The week in religious extremism

The week in religious extremism December 6, 2012

It’s been a bumper few days in the world of crazy Christendom. Here’s a news roundup for you.

First, Angus T. Jones, the child star of Two and a Half Men told us all we shouldn’t watch his show. Since he found Jesus he’s realised how damaging it is. In fact, it’s filth.

In the video, he even talks about the Laodiceans. That’s some deep Bible geekery. I lived in a church for a decade and a half, and I can’t remember what the Laodiceans were about. Also, he refers to Satan as “the Enemy,” which is evangelical jargon. What’s more, it shows how steeped in that world he is. Ordinary people wouldn’t necessarily make that connection straight away, but he just assumes everyone will know what he means.

Not only that, but he assumes that “doing some research on the effects of television on the brain” will make us immediately switch off his show. Which tells me he’s been fed some misinformation, because, contrary to what the fundies will tell you, television can’t bypass your rational will, and it can’t turn you into an agent of Satan.

Next, in Las Vegas, kid was reportedly beaten to death for failing to read the Bible and do his homework.

According to KLAS, the arrest report detailed “open abrasions on [Arrington’s] buttocks, severe bruising to his thighs, marks and bruises on his back and shoulders and evidence of previous beatings.”

It’s a shocking story. And I’m not surprised. After stories on this blog like Cat Givens’, or the ACE home schooler whose punishments included standing bare foot outside in freezing conditions, well, I was surprised not to read a story like this sooner. I realise the majority of fundamentalist parents are nothing like this extreme, but there’s no shortage of cases of child abuse justified by fundamentalist theology.

In other news, everybody’s favourite fundamentalist, Pat Robertson, announced that the world is not 6,000 years old after all. The rest of the Creationist movement went apoplectic.

Answers in Genesis posted:

“It is precisely this type of compromise within the church that has caused such an erosion of people’s faith in the Word of God and a mass exodus of young people from the church.”

Yes, it’s definitely that.

Meanwhile, arch-Creationist Ken Ham said on Facebook:

“Not only do we have to work hard to not let our kids be led astray by the anti-God teaching of the secularists, we have to work hard to not let them be led astray by compromising church leaders like Pat Robertson. This excerpt was posted on Youtube by a group that is a project of People For the American Way. Pat Robertson gives more fodder to the secularists. We don’t need enemies from without the church when we have such destructive teaching within the church.”

In the UK, there was some borderline common sense as the government insisted that all new free schools would have to teach evolution as science, possibly the first sensible part of Michael Gove’s free schools policy. And in the US, a voucher scheme that would have seen ACE schools get public money in Louisiana was deemed unconstitutional. Finally, some sense around here.

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