This entry was posted on
Monday, January 26th, 2004 at
9:35 am and is filed
This one focused on the Silver Ring Thing, which already enjoys $700,000 in funding from the Bush administration. They’re seeking further funding ($2m here, $2m there) “to combat the ‘liberal’ message of sex education” – and to take the show on the road to Uganda.
Current funding rules require them to run a ‘non-faith-based alternative seminar’ where funding is ‘directly’ involved. The Christian version ends with new recruits donning a ring inscribed with ‘1 Thess 4:3-4‘… I can’t help but quietly wonder if the alternative seminar features the same $80,000 sound and light show – and the same jewellery – or if it’s held in a small side room with a buffet of cucumber sandwiches and ‘alternative’ rings inscribed with: ‘I’m an Atheist and I don’t give a fuck’.
The guy running the show – Denny Pattyn – was shown organising a university-based debate with dangerous liberal types. He wanted Meg Meeker there to help sell the medical side and offered the time-strapped author a flight by private plane (no doubt funded ‘directly’ by private donations) to get her to this debate. He also announced the following without shame: “I haven’t told them you’ve written a book, because I don’t want them to go out and read it.”
At the very same debate, Meg Meeker dared to claim that she “was not about withholding information”.
These same people lobby to prevent kids 12-14 year old kids from receiving basic sex education. Yet Denny Pattyn’s own 11-year-old daughter wears a ring and is able to spout the STD-fear dogma almost word for word.
There’s more. And I’m grinding my teeth as I write this, so please excuse me…
The question we have to ask – especially given the funding – is as follows:
Is this about education and health, or is this about religion?
At the climax of the rally shown (I’m sorry, but there’s no way you could describe it as a ‘seminar’), Denny Pattyn got very close to the microphone for the Big Sell: “Maybe tonight’s the night you need to make your peace with God. Maybe tonight’s the night you need to settle it. Why not let tonight be the night that when you put on the ring, it’s the same night you say ‘Lord forgive me, forgive me for what I’ve been up to!'”
Forgive me for being unfair. I’m forgetting the ‘non-faith-based alternative’ seminars. Reid Carpenter, a consultant for Silver Ring Thing, is obviously a big believer in their effectiveness, and says at a later meeting: “Without Jesus, this thing is a failure!”
This programme is a blatant Christian recruitment drive – and just in case you have any doubts…
Silver Ring Thing founder and director Denny Pattyn: “I believe that the end of the world is approaching very quickly and I believe that Christ will come back. I think about that. I think that I might just be living in the Last Days.”
And, when asked if he thinks this is coming if his energy really should be put into an abstinence programme: “We’re not really putting our energy into abstinence as much as we’re putting it into faith. Abstinence is the tool that we’re using to reach children.”
He’s not worried about their health. He’s not worried about their future. In fact, he appears to be fairly certain that they don’t have one. Unless it’s with Jesus.
Another fine example of George W. Bush funding the Christian Right, who are neither Christian nor right.
And, presented for no reason whatsoever, Chapter 3 of George Orwell’s 1984…
UPDATE – Hooray. Now the Silver Ring Thing is bringing its lies to Britain.
UPDATE – (Dec 03 2004) Bloggerheads has now been updated so it allows for comments. This is a rather old post, but I used to get email about it every other day (usually from people thinking it to be an anti-Christian message when really it’s about a man who gets funding for a health campaign, but uses for a recruitment drive for his religion of choice). So… I’ve decided to open up the comments here and see if anybody has anything intelligent to say.
Oh, and I really, really want to share this with you:
Beware the deadly trouser snake!