Religion Lately: Dress Codes, Betting on the Next Pope, Demon Sweaters, and Palestinian-Only Bus Lines

By Heather Abraham

Dressing according to God’s law. The New York City Commission on Human Rights has filed a lawsuit against Ultra-Orthodox Jewish business owners who have posted signs requiring clients to dress modestly. I guess the women posing below are persona non grata.

Dress code ultra orthodox dress code NY city

Palestinian-only bus lines? The Israeli Transportation Ministry will begin to operate Palestinian-only bus lines that will connect the West Bank to Israel. The news was met with condemnation by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. “The attempt at bus segregation is appalling, and the current arguments about ‘security needs’ and ‘overcrowding’ must not be allowed to camouflage the blatant racism of the demand to remove Palestinians from buses,” Executive Director Jessica Montell of B’Tselem.

Betting on the next Pope?  Las Vegas, the betting capital of the world, hasn’t opened book on the next Pope. American law prohibits gambling on the outcome of elected offices so Americans wanting to place a bet will need to do so through European bookmakers such as Irish owned PaddyPower.com. Paddy Power estimates they will take more that $7 million in bets before the upcoming conclave releases white smoke signaling the start of a new Papacy. Scoff if you will but in 2005, bookies placed Joseph Ratzinger in the top three.  Here’s a look at the current favorites.

betting on the pope

Stephen Colbert has coined a new term describing the current events at the Vatican.  “We have undergone a Popendectomy!” In response to one of PaddyPower’s favorites, Cardinal Turkson of Ghana, Colbert commented “That makes sense. The Church is in a mess right now and they always give the crappy clean up job to a black guy.”

Italian news reported that three days after the Pope Emeritus retired to Castel Gandolfo a mild earthquake (2.5) struck the surrounding area. Combined with the lightening strike to St. Peter’s Basilica on February 11th, some are wondering if these natural occurrences are a disapproving sign from above.

A heads up to all thrift store shoppers—you may need to find a dry cleaner who can remove demons from slightly used clothing.  According to Pat Robertson, there is a slight chance that a great find at a thrift store may be home to demonic entities. I wonder? If demons can attach themselves to clothing through human touch, do we have to worry about demons at the manufacturing level? If so, demon removal may be a great business venture.

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