Religion News, Wednesday July 15, 2015

Scientology quacks at work:

After a Church of Scientology-backed group helped organize a campaign against it, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed legislation that would have given Texas doctors more power to detain mentally ill and potentially dangerous patients, according to records obtained by The Texas Tribune.

The group in question is the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) — a Scientology front group that fights against alleged abuses in psychiatry and psychology. (Yes, it’s an odd name. Scientology and human rights do not normally go hand in hand).

After all, Scientology hates psychiatry with a passion.

The cult’s primary goal is to “clear the planet” by “obliterating psychiatry.”

To normal people the organization is known as the destructive space-alien cult that teaches, promotes, and engages in quackery:

Medical claims within Scientology’s secret teachings
Scientology versus medicine
The healing claims of Scientology

Here’s a site you’ll want to bookmark and use: What is Scientology?

In our view, CCHR is morally reprehensible — a dangerous hate group.

So here’s the moment more than 30 people, mostly women and children, made their way to freedom after escaping the IS barbarians who kidnapped them.

This footage — filmed in Northern Iraq — is part of Escape From ISIS, to be broadcast by the UK’s Channel 4, tonight at 10pm UK time.

The Independent says

In August 2014 the area was attacked by Isis, with the militants killing hundreds and capturing 3,000 Yazidi women and young girls.

Isis locked up their captors and forced many to convert to Islam; the kidnapping has been described as the largest of its kind this century.

We steadfastly refer to IS/Isis/Daesh members as barbarians. These depraved savages — who pretend to be Muslims — have no qualms committing the most horrendous crimes.

Last April Human Rights Watch released a report that documents how Isis has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls.

Human Rights Watch documented a system of organized rape and sexual assault, sexual slavery, and forced marriage by ISIS forces. […]

“ISIS forces have committed organized rape, sexual assault, and other horrific crimes against Yezidi women and girls,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Those fortunate enough to have escaped need to be treated for the unimaginable trauma they endured.”

Incidentally, while climate change is seen as the ‘top global threat,’ the Pew Research Center says Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners Focus on ISIS as Greatest Danger

Wheaton chaplaincy staffer Julie Rodgers [attracted to women, celibate] backs same-sex relationships, quits the evangelical college, Religion News Service reports.
Julie Rodgers

The news of Rodgers blessing committed, same-sex relationships has upset many evangelicals who have presented her as a model gay Christian. […]

The most critical portion of Rodgers statement wasn’t her affirmation of same-sex relationships but her condemnation of how the church treats celibacy.

“I’ve become increasingly troubled by the unintended consequences of messages that insist all LGBT people commit to lifelong celibacy,” Rodgers wrote.

“No matter how graciously it’s framed, that message tends to contribute to feelings of shame and alienation for gay Christians. It leaves folks feeling like love and acceptance are contingent upon them not-gay-marrying and not-falling-in-gay-love…. It’s hard to believe we’re actually wanted in our churches. It’s hard to believe the God who loves us actually likes us.”

Are you a Christian sharing fake news? Cut it out!

Twelve years in, US bishops’ sexual abuse charter is facing challenges.

US Catholics at every level need to guard against “a tendency for complacency” toward the sexual abuse crisis says Deacon Bernie Nojadera, executive director of the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops:

“We have established procedures and policies, and we think that we have that in place,” he told Catholic News Service. “There might not be that ongoing mindfulness and certain small things might start to slide. They are not really paid attention to the way they should.”

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Brazilian Evangelicals set up a ‘sin free’ alternative to Facebook

A group of Evangelical Christians in Brazil have set up Facegloria — a sin-free version of Facebook, the Telegraph reports.

The service is patrolled by volunteers who prevent the posting of all-too-revealing selfies, 600 banned words, and anything related to homosexuality or, for that matter, the whole LGBT alphabet of lifestyles.

The paper notes that 42 million of Brazil’s 202 million people are estimated to be Evangelicals – and that the “fervent Protestant movement continues to make inroads into traditionally dominant Catholicism.”
Facegloria

Brazil has the world’s biggest Roman Catholic population.

However Evangelicals, who numbered just six per cent of the population in 1980, are now 22 per cent, while the Catholic total has dropped from 90 per cent to 63 per cent.
At that rate, Evangelicals will become the majority by 2040 and Facegloria hopes to be riding the wave.

But the term ‘Evangelical’ is rather flexible and not clearly-defined. For instance, the Telegraph says that

the biggest-selling books in Brazil over the last two years have been autobiographical works by Edir Macedo, who founded the powerful Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in 1977, and owns the country’s third-biggest media group.

Macedo and his church are controversial, to say the least. Both have a seemingly insatiable appetite for money.

Many Christians consider the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus) to be theologically a cult of Christianity.

It promotes the teachings of the Word-Faith Movement, with a particular emphasis on the seed-faith doctrine.

According to this teaching God cannot bless you (with health and wealth) unless you ‘sow’ a seed of faith (yes, money — ‘donated’ to the church).

Perhaps Brazilia’s evangelicals have yet to find the story about Jesus and the money-changers.

Anyway, Facegloria has attracted 100,000 users in its first month, and the folks behind it expect to have 10 million users in Brazil in 2 years time. After that, the world.

Acir dos Santos, the mayor of Ferraz de Vasconcelos — and the person who provided the start-up capital — says there’s no limit.

“Our network is global. We have bought the Faceglory domain in English and in all possible languages. We want to take on Facebook and Twitter here and everywhere,” he said.