Episode 256 – Think of the children


Dustin’ off the Degree – Cults

The word cult has a lot of meanings. For example, in archaeology describing something as cultic, just means that it was a religious site or artifact because in its original meaning, cult just means worship. At its most academic, all religions and religious groups are cults. However, if you use it like this to describe modern groups in conversations with almost anyone, you’re using it wrong.

On the other extreme, there are cult classics, TV shows, movies, comic books, etc that develop a cult following. Nobody actually worships the Firefly TV series, but it has developed a large following and quite a few dedicated fans.

Many of groups we’ve talked about recently are considered cults by many, but I have avoided using it because how it’s most commonly used is a pejorative for weird groups, but there is a meaning that is actually pretty well accepted, or at least unlikely to cause confusion.

Generally cults are:

New religious movements, arising since the mid 1800s
High degree of devotion to a single leader
Novel beliefs
Deviate from social norms
Isolate themselves from society
Aggressively proselytize
Separate members from friends and family

Concepts like mind control as being a cult thing is really meaningless, because that’s what all religion does, so if it’s a cult, what they do is mind control and if it’s not, then it’s just discipleship.

NEWS

Spain’s new atheist Prime Minister spells trouble for the Church

On June 2 Pedro Sanchez became the new Spanish Prime Minister. What’s most notable is he got this after his predecessor was kicked out over corruption. He’s also an atheist. When he took his oath before King Felipe there was no Bible or crucifix, as was tradition, but the president of the bishop’s conference still blessed him.

Of course now the Catholic church is scared. He’s campaigned against state funding of the Church, he wants to remove religious symbols from public institutions, and separate schools from religion. His party wants to advance gay rights and legalize euthanasia and the new foreign minister wants to reexamine Spain’s treaty with the Vatican.

The Catholic church is calling this an “aggressive secular agenda”.

Ireland to vote on removing blasphemy as an offence

Legalizing abortion wasn’t the end of constitutional reforms in Ireland. They will hold a referendum in October to remove blasphemy from their constitution. Next up will be a reference to a “woman’s life within the home”.

Boy Scouts still won’t accept atheists

Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board Resolution Reaffirming Duty to God

“WHEREAS the Declaration of Religious Principle in Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America states that:

“The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgement of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental of good citizenship should be kept before them.”

Congressional Leaders Aim To Slip Johnson Amendment Repeal Into ‘Must-Pass’ Bill This Year

Ralph Reed is the chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and told the Road to Majority Conference that he’s working with the Republican leadership in the Senate to put a repeal of the Johnson Amendment in a must pass bill this year.

This was tried in the House version of the 2018 Omnibus, but that portion was ruled as being out of order by the Senate parliamentarian.

Politics hijacked the SBC

Mike Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist Convention where there were 10,000 people present. He took the opportunity to basically turn it into a campaign rally. Many people there gave him lots of applause and many, including the new president of the SBC, were offended by him politicizing their religious convention.

DISCUSSION – Think of the children

US has withdrawn from UN Human Rights Council

Trump’s policy of breaking up migrant families is ‘unconscionable’, says UN human rights chief

Huckabee-Sanders Defends Ripping Children From Parents, Because It’s “Very Biblical to Enforce the Law”

Jeff Sessions Is Killing Civil Rights

Jeff Sessions’ church slams his use of the Bible to defend separating migrant families

Nationwide protests against Trump’s family separation policy planned for June 30

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