On Talmudic and fundamentalist approaches to continuity in the Star Trek franchise. Just as St. Paul didn't realize he was founding a religion, D.C. Fontana [writer of several episodes for Star Trek: TOS] didn't know she was setting up 50 subsequent episodes in each script.
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard
." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview
" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf)
that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
Inspired by her father's struggle against fundamentalism in Algeria in the 1990s, Karima Bennoune interviewed hundreds of people of Muslim heritage from dozens of countries who also work for social reform. She hopes their stories will counterbalance oversimplified narratives about majority Muslim nations. Bennoune's website provides an excerpt
from the book, and she is interviewed on Open Democracy (transcript
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
A Michigander questions why an anti-bullying legislation became instead a bully protection tool.
"On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled state senate passed an anti-bullying bill that manages to protect school bullies instead of those they victimize. It accomplishes this impressive feat by allowing students, teachers, and other school employees to claim that 'a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction' justifies their harassment." [more inside]
Freedom to love, tested in Afghanistan.
When Rafi Mohammed, a 17-year-old Tajik
Afghani, met and fell in love with his girlfriend Halima, he did not think about the rage that would erupt in her ethically conservative Hazara
neighborhood, or of the lengths to which the local police and religious leaders would go to protect the couple from an angry mob in a region of Afghanistan which has seen fewer attacks recently
and has been restored to local control. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the violence that ensued, many of the locals have found themselves opposed to the fundamentalists, unwilling to see another pair of young lovers executed, as happened under Taliban rule
""I feel so bad. I just pray that God gives this girl back to me. I'm ready to lose my life. I just want her safe release. . . It’s the heart. When you love somebody, you don’t ask who she is or what she is. You just go for it.”
"A Quiverfull daughter is taught from a young age that her purpose in life is to serve the man whom God has placed in authority over her."
An interview with ex-Quiverfull believer Vyckie Garrison (of NoLongerQuivering
) provides some chilling insight into the lifestyle, fears, motivations, and movers and shakers of the Quiverfull
(also posted at PoliticusUSA
A released FAA investigation describes how in October last year, Senator James Inhofe
(R-OK) deliberately landed his plane on a closed runway, and then caused the plane to "hop" over terrified construction workers and their vehicles. More recently, Senator Inhofe has taken to the Senate floor
in praise of his friend (and friend of C Street
), deposed Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo
Inside C Street–Six Questions for Jeff Sharlet
It’s about the Idea… the monolithic vision of fundamentalism always threatening to subsume the many lowercased ideas that constitute democracy. In Uganda, we see the Idea verging on murder, in the military, we see it gathering force, at C Street we encounter its enduring corruption.
( Jeff Sharlet previously
is a web filter that blocks religious content. It is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual, and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions. When installed properly, GodBlock will test each page that your child visits before it is loaded, looking for passages from holy texts, names of religious figures, and other signs of religious propaganda. If none are found, then your child is allowed to browse freely.
Provoking pro-choice advocates,
Oklahoma passed two highly restrictive abortion laws
on Tuesday. One (rtf file)
requires doctors to show women an ultrasound of their fetus and point out its physical characteristics — even if the patient was impregnated through rape or incest. The second (rtf file)
stipulates that doctors cannot be sued if they decide to lie to an expectant mother regarding her baby's birth defects. A third requires clinics to post signs
telling patients they cannot be forced to have an abortion. The first law prompted
an immediate lawsuit
from Tulsa's only abortion clinic
. [more inside]
LGBT conference forcibly shut down by hardline Islamists.
Last Friday, in Surabaya, Indonesia, a mob of 150 occupied the hotel where an ILGA-Asia conference
was taking place. [more inside]
Back in 2004, the Chicago Tribune published an investigative series
about the state of Islam after 9/11. [more inside]
Jesus Plus Nothing, Minus Somalia:
How the Christian fundamentalism of The Family
(also known as the C Street Fellowship
) turned Somalia into the next staging ground for Islamic radicalism.
The PEW survey
recently released; summarised by Andrew Sullivan
reveals that evangelicals are most likely to approve of torture.
This survey coincides with Harpers May edition lead article ( presently behind a subscription firewall
) extracted here
. The article is by Jeff Sharlet - (previously
: How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history). The two are not unrelated. The division of the world into God's people and Satan's people enabled the Bush Administration
to support the most devilish behavior imaginable, all in the name of righteousness, as shown by General Boykin
then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
Matt Taibbi goes undercover
in one of pastor John Hagee's "Encounter" weekends
. Yes, the Hagee who recently endorsed John McCain. Published in Rolling Stone, and a part of Taibbi's forthcoming book The Great Derangement
Christs, Communists, & Rock 'n' Roll
is an excellent introduction to a tradition of anti-rock writings and recordings by the Religious Right. In the 1960s, there was David Noebel
who wrote Communism, Hypnotism, & the Beatles
and The Marxist Minstrels
. In the early 1970s, Reverend Riblett
constructs a seven-foot cross out of rock music records and sets it aflame with gasoline. Michael Mills finds hidden Satanic messages
in Bow Wow Wow and the Grateful Dead, while Bob Larson valiantly debates
Mandy, a 13-year-old fan of the Cure. The motherlode is probably the cassettes of John Todd
, who traveled the fundamentalist circuit in the 1970s claiming to be a former witch and a member of the Illuminati, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. (more inside)
Science and the Islamic world—The quest for rapprochement.
"Internal causes led to the decline of Islam's scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism. To contribute once again, Muslims must be introspective and ask what went wrong."
Sir Salman Rushdie versus
the Republic of Pakistan
. Rushdie is not one to shy from confrontation (previously
) - he's a grand master of the fine art*
of the literary feud
, sparring with notables including Germaine Greer
, John Updike
, John Le Carre
and (briefly) Martin Amis
My half year in hell...
Foreign exchange students are often deceived
and economically abused
by their hosts, with incidents on the rise
across the US. The CSFES reports often on these horror stories
. Sadly, students are also treated horribly by the US government
, even though academic experts say they are more essential than ever
Is it time to get excited?
Looking at the Rapture News
, I'd say yes! However, the Rapture Index
) remains unchanged. For some
, the timing
is in doubt
The Interpretative Dance Theocrats.
Inspired by Salon's excerpt
from Michelle Goldberg's new book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism
, this handy guide will resolve your confusion over Christian theological jargon. [via]
Who will send this
-er- Apology letter
to us- um
left belowers if all the predispensationalist and milleniest fundies are raptured?
via the awesome growabrain
two teenagers. Their crime? Making love. Homosexuality is a crime under Sharia
law. Meanwhile, newly "liberated" Iraq moves closer to embedding traditional Islamic laws in its new constitution, reducing rights for women
. Will Iraqi gays
be the next to suffer the wrath of "Allah's law" after years of secular oppression under Saddam Hussein?
The legislature is trying to impose its conception of "family values"
on the state by banning spanking. Another case of religious fundamentalists imposing their values on everyone and meddling with individual liberties? Meet the sponsor
(Also see recent non-binding resolution nearby.)
Creationism: God's gift to the ignorant
- Richard Dawkins talks about how the Fundamentalists distort science.
Ethan Acres demonstrates the Rapture. The Reverend Acres
is both a preacher, who wants to "put the fun back into fundamentalism
" (turn the sound down) and an art school graduate
. He will christen your children
if they so desire (and if they are flowers). And he really, really likes Thomas Kinkade
. I just wish I could show you his pigs, but you'll have to go to the library.
April 14, 2005: The Day of Truth.
On April 13th thousands of students will don black-and-red t-shirts and remain quiet for the ninth Day of Silence
in order to "recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment--in effect, the silencing--experienced by LGBT students and their allies." But this year the Alliance Defense Fund
, "a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth [yes, "Truth" is capitalized] through strategy, training, funding, and litigation," plans to add a twist to the occasion by following up with its so called Day of Truth in order to protest the homosexual agenda
and promote their interpretation of Christianity. Though in their "Hostile Questions"
section they claim they're not Day of Silence copycats, in addition to the silent treatment like their DoS foes students who register will receive t-shirts and explanation cards to distribute to inquiring minds, albeit with a slightly altered message.
But will it draw participants? Well, Clint Armstrong can't wait--he staged a protest of his own last year.
Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School? WTF?
That's what I thought when I first read it. I read more and again I said: WTF? This can't be right! So, I looked around a bit and I realised some people had already a different perspective on this.
Christ's Entry Into Washington 2008
is a painting by Joel Pelletier featuring a cast of 121
contemporary characters and a theme of fundamentalism on the march
. The work is modeled after Christ's Entry Into Brussels 1899
, a mural by James Ensor. (via cioran63)
What Jesus Would Do? "...And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died."
Jimmy Swaggart (no stranger to scandal and improper behavior in the past)
is at it again, this time regarding marriage and gays. Maybe he should stay away from Paul Crouch, Trinity Broadcasting Network's head,
currently embroiled in a gay sex scandal. Was Jesus this hypocritical and violent?
Karate for Christ
An inspired blend of Eastern Philosophy and Western Religion or just fundamentalism reaching too far? Also check out Kicks for Christ
and the Christian Martial Arts Association
. This begs the question: if the diciples were ninjas, would Jesus have died on the cross?
The mind of the fundamentalist
(streaming RealAudio) is an hour-long radio show featuring excerpts from talks given at a psychoanalytic psychotherapy conference in Sydney. Three speakers discuss experiences with fundamentalists, and driving factors behind their beliefs. It includes an amazing first-hand account of fundamentalist terrorism by a journalist whos plane was hijacked, and who later tracked down the hijacker and attempted to understand what drove him. The RealAudio-squeamish can find a transcript here
Paul Kurtz on the Enlightenment.
Unfortunately, there has been a massive retreat from Enlightenment ideals in recent years, a return to pre-modern mythologies. There has been a resurgence of fundamentalist religions
worldwide—Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism. Added to this are occult-paranormal claims, which allegedly transcend the existing scientific paradigm.
In the United States—the preeminent scientific-technological-military superpower in the world—significant numbers of Americans have embraced primitive forms of biblical religion. These focus on salvation, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. Evangelical Protestant Christians have made alliances with conservative Roman Catholics and neo-conservative Jews, and they have captured political power—power they have used to oppose secular humanism and naturalism. via the council for secular humanism
An Insider's Look
at the Southern Baptist wing of the Republican party. How religion and politics became so entwined and how fundamentalists took control of a major American denomination.The Southern Baptist fundamentalists conquered their denomination; they have every reason to hope the Bush administration will make over the world in their image.
The separation of church and state, long central to Baptists, is of little interest to the fundamentalists: In 1998, Richard Land, at a strategy meeting with Republicans and members of the religious right, told the Republicans, "No more engagement. We want a wedding ring, we want a ceremony, we want a consummation of the marriage."
in another thread someone asked "What maniac are we creating right now?",
reading this article i this morning - i asked myself the same question. [nytimes]
"The founder of Maon Farm, Yehoshefat Tor, says he still thinks the bombing was a good idea. ''The Torah says we should kill all the Arabs,'' he told me. ''Not just Arabs who maybe help terrorists. Everybody.''"
Name That Fundamentalist!
Is everyone ready for some Friday fun? How about online quizzes today? Here's one where you try to guess which fundamentalist is responsible for a quote. Go ahead, give it a try and post your favorites too!