Satanists in school and Washington — only without the whole "Satan" thing
Break out the parachute pants and Rubik's Cubes — the satanic panic of the 1980s is back. Only this kind of Satanism doesn't look like anything of the Geraldo Rivera/Mike Warnke variety. These Satanists say they're really just atheists who like the more shocking label.
Atheists, however, aren't amused. Picking up on an earlier New York Times piece, The Washington Times today reports on Satanists' involvement in The Godless Americans March on Washington, scheduled for November 2.
"This is supposed to be a march of those without religion," Ed Buckner, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, complains. "We don't believe there is Satan or any other god."
American Atheists, which is planning the march, says the Satanists are still invited since they're "godless."
("I myself am personally offended that representatives from the Christian community were not invited to take part in the Godless Americans March," Gene Edward Veith sarcastically remarked in a recent issue of World. "A number of feminist theologians, seminary professors, and Episcopalian bishops hold views that are far closer to those of the Council of Secular Humanists than any recognizably Christian theology.")
Meanwhile, students at San Mateo (Calif.) High School got a somewhat shocking announcement over their public address system recently: they were invited to join The Satanic Thought Society. About three dozen students showed up, but some students and parents are outraged. "It's just a negative that doesn't belong in the school," Pam Cachay, whose daughter attends the school, told the San Mateo County Times. She and other parents tried to stage a protest yesterday, but the Times reports that it was a flop. (It's a good thing. It's the classic First Amendment argument: if Christians are allowed to have a club a school — which they are San Mateo High — Satanists are, too.)
Club copresident James Doolittle is also quick to emphasize Satanism's atheism. "Its purpose is to turn man back into a natural state and not have him corrupted by religion," he explains.
Principal Jacqueline McEvoy is behind him. "These young men are really interested in the philosophical teachings of alternative religions," she says.
But local priest Harold Snider wonders how interested they really are. "Lets face it, teenagers love to shock," he said. "The best thing to do about it is to not make a big deal."
Persecution and violence:
- Bomb explodes near Pakistan church | None injured in Sunday attack (Associated Press)
- Police shoot dead two Islamic militants suspected of involvement in Catholic church attack | Battle lasted 18 hours. (Associated Press)
- Pakistan Christians demand security | About 10,000 mourners, many wearing black armbands, gathered outside St Patrick's Cathedral (BBC)
- Also: Pakistanis demonstrate against attacks on Christian minority (Bloomberg)
- Also: Pakistan's minority leaders demand probe of anti-Christian attacks (Voice of America)
- Ominous onslaught | The targeting of Pakistan's Christians is a message, not just to the West, but India (Editorial, The Indian Express)
- Pakistan steps up security | Violence against Westerners and Christians escalates (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Terrorism's new target | It is terrifying, bloodcurdling, and at national level, another sad incident in our collective life, to watch how seven more Christians have been brutally murdered in daylight in one of the busiest areas of Karachi (Rasul Bakhsh Rais, The News International, Pakistan)
- Motive for massacre | It's not about "the West." It's about religious beliefs (Paul Marshall, The Wall Street Journal)
- Abducted priest found dead in Congo | Jean Guth, was kidnapped on March 31 by a resurgent rebel militia known as the Ninjas (BBC)
- Intolerance kills | Religious hatred is taking a terrible toll, and not just overseas (The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville)
- Ivory Coast conflict traps local missionaries | Dave and Kathy Roslansky pray for their safe return (Daily Globe, Worthington, Minn.)
Sexuality and gender:
- An Rx for teen sex | Doctors are joining the abstinence movement. Here's why they're now telling kids, "Just say no" (Time)
- Youth pastor resigns over porn | "I was living life in isolation," Matthew Lomenick told his church. "I don't know how it affects other people, but I know how [pornography] was affecting me. And it was eating me up. It robbed from me and my wife." (The Miami Herald)
- Gay men take cause to Falwell's door | Couple finds kindness, if not acceptance, in evangelist's church. (The Washington Post)
- Pastors protest paper's same-sex union policy | Publisher affirms decision to accept paid announcements (The Charlotte Observer)
- Church sign too, uh, explicit for some | Critics say sermon title not appropriate for kids (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Painting of topless woman at restaurant offends Christian bookstore owners | Owners of a Christian book store in downtown Greenville say they are offended by a painting of a nearly nude women visible through the window of a restaurant across the street (The Greenville [S.C.] News)
Sex abuse scandals:
- Priests organize, focusing on rights within church | Gathering appears to come close to an implicit challenge to the bishops' authority (The New York Times)
- Catholic bishop defends abuse policy | Wilton Gregory says that most dioceses are complying with the new plan and that criticism it's unfair to priests is unfounded (Associated Press)
- Rare candor on rogue priests | ''Telling the truth cannot be wrong.'' With those simple words, Cardinal William Keeler last week released a torrent of information on decades of child abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore (USA Today)
- Stigmatine priest sued in abuse case | Plainiff says clergyman failed to protect him from another cleric who allegedly sexually abused him (The Boston Globe)
- Vatican quietly debates pedophilia | Response to U.S. Bishops' advice could impact church for years (NBC News)
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta moves toward sainthood | Vatican approves miracle involving a 30-year-old Indian woman who was inexplicably healed from a stomach tumor after praying to the nun (Associated Press)
- Also: Vatican approves Mother Teresa 'miracle' (BBC, also audio)
- Married archbishop says he's still not ready to see woman he wed (Associated Press)
- Opus Dei founder still stirs religious fervor on the eve of canonization | The event will be a pinnacle for a secular movement that was at first regarded warily by ecclesiastical authorities (Associated Press)
- Power and mystery | As Opus Dei's founder is canonized, Catholics wonder if the secretive lay group will one day help pick the next Pope (Time Europe)
- Polish Cardinal tackles radical radio | Radio Maryja is one of the success stories of post-communist Poland (BBC)
Canadian nun trial:
- God told her to beat children, ex-nun tells court | Woman, 78, faces charges of assault at P. E. I. Commune (Canadian Press)
- She said a prayer, then hit the children | Former nun on trial in PEI says God told her how many strokes to administer (The Globe & Mail, Toronto)
- Signals from above | Mobile phone companies continue to pitch "stealth" antennas to churches (Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs)
- A surge of new faith | Charismaticism and Pentecostalism are growing in the U.S. (The Bergen [N.J.] Record)
- Tradition-rich, cash-poor, an old church mulls its options | Sometimes a house of God must be torn asunder to survive (The New York Times)
- Trouble in assemblies of God church | Three pastors of the Tema Community Five Revival Assemblies of God Church and their families have been suspended from the congregation indefinitely (Ghanaian Chronicle, Accra)
- Church has to pick up the gauntlet | It is incumbent upon the African church to immerse itself in matters touching the public at large (Editorial, City Press, South Africa)
- Trading churches for the airwaves | A famed on-air preacher has stirred a tempest, proclaiming that God is on the radio, not in church (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Church, city join to check on stores | St. Sabina group makes inspections for illegal and unacceptable practices (Chicago Tribune)
- Christians win right to build in Cassadaga | Town's spiritualists had argued in public meetings that having a Christian church in their midst would interfere with the harmony and spiritual vibrations of the city (Orlando Business Journal)
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