Ministry thinks children are demon possesed and other stories
These are various stories that have caught my attention, I am putting them all in this one column.
I. I wrote previously about a religious rightwing type in Maine who thinks homosexuality is caused by demons. Well an Australian Christian ministry does 4-5 "exorcisms" a day, including a two year old. Yes, a two year old. Indeed, this organization claims to drive out demons who cause schizophrenia and depression. Than again, how many children have died because their religiously devout parents wouldn't give proper medical care to their children, but just prayer?
II. A man named Darryl Washington who had received 99 years in prison for purse snatching, has been freed. It seems there was not only faulty witness identification but prosecutors didn't turn over all evidence to defense attorneys. By the way, with prosecutor immunity, prosecutors can get away doing something so blatant, under most state laws. They won't suffer any prosecution themselves even though a man was wrongly convicted for purse snatching and given a 99 year sentence.
I bet the jury that convicted this man didn't even know the harsh sentence that awaited him. They are usually kept in the dark by the government. Probably a product of the absurd Three Strikes and You're Out type of legislation.
III. The judge in the Milwaukee archdiocesan bankruptcy case won't release documents involving the depositions given, because in part, they are scandalous material." Um, so what. This is an important case involving a powerful religious institution that hid sexual abuse by their priests, and now we are supposed to ignore it because it is so called, scandalous? Amazing.
IV. Police in the U.S. engage in the tracking of cellphones and collecting of records of their users, without warrants, throughout the U.S. Indeed, cellphone companies make money off of charging police departments for this service. This is fine along as it is done for such things as to find a stabbing victim hiding in a basement, as happened in one case. Or, a missing child. But if done routine to track criminal suspects, it is a 4th Amendment violation. This needs to be closely watched.
V. Finally, in a story out of Plainfield, New Jersey, City Council member Rebecca Williams is also told to get out of the U.S., because while she stands for the Pledge of Allegiance, she doesn't recite it. She also is told she is not a "real American" for not praying at the start of a city council meeting. This isn't too surprising, because many on the religious rightwing see religion and the government as one in the same. They view us as a Christian republic, where the head of the state isn't the president, but their god.
So, she wasn't fully doing either action at the start of these meetings, to them she was dishonoring their god and nation. Also, she doesn't recite the Pledge of Allegiance because of her religious beliefs, so ironically atheists such as I are more supportive of her rights not to do so than many of her fellow Christians.