This isn’t very surprising coming from Geller; she’s made this baseless claim about Hitler before along with other “counter Jihad” bloggers. Truth be told it makes far more sense to blame Christianity for Hitler’s antisemitism. Based on what he wrote he sure sounds like he was a Christian. Also look at the long history of antisemitism in Christian Europe. However, that too would be unjustified as well, given the fact that among other things, many devout Christians opposed the Nazis and were horrified by their racist ideology. This is just another example of demonization of a minority.
With few exceptions, I doubt many aliens would want to be baptized. I do have to give the new pontiff credit though for being open minded enough to accept the fact that they could exist. There was once a time when the church would put you to death for even suggesting that there could be worlds out there other than Earth. Giordano Bruno would be amazed by how much things have changed.
In a quirky morning Mass, the pope used a far-out example of little green Martians seeking Jesus to preach about the church’s inclusiveness.
Is Pope Francis willing to go to extremes to fill the pews? Apparently so, if his latest outreach message is an indication.
Speaking on Monday during the homily at his daily morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta inside Vatican City where he lives, he told his mostly clerical audience that they should keep an open mind to anyone—or anything—seeking God. “If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?” he asked parishioners. “When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way…’”
The evolution-creationism debate has returned to Dayton, Tennessee—the site of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Except this time, the venue is not a courtroom but a Christian college, where faculty members have resigned and students have mounted protests. The issue? Whether Adam and Eve were the progenitors of humanity.
The answer to that question depends upon where one falls on the spectrum of the creationist movement. If someone is a young-earth creationist, they believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. The Earth was created exactly as described in Genesis: Adam and Eve were the first humans and the parents of all humanity, and they lived happily alongside dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden until they disobeyed God and were expelled.
Or, one can be a believer in theistic evolution—a range of views based upon the premise that God used the process of evolution to create all life on earth today. Someone who adheres to this belief might view Adam and Eve as a parable, or believe they were historic figures chosen to represent the rest of humanity before God.
For decades, Bryan College (yes, named for William Jennings Bryan), managed to avoid confronting this issue—that is, until the school’s board of trustees decided to change the institution’s statement of faith.
The truth about homophobia and Christianity (and likely the only fair generalized claim to make about the two) is that they are not mutually inclusive. The fact that many Christians reject homophobia proves the salient point that bigotry is chosen, and not an inherent foundation of faith.
This is true of Islam, of Buddhism, or Christianity, and of faith in general. People are bigots not because they are Christian - they are bigots because they chose to be bigots. Every time another Christian chooses to endorse the self-realization of GLBTI people, he does so by highlighting those who choose to hate, and do so under the auspices of doctrine.
Shaun Dellenty, Alfred Salter Primary School Deputy Head-teacher and founder of the award-winning inclusionforall.co.uk anti-homophobic bullying project will today attend Trinity School in Lewisham to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury; the most Reverend Justin Welby. Trinity School is a strongly Christian school with an inclusive ethos for students of all faiths, in addition to those who have none. The Archbishop will be accompanied by key personnel from Lambeth Palace, the National Palace and the Diocese and Southwark Diocesan Board of Education.
While Welby is making great moves within his church in attacking homophobia- he still has not endorsed SSM:
I have been saving till last one of his least favourite subjects: homosexuality. He is against gay marriage (though he has already done something wise and invited the gay activist Peter Tatchell over to Lambeth Palace for a chat) and presides over the curious church policy that homosexuals in civil partnership can be bishops but they must be celibate. This strikes me as not only unfair but unclear. What does celibate mean? Is holding hands celibate? Is kissing?
In Canada, The United Church’s Moderator has penned an open letter to the GLBTI community (and i suppose allies at large) :
A group that lost its U.S. Supreme Court case over prayer at public meetings said recent comments by a Virginia elected official illustrate the risk of allowing such sectarian invocations.
“The freedom of religion doesn’t mean that every religion has to be heard,” said Al Bedrosian, who sits on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors. “If we allow everything, where do you draw the line?”
The Republican said Monday, after the high court ruled 5-4 that legislative prayer did not violate the constitutional prohibition on government establishment of religion, that he would not vote to allow non-Christians to deliver invocations.
“I think America, pretty much from Founding Fathers on, I think we have to say more or less that we’re a Christian nation with Christian ideology,” Bedrosian said. “If we’re a Christian nation, then I would say that we need to move toward our Christian heritage.”
Those remarks echoed statements he made several years ago in an editorial published in the Roanoke Times, where he described freedom of religion as a “hoax” and claimed “the global warming crowd worships the environment as god, the abortionist has the death of unborn babies as their god, and the homosexuals have sexual freedom as their god.”
“The real battle is keeping the name of Jesus as Lord,” Bedrosian wrote in 2007. “The name Jesus is what makes us a Christian people and a Christian nation. This is why we must continue our heritage as a Christian nation and remove all other gods.”
That’s what Bedrosian intends to do in his position as county supervisor, saying he would reject any request by any non-Christian adherent to deliver a religious or secular invocation.
“I would say no,” Bedrosian said. “That does not infringe on their freedom of religion. The truth is you’re trying to infringe on my right, because I don’t believe that.”
What a Pandora’s box the SCOTUS has opened.
What is so great about this article is not so much that it is bigoted (it is), more so the seemingly complete absence of self-awareness and ability to recognize irony.
Why Islam is a Cult
by Richard Hobbs
A recent article on cults identified the 15 separate traits that the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) identifies as common among cults. According to Michael D. Langone, Ph.D., concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused - some would say brainwashed. The list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group to help determine if it is in fact a cult. Langone states that this list is not a definitive checklist but is an analytical tool to determine if a specific group is a cult.
Studying the 15 traits is informative when considering Islam.
1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
3. Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
12. The group is preoccupied with making money.
13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
15. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
Richard Hobbs is a retired combat infantry officer, professor, and businessman. He has worked, taught, and written in the international arena for over 55 years including the Pentagon, the State Department, and in international operations for a major corporation. His books include Radical Islam at War with the World, Do we want Dhimmitude - third class citizens/salves under Islam - or do we want to be free? It is Our Choice and Death by a Thousand Cuts, Islam, Fiscal Irresponsibility, and other Threats to Destroy America.
My initial reaction to this was, “Seriously? You’re making an issue of an Easter Egg hunt?” First of all, despite its having become part of many Christians’ Easter celebrations, it’s not exactly a religious event as the origins of the symbolism of both the bunny and the colored eggs predate Christianity.
Second, it’s my understanding based on this article an a couple of others that the church didn’t put their name or logo on the flyer, nor was it decorated with any crosses or other religious symbols.
Third, well… I guess don’t really have a third point, I just feel conflicted about it. I understand there are (or have been) Christian groups that target the Dearborn community for various reasons, but this just seems like a nontroversy that probably won’t do anything but (possibly) breed resentment.
Am I way off base? Anyone care to chime in—especially the atheists?
Some Muslim parents are concerned about public schools in Dearborn handing out flyers to all students advertising an Easter egg hunt, saying it violates the principle of church and state separation.
A flyer headlined “Eggstravaganza!” was given to students this week at three elementary schools in the Dearborn Public Schools district, which has a substantial number of Muslim students. The flyer described an April 12 event at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in Dearborn featuring an egg hunt, relay race, and egg toss. It asked students to RSVP “to secure your free spot” and included images of eggs and a bunny.
“It really bothered my two kids,” said parent Majed Moughni, who is Muslim and has two children, ages 7 and 9, in Dearborn elementary schools. “My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools.’ “
Moughni said he’s concerned about “using school teachers paid by public funds … to pass out these flyers that are being distributed by a church. I think that’s a serious violation of separation of church and state.” […]
An 8-year-old girl in Virginia has been told that she can not return to her Christian school because she defied “biblical standards” by looking like a boy.
Doris Thompson told WSET that her granddaughter, Sunnie Kahle, was forced to enroll in public school and has been refused admission for the next school year until she can express the proper gender identity.
“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment,” a letter from Timberlake Christian School’s principal said.
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Christians and Muslims have joined to try to help free millions of men, women and children held in modern-day slavery, forced to work as maids, prostitutes, child soldiers and manual laborers.
The Global Freedom Network launched Monday at the Vatican aims to eradicate slavery by encouraging governments, businesses, educational and faith institutions to rid their supply chains of slave labor.
The initiative is the brainchild of billionaire Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who founded the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 to mobilize a grass-roots movement to end slavery.
Forrest, ranked 270th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, used personal contacts to bring the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church, 85-million strong Anglican Communion and al-Azhar university in Cairo, the world’s foremost seat of Sunni learning, on board with the initiative.
Contrary to the belief in some circles, there is no persecution of Christianity in the United States. But the narrative that there is, based on cases where the Christian majority was not allowed to oppress a minority or to impose itself on to a minority, is still strong. In Akron, Ohio, some ranking church members took it one step further, and asked the local sheriff’s department to stage arrests of their pastors to make a point during their Sunday sermons. But then, the footage of the arrests was posted on the internet as if the arrests were real.