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The Hobby Horses of Belief (and assorted hazards)



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,355 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl

    A fair percentage of the remainder are Muslim, and also a certain amount of Hindu in my daughters school. ET is very much about inclusivity, celebrating diversity and taking a secular stance to religion, where all religions are acknowledged, welcomed and accepted without discrimination but not taught as part of the curriculum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,973 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    The appeal for help sounds like it was channelled from the TV show Stranger Things. “Exorcist: trained teams needed in parishes to fight evil spirits.”

    It is, however, the splash headline in this week’s Irish Catholic, Ireland’s biggest-selling religious newspaper.

    Fr Pat Collins, a priest of the Vincentian order and a prominent Dublin-based exorcist, told the weekly there was an urgent need for “deliverance ministry” to help people who feel oppressed by evil spirits.

    “As Ireland has secularised, there is a crisis of truth, and a crisis of meaning – people are getting into all kinds of things they wouldn’t have got into before. As a result, people are more open to spiritual forces that can be negative.”

    Unlike exorcism, which is conducted by priests given special permission from the Catholic church, deliverance ministry is prayer for people who are distressed and wish to heal emotional wounds, including those purportedly caused by evil spirits.

    Collins said Irish bishops recognised the need. “The demand is much greater than the supply.”

    The Guardian has contacted Fr Collins for comment.

    The priest, a trained psychologist, had made similar calls before. In 2018 he told Irish Catholic of being inundated with people who believed they were afflicted by evil spirts.

    “I think in many cases they wrongly think it, but when they turn to the church, the church doesn’t know what to do with them and they refer them on either to a psychologist or to somebody that they’ve heard of that is interested in this form of ministry, and they do fall between the cracks and often are not helped,” he said.

    Deliverance? Squeal like a pig, boy!

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,973 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    Letter in today's IT:

     Sir, – I suggest RTÉ provide the Angelus to those who want it by way of a mobile app instead. It could be called the RTÉ Prayer. – Yours, etc,



    Co Dublin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,973 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    Grand Canal, Canal Road, Dublin, Thursday.

    I remember seeing similar (or possibly a proper billboard with the same image) in Middle Abbey St sometime before Covid. Some bunch of weirdos behind them but it escapes me who. Needless to say, illegal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,973 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    On a Dublin Bus, this evening.

    Is CIE so desperate for cash that they have to entertain this shyte?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,973 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    Religion gets into bed with right-wing politics yet again - what could possibly go wrong?

    A divisive political figure in life, Shinzo Abe’s violent death on July 8th has inevitably divided Japan. Some are already grumbling about paying for a state funeral in September (the first since 1967) for a former prime minister whose legacy is still deeply disputed. The key element in his murder, however, appears to have been religion, not politics.

    Abe’s presumed killer, Tetsuya Yamagami (41), was apparently driven by hatred of the Unification Church. Smart and ambitious, his road to middle-class prosperity was blocked when his widowed mother drained the family purse in service to a cult. According to family sources, she donated about 100 million yen (€715,000), including insurance money from her husband’s death, to the church.

    Better known as the Moonies, the Unification Church claims to have about 600,000 followers in Japan. Family members say Yamagami’s distraught mother joined in 1991 after the suicide of her husband. An uncle told the media that the once prosperous clan fell into poverty, and her son had to scrap plans to attend university. “He was extremely smart just like his father ... and hardworking, too,” said the uncle. “I only have good memories of him.”

    The church has tried to distance itself from claims that it bankrupted the Yamagami family. Tomihiro Tanaka, the head of its Japanese branch, confirmed that Mrs Yamagami was a member, but denied extorting money from her. The Moonies have since insisted they returned much of the cash. A group of lawyers fighting the church for the return of hundreds of millions of dollars in donations says both of those claims are false.

    Either way, a picture emerges of a man who grew angry at his reduced station in life. Relatives have recalled phone calls from a young Tetsuya Yamagami and his two hungry siblings, demanding food. Instead of going to university, he joined the Maritime Self-Defence Force (Japan’s navy) in 2002, the year his mother declared bankruptcy. Thereafter, he slid down the social ladder and was unemployed and living in a one-room flat when he was arrested for Abe’s murder. Friends recall him being depressed and crying bitterly at his brother’s funeral.

    The assassination has highlighted long-standing links between the Moonies and right-wing politics. The South Korean church, founded in 1954 by Rev Sun Myung Moon, a self-professed messiah, has invested heavily in conservative causes, much of this financed by selling religious baubles in Japan. Fiercely anti-communist, it set up the Washington Times newspaper in 1982 as a platform for anti-liberal views and forged ties with a string of conservative American leaders, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush.

    Last year Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe both gave back-to-back recorded speeches to a meeting of the Universal Peace Federation, an affiliate of the church. Though neither were members, both praised the group’s work fighting for peace and “family values”. Abe warned against progressive politics, saying: “Let’s be aware of so-called social revolutionary movements with narrow-minded values.”

    In the wake of Abe’s murder, journalists have begun again peering into ties between the church and the Liberal Democratic Party, the party Abe once led and which has governed Japan for all but a few years since 1955. One of the party’s elders, Abe’s grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, was a former prime minister who some experts credit with bringing the church to Japan. Politicians in Japan and America saw the church as a way to promote anti-communist views and win votes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,973 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    The former Bishops of Achonry certainly weren't slumming it...

    Non-paywalled link but you can only see the parts open to the public:

    And Irish people laugh at the "prosperity gospel" chancers from the US - they wouldn't hold a candle to what was going on left, right and centre in the immediate post-Famine period in Ireland - this palace, one among many, was built in 1864.

    Disgusting really.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,896 ✭✭✭ Igotadose

    Stuff like this just makes you see red. 1864 they were spending money likely collected during the Great Famine. 20 years after this place is built, herself's grandfather and his family were living in the poorhouse in Leitrim prior to being forced to emigrate as they had been evicted from their tiny farm. While at the poorhouse, food and clothing were provided - by the Quakers.

    And still the Criminal Enterprise known as the RCC plays the 'we're so perrrrsecuted' game. Just like the GQP. I guess it works. Disgusting isn't a strong enough word.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,156 ✭✭✭ Odhinn

    "Sir Salman Rushdie remains on a ventilator after being attacked on stage at an event in western New York state on Friday morning.

    Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was stabbed in the neck and torso as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

    Rushdie, 75, was taken to surgery, and Andrew Wylie, his spokesperson, said in a statement early Friday evening that the author was put on a ventilator and had suffered significant injuries: “The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged.”

    Grim stuff

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,973 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    How useless is an ideology if mere words can make it topple.