Here is another sign of the times, from The Onion: :
Rock Bottom Loser Entertaining Offers From Several Religions:
"FINDLAY, OH—Local resident Owen Pritchard's recent downward spiral into drug addiction, unemployment, and complete and utter hopelessness has sparked the intense interest of several top world religions, each of which is vying for his services as a devotee, the 39-year-old uncommitted prospective convert reported Monday.
"I've finally reached a point in my life where all the big religions want me," said Pritchard, whose two failed marriages and mounting gambling debts have left him penniless and in a state of blind despair. "Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism—you name it, they've come to me. I have no job, no family, no direction whatsoever. So right now, I'm totally in the driver's seat."
Pritchard has been showered with gifts as the religious institutions attempt to curry favor and sway his decision. He has received a free Book Of Mormon from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a 2008 wall calendar from the Christians, and was even visited at his home by two representatives from the Jehovah's Witnesses, which Pritchard said was flattering, but "came off as a little too desperate."
"The Catholic Church has been wining and dining me," said Pritchard, who was personally invited to attend a spaghetti supper at a local rectory last Tuesday. "If I'm getting free Italian dinners today, just think what they'll give me when I tell them that Islam is promising me lofty mansions, lush gardens, and 4,000 virgin companions in the afterlife. I'll be eating like a king!"
Pritchard has recently visited a number of churches, synagogues, and tabernacles.....
"Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism"
"free Book of Moromon...wallcalendar from the Christians...two representatives from the Jehovah's Witnesses....'Catholic Church has been wining and dining me.... churches, synagogues, and tabernacles...."
You think about the world today, and the kinds of people, in the prisons of Western Europe and North America, and among the psychically marginal (Richard Reid, David Hicks, Jose Padilla, John Walker Lindh, Yvonne Ridley), are converted to Islam, and ask if this story manages, as clever humor of this kind must, the verisimilar?
What's wrong with this picture? You know. I know. Do the writers for The Onion know?