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DoubleVision: two troubles with religions

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — religious violence and sexual abuse scandals from a perspective grounded in comparative religion ]
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Two images from my feed a couple of days ago, similar enough that they make a (visual) DoubleQuote:


The Atlantic, Abolish the Priesthood


WaPo, Sri Lankan government blocks social media and imposes curfew following deadly blasts

**

The first image above comes from an article in the Atlantic about child sexual abuse by members of the Catholic priesthood and accompanying cover-ups by the church hierarchy.

  • The Atlantic, Abolish the Priesthood
  • The abuses are horrific.They are horrific, horrific.

    My grouse here is that articles such as this focus on the Catholic Church, although Billy Graham’s grandson claims the situation is similar if not worse among Protestants; sexual abuse of spiritual authority and cover-ups are also found in so-called “sects” such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in other religions altogether:

  • Vice, Billy Graham’s Grandson Says Protestants Abuse Kids Just Like Catholics
  • The Atlantic, A Secret Database of Child Abuse
  • Tricycle, a Buddhist magazine, Sex in the Sangha … Again
  • And if that’s not enough — consider this list of non-religiously specific sources of sexual abuse the Feeney Law Firm, LLC encounters in its practice:

  • Feeny Law Firm, Sexual Abuse and Assault Lawsuits
  • **

    The second image above is from a Washington Post piece of April 22nd, about “the aftermath of suicide attacks that killed hundreds of people” in churches and hotels across the island. The coordinated attacks were claimed by ISIS, but appear to have been locally planned and executed.

    Executed: what a word!

    My plea here is simple: that extremists should cease targeting followers of other religions in the names of their own various religions.

    As I’ve noted before, attacks here in the US and abroad have included:

  • The Gurdwara (Sikh temple), Oak Creek, WI, 2012
  • Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, NC, 2015
  • The Tree of Life and New Light synagogues in Pittsburgh, PA, 2018
  • The Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, NZ, 2019
  • and violent extremists can be found claiming affiliation to these religions:

  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • **

    Violence in the name of religion — whether personal violence as in sexual abuse or political violence as in the case of terrorism — is both human and deeply abhorrent. Understanding how widespread the human urge to violence in fact is will tend to put our recriminations against any particular religion into a clearer perspective. Religions, too, can benefit greatly from acknowledging, and not hiding, the shameful skeletons in their various closets.

    As David Ronfeldt would say: Onwards!

    Christian, Piano-playing, ISIS-sympathizing terror

    Friday, May 3rd, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — it’s a good and bad speckled universe ]
    .

    Christian terrorist?

    Both words, Christian and terrorist, need examining, but they’re not the wrong words, nor the right ones. Also, note (in big print) that this is the view from a Progressive, Secular, Humanist perspective — those three words are also worth pondering.

    Context, context, context, as the realtors would say if they were selling attention-space..

    **

    To give you some context, then, let’s consider these terrorist killings with religious targets:

  • The Gurdwara (Sikh temple), Oak Creek, WI, 2012
  • Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, NC, 2015
  • The Tree of Life and New Light synagogues in Pittsburgh, PA, 2018
  • The Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, NZ, 2019
  • and these religions with affiliated terrorists:

  • Jewish religious terrorism
  • Christian terrorism
  • Islamic terrorism<
  • Saffron terror
  • Morals:

  • You can be hated on account of your religion
  • You can hate on account of your religion
  • Your co-religionists may have reason to feel you are outsiders
  • The proportions of violent to other believers varies between times, religions
  • Religions & groups may differ on where injustice requires redress
  • Listening, which involves humility, is a necessary feature of compassion.
  • There’s plenty of room for nuance here — as fractal theorists would say, the world is self-similar at different scales — or at the poet GM Hopkins puts it, “dappled”.

    **

    Let’s peer a little closer:

    Half the equation? Presumably terrorist would be the other half?

    Uh-oh: piano-playing and nursing…

    That’s not at all what I was expecting..

    Sources:

  • Prog Sec Hum, Christian Terrorist John Earnest Issued Manifesto
  • GetReligion, Yes, John Earnest put ‘Christian’ label into play
  • Daily Beast, Synagogue Shooting Suspect, a Piano-Playing Nursing Student
  • **

    To repeat the point that it’s not just one religion that’s involved either in violence or as a target, let’s switch religions — these things are simultaneous rather than separate:

    Islamic Terrorist?

    Source:

  • Metro, US Army vet Mark Domingo ‘plotted Isis bomb attack
  • A US army vet turned ISIS-supporter attacking neo-Nazis? That’s just one more curious instance of how these hard-to-imagine cookies crumble..

    **

    To return to our Christian:

    Before he allegedly walked into a synagogue in Poway, Calif., and opened fire, John Earnest appears to have written a seven-page letter spelling out his core beliefs: that Jewish people, guilty in his view of faults ranging from killing Jesus to controlling the media, deserved to die. That his intention to kill Jews would glorify God.

    Days later, the Rev. Mika Edmondson read those words and was stunned. “It certainly calls for a good amount of soul-searching,” said Edmondson, a pastor in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a small evangelical denomination founded to counter liberalism in mainline Presbyterianism. Earnest, 19, was a member of an OPC congregation. His father was an elder. He attended regularly. And in the manifesto, the writer spewed not only invective against Jews and racial minorities but also cogent Christian theology he heard in the pews.

    That’s WaPo‘s opinion, and we don’t know how strong WaPo‘s theological understanding is.

    This pastor, however seems to me to get it right:

    “When there’s an act of ‘radical Islamic terror’ — somebody claiming they’re motivated by their Islamic faith — if we’re going to call upon moderates in Muslim communities to condemn those things, we should do the same. I wholeheartedly, full stop, condemn white nationalism,” said Chad Woolf, an evangelical pastor in Fort Myers, Fla., who was one of the first to join in heated debate online about how the attack reflects on evangelicalism. “We should recognize that somebody could grow up in an evangelical church, whose father was a leader, and could somehow conflate the teachings of Christianity and white nationalism. We should be very concerned about that.”

    Okay, I have now read the complete manifesto, and if WaPo‘s headline writers think it contains theology, WaPo is paying less than ideal attention. The manifesto quotes scriptures — Matthew 27:24-25, John 8:37-45, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, Revelation 2:9, Revelation 3:9 and one other verse of which he says “I forget where in the Bible this verse comes from, but it’s definitely in there” — but quoting (cherry-picking) scripture isn’t theology, it’s quoting scripture. And there’s one paragraph that might serve as an intro paragraph in some moderately bright student paper on Protestantism:

    To my brothers in Christ of all races. Be strong. Although the Jew who is inspired by demons and Satan will attempt to corrupt your soul with the sin and perversion he spews—remember that you are secure in Christ. Turn away from your sin. Not because it is required for your salvation—for nobody save Christ can merit heaven based on his own works—but rather out of gratitude for the gift of salvation that your God has given you. Always remember that it is God that is keeping you alive and in faith. All sin stems from the arrogant belief that one does not need God. Satan was so prideful that he actually truly believed (that he, a created being) could overthrow the Ancient of Days—the Creator of all in existence. Satan inspired this rebellion among humanity. Christ alone is the only source of life. Know that you are saved in Christ and nothing—not death, nor torture, nor sin—can steal your soul away from God.

    All else is ugliness, and I won’t quote.

    What’s more lovely? By all accounts, the shooter’s father ..

    Sources:

  • WaPo, The alleged synagogue shooter was a churchgoer who talked Christian theology
  • Reddit, I knew John T. Earnest, the shooter of the Chabad synagogue
  • Some chyrons &c as my chyrons series draws towards a close..

    Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — this post has been lingering while I’ve been slowly adding elements, and with some Bach now firmly in place I think it’s past time to drop it into the slip-stream ]
    .

    This one’s priceless in a Matrioshka, Through the Looking Glass kind of way:

    Can the Actor Who Ruled Ukraine on TV Do It in Real Life?

    File it under life imitates art?

    **

    I’m tired of chasing chyrons. If I see stunners, I may bring them here, but I’ll be concentrating on other things.

    **

    I was surprised to overhear the words “perfect sacrifice” in a baseball commentary my room-mate was attendinmg to, but apparently the phrase fits in the context of bunts – what those are, I still don’t know – as well as they do in the context of the Eucharistic liturgy, often considered, eg by Pope John Paul II , as a perfect sacrifice of praise..

    What can I say? My ears perked up.

    **

    Three levels of beauty for your illumination:

    Lidia Ksiazkiewicz

    Lidia Ksiazkiewicz at her instrument:

    Lidia Ksiazkiewicz plays Bach’s Fantasia in G major, BWV 572, on the great organ of Laon cathedral in 2012:

    **

    This one’s an almost ouroboros — Chris Matthews on Hardball:

    The Democrats don’t know how to play hardball>>

    **

    From the poets — Walt Whitman:

    both in and out of the game, and watching

    Life, the game, yes. And Shakespeare:

    The southern wind
    Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,
    And by his hollow whistling in the leaves
    Foretells a tempest and a blustering day.

    Marvelous. Those unexpected words can break through the strands of conventional thought that spin their deadly shroud about us every day.

    **

    “IT’S GOING TO BE A GUERRILLA WAR”: THE SANDERS LEFT OPENS FIRE ON BIDEN

    Within a few hours of Joe Biden’s official presidential announcement, the Justice Democrats, the progressive group behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise to power, brought out the flamethrower.

    **

    So as you see, this is the sort of amount that would have made the first quarter of a chyrons series post a couple of weeks ago, and today it’s all I’ve collected in a week or so. I’m really cutting back on this game, and will be concentrating on other areas..

    **

    Let’s close here with this trio:

    That’s the rough number.

    That’s just this last week.

    And here’s the exact figure, if there’s no margin of error, which seems unlikely..

    I’m leaving some terrorism screen-grabs for a later post.

    It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 9

    Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

    { by Charles Cameron — dishes, grills, tightens gag, silences, burns, pretends, plays — a mixed bag — wait for the next post to drop! ]
    .

    I’m hurrying through this post to get to the next, which will be a special chyron issue on the concept of a Second Civil War

    **

    Gagging Stone chyrons:

    Misc chyrons:

    Mueller end-game chyrons:

    And a couple of headers:

    **

    Quotes:

    Nicolle Wallace:

    In Vietnam time he’s going to have his first day of meetings scheduled so far with Kim Jong Unon Wednesday. Wednesday night in Vietnam 9s going to be the morning here in Washington when Cohen is testifying, so if Trump is going to be paying attention to that Cohen testimony, he’s not going to be getting much sleep between his first night and meeting with Kim Jong Un and his second day of meetings with Kim Joh Un on Tuesday.

    It could be quite a split screen moment for the President [in Vietnam when Cohen testifies

    The New York Attorney is expected to charge Paul Manafort, seemingly check-mating him ..

    Heidi Przybyla: Islamic terrorism is more promoted in oress releases by the Department of Justice than these incidence of home grown white nationalist domestic terrorists ..

    Eugene Robinson: When the reality is exactly the opposite; the reality is exactly the opposite, the real threat is from white nationalist hoke grown terrorists..

    It’s a cult of personality ..

    Ari Melber, The Beat:

    We’ve talked about staying in lanes ..

    Hardball, Chris Matthews:

    04 I think once Paul Manafort left the Trump campaign, there were all these questions about him specifically, so I think he was a little bit radioactive ..
    08 Kristof: I don’t know if the sentencing memo is going to connect those dots for us ..
    NK: the dots are all over ..
    Manafort has been double-dealing*** with the prosecutor ..
    Noah Rothstein: The President will be just one dot in those many dots ..
    He might just be a bit-player*** ..
    [57: chyron or clip: kamikaze: ]

    All In, Chris Hayes:

    Was there any talk about this [??] during the Nixon days? I wonder whether this is a strategy that has been worked out before, or war-gamed before..
    Elie Mystal: Southern District of New York is coming at Trump like syphilis. It’s going to make him crazy, and it’s never going away ..
    Rutger Bregman at Davos: It feels like I’m in a fire-fighters’ conference, and no-one’s allowed to talk about water ..

    The deliciousness of snakes that bite their tails, &c

    Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — continuing my miscellaneous collections, with metaphor, paradox &c a specialty ]
    .

    Two recent headers caught my eye:

    and:

    **

    You can see why I like those two — there’s something very attractive about the way those headlines double back on themselves.Writers know this self-referential form — the serpent biting it’s tail, or ouroboros — I’ve been suggesting for some time that it’s also a useful heuristic marker of matter of special interest, worth particular attention by intel, natsec and geopolitical analysts.

    **

    Okay, another item — a double number his time — for the collections series:

    This is from about a week ago, I think, and belongs in my war as metaphor category.

    Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, or perhaps said, “The world is so full of a number of things, I ‘m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” I’m that happy, I have to admit, though I’ve no idea whether kings themselves are — hey, given that Shakespeare himself wrote “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown…”

    **

    Gov. Northam‘s predicament is one I won’t comment on, but Rev Al Sharpton had a few comments I found worth noting:

  • This (KKK outfit) is a terrorist uniform .. a terrorist, racist outfit ..
  • You’ve got to be consistent if you’re going to take a moral stand ..
  • Clan robe is a terr– Clan represents lynchings, murder, bloodshed; there’s no way to act like you didn’t understand ..
  • When Sharpton didn’t feel the Northam had sufficiently plumbed the depths of black dismay at the confluence of KKK and blackface on his page, the Rev — at least to my ear — put considerable emphasis on the concept of terrorism — the KKK as home-grown, native-born, internal, domestic, normal, pretty much, right-wing terrorists.

    And they’re still around:

    Georgia, 2016

    **

    Anyway, I’ll continue dropping visuals in here, and relegate most of my text collections to this and other comments sections.


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