Miserable Ministries

Recently, Beth has sent me links to information on a few different weird religious movements. One is the New Apostolic Reformation, who were major sponsors of Rick Perry’s prayer rally. I don’t think there’s any evidence that Perry himself belongs to this group, but he seems to hold a lot of the same beliefs. Basically, the members of the New Apostolic movement believe they have to reclaim culture and government for God in order to win back the world from demonic influences.

Wait, isn’t God supposed to be omnipotent, and hence able to handle these things Himself? Apparently not. So why sponsor a rally to pray to a deity who isn’t even powerful enough to keep the demons out of popular culture? Seems rather futile to me. Anyway, this group is quite intolerant, and it’s not intolerance driven by ignorance, but rather the idea that tolerance of anything that doesn’t fit with they see as godly is a bad thing. They’ve also adopted the political ideology of the Tea Party, claiming to want limited government and an end to social programs. I’ve never quite understood how you could want a limited government AND a national ban on gay marriage, but there you go. In addition to the fact that I’m not sure it’s possible to be LESS Christ-like, this movement is also incredibly shallow, insisting that everyone play by their rules even if they don’t believe the same things. You can’t MAKE yourself believe in a particular religion if you just don’t find it feasible, and what good does it do for non-Christians to participate in mandatory prayer and proper Christian behavior if they don’t believe it? So the God of this movement has lost control of the entire world to Satan, and is more concerned with appearances than sincerity of belief. What the hell kind of supreme being IS this?

Another one she told me about last night is Dirty Girls Ministries, which is pretty much the opposite of what you might expect from the name. It’s actually meant to make women feel guilty about sexuality. The stated goal is to help women deal with “pornography and sexual addiction,” but the website doesn’t quite make clear what counts as “sexual addiction.” In this blog post, the creator takes issue with a magazine that presented her as being “on a crusade against female masturbation,” insisting that this isn’t true. On the other hand, she seems to have no objection to this New York Times article, which states, “The programs at Ms. Renaud’s group and at XXX Church diverge from secular sexual theory by treating masturbation and arousal as sins rather than elements of healthy sexuality. Emphasis is on recovering ‘sexual purity,’ in which thoughts of sex outside marriage are illicit.” Okay, I’m confused. Are you against female masturbation or not?

I would imagine that saying it’s a sin counts as being against it, right? So what’s her objection to the other article? Maybe it’s shallow of me, but I think this Crystal Renaud girl is kind of cute.

Maybe, with the right help, she’ll be able to overcome her addiction to hating sex. I’ll be sure to pray for her. :P

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6 Responses to Miserable Ministries

  1. A woman should do whatever she desires with her body. I know the christian church is “stone age” but when will intelligent people realize the agenda of the church is not in the best interest of mankind (or womankind).
    What’s next…..the church tells women the cannot make their own choice about abortion????

    Oops, that has already happened.


    • Nathan says:

      It’s bizarre how many people are willing to accept attitudes on sex that were formed back in an even more patriarchal age than our current one. If you look at the sex-related laws in the Bible, a lot of them are more about property than anything else.

    • Okay, I don’t want to open a huge can of worms, but I HATE when Women’s Rights and Abortion Rights get all lumped together so I’m not keeping my mouth shut. It is possible– in my opinion, PROBABLE– to believe that human life begins a great deal earlier than birth from a scientific standpoint. Humans have a beating heart at 6 weeks gestation (approximately 4 weeks after conception). They have all their organs– not necessarily functional yet, but they’re there– at 10 weeks gestation. Humans have survived being born prematurely at as early as 23 weeks gestation (normal human gestation is 40 weeks, but are considered “full-term” at 36 weeks). These facts are not pro-life propaganda– they’re easily found in any What Happens During Pregnancy resource. As such, shouldn’t people be asking some serious questions about at what point a human being has the right to be considered a murder victim? Is a newborn who was born at 36 weeks more human than one who’s still hanging out in the womb at 41 weeks, just by virtue of breathing air? I agree that there are plenty of times when a pregnancy is truly a crisis and a bad thing and will NEVER push the “but BABIES are a BLESSING!” thing on anyone, and I even think that maybe the human vs. not-yet-human line MAY not go all the way back to conception, but I think it happens a lot earlier than abortion rights activists claim, AND I am just TIRED of the flippancy with which abortion rights activists refer to the gestational period– oh, it’s just a FETUS, just a BLOB OF CELLS. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Technically a NEWBORN is still considered a fetus, so let’s just throw one of THOSE in the trash!

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as frustrated with this lumping together from the CHURCH’s standpoint, too. I’m all for birth control (though for personal reasons I have a hard time TRUSTING it). Go ahead, be as sexually liberated as you want. But ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY that the biological PURPOSE of sex is to reproduce, so if it happens, THAT’S BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS, and it’s your responsibility to respect this new life– find it new parents who can take care of it, do it yourself, get people to help you to do it yourself, but at that point it’s NOT ABOUT YOU ANYMORE and you can’t just go about killing people because they’re a nuisance to you.

      For the record, I’m not a Troll. I’m a college friend of Nathan’s and I comment here all the time. Don’t let the length and ire of this statement make you think otherwise.

      • Nathan says:

        Abortion is a difficult issue for me to discuss, because while I’m pro-choice in that abortion is basically the lesser of two evils (the greater evil being bringing an unwanted child into the world), I respect the viewpoint that destroying life is something that generally shouldn’t be done. What I take issue with, for the most part, are people who claim that abortion is the biggest problem we’re facing in the world. Really? It’s a greater priority than war, genocide, or people starving to death because they can’t afford food?

        As for reproduction being the purpose of sex, it’s true that this is physically why humans (and other animals) desire sex, but I also think there’s no overarching meaning to life. So I’m all right with people seeing something else as the main purpose of sex. And while telling people to take responsibility is all well and good in many cases, what if that’s just not possible? Rape and incest are the cases everyone always mentions, but there are plenty of less extreme situations as well. As you mentioned yourself, even when using birth control, there’s still the possibility of pregnancy, and you can hardly say the people who used it were being irresponsible. Personally, I found a form of birth control that’s not particularly likely to go wrong: vasectomy.

  2. Well I don’t mean “Take responsibility” as in “you ARE always responsible for what happened”– that’s awful and I want to clear that up right away!– I mean “Take responsibility in the way you would take responsibility if a tornado blew all the contents of your shed all over the sidewalk”– yes it’s not your fault, but still somebody’s got to deal with it. And I don’t think the destruction of human life is an acceptable way to deal with a bad situation, even one that is not your fault.

    I KNOW I’d offend many people with this opinion, but I don’t believe in in-vitro fertilization either. I think adoption is a very beautiful, noble, and important choice that more people ought to embrace on both the birth-parent and adoptive-parent sides. It’s such a shame that there are so many people who really WANT children who struggle getting them, when so many other people DON’T want them and get them anyway. Why can’t we, uh, SHARE?

    • Nathan says:

      I’m not really so keen on the in vitro either. I don’t have a moral objection to it, I suppose, but I agree that it’s not so necessary in a world where there are so many kids who need good homes.

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