Posts Tagged “hyperreligiosity”

Afghan demonstrators destroy a U.S. flag during a protest against Quran desecration in Helmand province, Feb. 23, 2012. (Getty)Having already displayed their raging, sanctimonious immaturity over some Qur’ans that had been burned at the Bagram military base in their country, Afghans decided to ramp it up even further, and have killed over it. CBS News reports on this murderous childishness (WebCite cached article):

Two U.S. troops have been shot to death and four more wounded by an Afghan solider who turned his gun on his allies in apparent anger over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, an Afghan official tells CBS News.

A statement from the International Security Assistance Force – Afghanistan, the international coalition in the country, confirmed that two troops were killed in Eastern Afghanistan on Thursday by “an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.” …

The source also said the shooting appeared to be motivated by the burning of Qurans at the sprawling U.S. Bagram air base, north of Kabul, but he did not provide additional details as to what led him to that conclusion.

Way to go, Afghans. Congratulations. Well done! I’m impressed. You must all be so proud of your accomplishment!

Update 1: Afghan immaturity continues to impress. As of Saturday, 2/25/2012, the violent protests continue, and more people have died as a result (cached). There doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.

Photo credit: Getty photo, via CBS News.

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Flip Benham accuses cameraman Mark Lyon of being being godless and supporting abortion.Two months ago I blogged on a strange religiofascist crew from out-of-state who decided to protest in front of a mosque in Bridgeport, Connecticut, screaming “Islam is a lie!” at it, among other things. At the time, I had never heard of their leader, Flip Benham, and assumed him to just be some run-of-the-mill hyperreligious nutjob with a lot of time on his hands. But authorities in North Carolina have known who he is; they prosecuted him for harassing doctors and he was recently convicted of this, as station WSOC TV-9 in Charlotte, NC explains (WebCite cached article):

A local pastor was found guilty Monday of stalking a doctor who performs abortions. He was sentenced to 24 months probation and plans to appeal.

Reverend “Flip” Benham posted wild west-style “Wanted” posters which gave the doctor’s name and home address. Benham said this was a free speech issue, that he has a constitutional right to speak his mind.

Now, I was surprised by a few things about this story. For example, the Connecticut Post had reported back in August that Benham was from Dallas, Texas (cached article). That turns out not to have been the case … he is, instead, from Concord, NC. I also had not realized he’s an ordained minister, of the Free Methodist Church, but he is. I also had not realized he was a founder of Operation Rescue … I’d thought that had Randall Terry had been its founder.

Quite aside from all of this, however, Benham is obviously off his rocker. And now, he’s a convict. His defense for what he did is rather thin:

Benham replied, “Nobody has gone and killed because [he or she] saw a poster. That is most absurd and logical fallacy that there possibly could be.”

First of all, as a ferocious religionist and fascist at heart, Benham wouldn’t know what a “fallacy” was, if one smashed him in the face and knocked him to the ground. Second, that Benham included the doctor’s face and address makes evident his intention to intimidate the doctor, at the very least. The Flipster may be free to practice his religion, but that freedom is not a license to harass or intimidate others, and intimidating or harassing speech is not protected by the First Amendment.

Hat tip: Lordrag at iReligion Forum on Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: marklyon.

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Afghans in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, shout anti-U.S. slogans Friday as they burn tires and block a highway during a protest in reaction to a small American church's plan to burn copies of the Quran.In an attempt to prove correct the Neocrusaders’ contention that Islam is a violent and dangerous religion, more riots broke out across Afghanistan over the burning of Qur’ans — which haven’t even taken place yet. USA Today and Reuters report on the latest event which left one person dead (WebCite cached version):

A demonstrator protesting plans to burn copies of the Quran at a Florida church was killed today in northeast Afghanistan as thousands of angry Afghans took to the streets in Kabul and five provinces, Reuters reports.

Reuters says the protester was shot and killed outside a German-run NATO base in northeast Afghanistan and NATO is investigating.

Obviously the Germans needed to be attacked, because the childish lunatic fringe in the US wants some attention. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Photo credit: Rahmat Gul / AP via USA Today.

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Andrew Sullivan, journalist and pioneering blogger whose views mostly have been in support of conservatism in the U.S., has decided to divest himself from the Right — and for reasons similar to my own for having done so. Earlier this week, he wrote:

It’s an odd formulation in some ways as “the right” is not really a single entity. But in so far as it means the dominant mode of discourse among the institutions and blogs and magazines and newspapers and journals that support the GOP, Charles Johnson is absolutely right in my view to get off that wagon for the reasons has has stated. Read his testament. It is full of emotion, but also of honesty.

In case you don’t know, Charles Johnson is another pioneering blogger, the man behind the Right-leaning blog Little Green Footballs. Sullivan goes on to say:

The relationship of a writer to a party or movement is, of course, open to discussion. I understand the point that Jonah Goldberg makes that politics is not about pure intellectual individualism; it requires understanding power, its organization and the actual choices that real politics demands. You can hold certain principles inviolate and yet also be prepared to back politicians or administrations that violate them because it’s better than the actual alternatives at hand. I also understand the emotional need to have a default party position, other things being equal. But there has to come a point at which a movement or party so abandons core principles or degenerates into such a rhetorical septic system that you have to take a stand. It seems to me that now is a critical time for more people whose principles lie broadly on the center-right to do so – against the conservative degeneracy in front of us.

Unfortunately, I saw conservatism’s “degeneracy” years ago and broke from it then. (Yes, I was a Republican party activist through the ’90s, despite my Agnosticism. It was not, then, an impediment to working for the Republican party in my home state of Connecticut. It would, however, very likely prevent me from being involved in the Republican party now; the non-religious no longer even have a home among Connecticut’s “moderate” Republicans.)

The chief reason for my departure was the GOP’s increasingly militant religiosity and the growing power of dominionists and quasi-dominionists within its ranks. As it happens, Sullivan also cites the Right’s religiosity as one point in his own indictment of the Right:

I cannot support a movement that holds that purely religious doctrine should govern civil political decisions and that uses the sacredness of religious faith for the pursuit of worldly power.

This is, of course, not new. Others associated with the Right have also noticed, and been repulsed by, the hyperreligiosity of US conservatism (e.g. Kathleen Parker, about whom I’ve blogged already). Hopefully, Sullivan’s mention of Right-wing religious militancy will be picked up by more people, and maybe this time someone will actually pay attention.

Then again, with the popularity of ardent religionists and quasi-dominionists among the Right (e.g. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, etc.), I doubt Sullivan’s critique will be enough. More than likely, the sanctimoniously-blinded Right will just cast aside Sullivan’s indictment by asserting that “he was never really a conservative,” and thus dismiss him. More’s the pity.

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Back in August I blogged on the death of Javon Thompson, a 1-year-old who was killed by his own mother because he didn’t say “amen” after meals. The AP reports (via MSNBC) on the mother’s unusual guilty plea:

A former religious cult member pleaded guilty Monday to starving her 1-year-old son to death after making an unusual deal with prosecutors: If the child is resurrected, her plea will be withdrawn.

Ria Ramkissoon, 22, also agreed to testify against four other members of the now-defunct religious group known as 1 Mind Ministries. All four are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Javon Thompson.

According to a statement of facts, the cult members stopped feeding the boy when he refused to say “Amen” after a meal. After Javon died, Ramkissoon sat next to his decomposing body and prayed for his resurrection.

Ramkissoon’s attorney, naturally, defended this defendant-indulging plea deal:

Ramkissoon’s attorney, Steven D. Silverman, said Ramkissoon believes the resurrection will occur. She agreed to plead guilty only after prosecutors said they would drop the charges if the child comes back to life, Silverman said.

“This is something that she absolutely insisted upon, and this is indicative of the fact that she is still brainwashed, still a victim of this cult,” he said. “Until she’s deprogrammed, she’s not going to think any differently.”

While I can understand a defense attorney indulging his client — after all, they make their livings indulging sociopaths — no explanation is offered for why the prosecution or the judge chose to indulge the defendant with this bizarre plea. I’m not sure that it’s wise for the justice system to participate in and endorse the pathological religious delusions of a woman who would kill her own son.

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