Friday, November 20, 2009

Broken News: Area man apologizes after his parody of religion becomes church doctrine

DOVER—Early today, after much soul searching and numerous bouts of laughing to himself, humorist Charlie Warren formally apologized for the series of events that led a satirical take on religion and religious extremism to become the officially sanctioned doctrine of the Catholic Church.

“I would just like to offer my humblest apologies to the, uh, world, the billions of followers of Christianity, the Pope, and, uh, the Baby Jesus,” a slightly perplexed Warren proclaimed to the assembled media and local religious leaders. “I was just having a bit of fun, making a few jokes or two. I didn’t expect it to go this far. I won’t do it again. My bad.”

He then threw his hands up in the air and with a tinge of complete disbelief in his voice, exclaimed “I just thought people would understand it was an obvious joke!”

The parody, in which an alleged Bishop purported to claim that rubbing children in bacon fat and yelling at them in Latin would ward off “ill gay omens” and that the church should partake in the use of a giant catapult while giving confession so that church patrons may “confess their sins closer to God”, was originally published on Warren’s blog.

Despite the ridiculous claims in the piece and the fact that the Bishop referenced in the narrative, Bishop Don Magic Juan, is an O.G. Chicago pimp, several news services picked up and ran the story as if it were real. Soon after, the Catholic League began pushing these theories, public support in churches increased, and at the behest of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Vatican made these two tenets into church doctrine, placing orders for thousands of catapults and thousands of gallons of rendered hog fat.

“C’mon,” Warren shouted. “Wasn’t the joke massively obvious?”

While to most outside observers that answer would be an emphatic yes, the question still remains how such a ludicrous attempt at satire was able to make it into the laws of the Catholic Church.

“Oooh…..I don’t know if I want to say this out loud, it could get me in a lot of trouble,” said a nervous Oliver Palmer, a news editor for Reuters, one of the news services that originally picked up the Warren piece. “How about…religious fundamentalists in this country are so batshit insane nowadays that there is no ceiling to the kind of incomprehensibly deranged activity, belief, or political cause they will engage in. Anything is plausible. Anything!”

Palmer sighed a bit and winced, “I bet I’m going to get such a nasty letters from Bill Donohue and the Catholic League for saying that.”

But far from castigating Palmer and others who share his similar outlook on the state of religion inside America and around the world, the Vatican was sympathetic.

“It’s a fair cop,” observed Bishop Gianluco Scherzo, the head of the Vatican’s Department for Mitigating the Damage Catholicism Does to Itself. “I mean for years we covered up child molestations, we’re in Africa contributing to the spread of AIDS by opposing the use of condoms or making official statements that they don’t work, and in DC we’re about to shut homeless shelters and adoption centers just because we might have to hire a gay, or at least not fire a gay because he is a gay. And that’s just the official actions of the Catholic Church! We’re not even talking about what all the Christian offshoots and fundamentalists think.”

Scherzo shuddered as he thought of it, “American fundamentalists…woof. Give me the creeps. No, this was all too plausible. Though I still think we’re going to keep both changes. Eh, it’s not like they’re all that much crazier than what we actually believe and most of the catapults are already built and paid for.”

For his part, Mr. Warren has seemed to have learned his lesson.

“Not only do I reiterate my pledge to never dip my toes in the fevered swamps of religion so naively again. But if I do make any future attempts at parody or news satire, I assure you I will do so in only the most hamhanded and obvious way possible, replete with loose ciphers for myself speaking overt statements about their views on current religious trends,” Warren said, his hand placed firmly over his heart.

“You know,” he paused. “Like a hack would.”

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