Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Agree with a Hard-Core Evangelist!

Insulin shock: the front desk at Babyland General Hospital.

The Denver Post is full of stories about the weekend shootings at area churches. One, Shooter's lessons strict, rule-driven, details the "ultra-religious home-school curriculum" endured by gunman Matthew Murray.

Seems that Murray's parents adhered to the tenets of evangelist Bill Gothard, founder of The Institute in Basic Life Principles. (Check out the pic of smiling white guys in white polo shirts on the home page.) According to the Denver Post:
[The IBLP curriculum] advises young men and women to live at home until their parents release them and counsels parents to choose marriage partners for their offspring....

Gothard's teachings have been criticized by other conservative Christians who allege he has deviated from true Bible teaching and that his stand against rock music — even Christian rock — suspicion of modern medicine, belief in spiritual roots of disease, and opposition to women working outside the home and "evil" toys are wrong.
My response: EWWWWW!!!

But here's something I agree with, though for the wrong reasons:
Gothard warned followers in a 1986 letter that Cabbage Patch dolls can cause "strange, destructive behavior."
Twelve years ago, I and the Boy Wonder (then almost 6) visited my long-lost eldest sister in the mountains of Georgia. As a lark, she took us to BabyLand General Hospital, where Cabbage Patch dolls are "born" (under mock cabbage plants) and "adopted" (by suckers, including what appeared to be men) for upwards of $200. The BW and I were exhibiting much destructive behavior by the time we exited, gasping for fresh, unsweetened air.


Anonymous said...

Church Shooter Raised a Gothardite, The Cincinnati Beacon, December 12, 2007 (Original article has links to source material):

A murderer who shot up Christians before getting killed by a church security guard was raised a Gothardite—a cult-like sect of ultra-evangelicals who follow the teachings of Bill Gothard. These teachings, incidentally, have a secularized front designed to infiltrate social and political institutions (like police departments), known as “Character Cities.” We happen to have a Greater Cincinnati Character Cities organization—originally implemented by Phil Heimlich, with Anthony Munoz as a front-man for advertising.

In a piece written for In These Times by Silja Talvi, entitled ”Cult of Character,” Talvi highlights many of the troublesome aspects of the “character” movement. And a few years ago, an I-Team in Indianapolis released a series of stories detailing the abuse kids experienced in one of these Gothardite training centers.

With direct connections to Bill Gothard, one must wonder how congressional candidate Phil Heimlich might respond to this most recent tragedy involving a young life led astray by these weird teachings. One must also wonder about Anthony Munoz, generally respected in the community as a principled leader.

The Greater Cincinnati Character Council has continued to plug away, with no real exposure about their strange connections to a character like Bill Gothard.

Bella, your state has three such "Character Cities," likely established by a stealth Gothardite:

Ft. Collins
Colorado Springs

You may wish to share this information with local reporters.

Bella Stander said...

The guard didn't kill Murray. She wounded him, then he shot himself. Though there is much to find fault with in his rigid upbringing (I know what neurologist I won't be seeing!), the young man obviously was mentally ill.

I'm sure the local press knows about the "character cities" here. Focus on the Family already gives Colo Spgs (as it's referred to on highway signs) more than enough "character." There has been much in the media about the evangelization of the Air Force Academy. The NYT wrote about it 2 years ago: Air Force Academy Staff Found Promoting Religion

Katie Alender said...

It's true, those dolls are evil. My dear childhood friend's mother was obsessed with them and eventually collected so many that they covered the living room sofa and chair. But touching them was totally forbidden. I wonder if she still has them.

I just remember how my mom yelled at the Toys R Us cashier when they said I couldn't have one. Ha ha ha. I evened out that karma by working in a toy store in high school.