Weekly Weird Religious News

For my top three items of weird religious news during the past seven days the observation is, “Hey, you are always highlighting the same people each week“. Well OK, let’s do things a bit differently. For my personal selection this week, I will restrict myself to not mentioning the old favourites who pop up time after time, and so I’ll not highlight Pat Robertson, Ken Ham, or Jim Bakker. Even though Jim did come out with yet another weird claim this week (“Atheists Are “Going Insane” Because Trump Loves God Too Much”), we will park that and pretend we did not notice.

Does that in effect completely gag and silence me?

It would be nice to think it would, but alas no, even with those filters in place there is still plenty to choose from.

Item 1 -Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson: “Crime and Murder Rates Soar in Areas Without God”

This is via the Friendly Atheist.

Phil Robertson, the dad with the Duck Dynasty cast, is a deeply committed believer who has a track record of promoting weird claims such as …”Satan Controls The Democratic Party“, or that “homosexuality and bestiality and the same”

His latest gem came via an interview within him on Fox Business (and yes, I have no idea why they had him on except to perhaps observe that it is Fox) …

… I’ve just noticed, Liz, that where there is no Jesus, the crime rate is always high, the murder rate is high. Where there is Jesus, the crime rate and the murder rate is always low. No matter what anyone tells you, you look at that, you say, “Huh.”

Therefore, I would just recommend, because of that, why don’t we try Jesus in America? Let’s go back to God. We all need to repent. We’re all full of sins. We repent. And we love God. And we love each other…

One ever so small flaw … it is not actually true at all.

Via the Friendly Atheist’s rebuttal, here are a few examples from Professor Phil Zuckerman that illustrates just how wrong this actually is …

when it comes to nearly all standard measures of societal health, including homicide rates, the least theistic states generally fare much better than the most theistic. Consider child-abuse fatality rates: Highly religious Mississippi’s is twice that of highly secular New Hampshire’s, and highly religious Kentucky’s is four times higher than highly secular Oregon’s.

… it is clear that a strong or increased presence of secularism isn’t the damaging threat to society so many continually claim it to be.

…It is the highly secularized countries that tend to fare the best in terms of crime rates, prosperity, equality, freedom, democracy, women’s rights, human rights, educational attainment and life expectancy. (Although there are exceptions, such as Vietnam and China, which have famously poor human rights records.) And those nations with the highest rates of religiosity tend to be the most problem-ridden in terms of high violent crime rates, high infant mortality rates, high poverty rates and high rates of corruption.

… There is almost no Jesus worship in Japan, but El Salvador is rife with Jesus worship. The murder rate in El Salvador is way, way higher than the murder rate in Japan, which has the lowest murder rate in the world.

So where does Mr Robertson get his observation from to base this claim upon?

The best guess is that he most probably watches Fox News.

In essence, here we have a bigoted reality TV star being wrong. Now who does that remind me of.

Item 2 – Linda Harvey: Halloween Is A Depraved Gay Holiday And My Ouija Board Proved That Satan Is Behind It

This one comes via Joe My God and concerns professional bigot Linda Harvey who made the following claim …

You’ve probably noticed that a cultural revolution is in full swing, engineered largely by promiscuity promoters and “LGBT” advocates. It’s based on deception, depravity, subterfuge, endless dirty tricks and no treats. So is it any wonder Halloween is their favorite, special holiday? It’s one more reason this event is something for concerned families to avoid.  America’s recent exaltation of Halloween as a festival second only to Christmas owes a lot to promotion by homosexuals and their new favorite comrades – gender-confused males and female.

Read on and you discover that her insight apparently came via a Ouija Board at the age of 14.

So what is she blathering on about when she says things like “America’s recent exaltation of Halloween”? 

What she perhaps sees is that many Christians are letting go of old superstitions and can now happily go watch and enjoy a Harry Potter movie or similar without going full religious crank about it. They perceive it to be what it is … fantasy and entertainment, and not some nefarious force in play. This disturbs those who are operating in full crank-mode and look upon such common sense to be a manifestation of dark forces. For Ms Harvey, the favourite whipping post is apparently the gay community who are supposedly responsible for all that spooks her.

What truly disturbs her is that people who could once be kept in line via fear tactics are no longer so gullible, and that positively terrifies people like Ms Harvey because they no longer have the ability to manipulate people that they once had.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated “Mission: America”, a group founded and run by Linda Harvey, as an active anti-gay hate group.

Item 3 – Pastor Steven Anderson: Veganism Is a “Substitute for Biblical Morality”

Steven Anderson is a guy who has a bit of a reputation for pushing the boat of weirdness out into unchartered territory and often tends to leave the shore of reality far over the horizon. To illustrate that, if you google him and you find a few rather astonishing claims such as …

  • going to college makes you dumb
  • all modern Bible versions have been corrupted by the Satanic New World Order
  • a ‘cure’ for AIDS would be for governments all across the world to execute LGBT persons
  • etc..

So as a bit of context, knowing who he is means that his latest claim is not exactly a shock, and so here it is …

If you’re gonna say [we should be vegetarian] because God wants us to, that’s a doctrine of devils… so if a vegetarian starts commanding me to abstain from me, that’s when I’m gonna say, “Hey, get thee behind me, Satan.”

I’ll tell you what this veganism is: It’s a substitute for biblical morality. It becomes “save the animals” morality. God doesn’t take care of our oxen, friend. He cares about us. We’re made in His image. Let the YouTube comments roll in, you bunch of vegans and vegetarians. Bring it on!

A potential byline is this: “Preacher who likes being vile to other humans also supports being vile to animals as well”.

I can’t help but feel that most of the time this guy is trolling and that he simply says this weird stuff to garner clicks so that he can earn $$ via ads. I guess I’m not exactly helping by spotlighting him, but hey it is fun to both laugh and mock him.

So is he trolling?

Those that sincerely promote deeply held but truly weird beliefs tend to block comments they don’t agree with. As a contrast, Mr Anderson promotes his videos and then positively encourages those he pokes to come on in and comment.

In the end, perhaps the best why to sum him up is this quote that Hemant made last year …

“May we all live our lives so that people like Anderson demonize us after we’re gone.” – Hemant Mehta

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