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[P]
Exorcism, a Human Rights Violation

By Electric Angst in Culture
Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 08:07:00 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I am a Pagan. I currently enjoy the benefits of living in a well educated, liberal, cosmopolitan city where I may practice my faith without fear of retribution. Unfortunately for far too many Pagans, this is not the case.

There is one form of retribution that Pagans, particularly those in conservative Christian areas, fear most. An act of psychological terrorism so intense and yet so clandestine that many have never heard of it.

I'm talking about a Protestant Exorcism.


It could be ordered by anyone. Your parents. Your grandparents. A concerned Aunt or Uncle. Even a co-worker or associate. All it requires is a misunderstanding of one's religious path or behavior, and having access to a certain type of zealot. They are typically required to sign a waiver. After that point, the brutal and dehumanizing process begins.

It's a quiet afternoon, and you're sitting at home. Suddenly, you hear the lock on your front door turn. You get up to see what's happening when the door bursts open. Suprise is often seen as a necessary element, to assist in driving away the evil spirit. This also means that the subject will have no opportunity to reason with the exorcists and defend themselves verbally before the attack begins.

In an instant, your house fills with people, some you might know, some you don't. An exorcist group will often consist of a dozen actual exorcists, and they sometimes bring wives and friends for "spiritual energy".

They surround you, all grabbing whatever part of your body they can reach. Some exorcists avoid blatant physical restraints, such as tying or handcuffing, as that would place them in an even grayer area of the law than they already stand. Instead, other methods such as the mass "laying of hands" or forcing the subject to stay in the center of a pool is employed. These may not seem as severe, until you realize that one is held in that position for over eight hours in an average exorcism.

They're shouting and yelling in some incomprehensible form. Some loudly proclaim "Praise Jesus! Praise Jesus!" While others shout out old Christian hymns at the top of their lungs. Speaking in tongues and ecstatic singing, dancing, and other actions are typical in this grueling ceremony. This at once reinforces the will of the exorcists and serve to frighten and confuse the subject, while ensuring that any form of rational conversation and attempt to explain oneself to the exorcists is impossible.

You attempt to struggle, to fight back, to understand what it the world is happening. That only strengthens their resolve. Cursing, shouting, and struggling against the exorcists is taken as a confirmation of the demonic possesion. Any attempt to dissuade the exorcists from their course of action is considered mental trickery. Greatly outnumbered and subdued, there is only one way to end the madness.

Finally, with no strength left, you vomit. The exorcists cheer when this happens, but they don't stop. You are then forced to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, and are taken to a nearby church, where you are baptized. In most exorcisms, vomiting is seen as the spirit's exit from the body. "Salvation" of the subject being the ultimate goal, though, the exorcists will rarely stop there. Unless the subject claims to accept Jesus Christ as their savior, then the torture tactics will continue.

This perverse ordeal is the punishment one may face for allowing their religion, sexual orientation, or other deviation from the mainstream become public knowledge. It is the ultimate act of community repression, and it is something that particularly targets members of my religion.

Is there a way to make this horror stop? Only with awareness. Too many people do not know that these types of attacks happen in this day and age, and they need to learn. The courts should understand the inhumane nature of this practice, and sentence those who perform it for the crimes they have committed. Police should be aware that a crime is taking place, a crime who's victims are often too afraid to come forward.

One day, if we are vigilant, then perhaps this horror can be removed from our culture, and leave only the reminder that we must be aware of those who would threaten our freedoms.

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Exorcism, a Human Rights Violation | 235 comments (171 topical, 64 editorial, 0 hidden)
This is not solely an American problem (4.33 / 12) (#10)
by keenan on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:55:02 PM EST

I am Canadian and I have seen this with my own eyes. It is brutal; it is scary; it is absolutely barbaric. It is very much as Electric Angst describes. I have a lot of Christian fundamentalists in my family and they have done things very similar to this. I have even been told repeatedly by my mother that I have a demon inside me, but luckily I never had it done to me. It's a time of my life I don't really want to remember too much, but it is all too true.

Keenan

Human Rights Violation? (4.11 / 9) (#11)
by ritlane on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:17:17 PM EST

I am not saying that this is not a horrible thing. In fact, I applaud the author for bringing to my attention something I hadn't considered to be an element of our "modern" society.

What did strike me while I was reading the article was that what was being done could already be considered a crime in the United States. It was for this reason that I was unclear why it should be elevated to the status of "human rights violation". In the same way, you could write an article called "Murder: a human rights violation" No one will disagree with you technically, but I don't really think it belongs (at least when the murder is done by private citizens).

IMHO a human rights violation is something carried out by the state, or other official body, against its citizens. No, a Southern Sheriff looking the other way doesn't count. I think something like this is more on the order of a crime. This of course does not excuse the actions and I do feel that those involved should be locked up.



---Lane
I like fighting robots
Re: Human Rights Violation? (3.25 / 4) (#143)
by hackboy on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 11:18:56 AM EST

What did strike me while I was reading the article was that what was being done could already be considered a crime in the United States

Several crimes actually. Breaking and entering and assault and battery come right to mind.

And if someone breaks into your house, shoot them! (Not applicable if you live in MA or CA)



[ Parent ]
Self defense (none / 0) (#185)
by danb35 on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 09:15:24 AM EST

And if someone breaks into your house, shoot them! (Not applicable if you live in MA or CA)
Actually, there's a legal presumption in CA that if a person has forcibly and unlawfully entered your home, you had the necessary "reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury" to justify the use of deadly force. Probably not a good idea in this situation (even if it is, strictly speaking, legal), but the option would seem to be there.

[ Parent ]
Here's the Reason (4.50 / 2) (#146)
by dagoski on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 11:45:16 AM EST

In the US, justice is not administered uniformly. I'm not even going use the term equal since that's a whole socio political can of worms that goes way beyond this article. The enforcement of laws is done through local municpalities and county governments. As such, the biases of the local community can be magnified. In a big city with whose citizens might include dhristians, muslims, hindus, buddhists and others a person's spiritual life will be very well respected. I'm sure someone can come up with counter examples, but the point is if, unless yer a minor, someone tries this, it's pretty safe bet that they're gonna be locked up in short order. If yer a minor, there's a chance that the child welfare agencies will come to your aid. However in smaller towns that are more homgenuous, the people in the local justice system might be much less sophisticated in their understanding on non-christian relgions and may even be intolerant of such. In such areas the practice of exorcism may be regarded as good parenting, or as something loved ones may do to rescue a friend of relative. Federalizing this crime, and crime it is, as a civil rights violation will ensure a more uniform enforcement of the law. Granted, if these accounts are indicative of the practice as a whole, you've got assault, battery, possible breaking and entering, kidnapping, coercion, and conspiracy. And, that's at a minimum. Even with my above comment about smaller communities, I believe a victim would be very hard pressed to find a law enforcement agency that wouldn't arrest the perps and even more hard pressed to find a DA that wouldn't throw the book at them. These acts constiture some of the most serious felonies on the books. The big problem is intimidation. If these are relatives the emotion ties may keep a victim silent, not to mention the prospect of having to fight people who know the intimate details of your life. And, some of these wackos might even take steps to observe and follow their victims lest the fall back to their old ways. This smacks of the whole Satanic Abuse craze in the eighties.



[ Parent ]
So... (2.36 / 11) (#12)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:17:36 PM EST

What's the difference between a bunch of Protestant hicks and government? Either way, your neighbors are telling you what to do forcibly. I just don't get you sometimes. As far as I can tell, you're in support of doing violence to people and their property, as long as it is directed at achieving goals YOU think are worthwhile, and against it if it is directed at achieving goals with which you disagree. Other than making you a brutal savage in modern finery, I guess that isn't too big a deal... but why not just break out the clubs and spears and dispense with all the pretense?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Strange (3.33 / 3) (#14)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:29:26 PM EST

Trhurler, has the government come into your house and force you to adapt a specific religion by using physical torture at any time after the 1950's? Don't you think that there may be a tiny bit of difference between taxation and torture? The staple libertarian argument that if I don't pay taxes they're going to shoot me doesn't truly hold up. The government is going to "shoot you" if you break a contact with a corporation, it's going to "shoot you" if you break the DMCA, it's going to shoot you if you kill someone else. And where in the constitution or in the UN declaration of human rights does a right to "no taxes" lay? Some sort of coercision is necessary, such as anti-discrimination laws. but it's a human rights norm. In fact protection from discrimination is as much of a human right as protection from torture. Oh boy, this is going to be hard. Arguing with trhurler is the next highest step on Kuro5hin ladder.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
You must be kidding. (3.00 / 6) (#20)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:38:16 PM EST

You're quoting the UN declaration of human rights?! That's like saying "leftism is valid because leftists wrote this document!" It is the same thing as when some bible banger tells me God exists because God wrote the bible, which he of course knows because the bible says it was written by God, which must be true, because the bible is the inerrant word of God!

If you can't actually justify your claims, instead of just saying "this is a norm" and citing a work produced by a bunch of people who happen to agree with you, then I'm not going to waste any more time on you.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Huh? (3.60 / 5) (#25)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:47:29 PM EST

Ugh, great so human rights are leftist idea now. I guess not liking torture puts me right there with Marx and Che Guevara. You seem to have a different idea of what a leftist is. She claimed that as being a human rights violation, and it by all means fits the amnesty international definition of such. Do you claim that Amnesty International are leftist? Despite of all their efforts aimed at places like China or North Korea or Zimbabwe? And my reasoning is that property ownership isn't a human right, is that greatly between humans and can be acquired or given up.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
No! (4.60 / 5) (#62)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:09:15 PM EST

You are totally missing my point. I believe in rights - but they aren't the same ones listed in that document! I have reasons for my beliefs. I want to know yours. What makes you think that the UN list is correct?

You have simply assumed that "human rights" means "whatever's in this document," and that "whatever is in this document" is human rights. That's horse shit; give reasons.

By the way, the most basic difference I have with the UN list is that it lists things that have to be earned, which means that if they're a right, someone has to earn them FOR you. Such rights are a contradiction in terms; they imply that your rights can violate mine and vice versa, and are in fact not "rights" but rather "entitlements."

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Rights (4.66 / 3) (#110)
by strlen on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:13:00 AM EST

Ok. Your idea of rights, it seems is entirely negative. That is not the idea of myself, or of many others. Actually fact is I'm not going to bother explaining most of the UN rights, I feel those are bare necesities needed for protection of minorities and people in general from the government, others, and nature. I'm no philosopher and I do not fully believe in enlightenment emphasis on logical consistancy. Basically let me try to put this way: people need to protected from excesses of government (torture, death penalty, concentration camps, unjust trials and imprisonment), from bigots (discrimination), from nature (welfare safety nets, free healthcare), from others (a system for redress of grievances). Why should they? Because it would really fucking suck with those human rights. That's good enough for me, good enough for me to support the human rights cause and believe in it. Now, the nazi's have violated human rights, so I'm mentioning the nazis and invoking the Godwin's law, thus closing this thred.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
i can't fucking believe you said that (2.25 / 4) (#140)
by sayke on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 11:00:59 AM EST

can i quote you on your little
I do not fully believe in enlightenment emphasis on logical consistancy.
bit? baha... too bad, consider yourself quoted. teeheeehee... wow. i'm amazed. d00d. damn. people like you actually exist? fuck, that's depressing.


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Wow (none / 0) (#235)
by mathematician on Fri Oct 05, 2001 at 08:03:29 PM EST

You're a complete loser dude English isn't his mother tongue.

[ Parent ]
Heh (4.50 / 2) (#152)
by trhurler on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:46:55 PM EST

Your idea of rights, it seems is entirely negative.
So far, so good.
That is not the idea of myself, or of many others.
Yes, I'm quite well aware of that.
I feel those are bare necesities needed for protection of minorities and people in general from the government, others, and nature.
I do not regard your "feelings" as epistemlogically useful, and the question of that utility IS germane considering that you and your intellectual allies intend to impose on me to provide for these "rights." If you can't justify your position, then your opinion doesn't count.
I'm no philosopher and I do not fully believe in enlightenment emphasis on logical consistancy.
So you've abdicated any claim to making sense whatsoever. In that case, I certainly do not want your ideas enforced upon me or anyone else. I wonder if you apply this illogic to your own life as eagerly as you apply it to things you don't understand... I have to assume you're a programmer, given the name you've taken, and I wonder how many of your programs which contain logical inconsistencies actually work, since none of mine ever have until these were resolved. (Where I come from, we call them "bugs.") Presumably, since logical consistency isn't particularly important, you've considered eating rocks if you were hungry and had nothing else; the fact that rocks have never before been nutritous and will break your teeth, after all, is no reason that you couldn't eat them in a pinch - right?:)
Because it would really fucking suck with those human rights.
Hint: in general, life really fucking sucks. When it does not, that is because someone busted his ass. What you are proposing is, when someone busts his ass, everyone else should be allowed to take the fruits, and enjoy life, even though THEY didn't do jack shit.
That's good enough for me, good enough for me to support the human rights cause and believe in it.
Fortunately, not everyone is a complete crackpot, supporting causes he can't even begin to explicate, much less defend. Unfortunately, most people are.
Now, the nazi's have violated human rights, so I'm mentioning the nazis and invoking the Godwin's law, thus closing this thred.
That doesn't work unless someone invokes it against you, and you have to actually say the name of the leader of the Third Reich for it to count, also.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Hmm (3.00 / 4) (#164)
by strlen on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:05:35 PM EST

Actually I don't fully believe in complete logical consistancy, is due to the fact you can't create a simple principle that is to be applied to all situations and which will in all cases produce a positive outcome. Libertarian logic, although, seems simple. "If there's a problem, let's not let the government fix it". And actually you won't be able to impose your views on me: Libertarian party has yet to elect a single member of the house, or the senate, or even a city mayor. Unlike the socialists who have a congressman from Vermont and mayor in Santa-Cruz, CA. And unlike forcing me to convert to a religion, taxation is explicitly a legitimate government enterprise, and is supported by constitution. And you, are just a whiiney little bitch complaining about paying taxes and not being able to be a skinhead, racist, killer thug, armed with sawwed of shotguns and automatic werapons. Happy now?

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
trhurler: 1, strlen: 0, match called for inanity. (4.00 / 2) (#173)
by beergut on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:24:48 PM EST

Seems that strlen can join weirdling's ranks of leftist ad hominem attack dogs.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Thanks (3.00 / 1) (#176)
by strlen on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:44:24 PM EST

Yes, 'whiny little bitch', was meant to be exactly that.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
What we have here... (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by trhurler on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 12:15:36 PM EST

is called a "reality check."
Actually I don't fully believe in complete logical consistancy, is due to the fact you can't create a simple principle that is to be applied to all situations and which will in all cases produce a positive outcome.
You have confused simplicity with logical consistency. There is nothing that says that just because the universe makes sense, it is easy to understand.
Libertarian logic, although, seems simple. "If there's a problem, let's not let the government fix it".
If you think that inane sentence describes my political views, then either you haven't been paying attention, or you're being deliberately obtuse, or you're stupid. You be the judge.
And actually you won't be able to impose your views on me: Libertarian party has yet to elect a single member of the house, or the senate, or even a city mayor.
The Libertarian Party only occasionally gets my vote. You are confusing viewpoints with political parties - they are not the same thing.
And unlike forcing me to convert to a religion, taxation is explicitly a legitimate government enterprise, and is supported by constitution.
It is supported by an amendment that even our courts have agreed was never legitimately ratified. Unfortunately, they refuse to uphold their responsibility to prevent that amendment being acted upon. What do you mean by "explicitly a legitimate government enterprise," aside from the simple and meaningless fact that you happen to agree to it?
And you, are just a whiiney little bitch complaining about paying taxes and not being able to be a skinhead, racist, killer thug, armed with sawwed of shotguns and automatic werapons. Happy now?
I suggest you see an anger management specialist.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
We don't live in no utopia (3.00 / 2) (#17)
by SIGFPE on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:33:38 PM EST

As far as I can tell, you're in support of doing violence to people and their property, as long as it is directed at achieving goals YOU think are worthwhile
From your tone one would guess you have a problem with this. Funnily enough I don't and nor do many other people. Society is a war between various factions who all have their own agendas. That's how it is, that's how it's always been and that's how it'll be for at least the next few centuries.

but why not just break out the clubs and spears and dispense with all the pretense?
What's the 'pretense'? I'd much rather have a government do the dirty work of inflicting violence on people to control them than do it myself just as I'd rather have someone else slaughter cows than me. You seem to imply there is some kind of hypocrisy here - but I can't see it.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Heh (4.33 / 3) (#23)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:43:14 PM EST

Society is a war between various factions who all have their own agendas.
If that's the way you want it, then sooner or later, that's what you're going to get - far more literally than you probably intend.
I'd much rather have a government do the dirty work of inflicting violence on people to control them than do it myself
The fact that you think it is reasonable for such a function to even exist suggests to me that we simply are not going to agree on much of anything. I see people with your beliefs much as I see rabid dogs, to be honest, because there's no other way - you cannot reason with violence.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Interesting (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by SIGFPE on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:19:22 PM EST

I see people with your beliefs much as I see rabid dogs
I'm just making explicit the values of most people in the world. The same values that are implicit in every legal document from the Koran to the US Constitution.

because there's no other way - you cannot reason with violence
We're agreed after all then.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Not quite (4.33 / 3) (#63)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:14:12 PM EST

The US Constitution, stripped of all the false pretense modern liberals claim for it and laid bare as meaning precisely what it says, is a document setting out a means by which government can be merely a means of protecting citizens and letting them go about their business, rather than interfering gratuitously in their lives for the benefit of whomever presently has the ear of politicians. Granted, some of the amendments are completely at odds with this strategy of government, and should be repealed, but that's hardly the point.

The fact is, almost all of our present government is unconstitutional by a reading such as its authors would have given; the interstate commerce clause is vastly overstretched, the so-called elastic clause is used improperly to justify all manner of acts that blatantly conflict with other parts of the document, and our military is allowed to flat out ignore the very existence of things like "rights" anytime it pleases. Modern "liberals" are busy claiming not to understand the meaning of phrases such as "shall pass no law" and "shall not be abridged," all the while claiming to be the most educated and wise segment of society. It is pathetic.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
What about this bit? (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by SIGFPE on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:41:22 PM EST

The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes...for the general welfare of the US
Ie. we'll beat you up if you don't let us spend your money on what we think is for your benefit.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Minor nit (4.66 / 3) (#85)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:03:46 PM EST

The constitution further expresses the 'power to collect taxes': "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."

In other words, states are to be taxed as they provide congresscritters. This was all changed by the sixteenth amendment: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

Before the sixteenth amendment, the government was intended to run on excise taxes and tarrifs, which would be "uniform throughout the United States". Today, this form of revenue amounts to some 250 *BILLION* dollars, or plenty enough to run a proper government that has not extended beyond the bounds of the constitution. In other words, the 1.703 *TRILLION* (GAD, that's a lot of money) that the US wasted in 1999 is way over limit.

Please note that the 'excise and tarrif' idea is totally disrespectful of income; it levies a tax on every head in the country irrespectful of how much they make, ie, $500 per person per year, and leaves it up to the states to figger out how to raise it. Such a tax would have to be low to be sustainable, which is one of the reasons the founding fathers chose it, IMO. As for tarrifs, these are essentially a sales tax on whatever comes in and goes out of the country. They often are more proportionately born by the wealthy and middle class. Anyway, the whole thing would do away with the 'rob from the rich, give to the poor' mentality, not to mention the 7.6 *BILLION*, that it costs to collect the taxes.

Yah, doing away with the sixteenth amendment would go a long way to making me happier with my federal government...
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

Add to that... (4.00 / 2) (#156)
by beergut on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 01:00:05 PM EST

... documented evidence that the sixteenth amendment was never actually legally ratified, and you'll see a lot of the problems that I have with my government.

That's beside the war on drugs, the standing army, and a host of other abuses.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Wow! trhurler manages to bring up big government! (4.00 / 2) (#19)
by Electric Angst on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:35:55 PM EST

Oh boy. Here we go...

The difference is that when it's the actions of a democratically-elected government, particularly one crafted to ensure the rights of its minority, then you're at least going to get something that most people would consider justice. (In fact, the larger the government is, the less likely that small extremist groups will gain control of it and begin to persecute those with which they disagree.)

trhurler, allowing violent force by any person, any time is a recepie for anarchy. You can't totally eliminate violence, either. The best one can hope for is to put the responsibility for violent force into the hands of trained, ethical, responsible people. That's one aspect of government.


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Hoo boy... (4.20 / 5) (#21)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:40:24 PM EST

...trained, ethical, responsible people. That's one aspect of government.

After I finish laughing and wiping the tears from my eyes, would you please elucidate me as to how government employees are automatically more ethical and responsible than the general public? Trained (in their particular jobs,) maybe, but ethical and responsible? Are you serious?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Well... (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by Electric Angst on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:49:42 PM EST

It's the responsibility of the citizenry to elect people who themselves are responsible and ethical. True, this isn't always the case, but the failures are that of the citizens, not the governing body itself.
--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Bureaucrats... (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:03:22 PM EST

... are not elected.

Try again.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Wrong. (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by Electric Angst on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:08:09 PM EST

Bureaucrats are elected indirectly. Every single one of them has to answer to someone, and at the top of that chain is an elected official. Just look at the massive restructuring of the bureaucracy since Bush got in office.

Try Again.
--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]

Eh? (3.50 / 2) (#42)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:19:13 PM EST

Which massive restructuring, o Wise and Mighty Electric Angst, is this?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

None at all (4.00 / 3) (#69)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:28:28 PM EST

In fact, once you go two or three levels down from department heads, virtually nothing has changed, or ever does. The civil service system ensures that - but I doubt EA is familiar with it.

In fact, our government is almost entirely run by people who cannot be fired for anything except criminal activity. Even gross negligence, unless it rises to the level of a prosecutable offense, is not enough. Generally speaking, outright disobeying a superior is grounds for termination, but there are ways of weaseling out of that. They're not accountable, they're nearly impossible to fire, and whatever THEY think should be done is what is actually going to happen almost every single time. Of course, they're just about all Republicrats, so that works out ok with the present leadership.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You talk a whole lot about what you don't know... (4.50 / 2) (#79)
by Electric Angst on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:48:13 PM EST

As a government employee, I can assure you, with metaphysical certitude, that you are totally wrong. I happen to know several people, some even in my department, who are being fired this very moment.

As far as restructuring, I'm not going to spend my hours at home looking up a ton of links to argue with two libertarian True Believers, but I will point out the rather obvious removal of the hate crimes investigation division in the Department of Justice, and the creation of a faith-based charity promotion department.


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Really? (4.00 / 2) (#144)
by beergut on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 11:27:33 AM EST

Wow... someone did something right...

Faith-based organizations are a Bad Idea[tm]. But, the elimination of the "Hate Crimes" (in reality, "Thought Crimes") investigation division is just... God... wonderful! Way to go, Mr. Bush! My respect for you has just gone up a bit.

I was under the impression that you were a Canadian.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

By the Gods, No! (3.00 / 1) (#151)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:26:16 PM EST

Canadian! Damn...

Make no mistake, I have a passport on hand just in case the zealots ever get too much power, but I'm most certainly a USian...

(Oh yea, and the Justice Department no longer putting effort into investigating Hate Crimes is just as bad as if they had decided to stop investigating instances of terrorism.)
--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]

I disagree. (4.33 / 6) (#154)
by beergut on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:54:28 PM EST

If I kill a black man because he pissed me off, then he is dead and I am guilty of murder.

Period.

If, in the process of beating him to death and bending him in half backward over my knee, I happen to call him a "fucking nigger", he is still dead and I am still guilty of murder.

It doesn't matter a bit what was going through my mind at the time I committed the act, only that I committed the act (not in a self-defense situation, not premeditated, without mitigating circumstances.) Murder is a crime. All crimes are, almost of necessity, "hate crimes." You don't kill someone you love (unless you're nuts.) The "hate crime" provisions, then, are actually meant to judge my state of mind at the time that I committed the act. What my state of mind was can generally be said to be my "thoughts." When seen that way, "hate crime" legislation is actually "thought crime" legislation, and can roundly and thoroughly be derided as being a bunch of bullshit. That is why I applaud this move by the Bush administration, if true.

I would say the same thing of a terrorist act. An Arab blows up a temple full of worshipping Jews, and he should be charged with destruction of property and as many counts of murder as he has committed, along with other property and injury crimes as were committed. He is guilty of those things, his beliefs aside.

It is only in that way that the law could be applied fairly. Judge the actions, not the frame of mind.

Do you suppose that a black man who did the same thing to me, who uttered the words "fucking honkey," would be charged with a hate crime? I think not.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Ah, the murder strawman... (5.00 / 1) (#160)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 03:00:49 PM EST

Let's look at things this way: If a skinhead sprays a huge swastika on the front door of a synagog, should he or she simply be given the $50 graphitti ticket?


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Yup (3.00 / 2) (#162)
by weirdling on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 03:26:53 PM EST

Gad, get over it. People have been screwed and screwed and screwed again. Life sucks.

Notice, however, that the portrayal of 'skinheads' (WTF, who are they, anyway? Do they really exist?) in the media doesn't fit into your cozy definition of tolerance. It is *ok* to tear the skinheads or the KKK or rednecks or the NRA a new one, claiming the most ridiculous things, and certainly ok to manufacture as many facts as you like to support the Democrat's theory that GW is an illegitimate president, but it's not ok to paint a swastika on a synagogue. Gad, get a sense of proportion. Liberals have been villifying and ridiculing everyone they can find who disagrees with them for centuries, yet insist that nobody *ever* do anything that might injure the poor little egos of those who are under their protection.

Anyway, what would you have us do? Throw some eighteen year old in jail for painting a swastika? Congratulations, you've just sent a mischievous kid to Felony U. One more criminal to track for his whole life. The over-reaction that both leftists and rightists are engaging in now is one of the reasons we don't have any place to put real criminals. Anyway, this behavior shows the one-sidedness of the leftist brain: screw the young white kid who painted the swastika because it hurt some feelings; nevermind how badly his life will be disintegrated, throw the blaggart in jail and never let him out. All over a swastika.

And, lest yet get your panties in a knot, I am part Jewish, so have authority to speak on this. I am a direct descendant of Abraham.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Oh boy. (2.33 / 3) (#165)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:17:25 PM EST

'skinheads' (WTF, who are they, anyway? Do they really exist?)

Okay, I officially call this thread dead due to the fact that you've just proven that you do not have enough life experience to make an informed comment on the situation. I think we can call it Angst's Law... (You've honestly never met/seen a skinhead???)


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Have you? (none / 0) (#207)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 12:00:01 PM EST

I used to be a punk. Spiked hair, bad attitude (some say that never went away), white pride, fighting with skateboarders as a primary form of entertainment, etc. I met some skinheads during that time, back in the eighties, and got along with them famously. I used to paint swastikas on things. I know all about this. However, I'm pretty certain that the 'skinhead' portrayed by the media is a realtively rare species of person. Most skinheads were just the next level of punk, the next level of not taking anything from anybody. They were friendly, decent people, who just didn't like being pushed around, or maybe they were only friendly because I was punk.

As to the swastika painting, perhaps painting it on a synagogue is a case of anti-Jewish sentiment, but, although I doubt you'll believe it, I painted swastikas only wherever I saw someone else had painted a peace sign as a protest to the idiotic pacification of the world. This modern world is trying to remove everyone who is even mildly violent, and that is stupid, IMO. I think that the punk and the skinhead movement were both reactions by the newly disenfranchised to the politic of their parents, who were themselves a reaction by the disenfranchised. In other words, the peaceniks somehow made it to adulthood and are running the world, so the kids who used to be relativley normal are now 'violent' and 'dangerous' and whatever other invective people feel the need to hurl.

Anyway, it is hard to justify destroying someone's life over something like that, no matter who you are. Throwing a kid in jail over this will do just that, particularly if he's on the edge of a life of crime, anyway. What would be far more impressive is to figure out a way to get him out of the system and thus salvage him for society.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Your description is accurate... for the 80s. (4.00 / 1) (#223)
by Electric Angst on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:17:11 PM EST

As someone who's spent time with Nazi skinheads, and even dated a non-racist skinhead briefly, I know what I'm talking about. True, the first punks used the swastika as a way of usurping the symbol for their own purposes, but that just isn't the case anymore. The fact that non-racist Skinheads broke off into their own faction, away from the Nazi skinheads, is just proof that there are those with racist feelings out there. Also, given the fact that non-racist skinheads, and almost every punk I know, will beat the ever loving shit out of anyone wearing a swastika, I'd consider it safe to say that the symbol is no longer being used this way...


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
wow (3.00 / 3) (#170)
by garlic on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:38:47 PM EST

I am a direct descendant of Abraham.

Do you mean literally? How does one track this sort of thing down?

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Actually (none / 0) (#206)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 11:43:41 AM EST

Anyone who is part Jewish is, ipso facto, a descendant of Abraham, so it is merely a repetition. I'm not very much Jewish, and most of that is German Jew. Anyway, go look up your geneology and see if you can track it back to a bonafide Jew, and if you can, congratulations, you, too, are a descendant of Abraham.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
i see. (1.00 / 1) (#218)
by garlic on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:56:51 PM EST

So, figuratively instead of literally. That's much more understandable, if less impressive.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Normally, literally, too (none / 0) (#220)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 04:23:04 PM EST

Actually, the Jews are a surprisingly homogenous race. That people have married into Judaism is true; that people have been converted on a regular basis is false. In other words, if a person is a Jew, the odds approach unity that he was born Jew. This has been true since the dawn of Judaism, so Jews generally can trace their ancestry to Isaac, son of Abraham.

On another note, it is widely believed that Arabs came from Ishmael, son of Abraham, so the Middle East is just one giant family feud.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
How about... (4.00 / 2) (#168)
by beergut on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:32:12 PM EST

... if Hasidic Jews spray-painted the Star of David on the Aryan Brotherhood's door?

Would they be charged with a hate crime?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Well.. (3.00 / 1) (#169)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:36:59 PM EST

It depends. Would the members of the Aryan Brotherhood have reason to fear for their lives? Would the act be used in an attempt to spread terror?

Remember: Hate Crime==Terrorism. If it's a form of terrorism against a segment of society, than you can be pretty sure it's a hate crime...


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
The fallacy of group rights. (5.00 / 2) (#172)
by beergut on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:09:08 PM EST

I'm sure trhurler, who has spent a lot more time philosophising about this, can set you straight here.

The only reason to further investigate this sort of thing is determination of conspiracy. If a terrorist bombs a target, it should be investigated to find out who he's connected with, and if there is some sort of threat of ongoing violence. Same thing for a murder, of anyone, unless there is sufficient motive to personalize it.

So, for instance, if I kill me a nigger, and then make an announcement that I think all niggers should die, and me and my pals are gonna make it so, my background might come under scrutiny. It would be found that I have no connection with any sort of "hate groups", and I should be tried for the murder (you know, free speech and all... I can say what I want, and if I think niggers are subhuman scum, I should be allowed to think it, and to say it.)

If a black guy goes out and kills him a cracker, and makes an announcement that all muhfuckin' ghos'face honkey oppressas should die, and that he and his homies be gonna make it so (word up, G,) then his background should come under scrutiny. If it is found that he is involved with some sort of black hate group, then more investigation should be undertaken to ascertain the threat to all us muhfuckin' ghos'face honkey oppressas. If not, well, he should be tried for the murder, because he has free speech, too, and can think and say all he wants that us honkeys are the human incarnation of Satan. Even if it is found that he's a member of the Black Panthas Who Be Wantin' Ta Kill All Muhfuckin' Ghos'face Honkey Oppressas[tm], he should be tried for the murder, and his co-conspirators brought up on charges of (drumroll) conspiracy to commit murder.

In the case that you proposed, whereby a skinhead was caught spray-painting the Swastika on the door of a synagogue, he should be charged with graffiti, and punished accordingly. For a delicious twist, the judge could order that his service be at the behest of the Rabbi, or something. The Rabbi, then, could call "talking plainly with me about what you did, and why you think the way that you think, and here's why you're wrong" community service.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Don't worship trhurler, or any web-logger... (2.50 / 2) (#175)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:33:17 PM EST

Oh, I see. Instead of hate crimes, we should just let judges use their magical juding powers to make things right. An individual can fix everything without the interferance of the nasty, mean ol' state!

Well guess what, someone who gets hit for graphitti will most likely never even see a judge. They'll just pay their fine and be gone.

That's why there needs to be tougher enforcement for crimes that are an attempt to strike terror into a segment of society. So that a judge can see the case, and the offender won't get off with a ticket and a feeling of having 'beat the system'. (Oh, and then there's the whole issue of certain municipalities taking a very tolerant attitude towards this type of terrorism, which is one of the reasons that it needs to become a federal issue...)


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Christ... (3.50 / 2) (#177)
by beergut on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:49:08 PM EST

As to worshipping trhurler... heheh... hardly. He's a friend of mine in meatspace, and seriously does spend a lot of time thinking about this kind of shit. I'm thinking of getting him involved in a project I've been thinking about for the past few days that might show up on K5 at a later date.

But, onward...

Oh, I see. Instead of hate crimes, we should just let judges use their magical juding powers to make things right.

Hmm... lessee... no.

If local statutes call "spray-painting a Swastika on the synagogue door" "grafitti" (or vandalism, destruction of private property, what have you,) then that is the charge which should be levied. Those are the actions he took, and those are the laws he broke. His beliefs are not on trial. He is. For a specific charge. If the penalty for the crime is a fee, well, that's the penalty, and that's all that should be levied against him in the case of a guilty verdict.

An individual can fix everything without the interferance of the nasty, mean ol' state!

In most cases, yes. However, the theoretical dumbass broke a law, and could be brought into court for it. Courts are a legitimate function of a government.

Well guess what, someone who gets hit for graphitti will most likely never even see a judge. They'll just pay their fine and be gone.

If that is the prescribed penalty for the infraction, well, so be it. The rogue Hasidic Jew who slathered the Star of David on the doors of the Aryan Brotherhood meeting hall can pay the same fine.

That's why there needs to be tougher enforcement for crimes that are an attempt to strike terror into a segment of society.

Bullshit. Charge him with vandalism or destruction of private property. Things which are relevant (you know that word, right?) Or, criminalize "grafitti". Locally.

So that a judge can see the case, and the offender won't get off with a ticket and a feeling of having 'beat the system'. (Oh, and then there's the whole issue of certain municipalities taking a very tolerant attitude towards this type of terrorism, which is one of the reasons that it needs to become a federal issue...)

Does J. Random Punkass' spray-painting of the Swastika on the doors of a synagogue work against our national security? No? Well, what you've said is naught but a bunch of shit, then.

Try again.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

hmm (3.00 / 1) (#178)
by strlen on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:54:14 PM EST

swastika on synagogues

No, really the crime is quite different. It's not just writing "beergut was here", it's intimidating and scaring away the jews. I think definition of a hate crime should be changed to as a crime with a purpose of intimidating an ethnic/social group. It's quite a different aspect then killing someone because they're black, it's killing someone in order to intimidate the black community for instance.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Damn.. (4.00 / 1) (#179)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 06:11:38 PM EST

Spoken like a true elitist. All you seem to care about is the property, and making sure that everything fits into some little box that could be squarly identified by a machine if nessicary (if spraypaintOnWall == graphitti then issue graphittiSentance). Well, unfortunantly for you, the world has a whole lot of gray areas. Things that have to be looked at a little bit closer than the rough outline of the physical actions that took place.

Hate Crimes are very real, and perhaps you, as someone who will most likely never have to experience one, simply can't understand. Ask a Rabbi the damage to his congragation that would come from that would come from a swastika on the synagog door. Then compare that to some tagger writing their name on an alley wall. If you honestly think that these things should be persecuted in exactly the same manner, then you're even less in touch with the real world than I first imagined.

Also, as for your remark about federal non-interferance, segregation in the South wasn't an issue of National Security. Still, it took the intervention of the national government to end it. Are you trying to tell me that integration shouldn't have happened?


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
So then... (none / 0) (#212)
by trhurler on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 12:29:30 PM EST

What you seem to be trying to criminalize is acts of terror. If that's true, why don't you come out and say so, instead of saying "he's guilty because his crime was hateful." I might even see the logic behind a law that explicitly stated that if it could be determined(using the normal standards of criminal proof, and not some watered down bullshit, so we're looking at something akin to proving intent in a murder case - quite hard) that an individual committed an otherwise criminal act with the purpose of instilling fear in others, he should get a mandatory minimum sentence, with more coming if the crime itself would merit it.

The problem is, while that may be what you have in mind, that is NOT how current "hate crimes" laws work. Maybe you should do some homework here before you start defending laws that are almost as bad as the present forfeiture laws, because as much as you might want something kind of like these laws, you probably would not support the existing ones if you understood them fully.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
trhurler, have you checked the law? (none / 0) (#224)
by Electric Angst on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:22:15 PM EST

As was stated in this comment, it appears that you're the one who doesn't know what these Hate Crimes Statutes are all about. Check the facts, and then make your case. I'm tired of arguing against your uninformed stereotypes of what you think is going on...
--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#225)
by trhurler on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:35:14 PM EST

Well, other than the fact that that post is merely an attempt to disguise what I said in a more polite form, you'd be right.

The fact is that if the law merely requires that a target have been chosen because "he's black" or "he's a Jew" then a great many criminals who never intended to cause any terror are going to be punished by that law. There are places where criminals choose black victims because they know they're likely to get away with it, or where they burglarize a Jewish home because they have some stereotype of Jewish people having money or whatever. That may be stupid and/or vicious, but in and of itself it is neither hate nor terrorism - it is just opportunistic criminal endeavor of a common sort.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Here's what I'm wondering... (none / 0) (#226)
by Electric Angst on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:50:46 PM EST

This thread seems to die off on the 3rd. Suddenly, on the 6th, you and some others who seem to agree with you come back and get a last word in. I just happen to check today because I was waiting for HP telephone tech support, I find your comment, rebutt it, and suddenly you're right back there in an instant.

trhurler, have you been past-posting, hoping to make it seem like you got the last word on everything?

Anyways, onto your point, given what you stated, one could then say that the "decision" nature of the law is actually the best way to state it. It no longer considers the thoughts of the criminal, but their actions (after all, decision is action). And as you're stated, racism might not be the only motivation for the decision (though you then proceeded to give examples of people making decisions based on very racist stereotypes, interesting...) Finally, knowing that one could be targeted because of one's race, gender, sexual orientation, et al., weather or not for racist reasons, still serves to strike terror into those groups...


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Nah (none / 0) (#227)
by trhurler on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 05:07:45 PM EST

I find your comment, rebutt it, and suddenly you're right back there in an instant.
. . .
trhurler, have you been past-posting, hoping to make it seem like you got the last word on everything?
No. If you check my comments, I didn't post for a few days, so by doing nothing except just looking at what's near my recent comments, I found this discussion again. The fact that it was a few days old never entered my head, because I'm of the opinion that if a discussion is only good for a few hours here, then it wasn't much of a discussion. Most end that quickly, because we post like madmen, but if we don't do that, why not carry on later? There's no need to have the last word, because in the end, it is a discussion, and it ends wherever someone decides not to reply anyway. Generally, I can, if I want to, get the last word by means of sheer verbosity alone, with no need for subterfuge - but that's pointless.
Anyways, onto your point, given what you stated, one could then say that the "decision" nature of the law is actually the best way to state it. It no longer considers the thoughts of the criminal, but their actions (after all, decision is action).
But it is doing so in an attempt to ferret out intent; clearly, most people would not say that you should get a longer sentence just because you burglarized a home you believed to be wealthy; why shouldn't poor people get equal protection under the law, after all?! The correct solution is a law that either does not exist or else works like premeditated murder(and thus, is hard to prove - which intent always IS!)
though you then proceeded to give examples of people making decisions based on very racist stereotypes, interesting...
Racist beliefs are not illegal, and shouldn't be.
Finally, knowing that one could be targeted because of one's race, gender, sexual orientation, et al., weather or not for racist reasons, still serves to strike terror into those groups...
So now you're going to criminalize intent based on consequences the so-intending actor probably didn't even consider, much less actually desire? This is getting pretty fucking insane - even for you.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Unintended Consequences... (none / 0) (#228)
by beergut on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 05:33:40 PM EST

So now you're going to criminalize intent based on consequences the so-intending actor probably didn't even consider, much less actually desire?

Leftists' own policies are rife with unintended consequences, and they never want to be held accountable for those, so I can't imagine why they'd want to hold someone else responsible for consequences he did not intend.

Oh, wait, I'm wrong... it's only if the consequences you didn't intend to happen disagree with leftist/liberal ideology, or if you are the "natural enemy" of that ideology (basically, if you're a white male) that you are held accountable. If the consequences, intended or not, of leftist policies are negative, there must be someone else to blame.

This is getting pretty fucking insane - even for you.

Well, he probably doesn't believe in the enlightenment emphasis on logical consistency, either. Just what "feels right."

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Unlike your deity(ies) of choice, I exist. (none / 0) (#209)
by trhurler on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 12:23:25 PM EST

Anyway, you seriously need to stop for a moment and THINK about thought crime. You are criminalizing belief. What you are saying is not "if you hurt someone, we will nail your ass," but rather "if you disagree with the State Chosen Viewpoint[tm], we will nail your ass." There is one and only one argument against this - and that is that you have to act on your beliefs to be punished. The problem with that is, we already have punishments for the actions - you are specifically targetting beliefs you disagree with. If you think we should have harsher penalties for some of these crimes, that's fine - but that is not the same thing as criminalizing belief, which is what hate crimes laws are all about.

Now, if you don't mind living in George Orwell's fucked up nightmares, then by all means, go right on in, but I for one do not wish that upon those I despise, much less my friends, family, or myself.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Emergency Fact Injection (5.00 / 1) (#213)
by samth on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 02:28:23 PM EST

Ok, I was curious as to what you were reffering to, so I looked up actual statues, which you claim are so scary. The most representative example is the model hates crimes statute from the ADL.

So, what this law say is:

Anyone who intentionally selects a person or public or private property to be the target of a criminal act because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or national origin or ancestry of another shall have the penalty for the underlying crime increased to the next higher offense level.
So, the important aspect is selecting someone to be the victim of crime because they are a member of a particular group. Now, this is precisely what causes hate crimes to scare the entire community - the thought that you might be selected based on your membership in that community.

This is not criminalizing thought. This is increasing the penalties for crime is you select your victim in a certain way.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

I completely disagree (4.00 / 1) (#133)
by Ender Ryan on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 09:52:10 AM EST

People often say that in a democratic society, people get the government that they deserve. That is simply not true. People running for office often lie and deceive people in order to get votes. Being deceived is often impossible to avoid, so, that argument is complete bullshit.


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


[ Parent ]

Is that big government in your pants, or... (4.00 / 3) (#27)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:48:55 PM EST

The difference is that when it's the actions of a democratically-elected government, particularly one crafted to ensure the rights of its minority, then you're at least going to get something that most people would consider justice.
Then why is it that nobody in the US is ever happy with the government, regardless of his beliefs?
In fact, the larger the government is, the less likely that small extremist groups will gain control of it and begin to persecute those with which they disagree.
That massive 1930s era German bureaucracy sure was hard to tie up.
You can't totally eliminate violence, either. The best one can hope for is to put the responsibility for violent force into the hands of trained, ethical, responsible people. That's one aspect of government.
We don't disagree on this point, except that I'd say that's the only legitimate aspect of government. What I want to know is, given the government we have, which uses violence as a means of pursuing goals rather than as a means of defense, why are you whining about a few people being oppressed for a few hours? This is like complaining about grease smudges on your door handles to a mechanic who forgot to reconnect your brake lines!

Put another way, look at the government we HAVE, instead of the one you're daydreaming about, and tell me where all the ethical, responsible people are. I can't find them. Why? Because ethical, responsible people are not attracted to jobs as managers of or workers in a human meatgrinder.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
What the fuck (3.50 / 2) (#30)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:53:39 PM EST

Dude. Tell me an instance of a government coming in into someone's house and torturing them to convert them to Christianity. And the actions of government at Waco or Ruby Ridge were truly unethtical and someone's going to have to be punished for it, but their ends are not un-ethical (stoping child abusers and illegal gun traffickers). Government does act as jack booted thugs at times, I agree, but when it does it commits a crime and goes against their own principle. And the best way to end that is stop the war on drugs. But do you honestly think that taxation is as much of a violation of your rights as being forced to convert to christianity?

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Sheesh... (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:17:25 PM EST

Dude. Tell me an instance of a government coming in into someone's house and torturing them to convert them to Christianity.

Can't think of any instances of that, but I can cite an instance in Indiana where the government stormed into God's house and extracted the people so that they could confiscate the church for taxes.

And the actions of government at Waco or Ruby Ridge were truly unethtical and someone's going to have to be punished for it,

And do you honestly think they will be punished? I think not. There is no accountability here, principle or not.

but their ends are not un-ethical (stoping child abusers and illegal gun traffickers).

Was there proof that Koresh was a child abuser? Why couldn't they have just picked him up when he went out for supplies, and saved all the ruckus, instead of burning to death the children they purported to want to "save"?

Are you aware that the government entrapped Weaver, more or less, in order to force him to infiltrate the Aryan Nation thing close by? The incident in question was the sale of one sawed-off shotgun, and it took an agent about two years of nagging to wear Weaver down to the point where he sold it to him just so he'd shut the fuck up.

But do you honestly think that taxation is as much of a violation of your rights as being forced to convert to christianity?

In the former, you have guns pointed at your head and are in serious danger of losing your property, your freedom, and your life if you do not allow the government to extract its "contributions" from your pocket. There is no redress you can pursue in this matter.

In the latter, well, you're not. Puke, vow that Christ is your savior, then sue the holy living fuck out of these airbags for trespass and civil rights violations.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Huh (3.50 / 2) (#44)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:22:51 PM EST

Again, losing a certain percentage of my money for the purpose of a social safety net doesn't seem like a bad idea. In fact, I'd rather all my money stolen then be forced to change any of my beliefs. And having a church foreclosed for sale (great stratgey by the way, borrowing an incident straight from LP's webpage), is not the same as having all of its members forced to convert to a religion. In fact, it would happen with any other property. You don't pay taxes, it gets foreclosed.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
But... (3.33 / 3) (#47)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:29:16 PM EST

In fact, the "employees" were working as 1099 private contractors. They were not "employees" of the church. The church took no responsibility for them, save allowing them to work at their jobs and paying them with the congregation's money. The church didn't file employer W2's for those people because they were not legally "employees".

That didn't seem to matter to the IRS, who joyfully scooped them out and shut them down. Churches, themselves, are exempt from taxation, so the IRS didn't have a leg to stand on.

That incident was on the LP web page? Huh... didn't know that. 'Course, what the LP does isn't really of any concern to me.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Two things (3.66 / 3) (#68)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:24:18 PM EST

Again, losing a certain percentage of my money for the purpose of a social safety net doesn't seem like a bad idea.
Good for you. The part I object to is not YOU giving your money up voluntarily. What I object to is ME being forced to give up mine. I find it absurd that you think your willingness to pay should have some obligating effect on me.
In fact, I'd rather all my money stolen then be forced to change any of my beliefs.
How many pagans do you really think REALLY changed any of their beliefs as a result of this absurd practice? The very suggestion is ridiculous.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
you can't be forced to change your beliefs (3.00 / 1) (#139)
by sayke on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 10:46:33 AM EST

although you can be forced to express them more carefully... which isn't nearly as scary sounding, huh?


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

To make this simple... (4.00 / 5) (#65)
by trhurler on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:17:57 PM EST

But do you honestly think that taxation is as much of a violation of your rights as being forced to convert to christianity?
Yes.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Ok (3.50 / 4) (#66)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:20:36 PM EST

Alright, we're settled. Artguing this further would be grossly off topic and exhausting.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Minor point of law (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:43:40 PM EST

Koresh et. al. were being charged with illegal traffiking in guns, not child abuse. Actually, the only thing that has *ever* been proven is that there were illegal aliens in that place, most of them Britons. The 'automatic weapons', IIRC, were all conversions that are perfectly legal, as the law merely prohibits conversions based on the power generated by the bullet or gas working against the action, and says nothing of an external device that causes the trigger to repeatedly pull, hence the various electronic and manual trigger-pulling devices that are perfectly legal to mount on a weapon and produce a fully-automatic weapon with a moderate rate of fire.

I've never used any such device; they're unbelievably good ways to waste money, as, unless the gun is a .22, it's going to cost at least 30 cents a round to shoot, and, at 100 rounds per minute, that's $30/minute...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
what? (4.00 / 1) (#128)
by delmoi on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 09:12:12 AM EST

Dude. Tell me an instance of a government coming in into someone's house and torturing them to convert them to Christianity.

Well, of course you won't find any instances, governments just kill all the people they don't like. (spanish inquisition, holocost, Taliban, etc)
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
should have refrased it (none / 0) (#221)
by strlen on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:21:31 PM EST

american government.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Heh (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:49:13 PM EST

Actually for the topic of comment, it would be a better idea to use eLuddite's coined phrase: "FIRST TAXATION IS THEFT POST!"

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
I know you are but what am I? (4.50 / 2) (#129)
by samth on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 09:13:52 AM EST

Sorry about the grade school insult.

As far as I can tell, you're in support of doing violence to people and their property, as long as it is directed at achieving goals YOU think are worthwhile, and against it if it is directed at achieving goals with which you disagree.

This is true for you as well, which is as it should be, since you aren't an anarchist. You just think that the good goals are protecting private property, and the bad goals are anything else.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Careful (4.30 / 10) (#15)
by tayknight on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:32:14 PM EST

Be very careful trying to make generalizations about a group. I'm a Christian and I don't, and will not, do things like this.
I have Islamic friends who aren't terrorists.
I have Asian friends who aren't martial arts experts.
I may even know some pagans who don't sacrifice virgins.
Pair up in threes - Yogi Berra
Generalizations bad (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by FyreFiend on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:33:15 PM EST

Agreed. It's far to common for Pagans to be too broad when talking of such things (I'm Pagan and I've been gilty of it myself). E.A. tried narrowing it down to one group of Christians and even that's too broad. "Radical Christians" or something else might have been better.

I can see why the generalizations happen though. I'm not trying to defend it but it's easy to do when you run into too many narrow minded people that instantly label you "evil".

With a story like this the writer needs to write it up and then walk away for an hour or so before re-reading it and posting.

All that being said I'm still giving this +1 section because it is an important subject



[ Parent ]
protestants (2.50 / 2) (#103)
by garlic on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 10:23:05 PM EST

Again, taking ignorance into consideration, Protestants is one group, but it's a huge group. It encompassess most Christians in the US. Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, all started as a Protest against some things that Catholics did. Not that Catholics are bad, but they used to have some bad ideas. Martin Luther nailed his thesis on the door of a cathedrial the night before All Saints Day. The catholics didn't agree at the time, but eventually they corrected every(?) complaint that Luther nailed to the cathedral.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Re: Protestants (none / 0) (#107)
by FyreFiend on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 11:09:06 PM EST

I understand. I agree that singling out Protestants in the artical is wrong (maybe he meant a small subsect?). I still gave it +1 section (possably wrongly now that I think about it) because I felt that the problem needs to be talked about and the comments to the story defend the more "sane thinking" (for lack of a better word) Protestants and Christains.



--
Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we".
-- Mark Twain


[ Parent ]
Correction (none / 0) (#108)
by FyreFiend on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 11:17:51 PM EST

"I agree that singling out Protestants" should be "I agree that singling out *all* Protestants"

Sorry for the mistake



--
Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we".
-- Mark Twain


[ Parent ]
Guns (1.57 / 7) (#18)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:34:18 PM EST

Actually what's strange is that this is an argument both for and against guns. If I have a gun I can shoto all the fucks to death. but they may have guns too, and without guns it may be harder for them to coerce me. Gar. Why can't we just cut everything south of Mason-Dixon and North of the Mexican border and East of California out, and assert it on top of Canada and just let the godamn rednecks freeze?

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
(OT) Wowow (4.50 / 2) (#34)
by Anatta on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:01:50 PM EST

Why can't we just cut everything south of Mason-Dixon and North of the Mexican border and East of California out, and assert it on top of Canada and just let the godamn rednecks freeze?

I really hope that just-let-the-hicks-die remark was sarcastic, but my guess is that to some degree, you'd like to see that, and you probably do think the south is full of hicks.

All I have to say is go to New Orleans. Don't go to Bourbon St., go around the whole city. You'll find the most culturally fascinating city in the whole US, and one of the most interesting in the world. Go to the Mississippi Delta, and you'll find the origins of rock music, and consequently virtually all modern popular culture in the western world. Go to Nashville and listen to some of the great real country/bluegrass music played there, not the crap on the country channels. Again, you'll find a depth of culture not found in most of the "civilized" places.

Finally, swing down to Oxford, Mississippi and go look at where William Faulkner, probably the greatest writer in American history, and one of the greatest writers ever, created his works.

While there is a large number of RV Parks in the south, your view of it is woefully lacking, and if you actually went down and visited a few of the places, you'd find the origins of many (most of?) the truly revolutionary artisitic and cultural movements in American history.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Heh (2.00 / 1) (#40)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:17:46 PM EST

Yes, I was being sarcastic. But actually all those cities will survive in a cold climate, and the New Orleaners can just go further south to Quebec. But the trailer parks probably won't stand the cold.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
This might be beneficial... (3.40 / 5) (#54)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:40:32 PM EST

Not to the Southerners, mind you, who would freeze their nuts off, but to the whole rest of the world.

If you cut that chunk of the continental U.S. off and slapped it down on top of Canada, there would be a lot less fucking whinging-whining-sniveling-government-is-good-and-we're-UN-stoolies-who-hate-America-because-she-could-kick-our-asses-in-whenever-she-felt-like-it-without-even-breaking-a-sweat Canadians.

That can only be a good thing.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Hell, we tried it once... (none / 0) (#171)
by farmgeek on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:58:41 PM EST

but you damned Northerners wouldn't let us leave! ;P

[ Parent ]
Human Rights Violation? (4.16 / 6) (#26)
by ragabr on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:47:34 PM EST

the two links provided in your editorial comment don't seem to back up what you describe in your story. the first article states very clearly that a release should be obtained before performing an exorcism. in the second article, i may be mistaken, but it seemed that all of the exorcisms noted were voluntary excepting the one where the article states the participant had been tricked into attending. like other comments have mentioned, unless this is voluntary or the victim is unemancipated, it is a crime to force these on people. especially the account you gave in the story. and it's not really shocking, or particularly offensive as long as they remain within the bounds of the law.

-------
And my tongue would be made of chocolate. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
-rusty
Very sorry but...... (2.36 / 11) (#33)
by THoliC on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:01:19 PM EST

Altogether Now.....


#..Dooo-doo-doo-dah-dum-dee-dahhh...
Da-da-da-da-da-dum-dee-dooh...#


Cue Ray:...

    "If there's something strange...
    In your neighbourhood...
    Who you gonna call...??"



"Wanderlust,
has got us both,
looking for a bed today..."

Interesting toipic, but... (4.16 / 6) (#41)
by Anatta on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:18:22 PM EST

Ok, I'm going to make an assumption here. My guess is that the average Wiccan in the deep south is likely more educated and intelligent than the average bust-into-someone's-house-and-exorcise-them Christian (which I would also suggest is probably .0001% of Christians.)

If I was a Wiccan chillen out at home in Tuscaloosa, and a bunch of freaky Christians busted in, held me down, and started chanting insanely to me, telling me that the demon has to leave my body, I think maybe I'd probably try to go along with them... maybe even force myself to vomit just to get them out of there. I would think most Wiccans with half a brain in their head would do the same. I would even go renounce Wiccanism and accept Jesus (not in my heart, but in my words... there's a big difference.)

Finally, once the kooks thought I was down with Jesus, I'd go to the city police and turn them in and make them go to jail for a long time. If the city ignored me, I'd go to the state. If the state ignored me, I'd go federal. At some point, they'd get put up on trial if such an occurance really happened.

My guess is that this is really rare, for a variety of reasons. Most christians don't act this way, there are proportionally fewer Wiccans the deeper you go into the south, etc.

The Wiccans could easily bring the Christians up on assault charges, probably battery, and probably trespassing. I would guess a mildly effective lawyer could come up with countless other charges to throw at them... at least enough to get the crazies to stop.

I hesitate to say this action should be legislated against because I am a libertarian and am not comfy with religion and government becoming friends or enemies, and also my guess is that by bringing up the whole thing in the media, more damage will be caused than aid. Think flag burning... when the anti-flag burners brought the amendment up, there were only like 15 instances of it in 150 years... in the 15 years after it was brought up, there were hundreds of incidents.

It seems to me we should just use the laws that are already in place to fix this (clearly evil) problem. And the Wiccans, should they find themselves in such a situation, should use Common Sense.
My Music

Lawyers (2.33 / 9) (#46)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:26:48 PM EST

You know what I would do? I would take out my gun and shoot those fucks without any regrets one by one. Or if I didn't have a gun, take out a knife and slash their throats. Or without that I'd find a nice big sized rock to throw in their faces or use my fists and gouge their eyes out. And I'd be perfectly justified in doing that as a matter of self defense. Not all people have the money to spend on a lawyer and a jury room full of the same redneck trash might think not differently from those rednecks. Remember what happened in the South with all white juries and a white male being tried?

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Not that easy. (3.33 / 3) (#51)
by bgalehouse on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:33:57 PM EST

As Eco said in Foucalt's Pendulum, at some point there is no difference between pretending to believe something and actually believing it.

Also, there is a science to brainwashing. And this sort of 'ceremony' is what it looks like in application. Check out Sargent's "Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brain-Washing"

Education is no defense from such things.

[ Parent ]

god knows what you say... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by Anatta on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:48:56 PM EST

And as jesus said, god knows what you say in secret.

There is a huge difference between pretending to believe something and believing it, even if it is hard to tell what others believe. If I were to walk into a kooky Christian group and say "I believe Jesus walked on water!" loud enough, they'd believe me. I would be lying, however, and god (or whatever you want to call "it", if anything) would know that in an instant.

Just as the televangelist may say he believes in what Jesus is preaching, in his heart, he is going for money, nothing more. God, and maybe more importantly his conscience, can see that quite easily. A Wiccan can surely put on a ruse for an hour or two until it's safe to go to the cops. Suggesting that up to 8 hours (probably much less if the Wiccan puts on the ruse) of time with a bunch of creeps is going to brainwash a 16+ year old (assuming there aren't too many 12 year old Wiccans in Tuscaloosa) is ridiculous. Chances are the family the Wiccan belongs to is Christian, and the Wiccan has already proved resistant to the brainwashing techniques enough to discover Wicca.
My Music
[ Parent ]

you'd be surprised (2.66 / 3) (#114)
by streetlawyer on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:34:10 AM EST

Suggesting that up to 8 hours (probably much less if the Wiccan puts on the ruse) of time with a bunch of creeps is going to brainwash a 16+ year old (assuming there aren't too many 12 year old Wiccans in Tuscaloosa) is ridiculous

It absolutely isn't. You'd be amazed what can be done.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Depends on what you mean by pretending... (4.00 / 1) (#183)
by bgalehouse on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 04:31:17 AM EST

Walk into a Christian meeting, say yes when they ask if you've been saved and I supose you've pretended to believe.

Spend time conversing with them, following and playing back their memes and lines of logic. Stick with it even when the 'logic' makes you wince. Eventually you won't be able to not believe. This is what Foucalt's Pendulum is about, and Eco does a far better job of exampling it than I. But in the end either you recognize this phenomenon as something that could happen to you or you don't.

Take part in their activities, let yourself be drawn into their activities, their pathos. Go along with their attitude 'just enough to put on a good show, to be believable', and it will come sooner. The more you act with them, the more you strive to fit in, the faster you will wear away your inner resistance.

There is such thing as a conversion experience. Mental exhaustion and trauma can and will cause them. The people with the hardest wills take the most trauma to change - and then make the most complete changes.

The ceremony described certainly isn't the most effective way to brainwash. More aggresive techniques include electrical shocks to the brain and insulin induced comas. But vivid ceremonies are certainly the right sort of thing to cause conversion experiences.

But I'm doing a poor job of presenting ideas from the books I mentioned. If you are interested, read them and decide for yourself if they make sense.

[ Parent ]

What can they do? (4.40 / 5) (#52)
by ubernostrum on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:38:59 PM EST

If you're a minor, your family can inflict almost anything on you in the name of religion...they can even refuse life-saving medical treatment and defer to "faith healing", so I don't see how letting a mob physicaly abuse you would cause any fuss. And I note that the opening bit of this article mentioned an exorcism being ordered by a parent or grandparent...

This is the sort of thing Bennett Haselton harps on over at peacefire - if you're under 18 in this country, you have no rights and no recourse. So here come the Protestants...


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

So grant biological adults rights (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by Anatta on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:52:14 PM EST

Well if the abuse gets bad enough, the state doesn't have much trouble intervening. Again, the state intervening in family issues is dicey to me, and the best way to solve the issue is to grant to biological adults the rights of adults. I'm not sure how many people would be prepared for that, however.

I do think it is a crime that children in essence have no rights...
My Music
[ Parent ]

"biological adults"? (3.00 / 1) (#153)
by goosedaemon on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:50:05 PM EST

uh, what's that?

teenagers are most emphatically not adults. being able to get pregnant or to impregnate isn't synonymous with being able to handle it, you know?



[ Parent ]
Actually... (4.00 / 5) (#163)
by mold on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 03:26:57 PM EST

I am seventeen years old. I go to a private, catholic, high school. My religion, not catholic, is simple. I'm not Christian. I have a daughter.

I have worked at Cisco Systems for around eight months. My pay scale, working from home, is higher than the average person in this state.

I go to school, I take college courses, and I work, full time. I am more mature than 99% of the adults that I've met. Most of my friends (childless), are more mature than 99% of the, adults that I've met.

Most teenagers, are under MUCH more stress than these, so-called, adults.

And yet, we can't get bank accounts without a parental signature, because we are not capable of managing our money, or at least that is my assumption as to why not.

I can only recently, get into "R" rated movies, which I have been watching since I was seven years old, because some Christian group of political nuns (Not literally; You know who I am speaking about).

Parenthood really does mature you though. Trust me, "being able to get pregnant or to impregnate," helps a whole lot on making someone an adult.

It's freaks like you, who've made the lives of teenagers a living hell, when it comes to integrating into society.

I really hate people who think that teenagers cannot think. By the age of fourteen, almost any person can fit into society.

No, I'll believe that our government cares for us when they start making laws that are logical, and can give logical reasoning, other than, "It's for the children, we don't want them to grow up to be socially outcast." It seems to me that that is exactly what you want us to be.

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]
dude. (2.00 / 1) (#190)
by goosedaemon on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 04:42:09 PM EST

i'm fifteen.

[ Parent ]
Colorado (3.00 / 1) (#135)
by jkominek on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 10:34:45 AM EST

Parents can no longer refuse life-saving medical treatment for their children (on religious grounds) in Colorado. It happened last year or something, and so within the past 6-9 months the governor signed a bill to the above effect.

(Sorry, no URL for it. Watched it on the 9 o'clock news.)
- jay kominek unix is all about covering up the fact that you can't type.
[ Parent ]

libertarian (4.00 / 2) (#127)
by craigtubby on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 09:10:05 AM EST

I hesitate to say this action should be legislated against because I am a libertarian and am not comfy with religion and government becoming friends or enemies ...

So we have two conflicts here

Libertarian 1)
People have a right to practice thier religion without state interferance.

Libertarian 2)
People have a right not to be sat upon, preeched at, forced to be sick, assulted ....

Were do we go from here?

[ Parent ]
easy answer (4.66 / 3) (#137)
by blaine on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 10:38:49 AM EST

I think that the answer is pretty obvious here. I know it's an old saying, but I'll repeat it: your rights end where my nose begins. [ie: your right to swing a fist at me ends at the point where your fist contacts my nose ]

Or: you have a right to practice your religion, but only up until the point where you start infringing upon my rights. If your religion called for ritual sacrifice, you would not have the right to kill me. My right to live supercedes your right to practice religion.

The same thing goes here. My right to not be tied up, abused, tortured, etc. comes *way* before your right to practice religion.

[ Note: yes, I am a libertarian. However, I see no problems in this. I don't think I would put specific laws in place though ... I think prosecution under current laws would work just fine. These "exorcisms" are basically assault and battery. ]

[ Parent ]
My Apologies (none / 0) (#229)
by craigtubby on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 05:21:49 AM EST

I took the comment

"... am not comfy with religion and government becoming friends or enemies ..."

to mean that you belived that religions should not have to abide by laws set by the goverment.

[ Parent ]

Going to the police... (none / 0) (#232)
by Merc on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 04:00:41 PM EST

Is a great idea, but not always an option. The sad truth is that in very rural areas, the police are often not the most educated, fair people. They're just the bullies who managed to get a badge. Chances are they might even be among the ones trying to save you from the demons, and wouldn't be inclined to save you from the mob. You could always try going to the FBI or something, but it's not necessarily as simple as going to the police.

To see dramatic evidence of this go see "Boys don't cry" sometime.



[ Parent ]
One person I know (4.66 / 9) (#88)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:11:58 PM EST

Was a party to such an excorcism. Upon finding out that I was essentially an atheist and didn't believe in the devil, she proceeded to tell me about it, all about the fear of the devil, the foaming at the mouth (some victims of excorcism do foam at the mouth - it's likely a simple response to the incredible amount of lunacy in the room, or possibly a neurotic disorder), the screaming, the subvocalisation (how this proves the devil is beyond me; raving lunatics are imbalanced, not evil), and that, under all that stress, a young, slim, relatively healthy girl got her heartbeat up to *220*, which is humanly not possible, she assured me. Oddly enough, she's a medtech and should know that even a giant such as myself can get my heartbeat up to 220 for short times without any serious long-term damage.

Anyway, this kind of thing is abuse, does happen, and is something that royally pisses me off. I may thing pagans are as silly as Christians and not be thoroughly convinced that pagans wouldn't be just as annoying if they were in the majority, but as an atheist/agnostic, I have to say it's got to stop.


I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
heart beat above 220, I've done it. (5.00 / 4) (#95)
by coffee17 on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:31:59 PM EST

back in highschool when I was a swimmer, during the tapering end of season we'd do a *lot* of sprints, and typically in the resting period after I'd take a 15 second pulse check. Often I'd be in the 220/240 range. Granted, this is just over 15 seconds, as opposed to a minute, but if one could monitor the heart while I was swimming it would at least be near that point. And this is just sprinting.

When you consider what could happen to someone with a lot of adrenalyn and endorphines going thru the body, I wouldn't be too surprised about 220. What I find more surprising is that during this supposed exorcism they bothered to check her pulse. I've witnessed my parents bald facedly lie about event I'd witnessed to help evangilize their faith... thus unsupported anecdotal evidence usually goes right out the window.

extraordinary events require extraordinary proof.

[ Parent ]

Exactly so (4.00 / 3) (#100)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 09:27:10 PM EST

Never underestimate the power of man to delude himself.

I, myself have said things I wasn't sure of in defense of religion (I was a theo major for a while), but once I whittled away all the things I wasn't sure of, I ended up with nothing. These days, I believe the opposite through examining evidences others have presented, yet for each evidence, I get the same old tired contradictory arguments. Arguing about religion is a waste of time, anyhoo...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
saying anything to defend one's faith (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by coffee17 on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 02:37:50 PM EST

is part of the reason faith takes so strong a hold of people. If you consider the lies that they are willing to tell others, consider the lies they tell themselves. And I also speak from experience on this, I was brought up catholic, and while I didn't really believe, I *wanted* to believe, and told myself all manor of things. Eventually when after highschool I left the vastly xtian mid-west to go to college where I finally got to see people not believing, I finally accepted that I didn't *have* to believe, and if a god/gods couldn't give compelling evidence to believe and worship it, it was either a cruel entity not worthy or worship, an inept entity not worthy of worship, or didn't care if anyone worshipped it. Either way, it was nice to not be waking up early on Sundays for church.

[ Parent ]
Besides (5.00 / 1) (#217)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:51:13 PM EST

As atheists are fond of pointing out, what moral person would let another person die for their sins? Christianity encourages some of the basest behavior, as anything is acceptable to further the church, while at the same time, forgiveness is a prayer away (I grew up protestant).

I find it particularly funny that so many people defend their beliefs without a serious idea what they believe. Modern Christianity is not even remotely similar to early Christianity, which was certainly nowhere near Judaism. Now, tell me, which one does the infallible, unchanging God support?

No, Occam's Razor; it is simply easier to assume that man made these religions than to reconcile their obvious faults.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
This sounds a lot like 'deprogramming' (4.00 / 5) (#89)
by anansi on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:12:44 PM EST

The thing that scares me the most when I hear a right wing christian advance a political viewpoint, is that they generally don't regard their desideratum as political in nature, or even religious. It's just a self-evident fact.

Exorcism isn't considered evangelism by its practitioners, they're simply trying to bring the weirdo back 'down' to a 'normal' (christian) existance. I'm not trying to slam all christians here: I know not every christian is as crazy as my family. (long story...)

It's the exact same error indulged in by cult deprogrammers. They assume that a 'natural' state of being is athiest, agnostic, or the religion of the parents. This is a seperate concern from the very real abuses that can occur within unpopular cults. (I saw a documentary about american Hare Krishnas that put me off my kibble. But I'm still against deprogramming.)

I predict that we won't see any real advances in american religious ethics until Buddists, Hindus and Muslims make the same kind of ruckus in politics that the christian right is so famous for. I look forward to that, actually!

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"

Be careful what you wish for (3.33 / 3) (#138)
by BurntHombre on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 10:42:31 AM EST

I predict that we won't see any real advances in american religious ethics until Buddists, Hindus and Muslims make the same kind of ruckus in politics that the christian right is so famous for. I look forward to that, actually!

Why wait? You can go to Iran now and see Muslims creating a political ruckus.

[ Parent ]

Yeesh (none / 0) (#187)
by anansi on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 12:59:10 PM EST

As many times as I've heard this slur, I still am struck speechless every time the last officially sanctioned bigotry is invoked. Let me try and put it in simple words you'll understand...

There are about a billion muslim people in the world. Iran accounts for 65 million of them, or 6.5% of the total. Are you going to blame Iran's problems on its religion? By that logic, one could blame USian gun violence on our christian majority.

We've got our own extremist terrorists in the form of anti-abortion bombers. But no one goes around calling christianity a violent sect.

Finally, every time an act of violence occurs, it's attributed to the shiite faction. But have you ever heard of the Sunni? Sunni muslims outnumber shiite by an enormous margin, yet most USians only know islam by its most extreme adherents.(I'd look up the stats for you, but I gotta get outta here)

Get a clue before you go calling someone a sand nigger!

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#195)
by BurntHombre on Sun Aug 05, 2001 at 12:05:59 PM EST

Okay, you made a lot of noise that implied I was impugning the great dignity of all Muslims by making a criticism of Iran, and you countered a few arguments that I never made.

That said, are you denying that a good number of the troubles facing Iran today are the result of its government sanctioned religion and its religious leaders?

Please limit your response to my question and avoid things like "USians are worse," "there are a billions muslims," etc.

[ Parent ]

Iran's problems (none / 0) (#198)
by anansi on Sun Aug 05, 2001 at 09:59:38 PM EST

Yes, I refute the notion that sharia (islamic law) is to blame for Iran's (lousy) human rights record.

USians are not worse: my original point was that more religious activism in the US would be a good thing. And Iran would greatly benefit from more diversity of religion. Islam is not the end-all of religion, but it's considerably more open to chritianity than vice versa.

If you want me to point fingers, it's common knowlrge that the CIA overthrew their government and installed the shah. The Shah's corruption set the stage for Khomeni's takover (a butcher i'll not defend) which prompted us to funnel military aid to Iraq. War is never good for civil liberties at home.

I don't idolize arabic culture: there's a particulalry misogynist thread that squicks me no end. But when I hear people casually blame a countries problems on a major world religion, that sounds like bigotry to me, and I can't let it go unmentioned. Jews face the same problem... but you can say all you want about catholicism and I won't emit a peep.

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"
[ Parent ]

I'm not sure of the veracity of all this... (4.42 / 7) (#90)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:13:33 PM EST

but I do know this...

If that happened to me, I'd be wanted for murder 2. However, I'd get off by saying that the devil made me do it.

<ba-dum-ching>

farq will not be coming back
why would you be wanted? (3.50 / 2) (#99)
by strlen on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 09:09:46 PM EST

self defense is perfectly legal. heh, strange but true, i'm largely a liberal but i support gun ownership and self-defense (its the best way minorities can be defended).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
A bit dramatic perhaps (3.00 / 4) (#97)
by xriso on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:37:57 PM EST

Although some may exorcise like that, others might do it differently, perhaps more interactively.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
huh. (4.40 / 5) (#106)
by harb on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 10:44:00 PM EST

Well, we'll see how you feel when you've been possessed by a demon from the burning depths of Hell, and are forced to watch teletubbies and write "Hey, being demon-controlled isn't so bad" articles.

Actually...

* harb narrows his eyes

bda.

Can't decide how to vote (3.33 / 3) (#109)
by sigwinch on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 11:28:48 PM EST

On the one hand, there's no supporting evidence in the story. On the other hand, there's a beautiful -- yet completely orthogonal to the story -- flamewar about the Evils of Big Government. (I swear, I'm beginning to think trhurler and streetlawyer are the same person.)

I guess it has to be -1, since the childrens' rights and corporal punishment flamewar (again, quasi-orthogonal to the story) is under an editorial comment. If someone had had the foresight to start that thread as topical, it'd be +1 FP.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.

Human Rights Violation? (4.00 / 4) (#116)
by Afty on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:12:38 AM EST

I don't think so - not in the strict sense of the meaning anyway, but it most assuredly is criminal:

Trespass
Assault
Kidnapping
Actual Bodily Harm
+Religious Persecution?

Now I don't know what the penalties are for these crimes in the US, but here in the UK someone perpetrating such an act would be looking at a maximum sentence of around 5 - 10 years.

It would almost certainly also fall under the new definitions of 'hate crimes' which I believe severely stiffen the penalties imposed upon the perpetrators.

Could someone from the US perhaps shed more light on the laws broken and their potential punishments?

Uhm... (2.00 / 2) (#118)
by YesNoCancel on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 07:01:34 AM EST

This is a joke, right?

Nope, it's very real. (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 08:47:56 AM EST

You can check this comment for more info...
--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
Oh no... (3.00 / 1) (#130)
by YesNoCancel on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 09:24:40 AM EST

...please don't tell me such things are really happening in the United States. It will probably lower my opionion about this country even further...

[ Parent ]
Some evidence would be nice (3.85 / 7) (#119)
by pw201 on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 07:57:52 AM EST

I can't tell whether you're a troll or not. I suspect you are, but let's give you the benefit of the doubt for a moment.

You are propagating a story with no evidence to back it up. Without that evidence, your story is nothing more than an urban legend. Christians hold Pagans down and exorcise them. Yep, and the Proctor and Gamble symbol is Satanic, and Darwin repented of evolution on his death bed, and there was the guy who picked up a hitchhiker...

I suggest you read this article for some clear thinking on stories like yours and those I've mentioned.

Here's your evidence. (none / 0) (#122)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 08:45:26 AM EST

The links I gave were unfortunantly in an editorial comment, so here they are again:

http://www.logoschristian.org/malachi_martin/christian.html
http://apocalypse.berkshire.net/~ifas/wa/exorcist.html


--
I fly the UN Flag.
[ Parent ]
news? (2.00 / 2) (#126)
by garlic on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 09:08:57 AM EST

So, exorcisms do happen, not always with the posessed person (If I was a demon posessing someone, I don't think I'd let them get permission to exorcise me!). What brought this situation to your attention? Any recent news articles about this?

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

correction (2.00 / 2) (#167)
by garlic on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:23:09 PM EST

not always with the permission of the posessed person.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Er, no (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by pw201 on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 02:21:55 PM EST

The first link specifically says that you cannot use force to restrain someone because it's illegal.

You've found a couple of pages by some people whose opinions are way-out (put sea salt in the swimming pool as demons don't like salt: great stuff) and decided that this constitutes a major problem for pagans. I have yet to see any evidence for this.

[ Parent ]

Re: Er, no (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by Mzilikazi on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 12:13:08 PM EST

You've found a couple of pages by some people whose opinions are way-out (put sea salt in the swimming pool as demons don't like salt: great stuff)

Simple problem of marketing there. Do that with a Christian Fundamentalist attitude, and it's backwards and misguided, not to mention stupid. Do the same thing, and call it part of Feng Shui, or "Ancient Oriental Tradition" even if there's no historical basis for it, and not only will it be trendy, but you can make a fortune selling little vials of sea salt. ;)

(Naturally, the above comment isn't intended to insult Eastern beliefs. Just a matter of perspective...)

[ Parent ]

Evidence. (5.00 / 6) (#124)
by Electric Angst on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 08:50:55 AM EST

Okay, my original author's editorial is hidden now, but it contained some information that was vital to the article. Here are two links that give evidence of this action.


--
I fly the UN Flag.
UFO Encounters... (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by catseye on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:55:13 PM EST

I found it quite funny that on the link to the logoschristian.org site, it says on a subsequent page that UFO Encounters are demonic attacks. So... if you live near an air force base and accidentally mistake a high-tech aircraft for a UFO, better not tell any of your Christian friends. ;)



[ Parent ]
I offer you an easy solution (1.50 / 6) (#125)
by yesterdays children on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 08:59:05 AM EST

Just claim to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. As far as I know, its ok for Pagans to lie, isn't it? Especially to escape involuntary imprisonment? So after this, go to church, play in the water a bit, then go back home and alls done. If you're quick on your feet, you can do all of this in an hour or so, and be back sacrificing pets and what not before lunchtime. Paganism and Satanism are extraordinarily convenient here, you have no rules to conflict with. The skys the limit.

Also, its a fairly asymetric situation, for instance, while Pagans often don't believe in the Divinity of Christ, Christians are all too certain of the existance of Satan.

I'm slow (2.50 / 2) (#131)
by kubalaa on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 09:37:40 AM EST

This is a troll, right? I don't mean it in an insulting way; if so, it's a pretty convincing one, if not, well, I suppose you're entitled to your opinion.

[ Parent ]
No you're not (3.00 / 2) (#134)
by yesterdays children on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 10:13:38 AM EST

It was somewhat a troll, but at the time I was typing, it really was so obvious I probably couldn't have typed anything else. Excellent call on your part irregardless. You may mod me appropriately, no complaints.

I personally think wiccans are marvellously entertaining. They're like goths, only funnier.

[ Parent ]

I think you've missed the point... (4.20 / 5) (#161)
by jukeboxcharlie on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 03:07:25 PM EST

Why should these people have to lie about their religious beliefs to avoid persecution. Do you suppose a Christian missionary in some Middle Eastern country ought to denounce their faith and publicy pledge their alleigance to Islam to avoid persecution? The freedom or religion is probably the most basic and fundamental right that humans have. They shouldn't be forced to undergo these kinds of tortures and then falsely claim to embrace the their torturers.
This is my sig. Here I have a pithy quote, or wry comment.
[ Parent ]
from two points of view (none / 0) (#196)
by yesterdays children on Sun Aug 05, 2001 at 02:27:55 PM EST

First: I looked around for some wiccan laws, and I could not find any that prohibited lying. Christians are prohibitted from lying. Although you won't be a total loser if you're a Christian and lie, but it is one of the commandments.

Second: In all likelyhood, your family or others close to you ordered the exorcism. Wiccans who have alienated their family to no return in all likelyhood won't suffer this process.

Hope that helps clear things up!

[ Parent ]

I'm not aware of a Christian rule against lying (none / 0) (#205)
by error 404 on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 11:23:32 AM EST

There is a commandment that prohibits false testimony on behalf of the prosecution against a member of your own tribe.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Wiccan != pagan (none / 0) (#222)
by rannirl on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 01:27:18 PM EST

First: I looked around for some wiccan laws, and I could not find any that prohibited lying.

Mostly because there aren't any wiccan laws. (The closest is the Rede, which is suitibly ambiguous). Specific traditions have more specific rules.

On top of that, despite popular conception, whilst most Wiccans are pagan, most pagans are not necessarily wiccan. There are a significant number of pagans who do have quite strict codes of conduct.

[ Parent ]

Logic Parse Error (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by Elkor on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 01:28:29 PM EST

Sorry to be anal about this, but your subject should have been:
Pagan!=Wiccan

Pagan doesn't equal being Wiccan.

Being Wiccan, however, does equal Pagan (Pagan being originally defined as any religion that isn't Christian, Jewish, Islam or Budhist)

I whole heartedly agree with the rest of your post, being Pagan myself.

A lie could be considered "harm" under the Rede, but that is based on your personal perception of the effects of the lie.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
so what would be your conclusion? (none / 0) (#233)
by yesterdays children on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 06:21:48 PM EST

If you were wiccan and abducted for exorcism, could you then lie about your belief to escape or otherwise satisfy your abductors?

[ Parent ]
Predicting the future.... (none / 0) (#234)
by Elkor on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 05:05:12 PM EST

Well, I am more wiccan than anything else (except maybe Jedi Knight, but that is a discussion for another time) so that part is easy.

Predicting my behavior in that situation is difficult, however. I will take the "escapist" route and answer with "it depends on the circumstances."

I try not to lie, but I don't hold being truthful above my life, or that of others. Being around to refute the claims is better than letting them tell "how it happened."

Likewise, I do not hold other peoples' lives above my own wellbeing. I try to avoid conflict, but I'm not a pacifist.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Private schools (4.75 / 12) (#136)
by Lord13 on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 10:34:48 AM EST

Reading this article reminded me of my days spent in a Baptist Private School. I was eventually asked to leave the school because I was a "distraction to the student body's faith". Here's a short summary of what happen:

Year One

The school makes you attend monthly "chapels" in which a guest speaker will tell the student body why it's great to accept Jesus. At the end of the chapel the entire student body is asked to lower their heads and close their eyes. At this point the speaker would invite anyone who wants to accept Jesus right now to raise his or her hand. Anyone would raised their hand would be brought up front and would be "saved". Everyone else was supposed to keep their heads lowered and eyes shut(If a teacher saw you looking around they would remind you to lower your head). After everyone who raised their hands was "saved" the chapel would end and we'd go back to class.

During one such chapel I was forced to go up front and be "saved". I didn't raise my hand, a teacher pulled me out and brought me up front. The speaker did his act and had me say that I accepted Jesus as my savior. I was more scared and confused then anything, so I played along.

The funny part was, even though I didn't willing submit to this, I fell for it. I started thinking I was a Christian and living for God, etc.

Year Two

As I to get to know the staff of the school and continue to go to chapels, I start seeing a lot of hypocrisy. I notice that bringing unwilling kids to the front of chapels to be saved is quite common for new kids to the school. I decide I am not a Christian and recognize I was tricked and pressured into something I was not.

I begin to tell other students my thoughts about what goes on. I stop bowing my head during pre-class prayer(we prayed before every class). I stop bowing my head during chapels.

The staff started to notice my behavior and start pressuring me again to commit to Jesus. I'm picked more and more to lead prayer before class(which I did at first, and then start to refuse. Refusing to lead was a detention.) I'm picked again to be saved at a chapel, but this time I walk out.

Year Three

I've now become very active at telling other students that I don't believe in Jesus and I think it's a load of shite. I do homework during prayer, which lead to countless detentions. I skip chapels. In one of my required religion classes the teacher asks me directly if I believe in Jesus. I say no to which he screams "THEN YOU WORSHIP SATAN!". I was the lesson for that day. If you don't believe in Jesus, then your doing Satan's work apparently. I failed that class.

When it became apparent that they couldn't convert me, they asked my parents to remove me from the school. I was quite happy to get out and get back into public school.

This is the super short version of my experiences in private school. There are quite a few more examples of insanity I could post here, but this is long enough.

Brainwashing and forced conversions are happening everyday. Not all religious private school may be as nuts as the one I attended, but they all want to brainwash you to their belief.

Growing half a tree, water it everyday.
baptist school (2.00 / 1) (#141)
by goosedaemon on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 11:14:30 AM EST

so, uh, why are you going to a baptist school if you're not a baptist or even a protestant?

[ Parent ]
Parental Preference (4.33 / 3) (#149)
by Amerist on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:22:36 PM EST

Children don't get to choose where they are sent for school; the gaurdians choose.

Oftentimes religiously run schools, most of which are Christian schools in the US, have amazing reputations, show off beautiful grounds and have good looking classrooms. A parent looking for the best education for their child might see a Christian school (Baptist, Protestant, Catholic, etc.) as a good place to send their child because they saw a clean, well kept environment.

I am Celtic Crystalian Pagan. I have been in Catholic schools my entire life. This is because my birth mother was Catholic. I myself did come to have fundamental disagreements with Catholicism and finally Christianity itself, even while I was in those schools.

Amerist.


--------
"What are dreams when we are but the dreams of dreamers yet to be born?"
[ Parent ]

Celtic??? (4.00 / 3) (#180)
by DGolden on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 07:38:19 PM EST

What puzzles me, as a native Irishman, and therefore descended, in part, from Celtic settlers who came to Ireland in the B.C. era, is the amount of weird romantic new-age crap Americans tend to attach to my ancestors :-).

I guess, it'd be the same sort of feeling an Italian gets when he meets someone who not only claims to follow the ancient Roman god Zeus, but also claims that Zeus was a space alien who could channel the healing powers of tomatoes (not something mentioned in roman mythologies :-) )





Don't eat yellow snow
[ Parent ]
Roman? (3.00 / 1) (#182)
by dyskordus on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 08:53:35 PM EST

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Zeus a Greek god? I seem to remember his Roman equivilant being Jupiter.


"Reality is less than television."-Brian Oblivion.
[ Parent ]

Yes, but that's my point. (3.00 / 1) (#184)
by DGolden on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 07:07:24 AM EST

My point exactly.... I was attempting to present it in a humorous fashion: The new-agers get all our legends and myths all mixed up, and pick and choose bits they like from them, as well as making up random stuff and tacking it on...

Don't eat yellow snow
[ Parent ]
point taken (none / 0) (#188)
by dyskordus on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 01:29:20 PM EST

n/c
"Reality is less than television."-Brian Oblivion.
[ Parent ]
It's a long story really... (4.00 / 2) (#150)
by Lord13 on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:25:26 PM EST

The parents believed that I would get a better education at a private school. They are not religious themselves, but somehow got sold on the school I went too. In retrospect they agree that it was a poor school and at the time were unaware of the constant pressure to be "saved" by Jesus. They were quite shocked when the school asked them to pull me out.

Growing half a tree, water it everyday.
[ Parent ]
Because public schools suck (4.33 / 3) (#181)
by Sikpup on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 07:47:12 PM EST

I was attending two high schools at the same time. I was taking calculus and pascal at the public school, and everything else at a catholic high school.

Public schools are forced to cater to the lowest common denominator. They can't separate the students into groups by ability, etc because its "descriminatory" and might hurt someones feelings. Pushing to get ahead is punished and discouraged. Be a good little sheep and go with the flow.

Private schools are much more committed to the quality of what they provide. Often, religion is included as part of the cirriculum (sp?). However, where as the truly dedicated, top quality teachers are scattered lightly through the public system, they are the norm in a private setting. They have to be given the pay discrepancy.

The public system is run by administrators for administrators. There is a specific agenda that all must follow. Students are to progress at the pace the administration has decided. Teachers who progress too fast or too slow will be dealt with. Teachers have been stripped of most of their power. A disruptive student can't be thrown out of class etc. In one case, at San Marin High in Novato, CA, two students violently assaulted a high school teacher. The students were expelled, but the school board overruled when the parents complained and threatened to sue the school. What kind of a system is that?

My own experience was that the private system is vastly superior. I wasn't Catholic when I started attending a Catholic high school, and I will never be having learned enough and seen through what I believe to be a total crock. However, to each their own.

As far as I'm concerned, sending a child to public school is child abuse.



[ Parent ]
Public Schools (none / 0) (#210)
by Merk00 on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 12:24:31 PM EST

We'll ignore the fact that anecdotes don't give a good example of public schools. Regardless, the situation you describe is not common in my experience. At least here, public schools are segregated by ability. It is voluntary as to what group you belong to (standard, honors, g&t) but there is also teacher descresion involved. Teachers do move at different speeds and the only problem is when teacher's don't move fast enough. Most teachers interestingly enough want to teach. There are plenty of good teachers in public school. There are also some bad ones. That's how it works in life. I've had fine experiences in public school and would recommend them over private schools.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

What State? (none / 0) (#231)
by Sikpup on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 02:31:21 PM EST

That has been my experience with the public system in several different districts in California.

Other states aren't at the disadvantage of the abusive power held by the teacher/administrator union and well-meaning, idiotic do-gooders.

Too much money and power are involved, and this results in the least competent, most selfish, power-hungry types taking control. (No different from the Teamsters or other powerful unions)



[ Parent ]
That is terrible (none / 0) (#215)
by spiff on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:18:44 PM EST

My heart goes out to you. As a Christian I'd like to offer you my sincerest apology. Forced conversion has no excuse and serves no good purpose. Conversion is a decision you make in your heart, while answering a altar call is a way of saying in front of witnesses that you are willing to follow through with that decision; For God looks at the heart, not at outward appearances. Hopefully they had good intentions and thought they where encouraging kids who where nervous about stepping forward, though this does not excuse them.

I honestly think you would have gotten better results if instead of acting rebellious and trying to start a mutiny among your fellow students you would have confronted the teachers who where doing this, and/or talked to your parents or the principal about it. And unless the place was really rotten you would have gotten a favorable reaction.

[ Parent ]

A disgrace to paganism (3.64 / 14) (#142)
by avdi on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 11:18:08 AM EST

ElectricAngst, as a Messianic Jew exploring the possibility of incorporating Pagan traditions into my practice, this is the kind of thing that makes me want to run as far from your kind as I do from the shit-flinging Christian fundamentalists. I read the two links you gave as so called "evidence" - they give absolutely *no* hard evidence for the scenario you spell out here. One details one church's techniques for *voluntary* excorcism; the other is a single person's unverified accounts. Nowhere is there any story of excorcists storming into someone's house uninvited, as you describe in this article. You have some sort of persecution complex, apparently.

Honestly, if pagans want to be taken seriously, they are going to have to rise above this kind of uneducated, scare-tactic hate-mongering. You're as bad as the frickin' fundies you claim to abhor.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
Agreed (none / 0) (#200)
by Nimey on Sun Aug 05, 2001 at 11:06:15 PM EST

I'm a pagan / Discordian, and I find such hysteria to be embarrassing and reminiscent of those things pagans in general claim to abhor in other religions.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
Give it another 1000 years (5.00 / 1) (#203)
by flikx on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 02:43:29 AM EST

First it was the pagans forcing the christians to hide in tunnels. Now the christians persecute the pagans. In another 1000 years, the pagans will have another period of dominance. Thank you pagans for giving us most of the christian holidays.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock.

*cough*troll*cough*
--
One future, two choices. Oppose them or let them destroy us.
[ Parent ]
Wondering about outcomes... (4.75 / 4) (#148)
by Amerist on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 12:08:23 PM EST

After reading this article a pequilar notion came into my head about the entire concept of the preceedings suggested: How often are people slain or seriously injured in these bizzare rituals?

It would seem to me that bursting into someone's house and surprising them is an excellent way to get onesself a serious concussion, a black eye, or even perhaps a broken nose. Granted, please, I understand that most Pagans aren't violent people--but violence begets violence! and surprised and threatened even the most calm pacifist may break down directly into an animal defensive response. It seems to me that statistically these people committing these Exorcists would eventually run into someone that carries a gun or a knife on their person.

Worse, what about those Pagans who feel unfairly persecuted, they would live in legitimate fear of this sort of action. At the extreme that was suggested in the article a massacre would happen at that doorway as the very nightmare of any freedom loving citizen was suddenly shoved in their faces as their door was slammed open by individual or individuals unknown (or yet unrecognized) drew a gun and shot the first person who grabbed them. I really don't think that this behavior would go down well with the police arriving on the scene.

Amerist


--------
"What are dreams when we are but the dreams of dreamers yet to be born?"

Exorcism, Trespassing...same difference (4.00 / 1) (#174)
by ronin212 on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 05:26:11 PM EST

*kicks open front door* "Hey, we're here to exorcise you!"

*fires 12-gauge shotgun* "Hey thanks, but looks like all the unwanted visitors are already taken care of!"

Seriously though, this kind of stuff actually goes on somewhere?? Please remind me to never cross the mason-dixon line again. Ever.


--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
[ Parent ]
Wondering, too (none / 0) (#194)
by CrayDrygu on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 10:53:53 PM EST

I couldn't agree with you more. Reading this, I looked up at my knife to make sure it was readily available and instantly became that much more paranoid -- and I don't even live anywhere where this is done.

I'm pretty anti-gun-ownership, but if I lived in an area where this was common, I think I'd have one on me at all times. Assuming I couldn't haul ass out of there ASAP.

[ Parent ]
Links (4.57 / 7) (#157)
by catseye on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 01:12:38 PM EST

Religious Tolerance.org has a section on Demonic Possession and Exorcism that's fairly interesting.

UK Story on a child's death related to an exorcism.



Protestant Exorcism != Exorcism (3.60 / 5) (#166)
by Robert Uhl on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 04:22:55 PM EST

I'd like to clarify something about this whole thing. The original author wrote `Protestant exorcism,' and was quite right to do so. Protestants have a nasty habit of twisting a lot of things around, from language (the use of disciple as a verb--a transitive verb, no less--e.g. `He discipled me'), to doctrine (sola scriptura--who do they think approved the books of the Bible--Christ didn't hand it out at the Ascension), to their understanding of possession and exorcism.

A Protestant `exorcism' has about as much to do with what Catholic and Orthodox clerics do as North Dakota does with Northumbria. True exorcisms of people are few and far between; far more common as I understand it are exorcisms of places and things.

I must say, though, that the described procedure sounds more Pentecostal than anything one would find a Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran or Episcopalian doing. Incidentally, it sounds like the sort of thing a child's parents would instigate--which is their right, after all.

Their right? (none / 0) (#189)
by crcerror on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 02:11:00 PM EST

Incidentally, it sounds like the sort of thing a child's parents would instigate--which is their right, after all.

I assume you're joking, right?

If a child chooses a different religion than that of their parents, I could see some parents taking this path of action but I would hardly call that their right.

Besides the fact that unless the children are joining some sort of cult or a religion that could be viewed as destructive towards their well being (yes, I realize that's very subjective), I personally think the parents should stay out of it but wouldn't some other recourse be more suitable if some intervention was needed? Do you really want to subject a child/teenager/young adult to this sort of traumatic experience?

[ Parent ]
Not Joking at All (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by Robert Uhl on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 10:03:09 PM EST

A child is his parent's responsibility; until he has been emancipated, every decision he makes may always be over-ruled by them. When he has attained his freedom, he's quite welcome to do as he wills; but until that point in time he is not much more than an extension of his parents.

I do take rather a feudal view of the whole thing, I'll admit. But I've yet to hear of a superior alternative. Letting children do as they will is foolish--children are foolish. Hell, I'm still foolish in many ways, and I'm in my twenties. Kids--in general--cannot make intelligent decisions about their lives: look at the number who go into college without knowing their majors. Look at the manner in which their relationships are conducted. There's nothing wrong with this, really; it's just a side effect of being young. A four-year old would eat cake until he vomited; a fourteen-year old would do drugs and screw until he died of some disease. That's part of the reason that parents exist--not all animals take care of their young; their young can take care of themselves. Ours cannot.

OTOH, I do believe that it should be possible for a child to be emancipated much earlier than is regularly done nowadays. There were mediaeval kings who attained their majority at eight or fourteen. Many children are capable of living as their own men at an earlier age: they should be able to drink, smoke, own property, vote, marry, bear arms and in every other way be independent.

Remember also that to many (including myself), a child's decision to worship some goddess or earth-spirit is far more dangerous than drinking or smoking. The one destroys the body (maybe); the other destroys the soul (definitely). This is IMHO, of course--I'm sure there are pagans who feel the same about my own religion. If any of us have children, we have the right and the duty to take care of them as much as possible. If a three-year old drinks Drano, does his father not take him to the doctor? What's the difference between that and one of these `exorcisms'?

Things change when one gets older. My parents don't take me to the doctor for check-ups, or to the dentist for tooth-cleaning. If I drink Drano I'm the one who will have to induce vomiting. And I am able to freely choose the mode and manner of my worship. What they think on any of these subjects may be interesting to know (FWIW they think I'm a fool for not going to the doctor or dentist more regularly, and wish I went to a parish more to their liking), but nothing more; I am free and can choose as I will.

[ Parent ]

*sigh* (none / 0) (#199)
by Mad Goose on Sun Aug 05, 2001 at 10:00:49 PM EST

I think you're wrong. What you promote is essentially stepping all over your childs consitutional rights. I see this alot, fundementalists who might be decent people otherwise, but their religion brain-washes them. Did you notice, for example, the Catholic Church rallies against the homosexual lifestyle, claiming that "it's un-natural sexual activity". My ass, and never having sex is normal? People evolved to reproduce. Sex is how that happens.

Forcing this on your child, will either make them dislike you for the rest of your life, or turn them into what amounts to a bigot. Which do you want?

Personally, I'm going to let my children have some responsibility. Their father is a agnostic, if they want to be Hindu, that's fine. They want to be pagan, that's fine. I'll keep them safe to the best of my ability, but as long as the religion is not harmful, why not? Truth is not for you to decide.

I apoligize to the regular K5'ers for responding to such a obvious troll, but I couldn't refrain.

-mad_goose


-------------------------------------------
How do you know this post isn't the result of a drunken bet?

Discworld "Map":
"There are no maps. You can't map a sense of humor."
-Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]
Children Don't Have Constitutional Rights (none / 0) (#201)
by Robert Uhl on Sun Aug 05, 2001 at 11:52:15 PM EST

Children don't have consitutional rights, and therefore these rights cannot be violated. What rights they have are the natural rights of children: freedom from abuse; food; a place to sleep; a few others.

To tell children that the sky is not a blue ceiling is forcing a view of the world on them. To tell them that they will be arrested should they kill someone is forcing a view of the world on them. To tell them that buggery is harmful is forcing a view of the world upon them. None of these make them hate one or be bigots; those are attributes which are independent.

Incidentally, and this is quite off-topic, I'm not aware that being against certain forms of sex (e.g. buggery, adultery, fornication) means that one is against sex. Indeed, looking at Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox writers on the subject, it would appear that all accept and celebrate sex within its proper place. It's when sex is misused that they find fault, just as a carpenter may find fault when one hammers a screw or a mechanic when one puts whiskey in one's gas tank.

Of course, you actually agree with what I wrote, although you wish not to admit it. My proof? Your very phrase `as long as the religion is not harmful.' You admit that you find some philosophies are harmful. We do not disagree that one should not allow one's kids to follow harmful philosophies; all we disagree on is which philosophies are harmful.

I assure thee, I am not an `obvious troll' in the weblog sense--i.e., I am not deliberately flaming or trying to provoke a flamewar in order to obscure the discussion. I do not believe that I meet the Usenet definition either--I do not think that I am carrying on a dead discussion over-long, flaming my merry way. Indeed, I am at a loss to find a flame of my own writing. What I write, I believe. And I happen to think that one is more convincing should one avoid flames, e.g. calling one's opponent a troll. Not that there aren't times when flames are appropriate...

[ Parent ]

Sigh. (4.00 / 2) (#202)
by Hizonner on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 01:29:15 AM EST

First of all, for whatever it's worth, children do have constitutional rights in the US. The US Constitution may or may not have any moral authority, but the duly constituted courts have ruled over and over again that children, especially older children, have rights under it. Those rights are more restricted than those given to adults, and are to some degree treated as being "held in trust" by parents or guardians, but they definitely exist. Free speech and the free exercise of religion are among them.

... not that it matters, because almost all of those rights are mostly rights against the government, and have limited no applicability in a dispute with the child's parents. I do wish people on both sides of these disputes would learn something about what the fucking Constitution actually says, and how it's been interpreted for the last 200 years, before they run their mouths.

Second, parents do not have unlimited rights over their children. Not legally, and not morally, either. You cannot, for example, legally deny your child medical care in the name of religion. That's relatively recent and varies from place to place, but, to take something more generally accepted, you can't starve your child to death in the name of religion in any but the most backward places on Earth.

The "exorcisms" described in this article (which may in fact be very rare, but which, from what I can find on the Web, do seem to happen, including sometimes to nonconsenting children) are plain, simple emotional abuse and deliberate terror. They are not much different in their effect on a child, especially a young child, from a prolonged beating... another thing you aren't allowed to do to your child in places with civilized laws, regardless of what your religion may say about it. You yourself say that children have the right to be free from abuse.

As for what's "harmful", we're not talking here about whether or not a philosophy is harmful. We're talking about whether harassing somebody until she pukes is harmful.

I'll step right out there and say that one should allow one's kids to follow whatever philosophies they want. Children's activities are a different thing, but the way to deal with their beliefs is by reason and persuasion, not terrorism. Of course, I'm not a parent, so whatever I say is automatically going to be discounted... but, if I had kids, I'd grit my teeth and reason with them, even if they started spouting nonsense like the idea that you'll live forever in flames if you enjoy a good buttfucking now and then.

Oh, by the way, from the outside, Protestantism (all 10,000,000 variants) and Catholicism look about equally "twisted". And not all protestants are scriptural literalists, or use bad grammar.

[ Parent ]

finding fault when sex is misused... (1.00 / 1) (#219)
by helenweelz on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 04:20:14 PM EST

Which "writers on the subject" have you been reading? The official dispatches from the Vatican, perhaps? You may have been making an off-topic comment, but I simply cannot allow you or anybody else to continue to believe in the wisdom and beneficence of religious leaders who "celebrate sex within its proper place." Do you suppose the oft-heard tales of priest/altarboy liaisons are proper or worthy of celebrating? The stories about such offenses are more than just Catholic-bashing anecdotes. Having been forced through a Catholic education, I'm always up for some jabs at Catholicism or organized religion in general, but one cannot poke fun at the absolutely ABYSMAL track record of the Vatican in protecting the rights of the humans who have suffered at the hands of randy priests and other sexual offenders. Besides altarboys being sodomised, have you heard the one about the priest who raped a nun, got her pregnant, took her to get an abortion, and when she died during the operation officiated at her funeral? How about the priests who are in developing nations on missions who go to visit prostitutes or who "seduce" local women? Would this be considered adultery? I should think so, if clergy are "married to God" as it was explained to all of us young'uns back at St. Clement Elementary. Or maybe it's just fornication, plain and simple. But it doesn't stop there. Those missionaries in developing countries? They don't seek the services of local women so much now that they have not a vengeful Lord but the more frightening specter of AIDS to fear. It is much safer to fuck nuns. Complaints made to the Vatican fall on deaf ears as the Original Ol' Boys Network blames this behavior on the silly uneducated and disrespectful nuns (who come from the local villages, by the way) who cannot understand holy celibacy. Wow-- hypocritical, sexist AND racist! Outside of the Catholic community, the Pope and his band of Merry Men continue to approve of hammered screws and tanks full of Wild Turkey. Catholic doctrine supports rapists in their condemnation of the UN's resolution to provide women who had been raped in the Kosovo conflict with emergency cotraception because that might be "abortive". The Vatican would probably be overjoyed if rape were removed from lists of war crimes because then they could cheerfully condemn to Hell any woman who sought an abortion after becoming pregnant by some soldier-rapist. Heck, the Pope has even asked women to turn an "act of violence into an act of love" by raising the children begotten by rape-as-act-of-war. But these are the same evil freaks who would prefer that women who are beaten within an inch of their lives by abusive husbands not seek divorce because marriage is a holy sacrament. No god-damned (pun intended)wonder I'm the angry heathen I am today.

[ Parent ]
Catholic church and homosexual "lifestyle&quo (none / 0) (#204)
by error 404 on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 11:10:19 AM EST

First off, I'm Catholic and have been a member of several parishes. I'm aware that there official position is that homosexual acts (along with any sex outside of marriage or not open to the possibility of conception) are considered wrong, but I've yet to hear a single sermon against them. I've heard several pointing out that the orientation is not against any church rule, and several rather harshly denouncing violence or prejudice on such a basis.

There are a lot of things wrong with the Catholic Church. Railing against homosexuality is, in my experience, not one of them.

Secondly, what homosexual lifestyle? Back in the '70s there was a promiscuous scene that was referred to as the gay lifestyle, even though only a small minority of gay people participated in it. AIDS pretty much killed that. At this point, the term "homosexual lifestyle" makes about as much sense as "heterosexual lifestyle". It just isn't a lifestyle, and from the variety of gay people I know, there really isn't any one lifestyle that most of them live.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Drano? heh. (none / 0) (#216)
by crcerror on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:24:03 PM EST

A child is his parent's responsibility; until he has been emancipated, every decision he makes may always be over-ruled by them.

Well, I agree with you on that point. A child is their parent's responsibility, however I don't think that means that the household should a dictatorship until the child get's old enough to be emancipated, how else will they learn to how to form opinions on their own? The key should be staying understand and keep communication open so you can continue to provide guidance to your child with whatever walk of life they chose because regardless of what the parents agree or disagree with a child is going to eventually go their own way. By encouraging communication, it allows the parents to not necessarily lay down rules but provide some direction.

Kids--in general--cannot make intelligent decisions about their lives

I seriously disagree with this comment. IMHO, a parents role is not to dictate but to guide. If the child ends up with different philosophical and religous views then so be it but I was raised in a very open interfaith home, where I was taught both of my parents belief systems views and then was encouraged to go out and read and find my own beliefs. They never told me what to do, they always told me to figure things out myself and they always listened when I had questions or comments and provided guidance when needed. I hardly think I'm an exception to the rule, I've seen many kids that given the chance would flourish in that kind of a situation.

If a three-year old drinks Drano, does his father not take him to the doctor? What's the difference between that and one of these `exorcisms'?

I hardly consider that a fair comparison. Drinking drano is deadly, whereas one of these exorcisms as described in the article are a form of psychological abuse (as someone mentioned in this thread farther down the chain) and possible physical abuse (depending on how far it's taken).



[ Parent ]
Protestantism (none / 0) (#211)
by Merk00 on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 12:28:16 PM EST

It's very very important to not generalize about Protestanism. There are many different varities of Protestanism and most do not partice acts such as exorcism. Do not assume all Protesants are the same. It's as much a mistake as assuming that Chatholicism and Protestanism are the same thing.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

This kind of shit scares the hell out of me. (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by sexyblonde on Sat Aug 04, 2001 at 10:06:16 PM EST

I think I will stay with my own god and religion, which comes within myself. Religions today seem pretty f*cked up. Just lead an honest life and do what you feel is right. Who needs this kind of crap in their lives.

superstition in schoul (3.33 / 3) (#197)
by nodsmasher on Sun Aug 05, 2001 at 09:55:32 PM EST

one day in history class my teacher (who is cathlic) was talking about the midle ages she said that during this time people would wair trinkets around their necks for good luck

i asked if that was like the cross she wore around her neck she said that was completly diferent becouse it was real.

she seamed to think a charm was only superstition if it was somthing else and this show that something no mater how far fetched isn't superstition unless you don't beleve in it

try some time to refer to any major religon superstion. its funny couse they can't refute you, but try
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami

Exorcism, a Human Rights Violation | 235 comments (171 topical, 64 editorial, 0 hidden)
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