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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2009, 09:42 
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What type of god would encourage people to kill children?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33356826/ns ... ws-africa/

Long article. Some excerpts.

Quote:
Nwanaokwo Edet [9 years old] was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files.

Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

"It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity," said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.


Quote:
Competition for congregations
Church signs sprout around every twist of the road snaking through the jungle between Uyo, the capital of the southern Akwa Ibom state where Nwanaokwo lay, and Eket, home to many more rejected "witch children." Churches outnumber schools, clinics and banks put together. Many promise to solve parishioner's material worries as well as spiritual ones — eight out of ten Nigerians struggle by on less than $2 a day.

"Poverty must catch fire," insists the Born 2 Rule Crusade on one of Uyo's main streets.

"Where little shots become big shots in a short time," promises the Winner's Chapel down the road.

"Pray your way to riches," advises Embassy of Christ a few blocks away.

It's hard for churches to carve out a congregation with so much competition. So some pastors establish their credentials by accusing children of witchcraft.


Quote:
"Even churches who didn't use to 'find' child witches are being forced into it by the competition," said Itauma. "They are seen as spiritually powerful because they can detect witchcraft and the parents may even pay them money for an exorcism."

That's what Margaret Eyekang did when her 8-year-old daughter Abigail was accused by a "prophet" from the Apostolic Church, because the girl liked to sleep outside on hot nights — interpreted as meaning she might be flying off to join a coven. A series of exorcisms cost Eyekang eight months' wages, or US$270. The payments bankrupted her.


Quote:
At first glance, there's nothing unusual about the laughing, grubby kids playing hopscotch or reading from a tattered Dick and Jane book by the graffiti-scrawled cinderblock house. But this is where children like Abigail end up after being labeled witches by churches and abandoned or tortured by their families.

There's a scar above Jane's shy smile: her mother tried to saw off the top of her skull after a pastor denounced her and repeated exorcisms costing a total of $60 didn't cure her of witchcraft. Mary, 15, is just beginning to think about boys and how they will look at the scar tissue on her face caused when her mother doused her in caustic soda. Twelve-year-old Rachel dreamed of being a banker but instead was chained up by her pastor, starved and beaten with sticks repeatedly; her uncle paid him $60 for the exorcism.

Israel's cousin tried to bury him alive, Nwaekwa's father drove a nail through her head, and sweet-tempered Jerry — all knees, elbows and toothy grin — was beaten by his pastor, starved, made to eat cement and then set on fire by his father as his pastor's wife cheered it on.

The children at the home run by Itauma's organization have been mutilated as casually as the praying mantises they play with. Home officials asked for the children's last names not to be used to protect them from retaliation.

The home was founded in 2003 with seven children; it now has 120 to 200 at any given time as children are reconciled with their families and new victims arrive.


Quote:
"Witchcraft is real," Ukpabio insisted, before denouncing the physical abuse of children. Ukpabio says she performs non-abusive exorcisms for free and was not aware of or responsible for any misinterpretation of her materials.

"I don't know about that," she declared.

However, she then acknowledged that she had seen a pastor from the Apostolic Church break a girl's jaw during an exorcism. Ukpabio said she prayed over her that night and cast out the demon. She did not respond to questions on whether she took the girl to hospital or complained about the injury to church authorities.


Quote:
"Please stop the pastors who hurt us," said Jerry quietly, touching the scars on his face. "I believe in God and God knows I am not a witch."

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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2010, 18:18 
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This issue and Jesus camps is exactly why all good people should be fighting literal readers and fundamental whenever possible.

For evil to grow, all good people need do is nothing.

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DL


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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2010, 21:42 
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Indeed.

Fundies of any stripe are dangerous.

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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2010, 04:11 
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jess wrote:
Indeed.

Fundies of any stripe are dangerous.


Everyone of any stripe is dangerous given the right conditions but very true.

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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2010, 07:03 
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yes--- and a firm belief that you hold the one truth is certainly a common condition.

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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2010, 07:55 
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jess wrote:
Indeed.

Fundies of any stripe are dangerous.


All but me. I admit to being fundamental to my cause.
I hope you will be as well and yes, I hope we become dangerous to their ilk.

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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2010, 12:26 
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jess wrote:
What type of god would encourage people to kill children?

Most of them, apparently.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2010, 07:27 
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Zebulon wrote:
jess wrote:
What type of god would encourage people to kill children?

Most of them, apparently.


Exodus 22:18
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Regards
DL


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2010, 08:03 
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<shudder>



No. In My Opinion, a god who encourages you to kill children is not a god worthy of worship.

I have a litmus test for telling a 'false religion'. That is now added.

So now I have three rules:
Anti dog: false
Anti alcohol: false
Anti child living: false

From http://www.religioustolerance.org (great site, btw)

Quote:
Exodus 22:18 in 19 English translations of the Bible:

Various Biblical translations render this verse as:

1. American Standard Version "Thou shalt not suffer a sorceress to live."
2. The Answer: Put to death any woman who does evil magic.
3. Amplified Bible: You shall not allow a woman to live who practices sorcery.
4. Good News Version: Put to death any woman who practices magic.
5. James Moffatt Translation: You shall not allow any sorceress to live.
6. Jerusalem Bible: You shall not allow a sorceress to live.
7. King James Version: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
8. Living Bible: A sorceress shall be put to death.
9. Modern Language Bible: Allow no sorceress to live.
10. New American Bible: You shall not let a sorceress live.
11. New American Standard Bible: You shall not let a sorceress live.
12. New Century Version: Put to death any woman who does evil magic.
13. New International Version: Do not allow a sorceress to live.
14. New Living Translation: A sorceress must not be allowed to live.
15. New Revised Standard Version: You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.
16. New World Translation: You must not preserve a sorceress alive.
17. The Promise: Contemporary English Version: Death is the punishment for witchcraft.
18. Revised Standard Version: You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
19. Revised English Bible: You must not allow a witch to live.

In the original Hebrew manuscript, the author used the word m'khashepah to describe the person who should be killed. The word means a woman who uses spoken spells to harm others - e.g. causing their death or loss of property. Clearly "evil sorceress" or "woman who does evil magic" would be the most accurate phrases in today's English usage for this verse.

The Good News Bible uses the term "magic." This is also a poor selection because that term has been used to refer to:
bullet stage magic, sleight of hand, magic tricks.
bullet ceremonial magic used to harm other persons.
bullet ceremonial magic used to heal other persons.

The King James Version and Revised English Bible use the term "witch." In North America, the term normally refers to Wiccans -- the followers of the Wiccan religion. According to the Scofield Reference Bible this verse from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) was written in the year 1491 BCE. This is some 650 years before the origin of the Celtic people circa 850 BCE from whom some elements of Wicca were taken. So Exodus 22:18 can hardly be referring to Wiccans.


Most translations lose the 'evil' slant.

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2010, 09:23 
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A great deal of Jewish exegesis revolves around rationalizing the pronouncements of bronze age goatherders to make them amenable to contemporary mores. At least the Jewish tradition allows for this, unlike some of the more fundamentalist "scripture only" literalist sects.

Gods are bloodthirsty and venal because people are bloodthirsty and venal, and they create gods who reflect and reinforce their predilections.

An interesting question, "what god is worthy of worship"? Might be a good topic for a new thread.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2010, 09:28 
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Well, that's just it.

I can concede the God of the OT may exist. I can not force myself to worship him.

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2010, 09:43 
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Which god, though? The bumbling, grandfatherly El of Ugaritic legend? The volcano god of war Yahweh, "lord of hosts"? Any of the other various names of god/gods in the tanakh?

In my view, all human creations, so none of them "exist" literally other than as characters in a myth.

If there is a "god" behind the anthropomorphisms, it is as disconnected from them as the historical Arthur is from the Arthur of legend.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2010, 09:46 
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The blood/desert god.

I think he's the most successful one.

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2010, 11:05 
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Have you read John Day's Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan? It has been years since I read it, but I recall it being a very interesting examination of pre-monotheistic Canaanite mythology.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2010, 04:49 
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Greatest I am wrote:
Zebulon wrote:
jess wrote:
What type of god would encourage people to kill children?

Most of them, apparently.


Exodus 22:18
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Regards
DL


Actually that's a mistranslation, or a poor translation. Some suggest it was meant to decry poisoners.

Quote:
Witch... or Poisoner?
"His" Bible (the King James Bible) was translated to keep Jamie-boy happy, so they translated the word chasaph--which is Hebrew for poisoner-- to mean "witch" instead.

The real Biblical passage was about the disturbing crime of poisoning in the Jewish community. When that line was originally written, poisonings were a growing concern. And, in that "eye for an eye" era, the logical sentence for a poisoner was death.

BOOKE VI

Chapter I - The exposition of this Hebrue word Chasaph, wherein is answered the objection conteined in Exodus 22. to wit: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, and of Simon Magus. Acts. 8.

(page 64) Chaspah, being a Hebrue word, is Latined Veneficium, and is in English, poisoning, or witchcraft; if you will so have it. The Hebrue sentence written in Exodus, 22. is by the 70. interpretors translated thus into Greeke, [note: I'll fill this in when I have a Greek font and more time], which in Latine is,

Veneficos (sive) veneficas non retinebitis in vita,

in English, You shall not suffer anie poisoners, or (as it is translated) witches to live. The which sentence Josephus an Hebrue borne, and a man of great estimation, learning and fame, interpreteth in this wise; Let none of the children of Israel have any poison that is deadlie, or preparted to anie hurtfull use. If anie be apprehended with such stuffe, let him be put to dfeath, and suffer that which he meant to doo to them, for whom he prepared it. The Rabbins exposition agree heerewithall. Lex Cornelia differeth not from this sense, to wit, that he must suffer to death, which either maketh, selleth, or hath anie poison, to the intent to kill anie man.

This word is found in these places following: Exodus. 22, Deut. 18, 10. 2 Sam. 9, 22. Dan. 2,2. 2 Chr. 33, 6. Eay. 47, 9, 12. Malach, 3,5. Jerem. 27, 9, Mich. 5, 2. Nah. 3,4. bis. Howbeit, in all our English translations, Chaspah is translated, witchraft.


[This was copied from the Dover reprint edition of Reginald Scot's DISCOVERIE OF WITCHCRAFT. For a more complete copy of this text, see this page.]


http://www.hollowhill.com/fun/halloween/witch-bible.htm

Another interpretation is that it decries religions that are not Christian which is of course no great surprise. The Church is nothing without its own authority. Personally the poisoner interpretation sounds more reliable to me, but then I am neither a Christian in search of a means to persecute women with influence such as wise women and or midwives or a pagan, so it doesn't matter to me.

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May the road rise up
To meet you
May the wind be always
At your back
May the sun shine warm
upon your face
May the rain fall soft
upon your field,
And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


"I apologise... For nothing!"


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