinking heavily since Monday.

Instead, I’ll pick a different Catholic topic, one that’s also all the rage right now. Which would be…well, lemme think…ummm…hmm. Hold on, I’ll come up with one in a sec…

Guess what. Turns out the Synod is the only raging topic right now.

So here’s how to play. First, make sure you’re not behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, or won’t be anytime soon. Second, if you have children, make sure they’re in a safe place, such as a locked closet or at a relative’s house. This might get ugly real fast. Third, go to any wildly popular blog that has published extensively on the Relatio or anything pertaining to the Synod. It can be any blog of your choice: liberal, conservative…makes no difference. The less normal the better. And make sure it’s really really really popular (that excludes my blog, because I’m not in the “Triple-really” popular category).

Fourth – and this is where the game starts – go to the combox of any Relatio or Synod related post at that blog, and start with the first comment and read straight through. Game ends when The Voice of Reason appears, such as a “We should pray and wait” comment, or “Let’s not over-react”, or something along those lines.

Ready? Let the game begin!

  • For every “Yay! The Church is changing her doctrine!” comment, take a shot (Your choice – follow your conscience).
  • For every “Oh no! The Church is changing her doctrine!” comment, take 2 shots. Because they should know better.
  • For every “Oh no! We’re becoming Episcopalian!!”, take 3 shots. Because they really should know better.
  • For every reference to Cdl Kasper, one gulp of a German beer.
  • For every reference to Cdl Kasper dissing the African bishops, one gulp of a German beer followed by a shot of Amarula.
  • For every mention of Pope Francis (pro or con), one Papal Maple.
  • For every “festering evil” reference, one el Diablo.
  • For every “dark and false Church” reference, a shot of Black Vodka.
  • For every “the Church will approve so-called gay marriage!” reference (pro or con), one Sex on the Beach or Between the Sheets.
  • A Mind Eraser every time the word “heresy” is mentioned.
  • For every embedded link, a Jägerbomb.
  • A sip of sacramental wine for every complaint that the “law of gradualism” is never applied to traditionalists.
  • Two glasses of Sangria for every complaint that the “law of gradualism” is never applied to progressives.

Any additional rules?

Feel free to substitute any drinks of your choice. But remember: drink responsibly.

Disclaimer: If you play, and bad things happen, don’t send me your liver-transplant bill, or the cost of steam-cleaning your carpeting, IYKWIMAITYD.

Synod 2014 Survivor’s Kit

If at any time over the next week, you find yourself in distress over the goings-on in Rome during the 2014 Synod of the Family, AoftheA has made available the Synod 2014 Survivor’s Kit.

One of these:

rosaryAnd spend some time doing this:

adoration

Read lots of this:

...especially the parts where Jesus says "Be not afraid" and "Let not your hearts be troubled".

…especially the parts where Jesus says “Be not afraid” and “Let not your hearts be troubled”.

The more extreme cases will require one of these:

If your hair is on fire, point nozzle at head, and activate. Repeat if necessary.

If your hair is on fire, point nozzle at head, and activate. Repeat as required.

If that still doesn’t work, do this:

computertrash

Bookmark this post for 2015. You may need it.

BREAKING! Jerusalem Council Issues Report; Christians Bristle

(AoftheAP) The Jerusalem Council issued a report detailing the results of their extraordinary synod, and as expected, a number of observers are suspicious of some of the conclusions and decisions reached by the Council.  One observer was quoted as saying “In my mind, relaxing dietary laws and the need for circumcision is the equivalent of standing at the foot of Mt Sinai next to a herd of Golden Calves, daring Yahweh not to smite them!”

Additional reactions will be published as they become available.

Top Ten Signs You Might Be A “Mr. Catholic”

(…or Ms. Catholic – we’re all about equality here at AoftheA)

10. Your favorite Spiritual Work of Mercy is “Admonishing the Sinner”.
9. You have passages of 15th century Papal Bulls memorized, but you can’t name ten fellow parishioners.
8. Latin is your first language.
7. You think proselytizing and evangelizing are synonymous.
6. You kinda hope the Church does get smaller.
5. You think “hospitality” and “community” are Modernist terms.
4. Catholic books written after 1970 lack authentic Catholicity, unless it’s a book about how Catholic books written after 1970 lack authentic Catholicity.
3. You think holding hands while praying the Our Father makes you either a Protestant or a hippie…and maybe both.
2. You think that people disagreeing with you is further proof of your white martyrdom.
1. You’re convinced St Malachy’s prophecy has been fulfilled.

Be a disciple of Jesus, not a Mr. Catholic.

ps – props to a dear friend with help on a couple of these.

Meanwhile, Back At S.C.H.I.S.M….

hallofdoom

EXT. SWAMP – NIGHT

Moonlight streaks through moss-covered trees. In the middle of a clearing stands a black-domed structure – the secret hideout for the nefarious super-villain group SCHISM [Society of Catholycs Hellbent on Instituting Secular Modernism].

INT. SECRET HIDEOUT

People seated around a large round table in a dimly lit room. One person is standing, a scowl on his face. It’s KING KÜNG (aka Hans Küng), leader of SCHISM. With him are REESE’S PIECES (Fr Tom Reese); THE BAD HABIT (Sr Simone Campbell); RAINBOWKID (GLBTQ androgynous-looking character); LIVE CURRANT (Fr Charles Curran); COSMIC GIRL (Sr Joan Chittister); and the SOUR PATCH KID (YouthGen member from Call-to-Action).

KING KÜNG

Good eveningk, fellow SCHISM members. I zhingk you all know vhy I have called zhis meetingk?

SOUR PATCH KID

We’re gonna binge-watch Game of Thrones?

KING KÜNG

Vhat? Nein, you dumkopf! Vee did that last veek.

SOUR PATCH KID

What, I missed it?!? You’re kidding me!

REESE’S PIECES

It was great, too! You won’t believe…

SOUR PATCH KID

(puts hands over ears)

Auuugh! No spoilers!

KING KÜNG

Shut up, both of you! Vee have some new business to attend to. Eins, vee have a new member joiningk zee team. I introduce to you…ZEE BAD HABIT!

[Indiscriminate words of welcome from around the table.]

THE BAD HABIT

Thank you, KING KÜNG. Um, can we hurry this up? The bus is running outside, and it’s a real killer on gas.

 LIVE CURRANT

So what kind of super powers do you have?

THE BAD HABIT

 I can manipulate people into thinking we’re victims of hierarchical misogyny, as well as use the power of media to advance my nefarious plans. Oh, and I can crush you…with my bus.

KING KÜNG

Plus, she ist a voman, und federal regulations state vee must be a diverse league of super villains.

RAINBOWKID

What’s the other new business?

KING KÜNG

Ah, ja, zee other new business. As you know, zee results of my plan to disrupt zee papal conclave vere, to put it mildly, disappointingk. Zee cardinal vee vanted to become Pope vas passed over. But, zee Pope ist a Jesuit. So it vas a vash, ja?

REESE’S PIECES

(sniffs) I cried, I can tell you.

KING KÜNG

Too much sharingk, REESE’S PIECES, too much sharingk.

LIVE CURRANT

So what’s the new plan?

KING KÜNG

Vell, I vas zhinkingk last night, vhat ist zee vun zhingk orthodox Catholics have zat vee don’t?

LIVE CURRANT

Growing, vibrant orders of nuns and priests?

 KING KÜNG

Vell, zat ist true, but…

COSMIC GIRL

A cohesive harmonic image of Godde’s overflowing font of Empyrean Mercy and retributive cauldron of Transcendent Justice?

KING KÜNG

I’m..not sure I understand vhat you just said zhere…

SOUR PATCH KID

Ooh! Ooh! Their devotion to old stuff, like saints and rosaries and Latin?

KING KÜNG

You vould get no arguingk from me zhere, but…

REESE’S PIECES

Respect and deference to the Magesterium?

KING KÜNG

Zat’s for darn sure, but vhat I vas…

RAINBOWKID

Solid, coherent arguments for traditional marriage and sexual ethics?

KING KÜNG

Ja, you have a point zhere, however…

THE BAD HABIT

A proper understanding of the Church’s vision of Social Justice?

KING KÜNG

Enough! Just stop und let me talk. Vhat I vas goingk to say vas zee vun zhingk zhey have vhich vee don’t, is a strong presence on television, radio, und zee Internet. Vhat do vee have besides zee National Catholic Reporter, Commonveal, und America?

LIVE CURRANT

Cable and network news? A mainstream media that wilfully treats religious doctrine like public policy?

KING KÜNG

Fair points. But zat isn’t enough. I vant somezhingk bigger.

 SOUR PATCH KID

Snapchat?

KING KÜNG

Vhat? Vhat ist a “snapchat”? Never mind – don’t tell me. No, vee need somezhingk flashy, somezhingk zhat appeals to everyvun, zhat compels people to vatch, zhat changes zheir vay of zhingkingk.

LIVE CURRANT

You want to develop a web channel, and use subliminal messaging to control the viewers’ minds?

KING KÜNG

Ja, ja!! Listen, if some guy vith hair as bad as mine can tvirl a pencil around und around, und get zhousands of viewers, imagine vhat vee could do vith someone attractive, vith a subliminal message beingk broadcast simultaneously?

REESE’S PIECES

But where are we going to find someone attractive?

RAINBOWKID

What subliminal message would we use?

KING KÜNG

Vell, vee could read NCR editorials, or play Marty Haugen songs. Or short messages like “Embrace zee spirit of Vatican 2″.

LIVE CURRANT

I don’t know…

KING KÜNG

Vhat?

LIVE CURRANT

REESE’S PIECES is right. No way we get an attractive person. Besides, starting from scratch takes time and resources.

KING KÜNG

Vhat are you suggestingk?

LIVE CURRANT

Hire some hackers on the cheap, and broadcast our messages on existing orthodox websites and programs. They already have the listeners and subscribers we want to subvert, right?

KING KÜNG

Ex-cellent!

THE BAD HABIT

I’m pretty tight with Obama. I bet he’d give us NSA resources if I asked.

KING KÜNG

EX-cellent!!

 COSMIC GIRL

I will translate all my talks and presentations into VoidSpeech, and those can be included in the subliminal messages!

KING KÜNG

Ex-CELLENT!!

LIVE CURRANT

(to REESE’S PIECES) I thought they already were in VoidSpeech.

KING KÜNG

Zhis plan ist soundingk better und better. LIVE CURRANT, you handle zee details. Call meetingks, set up listeningk sessions, develop referendums, publish outlines, start zee dialogue…zee vorks! Spare nothingk!

SOUR PATCH KID

We should get a blogger hired on at Patheos, too!

KING KÜNG

Vhat makes you zhingk zhat hasn’t been done already, hmmm? Mu-wah-hahahahaha!

ALL

MU-WAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

[several moments of laughter]

THE BAD HABIT

K, I really gotta go. Anyone need a ride?

Looking For A Job? Call-to-Action Wants You!

Because we’re all about inclusion, diversity, openness, welcoming, freedom of expression, facilitation, dialogue, creativity, collaboration, anti-oppression, horizontal structurization, community, and snark here at AoftheA, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Call-to-Apostasy has a need for a Liturgical Wreckovator. Submit your resume NOW if you want to be considered. Here’s a link to their job opening announcement, which provides a link to a pdf that gives a fully detailed job description.

In case you don’t want their website to appear on your computer (I know the feeling, folks. I don’t blame you. That’s why I do these things for you, so you don’t have to), here are a few tidbits about the position:

NECESSARY QUALIFICATIONS

  • Familiarity with Call To Action mission with intense commitment to antiracism, anti-oppression, and intergenerational equity
  • A sense of humor
  • Experience in liturgical settings/coordinating
  • Passion for consensus decision making, non-hierarchical approach to governance
  • Excellent facilitation skills with ability to consider all perspectives and synthesize points of view
  • Organized; able to work collaboratively with staff, volunteers and committee members; computer literate (Microsoft Office and Powerpoint), regular access to e-mail
  • Degree and/or experience in theology, liturgy, religious studies, spiritual expression

So if someone has “passion for consensus decision making”, would they have determined that for themselves, or would others have had to agree with them beforehand?

So what does the position entail? Glad you asked!

RESPONSIBILITIES

Responsibilities include the planning, training, recruiting and scheduling of ministers and liturgical artists (including environmental designer, musicians, liturgical dancers), coordinating and implementation of the Friday opening Liturgy, Sunday closing Eucharist, and a brief opening prayer at the Saturday plenary session. Also responsible for preparing, caring for, and ordering all liturgical articles and supplies, including bread and wine. The Liturgy Coordinator will also be responsible for working with the Conference Manager to ensure the overall flow of all plenary sessions. This includes providing times for mic checks for anyone speaking from the stage and providing outlines and scripts to the sound/light technicians & camera technicians. This will also include communicating all equipment needs to the technical crew and Conference Manager.

What the heck is an “environmental designer”? I don’t think I want to know.

This is all so overdone. I could have written the job description in one sentence:

“Liturgy Coordinator – must be good with puppets.”

Even with the bar being set so low, I have the greatest confidence that the CTA 2015 closing liturgy will manage to come beneath it.

The American Catholic Council And Their Malfunctioning Irony Detector

Over the years, I’ve posted on the American Catholic Council and their jolly ol’ plans to reform the Catholic Church in America. I’d give you a bunch of links, but you can find them using the “Search” feature in the upper right corner of this here blog, if you want.

So anyway, I was kinda bored this afternoon, when I thought “I wonder what have those meddling kids been up to?”

Turns out their Irony Detector is broke. Here’s how the home page of their website reads – the first 3 paragraphs, mind you:

The American Catholic Council (ACC) was formed to act, not talk, around issues of institutional change in the Church focused on governance.  We believe we have been called to be disciples fully participating in creating a just, inclusive and collegial community and  therefore will initiate and collaborate in all actions that provide a multi-dimensional focused approach to change in the institutional Church.

 Catholic Tipping Point Tour 2014  –  People of Conscience: Reforming the Church Today

Fr. Tony Flannery, a Catholic priest from Ireland,  will tour the U.S. this fall, from October 22 – November 18, 2014, visiting 18 cities and speaking with Catholic laity and leadership on topics of women in the Church, the future of ministry, the problem with infallibility, and the sexual teachings of the Catholic Church.

Although Fr.Tony has been ordered to remain silent and forbidden to minister as a priest because of his refusal to sign a document that violates his conscience, he and all people of conscience are ready to dialogue. (emphasis mine).

So the ACC was “formed to act, not talk”…but all the “people of conscience are ready to dialogue”?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

It writes itself, I tell ya!

(Bear in mind, the ACC have been talking and dialoguing since Sept 2008. Six.Years. S.I.X.Y.E.A.R.S.)