Archive for economics

Scientology: The Tom Cruise Edition

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2009 by arievergreen

Gawker has been running some scary stories about Scientology lately, all connected to Tom Cruise. It sounds like the recent revelations from high-profile defectors are making serious litigation a real possibility.

Links roundup: What’s up, religion?

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by arievergreen

I’ve been saving these ones up – stories of ordinary people who are subjected to oppression for religious reasons. (And several of them resist successfully!) Isn’t religion supposed to improve our quality of life, not destroy it?

“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.

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)

Iran’s Theocracy Implodes

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2009 by arievergreen

Khomeini then used his personal popularity and revolutionary authority to install an absolutism centered on velayat-e faqih or guardianship of Islamic jurists headed by an autocratic supreme leader. The current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei follows the tenets of his late teacher, regarding himself as God’s singular representative on Earth. To a growing number of Iranians, however, religious fundamentalism is a luxury they can no longer afford. Half of them are under the age of 40 with no ideological connection to the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Their difficulties and desires of life take precedence over doctrine and dogma. At least 12 percent of adults are unemployed. An inflation rate of about 20 percent saps their meager purchasing power. They face a housing shortage. They are frustrated as well by 30 years of sociopolitical repression impinging on all aspects of daily life in the name of religion.

Read the rest

Nickel and Dimed

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

[University of Georgia historian Bethany Moreton, author of “To Serve God and Wal-Mart] offers more novel observations about the lure of Wal-Mart. She explains, for example, how the company invoked the fundamentalist Christian teachings embraced by many of its employees to fashion a working environment that induced them to work contentedly for low wages and paltry benefits.

Read the rest