Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority, burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves, an Iraqi government minister told Reuters on Sunday.Time has some information on the faith:
Human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani accused the Sunni Muslim insurgents - who have ordered the community they regard as "devil worshippers" to convert to Islam or die - of celebrating a "a vicious atrocity" with cheers and weapons waved in the air. No independent confirmation was available.
Though a Kurdish sect and religion, the Yazidi faith has borrowed from multiple traditions. It was founded in the 11th century by a sheik from the major Islamic dynasty, the Umayyad.And why ISIS considers them to be "devil worshipers":
“They have borrowed from the Persian tradition, Zoroastrianism (a pre-Islamic religion), Christianity—they believe that Jesus was one of the most important prophets—and Islam,” Gerges said. “It is one of the most complex religions in the world.” The Yazidis believe in reincarnation, perform baptisms, circumcisions and animal sacrifices.
The Yazidis are monotheistic to an extent, believing that one supreme being known as Yasdan created the earth helped by seven angels. The most important of these is Malak Tawous, the peacock angel or king to whom the Yazidis pray to five times a day. His other name Shaytan means “devil” in Arabic. This, above all else, is what earned them the moniker of devil worshipers.Thinkprogress has more:
But despite this history of violence, Yazidis have long disputed the claim of devil worship as a misconception. To be sure, Yazidism is an ancient religion, and shares many rituals, practices, and theological beliefs with Christianity, Islam, and Zoroastrianism. But these commonalities can be misleading, especially given that the Yazidi tradition is actually older than both Christianity and Islam. Yazidis, for instance, are monotheistic and believe that God created the world, but also that our planet is under the care of seven Angels. Chief among these angels is Melek Taus, or the “Peacock Angel,” a powerful figure in Yazidism who, like the Christian/Muslim Lucifer, refused to bow to the first man — Adam — and was banished to a fiery punishment by God.It doesn't actually matter, of course, what the Yazidis actually believe and how often they "dispute the claim of devil worship." If it's the sincerely held religious belief of ISIS that they worship the devil, then facts pointing elsewhere, y'know, won't make much of a difference. But they rarely do to the truly faithful don't they?
Lest you think this is only an Islamic thing, let me remind you of some motes in some more local eyes.
In Exodus, we find this:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.It's one of the Commandments, you know. And in the Second Book of Chronicles, we find this:
That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.And in Deuteronomy, we find this:
6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;So how great of a theological step is ISIS making when it's so cruelly treating a whole religion, merely because it's different from its own?
7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
And while no one is saying that your church choir singing Aunt Mildred is running off anywhere to offer some non-believers a similar choice between starvation and decapitation, that impulse is there when we see this from Right Wing Watch:
...Operation Save America disrupted the services of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans on Sunday while the congregation was honoring a member who had died. The organization framed their action as simply an effort to “present the truth of the Gospel in this synagogue of Satan” as part of their efforts “to defeat the culture of death.”This is from the link just above:
At the Unitarian Universalist “church” in New Orleans, Deanna Waller, Jay Rogers, Mary Claire, Ken Scott, Russell Hunter, Toby Harman and others presented the truth of the Gospel in this synagogue of Satan. As God would have it, the “church” was filled with students from a “social justice” training school. According to Rev. Flip Benham, OSA National Director, the team presented a “dynamic witness.”Note the irony quotation marks in the first phrase. That's their way of saying that while the Unitarian Universalists call themselves a church, verily they know better. Note the use of "synagogue of Satan" at the end of that first sentence. I wonder if Benham's true believers left condemning the "intolerance" of the congregation whose space they just invaded. Or if they complained to themselves how the synagogue of Satan denied them their 1st Amendment rights to speak.
During an open “meditation” time, Deanna shared the Word of the Lord. When the female “pastor” took issue, Deanna reminded her that, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2). In violation of their “sacred tenants” of peace and tolerance, Deanna and others were summarily escorted out of the service.
I mean, hey, if it's their sincerely held belief that the Unitarian Universalists are a "synagogue of Satan" (it can't be the only such synagogue, right?) then it's their right to march right in there and fight Satan in the Jesus' name. Amen.
Then there's this, also from the RightWingWatch:
Right before chatting with a Republican congressman on his on “Trunews” program yesterday, End Times radio host Rick Wiles said that an outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. might actually be a good thing if it ends up giving an “attitude adjustment” to all the gays and atheists, along with people who use pornography or have had an abortion, who will die if they aren’t “protected by God.”If you don't have Jesus in your heart, then teh ebola's gonna getcha! And it'll be your fault!
“Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming,” he said. “Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”
“If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.”
This sort of crazie is what happens when someone is convinced they're completely right merely because their holy book tells them so. When they're backed by the guv'ment, look out.