64% of adults contacted at random for an ABC News poll believe the Biblical story of Moses parting the Red Sea is literally true, word for word. If this sounds startlingly high, keep in mind that the results are subject to a sampling error of three points.
No less a religious scholar than Billy Graham (or the underpaid low-level PR lackey who writes the column that runs under Graham's name) declares that no matter what we do, we can never ever please God or live up to His demanding standards, like that time when we were 17 and God told us to quit hanging out at Sam's Pizza and spending our allowance on pinball and cheesesteaks. Theologians have ruled this interpretation of the human-divine relationship a "tremendous relief."
If you're a pastor and you've been worrying that you're just not reaching 'em in the very back pews, it may not be your sermon that's the problem. Why, have you considered that it could be your PA system? Think now: Wouldn't the Word sound punchier and clearer and just more, I don't know, religious booming out of a new SLS International ribbon-driver speaker system? You bet it would! Just listen to these words of praise from pastor Patrick Kucera of Frontline Ministries Church in Overland Park, KS: "None of the other big brand name speakers that I have used during my many years as a minister even come close to the sound quality. I'm very pleased to have them in our Church." So get SLS International today! That's SLS -- "Louder, Crisper, and Saintlier Since 1966!"
I'm not sure UPI is approaching the issue of papal mortality with the respect it deserves. Exhibit A: This piece (which is actually pretty interesting) about the protocol that attends the death of the pope. A ritual that's been abandoned in recent years is the one in which the Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church taps the late pontiff on the forehead three times with a small hammer to ascertain if he's actually dead. UPI's headline: "Dead Pope Will Not Be Hammered." (The second part of this discontinued ceremony, by the way, is the one in which the Chamberlain "[shouts the pope's] family name close to his ear." I swear I'm not making this up. Congratulations to UPI, at least, for not slugging their dispatch "Dead Pope Will Not Be Yelled At.")
Thanks to artist/social commentator/provocateur Jessi Buchanan for the link.