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A sampling of religious propoganda on the Internet

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The World Wide Web contains many sites which contain misinformation, hatred, ridicule and sarcasm directed at various faith groups. We have arbitrarily divided a sampling of them into them three categories:
bullet Secular, Freethinker and Atheist Sites
bullet Religious Sites
bullet Anti-Christian Sites

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Sites by Agnostics, Atheists, Freethinkers and Secularists:

We have surfed some of these sites. Their membership and points of view tend to overlap. The main Agnostic, Atheist, secular and freethinking WWW sites are typically opposed to Christianity. They criticize it, largely because it is the dominant religion in North America. They mainly use techniques of critical analysis, satire, humor and some ridicule.

Most of their pages are directed to:

We find some of their satire directed at individuals to be uncomfortably negative. 

Some examples of intolerance, satire and ridicule were:
bullet The Freethought Web has writings by Joseph McCabe including his inflammatory Big Blue Books. Some of the titles are: The Vatican's Last Crime, How The Pope Of Peace Traded In Blood, How The Cross Courted The Swastika For Eight Years, The Totalitarian Church Of Rome. The last book is subtitled Its Fuehrer, Its Gauleiter, Its Gestapo, And Its Money-box and contains such phrases as:
bullet ...the Roman [Catholic] Church is in sympathy with Fascism and has itself a semi-Fascist complexion
bullet ...the Pope is a traitor to humanity.
bullet about 30 [popes] were murderers, fornicators, sodomites, or variety-artists in crime.

bullet

The McChurch Home Page claims (with tongue in cheek) that a non-biased, objective system computer" has analyzed the Bible and studied the character and personality of God. The computer "concluded" that God was dysfunctional, insecure, unwholesome and should be isolated from children to avoid damaging them. 2

 

bullet One site ridicules the famous book by Josh McDowell Evidence That Demands A Verdict (sub-titled Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith). This book is devoted to the defense of the Christian faith. Josh attempts to supply evidence "which will satisfy anyone who is willing to honestly weigh the evidence." 3

The site ridicules the book by proposing alternative names, such as
bullet A Verdict That Demands Evidence
bullet Evidence That Sucks
bullet Evidence That Josh McDowell Is Really An Atheist Who Is Trying To Make All Christians Look Like Morons
bullet Evidence That Demands A Verdict, But Can't Even Justify A Search Warrant. 4

bullet The Snake Oil site has four main pages
bullet Gospel Grapevine which spreads rumors and satire about a variety of Christian ministries, such as Bob Larson, Brother Jed Smock and his wife "Sister Cindy" (university oriented evangelists), David Koresh, Tammy Faye Baker, the Christian Anti-Defamation League (publishers of "Virgin Pride - Uniting The Virgin Community, in honor of Jesus Christ"), etc.
bullet Salvation Sideshow concerning Evangelists who have serious disfigurements, genetic malformations or who suffer from cerebral palsy.
bullet Benny Hinn Blew Me concerning a healing service
bullet Robert Tilton Goods concerning "trading cards" and a humorous and apparently rather earthy video of an Evangelist. 5

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Religious Sites:

The Atheist and similar WWW pages tend to use humor and satire in their opposition to Christianity. But we have to go to Fundamentalist and other Evangelical Christian sites to see extreme examples of hatred and misinformation, in which various benign non-Christian groups are falsely accused of gross immorality, ritual murder, cannibalism, mutilation etc. There are relatively few such. They represent a very small movement within conservative Christianity, The main targets for their hatred and propaganda are small religious groups, homosexuals, and persons promoting choice in abortion and physician assisted suicide.

We do not wish to condemn all Christian web sites. The mainline and liberal Christian web sites seem to be relatively free of this hatred and misinformation. Nor do we wish to condemn all Fundamentalist and other Evangelical Christian web sites. Only a minority contain vicious attacks on other religions and faith groups.

Some of the more distressing sites that we have found are:
bullet Exegesis is a monthly magazine distributed by Email and Fax from Washington. 11 They include excerpts of letters of support from Newt Gingrich, Steve Forbes (publisher of Forbes Magazine) and the Family Research Council. It is primarily an extreme right wing magazine, strongly based on a very conservative interpretation of Christianity. Listed under the topic "One of The Most Important Articles We've Published" is an essay from their 1995-DEC issue: "Judaism's Best-Kept Secret is Almost Revealed." It is an attack on Israel's Orthodox Jewish leaders. 6

bullet Media House International is an Evangelical Christian group that publishes a quarterly magazine Champions. They have a section of their home page devoted to providing misinformation about Wicca. They seem to imply that Wiccans engage in human sacrifice. (They don't). 7

In their essay "What is the Wiccan religion?", they devote two paragraphs to the topic of Wiccans and human sacrifice. They have an additional two paragraphs which describe Wicca fairly accurately. They show an interesting contradiction in their essay: On one hand, they cite the Wiccan Rede as a rule of behavior which is followed by Wiccans. It states that they must do no harm to anyone. This conflicts with the first two paragraphs which seem to assert that Wiccans engage in human sacrifice.


bullet The Other Side of the News is a newspaper column which promotes extreme right wing political and Christian views. They bill themselves as "too conservative for the media". They say that they are "SOOOOOOOO CONSERVATIVE [that] we make Rush Limbaugh look like a: FLAMING LIBERAL." Their WWW site contains disinformation about gays and lesbians. 8

bullet The Ritual Abuse and Healing Home Page believes that Satanic/Sadistic Ritual Abuse is widespread. They attribute the abuse to "satanism, christianity, various pagan and pantheistic belief systems, white supremacy movements, nazism, Santeria, voodoo, etc." 9

bullet The Fundamental Baptist Information Service is unique. It seems to blast every part of Christendom other than Fundamental Baptists, including: Child Evangelism Fellowship, Evangelical publishers, other Evangelical churches, Promise Keepers, Roman Catholicism, Southern Baptist Convention, Toronto Blessing, etc. 12

bullet Andrew Sandlin authored an essay: "Social Witness and Christian Voting: How Should Christians Use the Franchise?." 13 He is saddened that Americans "have a political system that does not explicitly recognize the crown rights of Jesus Christ." He believes that the Bible says that all "unconverted people" are estranged from God and in rebellion against God. He proposes allowing only people who belong to God to run for public office. Specifically, he calls for a constitutional convention to propose an amendment to the US Constitution that would:
bullet Recognize " the crown rights of King Jesus"
bullet Require religious test oaths for office holders as the US had in colonial times; only Christians who agreed to a specific list of beliefs would be installed as political leaders

In the meantime, he urges Christians to vote only for Christian candidates, so that someday such an amendment can be passed.

bullet The True Church of God had a Web site at www.access1.net/ttcog. Their site has either been terminated or moved; we have been unable to find it on the Internet. There seemed to be a fair bit of hatred on their site against religious, racial and sexual minorities:

bullet Guilt for Jesus Death: They claim that "Jews and Romans are equally guilty of crucifying Jesus Christ. The foremost falsely accused, while the latter executed (Matthew 26:59; 27:12,20-26)." We find their use of the word "are" to be troubling. The sentence seems to imply that modern day Jews and Italians (as descendents of the Romans) are both responsible for the death of Jesus, almost 2,000 years ago. This is the belief that has fueled anti-Semitism for many centuries - the concept that persons alive today should be discriminated and hated against because of something that was done by their ancestors 80 generations before they were born.

bullet Homosexuality: On one hand, they state: "Except for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, every other sin will be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32; 1 John 5:16)."   They appear to be inconsistent when they also believe that "Homosexuality is an unforgivable sin (Genesis 18:20; 19:24-25; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)." We assume that they use the term "homosexuality" to refer to sexual behavior, not sexual orientation. Their quotation from Genesis is plainly incorrect; the sin of Sodom was that the people were uncharitable to visitors and the poor. The Leviticus passage relates to homosexual prostitution in Pagan temples, not to consentual homosexual activities.. The Bible is silent about same-sex relationships between two consenting and committed adults.

bullet NeoPaganism: They state that "...witches...have caused their own doom; and the face of the Lord shall be set against those who consult them (Exodus 2:18; [sic] Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6, 27; 1 Samuel 28:8-9)." Essentially all Witches in North America are NeoPagans; and most of the latter are followers of Wicca. Wiccans follow an ancient Celtic religion. Their faith prohibits them from harming others. Their incorrectly cited reference to Exodus 22:18 is probably to the King James Version of the Bible. That version translates the Hebrew word m'khashepah as "witch." It means a woman who uses spoken spells to harm others - e.g. causing their death or loss of property. Clearly " evil Sorceress" or "woman who does evil magic" is a more appropriate translation. There is obviously no relationship between a modern-day Witch (a Wiccan) and a "m'khashepah." They are taking a Hebrew term used to refer to evil sorcerers who do harm, and are using it to condemn modern followers of a benign, gentle religion. This is a clear example of religious hatred.

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Anti-Christian Sites:

We have found two anti-Christian sites that are maintained by individuals of an unknown religious background.
bullet One is The Antichrist. The Webmaster is currently remaining anonymous. He states (but probably does not believe) that he has been sent instead of the second coming of Christ to announce the coming destruction of Christianity. See: http://www.antichrist.net

bullet A second site is the Bastard Son of the Lord Home Page. It advertises Jesus collectibles for sale, offers a certain method of getting to heaven. They list of people who will be going to hell, including the Librarian of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics who have banned access by students to the site. They also list people who are certain of going to heaven. Perhaps their most offensive section is a diary allegedly written by Jesus. They are at http://www.trog.com/jesus

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Internet and Book References Cited:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. The Freethought Web is at: http://freethought.tamu.edu/freethought/
  2. The McChurch Home page is at:
    http://mcchurch.com
  3. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Here's Life, San Barnadino CA (1992; 35th printing)
  4. A satire on Josh McDowell's book is at:
    http://freethought.tamu.edu/freethought/robby_berry/
  5. The Snake Oil home page is at:
    http://fender.onramp.net/~analyst/snake/Snakeoil.html
  6. The Exegesis magazine's attack on Orthodox Judaism is at: http://www.sm.org/exegesis/9512-Judaism%27ssecret.html
  7. The "Media House International has anti-Wiccan essays at: http://www.forerunner.com/champion/X0038.html
  8. The Other Side of the News has its home page at: http://www.otherside.net/ They have a menu linking to their anti-homosexual essays at: http://www.otherside.net/homosex.htm
  9. The Ritual Abuse and Healing Home Page has ritual abuse misinformation at: http://www.ra-info.org/related/skeptics.shtml They have links to other web sites which claim that the Masonic Order, Satanists, Wiccans and other Neopagans perpetrate ritual abuse.
  10. The State of Hate monitors bigotry of many types: based on race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. See: http://hatewatch.org/frames.html
  11. "Exegesis: A Compass for Moral Excellence," has a home page at: http://www.sm.org/exegesis/
  12. The Fundamental Baptist Information Service is now a part of the Way of Life Literature web site at: http://www.wayoflife.org/ For an index of topics covered in their web site see: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/fbns-index/indexfbns.htm   For a sampling of their material, see essays attacking women in the clergy at: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/womenpreachers.htm; and homosexuals at: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/spiritofsodom.htm
  13. Andrew Sandlin, "Social Witness and Christian Voting: How Should Christians Use the Franchise?" at: http://www.natreformassn.org/voting.html

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Copyright 1997 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-APR-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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