Wednesday, October 24, 2012

News & Views

Here is a round-up of news from my inbox:
  • FALC member Ray Huhta of Hancock, who was convicted of child sex abuse in 2005 after being under suspicion for at least thirty years, passed away in Texas on October 11th. Please take a moment to remember his victims and to read Beth's blog here, on why abuse does not die with the abuser. 
  • There is almost daily news of how institutions have failed to protect children from abuse. Why? There are clues in this compelling PBS documentary called "The Silence." We must end the conspiracy of silence. To those still in the church, reject the practices that value reputations over a child's life. Put the shame where it belongs.
  • Does Mormonism seem weird to you? Scientology? Test Your Knowledge of Wild, Weird, and Outright Wacky American Religious Beliefs.
  • Congratulations to Hanna Pylv√§inen who, in addition to a steady stream of rave reviews, just won a $50,000 Whiting prize for "We Sinners."
  • Interested in exploring Sami history and culture? Check out the resources on my PSS blog.
  • You don't have to be an atheist to appreciate this "Matter of Doubt" podcast with Ed Suominen about his experience in leaving the LLC.  It has been downloaded over 3,800 times so far! You'll hear serious analysis but also some humor and uplifting thoughts. As Ed says in his conclusion: Reality isn't half bad. Life is amazing.
  • Last but not least, check out this music video. Some of you may recognize the surname of the talented artist. 



Got a video or link you'd like to share with our readers? Comment below or send me an email!

Take care,
—Free


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Maternal Martyrdom

Laestadianism’s rejection of contraception is an important topic, literally a matter of life and death for some women. There is no excuse for an institution to discourage its members from considering all viewpoints on such a grave matter, especially when it claims that those members are accepting life-threatening pregnancies in accordance with their individual consciences. Read on, and let others do the same. A copy of this essay is available at examinationofthepearl.org/mm.

Laestadian women need to open their eyes before any more bleed to death on the sacrificial altar of a faith that requires their fertility for its survival. 
Like the Second Temple Judaism that preceded it, Christianity is a religion based on blood sacrifice. That may seem like a jarring summation of a faith that is, for the average believer, less about theology than the happy commotion of little children playing, the smell of hot dish warming in the church kitchen, and the joy of singing songs that are as beloved and familiar as the hundred other voices ringing out from the pews alongside you. But it’s the harsh reality behind all the love and comfort: Jesus’ “blood of the covenant” was “poured out for many” (Mark 14:24, NASB), just as Moses took the blood of young bulls “and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words’” (Exodus 24:8, NASB).

The Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio (Wikimedia Commons)
The sacrificial victims were not just animals or the one who was called the Son of God. Judges 11 tells us of Jephthah vowing to God that he would make a human sacrifice in exchange for permission to do a bunch of other killing, and fulfilling the vow with his own daughter. God even commanded the Israelites to give him “the firstborn of your sons,” the same as they were to do with their oxen and sheep. “It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me” (Exodus 22:29-30, NASB). Then there is the Old Testament’s most famous story of human sacrifice, where Abraham was about to slice open his 12-year old son until God stopped him.