Love Thy Neighbour: January 2002 Archives

January 24, 2002

It's a busy day for fundie criminals.

Firstly, a Nevada man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he broke into Bohemian Grove and set fire to a building. Bohemian Grove was featured on one of Loius Theroux's programmes (Correction: having read the excellent Them, I now think it was Theroux's great influence, Jon Ronson) and is host to an annual gathering of bigwigs where they get drunk and witness a dramatic, but silly and badly-performed, ritual to get rid of the burden of their cares. Conspiracy theorists see something much more suspicious. Richard McCaslin allegedly went to the Grove last Saturday, armed with a semiautomatic rifle/shotgun hybrid, a .45-caliber handgun, a crossbow, a 2-foot-long sword, a knife and a hand-made bomb launcher. He told detectives he had gone there to kill child molesters and those performing human sacrifices, which he claims he heard about on a radio talk show and saw in a related film. Grove intruder enters plea, Press Democrat 24th January 2002.

Meanwhile, over in Maryland, a man seems determined to ensure that a woman accused of murder does not get a fair trial. Joesephine Gray is accused of killing her boyfriend, Clarence Goode, and two of her husbands so that she could get the insurance money. So far it's fairly boring. But, Goode's brother claims that she's a witch who uses voodoo to make other people do her bidding and to scare people out of testifying against her. The local press have dubbed her the Black Widow and this could cause problems when the case comes to court. As her attorney pointed out It is unfortunate that sensationalized labels like that are being distributed to the potential jury pool. Black Magic Cited In Md. Killings, The Guardian, 24th January 2002 (Thanks, Steve).

In Colorado, a church near Denver has been sprayed with anti-gay statements by vandals, who also damaged furniture and musical equipment with bleach. Michael Hayes, Columbine United Church's choral director, is openly gay and believes he was the target of the attacks. The church is supportive of lesbian and gay members of its congregation. Rev. Stephen Poos-Benson, the church's senior pastor said We consider this a direct attack on our theological stance... we will not tolerate this type of hate in our community, nor will we let this type of hate deter our mission. Anti-gay messages deface Colorado church,, 22nd January 2002.

January 20, 2002

Sacred Cows

Hindu fundamentalists have threatened a Delhi professor over a book which questions the sanctity of the cow. Dwijendra Narayan Jha's The Myth of the Holy Cow argues that beef was once part of the Indian diet and since it was published in India, it has been burned outside the author's home and he has received death threats. It is banned in Hyderabad and government officials have demanded Jha's arrest. He told the Observer:

It is not my intention to hurt anybody's religious sensibilities. I thought I should write something on the history of the sanctity of the cow. Fundamentalist forces try to associate abstention from beef with Hinduism. As a historian I don't believe in the sanctity of the cow.

The author is vegetarian and pointed out that he is happy for the cow to be protected but doesn't see why it should be the only animal which is treated well. Cow controversy divides Hindus, The Observer, 20th January 2002.

January 19, 2002

Suffer little children

Authorities in Atlanta, Georgia, have cracked down on a church which physically abuses children as part of their services, taking the children of six families into care. Services at the House of Prayer last up to eight hours, and regularly feature public beatings where children are held up by church elders and thrashed for up to half an hour with a belt. The church call it tough love, but county Child Services diagree. Beverley Jones said It's not parents administering tough love, or discipline. This is five adults holding little kids up in the air, beating them, to the point of abuse. It's cruelty to children. Atlanta child-beating church warned, BBC News, 19th January 2002.

January 10, 2002

Vandal demands police protection

A Kenyan minister expects the local police to protect him after he led his congregation in cutting down and burning a sacred tree. The tree was used as a location for rituals by people in the Mukogodo division and Rev Dominic Kiloku of the Assemblies of God Church in Laikipia District has refused to aplogise or atone for his hate-driven vandalism. Atonement seems to follow the Old Testament tradition of giving the elders stuff - a goat and beer in this case - in payment for cleansing! The priest claimed that it was his God-given duty to stop my people from worshipping objects yet that same deity is apparently incapable of protecting him from a few traditional chants, hence the appeal to the police. Priest Seeks Police Help Over Sacred Tree Threat, The Nation (via, 7th January 2002.

January 7, 2002

God's Love

United States: Pat Robertson has decided that witchcraft is the greatest evil in America today and that it is bringing divine displeasure upon the USA. The comments came in the December 5th edition of the 700 Club which included an interview promoting an anti-Harry Potter video. This follows on from the September 13th show which blamed gays, feminists and civil liberties campaigners for bringing about the September 11th attacks. According to People For the American Way

In Robertson's post-interview comments, he returned to his Sept. 13 theme that God was lifting his annointing, his mantle from the United States of America. Citing Deuteronomy, Robertson made a list of reasons nations could invoke divine displeasure, putting witchcraft at the top of the list (we're now teaching witchcraft in the schools), followed by sodomy (we're legalizing sodomy,) bestiality, incest, and sacrifice of children (the sacrifice of children through abortion is in the 35 to 40 million range).

Religious Right leaders stick to theme that gays, abortionists, and others invite God's wrath on AmericaPFAW Right Wing Watch Online,/cite>, 4th January 2002.

January 4, 2002

They're Wiccan, they must be to blame.

In typically clue-free style, police in Loudoun, Virginia, have decided that the Wiccan faith of three people accused of murder is somehow relavant to the case.

The body of the victim, Robert M. Schwartz, was found with multiple lacerations, consistent with a frenzied killing resulting from rage, according to Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson. Despite this, a bigoted local detective has claimed in an affadavit that miscellaneous documents that contain language of killing and human sacrifice in a Wiccan fashion. Wicca is a cult which involves pagan rituals and sacrifices. In a positive sign, even the local newspaper is somewhat sceptical! Occult items seized in murder probe, Loudoun Times-Mirror January 4th 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from January 2002.

Love Thy Neighbour: December 2001 is the previous archive.

Love Thy Neighbour: February 2002 is the next archive.

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