Sunday March 29, 2009 – “I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.” – Jules Renard

THIS WEEK IN GOD: RELIGION COSTS COUNTIES CASH, ‘I BELIEVE’ LICENSE PLATES, AND EVOLUTION

By Steve Benen, Washington Monthly

A round up of what went down in religious right circles this
week.

http://tinyurl.com/dgdatl (www.alternet.org)

==========

105 Things You Can Do to Promote Skeptical Activism

We’re pleased to announce the exclusive web release of “What Do I Do Next?” (PDF), a 68-page ebooklet — available completely free from Skeptic.com.

http://www.skeptic.com/downloads/WhatDoIDoNext.pdf

Bringing together 13 leading skeptics from several organizations, this large-scale collaborative project attempts to answer the question, “Alright, I’m ready to become a skeptical activist. Now what?”

Inside, you’ll discover 105 things you can do to promote science and advance skeptical thinking. In a conversation of unprecedented breadth and detail, the panelists share 30,000 words of wisdom and advice about those 105 points.

Whether you’re a bright new skeptic or a long-time veteran, this point-by-point panel discussion is packed with ideas you’ll find provocative and valuable.

Download the full discussion —

http://www.skeptic.com/downloads/WhatDoIDoNext.pdf

or survey a point-form distillation of the entire list at Skeptic.com (html format).

http://www.skeptic.com/?article=WhatDoIDoNext

Beyond Reasonable Doubt By Geoff J. Henley

In God We Trust…

But does a just God really exists?

Former prosecutor and author Geoff Henley dares to take on the world’s biggest culprit – God Himself.

In a book that will challenge your beliefs and everyone else’s, he presents an unusual case expounding why he believes “He” is guilty Beyond Reasonable Doubt.

The final verdict could forever change the way you think…

From: http://www.geoffhenley.com/index.htm

Beyond Reasonable Doubt: A Lawyer’s Case for Disbelief in God ~ Geoff J. Henley

==========

ZOMBIE NEWT GINGRICH WANTS MORE BRAINS, ER RELIGION

By Melissa McEwan, Shakesville

Anyone who looks at the American landscape and sees “threats to religious liberty” is f*cking delusional.

http://tinyurl.com/cu5hkz (www.alternet.org)

==========

FRED PHELPS TO PICKET GAY PENGUINS

By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet

Fred Phelps is taking his show to London to protest a school that has the gall to teach kids to treat everyone with respect.

http://tinyurl.com/dkla8e (www.alternet.org)

==========

HOW BUSH AND CO. BROKE THE LAW TO KEEP WOMEN FROM USING BIRTH CONTROL

By Marie Cocco, Truthdig

Political operatives and ideological helpmates of George W. Bush broke the law to keep birth control away from women — particularly teenagers.

http://tinyurl.com/dgf92n (www.alternet.org)

==========

AU Press Release :: AU Urges Texas School Board To Reject Religious Indoctrination In Science Classes

Americans United Urges Texas School Board To Reject Religious Indoctrination In Science Classes
New Science Standards May Spark Litigation If Creationism Is Taught In Schools, Church-State Watchdog Group Says

March 24, 2009

The Texas Board of Education should remove language from proposed science standards that opens the door to teaching religious concepts in public schools, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“Texas can either have world-class science standards or allow fundamentalists to sneak religion into classrooms through the back door,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It can’t do both.”

The board has been deliberating the science curriculum for months. At issue is a set of standards known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The science standards are under review, and a faction on the board insists on using them to promote religion.

Read the full press release at au.org

http://tinyurl.com/c4f438 (www.au.org)

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

http://www.au.org/

==========

“Strengths and weaknesses” nixed in Texas again

March 26th, 2009

Read more

http://tinyurl.com/clr5ab (ncseweb.org)

The Texas state board of education again narrowly voted against a proposal to restore the controversial “strengths and weaknesses” language to the set of state science standards now under review.

==========

AU Press Release :: AU Praises Arizona Supreme Court Ruling Against School Vouchers

Americans United Praises Arizona Supreme Court Ruling Against School Vouchers

Church-State Watchdog Group Applauds State High Court For Blocking Tax Aid To Religious And Other Private Schools

March 25, 2009

Today’s Arizona Supreme Court decision striking down two school voucher programs is a welcome action that protects religious liberty and public education, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The Arizona high court, ruling unanimously, said the voucher subsidies violate a provision of the Arizona Constitution barring tax funding of religious and other private schools.

“This important decision reflects our best traditions,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It upholds the right of taxpayers to support only the religious institutions of their choice. Public funds should be spent at public schools.”

Read the full press release at au.org

http://tinyurl.com/cjm2l2 (www.au.org)

Read the Arizona Supreme Court decision (PDF)

http://tinyurl.com/d3evaf (www.supreme.state.az.us)

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

http://www.au.org/

==========

Action Alert: Help Rescind the Bush Conscience Clause Rule

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Last September, the Secular Coalition for America and our supporters lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect their rights to medical services from religious objectors by withdrawing the so-called “conscience clause” rule proposal. But, even though more than 200,000 Americans emailed HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt in opposition to this rule, the Bush Administration adopted the conscience clause as one of its last actions in office.

Now, President Obama has directed his current HHS Secretary to rescind the conscience clause rule, but we need to make sure that the Obama Administration understands that there is no room for middle ground on this issue. Tell Obama’s Acting Director of Health and Human Services that it is unethical for our government to encourage health care workers to deny important medical information and services to patients based on the perceived needs of a worker’s religious beliefs. Moreover, it would be irresponsible for the government to permit religiously motivated workers receiving federal funds to compromise federal programs by refusing to carryout their responsibilities.

TAKE ACTION NOW. http://tinyurl.com/dda9u3 (action.secular.org)

The conscience clause rule inappropriately places the religious beliefs of health care workers above the medical needs of their patients.

Health care workers (whether they are doctors, pharmacists, technicians, or emergency medical technicians) are employed in the field of medicine, not spirituality. They have the right to consider their own religious beliefs in determining what medical decisions they make for their own care, but their personal religion should never infringe on the right of a patient to seek products or procedures that they have a legal right to obtain. Moreover, health care workers who have responsibilities for federally funded research or other programs should never be permitted to undermine a program for which they work because they have religious objections to the program.

TAKE ACTION NOW. http://tinyurl.com/dda9u3 (action.secular.org)

Best wishes,
Secular Coalition for America

The Secular Coalition for America is the national lobby for atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic Americans. From our office in the nation’s capital, our lobbyists and support staff engage public policy makers and the media on issues ranging from religion’s influence on education and medical research to the privileging of faith groups by government. We are the first and only cooperative venture of nine member organizations coming together to improve the political situation of a previously unrepresented constituency: the tens of millions of atheists and agnostics in the United States.

http://www.secular.org/

==========

What is a million years like to you?

Mortal: What is a million years like to you?

God: Like one second.

Mortal: What is a million dollars like to you?

God: Like one penny.

Mortal: Can I have a penny?

God: Just a second.

==========

three thousand words

Richard Bartholomew
Artizans.com
Mar 25, 2009

The prophet baphomet (peace be upon him) ridicules jesus and easter.

http://www.jesusandmo.net/2009/03/27/eggs/

Cartoon du Jour – By Khalil: glad tidings in africa

http://tinyurl.com/dff2lc (www.bendib.com)

One Response to “Sunday March 29, 2009 – “I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.” – Jules Renard

  1. Debra says:

    Keep conscience clause for your own health!

    PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDING: HURRY TAKE ACTION NOW!!

    Rescission Proposal: 0991-AB49 http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?css=0&&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&N=0&Ntt=0991-AB49&sid=12078CBEF750

    On April 9, the 30 day comment period will end in which citizens can voice their concern of President Obama’s rescission of the conscience clause. This clause allows medical professionals and organizations (such as hospitals) to choose not to provide services which are contrary to their religious beliefs or missions. This specifically pertains to the performance of abortions and sterilizations. Information on the clause and to make a public comment can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?css=0&&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&N=0&Ntt=0991-AB49&sid=12078CBEF750

    The conscience clause has been in effect since the 1970′s, for over 30 years. During that time, abortions and sterilizations have grown in both demand and availability, being readily available throughout the country even in rural areas. Therefore, the existence of this regulation has in no way limited the ability of all Americans to receive these services if they choose.

    This clause has, however, protected the freedom of both medical professionals and medical organizations (a corporation is legally a “person”). It allows those individuals to conduct their medical work without being forced into any conduct that would contradict their faith views. It allows hospitals with faith-based missions to continue to practice as well. Note that Catholic hospitals are the largest provider of hospital services in the United states. Then consider other hospitals with faith based missions, and you can see the import of this clause to allowing these organizations to exist, as well as see that this clause has in no way limited availability of abortion services.

    There is an old saying “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”. This is true here. After 30 years, this amendment is well tested and has not inhibited the quality of health care provided to Americans.

    So why now is the Obama administration attempting to rescind this clause? We don’t know, but clearly it is not for the purpose of improving health care.

    What will be the results if this is rescinded? Catholic hospitals across the country, the largest provider of hospital services in this nation, will close down. Medical professionals of all faiths will risk losing their job due to religious discrimination or have to willingly give up their job. So the quality of healthcare IN EVERY SINGLE AREA OF HEALTH will be drastically and negatively affected, as well as religious discrimination and persecution institutionalized in our healthcare system. And all done to force mandatory abortion services that are not even needed because sufficient facilities and personnel exist to provide these.

    So why now is I the Obama administration attempting to rescind this clause? It makes absolutely no sense.

    Summary:

    Our country was founded upon religious freedom. To repeal this clause and force individuals as well as medical organizations to conduct acts against their religious beliefs or corporate mission statements is discrimination. There are sufficient providers of abortion and sterilization services across the country, even in rural areas; it is clearly not necessary to force medical professionals and organizations to conduct these services. This clause has been in effect for over 30 years without causing any undue hardship to the American people. Therefore, there is no sound, need-based reason for rescinding this clause. The reason can only be discrimination against people of faith. In rescinding this clause, our government is potentially ruining our entire health care system simply for the purpose of making abortion mandatory (note, it is already easily available). Even citizens with no particular faith belief can see how their overall health care will be adversely affected by this action. This defies all logic and so can only be hate based.

    It is important that every American, whether or not of any faith belief, stand up and insist this clause remain in effect for the continued quality healthcare of all American citizens IN ALL FIELDS OF MEDICINE. Don’t let a political agenda destroy our healthcare system.

    CALL BY THURSDAY BETWEEN 9AM AND 5PM EASTERN STANDARD TIME:
    Comments: 202-456-1111
    Switchboard: 202-456-1414

    OR

    EMAIL YOUR OBJECTION NOW
    proposedrescission@hhs.gov

    OR

    TYPE YOUR OBJECTION INTO THE WEBFORM NOW http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?css=0&&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&N=0&Ntt=0991-AB49&sid=12078CBEF750
    (IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH THAT LINK GO TO http://www.Regulations.gov
    ENTER 0991-AB49 into Search Documents
    (You will be able to get the facts here)
    Then click on Send a Comment or Submission