The week in fundie . . .
- Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion reports on calls from within the evangelical wing of the Church of England to convert British Muslims, on the grounds that “Our nation is rooted in the Christian faith and that is the basis of welcoming people of other faiths,” and despite the fact that in the nineties the Church leadership distanced itself from an organisation established to evangelise Jews (a point on which the evangelicals, Bartholomew notes, remain silent).
- The Spanish Inquisition Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decreed that “anyone trying to ordain a woman and any woman who attempts to receive the ordination would incur automatic excommunication” from the Catholic Church. Kiddy-fiddlers are still welcome, however. (Yahoo News)
- When it comes to the separation of church and state and the issue of whether there should be a religious test for public office in the US, Democrat member of the Indiana State House of Representatives David “Dave” Cheatham doesn’t beat around the bush. He argues that “Any public official should have as a top priority the goal of serving God and living a life as a witness for Jesus.” The separation of church and state is, for Cheatham, a “one-way street”:
Religion and faith should be able to affect government policies and practices, but government should not interfere with legitimate religions. Restricting prayer in school and the reading of the Bible and the Ten Commandments was never intended to be the affect of the 1st amendment. Government has over-stepped their authority. Government’s relation to religion should be one of “benevolent neutrality.”
“Benevolent neutrality,” means neutrality towards the religions Cheatham is prepared to recognise.
government should not be used to favor a particular religion over another as long as the religion is a legitimate faith with the belief in God. Cults and other pseudo-religions are not really religions in my mind.
- Villagers in Orissa, India bound and gagged a woman they accused of being a witch, dragged her from her home to the local crematorium, and burnt her alive. This happened last week. It happens to dozens of Indian women every year. (Reuters)
- At an Anonymous rally in Glasgow, police ordered protesters to take down placards labelling Scientology a cult. Similar action was taken against a protester in London last month. (Sunday Herald)
- According to Jason Leopold at OpEdNews, some US soldiers are distributing Bibles and other fundamentalist Christian material translated into Arabic to thousands of Iraqi Muslims, in order to convert them to Christianity. Members of the 101st Airborne Division have been provided with a special military edition of Bible Pathway Ministries‘ Daily Devotional bible study book, and are using them, according to an officer in the division, “to minister to the local residents.” Elaborating upon this blatant violation of the Establishment Clause, Chief Warrant Officer Rene Llanos explains that “We need to pray for protection for our soldiers as they patrol and pray that God would continue to open doors. The soldiers are being placed in strategic places with a purpose. They’re continuing to spread the Word.”
- In the Filipino province of Leyte, the Catholic Church is considering tithing in order to keep its parishes afloat financially. This is in a country in which 26.9 percent of families were deemed to be living below the poverty line in 2006. (Inquirer.net)
- How much irony can you pack into one story? ABC News Online reports that moderate Muslims rallying in Jakarta in favour of religious tolerance have been attacked . . . by baton-wielding radical Muslims. The moderates were protesting against Indonesian government plans to ban the Ahmadiyah sect, considered heretical by many other Muslims.
By the way, have you seen GrodsCorp’s footage of anti-abortionists being pwned outside East Melbourne’s Fertility Control Clinic?