Posts Tagged ‘easter’

Stealing an offering; Receiving a beating

Perhaps they would not have been caught if they saw CSI?

Just when you thought we were all done with Easter stories and could go back to a shameful televangelist, an abusive priest or even someone actually living for God and for real, we come across two dimwitted broads who evidently didn’t get enough from the Easter Bunny and decided to hop in to holiday yore with their latest stunt.

According to the Sacramento Bee, two women took advantage of being “just a visitor” at the Church of the Nazarene on Arden Way and decided to make their way out the door of the church office with “between $10,000 and $25,000 in cash and checks” before anyone could verify who they were. Classy.

The women – described as African Americans in their 20s – left in a faded black ’80s sedan, Jones said. One was wearing a purple shirt, the other a black shirt, Jones said. No arrests have been made. Church members who made an offering with a check during the early service have been advised to stop payment.

Yes, please stop payment unless you would like your Easter offering to go Ray’s Pawn Shop on the south side for some cheap fur coat, a used Nintendo DS and possibly a pack of Lucky Strikes.

How fast do you have to want to get to hell when you steal from a church on Easter Sunday? I’m sure these women weren’t after money for the rent – they staked the joint and got sticky fingered when no one was looking.

Perhaps the synopsis of this dastardly deed was best summarized by “longtime parishioner and former state Assemblyman Larry Bowler,” whose subjective point of view should be a DVD extra on “Cops” or something:

To steal from anyone is an outrage. To steal from a church is a double outrage and to steal from a church on Easter Sunday – that is beyond outrage,” Bowler said.

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Virgin Mary appears in Daniel Griego's shower

Mary? Um, did you know?

Just in time for Peter Cottontail to come hopping down the Via Dolorosa, um, trail arrives this timely and divine hallucination hailing from Albuquerque, N.M. where the Virgin Mary decided to let the homeowners know after all that traveling from heaven, she was feeling a little rank and needed to take a bath.

I mean, it is Holy Week, so why not a hallowed apparition just beyond the Pantene, weeks-old razor and rubber ducky, right?

It’s timely. It’s sacred. And oh so typical.

Yet, there she is tending to her baby boy Jesus in the stained marble of some dude’s shower. Michelangelo would be so proud.

“We built the house a couple years ago, and we have a stand in the shower and a jacuzzi tub in the master bath,” said Danell Griego, the person who discovered the figure. “We also have a hot tub right outside the master bathroom, so we had not used the tub. I decided I was going to try out the tub since it had been sitting there unused for so long. I got the water and bubbles ready, hopped in and was relaxing and decided to light a candle. When I reached over to grab the candle, right behind it was the image.”

Of course this is a personal moment amidst the flurry of Dora the Explorer bubble bath. Note the statement from the story:

Do not expect long lines of people praying in the Griegos’ home. Besides the media, she said she has only invited friends and family to look at the image.

Love the thoughtfulness there. The Griegos have only invited friends and family. Oh, and the national media throng. Because when you get a pious moment like the mother of our Savior interrupting tub time, it’s always nice to have TMZ on speed dial.

Surely for this avowed Catholic couple, the resurrection of Jesus may not get dibs in worship service, but wowie will these two have a story for their priest about Mary visiting them via the welcoming scent of a strawberry banana flame.

Oh Mary… don’t you know?! Amen. And Hoppy Easter.

It’s been a slow news month in the world of ecumenicism. I mean, if it weren’t for Louis Farrakhan shooting off his lip again, Kenneth Copeland’s jet and Ed Young’s palatial “tax-exempt” estate (wink), I would not have enough spray paint on this wall to fill a huffer’s need to get high.

I mean, slow.

And then I see this Barna survey from WOW News’ Religion News Service (by way of Houston [Chronicle] Belief) that made yours truly want to go to the local CVS and shave the fur off every Peeps in that place with a dull but seasonally festive razor blade.

Though most Americans describe Easter as a religious holiday, less than half of U.S. adults surveyed link it specifically to the resurrection of Jesus, a Barna Group study shows.

Here's your compromise! Oy Vey!

Anyone heard of Passion plays? How about the “Passion of the Christ“? Perhaps those dudes rocking the Birkenstocks and bedsheets who literally and passionately walk many miles in Jesus’ shoes with timber crosses draped across their shoulders… oh you know, around Easter?!

Apparently, no one in this friggin’ survey.

Is this HOLY-day really all about chocolate, bunnies and those stupid eggs? Why would a bunny lay eggs anyway? Because those little buggers are too fuzzy when they come out and it tickles the mama rabbit?

Looking closer at this depressing survey, it seems parents either are straying from religion or young people are watching way too much TV:

  • 42 percent tied Easter to the Resurrection
  • At 73 percent, baby boomers (ages 45 to 63) were the most likely to describe Easter as a religious holiday
  • This, compared to two-thirds of those ages 26 to 44 and Americans 64 and older
  • The youngest group of adults (ages 18 to 25) were least likely, at 58 percent, to use that kind of description

There you have it – kids forget eating your carrots. Why? It isn’t sacrosanct. They are carrots, not communion wafers. So, enlighten us future leaders of tomorrow, how would you describe this amazing day the Lord hath literally made:

  • A Christian holiday
  • A celebration of God or Jesus
  • A celebration of Passover
  • A “holy day”
  • Or a special day to go to church

Classy. At least they didn’t say the day church kids have easter egg hunts… oh, what? They do that?! MEMO to all church folk, even the ones who are appalled by this survey: You do understand the etymology of the word “Easter”, right? Yeah, it’s cultic.

The Teutonic goddess of fertility had a catchy name, “Eoster,” which was derived for the ancient word of “Spring.” Cute, right? So, what about the stupid rabbits? Glad you asked…

Although Easterer, Resurrection Sunday celebrates Jesus Christ from the dead, the rabbit was chosen because it is a symbol of fertility, which is often times associated with the beginning of spring. (Hmmm… where have we heard that before?)

Proving you can go to the well one too many times, the German Catholics wanted to create a mythical figure to reward good kids and humiliate the brats during… Lent. (Yeah, I know, you thought Christmas. God bless the Germans for creativity, but meh?)

Back in the 1700s, Germans were not permitted to eat eggs during Lent, so they had to do something with the overabundance of chickens and their eggs during the Easter season.  In order to use all these eggs, the Germans created the tradition of painting and eating eggs given by the Easter Bunny (Source: My seminary, but here too)

Oh, HiScrivener, it’s okay because I paint only red eggs for the blood of Christ.

You don’t have to justify it – I have babies. I get it, but while you are feeding your kiddos a huge block of sugar and advising some humanistic 8-foot rabbit left it for them, consider what really happened on this day… and then 50 days later. (Hallelujah!)

While this day is about “Christian celebrations” and a “holy day,” the story to tell the kids is not about Peter Cottontail but about Jesus Christ. He may not have left us chocolates, but what he did leave is truly a gift that keeps on giving.