Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
A hive of inactivity

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Penance Bubble Wrap

penance with pain
  [vote for,

I know very little about the business of being a Catholic, but like all religions, its madness and mumbo jumbo rituals are simultaneously interesting, repetitive, laughable, ridiculous, revolting, joyful, attractive, repulsive, boring and mesmerising.

One of Catholicism's defining features is the carrying out of a penance following an act of confession. This penance usually involves the repetition of a certain number of Hail Marys. Until now, the priest had no way of verifying if these had been really carried out, which is why I'm approaching the Vatican with the idea of creating lengths of Blessed Penance Bubble Wrap.

Penance Bubble Wrap will be given out by the priest in carefully controlled amounts so that the number of bubbles to be burst exactly matches the required Hail Mary count. These of course are not ordinary bubbles, as each one takes the form of a miniature sacred heart that encloses a single thorn attached to the sealed backing sheet and pointing upwards.

When the bubble is burst at the end of a Hail Mary, the enclosed thorn penetrates the outer covering and pricks the finger or thumb of the penitent, leaving a tiny mark and creating a drop of blood. On completion of the required number of Hail Marys, the bubble wrap, along with the wounded finger or thumb, must be presented to the priest for numerical verification to confirm absolution.

I'm waiting a response from the Vatican before full scale production begins.

xenzag, Nov 18 2020

Emergency faith pack Emergency_20faith_20pack
Shameless elf-promotion [8th of 7, Nov 18 2020]


       Pointless self-inflicted suffering. [+]   

       Could not a mousetrap mechanism also be incorporated into the system ?   

       // the priest had no way of verifying if these had been really carried out, //   

       ... unless they replay the Cockpit Voice recorder.   

8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       (slightly surprised the Catholic church doesn't already do this)

One addition: It's important that the plastic bubblewrap is non-recyclable, so as to create sufficient feelings of guilt in the penitent.
hippo, Nov 18 2020

       Oh no - [Hippo] it doesn't get thrown away after use. In fact, the strips of punctured hearts are put on display to see who managed to get the most blood to flow into their punctured interiors, as they get a special indulgence. (that's like a stay out of Hell forever card, no matter what you've done) I meant to add that detail, but thought someone else would suggest it and wanted to give them the reward of that. Oh it's mine now!
xenzag, Nov 18 2020

       I've never understood the "thou shalt suffer" part of religion (not that I understand any of the rest, either...). Is it the early stage of "die & go to heaven" that most religious (christians, at least) want?
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 18 2020

       // I've never understood the "thou shalt suffer" part of religion //   

       It's simple enough; it's a fiction promulgated by those at the top to explain to the proles why their lives are so dreary and miserable, and convince them not to be discontented and have any sort of aspirations.   

       If you can convince them that they may suffer at the moment, but they'll get something much better ("jam tomorrow ...") after death if they suffer now, they'll go along with things as they are because "at bottom, what most people want is the reassurance that tomorrow is going to be pretty much like today".
8th of 7, Nov 18 2020

       Handling enough pain/suffering might make the other place part of heaven. Imagine the shadows of Ghost giving pleasure or not liking the taste of your spirit.
wjt, Nov 21 2020

       Suffering in religion is the same as the “sunk cost” error made by gamblers. In just the same way as a gambler who is losing will continue to bet, reasoning that their luck ‘must’ change soon and that continuing to gamble is their only way to recoup their losses, so will an adherent to a religion think that, having endured so much suffering already in the name of religion, to reject the religion and “walk away from the table” would make all this suffering meaningless. Just as the gambler is reluctant to stop gambling as this will make their losses real with no prospect of being annulled by the big wins to come, the religious person would rather hold out for the promise of rewards in the afterlife rather than renounce their belief and face up to their pointless suffering. In this way religions use suffering as a tool to keep people ‘on the path’.
hippo, Nov 22 2020

       Agreed. I also think something similar is currently underway in the USA with regard to repeated vote re-counting. I see all of the characteristics of yet another fruit-cake cult being formed. With any luck, they'll end up going down the same road as the Rev Jim Jones.
xenzag, Nov 22 2020

       Yes, many things (religions, cults, Ponzi schemes, MLM, etc.) have the same mechanism, persuading followers to invest in the thing (through money, suffering, time) and making them believe that renouncing the thing would mean that their investment has all been for naught.
hippo, Nov 22 2020

       When governments do that, it's often called the "Concorde syndrome". Having invested so much, they daren't stop, because the public will perceive that the investment already made has been wasted - even though continuing will not deliver "success".   

       It happens a lot with public projects. Private industry often (but far from always) has more sense, and cuts its losses.
8th of 7, Nov 22 2020

       Yes, the difference in the private sector is that it’s much easier to brush a £100m failure under the carpet and not tell shareholders; in the public sector, procurement is more open and these things are very hard to hide - hence, as you say, the Concorde-type behaviour
hippo, Nov 23 2020

       [yet another fruitcake cult] You mean like those ones where all the devotees get to pick the name of the next leader, and then some men in black robes sitting on elevated wooden thrones declare who the next leader is, and everyone has to do what he tells them, and pretend that pieces of paper with pictures of former cult leaders are valuable, and the devotees who don't bring enough offerings of pieces of paper to the cult leaders get told by other men in black robes that they have to be locked up in cages until they repent?
spidermother, Nov 23 2020

       Note - blessing taken away by Vatican :-(
xenzag, Nov 23 2020

       Can nuances of pleasure be seen without experiencing pain?
wjt, Nov 23 2020

       There's a nuance of pleasure in the bursting of the bubble wrap, preceded by anticipation of the pain of the piercing thorn, all of this being resolved by the repetition of "Hail Mary" followed by confirmation of priestly forgiveness.
xenzag, Nov 23 2020

       Can there be a full "stigmata" version of this, including the spear wound in the abdomen ?
8th of 7, Nov 23 2020

       That would be the "rubber ring inner tube with spear" version. It's a special order, but if you promise to video and post the event, we can speed everything up for you.
xenzag, Nov 23 2020

       Absolutely horrible. [+]
Voice, Nov 23 2020

       This has the side-effect of encouraging more sin by letting people pop more bubble-wrap, thus keeping the church employed.
RayfordSteele, Nov 24 2020


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle