Church

Congo a Country of Rape and Ruin

A very sad article in the The Washington Times:

Eleven-year-old Donata tugged at her dark leopard-print shirt, squirming after she described how she had been raped the week before.

Her 9-year-old half sister, Vestina, had been raped at the same time, but she was more forthcoming. A local cowherd had caught her and her two sisters on their way home from the market. The third sister also was hospitalized, but she ran away because she was too hungry to stay for treatment.

“She left the hospital because there is no food,” Donata said. “We only get food in the evenings.”

The girls said their attacker had gone to prison. But activists say that is unlikely.

Rape in Congo is widespread and often systematic. Despite a few high-profile prosecutions this year, activists say, impunity for rape is common and soldiers and civilians continue to rape without fear of retribution.

The United Nations Children’s Fund says it treated 16,000 rape victims in Congo last year. About half were children.

Activists say rape in Congo rips apart lives and communities, drives the people further into poverty and continues to be a weapon in the war that has claimed more than 5 million lives since it began in 1996.

Dr. Endanda Zawadi cares for Donata and Vestina in a hospital in war-torn eastern Congo, where almost all of her patients are rape victims. She said about 80 percent of her patients report that soldiers from one of the region’s many competing militias attacked them.

Sometimes the attacks are random acts of violence, Dr. Zawadi said. But often, soldiers rape dozens or even hundreds of girls and women at a time as a deliberate act of war.

“They want to humiliate local people,” the doctor said. “It’s a way to show that they are powerful and they can control the whole region.”…

Read on here.

Culture

Property Rights for Animals?!

Yes, property rights for animals and court appointed guardians to enforce them:

A radical proposal to introduce property rights for animals has been slammed by farming associations across the country.Australian research lecturer Dr John Hadley from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) said under his proposal, particular animals would be given legal property rights, and human guardians would be appointed to represent them in court.But farmer associations are concerned about potential conflict.

President of the South Australian Farmers Federation Peter White said the proposal was ludicrous.

“It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people can be,” he said this week.

“Why would somebody give animals more rights than humans?

Well you better believe it buddy… Radical environmentalism will stop at nothing.

Absolutely crazy! Anti human.   

The whole thing can be read here.

Church

Atheists Seek Chaplain Role in the Military

The chaplaincy is clearly going to the dogs:

In the military, there are more than 3,000 chaplains who minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of active duty troops, regardless of their faiths. The vast majority are Christians, a few are Jews or Muslims, one is a Buddhist. A Hindu, possibly even a Wiccan may join their ranks soon.

But an atheist?

Strange as it sounds, groups representing atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large — and largely underground — population of nonbelievers in the military.

Joining the chaplain corps is part of a broader campaign by atheists to win official acceptance in the military. Such recognition would make it easier for them to raise money and meet on military bases. It would help ensure that chaplains, religious or atheist, would distribute their literature, advertise their events and advocate for them with commanders.

But winning the appointment of an atheist chaplain will require support from senior chaplains, a tall order. Many chaplains are skeptical: Do atheists belong to a “faith group,” a requirement for a chaplain candidate? Can they provide support to religious troops of all faiths, a fundamental responsibility for chaplains?

Jason Torpy, a former Army captain who is president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, said humanist chaplains would do everything religious chaplains do, including counsel troops and help them follow their faiths. But just as a Protestant chaplain would not preside over a Catholic service, a humanist might not lead a religious ceremony, though he might help organize it.

“Humanism fills the same role for atheists that Christianity does for Christians and Judaism does for Jews,” Mr. Torpy said in an interview. “It answers questions of ultimate concern; it directs our values.”

Mr. Torpy has asked to meet the chiefs of chaplains for each of the armed forces, which have their own corps, to discuss his proposal. The chiefs have yet to comment.

At the same time, an atheist group at Fort Bragg called Military Atheists and Secular Humanists, or MASH, has asked the Army to appoint an atheist lay leader at the base. A new MASH chapter at Fort Campbell, Ky., is planning to do the same as are atheists at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Such lay leaders can lead “services” in lieu of chaplains and have access to meeting rooms, including chapels.

Chaplains at Fort Bragg near here have seemed open to the idea, if somewhat perplexed by it.

“You’re not a faith group; you’re a lack-of-faith group,” First Lt. Samantha Nicoll, an active atheist at Fort Bragg, recalled a chaplain friend’s saying about the idea. “But I said, ‘What else is there for us?’ ”

The New York Times has more:

Chaplain for atheists? Lunacy. Perplexing too for there is no God for them anyway.

Church

Nun Stuck in Elevator for Four Days

CNN is reporting:

When a nun got stuck in an elevator for four days she survived on a diet of celery sticks, water and prayer.

Apparently the Catholic Nun from Northeast Baltimore was trapped in an elevator for almost 4 days after her fellow sisters had left for a convention and she was alone in the convent. But the whole episode was turned into a positive experience…

Watch her story here.

 
Culture

Rampant Political Correctness

Via the Creative Minority Report:

Sorry UK. It’s all over. Either emigrate out of there or be assimilated into the stale horrific world of rampant political correctness.

This is amazing. And by amazing I mean sad yet completely predictable. A pub singer named Simon Ledger in the UK was arrested on charges of racism for singing the classic “Kung Fu Fighting” which happened to be heard by a Chinese person passing the pub who phoned the police.

The Daily Mailreports:

‘We were performing Kung Fu Fighting, as we do during all our sets,’ he said.

‘People of all races were loving it. Chinese people have never been offended by it before.

‘But this lad walking past with his mum started swearing at us and making obscene hand gestures before taking a picture on his mobile phone.

‘We hadn’t even seen them when we started the song. He must have phoned the police.’

Officers later called Mr Ledger while he was eating in a Chinese restaurant to arrange a meeting. The singer assumed it was a prank – but he was later arrested and is still under investigation.

‘They seemed pretty amazed but said the law is the law and it was their duty,’ he is reported to have said. ‘It’s political correctness gone potty. There are plenty of Welsh people at our shows – does it mean I can’t play any Tom Jones?’

… When did freedom become the right not to be offended?

Gosh I’m often glad that I stay in Africa!

Bible Archaeology

What the Israelites Left in Egypt

With the passing of Pessah, now is the ideal time to look back on ancient Egypt, a nation whose history is inextricably linked to ours.

Two of the most significant events in the formation of the Hebrew nation took place in Egypt. The first was the exodus from Egypt: Wandering in the desert that served as a national rite of passage, the group disassociated itself from one territory and transferred itself to another through a tribal journey. The second was the Mount Sinai address, during which the tribe (nation) accepted a moral and theological code that defined its uniqueness as a people and its religious distinction from other peoples.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that in ancient times Egypt served as a cultural, religious and economic point of reference for the Israelites. Indeed, the biblical scribe deems it fit to invoke the name “Egypt” almost as often as he did “Jerusalem,” about 600 times.

Both the Bible and Egyptian writings describe the arrival of Semitic people in Egypt; the sources provide varied reasons for this immigration. Some Semites brought their herds to the Nile valley due to severe drought, as did Abraham (Genesis 12:10), additionally, many Semitic tribesmen were brought to Egypt forcibly, having fallen captive and sold as slaves to noble households.

The extent of this phenomenon can be learned from the testimony of Pharaoh Amenhotep II (reigned 1427 to 1400 BCE) who, upon returning from a war, brought with him 3,600 Habiru (commonly identified as Hebrews), 15,200 Shosu (migrating tribes from Edom and the Negev) and 36,000 Khorim (people from Canaan). The story of Joseph as it is related in the Book of Genesis bears witness to this phenomenon as well.

The relations between Egypt and its neighbors led to intercultural influences, still echoing in contemporary Judaism and in the Hebrew language, a reminder of our stay in Egypt. I would like to suggest possible explanations to three puzzling biblical idioms, based on my knowledge of ancient Egyptian culture…

Read on in the Jerusalem Post here.