Tag Archives: Religion

Wasteful Lawsuits: Felled by the Holy Spirit

Hmm…this guy needs a reality check! Churches are really the wrong targets. They don’t have deep pockets. Juries won’t feel more sympathy for an injured guy than for a church. And insurance companies really don’t pay off bad lawsuits.

 

Man moved by spirit of God sues church over injury

Associated Press
Published on: 07/10/08

 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A man says he was so consumed by the spirit of God that he fell and hit his head while worshipping.

Now he wants Lakewind Church to pay $2.5 million for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Matt Lincoln says he is suing after the church’s insurance company denied his claim for medical bills.

The 57-year-old has had two surgeries since the June 2007 injury but still feels pain in his back and legs.

He says he was asking God to have “a real experience” while praying.

Lincoln says he has fallen from the force of the spirit before but has always been caught by someone.

Lawyers for the church say other congregants saw him on the floor laughing after his fall. They say he failed to look out for his own safety.

as reported at ajc.com

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Who owns Christianity?

Headlines today attack Senator Barack Obama’s interpretation of the Christian Bible. Really? Seriously? Is this an issue?

Apparently, James Dobson, a conservative Christian with millions of books published, challenged Obama’s interpretation as “dragging Biblical understanding through the gutter.” Mr. Dobson fails to appreciate the differences among the differing versions of Christianity. Honestly, has Dobson challenged the Catholic church and its designation of the Pope being second only to God, the prayers to Mary?

WHY take on Senator Obama’s religion? No one person or entity owns or possesses the ultimate understanding and control of christianity. People choose to believe what they believe; Dobson and the Christian Right cannot control this. But the Christian right continues to strive to foist its own interpretation of Christianity on society: prime example-the abortion issue.

The actual reason to challenge Obama’s Christianity, to create animosity over a wedge issue instead of dealing with real issues. The Christian right is NOT unanimous in opposition to abortion. The Right hopes to separate Obama from those Reagan Democrats through religion and interpretation of the Bible.

Please find real political issues to create drama. Religion and esoteric religious interpretations are better left for pulpits and dinner tables. If individuals follow the religious beliefs that Obama espouses then they will follow Obama. Beating Obama over the head with a Bible and disparaging his beliefs will only serve to alienate those who follow him. To convert the “mislead” the Right should make a better, more persuasive argument. Ad hominem attacks will only turn people away.

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How Should the Texas Supreme Court Have Ruled?

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the State (whatever incarnation-police or children services) had no right to seize all of those children from the polygamist ranch. This evening a lower court judge refused to sign an agreement reached between attorneys for the illegally seized children and parents and the State because she wanted to add conditions. The State essentially kidnapped these children regardless of the religious beliefs of the parents. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the STATE had no right to take these children.

As mentioned in an earlier blog, if the State had probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed committed or the children were in immediate danger, then the State acted properly. But the Texas Supreme Court RULED that the children who were the subject of the appeal heard by that court were taken or seized illegally. Children are not property (although many modern parents treat them as such) the Texas lower court should return these children.

The Judicial System in every state and in the Federal government set standards and guidelines that MUST be followed. We all live in a society which is governed by agreement-we agree to be governed and most of our population accept and uphold that agreement. In this instance the government OVERSTEPPED that agreement. The government violated that agreement because the individuals-parents of the children-believe in some extremist form of Mormonism.

This entry is not an endorsement of this polygamist sect. The rights that belong to these extremists are also the rights of ALL AMERICAN citizens. If we continue to encourage this errant judge and these State officials based on suspicions (not proof) that bad things happen to children in this sect, then we encourage the State and government officials everywhere to seize first and ask questions later when someone deviates from what GOVERNMENT considers a norm of society. Consider YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR HOME, YOUR PROPERTY. Should the government be permitted to enter your home and remove your children because you worship trees and refuse to eat red meat? NO. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the State illegally removed these children without EVIDENCE of an immediate threat of harm to the children. Why are the children STILL in state custody?

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Religion vs. Crime: Wisconsin

Location: Wisconsin

Parents prayed as their daughter died of a completely treatable illness because the parents believed that prayer and God would save their daughter. The parents, according to reports, truly believed that she would not die.

Now, I believe that God provided us with smart and capable people to invent and prescribe medicines to ease pain and remedy illness. These folks obviously do not.

Were these parents seeking to harm their child? Were these parents depriving the child of care? Did they think that the pray was care? These questions will be up to a jury.

Should this girl have died? No. I am not endorsing this behavior. But, I am not quite ready to condemn it, either.

Circumstances like this, if the parents truly believe their prayers were helping the child, test our religious freedoms. A jury will have to make that ultimate determination. But, please, do not revert to the knee-jerk reaction that these people are wrong. Keep an open mind.

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Ban Barbie, Batman and Harry Potter?

Iran wants to ban the American icons of consumerism to protect “Iran’s culture and revolutionary values.” As far as Barbie goes, ban her there, ban her here, I’m in agreement with that. I can proudly say that I am one of the few American girls who NEVER had or wanted a Barbie. (Although, I did have the charlie’s angels Kate Jackson action figure.) Barbie is a cultural problem for everyone. She is an unobtainable icon and figure.

Batman, I’m little partial too. Besides, actions figures can save anyone, anywhere in any language. He doesn’t have to speak English.

Harry Potter is beyond me, although the two movies I saw were pretty funny.

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Obama and Wright Considered

Reverend Jeremiah Wright launched a personal p.r. campaign Friday with an interview by Bill Moyers. Talking Heads and Common-taters (yes, I meant to spell it that way) continue to pursue a line of inquiry which strenuously and vigorously assails Rev. Wright. At this point, I must agree with Rev. Wright, the issue is not about Rev. Wright. The issue however is not about the Black Church and Black Religious organizations.

The issue relative to Rev. Wright’s sermons/speeches should be focused on whether Senator Obama was present (he claims not to have heard the most incendiary of these sermons), whether Senator Obama ascribes to Rev. Wright’s theology and politics, and when Senator Obama sufficiently distanced himself from the inflammatory statements.

Rev. Wright can SAY anything he wants from that pulpit (with the exception of certain IRS limitations on free speech when 401(c)(3) corps are involved). This uproar SHOULD NOT be about Rev. Wright. The media in search of fresh meat spin the P.R. of Rev. Wright as connected to Senator Obama’s campaign. Since the sermon clips became a headline Obama publicly distanced himself from Wright and continues to do so.

No, the P.R. gambit may be the doing of the Obama campaign, and that might be a headline, if you could prove it. Do some digging. Some real investigative work, not just following candidates around asking the same questions and expecting different answers.

I cannot help but feel that the Rev. Wright April P.R. Tour is a diversion to protect the Obama campaign from something. There is no concrete reasoning for this feeling, other than the sense slight of hand is being conducted and I am just unable to determine where and how. Is this to distract the media from Obama’s association with William Ayers? Distract us from Senator Clinton’s bizarre voter/delegate mathematics? Or something more covert within the Obama campaign? To have us ignore the lack of substance from Senator Obama in the much ballyhooed FOXNEWS interview? I have no clue.

Please, do not be distracted by Rev. Wright. Ask yourself how Obama should have handled being present for such sermons, but please don’t ask Rev. Wright. He is a diversion and he’s doing a fine job.

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Religion vs. Crime

When Texas officials entered the property of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, America cheered. The search warrant for the properly signed and sealed, no doubt, with memories of the Waco standoff some years ago in mind. They searched for a girl who they believed called law enforcement to report sexual abuse to a female under the age of 16 years. On its face, all of this is acceptable.

Now, in the wake of the raid, no girl matching the description given by the caller can be found. ACLU and other activist groups are questioning the seizure and separation of hundreds of children from the families that they know and love.

The questions that should be asked by everyone (who loves the rights that we as Americans were born with and are acknowledged by the Bill of Rights) are: (1) is the investigation of the crime alleged in the search warrant complete? (2) were any of the children seized the victims of obvious, provable child abuse? (3) do any of the men of the compound actually hold multiple marriage certificates in any of the 50 states? (4) are these children under threat of harm if returned to their “families”? Those are the only questions.

(1) For what crime can these people be prosecuted if no one can establish the abuse of teenage girls? Whether or not you BELIEVE that teenage girls are being abused, the State must provide proof, evidence that would establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. DNA tests take time, unlike CSI where tests are completed in 2 hours or less, under normal circumstances these will take months. Presumably, the DNA testing in this case will be expedited. That will still be several weeks of work. The facts and circumstances of an on-going investigation are not subject to open records laws (nor should they be). The answer to this question lies solely with law enforcement and the courts.

(2) Obvious abuse of children? Presumably, we would have heard about any actual abuse other than that involved with the investigation. But, oftentimes juvenile court proceedings are closed to the public to protect the children. We do know that no warrants have been taken for abuse of child at this time. But that too could be under investigation.

(3) From the reports I have heard and reviewed, the polygamist men generally only have one “legal” marriage, meaning one marriage recognized under the laws of a state entity. The other “marriages” are not legal marriages, or recognized by state laws. If this is actually the case, then the men have a wife and mistresses and children whom they presumably support. Having sex outside of a legal marriage may actually be listed as a crime (it is still on the books in Georgia) but if these men and women are prosecuted for that crime then prosecutors will have courthouse full of people to be prosecuted. Everyone, not just these members of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , who has sex outside of their marriage would have to be prosecuted. Do anyone really want that? These folks can NOT be treated differently because of their religious beliefs even when I think their religion is baseless and downright denigrating to women and children.

(4) Threat of harm to children if returned? This question is one of those intangibles. Predicting the future. But, the general health of the children at the time of their coming into Texas’s custody would be a good place to start.

At what point can the government stop a specific religious activity? When that activity violates the laws of the state or country. Warren Jeffs continues to endure that lesson. But the government cannot put an entire religious group out of business simply based on a belief that crimes are being committed. I hurt for the teenage girls in that group. But, these girls must reveal the inner workings of this church and the crimes committed, without that we will continue to watch and wonder.

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