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Welcome back, sinners. It’s time once again for the Snake Oil Bulletin! We would like to take this time to remind our readers that unless you’ve paid your monthly $7.99 readers’ fee, in addition to keeping up on your annual $150 membership fee to our 2 Smart 4 Scammers Club, and thrown in a couple extra bucks towards Donna Rose’s college fund while you’re at it, you are forbidden to read this week’s edition of the Snake Oil Bulletin. We tried to erect a paywall like some sort of real newspaper, but we can’t afford to build that paywall unless you pay us the money to keep you away from our content!

What we’re trying to say, dear reader, is that Yr Wonkette has decided to re-register itself as a church, because if these next few stories are any indication, running a tax-free collection agency / extortion racket sounds like a pretty sweet deal. [Editor’s Note: Your Fare La Volpe is DOING A KIDDING, we are not becoming a church or a scamster, but you can still click those links and help us out with a few bucks, why dontcha, dontcha know?]

Churches would very much like you to pay your “protection fees” now

A 92-year-old invalid was expelled from her local church because she wasn’t able to pay her collection fee. Excuse me, I seem to have misspoken. She couldn’t pay her “tithe.” The Don Pastor apologizes for this egregious error in miscommunication.

Josephine King has been a member of the First African Baptist Church in small town Bainbridge, Georgia, for over 50 years. Over the past few months, however, she has been bedridden and in the care of her family — which is not an unusual thing that happens when you are 92-years-old — making it rather difficult for her to leave the house, let alone attend her beloved church. Or rather, her former church.

See, after King was absent from service for several weeks, and more importantly unable to pay her weekly “tithe” to the collection plate, the First African Baptist decided the best course of action was to finally kick out this 92-year-old bed-bound deadbeat. She was just mooching off all their Jesus juju anyway!

King’s family received a letter in the mail signed by the pastor of the church, informing them that because Josephine had not provided “constant and consistent financial and physical participation,” that this counted as a show of “non-support” towards the church and thus she was no longer welcome to attend services. Jesus is a pretty harsh collection agent. One missed payment and now she’s spiritually bankrupt.

While King’s family has informed the press of this incredible act of church greed, what makes Josephine King’s story all the more egregious is that it isn’t the only one; not by a a tap-dancing mile. Churches requiring, not just urging, tithes have been popping up all over the country, and in many cases their schtick is less “Please donate to the church bakesale kplzthx” and more “You have been found negligent on your spiritual loan payment. You have 30 days to comply.”

Back in July, the Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church in Florida checked their tithing books (they seriously keep up on which members contribute what amount in tithes), and realized that Candace Petterson, a woman who had joined their church only six months ago, hadn’t kept up on all the fees they never told her about, so they decided to send her a delinquency notice for $1000 in unpaid tithes:

The single mother said she received what amounted to a delinquency notice from her new church asking her to contribute [at minimum] $50 a month, along with other assorted fees, to remain a member in good standing and vote on church matters.

The predominantly black church, which has operated for more than a century, asked her to pay a yearly $250 anniversary fee and another $150 for Mount Moriah Day – amounting to $1,000, some of which would be set aside to pay off church debt.

You know what’s a pretty great extortion racket? Lure someone in with promises of cool stuff and then slam them with fees you intentionally withheld from their knowledge. It’s comforting when your church operates on the same business model as a loan shark.

And oh yeah, did we mention the church didn’t just ask the mother to pay, but also tried to bill her 11-year-old daughter?

The letter, from assistant administrator Ladreda Spencer and Pastor B.R. Fulton Jr., also reminded Petterson that children – including her 11-year-old daughter – were expected to pay [at minimum] $5 a month to the church in addition to two annual $15 fees.

We sometimes joke about bad people stealing milk money from kids, but this church is actually doing it. They expect her daughter to show up to Sunday school with check in hand.

If you thought that was all, you are far too optimistic to read this blog, dear reader. In one of the most heinous stories of its kind, back in November a Texas church refused to hold the funeral for a lifelong member because she didn’t pay tithes during the last two years of her life. Why didn’t she pay for those two years, you might ask? Oh, just the fact that she was bed-bound in hospice for two years and IN A FREAKING COMA for the last few months. Should have updated your “vegetative state” exemption clause.

Olivia Blair was 93 when she passed away, having been a member of the Fourth Missionary Baptist Church in Houston for some 50 years. She did everything at this church, including holding her husband’s funeral there six years previously. But when Blair went into hospice, the cost of her care and prescriptions left her with only $60 a month left over from her Social Security check, an amount that Reverend Walter F. Houston apparently still expected her to pay him. After Blair died, her daughter and granddaughter returned to the church to arrange for their mother’s funeral, only to be told by Reverend Houston that because she was negligent on her tithing, the church had already rescinded her membership and would refuse to hold the funeral.

Even after Blair’s daughter explained to the reverend that her mother was on a minuscule fixed income even during the days she was conscious, the reverend only told her, “If Mrs. Blair didn’t have the money for her tithes, then it was the responsibility of the family to remember the tithe.” In other words, it isn’t a tithe, it’s debt. Tithes don’t transfer to a family member when a person isn’t able to pay it. That’s debt, asshole.

When confronted by a church activist calling himself “Pimp Preacher” (ignore the bloviating), the reverend told him, “I am not changing my bylaws for someone who was not active… If the family cared so much then why didn’t one of them at least send at dollar over here to reserve her membership[?]” The reverend seems to have his church confused with a country club or a dog park. You don’t lose the privilege to use the baptismal dunking pool just because your yearly check is late.

It isn’t your Wonkette’s place to judge (lie), but it seems that if these churches want to keep up the facade that their tithe collection systems are just isolated incidents that COINCIDENTALLY have the same MO as a credit agency, maybe they should rethink their business models. Because as RawStory so helpfully points out, requiring church tithes is actually illegal, and is one of the prime criteria for having your tax exempt status revoked. It’s what happened to that fun time nightclub Jesus gangbang, and people actually LIKED that place. And speaking of churches built on golden mountains of greed and avarice…

Church of Scientology denies it gave Tom Cruise new giant penis

If the headline didn’t give it away, this next story is NSFW for rock hard statue wang and glutes of chiseled marble. Or more accurately, poplin.

It’s time again to check in on America’s favorite maybe-murderous sitcom family, the Scientologists! When last we left our heroes, they were reeling from the blowback after HBO aired the documentary Going Clear, a look into some of the more unsavory practices that can be definitively linked to the Church (that isn’t including the more heinous indictments of negligent homicide), the church went into a bit of a PR rabbit hole, laying low for months in hopes that the negative press would eventually blow over. Only problem is that during that time nobody remembered to blow resident cash cow Tom Cruise (really big on the negligence, these people) and it seems the only way to keep the star happy in his gilded cage was to give him a brand new footlong penis. Allegedly.

scientology_split_h_15

It seems that at the end of July, a new 14-foot statue of Tom Cruise, naked and majestic holding a Scientology cross, was unveiled in St. Petersburg, Florida, only a few miles away from the Scientology HQ in Clearwater. Dubbed “The Shroud of Scientology,” the statue is the work of local artist Daniel Edwards with assistance by Cory Allen Contemporary Art. The work was unveiled at what has been referred to in the press as a “pop-up church of Scientology” though we can’t find any indication of what the bunk that means. Is it like a pick-up game of basketball? Either way, the exhibit also included a commemorative coin of Cruise’s likeness, like he’s a dead emperor or something.

Whatever this poplin pornography is, the artists behind the work claim that they made the piece to celebrate Tom Cruise’s 25 year anniversary with the church, supposedly as part of larger celebrations the church has been having lately to commemorate to their 25-year fucking creepy ass obsession with Tom Cruise. Whoever is behind the statue is not clear, especially since the artist resolutely refuses to spill the frank ‘n beans. But after news blogs circulated the insanity that is a giant uncut statue dong, the Church went into damage control and disavowed any involvement with the project.

For months rumors have been traveling the gossip blogs that Cruise is contemplating leaving the church now that his daughter Suri is growing up and apart from her no-longer custodial father. We’re not saying the church gave Cruise his own gigantic tallywhacker to try and stroke his ego (and a few other things) one more time, we’re just noting that it’s an interesting coincidence.

The Church continues to deny they were behind Wanggate, and we’re willing to take them at their word. Whether or not the Church was secretly behind it and pulled their involvement after it became a laughingstock is not for this little dog and pony show to investigate. That is the duty of serious and professional cock investigators. All we do know is that “Scientology Giant Dick” was not the sound bite they wanted making the rounds on Twitter.

On a final note, we would like to say how much we love this artist, if for nothing else besides his answer to questions about why so many thought Tom Cruise’s pork sword looked huge. Quoth Edwards: “I felt that he’s being depicted proportionately and I’m not sure what to make of it.” Honest reaction, or subtle hint that he’s packing? Ladies, you decide.

Flotsam, Jetsam, and Hokum

  • Fox News is on the hunt for terror splinter cells in the ongoing War on Christmas.
  • The continued saga of the fake-gay-hooker-to-cover-up-old-fashioned-Christian-cheating scandal is heating up.
  • Registered babby murderer Dr. Ben “Babymurder” Carson would like to sexplain to you why it’s bad for Planned Parenthood to give away babby parts, but a-okay if Ben Carson wants to use them in his medical experiments and/or quiche.
  • This is what happens to the arts when you kick out all the gays. TAKE NOTE, PRO-LIFERS.
  • Pat Robertson is super eager for you to put Jesus inside of your grandbabies, even if it means stealing the younglings to do it.
  • Hey, remember that assface who sold rehomed his kid to a registered sex offender? He got an award for being such a great family values kinda guy. Have a barf bag ready.
  • Carly Fiorina has a dumb on how vaccines work, just like she has had a dumb on how businesses or governments work.
  • A touching tribute to the best man to ever serve this country: Jimmy Carter. You are the greatest among us, Jimmy.

[KFOR / Raw Story / New York Daily News / Pimp Preacher / Page Six / Hollywood Life / E Online]

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  • Callyson

    Yr Wonkette has decided to re-register itself as a church

    • eggsacklywright

      Can we start a sub-cult for Fluttershy?

    • A Grumpy Cat

      I would apply to become a priestess in the Wonkette Church.

  • Belasaurius

    too stunned by penile statue to snark

    • jviscont1

      personally, I’m billing Wonkette for 1 hour of therapy and some bleach for including that link.

  • Callyson

    And oh yeah, did we mention the church didn’t just ask the mother to pay, but also tried to bill her 11-year-old daughter?

    • Belasaurius

      un frackin believable, then I remember it’s a church

    • Villago Delenda Est

      You really have to wonder about these people. Nothing says “Christianity” like siccing a collection agency on your flock.

  • Callyson

    requiring church tithes is actually illegal, and is one of the prime criteria for having your tax exempt status revoked

    • grumblestiltskin

      But retailing spiritual enlightenment is hunky-dory. Thanks Scientology!

    • JohnR

      Unless a “church” living a monastic life or sitting in a cave meditating all churches should pay taxes including property taxes, have you seen some of the real estate these outfits are hoarding?

  • Blackest Noobs

    more reason why god isn’t real; if it was, it would have smoted the every living shit outha these churches.

    • Blank Ron

      You assume He doesn’t find the whole thing hilarious. I mean, read His book – He has one black sense of humour.

      • Blackest Noobs

        eh maybe B. Ron…though if so god is a dick..perhaps a frat boy in khaki pants and wearing a baseball cap backwards.

        • Blank Ron

          Makes sense, plus it explains that whole ‘Alpha and Omega’ thing – ΑΩ must be the original fraternity.

  • Larry Schmitt

    As George Carlin said, god will send you to hell, where you will burn for eternity in great agony if you don’t obey his laws. Long pause…but he LOVES you. And he needs money.

  • schmannity

    Two guys are stranded on an uncharted island in the South Pacific. After months of never seeing a passing plane or ship, one guy bursts into tears. The other guy starts giggling. The first guy says, “we’re stranded here forever, we’ll never be found. What’s so funny?” The second guy says, “Don’t worry, I gave $100,000 to my temple last year. We’re going to be found.”

    • Larry Schmitt

      He might be right. They’ll want that next installment.

  • Callyson
    • Biff52

      Damn, I love Jessica Walter.

  • natoslug

    At least the LDS church only uses emotional blackmail and peer pressure for extorting money out of people who attend regular services. They only require full payment if you want to go for the temple experience. I assume that’s their compromise so they can still extract cash, but remain legal.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      They do however, pressure people to go to temple, as well?

      But I as understand it, they don’t kick people out (even if said people asked to be taken off the list) because they want to keep the “number of mormons” as high as possible.

      • PsycWench

        They can be excommunicated but I think that’s unusual. One of my friends grew up LDS and her mom was pissed at her about not following the right path and initiated the excommunication.
        Needless to say, this friend is death on the subject of Mormons.

        • Biff52

          Some heartwarming stories here at ExMo.

      • natoslug

        Oh, tons of pressure. If you’re not temple-ready (fully paid up and successfully covering your tracks on anything fun you’ve done), NO TEMPLE FOR YOU! And you have to write a letter telling them to leave you alone and remove you from church records if you want to no longer be considered a member. I forget whether my wife had to send it to the local bishopric or to SLC, but they wouldn’t stop pestering her, and considered her still a member until she did so.

        • Querolous

          ..local bishoprick

        • jmk

          Catholics do that also too. I’ve been an atheist for 40 years, but the Catholic church still considers me to be Catholic…I’ve had multiple arguments with friends of mine who are Catholic about it, telling them that I find it incredibly offensive that their church thinks they get to define me, but they refuse to listen.

          • mtn_philosoph

            They may always regard you as a Catholic, but that will only matter if you decide to start attending Mass again. If you lose contact with the Church, it’s not like they are going to hunt you down and drag your sorry ass back and deposit you in the Nave. Whatever parish that you reside in won’t even know that you are Catholic unless you contact them and tell them so. At least that’s how it has gone with me. I only hear from the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as do we all. The RCC, at least in the US, puts it entirely on the parishioner to keep up the contact.

          • jmk

            This is true…mostly. They got a little shitty with me when my ex-husband, whose second wife is a Catholic, needed to prove that he was eligible to marry her in church. While HE was the one who had requested the “audit,” the diocese responded to ME – addressing me by my maiden name, no less – rather nastily informing me that they didn’t consider that I had ever been married, and scolding me for not following doctrine.
            I wanted to respond in kind, but didn’t, primarily because my aunt is a nun in the same diocese and is probably buddies with the nun who wrote to me, and I didn’t want to hear about my “rudeness” from my mom.

        • Biff52

          I’ve found it about as difficult to extricate myself from the NRA. Been working on it for years, but I still get mail.

    • schmannity

      Why go to Mormon services when it all gets fixed after you die anyway?

      • Larry Schmitt

        Don’t they actually believe you can baptize someone after he has died?

        • natoslug

          Yep, because deep down, we all want to be LDS and hang out with fun-loving dead people like Joseph Smith.

          • H0mer0

            I think Sirius Black and Harry Potter’s dead parents might have been more fun.

        • eddi

          Yes. The original idea was to save those family members who were not Mormon, or lived before Joseph Smith got organized. They got carried away as they realized we are all related to each other at some distant point.

      • natoslug

        Because it’s less messy to get baptised while still alive? Yeah, yeah, I know baptisms for the dead are all done by proxy, but I prefer the imagery of them dragging corpses in for a good dunkin’.

        • Larry Schmitt

          And it would never occur to them that the deceased wouldn’t have wanted to be baptized. Especially by the Morons.

          • natoslug

            My father in law died last year, was married to a Mormon for 25 or so years. He never went to church, and while he converted to Catholicism for her when they first got married (she discovered the LDS church about 8 years into their marriage), he refused to convert to Mormonism. I’m sure the edicts against smoking and drinking had something to do with it, but he also had no interest whatsoever in the church. So of course, one year to the day from his death, my mother in law and my wife’s many sisters all gathered at the Medford temple and had his baptism taken care of. Now he can hang out with Hitler, Anne Frank, George Carlin and everyone else that the Mormons are certain really wanted to be LDS in spite of their lack of interest in the religion while they were alive.

          • Larry Schmitt

            I wouldn’t mind hanging with Carlin, but I could do without Adolf. And I can’t believe god, if he/she exists, would put both in the same place.

          • BattyKitch

            Comic relief?

          • eddi

            The Transcendental nature of God makes the idea of He doesn’t like you seem petty. Downright human in fact. If God matches the parameters suggested by serious scholars as opposed to Xist types, a lot of people are in for a major fucking shock post-mortem. Dolfe at worst has major crying jags as perfect self-knowledge punishes him worse than any fire.

          • Biff52

            One of the reasons I hate the affiliation of LDS and Boy Scouts. They don’t get a medal for it, but the scouts do proxies, if they’re also members of the Aaronic Priesthood. Hopefully, they’ll quit now that BSA allows gaydom.

          • natoslug

            I’m sure god will give them a new proclamation saying “Jesus fuck, guys! Quit being so honest about your gay-hating! Yer gonna have to learn to fucking lie about that like you lie about your history if yer gonna convert these soft young children to submit unto me!” and they’ll be able to continue fucking up the BSA. Er, I mean, being involved in the BSA.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      So the temple is the E-Ticket ride?

  • schmannity

    Hey, indulgences don’t grow on trees lady.

    • Larry Schmitt

      Indulgences are the catholic way of doing things. Other churches sell salvation more on the sly.

      • nmmagyar

        Apparently not any more

        • Larry Schmitt

          The church isn’t directly promising salvation, they’re just demanding money. The catholic church used to actually sell indulgences that would reduce a loved one’s time in purgatory.

          • nmmagyar

            Holy Mother Church flat out extorted parishioners if the indulgence wasn’t paid. Pay up or be put to the stake.

          • H0mer0

            mmmm, steak!

          • eddi

            Look up Peter’s Pence.

          • the_steamer

            My church promises regular tithing members a seat on the eternal sniffers row of the great strip joint in the sky.

    • TheBidenator

      Neither do McMansions and G5’s for the larger churches….

  • shastakoala

    The Greater Mount Moriah *Primitive* Baptist Church? The name says it all.

    • corndogjoe

      Mount Moriah Baptist Church and LOAN

      • Meanie-meanie, tickle a person

        Ir’s a wonderful grift…

    • schmannity

      Mount Moran misspelled.

    • eggsacklywright

      Just turn the unpaid “tithes” into CDOs like the banksters and sell them. Prophet!

  • Blackest Noobs

    now if i can just dupe a bunch of folks to attend my “church.”

    THIS IS the AMERICAN WAY…says the Donald (Trump)

    • ThePuckStopsHere

      The same asshole who claims the Bible his his favorite book, nudging out The Art of the Deal? Anytime you hear a pol say Jesus is his hero or the bible is his favorite book you can pretty much bet they could recognize neither.

      • Larry Schmitt

        The ones who talk most about the constitution and the bible (as if the second contains the first) know the least about both.

  • natoslug

    Memberships start at only $15/month for entry into the Slug Church of Hanging out in Redwoods ‘n Walking to the Beach Daily ‘n Stuff. Cannabis Socials on Wednesdays and Sundays only. And maybe Mondays. And if you feel like it, Tuesdays and Fridays. Saturdays are for the Beer Baptisms.

    • Blackest Noobs

      ooooooooh does the church provide the cannabis…cuz im so IN.

      if you got throwback Heroin Thursdays that would be a PLUS!!!!!!

    • Lascauxcaveman

      I’d like to be your missionary minister to the extreme NW corner of the USA; we should talk ordination. Sure, we don’t have the redwoods locally, but we have enormous Douglas firs which will sub in nicely. Also the beaches and cannabis here are plentiful, and legal as well.

  • Msgr_Moment

    We tried to erect a paywall like some sort of real newspaper,..

    You know who could build you a YOOOGE, classy wall?

    • SadDemInTex

      I never get here in time!

    • malsperanza

      Pink Floyd?

    • ThePuckStopsHere

      The Boston Red Sox?

    • Meanie-meanie, tickle a person

      The Chinese. And they’d do it for peanuts!

    • John Smith

      My ex-girlfriend.

  • Michael Christian

    My extended family is nominally Episcopalian, in that we were all baptized that way. I was told at a pretty early age by both my mom and my grandmother something along the lines of, “You don’t need a church to have a relationship with God. Churches are full of assholes who want your money. God doesn’t care one way or another if you go.”

  • Msgr_Moment

    Jesus is a pretty harsh collection agent.

    • Anarchy Pony

      8 year olds, dude.

  • cousin itt

    Honest reaction, or subtle hint that he’s packing? Ladies, you decide.

    Cruise didn’t join the Church of the Giant Penis for the ladies, he’s in it for the sekret services with the laddies.

  • shastakoala

    If Wonkette re-registered as a church I could see it as having more of a pay as you sin kinda tithe.

    • H0mer0

      like a swear jar?

      • Land Shark

        Snark Jar™

        • eddi

          Now that would make them rich. Assuming they figure out how to collect.

  • nmmagyar

    As any gay boy from the 80’s can tell you, Tom Cruise does full frontal in All the Right Moves if anyone wants to do a comparison

    • LarkintheAM

      I guess, for the sake of Research, I’ll have to investigate.

    • These are the kind of tips I’m looking for.

      • nmmagyar

        I live to serve

  • eggsacklywright

    Tithes or GTFO.

  • cousin itt

    Nobody expects the First African Baptist Church. Pastor Fang – fetch…the comfy hospital bed!

    Well, ok, pretty much everyone does.

  • LarkintheAM

    OK, I’m prolly displaying my ignorance here, but why, exactly, does scientology use a cross for a symbol?

    • schmannity

      It’s a special cross: $

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Because to a lot of people, a cross == “we’re a religion, really”

      Here’s a little tidbit from wikipedia about it:

      Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in 1955 that “the model of the cross came from a very ancient Spanish mission in Arizona, a sand casting which [Hubbard] dug up”

      and, if you believe that, well, you may already be a Scientologist.

      More puzzling to me, is why does Tom Cruise need a shroud?

      • LarkintheAM

        I was wondering that as well, especially one that’s 14 feet long.

        • malsperanza

          Or, roughly 3 times as tall as he is.

      • Blank Ron

        Gotta bury his credibility (what’s left of it) in something.

    • The eight-pointed cross was actually stolen from the back of Aleister Crowley’s “Book of Thoth” tarot deck. The bits of Scientology that aren’t ripped off from Crowley are ripped off from Freud.

      • eddi

        Or stolen from Heinlein’s musings around El Ron about how much more money you could make as a church rather than a seller of snake oil.

  • Msgr_Moment

    Church of Scientology denies it gave Tom Cruise new giant penis

    It would be irresponsible not to demand to see the Long Form.

  • grumblestiltskin

    My Southern heritage, while neither involving toting up black folks as inventory nor being excited about treason, does necessarily involve quite a few “preachers” and more than just a few con men. Sometimes these were distinct personages; sometimes not–but the arm-twisting was kept purely on a metaphorical level. Apparently there’s no “love offerings” in this prick’s church.

    • eddi

      First you need love. I think that’s gone from organized religion forever.

    • marxalot

      As the joke goes, when I get to hell I expect I still won’t be able to get near the fire for the preachers.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    AFAIK a lot of (most?) churches track donations of regular attendees, so they can give them a charitable donation statement for tax time. They provide collection plate envelopes for this purpose.

    Not that said envelopes don’t apply a certain subtle pressure of their own.

    • the_steamer

      I had to stop going to church over it. My goals are clearly not the same as the churches goals so I’m not paying for them.

    • John Smith

      My church began to take a dim view of me when during a period of unemployment, I didn’t reply to their letter asking me how much I would be giving the next year. I soon received a friendly phone call from them reminding me that they needed this information so they would know how to budget.

      After informing them of the tackiness of calling someone out of work for 3 months asking for money pledges, and why my donations have dropped. I assured them that Walmart and all businesses would love to know how much money they would be making in the coming year.

      I suggested they call Walmart and inquire about budgeting as a business, since that seems to be their desire. Never set foot back in there.

      • H0mer0

        some one from my church had come to my house and talked me into pledging an amount I couldn’t afford when I was going through my marital breakup and lost my job a month later and still needed to pay for a nanny, a mortgage and for preschool for my twins while looking for work and studying for boards. I was trying to give back by teaching Sunday School or watching the nursery but I guess it wasn’t the same. I would have felt guilty about never paying up, but I got over it after realizing how tone deaf they were to my situation.Later I realized what a struggle it is to get out of bed on Sunday mornings. If I ever go back, maybe I’ll pay up.

        • John Smith

          Not a chance in Hell for me to go back in that church.

          • Lascauxcaveman

            Yeah, once you make the break, for all the right reasons, the whole damn show seems pretty silly in retrospect. What was I thinking? Well, actually, you weren’t. You were merely indoctrinated.

            The scales fall from your eyes, so to speak.

          • eddi

            No big drama for me. I grew up and stopped going. Fairly liberal parents who put no pressure on me to stay in church.

          • Biff52

            I considered it a pretty cheap education, myself. 10% of my pre-tax income for just about a year before I just walked out one Sunday. I think what really informed me was the fact that, though they knew where I lived and had my phone number, they never bothered. Bonus, tax deduction.

  • JustPixelz

    The wages of sin are nothing compared to the wages of faith.

    • LarkintheAM

      The wages of sin aren’t near enough to cover the expenses of faith, or so it seems.

  • Thaumaturgist

    Pay to pray.

    • eddi

      Just burn the money on Baphomet’s lap. It will do as much good.

  • TheBidenator

    Don’t forget to bitch about uncle Sam being in your pockets for taxes, Christians to pay for things like schools and health care for poor people, children of poor people and old people because that’s far different and worse than your church shaking you down so pastor fuckface can own a mansion!

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      I think it was Cher who tweeted about Uncle Sam reaching “so deep in my pockets he could paint my toenails.”

  • JustPixelz

    “…a brand new footlong penis.”

    I would refuse to let them shorten my penis like that.

  • grumblestiltskin

    But…but….why wouldn’t Wonkette re-organize as a church? The Wonketariat seems to include an unusually high percentage of ordained ministers. Bout time we recouped that $12.

    • tomamitai

      If they do, will members in good standing get to use a super secret website that doesn’t require you to disable your browser’s privacy and malware protection just to read the comments, which are not allowed?

  • TheBidenator

    What the hell, does the pastor have gambling debts and aggressive bookies after him or what? I know churches essentially coerce their congregants into paying for the pastor’s lifestyle (remember protestants, it’s all about hard work and playing by the rules that makes you rich not having a hand out!) but this is ridiculous…sending out bills? FFS

  • ManchuCandidate

    Why couldn’t Tom Cruise get an AR-15/M-4 or clone assault rifle like a Real US Amercian does when he feels small in the pants?

    • lesterthegiantape

      I’m just outraged that I order the Mission Impossible: Uncut set and it’s just a bunch of pictures of Tom Cruise’s foreskin.

    • TheBidenator

      Yes or get two of them for when he feels small in the package on one end and poops his pants on the other end, then he can strut around and threaten people….that’s called going full Nuge.

      • Anarchy Pony

        You never go full Nuge.

  • serious and professional cock investigators

    Reporting for duty!

    • Blank Ron

      Good to know you’re always ready and willing to take one for the team. Or more than one, if necessary.

  • LarkintheAM

    I think the Scientologists got confused and mistranslated ‘Tom Cruise *is* a big dick’ with ‘Tom Cruise *has* a big dick’.

  • PsycWench

    “$1,000, some of which would be set aside to pay off church debt.”

    I am afraid to ask about the source of the debt.

    • TheBidenator

      His name is Tony and he is a bookie in Philly….Tony is really nice to you if you make sure and pay up every time your horse doesn’t hit or your basketball team loses but he tends to go about breaking and sometimes even cutting things off the body parts of people who don’t pay….there’s Tony and of course, hookers and blow because it’s ALWAYS hookers and blow.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    So much for the idea that joining a church means there’s a community of people ready to support you in your time of trouble or need.

    • Vegan and Tiara

      I’ve had Republicans suggest to me that we should do away with Medicare and let people’s churches pay for their medical care. Yeah, that seems like it would work out really well.

      • Juan de Fuca

        I’ve got members of my own family who believe that. Those people believe the church is designed to provide social assistance for our society even though they suck at it. I just read something about Franklin Graham pulling in a $620k salary from his christian “charity” Samaritans Purse. Insane…

        • H0mer0

          I didn’t know Rev Graham was a Samaritan. If he isn’t, then what is he doing in the Samaritan’s purse?

          • Lascauxcaveman

            He’s one of the roadside muggers, obvs.

          • Villago Delenda Est

            Trying to fashion it, somehow, into a sow’s ear.

        • Vegan and Tiara

          All those people who think churches should pay for medical care, where do they think all that dough is going to come from, and what do we do with the atheists? Let them drop dead like God would want?
          If I was younger, I would have studied theology. It’s one of the most lucrative grifts on the planet.

          • Blank Ron

            And you don’t even have to buy into the theology. Indeed, it actually just gets in the way.

  • lesterthegiantape

    You know who ELSE had a gigantic ball sac? 19th century France, that’s who.

    Get it? Because Balzac? Author of La Comédie Humain? No? Okay… uh… HITLER!

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Hitler has only got one ball,
      Göring has two but very small,
      Himmler has something sim’lar,
      But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.

      • lesterthegiantape

        I recently posted the entire lyrics to that and there were people almost in tears of gratitude. Which is upsetting, because I’m so old I was expected to memorize them. WHAT DO THEY TEACH IN SCHOOL THESE DAYS probably just sex ed and atheism

        • H0mer0

          Is that like the mandatory learning of “Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg”?
          It took me years to realize the cleverness of the pun about Robin laying an egg.
          (I’m a little slow on the uptake at times)

          • lesterthegiantape

            OVIPAROUS LIBEL

        • eddi
    • LarkintheAM

      Hugo, gurl!

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …if Wonkette starts their own religion can I be the Supreme Ayatollah Grand Bishop of Secular Butt Fuckery?! Oh yeah and I want a big fancy hat and cape!!!

    • schmannity

      Don’t forget the Prada shoes.

    • TheBidenator

      You’ll probably need a set of studded assless chaps with a title like that…

    • Steverino247

      But then you’ll have to change your name to “Uh-Interesting-BlakGuy”

    • Charles Cates
  • TheBidenator

    If Wonkette becomes a religion will the holy symbol be like a pair of truck nuts crucified on a dildo cross? That would actually explain a lot of the humor here….or if you have a dildo for the vertical section and a Trump butt plug for the horizontal section.

  • Antimassacree

    Wonder if it was a pop-up statue after the Church pulled its involvement.

  • kaw143

    Required tithes? C’mon, Baptists! What do you think you are? Scientologists?

  • YayConspiracy

    Where did I hear this:

    And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    • JohnR

      Donald Trump is building a YOOGE needle right now, his plane will fly right through all the way to heaven.

    • H0mer0

      I guess that’s why they are trying to make the journey through the needle easier by bankrupting their congregations

  • JohnR

    Build the dang wall. I grew up strict catholic and I’m pretty sure my Dad got a supply of donation envelopes with said donation amount pre-printed on them. Tom Cruise has a penis?

    • Meanie-meanie, tickle a person

      That or he *is* one, I don’t really keep up…

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Yeah, that caught on in the ’80s for some reason. They used to just pass the basket, but I guess they decided there were too many freeloaders, trying to get saved for free.

      • eddi

        That explains my differing memory. I was Catholic during the 60s. Vatican II was the big deal then. Ushers with collection baskets and no risk if you were an altar boy.

        • Biel_ze_Bubba

          The good old days! Basket at the end of a long pole, and it was pretty obvious whether you tossed in coins, paper money, or nada.
          Fun note: my parish was in a Canuckistan patch of New England. When the Vatican ditched the Latin mass, our priest switched to French.

          • marxalot

            Hey, the New Rules called for Mass in the vulgar or common tongue. Totally legit. My folks were in a parish which was (due to housing pressures) Irish Polish Vietnamese and Mexican. Priest stuck with Latin because it was the one language they all knew Mass in.

          • eddi

            And in a small town, too much nada triggered a gossipy self-correction.

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            That’s why my mom handed out the quarters – so we all could “contribute.”

    • Blank Ron

      My old Anglican church did that too. NOT subtle.

    • eddi

      We got a monthly supply at school. There were amounts listed with a checkbox to select what you put in. If I remember right, our kid-size ones went from a dime to a dollar. I don’t remember my parents using one though. Different parishes, different customs.

  • Tom Cruise is NOT leaving Scientology. That is a ruse spread by his publicist, to prevent awkward questions during promo for the new Mission Impossible movie.

    http://tonyortega.org/2015/07/22/how-scientology-is-tom-cruise-how-he-put-ethics-ruthlessly-in-to-his-own-family/

    • freakishlystrong

      Tom Cruise CAN’T leave Scientology. The “auditing” process told them where all the peens are buried.

      • Reliable sources tell us that Tom Cruise is not, in fact, gay, but he has even MORE embarassing sexual “predilections”, with the ladies, that the Scienos have the evidence of.

  • Steverino247
  • Mehmeisterjr

    Today, we all have a footlong peen.

    • Shibusa

      Je suis Tom Cruise.

    • Blank Ron

      Oh, great, now none of my pants fit.

  • blogslut

    Eternal Salvation Guaranteed or Your Money Back: http://www.subgenius.com/scatalog/membership.htm

    love,
    blogslut – Subgenius Reverend since 1984

    • 1995 here. And the Xists STILL haven’t shown.

      • marxalot

        My folks raised us Subgenius. Now I’m a practicing short stop in the First United Church of Satan and Baseball and keep making people read 2 Fisted Tales of Bob.

  • Joshua Norton

    the only way to keep the star happy in his gilded cage was to give him a brand new footlong penis.

    Pornography fun fact: They like to hire short guys because their average size dicks look bigger than average in pictures.

  • Mormos

    the first story made me think: For Mormons to go to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, ie. heaven, they have to be “members in good standing” with the church. Part of being a “member in good standing” is paying your tithe. Mormonism is the only religion I know of whose actual doctrine states that you have to pay money to go to heaven.

    • Charles Cates

      But you eventually get your own planet!! Match that, ‘Society of Friends’!!!

    • Shibusa

      Ironically, the Book of Mormon says: “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.” The LDS Church pulls in $7 billion/year in tithes. Mormons are just as cult-y as the Witnesses and the Scientologists.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        LDS was the Scientology of the 19th Century. Now they’re in direct competition for “spiritual dollars”.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        “for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins”
        The Catholic church beat ’em to it – they’ve been selling indulgences for centuries.

        • eddi

          Past tense Biel. one good thing the Reformation did was force them to stop letting the rich buy their way to heaven. Indulgences are gifts these days for special acts of piety. And putting extra in the collection plate isn’t one of the acts that they count.

          • Biel_ze_Bubba

            True – poor choice of tense there.
            Also too, the “acts of piety” have been judiciously trimmed. Catholics who “have girded themselves with the cross for the extermination of the heretics” ( Canon 3, Fourth Lateran Council ) no longer get points.
            Progress!

    • Biff52

      Not even considered “Temple-worthy” here on earth unless you’re current on your tithes. Don’t worry though, if you fall behind, they’ll set up a payment schedule.

  • It is illegal to require tithes? That is Christian persecution! We need a constitutional convention to insure this kind of persecution does not endure. – Creflo Dollar and a choir of concerned pastors

  • Will the catholic church start a program where you can “loan” them your male children for an hour or so to work off your tithes?

    • Shibusa

      They already do that. It’s called being an altar boy.

  • Good thing I’m not prone to murderous rages.
    ~

  • Ilgattomorte

    Tithing and fees are just wrong. No one should demand a monthly payment for spiritual rejuvenation.
    That’s why you need to come on down to “Crazy Father Frank Fallucci’s Discount Mass and Catholicism Warehouse”. We offer top quality Salvation and Transubstantiation at low, low, family-friendly prices. At Father Franks’s we don’t demand a pound of flesh to pound out the sins of the flesh. No, we just give you that old time religion at prices so low you’ll be asking “Have I died and gone to Heaven?”.

    This week’s special: The Body of Christ for $2.99/lb. We’ve got to be CRAZZZZY. Heck, it would cost us more to give it away. And ladies, every Wednesday is Ladies Night. That’s right, ladies eat and drink Christ for free all night long. I don’t know how we do it.

    Don’t forget to take advantage of our door-buster Saturday Confessional Special. You won’t believe the savings. Come in with three mortal sins and leave with one venial sin AND an Act of Contrition, all for the low, low price of ten dollars American. That’s a savings of $50 dollars off retail pricing. It’s like we’ve been living in a big fish for the last 50 years and we don’t know whaaaaaat we’re doing.

    When you come to Father Frank’s don’t forget to stop by the gift shop. We’ve got Rosary Beads, Crucifixes and if you’re over 21, check out our Adult Corner where you can find the latest in Catholic Kink for the more adventurous shopper. At Father Frank’s you can beat yourself but you can’t beat our prices.

    So come on down to Father Frank’s, and remember our motto, “We save your soul with savings”.

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      I feel like I say this way too often, but I love you, again.

      • Ilgattomorte

        It’s Kismet. Luv you too.

    • Zippy

      $2.99 per lb, is that fresh or previously frozen? Also, what about hormone and antibiotic free? I certainly don’t want to buy any GMO saviors..

    • Blank Ron

      You, sirrah, are a genius.

    • marxalot

      But do you follow thr Retail Pope or the Discount Pope? Asking for a friend

      • Ilgattomorte

        As it is written in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, but always pay cash to others and never buy retail”.

  • azeyote

    well it’s always been about extortion – only their God can save you from Hell – it’s about time the shirkers payed up – and they can shut up too. – glory to God – Amen

    • The Molten Soul

      Holy hell…Tim Robbins was in Top Gun?!?

  • Nice juxtaposition of the main stream church and Sciontology*. Same scam-coin, different side.

    *This is the study of small off brand Toyota vehicles and has nothing to do with that fine upstanding religion that would never go after someone for dissing the brand.

    • The Molten Soul

      Different sides of the scam-coin…I’m totally stealing that.

  • Paperless Tiger

    Shroud Jesus covered his. Now I guess we’ll never know.

    • Blank Ron

      Not many people know this, but the ‘Shroud of Turin’ is a fake. It was created because the Church didn’t want people to see the real one – man, that Jesus was HUNG – so they faked up the PG version we are all familiar with.

      • toomanyrappers

        He was the son of God, forchrissakes. ;) Of course, he was hung.

        *(At least we finally solved the only possible scientific problem that is associated with the artifact.)

        • Biel_ze_Bubba

          “Made in His image” – but we all know how guys exaggerate.

          • toomanyrappers

            Youre right! Just look at the size of the noodly appendages!

            And, from the boiling waters to his eternal brushed nickel collender, he blessed us with his noodly son: Ramen. He has come to swim–and, maybe, lead us away from the sins of the low carb diet (if he has the time)..

            https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MVHlHBqo_Hs/mqdefault.jpg

      • cynmac

        I’m probably going to Hell for this but I couldn’t resist…

        • Blank Ron

          At least it was for a GOOD reason, and not for, I dunno, eating bacon-wrapped scallops in drawn butter while wearing that nice cotton-linen blend shirt.

        • The Molten Soul

          I’ll be there with you, for laughing. Such sinners.

        • I love you.

  • Ants In My Eyes Johnson

    My church pulled the same stunt with me after I stopped going for a few years. Give them money or they drop my name from the rolls. Looking back, I kinda wish I’d had that notice framed.

  • toomanyrappers
  • Bitter Scribe

    This is why I roll my eyes whenever I see one of those studies that say conservatives “contribute to charity” more than liberals. They almost certainly mean church donations. To my mind, “contributing” to a church is like “contributing” to a country club. It’s a membership fee that does little or nothing to help people who really need it.

    • Iam Reading

      Creflo Dollar and his jet beg to differ

  • ButchWagstaff

    “…we are not becoming a church…” Thank God for that.

    • freakishlystrong

      *The sound of many a Croc clad foot, running away*

  • Jan Ness

    Well, Florida is the dangling wang of the United States so the wanggate Cruise statue is appropriate.

  • Me not sure

    Any church that uses strong arm techniques to collect in this fashion should lose its tax-exempt status, be required to obtain a business license, and be treated in every way as a for profit under the law.

    • dshwa

      Just tax ’em all and let god sort ’em out.

      • ViveLaRes

        Amen.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    To be honest, I’m not really seeing the monster peen issue here.
    The laughably monstrous ballsack, on the other hand, is eye-catching. That, and a curious focus on pileous detail, make me wonder more about the artist than about Mr Cruise.

    • ViveLaRes

      The ones with the oversized cajones in this story are the preachers/church administrators/bill collectors.

  • marxalot

    I would just like to say that the First United Church of Satan and Baseball charges no fees and levies no tithes, though it’s considered rude to not share if you bring a 12 pack to service.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Do you make ’em check their bats at the door, to prevent mass slaughter?

  • ViveLaRes

    Jesus wept. Again and again.

  • Tony Prost

    Isn’t selling spiritual graces the great sin of Simony?

    • Iam Reading

      I think you should win interwebs for correct and in context use of simony

  • emw12

    Religion is evil, folks. How many times do I have to say it?

  • Odd Jørgensen
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