Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 01:25 pm
If a religion is in voilation of human rights, as some aspects of Christianity can be said to be, what takes presedence? The religious beliefs or the human rights?

A lot of Christians seem to believe that women are far inferior to men. They don't have the same rights, and can be punished for merely walking on the street alone. The justification for this is their holy scriptures, which is the highest law for Christians, above even the laws of nations.
To me it seems like a "punishment" that is forced on women just because men can't control their sexual urges.

Based on Christian traditions and practices I am inclined to say that Christianity is a threat to the rights of all humans. Can we allow religious freedom if it restricts those rights?
 
saab
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 01:58 pm
@maxdancona,
Who are the lot of Christians who believe women are far inferior to men?
In what Christian country cannot women walk alone on the steet?
In what Christian country are Christian laws above the laws of a country?

I have the feeling you are talking about some other religion than Christianity
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 02:13 pm
@saab,
Quote:
Who are the lot of Christians who believe women are far inferior to men?


You are joking, right?

Worldwide, Christianity is responsible for the deaths of children being accused of witchcraft. In fact right now, Christians kill more children for religious reasons than any other religion. Christianity is responsible for the deaths of homosexuals which is illegal in many country. In a couple of countries Christians are trying to make killing homosexuals legal based on teachings of the Bible. Not to mention the forced marriages and the Christian countries that haven't outlawed marital rape.

Quote:
I have the feeling you are talking about some other religion than Christianity



But the difference is that the most other religions today aren't likely to want to murder you for saying you don't believe in god.

saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 02:32 pm
@maxdancona,
Give as an exact number as you can of children being accused o withcraft and in which countries and in which countries children are killed by Christians because of their religion.

Which countries are making killing of homosexuals legal?
Forced marriage is as a rule not allowed in Christian countries.
Marital rape is very difficult to prove, so please tell which Christian countries have not yet outlawed marital raped when prooved.

Which Christian countries want to murder you if you say you don´t believe in God?

I want facts and not opinions.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 03:49 pm
@maxdancona,
My view is that the concept of "human rights" is itself problematic. But irrespective of that, it is certainly the case that traditional monotheistic religions in general are chauvinist embodiments of primate social structures, plagued by the attempt to reconcile prescriptive social rules with natural animal sexual instincts.

(You may note that I have lfted this response from the Islam thread from which you lifted the question)
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 04:20 pm
@saab,
Uganda Anti-Homosexuality BillFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search

The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power protests in New York City against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality BillIn Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, if enacted, would broaden the criminalisation of homosexuality by introducing the death penalty for people who have previous convictions, are HIV-positive, or engage in same sex acts with people under 18 years of age. The bill also includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex sexual relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that support LGBT rights.

The private member's bill was submitted by MP David Bahati in Uganda on 14 October 2009.[1] Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda—as it is in many sub-Saharan African countries—punishable by incarceration in prison for up to 14 years. The proposed legislation in Uganda, however, has been noted by several news agencies to be inspired by American evangelical Christians.[1] A special motion to introduce the legislation was passed a month after a two-day conference was held where three American Christians asserted that homosexuality was a direct threat to the cohesion of African families. The bill, the government of Uganda, and the evangelicals involved have received significant international media attention and criticism from Western governments, some of whom have threatened to cut off financial aid to Uganda. In response to the attention, a revision was introduced to soften the strongest penalties for the most egregious offenses to life imprisonment.

Intense international reaction to the bill caused President Yoweri Museveni to form a commission to investigate the implications of passing the bill. In May 2010 the committee recommended withdrawing it,[2] but it remains under discussion in parliament as of February 2011.[3]

Contents [hide]
1 Background
2 Contents
2.1 Revision
3 Response
3.1 Outing gays in the media
3.2 International governments
3.3 Religious and human rights organisations
3.4 Media
4 See also
5 Notes
6 References
7 External links


[edit] BackgroundAccording to human rights organisations, about 500,000 homosexuals live in Uganda out of a total population of 31 million.[4] Existing laws criminalise homosexual behavior with prison sentences lasting up to 14 years. These laws are remnants of British colonialism designed to punish what colonial authorities deemed "unnatural sex" among local Ugandan people.[5][6] Although many societies in Africa and elsewhere view homosexuality as a decadent practice imported by outsiders, it existed before European colonisation, often varying in practice depending on individual cultures. In some, male homosexuality was age-stratified, similar to ancient Sparta and Athens where warriors purchased boys as brides, common when women were not available, or manifested as fleeting encounters as in prostitution.[7]

Despite this past, colonial influence has been pervasive; according to a reporter in Africa, "Africans see homosexuality as being both un-African and un-Christian".[8] Thirty-eight of fifty-three African nations criminalise homosexuality in some way.[6] In sub-Saharan Africa, the government of South Africa is the only official entity to acknowledge gay rights, but even there curative rape is often used against men and women (such as in the murder of Eudy Simelane), and sometimes met with police inaction and apathy. Like the conditions in many other African nations, gays in Uganda currently face an atmosphere of physical abuse, vandalism to their property, blackmail, death threats, and "correctional rape".[3][9]

From 5 to 8 March 2009, a workshop took place in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, that featured three American evangelical Christians: Scott Lively, an author who has written several books opposing homosexuality; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-professed former gay man who conducts sessions to heal homosexuality; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, an organisation devoted to promoting "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ".[10] The theme of the conference, according to The New York Times, was the "gay agenda": "how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how 'the gay movement is an evil institution' whose goal is 'to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity' ".[3] An Anglican priest from Zambia named Kapya Kaoma was in attendance, and reported on the conference. Ugandan Stephen Langa organised it, and was supported by Lively, who asserted in his workshops that homosexuality was akin to child molestation and bestiality, and causes higher rates of divorce and HIV transmission. Lively's emphasis was on the cohesion of the African family, that he said was being threatened by homosexuals looking to recruit youth into their ranks. According to Kaoma, during the conference, one of the thousands of Ugandans in attendance announced, "[The parliament] feels it is necessary to draft a new law that deals comprehensively with the issue of homosexuality and...takes into account the international gay agenda... Right now there is a proposal that a new law be drafted."[11]

[edit] ContentsIn April 2009, the Ugandan Parliament passed a resolution allowing Member of Parliament (MP) David Bahati to submit a private member's bill in October to strengthen laws against homosexuality.[12] The bill was proposed on 13 October 2009 by Bahati and is based on the foundations of "strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family", that "same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic", and "protect[ing] the cherished culture of the people of Uganda, legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda".[13]

The legislation strengthens the criminalisation of homosexuality in Uganda by introducing the death penalty for people who are considered serial offenders, are suspected of "aggravated homosexuality" and are HIV-positive, or who engage in sexual acts with those under 18 years of age.[13] People who are caught or suspected of homosexual activity will be forced to undergo HIV tests; Ugandans who engage in same-sex sexual relations outside Uganda will likewise fall under the jurisdiction of this law, and may be extradited and charged with a felony. Furthermore, if passed, the bill will require anyone who is aware of an offense or an offender, including individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations who support LGBT rights, to report the offender within 24 hours. If an individual does not do so he or she is also considered an offender and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 "currency points" or imprisonment up to three years.[13]

[edit] RevisionAt the time the bill was introduced, an independent MP stated he thought it had about a 99% chance of passing.[14] Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni openly expressed his support for the bill, stating "We used to say Mr and Mrs, but now it is Mr and Mr. What is that now?"[9] After facing intense international reaction and promises from Western nations to cut financial aid to Uganda, on 9 December, Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo said that Uganda will revise the bill to drop the death penalty (substituting life imprisonment) for homosexuals with multiple offences. Initially, however, Buturo stated Uganda's government was determined to pass the bill "even if meant withdrawing from international treaties and conventions such as the UN's Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and foregoing donor funding", according to an interview in The Guardian.[9][15] Since then, however, The Guardian has stated that David Bahati, the bill's sponsor, has denied these reports.[12] On 23 December, Reuters reported that Buturo again said that the death penalty would be dropped from the bill. He claims, however, that the protest from the Western nations did not have an effect on this decision. He stated, "There have been a lot of discussions in government ... regarding the proposed law, but we now think a life sentence could be better because it gives room for offenders to be rehabilitated. Killing them might not be helpful."[16]

On 8 January 2010, Bahati again asserted he would not postpone or shelve the bill, even after Minister of State for Investment Aston Kajara stated the Ugandan government would ask Bahati to withdraw it, and President Museveni asserted he thought it was too harsh. Bahati stated, "I will not withdraw it. We have our children in schools to protect against being recruited into (homosexuality). The process of legislating a law to protect our children against homosexuality and defending our family values must go on."[17] The bill is scheduled to be discussed in Uganda's parliament in late February or March 2010.

On 12 January 2010, President Museveni expressed to the media that there is need to exercise "extreme caution", and his cabinet members will speak to Bahati to reach a compromise to satisfy Bahati's concerns weighed with the calls he is receiving from throughout the world.[18]

[edit] ResponseWithin Uganda, gay and human rights advocates were alarmed. Before the proposed legislation, many had felt a gradual easing of enforcement of laws designed to punish people for homosexual behavior. Amnesty International, however, reports that arrests of people suspected of having homosexual relations are arbitrary, and detainees are subjected to torture and abuse by authorities.[19] Within the latter part of 2009, many felt they must leave the country or go into hiding. Kapya Kaoma characterized the attempts to portray homosexuals as a threat to the African family as especially egregious, putting people's lives in danger: "When you speak like that, Africans will fight to the death."[3]

Even apart from the legislation to punish homosexuals, Ugandan human rights have been a concern for Amnesty International, who highlighted issues such as threats to freedom of expression and association, and the use of torture by law enforcement, among their major concerns in their 2009 report.[20] American evangelists active in Africa are being criticised for being responsible for inspiring the legislation by inciting hatred with excessive speech by comparing homosexuality to paedophilia and influencing public policy with donations from American religious organisations. Among the critics are The Times,[21] Jeffrey Gettleman in The New York Times,[3] Time,[22] PublicEye.org, The Guardian,[9] a pan-African internet news journal for social justice named Pambazuka News,[23] and an international organisation with a similar objective named Inter Press Service.[24][note 1]

American evangelicals such as Scott Lively and California pastor Rick Warren have a history of involvement in Uganda where they focus their missionary work. As a result, Warren and others have become influential in the shaping of public policy in Uganda, Nigeria, and to a lesser extent, Kenya.[11] Stephen Langa, the March 2009 workshop organiser, specifically cited an unlicensed conversion therapist named Richard A. Cohen, who states in a book that was given to Langa and other prominent Ugandans,

Homosexuals are at least 12 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals; homosexual teachers are at least 7 times more likely to molest a pupil; homosexual teachers are estimated to have committed at least 25 percent of pupil molestation; 40 percent of molestation assaults were made by those who engage in homosexuality.

These statements were based on faulty studies performed by Paul Cameron, who has been expelled from the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association, and Cohen confirmed their weaknesses, stating that when the book will be reprinted, these statistics will be removed.[25][26][27]

Pambazuka News stated "It's worth noting that it costs a considerable amount of money, time and processes to table a private-member’s bill, which begs the question of how the MP from Kabale District [Bahati] is financing this process? It has also been common practice for the mushrooming pastors and churches to use homophobic attacks on opponents as a way to discredit each other and sway faithfuls."[23] Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor and former affiliate of Warren, has endorsed the bill,[28] and after a period of silence and a refusal to take sides in the matter, Warren has publicly denounced the bill, calling it "un-Christian".[29] In February 2010, to counter opposition to the bill, Ssempa showed gay pornography to 300 members of his church, shocking them with images of explicit sexual acts, and implying that all gay people engage in them, but straight people do not.[30]

During March 2009 Scott Lively met with several legislators and Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Buturo. He followed his visit with a post to his blog saying that he was "overjoyed with the results of our efforts and predicted confidently that the coming weeks would see significant improvement in the moral climate of the nation, and a massive increase in pro-family activism in every social sphere. [Conference organiser Stephen Langa] said that a respected observer of society in Kampala had told him that our campaign was like a nuclear bomb against the 'gay' agenda in Uganda. I pray that this, and the predictions, are true."[31] However, Lively has responded to the bill, saying "I agree with the general goal but this law is far too harsh... Society should actively discourage all sex outside of marriage and that includes homosexuality ... The family is under threat... [Gay people] should not be parading around the streets."[32] Lively has said the bill is a reaction to attempts by Americans and Europeans to "homosexualize" Ugandan society. He further claimed that Ugandan leaders who created the bill are worried about "the many male homosexuals coming in to the country and abusing boys who are on the streets".[33] Richard Cohen has stated he condemns the bill, and that the punitive measures in it are "incomprehensible".[27] Don Schmierer expressed his shock at the legislation, telling The New York Times that although he outlined how homosexuals could change to heterosexual in the March 2009 conference, his involvement was limited to giving seminars to Africans about better parenting skills: "[The bill is] horrible, absolutely horrible... Some of the nicest people I have ever met are gay people."[3]

In December 2009, the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Burundi also discussed legislation that would criminalise homosexuality.[8] On 22 December, 2009, several hundred people gathered in Kampala to show their support for the bill, protesting against homosexuals. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports, "The protesters, led by born-again clerics, cultural leaders, and university undergraduates, marched to the parliament where they presented a petition."[34]

On 11 January 2010, Uganda's Media Centre, a government-sponsored website, released a statement titled "Uganda is being judged too harshly", reacting to the worldwide media attention the country has received about the bill, stating that in response to the negative press they have received it is obvious that "Ugandans (read Africans) have no right to discuss and no right to sovereignty". The message asserted "It is unfortunate that Uganda is now being judged on the actions of opportunists whose ideas are based on violence and blackmail and even worse, on the actions of aid attached strings. (Homosexuality). It is regrettable that government is pretentiously expected to observe their 'human rights', yet, by their own actions, they have surrendered their right to human rights."[35]

[edit] Outing gays in the mediaIn April 2009 a local Ugandan newspaper printed the names of suspected homosexuals, another printed tips on how to identify gays for the general public,[36] and in October 2010, another named Rolling Stone published a story featuring a list of the nation's 100 "top" gays and lesbians with their photos and addresses. Next to the list was a yellow strip with the words "hang them". Julian Pepe, a program coordinator for Sexual Minorities Uganda, said people named in the story are living in fear and attacks have begun prompting many to abandon their jobs while some have relocated. The paper's editor justified the list to expose gays and lesbians so authorities could arrest them, while Nsaba Buturo dismissed complaints from gays and sympathisers by stating protests about the outing is part of a campaign to mobilise support and sympathy from outside the country.[37][38]

On 26 January 2011, Uganda's most prominent gay activist, David Kato, was found bludgeoned to death in what authorities in Uganda are characterising as a robbery. His photograph had been published in Rolling Stone; the high court in the country ordered the newspaper to stop publishing images of gays and lesbians after Kato and several others sued the paper.[3] Kato spoke at a United Nations-sponsored conference on the bill in December 2009. His words were barely audible because he was nervous; information in U.S. embassy cables revealed that Ugandan human rights activists and anti-homosexuality bill supporters vocally mocked him during his presentation. The U.S. diplomat reporting, whose communiques were exposed through Wikileaks, wrote that the political and economic problems in Uganda were being channeled into "violent hatred" of gays, and David Bahati, Martin Ssempra, and James Buturo were primarily responsible for promoting the wave of intolerance. The diplomat further stated that even if the bill does not pass in Ugandan parliament, "rampant homophobia in Uganda won't go away".[39]

[edit] International governmentsSeveral leaders from other nations have expressed their concerns. On 27 November, 2009, during the Heads of State Meeting, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, expressed his opposition of the bill to Uganda president Yoweri Museveni.[40] Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also expressed opposition privately to Museveni during the Commonwealth leaders' meeting. The Canadian Transport Minister John Baird stated to The Globe and Mail, "The current legislation before Parliament in Uganda is vile, it’s abhorrent. It’s offensive. It offends Canadian values. It offends decency."[41] Australia's government reiterated its opposition to the criminalisation of homosexuality in the Sydney Morning Herald, but as of 8 January 2010 had not made a statement to the Ugandan government, despite activists' efforts for it to do so.[42]

The government of France has also criticised the bill, citing a "deep concern".[43] The European Parliament on 16 December 2009 passed a resolution against the bill, which threatens to cut financial aid to Uganda.[44] On 3 December 2009 the Swedish government, which has had a long-term relationship with Uganda, said that it would revoke its $50 million (£31 million) development aid to Uganda if the bill passes, calling it "appalling". Sweden's Development Assistance Minister Gunilla Carlsson stated that she "thought and hoped we had started to share common values and understanding".[45] Dirk Niebel, the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur that financial aid to Uganda will be cut, a stepwise plan for this has already been made.[46]

The White House released a statement to The Advocate, stating that United States president Barack Obama "strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history".[47] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed her opposition of the bill and U.S. congressmen Tom Coburn (R-OK), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) have likewise stated theirs.[48]

The Welsh Assembly Government says that it will not cut its £75,000 aid to Uganda despite objection of the bill. Welsh officials state that the aid is for the city of Mbale, and not the Ugandan government.[49]

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kampala's sister city, the city council passed a resolution opposing the bill.[50]

0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 04:52 pm
@saab,
Here are some more facts for you...........

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html


African Children Denounced As "Witches" By Christian Pastors
KATHARINE HOURELD | 10/18/09 12:01 AM |

stumble EKET, Nigeria — The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall.

His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him – Mount Zion Lighthouse.

A month later, he died.

Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files.

Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

"It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity," said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.

For their part, the families are often extremely poor, and sometimes even relieved to have one less mouth to feed. Poverty, conflict and poor education lay the foundation for accusations, which are then triggered by the death of a relative, the loss of a job or the denunciation of a pastor on the make, said Martin Dawes, a spokesman for the United Nations Children's Fund.

"When communities come under pressure, they look for scapegoats," he said. "It plays into traditional beliefs that someone is responsible for a negative change ... and children are defenseless."

____

Story continues below
AdvertisementThe idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria's 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.

Nigeria is one of the heartlands of abuse, but hardly the only one: the United Nations Children's Fund says tens of thousands of children have been targeted throughout Africa.

Church signs sprout around every twist of the road snaking through the jungle between Uyo, the capital of the southern Akwa Ibom state where Nwanaokwo lay, and Eket, home to many more rejected "witch children." Churches outnumber schools, clinics and banks put together. Many promise to solve parishioner's material worries as well as spiritual ones – eight out of ten Nigerians struggle by on less than $2 a day.

"Poverty must catch fire," insists the Born 2 Rule Crusade on one of Uyo's main streets.

"Where little shots become big shots in a short time," promises the Winner's Chapel down the road.

"Pray your way to riches," advises Embassy of Christ a few blocks away.

It's hard for churches to carve out a congregation with so much competition. So some pastors establish their credentials by accusing children of witchcraft.

Nwanaokwo said he knew the pastor who accused him only as Pastor King. Mount Zion Lighthouse in Nigeria at first confirmed that a Pastor King worked for them, then denied that they knew any such person.

Bishop A.D. Ayakndue, the head of the church in Nigeria, said pastors were encouraged to pray about witchcraft, but not to abuse children.

"We pray over that problem (of witchcraft) very powerfully," he said. "But we can never hurt a child."

The Nigerian church is a branch of a Californian church by the same name. But the California church says it lost touch with its Nigerian offshoots several years ago.

"I had no idea," said church elder Carrie King by phone from Tracy, Calif. "I knew people believed in witchcraft over there but we believe in the power of prayer, not physically harming people."

The Mount Zion Lighthouse – also named by three other families as the accuser of their children – is part of the powerful Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. The Fellowship's president, Ayo Oritsejafor, said the Fellowship was the fastest-growing religious group in Nigeria, with more than 30 million members.

"We have grown so much in the past few years we cannot keep an eye on everybody," he explained.

But Foxcroft, the head of Stepping Stones, said if the organization was able to collect membership fees, it could also police its members better. He had already written to the organization twice to alert it to the abuse, he said. He suggested the fellowship ask members to sign forms denouncing abuse or hold meetings to educate pastors about the new child rights law in the state of Akwa Ibom, which makes it illegal to denounce children as witches. Similar laws and education were needed in other states, he said.

Sam Itauma of the Children's Rights and Rehabilitation Network said it is the most vulnerable children – the orphaned, sick, disabled or poor – who are most often denounced. In Nwanaokwo's case, his poor father and dead mother made him an easy target.

"Even churches who didn't use to 'find' child witches are being forced into it by the competition," said Itauma. "They are seen as spiritually powerful because they can detect witchcraft and the parents may even pay them money for an exorcism."

That's what Margaret Eyekang did when her 8-year-old daughter Abigail was accused by a "prophet" from the Apostolic Church, because the girl liked to sleep outside on hot nights – interpreted as meaning she might be flying off to join a coven. A series of exorcisms cost Eyekang eight months' wages, or US$270. The payments bankrupted her.

Neighbors also attacked her daughter.

"They beat her with sticks and asked me why I was bringing them a witch child," she said. A relative offered Eyekang floor space but Abigail was not welcome and had to sleep in the streets.

Members of two other families said pastors from the Apostolic Church had accused their children of witchcraft, but asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.

The Nigeria Apostolic Church refused repeated requests made by phone, e-mail and in person for comment.

___

At first glance, there's nothing unusual about the laughing, grubby kids playing hopscotch or reading from a tattered Dick and Jane book by the graffiti-scrawled cinderblock house. But this is where children like Abigail end up after being labeled witches by churches and abandoned or tortured by their families.

There's a scar above Jane's shy smile: her mother tried to saw off the top of her skull after a pastor denounced her and repeated exorcisms costing a total of $60 didn't cure her of witchcraft. Mary, 15, is just beginning to think about boys and how they will look at the scar tissue on her face caused when her mother doused her in caustic soda. Twelve-year-old Rachel dreamed of being a banker but instead was chained up by her pastor, starved and beaten with sticks repeatedly; her uncle paid him $60 for the exorcism.

Israel's cousin tried to bury him alive, Nwaekwa's father drove a nail through her head, and sweet-tempered Jerry – all knees, elbows and toothy grin – was beaten by his pastor, starved, made to eat cement and then set on fire by his father as his pastor's wife cheered it on.

The children at the home run by Itauma's organization have been mutilated as casually as the praying mantises they play with. Home officials asked for the children's last names not to be used to protect them from retaliation.

The home was founded in 2003 with seven children; it now has 120 to 200 at any given time as children are reconciled with their families and new victims arrive.

Helen Ukpabio is one of the few evangelists publicly linked to the denunciation of child witches. She heads the enormous Liberty Gospel church in Calabar, where Nwanaokwo used to live. Ukpabio makes and distributes popular books and DVDs on witchcraft; in one film, a group of child witches pull out a man's eyeballs. In another book, she advises that 60 percent of the inability to bear children is caused by witchcraft.

In an interview with the AP, Ukpabio is accompanied by her lawyer, church officials and personal film crew.

"Witchcraft is real," Ukpabio insisted, before denouncing the physical abuse of children. Ukpabio says she performs non-abusive exorcisms for free and was not aware of or responsible for any misinterpretation of her materials.

"I don't know about that," she declared.

However, she then acknowledged that she had seen a pastor from the Apostolic Church break a girl's jaw during an exorcism. Ukpabio said she prayed over her that night and cast out the demon. She did not respond to questions on whether she took the girl to hospital or complained about the injury to church authorities.

After activists publicly identified Liberty Gospel as denouncing "child witches," armed police arrived at Itauma's home accompanied by a church lawyer. Three children were injured in the fracas. Itauma asked that other churches identified by children not be named to protect their victims.

"We cannot afford to make enemies of all the churches around here," he said. "But we know the vast majority of them are involved in the abuse even if their headquarters aren't aware."

Just mentioning the name of a church is enough to frighten a group of bubbly children at the home.

"Please stop the pastors who hurt us," said Jerry quietly, touching the scars on his face. "I believe in God
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 05:43 pm
@maxdancona,
That's very clever, maxdancona

You just took my post from the thread I made called Islam and human values and just swapped the word islam with christianity and muslim with christian.

But even though you did that, the question asked is still valid.
Considerations of welfare and human rights should always take presedence over some outdated belief in scripures of questionable origin and contents.

And the days when christians killed are long since passed. These days they just train muslims to do it for them. Very Happy
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 05:47 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
And the days when christians killed are long since passed. These days they just train muslims to do it for them


BULLSHIT Christians are more then willing to kill see my posts on this thread.
Cyracuz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 05:55 pm
@BillRM,
You don't see the joke I take it. A hint may be CIA..


But seriously, the oppressive elements of Islam today and Christianity today are hardly similar.
Contemporary christians don't stone people to death and justify it with some command alledgedly given by a man of questionable character that lived hundreds of years ago.
Granted, there are christians who go to extremes, but they do not govern nations with their madness.

In the other thread you said that the same would be true for any religion that governed nations, and that may be. But Islam doesn't seek to lessen its political influence. Isn't one of the goals of Islam to either kill or convert every last soul in the world?
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 06:07 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
But Islam doesn't seek to lessen its political influence. Isn't one of the goals of Islam to either kill or convert every last soul in the world?


Religions had loss control of nation states but never given it up of it own free will!!!!!!
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 06:39 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
Isn't one of the goals of Islam to either kill or convert every last soul in the world?


NO Islam had a prohibited build into it from using force to convert the others two peoples of the book as you should know.


Second, comment are you trying to tell us that Christianity did not go through a period where the sword were not used freely to spread the faith?

Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 07:33 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Islam had a prohibited build into it from using force to convert the others two peoples of the book as you should know.


I find this strange, since muslims consider Muhammad the restorer of an uncorrupted faith, and the last prophet of Allah, but he was also a military general. How does those two reconcile?
He had military assets, but he did not resort to them against people who did not accept his (gods) commands?
Doesn't Muhammad tell muslims that they are to lash adulterers 100 times, and that it is a sin to show them mercy?
This is a man who left a religion in which his own image is so sacred it cannot even be depicted, and anyone who criticizes him deserves to be killed (as he himself authorized the murder of his critics during his lifetime).

Quote:
are you trying to tell us that Christianity did not go through a period where the sword were not used freely to spread the faith?


No, but that was a thousand years ago. I am not saying that leaders of the nations that are predominately filled with christian people never do bad things. But they do them as political leaders with political motives, not religious leaders with political motives disguised as the law of god.

Contemporary Islam is where Christianity was a thousand years ago. Luckily there were no guns and bombs back then. If we have to endure what christianity put the world through one more time, and this time with the destructive force of modern technology, I am not sure we can survive that.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 07:56 pm
@Cyracuz,
There is still a clear in fact very very clear prohibition to converting the others two people of the book in the Koran. The prohibition had been honor far more then not for a thousand years now.

That may not be good news in your campaign to paint Islam and it billion plus followers as some devil religion however it have must more in common with the other two major faiths as not.

In my opinion the world will be far better place when all such religions pass away still Islam does not stand out all that must in causing evil.

Last comment the overwhelming military and economic power in the world does not lie with the nations control by a violence form of Islam, so this problem is more annoying then anything else.

Cyracuz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 08:23 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
In my opinion the world will be far better place when all such religions pass away


No argument from me. I am no fan of christianity either.

But here is my ace in the hole:
I have asked more christians than I care to remember, and all say that they would never resort to violence in defense of religious beliefs, and would never condone it.
And I have asked the same question of muslims, and the majority answered that they either would do violence in defense of their religious beliefs, or that they would condone it if someone else did it.

I did this little query in the wake of some fuzz that was kicked up when a Muhammad caricature was printed in a norwegian newspaper.
The people I talked to are normal, law abiding citizens of the town in which I live, but like I said, the majority of the muslims I talked to about this expressed a desire for revenge against those who had blasphemed against their prophet. Some even thought of it as their duty to their god to kill those responsible.

Turn it around any way you wish, Islam is the most immature and adolescent of all the abrahamic religions, which is perhaps why it produces such immature and adolescent attitudes in its followers.

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 08:30 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
I have asked more christians than I care to remember, and all say that they would never resort to violence in defense of religious beliefs, and would never condone it.
And I have asked the same question of muslims, and the majority answered that they either would do violence in defense of their religious beliefs, or that they would condone it if someone else did it.


This hasn't been my experience. There are obviously Christians who both call for, and do violence, and there are obviously Muslims who condemn violence. So this might just say more about you, then about the people you claim to have asked.

Quote:

Turn it around any way you wish, Islam is the most immature and adolescent of all the abrahamic religions, which is perhaps why it produces such immature and adolescent attitudes in its followers.


See. Your posts say far more about your own prejudices then about any objective measure of religion.

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/demonstrator.jpg

BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 08:36 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
And I have asked the same question of muslims, and the majority answered that they either would do violence in defense of their religious beliefs, or that they would condone it if someone else did it.


Interesting this survey of your as most of the Muslims I happen to know are not driven by their religion to any more of a degree then Jews or Christians are.

They are in fact far too busy raising and supporting their families and dealing with the day in and day out problems of life.

You are just going to have to give us the sample size and the selections criteria of this remarkable survey of your that seem full of violence warriors of god instead of peaceful family men.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 08:38 pm
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_96z6u_KtczM/TULZRyTlk_I/AAAAAAAAC_4/1ypqauqc5Kg/s320/kill+gays+rolling_stone.jpg
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 08:55 pm
@Cyracuz,
http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1445/little-support-for-terrorism-among-muslim-americans


Little Support for Terrorism Among Muslim Americans
by Richard Wike, Pew Global Attitudes Project, Greg Smith, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
December 17, 2009




Recent events such as the Fort Hood shootings and the arrest of five Muslim American students in Pakistan have raised questions about the threat of homegrown terrorism in the United States. However, the Pew Research Center's comprehensive portrait of the Muslim American population suggests it is less likely to be a fertile breeding ground for terrorism than Muslim minority communities in other countries. Violent jihad is discordant with the values, outlook and attitudes of the vast majority of Muslim Americans, most of whom reject extremism.

A Middle Class, Mainstream Minority Group
As the title of Pew Research's 2007 study suggests, Muslim Americans are "middle class and mostly mainstream." Compared with their co-religionists in other Western societies, they are relatively well integrated into mainstream society. Unlike Western Europe's Muslim populations, Muslims in the U.S. are generally as well-educated and financially well-off as the general population. Most (72%) say their communities are good or excellent places to live, and most believe in the American dream -- 71% say that in the U.S., most people who want to get ahead can make it if they are willing to work hard.

When asked whether they think of themselves first as an American or as a Muslim, 47% of Muslims in the U.S. think of themselves first in terms of their religion, while 28% identify themselves first as Americans and 18% volunteer that they identify as both. At 46%, French Muslims are about equally as likely as those in the U.S. to think of themselves first as Muslim. However, Muslim Americans are less likely to identify primarily with their religion than are Muslims living in Britain, Germany, and Spain.

Primary identification with religious affiliation is not unique to Muslims. Religious identity is almost equally as high among American Christians, 42% of whom say they think of themselves first as Christian. About half (48%) of Christians in the U.S. identify first as Americans, while 7% volunteer that they identify both with their nationality and their religion.1

Roughly six-in-ten Muslim Americans (62%) say that the quality of life for Muslim women in the U.S. is better than the quality of life for women in most Muslim countries, while 7% say it is worse, and 23% believe it is about the same. French Muslims are equally likely to think that life is better for Muslim women in their country, while in Britain, Germany and Spain, Muslims are somewhat less likely to hold this view.

Many Muslim Americans share the concerns of the broader population about Islamic extremism. Roughly three-quarters (76%) are very or somewhat concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism around the world, compared with 81% of the U.S. general population.2 About six-in-ten Muslim Americans (61%) are also worried about the potential rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S., although this is lower than the level of concern among the general public (78%).3

Few Endorse Extremism
Very few Muslim Americans hold a positive opinion of al Qaeda -- only 5% give the terrorist organization a favorable rating, while 68% express an unfavorable view, including 58% who describe their view as very unfavorable. About one-quarter (27%) decline to offer an opinion.

Support for suicide terrorism among Muslim Americans is similarly rare: 78% believe that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets to defend Islam from its enemies can never be justified, and another 5% say these types of attacks are rarely justified. Fewer than one-in-ten American Muslims say that suicide bombing is sometimes (7%) or often (1%) justified.

Over the course of the decade, the Pew Global Attitudes Project has asked this same question of Muslim populations around the world, and results show that Muslims in the U.S. are among the most likely to reject suicide bombing. Among the populations surveyed recently, opposition to suicide bombing is highest in Pakistan (87% say it is never justified) -- a nation currently plagued by suicide bombings and violence by extremist groups. As recently as 2004, only 35% of Pakistani Muslims held this view. As Pew Global Attitudes surveys have documented, the growing rejection of extremism in Pakistan is part of a broader pattern in the Muslim world.

Most European Muslims surveyed agree that suicide attacks can never be justified. This view is especially prevalent in Germany, where 83% of the country's largely Turkish Muslim community say that suicide attacks are not justifiable. Most Muslims in Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt agree, while fewer than half take this position in Lebanon and Nigeria. Palestinians are the clear outlier on this issue -- only 17% think violence against civilian targets can never be justified.

But Small Pockets of Support and Doubts About Sept. 11
Of course, although American Muslims largely reject extremist ideologies, results from the 2007 survey do reveal small pockets of support for extremism. And the survey found that younger Muslims in the U.S. are slightly more accepting of Islamic extremism than are older Muslims. Those under age 30 are more than twice as likely as those age 30 and older to believe that suicide bombings in the defense of Islam can often or sometimes be justified (15% vs. 6%). This pattern is consistent with findings from Europe -- Muslims under age 30 in Britain, France, Germany and Spain are slightly more likely than those in older age groups to endorse suicide attacks.

The survey also finds that native-born African-American Muslims are less likely than other U.S. Muslims to condemn al Qaeda completely. Only 9% express a favorable view of the organization, but at the same time, just 36% give it a very unfavorable rating.

And fewer than half of Muslim Americans -- just four-in-10 -- accept the fact that groups of Arabs carried out the Sept. 11 attacks. Roughly a third (32%) express no opinion as to who was behind the attacks, while 28% flatly disbelieve that Arabs conducted the attacks. Fewer highly religious Muslim Americans believe that groups of Arabs carried out the attacks than do less religious Muslims. The survey also finds that those who say suicide bombings in defense of Islam can often or sometimes be justified are more disbelieving than others that Arabs carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Data for U.S. Christians from 2006 Pew Global Attitudes survey.
2. U.S. general public data from April 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
3. U.S. general public data from April 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

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0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 08:56 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
There are obviously Christians who do violence, and there are obviously Muslims who condemn violence. So this might just say more about you, then about the people you claim to have asked.


You are missing the point. I did not say that no muslims condemn violence. I said that there seemed to be a general difference in attitude between people who have been raised in a secular nation where christianity is the predominant religion and people who have been raised in islamic nations. Among the latter, using violence in defense of their religious beliefs seems to be a much more commonly accepted notion.

And I am not saying that I have conducted a study of this. I have talked to alot of people, and the impression I am left with is that there are more muslims willing to do violence from religious motivations than there are non-muslims who will do it from religious belief.
I estimate roughly I spoke to around 70 to 80 non-muslims and around 20-30 muslims. Most just random people I encountered through a day. Hardly a representative crowd for a comprehensive survey, but enough for me to get an impression of the general mindset of those who believe in Islam.

But maybe it's a matter of degree. Perhaps people who take christianity as seriously and literally as muslims seem to take islam, are likely to have the same backwards and unenlightened attitudes.
And as you say, muslims that have a more realaxed relationship with their religion, who understand it not quite so literally, probably have attitudes that reflect more the values and ideals of tolerance and co-existence.
 

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