More Potential ‘Catholic Church Depravity’ Just Coming to My Attention

This is just so disturbing.  This was published in May of last year, so not sure where the investigation leads, but this:

While the mobster’s presence on sacred ground has caused a scandal, it’s his role as an alleged pimp to senior Vatican figures that threatens to plunge the Roman Catholic Church into its gravest crisis yet — after astonishing claims about the sexual abuse and death of Emanuela Orlandi, a pretty 15-year-old girl and talented musician. It is those claims that led police to open the crypt.

Near the casket containing the body of the gangster, there was a box with other human bones, which police took for DNA testing, escorted by motorcycle outriders as they sped from Piazza Navona to a laboratory.

The family of Emanuela are waiting to hear if the tests confirm the bones are those of the schoolgirl, who disappeared in the summer of 1983 after leaving her family’s Vatican City apartment to go to a flute lesson in Rome.

Often seen playing within the Vatican walls, where her father worked as a lay official in administration, Emanuela was last seen getting into a green BMW in the centre of the Eternal City. She has not been seen since. If the bones in the tomb are hers, it will be a hammer blow to the credibility of the Church, amid allegations that the girl was abused at depraved orgies attended by some of the Vatican’s most senior prelates and advisers to successive popes.

To the dismay of Vatican officials, already reeling from disclosures about cover-ups involving paedophile priests, these claims come from an insider — a veteran priest with unprecedented access to the inner sanctums of the Vatican.

Father Gabriel Amorth, a priest for 50 years, believes the girl was the victim of a ‘crime with a sexual motive’ and that police should focus their investigations on the Vatican.

via Was this girl murdered after being snatched for Vatican sex parties? | Mail Online.

Even if the story of the girl turns out to be inaccurate (though, I suspect it will be the opposite and we’ll find yet another reason why I can not stand the Catholic Church as an institution), the fact that they let a gangster be buried in such luxury and extravagance, well… ‘corruption is as corruption’ does I guess.

Depravity: Mom Arrested After Leaving Baby on Car Roof and Driving Off

You may be reading that title and going, ‘WTF?’  Well, here is the first paragraph:

A 19-year-old Arizona mother who police say left her 5-week-old baby strapped in a car seat atop her car roof and drove off is under arrest on child abuse and aggravated DUI charges, Phoenix-area media reported Saturday. The child, found in the middle of the road, was “perfectly OK,” said Officer James Holmes, Phoenix police spokesman, told The Arizona Republic.

via U.S. News – Police: Mom arrested after leaving baby on car roof and driving off.

That explains everything, I’m sure.  Amazing that this despicable person can afford to buy drugs but not a condom.  People like this should not be reproducing.

The Ouija Board Said Do It: Also Known As Not Taking Responsibility For Your Actions

Another case where belief has driven someone to do something terrible.

MCALLEN, Texas — A Texas teenager charged in the stabbing of his 14-year-old friend said a Ouija board told him to carry out the attack, police said on Friday.

The 15-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder after stabbing his friend with a 4-inch knife on Feb. 29 in a wooded area behind a high school in Weslaco, a small town along the U.S.-Mexico border at the southern tip of Texas.

The victim was treated in intensive care for three days for a severe laceration to his intestine, Weslaco police spokesman J.P. Rodriguez said.

The alleged assailant, whose name was not made public, has no history of mental problems or criminal behavior, Rodriguez said.

“I’m not making excuses for the kid, but I think sometimes it’s harder for them to separate reality from fiction,” the police spokesman said. “This is kind of bizarre.”

via Teen stabbing suspect: Ouija board said do it – US news – Crime & courts – msnbc.com.

(a) Ouija Board’s cannot speak.  They’re inanimate objects.

(b) There is nothing special about Ouija Boards.  It’s friggen cardboard with a graphic overlay and a triangle.  They are manufactured.  On a production line.  No rituals or incantations are performed over them before being shipped out; Parker Brothers, the same company who brought you Trivial Pursuit, produces these boards.  I promise they aren’t telling you to stab people.

(c) Parents need to start parenting.  Plain and simple.  Then this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.

Monday Morning and Already Two Cases Where Belief has Caused Depravity

I’ve said it before, belief can be beautiful but it can be deadly and depraved as well.  First, an insane (she has to be, no ifs or buts about it) woman cut her sons throat to release the demons (no seriously):

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – A mother accused of slitting her 5-year-old’s throat early Saturday said she wanted to “release the demons” from his body, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Daphne Octavia Spurlock is charged with attempted capital murder.

Magnolia police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check of a child on Roy Lane, just off FM 1488, shortly after midnight. The child’s father told police he believed his son was dead inside a residence.

Authorities found the 5-year-old Michael Spurlock covered in blood on the floor of the small mobile home.

The child had multiple lacerations to his throat, which had been slit from side to side. He also had a severe head injury and his chest was possibly crushed.

And people believe we need more religious structure in this country?  They must be joking.

On a more humorous note and (yet still depraved) act of a religious fanaticism, a mother convinces (or forces, who knows really) her children to strip down naked with her in a school parking lot in response to the administrations (obviously astute!) refusal to hand over a child to them (of whom they apparently had no legal custody):

UPPER DARBY – An entire family is in custody after cavorting in the nude in the parking lot of Upper Darby High School Friday afternoon.

Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said officers busted the entire family and transported them back to the police headquarters in the nude.

Here’s the crazy belief part:

According to the top cop, police learned the family arrived at Upper Darby High School approximately 10 a.m. to have her biological child released from school.

“Because she has no parental rights school officials would not release the child and said she couldn’t take the child out of school,” Chitwood said. “They started singing religious songs and lay prone on the sidewalk at the entrance to the building.”

School district security ordered the family off the property and they returned approximately 1 p.m. and took off all their clothes.

“They disrobed between parked cars and were running around chanting prayers to Jesus,” Chitwood said. “When police got there they locked their arms in defiant protest. When we get them back to the police station we gave them their clothes and the mom refuses to put her clothes on. She’s the leader of the pack.”

Stay classy Upper Darby.  And people wonder why I take issue with this sort of thing.

This Country is Doomed…

I don’t know what’s worse: (1) that The Walking Dead won’t air another episode until February or (2) that this actually exists as a thing:

Because putting on sweat pants and a hoodie individually is just too much work these days…

Fundamentalist Christians ‘Spanked’ Daughter to Death

A travesty and a tragedy.  I just don’t have the words.

CNN’s Gary Tuchman reported Monday on a fundamentalist Christian couple who killed their 7-year-old adopted daughter while practicing a violent form of discipline.

They reportedly beat their nine children regularly because they thought God wanted them to. Both parents were jailed after pleading guilty to the crime and the surviving children are now in foster homes.

via Fundamentalist Christians ‘spanked’ daughter to death | Raw Replay.

Depravity: 5-Year-Old Drowns Crying Tot

This is absolutely terrible:

A 5-year-old girl could face murder charges after a toddler was drowned in a bathtub, police said.

Kansas City police are waiting for a medical examiner’s report on how 18-month-old Jermane Johnson Jr., died, but have investigated the death as a homicide, spokesman Darin Snapp said Thursday.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 20 years and it’s the youngest suspect I can remember,” Snapp said. “It’s extremely rare.”

Johnson was in a Kansas City house on June 3 with other children, but the 16-year-old girl who was supposed to be looking after them fell asleep, Snapp said.

via Cops: Girl, 5, admits drowning ‘crying’ tot – US news – msnbc.com.

One commenter made the ridiculous remark that this has something to do with God being taken out of families.   What a stupid comment that is.  And how arrogant that person must be to take this tragedy and turn it into a matter that is, by all means, completely irrelevant.  This has nothing to do with God.  Jim West had it right: it has to do with bad parenting.

Where the hell were the parents?  Why isn’t the 16-year-old being charged with negligence of some sort?  Yes, the 5-year-old committed the crime, but would this have happened if parents had properly educated the child about the dangers of water?  Would this have happened if the parents had taken responsibility of their own children?  What if the 16-year-old had paid more attention to their responsibilities?  If the 16-year-old was untrustworthy, why would you leave the children in their care?

Children: The Unforeseen Victims of Family Radio

And let’s be blunt about this:  Adults have the ability to make rational decisions with their lives, their money, their property. This includes adults who recognize the farce that Camping was running, the dilettantism, the failure of his predictions.  Children, however, are far less capable of determining the difference between fiction and reality.  And unfortunately they are the victims of this whole fiasco, more than the adults who should have known better anyway:

Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping, 89, had predicted that the rapture would take place on May 21, 2011, at 6 p.m. based on time zones. Not many people took Camping’s claim seriously, including workers at his Family Radio. But some of his devout followers emptied their bank accounts to pay for ad campaigns warning about the day.

Among his followers on the East Coast is the family of Adrienne Martinez, 27, who decided not to attend medical school after she listened to Camping on Family Radio. Martinez and her husband, Joel, quit their jobs and moved from New York City to Orlando to spend the last supposed year they had on Earth reading the Bible, distributing tracts and spending time with their two-year-old daughter.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/harold-camping-were-still-here-after-601-pm-what-now-50373/

And what of this unborn baby?

‘Judgment Day’ came and went on Saturday, and John Ramsey hasn’t been able to sleep.

The 25-year-old Harrison, N.J. resident had rearranged his life in recent months to devote himself to spreading a fringe California preacher’s prediction that May 21 would bring worldwide earthquakes and usher in a five-month period of misery before the world’s destruction.

His family nervously huddled in their apartment living room Saturday, holding their Bibles open, switching between CNN, Facebook and Google for news of quakes in the Pacific.On Sunday, a dejected Ramsey said he faces a “mixed bag.”He has to find a new job. So does his mother. His 19-year-old brother, who had quit high school the year prior (“It’s pointless to graduate,” the brother had said), is thinking of re-enrolling or finding employment.

His wife, Marcia Paladines, had come to accept that she might never meet her unborn baby, whom she and Ramsey had named John Moses. Now, she’s praying for a healthy birth. The child is due as early as Friday.

“Life goes on,” Ramsey said Sunday. “I get to live. I get to be a dad.”

Personally, and this is just my opinion, anyone who puts his family in this sort of predicament should never reproduce.  Now his baby will be born into a state of near poverty, unless a miracle happens–but then we have to ask, does this person deserve such a favor?

“It’s not [Camping's] fault,” said Ramsey, who added he also won’t ask for his money back. “Nobody held a gun to my head. I read the Bible. The math added up. I don’t think anybody would do something like this without meaning it.”

What about your child?  Did you ever stop to think that your actions had consequences?  That, if this prediction turned out to be wrong, you might not be able to provide for your family, your child?  How selfish.  And finally, you’re a dilettante.  Reading is easy; exegesis is not so easy and requires schooling, knowledge, reasoning skills, something that Camping doesn’t seem to have.  “The math added up.”  Yes, and what it adds up to is a negative balance in your bank account and your failure as a parent.  Next time put your trust in scholars who know better.

And just last week I learned of this (dated but relevant) incident:

Absolutely tragic.

The Implications of Historicizing a Theological Sacrifice

I’m not against someone emulating a figure of their faith they believe to be pious and inspirational, especially if it is something akin to what Albert Schweitzer had done.  I’m not even against an adherence of certain Biblical principles, those which do not advocate hate or intolerance (or bodily harm) towards another.  But this news story below is a consequence of taking the Bible to a degree of ‘literal’ that is nothing short of tragic:

SEOUL, South Korea — The body of a man with his hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross and a crown of thorns on his head has been found in an abandoned stone quarry, South Korean police said Wednesday.

A man wearing only underwear, with a wound on the side of his torso and nylon strings tied around his neck, arms and stomach, was found crucified Sunday in Mungyong, about 115 miles southeast of Seoul, said Chung Ji-chun, chief of the violent crime section at Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency.

Two smaller crosses were erected on each side of the cross he was nailed to, Chung said.

Police also found nails, a hammer, an electric drill, pieces of wood and instructions on how to build crosses inside a tent near the scene, Chung said.

An SUV belonging to the dead man was found nearby.

via Body found crucified, wearing crown of thorns – World news – Asia-Pacific – msnbc.com.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new.  Crucifixion is reenacted every year by devout worshipers.  But this shows nothing short of a lack of understanding of the theological sacrifice of Christ as portrayed in the Gospel narratives.  His death, his physical death, is only important theologically because he was resurrected.  But this raises implications that need to be addressed.

First and foremost, God came down to earth, became flesh, died, and rose again to take his seat again at the right hand of God (or as God, depending on whether you’re a catholic or not).  In the realm of time, his suffering was a fraction of a fraction of a second.  And if one believes in the historicity of this event (I do not), then while we can admit it may be a magnanimous gesture, this is not a true definition of a ‘sacrifice’. I hear this thrown around a lot, that Jesus ‘sacrificed’ himself to save mankind.

Let’s step back for a moment, away from Christian kerygmatic tradition, and look at this another way.  You want it to rain because your crops are dying, the land has been in a drought.  So you go out to your field and look around at your livestock, drag back a goat, and you kill (known as ‘sacrificing’) the goat and offer it up to your deity.  A few days later it rains.  Ask yourself this: did it rain because you ‘sacrificed’ the goat?

And is this really even a sacrifice?  When we talk about heroes sacrificing themselves, they often expend their life for a purpose which brings about a direct result, immediately.  A soldier will sacrifice his life by falling on a grenade to prevent injury or death to his friends.  A fireman will rush into a building about to collapse to save people from certain death even at the cost of his own life; that is sacrifice.  But how is the act of physical death, even a brutal one for the sake of a magnanimous gesture, be considered a sacrifice?  Especially since (a) he is/was God (according to some traditions)?

Now let’s bring this back to the Passion narrative.  Jesus is slain by officials, wherein he gives himself as a sacrificial offering to God (himself, actually, if you believe that sort of thing), dies and, according to tradition, goes into hell (this is why Christian universalism fails, theologically) to free the spirits of the dead and, with Jesus, the righteous are resurrected.  Now mankind doesn’t descend into Sheol, as it once had, but, if righteous enough, will resurrect spiritually into Heaven (and if you’re a catholic, the bodies of the dead will be reanimated in the future).  Theologically, this sacrifice works.  It works because it has nothing to do with the physical world.  The death of the flesh has nothing to offer the world of the spirit.  The problem comes into play when one attempts to blend the two worlds together.

Then one must confront the inevitable problem:  how does the death of the flesh alter the world of the spirit?  And how does the death of the flesh effect the world of the flesh?  This is the part of the passion narrative which makes absolutely no sense.  We return back to the idea of the sacrificial goat; if you sacrifice a goat to God, as stated in Leviticus 16, what does that death accomplish?  How is the decay of matter effecting the outside world?  How is that same decaying matter interacting with the world of the spirit?  What influence can that possibly have and, more importantly, why would you want that action–the decay of matter–to be your link to something supremely amazing?  If you r answer is, ‘well, it’s a mystery’ you’re not really thinking this through.  But that is the point, isn’t it?

I can see the theological significance, and I would stress that I am not trying to dissuade readers from not believing in that particular function of the narrative.  The issue is that people truthfully believe that the physical act of dying on the cross had an actual impact on the fleshly world we live, and even on the spiritual world.  In a way, this is, in my humble opinion, directly related to the devaluation of the theological message behind the narrative and directly the result of the greater focus given to the death of Jesus by both scholars who can’t seem to get past it and the media (al la Mel Gibson’s Passion…) who can’t stop making it as important, violent, and bloody as they can.  If the death was most significant, Mark would have ended at 15:41.  They believe this so much that they impersonate the act of crucifixion.  And what does that say about a society who finds the value of the Passion narrative in the violent suffering and brutal death of Jesus rather than the celebration of rebirth, the renewal of spirit?

When people question why historicizing the narrative of the Gospels is a problem, I will direct them to this incident.  When you take a theological story, historicize it, and extrapolate the theological message, while telling your parishioners to emulate the narrative, you’re only setting yourself up for more and more news stories like this one.

Searching for Muses: More Osama Dilettantism

Dilettantes Internet browsers found this site by searching the following (I’ll be brief…):

is osamas death in the bible?

No.

how does osama’s death relate to the bible

It doesn’t.

bible quotes about osama

There are none.

Now stop being dilettantes and go back to watching American Idol or something.

See here and here for more details.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 729 other followers

%d bloggers like this: