The Prosperity Gospel | Mega-Churches in America

(comments from AlterNet)

On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver took on the fraudulent behind-the-scenes (and occasionally, not so behind-the-scenes) practices of America’s mega-televangelist ministries — specifically, those that have exploited people’s faith for monetary gain with the promise that “donations will result in wealth coming back to you.” It’s called “The Prosperity Gospel,” and is built on the idea that every donation a congregant gives its pastor is a “seed” that will one day be harvested. “Wealth is a sign of God’s favor,” after all.

After learning of these shady practices embedded in mega-ministry culture, Oliver resolved to embark on a thought experiment: Why not file some paperwork and establish a church of his own (“a disturbingly easy process,” Oliver said), call it “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” and then ask congregants to meditate on the fraudulence of megachurches?

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(Native American) Madness and “Civilization”

“People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.”
Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason

HIAWATHA

[…. Given the ease with which a Native person could be judged insane, it is no surprise that demand for places to confine people began to exceed the number of beds available for these unfortunate souls. Asylums outside Indian country started taking in this overflow, but the associated medical superintendents opposed housing Indians with whites, due to their perceived inferiority, the agitation of racist white inmates and the potential for interracial sex, which violated accepted eugenics principles.

In 1901, the Bureau of Indian Affairs began construction of the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians in Canton, South Dakota. By January, 1904, shortly after Hiawatha’s completion, theCherokee Advocatereported that there were just 18 inmates in the Cherokee Asylum and the building was “sadly in need of repair, especially the windows, as they are nearly pane-less.” With the imminent statehood of the Territory and the loss of tribal jurisdiction, some Cherokee inmates were eventually placed under Oklahoma state management.

Others were transferred to the new BIA government asylum in South Dakota. In 1918, the U.S. Census Bureau endorsed theStatistical Manual for the Use of Institutions for the Insane, published by the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, as a “national system of statistics of mental diseases” to help track the threat of undesirable racial strains and their mental problems. This early DSM version served eugenics, a powerful social movement aimed at eliminating inferior races through sterilization and reduced birth rates. From 1921 to 1924, a eugenics display supplied by the American Museum of Natural History stood in the Capitol Rotunda, and eugenics philosophies were instituted in social and health services across Indian country….]

Read the full article here | INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY

Also… 5 Odd Facts About the Tortured History of Virginia Indians | INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY

The American Indian Youth Suicide Epidemic | MAD IN AMERICA

 
 

South Carolina’s Waving, Soothing Confederate Flags

Not Like the Christian Orthodox Priests I Grew up Around

(Thank you, Mr. George Takei for sharing)

I Stand Sunday | Thousands Rally Against LGBT Rights In Houston

Read the full article | THINKPROGRESS

Sunday evening, some of the most prominent organizations that work against LGBT equality joined together in Houston, Texas to rally in defense of “religious freedom.” The event, called “I Stand Sunday,” was hosted by Grace Community Church, whose pastor, Steve Riggle, was one of the five pastors originally subpoenaed for his role in challenging the LGBT-inclusive Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

The subpoenas, which Mayor Annise Parker (D) withdrew last week, were the catalyst for the rally, which largely functioned as a star-studded Christian worship service. Guests like Mike Huckabee, Todd Starnes from FOX News, and Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty preached that religious liberty is under attack from LGBT equality.
Watch the full event here:

The Missions of California: A Legacy of Genocide

The Missions of California: A Legacy of Genocide

Reviewed by William E. Weeks, of the San Diego State University History Department.

The Missions of California: A Legacy of Genocide, edited by Rupert Costo and Jeannette Henry Costo, examines the consequences of and the controversy concerning the mission system. This book makes no pretense of scholarly “objectivity” -i.e., detachment from its subject. Its editors are long-time Indian rights activists with a passionate interest in how the mission system is viewed historically. The book attempts to document the catastrophic effects of the mission system on the California Indians and by doing so to discredit the efforts to elevate Junipero Serra, founder of the missions, to sainthood.

The Missions of California consists of three main parts: essays on various aspects of the mission system, Indian testimony concerning the mission period, and a transcript of the “Serra Report,” interviews with eight scholars conducted in 1985 by the Catholic Diocese of Monterey that were designed to answer criticisms of Serra and his work.

Easter with Flannery O’Connor | “Passover” |… and Apologists

George Geigel | First Things

[This coming August 3 will mark the golden anniversary of Flannery O’Connor’s “Passover,” to adopt the biblical image John Paul II used to describe the Christian journey through death to eternal life. In the fifty years since lupus erythematosus claimed her at age thirty-nine, O’Connor’s literary genius has been widely celebrated. Then, with the 1979 publication of The Habit of Being, her collected letters, another facet of O’Connor’s genius came into focus: Mary Flannery O’Connor was an exceptionally gifted apologist, an explicator of Catholic faith who combined remarkable insight into the mysteries of the Creed with deep and unsentimental piety, unblinking realism about the Church in its human aspect, puckish humor—and a mordant appreciation of the soul-withering acids of modern secularism.]

Read more… Article from First Things