Feòrag: December 2002 Archives

December 31, 2002

No case against Harry Potter

The Russian Prosecutor's Office has announced that it will not be pursuing a case against the publisher of the Harry Potter books.

The city Prosecutor's Office has looked into a complaint filed by the chairman of the Tarussa office of the International Foundation of Slavic Writing. The foundation maintained that the book entitled "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by Joanne Kathleen Rowling instilled religious extremism and prompted students to join religious organizations of Satanist followers. The probe revealed that there were no grounds for a criminal case, the Prosecutor's Office said.

Prosecutor's Office refuses to launch case against Harry Potter publishers - Interfax, 31st December 2002.

December 30, 2002

Happy Birthday

This online version of the Pagan Prattle has been going a year today. I hope to unveil some exciting changes in the next few days.

More Christian ritual abuse

A minister in Ayr has been charged with assault over allegations that he belted children as young as three. Rev. Martin Trench, of the River Ministry Christian Fellowship Evangelical Church, does not deny abusing his children, but insists he has committed no crime becuase it's an essential part of his Christian religion. Trench is a fine example of Christian leadership--divorced, he lives with his second wife, a lingerie shop manager. When the Sunday Mail made enquiries, he was not very communicative:

Yesterday Mr Trench denied the allegations. He said: That would be my ex-wife who put you on to this. The details are exaggerated greatly. My solicitor has told me not to make any statement. A friend of Mr Trench's said: He feels he has done nothing wrong. He was acting as a good parent and a good Christian.

Minister: It's Christian to belt boy of three. - Sunday Mail, 29th December 2002.

December 29, 2002

Ah, diddums.

United Kingdom: The laws governing charities are strict, and one of the most important is that charities are not allowed to engage in political campaigning. How sad it is then, to hear that barking mad fundies, the Christian Institute are the subject of a Charities Commission investigation and could lose their tax-exempt status.

The Christian Institute, an evangelical think-tank, produced thousands of anti-gay adoption cards bearing the legend: 'In the event of my death, I do not want my children to be adopted by homosexuals.' They were published last spring when the House of Lords was debating whether to amend the Adoption and Children Bill to allow unmarried and gay couples to adopt children - a move designed to help find homes for the 60,000 children in local authority care - which the Lords finally approved last month.

The initial complaint was made by the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association who objected to money raised by a tax exepmt charity being used to promote plain, straightforward bigotry.

Gays hit back at charity on right to adoptThe Observer, 29th December 2002; Charity Commission Questions Christian Group over Anti-Gay Adoption Card.GALHA Press Release, 15th December 2002.

December 26, 2002

Pot, kettle, very dark colour.

Israel: A newspaper is engaging in a little bit of historical revisionism of its own while it challenges claims made by some Muslims:

Pro Palestinian spokespeople play bait-and-switch on the charge of Jew-hatred as the motivating factor behind suicide bombings with sanctimonious stock lectures on Christian complicity in the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews... Nazism was not Christian but neo-Pagan...

This might come as a surprise to one A. Hitler, who remained a communicant member of the Roman Catholic Church until his death. The Freedom From Religion Foundation web site includes an interesting essay on Hitler's Religion by Anne Nicol Gaylor, which contains some interesting quotes from the man himself:

You will find it in Mein Kampf.- Therefore, I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work.

Hitler said it again at a Nazi Christmas celebration in 1926: Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews . . . The work that Christ started but could not finish, I--Adolf Hitler--will conclude.

In a Reichstag speech in 1938, Hitler again echoed the religious origins of his crusade. I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord's work.

Hitler regarded himself as a Catholic until he died. I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so, he told Gerhard Engel, one of his generals, in 1941.

Odd words for a Neopagan to come out with. Himmler on the other hand... Hitler and the Palestinian Arabs - Arutz Sheva, 26th December 2002.

Don't have a cow

You have a problem. You are Hindu, and your religion demands that you sanctify your place of worship by splattering it with cow dung and water. But, you are a sophisticated, city-dwelling Hindu and cow poo, no matter how holy it might be, well, stinks. Cows tend to be a little thin on the ground, too. Well, a company in Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh has just the product for you--specially processed cow shit, mixed with camphor, turmeric and sandalwood to give it a more acceptable odour.

I used to avoid cow dung because of its bad odour, one young housewife said. But this holy cow dung does not smell that bad and now I do not have any problem to apply it at home before the rituals.

The manufacturers also point out that their cow crap has anti-fungal properties and plan to export it for use by Hindus all over the world. Dairy farm making a packet from cow dung - SMH.com.au, 26th December 2002 (via New World Disorder).

Bargain of the Day: Christian tattoos

The Bible prohibits proper tattoos but has nothing to say about the stick-on variety, hence this auction for BRIGHT RELIGIOUS TATTOOS!!!!!!!L@@K 4 DOZ.

Hi what you are bidding on is 48 temporary tattoos that you could use for sunday school, awana, etc. These are really cute and would be fun for the kids. Thanks for looking and be sure to check out my other kid friendly auctions.

So I did. The same seller also offers a ROLL OF BIBLE VERSE STICKERS!! 100 ON ROLL!!: - a roll of cute stickers that have verse references on them Like John 3:16 etc..

December 25, 2002

Sssssssso careless

Passengers on a commuter minibus in Kenya were surprised when an elderly woman removed her clothing and complained that her snaked had gone missing. The snake was to be used in a ritual to ensure that her brother won a local election. Passengers' shock as poll ritual snake slithers out - Daily Nation, 25th December 2002.

Bargain of the Day: Anti-Satan exorcism

We all know that Christmas is nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with the Winter Solstice, so why not protect yourself from the evils of the season with this Exorcism Against Satan (for use by laity)?


This prayer to St. Michael will cost you $5 (US) right now.

December 24, 2002

Get religion - and a divorce.

A Methodist-led week of spiritual cleansing in Fiji did not go according to plan when it resulted in the break-up of three marriages, with several others now on the rocks as a result.

The cleansing which reportedly took place at a village in Bau, Tailevu two weeks ago saw couples confessing about things they felt guilty about, to a reverend. Some men confessed to having affairs with other women in the village while their wives confessed to having affairs with other men. As a result, three married couples split after the confessions and their children are now living with relatives. The villagers are talking about the confessions on a daily basis and how their lives have been affected. One villager who was interviewed said she was shocked at the number of extra marital affairs happening in the village, considering it had a population of less than 70 people.

Marriages break-up after 'cleansing' - Fiji Live, 24th December 2002.

Harry Potter promotes religious hatred.

The Russian Orthodox Church already has loads of legislation shoring it up but still it feels threatened. The Moscow city prosecutor's office has been forced to waste his time dealing with a claim that the Harry Potter books break a law against religious hatred.

Aigistov confirmed a report in Moskovsky Komsomolets that Alexandrov is studying whether the books violate Article 282 of the Criminal Code, which deals with instigation of ethnic, racial or religious enmity. Violators, if convicted, face up to five years in prison.
Moskovsky Komsomolets reported Monday that Alexandrov opened the inquiry on Dec. 16 after his office received a complaint from a woman in the Moscow region town of Tarusa. In her complaint, the unidentified woman said Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book in the series, promotes witchcraft and discredits the Orthodox faith. Prosecutors were unavailable for comment Monday.

Or maybe it's an excuse. A prosecutor's office official has requested copies of all the books to read. One Orthodox minister has already done so:

Is it a textbook on magic? Deacon Alexander Kurayev said in an undated 16-page critique of the Harry Potter series posted on his personal web site. No, he said, it's a fairy tale.

Prosecutors Consider Opening An Investigation of Harry Potter - Moscow Times, 24th December 2002.

Bargain of the Day: God lightstick

The I Love God LED Battery Operated Light Stick is just like other light sticks but, these are clear and have (I Love GOD)engraved inside. Buy it now for $5 (US), or just bid 2 cents.

Be an annoying git, even when you're gone.

At Rapture Letters, Christians can arrange to have pestering evangelical e-mail sent to their loved ones when they all mysteriously disappear at the Rapture. Once names are added to the database, they will be stored indefinitely and a letter will be sent out to each of them on the first Friday after the rapture. Then they will receive another letter every friday after that. I have my doubts about this site, but the sample letter is so disgustingly sincere, it must be real. The site is a personal ministry but the anonymous individual(s) behind it don't explain how their computers will know when the Rapture will happen and so trigger the letter-sending. It's not as if they're going to be around themselves, is it?

December 23, 2002

Scottish ABC

Police in Ardrossan are warning locals to be on the look out for a large cat-like animal with yellow eyes. There have been a number of sightings of unusual animals in Scotland recently. Police sight mystery creature - BBC News, 23rd December 2002.

December 22, 2002

Bargain of the Day: Huggy Jesus rag doll

Huggy Jesus is a Jesus rag doll. Buy one and you can Share His love with this precious gift for your children or grandchildren. It's too late if you wanted to get it as a Christmas pressie but you are encouraged to order for shipping in January. Remember, the sooner you order your Huggy Jesus, the lower and more valuable your number will be! (Thanks, Pat - I think).

December 19, 2002

Bargain of the Day: Bible food

House of David is America's premier distributor of religious health products and Bible foods. To qualify, foods must satisfy five criteria, only 2.5 of which are sensible:

  1. They must be beneficial both for physical and spiritual well being.
  2. They must have some identifying link to religious faith and the Bible.
  3. All Bible foods must contain no additives, chemicals, preservative, etc. and be made from organic ingredients whenever possible.
  4. Bible food products directly from the Holy Land are always most desirable.
  5. All Bible food products should be well labeled, well manufactured, good tasting and reasonably priced.

The Bible Bar is a typical product:

The Bible Bar is a complete, wholesome food jam packed with nutritional and spiritual goodness. Bible Bars are a highly effective appetite regulator based on the seven foods from the Book of Deuteronomy; Wheat, Barley, Honey, Olive Oil, Figs, Pomegranates and Grapes. Here's a great way to control hunger pangs while still providing your body with the highest level of biblical nutrition. Also available in a 6 pack box.

Should keep you regular, at least. (Thanks, Alex.)

Pagan Prattle sweep time.

How many Anglican and Episcopal vicars are going to be caught in bed with prostitutes, children and sheep in the next year?

In his first speech since taking up office at the start of the month, Dr Rowan Williams said church leaders instead of governments will have to form a moral basis for society.
Archbishop launches moral crusade - BBC News, 19th December 2002.

Preventing terrorism the Californian way

Assume all male, Muslim foreigners are terrorists and lock 'em up. California orders mass arrests of Muslim foreigners - The Independent, 20th December 2002 (it sez 'ere).

December 13, 2002

Bargain of the Day must be catching on.

Corsair the Rational Pirate has drawn my attention to this delightful coprolite, sorry, Holy Relic Of The True Cross Of Jesus Christ, an extremely rare relic ... made by Christian artisans almost 1400 years ago in 630 AD in The Holy Land, from a portion of The True Cross!. As Corsair puts it,

It must be real! It has a certificate! From an antique dealer in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And we all know that the full name of the New Mexico state capital is "Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis," or "Royal Village of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi". So they must be "in the know" with the big man upstairs. And if he says that this is a piece of the cross that they nailed him to, then they must be right!

Bidding ends in a couple of days (on Sunday - naughty, naughty!) and currently stands at $349.00 but you can buy it now for $449.00. The same vendor also has an Antique Jewelled Reliquary w/True Cross Relic:

This is a very lovely and rare piece found in Quebec, Canada (Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre), with an age of around 100 years! This reliquary holds a relic of 2 slivers in the shape of a cross, from the True Cross of Jesus (Cruc.D.N.I.C.), with Vatican seal and strings intact. The reliquary is 14 1/2" tall and has an amazing filigree artistry of golden and silver design, accentuated with 70 stunning red jewels ( none missing! ). There is only a very little hole on the handle at the back of this reliquary, as seen in the picture, otherwise it is in excellent condition. Unfortunately these pictures do not capture the true beauty of this piece. Bidding for this exquisite piece is for the reliquary. The relic is a gift.

Just the thing for camp goths with $500 to spare.

Contributions to Bargain of the Day are always welcome, and remember - the Prattle is an equal-opportunity piss-taker and tat of all religions is welcome.

Christians admit ritual abuse.

Parents and teachers at a private Christian school have been told that they are not allowed to abuse children as part of their religion. Christian Fellowship School, Liverpool, had claimed that the ban on corporal punishment violated their right to freedom of religious belief but the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling banning such violence against children. The judges observed that it is still legal in England for parents to hit their children and that, if the abuse really was part of their religion, parents could beat their children at home with impunity. Christian group loses smacking appeal - Daily Telegraph, 13th December 2002.

December 12, 2002

Bargains of the Day: pansy Jesus and a paperweight

New on eBay today is a set of five floral 'figurines' spelling 'JESUS':

Each has substantial weight and has a rope design in blue with pink roses and a touch of yellow and green. The base color is off-white. The widest letter is 2 1/4" wide and all are approximately 2 7/8" high. These figurine letters will offer a spiritual note to your décor, whether they are used for Easter or any day of the year.

Marginally more tasteful is a Jesus paperweight, made of 'carved' glass - Jesus is standing next to a cross with sunrays in the background. More colourful is this Smile God Loves You Oriental Folding Fan - a highly expensive 10 1/4" paper fan with plastic handles will help remember Jesus's love.

A bar to avoid

How about some fizzy keg reading to go with your fizzy keg beer? You can have both dubious delights if the Reverend Peter Winkle and restaurateur Renee Visser get the licence they want from authorities in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They plan to open a Christian theme bar called 'Graces' where Bibles will be on offer alongside the usual fake beer and junk food. Reverend and restaurant owner plan to mix Bibles and beer - ABC7 Chicago, 12th December 2002.

December 11, 2002

Are unicorns covered by CITES?

Officials from New Zealand's Agriculture and Forestry Ministry were surprised when an importer told them that the unlabelled box of bones he'd had sent from Indonesia were the remains of a unicorn. But the bones, which had been covered with a thin layer of cement to make them look like fossils, were from a more mundane cow or water buffalo. A representative told the Dominion Post The importer, when he was asked, said they were unicorn bones. Whether he was ripped off or what, who knows? 'Unicorn' bones in unmarked shipment - Dominion Post, 11th December 2002.

God's some claims exemption from law

The Son of God has issued a three-page rant from his Australian prison cell complaining that he has been gaoled for his beliefs--specifically his belief that the Traffic Act is the work of the Devil and does not apply to him. Terence Michael Malaher is serving an eight-week sentence for driving while disqualified and driving an unregistered vehicle with no premium cover. Mahler insisted he was exempt because of his divine status, and also insisted I follow only God's code of conduct, which is 'walk in peace and do not disturb the peace of others'. He doesn't explain how driving a car is the same as walking. 'Messiah' rants over jail sentence - The Examiner, 10th December 2002.

December 10, 2002

Bargain of the Day: Golf shirt for vicars

This Clergy Collar Tab Golf Shirt is burgundy, with a white collar tab insert:

It is a casual short sleeve golf shirt made by Carolina Shirt Company with a three button placket down the front.It retails at Cokesbury for $38.00 and is new with tags. The fabric is a heavy 100% cotton knit with a pebble weave similar to the traditional Izod brand. This would be a great Christmas present or gift for your favorite Pastor... The pictures are not the best. It truly is a great shirt.

It's an XXL - I would get it for Pastor Best, but they only ship to the US.

Is there anybody there in the Jury?

A senior Scottish judge has called for an end to secrecy surrounding jury deliberations in certain circumstances. As an example, he referred to an case in the English courts when a ouija board was used to decide the guilt of the accused in a murder case:

The most bizarre feature is perhaps not that the jurors held a seance ... it is perhaps even more extraordinary that, legally, it was not a straightforward matter to have any inquiry made into the allegation, said Lord Reed.
The appeal court had permitted an investigation, which led to a retrial, only because the seance had been held in a hotel during an overnight stay and not within the jury room.
It remains to be seen how the court would respond if a jury were alleged to have set up a ouija board in the jury room, but the precedents--cases where the jury was alleged to have tossed a coin or drawn lots--suggest that the court should do nothing whatever about it.

Judge moves to end jury room confidentiality - The Scotsman, 7th December 2002.

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385660

A notorious Buddhist priest known as the 'Bawdy Bodhisatva' has got himself in trouble again. Kenichi Aitani has been arrested by Tokyo police on charges relating to child prostitution, pornography and for stalking a 17-year-old schoolgirl who broke off a relationship with him. Five years ago, Aitani was the first person to be arrested under an ordnance banning sex with schoolgirl prostitutes.

Aitani is also famous for refusing to come out and greet those normal worshippers who come to pay their respects at the temple. The exceptions are when it's a family that has girls of junior high or high school age. When those families visit, he'll whip open the front door to his home and invite them in for a cup of tea.

One worshipper complained With a Chief Priest like the Bawdy Bodhisattva, it's no wonder believers are deserting his temple in droves. Pervert priest confesses to schoolgirl sacrilege - MDN WaiWai, 10th December 2002.

December 9, 2002

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385659

Japan: A Shinto priest has been arrested after he performed a "Holy Massage" on a 15-year-old girl. The priest insists he was performing a traditional Shinto rite:
I just channeled Earth's vital energy into her in accordance with Shinto ritual. So what I did was not illegal, 34-year-old Sakamoto told grilling officers.

Police said the Shinto priest was giving a private tutorial to the local junior high school student at his shrine on Oct. 18.

Midway through the teaching session, Sakamoto suddenly told the girl, Your problem is a lack of earthly energy. I will channel the energy into you, and started groping her, according to the victim.

She complained to her parents and the police arrested the priest after investigation.

Pervert priest pinched for 'holy massage'Mainichi Daily News, 9th December 2002.

Jesus loves you but no-one else does.

An American Family Association survey has shown that evangelical Christians are among the least liked people in the United States, rated below lawyers and just above prostitutes (presumably unpopular because of their frequent liaisons with televangelists)

Particularly galling to the AFA constituency was the country's more open embrace of gay men and lesbians. Gay people, a group conservatives frequently slander and oppose politically, ranked significantly higher in the survey than evangelicals.

The survey showed that the more well-educated an individual was, the less likely they were to have a high opinion of evangelicals. Fundamentalists Losing Favor with Public - The Data Lounge (via Wren's Nest News), 6th December 2002.

The Twilight Corner

Last year, I overheard an exchange between a British Midland captain and the Approach controller at Edinburgh Airport. The captain was approaching over the Firth of Forth and could see a light that he thought was another aircraft close to his. Air Traffic Control could neither see the other aircraft, nor did it show up on the radar. The captain declared an Airprox and I awaited the incident's appearance in the CAA Airproximity Reports.

It never showed up.

Now the Anglo Scottish UFO Research Agency (ASUFORA), a group which investigates the UFO and Abduction Phenomena in Scotland, reports a huge response to its request for information about UFO sightings in Fife. Locations of the newly-reported sightings include Burntisland and Kirkcaldy. Fife UFO Witnesses Respond to Appeal - Evening Telegraph (Dundee), 9th December 2002.

Editorial criticises faith.

In today's Guardian, former Anglican vicar David Bryant asks whether faith is all it's cracked up to be, and discovers the answer to be 'no'.

Hiding behind the comfort of belief are destructive forces. Any faith-journey leads into a bottleneck, a religio-intellectual system with its own rules, assertions and strictures. And that is bad news. It presages mental stagnation. Why bother to query the semantic and theological niceties of Christ's divinity if it has all been done for you in the creed? What need is there to hack out a workable 21st-century morality when the prohibitions of the Ten Commandments are written down in black and white?

He goes on to criticize religious divisiveness and bigotry, and praises agnosticism. Voyage into the unknown - The Guardian, 9th December 2002.

December 4, 2002

More on Boston.

Thousands of freshly-released files document the extent to which the Archdiocese of Boston tried to cover up the sexual abuse of children by priests. A Supreme Court order forced the release of around 3000 pages of material on eight priests. One priest has admitted allegations that he abused girls who wanted to become nuns:

In the late 1960s, the Rev. Robert V. Meffan allegedly recruited girls to become nuns and then sexually abused them, according to 1993 letters from Sister Catherine E. Mulkerrin to her boss, the Rev. John B. McCormack, who was a top aide to Law. Meffan allegedly would counsel the girls to perform sexual acts as a way of progressing with their religious studies.
Meffan allegedly engaged in sexual acts with four girls in a Cape Cod rental, one of the girls told Mulkerrin, according to the 1993 memo.
According to the records, Meffan encouraged them to be brides of Christ, and described himself as the second coming of Christ. Meffan did anything but intercourse, one woman told church officials, because he said that was for the afterlife.
On woman said Meffan used to suggest to her that she imagine Christ touching, kissing, having intercourse with her, according to the church records.
They were all young girls planning to be nuns, said attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr., who represents 247 plaintiffs suing the archdiocese.
Meffan told The Boston Globe the allegations in the documents were true, and that he still believed his sexual relationships with the teenage girls were beautiful and spiritual, and were intended to bring them closer to God.

The archdiocese dealt with such 'problem' priests by moving them to other parishes. Personnel records show drug use, sex abuse by priests - CNN, 4th December 2002.

Women's mysteries

Part of Victoria is suffering its worst drought in decades, so hundreds of Australian women plan a mass nude raindance in the outback. The event follows a similar, apparently successful, one in Nepal and will be strictly women only. It will be followed by a (clothed) barbecue. Aussies go bushwhacking in the buff for rain - IOL, 4th December 2002.

Bargain of the Day: Ticket to Heaven

You know you deserve it, so why not book your Ticket to Heaven now?

Make a Statement about your commitment to living a lifestyle that ultimately rewards you with your place in Heaven. Let this Symbolic Ticket and Certificate Of Authenticity serve as a constant reminder of what it takes to remain faithful to your beliefs.

Only $19.95 (US) plus Sales Tax if resident in California.

Shame and guilt cause abuse.

Christianity's culture of shame about sexuality is an important causal factor in child abuse in the churches of Britain and Ireland, according to a report published today. Put together by representatives of several churches, including Anglican, Methodist and Catholic groups, the report, Time for Action, states that the Christianity itself, as well as the church institutions, encourages abuse, but puts the abused off complaining about it. It claims that clergy are in a Catch 22 situation:

Since the clergy and other church leaders are sexual beings as a condition of their humanity, they are caught in a trap: experiencing sexual desire and sexual need, and at the same time, experiencing shame and distress.

High levels of misogyny and homophobia make the situation much worse. Church cultureof shame 'feeds abuse' - The Guardian, 4th December 2002.

December 3, 2002

Thou shalt not relieve stress

Ah, voodoo dolls! I have one shaped like an old Macintosh, which works wonders when a deadline looms and the computer knows it., and last time I was in Amsterdam, I picked up a Linux Voodoo Penguin for Charlie. They're a wonderful way to relieve stress and frustration without actually hurting anyone.

But some people seem to think they really work. A voodoo doll designed to relieve the frustrations of teenage girls has been withdrawn from sale in Australia after an outcry.

Complete with 17 pins and a variety of instructions to break up relationships or hex a friend's birthday party, the spells offer chants such as I don't ever want to see your face again, while plunging the pins in the heart of the voodoo doll is encouraged to break up lovers.
There are also spells for giving someone bad breath and to make someone disappear.

Voodoo dolls a sore point - The Australian, 3rd December 2002.

Nazis lose out to hippies.

United States: A white supremacist 'church', the World Church of the Creator, has lost the right to use its name to the Te-Ta-Ma Truth Foundation which trademarked the name Church of the Creator many years ago. The racists are now prohibited from using the name and must hand over their domain name and any printed material bearing it. They are predictably upset about losing the case to an organisation which Supports The Family Unification of Mankind In All Aspects Of The Whole We of Like Mind Join Harmoniously In Oneness, Knowing That There Is Only One Creator Source and ranted in a press release:

In a move reminiscent of the Dark Ages, China's Cultural Revolution, and the hard-line Soviet Union, Plaintiff TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation and its attorneys of renowned law firm Kirkland & Ellis have asked a federal judge to order that the pro-White religious books of the World Church of the Creator be delivered up for destruction.

They go on to describe the Te-Ta-Ma Foundation as a pro-Jewish organization that uses the Jewish star of David as its symbol, so it must be the Conspiracy then. ADL Welcomes Federal Court Order Compelling Hate Group to Stop Using Name - ADL Press Release, 27th November 2002.

Some of you won't like this...

Fresh on the blogroll is The Raving Atheist--An Atheistic Examination of the Culture of Belief: How Religious Devotion Trivializes American Law and Politics. Here's a sample of their coverage of a news story in which an archbishop claimed a ski resort had not been wiped out by a volcano because he had asked God not to change the laws of physics and geology:

Encouraged by the success of his non-intercessory prayer, Gristina has vowed to save the world next year from a collision with the asteroid Ceretus. Ceterus, a pebble-sized body orbiting between the planets Neptune and Pluto, is expected to continue on its harmless course for the next eight billion years before gradually drifting out of the solar system. However, Gristina will pray that Ceterus not inexplicably morph into a clone of Jupiter and hurtle towards the Sun, sucking the Earth into its gaseous red spot before exploding upon impact with Venus.

They treat all religions equally, so over-sensitve Wiccans are advised to stay away.

What Jesus really said.

The Face to Faith column in yesterday's Guardian examines those bits of the New Testament you are unlikely to see on a wayside pulpit any time soon. What Jesus really said - The Guardian, 2nd December 2002.

Bargain of the Day: Jesus jelly beans

Take eight Jelly Belly beans and package them with a cheap label and you get Jesus JellyBeans.

Wonderful idea for table or banquet place settings, and great for adorning Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, and sharing with friends, family and co-workers during the holidays. Pass them out and watch people be blessed.

Blessing includes leaving them as tips instead of the infinitely more useful cash, and if this idea catches on, it'll be a huge blessing to dentists.

AIDS-related beliefs

An article on AIDS in Botswana reveals some interesting superstitions associated with the disease:

At funerals in Botswana, there is always a ritual announcement of the cause of death, and it is almost never announced as AIDS. It is attributed to tuberculosis, or a mysterious slimming disease, or the anger of ancestors. Traditional healers are still the doctors of choice, and they often blame AIDS-related illnesses on witchcraft, or on sex with a widow who had not been ritually cleansed. They often prescribe bleeding, and sometimes suck out the blood of victims, which can spread the disease yet again.

In Botswana, Efforts at Prevention - Deepikaglobal.com, 3rd December 2002.

Challenging superstition

Police in Assam have launched a massive campaign against witch-hunts which killed at least 200 people in the last five years. They plan to challenge the superstitions behind witch-hunting.

Witch hunting in Assam has become a serious social problem, Assam Police chief Hare Krishna Deka told IANS.
Just enforcing law and punishing the guilty is not enough unless we are able to change the mindset of the people.

Some of the killings are on the orders of tribal courts:

In most cases, the killings are gruesome. Five villagers were brutally killed in western Assam's Kokrajhar district last year.
The victims were awarded capital punishment by Bodo tribals after being tried in a village court for practicing sorcery, a police official said.
After their heads were chopped off, the villagers buried the corpses in the forest.
The murders left 11 children orphaned. But nobody worried about them.

Police in Assam battle witch hunting and sorcery - Hindustan Times, 3rd December 2002.

A hot spell

More than 400 homes in Cape Town have been destroyed in a massive fire, and residents are blaming a woman's curse for the conflagration.

Adding a further dimension of fear, men, women and children spoke of witchcraft--a spell cast on the community--as the cause of the blaze. On everyone's lips was a woman's alleged curse, that Wallacedene, in Kraaifontein, would burn from December 1 to 5.

Spell caused 400 homes to burn, say residents - IOL, 3rd December 2002.

December 2, 2002

Ooh, how grown up!

Vandals have desecrated a Jewish cemetary in Milton Keynes, painting red swastikas on each headstone. Vandals desecrate Jewish graves - Ananova, 1st December 2002.

One for the conspiracy theorists

The Knights Templar held a conference in East Lothian this weekend. Big Knight out for Templars to mark UN move - Edinburgh Evening News, 2nd December 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Feòrag in December 2002.

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