Christ 'Categorically Denies' Speaking To Lutheran-College Administrator

In This Section

Vol 35 Issue 28

Subject Of Phone Bill Delicately Broached

ATHENS, GA—The subject of a $174.76 phone bill was delicately broached Monday, when Jeff DeSilva, 21, casually asked roommate Chad Morris if he happened to know anyone in Holmdel, NJ. "Say, Neil, don't you have a buddy in New Jersey, like maybe in Holmdel, or some cool place with a 732 area code like that?" DeSilva asked. "Yeah, aren't you still friends with that guy with the goatee who visited here last year who plays guitar and likes to talk for 49 minutes beginning at 10:32 p.m. on July 29?" Morris, who has been negligent in paying his share of phone bills in the past, is believed to have made made five unclaimed phone calls in the past month, including a 71-minute, $13.47 call to Bremerton, WA, right in the middle of the day.

Area Man Purchases The Devil's Advocate On DVD For Some Reason

MILWAUKEE, W—For reasons unknown at press time, Milwaukee resident Keith Randall purchased the DVD of the 1997 Keanu Reeves-Al Pacino film The Devil's Advocate Monday. Randall, 31, reportedly entered a Blockbuster video store and handed a clerk $21.99 in exchange for the film. "I can't claim to know what he was thinking," said Blockbuster employee Gary Nathan, who sold Randall the DVD, which contains 22 minutes of bonus footage and an exclusive interview with Devil's Advocate director Taylor Hackford. "I'm baffled. I could see maybe watching it once on HBO, but this?"

Home-Schooled Student Opens Fire On Breakfast Nook

OCALA, FL—In the latest act of youth violence to shock the nation, 14-year-old home-schooler Jeffrey Kunz opened fire on the family breakfast nook Monday, killing three and injuring two. "We were just about to start Jeffrey's algebra lesson when I heard several loud pops," said Iris Kunz, 44, the assailant's mother/teacher and one of the injured. "But then I saw blood on Jeffrey's sister Melissa and realized someone was shooting." The gun-wielding teen, who was eventually subdued by SWAT-team agents, was said to be angry at his mother over a science grade.

Clinton 'Very Disappointed' In Missouri

WASHINGTON, DC—At a White House press conference Monday, President Clinton expressed "great disappointment" in Missouri after the state ranked 49th in a recent U.S. News & World Report poll of the best states in which to raise children. "I don't know, maybe it's my fault," Clinton said. "I guess for some reason I just expected something better from Missouri." While the full extent of Missouri's punishment has not been decided, Clinton said it can definitely forget about any federal drought-relief funding.

Lone Teen Rebels Against Mandatory-Nametag Policy

SANDPOINT, ID—Despite repeated warnings from management, 17-year-old kitchen steward Matt Mullen continues to rebel against the Sandpointer Resort Hotel's mandatory-nametag policy, kitchen sources reported Tuesday.

Great Strides Made By Pretty Women In The Past Year

PALM SPRINGS, CA—The last year of the century has been an outstanding one for America's pretty women, the president of the National Organization For Pretty Women said Monday during the group's annual convention and spa retreat in Palm Springs.

I'm Taking Cuddliness To A Whole New Level

You've played with other puppies, enjoyed scratching their little heads and rubbing their fuzzy-wuzzy tummies. Heck, you probably thought they were really cute. But what would you say to a cuddliness experience not 100, not 200, but 300 percent better? That's right, folks: I, Cleveland The Puppy, am taking cuddliness to a whole new level.

Giant Undersea Cephalopods Targeted By Pepsi

PURCHASE, NY—In what ad-industry insiders are calling the most ambitious marketing campaign in history, Pepsico launched a $2.8 billion deep-sea research initiative and media blitz Monday, targeting the elusive giant cephalopods believed to inhabit the oceans' farthest unexplored depths.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Advertising

  • Sports Drink Company Putting First Advertisement On Moon

    Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka has announced plans to put their sports drink Pocari Sweat on the moon in a specially equipped container bearing their logo, which, if successful, would be the first time a commercial product has been flown to the mo...

Late Night

Christ 'Categorically Denies' Speaking To Lutheran-College Administrator

ELKHART, IN—Jesus Christ insisted to reporters Monday that He has "absolutely never spoken" to Philip Burkett, rejecting the 48-year-old Lutheran-college administrator's claim of having "a close, personal relationship" with the prominent savior.

Elkhart Lutheran College administrator Philip Burkett, who claims to have spoken to Jesus Christ (inset).

"I categorically deny having had any prior contact whatsoever with Mr. Burkett," said Christ at a press conference called to quell rumors of a Christ-Burkett dialogue. "At no point have I ever conversed with this man."

Christ was responding to remarks published in the July issue of the Elkhart Lutheran College alumni newsletter, in which Burkett said he decided to become the school's Assistant Director of Student Affairs at the urging of the Messiah.

"It was in 1994 that I answered the Lord's call," Burkett wrote. "Since then, I've been here in Elkhart, doing His work."

Burkett, who was an analyst at an Indianapolis marketing firm at the time Christ allegedly spoke to him, said he had been feeling dissatisfied with his career but "just didn't know where to turn."

"It was during the height of my discontent that, following a Sunday service at my church, I quite involuntarily found myself drawn to the bulletin board in the vestry, where a job vacancy was listed for an administrative post at a Lutheran college up in Elkhart," Burkett said. "It was if some inscrutable force was guiding me. I now know it was Jesus Christ, telling me it was time for a change."

Christ denied being anywhere near the Indianapolis church, explaining that he was "speaking to a sickly young boy" in Asunción, Paraguay, at the time of the alleged conversation.

"Just what that 'inscrutable force' was, I cannot tell you," Christ said. "But I do know it was not Me."

"What was his name? Bartlett? Beckett?" Christ asked. "I have a hard time telling those middle-class suburban types apart."

Despite the Messiah's denial, Burkett said he is convinced that the voice he heard was that of Christ.

"Perhaps Christ's insistence that He never spoke to me is His way of testing my faith," Burkett said. "But whatever it is, I still want to give bounteous thanks to God's only son for bringing me more happiness and contentment than I ever dreamed possible."

According to Burkett, additional proof that he had spoken to Christ came shortly after he completed his interview for the administrative position. Still uncertain whether such a radical career change was advisable, Burkett happened to drive past a rural cemetery, where he saw a small, cross-shaped tombstone, before which grew a single white rose.

"It looked just like Luther's Rose, the sacred emblem of Lutheranism. Suddenly, all my doubts fell away," Burkett said. "I am not ashamed to tell you that I had to pull the car over to weep and give thanks, not only because the white rose was Jesus' way of telling me I would get the job, but because I was continuing His work."

Christ called the flower-sighting "a complete coincidence."

"When I first heard that a man in Indiana was claiming I told him to become a Lutheran-college administrator, I was sort of amused," Christ said. "When I speak to someone, I'm used to them having--how shall I put it?--loftier goals than a mid-level administration post. This really isn't the sort of thing I usually bother intervening in."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More