For those of you in the US, or expat Americans, today is Thanksgiving. A time to get together with family under the nominal motive of thanks, eat until you feel uncomfortable, watch football, and more than likely have an argument with that one uncle - you know the one. So in the spirit of what we actually do today rather than what we say we do I present a smattering of news worthy side dishes,each ripe with conspiracy theory overtones and religious turmoil. Some of these are still raw and bleeding, so you have been warned.
Is the Pope the Pope?
There is no other figure in the western world, after perhaps American Presidents, that garners more argument fodder than the Pope. The current Pope isn't sitting so well with certain elements of the Church. When you don't like what someone says you can question their authority to say it. Thus this article about papal legitimacy. Not the first one by any means. Here is a great little blog post in case you need to brush up on your papal conspiracies. To throw fuel on the fire, look at that one about the Jesuit "Black Pope" who secretly runs the Church and the World. Francis, the current Pope, is the first Jesuit to hold the title.
Religious Leaders Fight Ebola
Ebola is a tragic and frightening topic. Part of what has contributed to the spread is traditional burial practices - including washing the body of the deceased. In a part of the world where governments can be weak and distant, local religious authorities have a much better chance of imparting best practices on the peoples. Of course, there are those who think that ebola is spread by the agents of a secret world government, usually via the auspices of the CIA. Of course that reminds me of an old joke.Q: How do you know the CIA did not kill Kennedy? A:He's dead isn't he?
Clergy Seek Justice in Fergeson
The Grand Jury has decided. Fergeson is burning. Tension is high in many places because of it. Tension between races, between classes, between police and citizens, and between versions of the Truth. I say Truth, because in the quest for Truth facts do not really matter. Sometimes it takes a long time to work through versions until you find the real thing. I hurt for these people, and I applaud the courage of these religious leaders and would hope that I have the fortitude to do the same. However, if you don't know all the conspiracy theories running around here you haven't been paying attention. This is likely to be the one to create the biggest arguments, but it needs to be talked about and strong emotions are legitimate.
What about Joseph Smith's Wives?
This is a great article. It details all 34 of Smith's wives. I should note that girls getting married around 14 or 15 has been the norm for most of human history, so don't start reading it to condemn the man of pedophilia. The Mormons have been conspiracy fodder, rightly and wrongly, since they were founded. Get your facts straight and dazzle the family with your knowledge of the 34 women behind the man. Including the mother-daughter pair, several sets of sisters, and one possible source for the phrase "My Aunt Fanny!" (well....maybe not, but wouldn't it be funny.)
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, don't have any real fights, and try to stop eating before you are actually sick.