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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Substantiate, Kevin

8 07 2008

The Prime Minister says of Pope Benedict:

All of Australia, [. . .] I believe, should treat him with respect.

Why?





Silvio Berlusconi: theocrat

10 06 2008

AGI reports:

“I thank the Pope for his appreciation of the new atmosphere which has broken out in Italy with the arrival of our political grouping in power. We model ourselves on the European Popular Party, and for the Vatican this is something to appreciate. We are on the Church’s side: we believe in the Christian tradition, in the undeniable value of life, on the role and the value of the family, on the defence of human rights, on solidarity, justice, tolerance. We respect the weaker members of society: the ill, children, the elderly, the marginalised. We are on the same wavelength as that on which the Church is active” affirmed Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, just before his meeting with the Pope, scheduled for 11 am today. Berlusconi added: “We hold that all kinds of dialogue are possible between Church and State. The Church and its organisations are free to express their thoughts on anything, the lay state has every right to follow its own lights in the government’s deeds. My Government cannot fail to meet with the approval of the Pope and of the Church”.

Berlusconi is Italy’s richest man, and his commercial empire includes three private television stations and the country’s leading daily newspaper. Two of the three state-run TV stations are operated by his supporters, and you are as likely to hear a critical word uttered about him in the Italian media as you are likely to hear criticism of Vladimir Putin in the Russian media. If this guy believes in justice and in the best interests of the weaker members of society, I have a Trevi Fountain to sell you.





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

29 04 2008

The week in fundie:

  1. Firstly, kudos to Petro Georgiou for his opposition to the Australian citizenship test, an icon of that other but equally virulent form of magical thinking: flag-waving jingoistic nationalism. On the test itself: what Ninglun said. On the fat lot of good this artefact of Howard-era dogwhistle politics has done: “Just 16,024 migrants applied to be citizens between January and March, compared with 38,850 at the same time last year.” (The Age)
  2. The fundamentalist war on women in “liberated” Iraq: how the sharia-based Iraqi constution enables honour killings. (The Independent)
  3. In Pakistan, the anti-blasphemy law enabled Muslim workers in a Karachi leather factory to beat a Hindu worker to death for “defiling the name of the prophet.” They beat him for half an hour. The assailants were charged with . . . (get this) . . . “failure to inform the police that blasphemy was underway.” Now the victim’s family is in danger. (AsiaNews)
  4. Meanwhile, the Pakistan National Assembly unanimously passed resolutions calling upon the Dutch and Danish governments to prosecute Dutch MP and filmmaker Geert Wilders, and urged the UN to “take legal, political and administrative measures to ensure respect for all religions in these societies.” (Pakistan Link)
  5. The Pope’s war on liberal democracy: Benedict urges US bishops to continue heavying Catholic politicians, demanding that they place religious dogma above their responsibilities to the people that elected them. (US News)
  6. The bishops appear to be listening. (New York Times)
  7. Everything you need to know about Expelled (short of watching it) you can find at The Bad Idea Blog. If you’re still not satisfied, visit Expelled Exposed.
  8. Christian students take a stand in favour of anti-gay bigotry and bullying in schools. (Baptist Press News)

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