Archive for the ‘christianity’ Tag

After Gay OK, Robertson Supports Episcopal Church’s Demise

After Gay OK, Robertson Supports Episcopal Church’s Demise

After the Episcopal Church OK’d the ordination of gay bishops, televangelist Pat Robertson said he supports the demise of the church.

Robertson’s latest anti-gay comments came Tuesday, the day after the Episcopal Church voted in favor of lifting their three-year moratorium on the consecration of gay bishops. The self-imposed pause was initiated after the church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, Rev. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, in 2003.

Robertson made his remarks while discussing the leadership of the Episcopal Church of America on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club.

“They have lost their way. They were taken over by this controversy having to do with same-sex marriage and the ordination of homosexual bishops. Once they got into that morass and lost their way from scriptural teaching, they didn’t have much denomination left,” Robertson said.

“There is a very vibrant denomination coming along, it is called the American Anglican Church, and thousands of people are moving toward it. It’s amazing that their presiding bishop is from Rwanda. But nevertheless, they are filled with the flame of the Holy Spirit and we congratulate them.”

“And there will be no tears in my life if the Episcopal Church of America just quietly goes out of business,” Robertson added.

We who sowed hate share blame in killing of abortion doctor

We who sowed hate share blame in killing of abortion doctor

My late father and I share part of the blame for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the abortion doctor gunned down on Sunday.

Until I got out of the religious right (in the mid-1980s) and repented of my former hate-filled rhetoric, I was both a leader of the so-called pro-life movement and a part of a Republican Party hate machine masquerading as the moral conscience of America.

In the late 1970s, my father, evangelical pro-life leader Francis Schaeffer, along with Dr. C. Everett Koop (who soon become surgeon general in the Reagan administration) went on the road with me, taking the documentary anti-abortion film series I produced and directed to the evangelical public. The series and companion book eventually brought millions of heretofore nonpolitical evangelical Americans into the anti-abortion crusade.

In the early ’80s, my father followed up with a book that sold over a million copies and which, in certain passages, advocated force if all other methods for rolling back the abortion ruling of Roe v. Wade failed. He compared America and its legalized abortion to Hitler’s Germany and said that whatever tactics would have been morally justified in removing Hitler would be justified in trying to stop abortion. I said the same thing in a best-selling book I wrote.

Like many writers of moral/political/religious theories, my father and I would have been shocked that someone took us at our word, walked into a Lutheran Church and pulled the trigger on an abortionist. But even if the murderer never read Dad’s or my words, we helped create the climate that made this murder likely to happen. In fact, it has happened before. In 1994, Dr. John Bayard Britton and one of his volunteer escorts were shot and killed outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Fla., by Paul Hill, a former minister and an avid follower of my father’s.

Mexico’s death cult protests shrine destruction

Mexico’s death cult protests shrine destruction

MEXICO CITY (AP) — About 200 worshippers marched Sunday to protest the government’s destruction of “Death Saint” shrines, saying Mexico’s fight against drug cartels has veered into religious persecution.

“We are believers, not criminals!” the protesters chanted as they marched from a gritty Mexico City neighborhood to the Metropolitan Cathedral downtown.

At shrines, chapels and small churches across the country, tens of thousands of people worship the Death Saint, which is often depicted as a robe-covered skeleton resembling the Grim Reaper.

It is popular with drug traffickers, and soldiers often find shrines to the saint during raids on cartel safe houses. But in crime-ridden neighborhoods, people of all walks of life believe the “Santa Muerte” protects against violent or untimely deaths. Devotees often use elements of Catholic rites, leaving offerings of candles or praying to the folk saint for protection.

Mexican law enforcement won’t say it is targeting the “Santa Muerte.” But last month, army troops accompanied workers who used back hoes to topple and crush more 30 shrines on a roadway in the city of Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas. Many were elaborate, one-story, marble-clad constructions with electric lighting and statues of the skeletal Death Saint.

95 Theses on the Religious Right

95 Theses on the Religious Right

Here’s something you may not have known or suspected. When I grew up my family went to a conservative Christian church and I subsequently went to a Swedish Baptist college in Minnesota. I recently went back to my home town and was sickened by what became of the family church over the last 20 years. The received view is that the conservative christians have taken over the Republican Party. I think the reverse happened. The right wing of the Republican Party has taken over the church. Nothing could be more clear to me. In a fit of revulsion, and with a nod to Marty Luther, I wrote up the following 95 theses on the relighous right: Download ludlows_95_theses_on_the_religious_right.doc In lieu of nailing it to the door of the Wittenburg Church I’m sending it to you instead. Not exactly the same thing, I realize. I’m not saying I’m a believer and I’m not saying I’m not, but I am saying that what has happened to the fundamentalist church is revolting.

Note: linked article contains excerpts from the theses.

Texas Rep. Leo Berman: let the Institute for Creation Research grant masters degrees

Texas State Representative Leo Berman has proposed a bill which would allow the Institute for Creation Research – a creationist think tank – to issue academic qualifications:

A Texas legislator is waging a war of biblical proportions against the science and education communities in the Lone Star State as he fights for a bill that would allow a private school that teaches creationism to grant a Master of Science degree in the subject.

State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) proposed House Bill 2800 when he learned that The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), a private institution that specializes in the education and research of biblical creationism, was not able to receive a certificate of authority from Texas’ Higher Education Coordinating Board to grant Master of Science degrees.

Berman’s bill would allow private, non-profit educational institutions to be exempt from the board’s authority.

“If you don’t take any federal funds, if you don’t take any state funds, you can do a lot more than some business that does take state funding or federal funding,” Berman says. “Why should you be regulated if you don’t take any state or federal funding?”

HB 2800 does not specifically name ICR; it would allow any institution that meets its criteria to be exempt from the board’s authority. But Berman says ICR was the inspiration for the bill because he feels creationism is as scientific as evolution and should be granted equal weight in the educational community.

“I don’t believe I came from a salamander that crawled out of a swamp millions of years ago,” Berman told FOXNews.com. “I do believe in creationism. I do believe there are gaps in evolution.

The bill in question can be found here.

See Bad Astronomy for more info.

All God’s children: Life in the Quiverfull movement

All God’s children

Vyckie Garrison wasn’t sure she wanted to use her real name in this article. Until last year, Garrison (then Vyckie Bennett), a 43-year-old single mother of seven living in Norfolk, Neb., followed a fundamentalist pronatalist theology known as Quiverfull. Shunning all forms of birth control, Quiverfull women accept as many children as God gives them as a demonstration of their radical faith and obedience as well as a means to advance his kingdom: winning the country for Christ by having more children than their adversaries. This self-proclaimed “patriarchy” movement, which likely numbers in the tens of thousands but which is growing exponentially, bases its arguments on Psalm 127: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They shall not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Quiverfull women commonly give birth to families of eight, 10 and 12 children, or more.

[…]

But there’s a lot more to the Quiverfull conviction than you see on the Duggars’ folksy show. In 1985, homeschooling leader Mary Pride wrote a foundational text for Quiverfull, “The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality.” The book argued that family planning is a slippery slope, creating a “contraceptive mentality” that leads to abortion, and that feminism is incompatible with Christianity. As an antidote, Pride told Christians to reject women’s liberation in exchange for the principles of submissive wifehood and prolific stay-at-home motherhood. The core ideology was a direct contradiction of Roe v. Wade: Women’s bodies and lives did not belong to them, but to God and his plans for Christian revival.

Belfast museum faces legal battle over Darwin exhibition

Belfast museum faces legal battle over Darwin exhibition

The Ulster Museum in Belfast faces a legal challenge unless it stages a creationist exhibition as a counter to its forthcoming series on Charles Darwin, a Democratic Unionist member of the Northern Ireland assembly warned today.

Forty-eight hours after the DUP’s Northern Ireland environment minister, Sammy Wilson, railed against the idea that climate change is man-made, his party colleague Mervyn Storey has threatened legal action against the museum over its promotion of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The North Antrim DUP assembly member called this morning for an “alternative exhibition” promoting creationism to be staged alongside one planned for the Ulster Museum in Belfast this year.

Storey, a born-again Christian advocate of creationism and so-called intelligent design, said that as the museum in Belfast’s university district was publicly funded it should be subject to the province’s equality legislation.

Church of England Synod votes for BNP membership ban

Church of England Synod votes for BNP membership ban

The General Synod of the Church of England has voted overwhelmingly to back a motion calling for a prohibition on clergy and senior staff being members of the far-right British National Party.

The BNP is seen as one of a range of extreme groups sanctioning dangerous and racist policies, and has tried in the recent past to put on a Christian front.

Previously, Church of England and other church leaders have explicitly called for voters to shun the BNP during recent elections.

The motion was brought by Metropolitan Police civilian worker Vasantha Gnanadoss from the multiracial Diocese of Southwark, which covers south London and east Surrey.

It calls on bishops to formulate a comparable policy to the Association of Chief Police Officers’ ban on police membership of the BNP – and was backed by former Met commissioner Sir Ian Blair, himself an active Anglican.

Ms Gnanadoss said passing the motion would make it “much more difficult” for the BNP or other similar organisations to exploit the claim that they had support within the Church of England.

She added: “If supporting organisations like the BNP is inconsistent with Christian discipleship, it seems obvious that clergy and others who speak for the Church should not be members.”

ASA rules against Christian Voice over HPV ad

Christian Voice is a conservative lobby group famous for, among other things, an unhealthy obsession with other peoples’ sexuality and protesting against Jerry Springer: The Opera. Last year they funded an advert in the New Statesman which included the following claim:

VIOLENT CRIME – SOWING AND REAPING
There is a Biblical principle that we reap what we sow. It applies to nations as well as to individuals. What politicians sow, the people reap. When politicians sow evil, the people reap misery, and the poorest reap it the worst.

The Divorce Reform Act 1969 and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 introduced divorce on demand and no-fault settlements. The ease with which Parliament said marriages could break up sowed the idea that the promises made in marriage did not matter. The people have reaped a covenant-breaking mentality in which being divorced against your will or any kind of justice is taken for granted and the sum of human misery is increased.

Around that time, the state began to encourage teenagers to have sex with the only moral message being to use a condom. That resulted in profits to manufacturers and an explosion of teenage pregnancy. Now we have the disaster of teenage infertility. Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it, but as all the targets revolve around pregnancy, no-one in power cares about those young people they have made sterile.

Subsequently, a complaint was lodged with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), pointing out that the HPV vaccine has not been shown to cause infertility, and that as such, the advert was making a false claim. Christian Voice, for their part, responded to the complaint:

The officials demanded ‘robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers’, missing the point that it is the encouragement of promiscuity in Government teen sex initiatives which spreads the infections which do the damage, not the vaccine itself.

Their draft ruling says: ‘the claim “Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it [teenage infertility]” was a statement of fact that was capable of substantiation.’ Christian Voice say requiring the substantiation of a future prediction in an opinion piece is preposterous and an infringement of freedom of speech.

Apparently, being asked to back up a scientific claim is “preposterous” to these folks. Oh goody – just the people we want advising the world on reproductive health. Naturally.

The ASA has now ruled on the complaint, noting:

Assessment
Upheld

The ASA noted Christian Voice’s response. We considered, however, that the claim “Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it [teenage infertility]” was a statement of fact that was a matter open to substantiation. We noted the webpage submitted by Christian Voice, but we did not consider that that webpage in itself was sufficient to support the claim. Because we had not seen robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Principles), 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

Action
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Christian Voice not to repeat the implied claim that the HPV vaccine would result in teenage infertility.

pwned.

Pope gesture to traditionalists outrages Jews

Pope gesture to traditionalists outrages Jews

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict’s rehabilitation of four traditionalist bishops may heal one festering Catholic wound at the expense of opening a wider one with Jews because one of the prelates is a Holocaust denier.

The four bishops re-admitted to the Church over the weekend lead the far-right Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which has about 600,000 members and rejects modernisations of Roman Catholic worship and doctrine.

One of the four, the British-born Richard Williamson, has made statements denying the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews, as accepted by mainstream historians.

In comments to Swedish television broadcast on Wednesday and widely available on the Internet, Williamson said “I believe there were no gas chambers” and only up to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, instead of 6 million.