Reprinted from Mike Malloy
Huffington Post has more:
"The Mormon church is addressing the mystery that has long surrounded undergarments worn by its faithful with a new video explaining the practice in-depth while admonishing ridicule from outsiders about what it considers a symbol of Latter-day Saints' devotion to God.
"The four-minute video on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website compares the white, two-piece cotton 'temple garments' to holy vestments worn in other religious faiths such as a Catholic nun's habit or a Muslim skullcap. The latest video dispels the notion that Latter-day Saints believe temple garments have special protective powers, a stereotype perpetuated on the Internet and in popular culture by those who refer to the sacred clothing as 'magical Mormon underwear.'
"The video and accompanying article feature more detailed information about the garments than has ever before been released to the public, Mormon scholars say. It was made to fill a void on the Internet, which has little, if any, accurate information about the undergarments, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. The video, also available on YouTube, explains that the undergarments are worn daily by devout adult Latter-day Saints as a reminder of their commitment to God to live good, honorable lives."- Advertisement -
"Twenty-one former Mars Hill elders charged him with threats, intimidation and bullying. Acts29, a global 'church planting' network, expelled Driscoll and Mars Hill, with its directors urging Driscoll to leave the ministry and seek help. A similar call came from nine pastors at Mars Hill.
"Driscoll has had to explain remarks, such as a posting under a pseudonym in which he referred to America as a 'Pussified Nation.' He had to answer charges of plagiarism. He had to apologize for hiring a consulting firm with Mars Hill money, and using church dollars to artificially puff sales of his book 'Real Marriage' to put it on The New York Times bestseller list.
"Mark Driscoll resurfaced less than a week after resigning as senior pastor at Mars Hill Church, getting a star's welcome at a major evangelical conference in Dallas/Fort Worth on Monday and saying he wants to 'sing, to pray, to learn, to grow, to repent.' 'I've cried a lot lately (and) it's been a rough season for the family,' Driscoll added. After telling the audience to take a seat, he opined: 'I would say don't overlook your family as first ministry.'"
And maybe don't use a pseudonym when making scatological critiques. Don't cry too hard, Mark. I'm sure your book sales will skyrocket as long as your name keeps making the national news. Prosperity gospel and all that.
And more information about Barry Freundel -- the peeping Tom Orthodox Rabbi who hid a camera in a clock radio to watch women in a ritual bath called a "mikveh," which is also used during the process of conversion to the Jewish faith. Perhaps not ironically, Rabbi Freundel was one of the nation's leading advocates to have conversions recognized by Israel. He is also a professor of Judaism and ethics. The Washington Post offers this new information:
"The case of a Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly videotaping women in the ritual bath expanded significantly Monday when a national rabbinical board said it had known since at least 2012 of complaints by women converts of inappropriate behavior. More female converts began speaking out Monday, including those who converted with Freundel and said he abused the power he had over them as the sole arbiter of their conversions.
"Among them was Leah Sugarman, 30, of Silver Spring, who said he required her at least weekly to do clerical work at his home and sometimes at Towson, including paying bills, organizing files and taking dictation. She said he made clear 'that the more he saw of me, the faster my conversion would be. I did think it was inappropriate, but I was desperate to do anything to get through the conversion process.' Sugarman said Freundel made 'constant' comments praising her appearance, asked about her dating life and encouraged her 'not to dress so modestly,' she said
"Freundel's story has been a huge topic of conversation among the Modern Orthodox, the part of Orthodox Judaism more open to the impact of contemporary trends such as women seeking high-level professions and public spiritual roles. Topics ranged from the potential for abuse of converts to the impact on Jewish sexuality of men being the ones in control of the mikvah.
"The mikvah -- which looks like a large tub -- has a ritual, purifying purpose for men and women, such as when people get married or convert or on the holy day of Yom Kippur. Women are required under Orthodox law to immerse in it monthly after menstruating and before they have sex with their husbands. The immersion marks a new cycle of potential conception.
"The council identified as a potential red flag Freundel's practice of asking people studying to convert to take 'practice dunks' -- something that has no basis in Jewish practice, is not required for conversion and that, the council statement said, 'would have engendered a more severe response.'
"The Silver Spring woman said Freundel told her that she had to do two practice dunks -- even though she expressed reservations. Now she thinks he was insisting so that she could be videotaped. 'At that point, it was like: 'Whatever you want me to do, I'll do it,' she said. After she finished the second dunk, she went to the waiting room. 'I remember him saying, 'I'm going to stay behind and lock up.'"