Thanks to James Nicholson for referring to my article on Christian-based duotheism in his recent post on sectarian Satanism. However, he seems to have misunderstood what I mean by the term “Christian-based duotheism.”
Archive for the 'trends' Category
Lately, challenging people’s prejudices has gotten much harder than it used to be. Once it was easy and fun. Over the years it became much more difficult. Lately, it often seems to have become almost impossible. For whatever reasons, it seems that most people today are a lot less willing to consider new ideas than most people were, say, back in the 1970’s.
Nevertheless, even today it is still possible to make progress in counteracting specific prejudices, if one is willing to be persistent about it.
Here’s a brief history of some of my major successes and failures at challenging people’s prejudices over the past few decades:
Another post by Anya Kless has called my attention to the following: (1) Fun Facts For the Deity-Owned by Laura Patsouris, Patheos, January 26, 2011, and (2) God-Owned: Humans as Pets by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, January 26, 2011.
I can relate to the experience of being “God-owned,” although I’ve tended to use different terminology to describe it.
I recently ordered a copy of American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty by Michael Cuneo, who teaches anthropology and sociology at Fordham University in the Bronx, here in New York City. According to various reviews (listed near the bottom of this post), Cuneo’s book is an in-depth study, from an open-mindedly skeptical point of view, of exorcism as practiced by both Catholics and Protestants here in the U.S.A.
The recent movie The Rite is loosely based on a (supposedly) nonfiction book that was published two years ago, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The book is about an American priest who spent his sabbatical year in Italy training to be an exorcist.
As Laura Miller explains in “Eat your saints, purge your demons,” Salon, March 27, 2009:
Father Gary Thomas, Baglio’s trainee exorcist, half fell into the job; he volunteered when, in 2004, the Vatican asked every Catholic bishop to appoint an official exorcist to his diocese. This startling development can be explained by the fact that for the past decade Italy has been gripped by an intermittent satanic ritual abuse panic similar to the hysteria that swept through the U.S. in the 1980s.
I’ve come across some reviews of a book, written within the past year, about the recovered-memory aspect of the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare: Try to Remember: Psychiatry’s Clash over Meaning, Memory, and Mind by Paul R McHugh.
I recently came across a very interesting blog post about the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare of the 1980’s and early 1990’s: Inconvenient untruth, San Fernando Curt’s Blog, Talking Points Memo (TPM), June 22, 2009.
San Fernando Curt observes that the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare isn’t talked about very much anymore. He quotes and links to a Summer 2001 Women’s Quarterly article, Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes – hysteria over rape and sexual child abuse by Rael Jean Isaac, who points to the role of feminists in launching the panic. Curt claims that the reason why the SRA scare isn’t talked about very much anymore is because the feminist movement is, allegedly, a sacred cow whose mistakes no one dares discuss.
Searching Google News for “Satanist,” I came across an opinion piece, Hugs! The Lamest Teen Moral Panic Ever by Pareene, Gawker, Thu May 28 2009, which begins with the following sarcastic reference to the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare of the 1980’s and early 1990’s:
In the good old days of the culture wars, your teenagers, after years of being raped by Satanist daycare workers, were all organizing “Rainbow Parties” and smoking weed three times more powerful than the stuff you smoked all the time in high school. Now they are just hugging?
I’ll now reply to the second comment by Julian Karswell beneath my post Satanism and politics: Question for Julian Karswell and other LaVey-based Satanists on my Google/Blogspot blog.
Julian, I would like to suggest that you reply either here on WordPress.com or, better yet, on your own blog.
On my Theistic Satanism blog on Google/Blogspot, I posted a brief response to Julian Karswell’s “Opus Diaboli” website. I’ll now post some commentary about his blog, which I’ll do here on WordPress.com, to take advantage of the “trackback” feature.
These days, too many public atheists come across as even more hostile toward liberals and religious moderates than toward fundamentalists. This is unfortunate, because, in my opinion, atheists and religious liberals and moderates need to stand together against the worldwide trend toward theocracy.
I just now came across the following:
- In Brazil, pope to face a church losing hold
Priest shortage, evangelicals represent challenges
By Monte Reel
Washington Post, via MSNBC
Updated: 4:02 a.m. ET May 9, 2007
This article said some things I expected, such as the following:
Latin America is still predominantly Catholic, but not like it used to be. In Brazil, for example, as evangelical Pentecostalism has spread, the country’s population has gone from being 89 percent Catholic in 1980 to about 64 percent today, according to a survey released this week by the Brazilian polling firm DataFolha.
But there were also some surprises (to me, anyway). In particular:
Young people have shown a greater reluctance to join the clergy, resulting in a priest shortage that is 10 times more severe regionwide than it is in North America or Europe.
“There is a trend here — even among priests — that people should be more free to follow their own conscience, and there’s a growing distance between most Catholics and the church’s hierarchy,” said the Rev. Luiz Roberto Benedetti, a Catholic priest who is a professor of social science at the Catholic University of Campinas, near Sao Paulo. “It’s a trend that goes in the complete opposite direction of the message that the pope wants to send.”
Very interesting, and quite contrary to Philip Jenkins’s characterization of the Catholicism of the southern hemisphere, in general, as a hotbed of Catholic traditionalism and love of hierarchy. (See The Next Christianity by Philip Jenkins, originally published in The Atlantic, Volume 290, No. 3, October, 2002, about the recent explosive growth of the more fanatical forms of Christianity in non-Western countries.)
I would be interested to hear from anyone who can give me solidly sourced information about religious trends in Latin America.
(For more about religious trends in general, see the many articles listed on my page about The growing number of Christians of kinds which inherently fear demons, Satanists, witches, occultists, Pagans, and atheists.)