Thursday, December 20, 2007

More about those Baby Killers for Jesus

I mean, the ones from that Guardian article.

1. The article mentions Stepping Stones Nigeria, a UK charity. I couldn't find another organization dealing directly with the issue. So they seem to be the ones to talk to about it, if you're into that kind of thing.

2. Letters to the Editor in response to the original article. One is from the director of the aforementioned charity.

3. Another of the letter writers, J Evans, complains:
...I was alarmed at the general tone of the article, which blames 'American and Scottish Pentecostal and evangelical missionaries' for the spread of fanatical beliefs.

The author fails to grasp the syncretist nature of Christianity in parts of Nigeria. [...] Nowhere in the Bible is violence against children condoned.
The message here is: Christianity is just fine, it's just that it's gotten all mixed up with those backwards Nigerian superstitions.

Point the first: J Evans is forgetting Psalm 137:9:
How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones / Against the rock.
Or this other bit (as mentioned in the original article) Exodus 22:18:
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
(Note how that doesn't specify how old the witch has to be.) Now, you have to be reading the bible pretty poorly to see these as commands for Christians to kill children. But Nigerians don't get the patent on reading the bible poorly. They didn't come up with that all by themselves.

Point the second: Nigerians don't get the patent on syncretism, either. Around here people have no problem professing Christianity while pursuing wealth, even pursuing wealth as if it were a Christian ideal.

Point the third: This whole gig where you get rich through the shameless exploitation of the poor and desperate under pretenses of Christianity, destroying lives so long as it makes you money and you can get away with it--these Nigerian "prophets" didn't make up that stuff, either.

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