“Please don’t stick me up,” a cashier told the shopper on Feb. 2, according to the Nevada chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
A law professor and associate professor of geography set out to create the most comprehensive map of U.S. payday lenders to date. What they found, to their surprise, was “a surprising relationship between populations of Christian conservatives and the proliferation of payday lenders.” And it’s not a side effect of a poor population that happens to be Christian, according to the authors: “Our research showed that the correlation between payday lenders and the political power of conservative Christians was stronger than the correlation between payday lenders and the proportion of a population living below the poverty line.”
Red Bull has pulled a nativity-themed ad from Italian television after a priest from Sicily denounced it as a “blasphemous act.” [Reuters]
A mortgage maker that positioned itself as a “Christian” lender wasn’t immune to secular market forces and fired employees are learning to turn the other cheek when it comes to their severance pay: a $20 supermarket gift card. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
The annual Islamic Society of North America convention, which was held this past weekend in Illinois, is the largest on the continent—this year approximately 40,000 people attended to take part in panel discussions and seminars. It’s also a bastion of shopping stalls offering every Muslim product imaginable, which leads the UK’s Guardian newspaper to wonder whether it has become “more about shopping than spirituality.”
Talking Jesus dolls will make their Walmart debut early next month as part of a spiffy new line of religious action figures. Walmart claims it is responding to the needs of kids who want to ditch their G.I. Joe for a Samson, and will only stock the religious toys in stores where the bible is a best-seller. Walmart has always catered to the family values crowd, but that hasn’t stopped some Christian ministers from questioning Walmart’s faith:
“They’ll carry anything that sells,” says David Croyle, president of FamilyLife, a non-denominational ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. “This simply signals intelligent buying within Wal-Mart.”
No matter your spiritual disposition, those guys who wrote the Bible knew a thing or two about holding on to your shekels.
A large number of taxi drivers in the area of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are Muslim Somali immigrants. Many say they feel the faith’s ban on alcohol consumption includes transporting anyone carrying it.
The law on this is Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination in the workplace. It requires employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for an employee’s religious beliefs — “reasonable” being anything that doesn’t create an “undue hardship” on the employer or on co-workers.
We think it’s great and wonderful and amazing that companies make these accommodations, but retailers should probably make sure there’s at least one friendly atheistic heathen-type cashier available at all times. Otherwise, at which register would we buy that gun that shoots pork-based birth control? —MEGHANN MARCO
For Jewish Consumerists, the high holy days are nigh, and the expense may be greater than ever.
In a great leap forward for workers’ rights, but a disappointment to throngs of born-again tourists, management of the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando cancelled the daily crucifixion. “Park officials were apologetic but firm: None of their employees would hang on the cross during a lightning storm.”
We’ve ragged on E-Harmony, the online dating service accused of having a vaguely creepy religious aura, and several months ago, we were plucking e-Harmony’s harp pretty hard.
To many, Scientology is but a pathetic joke, a through-line on South Park or another delicious slander against TomKat. This video, however, showing seeing some real Scientologists in action, preventing XenuTV from filming their LA street fair and calling him a child molester, is sure to leave a sick feeling even among the jaded.
Just received this spam from the Crusader Lending Corp. It sounds awesome. We’re going to go out and re-fi our church right away.
An ex eHarmony.com customer service rep and atheist wrote in. She reveals more about the matchmaking site’s inner workings, including the old guy who sat behind her with a bible on her desk.
We saw this odd little list thanks to Church Marketing Sucks. It was originally posted over at the Revitalize Your Church blog. We’re just going to quote the whole thing, since we’re pretty astounded by it.
We’re uncomfortable with advertising for churches. Perhaps they are too blunt for our tastes — open disclosure that churches are the businesses they, in fact, are. That the churches most likely to engage in the practice are the kind who brag about saved souls like Wilt Chamberlain talking about the notches on his bed post makes us no less uncomfortable with the practice. Call us naive and daintily uncynical, but we like to think of churches as places where people with common beliefs can go for support, love and communion, without being suckered or manipulated into it.