Church and State: November 2003 Archives

November 29, 2003

Matthew, ch. 6, v. 1

United States: Jim Towey is the White House Deputy Assistant to the President and Director, Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and about halfway down this Q and A, is asked Do you feel that Pagan faith based groups should be given the same considerations as any other group that seeks aid? Now, personally, even though I've seen plenty of Pagans volunteering in the charity sector, I've never seen them form groups specifcally to push religion. And neither has Jim Towey, but he has a different reasoning. It's not because Pagans aren't obnoxiously religious about their charity work, it's because they're horrid, unloving people.

I haven't run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor! Once you make it clear to any applicant that public money must go to public purposes and can't be used to promote ideology, the fringe groups lose interest. Helping the poor is tough work and only those with loving hearts seem drawn to it.

Jim Towey hosts Ask the White House - White House web site, 26th November 2003 (via Internet Infidels).

The American Crusades

Ben Tanosborn has written a interesting article comparing Bush's attack on Iraq to Urban's call for arms against a bunch of pesky Turks who refused to bow and scrap before him. And we all know how well that turned out.

November 27, 2003

Case law is dictatorship, says Cardinal

United States: The Roman Catholic archbishop of Chicago has declared that extending human rights is the end of democracy and the beginning of dictatorship. He is upset that the Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court recently concluded that denying civil marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. Earlier he had noted that An active homosexual lifestyle is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, but a search of the several Bibles in Prattle Alley Library reveals the following recorded words of Jesus on the matter: .

Gay Ruling Signals End Of Democracy & Beginning of Dictatorship, US Cardinal Claims, 365gay.com, 27th November 2003.

Mark of the Beast

United States: Applied Digital Solutions are marketing the VeriChip as the world's only implantable ID technology, claiming they could one day replace credit cards. They are also receiving condemnation from some fundamentalist Christians who believe that this is the fabled 'mark of the beast' of biblical lore.

When Cash Is Only Skin Deep - Wired News, 25th November 2003 (via Opinions of the Wolf: News).

November 25, 2003

Religious Turf Wars

Australia's Anglican Church is on the verge of a split, with the Archbishop of Sydney, the extraordinarily bigoted Peter Jensen, more than a little miffed over the church's position on the ordination of practicing homosexuals, in particular the Bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson. The good Reverend has decreed that there is every chance he will behave like a spoilt brat and cut ties with the Archbishop of Canterbury and instead ally his group of god-botherers with the equally silly Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.

I'm still wondering at the logic of a group, whose flock is rapidly dwindling, alienating people who want to join. But then it's not like churches have ever been big on giving a toss about their members when it gets in the way of their lust for power and money.

Religious Turf WarsSunday, 23rd November 2003.

November 23, 2003

Coming Ready or Not

Melani McAlister, an associate professor of American studies at George Washington University, takes us on an interesting journey through the evangelical mind and its obsession with fulfilling its end times prophecy at any cost — as well as making a tidy profit on the side.

November 21, 2003

In Defense of Biblical Marriage

United States: Fundies in the US are getting in a tizzy over the Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision that limiting a cosy arrangement of one's financial affairs to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional, so some wag has consulted the Bible to determine how to redefine marriage to keep them happy:

The Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to: Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With any forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government.
Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles:
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women.(Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden.(Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10) *
G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

Two for the price of one!

United States: A murder trial in Denver has thrown up an interesting conundrum. A Native American medicine man has asked to have the same rights as the clergy of any other religion after he was pressurised by prosecution attorneys over an alleged confession made by the accused.

[Defense attorney Robert] Duthie wants evidence that investigators gathered from violating that privilege suppressed. He also argues that Herrera's confession should be suppressed because Herrera confessed after he knew the medicine man, 37-year-old Robert Cervantes, had testified.
Echo-Hawk said that a medicine man should not have to wear long black robes and hear confession in a booth to qualify for equal protection under the law. However, he said he is not surprised that law enforcement officials would treat a medicine man differently than they would a priest or preacher.

And as an extra bonus, the accused is alleged to have admitted murdering Brenda Chavez because he thought she was threatening him with witchcraft practices. Clergy right sought for medicine man - Denver Post, 20th November 2003.

November 19, 2003

Right to spam, for the right only.

Australia: Fundies would be allowed to swamp Australian inboxes with hate speech under proposed anti-spam legislation, according to Senator Brian Greig.

Greig decried the proviso as farcical and said it was outrageous that fundamentalist churches were allowed to send spam containing campaign messages opposing abortion, contraception or homosexual law reform while groups with alternative view points were left without an avenue of reply.

The exception allows religious organisations, registered political parties and charities to send unsolicited messages containing factual informatiom. Hang on, wouldn't that proviso automatically outlaw the religious nonsense? Democrats lash-out over right wing 'spam-scam' - ZDNet Australia, 18th November 2003 (via Red Wolf).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from November 2003.

Church and State: October 2003 is the previous archive.

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