Tag Archives: Religion

Staged Kidnapping: Like a Nightmare Thief in the Night

In my novel The Nightmare Thief, an adventure company stages mock kidnappings during role-playing games. Players pay for the privilege. They warn the cops ahead of time. They know the kidnapping’s coming, and that it’s only make-believe.

But that’s not the way it worked for a bunch of kids at one Pennsylvania church.

Church Stages Kidnapping of Youth Group.

Teenagers at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Middletown, Pa., were surprised when they attended a youth group meeting at the church on March 21 and were ambushed by what seemed to be real kidnappers.

Adults, including an off-duty cop, brandished weapons and put bags over the heads of the children, ages 13 through 18, and forced them into a church van. The group was driven to the home of an assistant pastor, who was presented before the group with a seemingly bloodied and bruised face, according to Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo.

One of the adults used a real AK-47, though the gun was unloaded.

Yeah, the men came in screaming and waving an actual Kalashnikov at the kids before they shoved them to the floor, tied them up, bagged their heads, dragged them to a van, and drove them to a basement where they were isolated and interrogated. The kids didn’t know the kidnapping was fake. And their parents were not informed of the church’s plans.

The church leaders who organized the fake hostage situation later told law enforcement that the event was meant to be a lesson to the children on how Christians are persecuted in places around the world, but the “educational” event may actually constitute a crime.

At the very least it constitutes stupid, deliberate cruelty. The church “leaders” (I use the term as snidely as possible) did everything possible to convince the teens this was an actual kidnapping. They wanted them to experience real terror and a genuine fear for their lives.

Camouflaged men screaming in a 13-year-old’s face while waving an AK-47 at her. This isn’t education. It’s sadism.

As a parent, I’m horrified. And if this is modern Christianity in action, God help it. Somebody fire these bullies.

If the Remnant didn’t have baton twirlers…

Here’s a “Christian” entertainer whose act should convince all doubters that Satan exists.

The way the woman laughs hysterically at every remark “Little Ricky” makes convinces me he’s alive, and she’s terrified of him. See how he fights her at the end? There’s no way he’ll stay locked in that trunk, honey. Throw it in the river and drive. Drive as fast as your RV will carry you.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need an exorcism.

(Via Christian Nightmares)

When pets get left behind by the Rapture

Sign up to re-home your pet with a caring, damned, atheist.

Many people in the U.S.—perhaps 20 million to 40 million—believe there will be a Second Coming in their lifetimes, followed by the Rapture. In this event, they say, the righteous will be spirited away to a better place while the godless remain on Earth. But what will become of all the pets?

Bart Centre, 61, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, says many people are troubled by this question, and he wants to help. He started a service called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets that promises to rescue and care for animals left behind by the saved.

Promoted on the Web as “the next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” the service has attracted more than 100 clients, who pay $110 for a 10-year contract ($15 for each additional pet.) If the Rapture happens in that time, the pets left behind will have homes—with atheists.

I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not. Nor am I surprised that the founder of fundamentalist prophecy website raptureready.com thinks “A lot of persons are concerned about their pets, but I don’t know if they should necessarily trust atheists to take care of them.” Because, I guess, it’s better to let your dog die abandoned and starving than to let an atheist befoul him with food and love. Man, that sounds exactly like something the Good Shepherd would say, doesn’t it?

Centre doesn’t think he will ever have to follow through on the service he offers. But he believes in virtuous acts. His Web site directs about $200 a month in proceeds from Google ads to food banks in Minnesota and New Hampshire. And to pet owners, he has already delivered something of great value: peace of mind, for just 92 cents a month. “If we thought the Rapture was really going to happen,” Centre says, “obviously our rate structure would be much higher.”

(Via 3 Quarks Daily.)

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Grammar Armageddon

It’s said that the devil has the best songs. Apparently he has all the apostrophes, too.

To paraphrase Anne Lamott: When you’re convinced God hates all the same people you do, it’s a sign you’ve remade God in your own image.

I think I’m on this poster about eight times.

(Via The Rejectionist.)

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Talk about a phobia

Usually, when a news story begins, “Saudi cleric demands death of…” I expect the rest of the sentence to read “America” or “girl who thought about cute boy.” But this one surprised me.

Mickey Mouse must die, says Saudi Arabian cleric.

Sheikh Muhammad Munajid claimed the mouse is “one of Satan’s soldiers” and makes everything it touches impure…

The cleric, a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, said that under Sharia, both household mice and their cartoon counterparts must be killed.

According to Munajid, “The mouse is one of Satan’s soldiers and is steered by him… Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases.”

Tom and Jerry are also on his hit list.

Demanding the extinction of an entire species and of the human imagination. Religious purity can sure become a flamethrower.

Shocker: Barack isn’t the Beast.

That repetitive thudding you hear? It’s the sound of me hitting my head against my desk, over and over. Why are people even asking this  question, and why on God’s green flippin’ earth do they think Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins have the authority to answer it?

Left Behind Authors Say Obama Is Not The Antichrist.

(Via Megan McArdle.)