Dark Christianity
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Back July 18th, 2005 Forward
dogemperor [userpic]
Moderators wanted

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

Right now, this board is monitored and maintained by [info]seshen and I. She's an excellent mod, but I don't want to saddle her with the sole monitoring of this increasingly busy community when I am out of town. Plus, we're both in the same time zone, which isn't too bad for most things, but leaves this board unwatched overnight.

So, I am soliciting for another moderator. I'd love to have one from Down Under, or perhaps Europe- to cover those 'down' times, but experience trumps location. I want someone who is familiar with this community, and who can be laid back and fair, but who isn't afraid to apply the Stark Fist of Removal or the Troll Hammer if a troublemaker comes along.

If you are interested in applying for this job, please email me at dark_christian (at) comcast dot net.

Tags:
dogemperor [userpic]
Today on Salon.com

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

The online magazine Salon (day pass or subscription required) is starting a four-part series today about an "investigation into the Christian netherworld of "reparative therapy," a disputed practice to convert gays and lesbians into heterosexuals." Sounds interesting. Part One is "Turning off Gays". I'll post links to the follow on segments as they are posted.

Despite their dubious scientific and therapeutic standing, reparative therapy ministries, some of which accept kids and operate like a cross between churches and boot camps, largely function without oversight and licenses.

Not that science or psychiatry have ever been a roadblock to the religious right. In the nation's divisive culture wars, gay issues have proved to be winners for Christian conservatives, who helped power right-wing Republicans into control of two branches of the federal government (the third may soon be in hand). In the last election, gay-marriage bans passed in all 11 states where they were on the ballot.

Religious conservatives are on a mission to ban more than gay marriage. They want to outlaw civil unions giving same-sex partners some of the legal privileges of married heterosexuals, reinstate state sodomy bans, and defeat hate-crimes legislation that would increase penalties for violence against gays. They are also taking their battle to the states. This spring, the Texas House considered a measure that would have banned gays from becoming foster parents. Opponents argued the measure would uproot 3,000 foster kids. It didn't pass.

The Christian right's political agenda rests on its contention that sex is natural only among heterosexual couples. A sexual preference for partners of your own gender is therefore a psychological disorder and a sin. In the words of the Rev. John J. Smid, who left "homosexuality and its entanglements in February of 1984," and is now the executive director of Love in Action International, a reparative therapy group in Memphis, Tenn., people who identify themselves as gay or lesbian are in the hands of the devil: "Satan, working behind the scenes, has succeeded in redefining the meaning of key words, and therefore we only reinforce and strengthen a false identity by calling individuals by a name that does not apply."


Public Eye has an excellent series on the 'ex-gay' ministry, also.

dogemperor [userpic]
Dr. Jeffrey Feldman on the Persecution of Christians in America

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]deridetenebras)

"Chris Matthews filled a room with about 1,500 Evangelical Christians, two Jews and a Muslim. Next, he asked them questions about the separation of church and state, abortion, and morality. [...] We learned that Christians in this country are the victims of widespread discrimination so extreme that the moral foundation of our nation is at risk. [...] Here's a few quick questions I would have posed in the course of this "discussion" if I were Chris Matthews:

Can anyone think of a day in our national calendar when Federal and State offices are closed because of a Christian Holiday?
Can anyone think of one President or Vice President, or any member of the President's cabinet who was a church-going Christian?
Can anyone think of any Christian symbols that are mounted and celebrated in our nation's capital on an annual basis?
Can anyone think of a single town in America where it is safe to attend a Christian church?
Can anyone think of a bookstore in America that sells the Christian Bible or other Christian texts?
Can anyone name a musician--alive or dead--who was allowed to sing songs in public or sell music based on Christian themes?
Can anyone name a single movie in America, popular or unpopular, that was based on a Christian topic and that more than a few people have actually heard of?
Can anyone think of any museum in America that has been courageous enough to display a painting or sculpture that contained Christian imagery?
Can anyone think of a U.S. airline that has not had at least one incident where a passenger was removed from a flight for looking too Christan?
Can anyone name one corporation in America that does not actively prevent its managers from hiring Christian employees?
Can anyone think of any place in America where citizens feel safe enough to wear jewelry that contains Christian symbols?
Can anyone think of a hotel or motel in America that allows Christians to place so much as one Christian Bible in one bedside drawer in one of their rooms?
Can anyone name one part of America where being outwardly Christian is looked upon as a good thing?"


Full Set of Questions Here

dogemperor [userpic]
An example of why mainstream Christians should worry about the dominionists...

...because, well, if Iraq is an example, they don't exactly consider you "Christian" to begin with:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202335.html

(Article on dominionist groups in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East; they are actually targeting the Catholic and Orthodox communities there every bit as much, if not *more*, than the Islamic community)

Included are statements from the Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic church (which is Iraqi's largest Christian church, and affiliated with the Orthodox/Eastern Rite community)--whom has already asked the dominionists to please leave the country and quit trying to convert his parishoners (who are in a denomination that has practiced Christianity since very nearly the time of Christ itself, is regarded (along with the Coptic Church) as being one of the two or three oldest traditions of Christianity itself, and has quite a heritage compared with dominionist groups (that have been around for far less long--the parent denominations of dominionism *only* really within the past 100-150 years (150ish for the Southern Baptists, less than 100 for the various pentecostal denominations like AoG associated with the pentecostal movement)); also, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Iraq has his own statements condemning the dominionists.

Also, understandably, the Moslem leaders (including one of the major Shi'a clerics) are expressing grave concern.

Iraq isn't the only country this is occuring in, by the way; the article also mentions attempts in Jordan and Syria (among other countries) and I do know Israel itself has expressed concern regarding dominionists (between dominionists who are attempting to foment a religious war between Jewish and Moslem populations in the area, dominionists on their own (or working with Jewish-dominionist groups) in plans to "reestablish the Temple", and dominionists promoting "messianic Judaism" who are attempting to convert Jews in Israel to "kosher dominionists"). In fact, in Israel it's gotten so bad there have been efforts in the Knesset to pass laws to crack down on dominionist "messianic Jew" conversionists (http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/j4jlibrary/missiontoisrael.html has info on the one end on how bad the "messianic Jew" evangelism idiocy has gotten with dominionists in Israel, and http://www.religioustolerance.org/news_99nov.htm has info on previous efforts in Israel re antimissionary bills proposed (largely due to dominionists attempting to convert Jews to "messianic Jews")) and many (if not most) countries in the former USSR have passed laws to crack down on missionaries *specifically* because of abuses by dominionists (including, in particular, targeting Eastern Orthodox for conversion); http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=8632&sec=36&cont=7 has a few examples.

In other words...if you're not a dominionist, even if you are in a Christian denomination or are Jewish, they *do not* consider you Christian at all. (In the group I walked away from, Methodists et al were seen as "lukewarm Christians", even Southern Baptists were seen as "lukewarm" because they didn't rant in tongues or "dance in the spirit" in church, and Catholic/Orthodox were seen as "saint-worshippers" and "idol-worshippers") They *will* target people who are already Christian for conversion. If they get in power, they will likely only consider *dominionists* truly Christian.

It's not just a problem for pagans. It's a problem for *everyone*.

dogemperor [userpic]
Defining evangelicism and proselytism

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

It's amazing what one can find on the comments in the blogsphere. Here's a particularly interesting and insightful quote I found on "Frameshop":

This is a quote from a man named John Stott in a christian magazine. Although you may not agree with the subject, I think its worthwhile to note as any other group, we don't all think the same.

The Quote:
"The other word we need to define is proselytism. To proselytize and to evangelize are not synonymous. The best way to distinguish them is to understand proselytism as "unworthy witness." The World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church produced a helpful study document in 1970 titled Common Witness and Proselytism. It identified three aspects of proselytism. Proselytism takes place (1) whenever our motives are unworthy (when our concern is for our glory rather than God's), (2) whenever our methods are unworthy (when we resort to any kind of "physical coercion, moral constraint, or psychological pressure"), and (3) whenever our message is unworthy (whenever we deliberately misrepresent other people's beliefs).

In contrast, to evangelize is (in the words of the Manila Manifesto) "to make an open and honest statement of the gospel, which leaves the hearers entirely free to make up their own minds about it. We wish to be sensitive to those of other faiths, and we reject any approach that seeks to force conversion on them."


Interesting and useful contrast there. Thoughts?

dogemperor [userpic]
Fun with what dominionists and Spamming Idiots have in common

...namely, both have strong connections with MLM and pyramid schemes.

On the end of being victimised by pyramid scheme operators, there have been quite a number of pyramid schemes targeting dominionists (especially those into "word-faith"/"seed offering"/"name it and claim it" theology, which is rather a sort of "spiritual pyramid scheme" in and of itself); in fact, the problem is severe enough that experts in the field term it "affinity fraud":

lots of info on 'Affinity Fraud' targeting dominionists, by dominionists )

At least one promoter of MLM schemes--Amway/Quixtar/Alticor (which itself can be considered a type of affinity fraud, due to heavy targeting of dominionists including AoG)--is a major bankroller of dominionism. Rich DeVos has been listed as a member of the Coalition on National Policy (a dominionist think-tank), and more than a few websites have reported on the fact that DeVos is one of the major bankrollers of dominionist and Christian Reconstructionist groups:

more info on Amway/Dominionism links than you can shake a stick at )

Amway/Quixtar/Alticor itself is considered by most major exit counselors to be a coercive group. In fact, AmWay no longer promotes itself as AmWay but as Alticor *because* there have been so many reports of coercive tactics (occasionally with doses of good old fashioned "name it and claim it"/dominionist coercion). (Alticor is the third name it operated under--it operated formerly under Quixtar, but many walkaways pointed out it was AmWay renamed.)

Info as follows:

Info on Amway as coercive group in and of itself, not to mention the mother of all Affinity Frauds )

Very interestingly, many of the same coercive tactics used in AmWay itself are used in dominionist religious groups (including the AoG, which seems to have many a link with AmWay); shepherding, deception (it is widely acknowledged that AmWay was the original source of the persistent urban legend regarding Procter and Gamble's association with diabolism: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/weekly/aa061098.htm), heavy pressure to recruit and "sell", encouraging "stealth" in selling/prosyletising, etc.

In fact, the internal structure of many dominionist churches *is* in essence a multilevel marketing scheme, especially those churches that have "cell churches" like many megachurches do; a "cell group leader" reports with other leaders, who report with others, up to the pastor himself (http://www.bright.net/~1wayonly/pyramidscheme.html mentions it, ironically). More info below:
Dominionist churches as pyramid schemes? Yup. They call it 'discipling' )

dogemperor [userpic]
Another Story About the "Christian Exodus" to South Carolina

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

From GreenvilleOnline.com:

Frank Janoski, his wife Tammy, and their four children... left Bethlehem, Pa., to be a part of the Christian Exodus.

South Carolina may not be flowing with milk and honey, but it looks like the promised land to the leaders of this group, which hopes to relocate thousands of conservative Christian families like the Janoskis from across America to the Palmetto State.

Their aim: to tip the political scales, which they see as already weighted heavily to the right, further in that direction...

The group is recruiting more pioneers for this journey of faith through its Web site and plans to hold a national conference in Greenville in October, which will include information booths of local real estate agents, employers and private schools -- all the nuts and bolts needed for relocation.

The political strategy is to support candidates, first on the local level -- school boards and county councils -- and then on the state level. The Upstate has been chosen as part of the first phase of the relocation program, with a goal of having 2,500 members in two yet-to-be-named counties by Sept. 30, 2006.

Full Story

dogemperor [userpic]
FRC Marshals Its Forces Against Stem Cell Research

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

Family Research Council (FRC) Action Item:

Tell your Senators to Oppose Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research
July 14, 2005

In the next week or two, the Senate will probably vote on a House passed bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), H.R. 810, that will federally fund research that requires the destruction of human embryos. H.R. 810 will fund research on human embryos that supposedly are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. Instead of promoting the adoption of these human embryos, this bill would require their death.

President Bush is the first president to federally fund human embryonic stem cell research. He determined that such research could be funded so long as the cells had been obtained from embryos on or prior to August 9, 2001. Since then, the government has funded research on over 22 stem cell lines. However, the President's policy does not encourage the further destruction of human embryos.

Just as abortion is currently legal, destroying human embryos is completely legal. The debate is about taxpayer support. Though legal we don't federally fund abortion. Likewise, we should not force US taxpayers to fund research that requires the killing of human embryos. However, H.R. 810 would overturn the Bush policy and create a direct incentive to create and kill human embryos for research with your money.

Contact your Senators and let them know that you strongly oppose H.R. 810 (and its Senate version, S. 471).

Source

dogemperor [userpic]
homosexuality and outer space

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]deridetenebras)

This is an excerpt from a recent sermon made by Rev Willie WIlson, prominent DC minister and executive director of the Millions More March, an event to be held in commemoration of the Million Man March of 1995. Many GLBT groups/individuals who were planning to take part in the event are feeling angry/alienated by his remarks:

We live in a time when our brothers have been so put down, can’t get a job, lot of the sisters making more money than brothers. And it’s creating problems in families. That’s one of the reasons our families’ breaking up. And that’s one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbians. You got to be careful when you say you don’t need no man. I can make it by myself. Well, if you don’t need a man, what’s left? Lesbianism is about to take over our community. [...]

I ain’t homophobic, because everybody in here got something wrong with him. Whoever you point at, you can point at your own self. You got something wrong with your life. But when you get down to this thing, women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain’t real. That thing ain’t got no feeling in it. It ain’t natural. Any time somebody got to slap some grease on your behind, and stick something in you, it’s something wrong with that. Your butt ain’t made for that. You got blood vessels and membranes in your behind. And if you put something unnatural in there, it breaks them all up. No wonder your behind is bleeding. It’s destroying us. Can’t make no connection with a screw and another screw. The Bible says God made them male and female.


Full article here

I'd also like to take a minute to note some other things that "ain't natural" and that our bodies "ain't made for": space flight and flying airplanes in high altitudes

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