Religion In The News

Christian Cult Claims Barney is Jesus

by Elroy Willis -- July 10, 2000

LOS ANGELES (EAP) -- "Barney is Christ returned," says a growing group of Los Angeles Christians who worship the purple dinosaur. Current figures show the cult has a following of nearly 5,000 and is expanding rather quickly in the Los Angeles area.

"We feel the love and caring that Barney is encouraging is so similar to what Jesus taught, that it's not merely a coincidence, but a divine gift from God," says Ruth Thomas, founder of the Barney Coalition For God. "There's no doubt in my mind that Barney is the reincarnation of Jesus," she said.

Thomas says she had a revelation from God after seeing Barney on television two years ago, and has been preaching and gathering new members to her organization over the past year.

"Barney is proof positive that man and dinosaurs co-existed at one time, and still do, and I believe the dinosaurs were as gentle and loving as Barney," she says.

George Thomas, Ruth's husband of 25 years, says he doesn't agree with his wife, but has given up trying to convince her that she's merely making a big fuss out of the purple dinosaur's popularity.

"I've tried to explain to her that Barney is just a character meant for children, but she refuses to listen," he said in a recent interview. "She keeps saying things about Jesus appealing to children, and I think she has simply confused the two ideas."

Mrs. Thomas has been in contact with several television stations in the Los Angeles area in an attempt to create an adult television program which features Barney as an evangelist, but has yet to receive any interest.

"We'll just have to continue passing out our pamphlets to people at the airport and on street corners for now," she said.


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