Look! It’s a pole! It’s a plant! IT’S JESUS CHRIST!

He photosynthesized for your sins...

What do you see when you look at the picture on the right? I see a telephone pole being slowly choked to death by Kudzu, a particularly troublesome plant native to Japan and China that has been clogging up the American South since 1876.

But if you’re Kent Hardison then you see the Son of God:

Kent Hardison, who runs Ma’s Hotdog House less than a half mile from the pareidolia, rides by the Christ-resembling post each day. He said when he first saw the kudzu growing he almost sprayed it with herbicide.

“I glanced at it, and it looks like Jesus,” Hardison said. “I thought, ‘You can’t spray Jesus with Roundup.’ ”

via Plant growth on telephone pole resembles Jesus | jesus, pole, kudzu – Kinston Free Press.

Relax, Kent, if it’s really Jesus then he’ll be back in three days anyway.

Seriously, the standard for what counts as a vision of Jesus has really gone down hill if this is enough to get people all excited. If you want to be charitable then you might say it resembles a cross, but even that’s stretching it. Looks more like a dagger with a broken handle if you ask me.

Hardison said he shook off the likeness of Jesus the first time he noticed the utility pole growth.

“I just thought it was my imagination,” he said. “I thought I was crazy the first time I saw it and it resembled Jesus.”

It is just your imagination. It’s a fucking plant on a fucking pole and you are crazy if you thinks it’s anything more than that. Much like this lady:

Michelle Davis, who lives in Sandy Bottom, said she first noticed the pole last Thursday, after her husband told her about it.

She called the kudzu Jesus “ironic,” considering crime levels throughout the county.

“Maybe it’s a sign of the times,” she said while picking up lunch at Ma’s. “There’s been a lot going on in this area.”

Hardison agreed, “Maybe he’s looking out for us.”

Really? He’s looking out for you by arranging an invasive plant in a vaguely cross-like shape on a random telephone pole? What is it supposed to be? A divine attempt at a ghillie suit? “They’ll never see me watching them from up here in these vines!”

Surely Jesus could come up with a more effective way of helping with the crime problem in that area. Or so you’d think if that was really him. I say we soak it in Roundup and see if it comes back to life in three days. It’s the only way to be sure.

Jesus and his Mom team up for appearance on pizza pan.

Josh Mather feels he’s had a miracle occur in his life. He and his brother used to own a sports bar, but they had to close it down due to the bad economy. They ended up storing some of the cooking utensils in a garage and promptly forgot about them until the day before this past Ash Wednesday when Josh saw this:

The Holy water stains made manifest.

“I think it’s amazing, actually,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s spiritual. The way I see it, it’s Jesus on the left, and on the right I would believe it to be Mary.”

[…] “As I opened the two garage doors, this image was right on the left door, looking at me in the face,” he said. “It totally stopped me.”

Then he says his life changed.

“When it truly hit me, it took my breath away,” he said. “It was just – it was amazing.”

via WHDH-TV – Mansfield man: holy image appeared on baking tray.

It seems Josh hadn’t been to church in 20 years, but after seeing how Jesus had ruined one of his unused baking pans he felt it was time to return to the fold before the pair started wrecking stuff in his kitchen:

“Wasn’t really a believer, I saw this, I went on Ash Wednesday and got my ashes,” he said. “It was the first time in 20 years I walked into church on my own.”

Something that he says is a ray of hope, in tough economic times.

“It’s one of those things they say you’re going to get a sign at some point, and all of a sudden it’s there,” he said. “I don’t know how to say it happened, I don’t know if it will ever be explained.”

Holy Christ on a cracker, it’s a water stain. If it’s a sign of anything it’s that your garage roof may have a leak and you might want to do a better job of cleaning your pans. Seriously, if this is all it took to send you running back into your local church then I have a hard time accepting the idea that you weren’t “really a believer.” You were just lazy.

Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus team up for appearance on tortilla.

Usually when making public appearances these two tend to go solo, but this time they decided to team up for the ultimate venue: a tortilla!

A Starr County family is wondering if a miracle took place in their kitchen on Tuesday afternoon.

Short answer: No.

Melinda Solis told Action 4 News that she was warming up flour tortillas for her teenage sons after school around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Solis said she was spreading out the cooked tortillas when her mother noticed something unusual.

One of the tortillas had a large brown spot that resembled the Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus.

Don’t believe them? Just look at this side-by-side comparison:

Pic of Virgin Tortilla next to old painting of Jesus and his Mom.

Actually, when you really look at either picture closely, they both seem a little... phallic.

How can you not see that this is the work of an all-powerful God with a message which he feels is best distributed on semi-burnt bread-like food? What other possible explanation could there be?

The La Grulla area woman said they are not sure if they are going to call a priest just yet.

“It’s safe as long as I keep it away from my sons…as long as I keep it away from butter,” Solis said.

For as we all know, the only vulnerability Jesus and his Mom have are to teenage boys armed with butter!

Now he’s just showing off: Jesus found in fingerprint and lung X-ray.

Pic of Jesus in thumbprint.

Jesus knows where your thumb has been!

It’s been awhile since we’ve had any stories about images of Jesus showing up in odd places so here’s two such stories to make up for it. First, Jesus took the time to freak out an 8th-grader:

Austin Coleman says he found Jesus on his thumbprint. He says he put the thumbprint on a piece paper for a school science project then stepped back and noticed the resemblance. He admits, “I got a little freaked out.”

You can see the picture to the left here. It took me a moment to see the face as I was busy looking at where the arrow was pointing and not realizing it’s actually in the middle of the print.

Doesn’t look like any depictions of Jesus I’ve ever seen, but then it barely registers as a face to me.

Pic of Jesus in MRI.

I'm sorry sir, but you have a terminal case of Jesus lung.

As if that wasn’t enough, Jesus also took the time to show up in some poor dude’s chest x-ray:

Images from a thoracic spine examination by Christopher Vittore and Kevin Tribble, radiologists in Rockford, Ilinois and clinical assistant professors at University of Illinois College of Medicine. MRI technologist, Deb Savala assisted with the technical data. This was performed on an open MRI machine, a General Electric Signa 0.35 Tesla MRI scanner. (Details: 40 x 40 cm field of view, sagital plane, frequency 256, phase 128, image slice thickness 5 mm with 2mm skip interval, no phase wrap.)

You can see that image on the right. The face is a bit easier to see here than the fingerprint, but, again, it doesn’t look all that much like Jesus to me. Mohammed maybe, but not Jesus.

Oh wouldn’t that be awesome if an image of Mohammed showed up in some big anti-Islamic preachin’ televangelist’s lung? Now that would be some serious irony.

That Jesus guy is everywhere!

This is a compilation of various news reports on Jesus and/or his mom showing up in random objects:

Couple of things struck me as I watched this. First is the fact that it doesn’t take much for a True Believer™ to declare something as being a miracle. Finding a rock that vaguely resembles Jesus is enough to qualify. Second is how many of these video clips are from news stations in the south. Now that could possibly be due to the person putting it together only having access to clips from the south, but given the higher level of religiosity in the south it’s easy to assume that it’s entirely representative of what they’re focused on down there.

Jesus and his Mom set up shop in man’s lava lamp.

Apparently Heaven must be boring as Jesus has grabbed his mother and moved into the lava lamp of John Smith of Sydney, Australia. Naturally Mr. Smith is billing this as some sort of miracle:

“This is a true, tangible miracle that is not just an optical illusion. It is visible in all directions and permanently frozen in this shape,” he told news.com.au.

“This happened about a year ago and I have kept the lamp hidden since. I now want the world to know of its existence.”

Mr Smith waxes lyrical about the lamp and its effects on the website, which only had 251 visitors yesterday, and says it has helped him with job offers, money and even in finding a partner.

“I had been going through a tough time and was paying for a sign … a divine sign from God that I was not alone and that all would work out fine,” he explains on the website.

“I turned on my brand new lava lamp and watched in awe as the unmistakeable image of the Holy Mary cradling the Baby Jesus appeared.”

The image took his breath away.

“I immediately turned off the lamp and the lava has remained in this position ever since.”

You can click the above image for a slightly bigger one, but I’ll tell you right now my first thought when I saw it was that it looked like a medical picture of someone having a stroke. Probably Mr. Smith, but he swears it’s brought him nothing but blessings from Heaven ever since:

“Only a couple of weeks after Holy Mary appeared to me in the lava lamp every facet of my life began to miraculously transform,” he said.

“I met the most incredible woman, my angel here on earth.”

Mr Smith believes there is no doubt that the lava lamp led him to his soul mate who had been praying for a miracle herself on the other side of Sydney.

“Since then we have gotten engaged, phenomenal job offers have come flooding in, money keeps presenting itself and we are blessed by the warmth and love of angels constantly protecting and guiding us.”

He goes on to report his hemorrhoids are in remission and his teeth are suddenly sparkling white! All thanks to a lump of semi-congealed combo of wax and carbon tetrachloride. I’m sure the folks who make lava lamps will be quite pleased with this development as it presents an awesome marketing opportunity: LAVA LAMPS! NOW WITH 100% MORE JESUS IN THEM!

Pope declares Holy War against false visions of Jesus and his mom.

OK all you fakers and posers out there who are always claiming to see the Virgin Mary in your scrambled eggs or Jesus in your baby’s soiled diapers, you’re officially on alert! The Pope has had enough of this nonsense and he’s laying the smack down:

The Pope is declaring a ‘holy war’ against people who claim falsely that the Virgin Mary is appearing to them.

He will attempt to snuff out an explosion of bogus heavenly apparitions with new guidelines to help bishops root out frauds.

Benedict XVI plans to publish criteria to help them distinguish between true and false claims of visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages, stigmata – the appearances of the five wounds of Christ – and weeping or bleeding statues.

In some cases exorcists will be used to determine if a credible apparition is ‘divine’ origin or ‘demonic’.

Ha ha! The joke’s on him! There are no “credible” apparitions!

The Pope is said to be deeply concerned by the explosion in the number of pseudo-mystics who, claiming a direct line to God, set themselves against the bishops and lure the Catholic faithful out of the Church and into cults.

If there’s one thing that gets the Pope hot under his collar it’s competition for the hearts and minds of the overly credulous and self-delusional.

When a claim of heavenly apparitions occurs, the local bishop will need to set up a commission of psychiatrists, psychologists, theologians and priests who will investigate the claims systematically.

The first step will be to impose silence on the alleged visionaries and if they refuse to obey then this will be taken as a sign that their claims are false.

The first rule of Seeing Jesus Club is you don’t talk about Seeing Jesus Club!

As it turns out there’s an excellent job opportunity here for us atheists:

The visionaries will next be visited by psychiatrists, either atheists or Catholics, to certify their mental health and to verify whether they are suffering from conditions of a hysterical or hallucinatory character or from delusions of leadership.

The irony in the above statement is almost too much to take. But it gets even better:

The third step will be to investigate the person’s level of education and to determine if they have had access to material that could be used to falsely support their claims.

If the visionary is considered credible they will ultimately be questioned by one or more demonologists and exorcists to exclude the possibility that Satan is hiding behind the apparitions in order to deceive the faithful.

I smell the makings of an excellent reality TV show in this idea. A little work from the boys in Hollywood and the Vatican would have another source of revenue to pay off all those pedophile priest lawsuits! Good to see the Pope is tackling the really important problems facing the Catholic church!

Worst. Pareidolia. Ever.

So what do you see in the tree to the left here? Maybe Jesus? His virgin mom? Maybe a saint? A big bunny rabbit?

Can’t decide? Don’t feel too bad because these people couldn’t decide either, but whatever it is they’re sure it’s divine and enough to get them into the newspaper. They were half right at least:

Ten, maybe 15, people have seen the light-colored outline at the bottom of the tree, Donna and Frank say. They ask each, What do you see?

“I don’t put it in their head, like, ‘Do you want to see something that looks like Christ?’” Donna says.

One person saw a saint. Others have split between Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The light makes a difference. Donna says it’s most obvious between noon and 2 p.m. when the sunlight hits the tree full on. Other times, the figure shifts a little, but it remains, Donna and Frank say.

They don’t know exactly what to make of it. Donna says she was raised Catholic but doesn’t make it to church that often. Still, a certain balance seems to have fallen on the family since the figure appeared, she says. Family illnesses, the trials of everyday life — dealing with everything seems a little more manageable.

“It just kind of brings us back to our roots,” Donna says.

The transformative power of a stain on a tree is simply amazing. “We don’t know what the hell it is, but we sure do feel reassured by it!”

These people would be uplifted by pigeon droppings if they thought they could see Jesus in them.

Jesus shows up in a tree log needing a haircut.

The overly credulous are finding Jesus in a tree again. Which I suppose is normal considering that he was once nailed to one:

MyFox Colorado | Jesus Image Found in Tree Log

A Bensalem, Pa., furniture maker says he’s found a holy item and he’s been taking care of it religiously. Craig O’Connor has a block of wood that he chopped from a pine tree. On it, is an image of a Jesus-like figure with its arms outstretched. The tree rings form a kind of halo around the figure’s head.

“I was just covered in goose bumps,” said O’Connor as he reminisced about his find.  He had been helping out a friend, chopping trees in Burlington County nearly a year ago when he came upon the image. O’Connor said it looked like “Jesus ascending to heaven. Take me, thats what it looks like to me. It’s a natural stain, a natural sap stain.”

It’s not the only natural “sap stain” in this story either. Of course, like all of the other saps that find these supposedly divine images, there’s a message here:

By counting the tree rings, O’Connor believes the tree was at least 40-50 years old. As a furniture maker of 25 years, O’Connor has worked with wood and seen plenty of different stains and marks. He says this one is radically different from all the others. O’Connor is a Catholic and believes it’s a sign from God. When asked what the message is, he replied that it’s like Jesus saying, “Believe in me. I’m still here.  Have faith in me.”

Actually what he’s saying is: “HELP ME! I’M STUCK IN A FRIGGIN’ TREE!!”

O’Connor says finding the image has helped his faith. He goes to church about 3-4 times a month and says he’s become a better person, less quick to become angry.

Wow, three to four times a month! Better slow down there, dude! Don’t want to over-exert that newly refreshed faith you just got! Imagine how many times he’d go to church in a month if he found Jesus in a bagel or, better yet, in a water stain on the bathroom wall!

Virgin Mary appears on cookie sheet. True Believers™ spazz out yet again.

Either the Virgin Mary is getting lazy or her artistic skills have gone downhill immensely as the picture to the right shows that her latest appearance on a random object leaves a helluva lot to the imagination. That doesn’t matter to the True Believers™ though as they have started coming out of the woodwork to pray, cry, and make amazingly silly comments to a friggin’ cookie sheet:

Guadalupe Rodriguez, a Pugh Elementary School cafeteria worker, discovered the possible miracle on Ash Wednesday, while scrubbing away the last crumbs from the pizza lunch.

By Friday, a steady stream of people were filing through the southeast Houston front yard of Sylvia Calderon, a PTA member who took in the sheet pan after school leaders decided they couldn’t accommodate the curious crowds.

At dawn, one woman arrived at Calderon’s home in the Denver Harbor neighborhood asking to see the Virgin’s image before her 8-year-old son had surgery. That afternoon another woman came for a blessing bearing a picture of her grandson, who has cerebral palsy.

Scientists call this phenomenon religious pareidolia, when the eye sees religious images in objects such as tree trunks and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Believers say it’s a miracle.

“It was beautiful,” said Angie Bentancur, who left the picture of her grandson beside the sheet pan Friday afternoon.

Yeah there’s nothing more beautiful than stained cookware. Here’s the part that really cracks me up, though, Ms. Rodriguez admits that she had to really look hard to see the Virgin Mary when she first made her “miraculous” discovery:

It was with the last pan, pulled from the cold rinse, that the Virgin appeared, Rodriguez, 59, said.

“I started looking at it, and started looking at it, until I realized it was the Virgin,” she said.

Next time try squinting. That worked well for the Virgin Fence Post.

For believers, there is no doubt about Rodriguez’s discovery. It is a message from God. The find created a logistical problem for school officials. When they got home Wednesday, many pupils who had seen the sheet pan told their parents, many of whom returned to school to see for themselves. Pacay propped up the pan near the lunch line.

The crowds grew to include neighbors, and soon district officials, including Houston Independent School District Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, who agreed the tray had to go somewhere else. That’s when the PTA agreed to take it to Calderon’s house.

“Right now because it is attracting a lot of attention, we just don’t want it in the school,” said Rebecca Suarez, HISD spokeswoman. “But we want to treat it with respect.”

I can’t think of anything funnier to say than that last line about showing a stained cookie sheet proper respect. You can’t make up shit this funny. But it gets better:

Some hope to set up a permanent spot for the baking pan in the neighborhood, where anyone can visit, day or night.

Come one come all and pray to the Miraculous Dirty Baking Sheet!