Some quaint or interesting snippets about sects.
Four members of a breakaway Muslim sect in Russia's Tatarstan region have been charged with cruelty against children for allegedly keeping them underground. Police discovered 27 children and 38 adults living in catacomb-like cells in an eight-level underground bunker. The sect's elderly leader, Faizrakhman Sattarov, had reportedly wanted to build his own Islamic caliphate beneath the ground. The sect was uncovered during an investigation into recent attacks on Muslim clerics in Tatarstan, a mainly Muslim region on the River Volga. According to the Russian website ‘Islam News,’ Mr. Sattarov, 83, in the mid-1960s, after interpreting sparks from a trolleybus cable as a divine light from, God declared himself an Islamic prophet.Nineteen under-age children were removed by the Russian authorities. Officials said the children, aged between one and 17 years, had never left the compound, gone to school or been treated by a doctor, and had rarely seen the light of day. Sattarov and his followers began to shun the outside world. Only a few sect members were allowed to leave the community to work as traders at a local market. (And presumably to do the shopping with the money they made. After all, even a prophet has to eat.)
The cramped cells descend on eight levels under a decrepit, three-storey brick house on a 700 sq m (7,530 sq ft) plot of land. The house was built illegally and will be demolished, local police were quoted as saying. What were the toilet facilities I wonder? A prophet has to evacuate his bowels and empty his bladder like everybody else.
Members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio have been found guilty of hate crimes for forcibly cutting the beards and hair of community members. The 16 defendants - six women and 10 men, including four sons of Samuel Mullet the leader face 10 years or more in jail over the incidents, prompted by a dispute over religious differences. Prosecutors said the victims' hair was cut because it has spiritual significance in the Amish faith. Defence lawyers argued the attacks did not amount to hate crimes but were incidents of internal family disputes. It’s a long long story involving violence and oddball punishments like men being forced to sleep in chicken coops and it only becomes more and more ridiculous.
Back to the main stream: Roman Catholic priests have read out a letter from the leader of the Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, in each of the Church's parishes in Scotland, criticising the Scottish government for plans to introduce gay marriage, trying, as he puts it to change what he considers to be the only legitimate definition of marriage - the lifelong union of a man and a woman. The letter also announces the launch of a National Commission for Marriage and the Family to co-ordinate a campaign against gay marriage. It says: "We reaffirm before you all the common wisdom of humanity and the revealed faith of the Church that marriage is a unique life-long union of a man and a woman." In March, Cardinal O'Brien described gay marriage as a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right". This from a celibate (and what could be more unnatural than that?) of whom one has to ask if he has ever been in love, ever been one to one close to another human being rather, than his idea of god and his Christian beliefs, right or wrong?
The operative words above are ‘common wisdom of humanity.’ Boy, does that cover a wide field, there simply ain’t no such animal and, if you don’t believe me, comment on this Blog, analyzing ‘common wisdom’ and telling me exactly what it is. Then there is ‘the revealed faith of the church’ and ‘universally accepted human right,’ both statements as invalid as ‘human wisdom.’ And finally ‘life-long’ which these days doesn’t seem to amount to diddly-squat with a great many as the divorce courts will testify.
What the good cardinal fails to understand is that marriage was not created by Judeo-Christianity or Islam. It existed long before, as did same sex marriage which was, for example, quite common in Rome or so I am led to believe, and Greece? Where even if it wasn’t called marriage per se it did consist of and was accepted as the union of two of the same sex.
It all boils down to ignorance fear and hatred of which ignorance is probably the worst.v