Religion

French Cops Foil Catholofascist Terror Plot

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Trouble on Vatican Air's first flight:

The Vatican's new service, a Boeing 737 painted in yellow-and-white papal livery, took off from Rome's Fiumicino airport on Monday, serving swordfish canapes to 148 pilgrims reclining on headrests stamped with the message: "I search for your face, oh Lord."

While the outward journey was smooth, turbulence struck on the return when anti-terror rules were strictly applied by the French police.

No bottles containing more than 100ml of liquid were allowed on board unless checked in, meaning passengers were forced give up the holy water they had just collected at Lourdes.

Many hoped to ferry the water back to sick relatives.

Instead, dozens of plastic containers in the shape of the Madonna were left at security, while one man decided to drink all of his.

My question: Which is more superstitious, the belief that Lourdes water can cure the sick or the belief that it can bring down a plane?

Bonus story: "TSA Confiscates Water Bottle, Misses Bomb."

NEXT: Two Brands of Eternal Vigilance

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  1. Apparently you have to be Catholic to get a decent meal on a flight.

  2. Wow.

    And this is a mainstream religion?

    Mein gott. ils sont fous…

    “plastic containers in the shape of the Madonna”

    womby

    or scary, depending…

  3. How much drool did Mr. Walker leave on his keyboard once he realized that this story was a chance to bash both government and religion?

    If he could have only worked in an environmentalist or union member…

  4. Would the plane have got better gas mileage if they had mixed the holy water in with the jet fuel?

  5. How much drool did Mr. Walker leave on his keyboard once he realized that this story was a chance to bash both government and religion?

    Actually, my sympathy here is entirely with the pilgrims.

  6. Since the mid-1990s much (most?) French airport security has been largely run by private firms.

  7. We need Bacon and a Kiss Air more than ever.

  8. oh dan’tien, do you ever stop laying down the banquet of truth garnished with sprigs of your insightful wit?

  9. Jesse Walker,

    Indeed, if I recall correctly reason actually did a story on the TSA arguing that the U.S. should adopt the privatized systems found in countries like France.

  10. Jesse does not drool on his keyboard.

    He wears a bib.

    OTOH, if the Holy Water has the power to cure all ills, it probably has the power to bring down a plane – or take it all the way ‘UP’ for that matter.

  11. The Church does not claim the water has curative powers. It’s a folk belief. However, the Church does little to discourage the belief since the holy water stream is also a good revenue stream.

  12. Abdul,

    I thought the Church actively investigated claims of miracles associated with the water at Lourdes? And that it has recognized some number of miracles there?

  13. Indeed, if I recall correctly reason actually did a story on the TSA arguing that the U.S. should adopt the privatized systems found in countries like France.

    I don’t recall that story, but Bob Poole (from the think-tank side of the Reason Foundation) has argued that Europe’s more decentralized and sometimes semi-private airport security system is preferable to America’s federalized approach.

    He makes a good case. But a dumb rule is a dumb rule no matter who’s enforcing it.

  14. Jesse Walker,

    I’d be curious to know whether that rule was in place prior to American and British airport security personnel putting it in place.

    Doesn’t Britain have an entirely public airport security system?

  15. …the holy water stream is also a good revenue stream.

    It’s a veritbale golden shower of holiness!

  16. Indeed, if I recall correctly reason actually did a story on the TSA arguing that the U.S. should adopt the privatized systems found in countries like France.

    We don’t know if they were simply following French government regulations. If so, this is a critique of the regulations, not of the inspection provider.

  17. MP,

    I’d be curious to know where the practice arose from originally. That is if French airport security had to change its procedures in order to comply with the demands of other nations.

  18. This is from a third-party conversation:

    An Iraeli commercial pilot to an American pilot: You Americans are stupid . . you waste all this effort looking for weapons . . we look for terrorists . . .

  19. How hard could it possibly be for an Isreali to find a terrorist?

  20. “””Would the plane have got better gas mileage if they had mixed the holy water in with the jet fuel?”””

    It might get them to their final destination faster.

  21. Syloson of Samos,

    I believe the official word from Rome is that bona-fide miracles occurred at Lourdes, especially the apparition of the BVM. But the water itself is not miraculous. By analogy, when the priest transubstantiates bread and wine, it a miracle perofmed by God through a priest, but the bread and wine itself weren’t special pre-transubstantiation.

  22. The had to use the name Vatican Air because Virgin Air was already taken.

  23. It’s likely that at some point in time, someone has recovered from a sickness after having the holy water dumped on them.

    A plane has never been brought down yet by water.

    Therefore, we can safely say that the “plane brougth down by a water bottle” is the superstition. Right up there with cell phones causing them to crash.

  24. Wow.

    And this is a mainstream religion?

    VM – Almost all religions look like superstitious nonsense to objective outside observers.

    But you knew that, didn’t you?

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