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dogemperor [userpic]
The so-called intelligent design

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

From an Australian newspaper: http://smh.com.au/news/opinion/how-design-supporters-insult-gods-intelligence/2005/11/14/1131951095200.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

How design supporters insult God's intelligence
November 15, 2005

The idea of a supreme being who leaves creation to chance does not sit well with some Christians, writes Neil Ormerod.

INTELLIGENT design has become the latest hot topic in the increasingly blurred distinction between secular and sacred in Australian society. It has received qualified support from the federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, and is being promoted within some Christian schools as an acceptable "scientific" alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution. Yet intelligent design is based on a misunderstanding of God's relationship to creation.

Much depends on what its proponents mean by the term "intelligent design". If they mean that the universe as a whole displays a profound intelligibility through which one might argue philosophically that the existence of God is manifest, their position is very traditional.

However, if by intelligent design they mean that God is an explanation for the normal course of events which would otherwise lack scientific explanation, then this is opposed to a traditional Christian understanding of divine transcendence. In seeking to save a place for God within the creation process, the promoters of intelligent design reduce God to the level of what the early theologian Thomas Aquinas would call a "secondary cause".

Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Chavez Moves Against US Preachers


BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4336660.stm

Chavez moves against US preachers - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he is about to expel a US missionary group, New Tribes Mission.

The leftist leader said the group were "imperialists" and that he felt "ashamed" at their presence in indigenous areas of Venezuela.

He accused the Florida-based group of making unauthorised flights and setting up luxurious camps amid poverty.

New Tribes, which preaches to non-Christian indigenous peoples, said it had no immediate comment.

It is one of Latin America's biggest missionary organisations and has 3,200 workers and operates in 17 countries, with operations in West Africa and South-East Asia too.Read More... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Bush: "I'm driven with a mission from God."

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

I'm new here but thought this merited posting:

[Palestinian Foreign Minister] Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"


dogemperor [userpic]


Hi, I'm Anna. I'm from Wellington, NZ and have been lurking for a while, first time post etc etc. I've previously been involved in campaigning against NZ's very own quasi-fascist dominionists, Destiny Church, which is partly why I'm interested in keeping track of these things.

Anyway, I just had to post this one. Never has the phrase "I don't know whether to laugh or cry" felt so accurate.

'This is the first movie they've enjoyed since The Passion of the Christ. This is The Passion of the Penguins.'


Current Mood: scared
dogemperor [userpic]
Interesting ramifications...


September 14, 2005

... )
So why, you might ask, did the Ontario government, that politically correct legislature, consider a proposal to accept Sharia law? It cited the cause of multiculturalism.

In 1991, the Ontario government passed the Ontario Arbitration Act, which allowed Jews and Christians to take civil and marital cases before religious arbitration. Rabbis could then adjudicate fights over inheritances and priests over disputes between parishes. Muslim groups in Ontario, quite understandably, wanted the same rights.

Ontario had thus backed itself into a corner. It was forced to either undo the Arbitration Act or give Muslims the same latitude as Jewish and Christian mediators. In fact, the discussion about including Sharia law brought protests from Orthodox Jewish women who claimed the Arbitration Act took away some of their rights. ... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Finnish TV drops U.S. televangelist's show after call to assassinate Chavez


'The only Christian TV channel in Finland said Thursday it will stop airing shows by American televangelist Pat Robertson because of his call to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

'The channel said its purpose was to spread a Christian message, not indulge in politics.

"It's sad that a leading Christian figure makes these kinds of statements," said the channel's executive, Martti Ojares. "The American style of mixing politics and Christian faith is also foreign to Finnish culture." '

dogemperor [userpic]
Fundamentalism: Exporting to schools across the world NOW!


I read this in the national (New Zealand) news this morning. I can only hope that our school system proves to be more resistant to the Christian argument than has been evidenced in the states:

Creationism in classroom row

A Christian lobby group has sent 500 kits about intelligent design - the idea that a higher being created life - to NZ state schools, sparking debate about whether schools should teach creationism. read more... )

I'm just angered that they're lobbying our schools at all...

dogemperor [userpic]
'Intelligent Design'

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

LOL- I didn't expect to be posting here very often, but here's another thing from 'The Age' (Melbourne newspaper). Evidently, our Education Minister Brendan Nelson (famous for raising our HECS fees - ie. the amount we pay for courses, subsidised by the government, and also introducing legislation to make Student Unionism voluntary- meaning most students won't pay, and we'll lose the majority of our services), has decided that it will be fine to teach intelligent design as part of school syllabus.

INtelligent Design an Option

This is what I meant by the influence of American politics on Australia, given that it seems to be following from similar calls (and decisions) in the States. I don't have a huge stance against teaching 'intelligent design', just so long as it is taught within the Religous Studies syllabus, not that of Science.

dogemperor [userpic]
Hi from Australia :D

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

I found this site after reading Sunfell's livejournal, and even though I'm living in Australia I can easily see the relevance to our own country, both as part of the 'Coalition of the Willing' and as a country which is clearly following in America's footsteps in terms of seeing a resurgence in the religous Right.

Originally we had one key party that was involved in politics and was extremely blatant about its ties (the CDP- Christian Democratic Party- famous for declaring that Muslim women shouldn't wear chadors as they could be 'carrying weapons of mass destruction under them'), however they represented a very small portion of the vote. Recently we have seen Family First gain a seat in our Senate which has secured the balance of power for our Liberal givernment. This is frightening in many ways, as it means that they can pass whatever legislation they please with no effective check (unless Senators cross the floor). They don't run on an explicitly 'Christian' platform, however when you explore their documents and speeches it becomes frighteningly clear where they are headed. Two of the most famous incidents include a member stating 'lesbians are witches and should be burned at the stake' and one of their actual politicians proclaiming that Asylum Seekers held in detention should be released so long as they converted into Christianity (because, one assumes, they won't be terrorists anymore after that).

Given the close ties between America and Australia, and also my increasing exposure to this kind of politics, I'm really interested in learning more about what's going on and seeing the connections.


dogemperor [userpic]
"Christ commands us to be their voice."


A NYT article about Christian pressure on North Korea:

Christian Groups Press Bush About North Korea

MIDLAND, Tex., Aug. 8 - Tens of thousands of fans of all ages gathered over the weekend for the annual three-day Rock the Desert Christian music festival screamed for hit bands like Mercy Me and Pillar and kicked Hacky Sacks by a creek renamed the Jordan River and a small pond called the Dead Sea.

Between the Prayer Tent and an abstinence-promotion booth, however, worshipful revelers also stumbled into a more sobering pavilion, the North Korea Genocide Exhibit.

Inside, Kang Chol Hwan, a North Korean defector recently summoned to meet President Bush, signed copies of his memoir of 10 years in a prison camp. Drawings by defectors depicted the torture of North Korean Christians. A video, available free on DVD, showed shaky, grainy footage of two public executions.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
This chilled my blood

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

This is what dominionists would love to see, simply so they can have the sick, spiteful pleasure of saying "see, we were right and you were wrong, neener neener!" to everybody that they hate. This is why *everyone* MUST work together to stop them asap.

Poll says many Americans think a third world war is likely Article inside )

dogemperor [userpic]
Interesting reports

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

...on the BBC's World Service tonight. I saw two reports, back to back: The first was on African Christians who are using ritual abuse against young children who are accused of witchcraft (!). The second was on African refugees in places such as Erie, PA, and how they face dwindling resources and some amount of local persecution.

I can't help but think the two are connected somehow. At the very least, it's not unthinkable that American churches, which historically have aided in assisting the world's persecuted to come to the US and be free, are now turning a deaf ear and blind eye to Africa. Thoughts? Can anyone find either of these reports on the Beeb's website (http://www.bbc.co.uk)?

dogemperor [userpic]
Showing that (Sadly) dominionism is not a problem restricted to the US

Australia also has a growing problem with dominionists, and in fact, from dominionist groups that may sound very familiar to US readers.

Family First (http://www.familyfirst.org.au) is a political party in Australia that, like dominionist groups (such as Focus on the Family) here in the States, practices "stealth dominionism" in claiming publically that it is merely a party focusing on "family concerns".

The truth is that Family First was founded by multiple heads of the Australian branch of the Assemblies of God and is increasingly regarded as a de facto political wing of the AoG in Australia (a bit of backgrounder; generally the AoG is the biggest non-Catholic/non-Anglican church in Australia, certainly the largest pentecostal one by far).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_First_Party has info (pro and con) on this particular dominionist group.

http://www.abc.net.au/central/stories/s1218591.htm has a commentary from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, including statements by a member related to "deliverance ministry" as practiced within the group/denomination (specifically telling people to tear down liquor stores/beer stores and Moslem mosques to "pull down Satan's strongholds").

http://www.crikey.com.au/articles/2004/09/21-0001.html has information ergarding the links between Family First and AoG (and further firming up the fact that it is in fact de facto a political wing of the denomination).

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/10/15/1097784045621.html also has another report on the group, including a telling statement where the public face slips and the "private face" shows:

Fielding is not the only one to be gagged: all hopefuls were disendorsed as party candidates after the election to prevent them speaking on behalf of Family First. Harris admits the decision was partly due to the conduct of some representatives during the poll campaign.

A volunteer was disciplined for answering "yes" when asked whether Family First backed lesbians being burned to death.

(In my experience, at least in the group I walked away from...yes, they would have supported lesbians being burned to death, and a lot more people besides :P More info on the particular quote in question: http://atheism.about.com/b/a/117359.htm)

The AoG has a history of dominionist activity in the US that is quite well documented (known AoG associated dominionists in the US government include ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft, the main advisor on religious issues to George W Bush, and Admiral Boykin; as far as dominionist orgs themselves, many local branches of dominionist groups like AFA are in effect run by persons in AoG churches) and the church itself is a heavy practitioner of "deliverance ministry"--a form of dominionism that states that everything outside the church group is infested with demons (and all ills are the result of demonic influence) and that people must "take dominion over Satan" and "tear down Satan's strongholds" in all areas including takeover of the government--dominionism and the prevailing "demon haunted world", especially in AoG churches practicing "Third Wave"/"Brownsville/Pensacola" type theology, are very much two sides of the same helix). John Ashcroft, interestingly, was an example of how this is often done in practice (both in his political views and his "eccentricities" such as annointing areas with Wesson oil and covering up Lady Justice's boobies). The AoG also has a known history of "stealth evangelism" and in fact considers it completely acceptable and desirable. (For the record, I am a walkaway from an AoG church, so I do know of what I speak.)

The AoG has also, almost since its inception, heavily targeted other countries--especially in South Korea and in Australia. Australia in particular has given press regarding scandals among AoG churches, many involving involuntary exorcisms and diversion of funds. In fact, many exit counselors in Australia are beginning to consider the AoG in and of itself a coercive group (which would fit the experiences of myself and other walkaways from that denomination). (http://www.geocities.com/hotsprings/3658/ has a good page on this in general) This is something that the US has exported to Oz, and they are having to deal with it as a result...

Interestingly, there are indications of at least sympathies betwen the Australian dominionists and the American ones (aside from the AoG being heavily involved in both): http://au.messages.yahoo.com/news/top-stories/17610/ Howard, the present PM of Australia, is also heavily influenced by dominionists including Family First (see article below); furthermore, Family First has stated publically that American dominionists are whom they take example from (http://neovox.cortland.edu/vox/vox_100/vox_100.html) and at least one documentary has commented on the "heavily American flavour" of Family First (http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/article.php?sid=1175)

There's also evidence they're (much like the dominionist groups that are heavily AoG and Southern Baptist influenced here in the US) using explicitly sectarian tests for things like refugee status: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/apr2005/refu-a04_prn.shtml (And people WONDER why I say Oz is *NOT* an option for people who may need to make refugee plans in the event the dominionists *do* take over completely.)

Anyways, this is posted to show that the same people who are causing the problem in the US are now trying to cause similar problems for other countries, and that it is NOT a problem of the US alone. Countries *IN GENERAL* and people *in general* are going to need to take much more of a proactive stance to make sure people like this never get *in* office, and also to make sure regulations are passed and *enforced* to make sure the crossing of religious and political lines doesn't happen. We do *not* need a "Christian Taliban" in Oz or the US.

It's also interesting how the same usual suspects seem to be responsible :P (Now *tell* me again that I'm exaggerating?)

dogemperor [userpic]
...and for once, justice is done (even among the horrid news out of the UK)

Buried in the headlines (for obvious reasons, and my deepest sympathies and well wishes go out to those in the UK)...


Three people who are apparently part of a dominionist church (targeting African-British nationals) have been convicted of child abuse for the torture of an eight year old child in attempted exorcisms. (Among other things, they claimed she was a witch.)

Info on the specific background (which IS dominionist, in fact can be tied to dominionist churches in the US who have targeted Africa to "claim dominion over the demons in darkest Africa") is at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4596127.stm

The UK is looking into a specific taskforce in regards to religiously-motivated child abuse, including "death by exorcism", due to the increasing number of complaints of child abuse involving dominionist churches in the UK practicing "deliverance ministry" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4607773.stm)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4602543.stm also has more info on the kid's ordeal.

(As some backgrounder/aside:

I have posted this in part to show that dominionism/"deliverance ministry" is *not* a problem that is restricted to the US alone, but to many countries worldwide. Among other things, Australia has a specific dominionist political party that is, for all intents and purposes, a political wing of the AoG ("Family First", http://www.familyfirst.org.au/) which is increasingly the subject of controversy in Oz.

Much of the blame for the rise in African-British abuse cases is *directly* attributable to dominionist groups here in the US--the AoG, and other pentecostal denominations that support dominionism, have been targeting countries outside the US heavily, and have had the most success in Africa, South Korea and Australia (which have the least regulations, incidentially, on monitoring of churches for abuse; often in African cases, they also claim to build schools and whatnot, but teach an explicitly dominionist platform).

"Deliverance ministry" (as practiced in the US) *already* has a belief that everything outside of the church is demonic and that everything outside the church has active possession by devils; in the case of Korea and Africa, this has sort of meshed with preexisting belief in witchcraft (or, more properly, is compatible enough with existing beliefs in witchcraft).

I will note that, again in the specific case of African and Korean dominionists, they are cross-pollinating with the US "deliverance ministry" folks (cref Paul Cho, who may have been the ultimate source of the whole "Toronto"/"Brownsville"/"Third Wave" madness--and who started it in an AoG church in the fifties in Seoul, South Korea). Not that the preexisting "deliverance ministry" stuff isn't scary enough, mind...

Anyways, now dominionist thought (in regards to "deliverance ministry"--trust me, the two are related; "deliverance ministry" *is by definition* dominionism, as part of the basic theology of "deliverance ministry" claims one must "take dominion of things away from Satan") is being imported to the UK, and the UK is starting to see the same problems as the US, Canada and Oz have seen for a while regarding child abuse and dominionism.

In other words--EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THE US, DO NOT THINK DOMINIONISM IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM. More than likely, it *is*, but it's not as developed in the US. (Oz and several countries in Africa are probably closest to having a US-scale dominionist problem, by the way. In fact, in the case of at least one African country (Uganda)...they have a homegrown dominionist group called the Army of the Lord that steals kids to use them as child soldiers. :()

As another direct aside, relating to the problem of dominionism and "deliverance ministry" in the US--much of the reason that the Convention on the Rights of the Child has never been ratified by the US is *because* of pressure by dominionist parents who wish to use "all methods biblically mandated" to "discipline" their child or otherwise raise claims of "being able to raise my child as I see fit according to my own religion". This doesn't just include legally being able to beat the kid with the "chastising rods" sold in dominionist parenting mags...but also sending kids to places like Love In Action, and being legally allowed to perform involuntary exorcisms on kids.

This is something that hits personally at home to me--I was unable to escape my situation as a kid because legal authorities in the US, by and large, do not yet recognise religiously-motivated abuse or religious abuse as a form of child abuse (partly from pressure by dominionist groups). I lived in fear for most of my life as a walkaway (and in fact still do to an extent, which is why my folks generally do NOT know I am a walkaway or transsexual, nor of my own religious beliefs) of involuntary exorcisms of this sort. I'm glad to see the British are being more sensible.)

I will post a separate post on the Australian dominionist party "Family First" (really, it behooves us all to know this is NOT a US-only problem).

dogemperor [userpic]
Surprised? You'd better not be...


I don't think any of us here can really be surprised by the findings of this poll; what folks might find interesting is how the US stacks up compared to the rest of the world... like those 'Cheese-Eating Surrender-Monkeys', France:

A nation under God: US tops religious poll

Religious devotion sets the United States apart from some of its closest allies.

Americans profess unquestioning belief in God and support mixing faith and politics at much higher rates than people in other countries, a poll has found.

Respondents in Western Europe, where Pope Benedict XVI has complained that growing secularism has left churches unfilled on Sundays, were the least devout among the countries surveyed.

Only Mexicans come close to Americans in embracing faith, among 10 countries polled for Associated Press by Ipsos. Unlike Americans, Mexicans strongly object to clergy lobbying lawmakers, in line with Mexico's historic opposition to church influence.

The polling was conducted last month in the US, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea and Spain.

Nearly all US respondents said faith was important to them and only 2 per cent said they did not believe in God. Almost 40 per cent said religious leaders should try to sway policymakers. "Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian policies and religious leaders have an obligation to speak out on public policy, otherwise they're wimps," said David Black, a retiree from Pennsylvania, who was polled.

By contrast, 85 per cent of French objected to clergy activism. France has strict curbs on public religious expression and, according to the poll, one of the largest shares of atheists: 19 per cent, equalled only by South Korea. Read more... )

Source: Stuff.co.nz

Current Mood: contemplative
dogemperor [userpic]
Purgatory Without End


The Economist asks, "Why is America so prone to wars of religion?"

IN 1782, a French immigrant named Hector St John de Crèvecoeur predicted that America was destined to be a much more secular place than Europe. In America “religious indifference” was rapidly becoming the rule, and “the strict modes of Christianity as practised in Europe” were being lost. “Persecution, religious pride, the love of contradiction, are the food of what the world commonly calls religion,” he argued. In America, their absence meant that religious passion “burns away in the open air, and consumes without effect.”

Suffice to say that de Crèvecoeur has not found a place alongside Alexis de Tocqueville as an anatomist of the American soul. In Europe religion doesn't rise to the level of burning away “in the open air”; in fact, it barely smoulders. Most European politicians would rather talk about sexually transmitted diseases than their own faith in God. The hugely bulky European constitution doesn't mention Christianity.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
The Revealer: Destination Christian Nation


The Revealer asks if Europe should be worried about Evangelical politics in the US. The answer is yes. Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Not just a US Phenomenon


Readers of this community may be interested that Christian fundamentalism intruding into 'state' and citizen matters may not be a phenomenon limited solely to the United States. In an article from 'The Fundy Post' titled Who Watches the Watchers? it has been revealed that website filtering software endorsed by the NZ government actually can be traced back to The American Family Association:

Last Monday afternoon, a student at Takapuna Grammar School wanted to look at the anarchist website www.infoshop.org on one of his school's computers, as he had done several times before. This time, however, he found access to the site was blocked by software installed by the school and provided by a company called Watchdog...(Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
The Role of Religion in the Deep South

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

A BBC News correspondence visits Mississippi and encounters both the darker and lighter sides of American evangelical Christianity. I continue to find Western European perspectives on America and Americans very interesting.

dogemperor [userpic]
BBC: The role of religion in the Deep South

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

BBC reporter Justin Webb travels to Mississippi:

On the radio the so-called family Christian station was explaining why God invented women and the Devil invented feminism.

So far, so predictable. But a visit to Mississippi in 2005 provides a reminder that while religion has motivated all manner of charlatans and creeps in American life and still does, it is also the primary motivation for many of those who genuinely do good and are not collecting money or condemning other people's vice. [...]

A couple of highly motivated evangelical Christians have built a personal relationship unthinkable in even the recent past and are now significantly improving the lives of mainly black 16- and 17-year-old murderers and rapists - people the rest of the nation is happy to lock up and forget.

Read the whole article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4521721.stm

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