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Free Inquiry Sidelines


The following articles are from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 20, Number 3.


Shout It Out Loud

by Matt Cherry

Muslims have demanded the right to broadcast the call to prayer five times a day from 18 minarets in Oslo, Norway. When the Norwegian Heathen Society objected, the City Council gave the Society permission to do likewise, by proclaiming "God does not exist" once every Friday for three minutes. A representative of the Heathen Society told Free Inquiry that they broadcast their message by loudspeakers once, and then decided that in today's world there were ways to alert the public to meetings without the noise pollution of loudspeakers, Muslim calls to prayer, or church bells. Churches and mosques seem unlikely to heed the heathens' advice.


"It was a king size.

Assistant district attorney Jodi Brown, justifying a Texas jury's 16-year prison sentence on a man who stole a Snickers bar.


Sinner, Stone Thyself!

According to published reports, Randall Terry, founder of the fundamentalist anti-abortion group "Operation Rescue" and a former Republican congressional candidate, has been censured by his church for leaving his family. Reverend Daniel Little of the Landmark Church has admonished Terry for a "pattern of repeated sinful relationships . . . with both single and married women. . . ." 

The theocratic Reverend Terry is notorious for his belief that Old Testament law should be imposed on the U.S. If his own advice were followed, American law would require that adulterers be stoned to death. As someone once said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.


"These are atheists. They don't believe in God." 

Miami Mayor Joe Carollo criticizing the government officers who seized Elian Gonzalez over the Easter weekend.


More to Come?

When Pope John Paul II dies, one likely successor will be conservative Cardinal Giacomo Biffi. He recently gave a glimpse of how his mind works when he was asked about the Anti-Christ. Biffi responded that the Anti-Christ is a prominent philanthropist who espouses vegetarianism, pacifism, environmentalism, and animal rights, and promotes trendy spiritual values. He is a proponent of ecumenicism. Whew. We were expecting the seven-headed beast from the Book of Revelations.


Under A Rest

In February, Japanese police arrested Koji Takahashi, the leader of the "Life Space" cult, after discovering a corpse that had been kept in an airport hotel for several months. Takahashi claimed the dead man was undergoing treatment for an illness and required "complete rest." Japanese authorities judged the "rest" to be a little too complete, and are charging Takahashi with failure to seek proper medical care.


Pope John Paul II's recent apology for the transgressions of the Catholic Church inspired this condensed version: "Bless us, Father, for we have sinned. It has been 2,000 years since our last confession."


Alternative Medicine Program Ails

Dr. Andrew Weil, one of the most famous and wealthiest proponents of "alternative medicine," is experiencing severe problems with his pioneering university program. The program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona—founded and directed by Weil—is reportedly $1 million short of its $1.6 annual operating budget. Weil has even cut his own salary of $160,000. The program claims to be the first alternative medicine program to be based at a U.S. medical school.

Commenting on the University of Arizona's plans to request $1 million in state funding for the program, a local senator commented, "Maybe that it's for 'alternative' medicine will help. I know many legislators will be responsive to that."


"I like to think we're laughing with God, not at him." Matthew Carlson, creator and executive producer of "God, the Devil, and Bob," a cartoon show that NBC cancelled following a campaign by the American Family Association and other Conservative Christian groups. In the show Bob frequently chastised God for His failures, even calling Him a "deadbeat dad."


Flying Buddha

-San Francisco "Animal Communicator" Jane Hallander claims that her pet parrot is a reincarnated Buddhist monk. She knows this because the bird telepathically told her so. On one occasion, Hallender claims, the parrot consoled a woman whose dog had just died by telling her the dead pooch had asked a finch in the neighborhood to "keep an eye on my human."


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