Flotsam - March 08

  (29 February 08)
  by Greg Spearritt


 …found floating on the sea of cyberfaith…


Our Jesus is Bigger’n Yours
Rio de Janeiro will still hold the record for the highest statue of the Redeemer, but a Slovak mayor is upping the ante in the race for second place. The ABC reports that Mayor Pavol Hagyari of Presov in Slovakia is aiming to put his city on the map with a 33-metre tall statue of Jesus. It will, he hopes, "bring in religious tourists" and knock the 12-metre high Soviet soldier in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, from his perch as the highest statue in the country.

Image Enhancement for Lent
From the Times Online Faith Central Blog comes news that Dutch Catholics think their young folk these days know more about Islam than Christianity. They are calling Lent the ‘Christian Ramadan’ in a bid to get across the need to take it seriously.

Slip, But No Slap
It’s agin the rules in mozzie-ridden monasteries for Buddhist monks to go about slapping the little suckers. Soon, however, they may be able to just slip on the saffron to avoid being bitten. According to the ABC, a Thai fabric designer has come up with a line of robes infused with a herbal bug repellent. Though the new robes cost a little more, Thai Covenant Co Ltd is expecting a good return, considering the market for monks’ robes in Thailand alone is worth around $72 million annually.

Star Turn
SoFiA member Nigel Sinnott sends news of an interesting statement on the website of The Astrological Magazine: "We regret to announce that due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, the publication of The Astrological Magazine will cease with the December 2007 issue." See it

The Forgiving Faithful
The cause of violence – or a force for peace? The Sydney Morning Herald tells us of an Australian study which shows that people with belief in a ‘higher being’ are more likely to forgive those who wrong them. In a sample of 475 adults, Christian, Jewish and Muslim people as well as those with new-age beliefs were compared to non-believers in an online survey. One researcher is quoted as saying the study “indicates that there's something in the system of thought connected to spirituality that helps people to accept others and their actions."

Soccer Holygans
The Melbourne Age reports that seminarians and priests in Rome get passionate about more than just religion. Officials at a Vatican-backed soccer tournament have had to crack down on chanting (sometimes in Latin) and the use of megaphones, drums and ghetto blasters by supporters of the various teams.


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