Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Survivor Liturgy Island - Part One

Eight Catholics…

Two teams…

One Island…

Ten days of dubious liturgy…

But there can be only one survivor of Liturgy Island!

Day One:
The contestants of Survivor Liturgy Island are dropped off on the island by a boat, or so they think. En route the boat is stopped, and all the participants are assembled on the stern of the boat and instructed on their first challenge.

They must exit the boat and swim to Liturgy Island. Upon reaching the island they must retrieve the Gather Hymnal, which is buried in a bucket of cheese on the beach, and then use it to break the secret of the Hass code.

The participants waste no time in exiting the boat and swimming to the island.

Tom from Arkansas is first to reach the island, but he struggles to find the Gather Hymnal – which has been buried in a bucket of cheese. Tom thought he had it but then realised he was actually holding a block of mouldy old cheese, although it’s easy to understand how he confused the two.

First to retrieve the Gather Hymnal is Jan from Ohio, and after much frantic searching she realises that the secret of the Hass code is that there is no secret! After just ten minutes of comparing Hass’ music Jan realises that it is simply too simple to be musically appealing, let alone contain any secret code.

Jan announces her discovery and she is crowned winner of the first challenge on Survivor Liturgy Island, meanwhile Dave from Texas is trying to figure out why his Gather Hymnal won’t open; until one of the other contestants points out that, just like Tom from Arkansas, he has also found a block of mouldy old cheese.

As winner of the first challenge Jan is allowed is given her Immunity Rosary to wear until the next challenge is complete. The Immunity Rosary means that Jan gets immunity from the first round of Survivor Liturgy Island evictions.

As the participants listen intently, the rules of Liturgy Island are read aloud and they are then split into two teams – Team Gregorian and Team Tridentine.

The two teams are sent to different sides of Liturgy Island and told to erect their temporary shelters and then to make their way to the Liturgy Island Chapel in the middle of the island for the second challenge.

Four hours later both teams are gathered in the chapel, waiting for instructions.

Things get interesting when both teams are given the details of the next challenge – to make a team sacred space using only items growing on the island. The teams are warned that they must follow the strict rules of sacred space building by not including any overtly religious symbolism. Each team has two hours to complete the challenge; with the wining team being allowed to return to their camp, while the losing team will have to vote one of their fellow team members off Liturgy Island.

Tom from Arkansas immediately suggests that his team, Team Tridentine, votes on who should be appointed as chief liturgist for the team challenge. After much discussion the team appoints John from New York to the role of chief liturgist. Unfortunately this has taken them almost 115 minutes, leaving them only five minutes to complete the actual challenge. The team scatters and grabs several smooth stones, some palm branches, and a shrubbery. They return to the chapel and place their items on top of the altar in a random configuration.

The horn sounds to signal that the time is up and that each team must stop what they are doing to wait for the judge’s decision on their completed sacred spaces.

The judges are impressed by Team Tridentine’s creation and announce that they are the winners. Team Tridentine returns to their shelter while Team Gregorian is asked to report to the Parish Council area to decide who will be first to leave Liturgy Island.

The vote doesn’t take long, and Team Gregorian votes Karl from Los Angles off the island because he was the one who placed the one branch haphazardly on top of another one – which meant that their sacred space had a centre piece that almost looked like a cross – something that is frowned upon in the rules of sacred space construction.

The remaining members of Team Gregorian return to their side of the island, feeling dejected, and facing the daunting prospect of the coming challenges with a team member short.

To be continued…
Team Gregorian's overtly religious sacred space:

Monday, June 05, 2006

It’s official; Christians cause global warming

World renowned author, conference speaker, and global warming expert; Jim Plimpton, announced earlier this week that he believes that his research has discovered the real cause of global climate change.

“Initially I thought that the increase in greenhouse gasses was being caused by the republican party but now I know for sure that cataclysmic global climate change is really being caused by Christians” said Mr Plimpton.

Mr Plimpton has spent the last two years doing complex mathematical calculations based on his observations of various Christian churches.

“I spent three months at various evangelical and Catholic churches around the world and during my time I noticed some rather alarming activity that has gone unnoticed for many years.”

Mr Plimpton noted that in Catholic churches almost all parishioners genuflect twice during every Sunday Mass.

“If your average Catholic Church has 600 parishioners per service, for three services per weekend then you’re looking at a total of approximately 3600 genuflections per weekend.”

“If we take this figure of 3600 and multiply it by the earths magnetic variance, add 400, minus the spherical content of Darth Vader, you get a lot of kinetic energy. This energy converts to heat and as we all know; heat melts the polar ice caps.”

Along with the genuflections, Mr Plimpton also noted that your average Catholic Mass involves between 3 and 10 constantly burning candles, which are another strong source of heat energy output. He also noted that Catholics say a lot of prayers during their Masses. “All those praying parishioners are breathing out and we all know that when you’re breathing out you expel Carbon Dioxide – a leading cause of apocalyptic weather variance” said Mr Plimpton.

Plimpton became even more alarmed on his visits to evangelical churches where he witnessed massive energy output from participants waving their hands in the air. “I became even more alarmed when I realised that your average evangelical church has more amplifiers than a Metallica concert. This gratuitous amount of sound equipment not only uses more power but it also causes sonic energy which results in polar ice caps breaking free and floating into warmer waters where they melt faster than usual and cause destructive ocean level increases.”

“For years we thought it was the conservatives that were causing global warming but now my research clearly shows that we need to rethink such assertions. I’m not saying that they aren’t still causing global warming in some way; I’m just saying that the Christians are the real problem here.”

“The Vatican is definitely a major contributor; I mean how many thousands of genuflections, candles and prayers does that place go through in a week? Then there’s Focus on the Family; every time they encourage families to pray together they’re encouraging a small group of people to emit yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere” said Mr Plimpton.

When asked what he thought the answer to this crisis might be; Mr Plimpton suggested that a global action plan to fight this threat to global climate harmony can be found in his new book “Pray, kneel, die in a cataclysmic global storm”.

Mr Plimpton also suggested that greenhouse gases should now be referred to as “prayerhouse gasses.”