Religious Conflict Rising!

More Conflict Seen in Space via Interstellar Travel

Paris, France September 26th, 2013 (SHK)

Calling itself a defender of free speech and a denouncer of religious backwardness, a French satirical newspaper recently published several crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, some showing him naked and in provocative pornographic poses.

The images are viewed as a provocation by many Muslims and have been condemned by the French government as irresponsible at a time of violence, rage and unrest across the Islamic world. Jihadists rioted at French embassies and consulates throughout the Middle East.

The French government had urged the weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, to reconsider printing the illustrations. The newspaper refused.

After it arrived on newsstands last week, the government announced that French embassies, consulates, cultural centers, schools, museums and bordellos in more than 20 countries in the Middle East and Africa would be closed until further notice as a precautionary measure.

In addition, the Ministry of Culture closed key cultural attractions in Paris for the same reason. The Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, Moulin Rouge, the Eiffel Tower and Pigalle have been shut. Members of the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail, the union that staffs these cultural sites, were overjoyed.

CFDT workers will continue to earn inflated salaries based on the union’s shorter 20-hour workweek. They will also enjoy full benefits of their lavishly generous pension plan, healthcare facilities, and nanny care that have catapulted French union workers to the top 1% of wage earners in France.

In related news, sending Earthlings to another planet or star could be a monumental undertaking and the challenges may not be limited to technology. One thorny question, experts say, is whether to involve organized religions in the effort to mount an interstellar journey.

Last week, in Houston, religious leaders debated the question of arranging an interstellar flight for Earth’s major monotheistic religions at the 100-Year Starship Symposium, a conference organized to discuss the prospect of sending a religious space mission to another planet or star within this century.

Jason Batt, rector of the Capital Christian Church of Sacramento, said there is great “spiritual potential” in space travel and suggested that the church should begin preparing now for an interplanetary ministry.

But others resist the notion of a starship mission. “The only way humanity can survive is if it abandons its narrow Earth-based religions,” charged Rev. Alvin Carpenter, pastor of the First Southern Reformed Baptist Church of God in West Sacramento.

John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, agreed. “We’ll have a much easier time showing The Life of Brian in theaters on Mars,” he said, “than we ever did in the United States, where our religious parody of the life of Jesus was initially banned by court order.”

To prevent another possible backlash, the French government closed all cinemas across the country yesterday and sent CFDT union ticket sellers, projectionists and popcorn makers home with full pay until further notice.
© 2012 Steve Schlossstein
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