Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
...when judged by his deeds, an entirely different picture emerges: Bush does not demonstrate a life of faith by his actions, and neither Methodists, evangelicals, nor fundamentalists can rightly call him brother. In fact, the available evidence raises serious questions about whether Bush is really a Christian at all.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Does the bible need to be literally true in every word in order to be a testament to the life and death of a remarkable man who changed the world? No! It doesn't.Now, my conclusion is quite different: it's time to abandon all religions to history and superstition where they belong. But at least this is one person who has done something to combat Christian extremism, and who, unlike most Christians, is not just sitting idly by.
So why do you hang your hat on that? Of all the really important things that need fixing on Earth, why do you fixate on whether gays can marry, or waste your time saving a woman who really was, it turned out, completely brain-dead? Why do you spend so much time arguing about how God created the universe, when the exact details don't matter? You can pray in school any time you want-- why force it on others? The justice system generally holds the same values as the ten commandments... why do you need it actually spelled out?
Do you think your rabid devotion to insignificant minutia really makes Jesus happy? I think he's probably more interested in you spending that kind of time and energy on helping your fellow man, don't you?
Do you really think God suffers from the same frailties as human beings, and would condemn vast numbers of people to Hell over such tiny details? I think he's much bigger and greater than you give Him credit for. I think He's infinitely more loving than the vengeful monster you hope he is.
It's time to take back Christianity from such insanity.
The rise of religious violence in the form of terrorism and the war on terror has driven some further into their insulated caves of exclusivity (all religions are exclusive, which is why calls for peace and cooperation, such as what this site's author is doing, are futile). But it has also sparked the realization in many that religion is the problem. Everything else is merely ineffectual treatment of surface symptoms. If humanity is ever to truly get along peacably with itself, it must abandon religion. All religions.
Of course, that's not likely to happen.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
It is time to reverse the prevailing notion that religious commitment is intrinsically deserving of respect, and that it should be handled with kid gloves and protected by custom and in some cases law against criticism and ridicule.Boo-yah! A well-written piece.
It is time to refuse to tip-toe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, or any other kind of immunity, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege-endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. It is neither.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The government of Mexico has banned an American lawyer from entering their country after the lawyer sued the country's Roman Catholic Archbishop, claiming he conspired to protect pedophile priests.
The five-year exclusion order was issued in Mexico City against Jeffrey Anderson, known for his many lawsuits against the Catholic Church on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse.
That's nice. Maybe we can set up a Pedo-priest Protection Program, put 'em up in some villa someplace nice, let poor people send their male children to work in the villa, you know? As an added benefit, the glut of priests would help make sure that a high priest-to-sinner ratio is maintained.
"Local groups are springing up all over the place," said Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists. Active groups have grown by about 90 percent over the past six years, she said.
National membership in the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of atheists and agnostics that monitors the separation of church and state, grew from 5,000 in 2004 to 6,400 members by the beginning of 2006, said co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor.
Two University of California at Berkeley sociology professors found that the proportion of Americans with no religion doubled from 1990 to 1998, but has leveled out at 14 percent.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
There's a reason I write about dominionism--not just on the political threat, but the real threat inherent in these groups by virtue of many of the hardline "spiritual warfare" dominionists being in essence abusive Bible-based cults.
I know all too well about the danger these groups present--not just for the country, but for the kids themselves. I in fact live with it everyday.
You see...I was once one of those kids like in "Jesus Camp" myself.
I'm a survivor of the same "Third Wave" (aka "Joel's Army") dominionist movement that spawned the camp depicted in "Jesus Camp". I even remember in my youth attending a day-camp program run by the dominionist church I escaped--one that was very much like "Jesus Camp", in fact.
To this day I have serious issues trusting people and have had to undergo therapy for complex PTSD (yes, kids who grow up in this stuff go through literal shellshock, in some ways worse than Gulf War or Vietnam veterans--because they never had anything "before the war" to go back to), and have socialisation issues to the point people have wondered if I didn't have Asperger's Syndrome.
I've compared the experience of growing up in these groups to something akin to growing up in a pit filled with zombies--all of which are trying to zombify you, and grab onto you as you try to climb out the slick, jagged walls...and that's assuming you decide to at all, because you're taught all your life that even with the horrors in the pit that Outside is Much, Much, Much Worse.
Most of us who've escaped discovered either people "in the pit" were lying about Outside, or we had a caring person from Outside tell us what it's really like (usually kind of a mix of both); more and more, these kids are being isolated from ever having contact with people from Outside till they're well in their twenties or even beyond that.
The problem is that--because dominionism is, at its core, a spiritually abusive movement with political aspirations it isn't that simple at all...because you have to fight the programmed mindset.
I am posting this info in the hope that people--in particular, experts in the psychological field (I know we have at least one on the board!) will be able to give suggestions. I also post this in the hope people realise the difficulty us walkaways have had in getting out--and maybe our success stories will give people hints on how to stop the hijacks from occuring.
One thing that is difficult to explain to people who have never been involved in a coercive religious group is just how people get "stuck in" and refuse to leave.
What people don't tend to realise is that most coercive groups--be they dominionist groups or some other flavour of coercive group (such as Scientology, the Moonies, etc.)--have as part of the coercion in and of itself various "thought stopping" techniques and other forms of coercion that literally prevent the person from questioning the group at all. (In fact, that's how we can define dominionism as a coercive religious movement, especially in its "spiritual warfare" and "premillenarian dispensationalist" flavours.)
Friday, October 13, 2006
The US government has given $10.9 million to Food for the Hungry, a faith-based development organization, to reach deep into the arid mountains of northern Kenya to provide training in hygiene, childhood illnesses, and clean water. The group has brought all that, and something else that increasingly accompanies US-funded aid programs: regular church service and prayer.
Monday, October 9, 2006
George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented:
"While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages."
Barna's results verified findings of earlier polls: that conservative Protestant Christians, on average, have the highest divorce rate, while mainline Christians have a much lower rate. They found some new information as well: that atheists and agnostics have the lowest divorce rate of all.
Ron Barrier, Spokespersonn for American Atheists remarked on these findings with some rather caustic comments against organized religion. He said:
"These findings confirm what I have been saying these last five years. Since Atheist ethics are of a higher caliber than religious morals, it stands to reason that our families would be dedicated more to each other than to some invisible monitor in the sky. With Atheism, women and men are equally responsible for a healthy marriage. There is no room in Atheist ethics for the type of 'submissive' nonsense preached by Baptists and other Christian and/or Jewish groups. Atheists reject, and rightly so, the primitive patriarchal attitudes so prevalent in many religions with respect to marriage."