Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Religion News Blog, Mar. 14, 2003 (Continued)

Expand Messages
  • Anton Hein
    Religion News Blog, March 14, 2003 [Christianity] Dean attacks theistic relativism http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00002728.html ... The new Dean of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 14, 2003
      Religion News Blog, March 14, 2003

      [Christianity] Dean attacks theistic relativism
      :===Begin Quote===
      The new Dean of Sydney's Anglican Cathedral, St. Andrews, made a
      striking debut this weekend.

      In his inaugural sermon at the cathedral, Dean Phillip Jensen -
      brother to the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen -
      attacked what he sees as excessive relativism in the media treatment
      of Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
      :===End Quote===

      [Christianity] No sacred cows in dean's tirade
      .b On Friday night, the 11th Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen,
      installed his brother, the Reverend Phillip Jensen, as the 11th Dean
      of Sydney. To mark the occasion, the new Jensen in the cathedral
      delivered a broadside attack on secularism, religious tolerance,
      political correctness and the media in a 40-minute sermon which ended
      in spontaneous applause from some quarters of the cathedral.

      What started as a declaration of love for Sydney and the Sydney
      Anglican diocese soon progressed into an argument outlining why the
      world's religions are mutually incompatible. More than half an hour
      later, Mr Jensen turned his wrath on the media, its hypocrisy and the
      way it sought to censor Christianity out of public discourse. He went
      so far as to prophesise his own crucifixion at the media's hands.

      "If one view is right the others must be wrong. We must stop the
      stupidity of stretching social tolerance into religious or
      philosophical relativism," he said.

      He dismissed suggestions that his comments might inflame religious

      "All I'm saying is that both [Christianity and Islam] cannot be right.
      That's not attacking Islam, that's just saying the truth."
      :===End Quote===

      [Christianity] Outrage over dean's hostility to other faiths
      :===Begin Quote===
      The new Anglican Dean of Sydney has been accused of insensitivity,
      provocation and offensive intolerance after his strident defence of
      evangelical Christianity.

      Religious organisations across the community yesterday railed against
      the Reverend Phillip Jensen's provocative comments, which included
      saying that Australia had stretched the idea of tolerance to the point
      of stupidity.

      He told the congregation at his installation in St Andrew's cathedral
      on Friday that "some or all" religions were wrong and if wrong were
      "the monstrous lies and deceits of Satan devised to destroy the life
      of the believers".

      Critics believe that his views were clearly aimed at all religions
      other than his own.

      The Catholic Church's Sister Marianne Dacy, who is the national
      secretary of the Australian Council of Christians and Jews, said the
      dean's comments were anathema to interfaith dialogue.

      "He is totally out of tune in today's era of reconciliation between
      different religions," she said. "It is quite upsetting to hear a view
      like that expressed by such a prominent churchman."

      Keysar Trad, spokesman for the Lebanese Muslim Association, said he
      received several messages from prominent Christian leaders yesterday,
      distancing themselves from Mr Jensen's comments.
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: It is a serious sign of the time when people who identify
      themselves as Christians apparently do not understand or accept the
      exclusive nature of Christianity.

      [Christianity] Will the real God please give us a sign
      :===Begin Quote===
      Jensen's assertion that Christianity holds an exclusive claim on truth
      is hardly new, and such a claim about Islam would not sound out of
      place in a mosque, or about Judaism in a synagogue. So what was it
      about his sermon that had much of Sydney crying foul and wondering who
      else might be on his hit list?

      Professor Wayne Hudson, director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in
      the Humanities at Griffith University, Brisbane, says Jensen should
      not be dismissed as a scholarly lightweight or fundamentalist zealot.
      And he agrees with Jensen that conservative Christians aren't fairly
      heard in public debate.

      It is not so much what Jensen is saying that is offensive, Hudson
      argues, but the way he says it: "He blurs the facts in an unscholarly
      way ... he says true things in a way that is not consistent with the
      best standards of religious citizenship in Australia, because he does
      not exercise intellectual respect towards others he does not agree

      Given Jensen's position as Dean of Sydney, says Hudson, the right to
      publicly assert his religious beliefs comes together with the duty to
      acquire a reasonable understanding of the world's other great
      religions, which he clearly does not possess.

      "He talks about other religions [in] the way Catholics and Protestants
      talked about each other in Australia in the 1950s," says Hudson. "His
      take on Islam and Hinduism is monstrous. It's grotesque. It does not
      represent what contemporary scholars will say."

      The Reverend Dr John Woodhouse is principal of Moore Theological
      College - Sydney's training ground for Anglican priests and Jensen's
      alma mater. Woodhouse insists that Jensen was not, in his sermon,
      attacking other religions. If anything, he was taking other beliefs
      seriously enough to evaluate.

      "To insist that all religions are equally true, even if they
      contradict one another, is a trivialisation of religious claims," says
      Woodhouse. "If the Koran says that Jesus lived but did not die, and
      the Christian Bible says that he lived and did die, anyone who
      respects both religions can investigate whether one or the other or
      neither is right at this point. But to say that both religions are
      equally true is disguised disrespect.

      "It means that what they are both saying is not important enough to
      seriously consider ... Religious belief cannot be reduced to pure

      Jensen, Woodhouse says, has criticised the secularist trivalising of
      religion and the resulting censorship of intelligent religious
      discussion in the media. "Much of the reporting of his criticism has
      confirmed its truth," he says.
      :===End Quote===

      [Sikhism] City Sikhs mum on B.C. case
      :===Begin Quote===
      It was unclear yesterday how a legal battle raging in British Columbia
      will impact on the Edmonton construction of the biggest Sikh temple in

      Members of the Nanaksar Gurdwara-Gursikh Temple Society in B.C. are
      trying to get their spiritual leader deposed because of alleged
      misappropriation of funds.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] Woman convicted in plot to bomb Jewish landmarks tells
      judge: 'I have a lot of shame'
      :===Begin Quote===
      Chase was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison Thursday.
      U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner told her: "I hope you do something
      with the rest of your life to make up for what you came close to

      In July, a federal jury convicted Chase and her former boyfriend, Leo
      Felton, 32, of several charges, including conspiring to make a bomb in
      what prosecutors described as a scheme to foment "racial holy war."
      :===End Quote===

      [Elizabeth Smart] Interviews With Patricia Hearst; Friends, Members of
      Smart Family
      :===Begin Quote===
      LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Elizabeth Smart's miraculous return and
      her ordeal. We'll speak with members of the Smart family and they'll
      tell us how Elizabeth's doing and what she's had to say about what she
      went through.

      Plus, the Smart's family's bishop, Bishop David Hamblin of the Mormon
      Church. He prayed with the Smarts and counseled them through nine
      months of agony.

      But first: exclusive. Patricia Hearst, the most famous kidnap victim
      of our time, will give us an idea of what captivity may have been like
      for Elizabeth
      :===End Quote===

      [Brainwashing] A Search for Answers: Has Elizabeth Become A
      Psychological Victim?
      :===Begin Quote===
      Police and her family said Elizabeth was psychologically traumatized
      -- even brainwashed -- by the homeless couple now in custody for her

      "I have no doubt about that," said Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father. "I
      have no doubt that she feared for her life when she left [her

      Experts are putting a name to Elizabeth's behavior while in captivity
      -- Stockholm Syndrome, in which victims become emotionally attached to
      and allied with their captors. Experts also are drawing comparisons
      with another well-known kidnap victim: Patricia Hearst.

      "People are in disbelief that she couldn't have run to a phone and
      gotten help," said Doug Goldsmith, director of The Children's Center,
      a counseling service in Salt Lake City. "That's a misunderstanding of
      the tremendous psychological trauma of being held hostage in a
      situation like she was in."
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: Thus far we have fortunately been spared comments from cult
      apologists like J. Gordon Melton on how brainwashing does, in his
      opinion(!) not exist. And mercifully, we have not yet heard him or
      other cult defenders proclaim Elizabeth Smart a liar (as Melton does
      with apostates). Authorities, media professionals and others would be
      wise not to accept Melton's views. Instead, see:
      - on apostates

      - on brainwashing

      [Brainwashing] Authorities Examine Bond Between Teen and Captors
      :===Begin Quote===
      When officers approached the teen, Sandy Officer Bill O'Neal said,
      "she kind of just blurted out, `I know who you think I am. You guys
      think I'm that Elizabeth Smart girl who ran away.'"

      Smart told police her name was "Augustine" and that her cheap black
      sunglasses protected her eyes while they healed from surgery. When
      they asked why she wore a wig and T-shirt for a head scarf, she became

      "Her heart was beating so hard you could see it through her chest,"
      O'Neal said.

      Handcuffed and loaded into a separate police car from Mitchell and
      Barzee for the ride to the station, Smart began to cry.

      "We kept telling her, do this for your family, do this for yourself.
      Do the right thing _ we know you're Elizabeth Smart," said Sergeant
      Victor Quezada.

      Smart responded with a biblical quote, "Thou sayest."
      :===End Quote===

      [Brainwashing] Teenager's recovery likely to take months
      :===Begin Quote===
      Lippert said that initially kidnapped children may feel euphoric, but
      that may be followed by sadness as they realize the impact of their

      Typically, victims in high-profile cases are overstimulated by
      attention from the media, law enforcement and friends and neighbors,
      Lippert said. They appear vulnerable and may want to talk about it as
      a way of being helpful, recalling small details about their abduction.

      "That is an abduction survival strategy," Lippert said. "It gives them
      something to help out with. They might want to give precise
      descriptions of where they were held, how they determined day from

      Another survival strategy, she said, is continuing the same compliant
      behavior employed during the abduction. Victims learn that they need
      to comply with orders from their captors to escape alive, and children
      might continue that behavior after they are freed, Lippert said.

      Details of Elizabeth Smart's ordeal have not yet been made public, but
      some observers say it appears she might have been frightened into
      complying with her kidnapper. Her father has referred to

      Reports that Elizabeth appeared in public with her alleged kidnapper,
      Brian David Mitchell, without trying to escape may indicate she
      suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, a common malady of hostages,
      according to Douglas Goldsmith, a Salt Lake City child psychologist.
      :===End Quote===

      [Brainwashing] Could Elizabeth Smart be a victim of brainwashing?
      :===Begin Quote===
      Was Elizabeth Smart - the Utah teen-ager snatched from her bedroom
      last June, then remarkably rescued Wednesday - brainwashed into
      staying with her captors?

      Her father, Ed Smart, said Thursday he knows "that she's been through
      brainwashing," though he has not asked his daughter for details about
      her nine-month ordeal.

      The American view of mind control is more sensational than clinical.
      The public tends to remember how attorney F. Lee Bailey defended
      heiress Patty Hearst in the 1970s, claiming she was brainwashed into
      joining her kidnappers in their crime spree.

      But where, exactly, did he get the idea?
      :===End Quote===

      [Brain Mitchell] Family suspects girl afflicted with captive syndrome
      :===Begin Quote===
      As this city expressed overwhelming gratitude to their God and their
      community for the safe return of Elizabeth Smart, a sobering reality
      was setting in: Elizabeth is not the same girl she used to be.

      Her family believes the 15-year-old girl, allegedly abducted by a
      religious fanatic who had done minor maintenance work on their home,
      was brainwashed.

      "I have no doubt about that," her father, Ed Smart, said Thursday

      During the nine months she is believed to have been under the control
      of Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Ilene Barzee, the girl
      apparently never reached out for help even though she appeared
      frequently in public with the couple.

      "She was psychologically impacted by this abduction," said Salt Lake
      City Police Chief Rick Dinse. Mitchell and Barzee remained in custody
      on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping.
      :===End Quote===

      [Brian Mitchell] Polygamy implied
      :===Begin Quote===
      Relatives of Elizabeth Smart said Thursday that authorities had shared
      information with them indicating that the suspect in the girl's
      9-month disappearance was a polygamist.

      The information has led some family members to conclude that Elizabeth
      might have been kidnapped to be a wife.

      Tom Smart also suggested another possible motive: that Elizabeth was
      kidnapped because Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee, wanted a daughter.
      :===End Quote===

      [Brainwashing] Local woman can relate to Smart's alleged brainwashing
      :===Begin Quote===
      Portlander Donna Grobey understands what its like to totally turn
      one’s self over to the power of others. “You know I started out as
      Donna, but I became what they wanted me to be,” says Grobey about her
      experience with a cult.

      For three years in the late 1980's, Grobey was part of a religious
      cult in New York City . She lived with the cult group, giving them all
      of her money. The cult controlled her time, who she dated, and
      discouraged her from contacting family or anyone else outside the
      group. Grobey says she stayed nearly three years out of fear. “Well in
      my particular group, if I left my church I was going to hell. So I
      wasn't going to go anywhere, I was scared to death.”
      :===End Quote===

      [Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember] Watchdog in sniff round 'miracle'
      :===Begin Quote===
      A cult which offers wands and waters as miracle cures for ailments
      including cancer has come under the scrutiny of Tasmania's Office of
      Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.

      The group, which calls itself Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember, has
      been operating in Tasmania for at least three years.

      Late last year, it fell foul of New South Wales' fair trading laws and
      was ordered to change its marketing, after it agreed bottles of water
      it was selling as a miracle cure for a minimum of $40 were in fact
      ordinary distilled water.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] City forces halfway houses to shut down
      :===Begin Quote===
      One of those landlords is a real estate investor and a Scientologist,
      who, 23 years ago, was involved in one of the darkest chapters of
      Scientology history. Richard Weigand, 56, was one of nine
      Scientologists convicted of conspiring to conceal the theft of
      government documents related to the church.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Psychologist says church appeared to use
      :===Begin Quote===
      A woman who is suing the Church of Scientology appeared to have been
      hypnotised while undergoing an auditing session by a member of the
      church, a psychologist told the High Court yesterday. Ms Mary Johnston
      appeared to have been subjected to "very curious" and "not very good"

      Dr Peter Naish, a chartered psychologist who has written extensively
      on hypnosis, said it was his view Ms Johnston was very susceptible to
      :===End Quote===
      NOTE: On the same day that this item was reported, the cult settled
      out of court for a reported €2 million. Earlier, the cult's lawyer
      had tried to block Mr. Naish's testimony. Though Scientology is known
      for its abuse of the legal system, the hate group also has settled
      many cases in which publicity might damage its business operation when
      experts properly evaluate its products and services.

      ApologeticsIndex.org / ReligionNewsBlog.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.