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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 16,014

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Pope John Paul II fast-tracked for sainthood as documents reveal he knew about sex crisis

As the Catholic Church prepares for the canonization of the late popes John Paul II and John XXIII in what is being called a “Popapalooza” on April 27, concern that it may be too soon to elevate John Paul II — given his role in the ongoing child sex abuse scandal — is growing.

On Monday, the Associated Press published excerpts from 212 Vatican documents exposed in the book The Will to Not Know. They mostly concern the Reverend Marcial Maciel, leader of the troubled Order of the Legion of Christ, who possessed “a certain moral lassitude” and lived a life that “wasn’t very pious and at the same time quite comfortable.”

According to the documents, the Vatican knew about Rev. Maciel’s weaknesses beginning in 1948, and was complicit in hiding his crimes from the general public. An October 20, 1976 letter from Rev. Juan Vaca described the “disgrace and moral torment” that began when Rev. Maciel abused him one night in 1949 and listed 20 other Legion of Christ seminarians that Rev. Maciel also sexually abused.

A December 24, 1978 affidavit from another priest, Felix Alarcon, backed Rev. Vaca’s story, and added that “the fact that the drug-related and homosexual activity of the founder could occur for such a long period of time without correction is only a signal of the deeper problem of the congregation itself. The congregation is a ‘cult’ of regimented and indoctrinated followers dependent slavishly on a central dependent-figure.” (CH note: I think his irony meter is broken)


Cardinal defending Hobby Lobby tells female reporter: Women can get birth control at 7-11

Cardinal Timothy Dolan says that Christian businesses like Hobby Lobby should not be forced to obey government rules that require all health care insurance plans provide access to contraceptives because women can already buy birth control at 7-11.

In a interview that aired Sunday on CBS, host Norah O’Donnell asked Dolan where he stood on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.

“I would be inspired by the Hobby Lobby ,” Dolan said. “I think they’re just true Americans. They’re saying, look, the genius of America is that religious convictions affect the way we act… They sure have my admiration.”

“But doesn’t that set a dangerous precedent?” O’Donnell wondered. “If a private company can use religion to deny benefits to its employees?”

Dolan acknowledged that it could be dangerous in extreme circumstances, but he doubted that the Hobby Lobby argument was a detriment to the common good.

“Is the ability to buy contraceptives, that are now widely available — my Lord, all you have to do is walk into a 7-11 or any shop on any street in America and have access to them — is that right to access those and have them paid for, is that such a towering good that it would suffocate the rights of conscience?”


An Easter Blessing

Beloved, let us rejoice, for this is a time of celebration. In the true spirit of this season, let our hearts be gladdened, and let us pray and pay tribute to the deity in whose honor this holiday comes…

…Eastre, the Germanic goddess of spring.

No, no, wait, that’s not right. Let’s try again.

Please forgive our previous silly mistake. As we all well know, beloved, this holiday comes not because of any primitive druidic goddess, but rather in honor of a heroic figure, a true god among men, who was born of a mortal woman and a divine Father. As should be obvious by now, the name of this very special child was…


No – hold on. That can’t be right either.

Of course, of course. The hero of our story, the one whom we have gathered here to thank, was no figure of pagan Greek polytheism. He was a redeemer, one who came to earth to lift up sinful and ignorant humans, knowing full well he would pay the ultimate price for his actions, but willing to go ahead anyway out of love and compassion. As you all know, this blessed Savior was called…


No, no, give us just a minute. We’ll get it right.

We all know full well who is being described here, of course. He is the one, the One, who defeated death itself and rose from the grave, in a miracle that no other would-be savior has ever been able to duplicate. By dramatically displaying his power over death, he proved once and for all that he was the single true god. And his name was…


No, wait. That’s not right either. Of course! What a ridiculous error to make. Our apologies. (more at link)


Should have used a Diamond.

Celebrating Easter? Which Contradicting Biblical Account of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection...

Celebrating Easter? Which Contradicting Biblical Account of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Are You Going to Pick?

Although pre-Christian religions are replete with the stories of dying and rising gods, the Easter tradition is founded in the Bible’s New Testament. Unfortunately for devotees of the Christian faith, the New Testament is replete with irreconcilable discrepancies.

The question is, which contradicting biblical account of Jesus’ death and resurrection are you celebrating this Easter?

Of the nearly 600 irreconcilable discrepancies and contradictions found in the Bible, a majority are found in the New Testament. This is understandable given the books of the New Testament were written no less than 50-100 years after the purported death of Easter’s central character, Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul hadn't even met Jesus, and they hadn’t met the people who had allegedly met Jesus. In other words, the New Testament contains not a single eyewitness testimony, much less even a secondhand account, nor is any account corroborated outside of the Bible.

Without going too far down the theological pathway, Mark, whoever he was, was the first to write a biography of Jesus, some 50 years after the crucifixion. Both Matthew and Luke, whoever they were, copied from Mark’s written account some 20 to 30 years later, each adding their own theological motives with the help of respective external sources, while John wrote his gospel nearly a full half-century after Mark.


Minnesota minister told girls that ‘God’s word’ made raping them normal

Authorities in Minnesota have launched a manhunt for a minister who is facing 59 counts of first-degree sexual assault in cases against girls — called “Maidens” — as young as 13.

The Star Tribune reported that authorities announced on Tuesday that the two women who had come forward with allegations against 59-year-old Victor Barnard, the former minister of a cult-like faith community in central Minnesota, were not the only girls raped by the religious leader.

In a phone interview with the paper, one of the women, Lindsay Tornambe, confirmed the details of charges that were filed in court documents by prosecutors.

Tornambe, now 27, said that she met Barnard at the age of 9 as a part of her parents’ home schooling. At age 11, her family joined the “Shepherd’s Camp.” And then, Barnard chose her to be “sacrificed to God” by raping her at age 13 in 2000.

The rapes continued over the course of nine years.

If I wasn’t being spiritual or following his orders, he wouldn’t have sex with us
,” she recalled. “If we were doing well, it was almost like he rewarded us.”

In the charging documents, the second victim explained how Barnard compared their relationship to Jesus and Mary Magdalene. And he spoke of the concubines of King Solomon. He allegedly told the girls that sex with him was normal because of “God’s word.”


Priests raping kids. Again.

Religious Oregon teens wear ‘Gay Is Not OK’ shirts to school to protest lack of ‘straight day’

small group of Oregon teens have provoked controversy by wearing shirts that read “Gay Is Not OK” and “Gay Day Is Not OK” to their high school.

“I just made it say ‘Gay Day is not OK,’ because I don’t believe that it’s OK,” Oregon City High School student Alex Borho told KPTV.

Borho and some of his friends wore the shirts to school during the National Day of Silence on April 11. The event is intended to bring attention to bullying and harassment targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

“I don’t have a big problem with gay people. It’s just when they start parading around the school about how we have a day of silence for gays, lesbians and transvestites,” Borho told KPTV. “We don’t have a straight day.”

Borho told KATU News that he did not approve of gay people because he was religious.


Religion is such a positive force in the world, right?

Lawsuit reveals teen was groomed as personal sex slave in the Duggar family’s movement

A leading advocate of the patriarchal Quiverfull movement groomed a teenage girl as his “personal sex object” and then used the purity culture to shame her into silence, according to a lawsuit filed by his victim.

Douglas Phillips resigned last year from Vision Forum and Vision Forum Ministries over what he described at the time as an extramarital affair.

But the lawsuit, reported by Right Wing Watch, revealed more details about this relationship and the ways that women are treated in the Quiverfull movement – which has been popularized by the prolific Duggar family and their TLC reality show, 19 Kids and Counting.

Attorneys claim Phillips, a close friend to the Duggar family and an associate of actor Kirk Cameron, “methodically groomed” Lourdes Torres since she was 15 years old and led her to believe they would be married.


Tell me more about how religion is such a positive thing.

Is Religion Inherently Oppressive?

There’s little doubt, outside circles filled with self-delusional reactionaries, that religion is probably the most important force in continuing the oppression of women worldwide. Around the world, various abuses from coerced marriage to domestic violence to restricting reproductive rights are all excused under the banner of religion. More to the point, women’s rights have advanced more quickly in societies that put religion on the backburner, or like the United States, have strict laws separating church and state. But even in the U.S., the main result of the growing power of the religious right is the rollback of reproductive rights and other protections for women’s equality.

Former president Jimmy Carter, who is probably the country’s most prominent liberal Christian, is willing to set aside his enthusiasm for faith to admit this. While doing press promoting his new book A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, Carter told the Guardian that “women are treated more equally in some countries that are atheistic or where governments are strictly separated from religion.”

This isn’t because atheists and secularists have fewer people in their ranks that have ugly and backwards attitudes toward women. It’s because, by never having religion in the discourse about women’s rights in the first place, discourse in secular circles and societies never gets mired in endless, irresolvable debates about what God wants. Instead, secular societies can get straight to the facts and policy debate. When you stop worrying what God wants and start worrying about what people want, it’s much easier to argue that women should have full human rights.
After all, women are half the human race. When everyone is talking about what God supposedly wants, it becomes very easy to forget that ultimately, the issue of women’s rights is about ordinary, everyday men and women and what goes on in their lives.


Carter, like many liberal Christians, is happy to criticize more conservative religious leaders who want to oppress women. Still, it’s hard not to have doubts that Carter’s own devout Christianity might make him less critical than he should be of the role religion plays in the oppression of women. The sticky point when it comes to advocating for a kind of Christian feminism is that the Bible is undeniably sexist. And it’s not just the Old Testament, where women are told they were created from men and told, repeatedly, that they are basically property to be disposed of as men see fit. The New Testament has plenty of verses that should cause feminist eyebrows to shoot up.



Anyone Here Know How To Pray?

Saw this in my FB feed this am and had to share.

As the storm raged, the Captain knew his ship was sinking fast.

He called out, "Anyone here know how to pray?"

One man called out, "Aye, Captain, I know how to pray!"

"Good," said the Captain, "you pray while the rest of us put on our life jackets - we're one short."

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