Things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City XXVII

21 09 2008

The week in fundie . . .

Hello! Im HPV. Vaccinating your daughter against me makes baby Jesus cry!

Hello! I'm HPV. Vaccinating your daughter against me makes baby Jesus cry!

  1. Religious woo-woo is now being incorporated into the treatment of US military service veterans, the Washington Post reports. Patients are now undergoing routine “spiritual assessments,” and according to Annie-Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation are being evaluated on how many times a day they admit to praying. “If you don’t pass the test,” says Gaylor, “the answer is to give you more religion.” More alarmingly, the Post recounts the tale of an orthodox Jew who in 2005 was denied treatment for his kidney stones after he filed complaints against an Iowa veteran’s hospital. Despite telling hospital staff repeatedly that he did not want a chaplain visit, a Protestant pastor continued to enter his room and preach, warning him that he would go to Hell if he did not accept Jesus Christ as his saviour. This kind of thing has been perfectly kosher, of course, since the US Supreme Court ruled that US taxpayers “lack standing in challenging the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.”
  2. Shorter Pope Benedict: Catholics are a persecuted minority in Europe because European governments are secular and pass laws the Vatican doesn’t like. (New York Times)
  3. In a recent survey in a particular Western country, it has been discovered that more than one quarter of teachers believe creationism should be taught in the classroom. Which country? The US? No. The UK. (Telegraph)
  4. Call me a militant atheist fundamentalist bigot, but it is my view that when parents or schools for dogmatic reasons decide to opt out of medical treatment for the children in their care that could prevent them from contracting a potentially fatal disease later in life, these bullies should be charged with criminal negligence. In the Canadian province of Winnipeg, four private religious schools have opted out of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme aimed at Grade 6 girls across the province. HPV, by the way, is a cause of nearly all forms of cervical cancer. The schools in question named “religious reasons[: . . .] Some parent groups worry the vaccine sends the wrong message and may encourage preteen girls to engage in sexual activity.” And there’s apparently nothing that health authorities in Winnipeg can do about it. Let’s not choke each other’s chickens, here. This is about dirty old men getting positively giddy over the prospect of female genital disfigurement and womens’ suffering, absolving themselves at the same time with a sanctimonious appeal to the notion that they deserve what they get because sluttery makes Sky-Daddy mad. (The “She was asking for it, Your Honour” defence.) It’s also about so-called secular liberal democracies bending over backwards to pander to such rank sociopathy, even when it endangers the lives of those who are not allowed to choose for themselves. Any legal system which does not treat religion-inspired negligence in the same way it would treat any other kind of negligence constitutes the state sponsorship of religious dogma—the particular dogma in question being that it is more important to save souls (the existence of which has never been demonstrated) than to save lives. (Vancouver Sun)
  5. 55% of Americans are insane. Read the rest of this entry »
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Things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City XIV (updated)

12 05 2008

The week in fundie . . .

  1. No doubt by now you’ve all heard tell of “Sister Mary Bernadett” and “Bishop John Peter Bushey,” who left a dead woman to rot on the toilet in their house. The two have been charged with causing mental harm to a child, after they tried to convince a boy living in the house that “demons” were making it appear as if the decomposing woman was dead, and that if she (the deceased, that is) prayed hard enough she would return to life. (Via Pharyngula)
  2. Sean the Blogonaut blogs on the cultish activities of another Mercy Ministries-style faith-based rehab service: Teen Challenge.
  3. Christian Right leaders in the US are getting awfully uncomfortable about Senate investigations into the finances of certain “mega-ministries”–Benny Hinn, for example, pays no taxes on his seven-bathroom eight-bedroom home because he calls it a “parsonage– and have adopted a time-honoured counterstrategy: wailing about Christian persecution. (Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)
  4. Bartholomew also blogs on the upcoming carnival of stupid in California involving Creationists and Christian Zionists.
  5. In Malaysia, a religious court has allowed a woman to deconvert from Islam. Don’t applaud: she needed a court’s permission to deconvert. (BBC)
  6. In the Indian state of Gujarat, you’re facing a year in prison for conversion to another religion unless you tell the District Magistrate the time and date of your conversion, the length of time you followed your previous religion, and the reason for your conversion. (Inspire)
  7. The Observer reports on Yemen, “the worst place on earth to be a woman.”