Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

Baby Suri is finally making her public debut. Check it out (and get to see a bit of Katie Couric on her debut day):

Recently, I blogged about the website JonStewartisGod.com, (JSiG for short), the homepage for a “religion” based on deifying the popular fake-news anchor. It turns out that, like any religion worth its salt, the Stewartist faith, if I may call it that, is already splintering. Yes, there’s a schism among the faithful over whether to accept fellow anchor Stephen Colbert into the pantheon. The rival Web site www.jonism.com, while confusingly named, accepts both men as saviors, in distinction to the original JSiG. Stewart is known as “His Hostiness” and Colbert as “His Truthiness.” Futher bolstering its sense of inclusion, Jonism declares that regular Daily Show correspondents like Ed Helms, Samantha Bee, and Lewis Black are prophets.

Of the two sites, Jonism is much broader in its scope. In addition to its acceptance of Colbert, Jonists have a “Fake News Heaven and Hell,” to which they consign journalists, pundits, politicians, and lobbyists based on their political affiliation. (Example: Anderson Cooper is in heaven, Ann Coulter in hell). JSiG has a catchy single, but Jonism has a “Relics and Idolatry” page where the faithful can view screencaps and photos of their idols.

In terms of doctrine, though, JSiG definitely has the advantage. They have written their own text about beliefs and practices, whereas Jonism simply reprints one-liners or segments from Stewart’s and Colbert’s shows. One could make the argument that it’s better to hear the Word straight from the deity without human interference, but it never hurts to sprinkle some “thee”s and “thou”s into the liturgy. JSiG also has a much more streamlined and easy-to-read website. Jonism tends to rely too much on bright colors and fancy graphics that make their message harder to read. JSiG uses cool colors that feel soothing and make me want to hand my soul over to a man I’ve never met. And isn’t that what online church is supposed to be all about?

What to make of this schism in Jon-Stewart-based religions? Just as Christianity has its Catholic/Protestant divide, so believers in the spirituality of “The Daily Show” must choose their allegiance. For now, I’m staying neutral in what will surely become an all-out religious war. Forget fake religion. I’m sticking with the fake news.

The Catholic Church has not ever been silent about its non-love affair with Harry Potter & Company. Concerns about the series creating witch-loving children abound. But to say that J.K. Rowling’s beloved series, which has the world’s children reading like never before in recent memory, is satanic? According to Linda Morris, reporting for “The Age” about recent Vatican commentary regarding Mr. Potter, the Vatican’s official exorcist did just that:

The Vatican has never been a fan of Harry Potter, but its chief exorcist has gone one step further and condemned J. K. Rowling’s fictional boy wizard as downright evil.

“Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil,” Father Gabriele Amorth, the Pope’s “caster-out of demons,” said.

The “Potter” books contain many positive references to the satanic arts, falsely drawing a distinction between black and white magic, Father Amorth told the Daily Mail in London. He also said he was convinced that Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler were possessed by the devil.

Comparing Harry Potter to Stalin and Hitler? Give. Me. A. Break.

The only reason to tune in tonight to Fox’s “Standoff“–from a religion-interested point of view, at least–is to get an update on the state of Hollywood’s relationship with Islamic fundamentalism. The show, about a pair of FBI hostage negotiators (Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt) who are also sweet on each other, reveals that we’re in a post-Osama period in which terror is a plot point, not a theme in itself, and a man in a Middle Eastern beanie and a vest of homemade explosives isn’t a vengeful hater of mankind, but maybe just a mixed-up kid with a Mommy problem.

But no one will watch “Standoff” for its cogency, which is already compromised by the notion that even a major city will have two traffic-halting, building-clearing hostage situations in a week. It’s when the fast-talking psychologists turn their mad chatter to romance that the show, debuting tonight after “House,” gets interesting.