Get crucified, win the lottery

THE Catholic Church in the Philippines got the hump yesterday when around two dozen Filipinos got themselves nailed to crosses to re-enact the passion for all the “wrong” reasons.

A Filipino getting nailed to a cross at an earlier enactment of the passion

The Church condemned the crucifixions as “self-serving”, as they were done to seek something from God, and “corrupt the message of Christ’s suffering for others”.

One of the participants in the gory Good Friday ritual – which annually draws thousands of spectators to San Fernando, 80 km (50 miles) north of Manila – was Alex Laranang, an illiterate 55-year-old food vendor, who said, before two 5-inch nails were driven into his hands:

I hope the Lord will grant my wish to make me win big in ‘jueteng’ this year.

Jueteng is a popular illegal lottery in the Philippines, and Laranang, a father of five, said he had won 3,000 thousand pesos ($70) twice in the five years he had himself crucified on a cross.

Angel Lagdameo, former head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and archbishop in the central city of Jaro, said:

There’s only one crucifixion that saved mankind.

And Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, spokesman for Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, added:

For us, it is enough for Catholics to observe the church activities from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and comply with the discipline of Lent.

More than 80 percent of the Philippines population are Catholic.

20 responses to “Get crucified, win the lottery”

  1. Broga says:

    Does the man who wants to win the lottery by being crucified also have to buy a lottery ticket? Or is the ticket now irrelevant?

  2. Anon for this post! says:

    A bit Kinky that.

  3. uzza says:

    Hey Barry, would it be all to the good to take your kids to watch this gruesome spectacle? It’s tasteless and bloodthirsty, I’d say.

  4. Don says:

    Could you put me up over Easter?

  5. spirit says:

    It’s unconscionable that there are those who help these idiots.

  6. Barry Duke says:

    Uzza: I think there’s a world of difference between the play-acting of passions like the one staged in Brighton and the very real body-piercing and flagellation antics of Catholics in the Philippines, which health & safety regulations in the UK and – I guess – most other Western countries would never permit. If I had kids I would not allow them to witness the latter spectacle, and would certainly not watch one myself.

  7. Angela_K says:

    I wonder if these loonies force their children to watch this revolting spectacle and tell them “this is what we do to atheists”.

    Another chance for us combine the word religious and idiots.

  8. Marcus says:

    Sorry, folks. This is totally off subject, but, as is increasingly the case these days, I am full of gruff and need to lower my blood pressure by spouting off here.

    This very afternoon I noticed my local pub had a copy of the Daily Fascist Mail on the bar, and in a moment of boredom/madness I picked it up and found, between articles lauding Anne Widdecombe and slagging off immigrants, there was a double-page spread article of eye-watering sanctimony and mind-numbing praise for that twat of a ‘persecuted’ xtian, Colin Atkinson. Who, apparently, has won his battle to display a crucifix in the window of the van he drives for Wakefield District Housing.

    According to the Mail, the poor little bless poppet has been losing sleep with all the stress, has fainted in his doctor’s surgery, has wept frequently (but not where his disabled xtian wife could see, of course), and as a result of all the brouhaha hasn’t been able to get out on the streets for ages to convert other numpties into xtians. (Well, there’s one bit of good that’s come from it all, then.)

    Now, call me old fashioned, but I would put my mortgage on the fact that that all this strain Atkinson has come under will have been as a direct result of those fuckers at the CLC who have used the simple sod as PR tool to further their own agenda. So when the poor bugger goes back to work, and has the piss taken out of him relentlessly for weeks on end, arseholes like Andrea “Minicello” Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, will be sleeping soundly in their beds, happy that they’ve put in a good shift.

    One last thing. What the feck was Wakefield District Housing doing caving in to all this religiot madness? If, like me, you’d like to ask them, feel free to join me by doing so here:

    BTW Where has barriejohn gone?

  9. asquith says:

    Did you also notice that the EDL staged a rally in support of this bellend, based on the Heil’s “reporting”? They can’t have not known what the consequeces would be, perhaps the just didn’t give a fuck.

  10. Daz says:

    Call me squeamish, but even the photo in the article is almost too much for me. I can watch a horror movie, no problem, but that’s a real nail, a real hammer, and a real hand. What a bunch of fuckwits.

    And I’m linking The Streets of Ashkelon again, ’cause it seems even more pertinent on this thread than the one where we we talking SF the other day.

    Regarding ‘persecuted’ Christians, the EDL, et al, is it just me that feels like something’s coming to a head?

  11. Tozza says:

    This tradition really is sick. It was included in the Richard Dawkins “Root of All Evil” programme. Available on Google Video (for a bit longer) at

    This is great example of how missionaries have polluted the minds of uneducated people for the glory of their fake god, or, more likely, for the riches that these people willingly give to the church for the privilege of having their lives dictated by a higher authority.

  12. Pete H says:

    @ Broga,

    I’ve been considering buying Grayling’s Good Book, and have noticed that the reviews seem to split people down the middle (although I do suspect some of the negative views are from religious folks just trying to put people off it).

    I noticed your review on Amazon, and since I know you a bit via here, I’m more likely to take your word for it.

    Convince me it’s worth getting!

  13. MrGronk says:

    At the risk of over-generalising: The Filipinos have a lovely culture, but second only to the Japanese when it comes to epic looniness. It’s said of the Philippines’ Spanish and US heritage, that it was “400 years in a convent, and 50 in a brothel”. No surprises that the place is prone to bouts of weirdness. PJ O’Rourke, back when he was funny, did a great report on the place in which he likened it to a David Lynch bad-dream movie.

  14. tony e says:


    I feel particularly sorry for Colin Atkinson’s workmates.

    I get the impression that he will take this win as a ‘sign’ and start being an even bigger pain in the arse at work by doing the usual stuff i.e leaving tracts of the bible lying about, taking offence at every slight and trying to convert people.

    Wakefield District Housing have given themselves an even bigger headache by backing down to this twat.

  15. Robert Stovold says:

    Crosses can certainly help you win the lottery. You just have tp out them in the correct boxes!

  16. Broga says:

    @Pete H. I won’t mislead you. The truth is that I went overboard on Amazon. There is a poster there who gives atheist/secular books one star. For example he gave not only the Grayling book one star but also Dawkins’ The God Delusion. His tactic seems to be to pull down genuine top rated books like The God Delusion. I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I did, and over rated the Grayling book as a response. This is the only time I have done this, and I shouldn’t, but he just got me on the raw. I shouldn’t have been provoked into responding with fundie tactics.

    The truth is I found The Good Book disappointing. Much as I admire Grayling’s books I think he made a mistake on trying to follow the biblical format. There are there are hundreds of sources from the humanist tradition and thinking in there but the get lost in long narratives and the point and pungency of their sources fade. I would not recommend the book to you.

    Perhaps I could recommend a book which I enjoy and is in a format that makes it accessible, to the point and a pleasure to read. “The Atheist’s Bible: an illustrious collection of irreverent thoughts”. Conceived and edited by Joan Konner, published by Harper Collins in 2007. Here are a couple of examples from a book that quotes from the Greats: Shakespeare, Nietzche, Mark Twain, John Stuart Mill, Dawkins of course, and so many others:

    “God’s only excuse is that he does not exist.” Stendhal.

    “Modest doubt is the beacon of the wise.” Shakespeare

    “Religions are like glow worms: they need darkness in order to shine. A certain degree of general ignorance is the condition for the existence of any religion, the element in which alone it is able to survive.” Schopenhauer.

    Thank you for your confidence in me. I hope this helps. As ever, of course, others may disagree.

  17. tony e says:


    After reading you last post on the amazon book ratings I decided to see if I could spot the reviewer responsible.

    It was not diffiucult, ‘dr dee’ appears to have nothing but contempt for all the atheist books he has allegedly read. He should stick to the bible, rather than broaded his mind.

  18. Broga says:

    @tony e. That’s the one. I suspect he has not read many of the books he marks down. I knew that bloody review of mine would come back to haunt me. I may have had a glass of whisky or two before I wrote it but anyway “dr dee’s” succession of damning words, and attempts at ridicule, about any secular books just got to me.

    Interesting result of examining myself. Here am I, an “aggressive atheist” and without the need for the fantasy god, and I still feel guilt about that review. The fundie reviewer, dr dee, seems entirely happy to produce dishonest reviews about excellent books, and mark them down, merely to lower their rating.

  19. Pete H says:

    Cheers for that recommendation Broga, I will add that book to my wish list.

    I have found it quite common that atheist books always have a few negative reviews very soon after (or sometimes before!) their publication, and have always taken that for what it obviously is – attempts by the “faithful” to scupper books which disagree with their beliefs. Which is rather pathetic.