The Religious Insanity Files

by Sean Prophet


In my writings about religions, I recognize that I may at times come from an extreme, perhaps fanatical place. I am angry, even emotional in my stance. In the words of Barry Goldwater, spoken at the 1964 Republican convention, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." In a more perfect world, with open belief systems, perhaps there would be a place for more respect and a more reasoned dialogue. Right now, however, it's time to recognize the insanity of the fruits of the world's religions. These religious belief systems are closed and not interested in taking into account other points of view. Closed belief systems are at the top of the slippery slope that leads to religious hatred and the heinous actions that ensue. While I champion the rights of people to believe what they want, the world must wake up to this cause-and-effect reality. -SP

UNPRECEDENTED SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL ROCKS CATHOLIC CHURCH: Two words: "Celibate" priests. Raging hormones. Monumental stupidity. Pope waffles. Church jeopardized. Modernize, PLEASE!. Married priests. Gay priests. Women priests. Children safe. Trust restored. Church saved. Never happen. Enough said.

STIGMATA ALERT: Italian Padre Pio statue in Sicily is weeping 'blood.' I can just see Jonathan Pryce (who played the Vatican potentate of miracles in the film "Stigmata") putting another pin in his "miracle" map of the world. I doubt even the Vatican takes these reports seriously. Given the state of the scandal-ridden Catholic church, the statue of the soon-to-be-canonized Pio might have reason to weep.

RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE IN ANDREA YATES CHILD MURDERS: Newsweek has reported that evangelist Michael Woroniecki, who was the Yates' "spiritual leader," had radical religious views that might have influenced Ms. Yates actions. Like many conservative Christians, Woroniecki believed that modern life was eroding the family and that children of such families are in jeopardy of being lost to "the devil." Woroniecki referred to the modern woman as "Jezebel," and the modern mother as "Modern Mother Worldly." In a speech, he called such women "contemporary witches." The Yates tried to follow his advice, attempting to home-school their children, (all five of whom had biblical names). Ms. Yates, failing in her own mind to adequately care for her children in a religiously acceptable fashion, told prison psychiatrists that she believed killing her children would save them "from the fires of hell." It's easy to dismiss the Yates murders as an act of a woman driven over the edge by overwork, post-partum depression, or insanity. But if we believe that people can be influenced by television, films, or music, we must look at other forms of more direct influence as well. It would be a big mistake not to examine the influence of a "spiritual leader" on a weak-willed and possibly sick individual such as Andrea Yates.

37-YEAR-OLD MOTHER OF FIVE SENTENCED TO STONING DEATH FOR SEX WITH EX-HUSBAND: A sharia (Islamic Law) court ruled that Nigerian Safiya Hussaini must be stoned to death for sex outside of marriage. Never mind that the sex resulted in a pregnancy, and the man in question was her ex-husband! A higher court overturned the ruling, and the woman has now been freed. But this travesty shines a spotlight into the dark corners of the sharia, and provides yet another shining example of religious insanity.

WOMAN AWARDED $300,000 FOR FALSE IMPRISONMENT IN "EXORCISM": Looks like folks in Fort Worth, TX went too far when eight of them held down 17-year old Laura Schubert two nights in a row in 1996 to "cast out" them demons. The girl clearly did not want to be restrained and protested loudly. (Under slightly different circumstances, eight people holding down a 17-year old girl against her will could be seen as gang rape.) Apparently the court agreed. Pastor Lloyd McCutchen will be personally liable for half the judgement. He should be happy he didn't get jail time. People have died during exorcism attempts. And to what end? Do believers really think that they can change a person's free will? These barbaric and medieval practices must be stopped.