Archive for the ‘Religious misconduct’ Category

So, why is brainwashing of children perfectly acceptable?

July 19, 2016

Yesterday a radicalised, 17 year old, Afghan refugee, armed with an axe and knives, shouting “Allahu Akbar”, went on a rampage on a train in Würzburg, Germany. He wounded 4 seriously and injured many others and was shot dead.

It seems that “freedom of religion” includes the fundamental right to brainwash children. It is not only allowed but is encouraged. Is it then surprising that a radicalisation epidemic is now raging? There is very little “freedom” here.

children - catholic Erbil image catholicnewsagency

catholic refugee children in Erbil image catholicnewsagency

children - islamic kidergarden Austria - Getty images

children – islamic kindergarden Austria – Getty images

children - hindu image The Hindu

children – hindu image The Hindu

children -buddhist school Thailand image -The Guardian

children -buddhist school Thailand image -The Guardian

Most people are not prone to radicalisation. But having been brainwashed as a child does make for good preparation.

Belief, and religions, only exist in the “Space of Ignorance”. Any true belief ought to be the result of a cognitive-emotional process followed by every individual. It is hardly true belief when it is force-fed to children long before they have reached emotional or cognitive maturity.

What is not knowledge is ignorance. Religions only exist in the Space of Ignorance


Another declared Saint who is probably in purgatory (if not in hell)

September 24, 2015

Pope Francis is taking a big chance by “fast-tracking” people to sainthood with a much diluted quality control system. Some of his declared saints may actually be in the Other Place. On his visit to the US he has taken the entirely political decision to name the “18th-Century missionary Junipero Serra a saint, in a move cheered by Hispanic Catholics but criticised by some Native Americans. …. The Pope had “fast-tracked” his canonisation, meaning that there was no need to show proof of two miracles”.

Normally the quality control process for declaring a saint is quite involved (even if there is no way of measuring the success rate of the canonisation process)

  • First stage: individual is declared a ‘servant of God’
  • Second stage: individual is called ‘venerable’
  • Third stage (requires a miracle attributed to candidate’s intercession): beatification, when individual is declared blessed
  • Fourth stage (requires a further authenticated miracle): candidate is canonised as a saint for veneration by Church

Beatification in the Catholic church is just another politically inspired honours system.

The Catholic Church teaches that it does not, in fact, make anyone a saint. Rather, it recognizes a saint. In the Church, the title of Saint refers to a person who has been formally canonized (officially recognized) by the Catholic Church, and is therefore believed to be in Heaven. By this definition there are many people believed to be in Heaven who have not been formally declared as saints (most typically due to their obscurity and the involved process of formal canonization) but who may nevertheless generically be referred to as saints. All in Heaven are, in the technical sense, saints, since they are believed to be completely perfected in holiness. Unofficial devotions to uncanonized individuals take place in certain regions. Sometimes the word “saint” is used to refer to Christians still sojourning here on earth.

There are over 10,000 named saints and beatified people from history, the Roman Martyrology and Orthodox sources, but no definitive head count. The assumption that they are all in Heaven is just an assumption, a judgement made by the fallible living.

But for entirely political purposes, Pope Francis has waived the need for any “authenticated” miracles for Sera. The usual assumption is that somebody declared a saint is already well established in Heaven. Once a saint he can be prayed to and requested to intercede with God. But in the case of this new saint, that may not quite hold. St, Junipero Serra may well qualify as having been heavily involved in the genocide of the indigenous population.

The church’s quality control system is fundamentally flawed since the actual quality achieved is never measured. Some declared saints are likely not actually in Heaven but in the Other Place. A few might even be stuck in limbo – in Purgatory. Junipero Serra could be one of them. (The fallback safety of course is that the Pope is infallible).

Native NewsSerra was the first Padre presidente and architect of the California mission system from 1769 until his death in 1784. His policies unequivocally led to atrocities against our ancestors; he does not deserve the honor of sainthood.     .

On Sera’s watch more natives died than were born:

One way to answer the question of whether Junipero Serra was really good for the Native Americans he purported to serve was how natives were treated on the missions themselves. The backlash against Serra began when historians began to look at birth and death records on the missions and discovered that more natives were dying under Serra’s watch than being born — not a great indicator that Serra was saving native lives. The contemporary picture of the missions is less a “bucolic arcadia” than a feudal labor camp, with natives beaten if they violated Catholic teachings or didn’t work hard enough. Serra’s defenders point out that no native was forced to convert to Catholicism and live on the mission if he or she didn’t choose to; his critics point out that once someone chose to convert and live on the mission, soldiers would be sent after him if he tried to escape.

So what happens when a Catholic prays to a declared saint, supposed to be in Heaven, but who is actually in the Other Place? Perhaps the intercession is granted by Lucifer rather than the Other Guy?


“When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads” – Quran 47:4

November 19, 2014

It is a good thing there is no such thing as a Paradise where these IS vermin might come to gather. And if there was, it would be a veritable Hell.

No doubt they will quote scripture in their defense.

Quran 47:4 sūrat muḥammad

If you encounter the disbelievers in a battle, strike-off their heads. Take them as captives when they are defeated. Then you may set them free as a favor to them, with or without a ransom, when the battle is over. This is the Law. Had God wanted, He could have granted them (unbelievers) victory, but He wants to test you through each other. The deeds of those who are killed for the cause of God will never be without virtuous results.

translation Muhammad Sarwar

But a mass beheading of unarmed defeated men?

And what would be a fitting treatment for these vermin when they are captured?

May their genes shrivel and wither away. It is a travesty that human evolution has not yet eliminated these defectives.

Pope Francis slaps the Bishop of Bling gently on the wrist

October 23, 2013

A temporary suspension from his episcopal duties and a 3 month paid vacation is about all that Pope Francis could impose on the rich and powerful Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst.

The Bishop of Bling was summoned to the Vatican to be chastised for his extravagance and was even forced to travel by the modern equivalent of travelling on an ass. He flew Ryan Air!!

But he’s come out of it pretty well. No long drawn out trial. Just a 20 minute chat with the Pope. No inquisition or torture. He probably was not even shown the instruments. No hair shirts, no public penances, no washing of the feet of the poor in his diocese. (Mind you, the diocese is so rich they may not have many poor to speak of). No ceremonial unfrocking. Just a removal of his Bishop’s stole for a few weeks. It all seems very reminiscent of the high and the mighty being treated with kid gloves for their transgressions.

At which mountain resort he is going to spend his 3 month vacation has not been announced but I doubt if it will be uncomfortable or involve any “gardening leave”.

Pope Francis may have some new brooms but he will have to tread lightly when it comes to the traditional centres of power and wealth in the Church.

The Local (Italy): After private meetings with Pope Francis, a bishop who squandered millions on a luxury headquarters has decided to step down – for just three months – the Vatican confirmed on Wednesday.

Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst was summoned to the Vatican more than a week ago after reports of his enormous spending emerged at his new complex in western Germany emerged.

…. He met the Pope on Monday for a 20 minute discussion and on Wednesday the Vatican said: “The Holy See deems it appropriate to authorize a period of leave from the diocese for Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. The Holy Father has been continuously and objectively informed of the situation,” it said. A situation has been created in which the bishop can no longer exercise his episcopal duties.”

It is understood the bishop will resume his duties in three months and in the meantime the church is conducting an investigation into his spending at Limburg

Deutsche Welle:

 Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst shown taking off his stole. Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa

The Bishop of Bling – Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa

Vicar general Wolfgang Rösch from the neighboring city of Wiesbaden was named as the temporary caretaker for the bishop of Limburg’s diocese. Rösch had already been selected to become Limburg’s vicar general beginning January 2014.

In India religion is more destructive than natural “disasters”

October 14, 2013

The headlines tell the tale.

Religion and caste and all that follows from them are more debilitating in Modern India than any “natural disaster”.

It is time to do away with the majority of temples and mosques and churches and shrines – and it would not be wrong to replace them with toilets!

1. 113 dead in Madhya Pradesh temple stampede, toll likely to rise

Hindustan Times  – ‎12 minutes ago‎
At least 113 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a stampede on a crowded bridge across Sindh river leading to Ratangarh temple in Datia district of northern Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.

2. Death toll rises to 21, floods affect thousands in Odisha

Firstpost  – ‎7 minutes ago‎
The death toll due to pre and post cyclone Phailin devastations has gone up to 21. One more death was reported late Sunday night, a senior government official told IANS. “The latest death took place in Balasore, where two people were drowning in flood …

3. Sexual assault case: Asaram to be taken to Ahmedabad today

IBNLive  – ‎1 hour ago‎
Jodhpur: Self-styled godman Asaram will be brought to Ahmedabad on Monday for questioning in another sexual assault case. The Jodhpur court has given permission to the Gujarat police to take him in custody for interrogation in the case filed by two sisters …

4. UP govt suspends senior IAS officer Mishra  – ‎12 hours ago‎
Lucknow: A day after his transfer, senior IAS officer Sarvesh Chandra Mishra was today suspended and a departmental probe initiated against him over a controversial letter convening a meeting to discuss “reconstruction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya on lines …

5. No untouchability in politics, says Pawar

Indian Express  – ‎1 hour ago‎
NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, speaking at a programme organised by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari’s Purti Group here on Saturday, said “there should be no untouchability in social and political spheres of life”.

A Jewish Divorce – New Jersey (Sopranos) Style

October 11, 2013

Enterprising rabbis – like enterprising scientists – are also subject to “normal” human behaviour. Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark planned coercion and torture to effect a divorce for simple financial gain. These rabbi’s probably watched too much of The Sopranos (or perhaps The Sopranos was inspired in part by these enterprising rabbis?). “They did it for money, They didn’t do it out of religious conviction.” 

If their price for facilitating a divorce was over $50,000, one wonders what their price would have been for a more “permanent settlement”?


Two New Jersey rabbis have been arrested and charged with plotting to kidnap and torture a man to force him to grant a traditional Jewish divorce.

Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark asked for more than $50,000 (£32,000) to hire “tough guys” to attack a recalcitrant husband with cattle prods, authorities said.

The men and eight other suspects appeared in federal court on Thursday.

Under Orthodox Jewish belief, a husband must grant permission for a divorce. The permission comes in the form of a document known as a get. In some Orthodox communities a woman who has not obtained a get may not marry again even if a civil divorce is finalised. She may sue in rabbinical court, but some men ignore an unfavourable ruling, even if it means being estranged from the religious community.

The FBI investigation took place in Ocean and Middlesex counties in New Jersey and Rockland County in New York, and involved raids in both states, according to agency officials.

Two undercover FBI agents posing as a woman seeking a divorce and her brother called Rabbi Wolmark for help, and he connected them to Rabbi Epstein, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New Jersey.

The undercover agents videotaped their meeting.

“Basically, what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get,” Rabbi Epstein is quoted as saying during the conversation, according to the complaint. He added that the “tough guys” would use electric cattle prods and handcuffs and place a plastic bag over the man’s head, according to the complaint. 

Rabbi Epstein also allegedly told the undercover agents that such instruments were unlikely to leave a mark, avoiding attention from authorities. “Basically the reaction of the police is, if the guy does not have a mark on him then, uh, is there some Jewish crazy affair here, they don’t want to get involved,” he said, according to the criminal complaint.

The FBI said the price was more than $50,000, including $10,000 for a rabbinical court to approve the action. They had wired $20,000 to the accused before the arrests.

“They did it for money,” Assistant US Attorney Joseph Gribko said during a hearing on Thursday.

“They didn’t do it out of religious conviction.”

Padre Pio and religious misconduct

November 17, 2011

Perhaps there has to be a process for retracting sainthoods in cases of religious misconduct?

A new book by Italian historian Professor Sergio Luzzatto suggests that Padre Pio’s stigmata were a fraud and the result of using carbolic acid.

Padre Pio's stigmata are being called into question (Photo: AP)

The Telegraph:

Did Padre Pio fake his stigmata with carbolic acid? That’s the claim made by Italian historian Professor Sergio Luzzatto, who says he has discovered documents including a letter from a pharmacist who supplied carbolic acid for Pio, canonised by Pope John Paul in 2002. The professor has made this claim before, drawing the following reply from the Catholic Anti-Defamation League: “We would like to remind Mr Luzzatto that according to Catholic doctrine, canonisation carries with it papal infallibility. We would like to suggest to Mr Luzzatto that he dedicates his energies to studying religion properly.

The doctrine of papal infallibility indeed.

The Catholic church and its own priests have done more to defame Catholicism than anybody else in recent times.

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