Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

The Ten Worst Religion Stories of 2008

It was the best of religion, it was the worst of religion in 2008.  Let’s concentrate on the worst.  The following are the ten stories that made us want to roll our eyes, curl up into a ball or raise our fist.  Hopefully we will be among those who learn from history – and not repeat it. 


10. Jews feel the financial and image pain of Wall Streeter Bernie Maddoff as his money lies damage Yeshiva University and Elie Weisel as well as smaller stakeholders. 



9. Sarah Palin’s witchcraft video. 


8. Rev. Jeremiah Wright appears at the Washington Press Club. By playing the fool Wright makes his defenders, including Barack Obama, look foolish. 



7. Prosperity Gospelers add to the foreclosure crisis by preaching that Jesus had provided poor congregants with a house they could not afford. 


6. Elizabeth Dole runs the “There is No God” campaign ad accusing opponent Kay Hagen (who teaches Sunday School) of atheism. 



5. The Catholic Church, Mormons and Rick Warren join in a theologically unlikely alliance to pass Proposition 8 and revoke the right of Gays and Lesbians to marry.  Rick Warren is tapped by Obama to offer the invocation at his inauguration.


4. The anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential election, coupled with a persistent belief that Barack Obama was a Muslim topped off by the Obama campaign insistience on the candidate’s Christian faith rather than condemning the religion-baitng.



3. Buddhist Monks and nuns are slaughtered in Tibet as China cracks down in anticipation of the Olympics and similar violence in Burma by the dictatorship.


2. Islamist terrorists take the city of Mumbai Hostage killing people of all faith and especially targeting Jews.  



1. With all of the power of the world religions in 2008 we did not muster the political will to stop the daily starvation of thousands of our fellow human beings.

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posted December 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

The first three links all point to the Wright video.

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posted December 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I am far from being a Sarah Palin fan, but your inclusion of the infamous “witchcraft prayer” belies little understanding of African culture. Here is a quote from a story that ran in the Boston Herald:
“He (Thomas Muthee) was giving an African prayer to an American Christian,” said Jacob K. Olupona, a Harvard African studies professor. “His prayer reflects his own background and his own training and his own world view. America may not believe in witchcraft, but witchcraft is a reality (in Africa).”

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posted December 29, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Well, progressives seem just as inclined to take things out of context as the evangelicals. Will be interesting to see what the ten best religious stories are…

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posted December 29, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Regarding #5: Why is this a “Worst” story? Is it because Rick Warren worked with the Catholics and Mormons, because they worked to revoke Prop 8 or because Warren is tapped by Obama to offer the invocation at his inauguration?
Personally, I don’t have a problem with any of those items. What is the issue here?

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Susanna's Daughter

posted December 29, 2008 at 9:58 pm

One of the biggest religion stories of 2008 is tied to the tectonic shift in news reporting, i.e., dying newspapers are laying off their religion editors and reporters and dropping their religion sections. This death means that even fewer in the general public will have resources to understand religion and its roles in American society.

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posted December 31, 2008 at 10:14 am

Susanna’s Daughter:
Newspapers are dying because no one is reading them. Their influence and reach are diminishing, so the loss of religion reporters and sections are not as serious as you portray. There are plenty of sources for understanding religion and its role in American society. In fact, you are reading one right now!

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posted January 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

with Sha’ria law legitimizing the murder of rape victims in the name of “family honor”, with Muslim-based wars going on throughout the world, with Muslim children being taught that their best life-goal is to be a suicide-bomber and that infidels are pigs, It’s short-sighted if not collaborativley prejudiced that you put only ONE Muslim story among the year’s worst, and that you consider the Palin circus to be more egregious than training people for hatred and homicide.

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Your Name

posted January 4, 2009 at 11:22 am

With all the liberal newspapers, reporters, dictator run TV and radios stations, and magazines telling only the side of the terrorist (Hammas, Palestian, Iran, Syria etc) by making them the victim and not the aggressor towards Israel or peace. It’s a known fact that many reporters in the Middle East were murdered because they wanted to tell he truth and that is not reported here in the USA or other countries. This is why the world is in the situation today. What does Sarah Palin have to do with anything with the war?

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Sean Rhoades

posted January 4, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I thought this was pretty bad too:
Christian Monks brawl at Jerusalem shrine. Fighting erupted between Greek Orthodox and Armenian monks at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Christ’s crucifixion.
Two monks from each side were detained as dozens of worshippers traded kicks and punches at the shrine, said police.
Trouble flared as Armenians prepared to mark the annual Feast of the Cross.
Taken from the BBC News website.
Here they failed to apply Christian principles taught to us by our Rabbi, Jesus Christ:
Matthew 5:38-48 KJV Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 6:19-23 KJV Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Regarding Sara Palin, if she truly were a Bible believing Christian, she would know she shouldn’t be a governor, nor would she consider running for vice President. She truly is a witch: These verses point out why:
1 Corinthians 14:34 KJV 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1 Timothy 2:9-15 KJV In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
1 Samuel 15:22-23 KJV And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

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Your Name

posted January 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

The list of 10 proves that the more there are religions the more there is hunger in the world. Now that the manna from the sky has been cut off by the Bernie Madoffs manning our Wall Street finance bakeries we need to take Viagra off the market & replace it with saltpeter. We need less Peters to build less idolatry churches, mosques & shrines!

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posted January 4, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I don’t see an issue with the prop. 8 story at all. It’s there religious beliefs based on scripture from the bible that homosexuality is a sin and so their there opinion why should sin be rewarded? I think the real crime is the commercial that the gay rights activists made that specifically targeted Mormon missionaries that may make them targets of hate crimes…this is a much worse religious story. Mormons would NEVER behave this way.

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posted January 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm


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Your Name

posted January 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Sha’ria law does not legitimize the murder of rape victims in the name of “family honor”
Rape is a capitol offence in Islam.
It is the CULTURE — that Islam has been unable to eradicate — that kills rape victims.

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tobiwan kenobi

posted January 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Proposition 8 didn’t ‘revoke’ anything. The ‘right’ of gays to marry, was summarily given by judicial fiat, bypassing the normal legislative process. Proposition 8 just made law what was already the norm in society. The understanding of marriage was just codified. I am LDS and am personally against government prohibiting victimless crimes. But I am also against making falsehood seem to be the truth.

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Mark Thompson

posted January 5, 2009 at 4:30 am

My #11, is that all the positive stuff of the Inter-Faith Movement is nowhere to be found. Maybe, one day these type of ‘headlines’ will not be as big and stupid and … “Imagine…” JL

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Niila Keshava

posted January 5, 2009 at 8:27 am

“RELIGION is the only force in the universe that can make God sick in the stomach”. parapharsed – Anandamurti
I would add that any dogma is a mental disease, Nlpharr@bellsouth./net

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J Scheidel

posted January 5, 2009 at 11:08 am

Re: The Ten Worst Religion Stories of 2008,
by Paul Raushenbush, 12.19.08 :
While treading on eggs in their references to Islam, for subliminal fear of decollation, I suppose, and herein insinuating a bias nonetheless, … media partiality against the whole of religion, especially the Judaeo-Christian kind, is so prevalent as to be almost unnoticeable, except of course by the spiritually sensitive who, in the light of the paucity of media partiality in favor of religion, feel as if they are quite in the minority. Deeming their subjectivity objective, the media would have us believe that theirs is the majority opinion or, at least, the best.

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Linda in Alaska!

posted January 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm

As I have ventured through this life, experiencing many religions out there in our world today. People… get a grip. NO religion is any better than the other one. Religions are out there because of the many different levels of understandings of the people. Religion in the end “saves no one”, period. And trust me as I say that… THERE WILL BE NO ADVOCATE STANDING ALONGSIDE ANY ONE WHEN IT’S TIME WE CROSS OVER INTO THE NEXT DOOR. The relationship between you and God is between you and our maker only. God is not a part of negativity. But it’s unfortunate in today’s world, we must battle the negativity with the same source given to us. However, we all can turn it around by making it “positive”, using this to turn the negativity around. We all want peace. We all want a better life for our children, and children’s children.

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Arne Hallam

posted January 7, 2009 at 7:49 am

I have read this list several times and analyzed the various items. I am still concerned or puzzled. There are a multitude of faith traditions, and almost endless variety of religions experiences, and a plethora of views about God, self and the universe. But I did not really think we were now defining politically correct religious belief.

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posted August 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

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posted June 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

the worst religion is satanism invocations tortures cannibalism demon rituals and curses

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Pingback: The Wild Hunt » Top Ten Pagan Stories of 2008 (Part One)


posted February 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

there is no god!

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posted February 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Seriously, if there were a god wouldnt there be peace? THERE ISNT! there would be no suffering or hobos or anything like that. But, unfortunately there is that stuff so god is not real. Man is not god-made, but god IS man-made. The first people evolved from apes. Face it!! god did not make us! we are animals, if we werent the we would have to be plants or microscopic creatures. People made god because they were afraid. Afraid to be alone… Afraid to die. They needed something so they made up a GOD. the all powerful, perfect thing to help them through the hard times. That is okay! it is natural to be in a hard time, but it is just a LITTLE much to make up some thing that you cant even see or do anything with. It is a little extreme in my opinion. I hate christianity. I love christians (a lot of my friends are either christian or athiast and a few jews, which is what i was supposed to be. i stand out a lot at temple) i just really hate the religion because they hate athiasts like me and they try to change everyone. It bothers me because other opinions are good too. If you have a reasonable comment on this and not a bunch of jibber jabber with no fact or science, i would love to hear it. :)

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العاب للكمبيوتر

posted January 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm

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