Mother Antonia

Having been a part of several disaster recovery efforts and worked in Third world countries, one of the things you learn is to identify the “real deal” from the poseurs…

The incredible story of Mary Clarke, who became Sister Antonia…

Mother Antonia, 86, brought comfort to inmates of a notorious Mexican prison

Mary Clarke grew up in the luxury of Beverly Hills, where movie stars, such as William Powell, Hedy Lamarr and Dinah Shore, were among her neighbors. She spent weekends at a roomy beach house overlooking the Pacific and once had closets filled with mink coats and ball gowns.

She was married two times, raised seven children and managed her father’s office-supply business after his death. In the midst of this busy life, she devoted more and more time to charity, which she considered a crucial part of her Catholic faith.

In 1965, she accompanied a priest on a mission to deliver medicine and other supplies to Tijuana, Mexico. After several other stops, they ended up at the gate of one of the country’s most notorious prisons, a state penitentiary called La Mesa. The warden invited them inside to drop off their donations at the infirmary.

She began to visit the prison more often, attending to the needs of the inmates, guards and police, and the transformation of Mary Clarke Brenner had begun. In 1977, when most of her children were grown, she moved to La Mesa.

Although she had no formal religious training, she sewed her own nun’s habit and slept in a bunk in the women’s wing of the prison. She later lived for years in a 10-by-10-foot cell, with the walls painted pink.

She made it her vocation to attend to the needs of some of the most destitute and dangerous people in Mexico. She brought them medicine, bedding, clothing and food. She invited doctors and dentists from California to provide medical care. She worked with Mexican officials to improve conditions in La Mesa and other prisons.

When she walked through the halls, prisoners kissed her hand, and she kissed theirs. Notorious criminals confessed to her and pledged to change their lives.

In Tijuana and throughout all of Mexico, she was known as “Madre Antonia” — Mother Antonia.

She received the blessings of a Mexican bishop of the Catholic Church, was greeted by Pope John Paul II and was commended by Mexican President Vicente Fox. She went on to found a religious order for older women seeking to help the poor.

Mother Antonia went on to live in the prison for more than 30 years, improving the lives of thousands of prisoners, guards and their families. Mother Antonia was the subject of a 2005 book by Washington Post journalists Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, “The Prison Angel,” and a later documentary film.

After years of weakening health, she died Oct. 17 at the Tijuana headquarters of the religious order she founded, Sisters of the Eleventh Hour of St. John Eudes. She was 86.

She had heart ailments and myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disorder. A daughter, Carol Brenner, confirmed the death.

“Something happened to me when I saw men behind bars,” Mother Antonia told the Los Angeles Times in 1982. “When it was cold, I wondered if the men were warm; when it was raining, if they had shelter . . . You know, when I returned to the prison to live, I felt as if I’d come home.”

Gotta Find Me an Angel… Mystery Priest Saves Girl

Amazing story…

 

Mystery ‘Angel’ Priest Appears At Missouri Car Crash, Performs ‘Miracle,’ Then Disappears

Rescue workers and community members from a small Missouri town have a mystery on their hands. An “angel” priest reportedly appeared out of nowhere at the scene of a bad car accident Sunday, performed what is being called a “miracle” and then disappeared.

It all unfolded around 9 a.m. on Missouri 19 near the town of Center. Katie Lentz, 19, had gotten into an accident and was pinned between the steering wheel and the seat, reports area news outlet KHQA. A rescue crew arrived at the scene and worked to get Lentz out of the mangled car for 45 minutes, but they were unable to free her.

As time passed, Lentz’s condition worsened. Eventually she asked if someone would pray out loud. That is when a gray-haired priest, dressed in all black with a clerical collar and carrying anointing oil, appeared and prayed over the girl.

Shortly after, the rescue workers were able to free Lentz and send her to the hospital. When they turned to thank the priest, he was gone. He isn’t in any of the dozens of photos taken from the accident, and no one has been able to identify him.

“I think it’s a miracle,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed, one of the rescuers at the scene of the accident, told KHQA. “I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don’t know. Either way, I’m good with it.”

The teen’s mother, Carla Churchill Lentz, feels the same.

She told USA Today that emergency workers said there is no way her daughter should have lived through the crash. She believes the man may have been “an angel dressed in priest’s attire because the Bible tells us there are angels among us.”

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of My Life with the Saints, has a different theory.

“Most likely the priest will be identified, and people will be able to thank him,” he told The Huffington Post in an emailed message Thursday. “If he’s not found, that may mean he wants to remain anonymous. Could it have been an angel? There are similar ‘angelic’ stories in the lives of the saints, when a figure inexplicably appears and cannot be located afterwards. There are angels, of course, but we tend to ascribe to angels anonymous acts that we find incredibly loving — when in fact human beings do incredibly loving things in hidden ways every day.”

On her Facebook page, Carla Churchill Lentz revealed her daughter has undergone surgery for sustained injuries, including a broken femur, broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a ruptured spleen and a bruised lung. She thanked everyone for their support and asked them to “pray out loud.”

A spokesperson from Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill., told HuffPost that Lentz is currently listed in serious condition.

De-Evolution and the Loch Ness Monster in Lousiana

This one is strange – even for the conservative types deep in the Red Zone. Quite obviously it proves Darwin was wrong in that his theory was only half advanced. Not only is there evolution…There is de-evolution as in the case of these nutjobs.

Now Bobby Jindal has been listed in a number of periodicals as the latest, greatest nonwhite hope for the Republican Party. It has been a tradition in the Republican Party since Bush 1, that the VP slot was reserved for someone of no great intellectual wattage. Except in the Bush II Presidency where that was reversed. Bobbity is light years ahead of the Sno’ Ho, but the Swamp Heaux has his own set of problems – one being the historic meltdown when appointed by his party as their spokesman to give the counter-State of the Union Speech on behalf of the Reprobates. Now Bobbity has a second problem – convincing the rest of America that if by some stroke of ill wind he became President – the next move wouldn’t be converting your child’s school to a Religious Whakademia.

The Loch Ness monster: Used as evidence that evolution is myth

Nessie?

Now I’ve already discussed some of the oddities of these Charter Schools being set up in Louisiana , such as the disbelief in Boolean Math (If God had meant you to only count to 2, he would have given you only two fingers instead of two hands!), and Geometry and Trigonometry as the “Devil’s Workshop”….

But some of the cults have even reached for evidence that the fictitious Loch Ness Monster – is a “dinosaur” – disproving Evolution.

Since none of the stories about Nessy I’ve heard actually include her actually eating anyone – we have to assume that the tourism business in Scotland is about to take a leap, as the newly programmed children of Louisiana come to “swim with Nessy” in the Fjord during summer vacation. Of course Godzilla is also ample evidence of the existence of dinosaurs on earth. Jurassic Park…Indeed…

Loch Ness monster cited by US schools as evidence that evolution is myth

THOUSANDS of American school pupils are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real – in an attempt by religious teachers to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Pupils attending privately-run Christian schools in the southern state of Louisiana will learn from textbooks next year, which claim Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature.

Frilled-Shark

The “Frilled Shark” a true prehistoric creature found only in the deep ocean

Thousands of children are to receive publicly-funded vouchers enabling them to attend the schools – which follow a strict fundamentalist curriculum.

The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme teaches controversial religious beliefs, aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.

Youngsters will be told that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, then Darwinism is fatally flawed.

Critics have slammed the content of the religious course books, labelling them “bizarre” and accusing them of promoting radical religious and political ideas.

One ACE textbook called Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc reads: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence.

“Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.” Continue reading

Dr. Fred Luter – Southern Baptist President

Dr. Luter made history yesterday as the first black President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Southern Baptists have come a long way from the days when their liturgy was twisted to support slavery and later Jim Crow.

New Southern Baptist leader: Former street preacher, Katrina survivor

Hospitalized at age 21 with compound fractures and serious head injuries after a motorcycle accident, Fred Luter Jr. decided to give his life to God and enter the ministry.

A native of New Orleans’ impoverished lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, Luter was the third of five children raised by a divorced mother who worked as a seamstress and a surgical scrub assistant, according to Thom Rainier, president and CEO of the Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Christian Resources and a friend of Luter’s.

Although he had been active in the church as a child, Luter “began to do some serious reflecting on his life” after the 1977 crash, according to a Web posting on Rainier’s website. “God used that incident to bring him back to serving him,” Rainier wrote.

And what a long way he’s come since. On Tuesday, Luter, now the pastor of the 8,000-plus-member Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was elected the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, an organization that began as a pro-slavery church more than 160 years ago. His term officially begins Wednesday night. Continue reading

Of Black Mormons and Romney

Not even delving into the issue that a number of conservatives don’t have much love for Willard -

This article delves into the mixed feelings of Black Mormons…

Black Mormons Face Tough Election Choice Between Romney And Obama

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Early Black Mormons

Twenty years ago, who would have predicted the 2012 U.S. presidential race would pit a black incumbent against a white Mormon?

“I’ve been black my whole life and a Mormon for 30 years and never thought either of these (candidacies) would happen in my lifetime,” says Utah attorney Keith Hamilton.

“This is a day that all Americans should take some solace in — that things are changing. Regardless of who wins, this sends a message to our children.”

Darius Gray, former head of Genesis, a long-standing support group for black Mormons, sees this historic choice between two members of traditionally outsider groups as evidence of a “marked change for this nation, a maturing too long in coming. You can take joy that both groups are now players on the scene.”

Unlike white Mormons, the vast majority of whom side with Republicans, African-Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic. So black Mormons look at Obama, the Democrat, and Romney, the Republican, and find themselves caught between political perspectives: Many still lean liberal, others have switched parties after joining the church, and some find themselves going back and forth.

Not so long ago, there were very few black Mormons even to consider.

Until 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints barred blacks from its all-male priesthood. After that landmark shift 34 years ago, missionaries found some success winning black converts, but African-Americans still represent only about 3 percent of the Mormons’ 6 million U.S. members. Continue reading

Orange Jumpsuit… Minister

Hmmm… Seems like the Right Reverend also swings a mean left shoe…

This one eventually is headed for a train wreck.

Police arrest Georgia megachurch pastor after disturbance at home

Creflo Dollar’s Mug Shot

Police arrest Georgia megachurch pastor after disturbance at home

Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested in suburban Atlanta for an alleged assault on his 15-year-old daughter, police said Friday.

Deputies in Georgia’s Fayette County responded to a call about a domestic disturbance about 1 a.m. Friday. Dollar’s daughter said she argued with her father over attending a party, said Investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

The daughter says the argument got physical.

She told the deputies that her father charged her, put his hands around her throat and began to choke her, according to a police report. She said he then slammed her to the ground, punched her and beat her with his shoe.

Dollar’s daughter was able to get away and dial 911, Rowan said. Continue reading

Chris Rock – Mormons, Romney, and Racism

Chris Rock last night on Fallon talks about Mormons, and their prohibition against black folks that lasted until 1978 in the context of Romney being President -

Was Columbus Jewish?

One of those historical mysteries was the actual background of Christopher Columbus, the European credited with “finding” the Americas. Some scholars now believe that Columbus was actually Jewish, and hid his background and religion to escape persecution common in Europe at that time. This would be interesting, as Columbus is also widely seen as opening the “New World” to Christianity.

Artist depictions of Columbus landing often include Christian Symbols and the presence of the Church in the form of a Priest carrying the Cross.

Was Columbus secretly a Jew?

Today marks the 508th anniversary of the death of Christopher Columbus.

Everybody knows the story of Columbus, right? He was an Italian explorer from Genoa who set sail in 1492 to enrich the Spanish monarchs with gold and spices from the orient. Not quite.

For too long, scholars have ignored Columbus’s grand passion: the quest to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims.

During Columbus’s lifetime, Jews became the target of fanatical religious persecution. On March 31, 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella proclaimed that all Jews were to be expelled from Spain. The edict especially targeted the 800,000 Jews who had never converted, and gave them four months to pack up and get out. Continue reading

Theologian James Cone

James Cone is America’s best know black Theologian. He was the inspiration behind folks like Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the “black liberation theology” – which gives a lot of folks on the right side of the spectrum heartburn. Never one to back down to an injustice – Cone continues his work.

America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree

When he was boy growing up in rural Arkansas, James Cone would often stand at his window at night, looking for a sign that his father was still alive.

Cone had reason to worry. He lived in a small, segregated town in the age of Jim Crow. And his father, Charlie Cone, was a marked man.

Charlie Cone wouldn’t answer to any white man who called him “boy.” He only worked for himself, he told his sons, because a black man couldn’t work for a white man and keep his manhood at the same time.

Once, when he was warned that a lynch mob was coming to run him out of his home, he grabbed a shotgun and waited, saying, “Let them come, because some of them will die with me.”

James Cone knew the risks his father took. So when his father didn’t come home at his usual time in the evenings, he’d stand sentry, looking for the lights from his father’s pickup truck.

“I had heard too much about white people killing black people,” Cone recalled. “When my father would finally make it home safely, I would run and jump into his arms, happy as I could be.” Continue reading

Discovering Jesus – Chavez

Amazing how many folks find Jesus when faced with mortality…

Here, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez discovers God is not just for the uneducated peasants. Many of Chavez’s avowed heroes like Che Guevera were dedicated Marxists. Folks who believed “Religion is the Opiate of the masses.”

Hugo Chavez weeps and calls on God to spare his life

Very little is known about the 57-year-old socialist leader’s condition, including even what type of cancer he has. Chavez has undergone three operations in less than a year, and received two sessions of radiation treatment.

He says the latest surgery was successful, that he is recovering well and will be fit to win a new six-year term at an election in October. Yet big questions remain about his future, and on Thursday the strain appeared to show.

In a televised speech to the Catholic service in his home state of Barinas, Chavez cried and his voice broke as he eulogised Jesus, revolutionary fighter Ernesto “Che” Guevara and South American independence hero Simon Bolivar.

“Never forget that we are the children of giants … I could not avoid some tears,” the former soldier said, his parents and other relatives looking on from the church rows.
“Give me your crown, Jesus. Give me your cross, your thorns so that I may bleed. But give me life, because I have more to do for this country and these people. Do not take me yet,” Chavez added, standing below an image of Jesus with the Crucifix.

Billboards – Religious Weapon of Choice

There have been a number of instances in the past few years where one group or another has rented billboards to push their message out to the public. Alveda King, MLK’s daughter, who is the spokesperson for an anti-abortion group  has leased billboards in a number of cities to advance her group’s pro-life message. Even black conservative political groups have used the medium to advance their controversial message – such as Raging Elephants, and the National Black Republican Association‘s “MLK Was a Republican” Boards which appear now each election cycle…

Now the Black Atheists are striking back!

Atheism Billboard Planned For Dallas Sparks Controversy

Members of the Dallas religious community are speaking up about a national organization’s controversial plans to display an Atheist message on a prominent billboard, the Christian Chronicle reports.

The billboard was proposed by the national organization African Americans for Humanism as part of their country-wide Black History Month campaign aimed at encouraging African Americans to look critically at their faith, according to KDAF TV.

The message was scheduled to be posted Monday, but the billboard remains blank as community members continue to voice strong opinions on the plans, some of whom have even sent hate mail to African Americans for Humanism members.

David Lane, the pastor of a church about a mile down the road from the billboard site, told reporters he believes the plans will lead to important discussion in the African American community, where faith has long held a strong place.

“Traditionally African Americans come out of a tradition that is led and motivated by faith. We are where we are and we are who we are primarily because we’ve chosen to believe in a power that’s bigger than ourselves,” Lane told Fox 4 News. “It will create a lot of dialogue. There will be congregations of all kinds in this area who will be challenged by the fact that such a movement is at our door.”

But other members of the religious community have not been so welcoming. After a similar billboard was put up in Chicago, a representative at African American for Humanism’s headquarters therereceived a series of angry letters and e-mails, according to the Dallas Observer.

One such e-mail read:

.WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.I have looked at your web cite [sic] and your billboards in Dallas. Your black Athiest Organizations make me sick. There is nothing worse than a bunch of blacks supporting Gays and Lesbians.. You are infesting are [sic] cities with your foolish beliefs! What is your reasoning behind your Athiest [sic] beliefs? It is groups like yours that are screwing up lives.

 But supporters of the billboard argue that it’s not meant to threaten religious beliefs, but rather provide a space for thought with people who may be in doubt.

Alix Jules, a member of the Dallas-Forth Worth Coalition of Reason, whose face will appear on the billboard, spoke to the Dallas Observer about the challenges many African Americans face when doubting their faith.

“When you wind up saying you don’t believe, then you’re walking away from a mating pool,” Jules told the paper. “You’re not going to be able to do that because now you’re deemed unfit. And you wind up throwing back into your parent’s face the belief they gave you isn’t good enough for you.”

Mormons and Black Folk

Went to college in the West. One of the schools we played sports against every so often was Brigham Young. Starting in the mid-late 60′s, as a result of the Civil Rights movement, the pushback against the racist teachings of the Mormon Church historically and at that time became much more intense. While there certainly are Mormons who are racist, as there are in just about any other religion – Mormons weren’t really a part of the Southern racism which drove segregation and Jim Crow. It fell into the category of “other”…

Historically, the issue surrounded Church Founders views and “revelations”. Revelations which were not inconsistent with anti-abolition racial attitudes at the time of the founding of the Church.

BYU Choir - These Folks Can Sing!

Mormons were a bit thin on the ground here in Northern Virginia until the mid 60′s. I remember my parents always attending various social events for the Links, my Mother’s Sorority, and the black fraternities at the Marriott Key Bridges.  Bill Marriott, the founder of the Hotel Chain was probably the local area’s best know Mormon. I asked my Dad, why the various events were always at the Marriott – and he said “It’s because it’s the only major hotel in the area which will rent ballroom facilities to black folks.” Turns out, Marriott Hotels didn’t segregate, whereas every other hotel from the HoJos to the Hilton did in the South. Many black organizations were loyal to Marriott for a generation because of that.

You can’t regulate what someone thinks of you, but it is ultimately their actions towards you which really count.

Mormons, particularly those from the Wast – are about the “whitest” folks in America. I’m a big fan of the NBC show, “The Sing Off”, and have to confess that I love the sound of a Choir, whether Gospel or “traditional” (maybe because I can’t sing a lick). The Brigham Young University Choir is one of the best of the best from year to year, and this year the guys doing A Capella on the Sing Off were very good. BYU Choirs also compete against HBCUs in Gospel. One of the Sing Off segments involved singing traditional R&B this year, to which several of the singers had a laugh about some white boys from BYU trying to sing Soul Music coming from a background where not much beyond pops and country is played on the radio. Good sense of humor.

So, if Mitt Romney is the Republican Presidential candidate – will most black folks not be voting for him because he is a Mormon… Or because he is a Republican. I honestly think that Republican thing, and the bad racial freight attached to that is what counts, anymore.

Has the Mormon Church Truly Left Its Race Problems Behind?

The Mormon Cathedral in DC, euphemistically called "The Wizard of Oz Cathedral" by locals as it rises majestically above the Beltway

It’s looking more and more likely that Barack Obama will be facing Mitt Romney next November. According to recent polls, Romney’s much-debated “Mormon Problem”—considered by some to be a main roadblock to the Republican nomination in 2008—has decreased in salience among the white evangelicals on whom he’ll probably depend in both the primary and general elections. But one element of the Mormon problem that’s yet to be vetted will come into stark relief should this match-up take place: the Mormon Church’s troubling history of racial exclusion.

This history is a long one, stretching back to the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in the 1830s. Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of Mormonism, ran for president in 1844 as a moderate abolitionist; ordained a black man, Elijah Abel; and offered to adopt one young black convert, Jane Manning James, as his spiritual daughter. Yet earlier in his life, Smith wrote anti-abolitionist screeds replete with racist sentiment typical of Christian pro-slavery apologists of antebellum America. In one 1836 letter to missionaries in the South, Smith excoriated northern abolitionists as the instigators of discord among southern slaves who, he argued, were generally happy.

Other figures early in the Church’s history illustrated such prejudices as well. The Mormon Prophet Brigham Young stated in 1852, “Any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] … in him cannot hold the priesthood.” Up until the mid-twentieth-century, some prophets perpetuated the idea that blacks were spiritually inferior, the permanently cursed descendants of Ham and Cain (a myth once popular in many American churches). In 1931, Church President Joseph Fielding Smith, the great-nephew of Joseph Smith Jr., wrote a widely distributed treatise—still available on Kindle—asserting that blacks were “fence-sitters” during a pre-mortal battle between God and Lucifer. When they were sent to Earth, according to Fielding Smith, blacks were marked with darkened skin as a permanent reminder of their perfidy. Until 1978, black men were forbidden from holding the Mormon priesthood, a sacred status that almost every Mormon male attains, and black couples could not marry in Mormon temples, a revered ceremony that Mormons believe unites the family for eternity.

This aspect of LDS history will probably prove less of a problem for Romney than for his Church, which is actively trying to change the dominant perception of Mormons as all but exclusively white. Romney’s presidential bid does not rely on the black vote, and he has put distance between himself and the history of racial exclusion once practiced by his church. On “Meet the Press” in 2007, Romney tearfully recalled the moment in 1978 when he heard that the Church had lifted the century-and-half-long ban on blacks holding the Mormon priesthood. “I was driving home from … law school. … I heard it on the radio and I pulled over and literally wept.” Since then, Romney has reached out to some black communities; a January 2008 Salt Lake Tribune article reported that Romney aided poor Massachusetts Haitians—using the French he acquired as a young missionary—while serving as the Church’s regional leader in Boston in the 1990s…

Read the rest here.

More on That Spanking Thing

Last week there was a pretty lively discussion about the Texas Judge who whipped his 15 year old daughter with a belt.

Here is a follow up story on 3 child deaths attributed to one Tennessee Minister’s teachings about child punishment…

Michael Pearl

Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths Fuel Debate

After services at the Church at Cane Creek on a recent Sunday, a few dozen families held a potluck picnic and giggling children played pin the tail on the donkey.

The white-bearded preacher, Michael Pearl, who delivered his sermon in stained work pants, and his wife, Debi, mixed warmly with the families drawn to their evangelical ministry, including some of their own grandchildren.

The pastoral mood in the hills of Tennessee offered a stark contrast to the storm raging around the country over the Pearls’ teachings on child discipline, which advocate systematic use of “the rod” to teach toddlers to submit to authority. The methods, seen as common sense by some grateful parents and as horrific by others, are modeled, Mr. Pearl is fond of saying, on “the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules.”

Debate over the Pearls’ teachings, first seen on Christian Web sites, gained new intensity after the death of a third child, all allegedly at the hands of parents who kept the Pearls’ book, “To Train Up a Child,” in their homes. On Sept. 29, the parents were charged with homicide by abuse.

More than 670,000 copies of the Pearls’ self-published book are in circulation, and it is especially popular among Christian home-schoolers, who praise it in their magazines and on their Web sites. The Pearls provide instructions on using a switch from as early as six months to discourage misbehavior and describe how to make use of implements for hitting on the arms, legs or back, including a quarter-inch flexible plumbing line that, Mr. Pearl notes, “can be rolled up and carried in your pocket.”

The furor in part reflects societal disagreements over corporal punishment, which conservative Christians say is called for in the Bible and which many Americans consider reasonable up to a point, even as many parents and pediatricians reject it. The issue flared recently when a video was posted online of a Texas judge whipping his daughter.

Mr. Pearl, 66, and Ms. Pearl, 60, say that blaming their book for extreme abuse by a few unstable parents is preposterous and that they explicitly counsel against acting in anger or causing a bruise. They say that their methods, properly used, yield peace and happy teenagers.

“If you find a 12-step book in an alcoholic’s house, you wouldn’t blame the book,” Mr. Pearl said in an interview.

But he acknowledged that the methods are not right for out-of-control or severely overburdened parents.

In the latest case, Larry and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley, Wash., were home-schooling their six children when they adopted a girl and a boy, ages 11 and 7, from Ethiopia in 2008. The two were seen by their new parents as rebellious, according to friends.

Late one night in May this year, the adopted girl, Hana, was found face down, naked and emaciated in the backyard; her death was caused by hypothermia and malnutrition, officials determined. According to the sheriff’s report, the parents had deprived her of food for days at a time and had made her sleep in a cold barn or a closet and shower outside with a hose. And they often whipped her, leaving marks on her legs. The mother had praised the Pearls’ book and given a copy to a friend, the sheriff’s report said. Hana had been beaten the day of her death, the report said, with the 15-inch plastic tube recommended by Mr. Pearl… more

 

The END is Near… Again…

And here I thought the Southwest Native American Tribes were the only ones who consumed Peyote as part of some of their religious rites…

Radio preacher now says Oct. 21 is definitely Doomsday — well, probably

Family Radio Network preacher Harold Camping, whose prediction for the end of the world on May 21 misfired, now says that his new date of Oct. 21 looks like the real thing — well, probably.

“A lot of things we didn’t have quite right will probably be finished out on Oct. 21,” the 90-year-old Camping says in a message on his Family Radio Network website. “That looks like it will be at this point, looks like it will be the final end of everything.”

HEAR:  The latest Doomsday prediction

After the May 21 debacle, Camping initially said he was “flabbergasted,” but then announced that it had in fact been a “spiritual” End of the World, and that would culminate in the finally, final end on Oct. 21, Time reports.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of followers, including many who had left their jobs, had contributed money for billboards warning of the coming Doomsday. The Los Angeles Times reported that the worldwide campaign cost $100 million, including caravans and advertising, and was financed by the sale and swap of TV and radio stations.

Camping, who had also forecast the Rapture to occur in 1988 and 1994, conceded that it had been “a really tough weekend,”The Christian Post notes.

Gospel Legend – Jessey Dixon

Jessey Dixon, most noted as a Gospel legend, but influential in popular music, has passed away. The star, best known outside of Gospel circles for performing with Paul Simon, wrote songs for a number of pop music greats, including Cher, Diana Ross, and Randy Crawford – and performed with Earth Wind and Fire as a keyboardist.

Jessy Dixon Dead: Gospel Legend Dies In Chicago At 73

 Jessy Dixon, a singer and songwriter who introduced his energetic style of gospel music to wider audiences by serving as pop singer Paul Simon’s opening act, died Monday. He was 73…

During a more than 50-year career, Dixon wrote songs for several popular singers, including jazz and rhythm and blues singer Randy Crawford. He later wrote songs performed by Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and Amy Grant.

But it was for his gospel singing – religious music that combined the rhythmic beat of blues, jazz and soul – that Dixon first gained attention. It was during an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972 with his Jessy Dixon Singers that Dixon first came to Simon’s attention. For the next eight years, Dixon toured with the pop icon, collaborating on Simon’s `Live Rhymin’ Simon’ and `Still Crazy’ albums.

Dixon also played keyboard with Earth Wind and Fire and guitarist Phillip Upchurch…

Born March 12, 1938, in San Antonio, Dixon’s professional compass was set by gospel music legend James Cleveland, who heard Dixon’s teen group perform at a theatre in the south Texas city. Dixon said Cleveland liked the group, but he liked Dixon more and persuaded him to move to Chicago to join his group, the Gospel Chimes, as both a singer and pianist.

Chicago’s South Side was the place to be for a gospel musician, especially in the early 1960s.

“Going to church was like going to school,” Dixon said. At church, he heard the likes of Mahalia Jackson and blues pioneer Thomas A. Dorsey, who is credited with creating modern gospel singing.

“Reading his (Dorsey’s) music and studying it, he was the one who wrote for Tennessee Ernie Ford, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone,” Dixon said. “All these people were singing his music and were making it commercial.”

Dixon credited the creativity of artists like percussionist Maurice White and blues singer Willie Dixon, no relation, inspired him to compose. He started with choral music for Chicago’s Thompson Community Singers, for which he sat at the keyboards. Several of his early songs have become classics, sung in churches across America, including: “Sit At His Feet and be Blessed,” “These Old Heavy Burdens” and “I Love to Praise His Name.”…

 

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