Death by Blogging

Bangladeshi blogger Oyasiqur Rhaman, 27 years old, was macheted to death over his comments on extreme Islam. This is the second killing of this kind in five weeks in the capital city, Dhaka.

The other slain blogger was Bangladeshi-American Dr. Avijit Roy who harshly criticized fundamentalist Islam on his website, “Mukto-Mona” or “Free Mind.” He wrote articles on scientific reasoning and religious extremism of all kinds, not just Islam. He and his wife Rafida Ahmed were living in Atlanta, Georgia and went to Dhaka to attend a book fair when he was killed. His wife tried to fend off the machete-wielding assailants and was injured herself, but survived. She has since returned to the U.S.

Avijit Roy

Daily Mail, 2-27-15 (Rafida Ahmed standing over her husband’s body)

The extremists said that Roy was singled out because he was a U.S. citizen, and they sought “revenge” for U.S. attacks on ISIS in Syria.

Monika Ammerman, a friend of Roy’s daughter Trisha wrote a tribute to him, aptly entitled “Words Cannot be Killed.”

It’s hard to put into words my feelings surrounding these brutal killings. I feel privileged, on the one hand, to be living in the U.S. and fairly confident I won’t be murdered for writing inflammatory posts, but at the same time, the War Against Words has begun in the U.S. too. Do any of us feel truly free to speak our minds, pen our thoughts or expose certain truths, truths that might be considered subversive or threatening to the powers-that-be? I would be lying if I said I did.

I honor those who have died and continue to die and be persecuted for what they believe, in words and in deeds.


Pat Robertson: Fifty Shades of Weird

blue demon

Jack Keene

Pat Robertson, former Baptist preacher, media mogul and founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network (“CBN”) warns us of demons in the thrift store. His program can be seen in 200 countries and can be heard in 70 languages. His 700 Club program is seen daily by about one million people. One viewer wrote in for advice on the demon matter:

“I buy a lot of clothes and other items at Goodwill and other secondhand shops. Recently my mom told me that I need to pray over the items, bind familiar spirits, and bless the items before I bring them into the house. Is my mother correct? Can demons attach themselves to material items?”

Robertson’s answer:

”Can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate objects? The answer is yes. But I don’t think every sweater you get from Goodwill has demons in it. In a sense your mother is just being super cautious, so hey — it isn’t gonna hurt you any to rebuke any spirits that might attach themselves to those clothes.”

Well, there you have it. Demons can insinuate themselves into moth-eaten sweaters. Is there a scientific basis for this belief? Oh, no, not since Creationism undermines Christianity. Never mind, no need to think. What are the markers for demonized apparel, and what will happen if we forget to pray over it? Pat, we need answers! I will certainly avoid Goodwill from now on. And what about the Salvation Army? Do they offer demon-free apparel?

He leads the fold on a path of righteous ignorance, and ignorance goes hand in hand with fear. As my husband aptly pointed out, the only “sin” in Buddhism is ignorance. But I don’t believe Robertson believes in the Buddha.

More on Demons
Pat also advised a mother of the possible repercussion s of her daughter posting fetal ultrasound photos on Facebook:

“I don’t think there is any harm in it,” he said. “But I tell you, there are demons and there are evil people in the world, and you post a picture like that and some cultist gets hold of it or a coven and they begin muttering curses against an unborn child. You never know what somebody’s going to do.”

Okay, so no thrift stores and no fetal photos on Facebook. What else have we to fear?

Fifty Shades of Demons, I Mean “Grey
Charisma pundit and director of Messiah’s Mandate International, Ron Cantor, cautions on the dangers of Fifty Shades of Grey. (Note: I have neither read the book nor seen the film, so I am not biased.)

An excerpt from Cantor’s warning:

“I want to strongly encourage you: DON’T GIVE IN! It is a gateway to demonic bondage. Don’t open the door! As Paul warns “Don’t give the devil a foothold” (Eph. 4:27). Going to this movie could be the beginning of years of sexual bondage (and I mean bondage in bad way!). Again, don’t open the door.”

Okay, so no thrift store clothing, no fetal photos on Facebook and no Fifty Shades of Grey.

Even though I haven’t seen the film nor read the book, I wonder how either can start you on a downward trajectory towards “demonic” bondage. So. Fifty Shades is to demonic sexual bondage what marijuana is to heroin? Is it possible that the demons involved in bondage slithered out of the clothes from Goodwill you forgot to pray over before bringing into your home? Are demons good in bed? So many questions.

Here’s what Pat Robertson has to say about Fifty Shades:

 “. . . an unbelievable story of sadomasochistic bondage of women.”

“It’s about all kinds of sadomasochism, it’s about bondage, about whips, it’s about boiling oil, it’s about various types of restraints,” he explained on “The 700 Club.”

Well, if Pat Robertson says it’s true, that’s good enough for me.