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Churches Use Halo To Spread the Word, Raise Eyebrows 474

Posted by Zonk
from the now-turn-to-the-holy-book-of-cortana-chapter-twelve dept.
The New York Times has a lengthy look at an unorthodox way to spread the religious word: Halo 3 multiplayer matches. Churches across the country have adopted 'Halo Nights' as a way to get kids together in religious centers and church basements. "The alliance of popular culture and evangelism is challenging churches much as bingo games did in the 1960s. And the question fits into a rich debate about how far churches should go to reach young people. Far from being defensive, church leaders who support Halo -- despite its "thou shalt kill" credo -- celebrate it as a modern and sometimes singularly effective tool. It is crucial, they say, to reach the elusive audience of boys and young men." Just the same, the use of the game is raising concerns among some onlookers. GamePolitics reports that many faith communities are heavily debating the issue.
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Churches Use Halo To Spread the Word, Raise Eyebrows

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  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:32AM (#20911259)
    In Halo3 you are fighting against what could easily be called a 'False Prophet'. Sounds like good justification for a Christian church.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like a good idea for a mosque.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kestasjk (933987)
      It's not the fighting or violence they're worried about; Halo doesn't support geocentricity, and the futuristic setting flies in the face of predictions that the second coming will be any day now.

      By the way is it just me or is there something really wrong with trying to convert children? Why not wait until they're older and less easily seduced by things like video games before trying to convince them?

      Something about older men saying "come inside kids, let's play video games", when they're not actually
  • by UnderDark (869922) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:32AM (#20911263)
    I for one welcome our bible thumping, n00b killing, overlords.
  • by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:34AM (#20911291)
    I don't think 'thou shalt not kill' ever refered to anything except humans. Otherwise, all the Christians that are eating meat will have some serious explaining to do.

    I think this is a good idea for the church... Get the kids used to being at the church, and interacting with their friends there, possibly even friends that they never get to see otherwise. It establishes it as a friendly place that they want to be, the kids have some supervision while they play, and everyone involved is happy.
    • by speaker of the truth (1112181) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:55AM (#20911579)

      I don't think 'thou shalt not kill' ever refered to anything except humans. Otherwise, all the Christians that are eating meat will have some serious explaining to do.
      Modern Christians say its actually thou shalt not murder with legally sanction killing being permissible. So yes, even humans can be killed.
      • by Danse (1026)

        Modern Christians say its actually thou shalt not murder with legally sanction killing being permissible. So yes, even humans can be killed.
        So they're ok with countries that decide that one group or another is bad and should be killed, pass laws to reflect that belief and then get down to some serious slaughter? Hell, I don't even understand how they justify capital punishment in the US. What happened to letting God be the judge?
      • Please note that not all Christians adhere to this though and consider the original commandment something without exceptions.
      • by alan_dershowitz (586542) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @12:30PM (#20913145)
        Two points of contention. It is using the word "murder" in a MORAL and not only legal sense. Second, if it's the correct translation then it would also be correct to say that this is what the "original" Christians believed (Jews too obviously.)
      • Modern Christians say its actually thou shalt not murder with legally sanction killing being permissible. So yes, even humans can be killed.

        What, so all we have to do is like, have the government pass a law declaring open season?

        Sounds like I need to write my senator and then go clean my shotgun!

      • by Valdrax (32670) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @12:51PM (#20913469)
        Modern Christians say its actually thou shalt not murder with legally sanction killing being permissible. So yes, even humans can be killed.

        While there's no question that God asked the Israelites to kill in His name repeatedly in the Old Testament and to punish certain crimes with death, it's an open question whether or not Jesus tightened the prohibition against killing with his commandments to "turn the other cheek" when one is wronged and to "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" when it comes to punishment of crimes.

        It is quite reasonably arguable that even killing in self-defense is no longer allowed given the New Testaments focus on forgiveness and self-sacrifice, though few religious scholars would go that far. Gandhi, who was not a Christian, was one of the very few who did argue this -- even going so far as to say that England should not try to defend itself against the Nazis.

        It's doubtful, though, that Christianity could've survived to be what it has become today if Constantine hadn't co-opted it into a warrior's creed.
      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @12:51PM (#20913473)

        Modern Christians say its actually thou shalt not murder with legally sanction killing being permissible.


        Actually, the idea that the proper understanding of the sense of the commandment is a prohibition on murder (which doesn't necessary give unlimited sanction to any killing a government sanctions, either) and not all killing isn't some innovation that "modern Christians" invented; it was the general interpretation before Christ (its hardly as if ancient Israel viewed either war or capital punishment as forbidden), and also the dominant interpretation from the earliest Christianity.

        If anything, the "innovation" throughout the history of Christianity has been finding progressively broader classes of acts of killing that are considered within the prohibition of the commandment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MirthScout (247854)
        See http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Exo&chapter=20#n35 [bible.org] (scroll to 20:13) for a consensus of several linguists and Bible scolars of the best modern english translation from the original language of the Bible including translatior's notes (so you can see context and decide if you agree).

        Basically it says that murder (meaning unauthorised killing) is the closest word in modern english.

        So, in modern english: You shall not murder.

        Of course, we then get to argue forever on what authorize means who get's
    • by hey! (33014) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:58AM (#20911611) Homepage Journal
      Actually, a vast body of Old Testament law related to commanding and regulating animal sacrifice; although you could offer grain, animals were clearly "better", and you'd better not be some cheapskate offering bread if you had plenty of livestock.

      These regulations also appear to be related to the post-Sinai period of Exodus, since they clearly assume a nomadic existence, so they can hardly be considered as contradicting the Ten Commandments (which in Jewish terms is pre-school stuff; God has a lot more to say about human conduct than things like "Thou shall not kill").

      The nature of these commandments is fascinating because there is no independent historical or archaeological corroboration of the Exodus story. Although it is most historically probable that these regulations were reconstructed at a date later than the Babylonian captivity, they have a certain verisimilitude. The difficulties posed by reconciling a fixed lifestyle with commandments assuming a nomadic existence seems to confirm that in their folk memory at least, the Israelites were nomads.

      In any case, anybody who cites Leviticus as proof that homosexuality or Wicca is an abomination will have a difficult time proving that they really consider the commandments of Leviticus binding.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by steveo777 (183629)
        I'm pretty well aware of the likelihood that Moses did not pen the Pentateuch, it makes no sense that he could. And it also seems most likely that when it was 'found' it was penned after the captivity during the reconstruction of Babylon. But either way, I believe what it says is true. I think C.S. Lewis put it pretty well when he said, "No man who could write the Bible would, and no man who would write the Bible could." I haven't studied it to extensively but I do try to keep up with it.

        My question is

        • by hey! (33014)
          I am not justifying anything.

          I am observing that people who cite Old Testament law to justify their personal prejudices do so selectively. It is not so much that they don't observe the entirety of the law themselves, since this is impossible without, for example, access to the Temple, or at the very least facilities for animal sacrifice. It's that they don't even attempt to follow the laws they cite in their own lives in spirit as, for example, ultra-orthodox Jews do. I think Mathew 23:4 applies here.

          Wi
          • by steveo777 (183629)
            My bad.

            I see what you mean now. I remember the first (and only) time I read through all the law and thought it was/is a heavy burden. Just made me sigh with more relief for Grace.

      • by hiryuu (125210)
        In any case, anybody who cites Leviticus as proof that homosexuality or Wicca is an abomination will have a difficult time proving that they really consider the commandments of Leviticus binding.

        To wit: God hates shrimp [godhatesshrimp.com]. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by toleraen (831634)
      I guess I don't see the big deal about this...growing up in the late 80s/early 90s, every Wednesday night we brought in our Nintendos/Segas to church to play video games with other kids. They supplied pizza, soda, a couple TVs, and a good time was had by all.

      Granted stomping on turtles and shooting ducks might have been a little tamer than Halo, but it's still the same concept.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sammy baby (14909)

      I don't think 'thou shalt not kill' ever refered to anything except humans.

      Well... depends on who you ask. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

      Various translations exist of the sixth commandment; the Hebrew words are variously translated as "thou shalt not kill" or "thou shalt not murder". Older Protestant translations of the Bible, those based on the Vulgate and Roman Catholic translations usually render it "Thou shalt not kill", whereas Jewish and newer Protestant versions tend to use "You shall not murder". There is contr

    • and there are many scholars who think the word was murder and not kill. That would make much more sense considering the propensity for putting one's enemies to the sword.

      As such Halo would in shape or form be against the 10 commandments
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      Actually "thou shall not kill" had lots of conditions. It was not limited to humans, but only certain humans. It was perfectly OK for you to murder your slaves if they stole from you. women were ok to kill as the bible, Judiasim, and Christianity are all from middle east culture and women are lower than your dogs. Many places this is STILL the case and women are murdered and raped for fun when the village men are bored or want to se an example so the other women don't get uppidty.

      The bible allows all kin
    • by gnuman99 (746007) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @02:48PM (#20915429)
      And how about explaining the Crusades? Oh, I guess they were not humans at the time.

      The support for military? The support for the death penalty? The support for these two comes directly from the so called religious crowd. Oh, but as long as they protest the abortion thing, I guess that makes it all better. They are not much different from the jihadists or other religious fanatics.

      "Thou shalt not kill except for enemies of God and you can choose who is my enemy" - that seems to be how things are these days in both "devout christian" and "devout muslim" crowds while both proclaiming "peaceful religion". More people died in religious wars as percentage of population than any other wars in the history of this planet.

      I guess the mod points here will depend who gets to read the message. I hope they don't declare some holy war or send a sniper my way. Sorry about the rant, but churches and religions are as much about "Thou shalt not kill" as much as it suits their goals. If their goals have any conflict with it, they have a very easy way around the so called "god's rules".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by demachina (71715)
        "More people died in religious wars as percentage of population than any other wars in the history of this planet."

        That's kind of a grand statement, do you have any actual data to back it up?

        The Civil War killed more American than any other in its history. You could maybe claim the bible thumping Northern Abolitionists were responsible for it but its a stretch.

        Spanish American war... no real religious angle there other than American protests were maybe not so fond of Spanish Catholics, it was mostly yellow
  • Halo? Eh. (Score:4, Funny)

    by morari (1080535) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:36AM (#20911305) Journal
    DooM would be in better line with the church's views.
  • by GweeDo (127172) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:36AM (#20911307) Homepage
    At my church (church of about 100 in a town of 2000) we happily use video games and things like that to bring teens in. While we have never used M rated games, we do have Wii tournaments from time to time. It is a great way to give the kids something safe to do (in a town of 2000 there isn't much) and gets them comfortable with the Church and the Youth Leaders we have.

    In regards to Halo 3 though, I do know our Senior High Sunday School teacher used it as the basis for his lesson last week. He actually had me come up and give a brief overview of the story from Halo 1 and 2 to start things off ;)

    Churches do need to be careful to be "in the world, but not of it", but at the same time don't be afraid of using main stream culture and entertainment in new ways to both teach and to simply get people interested.
    • by Dan East (318230)
      We use the Wii too. There's nothing like a 20 foot diagonal measure screen with a 3000 lumen projector and an 18" subwoofer to make playing video games a little more fun.

      Dan East
      • by kjkeefe (581605) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:57AM (#20911607)
        I've always wondered how churches like that can rationalize spending money on a 20 foot screen with a nice projector and 18" subwoofer when that money could be applied to more useful pursuits such as helping the poor. Every time I drive past a church that is building a new multi-million dollar extension with fine architecture on expensive land I wonder the same thing. Why not give that money to single mothers trying to keep their families above water or drug rehabilitation programs or education programs for ex-convicts?

        If you sit back and think of the dollars tied up in religious infrastructure, it is absolutely astounding. Ask yourself, if you combine the equity of all religious property within a 2 mile radius of your house, how much do you get? I know for me, I would estimate it at around 2 million...

        I guess my first mistake was wondering how churches can _rationalize_ anything...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Applekid (993327)

          I've always wondered how churches like that can rationalize spending money on a 20 foot screen with a nice projector and 18" subwoofer when that money could be applied to more useful pursuits such as helping the poor.

          Easy. Those are internal investments aimed at increasing the size of the congregation, and in turn, increasing the pot of donations.

          A small humble 4 room chapel can be used for religious ceremonies, sure, but how many people could be packed in? How many would be inspired by the visage and get that whole religious experience thing? Not many and I should know: I vote at one and even though voter turnout is really low in the U.S. it completely overwhelms the facilities there.

          Now, look at a church. Imposing an

          • by babyrat (314371)
            require large donations for the privilege

            I'm not sure I've heard a better oxymoron lately...
        • by BKX (5066)
          For me, probably closer to $20 million.
        • by toleraen (831634)

          I've always wondered how corporations like that can rationalize spending money on a 20ft water fountain when that money could be applied to more useful pursuits such as improving R&D. Every time I drive past a corporation that is building a new multi-million dollar extension with fine architecture on expensive land I wonder the same thing. Why not use that money to keep their best engineers onboard or increase employee benefits or have a pizza party?

          If you sit back and think of the dollars tied up in corporate infrastructure, it is absolutely astounding. Ask yourself, if you combine the equity of all property within a 2 mile radius of your house, how much do you get? I know for me, I would estimate it at around 2 million...

          I guess my first mistake was wondering how corporations can _rationalize_ anything...

          Give that a read, maybe that'll clear some stuff up. I'm not trying to equate religious institutes to corporations, but look at it like a potential customer would for a business.

          Imagine you're standing outside two electronics stores. One store has an extremely nice, well designed exterior. Inside you know they've got free water, good music playing, an easy layout to navigate, etc. The other store has cardboard patches on the windows, has inventory just laying around, has a window fan with no A/C runn

          • Christianity began as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
            When it went to Athens, it became a philosophy.
            When it went to Rome, it became an organization.
            When it spread throughout Europe, it became a culture.
            When it came to America, it became a business!
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mikearthur (888766)
          Churches give substantial amounts of their money to charity. My previous church gave at least 10% of all the money they got in (revenue, not profit) to charities. When you factor the running costs of the church this is not an unsubstantial amount.

          As for why they spend money on things like projectors rather than dedicating all that money to the poor: rightly or wrongly they place the value of your soul over the value of your life. That may not appear to make a lot of sense but this is why outreach and evange
        • by plague3106 (71849)
          IIRC, the Catholic church is the largest landowner in the world. Its also the most rich. Yes, you're right to wonder why they have millions to give to families after they let their priests molest kids, but lock homeless out in the street when winter arrives.
        • by sholden (12227)
          Depends on how you look at the world I guess...

          One justification they could have is that infrastructure gets more people to hear their message and hence more people to convert. I would suspect that the salvation of an eternal soul ranks higher than keeping a single mother fed for an extra day - in the religious scheme of things anyway.

          Another would be that it's investing, that infrastructure attracts more people some of whom join and start bringing in more income to the church through donations, volunteer w
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Funkcikle (630170)

      At my church (church of about 100 in a town of 2000) we happily use video games and things like that to bring teens in.
      What happened - did you run out of puppies? Did they stop believing that their parents really HAD been in an accident and you'd been sent to collect them from school?

      What kind of "church" are you part of, exactly!
    • In regards to Halo 3 though, I do know our Senior High Sunday School teacher used it as the basis for his lesson last week. He actually had me come up and give a brief overview of the story from Halo 1 and 2 to start things off ;)

      Wow, that's sure different from the religious environment I grew up in. I pirated Doom like the rest of the teenagers back when it came out. (That's Doom 1 for all you whippersnappers.) I liked it so much I mail-ordered a copy so I could support id. Well, I wasn't home when the package arrived. My parents gave me a huge lecture about the evils of whatever this devil worship stuff was I downloaded and my stepdad actually took the disks behind the house and smashed them with a sledgehammer. He then used razo

  • Calling the Church hypocritical over "Halo nights" is glossing over the last 20 centuries. If you want to compare it to anything, count it like the regular Bingo tournaments routinely held in just about every "House of God" these days. Only there's no money being wagered, so there's not even that to criticize.
  • Churches uses? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jnaujok (804613)
    Does Zonk have access to a grammar reference, or an editor's guide? Yeah, I'm sacrificing karma for this.
  • Killing != Murder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tbcpp (797625) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:40AM (#20911375)
    It's actually a common misconception that the Bible condemns killing. The misquoted verse from the 10 commandments was mis-translated in the KJV as "thou shalt not kill". Instead it should have been translated as "thou shalt not murder". The Bible (and God it's author) does not condemn killing in defence, punishment for a crime, or in wartime. What it does condemn is murder. So with this in mind Halo doesn't violate the 10 commandments at all.

    Yes, I'm a Christian, and yes I love playing Halo.
    • Halo != Killing (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Halo is just a game. You can only kill people in the real world.

      Halo is no different than playing cops and robbers or cowboys and indians.

      Most of the indignation is from people who would bristle at Jack Thompson calling a video game a murder simulator, but since this is about a church, they are more than willing to join his side intellectually if it lets them scream hypocrisy
    • by Applekid (993327) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:56AM (#20911603)

      So with this in mind Halo doesn't violate the 10 commandments at all.
      Heh, and all this time I thought it was because it was just a game and not real. Silly me. :)
    • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:17AM (#20911911) Homepage

      The Bible (and God it's author)
      I was under the impression that god DIDN'T write the bible...I mean, after all, if god was the author, why do bible's have copyright dates? Is god afraid of someone spreading the word illegally?

      The bible was written by man...just like the torah, just like the que'ran, just like every religious book. Written by men who thought the world was flat.
    • Rearranging the memory registers of a Turing machine simulator =/= killing, so it's a moot point anyway :-P

      It does however raise (beg?) the question of the morality of "killing" sufficiently conscious beings in a realistic virtual world. In my irrelevant opinion, it is morally permissible for a person to kill virtual beings in a simulation created in his world, but the beings within that world are still obligated to treat "users" from the overworld the same as anyone else since they cannot allow people to
    • Please explain the difference. Either all life is sacred, or it's not. If it's not, who decides when it is and not? You? Me? GWB?
    • Re:Killing != Murder (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:56AM (#20912539)
      The Bible (and God it's author) does not condemn killing in defence, punishment for a crime, or in wartime.

      Oddly enough the old testament seems to be advocating genocide. Shortly after Moses got the 10 commandments, god told Joshua to kill off everyone (including women and children) in cities who would not submit to the chosen people's rule.

      I'd also like to point out many early non-Catholic Christians actually viewed the old testament as evil and written by the hand of a demi-urge. However the Papacy would have none of that and had most of these people put to death over the course of several thousand years.

      Most notably were the Cathars and various other gnostic [wikipedia.org] sects. If the Papacy had only the new testament to work with then they would have little to justify their wars of religion and garner support from newly converted pagans who wished to continue their warring ways.

      To be really fair, there is no mention of hell in the old testament and is actually only referred to as the physical location in the new testament in name (not the lake of fire in revelations which isn't referred to as directly as hell) which was pulled directly to Roman-pagan mythology hades as a form of underworld punishment rather then the concept of "separation of God".

      And if really want to get to be a historical stickler there is no ancient Greek word for "homosexual" which Leviticus refers too but rather the word means "soft" which could mean weak willed by context.

      At any rate, simply using the 10 commandments literally needs some context to the situation. You also have to remember there are plenty of other dietary and Jewish old testament laws that many people ignore which are just as important. I mean we still don't put people to death for working on the Sabbath (which according to Jewish law is Saturday by the way and not Sunday) nor do we sell our daughters into slavery.
    • by babyrat (314371)
      What it does condemn is murder

      and yet crows freely gather in my yard all the time - I keep expecting the giant lightning strike, but alas, it never comes...
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:53AM (#20911557)
    Sure, it would be awesome at first, gibbing the Son of God. He'll keep turning the other cheek, keep getting fragged, keep resurrecting. Eventually it'll become boring and I'd grow tired of it. He wins by default.
  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:54AM (#20911565) Homepage Journal

    They do realize that "Halo" may not mean the same thing that they're used to, don't they?

    • by Empiric (675968)
      One usage will be dead in 20 years, the other won't--along with the notation "Believe" in my one-out-of-a-billion Burger-King soda cups. Seriously, if I were serriptitiously -trying- to create a viral marketing campaign for theism, I doubt I could have done better.

      Mankind works in mysterious ways. (Nightwish)
  • by downix (84795) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:03AM (#20911701) Homepage
    Praise the lord and pass the ammunition
  • by halivar (535827) <bfelger&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:05AM (#20911717) Homepage
    Although I prefer D&D to Halo, myself.
  • I'd consider myself an agnostic at this point: I can't say whether there is a higher power or not, it's not a question that can be answered by science. But I trust science more than I trust the unfounded rantings of Jewish nomads from four thousand years ago.

    I grew up in a religious household and was exposed to all the evangelism arguments. The ones that disgusted me the most were the appeals to personal vanity and greed, the pitch made heaven sound like a multi-level marketing scheme. Religion is supposed
    • by FuzzyDaddy (584528) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @12:42PM (#20913319) Journal
      As someone who has lived both a religious and nonreligious life (although moving in the opposite direction you have), I agree with your basic point - my basic concepts of right and wrong have not changed, and I certainly don't feel that a religious life is the only proper way to live. It works for me.

      The important thing, as in so many things, is to be careful about who you lump together. I have a friend who is a rabbi (he doesn't have a pulpit, he's a headmaster at a jewish school.) He says that when he travels, and his seatmate finds out he's a rabbi, he inevitably gets a long story about the persons awful rabbi growing up, or their terrible hebrew school experience, or other disappointments with their jewish experience. The thing is, this guys is the epitome of tolerance, cheerfulness, and thoughtfulness. He takes it all in good humor, but I think is saddened to see people rejecting a religious life because of their bad childhood experiences, without realizing that there are other ways to do it.

      I don't know much about christian communities, and it sounds like you've seen a huge lack of humility, and a huge amount of hypocrisy. Religion isn't a cure all for bad behavior. At it's best, it provides a few guideposts for seeing where the pitfalls of being human are, and some clues as to how to approach them. At it's worst... well, there have been horrors visited on the world by the religious and nonreligious alike.

  • They have been doing this since at least 2004. That's when I saw a flyer for a Halo tournament being held by the local Christian Student Fellowship [popularculturegaming.com].
  • by Tom (822)
    Churches have a long experience with mental child abuse. They do target the impressible youth quite intentionally, hammering home their message in "summer camps" and what else, so computer games nights are really not a big surprise.

    As a society, we'll be grown up when we don't allow people to abuse children like this anymore. We keep them away from sex until way beyond when they're physically ready for it, but we have no problem with them being indoctrinated in a religious faith long before they understand
    • Re:child abuse (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @02:34PM (#20915179) Homepage Journal

      We keep them away from sex until way beyond when they're physically ready for it, but we have no problem with them being indoctrinated in a religious faith long before they understand that some things their parents or other authority figures tell them might not be entirely the truth.

      In other news, some people raise their children to believe that liquor (is|is not) good to drink, that meat (is|is not) OK to eat, that (conservatives|liberals) are smarter, and that (European|Asian|African) lineage is something to be proud of. None of those are objectively true but may have long-term ramifications on the child's social behavior. None of those are remotely considered child abuse, except possibly by people who are strongly in favor of the opposite position.

      Don't cheapen real problems by equating random personal decisions with them. Punching your daughter in the mouth or burning your son with cigarette butts is child abuse. Raising them in the religious tradition you believe is necessary for them to enjoy a happy life (and afterward) is not.

  • When I was growing up back in the early 80's we used to meet in the church basement once a week for a youth group. The only reason we went was for the games. We were willing to sit through a bit of "church" stuff to play dodge ball, ringette/floor hockey. Its sad to see how much youth activities have changed but its nice to see the church keeping up with the times. I wonder if they'll let a 34yr old drop by....
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @01:54PM (#20914543)

    I cast you <slap!> OUT demons! Along with your brains!

    A deep, rumbling voice echoes from the dark sky: "HuMiLiAtIoN!"

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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