5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions

Just like everyone's family, pretty much every religion has at least one bit of crazy they never bring up or talk about in public.
5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions

There are 19 major religions in the world, most of which you've never heard of. Within those 19 are a shit ton of subgroups, sects, and denominations, and every one of them thinks theirs is "the one true religion". That's a pretty bold statement. And one that humanity will probably never be able to discuss at the dinner table without family members declaring holy wars and cutting off supplies of mashed potatoes from each other.

I'm intrigued when people pull the whole "I'm right and you're not" shit when it comes to religion. Especially when they try to discredit someone else's on the basis of it being "crazy." Just like everyone's family, pretty much every religion has at least one bit of crazy they never bring up or talk about in public. So before you go throwing stones, calling someone's religion wrong on the grounds of their beliefs being insane, keep in mind that it takes crazy to know crazy. Case in point ...

Catholics and the Holy Prepuce

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions
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When Jesus was a baby, he, like every other Jewish boy, got his dick snipped. But because this was Jesus, his foreskin was way more special than your average foreskin; in fact, people thought it had magic powers. During the Middle Ages, there were numerous claims of people possessing the holy foreskin. At one point there were as many as 18 of them in existence, which would either mean Jesus had 18 penises and was some kind of hentai dick monster, or the foreskin of random non-Jesus babies were being pawned off as the legit wiener flesh of Christ.

For a while, the Holy Prepuce was apparently the gift to give, starting with Charlemagne giving it to Pope Leo III as a disgusting Christmas gift in 800 when the Pope crowned him Emperor. That one got stolen in 1527, because unlike Tickle Me Elmo, this was one popular Christmas gift that never came back in stock. Well, sort of. It was rediscovered in Calcata, Italy in 1557, and was authenticated by the Church's in-house CSI team.

In 1100, Baldwin I of Jerusalem brought a different (but presumably "legit") Jesus foreskin to Palestine during the first crusade. It went missing. Then it reappeared in the early 12th Century, then disappeared. Then re-reappeared in 1856. So either Jesus' foreskin can time travel, or everyone is a liar.

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions

Even Jesus was skeptical about the medical benefits of circumcision.

In 1900, the Vatican declared that anyone who spoke or wrote about the Holy Prepuce would be excommunicated. So then then a priest in Calcata stole it in 1983, because Jesus' foreskin does to men what the One Ring does to Hobbits.

Aside from the repeated coveting and theft of a baby's rotten penis flesh, Catholics as a whole used to be way into this foreskin shit. In fact, January 1st used to be the Feast of the Circumcision, one of the least appetizing dinner party themes featured on Martha Stewart Living. Yet somehow, this is hardly the most disturbing circumcision story ...

Some Jewish Babies Get Horrifying, Bloody Blow Jobs After a Bris

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions

There was once a baby boy who died of herpes, which he contracted during his bris. It's sad and tragic. How did he get it? Oh, because of a twist on the classic orthodox ritual of circumcision. It's called the metzitzah b'peh. It's when the mohel (dick-tip cutter, for those who've never watched Seinfeld) sucks the blood from the incision to cleanse the wound. He doesn't use a crazy straw or a DustBuster, either of which would be much more appropriate. No, he uses his mouth.

That wasn't even the first time it happened in modern-day New York. A mohel named Yitzchok Fischer was banned from performing the procedure after three babies tested positive for herpes (one dying from it) in 2003 and 2004. Despite this, in 2005, Yitzchok was still performing them, and when the city sued him when this was found out, only to later withdraw the suit and pass the matter to a religious tribunal.

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions
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May the combined cuteness powers of these six Golden Retriever puppies wipe that this thought from your mind.

Since 2012, there have been several cases of infants infected with herpes after receiving a metzitzah b'peh, but part of the issue is that ultra-orthodox families keep requesting them regardless of whether their mohel has been banned from performing them. To make matters worse, some parents refuse to tell the authorities the names of the mohels if their babies contract herpes afterwards. Luckily, I've come up with two ways to fix this: 1) stop sucking bloody baby dicks. If that isn't an option, then 2) create a Yelp-style website so families can leave reviews for vampiric penis mohels.

When a Buddhist Monk Dies, His Fellow Monks Feed Him to Vultures

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions
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Tibetan monks are generally considered wise and kind. They dedicate their lives to a search for a deeper meaning, a higher plane of existence, and, if Kung Fu movies are to be trusted, a great deal of asses to kick in a zen-like fashion. But in death, they get straight up cold-blooded.

Buddhists monks believe in something called jhator. It's considered an act of generosity that can only be performed upon death. See, they believe the body is merely a vessel, so when a Tibetan monk dies, his bros chop up his corpse and place it on a mountaintop so his remains can eaten by vultures. Add a ripped viking man wielding a battle ax that's also a guitar and you've got a death metal album cover. Really makes the rest of us look like pussies when we die. We get caked in makeup, stuffed in a box, and put on display like a mannequin at Macy's.


Of course there's already a metal band named Jhator.

Once you get past the initial horror of how it sounds, there was some logic behind it. Due to Tibet's location, cremation is difficult because timber is scarce. Burying people in the ground isn't feasible either, since they cannot dig more than a few centimeters before hitting solid rock. So the whole "generosity" thing was probably a half-baked excuse made up on the spot when they didn't want to sound like dicks trying to explain to foreigners why they turn their homies into stew beef and feed them to birds.

Buddhists aren't the first or only ones to incorporate this method. Zoroastrians used to use something called a Dakhma, or "Tower of Silence," to expose their dead for excarnation. However, the Zoroastrians believed that a corpse demon would rush into the body and contaminate it, so what the fuck do they know?


The Grishneshwar Temple Baby Toss

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions

Maybe it was your dad or your uncle or a mean older brother, but a lot of us had that relative who would toss our baby asses into the air like they just didn't care. It's loving and affectionate, but above that, it's a delicate baby getting tossed like pizza dough. Well, someone out there decided to take that practice, invert it, set it atop a temple, and call it a religious practice. It's the Grishneshwar Temple Baby Toss, and it's fucking insane:

In India, Hindus and Muslims toss babies off a 50-foot tower to be caught by people holding a bed sheet. It looks like they were trying to transport a sheet when, for no reason, there was a literal baby shower, so they performed their civic duty and caught all the babies. I'm not saying that India's high infant mortality rate is a direct result of the Grishneswar Temple baby fling-a-thon, but if chucking a baby off a building is how they jump-start its life, what the hell else does that kid have in store later on?

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions
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A rite of passage for all one-year-olds in India.

State officials are trying to ban the 700-year-old practice, which, for some reason, people believe will ensure their babies will be healthier, happier, and luckier. Though if you survived a 50-foot drop as a baby, how much luck can you possibly have left for the rest of your life? They're using up all that kid's luck in one shot; now they're screwed for life.

Mormons and the Planet Kolob

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions
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Next time people wanna knock Scientology and Xenu, let's just remember that some of you wanted to elect a dude who believes we came from a planet that doesn't exist. According to Mormon scripture, Joseph Smith translated from ancient Egyptian texts that Kolob was where all Mormons will go once they die. It's just like Heaven, but it can be obliterated by an asteroid or be taken over by an malevolent alien race.

Even weirder: Mormon scripture doesn't differentiate between stars and planets, so everything in space is called a star. This means that when Mormons die, their souls either travel the vastness of space to land on a paradise they can call home for all eternity, or they fry forever on the surface of a sun. So due to noun confusion, Mormons can't really be sure if they go to a heavenly place or a fiery, burn-y hellish place when they die.

5 Insane Beliefs of the World's Major Religions
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"We made it to Koloo-aaa-AAAAAAHHHHHHH!"

The Earth was born in Kolob's orbit, before Earth packed its shit and moved to where it is now to get away from all those missionaries on space-bicycles and their damn pamphlets. Kolob is supposedly located at the center of our galaxy, because if you're making a religion, why not make true believers think an entire galaxy revolves around them. That's healthy. But if you want to get all silly and Mormon Bible-y about Kolob's location, there's this: Of all the heavenly bodies out in space, Kolob is the "closest to God's throne," meaning millions upon millions of Mormon souls are basically the Salacious Crumb to God's Jabba.

Aw c'mon, Mormons, you know you wanna laugh. And maybe when you do, you'll sound like this:

For more from Cher follow her on Twitter @thecherness.

And also check out 5 Lessons Fat Albert Should Have Taught Bill Cosby and 4 Ways Oprah Screwed The World (Nobody Ever Calls Her On).

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