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 »




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

2 06 2008

The week in fundie . . .

  1. Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion reports on calls from within the evangelical wing of the Church of England to convert British Muslims, on the grounds that “Our nation is rooted in the Christian faith and that is the basis of welcoming people of other faiths,” and despite the fact that in the nineties the Church leadership distanced itself from an organisation established to evangelise Jews (a point on which the evangelicals, Bartholomew notes, remain silent).
  2. The Spanish Inquisition Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decreed that “anyone trying to ordain a woman and any woman who attempts to receive the ordination would incur automatic excommunication” from the Catholic Church. Kiddy-fiddlers are still welcome, however. (Yahoo News)
  3. When it comes to the separation of church and state and the issue of whether there should be a religious test for public office in the US, Democrat member of the Indiana State House of Representatives David “Dave” Cheatham doesn’t beat around the bush. He argues that “Any public official should have as a top priority the goal of serving God and living a life as a witness for Jesus.” The separation of church and state is, for Cheatham, a “one-way street”:

    Religion and faith should be able to affect government policies and practices, but government should not interfere with legitimate religions. Restricting prayer in school and the reading of the Bible and the Ten Commandments was never intended to be the affect of the 1st amendment. Government has over-stepped their authority. Government’s relation to religion should be one of “benevolent neutrality.”

    “Benevolent neutrality,” means neutrality towards the religions Cheatham is prepared to recognise.

    government should not be used to favor a particular religion over another as long as the religion is a legitimate faith with the belief in God. Cults and other pseudo-religions are not really religions in my mind.

    Via Fundies Say the Darndest Things.

  4. Villagers in Orissa, India bound and gagged a woman they accused of being a witch, dragged her from her home to the local crematorium, and burnt her alive. This happened last week. It happens to dozens of Indian women every year. (Reuters)
  5. At an Anonymous rally in Glasgow, police ordered protesters to take down placards labelling Scientology a cult. Similar action was taken against a protester in London last month. (Sunday Herald)
  6. According to Jason Leopold at OpEdNews, some US soldiers are distributing Bibles and other fundamentalist Christian material translated into Arabic to thousands of Iraqi Muslims, in order to convert them to Christianity. Members of the 101st Airborne Division have been provided with a special military edition of Bible Pathway Ministries‘ Daily Devotional bible study book, and are using them, according to an officer in the division, “to minister to the local residents.” Elaborating upon this blatant violation of the Establishment Clause, Chief Warrant Officer Rene Llanos explains that “We need to pray for protection for our soldiers as they patrol and pray that God would continue to open doors. The soldiers are being placed in strategic places with a purpose. They’re continuing to spread the Word.”
  7. In the Filipino province of Leyte, the Catholic Church is considering tithing in order to keep its parishes afloat financially. This is in a country in which 26.9 percent of families were deemed to be living below the poverty line in 2006. (Inquirer.net)
  8. How much irony can you pack into one story? ABC News Online reports that moderate Muslims rallying in Jakarta in favour of religious tolerance have been attacked . . . by baton-wielding radical Muslims. The moderates were protesting against Indonesian government plans to ban the Ahmadiyah sect, considered heretical by many other Muslims. Read the rest of this entry »