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| Article Specs|
Article ID: 4570
Age Group: Adult
Posted: September 18th. 2000
Wren's Bird Call 8
Wren's Bird Call of The Week doesn't need any special psychic powers to figure out. The award has got to go to ESP Ministries Since last week when I happened to mention this site in a "Wren Chirps In' segment following a news article on the Nest-(When The Anti-Occult Evangelist Comes To Town, Saturday, 9/9/2000)- I pointed out a page on this site that specifically mentioned Witchvox and in fact included an entire page from one of the TWV sections. Don't bother looking for it, it's gone. Apparently when some Pagans pointed out that the webmaster had broken one of the other Ten Commandments that this site likes to quote-that one about stealing-as in copyright infringement-the beam in the webmaster's eye started to bother him a bit.
In any case, no one at TWV has ever received any hateful emails from Ben Alexander or any other Christians that may have read of his previous plan to collect Pagan email addresses for such a purpose. Neither have we received any complaints from the thousand of Pagans listed with us that they were contacted by anyone from this site. So why does ESP Ministries still get the 'Bird Call" this week?
Let me tell you a little story. Away back somewhere in the 1970's, my daughter was attending 'church' services with my in-laws who are very devout born-again Protestant Christians. (I only put the 'church' in quotes here because like many evangelical driven movements, the meetings took place in whatever building had space to rent that the ministry could afford to pay.) And I went along. I always have been very open-minded, wanted Skye to experience Christianity as a choice that she may want to consider in the future (She didn't 'opt in' to Christianity. She is a Witch.) and, to tell the truth, I was curious about all this Christianity stuff. Not having been brought up in that particular tradition-and having a firm hold on what I personally believe-I shrugged and pretty much said, "What the heck? Let's check it out" In many ways, I am glad that I did. It didn't change my core beliefs, but it did give me a very good working knowledge of the Bible and evangelical thought processes. (A fact that some far-right Christian evangelicals might regret from time to time, I'm sure.)
This story though really is about an incident that took place-an incident, I must say, instilled in me a deep sense of the responsibility of power- that shook that little congregation to its core. The evangelist-in-charge, you see, was constantly preaching about the 'narrow road' to righteousness and how easy it was to stray from it. As is typical for this caste of 'chosen ones', he liked to name names. He had a whole list of all the people, folks, habits, religions and beliefs that were just not 'heavenbound material'. And one of the names on the top of that list was the Catholic Church. (Did I mention that the Protestant evangelist just happened to be from Ireland?) He would rant and rave about 'idol worshippers' and 'graven images' until he was red in the face. Over and over, time after time, he would keep coming back to this-one of his favorite bedtime stories, I guess.
Well, one day the police showed up at the service. It seems that a regular 'church' attendee had finally had enough of all of that graven image worshipping going on in town. He had broken in to a local Catholic Church and toppled over three of those graven images, smashing them to bits and causing thousands of dollars in damage. He said it was 'God's will' and pointed right back to the evangelist's teachings on that subject.
Now you are probably interested in what the evangelist said to the police who were investigating the incident. He said. "I never told him to do that." What do you think? Did the evangelist in some way tell this man to do such a thing as a reflection of 'God's will"? You can make up your mind about it, but to this day, I hold that evangelist responsible for the results of his preaching. And as I recall the Biblical responsibilities of the shepherds to their sheep, so will his god.
What's the point here, Wren? The point is not to bash another religion or its beliefs nor to play the old 'Religious Gotcha Game' of pointing out the failings, sex scandals or other peccadilloes of any other faith. The point is that the language and tone that religious leaders use may indeed influence their followers to perform acts that are not only civilly illegal, but morally wrong.
Religiously extreme rhetoric is dangerous. It is dangerous not only to those to who it may be targeting, it is also dangerous for those who follow the ones who best know how to wield it. So that is why ESP Ministries and Ben Alexander get the call from the bird this week.
While he declares in all sincerity that he speaks 'only the truth in love', there is one truth that Mr. Alexander cannot lovingly accept: Sometimes those 'other gods' are not demons at all. They really ARE other Gods. So we have no idea who you've been talking to there, Ben, but our Gods are not only alive and well, They have much better things to do than hang around a ouija board or play Dungeons and Dragons and Pokeman with the kids They're busy. They have an entire Universe to run.
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