Happy April, imonkers. Tuesday was April Fool’s Day. Did you pull any pranks? Have any pulled on you? Do share in the comments. Make them up if you have to.
I have a friend who calls April 1 the Atheist Holiday (referencing Psalm 14:1) but I find this extremely uncharitable. But did you know how the holiday did originate? Most scholars believe you can trace it back to 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII told the world that it was going to adopt a new calendar (man, those guys had power back then). Humbly enough, he named it after himself, and the Gregorian calendar moved New Year’s Day from the end of March to January 1. Some apparently didn’t get the message (or maybe just didn’t like it) and continued to celebrate on April 1. Ginger Smoak, a professor of medieval history, says these folks, “were ridiculed and, because they were seen as foolish, called April Fools.” Now we know.
And you probably don’t need to know about the workers in Florida who mistook a corpse for an April Fool’s prank, but here’s the story if you want it.
If you have the time (hey, you’re reading the Ramblings—of course you have time) you can check out the best April Fool’s jokes online companies played this year. My favorite, though, was the NPR joke that tweaked those who made comments on a post without actually reading the post.
The Final Four begins today. I am rooting for Wisconsin to take the title but predicting Florida. How about you? Oh, and apparently something called baseball started recently.
“What is about Jewish people that make (sic) them prosper financially?” This was the puzzler puzzled over by Pat Robertson. Fortunately he gave us the answer, so we no longer have to be kerpuzzled: Jews don’t fix their cars or mow their lawns, which leaves them more time for their primary occupation: Polishing diamonds. Hmmm: Does it make it better or worse that he was talking to a Rabbi and apparently meant it as a compliment?
Headline of the week: Medieval poop barrels that still smell discovered in Denmark. And, good news, the human excrement is still in “excellent condition”. I am relieved.
We all know that “Only the Sith deal in absolutes” (wait, wasn’t that an absolute? Was Lucas being ironic? Does George Lucas even know how to be ironic?) but this one is worth sharing: “no Pope has ever been seen as penitent.” Until now. Let’s make that the 3,412,987th reason to love this guy.
From the same article: “Asked by Italy’s most-prominent daily earlier this month for an assessment of his first year as Pope, Francis demurred, saying ‘I only do that every fifteen days, with my confessor.’” 3,412,988th.
Noah opened at the box office with a big showing, taking in 44 million. This was not a surprise. What was a surprise was that God’s Not Dead had another strong weekend, raking in 9 million. I haven’t seen Noah yet. I’ve heard it may not, how shall we say…strictly accord with the biblical narrative. But if you’ve seen it, please let us know what you think. Next up in Hollywood’s year of the Bible is Heaven is for Real, followed in the fall with everyone’s favorite Nic Cage in Left Behind, and then Christian Bale as Moses in Exodus. Deadline spins the numbers to talk about whether studios will be producing more movies geared towards religious themes. TLDR: “What this shows is that there is an appetite for these type of movies and that there is a particular segment of the population that is being terribly under-served and if you give them the product they want to see, they will come.”
“Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all. We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public.” Rather an odd way for a company to announce it was firing someone because he once gave $1,000 in support of his religious views, isn’t it? Perhaps George Lucas writes their press releases.
I suppose they thought a pastor would be on their side. I can’t imagine why else they sent it to me. It certainly wasn’t based on my previous imonk articles on Ken Ham’s exegesis or the meaning of Genesis One. But a new creationist organization sent me a “Call to Action” this week. Let me quote the rationale for this call:Today in America we are in a battle for the heart and soul of our nation. The battle is being fought on four fronts against four powerful movements. 1.Modernism: The ideology that science alone has all the answers. The foundational principle of this ideology is Materialism which assumes all that exist is mass and energy (no God or supernatural forces). Championing this movement is evolution. 2.Postmodernism: Since science has not been able to solve all our problems (wars and diseases still exist), New Age and Eastern Mysticism have gained popularity in America. This is an ideology of moral relativism (there are no absolutes; what’s true for you is not true for someone else) 3.Gay Rights: A direct attack on and intolerance of the biblical precept of marriage (one man and one woman) as well as the traditional family structure. 4.Apostasy in the church: The attack by Christian theologians on biblical doctrine. Leading this movement are the theistic evolutionists who claim that God used evolution and billions of years in His creation. Recently, seeker friendly and emergent churches are watering down the clear teaching of Scripture and promoting a different Gospel, one that offers a “cheap grace”.
You may be shocked to learn that the man heading this group and teaching its seminars has no degrees of any kind in science, history, theology, Bible, or philosophy.
Did you know the Holy Grail has been found? Apparently it’s actually been on display in for 1,000 years in Spain, but no-one realized it was the cup of Christ till now. There is one small caveat: “The historians admit that they cannot prove the chalice touched Christ’s lips, nor can they pinpoint the first 400 years of its history.” Actually, that does seem like a rather large caveat, doesn’t it? You could drive a truck through that caveat. That caveat is big enough to have its own zip code. Nonetheless, people are flocking to see it.
A German judge told a couple that they could not, in fact, name their child wiki-leaks . And an Italian Judge awarded a couple $28,000 because of their bad sex life. Now, before you Presbyterians begin counting your own potential windfall here, realize that the woman in question was struck by a car while crossing the street. I do love the line of defense offered by the driver’s insurance company: that as a middle-aged couple, they wouldn’t be having an active sex life anyway. Ouch.
Some scientists say they now know the answer to the age-old question of why zebras have stripes (and, no, it’s not because they hate plaids). Biting flies apparently don’t like black and white mixes (racist flies!) and this is claimed to give stripes an evolutionary advantage.
Pretend you are dreaming. In this dream you find yourself at a flea market in the Midwest. You see someone selling an egg which they claim is made of pure gold. Instead of laughing it off like you usually do when you find golden eggs at the flea market (“And how much for the goose who laid it? You didn’t kill her did you”?) you decide it’s legit and shell out $14,000 for it. Sounds likely so far, right? I mean, that happens a lot. But the next part is weird: It turns out that the egg is actually an incredibly rare Faberge egg. And not just any ol’ Faberge egg (like the one that recently sold for 18 million) but one of the eight missing imperial Faberge eggs. Actually, the Imperial Faberge egg that Czar Alexander III gave to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna for Easter 1887. The one worth 33 million. That would be a good dream, wouldn’t it? The egg goes on display this month for the first time in 122 years.
So, Liberty University transferred its Liberty Home Bible Institute some years ago to some guy named Dan Reber (I think this means he wrote them a fat check, but I’m not sure). They allowed him to keep their name on the material, a decision they are now regretting. LHBI, you see, has begun partnering with Benny Hinn.
And yes, I put that last item in mainly so I have an excuse to end with this video: