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Member since: Sun Jan 14, 2007, 01:51 PM
Number of posts: 7,981

Journal Archives

'N Sync's Lance Bass Making Doc About Religious Brainwashing

Lance Bass is undoubtedly best known as one of the members of the ‘90s boy band ‘N Sync. But aside from building an acting résumé with voice work in Handy Manny and Hell & Back, he’s been branching out into producing films. And his latest seems guaranteed to cause quite a stir. The Wrap reports Bass will serve as an executive producer on the in-the-works documentary Kidnapped for Christ, which will focus on how an Evangelical Church reform school attempts to modify the behavior of troubled kids and gay youth.

The film marks the directorial debut of Kate Logan, who previously produced the documentary Haiti: The Sleeping Giant. A former Evangelical missionary herself, Logan is familiar with the tenets of the faith and was given incredible access to an American-run "therapeutic Christian boarding school" in the Dominican Republic called Escuela Caribe. But when when her cameras go behind the scenes there, she is shocked to discover the methods invoked to produce change in these teens. Fellow producer Mike C. Manning, who starred in Real World: D.C., explains, “Parents think they’re doing the right thing by sending their children to these places. We want to show them that these schools are not what they seem.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 08:24 AM (4 replies)

N.Y. Freethought Trail traces nonbelievers who chartered a historic course

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (RNS) More than 29,000 people visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park each year, where they sit on the wooden pews in the faded brick Wesleyan Chapel where, in 1848, 100 activists signed the first document in world history to declare “all men and women are created equal.”

But most visitors will hear little of the role that freethought — the philosophical view that challenges both religious and secular orthodoxies — played in extending women the right to vote in 1920.

What’s more, not many know that without freethought there would have been no push for women’s equality, abolition or reproductive rights.

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Aug 30, 2013, 04:36 AM (2 replies)

Christian Girl Guide troop agrees to adopt secular Promise

A Girl Guide troop that vowed to stick to the original religious Promise has backed down after a meeting with senior leaders.

The Daily Mail reports that representatives of the St Paul's troop in Harrogate met senior leaders of Girlguiding UK at the weekend to discuss the stand off.

The troop had refused to adopt the new secular Promise, which omits the original pledge to love God and is due to come into effect on 1 September.

However, a complaint was made by volunteer Jem Henderson, 28, after she was told by pack leader Hazel Mitford that the troop would be "sticking with the previous Promise".

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Aug 30, 2013, 04:31 AM (0 replies)

Christianity is dying in England, and in France Catholic priests are only preaching to pensioners

The Rt Rev Mark Davies was delivering his grim message to more than 1,000 young Catholics, aged between 16 and 30, at a five-day prayer-fest in Norfolk. He urged them to make a “clear stand” for their faith after recent Government data which suggest Christians living in Britain will soon become a minority.

The bishop told his audience that the results of the last census suggested most Britons would not describe themselves as Christians by 2020. A recent think-tank warned that 4,000 churches could close by 2020 if congregations continue to shrink at current rates.

Bishop Davies said:

With more than three million in Rio last month and with more than a thousand in Walsingham this weekend, we might not really feel like a minority but that is what Christians are about to become in this country of ours.

By 2020, if the analysis of the recent census is to be believed, most people in this land will no longer identify themselves in any way as Christians.

Posted by SecularMotion | Wed Aug 28, 2013, 03:34 PM (2 replies)

Thank the Catholic church for terrifying abortion restrictions in Latin America

States have adopted 43 restrictions on access to abortion, the second-highest number ever at the midyear mark and the same number enacted in all of 2012. These numbers are alarming and many American women are rightfully worried. I'm terrified by the trend.

If women in the US aren't careful, we might find ourselves in a similar situation as our southern neighbours in Latin America and the Caribbean, which still have extreme abortion restrictions (pdf). Although most Latin American countries are supposedly secular, the Catholic church continues to insert itself into governments. Abortion is broadly legal in only six countries, which means it's permitted either without restriction as to reason or on socioeconomic grounds. These countries only account for less than 5% of the region's women aged 15 to 44. Because of these limitations, many women resort to "traditional practitioners" who use unsafe methods and purchase abortion-inducing drugs from pharmacists and other vendors.

The World Health Organization estimates that in Latin America and the Caribbean a staggering 12% of all maternal deaths were due to unsafe abortions in 2008. In the name of religion, girls as young as 9 years old have been inhumanely denied abortions though their pregnancies were life- threatening. Their family members and doctors have even been threatened with excommunication.

Why is Latin America so far behind the US and Europe in terms of abortion rights? In her article "The Politics of Abortion in Latin America", Cora Fernandez Anderson points out that while feminist movements were gaining momentum in Europe and North America in the 1960s and '70s, Latin American countries were busy fighting dictatorships and civil wars

Posted by SecularMotion | Tue Aug 27, 2013, 12:05 PM (3 replies)

Catholic bishop stumps for the Republican party. Why?

Catholic bishops have their party affiliations just like other Americans. Bishops also have the right to be politically active. They also can take matters a step further and overtly support one political party over another.

But can does not mean should.

As religious leaders, Catholic bishops need to exercise what is called "prudential judgment," especially when it comes to publicly identifying with an established political organization either on the local or national level.

While prudence is a cardinal virtue, it is often in short supply in the American Catholic hierarchy. A recent appearance by Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin gives ample evidence of this uncomfortable fact.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sun Aug 25, 2013, 05:07 AM (3 replies)

‘Christians are the new blacks’ because of LGBT ‘Jim Crow laws’

American Family Association (AFA) Director of Issues Analysis Bryan Fischer says that a New Mexico Supreme Court unanimous decision finding that a wedding photographer violated the state’s Human Rights Act by discriminating against a same sex couple proves that “Christians are the new blacks.”

On his Thursday radio show, Fischer wondered when “Christians are going to start filing suit against the people who are filing suit against them.”

“You are violating this non-discrimination law because you are discriminating against me on the basis of my religion,” he explained.

Fischer went on to link that ruling to a July federal court decision not to hear a challenge to the Obamacare contraception mandate. That challenge was brought by Mennonite Christian cabinet makers in Pennsylvania, who will now have to provide their workers health insurance that covers birth control.

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Aug 24, 2013, 02:42 PM (8 replies)

Attempt To Recruit Christian Workers Violates State And Federal Law

The director of operations of a Subway franchisee, in West Virginia, sent letters to several churches and congregations saying his company was “in need of Christian employees.” I’m sure some people will not see the problem with such a letter, after all a business should be able to make hiring decisions that prefer a particular group of people. Some may think the guy was just trying to reach out to a segment of people to recruit more workers. The problem is that such outreach is actually against state and federal law.

Kermit Ball, the director of operations for Hammond Group Inc., which owns the Subways, sent the letter, publishing employment opportunities at the restaurants. It was sent to at least four churches and congregations in the Charleston and Huntington areas.

The letter, and subsequent statements from Ball, seem to imply that Hammond Group Inc. would prefer to hire Christian employees, finding them more honest.

The letter, in part, reads: “Due to changing times, we are looking for good honest people. If you have anyone in your congregation in need of a job, or new career, please have them contact us at the address provided above. We are looking for sandwich artists, shift managers, assistant managers and supervisers. The Hammond Group owns and operates 20 Subway restaurants. We are a Christian based company and in need of Christian employees.”

Posted by SecularMotion | Sat Aug 24, 2013, 09:51 AM (22 replies)

What Catholic Women Want

When Pope Francis convened his now-famous press conference aboard the papal plane during his trip home from World Youth Day, he drew international attention with his comments on homosexuality, specifically his words, “Who am I to judge?” (Only the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.)

But many in the church eyebrows.and hopes were also raised when the first Jesuit pope called for a “deeper theology of women.”

It’s true that Francis dismissed the possibility of women’s ordination to the priesthood, calling it a “closed door.” But he also noted “a lack of a theological development” when it comes to the female half of the world’s population and proclaimed that “the role of the woman in the church mustn’t only end as mom and worker.”

The pope said women are “more important than the bishops and priests” and referenced debates over women in the church, implying that the controversy over whether women can be altar servers, lectors and heads of major organizations is over.

Posted by SecularMotion | Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:14 PM (19 replies)

Measles Outbreak at Vaccine-Denying Pastor Kenneth Copeland's Fort Worth Church

For several days now, state health officials have been sounding the alarm about a nascent measles outbreak in North Texas. As of Friday, there had been nine confirmed cases, a number that will grow as new reports from local health agencies filter up to the state.

The epicenter of the outbreak is Tarrant County, which has now confirmed 10 cases, and the epicenter of cases in Tarrant County seems to be at Eagle Mountain International Church.

Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons delivered the news in a sermon last Wednesday:

There has been a ... confirmed case of the measles from the Tarrant County Public Health Department. And that is a really big deal in that America, the United States has been essentially measles free for I think it's 10 years. And so when measles pops up anywhere else in the United States, the health department -- well, you know, it excites them. You know what I mean I don't mean. I don't mean they're happy about it, but they get very excited and respond to it because it doesn't take much for things like that to spread.

The sermon was awkward, to say the least. Pearsons is the eldest daughter of megapastor Kenneth Copeland, and her church is one of the cornerstones of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, his sprawling evangelical empire. He's far from the most vocal proponent of the discredited theory that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism, but, between his advocacy of faith healing and his promotion of the vaccine-autism link on his online talk show, he's not exactly urging his flock to get their recommended shots.

Posted by SecularMotion | Thu Aug 22, 2013, 02:57 PM (46 replies)
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