As kids, we thought we were being funny, and even clever, in repeating the question “When is a door NOT a door ?”, and answering “When it is ajar.”  Now we can ask “When is a painting NOT a painting ?” and answer “When it is . . . PREGNANT !”  No one will get the “joke”, unless they have read the long article on the Net about Our Lady of Guadalupe, from a publication modestly entitled “Infallible Catholic”, dated April 2, 2012.

The article is careful not to call the painting a painting but an “image”, with extraordinary properties, including the fact that “there is no explanation offered by NASA scientists on how the image was imprinted on the Tilma” (capitalized !).  (Sounds a bit like the Shroud of Turin . . .). The article goes on to inform us that “the colors artificially float above the surface of the Tilma at a distance of 3/10ths of a millimeter (1/100th of an inch), without touching it”.  (Hold on : it gets better !).  Curiously, in another paragraph, three experts are said to have discovered “that portions of the face, hands, robe and mantle had been PAINTED in one step”.  (Now wait a minute : is it a painting or isn’t it ?)

Not only did the experts discover that “the Tilma maintains a constant temperature of 36.6° to 37° (98.6° Fahrenheit), the same as the body of a living person, but that “the gynecological measurements of Our Lady’s physical dimensions indicated a woman who is pregnant …  A stethescope was placed below the black band of Our Lady (a sign that she is pregnant) and heard rhythmic repeating heart-beats at 115 beats per minute, the same as that in the natural womb.”  (Note :  I am not making this up.  Google, and check it out yourself !).

Later the article states : “Scientists for the NASA Research Center have concluded extensive tests on the fabric and IMAGE and have discovered no scientific explanation, since the PICTURE is neither PAINTED, dyed or woven” ( Oh !  So it’s not a painting !), but far more important is the fact that “Our Lady’s eyes have been opthalmologically determined to be ALIVE on the Tilma !”  (I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath, if not pour yourself a stiff one.)  “Digital enlargements of the Image (sic) were made and it was discovered that the reflection of Bishop Juan de Zumarraga looking in astonishment could already be seen in the pupil of Mary’s eyes.”  Besides the Bishop, whose own eye “contains the image of Juan Diego opening his Tilma”, the researchers found in Mary’s eyes “the minuscule human image of a bearded man”, as well as the images of all of the thirteen witnesses of the unfolding of the tilma filled with roses and imprinted (!) with the IMAGE of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Like Jesus, as the guests said at Cana, I have kept the best wine till last :  “When the eye of Our Lady is exposed to light, the retina contracts, and when the light is withdrawn, it returns to a dilated state, just as happens with a living eye.” (!!)

The above delirium speaks for itself.  People like Jim, who choose to believe such nonsense, amply justify the purpose of this Blog : to expose just how ridiculous religion can be.  But it also confirms the old wisecrack : “Beauty, like contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.”  We can now add to beauty and contact lenses, credulity.  “Researchers” of the tilma see what they want to see.  Credulous believers believe what they want to believe.

R I D E N D A     R E L I G I O    (LoL) 

“Bona  Festa  !”   Today is the Feast of Mary’s Lift-Off.  There will be fireworks tonight on the beach of Biarritz.  At least they really do go up into the sky.