Southern Religion


Follow the Exodus from Egypt one tweet at a time. “The story comes to life” March 16-29, at @TweetTheExodus. This corresponds to Rosh Chodesh Nisan. It culminates with the crossing of the Red Sea. Passover begins at sundown on March 29.

Rabbi Oren Hayon explains via Facebook that, “collaborating with Jewish professionals around the country, all of whom will play the part of one of the Exodus’s major characters, we will create an experience that allows our followers to reenact this inspiring story in totally new ways.”

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Israel, WWW | , , | Comments Off on TweetTheExodus

Why is Laura Silsby still in jail?

Anne-christine d’Adesky, who was one of several who warned Silsby she was headed for trouble, has been investigating:

I posted my Special Report on this affair last week, which contained allegations that Silsby’s team was being offered help by certain Dominicans and Haitian helpers to cross the Dominican border with children they planned to pick up, possibly in exchange for money. I have more to share about those allegations, and what I’ve been able to learn.

As Silsby-watchers know, Haitian Judge Bernard Saint-Vil is still detaining Silsby today, but released her best friend Charisa Coulter yesterday. He did that only after holding closed sessions to re-question Silsby and two Dominican real estate agents Jose Hidalgo and his partner Rob Chenvert, and another individual about their knowledge and version of events. When asked why he won’t release Silsby, the judge told a reporter he has discovered ‘discrepancies’ in Silsby’s accounts, and is reviewing certain documents. To even a casual reader, that means something isn’t adding up.

For many reasons. Read the rest here.

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Religion, SBC | , , , | 1 Comment

Molested during a counseling session

No, Austrian Arch-abbot Bruno Becker did not spontaneously come forward, admit to abusing a 12-year-old once, four decades ago and resign out of contrition.

Becker was first confronted. There was, the victim says, an attempt to bribe him into silence.

Two other clergy were apparently involved and the well-know pattern of predator behavior is evident:

The two padres – one of whom has left the Church, while the other has died – were arrested in Morocco in 2005 on sex tourism charges, according to Salzburg prosecutors. An Austrian court found one of them guilty of abusing underage Moroccan boys, they said.

Becker’s abuse was particularly heinous because it occurred as part of a conversation whose declared purpose, available accounts indicate, was to help the victim deal with previous abuse.

To wit, Catholic Culture reports:

Archabbot George Becker of St. Peter’s Archabbey in Salzburg was 24 years old and not yet ordained a priest when he found out that two monks had abused a boy. The future archabbot then conversed with the boy and molested him.

Yet the Catholic Church continues to insist that it can handle those matters itself and is “doing all it can,” The Irish Times reports, to ensure these things “will never happen again.”

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, Churches, Crime | , , | Comments Off on Molested during a counseling session

Faith’s response to Glenn Beck’s troll

Glenn Beck set out on a heretical publicity troll. Last Tuesday he said “the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site” are “code words,” linked to communism and/or Nazism, and you should leave the church. Thus provoking response from people who know silence in the face of falsehood can be seen as assent.

James Martin, writing for the Catholic weekly American, said:

Of course this means that you would have to leave the Catholic Church, which has long championed that particular aspect of the Gospel. The term “social justice” originated way back in the 1800s (and probably predates even that) and has been continually underlined by the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the church) and popes since Leo XIII, who began the modern tradition of Catholic social teaching with his encyclical on capital and labor, Rerum Novarum in 1891. Subsequent popes have built on Leo’s work, continuing the church’s meditation on a variety of social justice issues, in such landmark documents as Pope Pius XI’s encyclical on “the reconstruction of the social order,” Quadregismo Anno (1931), Paul VI’s encyclical “on the development of peoples,” Populorum Progressio (1967), and John Paul II’s encyclical “on the social concerns of the church” Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1987). Social justice also undergirds much of Catholic social teaching on peace. “If you want peace,” said Pope Paul VI, “work for justice.”

The membership of the United Methodist Church must also flee en masse. It can be argued Kevin Watson observed last year, It can be argued from Wesley that their denominational devotion to social justice extends unbroken all the way back to the foundations:

Directly opposite to this is the gospel of Christ. Solitary religion is not to be found there. ‘Holy solitaries’ is a phrase no more consistent with the gospel than holy adulterers. The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness.
John Wesley, “Preface to 1739 Hymns and Sacred Poems”

Nor is it just Catholicism and Methodism one must abandon to meet Beck’s standards. As Martin observes, “Glenn Beck is saying something else, which might get lost in the translation: Leave Christianity. “

United Church of Christ pastor Daniel Schultz demonstrates at Religion Dispatches, “you can’t read the Bible for very long before you stumble into some concern for social or economic justice.” He offers a list of citations, although you can quickly build your own. You don’t have to agree that “God is a Liberal” to do it. You can ask Old Testament scholar Scot McKnight, for example.

To confront Beck on his own multimedia ground, The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good is raising money develop a short video of rebuttal.

[H/T: Bold Faith Type]

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Religion | , | 4 Comments