Tag Archives | Religion

Shamanism as Spiritual Blackmail

PIC: David Revjoy (cc)

PIC: David Revjoy (cc)

Trigger Warning: The authors are evangelical Christians. John Ankerberg and John Weldon write at the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute:

The phenomenon of spiritistic intimidation is common to all categories of occult­ism. Thus, shamans who are “chosen” by the spirits as “healers” must either submit to the spirits or become ill, or even die.

The person called to be a shaman must learn to shamanize, that is, must take his powerful experiences and find a way to share the power with his people. If he does not shamanize, he will become ill again and may die, for the shaman is called to a certain kind of life, and if he does not lead it properly, his power will turn against him and kill him.[1]

In other words, to the spirits, human life is cheap. If their chosen host will not obey their wishes, they will destroy it and find another.

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Children’s Ministry Rents Billboard Advertising With Adolf Hitler

Blake Hooper via twitter

Blake Hooper via twitter

Life Savers Ministry (Trigger warning: Music auto-play embedded in site.) looks like a diverse, racially-inclusive organization ministering to children from all walks of life, but particularly those living in the projects. By all appearances, founder James Anderegg is involved with the ministry and knows the children it serves. So what went wrong? What led the organization to use a quote from Adolf Hitler, and one associated with the Hitler Youth, no less? Anderegg hasn’t really offered much in the way of explanation except to say that he probably should have quoted Hoover instead.

A billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Ala., features five smiling kids beneath a quote from Adolf Hitler: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

According to Lamar Advertising’s Montgomery office, the billboard was rented out by Life Savers Ministries, based in Opelika, Ala.

Hitler’s quote traces back to his speeches of the ’30s, and has historically been tied to the Nazi youth programs.

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American Family Association Terrified By USPS Harvey Milk Stamp

PIC: Daniel Nicoletta (CC)

PIC: Daniel Nicoletta (CC)

In a statement released last week (“A drag queen was behind USPS Harvey Milk stamp“) the American Family Association instructed its membership to refuse delivery of mail stamped with the new commemorative Harvey Milk stamp (I had no idea that there even was one. Thanks, AFA!), and if given them at the post office to ask for a United States flag stamp instead.

Choosing a stamp is your choice, and you can of course use it for anything, like sending a certified letter . You know: the kind that requires a signature. For only a couple of dollars more, you can receive an email that the letter was received and a copy of the individual’s signature - all for less than $6. (If you need to use that form, start over again with your own zip code.)

If you want to send a letter to the American Family Association expressing your feelings regarding this and other actions taken on behalf of you and your family, you may do so at the following address.… Read the rest

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Federal Appeals Court Rules ‘In God We Trust’ On Currency Doesn’t Violate First Amendment

cm-b-2A challenge of the invidious use of a religious motto on U.S. coins and currency taken by intrepid secular litigator Michael Newdow on behalf of many plaintiffs, including the Freedom From Religion Foundation and many of its members, was ruled against by a 3-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York today.

Primary plaintiff in Newdow v. The Congress of the United States, was Rosalyn Newdow, a member of FFRF and a devoted numismatist who collected coins for 40 years, but has felt obligated to stop purchasing coin sets which exclude her and all nonbelievers.

“It’s necessary to remind not just the courts but the public that ‘In God We Trust’ is a Johnny-come-lately motto adopted at the height of the Cold War. It was only officially required on all currency in 1955,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.

“It’s not even an accurate motto. To be accurate, it would have to say, ‘In God Some of Us Trust,’ and wouldn’t that be silly?” she said, pointing out that today nonbelievers are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S.

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Virginia County Board: Followers Of ‘Pre-Christian Deities’ Forbidden To Deliver Opening Prayers

PIC: Baal (PD)

PIC: Baal (PD)

Well, there goes my benediction to Baal. On the bright side, the county’s recognition of the gods of Wicca as Pre-Christian Deities does give Wiccans some legal ammo to use against those who claim that their religion was made up whole-cloth by Gerald Gardner. Also, I’m assuming deities contemporaneous with Christianity are just fine, so grab your Pope cards and take the next flight to Chesterfield, Subgenii: These folks clearly need “Bob” and his redeeming message of Slack.

County officials in Virginia have apparently violated the constitution by designating which religious leaders can deliver prayers before public meetings, according to the state’s American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU sent a letter Thursday to the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, which had limited opening prayers to ordained leaders of monotheistic religions.

“The First Amendment requires governing bodies to allow everyone the chance to deliver prayers before official meetings,” said the Rev.

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Beliefs In Ghosts And Gods Might Be Based In Early Evolution Of Brain

Caveman_8

PIC: PD

The Nature Spirits told me to share this with you.

Notions of gods arise in all human societies, from all powerful and all-knowing deities to simple forest spirits. A recent method of examining religious thought and behaviour links their ubiquity and the similarity of our beliefs to the ways in which human mental processes were adapted for survival in prehistoric times. It rests on a couple of observations about human psychology. First, when an event happens, we tend to assume that a living thing caused it. In other words, we assume agency behind that event. If you think of the sorts of events that might have happened in prehistoric times, it’s easy to see why a bias towards agency would be useful. A rustling of a bush or the snapping of a twig could be due to wind. But far better to assume it’s a lion and run away.

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The Hobby Lobby-Sponsored School Curriculum: Feminism Originated In The Bible

Holy BibleThe Freedom From Religion Foundation just released its finding regarding the Bible-based curriculum that the president of Hobby Lobby is trying to push into schools.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) in Madison, Wisconsin requested a copy of the course materials from Mr. Green, who has yet to respond. The FFRF has managed to look at a copy of the textbook for the course and has found a number of problems with it, all of which are related in various ways to the four principles above.

First, a hallmark of academic study of any topic is a willingness to adopt a critical attitude. Any question is valid so long as it is directly related to the topic. The Green textbook treats all events that the Bible describes as historically accurate. There are parts of the Bible that historians can confirm with independent evidence, but the Green text offers specific artifacts of biblical events as only remaining to be found, such as Noah’s ark, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Holy Grail (apparently without reference to Monty Python) when no serious scholar thinks the related events really happened or expects ever actually to find any of the objects in question.

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Harvard University to Hold Satanic Black Mass on Monday

Ninth-Gate-Satan-RitualHarvard University, one of the most well-respected Ivy League schools in the world, has responded to rumors that they would be hosting a Black Mass performed by the Satanic Temple on Monday. As it turns out, they weren’t rumors at all.

The idea that Ivy League students have sinister pacts with the devil is usually the stuff of b-movies, but on Monday, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club will play host to a Black Mass, a ritual meant to invoke Satan while desecrating the Catholic sacrament, usually through stabbing, crushing, or sexually defiling a communion wafer.

As you can imagine, religious groups are completely freaking out about it, even prompting the Archdiocese of Boston to issue a statement asking Harvard to shut down the event. Still, Harvard says that while they might not personally agree with the views expressed by student clubs, they “support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely”.… Read the rest

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