Sometimes “tradition” screws taxpayers as much as corporations, lobbyists and politicians added together.
An increasing number of children are being accused of witchcraft in parts of Africa, the UN children’s agency says. Orphans, street children, albinos and the disabled are most at risk.
A new Unicef report warns that children accused of being witches – some as young as eight – have been been burned, beaten and even killed as punishment.
The belief that a child could be a witch is a relatively modern development, researchers say. Until 10-20 years ago, it was women and the elderly who tended to be accused.
The agency says the rise in vulnerable children being abused in this way is linked to greater urbanisation in the continent and disruption caused by war…
The agency said there was little it could do about the belief in witchcraft itself, and that it was not trying to eradicate the practice. But it said violence against children was wrong, and that it would do everything it could to stop it…
It is reported that some evangelical preachers have added to the problem by charging large sums for exorcisms. One was recently arrested in Nigeria after charging more than $250 for each procedure.
I don’t mean just about the ignorance of believing in child witches. The opportunist preachers hustling families for exorcising the demons. What greedy bastards.
Do you wonder if this cruelty was helped or hindered by Christian missionaries.
Even in an economic downturn, preachers in the “prosperity gospel” movement are drawing sizable, adoring audiences. Their message — that if you have sufficient faith in God and the Bible and donate generously, God will multiply your offerings a hundredfold — is reassuring to many in hard times…
Many in this flock do not trust banks, the news media or Washington, where the Senate Finance Committee is investigating whether the Copelands and other prosperity evangelists used donations to enrich themselves and abused their tax-exempt status. But they trust the Copelands, the movement’s current patriarch and matriarch, who seem to embody prosperity with their robust health and abundance of children and grandchildren who have followed them into the ministry…
A large contingent came in wheelchairs, hoping for miraculous healings…
A call center at the ministry’s 481-employee headquarters in Newark, Tex., takes in 60,000 prayer requests a month, a publicist said. The Copelands’ broadcast reaches 134 countries, and the ministry’s income is about $100 million annually…
At the convention, the preachers…sprinkled their sermons with put-downs of the government, an overhaul of health care, public schools, the news media and other churches, many of which condemn prosperity preaching.
But mostly the preachers were working mightily to remind the crowd that they are God’s elect. “While everybody else is having a famine,” said Jerry Savelle, a Texas televangelist, “his covenant people will be having the best of times.”
“Any time a worried thought about money pops up in your mind,” Mr. Savelle continued, “the next thing you do is sow”: drop money, like seeds, in “good ground” like the preachers’ ministries. “Stop worrying, start sowing,” he added, his voice rising. “That’s God’s stimulus package for you.”
At that, hundreds streamed down the aisles to the stage, laying envelopes, cash and coins on the carpeted steps.
Remember folks – these hustlers get to do all this tax free. Being an organized religion is just about the best corporate hustle in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Gullible and Ignorant.
Of course, they have to oppose improvements in healthcare. If folks lived better and stayed healthy, these creeps would lose an important part of their audience.