And they wonder why some of us think organized religion is cuckoo…..

David Farley has a piece in Slate entitled Who stole Jesus’ foreskin?. OK, we can all enjoy a chuckle about medieval superstition, and holy relics, and stuff like that. But the sophisticated types in the Catholic hierarchy would never take such things seriously, would they? But in 1900…

Facing increasing criticism after the “rediscovery” of a holy foreskin in France, the Vatican decreed that anyone who wrote about or spoke the name of the holy foreskin would face excommunication. And 54 years later, when a monk wanted to include Calcata in a pilgrimage tour guide, Vatican officials didn’t just reject the proposal (after much debate). They upped the punishment: Now, anyone uttering its name would face the harshest form of excommunication—”infamous and to be avoided”—even as they concluded that Calcata’s holy foreskin was more legit than other claimants’.

It’s pure Monty Python, isn’t it? (And for the record, Farley believes that the Pope arranged for the “holy foreskin” to be stolen. It makes as much sense as the rest of this stuff.)