Churches, as already-existing social centers, represent one of the better chances of actually providing an alternative source of crisis counseling, protection, and aid which could displace the police in many of the roles they are the worst at.
A portrait of cult leader Bentinho Massaro (who I'd never heard of before) by Be Scofield who spent a month with the cult in Sedona. I think Scofield over-emphasizes the tech/startup angle... since when does having a website and an instagram account qualify as a "brilliant" use of technology? It's like the commentators who still can't get over that ISIS members use Twitter.
Scofield's description does certainly paint Massaro as a typical narcissist guru. Why does there always seem to be a few thousand people in Boulder and Sedona who feel a need to be financially fleeced and abusively told what to believe by an unrepentant liar? (I guess if the 2016 election is an indication, it's not a phenomenon limited to New Age hotspots.)
"Beneath its superficial rationalism, then, the New Atheism amounts to little more than an intellectual defense of empire and a smokescreen for the injustices of global capitalism. It is a parochial universalism whose potency lies in its capacity to appear simultaneously iconoclastic, dissenting, and disinterested, while channeling vulgar prejudices, promoting imperial projects, and dressing up banal truisms as deep insights."
I thought this video was a good presentation of something that sounds so silly on its face ("anarcho-monarchism"). I'll always have a fondness for Distributism because it was reading GK Chesterton in high school that first got me interested in anti-capitalist thought. I've since realized that the libertarian socialist traditions make Distributism superfluous. But while I'd rather they keep their bourgeois families, kings, and popes to themselves... I'd be happy with three acres and a cow.
Yet the Billy Graham team seems to think that peace is something that can be “restored” in Ferguson. They seem to think that “peace” is somehow an accurate description of Ferguson, Missouri, before the protests began. They seem to be so thick-headed and thick-hearted that they think the people’s response to the violence and injustice done against them is somehow the reason Ferguson lacks “peace.”
1. The headline is hilarious
2. The author says the Islamic State is "ultraconservative" and that it has destroyed many cultural artifacts, in the same sentence.
3. "If we didn't intervene when they were killing people, it would be kind of grotesque to intervene over a building"
"The American public has never had an atheist president, although three of them have had no formal religious affiliation. The most recent one, Andrew Johnson, left office in 1869. Since then, every president has been affiliated with a Christian church. (Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln are the other two.)"
3 Quarks Daily is one of my favorite link-aggregator logs on all of the internet. It is strange and charming, and, um, top-ish. They post a lot of poetry, but that's usually easy to ignore. On Monday's they post original content.
An insider reflects on the Waco standoff. "And the lesson of Clive Doyle’s memoir—and the battle of Mount Carmel—is that Americans aren't very good at respecting the freedom of others to be so obnoxiously different. Many Mormons, incidentally, would say the same thing."
World Vision (US) took another look at their copy of "the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God" and discovered that they ARE supposed to police the personal/family lives of their employees after all. Oops.
This is an open response from the staff of Global Community Communications Alliance to my weblog posts about Gabriel of Sedona and my decision to host an old NBC Dateline video expose about his group in Arizona. They originally sent this to me as an email, and I updated my posts accordingly at the time.