Things they would have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City XXXI

9 04 2009

The week in whackaloonery:

1. A Catholic priest in the UK is shocked SHOCKED at the notion that the primary function of a hospital is the provision of medical care, and claims that if taxpayers don’t continue to foot the bill for “spiritual care” (chaplains, organ players and such), “hospitals could be reduced to mere workshops where you get your biological parts fixed.” Fancy that. (The Freethinker)]

2. The New Zealand Family First organisation is crying foul over a very funny billboard ad depicting a woman who, it is intimated, is privately deriving pleasure from anal beads during a church service. Given that “the church setting simply adds to the offensive nature by offending a sector of our community who would find the ad in particularly bad taste,” and given that said sector of the community has a right not to be offended, and given that nobody is thinking of teh children, NZ Family First has lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority. (The Freethinker)

3. In the recently fundy-ised Swat Valley region of Pakistan, a 17-year-old girl was publicly flogged by the Taliban. Swat was once a haven for tourists and was known as the “Switzerland of Pakistan,” until the Taliban took control in late 2008, torching schools and banning female education. (AsiaNews)

4. In Nepal, a woman accused of witchcraft was forced to eat human excreta by a primary school principal. (MYREPUBLICA)

5. Unfortunate article heading of the week from New Vision Online: “Catholic Church probes gay priests.” Homosexuality is teh evil, according to Ugandan Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, because “homosexuality is a sin,” and because “God created a woman for Adam, to be his helper.”

6. In liberated Iraq, in the wake of anti-homosexual sermons by clerics in Sadr city, six gay men have been murdered, their bodies discovered bearing a sign reading “pervert” in Arabic on their chests. (Reuters)

The Wonderful World of Magical Thinking XXVI

29 09 2007

The week in fundie . . .

  1. An article in the Washington Post surveys McCarthyism across the Islamic world. In one example, three Saudi Arabian democracy activists were thrown into prison on charges of using such “unIslamic terminology” as ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’.
  2. Republican presidential hopeful John McCain declares America a Christian Nation. Quote

    “But I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, ‘Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'”

    unquote. (Beliefnet)

  3. Producers of intelligent design documentary Expelled lied (for Jesus) to various interviewees, including PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins, in order to secure their involvement. (via Pharyngula)
  4. Catholic archbishop: condoms from Europe are deliberately infected with HIV in order to wipe out Africans. (via Pharyngula)
  5. The MySpace page of Major Freddy Wellborn, who lied (for Jesus) his way into a meeting of atheists and freethinkers among US military serving in Iraq and then shut it down. (via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
  6. UPDATE: Chicago dentist orders employees to recite Scientology formulas in order to get their paychecks, and learn about Scientology in order to keep their jobs. (via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

Ben Stein’s Expelled

"We have to kill them over here so I don’t have to kill them back in Colorado"

12 07 2007

The Nation is carrying a very disturbing report by Chris Hedges and Laila al-Arian on the brutality of US forces towards Iraqi civilians, and the effect this is having on some US soldiers once they return home and reflect on what they have seen and done.

In Iraq, Specialist Middleton said, “a lot of guys really supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don’t speak English and they have darker skin, they’re not as human as us, so we can do what we want.”

According to some US vets, this involved the indiscriminate shooting of civilians, running civilian vehicles off the road and running down pedestrians, including children, firing on civilian cars and families at checkpoints and planting IEDs on civilian dead to make it look as if they were combatants. A soldier described a riot at Abu Ghraib prison:

Nine prisoners were killed and three wounded after soldiers opened fire during the riot, and Specialist Delgado’s fellow soldiers returned with photographs of the events. The images, disturbingly similar to the incident described by Sergeant Mejía, shocked him. “It was very graphic,” he said. “A head split open. One of them was of two soldiers in the back of the truck. They open the body bags of these prisoners that were shot in the head and [one soldier has] got an MRE spoon. He’s reaching in to scoop out some of his brain, looking at the camera and he’s smiling. And I said, ‘These are some of our soldiers desecrating somebody’s body. Something is seriously amiss.’ I became convinced that this was excessive force, and this was brutality.”

See also:
Haditha massacre (Wikipedia)

US Soldier Atrocities in Iraq (CNN)