www.csmonitor.com

Christian Science sect #quack #fundie #magick #ableist csmonitor.com

{moderator’s note: this is from 2008}

In the 142 years since Mary Baker Eddy discovered it, Christian Science has delivered many people from mental torment (see report of healing of bipolar disorder in the Christian Science Sentinel, July 14, pp. 12-13). Christian Science treatment doesn't begin with conventional methods of addressing mental illness – including prescription medications with their host of side effects, or psychoanalysis – all of which assume that the cause of the trouble exists in the brain. In fact, Christian Science asserts that healing answers lie in the opposite direction. "Every concept which seems to begin with the brain begins falsely," wrote Mrs. Eddy. "Divine Mind is the only cause or Principle of existence. Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind, or in physical forms" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 262). Mind and Principle, as used here, are synonymous with God.

The authority for that statement comes from the teaching of Jesus. Two of the Gospels tell about a man he healed who had the symptoms of severe mental illness and how Jesus restored him to "his right mind." No longer a tormented recluse, he became a functioning member of society – and an advocate of Jesus and his healing power (see Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).

If Jesus had seen only an emotionally disturbed man who needed to be changed into a sound one, he wouldn't have been able to heal him. As Christian Science explains, Jesus healed by seeing everyone as God created them – perfect as He is, whole, free, always in their right mind. And his example shows us how we can approach the issue of mental illness and help alleviate it. To Jesus, even the most difficult of human circumstances were not hard and fast realities. They were situations to be spiritually confronted – and overcome. He specifically urged his followers to "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons: freely ye received, freely give" (Matt. 10:8, American Standard Version). And Christian Science teaches that, as we follow Jesus' example, it's possible to maintain spiritual facts in the face of the most discouraging material appearances. This is the Christlike model for attacking any problem through prayer.

Indonesian Police #fundie csmonitor.com

It's not easy becoming an Indonesian policewomen. Among the requirements: applicants must be 17.5 to 22 years old, high school graduates, unmarried, God-fearing, at least 65 inches tall - and they must be virgins.

That's according to a Human Rights Watch report that reveals that the Indonesian government subjects female applicants for Indonesia’s National Police to "discriminatory and degrading" “virginity tests," a requirement clearly spelled out on the national police jobs website.

"In addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen must also undergo virginity tests," the website says. "So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity."

News of the virginity requirement has unleashed a backlash from protestors who call the tests degrading, discriminatory, traumatizing, and humiliating.

“So-called virginity tests are discriminatory and a form of gender-based violence – not a measure of women’s eligibility for a career in the police,” Nisha Varia, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “This pernicious practice not only keeps able women out of the police, but deprives all Indonesians of a police force with the most genuinely qualified officers.”

Several female applicants interviewed by HRW described the practice.

One woman who applied in 2013 said she was "shocked" when she was told that the health tests included a virginity test. "I felt embarrassed, nervous, but I couldn't refuse," she told HRW. "If I had refused, I couldn't have become a policewoman."

Another described having to fully undress in front of 20 other candidates before entering the exam room in pairs for the test.

“Entering the virginity test examination room was really upsetting,” she said. “My friend even fainted.”

She described the tests as "painful and humiliating."

Why does Indonesia subject its female applicants to a virginity test?

In fact, would-be policewomen have been undergoing the controversial tests for decades. One retired police officer told HRW her class had to undergo virginity tests in 1965.

"It's an old practice based on belief that a [female] virgin is healthier and morally fitter," HRW Indonesia researcher Andreas Harsono told the Global Post.

When asked why the tests are still performed, a police official only said “all tests” are meant to get “the best” applicants.

"It's not only a virginity test, it's also a genital and urinary examination to check for diseases and infections," Rusdianto, the head of the health center at the police headquarters in Jakarta, told the Global Post in defense of the practice. He also said the virginity tests do not eliminate candidates, which the HRW confirmed.

Applicants who “failed” were not necessarily expelled from the force, its report found.

Nonetheless, the practice goes against national police principles as well as international human rights policy, says HRW. Indonesia has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and according to the country's national police principles, recruitment must be "non-discriminatory" and "humane."

HRW’s investigation into the virginity tests follows a recruitment drive by the national police force to hire 50 percent more females by December in order to boost the proportion of female officers to 5 percent of the 400,000-member force.

The organization has called on Indonesia's police force to stop the practice.

“The Indonesian National Police’s use of ‘virginity tests’ is a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women,” the HRW's Varia said in a statement. “Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it.”

Anders Behring Breivik #fundie csmonitor.com

Hundreds packed Oslo District Court to see Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man who confessed to last summer’s twin terror attacks in Oslo, for the last time before his long-awaited trial in April.

Mr. Breivik appeared in court for a final custody hearing dressed in a dark suit, composed and smiling subtly as he flashed his handcuffed arms in what his lawyer described as an extremist gesture in front of the media, survivors, and victims’ families.

He pleaded not guilty to the car bomb blast on July 22 against government buildings in Oslo and a subsequent shooting spree on the Labor party youth camp on the island of Utøya that killed 77 in the worst national tragedy in Norway since World War II.

Breivik cited self defense on behalf of his culture as the basis for his plea. He said both attacks were a “preventive attack on traitors” because the Labor-led government – which he has blamed for promoting the "Islamic colonization" of Norway – was allowing the “deconstruction of Norwegian culture.” Breivik suggested he should receive a war medal for his actions.

“Ethnic Norwegians will become the minority in 10 years,” Breivik said during a brief opening statement, which provoked short, sharp bouts of laughter from victims present in court. “Indigenous people subject to genocide have the right to defend themselves.”

Sheriff H. Wayne DeWitt #fundie csmonitor.com

Feds' request: Let us take on jail that bans all books except the Bible

The US Justice Department is asking a federal judge in South Carolina to allow it to intervene in a lawsuit against a sheriff who allegedly forbids prisoners in his jail from receiving books, magazines, or printed materials other than copies of the King James version of the Bible.

Berkeley County Sheriff H. Wayne DeWitt denies that restrictions imposed at the county lockup in Moncks Corner, S.C., rise to the level of a constitutional violation or violate US law.

He maintains that any actions taken at the jail are justified to preserve health and safety, and to further the pursuit of “legitimate penological objectives.”

Justice Department lawyers disagree.