That old-time extremism
In this country, we often hear about "Muslim extremists," but I don't hear anyone complaining about the Christian extremists in our midst. One such bunch appears to be operating in Westmoreland County. It seems the pastor of Christian Fellowship Center of Greensburg has gone to county court to seek an order upholding a vote by the church board to expel two church elders. One of the elders reportedly was argumentative and had a poor attendance record at church functions. OK, that's understandable. The second, however, was voted out because he, um, failed to speak in tongues. For the uninitiated, speaking in tongues involves spewing made-up gibberish, supposedly through the power of the Holy Spirit, and, according to an AP story, it displays what some churches consider to be “necessary evidence of one’s faith.” I don't know if you’ve ever seen anyone speaking in tongues, but it makes the Jodie Foster character in the movie “Nell” sound like Sir Laurence Olivier. Hearing about this legal action brought to mind something even scarier, the hellishly frightening 2006 documentary “Jesus Camp,” in which children essentially were tortured into buying into the charms of Pentacostal/charismatic Christianity. To get an idea of the film’s contents, take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac. Involving young children in this sort of twisted indoctrination amounts to mental crucifixion and child abuse. If Muslim parents gathered their children together at such a camp and treated them in this fashion, badgering them to fight for the views of their God, there are a lot of folks in this country – selling a different brand of faith – who would accuse them of sowing the seeds of jihad and probably attempt to have the kids taken from them. This is just a reminder that extremism is bad, no matter who or what is being worshipped. And if you’re not sickened by what you saw in the video clip, there’s really something wrong with you.