Catholic priest Finian McDonald, above, is one of five priests at a Minnesota school who were exposed as this week as predatory child abusers.
McDonald confessed in a 2012 psychiatric session that he molested more than 200 boys, 18 of whom were children under his care in the dormitories of St John’s Preparatory School, a private boys’ school run by the monks in Collegeville.
Her admitted that he drank heavily and freely preyed on students during his years as a dormitory prefect.
She was a prized daughter of the Westboro Baptist Church. Then she started to question her faith, one tweet at a time.
One day in July, 2011, Phelps-Roper was on Twitter when she came across a link to a series of photographs about a famine in Somalia. The first image was of a tiny malnourished child. She burst into tears at her desk. Her mother asked what was wrong, and Phelps-Roper showed her the gallery. Her mother quickly composed a triumphant blog post about the famine. “Thank God for famine in East Africa!” she wrote. “God is longsuffering and patient, but he repays the wicked TO THEIR FACE!” When Brittany Murphy died, Phelps-Roper had seen the disparity between her reaction and that of the rest of the church as a sign that something was wrong with her. Now the contradiction of her mother’s glee and her own sadness made her wonder if something was wrong with the church.
By Carl S ~ Christianity tells us to believe whatever Jesus said is absolute truth. Jesus himself says that he must be believed, or else we must suffer eternal punishment in refusing to do so. Or so we are told by the gospel writers.
The human inclination toward peacemaking or violence exists on a continuum. Happy, healthy people who are inherently inclined toward peacemaking focus on sacred texts and spiritual practices that encourage peace. Those who are bitter, angry, fearful or prone to self-righteousness are attracted to texts that sanction violence and teachers who encourage the same. People along the middle of this continuum can be drawn in either direction by charismatic religious leaders who selectively focus on one or the other.
Each person’s individual violence risk is shaped by a host of factors: genetics, early learning, health, culture, social networks, life circumstances, and acute triggers. To blame any act of violence on religion alone is as silly as blaming an act of violence on guns or alcohol. But to deny that religion plays a role is as silly as denying that alcohol and guns play a role. It is to pretend that religions are inert, that our deepest values and beliefs about reality and morality have no impact on our behavior.
You don’t have to believe in God or identify with any religion to see a creator’s hand in human life and morality, suggests a new survey.
LifeWay Research’s overall finding — that most Americans believe there is a creator who designed the universe and defines human morality — is not surprising. After all, 3 in 4 U.S. adults identify with a religious denomination.
The surprise is that so many people who don’t identify with a religion — so-called nones — agree.
Blount County, Tennessee, commissioner Karen Miller is hoping that fellow lawmakers will this week approve a resolution asking God not to destroy them over same-sex marriage.
Miller, according to this report, authored Resolution No 15-10-006 after the Supreme Court brought marriage equality to all 50 states, and after former Tea Party congressman Michele Bachmann (and a great many others) claimed that God might destroy America over same-sex marriage.
The “resolution condemning judicial tyranny and petitioning God’s mercy” officially pleads with God on behalf of the county not to destroy the county.
How many teachers and administrators still don’t understand how the Pledge of Allegiance works? No student has to say it or stand up for it, and not participating in the ritual doesn’t make you unpatriotic or disrespectful.
IS is not just a terrorist group. Like al-Qaeda, for instance, it consists of cells and affiliates, and inspires lone wolf acts of violence, but it is also capable of both providing some administrative services to the people under its captivity, engaging in organised crime and pursuing a full-blown insurgency. IS is a hybrid organisation, which makes it all the more challenging to deal with.
Terrorist groups of the past were mostly hierarchical, tightly organised, highly secretive with very selective recruitment. But that very clear leadership structure meant that “decapitation” strategies of killing off the leadership usually resulted in the demise of the organisation, and made their survival contingent on the survival of their leaders. Whereas conventional wisdom (based in large part on studies of groups in the US) once held that most terrorist groups last less than a year, more recent studies indicate that they now last 14 years on average.
Christian Pastor Steven Anderson spent part of his sermon yesterday telling his congregation that, while he doesn’t condone the actions of the Paris attackers, the concertgoers at the Bataclan theater who were there to listen to the band Eagles of...
"For a city built on the slave trade, Cidade Velha had a lot of Christian churches. The newly revealed building, which probably could have fit about 75 people, was just one of about two dozen churches and chapels in the small river valley where Cidade Velha is located."
A Missouri pastor is accused of stealing more than $21,000 from his church to pay off his 20-year-old mistress. Ralph Sawyer was charged with a felony count of theft after prosecutors said he ripped off money from Lindsay Lane Missionary Baptist Church in Florissant, where he served as a pastor. Prosecutors said the church treasurer discovered money missing from the congregation’s savings account and launched an investigation — which revealed Sawyer had used his church-issued ATM card to make 35 withdrawals in June and July totaling $21,727.50.
The documentary, which begins streaming on Vimeo on Thursday, casts a critical eye on the purity culture within evangelical Christianity “Whatever it is, don’t let me die before I have sex” is a prayer that at first, sounds like a punchline.
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