Who are the American Taliban?

I’ll give you a broad hint, if the pic above isn’t enough for you. They damn sure aren’t John Walker Lindh:

Teen Challenge by its own definition is an Assemblies of God USA evangelical Christian recovery program and a network of Christian social and evangelizing work centers. It is a 12-18 month program that serves drug addicts, alcoholics gang members, prostitutes, and people dealing with the life controlling problem of same sex attraction and addiction. Think of the program as a sanctification quick stop to redeem one in the eyes of the Assembly of God Church. I was told that once I spoke in tongues that god would work in my life and remove the gay feelings.

In the four months I lived at the teen challenge center in Muskegon Michigan, all personal decisions were left to the director of the center who was guided by a stern handbook that consisted of 111 individual rules and guidelines. A majority of these rules were designed to put program participants in submission to the program’s leaders who supposedly were anointed by God and spoke with the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. The physical evidence of their holiness the ability to speak in speak in tongues.

In the program, we were not ever allowed to look at females directly. Men and women had to sit on separate sides of the chapel and if a woman was singing or giving a testimony she did so behind an office cubical [sic] wall so that only her eyes were visible.

Yep, that last paragraph is the kicker. All that’s missing is the burqa. Women in a deeply inferior position, hidden from view except their eyes…sound familiar? This is what all the burqa-banning shriekers are trying to eradicate from North America and Europe. Or claiming to, at any rate; the fact that they are woman-oppressors in their own right is a thought that I’m sure has never occurred to them. And little wonder; this is the environment they have to work with themselves:

Learning at the center was mostly done through rote memorization. Workbooks for classes had places where critical thinking could potentially take place, but students were expected to just memorize the correct answer and fill it in.

The Taliban, too, are big on rote learning and recitation, and zero critical thinking; their madrassas are all about getting teenage boys chanting certain verses from the Qur’an to stoke the fires of intolerance for the unbelievers, while studiously ignoring those that directly contradict the Taliban’s austere view of the world. Likewise, these fundies are all about “hating the sin” at the expense of having any real concern for the well-being of the “sinner”. Jesus, it should be noted, never said a word about homosexuality–or, indeed, about women being subordinate, come to that.

I wonder if this is what the Coultergeist had in mind when she said “convert them to Christianity”. If so, it’s an epic fail even in the oh-so-Christ-ridden US of A. Gays who are anything but “ex-gay” are leaving programs like this one in droves, and often with psychological damage that takes years of hard work to undo.

As for women, they’ve got the burqa pretty well internalized; no need for veils when this is the mindset they have to struggle with.

But I’m sure that’s never occurred to shrieking harpies like the Coultergeist, who only think they are free, and who are utterly blind to the Taliban-level irony of their trying to force a bogus vision of “freedom” on others.

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