Archive for the 'religious trends' Category

Christian-based duotheism vs. evilism vs. “Devil worship”

June 8, 2011

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.”

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On being “God-owned”: “spiritual orientation” vs. divine “rape”?

March 15, 2011

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.

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Preliminary response to Michael Cuneo on exorcism

February 12, 2011

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.

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The Catholic exorcism trend and Italy’s Satanic panic

February 9, 2011

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.

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Demonization of Saul D. Alinksy — mea culpa?

January 14, 2011

In a post titled Hoax Jared Loughner Facebook Profiles Created, January 10, 2011, Richard Bartholomew said the following about a hoax profile falsely depicting Jared Loughner as admiring various leftists:

The list of left-wingers is so stereotyped as to be absurd – Saul Alinsky in particular is primarily famous these days as a figure in conservative demonology rather than for anything else.

As I’ll explain below, I’m probably at least partly responsible — though unintentionally so — for today’s demonization of Saul D. Alinsky by conservatives. So, I’ll now speak up in Alinsky’s defense and respond to a few of the more egregious falsehoods that some right-wingers have spread about him.

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Further reply to Julian Karswell

May 22, 2008

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.

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Satanisms and politics: To Julian Karswell

May 17, 2008

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.

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To atheists: A secularist alliance is needed

May 4, 2008

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.

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Witchhunts and (real) ritual murder, in Africa and India – roundup of recent news

April 26, 2008

Some interesting speculation: Does Climate Change Mean More Witch Hunts? by Freakonomics, New York Times Blogs, NY, 4/25/2008:
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The Catholic Church’s troubles in Brazil

May 9, 2007

I just now came across the following:

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.)