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Campus sees spike in crucifixions on Unofficial Good Friday

URBANA — The controversial “Unofficial” Good Friday holiday celebrated on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus this past week resulted in irresponsible behavior by students, community members, alumni, and visitors from other campuses.

Despite an emergency action from Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, which didn’t allow cross sales until 10 a.m. on Friday, fifteen people were confirmed dead. The Champaign County Coroner confirmed that the cause of death for all fifteen was crucifixion.

The holiday, founded by local cross store owners to attempt to recoup lost revenue caused by the worldwide decline in crucifixions over the last two millenia, has been quite successful in that quest. Randy Ruckle of Urbana’s Stigmata Sales said, “We couldn’t be more pleased. Cross sales have more than tripled what we’d see on an average Good Friday before the ‘Unofficial’ celebration began in 2008.” Asked about whether he was concerned about the rise in deaths by crucifixion — which is unprecedented elsewhere in the western world — Ruckle replied, “Crosses don’t kill people. People kill people.”

While it’s still not clear why the holiday is called Unofficial Good Friday even though it coincides with the traditional Christian celebration of Good Friday, what is clear is that it’s struck a chord in the community.

Some say that the holiday stereotypes Christians. “Actual Christians don’t behave in such a crazy way on Good Friday, not even in Ireland,” said Natalie Johansen, President of Building Bridges, a Christian student group. “We spend time with our families, pray, and remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. It doesn’t even get this bad in Chicago. Sure, they had a few floggings, but nobody died. Unofficial Good Friday makes caricatures of us.”

But others say that it’s not meant to insult anyone. And it is Biblical. “At least we don’t have students going to classes drunk like that other Unofficial holiday,” said Mitch Maloof, a freshman in LAS.

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