Robots * Christian Identity * Resurrection * Fundamentalism

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Larry McQuilliams, the man who shot up downtown Austin buildings and tried to burn the Mexican Consulate before he was gunned down by police harbored extremist right-wing views and appeared to be planning a broader attack against churches and government facilities, law enforcement officials said Monday, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators said McQuilliams left no note describing a specific motive or why he picked his targets. However, inside his van investigators found a copy of “Vigilantes of Christendom,” a 1990 book associated with the Christian Identity movement known as the Phineas Priesthood. The shadowy sect holds religious beliefs against banking, abortion and a strong central government and espouses anti-Semitic and racist views. The book describes the Phineas Priesthood as Christian guerrillas who avenge Judeo-Christian traitors. Inside the book was a handwritten note that referred to McQuilliams as a “priest in the fight against anti-God people,” [Austin Police Chief Art] Acevedo said.

Christian Identity” is not an official movement. It has no leadership, headquarters, official doctrines, or any other organizational structure. Rather, the term refers to a loose and diverse collection of groups, churches and individuals who share certain common ideas rooted in a white supremacist worldview.

It is, in essence, a collection of hate groups whose adherents believe present day Anglo-Saxon people are direct descendants of the ancient Israelites, and have thus inherited all God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants. They teach that Jews are descendants of a sexual union between Eve and Satan, and that Blacks and other nonwhite races are “mud people” on the same level as animals, and therefore have no souls and cannot be saved by God.

A good book on the topic is, Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement, by Michael Barkun.

A ‘devout Christian woman’ in Canada left her husband’s corpse in an upstairs bedroom for six months, expecting his resurrection.

Peter Wald died “around March 20” last year at the age of 52. He’d suffered from diabetes and his left foot had become infected. But he had refused to go to the hospital and believed God would cure him, the Hamilton Spectator writes.

Than, for six months his wife, Kaling and her six children prayed for his resurrection.

His corpse, in a bad state, was discovered last September when police had arrived at the house to evict the family after they defaulted on the mortgage.

When police interviewed Kaling, her children and seven adult friends, each provided a consistent account of Peter Wald’s death and their religious belief that he could be resurrected.

On Monday Kaling Wald, 50, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to notify police or the coroner that her husband had died due to a sickness that was not being treated by a doctor. Other criminal charges — neglect of duty regarding a dead body, and offering an indignity to a body — were dismissed.

Kaling received a suspended sentence and 18 months of probation. She says that while she still strongly believes in resurrection, she would not act the same way again should the situation arise.

Are you religious, and haven’t thought about robots? Perhaps you should consider how you’d view human-like android robots working and living alongside humans.

According to research by Karl MacDorman, an associate professor of human-computer interaction at Indiana University in Indianapolis, and Steven Entezari, a Ph.D. student at Indiana University, religious fundamentalists tend to view human-like robots as being more creepy overall. (We wanted to insert a joke about televangelists here, but thought better of it).

Speaking about ‘religious fundamentalism‘… That term tends to be used willy-nilly by all and syndry folks who may not necessarily understand what a fundamentalist is.

How Will the Pope Play in 2016? Tom Kington, a Rome-based correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, says Francis’s softer brand of Catholicism kept his bishops out of the midterms—and they’re likely to tone down their message next time too.

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This post was last updated: Dec. 2, 2014