CMU Researchers Attempt to Brighten St. Peter’s Halo

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St. Peter has been an employee at Heaven for about two thousand years, but has never had the opportunity to change the system. “I just never felt like I would make a difference, you know? It’s been…hold on…” Mr. Peter then turned to a growing crowd of people, yelled “Welcome to Heaven!” and opened the gates. “Sorry about that…Anyway, with the incredible growth in human population, there’s been an enormous increase in foot traffic, so I hoped to …hold on…”  Mr. Peter then turned to a growing crowd of people, yelled “Welcome to Heaven!” and opened the gates. “Sorry about that…Anyway, I asked God if I could get some researchers to come up here — temporarily, mind you — to try to find a way to reduce my workload. That’s where Carnegie Mellon came in.”

Members of the Robotics Institute have been working on the problem for approximately two months. “We’ve come up with some brilliant ideas, but the implementation is difficult. They’re expecting perfection, and we’re going to give it to them,” said head of the project Brian Wu. “The one we’re investigating right now is to have multiple robotic St. Peters at thousands of gates, but God felt that would cheapen ‘the arrival experience’, so we’re trying to make exact robotic copies of St. Peter.” readme wishes them the best of luck.

Another group was attempting to automate the process. As Brian James explained, “Having an announcement, slow-motion gate opening, and heroic fanfare for each individual has simply proven impractical. You might have noticed that we’re currently testing ‘group entrance’, which appears to be somewhat successful. We couldn’t even talk to St. Peter for more than 3 words at a time before; now we almost get whole sentences.” One student, who was repairing a small motor, suggested placing a conveyor belt under the ‘soul materialization area’. “Instead of St. Peter, we could have a leisurely ride through the gates and past some of Heaven’s most prominent residents — I think Brian 7 suggested a wax museum-type deal.”

Most of the researchers, however, were taking breaks to wander around heaven and reconnect with lost loved ones. “Hey, I might as well take the opportunity while I’m here,” said Brian 2. Others were not so enthusiastic. “I’m an atheist; how do you think I feel?” said one rather anxious researcher. “Every morning I wake up and go to a place that doesn’t exist. I’m beginning to doubt my own existence!”

However, the entire team was positive about the work they were doing. “It benefits both heaven and Carnegie Mellon — we convinced God to put our logo on all of our designs. Free advertising!” said Mr. Wu. When readme pointed out that those who would be seeing the logo would be dead, he replied, “We’ll be working on a satellite campus next semester.” St. Peter, meanwhile, looked happier than he had been in years.

readme Converts to Satanism

Sorry, Pope Francis, but there’s a new cool religion in town.

 

Satanism’s always had a bad rap in religious circles. As longtime Satanists ourselves (two weeks is a long time, right?) readme knows how unfair the discrimination can be. Our deity tries to destroy all that is good and holy and plunge the world into eternal darkness one time, and nobody ever lets us forget it. Then there was the whole ‘D&D will steal your soul’ thing, but give us some credit—at least we weren’t the ones responsible for 4th edition.

See, there’s a lot of misconceptions about how the modern Satanist practices. There’s this idea we engage in infant sacrifices even though, in this economy, a baby’s-worth of blood will only buy you, like a minor imp at best, or moonlight sex orgies (also not a thing, sadly). No, today’s Satanist prefers a more elegant method of striking back against God’s domain—like finding hilariously legal ways to stick it to religious conservatives.

 

For instance, over the summer the Supreme Court ruled that it was legal for corporations to opt out of providing certain mandatory healthcare benefits to its employees if doing so would violate the corporation’s religious beliefs. And also apparently that said corporations could even have religious beliefs in the first place. Yeah. It was a controversial decision, to say the least.

 

The ruling was kicked off by the efforts of nationwide crafts chain Hobby Lobby, which is primarily owned by a Pentacostal Christian family, who asserted that many of the contraceptives required by Obamacare were in fact abortion agents, and thus their religion required they refuse to provide them. (Fun fact: Steve Green, Hobby Lobby’s current president, owns forty thousand different copies of the Bible, which for reference means that his Bible library is bigger than most geeks’ comic book collections. He is—we shit you not—building a museum to house them all. Not really relevant to the point, but hella hilarious.)

 

The decision was met with significant criticism. Though religious conservatives and pro-life lobbyists supported the ruling, many worried about the potential for abuse the ruling invited. After all, if the only thing one needs to be above the law is to believe hard enough, where will it end?

 

According to the Satanic Temple, the answer is: ‘awesomeness’.

 

Following the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Satanic Temple (readme’s official religion, and totally different from the Church of Satan, guys, like seriously) announced that certain state-mandated pre-abortion procedures like abortion counseling and transvaginal ultrasounds were a violation of its religious beliefs. It asserted that Satanic women could not, legally, be required to partake in such procedures. As precedent, the Temple cited none other than the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling that had just gone out.

 

The best part is, the whole thing’s completely on the level. The Satanic Temple has long held the belief that “one’s decisions about one’s own body are paramount”, including the decisions of women seeking abortion. In short, they took a ruling that only exists because Hobby Lobby wanted to reduce the number of abortions, and used it to make things easier for women seeking that exact procedure. It turns out that not only is the Devil real, he’s also a satiric genius.

 

Only time will tell if Satanic women will be able to successfully practice their religious right to voluntary abortion, or whether conservatives will find some way to justify denying it. We’re not too worried, though. If we’ve learned anything from this, it’s that if you mess with the Devil, you get the horns.

Stuck in a Rock: One Fossil’s Journey in American Politics

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In the glacial gridlock that is the essence of American politics, where many of the bills that get passed are highly symbolic, like re-affirming that in God we really do trust, one would think that there isn’t much to adding one more state symbol. Especially when there are already over 50 symbols, including a state migratory marine mammal (the northern right whale) and a state hospitality beverage (tea).

But when Olivia McConnell asked to have the Woolly Mammoth to be recognized as South Carolina’s state fossil, she received much more than the standard “We care about you, really!” email in response (which is all I’ve ever gotten when writing to my representatives). A senator put forth the motion, but standing in opposition to the third-grader’s proposal are a group of conservative lawmakers.

One argues that they have too many state symbols already. “You may not know, but symbols require constant upkeep. Take our hospitality beverage, for example. It costs taxpayers good money to pay for all my tea. Adding one more to the list would just put the deficit through the roof, I mean, can you imagine what it would cost to call a fossil our state symbol?”

Another caused trouble by adding three Bible verses directly from Genesis. He claimed that because the Old Testament was used by more than one religion, it was okay for the state to sponsor it. However, he quickly backpedaled and replaced the verbatim quote with a paraphrase, after being convinced that because multiple religions laid claim to the verses, the copyright issues would have been too much of a hassle.

The bill is currently languishing in the state legislature. One legislator spoke with readme on a condition of anonymity, as he didn’t want to hurt his chances in the midterms. “I was going to vote for it, because it seemed like a nice gesture to a schoolgirl, and those have been polling well recently. But now religion has come into it? I need to hear back from my party boss and figure out how that would go over with my constituents before I can make a public statement.”

 

Don’t Discriminate: Discriminate

The Kansas House recently passed a bill granting both federal and private employees the right to refuse services to same-sex couples on the grounds of religious freedom. For some reason, many saw this as an attack on LGBT individuals in the state, particularly since this means gay couples would be dependent on the discretion of individual federal employees involved to receive benefits granted automatically to any straight couple. But, as the bill’s staunchest supporter, Kansas State Representative Charles Macheers reassured the House last week, it is actually designed to prevent discrimination, by allowing people free rein to discriminate.
readme will now present the following quote without any alteration whatsoever, because holy fuck we don’t even. “Discrimination is horrible,” Macheers told his fellow representatives. “It’s hurtful…It has no place in civilized society, and that’s precisely why we’re moving this bill.” That…that is the sort of willfully blind hypocrisy that deserves the slowest of slow claps. Satire is over forever, folks. Nothing we ever say can top this.
When Macheers talks about the horrors of ‘discrimination’, he is, of course, referring to the discrimination religious people face for holding views that were “unpopular”. Okay, homophobes, it occurs to readme that you may be suffering under a few misconceptions here. You see, people’s distaste for your beliefs is not some arbitrary thing. It’s not like we all got together one day and decided we were going to gang up on religious homophobes just because they smelled kind of funny and corner them in the bathroom and call them names until they were curled up on the floor sobbing about how they will be a satire paper one day, dammit, and everybody’ll love me and think I’m funny and…uh, sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah: we don’t like homophobia because it pushes the belief that certain people are less worthy of basic human rights like love and marriage and even sometimes safety than others, and that’s fucking dangerous. It has nothing to do with whether or not it’s ‘popular’.
Ultimately, much of the controversy surrounding the bill comes from confusion about what it actually does. Ostensibly, all does is protect employees working in marriage-specific industries from having to contribute in even the slightest way to the union of two loving individuals of the same gender. However, some legal analysts worry that vague wording used in the bill could allow employees to refuse any service that violates their views on marriage. Macheers felt these fears were unfounded, saying that, “We disagree on that. That’s not what it said.” Thankfully, the way individual lawmakers and judges choose to interpret a poorly-worded bill is entirely determined by whether or not Rep. Macheers disagrees with their interpretation, or this bill would be extremely problematic.
Now, for the bill to become law, it must first be passed by the Kansas State Senate. According to Senate President Susan Wagle, it stands very little chance. “My members don’t condone discrimination,” she said, “I believe a majority of my caucus will not support the bill.” Macheers, however, is firm in his belief that the bill discriminates against no one. “It just gives a measure of protection on both sides of the [gay marriage] issue,” he said. “It strikes a balance.” Exactly, you guys. Civil rights issues are all about balance and compromise. If you pass a measure help the oppressed, you have to give something of equal value to the oppressors. That’s how we all become equal, together: by not changing a goddamn thing.

Pope Francis Threatens to Drag Church into 21st Century

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Being a decent person and selfies are among the new Pope’s 21st century exploits.

In a move that rattled his staunchest followers, Pope Francis responded to criticism by threatening to modernize the church, stating, “I’ll do it, don’t push me or by God I’ll drag the whole church into the 21st century.” Conservatives worldwide have condemned this brinkmanship, claiming that Francis is just whining to get what he wants, and that his position of the Pope, spiritual leader to over one billion Catholics and imbued with papal infallibility, gives him an unfair advantage.

In a my-way-or-the-highway move, Pope Francis is attempting to silence critics with his holy forces. One such critic is Home Depot founder Ken Langone. Langone, a wealthy Catholic donor, claims that an “anonymous” seven-figure donation to a Catholic hospital has been put on hold indefinitely because of the Pope’s comments promoting the importance of the rich’s responsibility to the poor. Like small children, Langone argued, the rich tend to do the exact opposite as what they’re told. Hope remains for rich outside the United States, however, because “rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country,” according to Langone.

The Pope’s threat to modernize may also be partially in response to the new Spanish Cardinal, Fernando Sebastion, who claimed homosexuality is a defect, like his high blood pressure, and that it can be “cured” with the right treatment. Can you pray the high blood pressure away, too? That might help invigorate church membership among the adult population.

When  he heard of the issue Pope Francis responded with surprise. “Don’t these people realize that I am the direct line to God? Why are they questioning my authority? I said be nice to the gays and the poor, is it really that hard? I still have contraceptives and women’s rights if I really want to freak people out.”

Obama Not Antichrist, Only Lower Order Demon

New studies have shown that despite Carl Gallup’s extensive research on the subject, President Obama is not, in fact, the antichrist. The crack team of investigators, which included the Pope, Joel Olsteen, and a rebellious rabbi from “The Passion of the Christ”, walked into a bar last week to review Gallup’s findings. There, they took it upon themselves to once and for all decide the President’s demonic status.

The question of President Obama’s demonic alliances was brought up only quite recently – directly after the President unveiled his health care plan. Religious leaders noted with worry that the Affordable Care Act was plagued from the get-go by various technical issues, a sure sign of demonic infestation. Joel Olsteen had himself experienced similar demon-technology interaction last year when he was unable to get the family copy of Internet Explorer to stop sending him raunchy Pop-Up Ads, despite the free Ad Blocking and Anti Virus Softwares he had downloaded onto his computer. He and his family were forced to move into a hotel for a couple of weeks while the exorcism took place.

Our Heavenly Task Force directly suspected Obama of being possessed after a covert exorcism was carried out on the Health Care Plan’s website just days ago. Though no official details or documents of the even have been revealed, the religious leaders were seen exiting the server room visibly shaken. It was apparent at the very least that the customary tactic of sprinkling holy water on an affected area had done nothing to bring better quality health care to citizens of the United States.

Obama’s demonic status was downgraded, however, after the team found the President’s own reaction to holy water to be underwhelming. Mr. Obama would only express a mild displeasure at being sprayed in the face with holy water, before continuing along his day of being President. Their holinesses of Our Heavenly Task Force found these results sufficient evidence to categorize the President as, at best, a tier 3 demon of the lower class.