(RNS) No, “God’s Not Dead 2” hasn’t been pulled from theaters.
You can’t get a Starbucks coffee at at the Mormon Temple.
And that sign company with products for wedding vendors refusing service to same-sex couples? Not real, either.
Those are just a few of the fake news stories and made-up products floating around the Internet in time for April Fools Day (April 1).
Here’s a round-up of some others:
An Illustrated Leviticus
The Book of Leviticus is full of kid-friendly passages to engage your church’s Vacation Bible School students: God devouring people; skin diseases; lists of unlawful sexual relations.
That’s why the Illustrated Children’s Ministry, which creates coloring posters, illustrations for children’s messages, worship activity sheets for Christian churches and families, joked it had chosen the book for its summer curriculum.
The Star Wars New Testament
“Not of this world, my kingdom is.”
Thus readeth “The Star Wars New Testament: New Yoda Version,” a new translation of the New Testament that renders Jesus’ words in Yodish, the inverted language spoken by Star Wars’ beloved green Jedi master, Yoda. Both Disney, which owns the rights to Star Wars, and HarperCollins, the publisher, denied sending out the amusing press release about it.
It’s probably for the best, considering how convoluted passages like the Golden Rule – “To others do, as have them do to you, you would” – become in Yodish.
And there’s always “William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back.”
Coming to a Communion table near you
“This is my fish, consumed in the flesh. Do this in remembrance of me.”
The Episcopal Church is mixing it up with the addition of fish, also commemorating Jesus’ First Breakfast with the disciples following his resurrection, according to a report from The Episcopal Cafe.
The Episcopal Cafe describes it as a “trial use.” Wink, wink.
Filmmakers pull ‘God’s Not Dead 2’
After reading critical reviews of “God’s Not Dead 2,” filmmakers had to agree, right? A spokesperson released this statement:
Having read criticism after criticism about the stereotypical characters, implausible legal situation, unfair depiction of anyone not clearly Christian, and dubious—indeed, sometimes simply irrelevant—arguments offered by the apologists in the film, Pure Flix has realized that this movie must not be shown.
It’s all just wishful thinking for John Stackhouse, apparently no fan of the popular Christian films, who penned the fake news report on his website.
(Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS)