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U.S. Military is teaching officers to go to war with all of Islam

We aren't at war with Islam. We aren't at war with 99% of Muslims. We are actually allies with quite a bit of the Middle East. Teaching young, impressionable officers this religious persecution Crusader-esque hate speech does a fundamental injustice to our military. It makes us weaker, because it makes us stupid. For a more in-depth look, check out Jeff Sharlet's Harper's piece, "Jesus Killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military.". U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use 'Hiroshima' Tactics for 'Total War' on Islam | Danger Room | Wired.com

May 10, 2012

The history of religious marriage is a myth wrapped in propaganda

The Myth About Marriage by Garry Wills | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
The early church had no specific rite for marriage. This was left up to the secular authorities of the Roman Empire, since marriage is a legal concern for the legitimacy of heirs. When the Empire became Christian under Constantine, Christian emperors continued the imperial control of marriage, as the Code of Justinian makes clear. When the Empire faltered in the West, church courts took up the role of legal adjudicator of valid marriages. But there was still no special religious meaning to the institution. As the best scholar of sacramental history, Joseph Martos, puts it: “Before the eleventh century there was no such thing as a Christian wedding ceremony in the Latin church, and throughout the Middle Ages there was no single church ritual for solemnizing marriage between Christians.” Only in the twelfth century was a claim made for some supernatural favor (grace) bestowed on marriage as a sacrament. By the next century marriage had been added to the biblically sacred number of seven sacraments. Since Thomas Aquinas argued that the spouses’ consent is the efficient cause of marriage and the seal of intercourse was the final cause, it is hard to see what a priest’s blessing could add to the reality of the bond. And bad effects followed. This sacralizing of the natural reality led to a demoting of Yahwist marriage, the only kind Jesus recognized, as inferior to “true marriage” in a church. . . . Those who do not want to let gay partners have the sacredness of sacramental marriage are relying on a Scholastic fiction of the thirteenth century to play with people’s lives, as the church has done ever since the time of Aquinas. The myth of the sacrament should not let people deprive gays of the right to natural marriage, whether blessed by Yahweh or not. They surely do not need—since no one does—the blessing of Saint Thomas.

May 02, 2012

North Carolina preacher advocates beating your children until they aren't gay anymore

He is a sponsor of NC's Amendment One. Gay marriage is already illegal in NC but this amendment would enshrine that discrimination in the state constitution and also make domestic partnerships and civil unions totally illegal. Earning their millstone necklaces
Pastor Sean Harris told parents they are “authorized,” and that he was “giving them a special dispensation” to attack their children. “Give them a good punch,” and “crack that wrist,” Harris told parents, if their four-year old boy, for example, “starts acting a little ‘girlish’.” Pastor Harris added that parents should tell their four-year olds to “man up, son, get that dress off you get outside and dig a ditch because that’s what boys do.” … “Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see that son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give them a good punch. OK? You’re not going to act like that — you were made by God to be a male and you’re going to be a male,” Pastor Harris tells his parishioners. … “And when your daughter starts acting too ‘butch,’ you rein her in. And you say, ‘Oh no. Oh no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play ‘em, play ‘em to the glory of God, but sometimes you’re going to act like a girl and talk like a girl and talk like a girl, and smell like a girl, and that means you’re going to be beautiful, you’re going to be attractive, you’re going to dress yourself up’.”