Is Christianity to Blame for Teen Self-Mutilation?

"Pat endorses Arnold, MAP International founder dies, and other stories from online sources around the world"

Cutting: What Would Jesus Do?
Weblog has to admit a bit of discomfort a couple years ago when the Church of England's Birmingham Diocese launched a campaign of posters that said, "Body Piercing? Jesus had his done 2000 years ago." As it turns out, diocese leaders were far from the only ones comparing the crucifixion to contemporary body piercings.

Now an article in The Guardian not only connects the crucifixion to the much more horrific teen trend of self-mutilation (cutting)—it blames it. "Images of self-harm are all around us, particularly in religious iconography," writes Hilary Freeman. "Christianity is founded on the notion that Christ suffered for the world's sins and there have been sects which practiced self-flagellation and mutilation throughout history. Pain and the spilling of our own blood are seen as ways of cleansing ourselves. Likewise, when teenagers cut themselves they often say it is a release, a way of punishing themselves or others."

Whatever. Lately the cross has been blamed for everything from anti-Semitism to war to "religious intolerance, forced conversions, inquisitions and even racism." One supposes that many groups would want to tie their agendas to the pivotal point in human history. Still, it bears repeating that it was Jesus up on the cross—and that he died so that we don't have to play this victimization game.

A therapist nonreferral
Speaking of really bad articles in The Guardian, one of Britain's leading newspapers, a psychoanalysis of President Bush by Oliver James (author of They [F-word] You Up: How to Survive Family Life) is really a howler. Yes, it's an insane attack on Bush, but it's really an attack on conservative Christians.

"[Bush's] moralism is all-encompassing and as passionate as ...

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