Southern Religion

Dad, Aunt Lisa, Mommy Ruth, Peapoppy, Ma Ma, …

There is something about which we agree with PZ Myers. As he writes in a blog about the loss of his father (fill in, however, your own loss), “We tell ourselves that time heals all wounds, and it’s not true.”

No it isn’t. This is the season of my grief, too.


December 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lullaby for a sleeping conscience

Christa wants to sing sleeping Southern Baptist Convention consciences awake to their neglect of trusting Baptist Children.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Crime, Religion | , , , , | Comments Off on Lullaby for a sleeping conscience

All is lost in the ‘War on Seasons’ Greetings’

U.S. Republicans did no better than British Tories in the war on “Seasons’ Greetings.”

The Tories surrendered and the Republican National Committee deserted under fire to “this blessed time.” Truly. Enlarge the image at right, and weep.

What’s a mumbling old culture warrior to do when his natural allies run and hide?

[H/T: Political Carnival]

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Satire | , , | Comments Off on All is lost in the ‘War on Seasons’ Greetings’

Focus on the Family comes out against Uganda anti-gay law

No LBGT advocate, Focus on the Family has at last drawn a line at Ugandan gay genocide. Colorado Springs Gazette blogger Mark Barna writes:

“As a Christian organization, Focus on the Family Action (the political arm of the family group) encourages pro-family policies. As such, we respect the desire of the Ugandan people to shield their nation from the promotion of homosexuality as a lifestyle morally equivalent to one-man, one-woman marriage. But it is not morally acceptable to enact the death penalty for homosexuals, as some versions of the bill are reported to require.”

“My reaction is to denounce this. It sets a horrible precedent and has a potential for developing hatred.”

Otherwise the Barna news story on the same topic isn’t quite as rife with errors as a Richard Land exposition on health care reform. Nonetheless sweepingly erroneous, Barna writes:

Moreover, it’s unfair to single out American evangelical leaders and organizations for not condemning the bill when many world leaders, including President Barack Obama, and human rights groups have also been silent on it.

In fact:

Barna is correct when he writes that “numerous Christian leaders and groups have weighed in.” (For example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Focus on the Family is a welcome and unexpected late-comer to the family of opponents, not yet joined by the Southern Baptist Convevtion Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

This without defending Barna’s failed attempt to exonerate the Christian Right for its well-documented role in fostering the law and to cast belated opposition as pioneering.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Law, Politics, Religion | , , , , | Comments Off on Focus on the Family comes out against Uganda anti-gay law

Jung’s soul search and the meaning of holiday despai;

A drawing from Carl Jung’s 205-page Red Book or Liber Novus, written between 1914 and 1930 but published only in 2009. Peay calls it “a Dante-esque narrative of how Jung rediscovers his soul” and compares it to the medieval Irish “Book of Kells,” or William Blake’s “Illuminated Manuscripts.” While others regard it as the consequence of a psychotic episode.

Exploring holiday symbolism and Carl Jung’s recently published “Red Book,”, Pythia Peay refers us to Dr. Michael Conforti, a Jungian analyst and founder of the Assisi Institute. Conforti said Jung was “one of the first psychologists to look seriously at the role of spirituality in a person’s life.”
Conforti says of the Jungian view of the Christ Child:

With King Herod’s efforts to kill all the male children, [Comforti] says, “This was no easy birth. Thus the archetypal roots of Christmas and the Christ child is the story of how something sacred emerges despite tremendous adversity.” Those who suffer depression during the holidays, he explains, may in fact be closer to the “true spirit” of Christmas. For such individuals, he continues, the Nativity story validates their despair, while giving them “a glimpse of something in them that is struggling to come to fruition despite great odds.”

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Cultural, Health | , , , , , | Comments Off on Jung’s soul search and the meaning of holiday despai;

How many sexually predatory Irish Catholic priests were exported to the U.S.? [Updated]

Photo taken by me on 12 August 2009, of the memorial cross at Harold's Cross Park, Dublin, Ireland.Hohenloh + 19:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Harold’s Cross in Dublin

It begins with one clear example: The notorious Rev. Brendan Smyth, a sexually predatory Irish priest who, after questions about his behavior arose in Ireland, was assigned to Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich from 1965 to 1968. Where Jeffrey Thomas of Massachusetts and Helen McGonigle of Connecticut say he raped them.

As a result of that childhood experience, they want some answers, as do the others who joined them in news conferences on Monday in Providence, R.H., and Boston, Ma.

How many other sexually predatory Irish priests were exported to the United States and part of the decades-long Irish coverup? Where they re-offended?

Simple questions, for which is seeking answers. According to The Providence Journal, “they sent letters to Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Boston archdiocese and Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Providence diocese, asking that they search their personnel files for information about accused Irish priests who had served in their areas.”

They already have a short list, writes Meghan Irons of the Boston Globe.

. . . unveiled today the names of 60 to 70 accused priests it says were either born in Ireland or are of Irish descent who came to the United States and re-offended. [And] demanded that Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence to comb the records of their dioceses and make public the names of any credibly accused Irish priests who have worked there.

. . . has compiled a database of 3,000 names of accused priests and said about one third of them have links to Ireland, which is reeling from revelations of a decades-long cover-up of abuse in the Dublin archdiocese. Four Irish priests resigned this month as news unfolded.

There is one simple, right response for the Roman Catholic Church: The cooperation required to secure reliable answers.

Norbertine Abbot acknowledges Smyth’s abuse

From The Providence Journal:

In an extraordinary letter sent to a television station in Ulster, the Norbertine abbot who had been Father Smyth’s religious superior for 25 years acknowledged that he and others had known for decades that Father Smyth had a “problem” with children, and thought they could deal with it by having him reassigned every two or three years to prevent him from forming “attachments to families and children.”

Two of those assignments involved duty in the United States: three years as a parish priest at Our Lady of Mercy parish in East Greenwich in the 1960s, and an assignment years later in North Dakota. In both places, according to the superior, Father Smyth molested children.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Churches | , , | Comments Off on How many sexually predatory Irish Catholic priests were exported to the U.S.? [Updated]