ReligionNewsBlog.com, Feb. 11, 2004
- ReligionNewsBlog.com, Feb. 11, 2004
Wed, Feb. 11, 2004
[Yoga] Yoga: Talk can enhance sex life
You may have heard about it. Pop singer Sting once boasted he could make
love to his wife Trudie for some five hours. He attributed his feat to
practicing tantra, the Hindu-based postures and meditations designed to
enhance sexuality and spirituality. (He has since backed off after being the
butt of numerous jokes). However, interested parties can learn more about
tantra in a seminar, From Love and Pleasure to Bliss -- Real Tantra, this
weekend at Umaa Tantra South Beach.
[Offbeat News] Woman claims God sent her to lot for free car
A Mount Vernon woman who repeatedly has been arrested for trespassing at a
Woodbridge car dealership will be evaluated for mental competency after
maintaining in court Tuesday that God is ordering her to go to the lot. The
case against Marilyn Cole, 40, of 4420 Scarborough Square, appeared to
baffle Prince William County General District Court Judge Wenda K. Travers
for a time Tuesday morning following calm, often rational testimony from
Cole that God told her to get a free vehicle from Malloy Lincoln Mercury &
[The Passion of The Christ] Gibson: I'm not anti-Semitic
Speaking via live satellite to hundreds of churches across the United
States, Mel Gibson strongly denied that his controversial film, The Passion
of the Christ, is anti-Semitic. During a 40-minute, question-and-answer
session on Saturday night, Gibson said, "I'm not anti-Semitic. My Gospels
are not anti-Semitic. I've shown it to many Jews and they're like, it's not
anti-Semitic. It's interesting that the people who say it's anti-Semitic say
that before they saw the film, and they said the same thing after they saw
[The Passion of The Christ] Who would want to see a film this violent?
The film has already come in for vociferous criticism for allegedly kindling
anti-Semitism, but having just sat through its two hours six minutes of
virtually unremitting bloody beatings and torture, I would not be surprised
if anti-violence groups have their say as well. For, worthy and serious as
Gibson's treatment may be, his blood-drenched depiction of the final hours
of Jesus's life is harsh and brutal, dwelling almost entirely on pain,
suffering and torment.
[The Passion of The Christ] A 'Passion' Push
Glenn Barth of the Mission America Coalition, a Christian evangelical
ministry, has hardly seen anything like it. "My phone is ringing pretty much
from the minute I come into the office," said Barth, who is based in
Minneapolis. When the regular lines are busy, "people find me on my cell
phone and call me during lunch." The calls jamming Barth's phones are all
about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." And the pastors, church
leaders and campus evangelists on the line all want to know the same thing:
How can they plug into outreach efforts for the film, which is scheduled to
open nationwide on 2,000 screens Feb. 25, Ash Wednesday? "There's a buzz in
the Christian community across the country about this film that I haven't
seen about many events," said Barth, who is Mission America's national
facilitator for city and community ministries.
[The Passion of The Christ] Will Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ help save
For me, the repudiation of anti-Semitism in all forms is not merely an issue
of the utmost moral and theological significance, but integral to my
understanding of what it is to be a Christian. The issues raised by the film
are impossible to ignore. Christianity in the West is undeniably in crisis.
Christians who are ashamed of the historical basis of their faith will not
pass it on to the next generation - if, with our pathological failure to
reproduce, there is a younger generation. For Christians, The Passion is at
once a challenge to re-examine the most problematic aspects of their faith,
and an opportunity to share its most sublime mystery with others. Its
purpose is avowedly evangelical.
[Lyndon LaRouche] Drop-Outs Ask Students to Join LaRouche Cause
For several hours each day, the 30 college-aged youths file into a
nondescript business suite in Downtown Oakland to discuss the coming
collapse of the world's financial system and the one man who they believe
can save it. That man is eight-time presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche.
[...] On the West Coast, the movement has collected about 100 young people
from Los Angeles to Oakland, mostly through tabling on university campuses.
Members travel to dozens of college campuses aggressively recruiting members
and not hesitating to ask newcomers to quit school.
[Fraud] Man sentenced in $7 million Orange County church fraud
A 35-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for his role
in creating phony churches in Orange County that bilked charity donors of $7
million. [...] A federal jury in November found Lyons and childhood friend
Gabriel Bernardo Sanchez, 37, guilty of 33 counts of mail fraud and 10
counts of money laundering. Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced March 8.
Prosecutors said the scam began in 1993 when Sanchez started the First
Church of Life in Costa Mesa. He used the facility to register numerous
phony charities that did not have tax-exempt status, prosecutors charged.
[Raelians] Sect claims birth of human clone in Sydney
Controversial international cloning group Clonaid yesterday claimed it had
successfully created its sixth child - a boy born in Sydney last week. The
child is said to have been born in a Sydney hospital last week to infertile
parents living in the Sydney area. Clonaid project head biochemist Brigitte
Boisselier, in Australia to monitor the birth, said the boy had been
released from hospital.
[Alternative Healing] Conference explores alternative medical approaches
A symposium sponsored by the Aspen Center for Integrated Health under way at
the Aspen Institute has drawn a number of top experts in the field of
alternative medicine for an exploration of a complete mind-body approach to
healing. The Aspen Masters Conference on Integrative Medicine, which
concludes today with a panel discussion on the evidence of the success of
integrative medicine, is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the
how conventional practices can be combined with techniques from alternative
medicine to provide truly effective healing rather than just disease
[Offbeat News] The Three Wise Women
In an amazing coup for the politically correct lobby, Church of England
bosses declared the three may have been women. And so as not to offend, the
visitors will now be referred to with the nongender specific "magi".
[Sathya Sai Baba] Vajpayee to visit Sathya Sai Baba
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will visit Sathya Sai Baba, a spiritual
leader with millions of followers worldwide, at his ashram in Puttaparthi in
Andhra Pradesh Wednesday, officials said.
[Kabbalah] Revived interest in Jewish mysticism stirs controversy
Kabbalah has entered the realm of pop culture. [...] This can hardly be the
fate that the Kabbalah's creators -- Jewish mystics in the 13th through 16th
centuries who wrote the Zohar and related writings -- could have imagined
for their teachings, which were intended to reveal the inner meaning of the
Torah. And it has traditionalists up in arms. The phenomenon has been
derided on some Jewish Web sites as "McMysticism."
[Kabbalah] Kabbalah enters the mainstream culture
Kabbalah, also known as Jewish mysticism, has been gaining mainstream
popularity in the past several years. It has attracted celebrities including
Madonna, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Kabbalah, a unique part of the
Jewish faith, focuses on the spiritual aspects of Judaism. However, many
Jews argue that the popular media has misrepresented the true meaning of
Kabbalah, which they say is a spiritually enriching part of the Jewish
[James Redfield] Firm scouts area for 'Celestine Prophecy' film
A production company interested in turning the best-selling novel "The
Celestine Prophecy" into a movie has been scouting locations in Alachua and
[IPIC International] Fraud Suspect Put on 'Leash' Pending Trial
An Inland Empire man accused of masterminding an investment scam that
swindled evangelical Christians out of at least $160 million has been
released by a Dallas judge on an "electronic leash" pending trial,
authorities said Monday. U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn set bail terms
Friday for Gregory Setser of Rancho Cucamonga, requiring that he remain
within 10 miles of a home he owns in Canton, Texas, and that his mother, Eva
Setser Smith, pledge her mobile home in Montclair as security. Setser, 47,
was required to surrender his passport and to wear a device that allows
satellite tracking of his location, according to a court clerk.
[Faith Healing] L.A. faith healer sentenced to nine years in prison for
running unlawful practice
A faith healer was sentenced to nine years in state prison Monday in
connection with injecting drugs into a man who later died, authorities said.
Reina Chavarria, 49, was given the maximum sentence after pleading guilty in
November to three counts of tax evasion and four counts of unlawful medical
practice, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
[The Body] Woman admits role in child's death
Michelle Mingo, the woman whose prophecy led to the starvation murder of her
baby nephew, yesterday acknowledged her role in his death before walking out
of court with her "spiritual husband," apparently headed back to the
Attleboro religious sect whose teachings cost Samuel Robidoux his life and
Mingo custody of her five children.
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