Archive for christianity

“I believe in God and God knows I am not a witch.”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by arievergreen

Huffington Post’s African Children Denounced As “Witches” By Christian Pastors is a shocking piece describing the torture children are being subjected to as part of “exorcisms,” as evangelical Christianity grows in popularity in Africa. Tens of thousands of children have been targeted throughout the continent.

“We cannot afford to make enemies of all the churches around here,” [Sam Itauma of the Children’s Rights and Rehabilitation Network] said. “But we know the vast majority of them are involved in the abuse even if their headquarters aren’t aware.”

Once a church has declared them to be witches, the children are exorcised by family, neighbors, and church officials, a process which could involve beatings, starvation, being buried alive or tortured with acid or nails, being set on fire… the list goes on. Many children lose their lives. Read more.

“Her parents said at their trials that they believed healing came from God, and that they never expected Kara to die.”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by arievergreen

Kara Neumann, 11, died in March 2008 surrounded by a prayer group at her family’s home in rural Weston in central Wisconsin. It was later determined she had an undiagnosed, but treatable, form of diabetes. Her parents said at their trials that they believed healing came from God, and that they never expected Kara to die.

But prosecutors countered that the Neumanns recklessly killed their youngest of four children by ignoring obvious symptoms of severe illness as she became too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk. They said the couple had a legal duty to take their daughter to a doctor but relied totally on prayer for healing.

In handing down the sentence, Marathon county circuit court Judge Vincent Howard told the Neumanns they were “very good people, raising their family, who made a bad decision, a reckless decision. God probably works through other people,” he told the parents, “some of them doctors.”

Read the full article here.

Previously: Wis. jury: Father guilty in prayer death case (August 1, 2009)

“He told me that people would think I was immoral.”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by arievergreen

When Vandy Beth Glenn, formerly Glenn Morrison, was summoned to her boss’s office Oct. 16, 2007, she was not prepared for the exchange that followed.

“He asked me if what he had heard was true: did I really intend to come to work as a woman? I told him yes, it was true.”

Glenn, a transgender woman preparing for a sex-change procedure at the time, told ABCNews.com she expected her boss would “do the right thing.”

Instead, Sewell Brumby, legislative counsel for the Georgia General Assembly allegedly told Glenn she was no longer suitable for her job.

“Mr. Brumby told me that people would think I was immoral. He told me I would make other people uncomfortable, just by being myself. He told me that my transition was unacceptable. And over and over, he told me it was inappropriate.”

Then, Brumby fired Glenn.

The proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 3017, is similar to federal sex and disability discrimination laws already on the books. It also includes an exemption for faith-based employers.

Some lawmakers question the extensiveness of exemptions for religious schools and other faith-based employers and wonder whether the law, as written, is too nebulous to be enforced.

Read the rest of the story.

Conservative Bible Revision: “just crazy”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by arievergreen

As if living by one’s interpretation (or one’s leader’s interpretation) of a very old book wasn’t enough, now some folks want to rewrite the book. Scary…

Lo and behold, the Bible has gotten too liberal, according to a group of conservatives. And it needs a little editing.

That’s the inspiration behind the Conservative Bible Project, which seeks to take the text back to its supposed right-wing roots.

So how can the Bible be conservatized? The group has proposed a Wikipedia-like group editing project. Some of the ideas would only bring the translation closer to the original. But others would fundamentally change the text.

Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop; defective translations use the word “comrade” three times as often as “volunteer”; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as “word”, “peace”, and “miracle”.

I wonder what they think “peace” means now? Is it something you have to buy from Halliburton? Read the rest of the article. (Huffington Post)

“He said he was the voice of God on Earth”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by arievergreen

At knifepoint, Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her girlhood bedroom, she said, then led to a secluded mountain campsite, where a self-proclaimed prophet made her his 14-year-old polygamous “wife” in a quickie ceremony.

She testified that her captor raped her three or four times a day and threatened to kill her if she yelled or tried to escape.

“He told me he was a prophet,” Smart said under cross-examination by Mitchell’s lawyer. “He said he was the voice of God on Earth and that he would reign over God’s children until Jesus came.”

But she also said his religious revelations seemed to come only when he wanted something, or when he was trying to calm his wife.

Mitchell’s lawyers maintain he is incompetent and suggested that evidence of his delusions can be found in his religious rambling and writings, including a 27-page manifesto he called “The Book of Emmanuel David Isaiah.”

Smart said he read from the book repeatedly during her captivity, often sang hymns and laced his conversations with religious language. Throughout her captivity, Smart was forced to wear a white, ankle-length robe, a head scarf and two veils across her face.

Read the rest

Many Women Targeted by Faith Leaders, Survey Says

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by arievergreen

One in every 33 women who attend worship services regularly has been the target of sexual advances by a religious leader, a survey released Wednesday says.

The study, by Baylor University researchers, found that the problem is so pervasive that it almost certainly involves a wide range of denominations, religious traditions and leaders.

Carolyn Waterstradt, 42, a graduate student who lives in the Midwest, said she was coerced into a sexual relationship with a married minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for 18 months. He had been her pastor for a decade, she said, and told her the relationship was ordained by God.

Garland said, “when you put it with a spiritual leader or moral leader, you’ve really added a power that we typically don’t think about in secular society — which is that this person speaks for God and interprets God for people. And that really adds a power.”

Read the rest

The Nightmare of Christianity

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by arievergreen

Max Blumenthal, writing for the Nation, describes how a young man went from being oppressed as a young Christian, to rebellion via various occult traditions, to murder and suicide. The media played a part in blaming his violence on his beliefs during his rebellious phase, while avoiding or glossing over the crucial role his earlier brainwashing played in eroding his mental health. This story is three pages long, and well worth the read.

A few miles down the road from Colorado Springs [a home to James Dobson’s Focus on the Family], in the quiet bedroom community of Eldredge, a deeply disturbed young man named Matthew Murray followed the unfolding debacle at New Life Church [once under the stewardship of Pastor Ted Haggard] with an interest that bordered on obsession. Murray, a sallow-faced, bespectacled 24-year-old, had been indelibly scarred by a lifetime of psychological abuse at the hands of his charismatic Pentecostal parents. Murray’s mind became crowded with thoughts of death, destruction, and the killings he would soon carry out in the name of avenging what he called his “nightmare of Christianity.”

Read the rest and leave comments. What do you think will happen with the many kids being raised the same way Murray was?