“The bible was written at a time when people thought the Earth was flat, when the wheelbarrow was high tech. Are its teachings applicable to the challenges we now face as a civilization?. . .”
– Sam Harris (1967-), author of The End of Faith
Support our troops! Don’t let them have Playboy!
September 21, 2007
They’re fighting for our freedoms. And in order to fight for our freedoms, thousands of miles away from home, thousands of miles from their sweethearts and husbands/wives, they must be kept pure and without sin. Therefore, Christian groups demand the military not allow PX stores to sell porn (aka Playboy).
A Christian advocacy group is encouraging military families, and other concerned citizens, to write letters to the Defense Department expressing concern over the recent decision by the Pentagon that allows the sale of certain adult magazines at military exchanges. … Trueman says the Alliance Defense Fund is encouraging citizens to get involved in this fight over this pornography policy. “What we’re going to do is try to get more and more complaints into the military about this policy. Because in justifying this policy by the military what they’ve said [is] they’ve had few complaints from families about the sale of pornography in the military,” he says.
Trueman says sexual harassment and other problems in the military are exacerbated by pornography. He says this new policy, of deeming magazines like Penthouse and Playboy as not sexually explicit, counters common sense.
Complete article at:
What Happens When a Country Gives Up Religion: as Spain Shows, Nothing Much
Sunday, October 29 2006
During Franco´s dictatorship Spain was a very Catholic country. After 3 decades of democracy, Spain is not a Catholic country anymore. First, loss of religion became apparent with the legalization of divorce and contraceptives and the promotion of sex ed. This was followed by the decriminalization of abortion, the acceptance of drug possession for personal consumption (drug users are not criminals in Spain, but treated instead as medical patients) and a general acceptance of premarital sex. Later gambling in public places became commonplace, prostitution was legalized and regulated, and recently gay marriage became legal as well. So other than euthanasia, I can´t think of anything that the Church used to opposed that is not legal now in Spain. While 95% of the Spanish youth declared in the 60s that religion played some role in their life now only a third do.
Complete article at:
U.S. funds earmarked for anti-Darwin group
Sun, 23 Sep 2007
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter earmarked $100,000 for a group, headed by former political associates, that opposes teaching evolution in schools.
The money is set aside for the Louisiana Family Forum in the labor, health and education financing bill for fiscal 2008, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Sunday. The group is being paid “to develop a plan to promote better science education.”
The forum is slated to use the funds to write a report on ways to improve science education in Louisiana, but critics say support for the group — which once produced a “battle plan” to fight the idea of evolution — is really support for religious teaching in public schools.
Two of the group’s leaders were also paid as consultants to Vitter’s 2005 Senate campaign, the newspaper said, and the group has been one of the senator’s strongest proponents in Louisiana, supporting him even when he admitted recently he was the customer of a call-girl service.
Vitter defended the move, saying it will help teachers offer students a variety of views on “controversial topics” like life science and global warming.
The bill is still pending in the Senate.
The “Atheists, Get the Hell Out of America!!” letter is a Hoax!
Policy won’t change for one problem letter – Editorial
We have been betrayed.
It’s not easy to write these words, especially when we take so much pride in being the best — and most accurate — information source for the central Kenai Peninsula.
It all started Jan. 18. That’s when a letter came across the editor’s desk. The letter fell within our requirements — it included a name, local phone number and address. But it wasn’t until we read it that it raised our eyebrows.
The letter was from Alice Shannon of Soldotna.
In case you’re not familiar with Ms. Shannon’s letter, it called for “all the atheists in America: Get off of our country.”
She also went on to say, “Atheists have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking prayer out of our schools and being able to practice what can only be called evil. I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, atheists are the reason crime is rampant.”
The Clarion has received many angry letters over the years, but this one truly got our attention. Should we print it? Is it libelous? Is it relevant to the public’s interest? Does it cross the line of what we think Clarion readers want to see?
The decision was not taken lightly by any means. But one was made out of optimism. What we wanted to see was what our readers thought about this letter and how they would respond to it.
We never questioned Ms. Shannon’s sincerity. We felt she had laid it all out there for everyone to see. So the letter was printed.
In two days, we receive more than 30 letters. Some were angry with her. Some were angry with us. They said we should be ashamed of ourselves for printing it, and that we would never have done that if it were about blacks or Jews. They’re right, we wouldn’t have. However, to be an atheist, you make a conscious choice.
Complete article at:
Youth For Christ shuttered
By LATISHA R. GRAY
SARASOTA COUNTY — Youth For Christ officials said Saturday the center for teenagers will be closed until further notice following accusations that the director had a sexual relationship with a girl beginning when she was 13 years old.
Martin Moore, 42, handed in his letter of resignation Thursday and was arrested later that day on sexual battery charges. He remained in the Sarasota County jail Saturday on $251,000 bond.
The local chapter of the Christian teen center, located at 2800 Ashton Road, closed Friday and officials said they are unsure when it will reopen.
“The number one concern is the kids and all of the emotions,” said Don Gingerich, chairman of the Youth For Christ board. “We have been in touch with parents and churches that we work with to make sure they have what they need.”
Gingerich declined to comment further on the accusations against Moore.
Moore was arrested after the girl, who is now 17, told a teacher that she had a sexual relationship with him since she was 13.
Complete article at:
Wal-Mart To Sell Talking Jesus Dolls
“Jesus, who looks remarkably like the Brawny Paper Towel Man,” writes Steven Asma at In These Times, “has a kung-fu grip and utters soothing but authoritarian Bible quotes, like, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’”
Complete article at:
Judge Blocks Back-Door Approach to Restrict Abortion Access
A federal judge on Monday blocked implementation of a Missouri law that could force abortion clinics to shut their doors if they fail to comply with stricter facility standards. Although some proponents of the law claimed it is necessary to ensure patient safety, it is clear the intent was to impose burdensome regulations on abortion clinics that could lead to their closure. In fact, Governor Matt Blunt hailed the law as “one of the strongest pieces of pro-life legislation in Missouri history.”
The law requires abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, where women go for information, counseling, and services, to meet some of the same facility standards as heavily regulated ambulatory surgical centers. Examples include hallways at least 6 feet wide and doorways at least 44 inches wide. However, in its suit against the law, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri successfully argued the regulations would require the organization to spend either $2 million in upgrades unnecessary for women’s safety or stop offering abortion services entirely. The federal judge, apparently agreeing the regulations are onerous, blocked the law and ordered abortion providers and the state to come up with modified rules that would allow the facilities to stay open. If agreement is not reached, the case will go back to the judge for a final decision.
The Trend in Anti-Abortion “TRAP Laws”: The Missouri law is akin to back-door strategies in at least 28 other states to restrict abortion access. Referred to by reproductive rights activists as Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers, or TRAP laws, these anti-choice laws impose burdensome regulations that can lead to clinics shutting their doors. The Center for Reproductive Rights says TRAP laws are more “insidious” than abortion bans because they steadily and discreetly chip away at a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion by indirectly forcing clinics to close, achieving the same results as an all-out ban.
TRAP laws regulate everything from ceiling height, outdoor weed-control, and, in a win for sufferers of entomophobia, a law in South Carolina requiring clinics to keep outdoor shrubbery insect-free.
However, abortion rights activists are gaining headway against these laws by exposing their true intent, which is to limit a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion.
Progressive States Network http://www.progressivestates.org/dispatch
Suit charges sex abuse by priest
Sarasota Herald-Tribune – Sarasota,FL,USA
The diocese is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, with JG alleging the diocese has allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to stay here, and conceals …
Sex Abuse Suit Filed Against Bishop, Former Priest
WMTW – Auburn,ME,USA
By News 8 WMTW AUGUSTA, Maine — A former altar boy from Windham who said he was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in the mid-1980s has filed suit …
Former Preacher Charged In Wife’s Death.
09/22/2007 — Police in Kerr
County said they arrested Matthew Baker, a former preacher from the Waco area, …
Family, Friends Attend Ceremony At Capitol
WISC – Madison,WI,USA
The Freedom from Religion Foundation got the attorney general to remove prayer and hymn from the state ceremony due to constitutional concerns.
Americans United Warns New Jersey Fire Department To Stop Using Trucks To Transport Religious Statue
September 27, 2007
Department’s Decision To Haul Depiction Of Virgin Mary Violates Church-State Separation, Says Watchdog Group
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told a New Jersey fire department to stop transporting a nine-foot-tall statue of the Virgin Mary to area churches.
Americans United received complaints after media accounts detailed how members of the Jackson Mills Fire Company transported the statue, known as “Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin,” to New York City for a Sept. 11 observance and then to a church in Howell, N.J.
In New York, the firefighters, dressed in their official uniforms, carried the statue into the Church of St. Peter and helped install it near the altar. In Howell, the firefighters transported the statue to St. Veronica’s Roman Catholic Church and used a fire truck, with lights flashing and sirens blaring, as part of a processional that culminated in the parking lot of the church.
The motorcade also included fire trucks from nearby Jackson Township and police vehicles. The firefighters then joined members of the Knights of Columbus in carrying the statue into the church, and the event concluded with a special mass.
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said private vehicles should have been used to transport the religious icon.
“Have these guys never heard of U-Haul?” Lynn asked. “The use of this statue for worship is a purely religious matter and should be handled through private channels. No arm of the government need be involved.”
Lynn pointed out that the statue, which is touring the country, was transported from its home in St. Louis by a volunteer driver with a private vehicle. The same policy should have been followed in New Jersey, he said.
In a Sept. 26 letter to Jackson Fire Chief Mike Lubertazzi, Americans United attorneys pointed out that the activity surrounding the statue is wholly religious and should not be aided, endorsed or promoted by units of government.
AU also rejects claims that the firefighters engaged in these actions during their free time, noting that they used official vehicles and wore their uniforms.
“The fire company’s actions also conveyed an unmistakable message of religious endorsement generally, and endorsement of the Catholic faith in particular,” AU attorneys Alex Luchenitser and Heather Weaver wrote to Lubertazzi. “Firefighters not only transported the religious statue to New York City in official department vehicles, but they also donned their official department uniforms, including their fire-department badges, while doing so. As members of the public stood by to watch, the firefighters helped carry the statue into St. Peter’s, where they installed it in the church’s sanctuary, smiling and posing for photographs afterward.”
Noting the similar activity in Howell, the letter asserted, “A reasonable observer would perceive that the fire company has placed its imprimatur on the ‘Our Lady of America’ statue….Indeed, the department appears to have become a de facto cosponsor of the statue’s tour of the New York and New Jersey region.”
The statue’s travels are sponsored by a group called the Our Lady of America Center. The organization based the statue on appearances of the Virgin Mary claimed by an Ohio nun, Sister Mary Ephrem, who died in 2000. The nun first claimed to have received visions of the Virgin Mary in 1956. Her followers believe that if the statue is installed at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the country will be protected from evil.
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.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State www.au.org
Republican Corruption Didn’t End in 2006!
Sep 2, 2007
Republican Scandals in 2007
When Republicans were swept out of power in 2006, they blamed the Mark oley scandal for their losses and declared an end to Republican scandals.
So how’s that working out?
May 15, 2007: Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy is arrested for drunk driving (he pled no contest on June 1, but didn’t publicly disclose the event until June 11)
Complete article at:
three thousand words
Atheist Eve: did judas die by hanging … ?
Don Addis: church of lyin’tology
Richard Germain: healing services canceled …