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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Dec. 5, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Dec. 5, 2003 [Offbeat News] Vicar gives out porn videos http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5300-.html A vicar has given his flock hardcore
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2003
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      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Dec. 5, 2003

      [Offbeat News] Vicar gives out porn videos
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5300-.html
      A vicar has given his flock hardcore porn videos instead of a video about
      God's message at Christmas after a mix-up at a copying factory. [...] Father
      Frithjof said: "The project has received enormous publicity through the
      mix-up - even if that wasn't the original idea. God moves in mysterious
      ways, and best of all, the people who ordered the porn now have our
      religious films about Jesus in their video recorders."

      [Catholic Church] Churchgoers poisoned in DR Congo
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5299-.html
      Sixty-four villagers have died after reportedly drinking a potion at a
      religious ritual in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Health officials in
      Kinshasa, say they are looking for a catholic priest who allegedly
      administered the drink to his followers during a cleansing ceremony. [...]
      Religious rituals have been on the rise in DR Congo, especially in far-flung
      areas which are not adequately controlled by the government. A number of
      priests claiming to possess supernatural powers have been hosting
      deliverance ceremonies aimed at "washing away" the troubles of their
      followers.

      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Jehovah's Witnesses, CPS reach agreement over baby's
      care
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5298-.html
      The state [of Texas] has reached a tentative agreement with a Jehovah's
      Witness couple who have opposed blood transfusions for their son born 15
      weeks premature. The agreement reached Thursday between attorneys for Child
      Protective Services and Shawn and Alicia Castillo clears the way for the
      couple to transfer their son to a Fort Worth hospital. Doctors there are
      trained in alternate methods of treatment that could reduce the need for
      transfusions. The deal allows the state to authorize blood transfusions
      that go against the parents' religious beliefs.

      [George Bush] Bush's Religious Language
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5297-.html
      When Bush decided to run for office, political strategist Karl Rove helped
      him make the link with the evangelical sector. While other candidates were
      discussing polemical themes, Rove advised him that it was much better for
      him to simply speak about his faith. Bush presented himself as "a man with
      Jesus in his heart." When a reporter asked him who his favorite philosopher
      was, Bush replied: "Christ, because he changed my heart." That corresponded
      perfectly to the extreme individualism of fundamentalism, and it constituted
      what in the metalanguage of evangelical code words is called "personal
      witness." Politically, Bush's discourse has been very effective, but
      theologically the results have been more problematic, as evident in
      particular in three areas. [...] It is remarkable how closely Bush's
      discourse coincides with that of the false prophets of the Old Testament.
      While the true prophets proclaimed the sovereignty of Yahweh, the God of
      justice and love who judges nations and persons, the false prophets served
      Baal, who could be manipulated by the powerful. Karl Marx concluded that
      religion is "the opium of the people." But Marx never knew committed
      Christians like Camilo Torres of Colombia, Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El
      Salvador, Frank Pais of Cuba, Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua, Dietrich
      Bonhoeffer of Germany or Martin Luther King Jr. of the United States. How
      paradoxical, and how sad, that the President of the United States, with his
      heretical manipulation of religious language, insists on proving Karl Marx
      right.

      [Bnei Menashe] 'Lost' Jewish tribe reaffirms vows
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5296-.html
      Eight couples from India have exchanged wedding vows in Jerusalem,
      reaffirming the formal conversion to Judaism of representatives of 6000
      people who say they are descendants of a lost tribe of the Jewish people.
      The couples belong to Bnei Menashe, or children of Menashe, and believe they
      are descendants of the Israelite tribe of the same name. In India, they keep
      customs and rituals that appear to be biblical in origin, but they are not
      recognised as Jewish in Israel. Therefore, on arrival in Israel, they
      undergo religious conversion, and the wedding ceremony at the Great
      Synagogue of Jerusalem on Thursday was the culmination of the process. The
      eight couples had been married before, but not according to strict Jewish
      ritual.

      [Landmark Education] Turn up, tune in, transform?
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5295-.html
      The Landmark Forum claims to change utterly the lives of its devotees - and
      it is spreading fast by their word of mouth. But are its `breakthrough'
      sessions a good or bad thing? Some see it as education, and others as
      brainwashing.

      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Police Name Suspect In Triple Murder
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5294-.html
      Investigators named a man with a history of mental illness a suspect in the
      shooting and stabbing deaths of a mother and her two adult sons. [...] The
      Spanish-speaking Jehovah's Witnesses congregations to which the Negrons
      belonged had tried to help Carrasquillo with a drug problem, church elder
      Eugenio Muriel said.

      [Lee Malvo] When does indoctrination turn into insanity?
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5293-.html
      It started with a gag order and ended with the defence team choking on its
      own witnesses. Not a good day at all for lawyers trying to construct an
      insanity defence for accused sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. Perhaps, as
      Commonwealth Attorney Robert Horan thundered, there's simply insufficient
      merit to the insanity argument as applied to this 18-year-old defendant,
      charged with capital murder in last year's Beltway Sniper shootings - "an
      insanity defence that's like a puff of smoke." [...] The psychological stuff
      is palpably critical to Malvo's defence. But, after repeatedly suggesting a
      narrowly relevant line-of-questioning approach that would be acceptable to
      the court - advice that went nowhere - Judge Jane Roush essentially directed
      Malvo's lawyers to go home and think about their witness examination plan.
      At least as it related to a "cult expert" who was intended to explore
      one-to-one indoctrination, which the defence claims is what convicted
      murderer John Allen Muhammad did to the impressionable Malvo, whilst
      grooming him as a baby assassin. [...] With cult specialist Paul Martin on
      the stand - himself a former cultist before turning himself into a
      professional "deprogrammer" - Roush chastised defence lawyer Thomas Walsh
      for the broad nature of his questions. She then upheld an objection from
      Horan, who derided the examination as "a shotgun approach to indoctrination
      ... hypotheticals." Argued Horan: "His field is deprogramming cults. There
      are no cults in this case." Roush agreed. The upshot: Martin was taken off
      the stand, to be recalled later, when the defence gets its act together. It
      was the second major embarrassment of the day for Malvo's lawyers.

      [Panawave] Cultists nabbed for beating 'electromagnetic waves' out of
      academic
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5292-.html
      Five members of the Panawave cult were arrested Friday for beating an
      academic with bamboo sticks to remove electromagnetic waves, police said.
      The man later died in hospital from a heat stroke. The five senior members
      are accused of hitting Satoshi Chigusa, an assistant professor at Fukuoka
      University of Education, in the back with bamboo swords and sticks made of
      rolled up cardboard on Aug. 7. After the attack, Chigusa suffered heat
      stroke and was taken to hospital where he died. Members of the cult told the
      officers that Chigusa was involved in work designed to "remove
      electromagnetic waves" from the facilities as they believed such waves would
      harm their leader, Yuko Chino.

      [Aum Shinrikyo] Japanese court upholds death sentence for sect "killing
      machine"
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5291-.html
      A Japanese court upheld on Friday a death sentence handed to a former Aum
      Supreme Truth cult member known as the "killing machine" for crimes
      including the deadly 1995 gassing of Tokyo's subway. The Tokyo High Court
      rejected an appeal against the sentence by Yasuo Hayashi, 45, who punctured
      three bags of deadly sarin gas inside subway carriages on March 20, 1995,
      causing the deaths of 12 people and injuries to thousands more.

      ... Religion News Blog is a non-profit, reader-supported service provided
      by Apologetics Index (ApologeticsIndex.org). If this service is of value to
      you, please consider supporting us with a donation. Here's why we need your
      help:
      http://www.apologeticsindex.org/abouthelp.html#support ...

      [Panawave] 5 members of Pana Wave cult arrested over man's death
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5290-.html
      Five members of cult-like group Pana Wave Laboratory were arrested Friday
      over the death of a man in August at the group's facilities in the city of
      Fukui, central Japan, police said.

      [Witchcraft] 'Witch' killed, another beaten up in Ranchi
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5289-.html
      Despite the campaign launched by the Jharkhand Women's Development Society
      towards sensitisation against the menace, two FIRS in two days in the
      district show that attacks continue on tribal women suspected of practising
      witchcraft.

      [Catholic Church] Salvation brew kills 64
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5288-.html
      A priest is on the run after 64 members of his congregation were poisoned to
      death by a potion he said would grant them salvation. [...] Churches have
      mushroomed since the start of the war, collecting sizeable donations from
      poverty stricken congregations in exchange for cheap fixes to life's
      problems. Many of the churches are known to advocate belief in child
      witchcraft, offering commercial exorcisms for a handful of dollars and more
      chairs for the congregation.

      [Catholic Church] Priest's 'anti-evil potion' kills 64
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5287-.html
      Health officials in the Congo say more than 60 people have died after
      drinking a potion given to them by their priest to ward off evil spirits.
      The Roman Catholic priest fled the village of Bosobe early last week after
      people started falling ill, according to Health Minister Yagi Sitolo.

      [Rebirthing] N.C. Rebirthing Ban Comes Under Fire From Supporters
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5286-.html
      A new law that takes effect Dec. 1 bans a controversial form of therapy that
      led to the death of a Durham girl. State lawmakers marked the death of
      rebirthing therapy when they decided to ban the controversial practice. The
      new law makes the use of rebirthing therapy a misdemeanor; a second offense
      is considered a felony. Not everyone supports the ban. [...] Barbara
      Janeway is disappointed by the decision. She underwent the therapy and said
      it changed her life. "I feel more grounded, more solid. [It was] one of the
      best feelings I've ever had. Just so blissful and peaceful and happy and
      calm," she said. Janeway's experience is overshadowed by that of Candace
      Newmaker -- a Durham girl who died in Colorado three years ago when she was
      smothered by blankets. Her two therapists went to jail.

      [Islam] Headscarf Issue Rears its Head Again
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5285-.html
      Over 70 women gathered in front of the symbolically significant statue of
      the Roman goddess Minerva -- the patron of teachers and the goddess of
      wisdom -- at the German parliament building in Berlin on Monday to plead for
      a more discerning and objective debate over the Muslim headscarf. The group,
      which sees itself working independently of political and religious
      considerations, signed an "appeal against a headscarf law." Initiated by
      Federal Commissioner for Integration and Foreigners, Marieluise Beck, the
      protest initiative includes politicians from across the party spectrum,
      scientists and leaders from the church and media. [...] The headscarf issue
      has rocked Germany and several parts of Europe with large Muslim populations
      in recent years with increasing frequency. The question of whether
      headscarf-wearing Muslim women should be allowed to take up posts in
      state-run schools and in public life and how far such a tradition
      compromises a western country's constitutionally-enshrined religious
      neutrality has sparked furious debate.

      [USA] U.S. ends Muslim registry
      http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5284-.html
      The Department of Homeland Security said Monday that it is largely scrapping
      a controversial Justice Department-initiated program requiring men from
      predominantly Muslim nations to come in for questioning, fingerprinting and
      photographing. The domestic registration program, which resulted in more
      than 83,000 foreign men in the U.S. being labeled "high national security
      concerns" because of their nationalities, also led to deportation
      proceedings against almost 14,000 of the men. Many of them had overstayed
      visas or ignored previous deportation orders. But the mandate, unveiled in
      June 2002 by Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft as a counterterrorism initiative, did
      not produce terrorism charges against anyone. [...] The Tribune highlighted
      the domestic registration program last month in a three-part series, "Tossed
      Out of America," which looked at the toll the initiative and others built on
      profiling by nationality have taken on individuals and families. A wave of
      deportations has sent men from predominantly Muslim nations to uncertain
      futures, separating them from wives and children, including U.S. citizens,
      while thousands of others fled immigrant enclaves in fear. The program also
      sowed resentment in communities in America and abroad, deepening suspicions
      among Muslims that the U.S. government is anti-Islam.

      Anton,
      Apologetics Index
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