You are on page 1of 909

Table of Contents

The Atheist News.................................................................................................................................................1

Glastonbury new-agers protest WiFi................................................................................................................2

Riot police for Nepal temple row.......................................................................................................................5

Richard Dawkins interviews Nicholas Humphrey...........................................................................................8

Nobel laureate urges Iran to release blogger..................................................................................................10

Pilgrims die in Iraq bomb blast.......................................................................................................................13

¨For scholars, a combustible question: Was Christ real...............................................................................16

The Future of Man--How Will Evolution Change Humans?........................................................................19


Feedback for Post "The Future of Man--How Will Evolution Change Humans?"...............................22

Pakistan: Militants Announce Ban on Girls‎ Education in Swat................................................................23


Feedback for Post "Pakistan: Militants Announce Ban on Girls‎ Education in Swat "........................26

Atheist bus ad campaign provokes bitterness in Barcelona..........................................................................27

Religulous - Full Movie - now free on Internet..............................................................................................29


Feedback for Post "Religulous - Full Movie - now free on Internet"....................................................31

Is there a right way for Shiites to lash themselves on Ashura?....................................................................32

Sam Harris: 10 myths—and 10 Truths—About Atheism................................................................................35

Mark Steel: What creationists really hate is that we emerged by accident.................................................37


Feedback for Post "Mark Steel: What creationists really hate is that we emerged by accident"..........40

Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Perimeter of Ignorance........................................................................................42


Feedback for Post "Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Perimeter of Ignorance"...............................................45

Inauguration of a different kind with Salman Rushdie................................................................................51

Six Baha'is arrested in Iran; one worked for Shirin Ebadi's rights organizations...................................54

Pro-Life Group up in Arms over Krispy Kreme's Abortion Doughnuts....................................................57


Feedback for Post "Pro-Life Group up in Arms over Krispy Kreme's Abortion Doughnuts"..............60

Iran: Three men stoned; ten more at risk of execution by stoning..............................................................61

Chemists edge closer to recreating early life.................................................................................................64

i
Table of Contents
Atheist ads are kicked off the buses in Italy..................................................................................................67
Feedback for Post " Atheist ads are kicked off the buses in Italy"........................................................70

Sharia police block women's rally in Nigeria.................................................................................................71

Terrorist wanted India to be ‫ل‬Hindu nation‎ with Israel‎s help................................................................73


Feedback for Post "Terrorist wanted India to be ‫ل‬Hindu nation‎ with Israel‎s help".........................76

Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life................................................................................................77

Bad Faith Award 2008 to Sarah Palin............................................................................................................80

Taliban demands end to music on Pakistan buses.........................................................................................82

Vatican 2.0: Pope gets his own YouTube channel.........................................................................................84


Feedback for Post "Vatican 2.0: Pope gets his own YouTube channel"...............................................86

Halal meat taken off school menu after race row.........................................................................................87

"Teach the controversy"..................................................................................................................................90


Feedback for Post ""Teach the controversy""........................................................................................93

Paris opens door to author fleeing Islamist threats.......................................................................................95


Feedback for Post "Paris opens door to author fleeing Islamist threats "..............................................99

Sir David Attenborough: 'I get hate mail telling me to burn in hell for not crediting God.....................100

Rosengård 'growing more radical', as Muslim radicalism is in rise also in Sweden................................102


Feedback for Post "Rosengård 'growing more radical', as Muslim radicalism is in rise also in
Sweden"..............................................................................................................................................105

Charles Darwin's research to prove evolution was motivated by his desire to end slavery....................106

Atheist Bill Gates to give more during economic crisis...............................................................................109

Pat Condell: Shame on The Netherlands......................................................................................................112

The Crowded Catholic Cafeteria...................................................................................................................114


Feedback for Post "The Crowded Catholic Cafeteria"........................................................................117

'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology...............................................................................................118

Poll reveals public doubts over Charles Darwin's theory of evolution......................................................120


Feedback for Post "Poll reveals public doubts over Charles Darwin's theory of evolution"...............123

Johann Hari: Why should I respect these oppressive religions?................................................................124


Feedback for Post "Johann Hari: Why should I respect these oppressive religions?".........................126

ii
Table of Contents
"Mr. Obama, the first Atheist President"....................................................................................................128
Feedback for Post ""Mr. Obama, the first Atheist President""............................................................131

Facing up to Canada's dark history..............................................................................................................132


Feedback for Post "Facing up to Canada's dark history "....................................................................135

New Scientist: How to control a herd of humans.........................................................................................136


Feedback for Post "New Scientist: How to control a herd of humans"...............................................138

Jerry A. Coyne: Seeing and Believing...........................................................................................................139


Feedback for Post "Jerry A. Coyne: Seeing and Believing"................................................................142

Iraq's 'female bomber recruiter' may have used rape as recruiting tool..................................................143
Feedback for Post "Iraq's 'female bomber recruiter' may have used rape as recruiting tool"..............145

Religious violence intensifies also in Pakistan..............................................................................................146


Feedback for Post "Religious violence intensifies also in Pakistan"...................................................148

Pakistani man faces blasphemy charges over text message........................................................................149


Feedback for Post "Pakistani man faces blasphemy charges over text message "..............................152

Richard Dawkins gets his own YouTube channel........................................................................................153

Chesley Sullenberger had no need for prayers............................................................................................155


Feedback for Post "Chesley Sullenberger had no need for prayers"...................................................157

Dalai Lama's Twitter account is a fake.........................................................................................................158

Born believers: How your brain creates God...............................................................................................160


Feedback for Post "Born believers: How your brain creates God".....................................................163

Journalists arrested for 'offending Islam' in India......................................................................................164


Feedback for Post "Journalists arrested for 'offending Islam' in India"...............................................166

Dawkins reviews Coyne's "Why Evolution is true"....................................................................................167

The least religious nation in the world is Estonia........................................................................................170


Feedback for Post "The least religious nation in the world is Estonia"...............................................173

"Today, we have to use our right to criticize religion - or lose it."............................................................174


Feedback for Post ""Today, we have to use our right to criticize religion - or lose it."".....................177

Extreme religious fanatics sacked in Saudi-Arabia.....................................................................................178

Taleban brings the cruel Sharia law to a whole province in Pakistan.......................................................181

iii
Table of Contents
Taleban threats reach out to New York........................................................................................................184

New opera-oratorio honors Charles Darwin................................................................................................187

"The shares of Cuckoo Inc are always in a bull market"...........................................................................190

Iran blocks Deutsche Welle's and Radio France's websites........................................................................193

One Law For All - No Sharia.........................................................................................................................195


Feedback for Post "One Law For All - No Sharia".............................................................................198

Dawkins believes that women will beat the Islamic terrorism...................................................................199


Feedback for Post "Dawkins believes that women will beat the Islamic terrorism"...........................202

Fatwa on yoga angered Malaysian Muslim women.....................................................................................203

ćEvin prison is being turned into a universityć - Arrests after protest in Tehran....................................206

The great Four Horsemen -discussion comes to YouTube..........................................................................209

Muslim schools warn of Harry Potter and chess in the UK........................................................................211


Feedback for Post "Muslim schools warn of Harry Potter and chess in the UK"...............................214

Al-Qaeda wants Germany to 'renounce capitalism'!...................................................................................215


Feedback for Post "Al-Qaeda wants Germany to 'renounce capitalism'!"...........................................218

Why American Muslims don't blow things up?...........................................................................................219

How to spot a hidden religious agenda on ‫ل‬scientific‎ text?......................................................................222

The ban on "Life of Brian" is finally lifted in Aberystwyth.......................................................................225

Italian bishop wants youth to give up mobiles for Lent..............................................................................228


Feedback for Post "Italian bishop wants youth to give up mobiles for Lent".....................................230

Happy Birthday, Vatican!..............................................................................................................................231

Will criticizing the Islamic faith became a crime?.......................................................................................234


Feedback for Post "Will criticizing the Islamic faith became a crime?".............................................236

Tony Blair's Christian past revealed.............................................................................................................237

Taliban eradicates music from Swat valley..................................................................................................240


Feedback for Post "Taliban eradicates music from Swat valley"........................................................243

Saudi court orders a 75-year old lady flogged for mingling with men......................................................244
Feedback for Post "Saudi court orders a 75-year old lady flogged for mingling with men"...............247

iv
Table of Contents
Adolf Hitler had an invisible friend too........................................................................................................248

Over 45 million people outside all religions in the United States?.............................................................251


Feedback for Post "Over 45 million people outside all religions in the United States?"....................253

Witch-hunting continues in Africa................................................................................................................254

Science editor sacked for publishing a story about evolution in Turkey...................................................257


Feedback for Post "Science editor sacked for publishing a story about evolution in Turkey"............260

20 years in prison just for translating the Quran........................................................................................262


Feedback for Post "20 years in prison just for translating the Quran "................................................265

Quiverfull - the sect of child-bearing machines...........................................................................................266


Feedback for Post "Quiverfull - the sect of child-bearing machines".................................................269

Fear for Iranian Shii‎te extremism on the rise in the Arab world also....................................................270
Feedback for Post "Fear for Iranian Shii‎te extremism on the rise in the Arab world also"..............274

Is atheism already a force to be reckoned with?..........................................................................................275


Feedback for Post "Is atheism already a force to be reckoned with?".................................................278

Every Sperm is Sacred....................................................................................................................................279


Feedback for Post "Every Sperm is Sacred"........................................................................................282

Iran reveals a cunning plot to spread wrong kind of information on the Computer Internet................283

ćDefamation of religionć will not became a crime - A victory for reason in the UN................................286
Feedback for Post "ćDefamation of religionć will not became a crime - A victory for reason in
the UN"...............................................................................................................................................288

"The National Academy of Sciences' Sinister Scheme to Teach Our Children They're Descended
from Reptiles"................................................................................................................................................289

Algeria peddles a moderate version of Islam in state-TV...........................................................................292


Feedback for Post "Algeria peddles a moderate version of Islam in state-TV"..................................295

Making ‎eye babies‎......................................................................................................................................296


Feedback for Post "Making ‎eye babies‎ "........................................................................................299

Is religion blocking the way to peace in Israel?...........................................................................................300


Feedback for Post "Is religion blocking the way to peace in Israel? "................................................303

Who pays Anjem Choudary to spread hatred?...........................................................................................305


Feedback for Post "Who pays Anjem Choudary to spread hatred?"...................................................308

v
Table of Contents
The slow death of freedom of expression......................................................................................................309

Poll - 70 percent of Americans believe Satan is real!...................................................................................312


Feedback for Post "Poll - 70 percent of Americans believe Satan is real!".........................................315

Honor killings are changing to honor suicides in Turkey...........................................................................316

Fifteen hundred ‫ل‬debaptised‎ in one week in UK......................................................................................319


Feedback for Post "Fifteen hundred ‫ل‬debaptised‎ in one week in UK".............................................322

Catholic bishops in US ban Japanese reiki...................................................................................................323


Feedback for Post "Catholic bishops in US ban Japanese reiki".........................................................326

Why women still do not have full human rights in Afghanistan?..............................................................327


Feedback for Post "Why women still do not have full human rights in Afghanistan?"......................330

The rise (and fall) of Atheist News................................................................................................................332

Baha‎is face increasingly violent attacks in the Muslim world..................................................................335

Orthodox Israeli newspapers forge photos to hide woman ministers........................................................338

Study shows: Prayer is talking to a imaginary friend.................................................................................341


Feedback for Post "Study shows: Prayer is talking to a imaginary friend".........................................344

How Christians took over the Feast of Spring?...........................................................................................345


Feedback for Post "How Christians took over the Feast of Spring?"..................................................348

Does religiosity breed racial intolerance?.....................................................................................................350


Feedback for Post "Does religiosity breed racial intolerance?"...........................................................353

Is censorship creeping into Facebook?.........................................................................................................354


Feedback for Post "Is censorship creeping into Facebook?"...............................................................357

Saudi-Arabia wants secret cameras on Internet cafes.................................................................................358


Feedback for Post "Saudi-Arabia wants secret cameras on Internet cafes".........................................361

Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?..........................................................................362


Feedback for Post "Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?".................................374

Will Taliban have nuclear weapons soon?....................................................................................................375


Feedback for Post "Will Taliban have nuclear weapons soon?".........................................................378

Torture video from UAE shocks the world..................................................................................................379


Feedback for Post "Torture video from UAE shocks the world"........................................................382

vi
Table of Contents
―Why is it that these right-wing family-values guys are always the worst sinners?ć...............................386
Feedback for Post "―Why is it that these right-wing family-values guys are always the worst
sinners?ć"............................................................................................................................................389

Israeli official: Swine flu name offensive......................................................................................................391

Is blasphemy going to be a crime in Ireland?...............................................................................................394


Feedback for Post "Is blasphemy going to be a crime in Ireland?".....................................................397

Brutal stonings continue in Iran....................................................................................................................398

Have a great Day of Reason!..........................................................................................................................401


Feedback for Post "Have a great Day of Reason!"..............................................................................404

Muslim insurgents continue bloodletting in the Philippines.......................................................................405


Feedback for Post "Muslim insurgents continue bloodletting in the Philippines"..............................408

Roxana Saberi fights herself free...................................................................................................................409

Christians in dire straits in the Middle East................................................................................................411

A shocking sex scandal in the Catholic Church - a man kissed a woman.................................................414


Feedback for Post "A shocking sex scandal in the Catholic Church - a man kissed a woman"..........417

The Pope strikes back in Facebook...............................................................................................................418

The illusion of democracy crumbles again in Iran......................................................................................420


Feedback for Post "The illusion of democracy crumbles again in Iran".............................................423

Will they finally kick Scientology out of France?........................................................................................424

Was Bush fulfilling the prophecies by attacking Iraq?...............................................................................427

Can plucking of eyebrows really make you lose your identity?.................................................................430

Does eating pork unknowingly endanger a Muslims eternal salvation?...................................................432


Feedback for Post "Does eating pork unknowingly endanger a Muslims eternal salvation?"............435

Why the result of the presidential elections In Iran does not really matter?............................................436

Should we envy Muslims for their interest-free loans?...............................................................................439


Feedback for Post "Should we envy Muslims for their interest-free loans?"......................................441

Is Iran on the brink of an real revolution?...................................................................................................442

A hand and a leg for a mobile phone and a gun in Somalia........................................................................445

vii
Table of Contents
Is the Jewish faith just a harmless collection of traditions and rules?.......................................................447
Feedback for Post "Is the Jewish faith just a harmless collection of traditions and rules?"................450

What, does the Pope believe in science?........................................................................................................456


Feedback for Post "What, does the Pope believe in science?"............................................................459

Would you trust the Pope with an army?.....................................................................................................461

Genie sued for harassment in Saudi-Arabia; honest, no kidding!.............................................................463


Feedback for Post "Genie sued for harassment in Saudi-Arabia; honest, no kidding!"......................465

Greatest atheist thinkers now live in Facebook!..........................................................................................466

Is breaking the Sabbath really still a sin?.....................................................................................................470


Feedback for Post "Is breaking the Sabbath really still a sin?"...........................................................473

40 lashes wait a reporter in Sudan for wearing indecent clothing.............................................................474


Feedback for Post "40 lashes wait a reporter in Sudan for wearing indecent clothing"......................477

Do Facebook and MySpace drive people to suicide?...................................................................................478


Feedback for Post "Do Facebook and MySpace drive people to suicide? "........................................481

Is it possible to even talk about sex in Saudi-Arabia?.................................................................................482


Feedback for Post "Is it possible to even talk about sex in Saudi-Arabia?"........................................485

Will cow urine become a new best seller soft drink in India?....................................................................486
Feedback for Post "Will cow urine become a new best seller soft drink in India?"............................489

What is the funniest reason for starting a new state church?.....................................................................491


Feedback for Post "What is the funniest reason for starting a new state church?"..............................494

What a good muslim needs to know about the stoning of women?............................................................495


Feedback for Post "What a good muslim needs to know about the stoning of women?"...................497

Did the Catholic Church steal and sell thousands of Irish babies?............................................................502
Feedback for Post "Did the Catholic Church steal and sell thousands of Irish babies?".....................505

Is "materialism" a bigger threat to Africa than hunger and poverty?.....................................................506


Feedback for Post "Is "materialism" a bigger threat to Africa than hunger and poverty?".................509

"Sell The Vatican Save The World".............................................................................................................510


Feedback for Post ""Sell The Vatican Save The World""...................................................................512

Biblical sex row over explicit illustrated Book of Genesis...........................................................................513


Feedback for Post "Biblical sex row over explicit illustrated Book of Genesis "...............................515

viii
Table of Contents
Nobel winner slams Bible as 'handbook of bad morals'..............................................................................516
Feedback for Post "Nobel winner slams Bible as 'handbook of bad morals' "....................................518

Churches involved in torture, murder of thousands of African children denounced as witches...........538

Editors Of "Ahmar Bel Khat El-Arid " In Court Accused Of Expressing Sin........................................541

Religion Is Absurd by Christopher Hitchens...............................................................................................543


Feedback for Post "Religion Is Absurd by Christopher Hitchens"......................................................545

A Mother, a Sick Son and His Father, the Priest.........................................................................................546

Kuwaiti women win passport rights..............................................................................................................548

How Mormonism Created Glenn Beck.........................................................................................................550


Feedback for Post "How Mormonism Created Glenn Beck"..............................................................552

The Bone Collectors - It's time to bring relics back to the Catholic Church............................................553

'A Universe From Nothing'............................................................................................................................555

Former Muslim receiving death threats......................................................................................................557


Feedback for Post " Former Muslim receiving death threats "............................................................559

In southern India, Hindu radicals declare war on Muslims over Love Jihad...........................................560
Feedback for Post "In southern India, Hindu radicals declare war on Muslims over Love Jihad".....562

Christian Evangelists exposed.......................................................................................................................564

Scientology Spokesman Storms Out Of Nightline Interview......................................................................566


Feedback for Post "Scientology Spokesman Storms Out Of Nightline Interview".............................568

Saudi Talk Show Female Producer Sentenced to 60 Flogs.........................................................................569

Iran arrests 12 accused of promoting satanism...........................................................................................571


Feedback for Post "Iran arrests 12 accused of promoting satanism"...................................................573

Somalia's embattled Christians - Almost expunged....................................................................................574

Scientologists convicted of fraud in France..................................................................................................576

Woman whipped for wearing a bra in Somalia...........................................................................................578


Feedback for Post "Woman whipped for wearing a bra in Somalia"..................................................580

British Bishop Fined for Denying Holocaust in TV Interview...................................................................581


Feedback for Post "British Bishop Fined for Denying Holocaust in TV Interview"...........................583

ix
Table of Contents
Sugar Union Leaders Sentenced to Prison in Iran......................................................................................584

U.S. opposes bid to bar religious defamation...............................................................................................586

Doesn't Criticising Islam contribute to Racism?.........................................................................................588


Feedback for Post "Doesn't Criticising Islam contribute to Racism?"................................................590

Religious Right Columnist: Halloween Candy a Demonic Threat.............................................................591

Oscar-winning director: why I'm leaving Scientology...............................................................................593

The Evolution of Confusion' by Dan Dennett..............................................................................................595

Richard Dawkins: One Fact to Refute Creationism....................................................................................597


Feedback for Post "Richard Dawkins: One Fact to Refute Creationism"...........................................599

The Big Book of Humanity -project is launching........................................................................................600

Iran bans pro-reform business daily and bars dissident from collecting rights prize..............................602

Iranian-American Scholar Sentenced to 15 Years in a Judicial Travesty.................................................604

Nepal's 'laptop astrologer' takes to the airwaves.........................................................................................606

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - The Caged Virgin..............................................................................................................608

Italy condemns European crucifix ruling.....................................................................................................610

Healthcare provision seeks to embrace prayer treatments.........................................................................612

Washed-Up Actor Leads Cause to Distribute Christianized Version of Darwin's Evolution Theory....614

'Why Evolution Is True' by Jerry Coyne, AAI 2009...................................................................................616

Bad Faith Awards 2009: the polls are open..................................................................................................618

The first Kiva Lending Team to reach $1,000,000 in loans is the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics,
Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious!.........................................................................620

Three Views of Carl Sagan.............................................................................................................................622

Intelligence Squared Debate: Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry vs. The Catholics.......................624
Feedback for Post "Intelligence Squared Debate: Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry vs. The
Catholics "...........................................................................................................................................626

Fatwa issued against the national song of India...........................................................................................628

x
Table of Contents
Neil Tyson talks about UFOs and the argument from ignorance..............................................................630

Teacher beheaded in Philippines...................................................................................................................632

Act Now to Save Iranian Apostate from Execution.....................................................................................634

Did Christianity Cause the Crash?...............................................................................................................636

Catholic priests, scientists head to Rome to ponder alien life.....................................................................639

Denying Reality, or the Heavy Cost of Political Correctness......................................................................641

Iran executes man charged with being an "enemy of God".......................................................................643

'Godless' billboard relocated due to threats of violence in Cincinnati......................................................645


Feedback for Post "'Godless' billboard relocated due to threats of violence in Cincinnati"................647

How Right-Wing Cult Leader Sun Myung Moon Bought Washington.....................................................648

'Sabbath' protest targets Intel.......................................................................................................................650

Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again...................................................................................653

Catholic Bishops Put Sex Obsession Ahead of Mission to the Sick and the Poor.....................................655

Christian Bootcamp Seeks to Arm Home-Schooled Youths for "Spiritual Warfare".............................657


Feedback for Post "Christian Bootcamp Seeks to Arm Home-Schooled Youths for "Spiritual
Warfare""............................................................................................................................................660

―Faith is no reason.ć.......................................................................................................................................661

BibleThumper iPhone App Finds Cool Bible Verses for Atheists..............................................................663

Islamists stone a woman for adultery in Somalia........................................................................................665


Feedback for Post "Islamists stone a woman for adultery in Somalia"...............................................668

'There is grandeur in this view of life' by Richard Dawkins, AAI 2009....................................................669

Free Expression Cartoon Contest!................................................................................................................671


Feedback for Post "Free Expression Cartoon Contest!"......................................................................673

Born in U.S., a Radical Cleric Inspires Terror............................................................................................674

What if People Actually Treated Religion as Just a Metaphor (Like Trekkies and Secular Jews)?......677

Pat Robertson Non sequitur vs. Hitchens intellectual honesty...................................................................679

xi
Table of Contents
Why are we against sharia law?....................................................................................................................681

Kennedy Says Bishop Told Him Not to Receive Communion....................................................................683


Feedback for Post "Kennedy Says Bishop Told Him Not to Receive Communion ".........................685

"Psalm-109:8 Obama" -T-shirts raises heated debate................................................................................686


Feedback for Post ""Psalm-109:8 Obama" -T-shirts raises heated debate".........................................688

The Secret Political Reach Of 'The Family'.................................................................................................689

Somali-Americans recruited jihadists, say US prosecutors........................................................................692

Watch the film Obsession for free.................................................................................................................694

Is Belief in God Hurting America?................................................................................................................696

Taliban suffocate Pakistan Buddhist heritage.............................................................................................698

Turkish sociologist: Muslim values blocking integration............................................................................700

Saudi Arabia urged to quash witchcraft death sentence.............................................................................702

Up to 500 000 animals killed in world's largest ritual animal slaughter in Nepal....................................704

Shirin Ebadi Nobel Peace Prize medal 'seized by Iran'..............................................................................706

Did you see this in a T-shirt?.........................................................................................................................708


Feedback for Post "Did you see this in a T-shirt?"..............................................................................711

"Without religion, the human race will work out its own rules for right and wrong "...........................713

Majorities Reject Banning Defamation of Religion: 20 Nation Poll..........................................................715

Pat Condell on aggressive atheism................................................................................................................717


Feedback for Post "Pat Condell on aggressive atheism "....................................................................719

Stephen Fry's beautiful comments on a world without God.......................................................................720


Feedback for Post "Stephen Fry's beautiful comments on a world without God"...............................722

Howard Stern Show discusses Kirk Cameron.............................................................................................723


Feedback for Post "Howard Stern Show discusses Kirk Cameron"....................................................726

Fox News Dumbest Anti-Atheist Question of the Month?..........................................................................727


Feedback for Post "Fox News Dumbest Anti-Atheist Question of the Month?"................................729

Is Pentecostal Christianity Especially Superstitious?..................................................................................730

xii
Table of Contents
Maryam Namazie on the threat of Sharia Law............................................................................................732
Feedback for Post "Maryam Namazie on the threat of Sharia Law"...................................................734

Tory Muslim peer pelted with eggs by extremist Muslims.........................................................................735

My Religion is True, Yours a Mistake!.........................................................................................................737


Feedback for Post "My Religion is True, Yours a Mistake!"..............................................................739

Iran's state television to ban makeup for women........................................................................................740

Unreported World: The Battle for Israel's Soul..........................................................................................742

Does the Vatican Have a Say in Your Health Decisions?............................................................................744

Blessed are the conservative in Bible translation.........................................................................................746

Why God is a Poor Scientific Explanation...................................................................................................748

Iranian Oppression Spreads Farther Than its Boarders............................................................................750

The Little Book of Humanity is here.............................................................................................................753

"Belief" in Science..........................................................................................................................................755

The meaning of Christmas, By Scrooge........................................................................................................757


Feedback for Post "The meaning of Christmas, By Scrooge".............................................................759

New Agers and Creationists should not be President..................................................................................760

Somalis rally against al-Shabab Islamists and bombing............................................................................762

Witch Hunter Sues Humanist Activist in Attempt to Quell Criticism......................................................764

10 strangest Jesus sightings of 2009..............................................................................................................766


Feedback for Post "10 strangest Jesus sightings of 2009"...................................................................768

The best of atheist blogging............................................................................................................................769


Feedback for Post "The best of atheist blogging"................................................................................775

Julia Sweeney: "Letting Go of God" in Showtime......................................................................................776


Feedback for Post "Julia Sweeney: "Letting Go of God" in Showtime".............................................778

Ireland's abortion law challenged in European court.................................................................................779

Atheists At Christmas: Eat, Drink And Be Wary........................................................................................781

xiii
Table of Contents
Amnesty: "Patterns of abuse" in Iran..........................................................................................................783

Deconversion from Religion - Better for Humanity?..................................................................................785

Survey: Americans Mix and Match Religions..............................................................................................787


Feedback for Post "Survey: Americans Mix and Match Religions"....................................................789

Creationism: Still crazy after all these years................................................................................................790

Harlan Ellison on God....................................................................................................................................792

In North Carolina, Lawsuit Is Threatened Over Councilman‎s Lack of Belief in God..........................794

Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life....................................................................................796

We don't need God, we've got biscuits..........................................................................................................798

Woman who Fight for her Rights in Saudi Arabia......................................................................................800

Jewish lobby wages war on Christmas trees................................................................................................802

Burka Barbie, a doll for the modern age......................................................................................................804


Feedback for Post "Burka Barbie, a doll for the modern age".............................................................806

10 Things You Don't Know About Jehovah's Witnesses............................................................................807


Feedback for Post "10 Things You Don't Know About Jehovah's Witnesses"...................................810

Sam Elliott slams church over Golden Compass sequels............................................................................812

Why We're Fascinated by the Paranormal, Masonic Myths and Secret Societies...................................814

Leading article: Religion, not race, is the key..............................................................................................816

Atheists Can't Think For Themselves!.........................................................................................................818


Feedback for Post "Atheists Can't Think For Themselves!"...............................................................820

An Ecological Approach to Stopping Fundamentalism - David Sloan Wilson.........................................821

Saudi Arabia, Egypt among most restrictive on religion............................................................................823


Feedback for Post "Saudi Arabia, Egypt among most restrictive on religion"....................................825

Tim Minchin - Storm......................................................................................................................................826

God's Divine Sperm? Lib Church Shakes Up Story of Jesus' Birth..........................................................828

Russian Orthodox Church will join with Vatican in bid to crush secularism..........................................830
Feedback for Post "Russian Orthodox Church will join with Vatican in bid to crush secularism"....832

xiv
Table of Contents
The Reason Project Video Contest begins - 10 000 dollars up for grabs...................................................833

Study: Religion repressed in third of world.................................................................................................835

Atheists Love Christmas Too!........................................................................................................................837

Happily God-Free...........................................................................................................................................839

UK fails to halt female genital mutilation.....................................................................................................842

White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin - The Atheist Christmas song of all times?.............................844

Dominic Lawson: It's no wonder some Christians forget that Jesus was Jewish.....................................846

Is "Avatar" selling pantheism?.....................................................................................................................848


Feedback for Post "Is "Avatar" selling pantheism?"...........................................................................850

Evolution explained!.......................................................................................................................................851

Christmas without Jesus.................................................................................................................................853

Tarek Fatah : Chasing a Mirage The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State (full book free online)...........855

Is Jesus really the Reason for the Season?....................................................................................................858

Atheists SECRETLY believe in Yahweh?....................................................................................................860


Feedback for Post "Atheists SECRETLY believe in Yahweh?".........................................................862

Egypt's Niqab War: The Regime and Islamic Establishment versus Extremist Islam............................863

The story of Festivus from Seinfeld...............................................................................................................865

Psychosis and stress link after asylum study................................................................................................867

Called by the universe, A conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson............................................................869

Jesus Hated War -- Why Do Christians Love It So Much?........................................................................871

In Defense of Foxhole Atheists.......................................................................................................................873

Vatican tries to calm anger over Pope Pius XII...........................................................................................875


Feedback for Post "Vatican tries to calm anger over Pope Pius XII"..................................................878

Christian tolerance should extend to non-believers.....................................................................................879


Feedback for Post "Christian tolerance should extend to non-believers "...........................................881

xv
Table of Contents
Christian Nation Nonsense.............................................................................................................................882

Yemen's Islamic Agony..................................................................................................................................884

Top Ten Creationist Arguments....................................................................................................................886

Stoic-Based New Years Resolutions..............................................................................................................888

Author's friends..............................................................................................................................................891

About the author.............................................................................................................................................892

Pageviews.........................................................................................................................................................893

xvi
The Atheist News
Glastonbury new-agers protest WiFi
The Bronze Age desert religions now generally holding the top spots in the western part of the world are in no
way not the sole sources of funny beliefs and ludicrous claims concerning the physical world.
The New Age movement harbors even more oddball beliefs than the older established religions generally
supporting the existing social power structure. New Agers however tend to lead their quiet lives on the outer
fringes of society and their beliefs come rarely under public scrutiny.
One such occasion is however recent case in Glastonbury (UK) where the setting up of a local WiFi (Wlan)
–network quite unexpectedly caused much consternation among the local New Agers. The Register
-information service tells all about it in a story called:

Glastonbury new-agers protest WiFi

The full story is here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/30/glastonbury_wi_fi/

Highlights:
"The new-age residents of Glastonbury are up in arms about the council's deployment of WiFi, claiming the
wireless networks are interfering with their chakras and generally getting them down.
The news comes courtesy of The Telegraph, which reports local hippies are up in arms (well, placidly
protesting) about the already-deployed network which they claim is interfering with local ley lines and
damaging their health despite their deployment of Orgone-based generators: to absorb the negative energy
obviously.
The network was deployed in May and cost the council £34,000 with the hope of helping business and
encouraging tourism, but local new-agers are complaining of the usual headaches and hard-to-pin-down
symptoms that are endemic where wireless technologies have received sufficient publicity - though strangely
absent where publicity hasn't been so forthcoming.
In a stunning display of ignorance a spokesman for anti-radio campaigners Powerwatch states: "Unlike the
food and drink industry whose products have to go through extensive pre-market trials and testing, there is no
safety net for wireless devices," which comes as a shock to those of us who've crouched down salt mines
trying to get electrical equipment though CE testing."

Good info on the New Age movement is at the Wikipedia (as always!) at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age

Here is a taster of some most common New Age beliefs:


It is commonly held in New Age circles that there exist certain forces, which are independent of spiritual
beings or agencies and distinct from forces defined by science, such as gravitation and electromagnetism.
These forces are elemental in nature and operate in an automatic manner as part of the natural order; they
cause seeds to sprout, grow, and bloom, etc.

The "forces", and everything else, are energized by a mystical power that exists in varying degrees in all
things. Power is transferable, through physical contact, sensory perception, or mere proximity. Power may be
accumulated or depleted in a person or object through a variety of mechanisms, including fate and esoteric
practices. This power is held to be physically observable as "auras" and "psi energy"; and when encountered
in great concentration, may even be dangerous.
In some belief systems, "forces" and "power" may seem to merge, e.g., in the concept of "vital force" that
exists in many traditional belief systems, and finds its expression in New Age concepts such as the "energies"
in Therapeutic Touch or Reiki and ideas of flowing streams of power in Earth, like "leylines" in Britain and
Europe and Earth energies addressed in the Chinese geomantic system of feng shui.

All beings (particularly sentient beings) are accompanied by a specific, intentional "energy" which
corresponds to their consciousness, but is in some way independent of their corporeal existence. This energy
typically is more primary than the physical entity, in the sense that it remains in some form after the physical
death.

by jaskaw @ 01.01.2009 - 19:27:20

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/01/glastonbury-new-agers-protest-wifi-5308563/
Riot police for Nepal temple row
Strong religious feelings are not reserved for the supporters of Abrahamic faiths originating from the Middle
East. Supporters of of the Hindu religion have been a constant source of trouble especially in India where
they have been defending the age-old customs of their religion against western humanistic influences.
Simultaneously they have waged a private war against the Muslim population of India.
As Hindu faith is strongly based on a deep respect of tradition, all real change is difficult to swallow for its
most extremist supporters. So Hindu religion is a extremely strong conservative force in India, but also in the
northern little Hindu neighbor of India, that is Nepal where the most recent spot of trouble concerning the
Hindu faith is brewing.

Riot police for Nepal temple row

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7807741.stm

Excerpts:
"Riot police have been deployed at Nepal's holiest Hindu temple to stop protesters angry at the government's
attempt to remove Indian priests.
Prayers at Pashupatinath temple have always been led by high caste Brahmin priests recruited from south
India.
Earlier this week they were replaced by local priests - a move that ended centuries of tradition.
The move is seen as a reflection of wider changes in the past year with the former Maoist rebels coming to
power.
The temple decision has led to demonstrations by Hindu groups.
"We want this decision scrapped immediately," news agency AFP quoted one priest, Hariharman Bhandari, as
saying. "The Maoists have appointed their own people."
Traditionally, the temple authorities would appoint its priests in conjunction with the king.
But the new government in Nepal is led by the Maoist party. And earlier this year, it abolished the monarchy.
This made the Maoist prime minister a patron of the temple."

As always Wikipedia gives more light on the religions in Nepal:


Hinduism is the major religion of Nepal. In the 2001 census, approximately 80.6 percent of the Nepalese
people identified themselves as Hindus. Buddhists and Muslims comprised 10.7 and 4.2 percent, respectively.
The remainder followed other religions, including Christianity. The national calendar of Nepal, Bikram
Sambat (B.S.), is a solar Hindu calendar essentially the same to that widespread in North India as a religious
calendar, and is based on Vedic principles of time-keeping.
There has traditionally been a great deal of intermingling of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Many of the people
regarded as Hindus in the 1981 census could also in some senses be called Buddhists. Hindus long have
worshipped at Buddhist temples and Buddhists at Hindu temples. The reason for this is that both Hinduism
and Buddhism have common roots asdharmic religions, and over most of their history have not been seen as
separate communions, but rather rival tendencies within a shared religious tradition. Because of such dual
faith practices (or mutual respect), the differences between Hindus and Buddhists have been in general very
subtle and academic in nature; Hindus and Buddhists have never engaged in any overt religious conflicts.
Historians and local traditions say that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of
Kathmandu during prehistoric times, and that the word "Nepal" means the place protected ("pala" in
Sanskrit) by the sage Ne. According to legend he selected a pious cowherd to be the first of the many kings of
the Gopala Dynasty. These rulers are said to have ruled Nepal for over 500 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Nepal
by jaskaw @ 02.01.2009 - 20:23:29

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/02/riot-police-for-nepal-temple-row-5313174/
Richard Dawkins interviews Nicholas Humphrey
Atheist News – The Global Edition has for the last few days been concentrating on the nasty effects the too
deeply held religious beliefs are having around the world.
Now it is however time for brighter things as undoubtedly at the moment worlds most well known atheist
Richard Dawkins has released in YouTube his talks with professor Nicholas Humphrey on the ideas of
self-healing and placebo-effect.
The interview is in four parts as YouTube does not allow posting longer than 10 minute pieces.

Richard Dawkins interviews Nicholas Humphrey

There is a recent review of Nicholas Humphreys book ―Mind made fleshć at:
http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2008/12/06/nicholas-humphrey-and-the-case-of-jesus-christ-5173372

Professor Nicholas Keynes Humphrey is a British psychologist who until 2008 held a School Professorship at
the London School of Economics (LSE) and a half-time Professorship at the New School for Social Research
in New York. His work has tackled issues such as consciousness and belief in the supernatural from a
Darwinian perspective. His primatological research formed the basis of Machiavellian intelligence theory.
Professor Humphrey had published seven books and made a Channel 4 television series called "The Inner
Eye" in 1986. He became involved in the anti-nuclear movement in the late 1970s and delivered a BBC
Bronowski memorial lecture titled "Four Minutes to Midnight" in 1981. He edited a book of writings on war
and peace with Robert Jay Lifton titled "In a Dark Time: Images for Survival" and won a Martin Luther King
Memorial Prize in 1985 for this work.

by jaskaw @ 03.01.2009 - 21:09:10

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/03/richard-dawkins-interviews-nicholas-humphrey-5317613/
Nobel laureate urges Iran to release blogger
The theocracy of Iran has by now fallen to a state where all criticism of the political system or the ruling
ideology of Iran are deemed as dangerous. The machinery of state is applied ruthlessly to stamp out all
opposition to the ruling religious elite.
Even the lone bloggers are targeted now as canadian-iranian Hossein Derakhshan has found out.
The Globe and Mail tells about his situation in a story called:

Nobel laureate urges Iran to release blogger

The whole story is here:


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081215.wiranblog1215/BNStory/International/home
Reuters

Higlights:

"LONDON — Iranian Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi called on Monday for the release of a pioneering
Iranian blogger, who is reported to have been arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel.
Hossein Derakhshan, nicknamed ―the Blogfather―, is credited with launching a blogging revolution in Iran
with his Internet diaries, in both English and Farsi, which have in the past been critical of the Tehran
government.
Canadian news reports have quoted a friend of Mr. Derakhshan, who is Iranian-Canadian, as saying he was
arrested on Nov. 1 during a visit to Iran. Other reports say he has been charged with spying for Israel.
Iranian human rights advocate Ms. Ebadi, who won the Nobel peace prize in 2003, said she had seen media
reports about Mr. Derakhshan's arrest."

Wikipedia tells that Hossein Derakhshan is also known as Hoder. He is an Iranian-Canadian journalist and
weblogger based in Toronto.
His weblog is blocked in Iran by the government. He is also credited with starting the blogging revolution in
Iran and is called by many journalists as the father of Persian blogging.He also helped to promote podcasting
in Iran.
He has a degree in Sociology from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and has spent time studying
sociology at the University of Toronto. He is currently finishing a post-graduate programme at the University
of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

His English-speaking blog is at:


http://hoder.com/weblog/

There are also grave concerns about the safety of Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi herself:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/02/iran-threats-nobel-laureate-escalate
Excerpts from the story:
"The human rights organizations expressed grave concerns for Ebadi's safety following a violent
demonstration outside her home in Tehran on January 1, 2009.
"The mob violence occurring after the Iranian government unleashed its campaign of persecution against
Shirin Ebadi shows that her life is in great danger," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights
Watch. "Especially because the persecution of Ebadi seems to be related to her contacts with United Nations
officials who were compiling a report on human rights in Iran, UN and concerned leaders everywhere should
urgently make clear their support for this principled defender of human rights."
Ebadi reported to the media that 150 people demonstrated outside her building chanting slogans against her.
They tore down the sign to her law office, which is in the same building, and marked the building with
graffiti. The mob dispersed after half an hour when police arrived."

by jaskaw @ 04.01.2009 - 01:00:41

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/03/nobel-laureate-urges-iran-to-release-blogger-5318570/
Pilgrims die in Iraq bomb blast
The violence and rising hatred between the two major religious groupings of Islam in Iraq has been for years
a very difficult thing to handle for the mainstream media in the west.
On the other hand US government has for its own reasons tried to downplay the real level of this division and
of hatred that has developed between these age-old competing religious groups after the unnecessary US
invasion. It should really be stressed that the only real difference between Shia and Sunni factions is in their
religious affiliation. There is no ethnic, cultural or linguistic difference betweeen these groups.
On the other hand the leftist media has had hard time to accept that these victims of US imperialism have
been capable of such monstrous and needless violence towards their own neighbors on their own.
The already all too familiar latest episode in this story of needless spiral of violence is told be the BBC in a
story called:

Pilgrims die in Iraq bomb blast

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7810340.stm

Excerpts:
"At least 35 Shia pilgrims have been killed by a female suicide bomber at a shrine in Baghdad, Iraqi officials
say.
At least 65 people were injured in the blast, in the Kadhimiya area of the Iraqi capital, where pilgrims were
gathering for a religious ceremony.
"A woman wearing an explosive vest managed to reach one of the security checkpoints near the revered
Kadhim shrine and exploded herself among a crowd of pilgrims," Iraqi security official Qassim Moussawi
said.
Many of the victims were women and children, another security official told the AFP news agency.
Sectarian violence in Baghdad has declined over the past year, but religious festivals remain times of
heightened tension, the BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Baghdad says.
The Sunni insurgency has used sectarian violence to capitalize on Sunni fears of the Shi'a majority and the
Shi'a armed militias have shown a zeal for vigilante justice. However, there are other sectarian divisions of the
population that lay in nearly a dozen distinct groups. These groups are subdivided into countless smaller
factions."

Retired United States Army General Barry McCaffrey issued a report on March 26, 2007, after a trip and
analysis of the situation in Iraq. He said that "Iraq is ripped by a low-grade civil war which has worsened to
catastrophic levels with as many as 3000 citizens murdered per month. The population is in despair. Life in
many of the urban areas is now desperate. A handful of foreign fighter (500+)--and a couple thousand Al
Qaeda operatives incite open factional struggle through suicide bombings which target Shia holy places and
innocent civilians...The police force is feared as a Shia militia in uniform which is responsible for thousands
of extra-judicial killings."

It is in general extremely difficult the get real information concerning the casualties of ongoing religious civil
war in Iraq, but additional information is available here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_bombings_in_Iraq_since_2003

by jaskaw @ 04.01.2009 - 17:53:37

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/04/pilgrims-die-in-iraq-bomb-blast-5321077/
¨For scholars, a combustible question: Was Christ
real
The most widespread collection of related religious faiths is still the family of Christian religions that holds
sway in one form or another over two billion people in the world.
All these very diverging and often in practice totally different religions have one common thing at their core;
they all claim to be to sole real carriers of the true words and meaning of one Jesus is said to have lived 2000
years ago in Palestine.
However there has always been people questioning the real authenticy of all those sayings that are put in the
mouth of Jesus in the collection of early Christian writings that is called the New Testament. The online
branch of the Toronto Star or thestar.com tells the story of the latest attempt to see what it was all about with
the headline:

For scholars, a combustible question: Was Christ real?

The whole hog is here:


http://www.thestar.com/article/557548

Highlights from the story:

"Earlier this month, just before most Christians would mark the birth of their saviour, a group of scholars
gathered in Amherst, N.Y. to begin pondering a simple yet combustible question: Did Jesus exist?
It's an issue heavy with theological baggage and poised to offend more than a few Christians: Polls by
University of Lethbridge sociologist Reginald Bibby in his latest book The Boomer Factor show two out of
three Canadians believe Jesus is the divine son of God.
By now, the whole question might seem tired, almost banal. Former Toronto Star religion writer Tom Harpur
certainly won recognition, and notoriety, for arguing in his explosive 2004 book The Pagan Christ, that Jesus
was a legend rooted in Egyptian myths thousands of years before the Gospels were written (though that was
not a new position).
An initiative of the Center for Inquiry, an Amherst-based secular think tank, and its Committee for the
Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER), the project is an extension of the no-less controversial Jesus
Seminar, which has been convening twice annually for 23 years.
There's one key difference: Whereas the Seminar has operated on the premise that Jesus was an actual person
– it was what he said and did that is up for grabs – the scholars in this latest effort regard Jesus's existence as
a "testable hypothesis."
To run for five years, the project will inevitably risk comparison to the controversial Jesus Seminar, a think
tank founded in 1985 by New Testament scholars John Dominic Crossan and the late Robert Funk, and which
became famous, Hoffman charges, "for all the wrong reasons."
Among other oddities, the Seminar was known for its unusual voting methods: Fellows used coloured marbles
to determine whether Jesus said or did something attributed to him in biblical texts. Red was for "virtually
certain," pink for "probably reliable," grey for "possible but unreliable, and black for "improbable."
The results stunned – and angered – millions. The scholars decided Jesus uttered just 31 sayings, or 18 per
cent of what is attributed to him in the Bible. A similar rate was found for the deeds ascribed to him: Just 29
of 176 acts were certain or likely.
The Seminar also rejected the very foundations of Christianity: There was no virgin birth, no resurrection or
transfiguration, and Jesus performed no miracles. He was little more than an itinerant Jewish sage who
preached a social gospel using parables and aphorisms."

by jaskaw @ 05.01.2009 - 20:59:10

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/05/for-scholars-a-combustible-question-was-christ-real-5328048/
The Future of Man--How Will Evolution Change
Humans?
The odd thing is that there is still a need to 'prove' evolution, but gravity is accepted as a solid fact. Still
'gravity' is just a theory that tries to explain why things with a mass act as they do, as much as evolution is a
'theory' of how living things have come to be.
The thing really wrong in evolution is of course that accepting it is so clear signal of giving up claims of
owning the ―Only and Final Truthćthat many religions are simply having difficulty in accepting it.
This is doubly odd if you remember that in fact they already have quietly accepted a very wide variety of
things that have already proven their holy books to be just very old story books.
Scientific American tells about the evolution of humans under the headline:

The Future of Man - How Will Evolution Change Humans?

The full story is here:


http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-future-of-man

Higlights:
"People commonly assume that our species has evolved very little since prehistoric times. Yet new studies
using genetic information from populations around the globe suggest that the pace of human evolution
increased with the advent of agriculture and cities.
If we are still evolving, what might our species look like in a millennium should we survive whatever
environ¬mental and social surprises are in store for us? Specu¬la¬tion ranges from the hopeful to the
dystopian.
Not only has Homo sapiens been doing some major genetic reshuffling since our species formed, but the rate
of human evolution may, if anything, have increased. In common with other organisms, we underwent the
most dramatic changes to our body shape when our species first appeared, but we continue to show
genetically induced changes to our physiology and perhaps to our behavior as well. Until fairly recently in our
history, human races in various parts of the world were becoming more rather than less distinct. Even today
the conditions of modern life could be driving changes to genes for certain behavioral traits.
Each new species evolved when a small group of hominids somehow became separated from the larger
population for many generations and then found itself in novel environmental conditions favoring a different
set of adaptations. Cut off from kin, the small population went its own genetic route and eventually its
members could no longer successfully reproduce with the parent population.
In a study published a year ago Henry C. Harpending of the University of Utah, John Hawks of the University
of Wisconsin–Madison and their colleagues analyzed data from the international haplotype map of the human
genome [see ―Traces of a Distant Past,ć by Gary Stix; Scientific American, July 2008]. They focused on
genetic markers in 270 people from four groups: Han Chinese, Japanese, Yoruba and northern Europeans.
They found that at least 7 percent of human genes underwent evolution as recently as 5,000 years ago. Much
of the change involved adaptations to particular environments, both natural and human-shaped. For example,
few people in China and Africa can digest fresh milk into adulthood, whereas almost everyone in Sweden and
Denmark can. This ability presumably arose as an adaptation to dairy farming.
Harpending and Hawks‎s team estimated that over the past 10,000 years humans have evolved as much as
100 times faster than at any other time since the split of the earliest hominid from the ancestors of modern
chimpanzees. The team attributed the quickening pace to the variety of environments humans moved into and
the changes in living conditions brought about by agriculture and cities. It was not farming per se or the
changes in the landscape that conversion of wild habitat to tamed fields brought about but the often lethal
combination of poor sanitation, novel diet and emerging diseases (from other humans as well as domesticated
animals). Although some researchers have expressed reservations about these estimates, the basic point seems
clear: humans are first-class evolvers."

by jaskaw @ 07.01.2009 - 00:19:35

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/06/the-future-of-man-how-will-evolution-change-humans-5334893/
Feedback for Post "The Future of Man--How Will Evolution
Change Humans?"

loan [Visitor]
http://loan2009.net/
08.05.2009 @ 21:38
what is payday?
loan 2009
Pakistan: Militants Announce Ban on Girls‎
Education in Swat
The religious extremism that created the unbelievably conservative Islamist Taleban government in
Afganistan has not vanished with the fall of that oddball theocratic regime in Afganistan.
In fact it has during last month seen spreading to neighboring Pakistan. Even in Pakistan the women and girls
are targeted in growing numbers, as people inspired by Taleban try to impose their cruel medieval values on
others by force.
The story is told in the website of the ―Women living under muslim lawsć –website under the headline:

Pakistan: Militants Announce Ban on Girls‎ Education in Swat

The full story is here:


http://www.wluml.org/english/newsfulltxt.shtml?cmd[157]=x-157-563369

Higlights from the story:

"3/01/2009: "He said we must take our daughters out of all schools - private or public - by 15 January 2009
at the latest. Failing this, he said the schools will be bombed and violators would face death..." (IRIN)

―They [Taliban] have spoken, and we are quite helpless," said Sikander Ali, father of four girls, speaking to
IRIN on the phone from Swat valley. He was reacting to news that militants had ordered a ban on girls‎
education from 15 January.
Swat valley (in the North West Frontier Province), which has a population of 1.8 million and lies some 150km
northeast of Peshawar, has been a location of Islamist militancy for the past two years.
Ali, a government official, had heard the recent warning by Shah Dauran, deputy leader of the
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of Maulana Fazalullah on a clandestine FM radio station.
―He said we must take our daughters out of all schools - private or public - by 15 January 2009 at the latest.
Failing this, he said the schools will be bombed and violators would face death. He also said they will throw
acid into the faces of our daughters if we don‎t comply, like their counterparts did in Afghanistan some
months back.ć
―It is feared that the extremists will carry out their threats,ć said Ibrash Pasha, provincial coordinator of the
Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE).
If this happens an estimated 40,000 girls will be kept out of school, said Dawn newspaper.
For now the schools are on winter vacation until February.
However, following the TTP threats, the private school Ali‎s daughter goes to has re-opened and resumed
classes for Grade 12 ―so that they can complete as much coursework as they can by 15 January, as they have
to sit for their board examination in April,ć the father said."
by jaskaw @ 07.01.2009 - 22:55:41

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/07/pakistan-militants-announce-ban-on-girls-education-in-swat-5339789/
Feedback for Post "Pakistan: Militants Announce Ban on
Girls‎ Education in Swat "

Rationalist [Visitor]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geNgj1z1Fw8
08.01.2009 @ 16:59
And this is why Pakistan is a Failed State.
This video explains it very well
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geNgj1z1Fw8
Atheist bus ad campaign provokes bitterness in
Barcelona
The veritable institution of Catholic Church is still a force to be reckoned with in the countries that were left
under its direct rule after the Protestant Reformation greatly diminished its area of influence 400-500 years
ago.
In those countries The Catholic Church is still has power that is becoming incomprehensible in the protestant
Europe where state church has almost everywhere silently withdrawn to its rightful place in the background.
In this light it is now wonder that the rather mild bus ad campaign that in London just raised some eyebrows,
was a scandal in catholic Spain as the Guardian tells in a story called:

Atheist bus ad campaign provokes bitterness in Barcelona

The whole story is here:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/atheist-bus-advertising-spain

Excerpts from the story:


"The posting of atheist advertising on Barcelona's buses has been branded "an attack on all religions".
Next week, Barcelona will become the first city in predominantly CatholicSpain to copy the controversial UK
campaign when its buses use a direct translation of the slogan adopted in Britain by the scientist Richard
Dawkins and other prominent atheists.
"Probablemente Dios no existe. Deja de preocuparte y goza de la vida," it reads. "There's probably no God.
Now stop worrying and enjoy life."
Madrid, Valencia and other cities are being targeted to run similar campaigns.
Campaigners say that with 20% of Spaniards professing they do not believe in God, it is time atheism
becomes a visible phenomenon.
"It is time for non-believers to make themselves seen and display their pride in their own convictions," said
the Catalan Atheists group.
The campaign has provoked a reaction from the Catholic archbishopric of Barcelona. "Faith in God is not a
source of worry, nor is it an obstacle for enjoying life," it said in a statement."

As always, Wikipedia has more information on atheist bus campaigns at


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist_Bus_Campaign

by jaskaw @ 08.01.2009 - 15:58:23

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/08/atheist-bus-ad-campaign-provokes-bitterness-in-barcelona-5343855/
Religulous - Full Movie - now free on Internet
The movie ―Religulousć by comedian Bill Maher was a a sign of changing times and mores. Here there was a
full length documentary movie telling about the religions made from a clearly non-religious viewpoint.
The movie did quite well in United States, but the its availability has been scarce even there in certain areas.
Outside US of A one can be quite sure that the mainstream movie distributors are not very keen to include this
movie in their offerings. So it is a fantastic opportunity that this movie is now freely available in the internet
at the Atheist Nation website at:

http://www.atheistnation.net/video/?video/02542/atheist/religulous-full-movie/

Religulous - Full Movie

Wikipedia tells that Religulous is a 2008 American comedy/documentary film written by and starring political
comedian Bill Maher and directed by Larry Charles. According to Maher, the title of the film is a portmanteau
derived from the words "religion" and "ridiculous"; the documentary examines and satirizes organized
religion and religious belief.
A range of views on the various world religions are explored as Bill Maher travels to numerous religious
destinations, such as Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Salt Lake City, interviewing believers from a variety of
backgrounds and groups, including Jews for Jesus, Christians, Muslims, former Mormons, Satanists, and
Hasidic Jews, He travels to Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London and satirically preaches Scientology
beliefs.
Maher stated he used a fake title for the film to obtain interviews: "We never, ever, used my name. We never
told anybody it was me who was going to do the interviews. We even had a fake title for the film. We called it
'A Spiritual Journey.' It didn't work everywhere. We went to Salt Lake City, but no one would let us film there
at all." Creationist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, who appeared in the movie, was critical of what he called
Maher's "deception" to obtain the interview.
The documentary was produced by Thousand Words and is being distributed by Lionsgate. Originally slated
for an international release date coinciding with the Christian Easter holiday 2008 (March 23),
post-production delays resulting from a screenwriters guild strike pushed the release date back to July 11,
2008.

by jaskaw @ 09.01.2009 - 14:21:44

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/09/religulous-full-movie-now-free-on-internet-5348411/
Feedback for Post "Religulous - Full Movie - now free on
Internet"

Laura Ross [Visitor]


http://godlessradio.com/flyswatter
10.01.2009 @ 03:49
That link didn't work! :-(

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
10.01.2009 @ 12:14
I just (saturday 10th at 12.11 in Greenwich + 2) clicked the link and it worked just fine as it did at the time I
posted this link at friday.

Me [Visitor]

10.01.2009 @ 05:30
Wow... I am impressed. Larry Charles, Lions Gate, and Bill Maher gave atheist nation permission to show this
movie before it's even been released on DVD/Video?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
10.01.2009 @ 12:19
I am stumped also, but lets enjoy it as long as it lasts. On the other hand it just might be that Bill Maher has
also had other ulterior motives than just financial gain in making this movie. Now when the costs of making
the film have been covered he might just want people to see the movie.
Is there a right way for Shiites to lash themselves
on Ashura?
The Shiite or Shia version of Islamic faith took its own course hundreds of years ago and has developed to be
a quite different beast from the majority Sunni faith, even though they are often generally summarized as just
factions of Islam.
One of the oddest aspects of Shiite religion is a long tradition of self-flagellation that is quite absent from the
Sunni version of this desert religion. The Shia leaders have been quite aware of the damage to the general
outer outlook of the faith this kind of practices can make in more civilized societies and so they have been
trying to distance the official version of the faith from these practices, but they are very widespread in the
Shia part of the Muslim world. The Slate webmagazine even asks:

Is there a right way for Shiites to lash themselves on Ashura?


Self-Mutilation for Dummies

The full piece is here:


http://www.slate.com/id/2208110/
Higlights from the story by By Brian Palmer

"Thousands of Shiites marched in Karbala, Iraq, on Tuesday to mark the Muslim holiday of Ashura.
According to a report in Reuters, men "cut their scalps with daggers and whipped their backs with chains."
Can a Shiite self-mutilate any way he wants?
In a sense. A subset of male Shiites injure themselves on Ashura to represent their grief over the martyrdom of
Hussein, grandson of the prophet, at the hands of the Ummayad army in 680. These people engage in violent
rituals such as pounding their chests with their fists, lacerating their scalps with a knife or machete, or
self-flagellation with a zanjeer—five blades connected to a wooden handle by steel chain. But none of these
forms of expression is sanctioned by mainstream religious authorities; most prominent Shiite clerics object to
all forms of self-mutilation, since it has no basis in early religious history and appears barbaric to outsiders.
Annual processions mourning the death of Hussein became common in the eighth century, but self-mutilation
did not become part of the ritual until the 15th century. A piece of apocrypha explains the practice: According
to some, Hussein's sister Zainab, overcome with grief at the sight of her brother's severed head, banged her
head bloody against her saddle post.
Variations in method and degree of brutality exist. Some older Muslims accept self-flagellation but feel it has
become too showy and gruesome: The modern zanjeer blades have two sharp edges rather than one, drawing
much more blood than the traditional versions. Some participants shun the blades altogether and use the
chains alone. Many South Asian Shiites hold razors between their fingers while slapping their chests.
Individual mourners have developed altogether novel practices, including hanging weights from a body
piercing."

by jaskaw @ 11.01.2009 - 21:15:22

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/11/is-there-a-right-way-for-shiites-to-lash-themselves-on-ashura-5360089/
Sam Harris: 10 myths—and 10 Truths—About
Atheism
Scientist and writer Sam Harris is without doubt one of the most eloquent writers in the current strong new
generation of atheist thinkers and writers.
Sam Harris has a very scientific basic attitude, but he can also be passionate when the need arises. His latest
piece summarizes quite nicely the false beliefs and claims that almost every atheist still encounters. The piece
was originally published in The Los Angeles Times:

Sam Harris: 10 myths—and 10 Truths—About Atheism

The whole story is here:


http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/10-myths-and-10-truths-about-atheism1/

The piece begins like this:


"SEVERAL POLLS indicate that the term ―atheismć has acquired such an extraordinary stigma in the United
States that being an atheist is now a perfect impediment to a career in politics (in a way that being black,
Muslim or homosexual is not). According to a recent Newsweek poll, only 37% of Americans would vote for
an otherwise qualified atheist for president.
Atheists are often imagined to be intolerant, immoral, depressed, blind to the beauty of nature and
dogmatically closed to evidence of the supernatural.
Even John Locke, one of the great patriarchs of the Enlightenment, believed that atheism was ―not at all to be
toleratedć because, he said, ―promises, covenants and oaths, which are the bonds of human societies, can
have no hold upon an atheist.ć
That was more than 300 years ago. But in the United States today, little seems to have changed. A remarkable
87% of the population claims ―never to doubtć the existence of God; fewer than 10% identify themselves as
atheists — and their reputation appears to be deteriorating.
Given that we know that atheists are often among the most intelligent and scientifically literate people in any
society, it seems important to deflate the myths that prevent them from playing a larger role in our national
discourse."

by jaskaw @ 12.01.2009 - 21:17:39

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/12/sam-harris-10-myths-and-10-truths-about-atheism-5367189/
Mark Steel: What creationists really hate is that we
emerged by accident
The collection of scientific knowledge that is called evolution has been challenged for religious reasons as
long as it has existed. A sorry fact of life is that there is no reason to believe that the people who think that the
old dusty books of their favorite desert religion contain the whole and unmovable truth about everything will
will change their minds anytime soon.
Their numbers have however diminished dramatically during the last decades; the development has been so
worrisome to some religios diehards that they started a movement that tries to undermine the basis of
evolution science by claiming that it is just one opinion and there is another one waiting in the wings. This
"Intelligent Design" has however already proven to be a nonstarter and even the mainstream state religions
in the Western Europe have been giving it a cold shoulder.
Mark Steel from the renowned "The Independent" is thererore airing a very common sentiment in his piece
called:

Mark Steel: What creationists really hate is that we emerged by accident

The full story is here:


http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-what-creationists-really-hate-is-that-we-em

The story begins like this:


"Charles Darwin would probably love the fact that the 200th anniversary of his birth is being celebrated with
radio shows, documentaries and exhibitions, but he might not have enjoyed the way that furious Christians
still despise his theories and try to prove the Bible is more reliable.
For example, the Discovery Institute has announced that: "We want students everywhere to speak out... for the
right to debate the evidence against evolution and turn 'Darwin Day' into 'Academic Freedom Day'."
But they're lucky Darwin isn't forced on us the way religion has been, otherwise the national anthem would
start: "Our Gracious Queen will be saved or not according to a series of factors that are sod-all to do with
God," and once a week school assemblies would start with everyone singing: "All things biological/ All
matter sweet or frightening/ Are Godless, real and logical/ See – where's the bleeding lightning?"
The creationists demand that biblical theories are taught alongside Darwin's theories of natural selection,
which might sound reasonable except that creationism depends not on evidence but on faith. If all theories are
given equal status, teachers could say: "Your essays on the cause of tornadoes were very good. Nathan's piece
detailing the impact of warm moist air colliding with cool air, with original sources from the Colorado
Weather Bureau, contained some splendid detail. But Samatha's piece that went "Because God is cross" was
just as good so you all get a B+."
To improve their standing the anti-Darwin lobby have changed their tactics, so now instead of arguing for
creationism they call their theory "intelligent design".
Mostly this consists of trying to illustrate how species are too complex to have been formed by nature. But
then they can't help themselves, so you get articles such as the one by prominent advocate of intelligent
design, David Berlinski, that starts: "Charles Darwin says, 'In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at
the expense of their rivals.' Another man, Adolf Hitler says 'Let us kill all the Jews of Europe.' Is there a
connection? Yes is the obvious answer." So there we are – study the differences between finches and you're
half way to organising a holocaust."

The Wikipedia-article on Darwin is again a must read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin

by jaskaw @ 13.01.2009 - 22:59:10

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/13/mark-steel-what-creationists-really-hate-is-that-we-emerged-by-accident-537307
Feedback for Post "Mark Steel: What creationists really hate
is that we emerged by accident"

Chris Sanford [Visitor]


http://truthorerrors.blogspot.com/
14.01.2009 @ 00:20
How do we know the Bible is truly the Word of God?? There are over 25,000 archeological finds that verify
the Bible, there has never been one, I repeat there has never been one archeological find that disproves the
Bible!! That is a pretty good track record. Many secularist and other non-believers in the Bible will say that
the N.T was not complete until the end of the 2nd, the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. This is another lie
that the evolutionist and non believers conjure up to discredit what God has said. The fact is, if you go to the
writings of the early church leaders (who wrote from 90 to 127 A.D.) you can from their quotes and their
sermons compile the N.T. in its entirety!! So that says the N.T. was complete and was in good circulation
before the end of the 1st century. Another indisputable proof t the validity of the Word of God.
Yet the strongest argument for the authenticity of the Scriptures is the fact of fulfilled prophecy. This is truly
the nail in the coffin when it comes to whether or not the Bible is truly the Word of God. Isaiah 46:9-10 says
"I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is noone like Me, I declare the end from the beginning."
So God says He declares what is to come, the future. Do we see this in the Bible. Isaiah 45 names King Cyrus
by name 200 years before he was even born. The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that Isaiah wrote that before and not
after Cyrus came to power. Ezekiel 26 God says that the city of Tyre would never again be rebuilt and the
only thing it would be used for is to dry fishing nets, the very purpose it is used today!! Psalm 22 is a
Messianic Psalm, it mentions some of the last words Jesus spoke from the cross "My God My God why have
Thou forsaken Me?" It says they divide My clothes and cast lots for them, this Psalm says dogs have
surrounded Me (speaking of Gentiles), it says they have pierced My hands and My feet. This was written 1100
years before Christ came to this earth. It was written 800 years before crucifixion was even practiced and yet
it says they have pierced My hands and My feet. Micah 5:2 says Christ would be born in Bethlehem,
Zecheriah 12:10 says they will look on Me whom they have pierced. All written before Christ came into the
earth.
Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies when He lived here on the earth. The mathematical odds for Jesus to
fulfill 7, (keep in mind He fulfilled 100's) would be the same odds as you someone covering the entire earth in
4x4 white tiles. Hiding a gold star under one of them, and you walking up on the very 1st try and finding that
gold star. By the way, you are blindfolded!! This would absolutely be impossible, think about the
mathematical odds of Jesus fulfilling all the prophecies that He did!! It would be impossible yet with God all
things are possible. Matthew 19:26

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
14.01.2009 @ 00:28
There has never been a single archeological find to prove the religious message of Bible. A part of the Bible is
the version of the history of the Jewish nation even if it is largely just a word-of-mouth and do very inaccurate
version of the real events.
So it is possible to find the cities and even the palaces that are mentioned in the Bible, but what does it really
prove; it just proves that there really was this group of people that later started referring to themselves as
Jewish and this fact was never in any real doubt.

Jellybean [Visitor]

14.01.2009 @ 02:31
@Chris
The bible has been edited heavily for political purposes by men ever since the first guy put pen to papyrus. If
you've ever done any research at all about its historiography, you'd be surprised at how much it copied earlier
works and was changed to suit the victors.

As for 'prophecies'... the bible was available to read, so don't you think it reduces the odds when people write
stories to fulfill them and further the goals of their religion?

And quoting bible verses does not constitute 'proof', ever. Even if god exists and helped with the writing of the
original bible, it's been edited so heavily that it cannot be trusted anymore.

Oinkers [Visitor]

14.01.2009 @ 03:58
No. The whole point of evolution is that we WEREN'T created by "chance". The theory suggests that there is
a tendency for organized matter to progress towards higher complexity. That's the whole point. The only
element of "chance" that exists in the theory is in the form of "random" mutations, which is a misnomer. A
good analogy would be the fact that many of science's greatest breakthroughs have been discovered by
accident. However, the fact that they are (by the fact that the accidents which weren't useful were discarded)
useful means we will continue to make use of them until something better or more refined comes along.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
14.01.2009 @ 12:55
You are quite right "oinkers". Evolution is not result of mere chance, but the result of a set of very strict
guidelines inherent in the nature that propel evolution towards greater complexity always when a more
complex organism has a better chance of survival than a less complex. However I believe that the word
chance is here used as a opposite of it being somehow designed.

Cheesedoff17 [Visitor]

22.01.2009 @ 12:43
Evolution is a process which still continues. Children today, those that are living in highly stimulating
environments, are mentally much brighter than their parents who were most probably brighter than
theirs.There are 5 year olds today whose little heads contain more info. than the average individual in past
times.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Perimeter of Ignorance
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has gathered fame as a strong and eloquent spokesperson for science. He
is at his best as a inspirational lecturer as any viewer of his magnificent appearance in the first Beyond Belief
conference in 2006 are able to testify. (His powerful appearance is still available here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-102519600994873365)

He has taken a strong stand also in the issue of Intelligent Design in a piece that was first published in the
Natural History magazine; the piece is called:

The Perimeter of Ignorance

The full story is here:

http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/read/articles/nathist/perimeterofignorance

Highlights from the story:


"A boundary where scientists face a choice: invoke a deity or continue the quest for knowledge.

Writing in centuries past, many scientists felt compelled to wax poetic about cosmic mysteries and God's
handiwork. Perhaps one should not be surprised at this: most scientists back then, as well as many scientists
today, identify themselves as spiritually devout.
But a careful reading of older texts, particularly those concerned with the universe itself, shows that the
authors invoke divinity only when they reach the boundaries of their understanding. They appeal to a higher
power only when staring into the ocean of their own ignorance. They call on God only from the lonely and
precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets
hardly a mention.

Let's start at the top. Isaac Newton was one of the greatest intellects the world has ever seen. His laws of
motion and his universal law of gravitation, conceived in the mid-seventeenth century, account for cosmic
phenomena that had eluded philosophers for millennia. Through those laws, one could understand the
gravitational attraction of bodies in a system, and thus come to understand orbits.
Newton's law of gravity enables you to calculate the force of attraction between any two objects. If you
introduce a third object, then each one attracts the other two, and the orbits they trace become much harder to
compute. Add another object, and another, and another, and soon you have the planets in our solar system.
Earth and the Sun pull on each other, but Jupiter also pulls on Earth, Saturn pulls on Earth, Mars pulls on
Earth, Jupiter pulls on Saturn, Saturn pulls on Mars, and on and on.
As reverent as Newton, Huygens, and other great scientists of earlier centuries may have been, they were also
empiricists. They did not retreat from the conclusions their evidence forced them to draw, and when their
discoveries conflicted with prevailing articles of faith, they upheld the discoveries. That doesn't mean it was
easy: sometimes they met fierce opposition, as did Galileo, who had to defend his telescopic evidence against
formidable objections drawn from both scripture and "common" sense.

Many, perhaps countless, questions hover at the front lines of science. In some cases, answers have eluded the
best minds of our species for decades or even centuries. And in contemporary America, the notion that a
higher intelligence is the single answer to all enigmas has been enjoying a resurgence. This present-day
version of God of the gaps goes by a fresh name: "intelligent design." The term suggests that some entity,
endowed with a mental capacity far greater than the human mind can muster, created or enabled all the things
in the physical world that we cannot explain through scientific methods.

The eye is often held up as a marvel of biological engineering. To the astrophysicist, though, it's only a so-so
detector. A better one would be much more sensitive to dark things in the sky and to all the invisible parts of
the spectrum. How much more breathtaking sunsets would be if we could see ultraviolet and infrared. How
useful it would be if, at a glance, we could see every source of microwaves in the environment, or know
which radio station transmitters were active. How helpful it would be if we could spot police radar detectors at
night.

Another practice that isn't science is embracing ignorance. Yet it's fundamental to the philosophy of intelligent
design: I don't know what this is. I don't know how it works. It's too complicated for me to figure out. It's too
complicated for any human being to figure out. So it must be the product of a higher intelligence.
Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance.
To deny or erase the rich, colorful history of scientists and other thinkers who have invoked divinity in their
work would be intellectually dishonest. Surely there's an appropriate place for intelligent design to live in the
academic landscape. How about the history of religion? How about philosophy or psychology? The one place
it doesn't belong is the science classroom.

If you're not swayed by academic arguments, consider the financial consequences. Allow intelligent design
into science textbooks, lecture halls, and laboratories, and the cost to the frontier of scientific discovery-the
frontier that drives the economies of the future-would be incalculable. I don't want students who could make
the next major breakthrough in renewable energy sources or space travel to have been taught that anything
they don't understand, and that nobody yet understands, is divinely constructed and therefore beyond their
intellectual capacity. The day that happens, Americans will just sit in awe of what we don't understand, while
we watch the rest of the world boldly go where no mortal has gone before."

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of
Natural History. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson

by jaskaw @ 14.01.2009 - 17:55:10

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/14/neil-degrasse-tyson-the-perimeter-of-ignorance-5376967/
Feedback for Post "Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Perimeter of
Ignorance"

Zaki [Visitor]
http://www.justtalkaboutit.com
14.01.2009 @ 21:06
"Yet it's fundamental to the philosophy of intelligent design: I don't know what this is. I don't know how it
works. It's too complicated for me to figure out. It's too complicated for any human being to figure out. So it
must be the product of a higher intelligence."

Definitely Intelligent Design in a nutshell. Every argument I've heard in its favor has nothing to do with actual
evidence, but just an appeal to "well, what else can there be?"

Kudos to both Tyson and the poster.

Trynemjoel [Visitor]
http://trynemjoel.com
15.01.2009 @ 00:29
Full story link should be: http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/read/articles/nathist/perimeterofignorance

Gary Gaulin [Visitor]

15.01.2009 @ 01:27
A scientific "Theory Of Intelligent Design" does exist:

http://scientific-design-theory.blogspot.com/

It led to a wealth of new material for education:

http://originofintelligentlife.blogspot.com/

It's normally the ones who attempt what others say is impossible, who end up doing the impossible.

Jason [Visitor]

15.01.2009 @ 06:08
Gary, there is no scientific "theory of intelligent design." The silliness you linked to is exactly what Tyson is
debunking in this article. It hasn't led to anything for education, or ANY other advancement of knowledge in
any field. It's just cheap scientific-looking makeup for creationism.

Aubrey [Visitor]

15.01.2009 @ 19:21
Gary,

I would like to reference a statement made in the opening to the thesis you have provided a link to, "Once
hard to explain science is here made easy." This is exactly the issue that Tyson is referring to. Inserting the
explanation of a "God Intelligence" into a confusing system is not an acceptable scientific approach to
simplifying the phenomena or making them easier to understand.
But I would suggest that, in fact, this thesis is not addressing the more popular understanding of the so-called
theory of intelligent design. In general, those that support the notion of Intelligent Design will suggest that the
systems that have led to life are a function of some external intelligence acting upon them to develop what we
see today. The paper you have referenced is only providing information about evidence of "intelligence"
within systems in that they may appear to "learn" as a robot might learn and that they self maintain as a
computer or artificial intelligence might. In fact, it does nothing to support the concept of intelligent design
that is suggested in the link provided in the references portion of this paper, "[1] Discovery Institute,
Questions about Intelligent Design, What is the theory of intelligent design?
http://www.discovery.org/csc/topQuestions.php" which says in a Q and A response, "Intelligent design theory
is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the "apparent design" in nature acknowledged by virtually all
biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected
process such as natural selection acting on random variations." More appropriately, and based on another
statement made on the same site the word "undirected" in this definition might be better stated "purposeless"
which seems to me to be the real issue. Those that refuse to accept that there are aspects of the formation of
life that might be undirected do so because they cannot tolerate the idea that there might not be a REASON
for all this. They need to believe that someone or something has a plan for us and that entity has things under
control.

The information that is compiled in these sites (which are one in the same), and the science behind that
information, is fantastic; some of the most fascinating and coolest stuff. However, this thesis does nothing to
suggest that anything or anyone is working on creating something in particular or arriving at a particular
purpose. It simply gathers together some facts about the ability of molecules, cells, and systems to maintain
themselves and then does an exceptional job of anthropomorphizing these systems, imposing intelligence
where none is necessary for a scientific explanation of "how."

It is not intelligence that causes 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen to bond with a particular bond angle that made life
as we know it possible - this is based on the physical and electromagnetic properties of the atoms and the
particles they are made up of. This is what we know based on science. There is no scientific evidence that this
is based on the thoughtfulness and planning of the particles or anyone or anything.

I understand that Intelligent Design (I will not call this a scientific theory as it is not based in science)
proponents often argue that they are NOT Creationists. Be that as it may, the very human motivations behind
it all are the same...

A scientific method does exist.

It has led to a wealth of knew material for education.

It is normally the information based on science that I like to use when I teach high school biology.

Gary Gaulin [Visitor]

16.01.2009 @ 03:47
Thanks for reading it Aubrey. You kinda had it right when you said "this thesis is not addressing the more
popular understanding of the so-called theory of intelligent design." because I began with what was all along
clearly stated which clearly does not deny evolution the problem is trying to explain the origin of living things
with Natural Selection. Instead of running on opinions about a theory that did not even exist yet, I gathered
the facts required to meet the stated challenge of this theory. The "theory" now exists.

Many people believe it was the Creator that started the "Big Bang" but as far as I know there have not been
legal challenges to the Big Bang Theory on grounds it is religion, even though it was in fact written by a
Catholic Priest Scientist. The exact same happens with the Theory Of Intelligent Design and the Origin Of
Intelligent Life. Just the way it goes with theories that take us to the limits of science then beyond.
And in case you didn't know, you could already be teaching our ID'ish science without even knowing it. The
links are in references but are easy to miss.

http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/tst07_074_07_72

http://www.lessonplanspage.com/ScienceSelfAssemblyOfRealCellMembranesOriginOfLifeExperiment68.htm

With an egg and oil it is easy to show how some things are guided to where they belong. Another "Poof!" and
it's there and it's already in all the nation's classrooms. With no reports yet of it brainwashing our youth to
worship the almighty designer the "Great Chicken".

Gary Gaulin [Visitor]

16.01.2009 @ 13:08
Aubrey, since you wrote so much good material to comment on I had to add more. And maybe for the record I
better mention that I do not actually worship a Great Chicken just in case someone actually believes it.
Sometimes it's hard to get away with satire like that in this controversy! I can see it now "Well we heard it's a
cult like Santeria but these nutters only do weird stuff to store bought eggs".

I can't deny that a stated goal of the theory of ID was an explanation that does not include the "undirected
process such as natural selection" but as far as science is concerned it's very fair game to attempt one. Opinion
pieces might call that bad science, yet in real science it is very bad science to write opinion pieces defending
conventional thinking from being challenged. In my opinion the classroom is not the right place for a scientist
level debate but that's where it's already being debated especially in states like Texas where there has long
been legislation to encourage it. So no matter what anyone says or does the logic keeps coming back to the
only scientific thing to do in this case is get it over with by writing the darn theory!

Now that something exists, it's easy to show why a theory must stay within the bounds of science as you
mentioned the science blogs did in regards to intelligence. It's the having that much already impressively stuck
in the psyche of science that makes it important to Creationism and that would all be lost by adding something
that makes the theory unscientific. It doesn't have to sing praise the Creator or end in a prayer for Creationists
to like the science. Best sign of all is that scientists find no inherent conflict with the science. There is the
expected reaction to term "intelligent cause" being explained as an emergent process from nonrandom
subatomic behavior on up to living things.

The Origin Of Intelligent Life is essentially the same science but since it is not the Theory of ID it does not
need to start off with the stated description of the Theory of ID theory that in turn requires showing the most
probable pathway for intelligent cause. So it exists either with, or without ID. Origins only happened one way
anyhow so it should be possible to do that.

Schools will not stop teaching the Big Bang Theory because there are variations that parallel what's described
in Genesis. Or will schools throw out fun bubbly science just because there are Creationists who like what
happens when the other version with all the motors in the universe is throttled up to full, where we experience
the real thrill of science that can take us almost anywhere we want to go and really fast too.

And Jason, you don't have to rush off to join a religion to be objective enough to at least first read what you
are about to trash. There is no way you or anyone else is going to successfully debunk what amounts to the
unarguable facts as they pertain to science and the scientific issues. As a result you fell into a common trap
that an entirely science based search for truth has many caught in. Were so convinced that all the opinion
pieces were gospel truth it led you to make the biggest mistake ever. It's very possible that in the future the
Theory Of ID will be what I explained with folks wondering how anyone could their panties in a bunch over
that like it will be the end of science. This sort of thing happens all the time in science and it's only the ones
who go to the edge where like it says in the article "authors invoke divinity only when they reach the
boundaries of their understanding" who return with real science changing answers. Not those who stay behind
telling each other how impossible things are. Honestly, the only thing that gets you is stuck there with them.

Aubrey [Visitor]

16.01.2009 @ 21:15
Gary,

While your lab exercises are interesting - I still don't see how this is evidence for some sort of ethereal cosmic
engineer of life. That micelles form based on the properties of their component molecules is not "miraculous."
(I feel that word in particular is inappropriately placed in any science classroom.) That dish washing liquid
forms micelles around the grim on my lasagna pan is not scientific evidence of a director behind this thing we
call life.

To extrapolate intelligent design of the systems of molecules and cells because they seem to display
intelligence is not SCIENCE. It is philosophy. I suspect you are following your gut beliefs based on your
fascination. Yes, it is fascinating but that does not make it more probable that an external higher intelligent
force acted upon it to make it happen. I teach about micelles, I teach about protocells and the experiments of
Urey and Miller and these things that you suggest Intelligent Design proponents use to support their argument.
No one complains about this because what I teach them is based on properties and experiments that have been
observed and repeated over and over and they are based on EVIDENCE. I do NOT teach the idea that based
on these phenomena it is scientific to conclude that some external, all-knowing, higher intelligence is acting
on the molecules. Does it blow my mind? Yes. I am amazed and passionate about it. Could some higher
consciousness have something to do with all of this? Sure, why not. But by the very nature of the beast, until
you and me and everyone else can witness and observe the undeniable presence and effects of that, and we
can test it and repeat that test and get the same results - It's not science.

I refer you back to the comment posted by Zaki above. It is that approach - all of these awesome things
happened in the history of life as a result of some very specific functions of atoms and molecules and as a
result of some very specific conditions on Earth (and wherever else in the universe life may exist or have
existed). Looking at it, it all seems so unlikely to have occurred by coincidence. So, "what else can there be?"
You say an intelligence that we can't actually detect and you call it Science. This is not progressive, it is a
glaring fallacy. True science looks at the question and says, "Well, let's try to find out." And until we actually
find out, we're not going to draw any conclusions or make any statements about it.

You are doing just the opposite. Please stop calling this conclusion of intelligent design "science." As is the
case with the so-called "Creation scientists" as well - calling it science doesn't necessarily make it so. Science
is a process. Creationism and ID are not a result of these processes. It seems as though these groups add the
word "science" to there beliefs in order to get more people in this world of rationality to sign up with the club.
The meme of Creationism or ID is working so hard to be maintained that its people are twisting and stretching
the very definitions of words to suit there purposes. Please leave Science in its corner and Religion in its
corner and only let them meet where there is truly evidence for them to meet. Belief that they meet
somewhere is fine - but that is belief, so it should be named as such.

Gary Gaulin [Visitor]

17.01.2009 @ 12:37
Theories are simply a coherent statement to explain a phenomena. There is no requirement that one has to
make an omnipotent creator come fuming out of a test tube to demonstrate the zapping of new species into
existence. Like Big Bang Theory, after following the evidence where it leads you know we are closer to the
truth but the mystery keeps on going into subatomic behavior (in this case possibly into how consciousness
works).
It is very scientific to extrapolate molecular systems that possess "intelligence" as I did. You can say "they
seem to display intelligence" as if it's all in the mind and not real. Problem with that tactic is the assumption is
totally blown away by computer models that demonstrate the stated phenomena. Oversimplification to that
degree is a result of religious bias, not a scientific argument that about half who respond do not even read in
the first place. Your side could justify the attacks by saying that a Creationist said this or that but that's just an
excuse for being very unscientific. Adding even more examples of no creator coming fuming out of test tubes,
only digs your side in even deeper. It completely ignores the scientific issues that make this theory useful to
science as a in some way reachable goal on the other side of the science/religion interface. And that gets
added on top of false claims that Creationists invented the terms microevolution and macroevolution in order
to discredit the theory when in fact the terms date back to at least 1927 science.

You could go back in time to tell Einstein that how God works is not going to be revealed by science then
ridicule his work every inch of the way because of these religious overtones, but he will just flip you his
middle finger because he knows the science is on his side not yours. In cases like these time makes it obvious
who the science stopper was.

You're also wrongly assuming that forces that guide molecules to where they should be inside the cell is not
Creationism. That's the core of their argument! Natural selection does NOT explain how membrane forming
molecules end up in a membrane and suggesting that it does only looks foolish, yet I see it being suggested
that NS does explain all that. So you say they are completely wrong and want all to shut-up and be obedient. I
say they are for the most part correct then describe the science to show why that is true and want all to come
to reason.

You also say that "Science is a process" when it is more a problem-solving discipline. Great scientists are
born, not made in public school classrooms. The last thing they need is personal opinion being called science.
Students need honest and accurate information in a learning environment that does not waste their time. What
makes great scientists is a very healthy curiosity about how things work, self-motivation towards doing things
that have never done before and ability to figure things out on their own without a teacher there to spoon-feed
them everything. And the facts are that Darwin and Galileo wanted to be religious leaders while others either
were or had deep religious convictions. Their biggest problem was from academia that by the way handed
Galileo over to the Pope because of his making their Aristotle center-of-the-universe curriculum look
ignorant. It's easy to blame the religious guy in charge of punishing the scientists the universities wanted
silenced for going against their university teachings even the pope knew well. So being a lone rebel is
sometimes a requirement for doing science, due to how the system always has ways to punish those who do
not follow established scientific dogma.

As you know (and I appreciate your saying so) is that my scientific work is scientific and teachable. I'm
showing non-NS phenomena that greatly helps explain what living things are. We here have self-assembling
microtubule and flagellum CRYSTALS shooting out from nucleation control sites that in turn direct growth
and migration direction both inside and out and Harvard level dust/clay metabolism and other things none
knew about before. Someone like science teacher Kathy Martin (Kansas school board nemesis who still thinks
a fair hearing on ID theory was great idea) gets to say "I told you so." Every year it gets more interesting, for a
Creationist. Some of the things they were saying were not being answered, were not being answered.
Understanding the crystallization part of the process answers something. It's not evidence of NS or
randomness it's evidence of the opposite, order out of disorder. Undoubtedly from the Creationist world-view,
yet gets science started.

As far as calling the conclusion of intelligent design science or not, it's still too early for there to even be a
conclusion. I spelled it all out with the facts that places "intelligent cause" going where the Big Bang Theory
also has it going. If that becomes accepted in Creation Science then in the end Creationists won. From then on
the theory defines the phrase "intelligent cause" to mean a progression of levels to the case of our emergent
intelligence. No big deal as far as science is concerned where there is a "God particle" and such.
Don't count out the Creationist minded just because they are religious. They do not normally deny evolution
just have a problem with it not explaining as much as some think. And especially don't assume that the ones
who are not have a better plan. No offense anyone but that plan is to not plan to change anything ever. Science
keeps changing and now there's dust/clay metabolism and everything. Creative Creationists out in
Creationism country can make schools of the future with all that and all else will have to follow to keep up in
science education. I want that to happen and help it along where I can.

Both sides have equal amount of religion bias. Science is what is in the middle being fought over. There is no
one side representing science and the other one not, there is only one side making more sense than the other.
Scientists are not always on one side anyway. A scientist who knew better would have told the "science
supporter" charging someone with fabricating the term macroevolution that they were on their own with that
one, Creationist was right. And in fact it is impossibly improbable for a cell to randomly be thrown together
onto a beach, so arguing that it can is also a futile exercise. OOL researchers look at stepwise process that all
together would go from simple common molecules to cells. Call it evolution or something else it doesn't
matter it's still the same science.

Even if I do say so myself, now that there is a coherent Theory Of Intelligent Design to conclude from there is
no doubt that it is science. You should rephrase to say that my big-tent competition has no science, I of course
have no problem with that at all.
Inauguration of a different kind with Salman
Rushdie
The US inauguration is now talk of the town all over, even if the talk is much more subdued outside the US.
But wait, there is another and in some ways even more interesting inauguration on the way in New York City
just on the mark to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fatwa given against Salman Rushdie. The story on
Irshad Manjis website is called:

Inauguration of a different kind with Salman Rushdie

The full story is here:


http://www.irshadmanji.com/im-inauguration-of-a-different-kind-with-salman-rushdie

The main message:


On Sunday, January 18, celebrated novelist Salman Rushdie and I will be inaugurating the Moral Courage
Conversations in New York City — just in time to mark the 20th anniversary of Iran‎s fatwa against him.
Please join us.
As the 2003 photo above attests, I‎ve known Salman for a few years now. We first met in Toronto, where I
interviewed him for Canada‎s public broadcaster. He later appeared in my PBS documentary, Faith Without
Fear.
On camera, I asked Salman to counsel young Muslims who desperately want to say what they‎re thinking yet
feel the pressure to clam up and conform. His advice:
―Just go ahead, you know? How many people can they shut up? It‎s got to start happening. If you have the
great privilege of living in one of the relatively few free societies in the world, use the freedom. The point
about freedom is to use it.ć
And that‎s what the Moral Courage Conversations are all about — to explore the future of free expression in a
fractured and fragile world. It‎s no coincidence that we‎re launching these dialogues on Martin Luther King
Jr. weekend. Here are the details.

Supporters of this initiative include the Ford Foundation, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public
Service at New York University and the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy.

Use your freedom of inquiry. Find out more about the Moral Courage Project. More information in Irshad
Manji as always on trustworthy Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irshad_Manji and of course at her
own website and blog at http://www.irshadmanji.com/
by jaskaw @ 15.01.2009 - 23:22:44

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/15/inauguration-of-a-different-kind-with-salman-rushdie-5384595/
Six Baha'is arrested in Iran; one worked for Shirin
Ebadi's rights organizations
The persecution of the Baha‎i religious community in the Islamic theocratic state of Iran is one of the less
known long standing tragedies of the world. This faith has always been a red cloth for islamists as it has
originally evolved in an islamic environment and from the Islamic faith.
Baha‎is followers are considered apostates of the Only True Faith and so they are hated and despised in a
way for example people born Christians are not. So over 200 baha‎is have already been executed in Iran
after the Islmaci revolution of year 1979. A recent story tells that persecutuon continues:

Six Baha'is arrested in Iran; one worked for Shirin Ebadi's rights organizations

The full story is here


http://news.bahai.org/story/688?tr=y&auid=4414842

Higlights:
GENEVA — At least six Baha'is were arrested in Iran yesterday, including a woman who worked at human
rights organizations connected with Nobel prize winner Shirin Ebadi.

According to reports received from Iran, the six were arrested after government security agents raided the
homes of at least 11 Baha'is. During the raids, they also confiscated Baha'i books and other items, such as
computers and photographs.

Among those arrested was Jinous Sobhani, who worked as an assistant for the Organization for Defending
Mine Victims and also for the Defenders of Human Rights Center. Both were founded by Mrs. Ebadi.

In an interview with CNN, Mrs. Ebadi said today that Ms. Sobhani had been laid off from both organizations
after government agents raided Mrs. Ebadi's offices and shut them down in December.

On persecution of Baha‎is in Iran there is more infofrmation at:


http://www.iranfocus.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=965

ćBaha'is are Iran's largest religious minority, but their faith is not recognized in the country's constitution and
they have long faced harassment and persecution. The European Union recently lodged a formal complaint
with Iranian authorities over the arrest and harassment of journalists as well as members of religious
minorities such as the Baha'is.

Some 300,000 Baha'is live in Iran, where their religion was founded in the mid-19th century. Iran is also
where Baha'is have long faced harassment and persecution for their beliefs.
"Baha'is have no rights in the Islamic republic, even rights that other recognized [religious"> minorities enjoy
in Iran," says Abdolkarim Lahiji, vice president of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues.
"For example, a Baha'i teenager cannot enter Iran's universities; either he would have to lie and say that he is
not a Baha'i, or else be deprived of the right to higher education. The Baha'i community of Iran had organized
computer-based correspondence classes for youth, the authorities have repeatedly disrupted these [classes">
and confiscated teaching materials and generally they have made life for the Baha'i minority difficult."

Diane Alai is the United Nations representative of the Baha'i International Community.

"For 20 years, Baha'is have been imprisoned, condemned to death," Alai says. "Their properties have been
confiscated. People have been expelled from their jobs. Elderly people are not receiving their pensions. Baha'i
properties have been confiscated. Baha'i holy places have been demolished, cemeteries desecrated."

As always, Wikipedia tells the whole story:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baha%27i

by jaskaw @ 16.01.2009 - 12:50:51

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/16/six-baha-is-arrested-in-iran-one-worked-for-shirin-ebadi-s-rights-organizations-5
Pro-Life Group up in Arms over Krispy Kreme's
Abortion Doughnuts
The American religious right is a fanatical lot all in all, but one thing make them go all nuts: the abortion.
There is no limits to what they can accomplish when the religious zeal takes them over as they believe that the
sanctity of fetus is in any way questioned.
Sometime they don't even waver at making themselves complete fools as the recent case of the Krispy Kremes
Abortion Doughnuts amply shows. The case is amply raported in The Miami New Times under the heading:

Pro-Life Group up in Arms over Krispy Kreme's Abortion Doughnuts

Full story is here:


http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2009/01/pro-life_group_up_in_arms_over.php

Highlights from the story:


"By Kyle Munzenrieder in Politicks
Thursday, Jan. 15 2009 @ 1:16PM
Krispy Kreme, being the genial purveyor of glazed goodness that it is, decided to get in on the Obama
inauguration craze and is offering one free doughnut to every costumer on January 20, Inauguration day, and
released this seemingly innocuous press release:
"Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American's sense of pride and freedom of choice
on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By
doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies -- just another
reminder of how oh-so-sweet 'free' can be."
Well, The American Life League noticed the liberal use of the word choice and decided to blast the chain
bakery for producing abortion doughnuts.

"The unfortunate reality of a post-Roe v. Wade America is that 'choice' is synonymous with abortion access,
and celebration of 'freedom of choice' is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand," the group's
president, Judie Brown said in a statement.
File this under "Overreactionary Wing Nuts" and another attempt of conservatives to redefine words for their
political means (You can try to rewrite the Constitution, but not the dictionary). Of course, the
"overreactionary libtard" counter to this is that conservatives want to demonize all choice from America until
we're living under a fundamentalist dictatorship. A fundamentalist dictatorship without doughnuts.

The full, completely unbelievable press releas:.

―KRISPY KREME CELEBRATES OBAMA WITH PRO-ABORTION DOUGHNUTS Washington, DC (15


January 2009) -

The following is a statement from American Life League president Judie Brown:

"The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local
Krispy Kreme, you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama's radical support for abortion on
demand - including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval
Office, Jan. 20.

"The doughnut giant released the following statement yesterday:


'Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American's sense of pride and freedom of choice
on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By
doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies -- just another
reminder of how oh-so-sweet "free" can be.'
"Just an unfortunate choice of words? For the sake of our Wednesday morning doughnut runs, we hope so.
The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that 'choice' is synonymous with abortion access,
and celebration of 'freedom of choice' is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.

"President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions
more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda.

"Celebrating his inauguration with 'Freedom of Choice' doughnuts - only two days before the anniversary of
the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion - is not only extremely tacky, it's disrespectful and
insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.

"A misconstrued concept of 'choice' has killed over 50 million preborn children since Jan. 22, 1973. Does
Krispy Kreme really want their free doughnuts to celebrate this 'freedom.'

by jaskaw @ 17.01.2009 - 20:16:39

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/17/pro-life-group-up-in-arms-over-krispy-kreme-s-abortion-doughnuts-5395325/
Feedback for Post "Pro-Life Group up in Arms over Krispy
Kreme's Abortion Doughnuts"

Tracy LaRou [Visitor]

21.01.2009 @ 07:10
Wow people are stupid! It's just a doughnut offer.

| Show subcomments
AtheistAmerican [Member]
18.05.2009 @ 22:48

Religious extremists will not relent, these zealots for zygotes in spite of all reason and fact, insist that all
single celled humans are "babies." That "life begins with conception." Such fanatics also protest the
distribution of condoms, spermacides, IUD's, diaphragms or birth control pills, all which could prevent most
unwanted pregnancies before a woman really is 6 weeks pregnant. Both an ultrasound law and a 24 hour
waiting period after the forced gag rule to script what a doctor shall tell a woman during the ultrasound are
proposed here in South Carolina, as condition before a woman can take an abortion pill or have a d&c. Never
mind that nothing is visible during an NON-INVASIVE over abdominal ultrasound, yet lawmakers refused to
grant an 8 week exception to the law, so compliance dictates the PAINFUL INTRAVAGINAL
ULTRASOUND.
The problem is theocracy, whether Alan Keyes variety or the Nazi Pope variety. Religion is not gynecology.
Establishing religion is parallel to establishing McCarthyism in the motto: "In god We Trust" legislating an
alleged deity into existence during a prayer to the US Flag called "The Pledge of Allegiance. Gott Mit Uns in
Deutchland USA... see my blog AtheistAmerican, peace, Larry Carter Center 843-926-1750
Iran: Three men stoned; ten more at risk of
execution by stoning
The Islamic Republic of Iran gives us a unique glimpse of a society where the whole society exists only to
serve the cause of the Only True Religion.
The example of Iran gives a glimpse of a world where no progress has been made after the medieval times and
mans cruelty towards other men is not subdued by western humanistic thinking, that has lead to abandonment
of cruel and inhuman punishments in the western world.
The medieval Iranian juridical system has again led to the stoning of three people in Iran as told by the
website of the "Women living under Muslim laws" website with the heading:

Iran: Three men stoned; ten more at risk of execution by stoning

The fulls story is here:


http://www.wluml.org/english/newsfulltxt.shtml?cmd[157]=x-157-563406

The story is told also by MSNBC at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28634522/

Highlights from the story:

"12/01/2009: During the last week of December, 3 men were stoned to death in Behesht Reza Cemetery in
Mashhad for the crime of adultery. (Stop Stoning Forever)

One of them, an Afghan citizen by the name of Mahmoud, managed to forcibly escape from the stoning pit
and survived. Unfortunately, the other two men, one of whom is named Hushang Khodadaeh and another who
remains unidentified, were killed, pounded mercilessly with stones. This is the latest such case since the
stoning deaths of Jafar Kiani in June 2007, and Mahboubeh M and Abbas H in May 2006.
For the last three years, the Head of the Iranian Judiciary has repeatedly stated that although the punishment
of stoning remained under Iranian law, the execution of such sentences were not enforced; at the same time, a
moratorium on stoning has been in effect for the entire country Nevertheless, we have witnessed at least 6
cases of stoning in the last 3 years. Clearly, as long as the penalty of stoning remains under the Penal Code
and sanctioned by Iranian law, such words by the Head of the Judiciary are worthless.
In July of this year, several women‎s rights defenders, lawyers, and activist held a press conference
announcing the names of nine women who were currently awaiting stoning sentences. Since then, spokesman
for the Judiciary Alireza Jamshidi announced in August that the stoning sentences of four women (Layla G.,
Azar and Zohreh Kabiri, and Shomameh Malak Gharbani) would be commuted to whipping and
imprisonment. However, Azar and Zohreh Kabiri has not been released yet and a retrial planned for January
12 which will judge whether they are guilty for adultery or not.
In addition, there are presently at least ten others locked up in several prisons around the country who are in
danger of being stoned to death:
1. Kobra Najjar, imprisoned in Reja‎i in the city of Karaj
2. Iran A., imprisoned in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz
3. Kheirieh V., imprisoned in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz
4. Ashraf Kalhori, imprisoned in Evin Prison—Tehran
5. Abdollah Farivar, imprisoned in Sari Prison
6. Ghilan Mohammadi, imprisoned in capital of Esfahan
7. Gholamali Eskendari, imprisoned in capital of Esfahan
8. Afsaneh R., imprisoned in In ‫ل‬Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz
9. The woman M.J., imprisoned in Vakil Abad Prison in Mashhad
10. The woman H. Imprisoned in Vakil Abad Prison in Mashhad
Furthermore, the Majlis, or Iranian Parliament, is currently reviewing a new draft of the Islamic Penal Code.
In it, the punishment for adultery is, once again, stoning. The only difference in this new act from the current
law is that ―based on the prosecutor‎s discretion, if the implementation of penal measure such as stoning
causes mafsadeh [degradation and disgrace], he can submit a revision and request an alternative measure such
as lashing or execution to the Head of Judiciary.ć

A description of the horrible practice of stoning can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonings

by jaskaw @ 18.01.2009 - 21:38:32

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/18/iran-three-men-stoned-ten-more-at-risk-of-execution-by-stoning-5400730/
Chemists edge closer to recreating early life
The secret of the birth of life still needs a full scientific explanation. As the rise of first lifeforms happened
millions of years ago it will never be possible to fully and completely know these circumstances, but science is
slowly and metodiously edging towards a solution that would at least explain how the first extremely simple
life forms could be formed.
This expalnation crosses the bridge separating chemistry and biology as inevitably there is a point where a
chemical process did became so "alive" to be described as a biological entity. One step in that process is
described in the ćChemistry Worldć website with the catchy heading of:

Chemists edge closer to recreating early life

The full story is here:


http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2009/January/09010901.asp

Excerpts from the story:


ćA test tube based system of chemicals that exhibit life-like qualities such as indefinite self-replication,
mutation, and survival of the fittest, has been created by US scientists. The researchers say their perpetually
replicating RNA enzymes take us a step closer to understanding the origins of life on Earth, as well as to how
life may one day be synthesised in the lab.

The system, created by Gerald Joyce and Tracey Lincoln at the Scripps research institute in La Jolla,
California, involves a cross-replicating pair of ribozymes (RNA enzymes), each about 70 nucleotides long,
which catalyse each other's synthesis. So the 'left' ribozyme templates the synthesis of the 'right', which in turn
templates the 'left' and so on, building each other via Watson-Crick base pairing.

'This is the very end of the line, where chemistry starts turning into biology,' says Joyce. 'It's the first case,
other than in biology, of molecular information having been immortalised.'

Joyce's experiment was designed to test the 'RNA World' theory, which proposes that DNA-based life evolved
from a stage whereby RNA acted as both an information-storage molecule, like DNA, and as a catalyst, like
enzymes, and was also capable of self-replication.

'This work is the biggest injection of support for the RNA world hypothesis in a long time,' says Donna
Blackmond, Chair in Catalysis at Imperial College London, UK. 'It's a demonstration of principle that
indefinite replication, coupled with selection via mutation, is quite plausible for RNA. The fact that it goes on
indefinitely is a big thing for showing that this really could have been how life started,' she adds.

Scientists have previously dabbled with similar synthetic replicatory systems, but these systems fell short of
mimicking biological systems because they eventually stop replicating. This is because the bond between the
catalyst and its product becomes too strong, making the system self-poisoning. By using cross-replication,
Joyce and Lincoln seem to have overcome this problem and shown, for the first time in a purely synthetic
chemical system, indefinite replication, so long as the team continue adding oligonucleotide building blocks.ć

by jaskaw @ 19.01.2009 - 12:45:25

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/19/chemists-edge-closer-to-recreating-early-life-5404743/
Atheist ads are kicked off the buses in Italy
The recent atheist bus campaigns have been gathering a lot of attention round the world, as atheists have
often for the very first time been raising their voices in public so that the people have had a chance to hear
that really are alternatives to religions.

There has been many kinds of reactions from the religious organization, but very rarely they have been able
to completely bloc the atheist campaigns. Now they seem to have succeeded in Italy where the Pope and his
henchmen still have some clout in the society.
The Daily Mails tells the story:

Atheist ads are kicked off the buses in Italy

The full story is here:


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1121256/Atheist-ads-kicked-buses-Italy.html?ITO=1490

Highlights:
A plan to put atheist slogans on buses in Italy has been shot down by the Roman Catholic Church.
The campaign, which follows a similar one in Britain, had caused controversy in the deeply Catholic country.
The ads read 'The bad news is that God doesn't exist. The good news is that you don't need him' and were to
have made their first appearance today in the streets of Genoa.

The city was targeted because it is home to the head of the Italian Catholic Bishops Conference Cardinal
Angelo Bagnasco, an outspoken opponent of artificial insemination and gay marriage.
Cardinal Bagnasco was said to be 'furious' about the plans and had his assistants write to the bus company and
the advertising firm in charge of the £13,000 campaign to express their opposition.

At the last minute the campaign was cancelled. A source said the cardinal was 'delighted'.
A spokesman for The Italian Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics, which organised the campaign, said
yesterday: 'It appears that buses can carry campaigns for underwear and holidays with no problem but if you
ask for space to say God doesn't exist then you are denied.'
by jaskaw @ 19.01.2009 - 15:48:33

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/19/the-atheist-bus-campaings-have-been-gathering-a-lot-of-5405628/
Feedback for Post " Atheist ads are kicked off the buses in
Italy"

M. Devlin [Visitor]

19.01.2009 @ 18:30
Bagnasco doubtless advocates traditional Christian religion. Well, what Christian tradition is older or more
honourable than bishops being fed to lions?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
19.01.2009 @ 19:30
A dangerously balanced joke, dear M. Devlin, and as a staunch opposer of all violence I am tempted to
remove the comment, as it just might be misread as a call for violence against the believers. But really, I do
understand it is just a bit of fun.
Sharia police block women's rally in Nigeria
The status of women living under the rule of Islam varies from country to country. A good general rule of
thumb is however that women are nearly always worse off in undeveloped and poor Islamic countries, where
the polygamist practices are still widely used and the situation of the abandoned old wives is often desperate.
Women have in these countries even less rights than the men and the slightest sign of emancipation is often
met violently, as the recent news in BBC world service shows:

Sharia police block women's rally

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7837512.stm

Highlights:
"Islamic authorities in the northern Nigerian city of Kano have told organisers of a planned protest by
divorced women to cancel the event.
The head of the Sharia police, or Hisbah, said the planned protest was an "embarrassment", and is
"un-Islamic".
The organisers have agreed to postpone their protest scheduled for 29 January.
Women's rights activists say divorced women are often thrown out of their homes, lose custody of their
children, and many end up destitute.
The Director General of the Hisbah, Saidu Dukawa, said there were also security concerns over the protest.
"We fear what could happen in the streets if there is a large gathering of people, it could get out of control," he
told the BBC's Hausa Service.
Kano is one of 12 northern Muslim-majority states governed by Sharia law. The Hisbah are in charge of
policing the morals of Muslims to make sure they are "Sharia-compliant".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hisbah
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutaween
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_the_Propagation_of_Virtue_and_the_Prevention_of_Vice_(Saudi_Arabia

by jaskaw @ 20.01.2009 - 15:51:28

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/20/the-status-of-women-living-under-the-rule-of-islam-5412153/
Terrorist wanted India to be ‫ل‬Hindu nation‎ with
Israel‎s help
Some followers of the Hindu religions have found recently it too hard to live peacefully side by side with
followers of other religions who they have come to fear and hate as the leaders of extremists political
groupings have been cultivating the old religious rifts to their own advantage.
The most strained relations have recently been between the Muslim and Hindu communities in India. One
good reason for that is naturally also the messages coming from the Muslim community, for whom the Hindu
are just iconoclastic heathens where the Christian and Jews are ―People of the Bookć and can be tolerated, if
they submit themselves to the Muslim rule.
However these religions did live side by side for centuries in India Mughal Empire, when the Muslim rulers
were the upper ruling caste above their Hindu subjects. The tensions between these religions are so very old,
but policies creating the new violence is quite new and mostly a result of religion being used as handy and
easy to use political weapon. A recent example is told by the Religious Intelligence website:

Terrorist wanted India to be ‫ل‬Hindu nation‎ with Israel‎s help

Full story is here:


http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=3678

Excerpts:
"New Delhi: The prime accused, an extreme Hindu nationalist, in a case involving bomb blasts in the western
sate of Maharashtra in September last year wanted India to be a Hindu nation with the help of Israel, an
investigation agency told the media yesterday.
Lt Col Prasad S Purohit, a serving officer of the Indian Army who was arrested in October for allegedly
masterminding a bomb explosions in Muslim-majority areas in Malegaon in Maharashtra state and Modasa
town in Gujarat state on September 29 – in which six people were killed and over 80 were injured, was
expecting that Israel would help India to be a Hindu nation as he thought the Constitution of India was
incapable of dealing with Islamist terrorism, the chief of Mumbai‎s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), KP
Raghuvanshi, said.

Although some extreme Hindu nationalist groups have allegedly been involved in terror attacks in India since
2006, their terror links became public only in October 2008 with the arrest of Purohit and other supporters of
the ideology.

Investigation agencies are also probing if extreme Hindu nationalists were behind explosions on the
Samjhauta Express train (which connects India and Pakistan) near Panipat in Haryana on February 18, 2007,
and another incident in Nanded town of Maharashtra on April 6, 2006 when explosion took place in the house
a known Hindu nationalist when his son and associates were allegedly making a bomb. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_Hinduism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_nationalism
by jaskaw @ 21.01.2009 - 20:16:56

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/21/terrorist-wanted-india-to-be-hindu-nation-with-israel-s-help-5419405/
Feedback for Post "Terrorist wanted India to be ‫ل‬Hindu
nation‎ with Israel‎s help"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
27.01.2009 @ 19:00
god has no religion.god is love and formless, attributeless,omnicient omnipresent and omnipotent. religion is
strictly a personal affair. modern organised religions are created by powermngers who want to make poor
fellowmen to make to lick their feet.where there is love,tolerance and harmony there is god.god will flee
seeing these fanatics.catholic religion created by emporer constantine and his wife. with power its leaders
burned killed, molested, raped,women and abused children.they are enjoying pleasures of the world. like that
terrorists want india to be hindu,christian,and muslim.none has the right to impose onesown faith on others.
first practice onesown belief onself.do to others what you expect others to do to you. christ. but his so called
followers try to impose their power on other people to enjoy worldlyenjoyments and live freely.let all the
world become happy(lokha samastha skhino bhavanthu- sanskrit)-hinduism.so how a terrorist can be a
hindu.where there is hatred there is no hinduism.no body can save christ, rama or allah with. hatred.a christian
must become a good christian. a hindu must become a good hindu. a muslim must become a goodmuslim.
then terrorism will vanish in the thin air.that s true religion.water is called water in english, pani in hindi,aqua
in latin, thanni in tamil. names in different languages are different but the substance is same. like that god is
called christ, rama, krishna, allah but the substance is one and the same.be like bertrand russel.

raptor [Visitor]

04.04.2009 @ 15:54
good in fact is relegion is the cause for terrorsim or the people are the cause for their self. What is the political
will of any nation to curb the terrorism. in the recent G20 summit also prime ministers and presidents spoke
about it and what is the concrete out come is not known i am proud to be a hindu you are proud to be a .... so
what our blood is red and water we drink is colour less and the air we inhale is invisible and light we see is
invisible. then why terrorism whom they are terriorising the innocent people who are not at all responsible. i
pray god lord ram on this occasion of ramanavami bring peace in the world
with regards
raptor
Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life
The fundamental difference between science and religious beliefs is that science is capable of changing even
some of most fundamental notions, if new evidence arrives that makes them obsolete. On the other hand
religions are basically forever married to their foundation blocks laid out in their holy books, even if also they
of course in fact do change and evolve greatly in real life.
Science can however always take even the most basic scientific theories and hypothesis and think them wholly
anew. This is of course not an easy task and more and more difficult the more widely accepted a scientific
theory is.
There is a notion in ID circles that Charles Darwin and evolution are somehow given a free ride and they are
not subjects of the same kind of full scientific scrutiny as all other scientific theories are. A recent story in
New Scientist tells a rather different story. The article in The New Scientist -magazines website is rather
boldly headlined as:

Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life

The full (and very long...) story is here:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126921.600-why-darwin-was-wrong-about-the-tree-of-life.html

The story begins:


"IN JULY 1837, Charles Darwin had a flash of inspiration. In his study at his house in London, he turned to a
new page in his red leather notebook and wrote, "I think". Then he drew a spindly sketch of a tree.

As far as we know, this was the first time Darwin toyed with the concept of a "tree of life" to explain the
evolutionary relationships between different species. It was to prove a fruitful idea: by the time he published
On The Origin of Species 22 years later, Darwin's spindly tree had grown into a mighty oak. The book
contains numerous references to the tree and its only diagram is of a branching structure showing how one
species can evolve into many.
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe
this simile largely speaks the truth...

The tree-of-life concept was absolutely central to Darwin's thinking, equal in importance to natural selection,
according to biologist W. Ford Doolittle of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Without it
the theory of evolution would never have happened. The tree also helped carry the day for evolution. Darwin
argued successfully that the tree of life was a fact of nature, plain for all to see though in need of explanation.
The explanation he came up with was evolution by natural selection.

Ever since Darwin the tree has been the unifying principle for understanding the history of life on Earth. At its
base is LUCA, the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all living things, and out of LUCA grows a trunk,
which splits again and again to create a vast, bifurcating tree. Each branch represents a single species;
branching points are where one species becomes two. Most branches eventually come to a dead end as species
go extinct, but some reach right to the top - these are living species. The tree is thus a record of how every
species that ever lived is related to all others right back to the origin of life.
...The green and budding twigs may represent existing species, and those produced during each former year
may represent the long succession of extinct species

For much of the past 150 years, biology has largely concerned itself with filling in the details of the tree. "For
a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life," says Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre
and Marie Curie University in Paris, France. A few years ago it looked as though the grail was within reach.
But today the project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence. Many biologists now
argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded. "We have no evidence at all that the tree of
life is a reality," says Bapteste. That bombshell has even persuaded some that our fundamental view of
biology needs to change."

by jaskaw @ 22.01.2009 - 19:18:14

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/22/why-darwin-was-wrong-about-the-tree-of-life-5424988/
Bad Faith Award 2008 to Sarah Palin
The excellent British humanist magazine New Humanist has given the humanist and secularist crowd the
pleasure of electing the person they disliked the most last year on grounds of their anti-humanist opinions.
Nobody can really be surprised when the "New Humanist Bad Faith Award 2008" went to that nasty little
ignoramus from Alaska, hmm..what was her name again; one forgets so easily these things,..oh yes now I
remember, it must be Sarah Palin, who inevitably has already started her voyage back to political oblivion.

Bad Faith Awards 2008

The full story is here:


http://newhumanist.org.uk/1958

Excerpts from the story on the magazines website:


Following a tough campaign and a hard-fought election, we can finally announce last year's most scurrilous
enemy of reason
ćOur 2008 Bad Faith Awards began with a series of podcast nominations from well known rationalists,
including PZ Myers, Robin Ince, Natalie Haynes and Johann Hari, all of which remain online for you to hear.
The resulting shortlist was then put to a public vote on the New Humanist blog, where 5,563 voters
determined the eventual winner. The breakdown is shown in the graph to the right, and we can now proudly
announce the winners and losers in this historic race

Winner of the 2008 Bad Faith Award: Sarah Palin (1,855 votes)
2nd place: Adnan Oktar AKA Harun Yahya (1,091 votes)
3rd place: Ann Coulter (1,040 votes)
4th place: Governors of St Monica's RC High School, Prestwich (623 votes)
5th place: Tony Blair (331 votes)
6th place: Stephen Green (262 votes)ć

by jaskaw @ 23.01.2009 - 16:09:10

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/23/bad-faith-awards-2008-to-sarah-palin-5431672/
Taliban demands end to music on Pakistan buses
The overthrow of the feared and hated oddball government of Taliban in Afghanistan did not unfortunately
mean the movements demise, as even more worrisomely it has been recently been spreading also on the
Pakistani side of the Afghan-Pakistani border in the tribal areas of Pakistan. These areas have traditionally
had close ties with their fellow tribesmen across the modern political border.
The grip of the central Pakistani government has never been very strong in these areas as these tribesmen
have always been good at living as they please.
Now it is already feared that Taliban can take over these areas given that they can play their cards right with
the tribal elders, who have already had some trouble accepting these religious zealots and nuts as their new
overlords.
The most recent fallacy of Pakistani Taliban is a continuation of their crusade against all music they started
already when in power in Afghanistan. The recent lunacy of Taliban is told among others by the Yahoo News
in a story called:

Taliban demands end to music on Pakistan buses

The whole story is here:


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090121/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_no_music

Excerpts:
"PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Bus drivers in northwest Pakistan have begun removing audio and video
equipment from their vehicles afterTaliban militants threatened suicide attacks against those who played
music or movies for their passengers, an industry official said Tuesday.
Transport workers in Mardan town received letters this week from militants saying that buses offering such
entertainment were guilty of spreading "vulgarity and obscenity," Walid Mir, general secretary of the town's
transport union, told The Associated Press.
The militants said they would check the buses and that suicide attacks would be carried out against vehicles
that still had audio and video equipment — prompting union members to act quickly, Mir said.
The Taliban letter complained that traveling in buses that provide audiovisual entertainment was a "source of
mental agony for pious people," according to a text obtained by AP.
"It is obligatory on us to stop such violations. We request you to remove the vulgar systems ...
otherwisesuicide bombers are ready," the letter said."

by jaskaw @ 23.01.2009 - 21:46:47

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/23/taliban-demands-end-to-music-on-pakistan-buses-5433562/
Vatican 2.0: Pope gets his own YouTube channel
The Catholic Church could be amply described as institutionalized conservatism, but even the staunch
conservatives of the Only True Church need followers (and their money to run things). Se they must change
with the times and go where the eyeballs are.
Still the recent announcement of Vatican's own YouTube channel did sound as if New York Philharmonics
would be announcing starting new career as the Ozzy Osbournes new combo. The Washington Post tells the
story with the headline:

Vatican 2.0: Pope gets his own YouTube channel

Full story is here:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/23/AR2009012300766.html

Excerpts:
"By NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press
Saturday, January 24, 2009; 1:48 AM
VATICAN CITY -- Puffs of smoke, speeches in Latin and multipage encyclicals have all been used by the
Vatican to communicate with the faithful. Now the pope is trying to broaden his audience by joining the
wannabe musicians, college pranksters and water-skiing squirrels on YouTube. In his inaugural YouTube
foray Friday, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed viewers to this "great family that knows no borders" and said he
hoped they would "feel involved in this great dialogue of truth."
"Today is a day that writes a new page in history for the Holy See," Vatican Radio said in describing the
launch of the site,http://www.youtube.com/vatican
The Vatican said that with the YouTube channel, it hoped to broaden and unite the pontiff's audience _ an
estimated 1.4 billion people are online worldwide _ while giving the Holy See better control over the pope's
Internet image.
The pontiff joins President Barach Obama, who launched an official White House channel on his inauguration
day, as well as Queen Elizabeth, who went online with her royal YouTube channel in December 2007."

by jaskaw @ 24.01.2009 - 16:56:42

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/24/vatican-2-0-pope-gets-his-own-youtube-channel-5438205/
Feedback for Post "Vatican 2.0: Pope gets his own YouTube
channel"

mhammad [Visitor]
http://mukhtar
25.01.2009 @ 18:41
hi
welcome to the Palestine
Halal meat taken off school menu after race row
Different kinds of dietary regulations are important things in almost all religions. Their main function is to
intensify the division between the true believers and all other people. When you have learned from the early
childhood that it is disgusting to eat something you see very easily people eating those disgusting things as
foreign and repulsive.
Eating is the most basic human activity and divisions based on the eating habits work at the very basic level.
That is the main reason why religions are so extremely interested in what their followers are eating and what
not. A recent story in Croydon Today tells about the problems that can arise on this area. The story is called:

Halal meat taken off school menu after race row

The full story is here:


http://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/latestnews/Halal-meat-taken-school-menu-race-row/article-629312-detail/article.

Excerpts:
"Old Palace School is no longer serving Halal meat on its school menu after parents complained.
The Whitgift Foundation's John Whitgift Schools committee took the decision after some parents were furious
pupils were not being given a choice.
The Halal method, in which animals are slaughtered by a single slit to the throat, is the only was of killing
livestock allowed under Islam.
But the method is deemed cruel by some animal-lovers, who object to the slow death it involves.
In a letter to parents, after taking advice from religious leaders, chair of the committee Rosemary Jones said:
"We have decided that Halal meat should no longer be served to our pupils in line with what we understand is
the general policy adopted by multi-faith schools.
"We shall continue to offer a hot vegetarian option and an extensive range of cold salads as an alternative
meal for those pupils choosing not to eat non-Halal meat."
The menu was changed in November after the Advertiser revealed some parents had no idea the policy had
been in force at Old Palace for up to 10 years.
Parents furious about the Halal policy were from the recently amalgamated Croham Hurst School and were
labelled "racist bigots" by Old Palace spokeswoman Lucy Mazzeo.
Mrs Jones added in the letter: "We are very sorry for any anxiety or offence that may have been caused by this
issue or by the recent articles and letters published in the local media."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halal

"Islam has laws regarding which foods can and cannot be eaten and also on the proper method of slaughtering
an animal for consumption, known as dhabiĥa.
Explicitly forbidden substances:
- Pork meat
- Blood
- Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah (God). There are debates regarding the permissibility
of meat slaughtered by Jews (i.e., kosher meat).
- Carrion
- "Fanged beasts of prey" as per the Sunnah, usually simplified to all carnivorous animals, with the exception
of most fish and sea animals[citation needed].
- The meat of donkeys.
- All insects except for the locust
- Alcohol and other intoxicants
- There is some disagreement among Muslims regarding seafood, especially predatory sea creatures. All are in
agreement that fish with scales are halal.
- Sunnis consider all fish to be halal, while some Shias consider only shrimp and fish with scales to be
halal[4].
- Within the Hanafi school of thought, the stronger position is that shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab, clams, etc.)
are prohibited[citation needed]. But in the other three schools (Malaki, Shafi, Hanbali) crab and lobster are
permissible.

Dhabiha is the prescribed method of ritual slaughter of all animals excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic
law. This method of slaughtering animals consists of a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck,
cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact."

A further essay on the basis for existence of dietary regulations in religions is available at
http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2009/01/25/why-muslims-do-not-eat-pork-5446421/

by jaskaw @ 25.01.2009 - 12:04:03

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/25/halal-meat-taken-off-school-menu-after-race-row-5442088/
"Teach the controversy"
The Intelligent Design or ID movement has taken as its mantra the catchy slogan ―Teach the controversyć.
By that they try to imply that there really are diverging scientific theories on evolution.
The sad fact however is that there are no real scientific theories of a ―designerć and how this being has come
to be and how he really has created all that we see around us.
In the end this "theory" just claims that there can be no scientific theory explaining all the millions of
life-forms we have around us now and the millions that have already perished on the due course of evolution.
ID-people have really nor formed enough theory to poke with a stick, as they have just been busy searching
for possible problem areas and remaining enigmas in existing real scientific theories.
I do not really know who makes and markets this remarkable series of clothing, but in the address
http://controversy.wearscience.com/ you can find shirt designs that made at least me chuckle, but that does
not require much, I must admit.

K STORK
Because we know that babies are brought via giant fowl

GEOCENTRIC UNIVERSE
Because we know that the sun clearly revolves around the earth
TURTLE COSMOLOGY
Because we know that the earth sits on giant elephants which in turn ride an even gianter turtle

SP CARDS
Because we know that you can read minds if you try hard enough

YOUNG EARTH
Because we know that the Earth is barely past its 6000th Birthday

by jaskaw @ 26.01.2009 - 23:23:42

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/26/teach-the-controversy-5453491/
Feedback for Post ""Teach the controversy""

Tom [Visitor]

27.01.2009 @ 04:22
Don't forget Sex Ed .... Some people say "Abstainance is Best". But there are those who claim "Fag Sex
Rules".

Tim Savisky [Visitor]


http://www.upg.pitt.edu
27.02.2009 @ 00:33
Hi. I teach at a small semi-public college. In my geology course the first topic is origins. I teach the
controversy, since 50% of Americans believe the earth is 6,000 years old. To ignore this fact would be
ignorant teaching. I help the students see the religious basis for the controversy (they read Genesis for
example) and I spend much time showing how the half-truths of "creation science" has no basis in evidence. It
is a very effective teaching strategy. My goal is to help students think critically so they can see why modern
science firmly holds that earth is over 4 billion years old. Don't be closed minded to those who want to teach
the controversy. Find out what their motives are first. Some want to do so to insert unreasonable doubt into
good science as part of their religious agenda. My goal is to teach good science. It's my job.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
27.02.2009 @ 11:28
I can well understand that one can and must teach students the existing facts:
1) There is a well-proven and extremely well-researched scientific explanation as how life has evolved on
earth during the millions of years.
2) There are religious people who think that this explanation is against their religion and some of theme even
reject this part of science altogether.
3) These people have very recently had a grand new idea of calling their religiously based rejection of science
a "scientific theory" of its own.
4) This id done even if they have no scientific theories of their own and this religious explanation does not in
real terms explain nothing.
It is basically just a statement that there can be no scientific explanation and one should not be searched for, as
the explanation given by their religion is quite enough.
This 'controversy' must of course be explained to all students, as without this explanation they would have all
the information to really understand the issue at hand.

Becca [Visitor]

28.02.2009 @ 03:02
Amorphia Apparel makes these shirts! You can buy them on their website. Check them out.

honey [Visitor]

16.03.2009 @ 23:27
Intelligent Design (creationism) is not a theory, because it cannot be tested-- it is a belief aspect of
Christianity. Religion is not a subject of biology or geology, it is mythology. And our constitution clearly
delineates the fact that it has no place in public institutions. That is the bottom line. In science classes there is
way more significant scientific evidence of evolution, there is no significant scientific evidence of Intelligent
Design. And what can be significant proven to be true and repeated as well is what is actually believed in
science. If people want to teach Intelligent Design in public schools then a mythology, English, World
Religions or Philosophy class is appropriate (maybe). Otherwise, it should be left to private institutions that
endorse it as realistic science.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
16.03.2009 @ 23:31
Well spoken, honey, well spoken!

Steve [Visitor]

30.05.2009 @ 23:36
Even among Christians, young-Earth creationism is a lunatic fringe. Why do we pay official attention to these
nutcases?

BTW, the YEC cult will, when you point to fossils, red-shifted light from distant galaxies, radioisotope
ratios... say that all of this was created to Test Our Faith. So far, I haven't seen anyone use the obvious
counter: How do you know that it's not your Big Book of Repeatedly-Translated Fairy Tales that's the test? As
a Divinely-inspired stupid-detector, the Bible actually makes sense; anyone who can take that pile of
contradictions seriously should be kept away from sharp objects.

Konraden [Visitor]
http://www.myextralife.com
31.05.2009 @ 10:55
Anything that contradicts their ancient book of BS is considered "to test their faith." They don't seem to
understand, well, thought at all. We have evidence, conclusive evidence, of things that contradict their bible,
and the best argument they have against me is "My mind is not your mind, my body not your body" or some
religions BS. They just don't get it. Those YEC's are insane, and we had one running my country for a while.

Kevin [Visitor]

08.06.2009 @ 00:56
Hey, isn't that turtle one a reference to the Discworld?

Adam [Visitor]
http://wormed7600.wordpress.com/
02.07.2009 @ 03:56
in china the tortoise holds up heavy and important objects....world on elephants on tortoise = the awesome
Paris opens door to author fleeing Islamist threats
We all know by heart that Islam is a ćReligion of Peaceć, but sadly that is too often true only when
everything is going their way. A slightest disagreement with the Islamic faith can bring about a change of face
that has had very nasty consequences in the past.
The thing that infuriates the peaceful Islamists the most are of course Muslims that have turned away from the
Faith of Total Submission. They often can even stand some criticism coming from outside, but the followers of
this ćReligion on Peaceć have caused even considerable physical harm to people that are deemed to have
abandoned the Only True Faith.
Naturally nothing is more dangerous for this ideology than people within its own ranks starting to think with
their own brains. The latest story in this class is told by the Guardian in a story headlined:

Paris opens door to author fleeing Islamist threats

The full story is here:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/05/taslima-nasreen-death-threats-paris
Excerpts:
"Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
The award-winning feminist writer Taslima Nasreen, who is under death-threat from Islamist extremists, is to
be housed in an artist's studio paid for by the city of Paris, more than a decade after she was forced into exile
from her native Bangladesh.
Nasreen's outspoken stance on what she calls the inherent misogyny of conservative Muslim society in
Bangladesh has sparked protests, riots and warrants for her arrest as well as a cash reward for her decapitation
by religious fundamentalists.
In 1994, the former doctor was accused of blasphemy over her novel Lajja (Shame), which described the life
of a Hindu family persecuted in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. The book was banned for offending Muslim
religious sentiments.

She was quoted by an Indian newspaper saying the Qur'an should be rewritten because it was "unfair to
women" and was forced to flee Bangladesh, even though she denied the comments and said she had been
referring to sharia law.
After travelling across Europe and the US, and living in exile in India, where her presence led to threats and
violent protests, and more recently in Sweden, she applied for housing in Paris six weeks ago. She is expected
to move in next month.

Her case had become a cause celebre in France and she was made an honorary citizen of Paris last July.
The mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, called her a freedom fighter, and said: "You have been chased out of your
home because you raised your voice against the inhumanity of fanaticism. You are at home here, in this city
where men are born and live free and equal."

by jaskaw @ 27.01.2009 - 16:24:21

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/27/paris-opens-door-to-author-fleeing-islamist-threats-5456934/
Feedback for Post "Paris opens door to author fleeing
Islamist threats "

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
27.01.2009 @ 17:10
great france.all blessings of god be on france for giving asylum to a great lady, a world citizen, a great artist.
Sir David Attenborough: 'I get hate mail telling me
to burn in hell for not crediting God
An extremist sees all too often the whole world through his or hers extremist belief-system and is offended by
everything that does not confirm his views. The sad thing that in a free society this so easily leads to a
situation where people that others see as quite nice and unthreatening are seen as the enemy, if they dare to
publicly utter thing that do not confirm with firmly held beliefs.
One of these disturbers of religious torpor is rather surprisingly the always so enthusiastic animal lover Sir
David Attenborough, as is told in a recent story in The Telegraph:

Sir David Attenborough: 'I get hate mail telling me to burn in hell for not crediting God'

The whole story is here:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/4345830/Sir-David-Attenborough-I-get-hate-mail-telling-me-to-burn-in

Excerpts from the story by Eddie Mulholland:


"They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance," Sir David said during an interview with the Radio Times
about his latest documentary on Charles Darwin and natural selection.
This year marks two centuries since Darwin's birth and 150 years since the groundbreaking On the Origin of
Species was published.
Telling the magazine that he was also asked why he did not give "credit" to the Lord, Sir David continued:
"They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds.
"I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in East Africa with a worm burrowing through his
eyeball.
"The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs.
"I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator."
Sir David, who attended the Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester from the 1930s, told the
magazine he was astonished at manifestations of Christian faith.
He said: "It never really occurred to me to believe in God - and I had nothing to rebel against, my parents told
me nothing whatsoever.
"But I do remember looking at my headmaster delivering a sermon, a classicist, extremely clever... and
thinking, he can't really believe all that, can he? How incredible!"

by jaskaw @ 27.01.2009 - 22:56:59

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/27/sir-david-attenborough-i-get-hate-mail-telling-me-to-burn-in-hell-for-not-crediti
Rosengård 'growing more radical', as Muslim
radicalism is in rise also in Sweden
One of the most worrying current trends in the Western Europe is the ongoing radicalization of many of the
local Muslim communities. There is however strong reason to believe that there is no universal radicalization
progress going on in the whole of Muslim communities, but positions of power and influence within those
communities are just sliding to hands of a small, but very vocal or even violent group of extremists.
Also the inevitable group solidarity of an foreign minority group is in the play here, as also the most radical
groupings are part of ‫ل‬us‎ even if they are in fact making life harder for the whole minority group.
Radical Islamist groups are creating and meeting growing resistance at the outside society and the violent
rhetoric‎s and the practices of the most radical Muslims are now used as a racist weapon against the whole
minority group. One could even conclude that the immigrant groups could look for a much brighter future if
they can reign in the most radical groups with their own actions.
A recent Swedish study tells about the developments in the local Muslim communities.

Rosengård 'growing more radical'

http://www.thelocal.se/17210/20090128/

Highligts from the story:


"A majority of Rosengård's inhabitants believe the troubled Malmö suburb has undergone a radicalization
over the past five years, a new study shows.
Researchers Magnus Ranstorp and Josefine Dos Santos from the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the
Swedish National Defence College were tasked by the government with examining the effects of preventive
measures taken in Sweden against violent extremism and radicalization.
As part of their studies, the researchers conducted extensive interviews with school personnel and police
officers active in the Rosengård district.
The vast majority of respondents were of the view that the predominantly immigrant suburb had become
considerably more radical over the last five years.
Ranstorp and Dos Santos describe how "ultra-radical" Islamists attached to basement mosques "preach
isolation and act as thought controllers while also maintaining a strong culture of threats, in which women in
particular are subjected to physical and psychological harassment."
"Newcomer families who were never particularly traditional or religious say they lived more freely in their
home countries than they do in Rosengård," the researchers write.
Rosengård district committee chairman Andreas Konstantinides (SocDem) said he shared the researchers'
concerns about "thought police" controlling the climate of expression in the area.
"I actually think these radical individuals are limited in number. But they exert an influence through
manipulation and exploiting the situation."
Rosengård was the scene of extensive rioting in December following the closure of an Islamic cultural centre
in the area.

by jaskaw @ 28.01.2009 - 21:41:36

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/28/rosengard-growing-more-radical-as-muslim-radicalism-is-in-rise-also-in-sweden
Feedback for Post "Rosengård 'growing more radical', as
Muslim radicalism is in rise also in Sweden"

Cosmoskitten [Visitor]

30.01.2009 @ 13:55
Highlights from the actual report:

Contains almost no references to sources. Sources that are cited is a report from Malmö city and a series of
articles in a local newspaper.

Authors did not interview any people from the actual groups that "are getting more radical".

Highlights from the treatment of data: It has been destroyed to protect the anonymity of the persons
interviewed.
(see article in swedish at
http://sydsvenskan.se/opinion/aktuellafragor/article409501/Kallmaterialet-forstordes.html)

Cosmoskitten's the Atheist Verdict: Not many signs of clear thinking here.
Charles Darwin's research to prove evolution was
motivated by his desire to end slavery
It is often hard to remember that Charles Darwin really did live in a world where it was deemed quite okay
for somebody to own other humans. After 1800 years of rule by the merciful Christianity there were in even
Christian lands themselves millions of people owned by their Christian slave-owners. They could also lean on
the Bible in their sincere belief that continuation of this evil institution was the will of God.
The abolitionist movement did however in fact include a lot of people from the Christian movements, as the
new humanist thinking was sweeping western societies. Also many followers of the Christians faiths were then
beginning to accept the humanist view of equal and indivisible human rights of all humans. A new study tells
a lot about the affect the question of slavery did possibly have on Charles Darwin's own thinking.

Charles Darwin's research to prove evolution was motivated by his desire to end slavery

The full story is here:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/sciencenews/4330132/Charles-Darwins-research-to-prove-e

Excerpts:
ćBy Richard Gray, Science Correspondent
Charles Darwin, the scientist whose theories have become a corner stone of modern biology, was motivated to
carry out his famous research by a desire to rid the world of slavery, according to a new book.
Science historians Adrian Desmond and James Moore have compiled compelling new evidence which reveals
Darwin was passionately opposed to slavery and this was the moral impetus behind his work.
Private notes and letters uncovered by the pair reveal that Darwin's opinions on slavery were far stronger than
had previously been believed.
Notebooks from his five year voyage on HMS Beagle, during which Darwin first began to form his famous
theories on natural selection, detail his revulsion at the slavery he witnessed in South America.
The historians have also discovered letters written by Darwin's sisters, cousins and aunts that reveal the family
as highly active abolitionists. Darwin's grandfather and uncles were also key members of the anti-slavery
movement.
The pair claim in a new book that Darwin partly chose to highlight the common descent of man from apes to
show that all races were equal, as a rebuttal to those who insisted black people were a different, and inferior,
species from those with white skin.
They say Darwin attempted to show that his theory of sexual selection, where traits seen as desirable but
which give no competitive advantage to a species are passed down through generations, was responsible for
differences in appearance between races of both animals and humans.ć
by jaskaw @ 29.01.2009 - 15:57:53

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/29/charles-darwin-s-research-to-prove-evolution-was-motivated-by-his-desire-to-en
Atheist Bill Gates to give more during economic
crisis
Atheists come in all colors; some of us are greedy and selfish, some are selfless and giving as is the case
among the followers of all religions too. One‎s basic personality is very seldom formed on a basis of his
belief on deities or the lack thereof only.
A person believing in the basic values of western humanism, that is in equal respect for all human beings
notwithstanding their creed, race or sex, social equality and democracy, is however very often inclined to aid
their fellow humans also outside their own neighborhood more than a person that does not believe in this kind
of values.
These values are of course very often common also among the followers of the more liberal western versions
of religions and atheists or humanists are of course not sole flag bearers of these humanist ideals.
One should however remember that the original rise and spread of influence of these basic humanist ideals
happened outside the religious circles, but these values have often changed also the religions for the better in
the countries where humanist values have been spreading.
One example of this humanism in action is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that is nowadays the largest
single private source of donations in the world. The Examiner.com tells about this with a rather catchy
headline:

Atheist Bill Gates to give more during economic crisis

The full story is here:


http://www.examiner.com/x-2044-Atheism-Examiner~y2009m1d27-Atheist-Bill-Gates-to-give-more-during-economic

Excerpts from the story:


―by Trina Hoaks, Atheism Examiner
Many statistics and people say that atheists aren‎t charitable people. However, they seem to miss that the
nation‎s largest charitable foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was founded by an atheist – Bill
Gates.
It was reported by the Associated Press today that several charitable groups have committed to continue
charitable giving during this time of economic crisis. Among those committing to do so is the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation. What‎s more is they have gone a step further.
Though Microsoft has experienced a decline in profits, it was announced this week that the foundation is
increasing its giving percentage from five to seven.
According to the report, ―[a]s of mid-January, 50 of the nation's largest foundations had committed more than
$100 million in grants aimed at reducing foreclosures, keeping food bank shelves stocked and providing
services to the homeless and financial counseling for others.ć

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx
http://www.celebatheists.com/index.php?title=Bill_Gates
by jaskaw @ 29.01.2009 - 22:48:09

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/29/atheist-bill-gates-to-give-more-during-economic-crisis-5471726/
Pat Condell: Shame on The Netherlands
The recent decision made by a Dutch court to prosecute parliamentarian Geerd Wilders for his film 'Fitna'
was a surprise, as that film does in fact effectively criticize the Islamic faith based solely on the real deeds
done by the extremist followers of that faith and on the sayings in their holy book that effectively have
sanctioned those deeds.
There apparently is an widespread opinion that saying anything bad about the Islamic extremists and their
extremist faith is a racist thing to do. There is a lot of people who have not realized that religions and
especially religious extremism are not genetically inherited properties of humans, but learned ideologies. In a
free society there simply must a right to criticize every ideology, even if it is disguised as religion.
The sad fact that there are also racist elements criticizing Islam can not lead to an situation where it cannot
be taken under the same scrutiny as all other ideologies. As always Pat Condell sums it up marvelously in his
most recent video-blog called:

Pat Condell: Shame on The Netherlands

You can watch the video right here:

More on the the role of religions as ideologies at:


http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2007/12/15/religion_and_ideology~3448790/
by jaskaw @ 30.01.2009 - 16:12:59

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/30/pat-condell-shame-on-the-netherlands-5476263/
The Crowded Catholic Cafeteria
The Catholic Church is one of the most authoritarian institutions in the world, as there is no room for
doubting or even debating even the details of the official party line. What an official church council has
agreed on stands until a new council decides otherwise. Who does not agree with that is nowadays free to
leave the party, now when burning people with wrong ideas is no more possible.
The extremely conservative current pope Benedict XVI (btw. a rather odd surname, don‎t you think?) is now
however on the road of accepting people back to church that are still in fact in a state of rebellion against the
official party line.
He however sees these people as valued allies, as they represent the ultimate catholic right wing
conservatism. The current pope can‎t have enough of that, as he sees his church surrounded and threatened
by increasingly liberal societies. A recent story in Slate tells about the situation with the headline:

The Crowded Catholic Cafeteria

Full story is here:


http://www.slate.com/id/2210151?wpisrc=newsletter

Excerpts from the story by Michael Sean Winters:


"Last week, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the decree of automatic excommunication against a group of right-wing
bishops who were ordained without papal approval, an act of schism, in 1988. Most of the publicity
surrounding this intra-ecclesial move has focused on its effect on Jewish-Catholic relations, because one of
the bishops, Richard Williamson, has recently and publicly denied the Holocaust. In protest of the decision to
remove the excommunication, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem severed relations with the Vatican, and the Pope's
planned trip to the Holy Land later this year is now in doubt.
Just because the decree was lifted does not mean the bishops are within the Catholic fold: To achieve full
communion with Rome, you must accept all the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. But the bishops
belong to the conservative Society of St. Pius X, a group founded in 1970 by French Archbishop Marcel
Lefebvre because they rejected Vatican II. Since he took office in 2005, Pope Benedict has made no secret of
his desire to end the schism. Holocaust deniers, of course, are crazy. But for a Catholic to deny the teachings,
and even the validity, of the Second Vatican Council is pretty insane, too.

An ecumenical council is the most authoritative form of church teaching. The first council, at Nicaea in 325,
issued the creed that is still recited at Sunday Mass. Other early councils defined the divinity of Christ and the
doctrine of the Trinity. In the 16th century, the Council of Trent represented Catholicism's response to the
Reformation.
Rejecting the teachings of a council is a bit like being a Republican in favor of higher taxes: You have to
wonder why you're still a member of the club. Lefebvre and his ilk decided to leave the club rather than accept
the teachings of Vatican II. They were especially alarmed by the abandonment of the Latin Mass and the
Decree on Religious Liberty, which recognized the separation of church and state as a valid form of
constitutional arrangement. "The Second Vatican Council is the religion of man, of man put in the place of
God," the British Williamson told a U.K. paper.
Progressive Catholics are accustomed to being called "cafeteria Catholics" because of the perception that they
pick and choose among Catholic teachings, accepting some while ignoring others. But here it is the
progressives who are claiming foul and the right wing that is charged with its own bizarre brand of cafeteria
Catholicism. Some wish to deny the church's ban on ordaining women; others wish to deny Vatican II's
teachings on separation of church and state."

by jaskaw @ 31.01.2009 - 17:01:41

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/31/the-crowded-catholic-cafeteria-5481489/
Feedback for Post "The Crowded Catholic Cafeteria"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
31.01.2009 @ 18:24
catholic curch is created by constantine and his wife.it has no relation with christ or god. christ born in a cattle
shed . the leaders of the churh are enjoying all pleasures of world, they killed, burned,raped and abused
children with bloodyinfallibility.so they will do any thingfor power.
'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology
One can for a good reason speak of all religions as man-made creations and results of creative imagination,
but nowhere this is more true than in the so called ―Churchć of Scientology,
This ―churchć was invented by a science fiction writer in the 50‎s and it is sometimes even accused of being
the most elaborate hoax there is in existence in the modern world. As this church is also known for its love of
litigation I will refrain myself from stating if I think that these accusations are true or not.
It even seems to be the case that even some operatives of this ―religionć that has grown to be a large scale
money making machine themselves seem to believe it to be the real thing.
A recent story in the The Register technology site tells about the daily life of this ―religionć.

'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology

The full story is here:


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/29/bart_robo_call/

Excerpts from the story:


"It appears that Twentieth Century Fox is none too pleased with Nancy Cartwright's use of Bart Simpson to
punt an upcoming Church of Scientology event in a "robo-calling" recording.
Committed Scientologist Cartwright, who has donated $10m to her favourite cult, begins her message with
―Hey, what‎s happening man, this is Bart Simpson... hahaha...ć before revealing her true identity with "...just
kidding don‎t hang up this is Nancy Cartwright. And this is a very special phone call to you. I‎m now
auditing on new OT [Operating Thetan Level] Seven.ć
The rest of the pitch for the 31 January Hollywood shindig features Cartwright's own voice interspersed with
Bart, who insists at one point: ―It‎s gonna be a blast, man!"
A recording of the message found its way onto YouTube a couple of days back, but has now been pulled "due
to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Ron_Hubbard

by jaskaw @ 31.01.2009 - 20:43:25

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/31/bart-simpson-punts-church-of-scientology-5482465/
Poll reveals public doubts over Charles Darwin's
theory of evolution
It is a sad fact of life that the wealth of scientific findings and evidence that consists the theory of evolution
will never be accepted by certain religious elements, as they still need to believe that their various old holy
books contain the Only and Final truth about everything.
The reason why the theory of gravity or the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift are not similarly
challenged is of course that they do not similarly threaten the core dogmas of these old desert religions.
One must remember that these religions were crafted at a time when there simply was no real knowledge of
what makes the world go around.
So they evidently give wrong and meaningless answers to almost everything we now know about the universe,
but as their other failures are not central to their belief-systems they do not get the same attention and also
most other scientific enquiries are allowed to proceed in peace. A recent study tells how even in practice very
secular Britain the old religious dogmas still have a hold on very many people.
On the other hand if a man of the street is asked if he thinks the theory of plate tectonics is correct, one could
get very surprising results.

Poll reveals public doubts over Charles Darwin's theory of evolution

The full story is here:


http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=48964337205&h=kaj8b&u=f-I8l

Excerpts:
"More than half of the public believe that the theory of evolution cannot explain the full complexity of life on
Earth, and a "designer" must have lent a hand, the findings suggest.
And one in three believe that God created the world within the past 10,000 years.
The survey, by respected polling firm ComRes, will fuel the debate around evolution and creationism ahead of
next week's 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.
Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, said the findings revealed a
worrying level of scientific ignorance among Britons.
In the survey, 51 per cent of those questioned agreed with the statement that "evolution alone is not enough to
explain the complex structures of some living things, so the intervention of a designer is needed at key stages"
A further 40 per cent disagreed, while the rest said they did not know.
The suggestion that a designer's input is needed reflects the "intelligent design" theory, promoted by American
creationists as an alternative to Darwinian evolution.
Asked whether it was true that "God created the world sometime in the last 10,000 years", 32 per cent agreed,
60 per cent disagreed and eight per cent did not know."

Wikipedia has a really wonderful selection of writing on evolution; here is little sample of the material on the
subject easily on offer to everyone with a computer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_evolutionary_thought

by jaskaw @ 01.02.2009 - 17:47:52

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/01/poll-reveals-public-doubts-over-charles-darwin-s-theory-of-evolution-5486601/
Feedback for Post "Poll reveals public doubts over Charles
Darwin's theory of evolution"

John Does [Visitor]

01.02.2009 @ 18:21
Wow dude that is the coolest thing I have ever seen

John Doe
www.internet-privacy.us.tc
Johann Hari: Why should I respect these
oppressive religions?
One of the central universal human rights under a special protection by the United Nations has always been
the freedom of speech. Now this right is on the its way of being be scrubbed from the charter, as the Islamic
nations have succeeded in driving in a line of decisions that exclude the right to criticize religions from the
list of freedoms protected by the UN.
This is an extremely worrying development as just the Islamic extremism is one of the biggest threats to
freedom of speech and ultimately the whole democratic form of government. If this development is not stopped
in time, every ideology disguising as religion will have a special protected status that will prevent any serious
public attempts to rationally analyze it and its goals.

Johann Hari: Why should I respect these oppressive religions?

The full story is here:


http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-why-should-i-respect-these-oppressive-r

Highlights:
"The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid. Across the world, the small, incremental gains
made by secularism – giving us the space to doubt and question and make up our own minds – are being
beaten back by belligerent demands that we "respect" religion. A historic marker has just been passed,
showing how far we have been shoved. The UN rapporteur who is supposed to be the global guardian of free
speech has had his job rewritten – to put him on the side of the religious censors.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated 60 years ago that "a world in which human beings shall
enjoy freedom of speech and belief is the highest aspiration of the common people". It was a Magna Carta for
mankind – and loathed by every human rights abuser on earth. Today, the Chinese dictatorship calls it
"Western", Robert Mugabe calls it "colonialist", and Dick Cheney calls it "outdated". The countries of the
world have chronically failed to meet it – but the document has been held up by the United Nations as the
ultimate standard against which to check ourselves. Until now.
Starting in 1999, a coalition of Islamist tyrants, led by Saudi Arabia, demanded the rules be rewritten. The
demand for everyone to be able to think and speak freely failed to "respect" the "unique sensitivities" of the
religious, they decided – so they issued an alternative Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. It insisted that
you can only speak within "the limits set by the shariah [law]. It is not permitted to spread falsehood or
disseminate that which involves encouraging abomination or forsaking the Islamic community".
In other words, you can say anything you like, as long as it precisely what the reactionary mullahs tell you to
say. The declaration makes it clear there is no equality for women, gays, non-Muslims, or apostates. It has
been backed by the Vatican and a bevy of Christian fundamentalists.

Incredibly, they are succeeding."

by jaskaw @ 02.02.2009 - 14:45:15

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/02/johann-hari-why-should-i-respect-these-oppressive-religions-5492006/
Feedback for Post "Johann Hari: Why should I respect
these oppressive religions?"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
02.02.2009 @ 16:54
these bloody organised religions are not for god or human beings.it is for the leaders. they want to enjoy
power, money, and all kinds of worldly pleasures without anybody's questioning.these saintliness are only for
out siders. if you look inside there is no tolerance between the leaders of the same community.they hate each
other. they fight for power and money. where is god and these people.love thy enemy.they won'tlove their
friends even. hell with religious fanatics.who are they to dictate terms to their fellow men.distribute
everything and take your cross and follw me.they are looting others wealth while their brothers are
starving.they enjoy all kinds of luxurious foods while children are crying for food.they are satans. hell with
them

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
02.02.2009 @ 21:24
I'm so sorry Jose, but I think calling anybody "satans" and wishing them to go to "hell" are not behavior that I
think a person with a real humanist attitude would ever do. This is talk of a zealot and I myself have trouble
with all zealots, at least if they cannot accept the basic humanity present at us all.
I personally believe that even a person being lead astray by an belief-system is still a human being and needs
to be treated with the dignity that every human being deserves.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
03.02.2009 @ 08:24
i am sorry if my words hurt anybody.beg pardon. but they are so cruel.if go through history from their
begining, they killed, burned, raped and abused children.anybody doing such acts cannot be called
human.their attitude is same even today. food sleep,fear and sex are common to humans and animals.virtue is
what differentiate both. virtueless person is not human. only animal.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
03.02.2009 @ 08:32
animals have theirown virtue. but these so called religious leaders have none if we look closer.that is why i
called them satan.they are preaching hell to their slaves ie. followers.they say all other people except catholics
go to hell. they get what they preach not more or less.you reap what you sow.once again sorry for the offence

Rashid Khan [Visitor]

12.02.2009 @ 05:54
Although I have not gone through the complete article but I will say that Mr. Johann has not studied Islam so
far. Before writing an article, he should have studied Islam. Besides, freedom of sppech does not give you
licence to criticize one' faith.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
12.02.2009 @ 21:57
A real and functioning freedom of speech gives you just that right.
In a real democracy you can criticize any ideology and even religions without fear of reprisal. In a free society
the religions and religious people have of course the freedom of freely criticizing their criticizers as they
please, but they cannot silence people just because they think that an religious ideology contains dangerous
ideas or has developed new dangerous extremist elements.
Do you think that even dangerous religious extremism should never be criticized in a democracy if they
happen to be using religious metaphors and religious ideas to further their authoritarian ideas?
"Mr. Obama, the first Atheist President"
The Atheist News has never before ventured to this field, but now it is time to enter the world of religious
nutcrackers. A website titling itself as "Objective: ministries" has alerted the Christian world to the fact that
the second Barack Obamas swearing in was done without a bible, even if the first was done with one at hand.
In the superstitious world of extreme religions the act of holding a certain book makes a ceremony magically
a quite thing as if the words of solemn oath themselves would have no meaning by themselves, but the essence
of things is in the right administration of rituals. What makes this piece remarkable is however the
conclusions they are making. They are boldly claim that Mr. Obama is an atheist because of this mishap with
the books!
Of course it would be quite nice if it was right, even if I think that Mr. Obamas apparent religiosity is at the
end of a very practical kind. I even faintly suspect that it has much to do with the fact that a man without a
publicly professed religious faith cannot at the moment be elected as a president of the United States.
PS. The problem with these extremist-sites is of course that you will never really know if it is an hoax put up
by pranksters masquerading as extremists, as the difference is often quite impossible to tell.

The original story was called:


SECULARISM ALERT: Obama Not Sworn In Using A Bible

The full story is here:


http://objectiveministries.org/

Excerpts:
"During the televised inauguration on Tuesday, much was made of Mr. Obama taking the Oath of Office
using the Bible that President Lincoln used during his inauguration. This was done to stifle fears that Mr.
Obama's supposed Christian faith was merely a calculated ruse to hide his Muslim-Atheist leanings. However,
things were not as they seemed.
Mr. Obama, who is known for his oratory skill, managed to befuddle Chief Justice John Roberts by
"accidentally" interrupting him before he could finish saying the opening line. This caused the Oath to be
recited incorrectly by both Chief Justice Roberts and Mr. Obama, meaning that Mr. Obama was not officially
sworn in that day. Instead, the official swearing-in ceremony was conducted in near-secrecy the next night
(Jan. 21) in the White House Map Room. Only this time, Mr. Obama did not use a Bible! According to the AP
article: "The president said he did not have his Bible with him, but that the oath was binding anyway."
While directives for the use of a Bible are neglected in the Constitution, all presidents since George
Washington have been sworn in on the Word of God. Mr. Obama, by not using a Bible, has become the
first Atheist President. Thus we begin slouching towards Secularism."

by jaskaw @ 03.02.2009 - 20:03:24

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/03/mr-obama-the-first-atheist-president-5501110/
Feedback for Post ""Mr. Obama, the first Atheist
President""

John [Visitor]

03.02.2009 @ 20:19
Calvin Coolidge's repetition of the oath followed a similar course. He took it for the first time at 2:47 a.m. on
Aug. 3, 1923, while visiting his native Vermont, after being roused from sleep following the death of Warren
Harding. Coolidge had a Bible on a nearby table while taking the oath but did not lay his hand on it, "as it is
not the practice in Vermont or Massachusetts to use a Bible in connection with the administration of an oath,"
he said.

Bill Baker [Visitor]

03.02.2009 @ 21:48
Did Jefferson swear on a bible? He was a an Agnostic-Deist whom despised the Christian religion and it's
god{though he had high regatds for Jesus, but not as some sort of divine figure}.
What about Lincoln? He was a Deist whom is quoated as saying he never could understand the long and
complex statements of the Christian religion.

These christian fools have no idea of Americas founders and their beliefs, nor their wishes for America to be a
secular nation. They have no understanding that the constituion is an atheistic or godless document, that the
declaration was at best a Deistic one{not theistic, certainly not specifically christian} and that all that god
stuff in the anthem and the pledge and on the money and so on was'nt added till much much later{like
1950's}.

Nor do they understand Obamas beliefs, as simply a "liberal" form of christianity, but still christianity.

In short- they are idiots!

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
04.02.2009 @ 03:24
we need not give much importance to these matters.look at africa. chrildren are starving, killed by war
mongers. women are raped and killed, how can they do it. if obama can do some thing for them it would be
great.forget bible. take it if one wants or throw it. forget it.
Facing up to Canada's dark history
One of the less well known achievements of the Christian missionary work is the assimilation of Canada‎s
indigenous population in 80 residential schools run mainly by religious organizations. In these schools about
150 000 native children were weaned away from the wicked ways of their forefathers and learned how to
behave like a white man, or else.
A very important thing for these religious schools was of course saving their souls for Jesus and driving away
the awful pagan ways of life. A story in HNN or History News Network tells the story with the headline:

Facing up to Canada's dark history

The full story is here:


http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/61027.html

Excerpts:
ćFrom the late 19th Century up to the 1970s, an estimated 150,000 native children in Canada were seized
from their parents and sent far away to state-funded, church-run schools to learn how to think, speak and act
like white people. The country is still coming to terms with the disastrous results.
In the coming months, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission will start touring the country to heal the scars
of the residential schools system, a policy that resulted in thousands of deaths and devastated lives.
With an estimated 80,000 former pupils still around today, many of whom witnessed or suffered sexual,
physical and mental abuse, the debate over how much truth will be needed for reconciliation is stirring
controversy.ć

Here is some background info on issue that is certainly quite unfamiliar to many:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_enfranchisement_in_Canada
ćThe Act to Encourage the Gradual Civilization of Indian Tribes in this Province, and to Amend the Laws
Relating to Indians (commonly known as the Gradual Civilization Act) was a bill passed by the 5th
Parliament of the Province of Canada in 1857.
The treaty built on the "Act for the Protection of the Indians in Upper Canada" passed in 1839, but required
the "enfranchisement" of any recognized male Indian over the age of 21 "able to speak, read and write either
English or the French language readily and well, and is sufficiently advanced in the elementary branches of
education and is of good moral character and free from debt."[1] An "enfranchised" Indian would no longer
retain the "legal rights and habilities of Indians" and would "no longer be deemed an Indian" but a regular
British subject.ć

http://www.rememberingthechildren.ca/history/index.htm
ć1870-1910 - Period of assimilation where the clear objective of both missionaries and government was to
assimilate Aboriginal children into the lower fringes of mainstream society.
1920 - Compulsory attendance for all children ages 7-15 years. Children were forcibly taken from their
families by priests, Indian agents and police officers.
1931 - There were 80 residential schools operating in Canada.ć
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Residential_Schools_Truth_and_Reconciliation_Commission
ćAfter their closing, schools have become notorious for allegations of physical, psychological, and sexual
abuse and neglect. The commission will investigate both crimes perpetrated within residential schools, as well
as the negative impacts of the schools' stated aim, to forcibly assimilate First Nations children. The matter of
student deaths at these institutions, and their burial in unmarked graves without the notification or consent of
the parents is an additional item on the agenda.ć

by jaskaw @ 04.02.2009 - 12:43:57

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/04/facing-up-to-canada-s-dark-history-5504520/
Feedback for Post "Facing up to Canada's dark history "

Alex [Visitor]

04.02.2009 @ 16:01
While she never spoke of it to me, my mother was a victim of the Canadian re-education schools. I do know
from other relatives that she was abused, possibly sexually, and that the entire experience changed her
profoundly. She is gone now as are many of the victims. What irks me is that no apology or effort of
reconciliation will set things right for her. Her one and only life was scarred by people who listen to invisible
beings and do horrible things in their name. What a waste.
New Scientist: How to control a herd of humans
A wealth of recent studies shows that just making people do things in unison in groups can be a source of
great control over these groups of people. The researchers have politely singled out just bygone fascist
movements as exploiters of this phenomenon, but readers of this blog know instantly what is really talked
about when researchers say that chanting or singing together can make people‎s minds more controllable.
The story in New Scientis telling about these findings has the catchy headline:

How to control a herd of humans

The full story is here:


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126945.300-how-to-control-your-herd-of-humans.html?DCMP=NLC-nletter

Excerpts:
―HITLER and Mussolini both had the ability to bend millions of people to their fascist will. Now evidence
from psychology and neurology is emerging to explain how tactics like organised marching and propaganda
can work to exert mass mind control.
Scott Wiltermuth of Stanford University in California and colleagues have found that activities performed in
unison, such as marching or dancing, increase loyalty to the group. "It makes us feel as though we're part of a
larger entity, so we see the group's welfare as being as important as our own," he says.
Wiltermuth's team separated 96 people into four groups who performed these tasks together: listening to a
song while silently mouthing the words, singing along, singing and dancing, or listening to different versions
of the song so that they sang and danced out of sync. In a later game, when asked to decide whether to stick
with the group or strive for personal gain, those in the non-synchronised group behaved less loyally than the
rest (Psychological Science,vol 20, p 1).
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville thinks this research helps explain
why fascist leaders, amongst others, use organised marching and chanting to whip crowds into a frenzy of
devotion to their cause, though these tactics can be used just as well for peace, he stresses. Community dances
and group singing can ease local tension, for example - a theory he plans to test experimentally (Journal of
Legal Studies, DOI: 10.1086/529447).

Interest in the idea of a herd mentality has been renewed by work into mirror neurons - cells that fire when we
perform an action or watch someone perform a similar action. It suggests that our brains are geared to mimic
our peers. "We are set up for 'auto-copy'," says Haidt.ć

by jaskaw @ 04.02.2009 - 22:30:04

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/04/new-scientist-how-to-control-a-herd-of-humans-5508599/
Feedback for Post "New Scientist: How to control a herd of
humans"

jacksparrow [Visitor]

09.02.2009 @ 19:12
Why do you talk about a fascist movement? Are you saying that the USA consider different ways to control a
herd of humans? What do you think about the US marines marching and singing mickey mouse or blood upon
the risers or captain Jack or different songs? Maybe your country is not so different from Hitler's country.
Maybe the USA still control the media, if we consider Vietnam, or the bullshits about Saddam's weapons, and
so on...
Jerry A. Coyne: Seeing and Believing
The reconciliation of science and religion is a that has been attempted in countless ways by religious people
and also scientist. In his recent review of the books by Karl W. Giberson and Kenneth R. Miller professor
Jerry A. Coyne looks at how Christian scientist have succeeded in their endeavor to make science compatible
with religion and finds out that they have failed dismally. Jerry A. Coyne basically says that either you
corrupt science or you have to corrupt religion to achieve this in the end quite unattainable goal.

The story in New Republic is called:

Seeing and Believing

The full story is here:


http://www.tnr.com/story_print.html?id=1e3851a3-bdf7-438a-ac2a-a5e381a70472

Best bits from the very long essay by Jerry A. Coyne:


"As recounted by Giberson, the history of creationism in America has itself been an evolutionary process
guided by a form of natural selection. After each successive form of creationism has been struck down by the
courts for violating the First Amendment, a modified form of the doctrine has appeared, missing some
religious content and more heavily disguised in scientific garb. Over time, the movement has shifted from
straight Biblical creationism to "scientific creationism," in which the very facts of science were said to support
religious stories such as the Genesis creation and Noah's Ark, and then morphed into intelligent design, or ID,
a theory completely stripped of its Biblical patina. None of this has fooled the courts. In 2005, a federal judge
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania rebuffed an attempt to introduce ID into the classroom, characterizing the
enterprise as disguised creationism and branding its advocates liars. (Miller was an important witness for the
prosecution, supporting the rejection of ID.) But of course this has not settled matters. Creationists have
returned with appeals to our sense of fair play, urging schools to "teach the controversy"--and never mind that
the controversy about evolution is not scientific, but social and political.

Miller brilliantly exposes ID for what it is: a farrago of theological assertions and discredited scientific claims
designed to inveigle a religious view of life into the biology classroom. IDers have no defined program of
scientific research. Although they spend huge sums of money on public relations, they have not produced a
single scientifically refereed paper supporting the empirical claims of their "theory." Miller correctly
concludes that "the hypothesis of design is compatible with any conceivable data, makes no new testable
predictions, and suggests no new avenues for research." One of Miller's keenest insights is that ID involves
not just design but also supernatural creation. After all, the designer has to do more than just envision new
creatures; he must also place them on Earth. And if that is not creationism (a label that IDers loudly reject), I
do not know what is.
For Giberson, ID is not just bad science (or more strictly, not science at all), it is also bad theology:
If ID is an abysmal failure as science, why do so many people continue to press for its adoption in schools?
The obvious answer is that ID preserves our status as God's favorite species and seems to imbue the universe
with purpose and meaning, while evolutionary biology does neither. In other words, ID, like all forms of
creationism, is an extension of religion. This has been recognized by every judge who has ruled on the issue
since the Scopes trial of 1925. Curiously, though, Giberson and Miller avoid this issue when tracing the roots
of creationism. Instead of singling out religion, they blame two secular movements, populism and atheism.

Our ornery countrymen do not rise up against the idea of black holes or the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. It
is evolution that is the unique object of their ire, and for this there is only one explanation. The facts are these:
you may find religion without creationism, but you will never find creationism without religion. Miller and
Giberson shy away from this simple observation. Their neglect of the real source of creationism is inexcusable
but understandable: a book aiming to reconcile evolution and religion can hardly blame the faithful.

Although Giberson and Miller see themselves as opponents of creationism, in devising a compatibility
between science and religion they finally converge with their opponents. In fact, they exhibit at least three of
the four distinguishing traits of creationists: belief in God, the intervention of God in nature, and a special role
for God in the evolution of humans. They may even show the fourth trait, a belief in irreducible complexity,
by proposing that a soul could not have evolved, but was inserted by God.
Giberson and Miller are thoughtful men of good will. Reading them, you get a sense of conviction and
sincerity absent from the writings of many creationists, who blatantly deny the most obvious facts about
nature in the cause of their faith. Both of their books are worth reading: Giberson for the history of the
creation/ evolution debate, and Miller for his lucid arguments against intelligent design. Yet in the end they
fail to achieve their longed-for union between faith and evolution. And they fail for the same reason that
people always fail: a true harmony between science and religion requires either doing away with most
people's religion and replacing it with a watered-down deism, or polluting science with unnecessary,
untestable, and unreasonable spiritual claims.

What they do show, though, is that people have trouble accepting both at the same time. And given the
substance of these respective worldviews, this is no surprise.
This disharmony is a dirty little secret in scientific circles. It is in our personal and professional interest to
proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. After all, we want our grants funded by the
government, and our schoolchildren exposed to real science instead of creationism. Liberal religious people
have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by
declaring how we feel. This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences
claim that religion and science do not conflict. But their main evidence--the existence of religious
scientists--is wearing thin as scientists grow ever more vociferous about their lack of faith. Now Darwin Year
is upon us, and we can expect more books like those by Kenneth Miller and Karl Giberson. Attempts to
reconcile God and evolution keep rolling off the intellectual assembly line. It never stops, because the
reconciliation never works."

Jerry A. Coyne is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. His
new book, Why Evolution Is True, has just been published by Viking.
The books discussed in the piece are:
Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution
By Karl W. Giberson (HarperOne, 248 pp., $24.95)
Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul
By Kenneth R. Miller (Viking, 244 pp., $25.95)

by jaskaw @ 05.02.2009 - 22:14:12

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/05/jerry-a-coyne-seeing-and-believing-5515515/
Feedback for Post "Jerry A. Coyne: Seeing and Believing"

Ward Stewart [Visitor]

09.02.2009 @ 02:24
As a citizen of mildly agnostic beliefs, I am unable to understand the conflict.

SURELY, if the whole shebang was set in motion by a deity, why is evolution ruled out?

Why should evolution not be a technique to attain the wondrous complexity of the world rather than some sort
of parlor magic?
Iraq's 'female bomber recruiter' may have used
rape as recruiting tool
The self-destructing suicide-bombers are now a standard feature of warfare in many of those Islamic
countries where there is an open conflict situation at the moment. A recent very troubling piece of news from
the venerable BBC tells how the Sunni Iraqi militants may be even using rape as a recruiting tool to recruit
new bombers among violated women who see no other avenue out of their misery.
In a Islamic society raped women often faces a strong wall of disapproval even if they not themselves caused
their situation in any way. The story by BBC is headlined:

Iraq's 'female bomber recruiter'

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7869570.stm

Excerpts:
"Suspected militant recruiter Samira Jassim reportedly calls herself "the Mother of Believers".
Detained in January by Iraqi security forces, the mother of six is accused of converting dozens of vulnerable
women into suicide attackers.
In an apparent video confession, the middle-aged woman described how she identified potential bombers,
helped supply them with explosives and led them to their targets.
She also explained, in a separate interview with the Associated Press, how insurgents used rape as a tool, with
the "shamed" women persuaded to redeem themselves through suicide attacks.
Her apparent confession could help throw light on the recent increase in attacks in Iraq involving female
bombers.
In a separate interview with AP a week after her 21 January arrest, Jassim also described how insurgents used
organised rape as a way of generating more bombers.
Her role was to persuade the traumatised victims that carrying out a suicide attack was their only way out.
That claim was impossible to verify, AP said, and during their interview with her police interrogators sat in an
adjoining room.
But in a culture where rape is considered very shameful for the victim, it is not implausible, correspondents
say. "

by jaskaw @ 05.02.2009 - 23:55:12

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/05/iraq-s-female-bomber-recruiter-may-have-used-rape-as-recruiting-tool-5516077/
Feedback for Post "Iraq's 'female bomber recruiter' may
have used rape as recruiting tool"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
07.02.2009 @ 13:43
no words tomment.so terrrrrible.
Religious violence intensifies also in Pakistan
The deep hostility between the Shi‎ite and Sunni factions of Islam goes often quite unnoticed until it surfaces
in the form of deadly clashes. The animosity of Sunni and Shi‎te in Iraq is well known, but it is much lesser
known fact that violence between these groups have already claimed well over 4000 lives also is Pakistan
during the last two decades. This needless violence claimed over 300 lives in the year 2006 alone. Shiites
constitute 20 percent of Pakistan's 165 million people and there is over 30 million Shi'ites in Pakistan.
A recent story in BBC tells bluntly about the level of hatred and animosity that has develop also in Pakistan
between these two main factions of Islam. The story is rather blandly called:

Many killed in Pakistan bombing

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7872868.stm

Excerpts:
"More than 30 people have been killed and dozens injured in a bomb attack on a religious procession in
Pakistan's Punjab province, officials say.
The attack targeted Shia worshippers in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan.
They were leaving a mosque when the bomb went off. It is not clear who carried out the attack or whether it
was the work of a suicide bomber.
Sectarian tensions in southern Punjab have in recent years been aggravated by the growing strength of Sunni
Taleban.
The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, one of Pakistan's most
ruthless militant groups, is blamed for most of the violence.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is a militant outshoot of the Sipah-e-Sahaba organisation which demands Pakistan be
turned into a hard-line Sunni state. The Lashkar has been blamed for a string of attacks. "

PS. The name of the old Islamic religious faction can be written Shia, Shī‫ل‬ah, Shi'a or Shi'ite and I have
chosen the last version as it is in use in Wikipedia.

PPS. I have given up the custom of replicating the original news-headline as the heading of a post, as they
can give a quite misleading impression of the overall contents of this blog. So from this post onward the
headings will be my own inventions.

by jaskaw @ 07.02.2009 - 21:41:49

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/07/religious-violence-intensifies-also-in-pakistan-5526949/
Feedback for Post "Religious violence intensifies also in
Pakistan"

itisus [Visitor]

08.02.2009 @ 02:01
Those nations are fast breeders. Lives are therefore cheap. Every child means another death. If they want to
reduce deaths, they should stop having so many children.
Pakistani man faces blasphemy charges over text
message
Life in a Islamic country can be very difficult for all non-islamic people. The followers of this Religion Of
Peace have a bad habit of turning violent at the slightest hint that their Religion of Peace is opposed even
privately and between consenting adults. People living in safety in Europe have no idea of the constant threat
the Islamic zealots can form in some overtly Islamic societies.
This story comes from original Christian sources, as active Christians are very often targeted in these attacks
in the developing world.

Pakistani man faces blasphemy charges over text message

The full story is here:


http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=3805

Excerpts:
"By: Paolo Gallini.
More than 100 protestors last week surrounded a Pakistani courthouse and chanted death threats against a
Punjabi Christian said to be framed for sending ―blasphemousć a text message on his cell phone.
Last month the new Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, said his government would look at abolishing the
law. Critics say that while it is a serious crime in the country, it is not clear what constitutes blasphemy. And
cases can be brought on the basis of hearsay. Many non-Muslims have found themselves at risk because of the
law.
According to Compass News Direct, in the latest case crowds gathered at the trial hearing of 51-year-old
Hector Aleem in Rawalpindi.
His attorney, Malik Tafik, told Compass that a local man allegedly framed Aleem for the charges because
Aleem has made legal challenges on behalf of Christians involved in a land dispute. Aleem directs a small
agency that often defends the rights of Christians.
Rawalpindi police raided Aleem‎s house at 1:30am on Jan 22 and assaulted him, his wife and his two
daughters. They also stole 50,000 Pakistan rupees (US$630) worth of valuables and broke pictures of Jesus
hanging on their walls, according to a report from the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement.
Authorities charged him with blasphemy and abetting a crime.
A government official told Compass that the decision was heavily influenced by Islamic extremists attending
the open court hearing who told the judge, ―If you release [Aleem], then we will kill him outside.ć
by jaskaw @ 08.02.2009 - 17:32:08

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/08/pakistani-man-faces-blasphemy-charges-over-text-message-5530791/
Feedback for Post "Pakistani man faces blasphemy charges
over text message "

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
08.02.2009 @ 17:48
all organized religions are of same quality.they are fanatics. they make laws for their own ends and pretend
they are super gods.catholics killed, burned, raped and abused children in the name of christ.even now their
culture is same. poor sheeps.
Richard Dawkins gets his own YouTube channel
Many people think that professor Richard Dawkins is the most important single reason why atheism is at the
moment having a real revival in the throughout the world. The clear thinking and writing, but also of the
wonderful live performances of Richard Dawkins have in recent years reached out to very many such people
that have no previous idea of what atheism really is.
Richard Dawkins has been present with force also in various medias the Internet has on offer and so it is a
little surprising that this marvelous speaker has not had his own YouTube channel until now. You can
subscribe to channel with the yellow ‫ل‬Subscribe‎-button on left side of the page and be warned immediately
when new material appears.

The new Richard Dawkins channel is here:


http://www.youtube.com/user/richarddawkinsdotnet

The first offering is the well known The Royal Institution Lecture For Children Christmas lecture by Richard
Dawkins called ―Waking Up in the Universe - Growing Up in the Universeć. You can watch it also right
here:

Here is also the some of the praise for Richard Dawkins on the new channel:
"Richard Dawkins is a world-renowned evolutionary biologist, author and outspoken atheist.
The Galaxy British Book Awards named him Author of the Year in 2006 for The God Delusion, and in 2008
his TV program 'The Genius of Charles Darwin' won Best Documentary Series at the British Broadcast
Awards. He was listed as one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2007.
The Wall Street Journal said his "passion is supported by an awe-inspiring literary craftsmanship." The New
York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who "understands the issues so clearly that he forces his
reader to understand them too." Among his books are The Ancestor's Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind
Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain and The God
Delusion."
by jaskaw @ 09.02.2009 - 21:45:10

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/09/richard-dawkins-gets-his-own-youtube-channel-5539943/
Chesley Sullenberger had no need for prayers
Long experience of flying, good training, good acquired knowledge of the behavior of the aircraft and of the
physical forces involved and knowledge of prior examples of landing a commercial aircraft in water were the
reasons for pilot Chesley Sullenbergers success in saving the 155 humans in the Flight 1549 that ended in the
bottom of the Hudson River.
The other fact is of course that he didn't pause for a split second to ponder about the spiritual aspects of the
terrible things happening around him, but just to do the practical things he knew he could do to save his
fellow humans.

US Airways Flight 1549 Pilot And Crew Part 01 First Interview With 60 Minutes

You can watch the interview right here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549
by jaskaw @ 10.02.2009 - 00:26:09

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/09/chesley-sullenberger-did-not-need-prayers-5540871/
Feedback for Post "Chesley Sullenberger had no need for
prayers"

David [Visitor]

10.02.2009 @ 03:20
I'm sure when the Titanic hit an iceberg,those passengers who went down with the ship prayed to their god
myth to save them.And what happened?Did their god myth save them?Of course not.The lesson to be learned
is that nothing absolutely nothing fails like prayer.

Mike [Visitor]

10.02.2009 @ 06:04
David,

What is learned is that instead of praying that something happens, you actually DO it. That's what pisses me
off about some people. Instead of believing in themselves to do something, they rely on prayer to "do it for
them." I am so glad someone like Sully knew that HE had to get the job done, not "god."
Dalai Lama's Twitter account is a fake
Different world religions are have to different levels grasped the possibilities offered by the Internet. One can
travel the World Wide Web from end to end without leaving the Christian Zone and the Muslim Net is already
almost as comprehensive. Also the various eastern religions are well represented even if their missionary zeal
if often less prominent that that of the Good Old Desert Religions.
However the real leaders of these faiths have universally kept their distance to The Great Unwashed even in
the Internet and so it seemed to been a breakthrough when it appeared that Dalai Lama himself is on Twitter.
Alas, this was a false lead as some keen follower of real Dalai Lama was behind this thing. The story is told
by The Register in a story called:

Dalai Lama's Twitter account is a fake

The full story is here:


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/09/dalai_lama_twitter_account_fake/

Excerpts:
Social networking fans on the wrong side of the six-fold path to enlightenment may be heartbroken to learn
the Dalai Lama's account on Twitter is a fake.
News of his holiness joining the micro-blogging website yesterday prompted plenty of buzz from even
reputable sources, like the Associated French Press.
The account itself even attracted a staggering 20,000 followers after opening. By visiting his so-called page
today however, it appears as if the 14th Dalai Lama had already blown this sand mandala.
At Reg central, we were split between thinking the account was faked and the missing page actually being a
profound lesson in how attachment to impermanent materials will damage our progress to reaching nirvana.
Alas, the former suspicion was proved true to us by Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter. He told El Reg the
account was suspended because it violated the site's terms regarding impersonation."

The Twitter-page is now called ćDalai Lama infoć and clearly states that is not affiliated with the real Dalai
Lama:
http://twitter.com/ohhdl

by jaskaw @ 10.02.2009 - 16:44:09

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/10/dalai-lama-s-twitter-account-is-a-fake-5546068/
Born believers: How your brain creates God
The origins of religious beliefs are deeply embedded in the time before all written records and it is as just as
impossible to definitely prove how they came to be, as it is to show how original idea of the ability of certain
members of society to have inherited powers and wealth over others was born.
There are several competing theories, but most agree that the certain properties of human brain give religions
the boost they need to get started in the first place. The human tendency to see cause and effect where there is
none is rather universally agreed to be to the most important single factor behind the birth of religions.
Other important factor is the need for an extremely social animal to be able to anticipate the reactions of also
of people that are not present and create those persons and their anticipated reactions in one‎s mind before
acting. This ability can then be also misused to create also imaginary persons with very lifelike qualities.
All these things are discussed in an interesting article in New Scientist called:

Born believers: How your brain creates God

The full story is here


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126941.700-born-believers-how-your-brain-creates-god.html?full=true

The best bits:


"WHILE many institutions collapsed during the Great Depression that began in 1929, one kind did rather
well. During this leanest of times, the strictest, most authoritarian churches saw a surge in attendance.
This anomaly was documented in the early 1970s, but only now is science beginning to tell us why. It turns
out that human beings have a natural inclination for religious belief, especially during hard times. Our brains
effortlessly conjure up an imaginary world of spirits, gods and monsters, and the more insecure we feel, the
harder it is to resist the pull of this supernatural world. It seems that our minds are finely tuned to believe in
gods.
Religious ideas are common to all cultures: like language and music, they seem to be part of what it is to be
human. Until recently, science has largely shied away from asking why. "It's not that religion is not
important," says Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University, "it's that the taboo nature of the topic has
meant there has been little progress.
An alternative being put forward by Atran and others is that religion emerges as a natural by-product of the
way the human mind works. That's not to say that the human brain has a "god module" in the same way that it
has a language module that evolved specifically for acquiring language. Rather, some of the unique cognitive
capacities that have made us so successful as a species also work together to create a tendency for
supernatural thinking. "There's now a lot of evidence that some of the foundations for our religious beliefs are
hard-wired," says Bloom.
There is plenty of evidence that thinking about disembodied minds comes naturally. People readily form
relationships with non-existent others: roughly half of all 4-year-olds have had an imaginary friend, and adults
often form and maintain relationships with dead relatives, fictional characters and fantasy partners. As Barrett
points out, this is an evolutionarily useful skill. Without it we would be unable to maintain large social
hierarchies and alliances or anticipate what an unseen enemy might be planning. "Requiring a body around to
think about its mind would be a great liability," he says.
The ability to conceive of gods, however, is not sufficient to give rise to religion. The mind has another
essential attribute: an overdeveloped sense of cause and effect which primes us to see purpose and design
everywhere, even where there is none. "You see bushes rustle, you assume there's somebody or something
there," Bloom says.
Our predisposition to believe in a supernatural world stays with us as we get older. Kelemen has found that
adults are just as inclined to see design and intention where there is none.
Humans can anticipate future events, remember the past and conceive of how things could go wrong -
including their own death, which is hard to deal with. "You've got to figure out a solution, otherwise you're
overwhelmed," Atran says. When natural brain processes give us a get-out-of-jail card, we take it.
It does, however, suggests that god isn't going away, and that atheism will always be a hard sell. Religious
belief is the "path of least resistance", says Boyer, while disbelief requires effort."

by jaskaw @ 10.02.2009 - 21:48:45

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/10/birth-of-religions-new-scientist-paul-bloom-scott-atran-5547862/
Feedback for Post "Born believers: How your brain creates
God"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
11.02.2009 @ 18:09
religion should a personal matter.when it becomes organised trouble starts.its leaders exploit the weakness of
their fellowmen,to enjoy power money and worldly enjoyment with infallibility. this is the history,present and
future of all organized religions.
Journalists arrested for 'offending Islam' in India
The Dutch parliamentarian Geerd Wilders in not the only person currently having trouble with lawsuits
brought about by a well-known Religion of Peace. The editor and publisher of the Indian Statesman were held
in police custody because their publication had had the nerve to publish an article defending the right to
criticize religions.
It seems that the greatest offense was was to boldly reproduce well-known facts taken from the stories in
Quaran itself. (see
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/02/johann-hari-why-should-i-respect-these-oppressive-religions-5492006/)
The story by BBC is headlined as:

Pair held for 'offending Islam'

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7883612.stm

Excerpts:
"The editor and publisher of a top English-language Indian daily have been arrested on charges of "hurting the
religious feelings" of Muslims.
The Statesman's editor Ravindra Kumar and publisher Anand Sinha were detained in Calcutta after
complaints.
Muslims said they were upset with the Statesman for reproducing an article from the UK's Independent daily
in its 5 February edition.
The article was entitled: "Why should I respect these oppressive religions?"
It concerns the erosion of the right to criticise religions.
In it, the author, Johann Hari, writes: "I don't respect the idea that we should follow a 'Prophet' who at the age
of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they
wouldn't follow him."
Mr Kumar and Mr Sinha appeared in court on Wednesday and were granted bail.
Angry Muslims have been demonstrating in front of the offices of the Statesman since its republication of the
article.
Police have broken up the demonstrations using baton charges several times this week."

by jaskaw @ 11.02.2009 - 20:15:46

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/11/journalists-arrested-for-offending-islam-in-india-5554168/
Feedback for Post "Journalists arrested for 'offending
Islam' in India"

Peter [Visitor]

11.02.2009 @ 22:00
You have to respect peoples religion, cause if you don't, they'll kill ya.

ELAINE [Visitor]

12.02.2009 @ 16:04
One law for religion one law for non-religous.
Muslims seem to take offence easily. They can condem me as a non believer but dare I or anyone else say
anything they do not like they kill or imprison.
Do we want to go backwards,I dont.
Free speech from both sides please.
Dawkins reviews Coyne's "Why Evolution is true"
When professor emeritus Richard Dawkins writes about evolution, he really knows what he is talking about.
He has used a most of his working life studying it and it seems that he has to spend his retirement years
defending it.
Evidence shows that the Intelligent Design ―theoryć is being readied for the big time just as I write this; all
over the world there are signs of ―teach the controversyć -movements that are based on fantastic claims that
ID has something to do with science and nothing whatsoever to do with bronze age belief-systems originating
from the shabby corners of the Middle East.
There is now a real need for the quit wit and sharp pen of professor Dawkins and he has used them to good
measure on a review of Jerry Coyne‎s recent book called ―Why Evolution is trueć. It was published in
TimesOneline with the heading:

Dawkins on Darwin

The full monty is here:


http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article5707143.ece

Here are the juiciest bits:


"How can you say that evolution is ―trueć? Isn‎t that just your opinion, of no more value than anybody
else‎s? Isn‎t every view entitled to equal ―respectć? Maybe so where the issue is one of, say, musical taste
or political judgement. But when it is a matter of scientific fact? Unfortunately, scientists do receive such
relativistic protests when they dare to claim that something is factually true in the real world. Given the title of
Jerry Coyne‎s book, this is a distraction that I must deal with.
A scientist arrogantly asserts that thunder is not the triumphal sound of God‎s balls banging together, nor is it
Thor‎s hammer. It is, instead, the reverberating echoes from the electrical discharges that we see as lightning.
Poetic (or at least stirring) as those tribal myths may be, they are not actually true.
But now a certain kind of anthropologist can be relied on to jump up and say something like the following:
Who are you to elevate scientific ―truthć so? The tribal beliefs are true in the sense that they hang together in
a meshwork of consistency with the rest of the tribe‎s world view. Scientific ―truthć is only one kind
(―Westernć truth, the anthropologist may call it, or even ―patriarchalć). Like tribal truths, yours merely hang
together with the world view that you happen to hold, which you call scientific. An extreme version of this
viewpoint (I have actually encountered this) goes so far as to say that logic and evidence themselves are
nothing more than instruments of masculine oppression over the ―intuitive mindć.
Listen, anthropologist. Just as you entrust your travel to a Boeing 747 rather than a magic carpet or a
broomstick; just as you take your tumour to the best surgeon available, rather than a shaman or a mundu
mugu, so you will find that the scientific version of truth works. You can use it to navigate through the real
world

Whence, then, comes the oft-parroted canard, ―Evolution is only a theoryć? Perhaps from a misunderstanding
of philosophers who assert that science can never demonstrate truth. All it can do is fail to disprove a
hypothesis.
If we refused ever to use a word like ―trueć, how could we conduct our day-to-day conversations? Or fill in a
census form: ―What is your sex?ć ―The hypothesis that I am male has not so far been falsified, but let me just
check againć. As Douglas Adams might have said, it doesn‎t read well.

"Now try to think of a theory that explains the patterns we‎ve discussed by invoking the special creation of
species on oceanic islands and continents . . . . There are no good answers – unless, of course, you presume
that the goal of a creator was to make species look as though they evolved on islands. Nobody is keen to
embrace that answer, which explains why creationists simply shy away from island biogeography."
Such dishonesty by omission is lamentably characteristic of creationists. They love fossils because they have
been schooled, wrongly as Coyne shows, to believe that ―gapsć in the fossil record are an embarrassment to
evolutionary theorists. The geographical distribution of species really is an embarrassment to creationists –
and they conspicuously ignore it.
Coyne is right to identify the most widespread misunderstanding about Darwinism as the idea that, in
evolution, ―everything happens by chanceć. This common claim is flat wrong – obviously wrong,
transparently wrong, even to the meanest intelligence (a phrase that has me actively restraining myself). If
evolution worked by chance, it obviously couldn‎t work at all. Unfortunately, instead of working out that
they have probably misunderstood evolution, creationists conclude, instead, that evolution must be false."

by jaskaw @ 11.02.2009 - 22:39:18

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/11/dawkins-reviews-coyne-s-why-evolution-is-true-5555005/
The least religious nation in the world is Estonia
Now it is official – the Estonians are the least religious nation in the world. A recent Gallup poll conducted in
whopping 143 countries found out that only 14 per cent of Estonians answered ―yesć to question "Is religion
an important part of your daily life?".
The irreligiousness in Estonia is undoubtedly in part a legacy of the terrible soviet era, but Estonia did beat
by very thin margin all of the welfare-states of Scandinavia where poverty has been largely eradicated by the
willingness of the people to the take personal social and financial responsibility for the less lucky members of
their own society.
Overall the religiousness tends to quite closely follow the state of economic development and welfare in
different countries; the more well-off western countries were to a rule more irreligious that the more
undeveloped countries.
On the other at the other end of the scale was a wide selection of the poorest countries of the world. In these
dystopian societies almost everyone answered yes to this fateful question.

Estonians – least religious in the world

The full story is here:


http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_news/?doc=2559

Excerpts:
―Just 14% of Estonians answered positively to the question: "Is religion an important part of your daily life?",
according to a poll, released byGallup.
Estonia is followed by Nordic countries Sweden and Denmark, where 17 and 18% of those asked answered
positively to the same question, reports EU Observer/LETA.
The Czech Republic comes fifth at 21%, just after Norway (20%), while France is ninth with a quarter of
French people declaring religion important in their daily life.
The UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria were also among the countries where most
people did not consider religion to be such an important part of their lives.
Among the countries "commonly seen as part of the developed world," some 38% consider religion important
in their daily lives, while on the other hand, "eight of the 11 countries in which almost all residents (at least
98%)" replied positively to that question, "are poorer nations in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia."
The US, where two thirds of those asked replied positively, is the most religious "rich-world" country, with
Mississippi being its most devout state (85%) and Vermont the least so (42%).

by jaskaw @ 12.02.2009 - 23:01:42


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/12/estonia-is-the-least-religious-nation-in-the-world-5562738/
Feedback for Post "The least religious nation in the world is
Estonia"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
13.02.2009 @ 07:05
religion is a personal affair. it should not be imposed on you by someboy else.it is experince.it is
love,truth,kindness,help,honestyand the like. not advocated by some self seeking priests or so called leaders.it
is to be in peace with youself and fellowbeings.

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
13.02.2009 @ 07:09
religion is a personal affair. it should not be imposed on you by someboy else.it is experince.it is
love,truth,kindness,help,honestyand the like. not advocated by some self seeking priests or so called leaders.it
is to be in peace with youself and fellowbeings.

Skepoet [Visitor]
http://skepoet.wordpress.com/
16.02.2009 @ 08:47
I live in the "Bible Belt" (the South Eastern US and Western US where protestant culture expanded in the
mid-twentieth century and still has a largely unconstitutional hold on local government) and you would be
surprised at how hard it is to be a secular person outside of the mid-to-large cities.

Yet, I sometimes wonder if the religiosity is over-reported because we are afraid to let it be known that we are
skeptical. I know many more non-believers here than would seem statistically possible, but most of them hide
in Episcopal, Unitarian Universalists, Buddhist, and Jewish religious groups so they will be left alone.

From Estonia [Visitor]

25.07.2009 @ 23:36
Yay suck on that Sweden!!!!!!!!

sh [Visitor]

28.10.2009 @ 23:28
After some googling, here's the original source:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/114211/Alabamians-Iranians-Common.aspx

You're welcome.
"Today, we have to use our right to criticize
religion - or lose it."
One of the biggest threats facing the open democratic western societies just now is the drive to exclude from
all criticism one ideology and all extremist groupings that happen to use this ideology to further their
extremely conservative and even totalitarian goals.
The new and in democratic world quite revolutionary idea of excluding religious ideologies and ideas from
the list of allowed topics is now spreading like wildfire as the effectiveness of this strategy has become quite
clear to the Islamist extremists. These ultimate right-wing conservatives have found surprising support from
the left where criticizing Islam is often seen as a form of racism.
This tendency has of course been intensified by the fact that also openly racist groups have been criticizing
Islam. There is a clear inability on the left to understand that criticizing a religious ideology is quite different
thing than criticizing people on the basis of their skin color or country of origin. It is clear that the many
people on the left see religion as similar inherited, unmovable feature of a person as the color of skin.
As Johann Hari says in his fine piece at the Huffington Post we are in an extremely critical junction just now.
If we give up our freedom of speech under the pressure coming from small groups of Islamic extremist
conservatives, we have lost one of the basic foundation blocks of our whole democratic system.
It must be remembered that nobody has challenged their own right to use the very same freedom of speech
and freely propagate their extremist message and or their right to renounce the whole democratic system. The
issue here is only the right of others to analyze and even oppose their ultra-conservative ideology.
The piece in Huffington Post is called:

Despite the Riots and Threats, I Stand By What I Wrote

The whole story is here:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/despite-the-riots-and-thr_b_166562.html

Some of the best bits:


By Johann Hari, Columnist, London Independent:
"Last week, I wrote an article defending free speech for everyone -- and in response there have been riots,
death threats, and the arrest of an editor who published the article.
Here's how it happened. My column reported on a startling development at the United Nations. The UN
Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has always had the job of investigating governments that forcibly take
the fundamental human right to free speech from their citizens with violence. But in the past year, a coalition
of religious fundamentalist states have successfully fought to change her job description. Now, she has to
report on "abuses of free expression" including "defamation of religions and prophets." Instead of defending
free speech, she must now oppose it.
I argued this was a symbol of how religious fundamentalists -- of all stripes -- have been progressively
stripping away the right to freely discuss their faiths. They claim religious ideas are unique and cannot be
discussed freely; instead, they must be "respected" -- by which they mean unchallenged. So now, whenever
anyone on the UN Human Rights Council tries to discuss the stoning of "adulterous" women, the hanging of
gay people, or the marrying off of ten year old girls to grandfathers, they are silenced by the chair on the
grounds these are "religious" issues, and it is "offensive" to talk about them.
This trend is not confined to the UN. It has spread deep into democratic countries. Whenever I have reported
on immoral acts by religious fanatics -- Catholic, Jewish, Hindu or Muslim -- I am accused of "prejudice", and
I am not alone. But my only "prejudice" is in favor of individuals being able to choose to live their lives, their
way, without intimidation. That means choosing religion, or rejecting it, as they wish, after hearing an honest,
open argument.
A religious idea is just an idea somebody had a long time ago, and claimed to have received from God. It does
not have a different status to other ideas; it is not surrounded by an electric fence through which none of us
can pass.
That's why I wrote: "All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don't respect the idea that a man was
born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don't respect the idea that we should follow a
"Prophet" who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of
Jews because they wouldn't follow him. I don't respect the idea that the West Bank was handed to Jews by
God and the Palestinians should be bombed or bullied into surrendering it. I don't respect the idea that we may
have lived before as goats, and could live again as woodlice.... When you demand "respect", you are
demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade."
The solution to the problems of free speech -- that sometimes people will say terrible things -- are always and
irreducibly more free speech. If you don't like what a person says, argue back. Make a better case. Persuade
people. The best way to discredit a bad argument is to let people hear it. I recently interviewed the
pseudo-historian David Irving, and simply quoting his crazy arguments did far more harm to him than any
Austrian jail sentence for Holocaust Denial.
Please do not imagine that if you defend these rioters, you are defending ordinary Muslims. If we allow
fanatics to silence all questioning voices, the primary victims today will be Muslim women, Muslim gay
people, and the many good and honourable Muslim men who support them. Imagine what Europe would look
like now if everybody who offered dissenting thoughts about Christianity in the seventeenth century and since
was intimidated into silence by the mobs and tyrants who wanted to preserve the most literalist and fanatical
readings of the Bible. Imagine how women and gay people would live.
You can see this if you compare my experience to that of journalists living under religious-Islamist regimes.
Because generations of people sought to create a secular space, when I went to the police, they offered total
protection. When they go to the police, they are handed over to the fanatics -- or charged for their "crimes."
They are people like Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, the young Afghan journalism student who was sentenced to
death for downloading a report on women's rights. They are people like the staff of Zanan, one of Iran's
leading reform-minded women's magazines, who have been told they will be jailed if they carry on
publishing. They are people like the 27-year old Muslim blogger Abdel Rahman who has been seized, jailed
and tortured in Egypt for arguing for a reformed Islam that does not enforce shariah law.
It would be a betrayal of them -- and the tens of thousands of journalists like them - to apologize for what I
wrote. Yes, if we speak out now, there will be turbulence and threats, and some people may get hurt. But if we
fall silent -- if we leave the basic human values of free speech, feminism and gay rights undefended in the face
of violent religious mobs -- then many, many more people will be hurt in the long term. Today, we have to
use our right to criticise religion -- or lose it."

by jaskaw @ 14.02.2009 - 13:15:53

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/14/today-we-have-to-use-our-right-to-criticize-religion-5571916/
Feedback for Post ""Today, we have to use our right to
criticize religion - or lose it.""

Michel BOURGOIS [Visitor]

15.02.2009 @ 00:20
Never a religion will limit my right to express an opinion about it, be this opinion negative. It works as well
for Islam and it is NOT NEGOCIABLE. Muslims want special privileges for their religion and want to apply
to non-muslims the same rules that the muslims have learnt to accept : the idea that Islam cannot be criticized.
I would like to say that no religion is above criticism and that it is the duty of anybody to express their
freedom of speech. Criticizing Islam is NOT racism ! By no means should we shut up the abuses of a religion
(like those quoted in this article, stoning women, hanging gays etc...). It's just a matter of human rights.

Maria [Visitor]

16.02.2009 @ 08:09
This is insane! Freedom of speech is a right we faith for, and hard!!!!! Well, maybe we should fallow the
Quran: Lie in wait for them and in the dead of the night go out and kill them all.
I'm not criticizing Islam.

Dave Groom [Visitor]

16.02.2009 @ 11:35
There are no "fundamerntal"beliefs for an atheist to be "fundamentalist"About.
Extreme religious fanatics sacked in Saudi-Arabia
At long last there is a positive news item to be told from the totalitarian religious police state of Saudi-Arabia.
The good news is that a recent sacking of two ultraconservative religious extremists from important
government posts in Saudi-Arabia may be signaling a coming spring thaw in the harsh religious dictatorship
now in place in Saudi-Arabia.
The fundamentalist wahhabist government of Saudi-Arabia has been experiencing decades of ever-tightening
dictatorship by this extremist religious sect.
The kings of Saudi-Arabia have ardently supported this cruel and backward form of religion, as it has been a
major force backing up the likewise medieval feudalist rule of the Saud-Arabia‎s ruling family in a world
where kings with absolute power are not a real fashion item anymore.
The story is told be the BBC with the heading:

Major reshuffle in Saudi Arabia

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7890211.stm

Highlights:
"King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has sacked two powerful religious officials in a wide ranging shake-up of the
cabinet and other government posts.
One of the dismissed men was the head of the controversial religious police force. The other was the country's
most senior judge.
The king also appointed the country's first-ever female minister and replaced the head of the central bank.
Correspondents say such government reshuffles are rare in Saudi Arabia.

Despite the shake-up, our correspondent says the kingdom remains an absolute monarchy and real political
change is not on the agenda.
The sacked head judge, Sheikh Salih Ibn al-Luhaydan, caused controversy last September when he said it was
permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV channels which broadcast immoral programmes.
Sheikh Salih Ibn al-Luhaydan said some "evil" entertainment programmes aired by the channels promoted
debauchery.
Our correspondent says the sheikh may well be paying the price for airing his opinions.
The shake-up also affected the feared religious police organisation, known as the Commission for the
Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ghaith has lost his job as head of the commssion, which enforces Saudi Arabia's
conservative brand of Islam, Wahhabism.

"The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is the English name of the Saudi
Arabian government bureaucracy employing "religious police" or mutaween to enforce Sharia Law within
that Islamic nation.
The religious police in Saudi Arabia are employed in direct order of command of King Abdullah. They are
tasked with enforcing Sharia as defined in Saudi Arabia. In addition to having the power to arrest anyone
engaged in homosexual acts, prostitution, fornication, or proselytizing of non-Muslim religions, they can also
arrest unrelated males and females caught socializing, enforce Islamic dress-codes, Muslim dietary laws
(such as the prohibition from eating pork) and store closures during the prayer time.They also actively
prevent the religious practices of other religions within Saudi Arabia.
Its approximately 3,500 members, and many more volunteers, patrol the streets enforcing dress codes, strict
separation of men and women, salah prayer by Muslims during prayer times, and other behavior it believes to
be commanded by Islam." -Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_for_the_Promotion_of_Virtue_and_the_Prevention_of_Vice
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabist

by jaskaw @ 15.02.2009 - 18:34:57

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/15/religious-fanatics-sacked-in-saudi-arabia-5579328/
Taleban brings the cruel Sharia law to a whole
province in Pakistan
The cruel, backwards and inhuman medieval fundamentalist Islamic justice system called the Sharia law will
be implemented on the population of a Pakistani province of Swat. The adoption of sharia is a price for at
least a temporary peace deal with local version of the infamous religiously motivated extremist terrorist
organization called the Taleban.
The deal sounds to a European ear more like surrender before demands made by a group of heavily armed
thugs. The Pakistani authorities are in fact with this deal giving up upholding the laws they are hired to
defend in the first place and the result can hardly be called a compromise.
There are nagging suspicions that the medieval religious extremism represented by the Taleban is gaining
ground also at the forces on supposedly on the side of the legal government of Pakistan. This kind of ―peace
dealsć cannot help shed these fears.
The story in BBC is called:

Pakistan agrees Sharia law deal

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7891955.stm

Highlights:
"Pakistan has signed a peace deal with a Taleban group that will lead to the enforcement of the Islamic Sharia
law in the restive Swat valley.
Regional officials urged the Taleban, who agreed a 10-day truce on Sunday, to lay down their arms
permanently.
Once one of Pakistan's most popular holiday destinations, the Swat valley is now mostly under Taleban
control.
Thousands of people have fled and hundreds of schools have been destroyed since the Taleban insurgency in
2007.
Their campaign against female education has led to tens of thousands of children being denied an education,
our correspondent says.
Sharia law has been in force in Malakand since 1994. But appeal cases are heard in the Peshawar high court,
which operates under the civil code.
Our correspondent says there will be alterations to the appeals process - a point of contention often cited by
the militants for their continued insurgency.
The Taleban now control the entire countryside of Swat, limiting army control to parts of the valley's capital,
Mingora.
Many people in Swat now would favour an early exit by the army as they have failed to roll back the Taleban
or protect the Taleban's opponents, says our correspondent.

Bonus:Five Fun Facts of the Sharia law:


1) For example these countries may allow the death penalty for sodomy under sharia law though not for other
homosexual activities: Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and
Yemen.
2) In accordance with the Sharia Law, Qur'an and several hadith, theft is punished by imprisonment or
amputation of hands or feet, depending on the number of times it was committed and depending on the item of
theft.
3) Under Sharia law and in accordance with hadith, stoning to death is the penalty for married men and
women who commit adultery
4) Sharia law and Muslim theology equates apostasy to treason, and in most interpretations of sharia, the
penalty for apostasy is death.
5) ―The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with hundred stripes: Let no
compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the last
day.ć[Qur'an 24:2

by jaskaw @ 16.02.2009 - 22:14:03

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/16/taleban-brings-the-cruel-sharia-law-to-a-whole-province-in-pakistan-5588428/
Taleban threats reach out to New York
The emergence of the Talebani religious extremist movement in Pakistan is one of the most recent
developments in the world at the moment, as nobody can predict the level of destruction this rising tide of
extreme conservative religious fervor can eventually create.
In a globalized world the sad happenings going in the remote valley of Swat on North-West Frontier Province
that has once been called the Switzerland of Pakistan have already caused sleepless nights and sorrow also in
the suburbs of New York. People coming to States from Swat valley have come to realize that their simple
presence in America puts their relatives at risk at the Swat valley where the religious zealots have already
targeted people having even the most innocent contacts with ―The Great Satan.ć
New York Times tells the sad story with the headline:

From Pakistan, Taliban Threats Reach New York

The whole story is here:


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/nyregion/17swat.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Best bits:
"Last June, Bakht Bilind Khan, who was living in the Bronx and working at a fast-food restaurant, returned to
his village in the volatile Swat Valley of northern Pakistan to visit his wife and seven children for the first
time in three years.
But at a dinner celebration with his family, his homecoming suddenly turned dark: several heavily armed
Taliban fighters wearing masks appeared at the door of their house, accused Mr. Khan of being an American
spy and kidnapped him.
During two weeks of captivity in a nearby mountain range, Mr. Khan says, he was interrogated repeatedly
about his wealth, property and ―missionć in the United States. He was released in exchange for an $8,000
ransom. His family, threatened with death if they did not leave the region, is now hiding elsewhere in
Pakistan.
―Our Swat, our paradise, is burning now,ć said Mr. Khan, 55, who returned to the United States and is
working at a fast-food restaurant in Albany, trying to reimburse the friends and relatives who paid his ransom.
Pakistani immigrants from the Swat Valley, where the Taliban have been battling Pakistani security forces
since 2007, say some of their families are being singled out for threats, kidnapping and even murder by
Taliban forces, who view them as potential American collaborators and lucrative sources of ransom. Some
immigrants also say they, too, have been threatened in the United States by the Taliban or its sympathizers,
and some immigrants say they have been attacked or kidnapped when they have returned home.
The threats have brought an added dimension of suffering for the immigrants, who say fresh reports of
hardship arrive here every day, sometimes several times a day, and spread quickly among the several thousand
Swati immigrants in the New York region: families driven from their villages, houses being destroyed,
relatives disappearing. The fate of the valley dominates conversation among the exiles."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swat_(Pakistan)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taleban

by jaskaw @ 17.02.2009 - 22:32:52

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/17/taleban-threats-reach-out-to-new-york-5596689/
New opera-oratorio honors Charles Darwin
During the last 200 years Charles Darwin has inspired a mass of scientific work and findings, but the his
impact has been somewhat lacking in the world of culture. Now this situation will be somewhat remedied, as
Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution have inspired a full length opera.
A sad fact of life has for a long time been that while the scientific community has been for a long time rather
universally secular, the bronze-age religious ideas have still found understanding ears at the world of culture.
The new opera mixing culture and science is really a welcome opening, that will hopefully have a lot of
followers; imagine arias with themes from life of Albert Einstein and of Theory of Relativity, concertos with
themes from life of Alfred Wegener and theory of Plate Tectonics, there are really no limits!
The Post-Journal tells about the new work with the headline:

Composer's opera-oratorio honors Charles Darwin

The full story is here:


http://www.post-journal.com/page/content.detail/id/72135.html?isap=1&nav=5027

Best bits:
OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) — Charles Darwin inspired a new scientific field with his theories on natural selection
and evolution.
Now, 150 years after publication of "On the Origin of Species," the iconic 19th-century naturalist has inspired
a new opera-oratorio from contemporary classical composer Richard Einhorn, who has put Darwin's own
words to music in "The Origin."
Einhorn will debut his 105-minute long musical score at the State University of New York in Oswego on Feb.
6 and 7 — just before Darwin's 200th birthday on Feb. 12.
The ambitious choral work was commissioned by the college for the worldwide Darwin Bicentennial and is
among more than 200 lectures, debates, festivals and other events planned in 26 countries throughout
February to honor Darwin, according to Darwin Day Celebration, Inc. More than half of those events are in
the United States, including nearly three dozen in New York.
Darwin's seminal book "has places in it where it really approaches poetry in terms of the flight of the
language," Einhorn said. "There is a kind of rhythm and poetry that almost automatically suggests music to
me."
To develop his musical tribute, Einhorn also used Darwin's "The Voyage of the Beagle," his autobiography,
his so-called "transmutation notebooks," and his letters."'

http://www.richardeinhorn.com/

by jaskaw @ 18.02.2009 - 20:58:18

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/18/new-opera-oratorio-honors-charles-darwin-5602934/
"The shares of Cuckoo Inc are always in a bull
market"
There is still a surprigingly large market for stories trying to show that there is something real behind the
biblical stories. A astonishing number of self-made ćacheologistsć, closet-ćhistoriansć and home-baked
ćscientistsć have used years of their lives to find any traces of the grand scale happening described in the
age-old Jewish storybook.
Alas, their work has been in vain. They have never found anything that would show that the fantastic
happengins described in the Bible would have any grounds in reality.
There are of course the sad remains of the tiny Jewish kingdoms of the old, but in there is nothing sacred or
spectacular in the remains of these dysty little towns forgotten by history a long time ago.
Palestine has always been on the mercy of the greater civilizations around it. It has really produced one sigle
thing of any note; a religion so persistant that it and religions taking inspiration from it have taken over half
of the world.

Gordon Taylor: The Noah Myth

The whole story is here:


http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/62622.html

Excerpts:
"Mr. Taylor is a former teacher in Turkey and the author of Fever and Thirst: An American Doctor Among
the Tribes of Kurdistan. Academy Chicago Publishers, 2005.]

People never seem to tire of the Noah myth. It has it all: the hopeless depravity of mankind (always a popular
theme) complemented by the contrasting goodness of Noah complete with flowing white locks and beard; the
"I'm-fed-up-with-all-this-fornicating" pronouncement from God; the mighty cubit-stretching labor on the big
round boat; then the parade of all those darling animal couples, plus the Flood itself. And ending it all, we get
not a bang, not a whimper, but a wonderfully satisfying crunch as the Ark comes to rest on "Mt. Ararat," after
which the survivors get to go forth, procreate, and become sinful all over again.
There must be something magical about this tale; why else would so many people spend so many years
searching, wrinkling their brows, and stroking their chins in perplexity over the "Legend of the Lost Ark," the
"Mysteries of the Great Ararat," or whatever.
Other traditions, Jewish and Islamic, also tell Noah's story, but only American Christians, it seems, are so
keen on it that, every few years, some well-heeled evangelical businessman (or, once, an ex-astronaut) will
open up his wallet and mount a pseudo-scientific expedition to that heap of Kurdo-Armenian rock known as
"Mt Ararat." The Ark enthusiasts never quit.
They are, after all, not that far theologically from the people who find Jesus on the scorched exteriors of
carbohydrates. They have seen--they say--images of the Ark in aerial photographs. They've analyzed
fragments of wood. They've done carbon-dating and spectography. They've puzzled and pondered and pretty
much done everything they could to find an answer. They are, dare I say it, just a little bit of cuckoo. As Dave
Barry has noted, there is a very fine line between the words "hobby" and "mental illness."

The shares of Cuckoo Inc., however, are always in a bull market, and the Noah business will never go out of
style. Readers who want to confirm this can find a nicely-done history of Ark searches at Wikipedia. My
favorites (of course) are the hoaxers, especially George Jammal, a guy in California whose splinter from the
Ark turned out to be wood he found on a rail-bed, then aged at home in his oven using various sauces. The
image this evokes, that of museum graybeards closely inspecting the artifact, wondering why it would smell
faintly of teriyaki, never fails to brighten my day. If, however, you're educated (i.e., an elitist liberal humanist
snob), you know that the Genesis flood myth is just one of many in the world, the most famous being that of
Gilgamesh. And you know that the "Mt. Ararat" of eastern Turkey has nothing to do with a Mesopotamian
flood story. That, and the "Real Honest-to-God Landing Place," are what this piece is all about.

But, you may object, the mountain in question is still called "Ararat." Why is it called that if it isn't the right
one? Because that isn't the mountain's correct name. In fact, it was a European, William of Rubruck, who first
stuck that label on it in the 13th century A.D., and it was Europeans thereafter who perpetuated the mistake.
The Armenians, then and now, called it Massis.

by jaskaw @ 19.02.2009 - 21:41:20

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/19/the-shares-of-cuckoo-inc-are-always-in-a-bull-market-5610679/
Iran blocks Deutsche Welle's and Radio France's
websites
The mullahs of Iran have decided to cut off Iran from the western part of the world, as there is a distinct
possibility that all information in the western medias is not similar as that provided to the good citizens of
Iran by the the state-controlled media of Iran.
The communists had it easy at their heyday. They simply had to ban all foreign newspapers and books and
block a few radio stations and the deal was done. The emergence of the Internet has complicated things for
the totalitarian states. Now anybody equipped with a computer and a modem can reach information
previously quite out of the reach of the citizens of the these totalitarian states. The Mullahs are however trying
their best to blockade even this route of free information.
The Variety tells the latest developments in a story called:

Iran blocks RFI, DW websites


Internet filtering now affects all main cities

The full story is here:


http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118000312.html?categoryid=1009&cs=1&tr=y&auid=4533302

Excerpts:
"Iranian authorities have blocked access to the Farsi websites of international media Radio France
Internationale (RFI) and Deutsche Welle (DW) in its latest efforts to control the media, state daily Etemad
Melli reported.
The Farsi service of the BBC, Voice of America (VOA) and U.S.-funded Radio Farda have already been
blocked.
Paris-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders condemned the latest censorship move, saying,
"Most of the sites contain articles critical of the government and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
"Internet filtering is not new in Iran, but we are worried about the scale it has assumed and the fact that it is
affecting all the main cities. We call for an end to the sanctions against these websites, which are sources of
news and information," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
The group also condemned a decision by Iran's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance this week to suspend
Hemat, a weekly that supports allies of President Ahmadinejad. The ministry said a spoof movie poster on the
front page of the Feb. 1 issue had insulted senior government officials. "There would be something comic
about this suspension if it did not constitute a heavy-handed warning to all Iranian media that do not limit
themselves to reproducing propaganda," Reporters Without Borders said. "It seems that news reports are not
the only form of content to give rise to sanctions. Humour clearly does too."
The spoof poster, for an imaginary movie called "Slaying of Ahmadinejad," alluded to the presidential
election scheduled for June."

by jaskaw @ 20.02.2009 - 20:00:21

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/20/iran-blocks-deutsche-welle-and-radio-france-also-5616742/
One Law For All - No Sharia
A burning question right now for the western democratic nations is how to deal with the demands of
conservative Muslim groups emerging in their midst. A clear trend had been that these ultra-conservative
groups want to impose their own medieval religion-based legalistic structures called the Sharia Law among
the members of these Muslim communities even if there is no real knowledge if the members of these
communities do in fact want it.
The problem is that they reside in countries that have since medieval times evolved to have a legal system
based on humanistic values and accepting equal human rights of all members of the society. The Sharia Law
is quite incompatible with the legal framework that has emerged in the west after the Sharia Law was frozen
in time in the late medieval Islamic world.
The debate over Sharia Law has been most heated in Britain as there has already been Sharia courts there
active on civil cased ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.
These issues are well addressed in recent video of a panel discussion arranged by the:

One Law For All - No Sharia

Panel discussion on Sharia courts and Sharia law with Johann Hari, Ibn Warraq, Roy Brown, Maryam
Namazie.

A good comment on the relationship of the Muslim conservatives on the issue of common law::

"British Law Can Go To Hell"

by Abu Izzadeen from Al-Ghurabaa Group

Good examples of how the Sharia Law is being executed come from Iran. A recent message sent recently to
the members of "Stop the execution of 17 year-old Behnood Shojaee on Xmas Eve." –Facebook group tells
this:

"Subject: Execution/Death Penalty/ stoning by the islamic repubic just in feb,2009!

It's Unbelievable In 20th Century

- Five people executed in Iran.


- An adultry convicted man was hanged in northern Iran.
- Amir Khaleghi, another minor offender at imminent risk of execution in Iran.
- URGENT: The minor offender Rahim Ahmadi is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday Fenruary 18.
- Execution of the minor Rahim Ahamdi has been halted.
- Three men were hanged in the prison of Kermanshah (western Iran).
- URGENT: The minor offender Bahman Salimian is at risk of being executed in less than 48 hours.
- One man was hanged in Bojnord (North east Iran).
- THE IRANIAN WOMAN, MASOUMEH, WAS EXECUTED THURSDAY MORNING!"

http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/
http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/video.html
http://www.shariapetition.com
by jaskaw @ 21.02.2009 - 21:47:49

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/21/one-law-for-all-no-sharia-5623050/
Feedback for Post "One Law For All - No Sharia"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
22.02.2009 @ 08:53
religion is strictly a personal affair. all organised religions must be baned.who are these religious fanatics to
impose their laws on other people. if they want let themselves practice what they want.

elaine [Visitor]

22.02.2009 @ 14:43
What a load of rubbish. We fought for generations to get laws to protect. Ban all religions and let no-one have
the right to force their laws on to all. I am my own person and lead a good life,being kind to others, whoever
they may be, and we all know that religion always give those who follow the right to kill.

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
24.02.2009 @ 15:50
sheeps are to be killed and eaten by the sheperds. so get away from the clutches of these relious fanatics.these
so called god's middlemen want to make their fellowmen to lick their feet. get away from them, and mental
slavery. lead a free and happy life
Dawkins believes that women will beat the Islamic
terrorism
The rise of militant Islamic ultra-conservatism has left many of us wondering what can stop this tide of rising
militancy. Professor Richard Dawkins sees a ray of hope in the women of Islam, as the ranks of dissenters and
reformers of the Islam have recently included a growing number of women.
I however think it should be remembered that many of them are members of a sexual minority. This is quite
understandable, as it is quite impossible to reconcile the ultra-conservative Islamic world-view with any
non-standard sexual persuasion.

The Islam had been built and developed under many centuries to be an all-encompassing system of thought
that takes a strong hold in all quarters of life in a Muslim community. I even claim that it has been developed
to be the most difficult ideology there has ever been to get away from.
An simply astonishing number of aspects in the daily life, culture, tradition, human relationships and just
about everything in a Muslim society are based on the religion and its demands. If you suddenly take the
religion away, a person is very easily left hanging in very thin air.

So basically one needs a very strong incentive to even start look critically on the culture that is to a great
degree based on religion and the ultra-conservative Islamist's strong condemnation of any sexual variations
just might be such an incentive. Another common reason for turning against religion has of course been leftist
political activism that is strongly opposed in most Islamic countries.

Dawkins presented his ideas on the occasion of presenting the "Secularist of the Year" -award to Mina Ahadi
who has a strong ideological and political background for her opposition of the Islamic government of her
home country Iran. I must stress that she is not the cause for the previous thoughts on relationship of Islam
and human sexuality presented in this piece.

Dawkin hopes women will defeat militant Islam

The full story is here:


http://www.secularism.org.uk/iraniandissidentminaahadiwinssec.html

Excerpts:
"Richard Dawkins says that it is ―the awakening of womenć that will solve the problem of ―the worldwide
menace of Islamic terrorism and oppressionć.
His remarks came while praising Mina Ahadi, winner of this year‎s NSS Irwin Prize for ―Secularist of the
Yearć.
Mina Ahadi is an Iranian woman who was forced to flee her native country after leading a campaign against
the compulsory veiling of women. Because of her resistance to the clerical regime, her husband and four of
her colleagues were executed, and she only narrowly escaped the same fate.
She now lives in Germany and has founded the Committee of Ex-Muslims, a movement that is rapidly
spreading across Europe. She has also founded the Committee Against Stoning, which now has 200 branches
worldwide.
Richard Dawkins said: ―I have long felt that the key to solving the worldwide menace of Islamic terrorism
and oppression would eventually be the awakening of women, and Mina Ahadi is a charismatic leader
working to that end. The brutal suppression of the rights of women in many countries throughout the Islamic
world is an obvious outrage. Slightly less obvious, but just as outrageous, is the supine willingness of western
liberals to go along with it. It is worse than supine, it is patronising and condescending: "Wife-beating is part
of 'their' culture. Who are we to condemn their traditions?" A religion so insecure as to mandate the death
penalty for apostasy is not to be trifled with, and ex-Muslims who stand up and fight deserve our huge
admiration and gratitude for their courage. Right out in front of this honourable band is Mina Ahadi. I salute
her and congratulate her on this well-deserved award as Secularist of the Year.ć

by jaskaw @ 23.02.2009 - 01:04:17

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/22/dawkins-believes-that-women-will-beat-the-islamic-terrorism-5631214/
Feedback for Post "Dawkins believes that women will beat
the Islamic terrorism"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
23.02.2009 @ 17:48
how can women be awakened when they are mere slaves and an instruments of enjoyment for men and its
leaders. no hope.the only solution is to have a world government as per bertrant russel. then ban all organised
religions as they are producing mental slaves for the benefit of their leaders. this is an impossible possibility.
so no escape.
Fatwa on yoga angered Malaysian Muslim women
Some Muslim women living in multicultural environments are growing more and more uneasy because of the
rise of extreme male chauvinist conservatism in Islam that has reached a global scale.
The Atheist News told yesterday how Professor Richard Dawkins believes that women might be the force that
might change Islam. Recent developments in Malaysia are supporting his viewpoint, as among the Muslim
women of that country there is a still small, but rising movement to change Islam to follow the changing
world.

Time only will show if these brave women will have any impact on their religion as it has committed itself
very heavily to resisting any kind of change. Unfortunately denying any new interpretations of the old texts
this religion is based on is an extremely central tenet of that faith at the moment.
These women still however hope that they can change Islam from inside out, but track record of these kinds of
activities is not very promising. All the major theologians that have had the nerve to say that Islam should
change with changing times are now spending their time idling in safety far away from the Islamic world.

This development could however be the first step in the creation of any kind of reformist movement among
Islam, even if more plausible scenario is that this movement of women will be is vilified, squashed and will be
at the receiving end of heavy fire of fatwa‎s and wall of indoctrination.
This could however lead to a radicalization of Muslim women in at least some countries they are able to act
without fear of physical violence and even this could lead to new openings that are sorely needed.

The International Herald Tribune tells about the developments in Malaysia with the headline:

Women use Koran to demand equal rights

The full story is here:


http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/16/asia/women.php?tr=y&auid=4517658

Excerpts:
"KUALA LUMPUR: The religious order banning women from dressing like tomboys was bad enough. But
the fatwa by this country's leading clerics against yoga was the last straw.
"They have never even done yoga," said Zainah Anwar, a founder of a Malaysian women's rights group called
Sisters in Islam.
Anwar argues that the edict, issued late last year by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia, is pure
patriarchy. Islam, she says, is only a cover.
It was frustrations like those that drew several hundred Muslim women to a conference in this
Muslim-majority country over the weekend. Their mission was to come up with ways to demand equal rights
for women. And their tools, however unlikely, were the tenets of Islam itself.
"Secular feminism has fulfilled its historical role, but it has nothing more to give us," said Ziba Mir-Hosseini,
an Iranian anthropologist who has been helping to formulate some of the arguments. "The challenge we face
now is theological."
The repression comes not from the Koran, the women argue, but from the human interpretation of it, in the
form of Islamic law, which has ossified over the centuries while their globalized lives have galloped ahead. So
they are going back to the original text, arguing that its emphasis on justice makes the case for equality.
"Feminist Islamic scholarship is trying to unearth the facts that were there," Mir-Hosseini told a room of eager
activists Sunday. "We can't be afraid to look at legal tradition critically."
She referred to the work of Muslim intellectuals, like Nasr Abu Zayd of Egypt and Abdolkarim Soroush of
Iran, reformers who argue that the Koran must be read in a historical context, and that laws derived from it
can change with the times. Their ideas are controversial, and both are in exile in the West."

by jaskaw @ 23.02.2009 - 23:35:43

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/23/fatwa-on-yoga-angered-malaysian-muslim-women-5636698/
ćEvin prison is being turned into a universityć -
Arrests after protest in Tehran
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a democracy only in that sense that people can in elections freely choose
between hard-line Islamists, conservative Islamists or ultra-conservative Islamists. Any real deviations from
the official Islamist party line dictated by the clergy operating behind the screens are suppressed immediately.
The paranoid repression of all dissent has been growing during the last months on all fronts in Iran. The
Islamist government has been extremely keen on suppressing all activities of the students.

All tried and tested methods of coercion have already been used to silence the younger and more educated
part of population, that so very often have been the first the show that government policies are getting out of
sync with the realities of life.
The Islamic government of Iran is clearly determined to crush all student movements before they can grow
any popular momentum.
The BBC tells about recent development in a story called:

Arrests after protest in Tehran

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7907276.stm

Highlights:
"A group of Iranian students are reported to have been arrested following a rare show of opposition to
government policies. The arrests, of up to 70 students, followed a protest at the Amir Kabir university in
Tehran.
Some students are angry at moves to re-bury war dead from the Iran-Iraq War in the grounds of the university.
A group of them carried banners, complaining that their campus was being turned into a cemetery.
The students also said the Evin prison in Tehran was being turned into a university - because of the number of
students being held there. Forty of the arrested students were later released.
During the re-burial ceremony, witnesses said there were clashes between the protesting students, members of
the security forces and other students loyal to the government.
In addition to anger over the burials, the students were reported to be indignant about what they say are
restrictions on academic freedoms.
The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says that, in the past, students have been expelled for taking part in protests.
Some have had to hand over the deeds of their parents' homes as a guarantee of good behaviour."

The same story was reported today also in the Facebook-group called: Stop death
threat/interrogation/intrusion/arrest of anti-IRI Students:

―Hundreds of Polytechnic University (Amirkabir) students protested for the second day in row to burying
remains of five members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) left from 1980-88 war with Iraq
on the campus.
Students chanted anti-government slogans when they were attacked by the plain-cloths agents of the Ministry
of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and members of paramilitary Bassij students dispatched from other
Tehran's school to help quell the protests.
"Death to dictator," "We don't want a fascist regime" shouted the students when they were beaten by security
forces. Twenty-five students were arrested and transferred in police vans to unknown locations despite
attempts by their fellow classmates to get them released.
Seven wounded students were taken to nearby hospitals for immediate medical attention. Twenty years after
the end of the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war the remains of IRGC soldiers are being buried in Iranian
universities.
also many of tehran university students(leftists) protested against arresed friends in this daysć

by jaskaw @ 24.02.2009 - 20:13:20

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/24/evin-prison-is-being-turned-into-a-university-arrests-after-protest-in-tehran-5643
The great Four Horsemen -discussion comes to
YouTube
The Atheist News is interrupting its standard transmission for a special announcement, as we just received the
information that the two hours of the famous Four Housemen –discussion are now available in YouTube. This
discussion brought together Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens and the
result was a magnificent discussion:

The Four Horsemen HD: Hour 1 of 2 - Discussions with Richard Dawkins

You can watch the videos right here:

The Four Horsemen: Hour 2 of 2 - Discussions with Richard Dawkins

On the YouTube –page of the video it is announced like this:


"The 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat
down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RDFRS and filmed by Josh
Timonen.
All four authors have recently received a large amount of media attention for their writings against religion -
some positive, and some negative. In this conversation the group trades stories of the public's reaction to their
recent books, their unexpected successes, criticisms and common misrepresentations. They discuss the tough
questions about religion that face the world today, and propose new strategies for going forward.
This video is provided free online by The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS) and
http://RichardDawkins.net
Books by these authors:
"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins
"The End of Faith" by Sam Harris
"Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris
"God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens
"Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" by Daniel Dennett

Filmed and Edited by Josh Timonen


The Richard Dawkins channel in YouTube is at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/richarddawkinsdotnet

http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/tags/dawkins-richard/
http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/tags/harris-sam/
http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/tags/hitchens-christopher/

by jaskaw @ 24.02.2009 - 23:07:22

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/24/the-great-four-horsemen-discussion-comes-to-youtube-5644129/
Muslim schools warn of Harry Potter and chess in
the UK
The Atheist News can be quite rightly accused of concentrating very heavily on evil things done in the name of
Islam lately. But hold on, there is a good reason for that; no other religion than Islam simply does not pose
just now a similar a threat for the central values of the societies I myself have come to love and respect during
my 50 years of stay on this little blue planet.

I simply think that the Nordic welfare-state model based on the wholesome marriage of old time capitalist,
humanist and of social democratic values is the best available solution to a dilemma of how to create a
society that can provide a environment where maximum amount of people can succeed and flourish in their
lives at least at some level, and take care of the less fortunate members of the society at the same time.

I strongly fear that the adaptation of old and tired medieval ideology propagated by the conservative Islamists
would be a terrible step backwards in development anywhere in the world. I strongly fear that it‎s adaptation
in any form would also mean the end to the social development that has created in my home country at least a
situation where society in the end can and will provide for every single one of its members, even those who
have failed miserably in their life at some stage.

The dogma of the ultra-conservative Islamists is just growing more and more incompatible with these values
and it must be said aloud, even if there is a risk of finding oneself in strange company of racist and
xenophobic groups. This situation is amply exploited by the ultra-conservative Islamists, who routinely brand
all criticism of their conservative ideology as racism, as it is so easy to forget that religion is not a genetically
inherited feature, but a learned ideology, in fact quite like communism, a religion just is very often learned
earlier in life than other ideologies.

That is one of the reasons why I think that a strong and vocal support for every new voice of dissent in the
Islamic world is so important. By supporting these people living is Islamic lands we can show that we are not
fighting against the people, but a against an totalitarian and ultra-conservative ideology that has
unfortunately succeeded in hijacking (temporarily, as I hope!) so many minds of otherwise perfectly good
people in the world.

The latest outrage is told by the MailOnline with the catchy headline, but I think that there is much more at
stake here than Harry Potter and cricket, much more :

Some Muslim schools 'make children despise the West': Ban on cricket and Harry Potter

The full story is here:


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1150753/Some-Muslim-schools-make-children-despise-West-Ban-cricket-Ha
Excerpts:
"Some Islamic schools are promoting fundamentalist views and encouraging children to despise Western
society, a report warns.
An investigation by the Civitas social policy think-tank found websites of some of the UK‎s 166 Muslim
schools are spreading extreme teachings, while a handful had links to sites promoting jihad, or holy war.
Examples include web forums forbidding Muslims from reading Harry Potter books, playing chess or cricket
and listening to Western music.
The Civitas report, entitled Music, Chess and Other Sins, claims Ofsted inspectors are incapable of
scrutinising Muslim faith schools properly, and demands an inquiry by MPs.
Many of the websites featured in the report were shut down or edited in the hours before it was published.
Islamic schools educate thousands of Muslim children. Most operate in the private sector although increasing
numbers are seeking state funding.
The study, overseen by Dr Denis MacEoin, a university lecturer in Islamic studies, looked at material found
on Islamic schools‎ websites, either content or via links.
Examples include the website of the Madani Girls‎ School in East London which stated: ‫ل‬Our children are
exposed to a culture that is in opposition with almost everything Islam stands for.
‫ل‬If we oppose the lifestyle of the West then it does not seem sensible that the teachers and the system which
represents that lifestyle should educate our children.‎

by jaskaw @ 25.02.2009 - 23:29:02

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/25/muslim-schools-warn-of-harry-potter-and-chess-in-the-uk-5650332/
Feedback for Post "Muslim schools warn of Harry Potter
and chess in the UK"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
26.02.2009 @ 06:41
individuals are an important factor in this world. every organised religion is biased. they are for the benefit of
its fanatic leaders. not for god or its followers.christians also, killed(crusades)burned (inquisition) innocent
people in the name of christ with hellish infallibility.

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi
26.02.2009 @ 06:48
when the individual become malicious the society follows.it was in the past,is and will be. no way out.money
and power is the order.so nobody can help.let us(individuals)try to become good.that is the only thing we can
do. love every one else. trust nobody
Al-Qaeda wants Germany to 'renounce capitalism'!
It is funny how things can so easily get mixed in people‎s minds. A recent Al-Qaeda –video allegedly urges
Germany to ćrenounce capitalismć and ćembrace Islamć. The funny part is that it seems as if at least some
members of Al-Qaeda would now think that in Muslim funfdamentalist countries like Iran or Saudi-Arabia
there is no capitalism, but Islam is a new form of handling the economy also!

These chaps have clearly mixed things quite badly up in their heads, as in the fundamentalis Islamic countries
capitalism is in use at it‎s most oldfashioned, oppressrive and feudal form. Islam in is in real life not a new
system of economic thought, but fundamentalist Islamic societies have for a long been either backward feudal
societies or badly working capitalist economies with very slow real growth or even none at all. A slow
economic development and a strong status of Islam fundamentalism in a country have for a long time had a
very strong correlation.

The oil wealth in Saudi-Arabia naturally gives an false impression of a solid economy, but when the wells
some day dry, this country is in deep trouble too, as it's economy is so strongly still based on the flow of oil
money.

A very central reason for this backwardness are the religious restrictions imposed on the society that have
greatly slowed down the economic development in these countries. They have also prevented improvements in
the field of social security and labour rights experienced elsewhere in the western world during the last
decades.

Especially in the democracies of the Western Europe capitalism has been greatly softened with improvements
in social security brought about by the political movements that have concentrated in building up the society's
social security network. The raw and feudal form of capitalism in use in fundamentalist Islamic countries has
in fact prevented this kinds of social developments in these countries.

Workers have in practice no rights in those Islamic countries and all attempts to use the collective bargaining
power of labor movement are crushed mercilessly. Trade unions are ion fact illegal in Iran and Saudi-Arabia.
Also the inherited wealth is protected in Islamic countries by the society as in nowhere else. The Adnkronos
website tells the story with headline:

Terrorism: 'New Al-Qaeda video' targets Germany

The full story is here:


http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=3.0.3056364784&tr=y&auid=4561064

Excerpts:
"A new video purportedly from Al-Qaeda criticises the German government for squandering taxpayers'
money on troops stationed in Afghanistan. The video, which has been posted to jihadist websites, urges
Germany to renounce capitalism and embrace Islam to escape economic recession.
The video shows a still image of a German citizen turned Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighter in Afghanistan, who
calls himself Abu Talha. He delivers a 44-minute message in German with Arabic subtitles.
"Where are the German philosophers and economists, now that economic crisis besets us?" Abu Talha asks in
the message.
"And what has happened to all the taxpayers' money? Much of it has been spent on keeping our soldiers here
in Afghanistan," the message continues.
Abu Taba talks at length about Islamic finance and its prohibition of interest ('ribah' in Arabic), a central
concept of western capitalism.
"After the end of communism, everyone in Germany believed that capitalism was the answer. But what I am
saying to you is that Islam is the only way to escape from the economic crisis," he says.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/18/iran.middleeast
http://www.payvand.com/news/08/mar/1075.html
http://socialistworld.net/eng/2005/07/04saudiarabia.html

ćUnder Saudi labor laws, it is unlawful to form or be a member of a trade union, there are no collective
bargaining rights and it is illegal for workers to take industrial action and no minimum wage. The whole legal
system is biased towards business. Consequently, while workers from countries such as the UK and Australia
have fully protected contracts, terms and conditions of Saudi workers are often unenforceable in court.ć

by jaskaw @ 27.02.2009 - 14:32:51

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/27/al-qaeda-wants-germany-to-renounce-capitalism-5660335/
Feedback for Post "Al-Qaeda wants Germany to 'renounce
capitalism'!"

pub [Visitor]

26.03.2009 @ 23:11
Has anyone figured out the goal of liberals and radical Islam is to destroy Capitalism? That's why liberals
always seem to side with radical Islam.
Why American Muslims don't blow things up?
A recent article in Slate Magazine ponders the reasons why American Muslims have been nearly totally
absent from the Islamist terrorist circles. There are many good reasons, but I think one good reason is that
Muslims living in USA have largely been able to shake off the feeling of shame on the recent position of the
Muslim world as an underdog to the secular west.
The current situation badly hurts the pride of the true ultra-conservative Muslims who are from their early
childhood told constantly that all things in Islam simply are better than anything other cultures do have on
offer.
When in reality Islamic world is being left behind by nearly all other major cultures of the world in just about
everything, one way of handling this contradiction is to put the blame on those other cultures that have
succeeded in creating better working economies and social structures than the Islamic world. This kind of
feeling is also very easily turned into a hatred of those who are better off.

A much more detailed analysis on this issue is on offer at the http://beinghuman.blogs.fi

The story in Slate Magazine has the catchy headline:

The Melting-Pot Theory


Why American Muslims don't blow things up.

The full story is here:


http://www.slate.com/id/2211996?
Best bits from the story in Slate:
"Even when it isn't linked directly to terrorism, Muslim radicalism seems more prevalent—and certainly more
visible—inside the United Kingdom, and in Western Europe generally, than it is inside the United States.
Why the difference? Economics may be one reason. American Muslims are better-educated and wealthier
than the average American. In Europe, they are poorer and less well-educated than the rest of the
population—in Germany, only about 10 percent of the Turkish population attends college. The United States
has assimilated Muslims into its society more successfully than Western Europe—and over a longer period.
Arabs beganmigrating to the United States in great numbers during the second half of the 19thcentury.
Western Europe's Arab migration didn't start until after World War II, when many arrived as guest workers. In
Germany and France, a great many Muslims live in housing projects segregated from the rest of the
population. In the United States, Muslims are dispersed more widely. An exception would be Detroit, which
has a large Muslim community but not an impoverished one.
Traditionally, the United States has been seen as less class-bound than Europe and more welcoming to
immigrants. "There's something about our national myths," observes Jonathan Laurence, a political scientist at
Boston College, "that give the impression of a possibility of political participation that European countries are
still catching up to."
The relative dearth of Islamist radicalism in the United States is at least as much a function of American
demographics as it is of American exceptionalism. Muslims simply loom smaller in the U.S. population than
they do in the populations of many Western European countries. Muslims account for roughly 3 percent of the
population in the United Kingdom, 4 percent in Germany, and 9 percent in France. In the United States,
they'recloser to 1 percent and are spread over a much larger geographic area.
Whatever the reason, American Muslims appear far less inclined to support the global jihad than their
European counterparts. In the United Kingdom, 81 percent of Muslims consider themselves Muslims first,
British second. In the United States, only 47 percent consider themselves Muslim first. After 9/11, 58 percent
of American Muslims said they approved of President Bush's response to the attacks. In a 2007 Pew survey,
51 percent said they were very concerned about the rise of Islamist extremism, a proportion the report termed
"much greater than the concern expressed by Muslims in most of Western Europe, the Middle East, and
elsewhere."

Todays bonus is music:


"Roll With An Atheist" from Listen Without Fear

by jaskaw @ 28.02.2009 - 23:03:26

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/28/why-american-muslims-don-t-blow-things-up-5667966/
How to spot a hidden religious agenda on
‫ل‬scientific‎ text?
Science is under attack and the attackers are now often coming within the scientific community itself. These
attackers are religiously motivated people who have reached established positions among the scientific
community, but are mostly operating outside their own field of expertise. So professors of physics have been
seen attacking evolution from alleged positions inside the scientific community itself.
This movement has been largely provoked by the arrival of the Intelligent Design- movement. They have in
many places succeeded in creating among the lay people at least an impression of ID being a scientific
movement and this model is catching up.
These people have often successfully avoided revealing the facts that they have no studies, no real theories of
their own or no scientific evidence whatsoever to back up their claims, which are in practice based on the
simple notion that modern science is incompatible with their religion.
This onslaught of religiously motivated non-science dressed up as science leads to a situation where these
people are able to cross-reference to similar pseudo-scientific works. Soon they hide behind a wall of
reasoning that soon starts lo look like science with the usual footnotes and citations to other work in the field.
This self-serving chain of religious bullshit can be presented as a scientific approach, if the validity of the
original work is not evaluated in time and the emptiness of this non-science is not revealed in time. Editor
Amanda Gefner from the venerable New Scientist has the story with the headline:

How to spot a hidden religious agenda

The full story is here:


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126975.800-how-to-spot-a-hidden-religious-agenda.html

Added 9.4. 2009. I have been informed that the original story has been deleted from the New Scientist website
on insistence of religious groups , but luckily the original story is available here:

http://www.chron.com/commons/readerblogs/evosphere.html?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElem

Best bits:
"AS A book reviews editor at New Scientist, I often come across so-called science books which after a few
pages reveal themselves to be harbouring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognise clues that the author is
pushing a religious agenda.
Red flag number one: the term "scientific materialism". "Materialism" is most often used in contrast to
something else - something non-material, or supernatural.
The invocation of Cartesian dualism - where the brain and mind are viewed as two distinct entities, one
material and the other immaterial - is also a red flag.
Misguided interpretations of quantum physics are a classic hallmark of pseudoscience, usually of the New
Age variety, but some religious groups are now appealing to aspects of quantum weirdness to account for free
will. Beware: this is nonsense.
When you come across the terms "Darwinism" or "Darwinists", take heed. True scientists rarely use these
terms, and instead opt for "evolution" and "biologists", respectively.
Some general sentiments are also red flags. Authors with religious motives make shameless appeals to
common sense. If common sense were a reliable guide, we wouldn't need science in the first place.
Religiously motivated authors also have a bad habit of linking the cultural implications of a theory to the
truth-value of that theory. The ID crowd, for instance, loves to draw a line from Darwin to the Holocaust, as
they did in the "documentary" film Expelled: No intelligence allowed
It is crucial to the public's intellectual health to know when science really is science. Those with a religious
agenda will continue to disguise their true views in their effort to win supporters, so please read between the
lines."

The added bonus of today is:


Christiane Amanpour and Irshad Manji at the 92nd Street

by jaskaw @ 01.03.2009 - 22:50:40

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/01/how-to-spot-a-hidden-religious-agenda-on-scientific-text-5674184/
The ban on "Life of Brian" is finally lifted in
Aberystwyth
The drastic but largely unseen change on the religious atmosphere in the western world is well illuminated
when one thinks how The Monty Python -movie ―Life of Brianć was a religious scandal when it was released
30 years ago. This rather good hearted and kind movie poking clean fun on religious fundamentalism was
banned for eight whole years in Ireland, banned in several cities in Great Britain and it was picketed by
angry nuns in New York.
When one thinks how a direct attack on religions like Bill Maher‎s ―Religulousć can be shown publicly
without nobody really objecting to it, one is forced to concede that western Christian faiths have steadily
grown to be more tolerant and able to withstand critique, when an quite opposite development has sadly been
taking place in the House of Islam.
The Yahoo News tells the story of the final ban being overthrown in Wales:

Aberystwyth screens Monty Python film after 30-year ban

The full story is here:


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090302/wl_uk_afp/entertainmentbritainfilm

Excerpts:
"LONDON (AFP) – A Welsh town which banned the classic Monty Python movie "Life of Brian" 30 years
ago has decided to screen it later this month, the mayor said -- and two of the original Pythons will attend.
Michael Palin and Terry Jones are expected to travel to Aberystwyth, for the screening on March 28 after
being invited by mayor Sue Jones-Davies -- herself a star of the film, having played Brian's girlfriend.
It is thought the 1979 comedy, which critics said was blasphemous for telling the story of a Jewish man who
is mistaken for Jesus and crucified, was banned by a committee of Church leaders in the town.
"Life of Brian" is now viewed as a classic and includes oft-quoted lines such as Brian's mother's quip on her
son: "He's not the messiah -- he's a very naughty boy", as well as the jaunty song "Always Look on the Bright
Side of Life", sung by Eric Idle as he and Brian are nailed to crosses at the end.
No one thought to revoke the ban because few people realised it still stood, until last year. Jones-Davies
vowed to fight for the film, and has organised the one-off screening for charity at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
"We decided that we might as well go on with it and see if we could arrange a screening in Aberystwyth," she
said."
Monty Python - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python's_Life_of_Brian
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religulous

by jaskaw @ 02.03.2009 - 20:30:02

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/02/the-ban-on-life-of-brian-is-finally-lifted-in-aberystwyth-5680521/
Italian bishop wants youth to give up mobiles for
Lent
And now for something completely different.
The Lent is an old custom in Christianity in which by giving up something he really likes he demonstrates his
commitment to the religious faith.
This age-old strategy in based on very simple psychology; when you get a person to do something he doesn't
really want to do by himself, that person is after doing that in a situation where he must convince himself that
this deed was not done for nothing and is eager to receive information that gives the impression that this
decision was sound.
So giving up pleasant things because of any belief-system greatly intensifies this beliefs-systems grip on its
subjects minds.
Religions in fact sorely need this kind of constant refreshing, as they are just volatile ideologies and changing
ideologies is really very easy, as one just needs to start thinking differently. So to just keep it‎s old followers
in fold, a religion must use a varied bag of tricks.
The times they are however a-changing and the things the believers must give up must change with time so
that the desired effect is achieved. The Yahoo News has the news:

Give up SMS for Lent: Italian bishop

The full story is here:


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090303/od_afp/italyreligioncatholictechnologyoffbeat

Highlights:
"ROME (AFP) – The bishop of Modena in northern Italy told Catholic youth to give up a popular practice
during the holy season of Lent: no text messaging on their mobile phones on Fridays.
No SMS will allow young people to "detox from the virtual world and get back in touch with themselves,"
Monsignor Benito Cocchi was quoted as saying by La Repubblica on Tuesday.
Italy ranks second in Europe after Britain for the number of text messages -- 50 per month on average -- by
users of the "telefonino" --Italian for mobile phone, the newspaper said.
Other bishops picked up Cocchi's message and urged youth in their dioceses of Bari in the south and Pesaro in
central Italy to also stop texting on Fridays."

United Nations Wants To Regulate Free Speech Of Every Nation

by jaskaw @ 03.03.2009 - 22:00:21

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/03/italian-bishop-wants-youth-go-give-up-mobiles-for-lent-5688267/
Feedback for Post "Italian bishop wants youth to give up
mobiles for Lent"

John mason [Visitor]

03.03.2009 @ 22:22
OK, whatever. LOL

RT
www.privacy-center.pro.tc
Happy Birthday, Vatican!
It is a surprisingly rarely known fact that the modern ćstateć of Vatican is just 80 years old. In fact the 80th
birthday is at just one of these days. This papal ―stateć was born on the amiable agreement called the
Lateran Accord between the then current pope Pius XI and the fascist dictator Mussolini then at the height of
his power.
The Lateran Accord broke the dilemma that was born when the modern state of Italy was created in the year
of 1870. The newly formed state of Italy then had the nerve to forcefully annex the old Papal States that had
been popes own earthly playground and source of revenue for centuries.
The Holy See did never accept the fate of the Papal States. Pope after pope sulked at their retreats in Rome
until they finally found a good and trusted friend at the fascist dictator.
Mussolini had by then grown to accept the fact that he had to befriend the church to secure his power in Italy,
even if he had been an active anti-clericalist in his far-away socialist youth, but he had left both of those ideas
far behind when he finally had a country of his own to run.
The IHEU website has the story with the headline:

Happy Birthday to the Vatican!

The full story is here:


http://www.iheu.org/happy-birthday-vatican

Excerpts:
"IHEU member organization the French Libre Pensée has sent Pope Benedict XVI ironic congratulations on
the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Vatican State by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and Pope
Pius XI."

They said in their message among other thing this:


―The self-styled ―stateć of Vatican is simply Mussolini‎s creation. Besides, there is no such thing as a
Vatican nationality. There would be a lot more civil servants working in the Vatican than ―Vatican citizensć.
Moreover, this concept of ―Vatican citizenshipć was mainly used to help Nazis escape from Europe through
the network of ―ratlinesć in 1945.
If we are to believe the latest ‫ل‬criteria of liberalismć, this would mean that the Vatican is the last Communist
State! The number of civil servants as compared to the number of the population would be the sign of
―collectivismć. Moreover, everything is State property in the Vatican!
This theocratic ―principalityć ruled by an absolute leader, with no political party, no free trade union, without
any form (even the most elementary) of democracy, notably elected, was nonetheless perpetuated by the
Italian government in 1984, through an agreement leading to some change in the 1929 Concordat. Besides,
Silvio Berlusconi is using this very agreement in his clerical onslaught, now.ć
by jaskaw @ 04.03.2009 - 22:18:20

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/04/happy-birthday-vatican-5694706/
Will criticizing the Islamic faith became a crime?
Christopher Hitchens is without doubt the most eloquent critic of the religions among contemporary writers
and his sharp pen has been hitting these belief-systems many times where it hurts the most. Most recently also
Christopher Hitchens has turned his attention to a threat of criticizing religions becoming activity that is
banned by no other than United Nations, the very organization that has given us the universal declaration of
human rights.
Atheist News has reported before of this very worrying initiative that has been started by the Islamic
countries, whose religion seems lay on so weak foundations, that it can‎t withstand any people who criticize
it in public.
Happily other religions are not so weak and vulnerable and in the most Christian western churches at least
have already accepted the inevitable fact that all people do not believe in their teachings.
The story but Christopher Hitchens in Slate is called:

Don't Say a Word


A U.N. resolution seeks to criminalize opinions that differ with the Islamic faith.

The full story is here:


http://www.slate.com/id/2212662/

The opening lines of the story:


"By Christopher Hitchens
The Muslim religion makes unusually large claims for itself. All religions do this, of course, in that they claim
to know and to be able to interpret the wishes of a supreme being. But Islam affirms itself as the last and final
revelation of God's word, the consummation of all the mere glimpses of the truth vouchsafed to all the
foregoing faiths, available by way of the unimprovable, immaculate text of "the recitation," or Quran.
If there sometimes seems to be something implicitly absolutist or even totalitarian in such a claim, it may
result not from a fundamentalist reading of the holy book but from the religion itself. And it is the so-called
mainstream Muslims, grouped in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, who are now demanding
through the agency of the United Nations that Islam not only be allowed to make absolutist claims but that it
also be officially shielded from any criticism of itself."

http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/tags/hitchens-christopher/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hitchens

by jaskaw @ 05.03.2009 - 20:02:20

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/05/will-criticizing-the-islamic-faith-became-a-crime-5699833/
Feedback for Post "Will criticizing the Islamic faith became
a crime?"

Maxwell Potemkin [Visitor]

06.03.2009 @ 20:01
F.... Islam.

The blog owner changed this comment on 06.03.2009 20:10

jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
06.03.2009 @ 20:09
I would like to inform Maxwell Potemkin that I have edited his comment because of use of profanity. There
has never been such language in any of my blogs and never will.

| Show subcomments
uzza [Visitor]
http://uzzas.blogspot.com/
22.04.2009 @ 08:28
Irony much?
Tony Blair's Christian past revealed
The British Prime Minister Tony Blair was often a enigmatic figure when in office, and only the later
developments have shown why this was the case. It was a hard thing to understand at the time, but the truth
was that the leader of this great Western European nation was a man who believed in even the oddest
creations and inventions of the Christian tradition.
In the United States we are used to such figures even in politics lately, but in the secular western Europe this
was something quite unheard of. Quite wisely Tony Blair was for a very long time quite shy about his inner
convictions, as the electorate in Britain has quite commonly left these bronze-age superstitions behind them.
Blair was in fact most openly devout political leader of Britain since William Ewart Gladstone more than 100
years ago.
Being an follower of these conservative and change-resisting beliefs is not commonly seen as a sign of
progressive and future-looking thinking in a modern society. So Tony Blair did really in fact come out in the
open only at the end of his reign, during which he brought Great Britain to a situation where it was nothing
more than an silent underwriter for the disastrous foreign policies of the United States. The Spectator has the
story with the headline:

Blair did God a lot more and a lot earlier than the press realized

The full story is here:


http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/3413921/blair-did-god-a-lot-more-and-a-lot
-earlier-than-the-press-realised.thtml

Excerpts:
"Stan Greenberg, who polled for both Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, spoke at the RSA
earlier this week. In his talk, he revealed that during the 1997 campaign Blair
had a separate team of faith advisors whose role it was to check that his
politics were in line with his religious beliefs:
'He had a separate religious group that met weekly during the campaign, the‎97
campaign, which he met with weekly. He said that he would talk to them and make
sure, kinda check he wasn‎t going too far in his politics from his religious
faith. But none of those people were introduced into the campaign. But that was a
separate domain. After 9/11, he was in some ways liberated to bring together
faith and his politics.‎

In the latest NSS Newsline there is more info on Blairs relationship with his invisible friend:
"Now that he's no longer in office, Holy Tony Blair has gone religion crazy. Just
about every public utterance he makes is now about "faith". The London Evening
Standard reports that: "When Blair met Barack Obama at the annual National Prayer
Breakfast in Washington, where the former PM was [naturally!] a principal
speaker, Tony insisted that the President should kneel and pray with him before
they talked." In the speech, Blair made 31 references to God."

Today's video-extras are quality stuff:

International Women's Day and Political Islam with Maryam Namazie on TV International

James Randi Speaks Questioning the Bible

by jaskaw @ 07.03.2009 - 01:02:34

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/06/tony-blair-s-christian-past-revealed-5708041/
Taliban eradicates music from Swat valley
The recent deal between the Pakistani government and Taliban in Swat valley brought the cruel medieval
system of justice called the Sharia law to the area is already beginning to have real life consequences in the
Swat area. An afghan reporter travelling in the area reports already widespread annihilation of the women‎s
education that has always been a major target for Taliban rage, as educated women are the thing they fear
most.
Taliban has also already destroyed all sources of musical entertainment they are been able to lay their hands
including shops selling CD:s radios, TV-sets on and even brutally murdered a local dancer-girl.
On its ban on music Teliban is just forcing a less well publicized old prohibition of Islam:
"Closer analysis of the wordings of the Hadith establishes the prohibition of music. Firstly, the words `seek to
make lawful ` shows that music is not permissible, as logically one can only seek to make lawful that which is
not allowed. Secondly, if music was not prohibited, then it would not have been brought within the same
context as fornication and wine-drinking."

http://www.inter-islam.org/Prohibitions/Mansy_music.htm

Sharia law comes to the Swat valley

The original story is here:


http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/email/sharia-law-comes-to-the-swat-valley

Excerpts:
"Ghazal Mahtab reports from the Swat valley on life under the Taliban
The recent "peace deal" agreed on 16 February between the NWFP provincial government and the
Taliban-linked militant group Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM), "Movement for Enforcing
Mohammad's Sharia Laws" has sent shockwaves across Pakistan.
Residents of the valley remain vulnerable to intimidation and violence by the militants that has drastically
curbed public life, especially for women. Describing the education of girls as "un-Islamic", militants in Swat
have destroyed 191 schools including 122 for girls since 2007. Eventually, on 24 December 2008, Maulana
Shah Dauran, a Taliban spokesman, announced that girls' education would be outlawed in the valley from 15
January and issued a warning that all girls' schools would have to be closed by the set deadline.
The outlawing of women's education by the Taliban in Swat combined with threats to "cut the throat of any
girl above seven years old who was not veiled on the street" is part of such a harsh interpretation of sharia.
Taliban militants ordered men in Swat to grow beards by 25 January and wear caps when outside, or face
potentially gruesome punishments, such as risking having acid thrown at them. Barber shops in different
areas had been ordered to stop offering shaves to customers.
Under sharia and its interpretations, entertainment is strictly limited. Since 2007, Taliban radicals in Swat
have targeted and burnt down CD, TV, computer and music shops. Those in the entertainment industry shared
the fate of the shops; a dancing girl, Shabana, who defied the Taliban's ban on entertainment and dancing
was murdered, and her bullet-ridden body - strewn with bank notes, CDs of her dance performances and
pictures from her photo album - was discovered in the centre of Mingora, the main city in Swat.
The sharia laws also sanction public executions for convicted murderers and adulterers and amputations of
those found guilty of thefts."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swat_valley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

Todays video extra is a classic:


Neil deGrasse Tyson: Bible in Classroom

by jaskaw @ 08.03.2009 - 22:56:00

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/08/taliban-eradicates-music-from-swat-valley-5719068/
Feedback for Post "Taliban eradicates music from Swat
valley"

gruntled atheist [Visitor]

09.03.2009 @ 01:15
Tyson is terrific!

Sarah [Visitor]
http://www.lyricsdigs.com
10.03.2009 @ 12:31
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I
don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Sarah

http://www.lyricsdigs.com

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
10.03.2009 @ 12:58
Thanks Sarah, great to hear that somebody has found this little thing useful. Welcome back often, Sarah! I'm
sure there is more where this came from, as religious fanatics are an endless source of news and undoubtedly
also there also will a lot of new bright ideas also from the humanist, secularist and atheist sources.
Saudi court orders a 75-year old lady flogged for
mingling with men
The wahhabistic fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that is currently officially in use in Saudi-Arabia leads
constantly to inhuman and cruel situations.
The humanly saddest part is that medieval religious dogmas are often followed to a letter even when they are
in fact non-sensical to begin with. When even interpreting them in a strikingly different modern society in any
way is not allowed, there is much grief created a as result.
The latest outrage is the case of 75-year old lady who was found to be alone in a house with two men who
were not her relatives. This grandma has to endure 40 lashes so that even the final letter of the cruel and
medieval but divinely ordered ancient criminal law is followed.
This kind of absurd situations are in fact inevitable, if even the criminal law is seen something that mere
humans cannot alter. On the other hand Islam has succeeded in keeping the humanistic ideas out of its
domain and so the rights of individuals are quite non-existent in fundamentalist Islamic states and are always
subordinate to the demands of One True Religion.
The story in CNN is headlined:

Saudis order 40 lashes for elderly woman for mingling

The full story is here:


http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/03/09/saudi.arabia.lashes/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

Clips from the story:


"CNN -- A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman to 40 lashes, four months
imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom for having two unrelated men in her house, according to
local media reports.
According to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan, troubles for the woman, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi,
began last year when a member of the religious police entered her house in the city of Al-Chamli and found
her with two unrelated men, "Fahd" and "Hadian."
Fahd told the policeman that he had the right to be there, because Sawadi had breast-fed him as a baby and
was therefore considered to be a son to her in Islam, according to Al-Watan. Fahd, 24, added that his friend
Hadian was escorting him as he delivered bread for the elderly woman. The policeman then arrested both
men.
Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism and punishes unrelated men and
women who are caught mingling.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, feared by many Saudis, is made up of
several thousand religious policemen charged with duties such as enforcing dress codes, prayer times and
segregation of the sexes. Under Saudi law, women face many restrictions, including a strict dress code and a
ban on driving. Women also need to have a man's permission to travel."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture

by jaskaw @ 09.03.2009 - 16:47:42


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/09/saudi-court-orders-a-75-year-old-lady-flogged-for-mingling-with-men-5723599/
Feedback for Post "Saudi court orders a 75-year old lady
flogged for mingling with men"

gruntled atheist [Visitor]

09.03.2009 @ 18:35
This is not religion. It is just criminal repression of the rights of women.

brenda novak [Visitor]


http://brenovak13@aol.com
09.03.2009 @ 20:56
It is absolutely appalling to flog a women of 75 years. your society will fail for all your macho male insane
religious ideas.

Lineswine [Visitor]
http://www.jihadwatch.org
11.03.2009 @ 23:11
Of course, the rules for Crown princes of the House of Saud are totally different. In the 70's you couldn't
move in London for the above types who were visiting for 3 reasons: to screw, gamble & get blind drunk - all
the stuff they can't do at home.did the religious police flog them when they came home? Like hell they did!
Arrogance & hypocrisy in vast quantities...that's what you'll find in Saudi Arabia.

Naima [Visitor]

07.04.2009 @ 21:19
I'm a proud muslim and I say shame shame on Saudi Arabia's double standards that protects its corrupted elite
and reserves outdated blind applications of laws that goes against basic human rights against powerless
women and girls.
Adolf Hitler had an invisible friend too
It‎s an extremely common misconception spread by you know who that Nazi Germany was run by atheist
maniacs. The historical fact tell however quite strikingly different story. All the leading men of the Nazi party
were Catholics and never renounced their faith and on the other hand were never even reprimanded by the
Only True Church.
The newly founded Nazi Germany did as one of the first things make on amiable agreement with Pope that
promised Catholic Church a total freedom of operation in exchange for a promise that Catholic Church
wound never oppose the new masters of Germany, and it never did. This Reichskonkordat was signed in the
year 1933 when Adolf Hitler has just taken the reigns in Germany.
Even the German protestant churches soon got the hint and made their everlasting peace with this odd little
fellow from Austria. A bit more info on these development is at
http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2008/10/02/were-nazis-atheists-4813530/

Today‎s story by the always reliable Austin Cline in About.com is called:

Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany: Christian Nationalism, Anti-Semitism

The whole story is here:


http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitlernazigermany/Adolf_Hitler_Nazi_Germany_Christian_Nationalism_AntiSemitis

Excerpts:
"Hitler and the Nazis are often cited as an example of the horrible crimes which atheists have committed in
the 20th century. They are only assumed to be atheists, though, because people can't imagine Christians doing
such things; in reality, Hitler explicitly appealed to Christianity on a regular basis and this was part of why he
was popular. Not every Christian supported the Nazis, of course, but he was most popular with conservative
Christians seeking a restoration of traditional values.
It's popular among Christian apologists to claim that Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust are all consequences
of atheism, secularism, and liberalism. Such arguments fly in the face of reality: Adolf Hitler regularly
proclaimed his faith in God, Nazi ideology was committed to supporting Christianity (on its terms, of course),
and Nazi anti-Semitism was firmly grounded in Christian anti-Semitism.

A good collection of Adolf Hitler's quotations on religion is here:

http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitlernazigermany/tp/AdolfHitlerFaithGod.htm

"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2

"Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and
thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this
time."
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 5

In todays video extra we have professor Richard Dawkins himself:

Richard Dawkins Oklahoma Intro

by jaskaw @ 10.03.2009 - 22:19:57

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/10/adolf-hitler-had-an-invisible-friend-too-5732924/
Over 45 million people outside all religions in the
United States?
United Stated has been traditionally seen in many ways as the most religious contry in the developed western
world, but as in nearly everything else concerning the US there is tremendous variety hidden behind the
official facade.
A recent study found out that non-religious people consist a whopping 15 per cent of the whole population in
the US of A. In cold numbers this means that there could be over 45 million people in that country who dont
believe in any of the Only True Faiths on offer.
This means that there are nearly as many non-religious people in the United States than is the whole
population of Spain (46 million).
Considering these staggering numbers it is quite surprising that this group seems not to have any clout in
elections or in forming national or even local policies.
The thing just might by that the Christian religious ethos is still so strong and pervasive in America that it is
able to drown a lot of dissidence. It just might be that people differing from the official party line are used
keeping mum about these matters. They might never even realize that their neighbour, co-worker or relative
just might be harboring quite similar thougts in the pricavy of their minds, but are similarly afraid to come in
the open.
The AOL news has the story:

More Americans say they have no religion

The whole story is here:


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090309/ap_on_re/rel_religious_america

Excerpts:
"A wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting
out o of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more
people say they have no religion at all.
Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2
percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.
Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting
the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of
Americans with no religion rose in every state.
"No other religious bloc has kept such a pace in every state," the study's authors said.
The current survey, being released Monday, found traditional organized religion playing less of a role in many
lives. Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony and 27 percent of
respondents said they did not want a religious funeral."

by jaskaw @ 11.03.2009 - 16:46:41

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/11/over-45-million-people-outside-all-religions-in-the-united-states-5737223/
Feedback for Post "Over 45 million people outside all
religions in the United States?"

gruntled atheist [Visitor]

12.03.2009 @ 11:45
That is a lot of people.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
12.03.2009 @ 16:51
people are begining to realise that they are fooled by religious fanatics. heaven and hell. keys of the heaven
with them. those who lick the feet of these fanatics will be admitted to heaven. others will be damned.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
12.03.2009 @ 17:03
poor people are mentally enslaved and used by these fanatics for their ulterior ends.time will take revenge on
these sadists. they say god is in their pockets.leave this singing and telling of beads(tagore). open your eyes
and see that he is among the poor people in the streets and not with these elite fanatics.
Witch-hunting continues in Africa
One of the unexplored frontiers for even very many atheists are the animist and traditional religions still in
use in many African and Polynesian societies. They are often bypassed entirely when religions are criticized,
as they are seen as somehow more natural or more ―pureć forms of religion. They are often given a quite
different treatment than the Abrahamic desert-religions or even the great world religions originating from
Asia.
A sad fact of life is however that these traditional animist forms of religion can be even more repressive than
the newer world-religions, as these have often already absorbed some universal humanistic ideas of inherent
value of every human being and not just of the followers of one‎s religion or ethnic group anymore.
These animist religions can also lead to astonishing level of cruelty as is testified in the recent article by
Johann Hari published in the Huffington Post.
As Johann Hari points out, it is often seen that we cannot point out the cruel and unjust things done in the
name of these animist religions, as we are afraid of being seen as racist and as imposing our imperialist
European values on societies where they are out of place.
If we however believe in irreversible, universal and equal rights of all men and women in our own world there
is no escaping the fact that these rights should apply also to people in regions where the religions are based
on beliefs in spirists and shamans and are not touched by these universal humanistic ideas.
I don‎t however believe that we should impose even the ideals of universal human rights of all men on
anybody by applying any kind of force. But I strongly think that even accepting the existence of this problem
can lead to ways that can eventually be helpful in addressing it. Hiding one‎s head in the sand and forgetting
the problems inherent even in the animist religions gets anybody nowhere.
The original story by Johann Hari is called:

Witch-Hunt: The Hidden War on African Women

The whole story is here:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/witch-hunt-the-hidden-war_b_174166.html

This is how the story begins:


―Across Africa, a war is being waged on women -- but we are refusing to hear the screams. Over the past
fortnight, I have traveled into the secretive shadow world that mutilates millions of African women at the
beginning of their lives, and at the end. As girls, they face having their genitalia sliced out with razors, to
destroy their "filthy" sexuality and keep them "pure". As old women, they face being hacked to death as
"witches", blamed for every virus and sickness blowing across the savannah.ć

and this is the magnificent ending of the story:


―Why are these wars on women verboten in the West? Why do we refuse to hear Juliana or Agnes and their
pleas for solidarity? Any discussion of these issues -- the persecution of "witches", and vaginal mutilation -- is
silenced in a pincer movement of racism and relativism. Racists say that black Africans are inherently
primitive. Their "culture" will always and ineradicably contain such cruelties, so why bother tampering with
it? Relativists say that African culture must be "respected", and it is "imperialist" to interfere, on a par with the
vilest parts of our own history.
Both make a basic mistake. Africa consists of hundreds of fissiparous cultures and no culture anywhere is
homogeneous and unchanging. The culture of Massachusetts was to burn witches not so long ago -- until
some people there began to stand up and oppose the practice. In the same way, there are huge divisions within
African societies. There are brutal misogynists who want to burn old women and destroy female sexuality
with razors -- but there are also women fighting back, and their will is just as strong. The funding by Comic
Relief, saving thousands of innocent women, is an act of solidarity, on a par with the millions of people who
backed the African National Congress even though they were not South Africans, or who backed the civil
rights movement even though they were not Americans.
Agnes leans forward, her hands bunched into fists. "These girls don't think [mutilation] is wrong because a
white man told them so. They know it's wrong because it's their body." With that, Agnes sits back, and looks
out, towards the girls playing in the yard, free at last. Isn't she an African? Aren't they?ć

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Hari
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_traditional_religion

by jaskaw @ 12.03.2009 - 22:55:09

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/12/witch-hunting-continues-on-in-africa-5745661/
Science editor sacked for publishing a story about
evolution in Turkey
Once so proudly secular state of Turkey has been slowly succumbing to the darkness of mediaval Islamism
under the rule of the current ruling Islamic party AKP.
The long and strong tradition of secular rule started by Kemal Ataturk already in the 20‎s has created a
situation where even the current the Islamic rulers have to pay lip service to central secularist ideas so well
rooted in Turkish constitution, when they are in fact sliding in their old and tired islamist ideas from the
kitchen door.
Turkey has for a long time been a real success story among the Muslim nations with its strong division of
state and religion, equality of the sexes and good standard of education and all the economic benefits derived
from these.
Now however it seems these advances are slowly being eroded and also the proud nation of Turkey is being
slowly, piece by piece dragged to the medieval darkness of fundamentalist Islam.
The official attitude against even discussing the scientific facts concerning the idea of evolution tells volumes
about the current stituation in Turkey. Richard Dawkins's website is in fact currently banned in Turkey.
Even publishing these extremely well established scientific ideas can lead to serious consecuences as is
illustrated by the recent case that is told in the the Chronicle of Higher Education website with the headline:

Editor of Turkish Scientific Journal Reportedly Is Sacked for Darwin Cover Story

The full story is here:


http://chronicle.com/news/article/6113/editor-of-turkish-scientific-journal-reportedly-is-sacked-for-darwin-cover-story

Excerpts:
ćThe editor of a scientific journal published by Turkey‎s state-run Scientific and Technological Research
Council has reportedly been removed from her post for commissioning a March cover story on Charles
Darwin to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the naturalist‎s birth. The council‎s vice president, who is
also a member of the magazine‎s editorial board, ―removed the story from the journal and put an article
about climate change on the cover instead,ć the Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet reported.
Dozens of university students and professors protested the council‎s action outside its Ankara headquarters
today, the Associated Press reported. The country‎s secularists suspect the governing party, which has its
roots in political Islam, is seeking to raise the role of religion and promote the Muslim version of
creationism.ć

by jaskaw @ 13.03.2009 - 11:06:11

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/13/science-editor-sacked-for-publishing-a-story-about-evolution-in-turkey-5748315
Feedback for Post "Science editor sacked for publishing a
story about evolution in Turkey"

Garrett [Visitor]

13.03.2009 @ 11:56
This is a terrible summary of Turkey's current political situation.

For one thing, the "secular" forces in Turkey aren't nearly as benevolent as the story implies. Their idea of
"secularism" is not even remotely similar to your idea of "freedom of religion." It's more like, the government
controls your religion.

Also, the ruling AK party is one of the most progressive parties in the history of Turkey in terms of human
rights, including freedom of religion. They aren't trying to convert Turkey into an Islamic state, according to
sources i feel are relatively objective (like Rainer Hermann, Istanbul-based correspondent for the German
newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung").

News coming out of Turkey has to be taken with a spoonful of salt. There's a lot of political maneuvering
going on that can cloud the issues. One way to be sure you're being mislead, though, is if what you're reading
makes everything sound like a simple, black and white situation. Turkey's a complicated place--it's never a
matter of black and white, good vs. evil. You can pretty much ignore sources that oversimplify like this (about
Turkey, and in general).

| Show subcomments
tugba newbold [Visitor]

13.03.2009 @ 16:53
yes they are trying to convert the whole country into a silly 'modern islamic' country. you can thank bush and
his support for making that happen for the last 8 years. his idea was to make a model of Turkey but showing
Turkey as 'modern islam country' instead of what Turkey was...'a secular republic'. his bright brain thought
(that was wrong, that man should never be allowed to) he could make an example of Turkey. but Turkey is its
on way to become another Iran, not today, but in 30 years US will see the consequences. today girls will cover
their head to go to college, then they will demand separate schools, separate work places...and mission
accomplished bush...you got what you so strongly supported, helped build.

A Secular from Turkey [Visitor]

13.03.2009 @ 13:52
The story tells everything which exactly happens in Turkey right now. "Secular" means "secular" except the
times radical Islamic individuals trying to manipulate the meaning of it.

In these days, it's hard to live in Turkey as a supporter of secularism as AKP partisans do not hide their plans
about seculars and secularism in daily talks. Also you can see the high government pressure on seculars and
public. AKP opponents are being punished for illegal reasons (you can see in the tax fine event applied to a
large media group, please search for how they punished the Dogan Group) and some people can still talk
about the progress in human rights! Yes, I'm sure there is a progress for rights of radical islamic groups! You
have to know that this is just a vitrine, just a make up for international society and things are exactly BLACK
in here. Turkey is going to become the new Iran.

I think, I pretty wasted my words, because it is not hard to understand the idea that lies behind a political
organization which is trying to censor Darwin silently.
20 years in prison just for translating the Quran
Afghanistan has for centuries been a absolute backwater of the world.The decades of infighting following the
Soviet Russian infringement in Afghanistan in the year 1979 have done nothing to improve matters there.
Large parts of Afghanistan are still under the original absolute medieval Islamic backwardness untouched by
any new developments in the wide world far away. Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers bring a drop of
modernity to the daily life of local chieftains fighting for local supremacy as they have done for centuries
before.
Seen from this perspective it is not even surprising that an Afghan court has seen it prudent to sentence a man
to 20 years imprisonment just for translating the holy Quran and omitting the original Arabic text from the
edition.
It is not widely known that in the very large parts of the Islamic world translating the holy book from Arabic
is not seen as act of belief, but an act of aggression against the pure and true belief, as they claim that their
holy texts can be wholly and rightly understood only in Arabic.
This is naturally part of the old strategy of the original Arabic Muslim conquerors. This new religion was
used as the most important tool to build up their power in the newly conquered vast lands that they acquired
after a swift short series of bloody conquests.
The new Arabic masters very commonly a tiny ruling minority in Christian, Zoroastrian and even Hindu
lands. Imposing the Arabic language to their subjects by forcing them to learn their holy book in its original
Arabic language was an important tool in eroding the original local cultures. It greatly helped in replacing
them with a new Islamic imperialist Arabic culture of the new ruling master class.
This policy did give huge dividends, as in very many of the lands acquired by the Arabic conquerors the
original cultures have vanished altogether. In many countries they have been quite completely replaced by the
culture of the imperialist Arabic conquerors. In countries like Syria, Iraq, Tunisia or Libya the original native
cultures linger on the absolute fringes of the society if there is anything left of them at all.

The story in Guardian.co.uk is called:

Lost in holy translation

The full story is here:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/mar/04/islam-quran-translation-zalmay

Excerpts:
―Ghows Zalmay, a celebrated journalist turned self-appointed religious reformist, is one of them. As he
understood the issue, if Afghans were able to read the Qur'an in their own language, they would become less
prone to manipulation by firebrand mullahs and also better Muslims as a result. So it was that in the summer
of 2007, Zalmay arranged for the pious people of Kabul to be given free copies of the Qur'an in Dari
translation. "You are now in possession of your own Dari edition. Read it and remember us in your prayers,"
he wrote in its preface. But if anybody did pray for Zalmay, their prayers went unheard and on 27 February a
court in Kabul sentenced him to 20 years' imprisonment on charges of blasphemy.
The translation had been checked by a man of authority who, in turn, made his approval public by having his
signature printed beneath his declaration. So why the blasphemy charges? Here lies the crux: the translation
had omitted the original Arabic text. According to orthodox precedent, the Qur'an is not the Qur'an unless it
appears in the original Arabic. Approved translations are acceptable only as long as they are printed beside the
Arabic text. For reasons unknown, Zalmay ignored this tradition.
In the year between his arrest and sentencing, Zalmay almost entirely disappeared from the news. When he
finally appeared in court in Kabul two weeks ago, he was dressed in traditional attire, wearing a chapan gown
and an oversized turban. In remorseful mood, he admitted to having made mistakes. He pleaded for
forgiveness, but in vain: he received a 20-year sentence. It was 365 days more than the term given last year to
Abdullah Sarwary, the head of the communist-era secret service agency responsible for the killing and torture
of hundreds of mujahedin during the 1980s.
A Pashto translation was also planned, but didn't materialise after the reaction to the Dari translation. If 20
years in prison seemed a lot for translating a book, then buried in the sentence are the implications of
replacing a single transnational Arabic Qur'an with a plurality of national versions of it.ć

Wikipedia presents this thorny isssue quite diplomatically in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qur'an_translations:

"Translation of the Quran has always been a problematic and difficult issue in Islamic theology. Since
Muslims revere the Qur'an as miraculous and inimitable (i'jaz al-Qur'an), they argue that the Qur'anic text can
not be reproduced in another language or form.
According to modern Islamic theology, the Qur'an is a revelation very specifically in Arabic, and so it should
only be recited in the Arabic language. Translations into other languages are necessarily the work of humans
and so, according to Muslims, no longer possess the uniquely sacred character of the Arabic original."

by jaskaw @ 14.03.2009 - 21:53:34

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/14/20-years-in-prison-just-for-translating-the-quran-5756486/
Feedback for Post "20 years in prison just for translating
the Quran "

Crystal D. [Visitor]
http://sunnyskeptic.wordpress.com
15.03.2009 @ 17:55
Well, people should know better than to just go around translating books... Unreal!
Quiverfull - the sect of child-bearing machines
The main limelight of this blog has been naturally stolen by the bigger religions that hold also earthly
positions of power and can influence the fate of whole nations, but naturally there is a tremendous
undergrowth of smaller religious outfits. They do have often even more odd and weird systems of belief than
the more established and older forms of religion.
United States of America is naturally the number one in this respect, as the fiercely independent American‎s
are very prone to roll up even their own religions to suit their by European standards often odd tastes.
One of American smaller cults gaining notoriety recently is the Quiverfull movement. It's followers believe
that the main reason for a woman‎s existence is to breed more little quiverfullers to the world.
This sect is wholeheartedly against all forms of contraception and so many of its followers have families tha
extent beyond all reason. In this they are very much like the Laestadianism that is rampant in Finland.
It has already been calculated that it is certain that this movement of less than 200 000 followers will
inevitably eventually became the majority religion in Finland at some date. This in inevitable when others are
having 2-3 children, but laestadians 10-12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism
Similarly Muslims will inevitably be at some point of history the majority in most european countries because
of their extremely large families, if the European concepts of the core family do not take hold among them any
time soon.
The recent story in Slate is called:

All God's children

The whole story is here:


http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2009/03/14/joyce_quiverfull/

Excerpts:
"The Quiverfull movement saddles women with a life of submission and near-constant pregnancies. One
mother explains how she embraced the extreme Christian lifestyle -- and why she left.
By Kathryn Joyce
March 14, 2009 | Vyckie Garrison wasn't sure she wanted to use her real name in this article. Until last year,
Garrison (then Vyckie Bennett), a 43-year-old single mother of seven living in Norfolk, Neb., followed a
fundamentalist pronatalist theology known as Quiverfull. Shunning all forms of birth control, Quiverfull
women accept as many children as God gives them as a demonstration of their radical faith and obedience as
well as a means to advance his kingdom: winning the country for Christ by having more children than their
adversaries.
This self-proclaimed "patriarchy" movement, which likely numbers in the tens of thousands but which is
growing exponentially, bases its arguments on Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons
born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They shall not be put to shame when
they contend with their enemies in the gate."
Quiverfull women commonly give birth to families of eight, 10 and 12 children, or more.
Quiverfull has gained exposure through cable TV's fascination with extraordinarily large families, including
the 18-child Duggar family. The Duggars, an Arkansas couple whose husband Jim Bob was a former
Arkansas state representative, have appeared on several Discovery Health Channel specials about their
immense brood and currently have a TLC reality show, "18 Kids and Counting," that focuses on the
saccharine details of large family life."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duggar_family

The atheists, freethinkers and humanists in Finland announced today that they are starting a bus ad -campaing
just like the one they did in UK and several other countries.
The slogan in picture is practically a straight translation of the original UK slogan of "There is probably no
God - So stop worrying and start enjoying your life". Collection started today I think and even now there is
over 1100 euro's .
You can donate to our campaign with a wire transfer or through PayPal. The bank account information is:
IBAN: FI97 1011 3000 2356 47
BIC/SWIFT: NDEAFIHH

by jaskaw @ 15.03.2009 - 21:28:34

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/15/quiverfull-the-sect-of-child-bearing-machines-5762132/
Feedback for Post "Quiverfull - the sect of child-bearing
machines"

Elmer Fudge [Visitor]

07.04.2009 @ 00:34
See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfCqWch_YmE
Fear for Iranian Shii‎te extremism on the rise in
the Arab world also
An old and tired saying says that USA and Great Britain are separated by a common language, and in similar
vein one can say that Iran and the Arab world are separated by a common religion. To be fair the difference
between the written languages between the different sides of the Pool are mere minor details when compared
with the gaping hole that separates the Shi‎te Islamic Iran from the mainly Sunni Islamic Arab world.
Islamists like to claim there really is a Ummah – a unity of all followers of Islam, but in reality there has been
no such a thing for well over millennium. Islam did split thoroughly in very early stages and the rifts have not
grown weaker by the time, on the contrary. In the real world there as dozens of widely differencing schools of
thought under the vague general headline of Islam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divisions_of_Islam
The animosity between Shii‎te and Sunni Islam has been at seen at it‎s worst in Iraq, but there are large
Shii‎te minorities elsewhere in the Sunni dominated lands, especially in the Gulf region, Lebanon, Yemen,
Pakistan and Afghanistan.
There is a growing fear among the rulers of Gulf area that Iran is trying to use the Shii‎te minorities to
destabilize the governments in the area to facilitate a eventual Shii‎te takeover and the rise of Iran‎s
influence in the area.
It must be however remembered that Iran is by no way the homeland of Shii‎te religion, but Iran has a shii‎te
majority just because of the political planning of the medieval rulers of Iran. It is very easy to understand why
they chose a different version of the Islam than their Arab neighbors just to be able to hold their political
power under pressure from their Arabic neighbors.
Iran is by no way the home country of Shii‎te Islam. This religion was born in modern Iraq and did spread
from there all over the Muslim world before the lucky break in Iran that made it a majority religion in Iran.
The Asia Times online has the story with the headline:

A wary Arab world eyes Iran's elections

The whole story is here:


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KC17Ak05.html?tr=y&auid=4623921

Excerpts:

"Elsewhere in the Arab world, there was rising discontent with Iran. Morocco cut off diplomatic relations with
Tehran last week to protest remarks made by Iranian officials about the sovereignty of Bahrain. The Bahraini
government accuses Iran of interfering in its domestic affairs by meddling with its sizeable Shi'ite population,
and trying to transform Bahraini Sunnis into Shi'ites.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri said that Iran had been similarly "active" in Rabat. The crisis
was caused by a statement by Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, an advisor to Iran's Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
who said that his country had sovereignty over Bahrain, claiming that it was once Iran's 14th province. King
Mohammad VI sent a public message of support to his Bahrain counterpart, calling these claims "absurd".
This is new to the Arab world. In the past, everybody in the Gulf feared Iran, but nobody came out and bluntly
said it - let alone cut off their diplomatic relations with Tehran.

Todays extra is a photo essay:

"Getting Their Acts Together".

The photo essay is called:

Churches Ad Hoc

A Divine Comedy

by Herman Krieger

It is at:
http://www.efn.org/~hkrieger/church.htm

by jaskaw @ 17.03.2009 - 00:19:29


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/16/fear-for-iranian-shii-te-extremism-on-the-rise-in-the-arab-world-also-5769605/
Feedback for Post "Fear for Iranian Shii‎te extremism on
the rise in the Arab world also"

Herman Krieger [Visitor]


http://www.efn.org/~hkrieger
17.03.2009 @ 06:45
For todays photo extra, the caption is:
"Getting Their Acts Together".
The captions are an essential part of the photos in the photo essay, "Churches ad hoc".

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
17.03.2009 @ 10:45
Thanks Herman for the correction, I have now already fixed it and the caption is there. As I got the change I'd
like to applaud you for the fine photo essay; I spent a lof of good working time going through all of them!

Michael Kerjman [Visitor]

12.10.2009 @ 02:55
Can one imagine what would have been happened in a “non-believers’ world” if the Islam folks have
embraced atheism?

Sometimes, local sub-faiths are really a goody deeds indeed.


Is atheism already a force to be reckoned with?
A quick look on the results of the recent American Religious Identification Survey tells that non-religious are
already the third largest group in the US after Catholics and Baptists. Why it is then that the values and
aspirations of the non-religious are not commonly listened and cared for in the real life decisions-making
process in the current America?
The main reason of course is that there are no huge atheist congregations, no billion-dollar mega-shrines for
humanists or million dollar prizes for those who promote Atheism the best in the scientific community.
Non-religious people do not form a single uniform entity anywhere, and probably never will.
The main reason is that at the core of their thinking is commonly a strong desire to avoid all dogmatism and
the running with the pack. In very many cases the non-religious people are true believers of the old American
values of individualism and independence. I don't believe that they will be herded to any kind of "Atheist
congregations" or even mass-organizations of any other kind any time soon.
It has been said that working with the fiercely independent atheists is like herding cats, and very many people
running atheist organizations can underwrite that. So there is no single atheist voice and again it must be said
that very probably never will.
Politicians in a democracy are however mostly keen to detect changes and growing trends in the society. So
even if there are no large scale political mass movements furthering non-religious ideas, just the simple fact
their numbers are growing fast will inevitably have effects on the political process.
As the numbers of non-religionists swell, all politician are more and more prone to think also what the
non-religious part of his or her constituency will think of his or her decisions, even if there are no real
mass-movements furthering their demands. On the other hand the non-religionists are very often persons that
have powerful and very public individual voices.
The non-religious viewpoints will inevitably be more and more at the public forums and media, when all the
different ideas that ultimately tend to lead to non-religiousness are growing in the society. That trend will
lead to a growth of political influence of these ideas even if great mass-movements concentrating on these
issues do not materialize.

The story on this issue by Andrew Sullivan on the Time Online has a rather catchy headline: There‎s a new
power in America – atheism The whole story is here.

The story on this issue by Andrew Sullivan on the Time Oneline has a rather catchy headline:

There‎s a new power in America – atheism

The whole story is here:


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/andrew_sullivan/article5907453.ece
The best bits:
"The faithless are a growing force as the churches duck the challenges of the age
by Andrew Sullivan

There is one thing that is not allowed in American national politics – and that is atheism. ―In God We Trustć
is on the currency; and the number of congressional members who avow no faith at all are about as plentiful
as those who are openly gay (none in the Senate; five in the House).

Americans are losing faith, though; and those who have it are moving out of established churches. The
nonreligious are now the third biggest grouping in the US, after Catholics and Baptists, according to the
just-released American Religious Identification Survey. The bulk of this shift occurred in the 1990s, when
they jumped from 8% to 14% of the population – but they have consolidated in the past decade to 15%.

The problem was that the issues the evangelicals focused obsessively on – abortion, gays, stem cells, feeding
tubes for those in permanent vegetative states – often came to seem warped to many others. Those who might
once have passively called themselves Christian suddenly found the label toxic, if it meant identifying with
such a specific political agenda. And so as evangelicalism rose, atheism and nonaffiliation emerged as a
reaction.

American Christianity may be stronger in some pockets, but it is dumber too. In the end, in the free
market-place of ideas and beliefs, that will count.
It seems to me that American Christianity, despite so many resources, has ignored its intellectual
responsibility. And atheists, if this continues much longer, will continue to pick up that slack."

by jaskaw @ 17.03.2009 - 21:15:04

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/17/is-atheism-already-a-force-to-be-reckoned-with-5777296/
Feedback for Post "Is atheism already a force to be
reckoned with?"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
18.03.2009 @ 09:18
now people begin to realize they are exploited and cheated in the name of god by these so called keepers of
heaven and god.they have no relation with god. christ born ina cattle shed. these fanatics in the name of christ
live in luxurious palaces enjoying all wordly pleasures.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
18.03.2009 @ 09:24
they are mentally enslaving their ownfellow beings for their ulterior ends. if one is phisically enslaved for
many years,then freed they will go theirown way. but once mentally enslaved then no salvation.even if a dog
is kicked or beaten by its master it will lick his master's feet.these poor people are also like that.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
18.03.2009 @ 09:30
they want these blood social parasite's permission to live, to marry, to make children to eat,to dieand lastly to
get into the heaven.they are sole owner of the sheeps.they are infallible and can do any thing with thier
sheeps.even god the father will flee with fear at their sight.

pub [Visitor]

26.03.2009 @ 23:13
The loudest Atheists are nothing but religion-haters and intolerant bigots. There's plenty of Atheists like
myself that tolerant, freedom-loving people and these radical Atheists make us all look bad.
Every Sperm is Sacred
Christopher Hitchens has famously said that The Catholic Church is acting criminally when it condemns
millions of people to slow death from HIV/AIDS by vehemently denying its followers the use of condoms. The
value of condoms in resisting HIV-infections is a long-established, irrefutable and undeniable scientific fact.
However a belief is always stronger than any facts, when belief is strong enough, that is. The Catholic Church
formed a very long time a dogma about the sanctity of life that starts even before the actual moment of
conception, although the real mechanisms of human reproduction were quite unknown at the time this dogma
was formed.
This old dogma later came to include also all means of preventing pregnancy that were also of course quite
unknown at the time the original dogma was formed.
The real funny part in these things however usually starts when followers of a dogma based just on old
religious beliefs start to rationalize their stand by starting to gather real life evidence that purportedly
somehow supports their views. This happened quite recently when the current pope started babbling to
journalists about how condoms make the HIV-situation worse by promoting promiscuity.
There is however nothing funny in a fact that tens of thousands of people will perish to AIDS just because this
little old man and his closest pals are clinging to an belief-system originating from a primitive world of
herders and small-time farmers.
Todays story is from the Times Online with headline:

Pope: 'Condoms increase problem of Aids'

The whole story is here:


http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2009/03/pope-condoms-increase-problem-of-aids.html

Best bits:
"By Ruth Gledhill, The Times Religion Correspondent.
Pope Benedict XVI told reporters on the plane that Aids 'is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money
alone, and that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the
problems.' He said the Catholic Church was leading the fight against Aids, but that sexual abstinence and
fidelity within marriage were the answer.
Cardinal Trujillo said in 2003 that condoms advanced the spread of Aids because they had holes in them, but
the Pope here is saying it is not condoms in themselves that advance Aids, but that they aggravate it by
encouraging promiscuity. Elizabeth Pisani argues however in The Times that even that looks ill-intentioned or
ill-educated.
Try telling that to the faithful woman stuck in the village, whose husband returns from work and finding
'relief' in the towns and cities, to demand his conjugal rights. Condom use, were it sanctioned by the Church,
could save that woman's life, save her children from being orphaned.
Pope Benedict XVI has re-opened a running sore in the side of the Church and Africa with another
scientifically illiterate attempt to justify a policy that is unjustifiable even by faith.

Todays video extra is naturally the hilarious Every Sperm is Sacred by MontyPython

The famous Stoning –episode from Monty's is the second offering of the day

by jaskaw @ 18.03.2009 - 22:17:26

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/18/every-sperm-is-sacred-5783887/
Feedback for Post "Every Sperm is Sacred"

gruntled atheist [Visitor]

19.03.2009 @ 23:37
Hitchens pulls no punches and in this case I certainly agree. It is indeed criminal to spread false information
leading to the suffering and death of so many.
Iran reveals a cunning plot to spread wrong kind of
information on the Computer Internet
The brave warriors working tirelessly in the defense of the One True Faith in Iran have uncovered a cunning
and vicious plot hatched to spread wrong kind of information to Iranians on the Computer Internet.
According to Iranian state officials they have arrested several people for setting up anti-religious and obscene
web sites. This depraved activity of spreading wrong kind of information is of course a thing a true Iranian
well never, ever accept.
This attack on dissidents is quite understandable and necessary as every Iranian well knows that their
religion is extremely fragile and prone to collapse at the presence of tiniest bit of information that is not
wholly compatible with its teachings.
All Iranians well understand that as long as the Islamic state of Iran is in existence there can never be
information available that is not approved by mullahs and imams.
Even foreign sources of wrong information must be blocked as Iranian authorities have so successfully
already done, to prevent the imminent and unavoidable collapse of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as it
undoubtedly will happen if any wrong kind of information is made freely available.
Reuters have the story with the headline:

Iran says uncovers foreign-backed Internet plot

The full story is here:


http://www.reuters.com/article/mediaNews/idUSDAH94217220090319?rpc=60

Best bits from the story:


―TEHRAN, March 19 (Reuters) - Iran has arrested a number of people accused of setting up anti-religious
and obscene web sites as part of a foreign-backed plot to undermine the Islamic Republic, Iranian media
reported on Thursday.
The semi-official Fars News Agency listed the initials of 26 people it said were involved in the case but it did
not make clear whether all of them had been detained in an operation by the intelligence arm of Iran's elite
Revolutionary Guards.
They were part of networks supported by foreign security services, it said, without naming the countries.
"These people ... with the aim to take forward the enemies' goals as part of the soft revolution project acted to
launch a number of anti-religious, obscene and anti-revolutionary web sites," Fars said.
―Thanks to God ... the main and active elements in these networks ... were identified, arrested and handed
over to judiciary officials," IRNA quoted a Guards statement as saying.ć

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mullah
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Leader_of_Iran

Todays video extra is the hilarious


"Thomas Paine: Age of Reason"
by jaskaw @ 19.03.2009 - 23:13:30

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/19/iran-reveals-a-cunning-plot-to-spread-wrong-kind-of-information-on-the-compu
ćDefamation of religionć will not became a crime -
A victory for reason in the UN
A proposal driven through by the Arabic block in the UN to make ćdefamation of religionć forbidden by the
United Nations has been quietly dropped from the menu of the forthcoming anti-racism conference.
This is a clear-cut victory for all humanist, secularist and rationalist forces in the world. Accepting the
original proposal would have made life more difficult for all non-religious people in the future, as any
critique of the religions could have been interpreted as ćdefamation of religionć.
The threat was made even worse as the power to define defamation would have been left the followers of
religions themselves.
This clause would have been also a open invitation for the repressive Muslim governments to persecute freely
those of their own citizens that ćdefameć religion by even harbouring any kind of secularist, humanist or
god-forbid even atheist thougts.

The good news is brought about by the National Secular Society at their website with the headline:

UN drops ―defamation of religionć proposals – but offers no protection to non-believers or apostates

The whole story is here:


http://www.secularism.org.uk/un-drops-defamation-of-religion.html

Best bits:
"The proposals by Islamic countries for an international ban on ―defamation of religionć, which were to be
discussed at an anti-racism conference in Geneva called Durban II organised by the United Nations Human
Rights Council, have been dropped from the meeting‎s draft declaration.
The defamation of religion text had been included after Islamic countries lobbied for them following a 2005
furore over Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. But alarm has spread through Western countries about the
implications of the proposals and an increasing number of countries were threatening to boycott the meeting
unless they were dropped.
The new draft proposals also dropped criticism of Israel and passages concerning reparation for slavery,
which African countries had been seeking. But some issues on which Western liberals were keen were also
excluded: a proposal to challenge discrimination against homosexuals and protection for atheists or apostates.
The new draft, put together by Russian facilitator Yuri Boychenko with Belgian, Egyptian and Norwegian
diplomats, has now to be examined by regional groups at the United Nations.
But Roy Brown of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), who has done much to challenge
and raise awareness of the draft document, said that although the new draft offers some protection to believers
— paragraph 10 mentions only Christians, Muslims and Jews as being victims of ―phobiasć — it offers nothing
to non-believers or apostates who are frequently under attack, especially in Muslim counties."

VerveEarth.com

by jaskaw @ 20.03.2009 - 16:08:34

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/20/defamation-of-religion-will-not-becamo-a-crime-a-victory-for-reason-in-the-un-
Feedback for Post "ćDefamation of religionć will not
became a crime - A victory for reason in the UN"

gruntled atheist [Visitor]

20.03.2009 @ 17:39
Good news at least for now.

elaine K [Visitor]

21.03.2009 @ 14:48
I feel scared at the moment with the victory religion has over laws of the land. We need free speech, however
much we disagree, but if anyone disagrees with any religous doctrine they should be protected from those who
will carry their religous beliefs too far. After all isn't religion founded on kindness to others, and to love your
brothers and sisters.
I am surprised that this 'defamation of religion' was even considered. Am I right to be scared of the future.
"The National Academy of Sciences' Sinister
Scheme to Teach Our Children They're Descended
from Reptiles"
The election of Barack Obama gave many people the feeling that United States is returning to the fold of the
civilized world and the eight years of slow erosion of American society to a religious darkness were just a
nightmare.
Alas, changes in a society do not happen overnight. The onslaught of the creationist that had gained
momentum during the Bush years still continues unabated in many parts of the United States.
A recent book aptly named ―Sowing Atheism: The National Academy of Sciences' Sinister Scheme to
Teach Our Children They're Descended from Reptilesć makes a new record in plain old-time religious
stupidity and it could be bypassed with a laugh, if it would not be the case that this pile of tired crap is
currently used as evidence by the school board of the state of Texas to back up the claims of the creationist
that creationism dressed up as ID should be taught in schools as a ―alternative scientific theoryć and not as a
collection of bronze-age religious beliefs that they really are.
Btw. the writer of this ―Sowing atheismć book holds a degree on ―general scienceć from West Point, but I
have no idea how studying in this military academy gives one credentials in the field of biology. According to
the Wikipedia ―General science is the name of a class usually taught in United States high schools and Junior
High schools. ―
The story at Publishers Newswire is called:

Book, ‫ل‬Sowing Atheism‎ Impacts Crucial Texas Evolution vs. Creation Debate

The whole story is here:


http://publishersnewswire.com/2009/03/16/PNW787_104702.php

"ANNAPOLIS, Md. and AUSTIN, Texas /Publishers Newswire/ — Solving Light Books announced today that
Don McLeroy, controversial Chair of the Texas State Board of Education, has recommended ―Sowing
Atheismć (ISBN: 978-0-9705438-5-1) by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr., to other board members and to the
general public. McLeroy‎s timely recommendation could influence the board‎s final decision on the science
curriculum scheduled for March 27. The Texas decision will determine what is printed in science textbooks
nationwide.
McLeroy extols Johnson‎s succinct demonstration that natural selection, the vaunted lynchpin of evolutionist
reasoning, is not a scientific principle at all, but rather a mere figure of speech that adds nothing to our
understanding of nature. McLeroy has said he plans to raise this issue in the March 26-27 meetings.
Johnson, who holds a general science degree from West Point, wrote ―Sowing Atheismć in response to the
propagandistic book, ―Science, Evolution, and Creationismć published by the National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) in 2008. According to Johnson, McLeroy expects that ―Sowing Atheismć will focus the Texas
board‎s attention on the ―theft of true scienceć by the atheist-dominated NAS hierarchy.
―I‎m delighted with Mr. McLeroy‎s endorsement of ‫ل‬Sowing Atheism,‎ and hope all the board members
read it thoughtfully before they vote. Our nation cannot progress morally, spiritually, or politically so long as
we permit the NAS to teach our children that they are descended by chance from worms,ć Mr. Johnson said."

In the Amazon.com book reviews the chairman Don McLeroy of the Texas State Board of Education says
these rather nice things about ―Sowing Atheismć book:

―In the current culture war over science education and the teaching of evolution, Bob Johnson's SOWING
ATHEISM provides a unique and insightful perspective. In critiquing the National Academy of Science's
(NAS) missionary evolutionary tract, SCIENCE, EVOLUTION AND CREATIONISM, 2008, he identifies
their theft of true science by their intentional neglect of other valid scientific possibilities. Then using NAS's
own statements, he demonstrates that the so-called great process of evolution, natural selection, is nothing
more than a figure of speech. These chapters alone are worth reading the book. Next he shows how the NAS
attempts to seduce the unwitting reader by providing scanty empirical evidence but presented with great
intellectual bullying both secular and religious. He actually embarrasses the NAS with a long list of their
quotes where they make the obvious claim that evolutionists believe in evolution. ―

The book can be found here:


http://www.amazon.com/Sowing-Atheism-National-Sciences-Descended/dp/0970543859/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product

A short clip from the first chapter of the ―Sowing Atheismć tells volumes about the book. Johnson writes:
―Imagine yourself standing in the administrative offices of your local junior high school. You are there to
bring a forgotten lunch to one of your children. Two tall, forbidding men enter wearing black business suits
with red-letter NAS (National Academy of Sciences) armbands. They sneer and brush past you. They ignore
the receptionist and the other people working there, and head straight for the principal‎s office. Just as the
startled educator looks up at the intruders, both slam their fists on his desk. In unison, they cry, ―We represent
infallible science. You must teach these children that they are descended from reptiles. It is impossible to
disprove our findings, and wrong to challenge them; therefore, no other point of view will be tolerated.ć

by jaskaw @ 21.03.2009 - 16:16:26

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/21/the-national-academy-of-sciences-sinister-scheme-to-teach-our-children-they-re-
Algeria peddles a moderate version of Islam in
state-TV
The state of Algeria has been under attack by local ultra-conservative Islamic groups for many years now, but
now Algerian government has decided to fight fire with fire. It is starting a state-owned Islamic TV-station
that is expected to offer a cleansed, non-jihadist version of the Islamic faith to the Algerians.
Algeria has for a long time been considered by the standards of the Arab world as a quite secular and modern
state. The problem however has been that the current ruling one-party government has been losing popular
support after decades of no real change in government. One reason for this has been its growing inefficiency
and talk of a widespread corruption.
There is a quite distinct possibility that the Algerian government is shooting itself in the foot, when it is
bringing the message of Islam more to the forefront in the society. The effort to offer a moderate version of the
Islam to overcome the violent and ruthless version of the same religion is quite understandable, but one has to
be careful on these matters.
It is a however quite possible that the act of simply raising the standing of the religion will strengthen those
who think that the whole society should be based solely on teachings of a religion.
The story is at the Religious Intelligence website with the headline:

Algeria to launch new religious TV station

Full story is here:


http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=4126

"By: Judy West.


Final arrangements are being made for this month‎s launch of a first-of its-kind religious TV station by the
Algerian government. Alongside the already operating Radio Qur'an, this new TV station is tasked to satisfy
the programming needs of a large cross-section of Algeria‎s citizens and enhance national religious identity.
"The new TV station will air religious programmes presented by Algerian Muslim scholars who will offer
fatwas and preaching that are in line with the Maliki School adopted in Algeria," said Minister of
Communication Azzedine Mihoubi. This seems to be part of a concerted effort to shift the focus of Algerian
TV viewers away from the diverging views of the religious channels from the Gulf, as well as the popular
Arabic Christian satellite TV channels. A media advisor for the religious affairs ministry told Magharebia that
the new channel is to be ―an icon of moderation and a platform for disseminating correct religious ideology.ć
Asked to comment on this development, the international director of the Christian TV production company,
Arab Vision, said, ―It is clear that the Algerian authorities hope that by presenting Islam in a moderate way,
they can save some Algerians from being ‫ل‬trapped‎ by radical Islam and its preachers that abound on satellite
broadcasts. They seem to think the problem is one of information only. But the reason why many Muslims
turn away from the religion of their government is because they deeply loathe their government. That may
also explain why so many Muslims in Algeria are interested in the Christian faith.ć
The Ministry of Religious Affairs is encouraging prominent Algerian religious scholars and teachers to use
this medium to speak against terrorism in order to reach the goal of "achieving security and inviting terrorists
to return to their senses." The new satellite channel will initially broadcast eight hours per day, but the plan is
to gradually expand to a comprehensive national program of specialized channels, including one for the
Kabyle culture and language, another targeting children, and a third featuring scientific programming."

http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2009/03/21/do-fundamentalists-really-want-democracy-5804346/

Todays video extra is a extraordinary appearance by Carl Sagan:

Our Place in the Universe - Carl Sagan

by jaskaw @ 22.03.2009 - 23:44:16

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/22/algeria-peddles-a-moderate-version-of-islam-in-state-tv-5810716/
Feedback for Post "Algeria peddles a moderate version of
Islam in state-TV"

Miriam [Visitor]
http://www.craigslistposter.info
24.03.2009 @ 08:46
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I
don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Miriam

http://www.craigslistposter.info
Making ‎eye babies‎
The ultra-conservative American religious right is a source of endless delight for us Europeans. We never tire
to gawk at their outlandish claims and customs and we just love to laugh at their unbelievably narrow-minded
conservativeness.
A recent book by Kevin Roose gives us ample new ammunition as he tells about a year he spent in the collage
founded by the ultra-fundamentalist Jerry Falwell as a secret non-believer.
Of course we have the same kind of religious nuts in Europe too, but here they live on the absolute fringes of
the society hoping that nobody will notice them and question the things they are doing among themselves.
At least here in Scandinavia they would never even dream of trying to impose their medieval values on other
people too, as the case has sadly been in the America in recent years.
But times they are a-changing also in America and the onslaught of the religious right has been stopped for a
moment, as without a direct support of the absolute political elite of the country they will inevitably lose much
wind from their sails given enough time.
Now they are still enjoying the after-effects of the free ride the Bush administration gave them. It is however
quite realistic to expect that the change in general zeitgeist will put a considerable pressure on their power
base and even in America their slide to the fringes of society - where they belong - will be soon under way.
Religious extremism will undoubtedly never go away in America, but its effect on the society can well follow
the European model, given enough time.
Kevin Roose tells about his book at the Mental Floss blog with the headline:

5 Rules from my Semester at America‎s Holiest University

The whole story is here:


http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/23679

Kevin Roose‎s new book, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner‎s Semester at America‎s Holiest University is
about the semester he spent at Liberty University, the late Jerry Falwell‎s college for young evangelicals. The
book can pre-ordered here:
http://www.amazon.com/Unlikely-Disciple-Semester-Americas-University/dp/044617842X

Best bits from the Mental Floss:


BY KEVIN ROOSE:
―For starters, I thought I‎d list the five strangest rules I encountered at Liberty. Per the unofficial school
nickname (ćBible Boot Campć), Liberty is a very strict place. It has a 46-page code of conduct, called ―The
Liberty Way,ć that outlines punishments and monetary fines for specific behaviors. And coming from Brown,
where – by Falwellian standards – the social scene is a notch or two above Sodom and Gomorrah, I had a lot
of adjusting to do.
1) No Sex, Kissing or– Extended Hugging!
Liberty is one of the few universities where the football players have exactly as much sex as the engineers. By
University code, all romantic contact beyond hand-holding is prohibited. Hugs are allowed, but only for a
three-second maximum. (There used to be a Facebook group poking fun at this rule called, ―I Hug for 3
Seconds, Sometimes 4.ć) And some students are actually saving their first kiss for their wedding night.
But I learned that in terms of rules against inter-gender socializing, Liberty isn‎t even close to the strictest
school in America. At Pensacola Christian College, for example, all physical contact between members of the
opposite sex – even hand-shaking – is forbidden. According to one website run by ex-PCC students,―even
couples who are not talking or touching can be reprimanded for what is known on the campus as ‫ل‬optical
intercourse‎ – staring too intently into the eyes of a member of the opposite sex. This is also referred to as
‫ل‬making eye babies.‎
2) No Cursing (or How I Learned to Tame my Tongue)
This was probably the hardest part of my first month at Liberty. Like most secular students, I used to curse
mindlessly and liberally, almost as a way of life.
3) No R-rated movies
On one ill-fated night, the RA on my hall walked in on a roomful of guys huddled around a TV, watching
―300,ć the R-rated war flick about the Spartan army. The seven guys racked up 84 reprimands, they were
fined a combined $350, and the DVD was confiscated.
4) No Demonstrations
According to ―The Liberty Way,ć any student found guilty of ―participation in an unauthorized petition or
demonstrationć earns 12 reprimands and a $50 fine. Which begs the question: If you think a rule against
protesting is unfair, how are you supposed to show it?
5) No Dancing
Baptists are notoriously opposed to bumpin‎ and grindin‎. (Hence the old joke: ―Why don‎t Baptists have
sex standing up? Because it might lead to dancing.ć) At Liberty, 6 reprimands and a $25 fine awaits anyone
found to have attended a dance."

by jaskaw @ 23.03.2009 - 23:00:44

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/23/making-eye-babies-5816723/
Feedback for Post "Making ‎eye babies‎ "

Alanna [Visitor]
http://www.craigslistsimplified.info
24.03.2009 @ 11:48
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I
don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alanna

http://www.craigslistsimplified.info

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
24.03.2009 @ 11:50
Thanks, Alanna. Its always very nice to hear from readers.
Is religion blocking the way to peace in Israel?
The state of Israel is a living contradiction. It is a state created by a very secular socialist movement, but it is
aiming to political achieve goals that are largely based on religious teachings. It is a secular democratic state
with a long and strong tradition of rule by law, but at the same time this state kills its citizens of its neighbors
at will without often giving a single word explanation even to its own citizens.
Israel is a state where the standard of human rights is better than anywhere else in the Middle East has ever
been. Israel has free speech, freedom of the press, a working judicial system and a well-working democracy
that are not found in any other state else in the area.
Still at the same time it is an openly racist state that blatantly discriminates against a part of its own
population and has no concern for the human rights of citizens of an area it has conquered by military
offensive 42 years ago and seemingly has no intention of giving up any time soon.
This contradiction is based on part on the fact the citizenship of this state is not basically based on the place
of birth or the place of birth of one‎s parents, as is the case in all other states of the world, but on to which
religious tradition a person, one‎s parents or even earlier ancestors have adhered to.
It is true that the idea of modern Israel was formed by a group of secular Jewish socialists at the 19th century,
but at the same the time need for a separate Jewish state is based solely on the on the astonishing survival of
a age-old desert religion.

The idea of Israel is not based on a nation with a common language, a common history or even common
cultural heritage if one excludes one very old religious book and its later interpretation. The cold fact of life is
that the very idea Israel is based on common religion as without this religion there would not be an idea of
separate Jewish nation in existence.
Without this religion explicitly denying marriage outside one‎s own religion this small Middle East tribe
would have already vanished without a trace as have vanished long ago the Ammonites, Midianites or
Philistines of the same area and era. These once so proud nations have mixed with other nations to form new
modern nations when Jews have not, simply because they have not had a religion that makes this kind of
mixing quite impossible.
It is much easier to understand Israel when one understands this basic contradiction. The State of Israel has a
very long and strong proud secular tradition, but at the same time it is state that is married to a single and
very demanding religion in a way no other modern nation is.
Even the Islamist states Iran or Saud-Arabia would and could well exist without Islam, but there would never
have been a birth of the state of Israel without the Jewish religion.
The survival of this religion is in fact the only common denominator between these people and it is at the end
the reason has brought these people still believing in the existence of a separate Jewish nationality back to
that corner of world in the first place.

So this law-abiding, secularist, free-wheeling nation of freedom loving and warm-hearted people of Israel has
a much darker side to it. Religion has inevitably an extremely central role in Israel, as the religious festivities
and rituals are in fact only things that tie together this very haphazard collection of people coming from all
corners of the world, from wildly differentiating cultural, historical, political and even ethnic backgrounds.
So religion has a role in the Israeli society that immensely surpasses the role of any religion in any other
democratic nation in the world. The role of religions in the religious theocracies of the Islamic world like Iran
or Saudi-Arabia is of course even greater, but they are not democracies but dictatorships.
The main contradiction is that Israel is a democratic and in many ways a very secular state where religious
community and its demands and needs are very often the prime movers and originators of the official state
policies.

It is already clear that peace in the lands of Galilee is not possible before the religious community loses its
central position of power in Israel, but in a state basically based on that religion it is not realistic to expect
this to happen any time soon.
However time can make an difference, as there is a new sense of secular israeliness forming among the
people that have lived in this land for two or three centuries.
These growingly secular and rational people are already starting to look at world as people living in more
normal nation states do and they are also more prone to compromise and reason with their neighbors. It is
already clear that without some kind of a compromise there will never be a peace in the Middle East.

Today‎s story on comes from the merciless pen of Christopher Hitchens and it is called:

An Army of Extremists
How some military rabbis are trying to radicalize Israeli soldiers.

The whole hog is here:


http://www.slate.com/id/2214440?wpisrc=newsletter

The story begins:


"By Christopher Hitchens
Recent reports of atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers in the course of the intervention in Gaza have
described the incitement of conscripts and reservists by military rabbis who characterized the battle as a holy
war for the expulsion of non-Jews from Jewish land. The secular Israeli academic Dany Zamir, who first
brought the testimony of shocked Israeli soldiers to light, has been quoted as if the influence of such extremist
clerical teachings was something new. This is not the case.
I remember being in Israel in 1986 when the chief army "chaplain" in the occupied territories, Rabbi Shmuel
Derlich, issued his troops a 1,000-word pastoral letter enjoining them to apply the biblical commandment to
exterminate the Amalekites as "the enemies of Israel." Nobody has recently encountered any Amalekites, so
the chief educational officer of the Israeli Defense Forces asked Rabbi Derlich whether he would care to
define his terms and say whom he meant. Rather evasively—if rather alarmingly—the man of God replied,
"Germans." There are no Germans in Judaea and Samaria or, indeed, in the Old Testament, so the rabbi's
exhortation to slay all Germans as well as quite probably all Palestinians was referred to the Judge Advocate
General's Office. Forty military rabbis publicly came to Derlich's support, and the rather spineless conclusion
of the JAG was that he had committed no legal offense but should perhaps refrain in the future from making
political statements on the army's behalf."

by jaskaw @ 24.03.2009 - 23:43:04

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/24/is-religion-blocking-the-way-to-peace-in-israel-5823227/
Feedback for Post "Is religion blocking the way to peace in
Israel? "

elaine [Visitor]

25.03.2009 @ 13:01
Of coourse it is. I was born in to a moderate jewish family and one of my brothers and myself are Athesists.
I saw how religon divides families even in Great Britain. Some Rabbis I believe that they themselves do not
really believe but as in most countries religion will keep people down.
How can religion ever advocate killings of any kind and be considered 'Godly'.
Look at the state of the world, Darfur for example,ask ourselves has religion made a good job or is it for the
Secular to have their day for a change. I am just fed up of talk, talk, and more talk.
ACan we please see action now in these countries like Isreal to set the standard that we all should live by.

moshe rabeynu [Visitor]

10.04.2009 @ 03:20
A TREATISE ON THE NEED FOR A SEMITIC MODERN MASTURBATION MENTALITY

By Rebbe Moshe “hung so lo“ Rabeynu, March 23, 2009


comments

CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS MUST BE INCULCATED AS TO THE BENEFITS OF


MASTURBATION IN THE ATTAINMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF A HEALTHY MIND AND A
HEALTHY BODY! PENT UP SEXUAL FRUSTRATION IN CHILDREN HAS NEVER BEEN
HONESTLY AND ADEQUATELY DISCUSSED AND DEALT WITH IN JEWISH DISCOURSE AND
DOCTRINE. MODERN LIFESTYLES AFFORD INDIVIDUALS THE PRIVACY AND HYGIENIC
FACILITIES NECESSARY TO MASTURBATE IN A PRIVATE, DIGNIFIED AND SANITARY
MANNER. ONE CAN WELL UNDERSTAND THE IRE THAT WAS AROUSED BY MASTURBATING
INDIVIDUALS FOUR THOUSAND YEARS AGO WHEN AN ENTIRE LARGE FAMILY LIVED
TOGETHER IN A TENT IN AN ARID LOCATION. NOBODY WANTED TO HAVE A WAD OF
FLYING JISSUM HIT HIM IN THE EYE OR LAND IN HIS HUMUS. WATER WAS SCARCE AND ONE
HAD TO WALK , SOMETIMES LONG DISTANCES, TO THE WELL TO GET IT, IF IT WAS
AVAILABLE AT ALL. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IT WAS A CHOICE OF WATER FOR
DRINKING OR WATER FOR WASHING EJACULATE OFF OF ONE’S HANDS. THIS IS WHY THE
EARLY SAGES WERE SO VOCIFEROUS IN THEIR CONDEMNATION OF MASTURBATION. WE
JEWISH PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A HORNY BUNCH AND, IF THERE WEREN'T THESE
SEVERE STRICTURES AGAINST MASTURBATION AT THAT TIME, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN
ERRANT CUMSTAINS ALL OVER THE PLACE AND THE SMELL OF FRESHLY RELEASED JISSUM
WOULD HAVE WAFTED FAR AND WIDE, EVEN WITHIN THE HALLOWED HALLWAYS OF THE
SACRED TEMPLE ITSELF. TIMES HAVE CHANGED. IF PARENTS TODAY STRESS THE BENEFITS
OF MASTURBATION TO THEIR CHILDREN, THEY WILL HELP LESSEN THE OCCURRENCE OF
STDs, AND UNPLANNED PREGNANCIES. SCHOLARSHIP LEVELS WOULD INCREASE
DRAMATICALLY WITH THE RELEASE OF PENT UP ADOLESCENT EJACULATORY TENSION.
.WHAT PARENT HASN’T FRETTED AND WORRIED OVER THE MOODINESS AND SURLINESS OF
HIS ADOLESCENT OFFSPRING? THERE IS REALLY NO MYSTERY AS TO WHY THE LITTLE
BASTARDS ARE ACTING OUT SO WILDLY. THEIR HORMONES ARE CAUSING THEM HIGH
LEVELS OF DISCOMFORT AND FRUSTRATION. INSTEAD OF MAKING THEM MASTURBATE
FURTIVELY UNDER THE BEDCOVERS IN A NIGHTLY GUILT- RIDDEN FRENZY OF PENT-UP
SEXUAL DESIRE, THEY SHOULD BE GUIDED TO A CIVILIZED AND GUILT-FREE
MASTURBATORY REGIMEN. IF NECESSARY, PARENTS SHOULD SET AN EXAMPLE FOR THEIR
CHILDREN AS TO THE PROPER METHODOLOGY FOR THIS ACTIVITY AND FOLLOW UP AND
MAKE SURE THAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE MASTURBATING REGULARLY AT AN OPTIMUM
FREQUENCY. KEEPING A MASTURBATION DIARY COULD BE A VERY USEFUL TOOL IN
MAINTAINING THE PROPER SCHEDULE. EVERY PARENT SHOULD ASK HIS CHILDREN ON A
DAILY BASIS, "DID YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND MASTURBATE TODAY?" OH, OF
COURSE, THE CHABADNIKS AND THE FRUMNIKS AND THE HAREDINIKS WILL YELL OUT,
"BUT RAMBAM SAID THIS, AND RASHI SAID THAT AND RABBI AKIVA SAID THIS, AND THAT,
ABOUT THE EVILS OF MASTURBATION." PROBABLY ALL THREE OF THEM WERE
MASTURBATING WHILE THEY WERE WRITING THESE STRICTURES, ANOTHER CASE OF "DO
AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO". WE MUST NOT CONTINUE TO LET OTHERS DO OUR THINKING FOR
US UNDER THE GUISE OF DIVINE REVELATION AND RELIGIOUS EXPERTISE. WE CANNOT LET
BACKWARD LOOKING ZEALOTS WITH THEIR ARCHAIC, OUTDATED AND ANACHRONISTIC
MORALISTIC MISCONCEPTIONS CAST THEIR PALL OVER THE HEALTH-CONSCIOUS
MASTURBATORS OF THE WORLD. SHALOM AND ZEI GEZUNT!

| Show subcomments
amen-ra [Visitor]

29.07.2009 @ 20:52
Do you realize your talking about Masturbation???????????????
Who pays Anjem Choudary to spread hatred?
It is a funny thing really that there is to my knowledge no conspiracy theories claiming that the well known
British firebrand Muslim clerics like Anjem Choudary are in fact on the payroll of the opponents of the Islam.
Anjem Choudary and his brothers in arms have however done an unbelievable amount of damage and harm
to other followers and to the general image of the religion they claim to be defending.
Knowing this it is a miracle that so few members of their own faith have tried to expel them or even distance
them from the Muslim religious community.
The basic problem however is that these religious maniacs are not maniacs in a traditional sense. They are
not inventing these terrible ideas of stoning, flogging or hiding women totally from public view, but are only
presenting the original medieval religious ideas in a society where they are quite foreign and extremely
repulsive.
These ideas were invented in the 7th century and perfected in the couple of following centuries and changing
them in any way has been strictly forbidden for hundreds of years.
In Europe however life went forward from the medieval darkness of Catholic form of Christianity. Now we
have real trouble understanding why the whole world should be governed and even crimes punished
according to some ancient belief-system where the aim of a punishment is just to create maximum amount of
fear with the most cruel and inhuman punishments imaginable.

The Mail Online has the story with the headline:

All homosexuals should be stoned to death, says Muslim preacher of hate

The full story is here


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1163510/All-homosexuals-stoned-death-says-Muslim-preacher-hate.html

Worst bits from the story:


All homosexuals should face stoning to death, a Muslim preacher of hate declared yesterday.
Anjem Choudary, the firebrand cleric who wants to see Britain ruled by Sharia law, said such a regime was
the only way to fix the country's ills.
Under it, adulterers and homosexuals would be killed by stoning. Asked if that would include anybody - even
a Cabinet minister such as Business Secretary Lord Mandelson - Choudary responded with an astonishing
diatribe.
He said: 'If a man likes another man, it can happen, but if you go on to fulfil your desire, if it is proved, then
there is a punishment to follow. You don't stone to death unless there are four eyewitnesses. It is a very
stringent procedure.
'There are some people who are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.'
Choudary was speaking at a press conference in London arranged by Muslim extremists to justify their protest
in Luton last week against soldiers returning home from Iraq.
Here are Pat Condells recent thoughts about Anjem Choudary:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anjem_Choudary
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/89222/-Make-every-woman-wear-a-burkha
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/111694?m=4a83263b
by jaskaw @ 25.03.2009 - 15:31:52

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/25/who-pays-anjem-choundry-to-spread-hatred-5829095/
Feedback for Post "Who pays Anjem Choudary to spread
hatred?"

makarios [Visitor]
http://makarios-makarios@blogspot.com
25.03.2009 @ 21:01
Or you could just go to the atheist blog "so you think I'm a bastard" where he shows a commercial garbage
dumpster with bodies hanging out of it and it's labled, "Christians Only" or where he has a picture with two
"Christian" bodies lying on the ground and two wolves in sheep's skin with blood dripping off of their smiling
faces.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.03.2009 @ 21:08
Is everything okey with you, Mararios? I did not quite get your meaning, but truly I hope you have not had
this kind of visions very often and that this kind of disgusting, gloomy thoughts have not taken over your
mind.

far [Visitor]

03.04.2009 @ 18:55
Soo... who's paying for Anjem Choudary. I know that the British Government pays well for him. Perhaps he's
one of those MI5 double agents we hear about?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
03.04.2009 @ 20:33
I'm not saying anything; it would simply be slander to suggest something like this.
The slow death of freedom of expression
Freedom of expression is one of the very central values in a democracy, as a real democracy cannot really
exist without one.
However democracy is not in vogue in all parts of the world, even if people are paying public lip service to
these ideals on international fields, as public renouncing of freedom of speech and democracy would still
sound quite bad in the current world.
So there is a play of double standards and strange word-play at work. The Organisation of the Islamic
Conference or OIC is especially fond of using United Nations that was created to uphold values like freedom
of speech and democracy as a weapon against upholding just these values on their own countries.
They are even trying to misuse the authority of UN to make ―defamation of religionć a crime condemned by
the UN. An added bonus would be that a decision like this would give them carte blanche at harassing any
voices critical towards the ruling religion among their own borders.
The threat is still there even if the most imminent danger seems to have evaporated, see
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/20/defamation-of-religion-will-not-becamo-a-crime-a-victory-for-reason-in-the-un-

The Index of Censorship –site has the story with the headline

The slow death of freedom of expression

The full story is here


http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2009/03/26/the-slow-death-of-freedom-of-expression/

Excerpts:
"By Roy W Brown, IHEU‎s main representative to the UN in Geneva.
Slowly but inexorably the shutters are coming down on what history will surely recall as one of the
high-points of human civilisation: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first shot was fired by
Ayatollah Khomeini shortly after he came to power in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, when he said: ‫ل‬When
we want to know about human rights we do not go to the UN, we go to the Holy Quran.‎ Since then, Islamic
states and their allies have been slowly whittling away at the Universal Declaration and its counterpart in
international law, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Finally, freedom of expression is coming under increasing threat as the Islamic states seek special protection
against ‫ل‬defamation‎ of their religion.
How has all this come about?
The answer, sadly, is that the majority of member states of the Human Rights Council are united in a single
purpose: not the promotion and protection of human rights, but the prevention of the exposure of their own
human rights abuses.
Meanwhile, other doors had been closing. In March 2008, after a vote engineered by the OIC and supported
by its allies, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Expression was changed to
require him to report on not only violations but on ‫ل‬abuses‎ of that right; thereby, in the words of the
Canadian delegate, ‫ل‬turning the mandate on its head‎.
The combined effect of these changes has been to ratchet up the level of immunity enjoyed by the Islamic
states from investigation and exposure in the Council."

by jaskaw @ 27.03.2009 - 00:02:01


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/26/the-slow-death-of-freedom-of-expression-5838874/
Poll - 70 percent of Americans believe Satan is
real!
I have commented before in this blog on the tremendous difference between the religious experiences on the
different sides of the Pond. Today‎s story is about a heated discussion on a major television channel on the
possible existence of the Devil or Satan and one need not more than second to guess at which side of the
Atlantic this discussion really took place.
The outcome of this discussion is a quite trivial matter, as in religious issues like this there really can never be
real discussion and true exchange of views. People coming to a debate like this will leave with exactly the
same opinions they came in with notwithstanding all the things that were said in the discussion.
Religion simply is a thing where opinions are more fixed and unmovable that in fact in anything else in life.
When one has a stance in these issues he or she simply hears only those things he or she wants to hear.
Emerging new facts can gradually change our views on issues like the conflict in Palestine, but in religious
matters this is unheard of.
The real reason for including this piece in this news-feed was however to exemplify the big difference really is
in handling religious matters in the US media in comparison with its European counterparts.
It is very hard to imagine people to seriously contemplate the existence of a religious figure of speech like
Satan in Finnish of even German television, as anybody really believing in concepts like the Satan would not
be generally be as willing to declare their odd and immensely old-fashioned beliefs in things like Satan so
publicly as their American counterparts seemingly are.

The ABC-News has the story with a headline:

Tempers Flare at Debate on the Devil

Full story is here


http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=7170007&page=1

Excerpts:
"The concept of Satan provokes strong emotions, and sparks a series of fundamental questions about good and
evil, about human nature, and about the nature of God.
The question of whether Satan exists is one of the most contentious theological debates possible, and last
week four fascinating, polarizing people from around the country convened in Seattle to tackle that topic in
the third "Nightline" Face-Off.
According to one poll, 70 percent of Americans believe Satan is real. Some believe he -- and almost all
believers say Satan is a "he" -- is a fallen angel. Others believe Satan is a shapeless, malevolent force; the
enemy of God. But there are also many people who believe that Satan is a myth, and a dangerous one, because
his name is often invoked to justify unspeakable acts of violence."

You can see the whole debate here:


http://abcnews.go.com/nightline/faceoff

PS. I must admit that I used the headline above just because of the the shock-value, as I do not believe it is
right, but when ABC swallows it, it is news. A much more reliable sounding poll-result is here:
"While most of the sample American queried by Barna still affirmed God as the all-powerful Creator, a mere
17 percent of the Catholics, 18 percent Methodists, 20 percent Episcopalians, 21 percent Lutherans, and 22
percent of the Presbyterians told Barna that they thought Satan was real."
http://www.adherents.com/misc/BarnaPoll.html

On the other hand there is this poll which may be the source for the ABC: "Gallup asked Americans if the
devil is something they believe in, something they're not sure about, or something they don't believe in.
Sixty-eight percent said in a May 2001 poll that they believe in the devil, 20% said they don't, and 12% said
they aren't sure."
http://www.gallup.com/poll/7858/Devil-Demographic-Details.aspx

by jaskaw @ 28.03.2009 - 20:04:00

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/28/poll-70-percent-of-americans-believe-satan-is-real-5849147/
Feedback for Post "Poll - 70 percent of Americans believe
Satan is real!"

FAR [Visitor]

03.04.2009 @ 18:56
Satan is real - how do we know that?

It's called the 6th sense. Youtube "god on the brain part 4".
Honor killings are changing to honor suicides in
Turkey
The relationship between the honor killings so prevalent in the Islamic world and the religion is a precarious
one. The Islamic apoplectics are quick to point out that religion does not directly demand these things.
Honor killings are in fact part of ancient local customs that just happen to be still in use in the Islamic world,
even if they have largely disappeared from all other parts of the world.
The crucial thing here is the importance of adhering to traditions is given in a society. When the whole
religion is based on a general strong demand that no things created in this religions name hundreds of years
ago cannot be altered or even questioned in any way, this attitude of not questioning traditions takes
inevitably over whole society.
So the authority of the elders is never questioned, as the religion strongly forbids it. This is true even if they
are carrying on cruel and inhuman medieval traditions that have long ago disappeared in areas where people
can change things even in basic way how the society works, which is in impossible in true Islamic tradition.
On the other hand the honor killing was an concept in use in the Arab societies before the rise of Islam, and
the spread of Muslim Arabic conquerors out of Arabic Peninsula also did spread also these moral concepts to
the lands they did conquer in the name of their new victorious religion.
Sharif Kanaana, professor of anthropology at Birzeit University states that honor killing is:
"A complicated issue that cuts deep into the history of Arab society. .. What the men of the family, clan, or
tribe seek control of in a patrilineal society is reproductive power. Women for the tribe were considered a
factory for making men. The honour killing is not a means to control sexual power or behavior. What's behind
it is the issue of fertility, or reproductive power."

The story of today is from The Independent with the headline:

Women told: 'You have dishonoured your family, please kill yourself'

The whole story is here:


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/women-told-you-have-dishonoured-your-family-please-kill-yourself

Excerpts:
"As Turkey cracks down on 'honour killings', women are now told to commit suicide
By Ramita Navai in Batman, eastern Turkey
When Elif's father told her she had to kill herself in order to spare him from a prison sentence for her murder,
she considered it long and hard. "I loved my father so much, I was ready to commit suicide for him even
though I hadn't done anything wrong," the 18-year-old said. "But I just couldn't go through with it. I love life
too much."
All Elif had done was simply decline the offer of an arranged marriage with an older man, telling her parents
she wanted to continue her education. That act of disobedience was seen as bringing dishonour on her whole
family ? a crime punishable by death. "I managed to escape. When I was at school, a few girls I knew were
killed by their families in the name of honour ? one of them for simply receiving a text message from a boy,"
Elif said.
So-called "honour killings" in Turkey have reached record levels. According to government figures, there are
more than 200 a year ? half of all the murders committed in the country. Now, in a sinister twist, comes the
emergence of "honour suicides". The growing phenomenon has been linked to reforms to Turkey's penal code
in 2005. That introduced mandatory life sentences for honour killers, whereas in the past, killers could receive
a reduced sentence claiming provocation. Soon after the law was passed, the numbers of female suicides
started to rocket.
Most honour killings happen in the Kurdish region, a barren land ravaged by years of war and oppression.
Rural communities here are ruled under a strict feudal, patriarchal system. But as Kurds have fled the fighting
between separatist rebels and Turkey's government, the crime is spreading across the country into its cities
and towns. According to a recent government report, there is now one honour killing a week in Istanbul."

Todays video extra is from Holland, where a reported delves in the mysterious world of Islam

Moderate Islam in The Netherlands?: A Mixed Picture - 1 of 4

Moderate Islam in The Netherlands?: A Mixed Picture - 2 of 4

Moderate Islam in The Netherlands?: A Mixed Picture - 3 of 4

Moderate Islam in The Netherlands?: A Mixed Picture - 4 of 4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honour_killing

Wikipedia tells more: "A recent phenomenon of Honour suicides occurs in Turkey. There have been many
cases when people order or pressure a woman to kill herself; this may be done so that the people avoid
penalties for murdering her. A special envoy for the United Nations named Yakin Erturk, who was sent to
Turkey to investigate suspicious suicides amongst Kurdish girls, was quoted by The New York Times as
saying that some suicides appeared in Kurdish-inhabited regions of Turkey to be "honour killings disguised as
a suicide or an accident."
Over 80 Iraqi women in Diyala province committed suicide, to escape the shame of having been raped. They
choose to become suicide bombers to escape the shame; startlingly, their rapes were planned in advance by 51
year old Iraqi woman Samira Jassam, who confessed to Iraqi police that she organised their rapes so she could
later persuade each of them that to become a suicide bomber was the only way to escape their shame."
by jaskaw @ 29.03.2009 - 22:04:40

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/29/the-relationship-between-the-honor-killings-so-prevalent-in-the-5855480/
Fifteen hundred ‫ل‬debaptised‎ in one week in UK
The once so mighty and victorious Anglican Church of England has long ago started its slide to the outer
fringes of the society, where it really does obviously belong in a modern society.
The forces of tradition are the only real forces still keeping it in the active playing field, but even those
traditions are now breaking.
The habit joining little helpless babies as full-fledged members of religious organizations by a odd little ritual
called ‫ل‬baptising‎ is one of the old traditions that has kept the connection with the religious organizations
alive, but now people also in Great Britain are challenging even this.
The National Secular Society of NSS has been offering a ritual chance to ‫ل‬debaptise‎ oneself and has been
selling also ―certificatesć that tell that the purchaser of the certificate has done this deed.
Now they have the religious folks a bit worried, as renouncing baptism sounds like a quite extreme thing for a
religious person, even if for an atheist it is really a play of words and nothing much more.
The global watchman for the religious circles, the faithful Religious Intelligence –site has the news with the
headline:

Fifteen hundred ‫ل‬debaptised‎ in one week in UK

The full story is here:


http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=4159

Best bits:

"The National Secular Society (NSS) has provided a ‫ل‬certificate of debaptism‎ on its website for five years
which has been downloaded by more than 100,000 people. They have recently introduced a new parchment
copy for £3 which has proved incredibly popular, but the Church is refusing to recognize a need for the
procedure.
The recipient of the certificate declares they ―reject all [the Church‎s] Creeds and all other such superstition
in particular, the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed by Baptism of alleged Original Sin, and
the evil power of supposed demons.ć
It continues: ―I wish to be excluded henceforth from enhanced claims of church membership numbers based
on past baptismal statistics used, for example, for the purpose of securing legislative privilege.ć
The certificate has in fact angered groups on the other side of the debate. Mr Sanderson said: ―There‎s been a
lot of criticism even from atheists about it, saying ‫ل‬what are you bothering with this for, if you don‎t believe
it, what difference does it make doing away with it‎.ć

http://www.secularism.org.uk/107648.html
by jaskaw @ 30.03.2009 - 22:48:25

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/30/fifteen-hundred-debaptised-in-one-week-in-uk-5861951/
Feedback for Post "Fifteen hundred ‫ل‬debaptised‎ in one
week in UK"

moshe rabeynu [Visitor]

11.04.2009 @ 20:14
Are you bored by life in general and by the countless insipid and inane blogs you encounter while trying to
find something amusing, stimulating and interesting? Do you yearn for intelligent and thought provoking
chit-chat instead of the mindless, dull and semi-coherent drivel spewed out by the countless feeble minds that
infest the blogosphere? Are you tired of communicating only with people who talk the way you do and think
the way you do? Do you crave an adventure of the mind and are not afraid to brave the unknown landscape at
the border of lunacy to find it? Well then, pack up your intellectual gear and start out bravely for I am waiting
for YOU at HTTP://theyeshivabucher.blogspot.com

Shalom and zei gezunt until then!


Catholic bishops in US ban Japanese reiki
Atheist News has been concentrating on the darker side of the religions for a while now, but now it it time for
a lighter side of the religious life: A US Catholic bishop has apparently banned Japanese reiki –therapy
because it is ćunscientificć and generally inappropriate for Catholics.
Naturally reiki is simply a matter of belief as is naturally Catholic faith also. There is nothing more
ćscientificć in believing in all the odd articles of the Catholic faith as is in belief in a thing like reiki.
Catholic Church has always tried to with a strong hand suppress all other superstitions than its own. It has
all over the world persecuted mercilessly all followers of local healing traditions and superstitions.
A good Catholic beliefs in miracle healing, as the history of that religion is filled with such ćmiraclesć. A
good Catholic however cannot believe that any other belief-system can produce similar miracles, as these
miracles just are a major selling point in Catholic faith. This very important selling point would be lost, if
believers would be allowed to find similar miracles also outside the Only True Faith.

PS. Professor Nicholas Humphrey has a theory where he says that all the therapies like reiki work by giving a
person the permission to use all his healing capabilities.
He says that the human body tries to conserve these also for future emergencies and they are not
automatically fully used. The important thing is so simply any other person with sufficient authority giving
that permission and the the thing he or she does has no greater value.
You can wacth a video of Nicholas Humphrey talking about his ideas with Richard Dawkins right here at
Atheist News at:
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/01/03/richard-dawkins-interviews-nicholas-humphrey-5317613/

The Guardian has the story with headline:

Catholic bishops in US ban Japanese reiki

Full story is here:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/31/us-catholic-bishops-reiki

Best bits:
"Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
Reiki, an alternative Japanese therapy with a growing band of followers in the west, is "unscientific" and
"inappropriate" for use in Catholic institutions, according to America's bishops.
Guidelines issued by the committee on doctrine at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops warn
healthcare workers and chaplains that the therapy "lacks scientific credibility" and could expose people to
"malevolent forces".
The document also claims that for a Catholic to believe in reiki presents "insurmountable problems".
Reiki means "universal life energy" and was developed by the theology professor Dr Mikao Usui at the turn of
the 20th century, from Buddhist beliefs and Sanskrit teachings. The client lies on a couch, clothed and
relaxing, while the therapist's hands rest lightly on the body in a special sequence. Clients often report heat
and tingling sensations.
The church's guidelines state: "A Catholic who puts his or her trust in reiki would be operating in the realm of
superstition, the no man's land that is neither faith nor science. Superstition corrupts one's worship of God by
turning one's religious feeling and practice in a false direction."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiki

by jaskaw @ 31.03.2009 - 15:17:23

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/31/catholic-bishops-in-us-ban-japanese-reiki-5865614/
Feedback for Post "Catholic bishops in US ban Japanese
reiki"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
31.03.2009 @ 16:35
catholic church itself is superstitious. then what right they have to pass judgement on others.they have nothing
to do with god or christ.christ lead a simple life. the so called leaders of church who holds keys of heaven
enjoy luxurious life with all wordly pleasures.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
31.03.2009 @ 16:39
let them put theirown house in order which is the last thing they want to do, then be on the judge's seat.ask
dante the poet what to do with them.misleading parasites of the society.

Dawn [Visitor]

24.05.2009 @ 01:08
The Catholic church knows the power of Reiki...they're
scared and this only propels our lightworking mission. They will fall; so will every other religion that tries to
control our free will. God is good.
Why women still do not have full human rights in
Afghanistan?
There is a quite strange silence in the western media about the crude fact of life that Afghanistan would still
be one of the most repressive and backward societies of the world even if the Taliban would be extinguished
from the face of the earth in a single puff today.
One of the reasons is of course is the sad fact that Afghanistan simply is one of the absolutely least developed
countries of the world. The level of education in that country has always been simply pitiful and its shaky
economy to start with is in shambles after decades of warfare and inner strife.
However the main reason for the intensifying repression of the female population of Afghanistan is not the
economy or lack of education, but the traditional patriarchal culture much intensified by the patriarchic
religion.
This age-old masculine culture is mainly been kept alive by the extremely conservative Islamic faith. Its
continuing reign has preserved the distasteful and morbid medieval customs quite intact and alive in
Afghanistan, even if they at the same have disappeared from most of the lands that have had the luck to have
religion with a more positive attitude towards change in a society.
Now the Afghan culture is a museum of medieval (and even much older) attitudes towards women and as long
as Islam in its present form is in the lead there is no real hope of a change.
Taliban presented an violently extreme interpretation of Islam, but the warlords and local chieftains
eventually replacing it were really no bastions of modernity either.
Too often they were not in fact really ideologically opposed to it, as their opposition stemmed more from
ethnic and historical reasons and also from a simple lust for power. The Taliban tried to subdue the local
chieftains to their absolute authority, which of course was their biggest mistake.

The English site of the Radio France has today‎s story with the headline:

Afghan government backs plan to split Taliban

The full story is here:


http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/111/article_3344.asp

Best bits:
―Afghan government representatives at Tuesday's international conference at the Hague endorsed the US
government's plan to win over fighters from the Islamist insurgency. But they seemed unclear as to whether
potential defectors were "good Taliban". US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed that there had been
"unplanned" contact between special envoy Richard Holbrooke and the Iranian delegation during the
conference.
Clean up corruption and hold free and fair presidential elections in August wers the principal messages to
Afghan President Hamid Karzai‎s government at Tuesday‎s international conference on Afghanistan.
And most speakers backed US President Barack Obama‎s plan to try and win defectors from the Taliban
insurgency, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claiming that a majority of the movement‎s fighters were
motivated by desperation, not ideology.
The Afghan government seems enthusiastic about the idea.ć
Todays video extras are on the subject:

The rights of women in Afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan: Field Report from Women for Women Int'l

Afghan women cry for help

by jaskaw @ 01.04.2009 - 23:32:58

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/01/afghanistan-taliban-human-rights-chieftains-islam-women-rights-5874678/
Feedback for Post "Why women still do not have full human
rights in Afghanistan?"

Behzad [Visitor]

02.04.2009 @ 01:48
White man's burden.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
02.04.2009 @ 09:49
Dear Behzad; I don't quite get it. What white men have exactly done in Afghanistan to keep the society in a
state of no development under the past couple of centuries? The British were mauled and driven away in
1800s, the Russians did not fare much better and could not in the end change anything and Americans have
not had time to do just about anything yet.

Päiviö [Visitor]

12.04.2009 @ 22:18
Dear Jaskaw!

Happy Easter and feast of the weakening nature!

What else you are doing than constructing these several blogs?

I have written during, about, one year how problematic tragic and catastrofalic) - but also fruitful (if and when
it works) is the relationship between man and woman. In Afganistan you have seen - and in some other
muslim societies - what it really means, and how "impossible" it seems to get rid of this magic sphere. I have
written to you again and again that the tragic darkness of European Christianity - during hundreds of years -
was the result of the false relationship of man and woman - and it was the result of asceticism beginning from
200 AD. And the asceticism - not beginning originally from Christianity but Stoicism.

If you not value my views otherwise - you may value the info that following my 70's birthday last November
there were collected money more than 1500 euros (instead of flowers and presents for me) for a Christian
project educating women and girls in Afganistan. We got very sad news just one week before my feast that
one of the foreign womenworkers of the project was shot dead in A.

Yours
Päiviö

Päiviö [Visitor]

12.04.2009 @ 22:31
This time of year the nature is awakening - and not weakening like I wrote in my comment above! :-)

Dear Westerners - Let us rise up and help the women of mankind.

Päiviö
Jürgen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming,
“Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and
democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity].
We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.” Europe may be
confronting the dilemmas of a truly multifaith society, but with Christianity poised for a comeback, it is
hardly on the verge of becoming an Islamic colony.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
16.04.2009 @ 18:47
You must mean the statement from the dialogue with Pope. I have however a strikingly different original of
the statement, where the role of Christianity is quite different than in your quotation. Is it even possible that
some Christian has doctored the original to make it more flattering to his beliefs?

Here is the original quote from Habermas, Jurgen, "Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God, and
Modernity", Edited by Eduardo Mendieta, MIT Press, 2002, page. 149:

"For the normative self-understanding of modernity, Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor
or catalyst. Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in
solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human
rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This
legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of a continual critical reappropriation and
reinterpretation. Up to this very day there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a
post-national constellation, we must draw sustenance now, as in the past, from this substance. Everything else
is idle postmodern talk."

Read carefully both version and you start seeing big differences. It's funny that the original is already quite
positive on asserting the moral message of the religion, but even that has not been enough for the crusaders of
faith.
The rise (and fall) of Atheist News

Here are the numbers, and they are good. The Atheist News has seen a spectacular rise in popularity during
the last few months, but sadly this success did come with a price.

But let me explain first. One night last October I sat here on my computer fuming over a person that had taken
offense because I had been supplying interesting English-language links to a Finnish free-thinker and atheist
discussion e-mail list. This person however did not want to see any foreign language in the postings at all.

I there and then decided to start a new blog where I would supply those same links and also air my thoughts
on the issues coming up in the links. The basic form was created on that single fateful night and since that
night I have posted 184 entries in six months; a posting or two every day with a very few exceptions.

On many occasions my comments have grown to be mini-essays on the subject of the day and they have often
taken considerable time to complete. The biggest job however has always been finding the interesting links
and subjects, especially as I have tried to keep up the quality and concentrate on the mainstream media and
have left the Blogistan alone.

Finding a suitable news-item has taken sometimes hours. It has became an increasing burden even if has
always been a labor of love. But now I have decided to ease up on this thing, as I have now seen the limits of
one-man-band in trying to be a news-agency.

So, the daily posting of Atheist News are hereby ceasing. This thing is not however disappearing altogether
from the map, but the frequency of the postings will inevitably be diminished dramatically in the future.

This decision is based on a few raw facts of life. I have a regular day job as a newspaper journalist reporting
on economy and besides it I run a small computer-repairing -business on the evenings and week-ends.

I also write every month a few news-stories to the largest computer related monthly magazine in Finland, that
is Mikrobitti.

As that would not be enough to keep me occupied, I have three other very active blogs; two in the Finnish
language called "Ajatuksia olemisesta" and "Bittitohtori tarinoi" and onwe in English called "Being Human"
I have also created a ning-community for Atheist Bloggers and have created a similar group in Facebook
called naturally Atheist Bloggers.There is also a Facebook Cause I have started to oppose the medieval justice
system in use in Iran called "Stop the medieval cruelty in Iran"

As you can see there is already rather much to do on these things, but besides all this I try to do my small part
in the free-thinker -movement in Finland that is in the Suomen Vapaa-ajattelijat where I am involved also in
some minor official duties.

It is easy to see that all of that is impossible to do well simultaneously and so I am giving up on the burden of
daily postings that I have taken myself voluntarily.

I am not saying goodbye however, as this is not the end, but beginning of a new phase. If something
interesting pops up, I will post it here, but I will not be running through the Internet for hours on end every
day to find an piece suitable for the Atheist News.

I am also thinking of collecting some of the ramblings published here and re-publish them in more coherent
essay-form in my more ambitious blog, that is the Being Human.

by jaskaw @ 04.04.2009 - 15:22:53

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/04/the-rise-and-fall-of-atheist-news-5888385/
Baha‎is face increasingly violent attacks in the
Muslim world
One things puzzling many western observers is the vigor with which the followers of the Baha‎i faith are
harassed in the Islamic world, even if the Christians and followers of many other faiths can often live quite
peacefully in the same neighborhoods.
What in Baha‎i faith makes it so repulsive to Islam? The key here is not difference, but the similarity. Baha‎i
is a syncretistic faith taking its cues from all the major monotheistic faiths preceding it, but especially from
Islam.
It is often forgotten that Islam is a quite similar collection of influences from older religions based on
revelations of a single man, just as is Baha‎i.
Baha‎i is dangerous because its founder Bahá'u'lláh did the exactly the same thing as a certain Mohammad
did 1300 years earlier. If one accepts the fact a religion can be founded on the revelation of a single man,
who has been given from above the best interpretation of all knowledge, there is no stopping the idea that
there can be a later and even better revelation that surpass the old ones.
That is also the real reason why followers of Islam are forced to say several times every day that Mohammed
and his revelations are the only source of wisdom. This is done to keep away the dangerous idea that there
can be even later and better divine revelations by similar man.
As a religion is only a idea or collection of ideas, it can be replaced in an instant by new and more promising
ideas.
The guardians of Islam of are well aware of that danger and so the baha‎is are under a constant barrage, as
they present a much more real danger the Islamic religious establishment than any of the other religions.
Baha‎is are persecuted even in Egypt, where the role of the religion is much less central in the society tha in
Iran, where the persecution has been very intensive during the years of Islamic rule.
The Egyptian initiative for Personal Rights has the story with the headline:

Burning of Houses Belonging to Baha'is in "al-Chouraneya" Village

Full story is here:

http://www.eipr.org/en/press/09/0204.htm

Excerpts:

"Six Egyptian human rights organizations today urged the Public Prosecutor to initiate an immediate
investigation into assaults committed against Baha'i Egyptians over the past several days in the southern
governorate of Sohag. In a complaint filed this morning, the groups called for the investigation to include
those responsible for the direct incitement to the assaults and asked that the matter be referred urgently to
criminal trial.
"The heinous and unprecedented attacks on Baha'i Egyptians are a crime against all Egyptians,― the rights
organizations said. ―We shall never allow the perpetrators of these crimes to benefit from the same climate of
impunity that has marred the government's response to sectarian violence against Egyptians Copts over the
last four decades.ć
On 31 March at approximately 7 pm, the attacks escalated when some residents of the village—known by the
victims—threw improvised firebombs and Molotov cocktails at the homes of the five Baha'i families living in
the village, leading to the partial destruction of the houses. The victims said that the assailants broke or
disabled the water connections to their homes to prevent them from putting out the fires. According to the
victims, the assailants also broke into the houses, vandalizing property inside and stealing some electrical
appliances and livestock. There were no human injuries or losses. The attacks prompted some of the Baha'i
families to flee their homes and hide in the fields until the following morning. The police arrived during the
attacks and again dispersed the assailants; there was no information that any of the assailants had been
arrested."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baha'i tells more about the general condition of Baha'i in the Islamic world:

―Bahá'ís continue to be persecuted in Islamic countries, especially Iran, where over 200 believers were
executed between 1978 and 1998. The marginalization of the Iranian Bahá'ís by current governments is rooted
in historical efforts by Shi`a clergy to persecute the religious minority. When the Báb started attracting a large
following, the clergy hoped to stop the movement from spreading by stating that its followers were enemies of
God, and these led to mob attacks and public executions. Starting in the twentieth century, in addition to
repression that impacted individual Bahá'ís, centrally-directed campaigns that targeted the entire Bahá'í
community and institutions were initiated. In one case in Yazd in 1903 more than 100 Bahá'ís were killed.
Later on Bahá'í schools, such as the Tarbiyat boys' and girl's schools in Tehran, were closed in the 1930s and
'40s, Bahá'í marriages were not recognized and Bahá'í texts were censored."

Todays video extra is a wonderful analysis on Open-mindedness:

by jaskaw @ 05.04.2009 - 11:11:56

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/05/baha-is-under-violent-attack-in-muslim-world-one-things-5892732/
Orthodox Israeli newspapers forge photos to hide
woman ministers
The Israeli propaganda machine has been always extremely eager to point out all the wrong-doings going on
based on kooky extremist religious beliefs in the Muslim world.
There is no doubt about that there is a lot of it going on is the Muslim world, but on the same time it is often
forgotten that Israel has its fair share very hard core extremist religious fanatics, who in fact affect the goings
on that country quite out of proportion to their actual numbers.
These religious extremists have great trouble in reaping the rewards of the advances in science and
technology, but remaining true to a bronze-age system of conduct at the same time.
This combination leads to famously silly situations, as they try to use the things modern science has produced
that ease human life immensely, but at the same time try to live as following a ramshackle collection of old
religious commands and beliefs to the extreme is quite enough of a basis for a life of a whole nation.
The good old BBC world service has the latest silliness with the headline:

Papers alter Israel cabinet photo

The full story is here


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7982146.stm

Best bits:
Two ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspapers have altered a photo of Israel's new cabinet, removing two female
ministers.
Limor Livnat and Sofa Landver were grouped with the rest of the 30-member cabinet for their inaugural
photo.
But Yated Neeman newspaper digitally changed the picture by replacing them with two men. The Shaa Tova
newspaper blacked the women out.
Publishing pictures of women is viewed by many ultra-orthodox Jews as a violation of female modesty.
Other Israeli papers reprinted the altered images next to the original photos, with one headlining it "Find the
lady".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-Orthodox tells more:

"Halacha is a guide for everything the traditional Jew does from the moment of awakening until the moment
of sleep. It is a body of intricate laws, combined with the reasoning on how such conclusions are reached.
Halacha incorporates as rules many practices that began as customs, some passed down over the centuries,
and an assortment of ingrained behaviors. It is the subject of intense study in religious schools known as
yeshivas.
Some Haredi poskim (authorities in Jewish law) forbid television and films, reading secular newspapers and
using the Internet for non-business purposes. They feel thatmobile phones should be programmed to disable
internet and other functions that could influence their users in undesired ways, and most companies in Israel
now offer basic cell phones with limited capabilities to accommodate Haredim. However, it appears that many
Haredi people use the Internet, as evidenced by the large number of participants in "Haredi chat rooms".
Another important stricture is the prohibition of publishing/viewing photographs of women; the newspaper
Yated Neeman in April 2009 digitally altered photographs of the newly installed Israeli cabinet to replace two
female ministers with pictures of men, while another newspaper blacked the women out of their published
photograph."

by jaskaw @ 06.04.2009 - 22:20:08

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/06/orthodox-israeli-newspapers-forge-photos-to-hide-woman-ministers-5901487/
Study shows: Prayer is talking to a imaginary
friend
A recent study tells that praying is seen in the MRI-scans of the brain as a strikingly similar activity as talking
to a friend. This result is however no surprise, as praying IS talking to a imaginary friend. Often in the
Muslim and Jewish world this god they think they are talking to is however no real friend, but a angry and
extremely demanding imaginary father figure.
Praying has of course many different roles in different situations. For example praying for a sick person can
give the person doing the praying an illusion that he or she is really doing something in a situation where he
or she is in fact helpless.
Daily prayers are of course on important tool in constructing the bond between a person and a religion.
The time and effort used in that activity would seem to be wasted, if one starts to doubt this faith. So time used
in praying is a common reason why people start collecting evidence in support of their faith and start actively
discarding evidence contradicting it. Otherwise all this effort would seem as wasted.
This is one of the main reasons why in Islam people have to abondon their normal life five times a day to talk
to a imaginary father figure in the sky.
Praying is finally of course really also talking to a imaginary friend. On many occasions it would be
immensely nice to have a unseen friend, who is really interested in your doings and goings on.
So people are so eager to accept a imaginary friend when is on offer as a ready made package. The
psychological rewards for believing that there really is somebody listening to you all the time are so immense,
that you will want to brush away those saying that there really are no imaginary friends.
The New Scientist has the story with the headline:

Praying to God is like talking to a friend

The full story is here;:


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227033.600-praying-to-god-is-like-talking-to-a-friend.html?DCMP=NLC-nl

Excerpts:
"IS PRAYER just another kind of friendly conversation? Yes, says Uffe Schjødt, who used MRI to scan the
brains of 20 devout Christians. "It's like talking to another human. We found no evidence of anything
mystical."
Schjødt, of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and colleagues, asked volunteers to carry out two tasks
involving both religious and "secular" activities. In the first task, they silently recited the Lord's Prayer, then a
nursery rhyme. Identical brain areas, typically associated with rehearsal and repetition, were activated.
In the second, they improvised personal prayers before making requests to Santa Claus. Improvised prayers
triggered patterns that match those seen when people communicate with each other, and activated circuitry
that is linked with the theory of mind - an awareness that other individuals have their own independent
motivations and intentions (Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsn050)."

by jaskaw @ 08.04.2009 - 22:11:27

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/08/study-shows-prayer-is-talking-to-a-imaginary-friend-5912934/
Feedback for Post "Study shows: Prayer is talking to a
imaginary friend"

Joannahdb [Visitor]
http://myscones.com
09.04.2009 @ 12:43
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I
don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Joannah

http://myscones.com

Greg Mundy [Visitor]


http://www.jesusisnoexcuse.com
21.04.2009 @ 17:44
Hello All,

Prayer should only been seen as meditation. I can't


get over how when someone prays for something, like for one to get well or survive cancer and then when
they die, they never say anything. However, if they live or get well, Oh boy, isn't God great or pray the
Lord,he answered my prayers. If praying worked, we all would be rich or at least AIG Ceos. There is a great
new book out called "Jesus is no Excuse" that you must check out on Amazon.com or go to
www.jesusisnoexcuse.com
Take Care and pray for me (heh)
How Christians took over the Feast of Spring?
Have you ever wondered why the crucifixion and the alleged rise from dead of a certain Jewish preacher just
happened so nicely to coincide with the age-old feast of yearly rebirth of the Mother Nature and the beginning
of a new growing season?

Of course it was no coincidence, but part of a well planned myth.This story probably has its original roots in
a real life story of a Jewish preacher that the guardians of the purity of the Jewish faith ultimately condemned
to death, as similar fate did befall on many similar preachers in the Jewish community of that time.

We have however only the word of the writers of the biblical stories about the exact timing and nature of that
death sentence or about all the goings on that did lead to it. It has been however clearly shown that there
writers had in fact no firsthand knowledge of the things they were writing about many decades after the
events.

They were in fact creating a myth that would suit as a major selling point for their new and aspiring religion;
The myth of victory over death, that can be achieved by of course only by joining this religion and accepting
its absolute authority and validity of its beliefs without questioning any of them.

Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman tells more how this book was created and perfected to become a tool for
spreading this religion:
http://www.salon.com/env/atoms_eden/2009/04/03/jesus_interrupted/?source=newsletter

I have also written about the real meaning of Easter here:


http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2009/04/07/what-is-the-real-message-of-easter-5906265/

The main story of today is however by the always reliable atheism-guide Austin Cline from About.com and it
tells how Christian took over the age-old Festival of Spring.
The headline for the story is:

Is Easter a Christian or Pagan Holiday? Unpacking the Pagan Elements of Easter

The full story is here:

http://atheism.about.com/od/easterholidayseason/p/PaganChristian.htm

Best bits:

"Easter is the oldest Christian holiday, but how much of the most public and common celebrations of Easter
today remain Christian in nature? Many people go to church — far more than go the rest of the year — but what
else? Easter candy isn‎t Christian. The Easter bunny isn‎t Christian. Easter eggs aren‎t Christian. Most of
what people commonly associate with Easter is pagan in origin; the rest is commercial. Just as American
culture secularized Christmas, it‎s secularizing Easter.
Pagan roots of Easter lie in celebrating the spring equinox, for millennia an important holiday in many
religions. Celebrating the beginning of spring may be among the oldest holidays in human culture. Occurring
every year on March 20, 21, or 22, the spring equinox is the end of winter and beginning of spring.
Biologically and culturally, it represents for northern climates the end of a ―deadć season and the rebirth of
life, as well as the importance of fertility and reproduction.

A focus of spring religious festivals was a god whose own death and rebirth symbolized the death and rebirth
of life during this time of the year. Many pagan religions had gods who were depicted as dying and being
reborn. In some legends this god even descends into the underworld to challenge the forces there. Attis,
consort of the Phrygian fertility goddess Cybele, was more popular than most. In other cultures he acquired
different names, including Osiris, Orpheus, Dionysus, and Tammuz.

Two of Eostre‎s most important symbols were the hare (both because of its fertility and because ancient
people saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg, which symbolized the growing possibility of new life. Each
of these symbols continues to play an important role in modern celebrations of Easter. Curiously, they are also
symbols which Christianity has not fully incorporated into its own mythology. Other symbols from other
holidays have been given new Christian meanings, but attempts to do the same here have failed."

Todays video extra is "Jesus Christ - the Lord of the Dance"

by jaskaw @ 10.04.2009 - 16:17:50

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/10/how-christians-took-over-the-feast-of-spring-5921819/
Feedback for Post "How Christians took over the Feast of
Spring?"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
10.04.2009 @ 17:40
i was a christian, a catholic. ileft it. it is nothing but hooliganism. mentally enslaving fellow beings and
making them to lick their leader's feet.they boast they are the keepers of the keys of heaven.these are all
lies.they want power, money. and all pleasures of worldly life. they kill, rape, abuse children.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
10.04.2009 @ 17:44
they say christ was born in a cattle shed. led a simple life, the so called followers lead kingly life.why waste
time for all these lies. so don't give any importance to such things.

Päiviö [Visitor]

13.04.2009 @ 16:09
Jaakko

Congratulations! You have found a new "da Vinci Code".


...And also great experts (your followers) and promoters of scientific knowledge, and research concerning
matters you are publishing by means of ever increasing number of blogs. For English-speaking world... quite a
lot of significant commentators - and -discussion! You are surely using your lifetime wisely!... are you?

Päiviö

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
13.04.2009 @ 23:23
You seem not to be familiar with the story of how the New Testament was formed. For those in the know
there is nothing new in this little piece. You can begin with these:

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=71656516827&h=svdhZ&u=NEmUp&ref=mf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMo5R5pLPBE

Päiviö [Visitor]

14.04.2009 @ 16:40
Jaakko

I happen to know these "figures" obviously better than you.

My brother, 20 years younger, is a Th.D. (and perhaps? also some professor) of Old Testament - and just
concerning the Biblical exegesis! :-)
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
15.04.2009 @ 22:30
I don't believe it's important how long you delude yourself, I'm afraid that the delusion can in fact become
more serious with time.
The real thing here is that the real data does not matter at all in these things, if you just use it to find the
answers you had before you even knew the data.
The things you don't like are just brushed away and the non-Christian scientists studying these matters are left
out in the cold, as they are always saying things that don't fit in the picture for the Christian 'scientists'.
That is the reason they there still can be a thing called 'theology', that some people really believe to be a form
of science, when it really is just a form of finding new ways to support an old and tired ideology.

Päiviö [Visitor]

15.04.2009 @ 22:57
I don't believe it's important how long you delude yourself, I'm afraid that the delusion can in fact become
more serious with time.
The real thing here is that all details of the new data you collected does not matter at all in these things, if you
just use it to find the answers you had before you even knew the data.
The things YOU DON'T LIKE are just brushed away and the Christian scientists studying these matters are
left out in the cold, as they are always saying things that don't fit in the picture for the atheistic 'scientists'.
That is the reason there still can be a thing called 'ideology of truth', that some people really believe to be a
form of science, when it really is just a form of finding new ways to support a quite "fresh" but stubborn
thinking.

Päiviö
Does religiosity breed racial intolerance?
A recent study by the famed Gallup-organization gives strong evidence that rise in religiosity is generating
racial intolerance in societies. According to this study those living in the more religious societies are far more
likely to say that their community is not a suitable place to live for ethnic or racial minorities than more those
living in more secular societies.
This happens even though only of the modern world-religions only Judaism is claiming a direct connection
between the religion and the ethnic nationality, even this link is an artificial illusion after two millennia of
Diaspora and the fact during history ethically quite differing people having been converted to Judaist faith.
The real reason is for this phenomenon is mostly not religion in itself, but the inevitable and historical fact
that strong religiousness is nearly always strongly connected to strong conservatism. A major part of the
general conservative outlook has always been general fear of all people differing in any way from the
mainstream.
So this tendency for racial intolerance in more religious societies is necessarily not caused by the religious
message itself, but by the inevitable strong connection between religiousness and conservativity.
The liberal-minded religious people are generally as liberal in their attitudes towards ethnic and racial
minorities as all other liberals, but this study again shows clearly how religiousness breeds narrow-minded
conservative attitudes throughout the world.
The Gallup -website tells about the study:

More Religious Countries, More Perceived Ethnic Intolerance

The whole story is here at the original Gallup-website:


http://www.gallup.com/poll/117337/Religious-Countries-Perceived-Ethnic-Intolerance.aspx

Highlights:
"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup Polls conducted in 139 countries between 2006 and 2008 reveal that in
countries where a higher percentage of citizens say religion is important in their daily lives people are also
more likely to say that their communities are not good places for ethnic or racial minorities to live. However,
this trend is not linear. Countries with average levels of religiosity -- comparatively speaking -- report about as
much intolerance as the world's most religious countries.
While this measure of religiosity is significantly related to the average GDP in a country -- meaning the richer
a country is, the less likely its residents are to say religion is important in their lives -- the link between
religiosity and ethnic and racial intolerance exists beyond the differences that can be explained by national
income.
After Hindus, Christians are the religious group that reports the lowest level of ethnic intolerance in their
communities. In fact, Christians report only slightly more ethnic and racial intolerance than do secularists. In
contrast, those in other major faith traditions -- Muslims, Buddhists, and Jews -- are substantially more likely
than are secularists to say that the places where they live are not good places for ethnic and racial minorities.
Jews are more than twice as likely as secularists to report that their communities are not good places for ethnic
and racial minorities.
Among Christians and Muslims, those who say that their religion is the one true religion are the most likely to
say their communities are not good for ethnic and racial minorities. In some cases then, exclusionary views of
religion are accompanied by exclusionary views of race and ethnicity.

by jaskaw @ 16.04.2009 - 20:28:59

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/16/does-religiosity-breed-racial-intolerance-5956008/
Feedback for Post "Does religiosity breed racial
intolerance?"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
17.04.2009 @ 13:11
the real hinduism is not an organised one.hiduism teaches loka 'samasta sukhino bhavantu'. all the world be
happy. even creatures and nature.hinduism is a way of living. when religion become organised, then
selfishness starts.it is organised by fanantics who want to make their fellow men their slaves.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
17.04.2009 @ 13:17
religion is very personal.pope, or mulla has nothing to do with it.no body has given them the keys of heaven.
they r liers, cheaters.my dearest brothers of the univers get away from the clutches of these anarchists.god is
love. and love is god. these people spread hatred, intolerance and violence in the name of god.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
17.04.2009 @ 13:21
even lucifer will flee seeing them.love every body. love , love, love, love, selfless love. that is religion.
distribute everything whatever you are having to the poor and take thy cross and follow me. these are to be
preached on the pulpit and not to be practiced by the leaders as they have the keys of heaven

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
17.04.2009 @ 13:24
they are whitewashed tombs.in it only vermins.rotten flesh and dirty smell.don't go near it.b on your legs.god
is not to fear. it is love.

George [Visitor]

19.04.2009 @ 18:20
Well, duh! The primary purpose of religion is to vividly distinguish between "us" and "them." That's how you
motivate people to oppress/kill others much like themselves for the benefit of the group/town/nation's rulers.
That's the evolutionary advantage of the religious beliefs and rituals. Any additional distinguishing features of
the out-group are an additional advantage. Race, sex, dress, customs, whatever, religious belief spreads by
clearly distinguishing between the superior in-group and the sub-human out-group.
Is censorship creeping into Facebook?
I will take a leave from the normal posting of external links, as I had a rather uncanny experience last night
when I tried to post a link to Carl Sagan‎s "Origins" in YouTube in my Facebook links.

I got this rather ominous response "Some content in this message has been reported as abusive by Facebook
users." and I could not post the link to this quite innocent piece where Carl Sagan tells about his views on
evolution, which are based solely on scientific facts.

I still hope that it was just a technical glitch, as I could post the same piece later that night without trouble.
Very troubling was however that this was the very first time ever that I heard that Facebook even has systems
in place that make it possible to prevent publishing information that is deemed to be of a wrong kind.

This incident hints that lurking in the wings is readymade system for monitoring the content published on the
user‎s Facebook-profiles. It is however no wonder that there are such systems, as it has been made clear on
many instances that platform-providers are held responsible for the user content that is published in their
systems.

I am very worried about these developments, as available means of censorship always breed possibilities to
start using it to suppress not only criminal or on offending material on the personal or racial level, but also the
material that is deemed as politically or ideologically wrong by the some vocal political or ideological groups
out there.

I am at the same time really worried sick about the campaign by the Arabic OIC-countries to label offending
religious sensitivities as criminal offence in the ongoing UN Durban II - conference concentrating on racism.

A resolution by an official-sounding unit of the United Nations would be a handy tool in preventing any
criticism of the Islamic ideology that is much, much more than just a set of personal beliefs. Islam is a very
active and potent political and social force in very many societies and stopping criticizing it is simply not an
option for people like me.

The really troubling thought is that Facebook already has in place tools that would eventually to make it
possible to filter away all the content that anybody with religious ideology will deem as offensive.

The funniest thing here is that if things on my Facebook-page would never reach the eyes of those really
taking offence from it, as my Facebook-circle is made up of nonbelievers, freethinkers, agnostics, atheist,
humanists and secularists.

Facebook is for me a tool for networking in just these circles and losing ability to post things interesting just
these people would force at least me to leave Facebook for good.

PS. Another troubling thought is that Facebook would be following the system in place in YouTube that
makes it possible to report abusive content. This system is now widely misused by the religious extremists to
mark all material that is critical to their faith. We all are in trouble if Facebook would take this system and
swallow it whole, as it is critically biased as it exists now.

Btw. the Carl Sagan-video is here


by jaskaw @ 18.04.2009 - 23:18:19

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/18/is-censorship-creeping-into-facebook-5967674/
Feedback for Post "Is censorship creeping into Facebook?"

Doggy Dogg [Visitor]


http://www.DamnedIfGodExists.com
19.04.2009 @ 01:47
I wonder what would happen if enough people got together and ongoingly reported random videos on
YouTube.

Could it cripple, or even disable a good portion of YouTube? Could it bring any human verification step (on
YouTube's end, if it exists) of the reporting process to its knees? Probably, any effect would be shortlived,
until they write a better alogrithm, but it would be fun to watch!

As regards FaceBook, I suppose that reporting random stuff on FaceBook would be social suicide. XD

mynameisadam [Visitor]

19.04.2009 @ 09:04
get a large group of people to flag every pro-religious video on youtube. Sites with a large readership like
digg, reddit, fark, 4chan etc can easily get a large number of people behind a plan like this.

Utilize something like the internet megaphone it seems to be quite effective in rallying people with a similar
interest.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaphone_desktop_tool

problem equalized

Josh [Visitor]
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=208601998
01.05.2009 @ 07:21
I agree entirely. I attempted to send a Message, that is a private message, to another facebook user from my
account. This message included a link to a torrent from the website piratebay. Apparently users have found
links to torrent..abusive? WTF?
Saudi-Arabia wants secret cameras on Internet
cafes
It is really funny that people that truly believe to be holders of the final and unchanging truth can be at the
same time worried about people getting hold of information that is contradictory to their beloved Final Truth.
One should on the contrary assume that people with this kind of extremely firm beliefs would be very relaxed
about there being contradictory information available, as they would surely know that the real and final truth
would always win at the end.
It is a sure sign of fatal weakness, if just the availability of contradictory information to ruler‎s beliefs is a
problem.
Censorship is a sure sign of that even the central guardians of the faith do not really believe that their faith
can survive on its own merits alone, but it must be forced on people and they cannot be given any chance to
see information that contradict in any way their faith.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information or the ANHRI.NET has the story with the headline:

After blocking ten thousand sites in Saudi Arabia, new security measures against Internet Cafes

The whole story is here:


http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2009/pr0419.shtml

Worst bits:
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said today that the Saudi Ministry of Interior has imposed
severe restrictions on the Saudi Internet Cafes, requiring owners of Internet Cafes to install censorship secret
cameras inside cyber cafes, to register users names and identity numbers, in addition to limiting the use of
Internet on the Café's phone lines, as well as other measures to impose more restrictions on Internet users, in a
country known for its restrictive repressive policy and its continuous hostility towards freedom of using this
important tool.

It is worth mentioning that the Interior Ministry has issued 8 basic instructions to owners of Internet Cafes on
15 April, requiring them;
1. To install censorship secret cameras.
2. To prepare electronic or manual registration of users and identities.
3. The prohibition of using prepaid Internet cards and Satellite dishes to access the Internet without
authorization of the competent authorities.
4. Prohibition of using any Internet device unless indicated in the certificate issued by the service provider.
5. The supervisor in the Cyber Café must be Saudi.
6. Those under 18 must not be allowed to use the Internet.
7. The cafes opening hours must be the same as other commercial shops, therefore the Café must close at
00:00.
8. All phones to be used in the Café must be under the Café's name, "neither the owner nor any other person."
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information affirmed that "These decisions do not go with the
announcements of Saudi Arabia who claims it is thriving for reform, such decision is more like establishing a
small prison inside each Internet café, and sadly, it indicates how the Saudi Interior Ministry perceives
Internet users."
by jaskaw @ 19.04.2009 - 17:26:45

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/19/saudi-arabia-wants-secret-cameras-on-internet-cafes-5970745/
Feedback for Post "Saudi-Arabia wants secret cameras on
Internet cafes"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
20.04.2009 @ 07:12
who these useless fellows to impose their dogma on others. simply fanatics. they want to make others their
slaves and enjoy easy life. truth means that never changes with time, space or matter. so never changing.if it is
truth why these advocates be worried. that itself shows they are cheating others with lies.

elaine [Visitor]

23.04.2009 @ 13:17
I tell people in this country -uk - to watch out for as the freedoms of those in other countries are erroded this
will slowing creep in to Europe and then watch out.
This seems to be a slippery slope but nothing is hardly put in the media or newspapers highlighting these
evils.
One day the internet will be policed by those who want to stop free speech.
Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to
Civilization?
Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?
By Bertrand Russell
Published 1930

"My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold
misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilization. It
helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that
in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not
know of any others.

The word religion is used nowadays in a very loose sense. Some people, under the influence of extreme
Protestantism, employ the word to denote any serious personal convictions as to morals or the nature of the
universe. This use of the word is quite unhistorical. Religion is primarily a social phenomenon. Churches may
owe their origin to teachers with strong individual convictions, but these teachers have seldom had much
influence upon the churches that they have founded, whereas churches have had enormous influence upon the
communities in which they flourished.

To take the case that is of most interest to members of Western civilization: the teaching of Christ, as it
appears in the Gospels, has had extraordinarily little to do with the ethics of Christians. The most important
thing about Christianity, from a social and historical point of view, is not Christ but the church, and if we are
to judge of Christianity as a social force we must not go to the Gospels for our material. Christ taught that you
should give your goods to the poor, that you should not fight, that you should not go to church, and that you
should not punish adultery.

Neither Catholics nor Protestants have shown any strong desire to follow His teaching in any of these
respects. Some of the Franciscans, it is true, attempted to teach the doctrine of apostolic poverty, but the Pope
condemned them, and their doctrine was declared heretical. Or, again, consider such a text as "Judge not, that
ye be not judged," and ask yourself what influence such a text has had upon the Inquisition and the Ku Klux
Klan.

What is true of Christianity is equally true of Buddhism. The Buddha was amiable and enlightened; on his
deathbed he laughed at his disciples for supposing that he was immortal. But the Buddhist priesthood - as it
exists, for example, in Tibet - has been obscurantist, tyrannous, and cruel in the highest degree.

There is nothing accidental about this difference between a church and its founder. As soon as absolute truth
is supposed to be contained in the sayings of a certain man, there is a body of experts to interpret his sayings,
and these experts infallibly acquire power, since they hold the key to truth. Like any other privileged caste,
they use their power for their own advantage.

They are, however, in one respect worse than any other privileged caste, since it is their business to expound
an unchanging truth, revealed once for all in utter perfection, so that they become necessarily opponents of all
intellectual and moral progress. The church opposed Galileo and Darwin; in our own day it opposes Freud. In
the days of its greatest power it went further in its opposition to the intellectual life.

Pope Gregory the Great wrote to a certain bishop a letter beginning: "A report has reached us which we
cannot mention without a blush, that thou expoundest grammar to certain friends." The bishop was compelled
by pontifical authority to desist from this wicked labor, and Latinity did not recover until the Renaissance. It
is not only intellectually but also morally that religion is pernicious. I mean by this that it teaches ethical
codes which are not conducive to human happiness.

When, a few years ago, a plebiscite was taken in Germany as to whether the deposed royal houses should still
be allowed to enjoy their private property, the churches in Germany officially stated that it would be contrary
to the teaching of Christianity to deprive them of it. The churches, as everyone knows, opposed the abolition
of slavery as long as they dared, and with a few well-advertised exceptions they oppose at the present day
every movement toward economic justice. The Pope has officially condemned Socialism.

Christianity and Sex

The worst feature of the Christian religion, however, is its attitude toward sex - an attitude so morbid and so
unnatural that it can be understood only when taken in relation to the sickness of the civilized world at the
time the Roman Empire was decaying. We sometimes hear talk to the effect that Christianity improved the
status of women.

This is one of the grossest perversions of history that it is possible to make. Women cannot enjoy a tolerable
position in society where it is considered of the utmost importance that they should not infringe a very rigid
moral code. Monks have always regarded Woman primarily as the temptress; they have thought of her mainly
as the inspirer of impure lusts.

The teaching of the church has been, and still is, that virginity is best, but that for those who find this
impossible marriage is permissible. "It is better to marry than to burn," as St. Paul puts it. By making marriage
indissoluble, and by stamping out all knowledge of the ars amandi, the church did what it could to secure that
the only form of sex which it permitted should involve very little pleasure and a great deal of pain. The
opposition to birth control has, in fact, the same motive: if a woman has a child a year until she dies worn out,
it is not to be supposed that she will derive much pleasure from her married life; therefore birth control must
be discouraged.

The conception of Sin which is bound up with Christian ethics is one that does an extraordinary amount of
harm, since it affords people an outlet for their sadism which they believe to be legitimate, and even noble.
Take, for example, the question of the prevention of syphilis. It is known that, by precautions taken in
advance, the danger of contracting this disease can be made negligible. Christians, however, object to the
dissemination of knowledge of this fact, since they hold it good that sinners should be punished.

They hold this so good that they are even willing that punishment should extend to the wives and children of
sinners. There are in the world at the present moment many thousands of children suffering from congenital
syphilis who would never have been born but for the desire of Christians to see sinners punished. I cannot
understand how doctrines leading us to this fiendish cruelty can be considered to have any good effects upon
morals.

It is not only in regard to sexual behaviour but also in regard to knowledge on sex subjects that the attitude of
Christians is dangerous to human welfare. Every person who has taken the trouble to study the question in an
unbiased spirit knows that the artificial ignorance on sex subjects which orthodox Christians attempt to
enforce upon the young is extremely dangerous to mental and physical health, and causes in those who pick
up their knowledge by the way of "improper" talk, as most children do, an attitude that sex is in itself indecent
and ridiculous. I do not think there can be any defense for the view that knowledge is ever undesirable.

I should not put barriers in the way of the acquisition of knowledge by anybody at any age. But in the
particular case of sex knowledge there are much weightier arguments in its favor than in the case of most
other knowledge. A person is much less likely to act wisely when he is ignorant than when he is instructed,
and it is ridiculous to give young people a sense of sin because they have a natural curiosity about an
important matter.

Every boy is interested in trains. Suppose we told him that an interest in trains is wicked; suppose we kept his
eyes bandaged whenever he was in a train or on a railway station; suppose we never allowed the word "train"
to be mentioned in his presence and preserved an impenetrable mystery as to the means by which he is
transported from one place to another.

The result would not be that he would cease to be interested in trains; on the contrary, he would become more
interested than ever but would have a morbid sense of sin, because this interest had been represented to him as
improper. Every boy of active intelligence could by this means be rendered in a greater or less degree
neurasthenic.

This is precisely what is done in the matter of sex; but, as sex is more interesting than trains, the results are
worse. Almost every adult in a Christian community is more or less diseased nervously as a result of the taboo
on sex knowledge when he or she was young. And the sense of sin which is thus artificially implanted is one
of the causes of cruelty, timidity, and stupidity in later life.

There is no rational ground of any sort or kind in keeping a child ignorant of anything that he may wish to
know, whether on sex or on any other matter. And we shall never get a sane population until this fact is
recognized in early education, which is impossible so long as the churches are able to control educational
politics.

Leaving these comparatively detailed objections on one side, it is clear that the fundamental doctrines of
Christianity demand a great deal of ethical perversion before they can be accepted. The world, we are told,
was created by a God who is both good and omnipotent. Before He created the world He foresaw all the pain
and misery that it would contain; He is therefore responsible for all of it.

It is useless to argue that the pain in the world is due to sin. In the first place, this is not true; it is not sin that
causes rivers to overflow their banks or volcanoes to erupt. But even if it were true, it would make no
difference. If I were going to beget a child knowing that the child was going to be a homicidal maniac, I
should be responsible for his crimes. If God knew in advance the sins of which man would be guilty, He was
clearly responsible for all the consequences of those sins when He decided to create man.

The usual Christian argument is that the suffering in the world is a purification for sin and is therefore a good
thing. This argument is, of course, only a rationalization of sadism; but in any case it is a very poor argument.
I would invite any Christian to accompany me to the children's ward of a hospital, to watch the suffering that
is there being endured, and then to persist in the assertion that those children are so morally abandoned as to
deserve what they are suffering. In order to bring himself to say this, a man must destroy in himself all
feelings of mercy and compassion.

He must, in short, make himself as cruel as the God in whom he believes. No man who believes that all is for
the best in this suffering world can keep his ethical values unimpaired, since he is always having to find
excuses for pain and misery.
The Objections to Religion

The objections to religion are of two sorts - intellectual and moral. The intellectual objection is that there is no
reason to suppose any religion true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date from a time when men
were more cruel than they are and therefore tend to perpetuate inhumanities which the moral conscience of the
age would otherwise outgrow.

To take the intellectual objection first: there is a certain tendency in our practical age to consider that it does
not much matter whether religious teaching is true or not, since the important question is whether it is useful.
One question cannot, however, well be decided without the other. If we believe the Christian religion, our
notions of what is good will be different from what they will be if we do not believe it.

Therefore, to Christians, the effects of Christianity may seem good, while to unbelievers they say seem bad.
Moreover, the attitude that one ought to believe such and such a proposition, independently of the question
whether there is evidence in its favor, is an attitude which produces hostility to evidence and causes us to
close our minds to every fact that does not suit our prejudices.

A certain kind of scientific candor is a very important quality, and it is one which can hardly exist in a man
who imagines that there are things which it is his duty to believe. We cannot, therefore, really decide whether
religion does good without investigating the question whether religion is true.

To Christians, Mohammedans, and Jews the most fundamental question involved in the truth of religion is the
existence of God. In the days when religion was still triumphant the word "God" had a perfectly definite
meaning; but as a result of the onslaughts of the Rationalists the word has become paler and paler, until it is
difficult to see what people mean when they assert that they believe in God. Let us take, for purposes of
argument, Matthew Arnold's definition: "A power not ourselves that makes for righteousness."

Perhaps we might make this even more vague and ask ourselves whether we have any evidence of purpose in
this universe apart from the purposes of living beings on the surface of this planet.

The usual argument of religious people on this subject is roughly as follows: "I and my friends are persons of
amazing intelligence and virtue. It is hardly conceivable that so much intelligence and virtue could have come
about by chance. There must, therefore, be someone at least as intelligent and virtuous as we are who set the
cosmic machinery in motion with a view to producing Us." I am sorry to say that I do not find this argument
so impressive as it is found by those who use it.

The universe is large; yet, if we are to believe Eddington, there are probably nowhere else in the universe
beings as intelligent as men. If you consider the total amount of matter in the world and compare it with the
amount forming the bodies of intelligent beings, you will see that the latter bears an almost infinitesimal
proportion to the former. Consequently, even if it is enormously improbable that the laws of chance will
produce an organism capable of intelligence out of a casual selection of atoms, it is nevertheless probable that
there will be in the universe that very small number of such organisms that we do in fact find.

Then again, considered as the climax to such a vast process, we do not really seem to me sufficiently
marvelous. Of course, I am aware that many divines are far more marvelous than I am, and that I cannot
wholly appreciate merits so far transcending my own. Nevertheless, even after making allowances under this
head, I cannot but think that Omnipotence operating through all eternity might have produced something
better.

And then we have to reflect that even this result is only a flash in the pan. The earth will not always remain
habitable; the human race will die out, and if the cosmic process is to justify itself hereafter it will have to do
so elsewhere than on the surface of our planet.. And even if this should occur, it must stop sooner or later. The
second law of thermodynamics makes it scarcely possible to doubt that the universe is running down, and that
ultimately nothing of the slightest interest will be possible anywhere. Of course, it is open to us to say that
when that time comes God will wind up the machinery again; but if we do not say this, we can base our
assertion only upon faith, not upon one shred of scientific evidence.

So far as scientific evidence goes, the universe has crawled by slow stages to a somewhat pitiful result on this
earth and is going to crawl by still more pitiful stages to a condition of universal death. If this is to be taken as
evidence of a purpose, I can only say that the purpose is one that does not appeal to me. I see no reason,
therefore, to believe in any sort of God, however vague and however attenuated. I leave on one side the old
metaphysical arguments, since religious apologists themselves have thrown them over.

The Soul and Immortality

The Christian emphasis on the individual soul has had a profound influence upon the ethics of Christian
communities. It is a doctrine fundamentally akin to that of the Stoics, arising as theirs did in communities that
could no longer cherish political hopes. The natural impulse of the vigorous person of decent character is to
attempt to do good, but if he is deprived of all political power and of all opportunity to influence events, he
will be deflected from his natural course and will decide that the important thing is to be good.

This is what happened to the early Christians; it led to a conception of personal holiness as something quite
independent of beneficient action, since holiness had to be something that could be achieved by people who
were impotent in action. Social virtue came therefore to be excluded from Christian ethics. To this day
conventional Christians think an adulterer more wicked than a politician who takes bribes, although the latter
probably does a thousand times as much harm. The medieval conception of virtue, as one sees in their
pictures, was of something wishy-washy, feeble, and sentimental.

The most virtuous man was the man who retired from the world; the only men of action who were regarded as
saints were those who wasted the lives and substance of their subjects in fighting the Turks, like St. Louis.
The church would never regard a man as a saint because he reformed the finances, or the criminal law, or the
judiciary. Such mere contributions to human welfare would be regarded as of no importance. I do not believe
there is a single saint in the whole calendar whose saintship is due to work of public utility. With this
separation between the social and the moral person there went an increasing separation between soul and
body, which has survived in Christian metaphysics and in the systems derived from Descartes. One may say,
broadly speaking, that the body represents the social and public part of a man, whereas the soul represents the
private part. In emphasizing the soul, Christian ethics has made itself completely individualistic.

I think it is clear that the net result of all the centuries of Christianity has been to make men more egotistic,
more shut up in themselves, than nature made them; for the impulses that naturally take a man outside the
walls of his ego are those of sex, parenthood, and patriotism or herd instinct. Sex the church did everything it
could to decry and degrade; family affection was decried by Christ himself and the bulk of his followers; and
patriotism could find no place among the subject populations of the Roman Empire. The polemic against the
family in the Gospels is a matter that has not received the attention it deserves.

The church treats the Mother of Christ with reverence, but He Himself showed little of this attitude. "Woman,
what have I to do with thee?" (John ii, 4) is His way of speaking to her. He says also that He has come to set a
man at variance against his father, the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her
mother-in-law, and that he that loveth father and mother more than Him is not worthy of Him (Matt. x,
35-37). All this means the breakup of the biological family tie for the sake of creed - an attitude which had a
great deal to do with the intolerance that came into the world with the spread of Christianity.

This individualism culminated in the doctrine of the immortality of the individual soul, which was to enjoy
hereafter endless bliss or endless woe according to circumstances. The circumstances upon which this
momentous difference depended were somewhat curious. For example, if you died immediately after a priest
had sprinkled water upon you while pronouncing certain words, you inherited eternal bliss; whereas, if after a
long and virtuous life you happened to be struck by lightning at a moment when you were using bad language
because you had broken a bootlace, you would inherit eternal torment.

I do not say that the modern Protestant Christian believes this, nor even perhaps the modern Catholic
Christian who has not been adequately instructed in theology; but I do say that this is the orthodox doctrine
and was firmly believed until recent times. The Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptize Indian infants
and then immediately dash their brains out: by this means they secured that these infants went to Heaven.

No orthodox Christian can find any logical reason for condemning their action, although all nowadays do so.
In countless ways the doctrine of personal immortality in its Christian form has had disastrous effects upon
morals, and the metaphysical separation of soul and body has had disastrous effects upon philosophy.

Sources of Intolerance

The intolerance that spread over the world with the advent of Christianity is one of the most curious features,
due, I think, to the Jewish belief in righteousness and in the exclusive reality of the Jewish God. Why the Jews
should have had these peculiarities I do not know. They seem to have developed during the captivity as a
reaction against the attempt to absorb the Jews into alien populations.

However that may be, the Jews, and more especially the prophets, invented emphasis upon personal
righteousness and the idea that it is wicked to tolerate any religion except one. These two ideas have had an
extraordinarily disastrous effect upon Occidental history. The church made much of the persecution of
Christians by the Roman State before the time of Constantine.

This persecution, however, was slight and intermittent and wholly political. At all times, from the age of
Constantine to the end of the seventeenth century, Christians were far more fiercely persecuted by other
Christians than they ever were by the Roman emperors. Before the rise of Christianity this persecuting attitude
was unknown to the ancient world except among the Jews. If you read, for example, Herodotus, you find a
bland and tolerant account of the habits of the foreign nations he visited.

Sometimes, it is true, a peculiarly barbarous custom may shock him, but in general he is hospitable to foreign
gods and foreign customs. He is not anxious to prove that people who call Zeus by some other name will
suffer eternal punishment and ought to be put to death in order that their punishment may begin as soon as
possible. This attitude has been reserved for Christians. It is true that the modern Christian is less robust, but
that is not thanks to Christianity; it is thanks to the generations of freethinkers, who from the Renaissance to
the present day, have made Christians ashamed of many of their traditional beliefs.

It is amusing to hear the modern Christian telling you how mild and rationalistic Christianity really is and
ignoring the fact that all its mildness and rationalism is due to the teaching of men who in their own day were
persecuted by all orthodox Christians. Nobody nowadays believes that the world was created in 4004 b.c.; but
not so very long ago skepticism on this point was thought an abominable crime. My great-great- grandfather,
after observing the depth of the lava on the slopes of Etna, came to the conclusion that the world must be older
than the orthodox supposed and published this opinion in a book.

For this offense he was cut by the county and ostracized from society. Had he been a man in humbler
circumstances, his punishment would doubtless have been more severe. It is no credit to the orthodox that
they do not now believe all the absurdities that were believed 150 years ago. The gradual emasculation of the
Christian doctrine has been effected in spite of the most vigorous resistance, and solely as the result of the
onslaughts of freethinkers.

The Doctrine of Free Will


The attitude of the Christians on the subject of natural law has been curiously vacillating and uncertain. There
was, on the one hand, the doctrine of free will, in which the great majority of Christians believed; and this
doctrine required that the acts of human beings at least should not be subject to natural law. There was, on the
other hand, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a belief in God as the Lawgiver and in
natural law as one of the main evidences of the existence of a Creator.

In recent times the objection to the reign of law in the interests of free will has begun to be felt more strongly
than the belief in natural law as affording evidence for a Lawgiver. Materialists used the laws of physics to
show, or attempt to show, that the movements of human bodies are mechanically determined, and that
consequently everything that we say and every change of position that we effect fall outside the sphere of any
possible free will. If this be so, whatever may be left for our unfettered volitions is of little value.

If, when a man writes a poem or commits a murder, the bodily movements involved in his act result solely
from physical causes, it would seem absurd to put up a statue to him in the one case and to hang him in the
other. There might in certain metaphysical systems remain a region of pure thought in which the will would
be free; but, since that can be communicated to others only by means of bodily movement, the realm of
freedom would be one that could never be the subject of communication and could never have any social
importance.

Then, again, evolution has had a considerable influence upon those Christians who have accepted it. They
have seen that it will not do to make claims on behalf of man which are totally different from those which are
made on behalf of other forms of life. Therefore, in order to safeguard free will in man, they have objected to
every attempt at explaining the behaviour of living matter in terms of physical and chemical laws.

The position of Descartes, to the effect that all lower animals are automata, no longer finds favor with liberal
theologians. The doctrine of continuity makes them inclined to go a step further still and maintain that even
what is called dead matter is not rigidly governed in its behaviour by unalterable laws. They seem to have
overlooked the fact that, if you abolish the reign of law, you also abolish the possibility of miracles, since
miracles are acts of God which contravene the laws governing ordinary phenomena. I can, however, imagine
the modern liberal theologian maintaining with an air of profundity that all creation is miraculous, so that he
no longer needs to fasten upon certain occurrences as special evidence of Divine intervention.

Under the influence of this reaction against natural law, some Christian apologists have seized upon the latest
doctrines of the atom, which tend to show that the physical laws in which we have hitherto believed have only
an approximate and average truth as applied to large numbers of atoms, while the individual electron behaves
pretty much as it likes. My own belief is that this is a temporary phase, and that the physicists will in time
discover laws governing minute phenomena, although these laws may differ considerably from those of
traditional physics. However that may be, it is worth while to observe that the modern doctrines as to minute
phenomena have no bearing upon anything that is of practical importance.

Visible motions, and indeed all motions that make any difference to anybody, involve such large numbers of
atoms that they come well within the scope of the old laws. To write a poem or commit a murder (reverting to
our previous illustration), it is necessary to move an appreciable mass of ink or lead. The electrons composing
the ink may be dancing freely around their little ballroom, but the ballroom as a whole is moving according to
the old laws of physics, and this alone is what concerns the poet and his publisher. The modern doctrines,
therefore, have no appreciable bearing upon any of those problems of human interest with which the
theologian is concerned.

The free-will question consequently remains just where it was. Whatever may be thought about it as a matter
of ultimate metaphysics, it is quite clear that nobody believes it in practice. Everyone has always believed that
it is possible to train character; everyone has always known that alcohol or opium will have a certain effect on
behaviour. The apostle of free will maintains that a man can by will power avoid getting drunk, but he does
not maintain that when drunk a man can say "British Constitution" as clearly as if he were sober.
And everybody who has ever had to do with children knows that a suitable diet does more to make them
virtuous than the most eloquent preaching in the world. The one effect that the free- will doctrine has in
practice is to prevent people from following out such common-sense knowledge to its rational conclusion.
When a man acts in ways that annoy us we wish to think him wicked, and we refuse to face the fact that his
annoying behaviour is a result of antecedent causes which, if you follow them long enough, will take you
beyond the moment of his birth and therefore to events for which he cannot be held responsible by any stretch
of imagination.

No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not
attribute its annoying behaviour to sin; he does not say, "You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you
any more petrol until you go." He attempts to find out what is wrong and to set it right. An analogous way of
treating human beings is, however, considered to be contrary to the truths of our holy religion. And this
applies even in the treatment of little children.

Many children have bad habits which are perpetuated by punishment but will probably pass away of
themselves if left unnoticed. Nevertheless, nurses, with very few exceptions, consider it right to inflict
punishment, although by so doing they run the risk of causing insanity. When insanity has been caused it is
cited in courts of law as a proof of the harmfulness of the habit, not of the punishment. (I am alluding to a
recent prosecution for obscenity in the State of New York.)

Reforms in education have come very largely through the study of the insane and feeble-minded, because they
have not been held morally responsible for their failures and have therefore been treated more scientifically
than normal children. Until very recently it was held that, if a boy could not learn his lesson, the proper cure
was caning or flogging. This view is nearly extinct in the treatment of children, but it survives in the criminal
law. It is evident that a man with a propensity to crime must be stopped, but so must a man who has
hydrophobia and wants to bite people, although nobody considers him morally responsible.

A man who is suffering from plague has to be imprisoned until he is cured, although nobody thinks him
wicked. The same thing should be done with a man who suffers from a propensity to commit forgery; but
there should be no more idea of guilt in the one case than in the other. And this is only common sense, though
it is a form of common sense to which Christian ethics and metaphysics are opposed.

To judge of the moral influence of any institution upon a community, we have to consider the kind of impulse
which is embodied in the institution and the degree to which the institution increases the efficacy of the
impulse in that community. Sometimes the impulse concerned is quite obvious, sometimes it is more hidden.
An Alpine club, for example, obviously embodies the impulse to adventure, and a learned society embodies
the impulse toward knowledge. The family as an institution embodies jealousy and parental feeling; a football
club or a political party embodies the impulse toward competitive play; but the two greatest social institutions
- namely, the church and the state - are more complex in their psychological motivation.

The primary purpose of the state is clearly security against both internal criminals and external enemies. It is
rooted in the tendency of children to huddle together when they are frightened and to look for a grown-up
person who will give them a sense of security. The church has more complex origins. Undoubtedly the most
important source of religion is fear; this can be seen in the present day, since anything that causes alarm is apt
to turn people's thoughts to God. Battle, pestilence, and shipwreck all tend to make people religious.

Religion has, however, other appeals besides that of terror; it appeals specifically to our human self-esteem. If
Christianity is true, mankind are not such pitiful worms as they seem to be; they are of interest to the Creator
of the universe, who takes the trouble to be pleased with them when they behave well and displeased when
they behave badly. This is a great compliment. We should not think of studying an ants' nest to find out which
of the ants performed their formicular duty, and we should certainly not think of picking out those individual
ants who were remiss and putting them into a bonfire.

If God does this for us, it is a compliment to our importance; and it is even a pleasanter compliment if he
awards to the good among us everlasting happiness in heaven. Then there is the comparitively modern idea
that cosmic evolution is all designed to bring about the sort of results which we call good - that is to say, the
sort of results that give us pleasure. Here again it is flattering to suppose that the universe is controlled by a
Being who shares our tastes and prejudices.

The Idea of Righteousness

The third psychological impulse which is embodied in religion is that which has led to the conception of
righteousness. I am aware that many freethinkers treat this conception with great respect and hold that it
should be preserved in spite of the decay of dogmatic religion. I cannot agree with them on this point. The
psychological analysis of the idea of righteousness seems to me to show that it is rooted in undesirable
passions and ought not to be strengthened by the imprimatur of reason. Righteousness and unrighteousness
must be taken together; it is impossible to stress the one without stressing the other also.

Now, what is "unrighteousness" in practise? It is in practise behaviour of a kind disliked by the herd. By
calling it unrighteousness, and by arranging an elaborate system of ethics around this conception, the herd
justifies itself in wreaking punishment upon the objects of its own dislike, while at the same time, since the
herd is righteous by definition, it enhances its own self-esteem at the very moment when it lets loose its
impulse to cruelty. This is the psychology of lynching, and of the other ways in which criminals are punished.
The essence of the conception of righteousness, therefore, is to afford an outlet for sadism by cloaking cruelty
as justice.

But, it will be said, the account you have been giving of righteousness is wholly inapplicable to the Hebrew
prophets, who, after all, on your own showing, invented the idea. There is truth in this: righteousness in the
mouths of the Hebrew prophets meant what was approved by them and Yahweh. One finds the same attitude
expressed in the Acts of the Apostles, where the Apostles began a pronouncement with the words "For it
seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us" (Acts xv, 28). This kind of individual certainty as to God's tastes
and opinions cannot, however, be made the basis of any institution.

That has always been the difficulty with which Protestantism has had to contend: a new prophet could
maintain that his revelation was more authentic than those of his predecessors, and there was nothing in the
general outlook of Protestantism to show that this claim was invalid. Consequently Protestantism split into
innumerable sects, which weakened one another; and there is reason to suppose that a hundred years hence
Catholicism will be the only effective representation of the Christian faith. In the Catholic Church inspiration
such as the prophets enjoyed has its place; but it is recognized that phenomena which look rather like genuine
divine inspiration may be inspired by the Devil, and it is the business of the church to discriminate, just as it is
the business of the art connoisseur to know a genuine Leonardo from a forgery. In this way revelation
becomes institutionalized at the same time. Righteousness is what the church approves, and unrighteousness is
what it disapproves. Thus the effective part of the conception of righteousness is a justification of herd
antipathy.

It would seem, therefore, that the three human impulses embodied in religion are fear, conceit, and hatred. The
purpose of religion, one may say, is to give an air of respectability to these passions, provided they run in
certain channels. It is because these passions make, on the whole, for human misery that religion is a force for
evil, since it permits men to indulge these passions without restraint, where but for its sanction they might, at
least to a certain degree, control them.

I can imagine at this point an objection, not likely to be urged perhaps by most orthodox believers but
nevertheless worthy to be examined. Hatred and fear, it may be said, are essential human characteristics;
mankind always has felt them and always will. The best that you can do with them, I may be told, is to direct
them into certain channels in which they are less harmful than they would be in certain other channels. A
Christian theologian might say that their treatment by the church in analogous to its treatment of the sex
impulse, which it deplores. It attempts to render concupiscence innocuous by confining it within the bounds of
matrimony. So, it may be said, if mankind must inevitably feel hatred, it is better to direct this hatred against
those who are really harmful, and this is precisely what the church does by its conception of righteousness.

To this contention there are two replies - one comparatively superficial; the other going to the root of the
matter. The superficial reply is that the church's conception of righteousness is not the best possible; the
fundamental reply is that hatred and fear can, with our present psychological knowledge and our present
industrial technique, be eliminated altogether from human life.

To take the first point first. The church's conception of righteousness is socially undesirable in various ways -
first and foremost in its depriciation of intelligence and science. This defect is inherited from the Gospels.
Christ tells us to become as little children, but little children cannot understand the differential calculus, or the
principles of currency, or the modern methods of combating disease. To acquire such knowledge is no part of
our duty, according to the church.

The church no longer contends that knowledge is in itself sinful, though it did so in its palmy days; but the
acquisition of knowledge, even though not sinful, is dangerous, since it may lead to a pride of intellect, and
hence to a questioning of the Christian dogma. Take, for example, two men, one of whom has stamped out
yellow fever throughout some large region in the tropics but has in the course of his labors had occasional
relations with women to whom he was not married; while the other has been lazy and shiftless, begetting a
child a year until his wife died of exhaustion and taking so little care of his children that half of them died
from preventable causes, but never indulging in illicit sexual intercourse. Every good Christian must maintain
that the second of these men is more virtuous than the first. Such an attitude is, of course, superstitious and
totally contrary to reason. Yet something of this absurdity is inevitable so long as avoidance of sin is thought
more important than positive merit, and so long as the importance of knowledge as a help to a useful life is
not recognized.

The second and more fundamental objection to the utilization of fear and hatred practised by the church is that
these emotions can now be almost wholly eliminated from human nature by educational, economic, and
political reforms. The educational reforms must be the basis, since men who feel hatred and fear will also
admire these emotions and wish to perpetuate them, although this admiration and wish will probably be
unconscious, as it is in the ordinary Christian. An education designed to eliminate fear is by no means difficult
to create. It is only necessary to treat a child with kindness, to put him in an environment where initiative is
possible without disastrous results, and to save him from contact with adults who have irrational terrors,
whether of the dark, of mice, or of social revolution.

A child must also not be subject to severe punishment, or to threats, or to grave and excessive reproof. To
save a child from hatred is a somewhat more elaborate business. Situations arousing jealousy must be very
carefully avoided by means of scrupulous and exact justice as between different children. A child must feel
himself the object of warm affection on the part of some at least of the adults with whom he has to do, and he
must not be thwarted in his natural activities and curiosities except when danger to life or health is concerned.
In particular, there must be no taboo on sex knowledge, or on conversation about matters which conventional
people consider improper. If these simple precepts are observed from the start, the child will be fearless and
friendly.

On entering adult life, however, a young person so educated will find himself or herself plunged into a world
full of injustice, full of cruelty, full of preventable misery. The injustice, the cruelty, and the misery that exist
in the modern world are an inheritance from the past, and their ultimate source is economic, since
life-and-death competition for the means of subsistence was in former days inevitable. It is not inevitable in
our age. With our present industrial technique we can, if we choose, provide a tolerable subsistence for
everybody. We could also secure that the world's population should be stationary if we were not prevented by
the political influence of churches which prefer war, pestilence, and famine to contraception.

The knowledge exists by which universal happiness can be secured; the chief obstacle to its utilization for that
purpose is the teaching of religion. Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion
prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents us from teaching the ethic of
scientific co-operation in place of the old fierce doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is
on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door,
and this dragon is religion."

Whew, a quite long quote, I freely admit, but this text from the year 1930 has not lost any of its impact and
clarity and so I decided to put it here on its whole, as there are no issues of intellectual property in quoting
the whole text by this fragile but wise old man. Bertrand Russell had his fair share of follies, but these things
with religion he had pondered real hard and long in his unbelievable clear mind.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a
British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, social reformist, and pacifist. Although he spent the
majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died.
Russell led the British "revolt against Idealism" in the early 1900s and is considered one of the founders of
analytic philosophy along with his protégé Wittgenstein and his German elder Frege. He co-authored, with A.
N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay
"On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy." Both works have had a considerable
influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics and analytic philosophy.
He was a prominent anti-war activist, championing free trade between nations and anti-imperialism.
Russell was imprisoned for his pacifist activism during World War I, campaigned against Adolf Hitler, for
nuclear disarmament, criticised Soviet totalitarianism and the United States of America's involvement in the
Vietnam War.
In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "in recognition of his varied and significant
writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought."

by jaskaw @ 20.04.2009 - 20:34:41

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/20/has-religion-made-useful-contributions-to-civilization-5977963/
Feedback for Post "Has Religion Made Useful Contributions
to Civilization?"

Mark [Visitor]

29.04.2009 @ 20:17
Paul Johnson has written a book (Intellectuals) where he says: Do not trust the intellectuals, who do not love
their wife.

Just one thing about Russell's world. If everybody would live like Russell - getting married four times - what
consequences it would result in the mankind!!!

His personal life was pressing heavily the mind of himself - Russell had to say: "...To this day conventional
Christians think an adulterer more wicked than a politician who takes bribes, although the latter probably does
a thousand times as much harm...."

Christians do NOT think that a politician who takes bribes does not cause harms for society!!

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
29.04.2009 @ 20:33
Did not get it then, Mark? Russell is not saying that Christians would allow bribes, but he is only saying that
they think adultery is even MORE wicked than bribes.
He was writing in the 30's when it was still true, but now even the mainstream Christians are more relaxed in
these matters and in practice only the Catholic stiff-necks still try to drag us back to the medieval times in this
respect.
Will Taliban have nuclear weapons soon?
The steady advance of the Taliban forces raises not one but two difficult questions. The first one is if the
Pakistani army really doing its best to stop the religious maniacs of the Taliban, or are there already forces in
the Pakistani Army leaning too much on their direction to mount successful military operations against the
Taliban?
Even more troubling question follows inevitably on the footsteps of the first: if the military is giving way to
Taliban, will they eventually take over the whole country and also its nuclear arsenal?
This is the scenario nobody really wants to bring up, but let‎s face it; if the army is unable to push the
Taliban away from the immediate neighborhood of the national capital, they are in a quite sorry state
already.
The erosion of the moral of the strictly Muslim army fighting strictly Muslim guerrillas and fellow countrymen
is understandable, but it opens really frightening vistas, that one would rather forget if it would be possible.
The New Your Times has the story with the headline:

Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital

Full story is here:


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/world/asia/23buner.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Worst bits:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pushing deeper into Pakistan, Taliban militants have established effective control
of a strategically important district just 70 miles from the capital, Islamabad, officials and residents said
Wednesday.

The fall of the district, Buner, did not mean that the Taliban could imminently threaten Islamabad. But it was
another indication of the gathering strength of the insurgency and it raised new alarm about the ability of the
government to fend off an unrelenting Taliban advance toward the heart of Pakistan.

Buner, home to about one million people, is a gateway to a major Pakistani city, Mardan, the second largest in
North-West Frontier Province, after Peshawar.

―They take over Buner, then they roll into Mardan and that‎s the end of the game,ć a senior law enforcement
official in North-West Frontier Province said. He asked that his name be withheld because was not authorized
to speak to the news media.
by jaskaw @ 23.04.2009 - 22:53:20

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/23/will-taliban-have-nuclear-weapons-soon-5996882/
Feedback for Post "Will Taliban have nuclear weapons
soon?"

neville kilshaw [Visitor]

25.04.2009 @ 13:43
i hpe not but i am prepared to give them a mcdonalds

finance [Visitor]
http://loan2009.net/
08.05.2009 @ 21:38
what is debt?
loan 2009
Torture video from UAE shocks the world
This time I am starting with a video. I recommend that you watch it first and continue reading only after
seeing it:

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7401720

You have just witnessed a terrible video where state officials from the United Arab Emirates participate in
cruel torture of suspects. For the moment we can't know what the suspects were suspected of doing, but I have
a strong hunch that it was not even a question of hard-line terrorists and burning issues of national safety, but
of much more mundane things. (-ADDED 25.4, The man is evidently a grain dealer charged with
overpricing.)

Using this kind of torture on dissident or in ordinary criminal cases is just a show of lacking professionalism;
it is a shortcut to make the officers life easier by giving immediate results that would otherwise take days or
weeks to accomplish.

On the other hand there is the inevitable question of how on government official can take part in this kind of
activity and also expect to survive in professional capacity. Here we come to the question of why the UAE,
which is thanks to its oil reserves one the absolutely richest countries of the world, can have such a backward
judiciary system and unprofessional and untrained government officials.

UAE has the resources to buy the best possible education there is for every one of its citizens, but this is not
happening, but ancientIslamic school system is still doing its job of grossly un-educating the youth. That is the
real issue here.

UAE is a collection of princedoms with a medieval form of government and most importantly a medieval
form of belief-systems in place.
A widespread and real education could endanger the position of the religion, which is on the other hand is
guaranteeing the continuation of the medieval feudalistic system on government.
These two oppressive forces have a vested common interest in continuing the status quo and the sheiks would
never even dream of undermining position of the religion in the society, as well as the established leaders of
local religious communities are the staunchest supporters of the sheiks.

There is however the question of the shi'a minority that breaks this harmony and is a breeding ground for
religion-based unrest in the whole of Gulf area. The majority Sunni Muslims fear the shi'a minority even more
after Iran stood up as their spokesman after the 1979 revolution.

In this situation the lack of any checks and balances in the society is a growing problem. When government is
based on the absolute power of the sheiks and absolute and unquestioned power of the faith, there is no room
open society or openness of government. This situation inevitably breeds misuse of power, if holders of power
never are accountable for their actions.

ADDED 25.4. 10.17 am: PS. After publishing the original tape ABC News published this piece of news:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7402099&page=1:

"A video tape smuggled out of the United Arab Emirates shows a member of the country's royal family
mercilessly torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails.
A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim's arms and legs, and later holding him
down as the Sheikh pours salt on the man's wounds and then drives over him with his Mercedes SUV.
In a statement to ABC News, the UAE Ministry of the Interior said it had reviewed the tape and
acknowledged the involvement of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country's crown prince,
Sheikh Mohammed.
"The incidents depicted in the video tapes were not part of a pattern of behavior," the Interior Ministry's
statement declared.
The Minister of the Interior is also one of Sheikh Issa's brother.
The government statement said its review found "all rules, policies and procedures were followed correctly by
the Police Department."

by jaskaw @ 24.04.2009 - 15:23:51

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/24/torture-video-from-uae-shocks-the-world-6000197/
Feedback for Post "Torture video from UAE shocks the
world"

sobe [Visitor]

24.04.2009 @ 16:35
But...what about the evil Zionists?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
24.04.2009 @ 16:40
Yes Sobe, what about them?

John Sacks [Visitor]

24.04.2009 @ 18:34
Pretty pathetic. Such Barbarians them and their stupid, non existant "Allah" or whatever it is.

RT
www.anonymity.es.tc

Mike B. [Visitor]

24.04.2009 @ 19:00
Obviously, this video is tragic, however, your comment:

"...but I have a strong hunch that it was not even a question of hard-line terrorists and burning issues of
national safety, but of much more mundane things."

...is not journalism. Wild hypotheses such as this make the rest of the article difficult to take seriously. Either
stick to the facts or take "News" out of the title of your blog.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
24.04.2009 @ 19:14
To Mike. It was unfortunate so say that. It gives the impression that I would sanction the use of torture in case
of national safety, which I most certainly do not. Torture is always wrong. The main point here is not at all the
nature of the things the suspects are suspected of, but the system that makes men behave like animals towards
other people.

| Show subcomments
Mike B. [Visitor]

24.04.2009 @ 23:33
I disagree.

I think that there is a much better way to phrase your intention. For example, if you had written, "For the
moment we can't know what the suspects were suspected of doing," and left it at that, this article would have
been fine. To strengthen your point, you could have written, "For the moment we can't know what the
suspects were suspected of doing, however, no crime deserves punishment so deplorable as this." I think that
is much clearer anyway.

To use the phrase, "I have a hunch," practically infers that the suspect was a mere jaywalker. To be fair, he
may be a child rapist; as you said yourself, you have no idea. Who he is may be irrelevant to the justification
of his torture, however, it is not good journalism to imply something to your readers about which you are
admittedly not informed.

As I wrote in my earlier comment, if you wish only to give your opinions, that's perfectly fine. I would just
recommend taking the word "News" out of the title of your blog. It's just my opinion; feel free to ignore it.
The important thing is that I came across this compelling and sorrowful story because of your blog and, for
making me aware of it, I thank you.

Mr. Yuck [Visitor]


http://secret
24.04.2009 @ 20:23
I'm sure the release of this video is totally coincidental and has nothing to do with calls to prosecute
Bush/Cheney/&co for torture.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
24.04.2009 @ 21:28
Might be, might be, but do you think that we should allow also all other people the right to torture, because
Bush/Cheney/&co did it?
Does it really negate their responsabilty somehow that also other people do it?

flu [Visitor]
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.asc
24.04.2009 @ 20:40
If the shining beacon of morality and justice in the free and civilized world, the USA, use torture as a legal
mean of obtaining information I don't see why you are winning about.

If torture is so justifiable, every free country in the world should be abble to implement it on any national or
foreign citizen it saw fit. Even if they have to be kidnapped abroad and be brought to secret prisons in this
country or others associated.

You see what I did there?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

| Show subcomments
val [Visitor]

24.04.2009 @ 23:33
i love you

Shii [Visitor]
http://shii.org/afterlife
24.04.2009 @ 20:54
So, does the torture at Guantanamo count as "atheist news"?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.04.2009 @ 00:44
Yes, of course, if there is something I would have to add to all things that are alreydy said.
But how does it relate to the things done here; is a bad thing really wiped away if another man does a bad
thing?

jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
24.04.2009 @ 20:54
I do believe that torture is never, ever justifiable, and I sincerely believe that the use of torture by the US has
been morally corrupting and extremely unjustifiable and those doing must take responsibility for doing it.
I believe it is never right for any human to torture an another human being for any reason, as I sincerely think
as a humanist that a human being has irrecovable rights as a human being that other human beings can never
take away without damaging also themselves.

Dirwin [Visitor]

24.04.2009 @ 21:29
@jaskaw
Playing Devil's Advocate here: You would probably be better off rejecting physical torture, as most anything
else can be very broadly argued... ever seen a kid go to their room without supper? Is that torture? Maybe not
to you, but to the kid...

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.04.2009 @ 00:41
I do reject all forms of torture, when their aim is to harm a human being-

| Show subcomments
Dirwin [Visitor]

25.04.2009 @ 02:57
That's all well and good, but hardly practical because it does not take into account perspective. Putting a
clearly guilty man behind bars is acceptable because it's for his own good, but as far as he's concerned, the
aim is to harm him; after all, the punishment follows him long after he is released.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.04.2009 @ 09:56
Dear Dirwin; you are taking this to a philosophical level. I mean by torture physically harming a person and I
strongly believe that also waterboarding used by the US is also torture and I condemn it very strongly. By
using methods like this you are slipping outside the bounds of civil society and you also just create people
who have a real and good reason to hate you, without even getting real results.
none [Visitor]
http://none
24.04.2009 @ 22:27
If this man hurt a child, I have no problem with this. If he stole something, I do. I need to know what he did
and I'm not going to 'tune in' tonigh to watch it.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.04.2009 @ 00:37
Where do you put the limit who to torture; what has given you that immense insight to rightly see when to
torture and and when not?

John E. Reb [Visitor]

25.04.2009 @ 00:29
Really? This is suprising to anyone? They're Muslims. You didn't expect the behavior of a human being, did
you?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.04.2009 @ 00:50
I truly think that all Muslims are quite similar human beings like you and me; they are just at the moment
driven by an ideology that I don't like. That does not make them any less human than me or you. At least I just
think that their ideology is wrong. Happily the ideology can chance, people can change, world can change
with time.

bin [Visitor]

25.04.2009 @ 21:49
from what i can make out of teh vidio it appears that this man they are torturing stole somthing from the
country ruler.

as to the muslim subject you brogth up i would say that the most logical conclusion is that there religon has
been curupted.

Anwar [Visitor]

01.05.2009 @ 16:19
People what the hell ae you arguing about, if you see a man torturing a cat you would all condemn him if you
had a grain of decency, nobdy would ask what religion or nationality the cat was or the toturer was, this video
is simpley man to man atrocity, no arguing no excuse for that!!!!!
―Why is it that these right-wing family-values guys
are always the worst sinners?ć
The Catholic dogmas concerning marriage are really a too easy target for any critique of religions to even
really bother with. They are a sitting duck just waiting to be blown away by forces of reason.
Any reasonable person understands that people can make wrong choices, people and their expectations can
change dramatically as life goes on and forced hanging on a choice turned sour can really ruin the rest of the
life for the whole family.
But you see, the Catholic Church has this thing called dogma. The creators of this faith had no personal
knowledge whatsoever of married life and in fact did not have any personal experience of any kind of
relationship involving sexuality in any form.
However these very people did a very long time ago decide that it is not allowable to have a divorce and end
an unhappy or even violent relationship. They at the same time decided that these dogmas can never be
revoked or even changed in any way.
Of course there is a good intention behind all this. The creators of this faith sincerely believed that preserving
the integrity of the family was of paramount importance for the society. There is nothing wrong in defending
the noble institution of marriage as such.
But things start always going in a very bad way when people start making unchangeable dogmas out of good
intentions.
The dogma in question has lead to innumerable misery in the lands under the Catholic rule during centuries.
It will go on creating misery as long as this dogma is upheld and there are people that really believe that
Catholic Church can give them direct orders on how to act and live their lives.

Todays story is from the Salon.com with the headline:

Mel Gibson's family values

The full story is here:


http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/04/26/mel_gibson/?source=newsletter

Best bits from the story by Frances Kissling:


April 26, 2009 | Holy Week ended with a big bang in the conservative Catholic community. Robyn Moore,
Mel Gibson‎s wife of 28 years and mother of their seven children, filed for divorce in Los Angeles. With no
prenuptial agreement, she is likely to get a settlement worth somewhere around half a billion dollars. Seems
like a small price for 28 years of living with Mad Max and his homophobia, anti-Semitism and ultra-orthodox
Catholicism.
Why is it that these right-wing family-values guys are always the worst sinners? Newt Gingrich, Ted Hagee,
Larry Craig and now Mel Gibson. Gibson was quoted in the Observer in 2000 as having said, "There is
nothing more important than your family. If you ruin that part of your life, what‎s left? Work? Money?
Screwing around? I see a lot of people living like that tell themselves they‎re having a good time, but if you
look under the surface you see lots of corpses masquerading as human beings." And speaking of corpses,
Gibson has an odd view of who is going to heaven and who is not. His wife, for example, is not, in the Gospel
according to Mel. He acknowledges that she is "a saint, she‎s a much better person than I am," but rules are
rules. She is, he notes, "like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, knows Jesus,
she believes in all that stuff, but that's not good enough. And it‎s just not fair if she doesn't make it," laments
Mel, "but that‎s a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it."
Gibson‎s beliefs about many subjects seem to mirror those of the Society of St. Pius X. Also known as
Lefebvrists, the members of the society rejected the liberal positions taken at the Second Vatican Council
(Vatican II) in the early 1960s and considered Pope John Paul II heretical (though even the Lefebvrists are
more liberal than Gibson about who's going to make it into heaven).
Divorced Catholics who seek annulments tend to fall into two camps. Some are practical and close their eyes
to the hypocrisy, make up an acceptable reason, take the annulment and move on. They are desperate to
remarry in the church and have a Catholic family life. Some find the hypocrisy hard to swallow.

by jaskaw @ 26.04.2009 - 21:07:39

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/26/why-is-it-that-these-right-wing-family-values-guys-are-always-the-worst-sinners
Feedback for Post "―Why is it that these right-wing
family-values guys are always the worst sinners?ć"

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
27.04.2009 @ 09:08
the creaters of the dogama want ohtres life in turmoil so that they can exploit it. the dogma and the cewaters
both are fraud and cheayers. what hell o fa dogma. theaes fanatics created dogma to make their fellowmen to
lick their fee.my dearest brotheren of whole world keep away from them.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
27.04.2009 @ 09:14
sorry for the spelling mistake in the first comment.want others life. dogma and its creaters both are fraud and
cheaters.what hell of a dogma.these fanatics creatd itto make their lick their feet. my dearst brotheren of whole
world keep away from these fraud thieves.

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
27.04.2009 @ 15:24
what they have is not dogma.but ways to cheat fellowmen for their ends.they speak dogma for their slaves and
they enjoy all worldly pleasures at these poor fellowmens cost. dear sheeps get away from the claws of these
cheats.

elaine K [Visitor]

27.04.2009 @ 15:27
Their god makes rules for us so called 'sinners' and rules for themselves. We can all rot in hell but they will go
to a so called 'heaven'. They get too big for their boots and believe they can judge others. They are sad
individuals.
They can keep their wicked values and their false faith and I will not give them my money so they cannot get
their hands on it to carry on their evil..

jose [Visitor]
http://atheistnews.blogs
27.04.2009 @ 15:32
who gave these self imposed owners of the whole world the keys of the kingdom. bloodsuckers of the
fellowmen.ban these cheats from going public so poor fellow beings are saved from the claws of these
vultures.

Sarah Trachtenberg [Visitor]


http://www.sarahtrachtenberg.com
30.04.2009 @ 18:39
Christians and other religious folks often advocate that atheists have no values since they have no one to
answer to...we can cheat, steal, kill, rape...
It's hard for me to imagine that our prisons are stocked with atheists.
Oh, and Mel Gibson sucks.
Not My God
www.sarahtrachtenberg.com

tapdog [Visitor]

09.05.2009 @ 13:12
..."right-wing family-values guys are always the worst sinners...."

Get a grip.

| Show subcomments
EQ [Visitor]

23.05.2009 @ 18:23
He's trying to. The answer IS the grip.
The answer that so many of you right-wingnuts are afraid to admit is that it's easier for you to sin when you
claim that you're forgiven by some invisible friend.
Israeli official: Swine flu name offensive
Do these people really believe the stuff they are splurging out of their mouths? What stage of irrationality you
must reach to find even a name containing mention of "non pure" animal really personally offensive?
I have written about the origins of these religionally created eating disorders in my other blog "Being
Human" at http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2009/01/25/why-muslims-do-not-eat-pork-5446421 but I will repeat the
central thesis here for the benefit of the readers of Atheist News:
"It is widely accepted in the field of study of religions that that prohibition is not based on any rational causes
or logical thinking, but on the need to show as clearly and easily as possible where the boundaries between
the believers and unbelievers go.
Their important function is so to intensify the division between the true believers and all other people. When
you have learned from the early childhood that it is disgusting to eat something you see very easily people
eating those disgusting things as foreign and repulsive.
Eating is the most basic human activity and divisions based on the eating habits work at the very basic level.
That is the main reason why religions are so extremely interested in what their followers are eating and what
not.
By giving up eating a good tasting and nourishing variety of meat or other foodstuffs the believers are also
making a personal sacrifice which makes the people making the people same sacrifice more feel close to
another.
Even more important is that when a sacrifice is already done, a person very easily starts to rationalize it to
himself. If we buy a certain type of car, we want to see more information supporting our decision and will
pass over the information that is not compatible with our decision."

Associates Press has the story with the headline:

Israeli official: Swine flu name offensive

The full story is here:


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ieHZRubAS3lyjn2GBiCPkXkHrXwwD97QROAG0

Worst bits:
"JERUSALEM (AP) — The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed "Mexican" influenza in deference to
Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.
Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and "we
should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu," he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.
Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products.
Scientists are unsure where the new swine flu virus originally emerged, though it was identifed first in the
United States. They say there is nothing about the virus that makes it "Mexican" and worry such a label would
be stigmatizing."

by jaskaw @ 29.04.2009 - 09:11:09


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/04/29/israeli-official-swine-flu-name-offensive-6027532/
Is blasphemy going to be a crime in Ireland?
The Catholic Church is one of the most conservative forces in the world and Ireland has traditionally been the
most Catholic country in the world, as the church did represent a counterforce for the overpowering English
masters that ruled this green island for centuries against the will of the original inhabitants and did gain a
status of national symbol it has nowhere else.
On this light it is in fact quite surprising that there has in fact been any laws concerning blasphemy in Ireland
even if constitution of the country prohibits it. Now this failure is being rectified as the government of Ireland
is considering introducing a bill that would at maximum a 100 000 pound fine for blasphemy.
This move comes as a surprise as the once so indestructible church has seemed to be quite fragile lately even
in Ireland and even strong words from the Church has not stopped lawmakers from doing things against the
will of the Only True Faith during the past few decades.
Many have even started to hope that Ireland could finally be on the road of becoming a normal catholic
country like Italy or France, where the Church has no real say anymore in the true daily running of the
society, even if the religious façade is still there often quite intact.

The Irish Times has the story with the headline

Crime of blasphemous libel proposed for Defamation Bill

The whole story is here


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0429/1224245599892.html

Excerpts:
"A NEW crime of blasphemous libel is to be proposed by the Minister for Justice in an amendment to the
Defamation Bill, which will be discussed by the Oireachtas committee on justice today.
At the moment there is no crime of blasphemy on the statute books, though it is prohibited by the
Constitution.
Article 40 of the Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of speech, qualifies it by stating: ―The State shall
endeavour to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving
their rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine
public order or morality or the authority of the State.
―The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent material is an offence which shall be
punishable in accordance with law.ć
Last year the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, under the chairmanship of Fianna Fáil TD Seán
Ardagh, recommended amending this Article to remove all references to sedition and blasphemy, and
redrafting the Article along the lines of article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which deals
with freedom of expression.
The prohibition on blasphemy dates back to English law aimed at protecting the established church, the
Church of England, from attack. It has been used relatively recently to prosecute satirical publications in the
UK."

by jaskaw @ 02.05.2009 - 23:31:42

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/02/is-blasphemy-going-to-be-a-crime-in-ireland-6047858/
Feedback for Post "Is blasphemy going to be a crime in
Ireland?"

tapdog [Visitor]

09.05.2009 @ 13:18
"Is blasphemy going to be a crime in Ireland"

Almost certainly not. Likely, common sense will prevail thus demonstrating that a tolerant pluralist society
can accommodate variety of perspectives.
Brutal stonings continue in Iran
Stoning as practiced in modern Iran is the most evil way of killing people there is, as it is carefully designed
to prolong the sufferings of the victim. It is only natural to think that this horrible end would at least be
reserved to those doing the most horrible things, but no; most people stoned in Iran are stoned for the "crime"
of adultery, which is not a crime at all in very many modern societies.
The reason for this is simply that Iran is an astonishing laboratory where it is being tested how an modern
and developed country can be governed with early primitive medieval religious principles.
The creators of Islam put tremendous weight on knowing the real bloodline as hereditary ownership was the
base of ownership of all of the central means of survival in the harsh conditions they lived in. The religion
that evolved among these tribesmen and small time farmers took their values and sanctified them in form of a
religious law called Sharia. Similar laws were enacted also in other primitives societies of that time; for
example also Jews took a similar very harsh view on adultery.
The world has however changed dramatically after those days and all over the world adultery has been
dropped from the criminal laws altogether. Stoning is in reality still used only in areas under the rule of
Islam, as this ultra-conservative religion has fallen into state where changing this religion is made nearly
impossible.
Only in Islam this kind of remains from the long ago disappeared primitive medieval world do persist, as the
many adherents of that religion believe that the pre-medieval penal code achieved in that religion is "sacred"
and cannot be altered.
The Islamic Penal Code of Iran is very specific regarding the details of how stoning should be executed.
Article 102 states that men shall be buried up to their waists and women up to their breasts for the execution.
Article 104 states, referring to the penalty for adultery, that the stones used should ―not be large enough to
kill the person by one or two strikes; nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones
(pebbles.)ć. In some cases, if a victim can escape from the ditch during the stoning, they will be freed.
However, because women are buried up to their breasts and men only at their waists, women will have a
smaller chance of escaping than men.
The MailOnline has the story with the headline:

Iran defies ban to stone man to death for adultery... but repentant woman wins reprieve

The original story is here:


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1177523/Adulterer-stoned-death-Iran--repentant-woman-wins-rep

Excerpts:
"A man found guilty of adultery has been stoned to death in Iran, despite a moratorium on such executions.
The woman involved in the case was said to have 'repented' and was spared.
Ali Reza Jamshidi, a spokesman for the judiciary in the northwestern city of Rasht, where the execution took
place, said the man died on March 5.
The woman, who was not identified, has 'repented and so has not been stoned,' he said.
Iranian news websites identified the condemned man as Vali Azad, a 30-year-old government employee. No
further details were released.
Five Iranians have reportedly been stoned to death in the past four years, despite a 2002 order by judiciary
chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi imposing a moratorium on the practice.
The stoning of Azad follows Friday's execution of Delara Darabi, 23, despite calls from the international
community for a reprieve."

"Stop medieval cruelty in Iran" in Facebook


http://apps.facebook.com/causes/111694?m=3124eff7

by jaskaw @ 06.05.2009 - 12:02:33

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/06/a-man-stoned-to-death-again-in-iran-6068016/
Have a great Day of Reason!

The Day of Reason (the 7th of May) is at hand today. It would be nice if we could really develop a way of
celebrating the Day of Reason as an truly international day of celebrating rationality. One easy way is on
offer for the users of Facebook. We all could publish one rational idea in our Facebook-status lines today in
honour of the Day of Reason? "Today is the international Day of Reason" would be a good to add there also.
Internet is choke full of excellent quotations and some of them are even quite rational; see for example
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/rational http://www.brainyquote.
The National Day of Reason was originally an response to the National Day of Prayer in the US of A alone,
but this page tries to promote the idea of International Day of Reason that is held simultaneously on the first
Thursday of May as the US National Day of Reason.
We can naturally celebrate this day by being the reasonable beings we always are, as rationality is never a
thing reserved for special occasions. It is something we need every single day of our lives.
Of course we as fallible humans will never be fully rational beings, but at least aiming for greater rationality
will always benefit us, our society and in the end, the whole of the human kind.
In the web page of the National Day of Reason there is the following explanation for the day at:

http://www.nationaldayofreason.org/

"Why a "National Day of Reason?"

"Many who value the separation of religion and government have sought an appropriate response to the
federally-supported National Day of Prayer, an annual abuse of the constitution. Nontheistic Americans
(including freethinkers, humanists, atheists, agnostics, and deists), alongwith many traditionally religious
allies, view such government-sanctioned sectarianism as unduly exclusionary.
A consortium of leaders from within the community of reason endorsed the idea of a National Day of Reason.
This observance is held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday in May each year
(May 7th in 2009). The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to
raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the
private sphere of worship.
The Day of Reason also exists to inspire the secular community to be visible and active on this day to set the
right example for how to effect positive change. Local organizations might use "Day of Reason" to label their
events, or they might choose labels such as Day of Action, Day of Service, or Rational Day of Care. The
important message is to provide a positive, useful, constitutional alternative to the exclusionary National Day
of Prayer".

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rationality/70784829441

by jaskaw @ 07.05.2009 - 09:08:38

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/07/have-a-great-day-of-reason-6073541/
Feedback for Post "Have a great Day of Reason!"

AtheistAmerican [Member]
17.05.2009 @ 19:17

I did have a pretty good day, but the National Day of Prayer was still kowtowed by Obama, not repudiated as
did Governor Ventura who was the last to defend the US Constitution as an elected executive under these
United States. Article 6 provides for "no religious test" now just how the hell would I be able to comply with
Harry Truman's law as an American Atheist elected to "any office or public trust under these United States?"
So a few thousand of us did observe our National Lawful Day of Reason while millions of James Dobson
radio listeners like puppets trotted down to city halls, public squares, county councils or Capitol Steps from
Honolulu to Helena and Albany to Austin to be urged on to more theocracy, more xian intimidation of
closeted Atheists & young minds locally who deserve a neutral government where Atheism & Theism are
treated equally. Every schoolchild should read Thomas Jefferson's letter to his favorite nephew Peter Carr
where he complimented him on reasoning upon the topic of whether an alleged deity exists or not. Every
schoolchild should be shown a copy of McKinley's pardon of Charles Chilton Moore for the crime of mailing
obscene King James Bible verses. When equal time prevails, reason will roll down like water from the
mountain top of truth & science, peace, Larry Carter Center 843-926-1750
Muslim insurgents continue bloodletting in the
Philippines
One of the least internationally followed religious conflicts has been going on for years in the Philippines,
where the Muslim rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have fought against the forces of the Christian
Philippines government.
In the island of Mindanao there is nearly 4,5 million Muslims who live in a country that is otherwise Catholic
to the toe after several hundred years under the yoke of the Catholic Spanish invaders.
The rebellion started in the 60‎s and at a stage there was a couple of peace accords with the original Moro
National Liberation Front which ceased fighting after the latter peace treaty created the Autonomous Region
of Muslim Mindanao in 1996.
The peace treatyled however to the forming of extremist Moro Islamic Liberation Front which continues the
fight, Also MILF has been at many stages at peace talks, but no sustainable solution has been found that
would please the Muslim guerillas.
The Yahoo News has the story with the headline:

Seven dead in south Philippines attack

Full story is here:


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090505/wl_asia_afp/philippinesmuslimunrest_20090505140319

Higlights:
"MANILA (AFP) – Seven people were killed and 1,000 forced to flee their homes as fresh fighting broke out
when Muslim separatist guerrillas attacked civilians in the southern Philippines, the military said on Tuesday.
One civilian was killed and six others wounded when militants from the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) harassed residents of Tulunan town, forcing the military to intervene on Sunday, a statement
said.
Soldiers clashed with the MILF fighters and an air force OV-10 attack plane bombed their positions, forcing
the rebels to withdraw.
The 12,000-member MILF has been waging a decades-old insurgency to set up a Muslim state in the southern
Philippines, where Christian settlers now outnumber the original inhabitants.
Peace talks were suspended last August after two MILF commanders launched attacks on Christian
communities in retaliation for the Supreme Court blocking a draft peace agreement that would have given the
Muslims political and economic control of large areas of the south."
by jaskaw @ 08.05.2009 - 20:47:11

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/08/muslim-insurgents-continue-bloodletting-in-the-philippines-6083130/
Feedback for Post "Muslim insurgents continue
bloodletting in the Philippines"

Päiviö [Visitor]
http://www.latvus.com
11.05.2009 @ 11:35
As a curiosity I add here having been in the Port of IloIlo in Philippines 1974, just when the Muslims quite
recently had started the fighting against the government. We heard shooting around the area.

I was working there as a Christian missionary, as a member in the ocean-ship (Logos I) "full" of young
Christian people (about 200) from 25 different nationalities. That was the time when Muslims were united
with Communist guerillas and president Marcos came to the ship in Manila and purchased a lot of books of
pastor Richard Wurmbrand : "I was the prisoner of the Commnists" (14 years with heavy torturing). Marcos
gave the books to the Communists (and perhaps also Muslims) in the prison of Manila.
Roxana Saberi fights herself free
This is an extremely happy day for the family of the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, as she was
finally let out of the Iranian gulag today, where she had ended up after a closed mock-trial in which she was
given a devastating eight year sentence for spying.
The conviction caused on international outcry that quite surprised the Iranian officials. However in the end it
was Roxana Saberi herself who secured her freedom as she started a hunger-strike that ultimately threatened
her life. The Iranian state machinery had to face the possibility of a serious international incident
surrounding her possible death in Iranian custody.
One can only think how Roxana Saberi herself must have felt in the Iranian kangaroo court when the sentence
of eight years of imprisonment was read out, when originally she had in fact faced charges of illegally
obtaining alcohol. She however had the courage and stamina to fight this cruel injustice.
Her case clearly illustrates the state of Iranian religious dictatorship, where the legal system based on
religious fundamentals is a joke; a terrible and cruel joke that serves the interests of the ruling religious elite
as the ruling elite see fit at any given situation.
The sudden dropping of spying charges against Roxana Saberi was a further proof of the ultimate corruption
of the Iranian legal system, as it only illustrates on how nonexistent grounds the original charges were.
BBC has the story with the headline

Reporter Saberi leaves Iran jail

The whole story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8044193.stm

Highlights:
"The US-Iranian journalist jailed in Iran, Roxana Saberi, has been freed from prison after having her sentence
for spying reduced.
Lawyers for the 31 year old, whose imprisoning sparked a global outcry, said she left Tehran's Evin jail hours
after her eight-year term was cut.
She will be able to leave the country but has been banned from working as a journalist in Iran for five years.
Ms Saberi was convicted of spying for the US in April but denied the charge.
As well as a reduced jail sentence, the charge against Ms Saberi was changed from one of passing secret
information to a lesser count of having access to classified information, he adds.
The journalist originally faced a less serious accusation of buying alcohol, and later of working as a reporter
without a valid press card.
The spying charge was introduced soon afterwards, and she was tried and sentenced behind closed doors by
the Revolutionary Court in Tehran."

by jaskaw @ 11.05.2009 - 17:29:47

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/11/roxana-saberi-fights-herself-free-6097497/
Christians in dire straits in the Middle East
The modern Christian communities is the Middle East consist largely of extremely old-fashioned and dated
forms of that faith, as many in fact are descendants of the followers of the Monophysite and other eastern
heresies that were extinguished a long time ago in all of the areas where Catholic Church held sway in the
early Middle Ages.
Many of these variations from the original theme were eventually preserved only in areas under Muslim rule,
as Muslim rulers in practice prevented the Only True Church from attacking and ultimately destroying these
remaining followers of old heresies as it did in all of the areas it had control of. The fragmentation of the faith
could continue unabated in those areas where there was no state sponsored Christian church. Middle East is
in fact now full of small tribes of Christians differing in so minor details from other similar groups and these
deeply felt differences are often quite incomprehensible to outsiders.
The Middle East under the Muslim rule has in practice became an open air museum of Christianity where
many of the oldest forms of that faith haven been preserved in their crude and original banality.
The story of today is from New York Times and it tells about the current dire straits of the age-old Christian
communities in the Middle East under the fearful rising tide of the ultra-conservative Islam, that some people
call ‫ل‬radical‎, even if it is a radical only in a sense that a they are driving a ‫ل‬radical‎ return to the darkness
of the Middle Ages. The story has the headline:

Mideast‎s Christians Losing Numbers and Sway

The whole story is here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/world/middleeast/13christians.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Excerpts:
―JERUSALEM — Christians used to be a vital force in the Middle East. They dominated Lebanon and filled
top jobs in the Palestinian movement. In Egypt, they were wealthy beyond their number. In Iraq, they packed
the universities and professions. Across the region, their orientation was a vital link to the West, a
counterpoint to prevailing trends.
But as Pope Benedict XVI wends his way across the Holy Land this week, he is addressing a dwindling and
threatened Christian population driven to emigration by political violence, lack of economic opportunity and
the rise of radical Islam. A region that a century ago was 20 percent Christian is about 5 percent today and
dropping.
Since it was here that Jesus walked and Christianity was born, the papal visit highlights a prospect many
consider deeply troubling for the globe‎s largest faith, adhered to by a third of humanity — its most powerful
and historic shrines could become museum relics with no connection to those who live among them.
―I fear the extinction of Christianity in Iraq and the Middle East,ć the Rev. Jean Benjamin Sleiman, the
Catholic archbishop of Baghdad, said in a comment echoed across the region.ć

The picture of eastern Christianity is extremely varied, The articles on in Wikipedia gives a hint of what it is
all about:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Orthodox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Catholic_Churches
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_Church_of_the_East
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriac_Christianity

by jaskaw @ 15.05.2009 - 20:23:26

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/15/christians-in-dire-straits-in-middle-east-6121820/
A shocking sex scandal in the Catholic Church - a
man kissed a woman
We live in a strange world, where on the surface very modern and enlightened people can very lightly accept
the fact that there can be people that are deprived of some very basic human needs, as the closeness, comfort
and companionship derived from a deep relationship between human beings. I am naturally referring the
Catholic Church, which for reasons of its own making still demands that its core workers do not have sexual
relationships at all.
There is a recent ―sex scandalć in the US involving a well-known catholic television-priest. The funniest part
is that the ćsex scandalć in this case means just that he was seen kissing a woman, which is the most natural
thing a man can do to a woman. The real scandal here is of course the thing that an employer really can still
make this kind of demands to its employees, and they are picketed and dragged though the courts for violating
the very basic rights of these employees.
The funny part of the whole sordid thing is that this demand of celibacy in the Catholic Church is not in fact
even not based on teachings found in the ―Holy bookć of that religion. This rule was in fact invented later on,
when the leaders of the newfangled religion found out that the married priesthood could produce powerful
local clerical dynasties which could undermine the central leadership of the centralized Only True Faith.
The sad fact is that the real need for celibacy is derived from the need to defend the extremely centralized
power structure of the Catholic Church and not even of any of real religious doctrines. A funny thing is that
the Eastern Orthodoxy that claims to be more true to the original message of the first Christian church has no
such demands for the chastity of its employers.

The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality has more on the ideological side of the issue at:
http://www.ejhs.org/volume2/walsh/walsh1.htm
―The Christian Church has worked with the presumption that Jesus never married, never engaged in sexual
activity. Roman Catholic theologian Joan Timmerman, speaking of that presumption writes: " ... the tradition
of Jesus' celibacy derives from later devotional rather than biblical or theological sources authoritative in the
early communities. Timmerman concludes: "Scholars also point out the obvious, that to argue from omission
is weak. On both sides, those who assume Jesus' celibacy and those who argue for a more conventional
lifestyle for his time, all that can be gathered is supposition, not fact." (Timmerman, 1992. pp. 29 & 30).ć
―Once a connection between sex and sin had been established, the thought of a non celibate Jesus was
anathema to the Church Fathers of the first centuries. Jesus, after all, was not only a priest, he was the High
Priest. As St. Ambrose wrote: "The ministerial office must be kept pure and unspotted and must not be defiled
by coitus." (St. Ambrose, "Duties of Clergy" 1, 258).ć
ćIranaeus (d. 202) held that Adam and Eve were banished from Eden for copulating, and that Jesus redeemed
the world by not copulating. (St. Iranaeus, "Against Heresies" 5, 19, 1)ć
―We can only conclude that those who hold that Jesus lived the celibate life are going on a presumption with
no facts to substantiate that position.ć
The Miami Herald has the story:

Father Alberto Cutié makes national apology

The full story is here:


http://www.miamiherald.com/486/story/1043596.html
Excerpts:
"The Rev. Alberto Cutié used a nationally broadcast interview to apologize profusely to the church and his
fellow Catholics. Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Miami has not indicated what Cutié's future might be.
BY JENNIFER LEBOVICH, LYDIA MARTIN AND JAWEED KALEEM
LMARTIN@MIAMIHERALD.COM
In his first English-language television interview since photos surfaced showing him frolicking with a woman
on a Miami Beach, the Rev. Alberto Cutié appeared on national TV Monday -- without his priestly collar,
showing a bit of neck under a white button-down shirt and apologizing profusely to the church and his fellow
Catholics.
''I take full responsibility for what I did and I know it's wrong,'' he told Maggie Rodriguez, anchor of CBS'
The Early Show, changing his tune from Friday, when he sounded much less contrite in an interview with
Univisión.
Then he said: ``I will never say I'm sorry for loving a woman.''
Though the photos have reignited a debate over priests and celibacy, Cutié, who had said even before the
scandal broke that he was in favor of celibacy becoming a choice instead of a mandate, told Rodriguez he still
believes in the vow he couldn't keep."

by jaskaw @ 17.05.2009 - 18:20:31

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/17/a-shocking-sex-scandal-in-the-catholic-church-a-man-kissed-a-woman-6130241
Feedback for Post "A shocking sex scandal in the Catholic
Church - a man kissed a woman"

AtheistAmerican [Member]
17.05.2009 @ 19:03

There is no single shred of evidence that a man named Jesua was born in Bethlehem, exiled, returned some
time at age 12 to make a single appearance in a temple, then live as a carpenter for 18 more years, celibate &
wander Palestine for 3 years never writing a single word on stone or wood or parchment & conspire to be
tortured & executed only to survive this execution as some sort of inspiration to all humankind? This insane
story is no less gibberish than Vatican demands that priests never masturbate, never marry a female nor a
male. It is no wonder that a huge percentage of global priests are pedophiles and child molesters, picking on
the most vulnerable altar boys & nun wannabees at their earliest virgin ages. This priest who merely kisses an
adult woman ought to be cheered for being normal. But as long as virgins have babies & zygotes have more
rights than born humans & their raped or unwilling mothers, our planet is genuinely cursed by irrationality,
massive corruption by Banco Ambrosiano & distractions away from human progress often instigated by the
Nazi Pope, his Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops & local mafia called nuns & priests. If you think I'm
exaggerating, come to our neighborhood birth control clinic & I'll show you tampon terrorists with rosary
beads & other weapons of intimidation to women they do not know trying to walk into the doctor's office
without the fanatic shouts of "murder" "black genocide" or "have mercy" by dozens of EXEMPLARY US
CATHOLICS led by every local priest in this diocese. Larry Carter Center 843-926-1750
The Pope strikes back in Facebook
The Catholic Church is undoubtedly one of the absolutely most conservative major social forces operating in
the modern western world. They are in fact claiming that a belief system invented nearly 2000 years ago does
not need any adjustments and the same rules in eating, sexuality and social life in general can still be applied
that were used nearly 2000 years ago.
As I write this their steadfast belief in some weird kind of sanctity of human semen costs innumerable human
lives all around the world, when the followers of this relic in the group of religions are denied the use of
condoms. It is a scientific fact that condoms are the only really working safeguard against AIDS transmitted
through sexual act.
Of course this inability to change dogma is only the official party line that has been already been breached in
many lesser issues. As societies have been transformed beyond recognition, so have the teachings used in the
real practical world also by the Catholic Church.
The Only True Church is now however in a real danger of ending up in the margins in the western societies,
and so it is finding desperately ways to modernize its image so tarnished by its extremely old-fashioned real
life actions. The Guardian has the story with the headline.

iPhone to popePhone: follow the pontiff as Vatican grasps new technology


Online applications to help Catholics to see, hear and send virtual postcards of Pope Benedict

The full story is here:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/20/pope-vatican-applications-facebook-iphone

Story by Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent


―There is no poking or hugging and you cannot send a flower or throw a sheep, but in an attempt to bridge the
digital divide between the church and its flock, the Vatican has launched several applications, including ones
for Facebook and the iPhone, to help a younger generation of Catholics get closer to Benedict XVI.
Pope2You.Net, a portal that goes live tomorrow, will allow the faithful to follow the pontiff on his travels,
watch videos of him, hear his homilies and read his speeches.
The Facebook application, called The Pope Meets You on Facebook, allows users to send and receive 20
"virtual postcards" of him along with text taken from his speeches and messages, while the iPhone application
offers audio and video content in eight different languages, including Chinese.
Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which is responsible
for the site, told the Guardian: "If a church does not communicate then it ceases to be a church. It is not
simply the technologies of communication that are changing, the culture of communication is changing also.ć

by jaskaw @ 20.05.2009 - 20:28:17

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/20/pope-strikes-back-in-facebook-6148737/
The illusion of democracy crumbles again in Iran
It is a really surprising to see that even some battle-hardened journalist fall in the trap of seeing in Iran as
some kind of democracy. They fail to see the stark fact that Iran is a country where only a illusion of
democracy is created by a carefully crafted machinery.
They are misled by the fact that there really are elections with multiple candidates in Iran, but they fail to
understand that all those candidates are carefully screened before elections by a religious body. All
candidates on offer are required by the law to accept current religious ideology holding power in Iran.
An election does not make a country democratic, if there not the slightest possibility that in the election there
could be candidates on offer that oppose the ideology that is holding absolute power in that country.
In all elections in Iran there has been only different shades is Islamists on offer and there is not even a
possibility that other candidates would be available in the future. So Iranians can freely elect the Islamist they
like the most to lead their country and that is no democracy as it is commonly seen.
The Time has the story with the headline:

A Woman as President: Iran's Impossible Dream?

The full story is here


http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1899763,00.html?tr=y&auid=4890820

Excepts:
"Every four years, hundreds of Iranians register to stand as candidates in the country's presidential election.
Women have signed up to run since 1997 — yet no female has ever been certified by the government to run for
President. This month, 42 women were among the 475 people who signed up, harboring hope that this time,
there was a real chance for a female candidate to stand.
Indeed, expectations had been raised when the spokesman of the Guardian Council — the powerful body that
vets the candidates — announced on April 11 that it "has never announced its opinion on whether a registrant
is a man or a woman. Whenever a woman has been disqualified, it has been because she's lacked general
competence." That was a tantalizing hint of a liberal interpretation for words in the constitution that are often
perceived to block the candidacy of women. (See pictures of Iranians caught between tradition and
modernity.)
Standing in the way of women has been Article 115 of Iran's constitution, where an Arabic phrase, rejale
mazhabi-siasi, defining the qualification of candidates appears to be applied exclusively as "religious and
political men" — even though it can also be read as "religious and political personalities." Says Jamileh
Kadivar, a former member of parliament who heads women's affairs for the campaign of presidential
candidate Mehdi Karroubi: "We are dealing with both legal and institutional discrimination." Among the
women who registered this time, the most prominent was the conservative politician Rafat Bayat. She was
disqualified in 2005 but insisted on standing again, because, she explained, "I am a political personality!"

by jaskaw @ 24.05.2009 - 13:05:05

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/24/the-illusion-of-democracy-crumbles-again-in-iran-6167401/
Feedback for Post "The illusion of democracy crumbles
again in Iran"

MTB [Visitor]

24.05.2009 @ 13:41
Yeah, making all candidates pass a religious test is inexcusable. Imagine if the only viable candidates in our
country were those who proclaim their Christianity ...oh wait...
Will they finally kick Scientology out of France?
The ―Churchć of Scientology that was invented by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard back on 50‎s is a
very tough nut to crack. According to some sources it has one of the best paid legal crews in the corporate
world. Because of this fact even a obscure blogger like me must write about it with the knowledge that a
single slip could mean a day in the courts answering to a group of grim-faced lawyers.
This is a tactic that has paid handsome dividends already. In some countries all critical voices telling about
this extremely strange money-making scheme have already been silenced.
This ‫ل‬religious‎ organization can now operate with impunity all over the world, even if the greedy strategies
of extracting money from the followers of this ‫ل‬faith‎ have been exposed over and over again and even
proved in the court of law in many countries over decades.
The Independent tells about the latest court case in France that will test Scientology‎s ability to continue
posing as a ‫ل‬religion‎. The story has the catchy headline:

Tom Cruise and a trial that could drive Scientology out of France

The original story is here:


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tom-cruise-and-a-trial-that-could-drive-scientology-out-of-france-16

The Scientology cruise ship Freewinds - Wikipedia

Excerpts:

―The Scientology movement went on trial in Paris yesterday for "organised fraud" in a case which could lead
to the cult's organising bodies being outlawed in France.
The French state prosecution service has failed to back the trial but denies that its decision was influenced by
the lobbying of French politicians, including Nicolas Sarkozy before he became President, by leading
Scientologists, including the actor Tom Cruise. After an 11-year inquiry, following complaints from four
French former Scientologists, an independent, investigating magistrate decided that the prosecution should go
ahead.
Two female plaintiffs allege that, between 1997 and 1999, the French movement persuaded them to pay the
equivalent of ĥ20,000 each on drugs, vitamins, counselling, saunas and equipment to improve their mental
and physical health. This included an "electrometer" to measure the state of their "spiritual condition".
The movement is accused of pretending to "identify and resolve alleged psychological difficulties" and
"promoting the personal flowering" of its adepts with the "sole aim of seizing their resources" and
"establishing psychological control over them".

The video extra of today is brand new one from Pat Condell:
by jaskaw @ 26.05.2009 - 19:33:34

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/26/will-they-finally-kick-scientology-out-of-france-6181494/
Was Bush fulfilling the prophecies by attacking
Iraq?
A really troubling article in the Counterpunch -webzine claims that president Bush was basing much of his
foreign policy on his religious beliefs that verged form the dangerous to the crazy.
If the biblical prophecies really were influencing the highest decision making processes of the mightiest
nation of earth, we have really concern for alarm.
However, we still have hope, as there is still a change that writer Clive Hamilton goes too far in his
interpretation of his sources. The possibility that Clive Hamilton is right is simply all too frightening to be
even contemplated.
The story in Counterpunch had the headline:

Biblical Prophesy and the Iraq War: Bush, God, Iraq and Gog

The original story is here


http://counterpunch.com/hamilton05222009.html

Excepts:
"By Clive Hamilton
The revelation this month in GQ magazine that Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary embellished top-secret
wartime memos with quotations from the Bible prompts a question. Why did he believe he could influence
President Bush by that means?
The answer may lie in an alarming story about George Bush‎s Christian millenarian beliefs that has yet to
come to light.
In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France‎s
President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work
in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.
In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the
north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:
―And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to
deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to
battle – and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.ć
Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:
―This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people‎s enemies before a
New Age beginsć.
The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elysée Palace, baffled by Bush‎s words, sought
advice from Thomas Römer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Römer
gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university‎s review, Allez savoir. The article apparently
went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper.

There can be little doubt now that President Bush‎s reason for launching the war in Iraq was, for him,
fundamentally religious. He was driven by his belief that the attack on Saddam‎s Iraq was the fulfilment of a
Biblical prophesy in which he had been chosen to serve as the instrument of the Lord."

by jaskaw @ 29.05.2009 - 15:48:30

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/29/was-bush-fulfilling-the-prophesies-by-attacking-iraq-6198249/
Can plucking of eyebrows really make you lose
your identity?
There is very common trait of seeing the traditions of the faraway lands as something exotic and so often
somehow more agreeable than one‎s local traditions. They are "local customs" and we have for a long time
learned that one should always respect local customs, not to be a racist and xenophobic.
On the other hand why should we happily accept things in faraway lands that are not accepted in our own
neighborhood?
This is not to say that we should attack the foreign countries that have local customs we cannot stomach and
force them to live by our rules. I do not believe that anybody can have the right to force other societies to
change their lives in any fundamental way, but I believe that anybody should have the right to try to
peacefully persuade other people to see all things in different angles.
I do however believe that all people must have a right to say their thoughts aloud even if they see some
religious custom as needless and silly.
If I want to have the right to say that many of the traditions pushed by the majority religion in my own country
are needless and silly, I see no reason why should refrain of saying similar things about any other of the
religions on offer.
The story of today is form India and has the headline:

Girl who plucked her eyebrows is not true Sikh, says Indian High Court

The full story is here:


http://www.averroespress.com/AverroesPress/Main/Entries/2009/5/31_Girl_who_plucked_her_eyebrows_is_not_true_

Excerpts:
"CHANDIGARH, India: Endorsing a hardline stand by high priests of Sikhism who barred a young girl
admission in a minority institution on grounds that she violated a fundamental tenet of the religion by
plucking her eyebrows, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Saturday ruled that the Shiromani Gurdwara
Prabandhak Committee was fully justified in doing so.
Leaning on the side of a text-based, more conservative definition of who is a true Sikh and the importance of
hair in Sikhism, the full bench of justices JS Khehar, Jasbir Singh and Ajay Kumar Mittal in a 152-page order
said keeping unshorn hair was an essential and most fundamental component of the religion.
The order came on a plea by Gurleen Kaur and others who had challenged denial of admission into an MBBS
course at the Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar, a Sikh minority
institution, on grounds that they plucked their eyebrows and trimmed their hair."

by jaskaw @ 01.06.2009 - 00:40:16

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/05/31/can-plucking-of-eyebrows-make-you-lose-your-ethnic-identity-6209743/
Does eating pork unknowingly endanger a
Muslims eternal salvation?
I have always wondered if a person can be held divinely responsible for violating the dietary restrictions
imposed by various religions also when people are eating forbidden foodstuffs without having any change of
knowing it.
This interesting question arises again in recent case in the UK when chicken meat was doped up with pork
and beef proteins. Have Muslims eating this beefed up chicken endangered their whole eternal salvation or is
there a lesser religious punishment for this kind of religious crime?
I imagine that there is various competing schools of thought in different religions and a there can be a
roomful of books written about this problem that really seems extremely urgent and pressing for some people.
The whole idea of forbidding foodstuffs on religious grounds can however have very down to earth origins.
According to many anthropologists they have originated from the need to show as clearly and easily as
possible where the boundaries between the believers and unbelievers go and they have always been used as a
very effective way of creating group cohesion.
Their important function is so to intensify the division between the true believers and all other people. When
you have learned from the early childhood that it is disgusting to eat something you see very easily people
eating those disgusting things as foreign and repulsive.
Eating is the most basic human activity and divisions based on the eating habits work at the very basic level.
That is the main reason why religions are so extremely interested in what their followers are eating and what
not.

Chicken injected with beef waste sold in UK


Muslims and Jews conned into eating meat bulked out with cow and pig products

The original story is here:


http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/chicken-injected-with-beef-waste-sold-in-uk-1696407.ht

Excerpts:
"In a hi-tech fraud run by firms in three EU states, food manufacturers are making bulking agents out of
porcine and bovine gristle and bones that help inflate chicken breasts, so that they fetch a higher price.
Britain's two million Muslims, Jews and Hindus are forbidden from eating either pork or beef. Muslims would
ordinarily eat halal chicken and Jews kosher chicken sold through approved caterers and butchers.
The Hindu Forum of Britain described news of the adulteration, which will be confirmed publicly today, as
"shocking and potentially very distressing". Its secretary general, Bharti Tailor, said: "Eating beef is expressly
forbidden because cows are considered to be sacred as they are a representation of the bounty of the gods,
even unknowingly. The fact that the protein powders injected into chickens served in restaurants and cafes
contain even traces of beef or pork is horrific. And [the fact] that Hindus will have been eating beef
contaminated chickens will be mentally agonising. Many will feel that they have broken their religious code
of conduct."
The food regulator acknowledged the serious consequences of its findings. "Use of these proteins does not
make chicken products unsafe, but it is important that people are given accurate information about their food,"
the FSA said."

More on the history of dietary regulations at:


http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2009/01/25/why-muslims-do-not-eat-pork-5446421/

by jaskaw @ 04.06.2009 - 22:23:22

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/06/04/does-eating-pork-unknowingly-endanger-a-muslims-eternal-salvation-6239035/
Feedback for Post "Does eating pork unknowingly
endanger a Muslims eternal salvation?"

tllor [Visitor]

04.06.2009 @ 23:51
Yes. Muslims who ate pork either knowingly or unknowingly are now damned to burn in the eternal fires of
Hell. The only escape is to quickly switch to a religion that permits pork in order to receive salvation through
this emergency avenue. So it is written.

Have a wonderful day.

Zaki [Visitor]

15.06.2009 @ 05:57
No, it does not endanger a Muslim's chances for heaven. In Islam, it is the intention that matter more than the
action itself. If pork or alcohol is consumed unknowingly, then the Muslim is free of all sin. Truly, ignorance
is bliss.

Also, it is worth noting that "Allah" will forgive every sin if you pray for forgiveness, with true intent. That is,
every sin but one: shirkh. Shirkh means to believe in more than one god. At the time of revelation, many
Arabs worshiped a cornucopia of idols, and the transition from many-gods to one god was difficult for quite a
few of them.

I'm not sure where tllor got his information from, but it is most definitely incorrect. If you're interested in
learning about Islam, I recommend reading "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" written by
Martin Lings.

I hope this has been helpful.


Why the result of the presidential elections In Iran
does not really matter?
The recent circus of presidential elections in Iran again fooled lot of people into seeing Iran as a real
democratic nation, when there was a real and contested election to the seemingly highest office of the land.
It is all too easy to forget that all the contesters were allowed to run only after a very strict scrutiny by a
religious body that made sure that all contesters were certified followers of the fanatical religious ideology
holding absolute power in the whole machinery of state.
The communist of the old should now cry their eyes out for not inventing this kind of mock-democracy. If only
true and certified communists could have run on elections it would have been quite safe to have
multicandidate elections that would have seemed quite democratic for a average outside observer.
Then there could have been very real-looking elections also in the communist states also, but in the end their
results would not have mattered, as in end all candidates would have been certified communists.
In similar vein there were only different shades of Islamists on offer in these elections in Iran; they did differ
only on the moderation or radicalism of their Islamism.
On the other hand the president Iran has no real power and he is more of a figurehead of the state, which is in
real world run by a unelected shadow system of religious bodies that can at any time without explanation
overturn at will any decisions made by the secular one-party ‫ل‬democratic‎ machinery.
The head of the religious body or the ―Supreme Leaderć of Iran has the real power in Iran and in real life
president just runs his errands.
One must remember that the main rivalfor Ahmadinejad was Mir-Hossein Mousavi who was the last Prime
Minister in Iran before the constitutional changes which removed the post of prime minister. Before that, he
was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is also a member of the Expediency Discernment Council and the
High Council of Cultural Revolution. He is a staunch supporter of the current rule and inside member of the
ruling elite; he was by no means an outsider trying to break nor was he aiming at dismantling the absolute
rule of Islam in Iran.
Behind the facade of democracy the suppression of real opposition to the religious state is suppressed
ruthlessly and most of all the religious minorities like Baha'i suffer under one of the most oppressive
governments of the whole world at the moment.

The CNN has today‎s story with the headline:

Baha'is say jailed leaders in Iran face harsh new accusation

The full story is here:


http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/05/14/iran.bahais.jail/

Excerpts:
"By Joe Sterling (CNN) -- Seven Baha'i leaders jailed in Iran face a possible new accusation that could lead to
the death penalty, the religious group said Thursday, and a major human rights group has called for their
release.
The seven -- six arrested on May 14, 2008, and another arrested in March 2008 -- have been charged with
espionage for Israel, propaganda against Iran, and "insulting religious sanctities," an Iranian deputy prosecutor
said in February.
Now Baha'i officials say families of those imprisoned have been told that the seven may face the charge of
"spreading of corruption on Earth," a count that the group says "carries the threat of death" under Iran's penal
code.
Kit Bigelow, director of external affairs of the National Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States, told
CNN the seven have not had a trial or access to their lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. She
said that while they have been told of their charges, they haven't gone to court to hear the charges.
"They have been denied due process," Bigelow told CNN. "Technically, they have been in jail for a year
without having been formally charged. The charges have been made in the public domain, but not in the legal
domain."
Human Rights Watch, the world rights monitoring group, used the anniversary of the arrests of six of the
Baha'is to call for their release or a prompt trial, with "fair and open proceedings."
"These Baha'i leaders have been languishing in prison for a year now, with no access to their lawyers and no
glimmer of a trial date," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement
on Thursday. "These reported new charges only add to the fears for their lives under a government that
systematically discriminates against Baha'is."

by jaskaw @ 13.06.2009 - 17:43:02

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/06/13/why-the-result-of-the-presidential-elections-in-iran-do-not-really-matter-629591
Should we envy Muslims for their interest-free
loans?
A recent piece of news tells us the astonishing news that a bank in Australia of all places is starting to offer its
Muslim customers interest-free loans. A Muslim mortgage mostly works by the bank buying the property, then
selling it to the customer at a profit, with the customer then repaying the entire sum in installments. After all it
is all just a pitiable play with words. The absolutely same interest is just paid in other ways that are however
not called interest anymore.
There really is nothing special in those loans, and there is no reason for envy by non-Muslims as the interest
is just collected in a much more complicated way.
All this quite unnecessary work is done to please pious Muslims and ultimately of course their Allah. This
Allah has in his endless wisdom forbidden taking interest and has by so doing made the life of Muslims a lot
more complicated and has hampered the economical development of all Muslim countries.
This Allah character is btw. a seemingly simplistic creature, if he is satisfied with this kind of childish
word-play.
The Daily Tlegraph from Australia has the story with the catchy headline:

Muslims get interest-free loans

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25632250-5006009,00.html

Excerpts:
"ONE of Australia's major banks is planning to introduce "Muslim-friendly" loans that do not charge interest,
to comply with Sharia law.
Instead, the National Australia Bank will structure an Islam-approved line of finance to make money from
alternative methods.
These include profit-sharing on the transaction, joint-ventures or leasing-type arrangements.
For example, to get round the Islamic ban on usury - or unfair lending - a Muslim mortgage often works by
the bank buying the property, then selling it to the customer at a profit, with the customer then repaying the
entire sum in instalments.
In this way the profit margin is built in from the start. It also has the advantage of making the loan immune
from future interest rate rises.
NAB said the loans, which will start out small, will have to be cleared by a Sharia Advisory Board to ensure
they meet strict criteria before they can be made available to the public.
"We are dipping our toe in the water with this scheme and thought we may be able to offer this product in
high-density Muslim areas," said Richard Peters, head of community finance and development at NAB."

by jaskaw @ 14.06.2009 - 21:14:16

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/06/14/should-we-envy-muslims-for-their-interest-free-loans-6302600/
Feedback for Post "Should we envy Muslims for their
interest-free loans?"

augie [Visitor]

16.06.2009 @ 19:13
When living in Iran after the revolution(for 11-years) it was quite an eye-opener to witness the average person
being able to buy and own a home/property/business/factory . . . because of the Muslim laws against usury
that was not a common privilege during the American controlled Pahlavi era.

After the revolution, a banking fee was charged of one-percent on the loans...the fee funded the banks
operational costs and employee salaries and benefits.

The housing industry boomed, hundreds of thousands of jobs were created via construction providing a better
quality of life for a larger segment of the population unattainable during Western influenced governance.
More money in more hands gave rise to dreams of a better standard of living until . . .

the international sanctions that decimated the Iranian economy and still does . . the economic strife the
population has been forced to endure came at the expense of the nation's minority - the radicals - that continue
to give impetus to the sanctions and economic hell of the population.

When one is capable of speaking Farsi, one is also hearing the average demonstrators of this week, young and
old, bemoaning the economic hell families are forced to live in with a rage directed at those radical clerics
who create international hostilities towards the population who suffers.

While the clerics are plush with goods, foods and services the population struggles to have bread on their
table. The clerics blame the west for the populations' horrific conditions while the population blame the clerics
for inciting the sanctions the clerics do not suffer from.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
16.06.2009 @ 21:19
With due respect, augie, but as a person who has been following the economy for a living for over 20 years,
these economic benefits of Islamic banking laws sound like utter bullshit as this kind of effects have never
been observed anywhere else with Islamic banking laws.
A cold fact of life is that the most stagnant and ill-working economies of today are found in those countries
abiding to the Islamic medieval codes of conduct even in matters of economy like banking. Without its oil
even Saudi-Arabia would be a pitiful backwater.
Is Iran on the brink of an real revolution?
I wrote a couple a days ago how the presidential elections in Iran do not really matter. This really could have
been the case if the elections would have been allowed to run their due course and the moderate Islamist
candidate Mr. Moussavi would have been allowed to win.
Mr. Moussavi was at that time at least really not a opponent of the Islamist regime of Iran, but a quite
moderate supporter of it. He could have reformed the IRI to meet the even some of the basic requirements of
the modern world.
However the blatant forgery of the elections has changed everything. Now the masses are on the move and the
well hidden build up of deep resentment against the religiously mandated government is surfacing fast. Events
are racing ahead and mr Moussavi is not in the control of them at all.
Events are radicalizing people of Iran in a fast pace, and nobody can predict the outcome of this situation.
It is even hopefully possible that Mr. Moussavi is experiencing a radicalization-process himself, as day by day
he realizes more and more how deep the resentment against the current rule in Iran really is among the
common people.
I fear that Mr Moussavi is still driving for just overturning the results of the current elections and dreams of
going on as usual under the old clerical rule, but the people on the streets may have already progressed
ahead of that point.
John Kenneth Galbraith has famously said that all successful revolutions are kicking in a rotten door. The big
question now however is if the door is rotten enough in Iran already or will the current regime get its
followers to use brutal and deadly force to counter the rising anger of the people.
The current government will fall at the very moment when enough of its followers start thinking if they should
secure themselves in the event of a possible regime change. Nobody however really knows if this mental
process for securing self-preservation has already started.

The Independent has the story with the headline:

Robert Fisk: Iran's day of destiny

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-irans-day-of-destiny-1706010.html

"Fisk witnesses the courage of one million protesters who ignored threats, guns and bloodshed to demand
freedom in Iran"
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
"It was Iran's day of destiny and day of courage. A million of its people marched from Engelob Square to
Azadi Square – from the Square of Revolution to the Square of Freedom – beneath the eyes of Tehran's brutal
riot police. The crowds were singing and shouting and laughing and abusing their "President" as "dust".
Mirhossein Mousavi was among them, riding atop a car amid the exhaust smoke and heat, unsmiling, stunned,
unaware that so epic a demonstration could blossom amid the hopelessness of Iran's post-election bloodshed.
He may have officially lost last Friday's election, but yesterday was his electoral victory parade through the
streets of his capital. It ended, inevitably, in gunfire and blood.
Not since the 1979 Iranian Revolution have massed protesters gathered in such numbers, or with such
overwhelming popularity, through the boulevards of this torrid, despairing city. They jostled and pushed and
crowded through narrow lanes to reach the main highway and then found riot police in steel helmets and
batons lined on each side. The people ignored them all. And the cops, horribly outnumbered by these tens of
thousands, smiled sheepishly and – to our astonishment – nodded their heads towards the men and women
demanding freedom. Who would have believed the government had banned this march?"

by jaskaw @ 16.06.2009 - 10:34:39

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/06/16/is-iran-on-the-brink-of-an-real-revolution-6313978/
A hand and a leg for a mobile phone and a gun in
Somalia
The horrid Medieval tradition of cutting off vital parts from people that have committed the hideous crime of
stealing is coming back to fashion in Somalia. The hard line Islamists of that war-ridden failed state have now
seen as their religious duty to start cutting off hands and legs of people in the habit of taking possession of
other people's mobile phones.
The simple crime of theft of lesser objects is considered as a minor thing in the more civilized parts of the
world, if no violence has been involved in the act. The act of stealing of a mobile phone could bring a person
a fine or a few days suspended jail-time in the more modern societies, where things are evaluated rationally
according to the harm the actions of individuals bring to other members of the society.
The Islamic Sharia law is not however based on any kind of rational analysis on cause and effect, but is based
on age-old view of justice as a way of avenging and most of all of scaring the members of the society to
behave themselves with the use of utmost and unreasonable brutality.
In the civilized world this method has been abandoned a long time ago as it has been shown to be quite
ineffective in preventing crime and on the other hand all members of the society are seen as human beings
who need to be treated with a certain degree of dignity.
Such humanistic novelties however have never penetrated to the hard core of Islamic tradition, where the old,
cruel and sadistic punishments required by the Sharia law surface when the requirements for purity of the
Islamic tradition are allowed to rise freely.
The good old BBC has the story for today with the headline:

Somali 'thieves' face amputation

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8113429.stm

Excerpts:
"Hardline Islamists have condemned four young Somali men to a double amputation for stealing mobile
phones and guns.
They will each have a hand and a leg cut off after being convicted by a Sharia court in the capital, Mogadishu.
The al-Shabab group has carried out amputations, floggings and an execution in the port of Kismayo but such
punishments are rare in the capital.
Al-Shabab and its allies control much of southern Somalia and are battling the UN-backed government.
Hundreds of residents attended the hearing in north Mogadishu.
Armed al-Shabab militants were on guard, while the accused were chained around their ankles."

by jaskaw @ 23.06.2009 - 22:19:21

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/06/23/a-hand-and-a-leg-for-a-mobile-phone-and-a-gun-in-somalia-6373621/
Is the Jewish faith just a harmless collection of
traditions and rules?
One of the toughest tasks facing anybody who is in the business of criticizing religions is how to handle the
Jewish faith, as every critique of it is very easily branded and also very universally accepted as anti-Semitism.
So the Jewish version of monotheism is very easily gets a free pass, especially as it really is on for many of its
own followers just a tool for identifying oneself in a old tradition and the true religious aspects of this
tradition are considered secondary or even dismissed altogether. These quite secular Jews may even form the
majority of the Jewish community in the world.
The problem however is that there is another quite different Jewish tradition, that demands and gets full and
complete submission of its followers.
This demanding and totalitarian Orthodox version of Jewish faith alters the real life of its followers
dramatically by denying them freedom of action and thought in hundreds of different things.
Many of these things are quite harmless and many are even quite funny, but on the other hand they can for
example cause some Jews in Israel to really think that they have the divine right to steal other people‎s
homes and even kill them with a clear conscience, because they sincerely believe that their God has written a
very long time ago certain books and made certain promises of certain piece of real estate to his followers in
them.
One of less widely known aspects of Orthodox Judaism is that is a matrilinear system in which only people
born out of Jewish mother are themselves Jewish. This is part of the most important single mechanism that
has guaranteed the survival of this little sect of ancient believing in a bronze-age set of superstition to our
times, as intermarriage to non-believers is in practice wholly prohibited among true believers and the
continuation of passing of the meme of Judaism is so secured.
If Jews would have been free to marry outside their belief-systems they would have been century by century
very slowly and painlessly assimilated in their adopted new homelands a long time ago and the whole faith
would be just a footnote in history like all other religions of the same period that Judaism originated.
The story of today is from The Independent and is called:

You're still Jewish – even if your mother isn't

The full story is here:


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/youre-still-jewish-ndash-even-if-your-mother-isnt-1720

Excerpts:
"Britain's Jewish faith schools may have to revise their admission policies after the Court of Appeal ruled that
the widely used criteria for selecting pupils breached the Race Discrimination Act.
In a far-reaching judgment, three judges found the well known JFS (formerly the Jews' Free School) in Brent,
north-west London, racially discriminated against a 12-year-old boy by denying him a place at the school
because his mother was not a recognised Jew.
The ruling was immediately attacked by the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sachs, who said he supported an appeal to
the House of Lords to try to overturn the judgment so that Jews could "be true to the Jewish faith" by
upholding the existing criteria for membership of the Jewish religion.
The boy's father is Jewish by birth, but his mother is Jewish by conversion conducted at a Progressive rather
than an Orthodox synagogue and therefore not recognised by the Office of the Chief Rabbi (OCR). It is a
basic principle that a child is not recognised by the OCR and other bodies as Jewish unless his or her mother
is Jewish.
JFS argued that its admissions policy giving preference to Jewish children when the school was
oversubscribed was lawful because it was based on religious and not racial criteria.
But the judges said that "the requirement that if a pupil is to qualify for admission his mother must be Jewish,
whether by descent or by conversion, is a test of ethnicity which contravenes the Race Relations Act".
The discrimination against the boy, referred to as M, was direct discrimination and therefore could not be
justified, said Lords Justices Sedley and Rimer and Lady Justice Smith."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox_Judaism

by jaskaw @ 27.06.2009 - 21:14:21

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/06/27/is-the-jewish-faith-just-a-harmless-collection-of-traditions-and-rules-6408145/
Feedback for Post "Is the Jewish faith just a harmless
collection of traditions and rules?"

Rational Thinker [Visitor]

27.06.2009 @ 23:42
How can anybody consider gratuitous penis reduction surgery harmless? One of Judaism's most important
facets is genital mutilation; that is, one of Judaism's most important facets is ritualized and celebrated child
abuse.

Given this, nothing else matters. You have your answer: NO!

| Show subcomments
Nightmare [Visitor]

01.07.2009 @ 20:55
Has Judaism caused harm if it has given birth for the intellectuals achieving one fifth of the scientific
breakthroughs (for the mankind) of the level of Nobel prize?

Is Judaism causing much harm for mankind if it is willing to govern the Westbank - and has given (and would
still give) work for lot of Arabs there - COMPARING with that FUTURE-ni'ghtmare what Muslims have
promised to cause to the Western civilization IF and When getting there enough population, in order to get
power over the Western culture?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
01.07.2009 @ 21:28
Are you suggesting that these intellectuals would not have been born if their grandmothers or mothers would
have renounced their Jewish faith?
Is Judaism as a faith carrying a strange gene of geniousness and can also I have I it by turning into a Jew?
Or are you suggesting that Jews all over the would with all kinds of genetic backgrounds in some ways
inherently different from all other people? hat would be a quite racist thing to say! Is this gene lost if they lose
the Jewish faith? T
Or is the Jewish phenomenal success in science simply a result of circumstances where the Jewish population
were much more inclined to have a higher and deeper education that other groups?
Is it also possible that Jewish faith with very little real life dogma on scientific matters did open the minds of
Jewish scientists earlier for new ideas than for those Christian scientist who did hang on the their much more
dogmatic faith (in matters like this) much more longer?

amen-ra [Visitor]

29.07.2009 @ 15:25
Let me tell you where you are mistaken, Israel isnt willing* its inforcing to govern the West Bank.

Look at the latest rates of unemplooyment in palestine.

What exactly are you comparing here? when did palestinians ever make such comments? the way you are
talking about palestinians is as if they all muslims. they are not. and Israel doesn't care if your muslim or
christian, as long as ur palestinian, they can kill u and take you land. Or in your words, take THEIR land back
after 2000 years.
Whats rediculous is how much Israelis believe they own the land, and how it was Promised to them!! When
you put urself above others, your Racist. when you call yourself Gods chosen person, because you are Jewish
and others are not (chosen!) by god, you are Racist. And what does it mean to be chosen anyway?! that you
have the right to kill, rape, steal, torture, humiliate others??? I dont get wats to be proud about!!!

Watch this documentary, its called Occupation 101, you can find it on youtube. Find out the real history of
todays Israel.

Nightmare [Visitor]

05.07.2009 @ 15:59
All in all - you can not remove that fact that Jews are far above all (other groups of mankind) on the top in
science. Jews have reached the victory - no doubt - among Christians - and especially among protestants -- but
anyway they have done it.

Jews are altogether, in numbers, little more that double of the Finns, of which you self belong to. According to
pure mathematics Finns should reach half of the noble prizes of the jews.... but far, very far they are from that
result of the calculation - even being these protestants itself.

Why is that!

Your last question did not get open to me???

Also you stronly over-emphasized the dangers of actions of Israeli's in the Near East - in stead - if we
compare the nightmare of the plan of Muslims. Israel's plan and actions are triggering the anger of Muslims,
but in reality Israel has rebuild the pine bogs, mountains and wilderness of the minor area - for man; jews and
also arabs to manage and get a job.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
05.07.2009 @ 21:52
I'm a little puzzled here; do you think that Judaism as a religion offers a superior base for scientific
advancement or are you suggesting that Jews are racially different from other people and Jewish genes contain
a mutation that produces Nobel-prize winners?
If the former is true, why very many of the Jewish scientists are extremely secular people?
If the latter is true you are one of the few people that openly admit to harboring racist thoughts and that some
people are better than others for just a accident of birth.
If one looks at thing from an social and cultural standpoint, one soon realizes that the situation is a result of
very many simultaneous processes, where middle-class Jews of West-Europe were quite disproportionately
drawn into the academia and did form very strong academic traditions in several countries that followed them
to to the America and Israel.

| Show subcomments
amen-ra [Visitor]

29.07.2009 @ 15:14
Im impressed, honestly. I like what your saying.

Honestly I dont even believe in the whole idea of the Nobel-Prize...the Oscars...or such big awards. Because
in my opnion they are all controlled anyway.
What I mean is, a movie like Occupation 101 (a documentary) whould never be nominated for an Oscar. even
tho it is one of the most touching movies i've ever seem. Simply because of the messege it delivers. And could
be dangerous to give it that recognition. Same would apply for all other internationally recognised awards.

So im not surprized if most of the awards were won by jewish scientists. Thats one point.

Another, since Nightmare is saying in history jews have...let say prospered in science. well, in history most
known ppl WERE jewish!!

Anyway, i know for a fact that Muslims also have contributed so much for science and math, specially maths.
I've studied these subjects carefully. Whats sad is the way all the inventions stopped simply because (as I
think) they were stopped by ppl with power, using Islam...I dunno how to explain it really. if you dont
understand then forget i mentioned this point.

I am a Muslim myself, by birth at least. But im no religious person. My God is not an object that i pray too.
My God is me, everyone and everything around me. (just a lil info to know where im coming from!!!)

thebeginners [Visitor]
http://www.thebeginners.net
06.07.2009 @ 14:59
Genesis
In the beginning there was nothing. God said, "Let there be light" and lots of things appeared. How do we
know there was nothing if all the lights were off?

Revelation
The Bible isn’t actually written by God. Sorry.

more at http://www.thebeginners.net
The Beginners' Guide - not FOR beginners, but BY beginners...

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
06.07.2009 @ 15:27
I did just put a link to your blog in Facebook as I quite fancied it!

jaime [Visitor]
http://www.notme.com
16.08.2009 @ 00:52
In Saudi Arabia the men wallow in sex. Why talk about it when they're always doing it? They can engage in
pedophilia, marry girls of six years old, commit adultery, bigamy, have six more wives if they choose. They
enjoy same-sex prostitution with boys and men as women aren't allowed on the street. And of course they can
hold women as sex-slaves in homes, brothels and harems. They traffick women from abroad as domestic
servants and rape them frequently. Of course, they don't like to talk about it. But repressed, they're not!

Eight-year-old bride wins divorce


Friday, 01 May 2009

A Saudi girl of eight, forced by her father to marry a 50-year-old man, has won a divorce. The girl's mother
had been seeking a divorce for the girl, who was married in August - but a Saudi judge had twice rejected the
request. The girl's lawyer, Abdullah al-Jeteli, said he reached an out-of-court settlement with the man
allowing the girl to divorce him. There are no laws in Saudi Arabia defining the minimum age for marriage.
| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
16.08.2009 @ 09:01
This is surely all true jaime, but what these things have to do with Jewish faith that is under discussion in this
posting and not the failings of Islamic faith that are discussed in detail elsewhere in this blog?

jaime [Visitor]

17.08.2009 @ 20:00
Sorry,
I put my comment with the wrong blog topic. I meant to put it on the page where the discussion was about
how sexually "repressed" the culture of Saudi Arabia is. I strongly disagree that Saudi men are sexually
inhibited. It's a customary taboo not to talk about sexual practices in order to perpetuate the image of a benign
and gentle culture, but quite the contrary, the sexual practices are voracious, cruel and omnipotently underlie
the thin cultural veneer on respect and gentility. Now, if you wanted to argue that Saudi women are sexually
repressed, that’s undeniable. (Of course, Catholicism is no slouch in this area either with its rapist priest
pedophiles, prostitution rings and Irish "reform schools" which are merely fronts for slave labor camps and
sexual exploitation of children. And the Irish supply the largest percentage of priests to the world.)

All women the world over share something none of us can ever experience: the threat of being involuntarily
impregnated and possibly carrying the sperm of a rapist for nine months, endure a painful labor to bring forth
a DNA quasi-replica of the impregnator. On top of that, like millions of women in the MidEast and elsewhere
they’re imprisoned from birth till death in the homes of their fathers and then husbands - who are not of their
choosing. What man would want a life like that? If the definition of “rape” is having sex without your
consent, then the vast majority of children born to women in these countries are the products of rape.

The Saudi man getting backlash for bragging of his sexual conquests on TV was no doubt telling the truth, but
it’s verboten to reveal the rampant sexual exploitation and sadism behind the opaque harem curtains.

jaime [Visitor]
http://www.notme.com
18.08.2009 @ 01:21
To quote Nightmare on the superiority of Jews:
“All in all - you can not remove that fact that Jews are far above all (other groups of mankind) on the top in
science. Jews have reached the victory - no doubt - among Christians - and especially among protestants.
Jews are altogether, in numbers, little more that double of the Finns, of which you self belong to. According to
pure mathematics Finns should reach half of the noble prizes of the jews.... but far, very far they are from that
result of the calculation - even being these protestants itself.”

And to quote Isaac Asimov the Jewish science writer:


.."I remember once a fellow Jew remarking with satisfaction on the high percentage of Nobel Prize winners
who were Jewish. I said, 'Does that make you feel superior?' 'Of course,' he said.

'What if I told you that sixty percent of the pornographers and eighty percent of the crooked Wall Street
manipulators were Jewish?

He was startled. 'Is that true?' 'I don't know. I made up the figures. But what if it were true? Would it make
you feel inferior?' He had to think about that. It's much easier to find reasons to consider oneself superior than
inferior. But one is just the mirror image of the other.'" -- Isaac Asimov, 1994, p. 322
We know that the Nobel Prize is suspect if a war criminal like Henry Kissinger is given it, but not Rosalind
Franklin, Lise Meitner or, till almost dead, Barbara McClintock.

As for pornography and prostitution, consider Reuben Stuman, Steve Hirsh and Mark Spiegler
"White slavery," notes scholar Albert Lindemann, "was a concern of Jewish leaders throughout the world,
who recognized it as a special problem." Jews have also dominated the pornography and commercial
sexploitation business, a trend which continues to this day – "Between 1880 and 1939," notes scholar Edward
Bristow, "the Jews played a conspicuous role in 'white slavery,' as commercial prostitution was called. Not
only was this Jewish participation conspicuous, it was historically unprecedented, geographically widespread,
and fraught with collective political dangers." "Jewish trafficking was anchored in brothel keeping,... Jewish
traffickers also supplied Gentile-run houses." Wrote Arthur Mora of London's Jewish Association for the
Protection of Girls and Women in 1903, to "almost all parts of North and South Africa, to India, China, Japan,
Philippine Island, North and South America, and also to many of the countries of Europe." Jewish criminals
trafficked women under their control virtually anywhere, also including the major cities of Bulgaria, Bosnia,
Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Ceylon, Manchuria, South Africa, Rhodesia, and Mozambique. "By 1900,"
says Edward Bristow, "Jewish commercial vice was largely incorporated in underworld elements and many of
it participants were predators of the poor."
In Rio de Janeiro Jewish immigrants from Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania were so much identified
with prostitution in the late 1800's that "the kaftan, a Jew's traditional long gown, became synonymous with
pimp." (Ibid)
"Pooling their financial resources in a kind of guild," notes another Jewish scholar, Howard Sachar, "the
[Polish Jewish] newcomers [to Argentina] in 1909 controlled slightly more than half the nearly two hundred
licensed brothels in Buenos Aires. Jewish women served as their madams, and Jewish immigrant girls often
were recruited and lured into their hands as prostitutes." In Cuba, Jews "became engaged in the 'White Slave
Trade,'" says Robert Levine, "importing prostitutes -- some Jewish -- from Poland. Shortly after the Holocaust
Jews left in Germany remained prominent in the prostitution business. In 1961 Rabbi Richard L. Rubenstein
interviewed Dean Heinrich Gruber of the Evangelical Church of East and West Berlin. Rubenstein notes that
Gruber nearly himself perished in a Nazi concentration camp, and he "had a long and heroic record of
opposition to the Nazis on Christian grounds as well as friendship and succor for Nazism's chief victims. The
problem in Germany is that the Jews haven't learned anything from what happened to them," the Dean told a
startled Rubenstein, "I always tell my Jewish friends that they shouldn't put a hindrance in the way of our fight
against anti-Semitism. Marvin Wolf, a Jewish captain in the U.S. army serving in Germany, recalls that in
1971 "Rabbi David, the Jewish chaplain in Frankfort am Main -- and the husband of my mother's second
cousin -- told me that he knew several Jewish millionaires at whose homes I would be welcome -- but, 'I'm not
crazy about any of them, 'he said. 'What do you mean?' I asked. 'After the war, '45, '46, Germany was in ruins,'
he explained. 'Terrible times. Nobody had money except the Occupation forces and a handful of Jews who
had survived the camps and got a monthly pension -- government reparations. In Frankfort, a few of these
Jews recruited starving, desperate German girls and opened brothels. Got their revenge, and got rich, too.
They're in other businesses now, but do you really want to spend Pesach [Passover] with such people?"
"The Jewish pimp," says Albert Fried, "used marriage brokers and unemployment agencies to snare his
victims -- the young, the lonely, the innocent, the weak, the alienated, the oppressed." Starting out with one
whore in 1890, for example, by 1912 Motche Greenberg had a "controlling interest in eight whorehouses and
114 women and was earning $4,000 a month, an incalculable amount by today's standards."
Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway notes
"Women are sold into the sex business in Israel for between $5,000 and $15, 000," reported the Jerusalem
Post in 1998, "while the pimps who buy them can earn between $10,000 and $50,000 a year per woman ...
2,000 women are brought to Israel from the CIS and forced by pimps to work as prostitutes. Many are brought
here on false pretenses and held against their will." As Ira Omait, head of the Haifa Emergency Shelter for
Women told the Post, "We are fast heading in the direction of trade in minors for prostitution and slavery."
Jerusalem Post editorial in 1998, "According to the Women's Lobby, part of the [prostitution] problem is that
there is no law against slavery in Israel." (JERUSALEM POST, 1-13-98, p. 10)
"Poor Women of Ex-Soviet Union Lured Into Sex Slavery" headlined a 1998 Associated Press story. Women
forced into prostitution in Israel, noted the article, were locked in rooms and provided only food and condoms.
And Israeli law on the subject? In 1996 150 men were arrested for pimping or running brothels. Merely 21
cases went to trial, and no one was ever convicted of a crime. [LINZER, D., 6-13-98] In 1998 an Israeli judge
even ordered an insurance company to pay for a client's prostitution addiction: "An Israeli insurance company
has been ordered to pay 300,000 shekels ($80,000) to fund the prostitution habit of a man injured in a car
accident." (DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR, 4-22-98) "The networks trafficking women run east to Japan
and Thailand, where thousands of young Slavic women now work against their will as prostitutes, ... The
routes are controlled by Russian gangs based in Moscow ... In Ukraine alone ... as many as 400,000 women
under 30 have gone in the past decade ... Israel is a fairly typical destination ... Police officials [in Israel]
estimate that there are 25,000 paid sexual transactions every day. (In a country with a population of only 6
million). Brothels are ubiquitous ... Once they cross the border [into Israel] their passports will be confiscated
[by pimps], their freedoms curtailed and what little money they have taken from them at once ... The
Tropicana, in Tel Aviv's bustling business district, is one of the busiest bordellos. The women who work
there, like nearly all prostitutes in Israel today, are Russian. Jacob Golan, who owns this and two other clubs, '
They are blonde and good looking and different than us ... And they are desperate. They are ready to do
anything for money."
So what does all that add up to for superiority? A hill of beans?
What, does the Pope believe in science?
Joke of the day: "Scientific tests prove bones housed in the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome are those of the
apostle St. Paul himself, according to Pope Benedict XVI." What a silly thing to say! The only thing scientific
tests can prove here is that the bones are the same time period in which St. Paul lived. Nobody can say for
sure if they were bones of a certain individual, as we have no real means of verifying the identity.
What is even funnier, that even the Big Papa seems to need 'scientific evidence' in matters like this, but
science is suddenly no good whenever it contradicts his beliefs.
I don't know if he was speaking "Ex cathedra" in this matter. A fact is that the Pope can say that there is four
liters of milk in the fridge, even if there is just three and be wrong in normal situations, but if he says it
officially as "Ex cathedra" – announcement you simply must see four liters of milk in that fridge or you are
not a good Catholic anymore!
On the other hand, what real difference it makes whose bones they are? Nobody surely disputes the fact that
the Christian Church was certainly founded by real world flesh and blood human creatures and as their
remains can very well exist if they happen to be preserved somewhere.
My main complain is for presenting as a 'scientific fact' the identification of these fragments as remains of a
certain person.
The real world evidence just gives credence to assume that these remains can be of a any eminent person from
the youth of that then upstart new faith.
There are some fragments of very expensive fabrics found in the grave and these kind of expensive fabrics
were reserved for the religious elite. Nobody can however say who this person really was, if one does not add
a good dose of wishful thinking to the equation.
The CNN website has the story of the day with the headline:

Pope: Basilica bones belong to apostle St. Paul

The full story is here:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/06/29/vatican.st.paul.bones/index.html

Excerpts
"Scientific tests prove bones housed in the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome are those of the apostle St. Paul
himself, according to Pope Benedict XVI.
"Tiny fragments of bone" in the sarcophagus were subjected to carbon dating, showing they "belong to
someone who lived in the first or second century," the pope said in a homily carried on Italian television.
"This seems to confirm the unanimous and undisputed tradition that these are the mortal remains of the
Apostle St. Paul," Benedict said in Sunday's announcement.
The tomb also holds "traces of a precious linen cloth, purple in color and laminated with pure gold, and a blue
colored textile with linen filaments," thepope said.
The tests were carried out by inserting a probe into a small opening in the sarcophagus, "which had not been
opened for many centuries," the pontiff said. The probe "also revealed the presence of grains of red incense
and traces of protein and limestone."
Separately, archaeologists have uncovered an image of St. Paul which "could be considered the oldest icon of
the apostle known to date," the Vatican's official newspaper reported Sunday.
The painting, in the St. Tecla Catacomb, is "among the oldest and best-defined figures from ancient
Christianity," according to the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, L'Osservatore Romano
reported."

by jaskaw @ 01.07.2009 - 21:03:02

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/07/01/pope-6432864/
Feedback for Post "What, does the Pope believe in
science?"

jacob [Visitor]

04.07.2009 @ 06:17
Why should anyone care about this fake discovery when a much more important holy relic has already been
discovered in Stephan Huller's book, the Real Messiah:

http://www.amazon.com/Real-Messiah-Throne-Origins-Christianity/dp/1906787123/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&q

Huller went to Venice and proved that the Throne of St. Mark in the Basilica San Marco dates to the
beginning of Christianity. It proves that Christianity started in Egypt rather than Rome (the title 'Pope' or Papa
is universally acknowledged to have been appropriated from Alexandria).

Huller's throne is a real historical object, i.e. it is not a fake. You can see it with your own two eyes the next
time you go to Italy. It is also being made into a TV documentary for a US Cable network.

Again, why waste your time with this nonsense about 'bones of St. Paul' (the authoritative canon does not
specify a location for Paul's death); it is completely fake.

You don't have to buy Huller's book. Here are some photos of the throne -
www.therealmessiahbook.blogspot.com or go to his blog instead wwww.stephanhuller.blogspot.com.

Jacob

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
05.07.2009 @ 20:17
I did have a cursory look at the blog of Mr. Huller and frankly it looked like a lot of bull. Numerology is not
my cup of tea and to be honest I detest and loathe all numerology, as you invent the numbers you want,
interpretate the way you want and voilá; you have just the result you were searhing for in the first place.
This process need not be a conscious one, but a person so easily just preserves the results that fit in the picture
and discards all others without really even noticing it.
I just think that all finding secret codes in old objects it the most trivial waste of time a man can invent to
amuse himself.

Carmina [Visitor]
http://www.blackhatmagick.com
11.07.2009 @ 01:50
Perhaps the Catholic Church simply needs to work out an extensive genome project of their saints so that
these sorts of things can be comprehensively shown. The quality and authenticisty of relics is certainly a big
problem for Catholicism. Especially for saints who seem to have eighty knuckle bones, enough blood to fill a
modest house, among other anatomical irregularities to supply the morbid curiosity for reliquary.

Hugo [Visitor]
http://belgianatheist.be
11.07.2009 @ 18:06
@Carmina that genome project might not be such a good idea, it might expose some "undesired" offspring
Would you trust the Pope with an army?
A recent news flash told about dear old Pope demanding a new kind of UN, a UN with teeth. It just so
happens that this reminds me of the times when the Popes themselves really did have teeth, and claws too.
I am naturally talking about the deepest Medieval times, when the Popes did send grand armies to the Middle
East in crusades to teach the locals a lesson and the Popes treated the secular rulers of that day as their
humble vassals.
Even the mighty emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were in deep trouble in those days if they had the guts
to incite Popes wrath.
Would it be nice if Pope could again send his armed warriors to defend the peoples right to die of AIDS with
no protection allowed in sex, their right to have unlimited number of unwanted babies and to life their whole
lives in fear of the endless agony in Hell after death?
Trusty old BBC has the story of the day with the headline:

Pope calls for a UN 'with teeth'

The whole story is here;


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8137849.stm

Excerpts:
"The Pope has called for reform of the United Nations and financial bodies, giving them the "real teeth"
needed to tackle economic and social injustice.
Benedict XVI said the blind pursuit of profit and economic mismanagement had "wreaked havoc" on the
global economy.
The market, said the Pope, must not become the place where the strong prevail over the weak.
His encyclical letter said a reformed UN should strive for disarmament, food security and environmental
protection.
An encyclical letter is the highest form of papal teaching, says the BBC's David Willey in Rome.
This letter, Caritas in Veritate, or Charity in Truth, is his third since being made Pope in 2005. It is the first to
focus on social issues, and follows two on spiritual matters."

by jaskaw @ 07.07.2009 - 20:18:54

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/07/07/would-you-trust-the-pope-with-an-army-6467501/
Genie sued for harassment in Saudi-Arabia;
honest, no kidding!
The incredible backwardness of Islamic thought and customs is extremely well illuminated by a recent case in
Saudi-Arabia where a family is taking a case to local court where the culprit is a genie or a djinn, which is in
fact a evil spirit.
These evil spirits are in fact included in the core teachings of the Islam and they are mentioned several times
in the holy book of the Muslims, where a whole Sura is named after them. This holy Sura carries the name of
"Al-Jinn".
In Islam genie or djinn is a supernatural creature which possesses free will. They can be either good or evil.
In Islam, Satan, known in Arabic as Iblis, is the iconic genie that refused to bow down to Adam when ordered
to by Allah.
Cultural relativity or no cultural relativity, a society that still treats evil spirits as real world phenomena has
in my books some serious development work to meet the standards of modern world.
The trusty old BBC has again the story of the day with the headline:

Saudi 'genie' sued for harassment

The full story is here:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8145862.stm

Excerpts from the the amazing story:


"A family in Saudi Arabia is taking a "genie" to court, accusing it of theft and harassment, reports say.
They accuse the spirit of threatening them, throwing stones and stealing mobile phones, Al Watan newspaper
said.
The family have lived in the same house near the city of Medina for 15 years but say they only recently
became aware of the spirit. They have now moved out.
A local court is investigating. In Islamic theology, genies are spirits that can harass or possess humans.
"We began to hear strange sounds," the head of the family, who come from Mahd Al Dahab, told the Saudi
daily. He did not want to be named.
"At first we did not take it seriously, but then stranger things started to happen and the children got
particularly scared when the genie started throwing stones."
He added: "A woman spoke to me first, and then a man. They said we should get out of the house."
A local court says it is trying to verify the truthfulness of the claims "despite the difficulty" of doing so.
There is a lingering belief in genies in the Muslim world that predates Islam, our correspondent says."

by jaskaw @ 12.07.2009 - 20:37:41

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/07/12/genie-sued-for-harassment-in-saudi-arabia-honest-no-kidding-6499247/
Feedback for Post "Genie sued for harassment in
Saudi-Arabia; honest, no kidding!"

Sls [Visitor]
http://www.ourforwardmovement.blogspot.com
13.07.2009 @ 22:51
Breathe Chief >> this type of litigation occurs in the U.S., as well. See
http://ourforwardmovement.blogspot.com/2009/07/ghostbusters-legal-arm-taking-genie-to.html

Bakar [Visitor]

02.08.2009 @ 00:42
If it is the west some one talks about Ufos it is ok but what is the difference between genie and ufos only the
terminolgy.Even certain places in africa the fula people talk about some sort of devils called NGOT-TEH that
could be seen by some people..these are all the same stories only the location,culture,religious and
technological advances that differ.

krulayar [Visitor]

03.08.2009 @ 20:54
ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS ALREADY ON EARTH !!!

The sigh of His arrival: A face in the sky video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_OAauYfPwE

For details:
Please stop in http://manaalmahdi.wordpress.com
Please refer to someone incharge fitted whatever doctrine you are.
This is an exceptionally distinguished essence fitted all mankind.

Thanks,
Krulayar

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
03.08.2009 @ 21:00
So sorry krulayar, but I did not see any faces there. On the other hand I know as a scientific fact that any
person is able to create figures out next to nothing in his or her own mind; any disfigured shadow can be
interpreted as a figure or a face, when one just puts his mind to work.
Greatest atheist thinkers now live in Facebook!
The blog entry for today is a shameless plug for the work I have done now for a while in Facebook. So, if you
are not in Facebook, stop reading now.
I have namely started a bunch of brand new Facebook fan-pages for the greatest and best atheist thinkers and
writers of the human history starting with Epicurus and ending with Bertrand Russell.
The big point however is that they are not just static pages, but the the new option in Facebook allows me to
post the best thoughts and quotes of these great men daily straight into your Facebook-newsstream as the
fan-page status. There is already on good collection of enjoyable atheist thinking to be had in the feed on the
fan-pages themselves, as they are preserved there is you wont to co back to them later.
New you can enjoy the great atheist minds sitting comfortably in your chair and let me do the hard work of
finding the real gems of atheistic thought!

Bertrand Russell:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bertrand-Russell/86711477873

Mark Twain:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Twain-Samuel-L-Clemens/100702464206
George Orwell:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/George-Orwell/117663405816

Thomas Paine:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thomas-Paine/91127911235
Epicurus:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Epicurus/79493658728

Rationality:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rationality/70784829441

by jaskaw @ 14.07.2009 - 22:00:28

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/07/14/greatest-atheist-thinkers-now-live-in-facebook-6514990/
Is breaking the Sabbath really still a sin?
Islands are funny places. Many things go differently in isolation when outside influences are kept in minimum;
horses can grow very small as in Shetland or Iceland and even the largely forgotten odd religious
requirement of doing nothing useful in a given day of week can be preserved quite intact.
A recent piece of news from The Independent tells about a small island full of very old-fashioned
Presbyterians that fights against the evil plans of a ferry company to start a regular service on Sundays.
I must say that I strongly suspect that the original requirement for a workless day was made less of a worry
about the physical endurance of the followers of the religion, but it was born out of finding out that the flock
was too tired after the days spent on the fields to follow the sermons and preaching of these getting their
livelihood from keeping up and spreading that faith.
In this kind situation an effective indoctrination was difficult, or even impossible. So the earthly employers
were made to understand that their employers needed a day of rest once a week, as God simply demanded it.
All this is naturally pure speculation only, as nobody can really tell the true motivations behind the ancient
decision of the leaders of the Jewish faith to make one day of the week a day of god that should be spent only
in listening indoctrination and self-indoctrinating oneself to this faith.
For a true believer this kind of speculation is of course blasphemy, as this thing is in Bible and it is so a word
of God and has nothing to do with the motives of the people spreading these beliefs around.
The story of the day is form The Independent and has the funny headline of:

Scottish island's sacred Sunday under threat

The whole story is here:


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/scottish-islands-sacred-sunday-under-threat-1752429.html

Excerpts:

―Residents on the Isle of Lewis who keep a strict Sabbath — no television, no housework, no shopping — are
angry that the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry company is to start running services between Stornoway, the
island's capital, and Ullapool on the Scottish mainland.
The company, known as CalMac, says it has no choice because not to run the service would potentially put it
in breach of European laws on equality. Presbyterian residents on the predominantly Gaelic-speaking island
say the service is threatening both their faith and their lifestyle.
"This is an affront to the wishes and religious beliefs of the people of the island and CalMac has run
roughshod over us," said John Roberts, spokesman for the Lord's Day Observance Society.
"The Sunday ferry service is a direct threat to this way of life which stands for Christian beliefs, the Bible and
the word of God. We'll end up with Sundays like they are in the rest of the UK or the US where it is just, go to
church on Sunday morning and the rest of the day is yours."
That's not what Sundays on the island, part of the Hebrides archipelago about 250 miles northwest of
Edinburgh, are for. The majority of the 18,000 islanders strictly adhere to the books of Genesis and Exodus
from the Old Testament, in which God declared the seventh day reserved for rest and worship. So after church
services, they don't use electricity, play games, shop or even hang out laundry to dry.ć

by jaskaw @ 19.07.2009 - 21:24:35

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/07/19/is-breaking-the-sabbath-really-still-a-sin-6548924/
Feedback for Post "Is breaking the Sabbath really still a
sin?"

jerzy [Visitor]

20.07.2009 @ 10:13
I thought according to Bible you should rest on saturdays.Christians made it Sunday on the order of emperor
Constantine who worshipped solar god and that's what we have now.Don't be mistaken - the thing is not about
resting but about money.God-fearing people must not sleep at their homes but come to church for praying and
paying.To feed the priests and support Holy See.

asgerd [Visitor]
http://www.asgerd.soup.io
20.07.2009 @ 16:51
I live on the Lewis and I can tell you that this sloppy AP report is total rubbish. The churches are strong but
it's a minority that attends them and of that minority, only a handful are fundamentalist like this. The shops are
shut but the pubs are open; and many people who go to church are perfectly happy about travelling on
Sunday.

It's become a bit argument here but it's not about theology. The situation is much more complex that this
article suggests: the issues include party politics, local politics, council horsetrading, rivalry between
churches, certain individuals seeking platforms, and a strong dose of hypocrisy.

The REAL story is why our local authority still professes itself firmly against the introduction of the Sunday
timetable, and apparently is making representation to the Scottish government about this, when the economic
and social need for the extra crossing is documented and undeniable, and the last clear consultation on the
issue was in 2000 and gave a majority in favour of Sunday sailings or indifferent to them.

When the first Sunday ferry sailed yesterday, there were 400 people on it, 15 on the pier protesting, and
another 300 cheering.

Meanwhile this ridiculous image of a religious island trapped in the 19th century is hyped by a few
loudmouths with issues or ambitions, and by this sort of reporting that doesn't let facts get in the way of a
good story.

This is a certainly a funny place, you're right about that, but not in the way this article presents it.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
20.07.2009 @ 18:09
Thanks asgerd for the clarification. Things are as I suspected; the religious fanatics are a tiny minority even in
this case, but as they are so vocal that they will steal the attention.
On the other hand you are absolutely true in that the news agencies have smelled a good story of a faraway
place and then the facts are not allowed come to the way of a good story.
This does not however affect the main point on my own piece; that there are still people who think that some
customs dreamed up in Palestine couple of thousand years ago must be treated as unalterable truth.
40 lashes wait a reporter in Sudan for wearing
indecent clothing
An age-old defense for bad things done in the name of religions is that those doing those bad things are just
using the religion as an excuse to do the things they would do anyway. This defense is however is in my mind
not applicable if people are punished for crimes that are not punishable anywhere else than in the context that
religion.
So for example flogging a person for wearing indecent clothing because the religious code says so cannot be
faulted on anything else than this religion, even if the authorities putting these religious commandments and
laws to practice can be also simultaneously striving for their own authoritarian ends.
Basing a oppressive act on religious command covers that act in a level of legitimacy it would not otherwise
have. In the case in question today a reporter of Sudanese newspaper is waiting to flogged heavily, as she was
deemed to have dressed in a indecent clothing. This courageous woman had been for a long time a thorn in
the governments side, but this religious command gave them an excuse they would not otherwise had.
The web-site of Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has the story of today with the headline:

Sudanese Reporter Prone To Receiving 40 Whips


An Opposition Sudanese Reporter Accused Of " Sensational Dressing Up" Facing Whipping In Public.

The whole story is here:


http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2009/pr0711-2.shtml

Excerpts:
"ANHRI expresses deepest concern about trying the opposition reporter Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein accused of
"sensational dressing up". The general discipline police authority considered Lubna's dressing style a threat to
the Sudanese society values and virtues. This crime is subject to only one punishment; 40 whips in public
according to article 152 of the Sudanese criminal law of 1991.
For years, Lubna has been writing her famous column in Sudanese papers "Men Talk" , in which she bitterly
criticized government practices and bravely confronted fundamentalists.
Abeer Soliman, programs manager at ANHRI, commented that such accusations are a cheap way to
undermine this brave reporter. Only oppressive governments would stoop so low . Soliman added that the
Sudanese government should have been as brave as Lubna and declare resentment to her writings instead of
this brutal vengeance that aims only to break a free pen.
The Sudanese general discipline law is one of the most discriminating laws against women as it violates basic
freedoms to be enjoyed by all citizens. The law targets female students and working women as though it was
tailored for persecuting ,humiliating and isolating women from contributing to public life. The conspiratory
mentality of the Sudanese police has now arrived at pointing this law in the face of an opposition reporter.ć

by jaskaw @ 23.07.2009 - 00:21:37

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/07/22/40-lashes-wait-a-reporter-in-sudan-for-wearing-indecent-clothing-6569750/
Feedback for Post "40 lashes wait a reporter in Sudan for
wearing indecent clothing"

Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth [Visitor]

23.07.2009 @ 04:13
Religious morality changes with the time or we all would be in Hell now! Those were mean-hearted men who
made up all those commandments out of their whims and tastes. And some idiots are obeying them now.
Our humanist morality- covenant morality for humanity- depends on reason and fats, using also our in born
moral sense, empathy for sure, ever refinining itself.
It is theists who use our morality when they do morals right rather than our living off theirs!
That courageous woman- whipped for being herself. That governments is for the dust bin of history.
And let us put pressure on Obama-Biden to put pressure on Sudan for its grave crimes in Sudan1 No more
Holocausts, no more Rwandas1 Pres. Clinton's shame is , as he recognizes, is his nonchalance towards the
genocide there, not the Affair, whose treatment as a charge of impeachment is a stain on Republicans.

Michael Kerjman [Visitor]

04.08.2009 @ 04:19
It is a good case the UN to practice international justice and universality of human rights as their employer
involved directly.
Do Facebook and MySpace drive people to
suicide?
The spiritual leader of the four million Roman Catholics in England and Wales named Vincent Nichols is a
true lunatic! A lunatic drives his mind on rails and sees only the things that support his original ideas and this
Vincent-fellow has got to his head an idea that social networks are somehow an evil force that drive people
into destruction and suicide.
I fear that he knows next to nothing about Facebook and MySpace he so eagerly condems. I also fear that he
does not really know how they work and what people do really do in them. I fear that he has only an idea of
computers being cold and inhuman and so everything done with them is somehow cold and inhuman.
I fear that he has not thought that Facebook and MySpace could bring people all new contacts that they
would not otherwise have; that they could bring a strong sense of community and most of all give a person a
sense and feeling of company and caring in such moments where other people would otherwise be quite
unreachable.
In fact I for my part truly believe that Facebook and MySpace work strongly against suicidal tendencies in
their users and help greatly in keeping people on the fringe connected to the society at large,, even if the
spiritual leader of the four million Roman Catholics in England and Wales thinks otherwise in his complete
ignorance.

Times Online has the story with the catchy headline:

Facebook and MySpace drive teens to suicide, says Vincent Nichols

The whole story is here:


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6736463.ece

Excerpts:
"The spiritual leader of the four million Roman Catholics in England and Wales has damned social network
sites, accusing them of undermining community life and leading teenagers to suicide.
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols said MySpace and Facebook led young people to seek "transient"
friendships, with quantity becoming more important than quality. MySpace is owned by News Corp, parent
company of The Times.
He said a key factor in suicide among young people was the trauma caused when such loose relationships
collapsed.
"Friendship is not a commodity," he told said. "Friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when
it's right".
Archbishop Nichols said that social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace encouraged a form of
communication that was not "rounded", and would not therefore build rounded communities. He said young
people were being encouraged to build up collections of friends as commodities, that these friendships could
easily collapse, and teenagers were left desolate when they did."

by jaskaw @ 03.08.2009 - 11:50:38

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/08/03/do-facebook-and-myspace-drive-people-to-suicide-6640849/
Feedback for Post "Do Facebook and MySpace drive people
to suicide? "

Email Marketing [Visitor]


http://www.emailcharger.com
04.08.2009 @ 20:00
Never before in the history of mankind has it been easier to reach out to people all over the world. Online
communitieslike MySpace, make meeting new friends with similar interests incredibly easy. MySpace is a
great place to share tips, ideas and stories about the things you find most interesting. If you have a question
about your hobby, you can easily find the answer through your network of members with similar interests.

James
Email marketing software

| Show subcomments
Ted Stone [Visitor]

28.10.2009 @ 06:17
Virtual popularity works the same as real popularity. Some people always get abuse for being the wrong kind
of person while others always do they petty name-calling. As always the positives and the negatives basically
make both sides' points total moot. I think that people forget how distant a computer conversation is. They
forget how easily confusion arises from ones inability to tell if someone is being ironic in text or not. And so
too does the Internet reach into our lives and spread our imaginations' collective wings. So herein lies the
moral; "Teach thine peers and thine children how to respect one others feelings and no tool for knowledge
may ever become a weapon for hate..." Basically, the Internet didn't invent social networking. Nor did
computers invent the Internet. BUT... people DID build computers so theres no-one to blame but ourselves
and our society. If your going to blame the sites you have to blame the ALL the people who use them. Even
the victims for not knowing when to recognise reality.
Is it possible to even talk about sex in
Saudi-Arabia?
A man boasting about his sexual adventures publicly is a disgusting creature and is a disgrace to his gender.
Even in the western world these things are private matters and are dealt with socially. A person making such
public announcements just faces the possibility of serious social stigma.
In the strange and distorted world of Islamic fundamentalism a person making this kind of statements can
however cause a TV-station to be closed down and the person himself to be flogged until he is half-dead.
The way in which Islam deals with human sexuality has always been its biggest failing, as its basic strategy
has always been the suppression of all sexual urges outside marriage.
The method chosen by Islam for doing this is by threat of horrific physical violence for all those who fail from
the narrow path.
In our western world these things have become completely private matters and we have already great
difficulty in even understanding the reasoning behind these horrific acts of physical violence that include
stoning and flogging.
The pre-medieval Islamic thinking goes from the pre-medieval standpoint where threat of physical violence
was seen as the only way of controlling the human sexuality that was then seen as a major threat to the
well-being of the whole society.
We in the west have however already realized long time ago that sexual acts between adult and consenting
individuals are not a real threat to society at all.
Our societies have in fact given up controlling the normal sexual behavior of adults alltogether. In countries
like Saudi-Arabia this struggle against the basic human instincts continues however unabated.
The trusty old BBC has the story with the headline:

Saudis shut TV offices in sex row

The whole story is here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8192124.stm

The Jeddah offices of a Lebanon-based TV station which broadcast an interview with a Saudi man boasting
about his sexual conquests have been closed.
Saudi Arabian authorities said the offices had been shut by order of the country's deputy prime minister.
The 32-year-old Saudi man's interview shocked conservative Saudi society, prompting calls for him to be
punished.
Mazen Abdul Jawad talked about his sexual conquests and how he picks up women in the kingdom.

PS. A much more obscene story for many westerners living in a more egalitarian society at least is the recent
story in BBC about the princess who lost 16 million dollars worth of cash jewelery from her hotel room in
Sardinia.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8192233.stm
"Saudi princess robbed in Sardinia
Italian police are investigating the theft of some $16m (£10m) in cash and jewellery from a Saudi princess
staying on the Italian island of Sardinia."

by jaskaw @ 09.08.2009 - 18:34:06

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/08/09/is-it-possible-to-even-talk-about-sex-in-saudi-arabia-6685895/
Feedback for Post "Is it possible to even talk about sex in
Saudi-Arabia?"

Ann [Visitor]
http://www.factasy.com
09.08.2009 @ 21:30
Hi interesting site.
It was very very interesting articles in here, I will definitely return to read more.
I am very interested in things that have to do with history.
I have a site, I agree with much history ( Factasy The History site at the web ), especially the American civil
war category, I think you should take you a look at

jaime [Visitor]
http://www.notme.com
17.08.2009 @ 20:05
In Saudi Arabia the men wallow in sex. Why talk about it when they're always doing it? They can engage in
pedophilia, marry girls of six years old, commit adultery, bigamy, have six more wives if they choose. They
enjoy same-sex prostitution with boys and men as women aren't allowed on the street. And of course they can
hold women as sex-slaves in homes, brothels and harems. They traffick women from abroad as domestic
servants and rape them frequently. Of course, they don't like to talk about it. But repressed, they're not!

It's a customary taboo not to talk about sexual practices in order to perpetuate the image of a benign and
gentle culture, but quite the contrary, the sexual practices are voracious, cruel and omnipotently underlie the
thin cultural veneer on respect and gentility. Now, if you wanted to argue that Saudi women are sexually
repressed, that’s undeniable. (Of course, Catholicism is no slouch in this area either with its rapist priest
pedophiles, prostitution rings and Irish "reform schools" which are merely fronts for slave labor camps and
sexual exploitation of children. And the Irish supply the largest percentage of priests to the world.)

All women the world over share something none of us can ever experience: the threat of being involuntarily
impregnated and possibly carrying the sperm of a rapist for nine months, endure a painful labor to bring forth
a DNA quasi-replica of the impregnator. On top of that, like millions of women in the MidEast and elsewhere
they’re imprisoned from birth till death in the homes of their fathers and then husbands - who are not of their
choosing. What man would want a life like that? If the definition of “rape” is having sex without your
consent, then the vast majority of children born to women in these countries are the products of rape.

The Saudi man getting backlash for bragging of his sexual conquests on TV was no doubt telling the truth, but
it’s verboten to reveal the rampant sexual exploitation and sadism behind the opaque harem curtains.
Will cow urine become a new best seller soft drink
in India?
Hinduism has got very little attention in this blog, even though extreme Hinduism is as dangerous as extreme
Islamism, extreme Catholicism or extreme Communism is. Modern followers of Hindu faith can be extremely
permissive and open-minded, but the Hindu extremists are as narrow-minded and deeply irrational as any
other religious extremists.

The Hindu religion was born in a situation where a new group of pastorals did arrive on the Indian peninsula
and subdued the sedentary people already living there. The religion had the function of giving a divine right
for the rule of the minority and so it has a very strong element of inbuilt injustice and cruelty towards those
who are deemed to be the one's to be ruled by the minority.

This religion has however developed much during time and the worst parts of the original extremely cruel and
unjust system of thought have been happily widely forgotten.
But as fundamentalism always mens invoking the original message of a religion, Hindu fundamentalism
brings out the worst things out of the Hindu past, and there are some really worrisome things one can find in
the Hindu mythology, if one digs deeply enough.

The story of the today is not about those most worrisome things however, but it tells nicely on what lengths a
belief in the old and odd traditions can lead people.
The Vancouver Sun has the story with the catchy headline

Hardline Hindu group plans to release new soda product made from cow urine

The whole hog is here:

http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Hardline%20Hindu%20group%20plans%20release%20soda%20product%20mad

Excerpts:
"NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A hardline Hindu organization, known for its opposition to "corrupting" Western
food imports, is planning to launch a new soft drink made from cow's urine, often seen as sacred in parts of
India.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or National Volunteer Corps, said the bovine beverage is
undergoing laboratory tests for the next 2 to 3 months but did not give a specific date for its commercial
release.
The flavor is not yet known, but the RSS said the liquid produced by Hinduism's revered holy cows is being
mixed with products such as aloe vera and gooseberry to fight diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Many Hindus consider cow urine to have medicinal properties and it is often drunk in religious festivals."

by jaskaw @ 24.08.2009 - 10:46:16

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/08/24/will-cow-urine-become-a-new-best-seller-soft-drink-in-india-6807269/
Feedback for Post "Will cow urine become a new best seller
soft drink in India?"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://www.atheist.blogs.fi
25.08.2009 @ 16:52
i was a christian.now follow hinduism.one of the most scientific religion in this world.sathyam vach dharmam
chara.loka samastha sukhino bhavanthu. tell the truth and follow good. everybeing in this world be happy.(not
only humans but animalas and plants and everything).that is criterion of hindu religion. this blog was written
by a person who is ignorant about real hinduism. ahimsa sathyam astheyam. non violence,truth,
greedlessness.these are some of the basics of hinduism. first try to study real hiduism. then pass comments
brothers and sisters of whole world.welcome.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.08.2009 @ 16:59
Dear jose, I will unfortunately have never enough time to study thoroughly all the hundreds and thousands of
religions we have on offer in the world.
I am however analyzing here the things religious people do to other people in the real world. To see these very
real things you do not have to spend years studying the esoteric messages of these religions.
Do you think that if a religion has a good enough original message, it is quite okay for its followers to do ugly
things to others?
The original good message and the practical actions of the followers of a religion do undortunately very often
have really nothing in common.

jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
01.09.2009 @ 20:16
Here is a interesting view on themes of this blog at:
http://bigotblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/an-atheist-replies-to-a-hindu-discounting-personal-experiences-of-god/

Corey Mondelo [Visitor]


http://www.CoreyMondello.com
18.09.2009 @ 11:07
Is this like horse pee pee, where pregnant horses are kept pregnant non-stop, so the pharmacy company can
collect the urine and turn it into pill form called Premarin, so woman having hot flashes, will have some of
them alleviated?

Source:

Premarin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The estrogens in Premarin are often called "conjugated equine estrogens" (CEE) ... is easily absorbed into the
blood after Premarin pills are taken by women.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premarin

Premarin.Org
Highlights the conditions under which horses are kept in the production of Premarin and argues that synthetic
alternatives to horse urine are now available.
http://www.premarin.org/
What is the funniest reason for starting a new state
church?
One of the funniest things in the history of world religions is the fact that we have the mighty Anglican Church
with its tens of millions of followers just because King of England Henry VIII was not given a divorce when he
wanted one.
This is not however the only case where the utter and endless dogmatism of Vatican has badly misfired and
burned its own fingers. Vatican would still rather lose an rising world empire than give man a divorce...
The ringleaders in Vatican of course take a massive pride in their dogmatism, as it the thing that has kept the
Vatican racket going unchanged for so long.
Without this extreme dogmatism the Catholic Church would have undoubtedly splintered in the way in which
the protestant world has splintered in hundreds of little pieces all having their own cute little way to salvation.
I'm however quite convinced that the countries still under the heavy hand of Catholic Church would be much
better off, if their kings or presidents would have had an urgent need for a divorce a long time ago...
Times Online has the story of today with the headline:

Vatican to give Queen copy of Henry VIII's divorce plea

The whole story is here:


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6817557.ece

Excerpts:
"A facsimile of an historic document from the Vatican Secret Archives in which English peers appeal to Pope
Clement VII to annul Henry VIII‎s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is to be given to the Queen tomorrow.
The 95 x 46cm (37 x 18in) parchment, which dates from 1530 and bears 81 red wax seals, is a key document
of events leading to the schism between Rome and the Church in England.
The document, Causa Anglica, is the fourth treasure from the Secret Archives to be reproduced. It joins
facsimiles of the papal bull announcing the first Jubilee or Holy Year in 1300, Munificentia Venetiarum, a
16th-century Venetian document on relations with the Church of Rome, and the Chinon Parchment, the record
of the trial of the Knights Templar in the 14th century, in which they were exonerated of heresy. A second
copy of the Henry VIII parchment is held at the National Archives at Kew, but it lacks the wax seals and is in
parts illegible."

by jaskaw @ 04.09.2009 - 10:54:49

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/09/04/what-is-the-funniest-reason-the-start-a-new-state-chruch-6888730/
Feedback for Post "What is the funniest reason for starting
a new state church?"

jose [Visitor]
http://www.atheistnews.com
04.09.2009 @ 16:50
catholic church ha nothing to do with crist,god truthor love as it claims. its leaders are killers(crusades and
inquisition)abusers of children, women.it is created by constantine and his wife and some power mongers
acting as mediaters of kingdom. hell with them as they are preachers of hell fo those who are not ready to lick
their feet.i feel better with lucifer than with these cheaters.who gave them authority to make their fellow men
slaves and enjoy all worldly pleasures.hell with them from top to bottom. dante has correct history of these
crooked fellows.
What a good muslim needs to know about the
stoning of women?
There is a brand new pastime, as the all-Muslim search engine "I'm Halal" is now online. You can all now try
what a true Muslim should read in the internet and what not: try it at http://imhalal.com

My first search results were as follows:

stoning of women

"Oops! Your search inquiry has a Haram level of 3 out of 3! I would like to advise you to change your search
terms and try again."

terrorist

"Oops! Your search inquiry has a Haram level of 2 out of 3. This means that the results fetched by
ImHalal.com could be haram!
If you still think the results will be clean click me!!"

pork

"Oops! Your search inquiry has a Haram level of 1 out of 3. This means that the results fetched by
ImHalal.com could be haram!
If you still think the results will be clean click me!"

You see that links or any information on stoning of women is not allowed at all but a Muslim can get
information about terrorists and pork, but it is strongly advised against.
The answer to the question in the headline is of course that a good Muslim does not want to know anything
about the ongoing stoning of women in the Muslim world.

by jaskaw @ 07.09.2009 - 22:36:24

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/09/07/what-a-good-muslim-needs-to-know-about-the-stoning-of-women-6916120/
Feedback for Post "What a good muslim needs to know
about the stoning of women?"

Good Muslim [Visitor]

08.09.2009 @ 00:28
Sort of like the way a good Atheist does not want to know about occupation and mass bombing of women,
children and old men in Muslim lands, huh?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
08.09.2009 @ 09:09
Dear "Good Muslmim", an atheist can simply go to relevant web-pages and find out what is going on there
anytime he or she wants to.
There is no censorship of web-pages at all in atheist circles, as the I'm Halal search engine openly censors
web-pages that are deemed not suitable for Muslims.
I always wonder how weak and wulnerable a religion must really be if it can't live with the fact that all people
are not Muslims and do not accept the teachings of Islam?
Atheists have as a rule very good knowledge of religions and thet do follow a lot of religious debate. I fear
that the religious people are not at all similarly open to ideas that contradict their beliefs.

Reasoner [Visitor]

08.09.2009 @ 00:52
Bush and Blair are not atheists!

Good Muslim [Visitor]

08.09.2009 @ 11:25
Atheists have killed over 1 million Muslim people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who is more violent?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
08.09.2009 @ 13:02
Dear Good Muslim, the western troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have nothing to do with atheism, as they are
send there by devout Christian leaders and are themselves Christians.
I have no idea where would you have gotten into your head this incredible idea of atheism having something
to do with the terrible and quite unnecessary things happening in Iraq.

Good Muslim [Visitor]

08.09.2009 @ 14:39
Dear Jaskaw, this isn't true. The governments of the West are not based on Bible, but on secular atheist
constitutions and their armies are sent to the Middle East with a mission to establish secular democracy, not
Christian law.
The majority of Western voters are not religious, yet they keep supporting the wars with their votes and taxes.
Atheists claim that one does not need God to be a moral person, but I have yet to see this in action.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
08.09.2009 @ 15:04
Dear Good Muslim, I really still don't see how atheists could be in any way held responsible for these
decisions to go to war in Iraq or Afghanistan.
These decisions have nothing to do with atheists or atheism in any way, but very much to do with the
extremely deeply-held Christian religious beliefs of George W. Bush and his nearest advisors, who were all
very deeply religious people as sadly a very large part of all Americans.
George Bush made the decision to attack Iraq and Afghanistan and he just hates atheists and atheism.
Our societies are secular, but atheism does not affect this kind of decision-making in any way.

It would be fun talk about the morals of the Muslim people who blow up innocent civilians with
suicide-bombs or the morals of the Arab Muslims who attacked without any provocation peaceful neighboring
countries in the 600s and again of the Islamic rulers of Ottoman empire who attacked their neighbors century
after century.

Sidi Si [Visitor]
http://bigotblog.wordpress.com
08.09.2009 @ 16:31
LOL what?! Jaskaw replied to your point, but let me add... Atheists are a VERY SMALL MINORITY in the
USA! People there HATE atheists! Sheesh man get a life and go read or something.

You are really spoiling the name of "good Muslims" who are smarter than you seem to be.

Elaine [Visitor]

08.09.2009 @ 16:12
How on earth can Muslims talk about Atheists. You can go on television channels and see Islam being
promoted that tell people to kill and they will go to a better place. Sorry there is no better place so get real.
Women have rights, stone all the women and you will not have anymore births.Although I suppose the
fundamentalists will say their god will send more to earth. Perhaps via Mars?
Religion breeds hate get used to it.
Thank you jaskaw for logic and reason it sure is needed.

Good Muslim [Visitor]

08.09.2009 @ 18:40
Dear Jaskaw, you are incorrect again. The Western world's official mission is not religious, but secular. There
are many atheists on TV promoting and justifying these wars.

Yes, let's talk about suicide bombers and terrorists. First question, - who taught Bin Laden how to kill and
explode stuff? USA, a secular government. And who ravaged and bombed Afghanistan just before that, killing
2 million Muslims? Soviet Union, another proud atheist country.

If the atheists here are concerned by logic, I advise you start using it to count the millions of people killed by
your fellow atheists.
Muslims did teach your medieval European ancestors the art of Algebra after all.

jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
08.09.2009 @ 22:24
We are traveling circles here; dear Good Muslim. As atheism does not carry any dogma or real ideology with
itself, there are all kinds of atheists, they come in all colors and shapes; there are also those who support
support wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and there are those who are extremely strongly opposed to them.
Atheism is not commonly the deciding factor in how atheists think in diverse political issues. A religion can
lead a person in a quite different way to form even all his opinions based on just that overpowering ideology
as we have so commonly seen in the Muslim world.

Good Muslim [Visitor]

09.09.2009 @ 08:38
Dear, Jaskaw, atheism is a major influence on human behavior, as it psychologically frees an individual from
Divine responsibility over one's actions.

While religion is responsible for violence and abuse as well, - statistically, political atheism results in far more
violent human deaths than political religion.

jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
09.09.2009 @ 08:59
Dear Good Muslim, atheism does free anybody from membership of human society and its needs and
requirements.
The rules, laws, customs and all other needs of the society are quite similar towards all its members were they
believers or not, and it really is the needs of human society that has always been thet real source of morality in
societies. Religions have only interpreted and elongated these needs for their own benefit.

The things that are deemed moral and what not varies unbelievably between different societies and through
ages, but on the bottom of it, but one thing is always common; those things are labeled immoral that harm the
smooth running of the society and cause friction between its members.

Do you think that people were killing and raping freely before Islam was invented?
I suggest that you read a bit of history and you soon find out that quite similar basic morals have been in use
in most societies in the world before Islam or Christianity.

Only real difference however is that Islam is so much more cruel and unforgiving in matters concerning
sexuality than most of the preceding belief-systems, that adopting Islam made societies more harsh and cruel
in many ways.

The extremely cruel and inhuman punishments like stoning people for adultery are a thing that would not exist
anymore without Islam, as the humanistic thingking has spread in the world and people have realized that
scaring people with utmost brutality not really work as a deterrent.

Good Muslim [Visitor]

09.09.2009 @ 14:17
Jaskaw, blind emotional accusations and avoiding the facts will not prove your point. Atheism has proven by
numbers to be much more violent than religion.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
09.09.2009 @ 14:37
Contrary some mistaken beliefs Nazis were not atheists at all, as Hitler, Göring and most of the other leaders
were Catholic Christians to the very last day of their life.
Atheism was strictly forbidden in nazi-Germany and all atheist organizations were banned. There were a few
Nazis who did forward the old pagan religions, but following an old religion is not atheism at all! Read more
at http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2008/10/02/were-nazis-atheists-4813530/

If you are referring to the hideous crimes of the Communists, you should not forget that they did not do these
things to forward atheism, but the to forward their own new religion, which was of course faith in the
overpowering idea of Communism.
They of course saw other religions as competitors, but the bad things were done to forward Communism and
not atheism as such.
http://beinghuman.blogs.fi/2009/08/10/is-communism-a-religion-i-boldly-claim-that-the-mainstream-6695050/

Christian [Visitor]

24.09.2009 @ 13:19
Jaskaw:
"If you are referring to the hideous crimes of the Communists, you should not forget that they did not do these
things to forward atheism, but the to forward their own new religion, which was of course faith in the
overpowering idea of Communism."

Do you remember what pure atheists formed French Revolution....

"The Cult of Reason" (French: Culte de la Raison) - which was a creed based on atheism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_Reason

That is the result of worshiping the man, the creature.

The number of all killed during Shining Revolution may be added to the millions of dead humans caused by
Communists.

The Cult of Reason centered upon a young woman designated the Goddess of Reason.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
24.09.2009 @ 13:31
Dear Christian, I think you need a refreshing course in history, as the French revolutionaries were mostly
deists, as were the American revolutionaries also.
I'm afraid Wikipedia is mistaken here, as Cult of Reason was based on deism and not atheism:

"The Cult of Reason (French: Culte de la Raison) was a religion based on deism devised during the French
Revolution by Jacques Hébert, Pierre Gaspard Chaumette and their supporters, in opposition to the Cult of the
Supreme Being instituted by Maximilien Robespierre."
http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/cult-of-reason/

You can look up deism in Wikipedia, if the term is foreign to you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism or
http://www.deism.com/deism_defined.htm

Christian [Visitor]

24.09.2009 @ 23:52
How "Cult of Reason" could be Deism? If it was, then also you are a Deist, because reason of man for you is
all, what to value and adore.
Did the Catholic Church steal and sell thousands
of Irish babies?
The Catholic Church has been a source of immeasurable misery and despair during its whole existence, but
the most harm has always caused its wholesale suppression and denial of the normal human sexuality.
Of course Catholic Church is not alone among religions in its denial of human sexuality, but its physical and
social power has ensured that is has been able to harass and disturb more efficiently those who do not fit to
its sordid interpretation of allowed sexual practices than many other religions.
As we know the list of allowed forms of sex practices is incredibly short in the Catholic world and an
incredible amount of quite normal and healthy Catholics end up in direct conflict with that list.
This creates enormous and quite unnecessary mental pressures for people who are indoctrinated to believe in
the absolute truth carried the church and who on the other hand in practice inevitably do end outside the
extremely limited realm of allowed sexuality.
Ireland has always been a bastion of extreme Catholic dogmatism and it is no surprise that the horror story of
today comes from there:

The Guardian.co.uk has the sordid story with the headline:

The Catholic church sold my child

The whole story is here:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/19/catholic-church-sold-child

An excerpt from the story by Martin Sixsmith:


―When her pregnancy became obvious, her family had Philomena "put away" with the nuns. After her baby,
Anthony, was born, the mother superior threatened Philomena with damnation if ever she breathed a word
about her "guilty secret". Terrified, she kept it quiet for more than half a century. "All my life I couldn't tell
anyone. We were so browbeaten, it was such a sin. It was an awful thing to have a baby out of wedlock ...
Over the years I would say 'I will tell them, I will tell them' but it was so ingrained deep down in my heart that
I mustn't tell anybody, that I never did."
I was intrigued to know why the nuns had been so insistent on the importance of silence and secrecy. The
answer, almost certainly, lay in what had happened next.
Philomena was one of thousands of Irish women sent to convents in the 1950s and 60s, taken away from their
homes and families because the Catholic church said single mothers were moral degenerates who could not be
allowed to keep their children.ć
Such was the power of the church, and of Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, that the state bowed before its
demands, ceding responsibility for the mothers and babies to the nuns. For them it was not only a matter of sin
and morality, but one of pounds, shillings and pence."
"Early on in the search I realised that the Irish Catholic hierarchy had been engaged in what amounted to an
illicit baby trade. From the end of the second world war until the 1970s, it considered the thousands of souls
born in its care to be the church's own property. With or without the agreement of their mothers, it sold them
to the highest bidder. Every year, hundreds were shipped off to American couples who paid "donations" (in
reality, fees) to the nuns. Few if any checks were made on the suitability of the adopting families – the only
condition laid down by Archbishop McQuaid was that they should be practising Catholics."

"The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" by Martin Sixsmith is published by Macmillan.


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Child-Philomena-Lee-Mother/dp/0230744273

by jaskaw @ 21.09.2009 - 20:37:55

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/09/21/did-the-catholic-church-steal-and-sell-thousands-of-irish-babies-7012257/
Feedback for Post "Did the Catholic Church steal and sell
thousands of Irish babies?"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://http/www.atheist.com
22.09.2009 @ 12:08
catholic church has nothing to do with god or christ.give everything you have to the poor and take thy cross
and follow me,christ.the wicked church was formed with power and for power and money.they use this power
and money to supress their misdeeds.in india the priests and a nun killed another poor sister for witnenessing
their sexual misdeeds. they are using money and power to escape from the clutches of law. wher is god and
christ and the church with murderous infallibility.

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://http/www.atheist.com
22.09.2009 @ 12:15
don't find fault with church for maltreating its followers. why these followers are subservient to the nonsense
church.they must quit the hell ofthe church and be free.so the followers are to blame for it. religion is a
personal affair.it should not be the affair of any organization. organizations are made for the leaders to
enjoy,kill, rape,punish poor followers for their own end.world must ban all organised religions.or the poor
followers must quit and get away from the clutches of these vipers. in crhristsown words church is a
whitewashed tomp

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://http/www.atheist.com
22.09.2009 @ 12:24
sorry.tomb,------these popes ,cardinals,bishops,and even priests are pretending to be the custodians of the keys
of the kingdom and exploiting the poor fellowmen and making them to lick their feet.who gave them the self
impossedhell of infallibility.dear brothers and sistes of the whole world their they are more poisonous than
lucifer himself.so keep away from their presence.otherwise you will be in hell now and after death.for their
place in hell is confirmed.time is running out. they brain washeed their fellowmen to make them mental slaves
and enjoy all vices of the world which even satans won't do.get away from all organised selfimposed
perpetrators of fallacy.
Is "materialism" a bigger threat to Africa than
hunger and poverty?
The current Pope is an endless source of amusement and it would quite nice if one could take it easy and just
laugh at his unintentional humor. The sad part is that he is still widely respected as a head of hundreds of
millions of Catholics and his strangely old-fashioned and autocratic ideas are widely respected as a source of
real wisdom.
The saddest part is that his word still counts as a final word for millions and millions of poor, uneducated and
desperate people. They continue multiplying and filling the world because this man with a funny hat explicitly
tells them that it is quite right to do so.
This would be of course quite okay, if there would be enough food and other resources available to feed and
shelter these endless millions of new babies in the developing world. Sadly many of them are destined to die
of ill effects of malnutrition and outright hunger, because the areas in which they live simply cannot support
this massive influx of new humans anymore.
This man in his funny hat can be held directly responsible for millions of deaths in the future, as well in his
power would be to say that his church has changed its dogma in one little issue. He could say tomorrow that
Catholic Church has decided to allow the use of contraceptives and other forms of preventive birth control.
This decision alone would also save a countless number of people of slow death from HIV and AIDS.
This man living in one of the most luxurious palaces of world however recently announced that the spread of
―western materialismć is the greatest threat that the continent of Africa now faces.
The hunger and desperation that awaits the millions of new little Catholics in that continent is of no interest
for this cold and hard-hearted man. He is quite willing to sacrifice them at the altar of his idiotic and
old-fashioned dogma that is threatening this continent with future of steadily increasing despair, poverty and
hunger.

More about this issue at Is there a connection between standard of living and birth control?

The story of the day is from the old faithful BBC with the headline:

Pope warns of 'new colonialism'


The whole story is here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8289188.stm

Best (or worst) bits of the story:

"Pope Benedict has warned that a form of colonialism continues to blight Africa.
Opening a three-week synod of African bishops, he said political colonialism was over.
But he said the developed world continued to export materialism - which he called "toxic spiritual rubbish" -
to the continent.
Almost 200 bishops from 53 African states have gathered to discuss how the Catholic Church can help resolve
the continent's social injustices and wars.
The Pope says he will attend as many of the working sessions of the synod as possible, his other duties
permitting.
Pope Benedict praised Africa's rich cultural and spiritual treasures, caling them a "spiritual lung" for the
world.
But he said the continent was afflicted by an export of the "so-called 'first world'... [the] toxic spiritual
rubbish" of materialism."

by jaskaw @ 04.10.2009 - 20:19:01

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/04/is-materialism-a-biger-threat-to-african-than-hunger-and-poverty-7097935/
Feedback for Post "Is "materialism" a bigger threat to Africa
than hunger and poverty?"

priscillak [Member]
05.10.2009 @ 12:20

In the first place in a so called religious country there should not be poverty and hunger. Let the pope give up
his palace and give his money to the poor and hungry. No he will continue to make speeches. I understand that
the Pope recently declared that now excessive wealth is now a sin.
I have no hope of this happening.. I believe the Church is a hypocrite, says one thing and does another.
"Sell The Vatican Save The World"
"Sell The Vatican Save The World"

Sarah Silverman's Campaign To End Hunger (VIDEO)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/11/sell-the-vatican-save-the_n_316559.html

"We're pretty sure offering the Pope "pussy" is inappropriate, but doing it in the name of solving world hunger
seems a little less crazy. Sarah Silverman launched a new campaign this weekend on "Real Time with Bill
Maher" in which she pleads with the Catholic Church to sell the Vatican to save the world: "You preach to
live humbly, and I totally agree. So now maybe it's time for you to move out of your house that is a city."
Silverman outlines her plan in the following video which may prove unpopular among Catholics and highly
popular amongst Silverman fans."

PS. If our are perplexed by the outlook of this blog, but as the economy hits rock bottom, we all must make
cuts. From now on there is just the raw links to the main feed and some sparse selected citations from the
source.
by jaskaw @ 19.10.2009 - 21:35:57

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/19/sell-the-vatican-save-the-world-7203287/
Feedback for Post ""Sell The Vatican Save The World""

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://www.atheistnews.blogs.fi
20.10.2009 @ 13:04
the so called catholic leaders and their subordnates have nothing to do with christ or god.they r of satan.even
lucifer will b ashamed of their deeds.in india 2 priests and an nun killed another nu for witnessing their sexual
misdeeds.they are using money and power to escape from the clutches of law.they even using minority status
to escape from law.these catholic leaders have nothing to do with god or christ.their apt place is dante's hell.

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://www.atheistnews.blogs.fi
20.10.2009 @ 13:09
two priests and a nun killed nun for witnessing their sexual misdeeds and using money and power to escape
from the clutches of law. hwere is christ and these criminals.
Biblical sex row over explicit illustrated Book of
Genesis
Biblical sex row over explicit illustrated Book of Genesis

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/6358134/Biblical-sex-row-over-explicit-illustrated-Book-of-Gene

A sexually explicit illustrated Book of Genesis by controversial artist Robert Crumb, which features Bible
characters having intercourse, has been condemned by religious groups.

by jaskaw @ 19.10.2009 - 21:38:30

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/19/biblical-sex-row-over-explicit-illustrated-book-of-genesis-7203312/
Feedback for Post "Biblical sex row over explicit illustrated
Book of Genesis "

Lisa Rosati-Bridenbecker [Visitor]

25.10.2009 @ 00:37
WOW!!! Is it available yet?
Christmas is right around the corner!
I'll take 3 or 4!!

Thanks R. Crumb!
LRB

James Smith [Visitor]


http://brazilbrat.blogspot.com/
22.11.2009 @ 20:42
What's the problem? The text is accurate and the drawings are no more explicit than many paintings ordered
by the church.

Edward Chin [Visitor]

13.12.2009 @ 20:41
Believers of the bible accepts these stories as gospel truth handed down to them by God Almighty Himself, so
what is the problem with any illustration/s to go with the stories?
Nobel winner slams Bible as 'handbook of bad
morals'
Nobel winner slams Bible as 'handbook of bad morals'

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/091019/entertainment/portugal_literature_religion

"LISBON (AFP) - A row broke out in Portugal on Monday after a Nobel Prize-winning author denounced the
Bible as a "handbook of bad morals".
Speaking at the launch of his new book "Cain", Jose Saramago, who won the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature,
said society would probably be better off without the Bible.
The book is an ironic retelling of the Biblical story of Cain, Adam and Eve's son who killed his younger
brother Abel.
At the launch event in the northern Portuguese town of Penafiel on Sunday, Saramago said he did not think
the book would offend Catholics "because they do not read the Bible".
"The Bible is a manual of bad morals (which) has a powerful influence on our culture and even our way of
life. Without the Bible, we would be different, and probably better people," he was quoted as saying by the
news agency Lusa."

by jaskaw @ 20.10.2009 - 09:30:40

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/20/nobel-winner-slams-bible-as-handbook-of-bad-morals-7205818/
Feedback for Post "Nobel winner slams Bible as 'handbook
of bad morals' "

Alex Dhanvate [Visitor]

25.10.2009 @ 13:22
Alex Dhanvate, on October 25th, 2009 at 13:15 Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Mr. Jose Saramago,
Let me tell you no one is either shocked nor it really matters to anyone .
“NOTHING CAN SHAKE THE FAITH OF A CHRISTIAN”

Nobel Prize-winner Mr. Jose Saramago,


If you are a scoffer or an atheist, you have NOT defeated the Word of God with your big words and ideas, you
have condemned yourself !
Repent while you have hope or you will perish. When you die, it will be everlasting too late.
The wrath of God is hanging over your head like a storm cloud. It’s there when you lay down, when you wake
up, when you are working, having lunch with friends, going on a trip—everywhere you go, that wrath goes
with you.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see
life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
.........
The Bible says: The unregenerate man thinks Christians are crazy because they don’t do the same wicked
stuff he does and they don’t hold the same wicked opinions he does.
I Peter 4:3-4, For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we
walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein
they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.
.........
The Bible says: The damned think that the preaching of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is foolishness.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is TO THEM THAT PERISH foolishness; but unto us which
are saved it is the power of God.
.........
The Bible says: The unregenerate man thinks that the things of God, including His word, are foolishess. He
can’t even begin understand them with his old dead spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness
unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
.........
The Bible says: The wicked call evil good and good evil. All woe unto them if they don’t get right with Jesus.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for
darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
.........
The Bible says: The Bible will remain forever. The words of some sinner man will never negate what God has
said.
The Bible says in Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words SHALL NOT pass away.
.........
These are the last days
Bible says “ They will put you out of synagogue, in fact,
a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God”.
John16:2.

I pray that the LORD opens the eyes of the people, that they may know the Truth,
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. John 8:32
Jesus Loves you,
So do we Christian
God Bless you.
Bro.Alex Dhanvate
Sydney

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
25.10.2009 @ 14:37
Dear Alex Dhanvate, I think you quite nicely sum up the essence of mystery why a person can persist in a
belief-system that is in contradiction with nearly all available real world evidence. The sorry fact really is that
“NOTHING CAN SHAKE THE FAITH OF A CHRISTIAN”
Its fine if it works for you of course and it is quite fine for me if you find personal happiness and satisfaction
through it; this is none of my business.
Its however always a bit frightening to hear from somebody that he thinks that I am going to burn in hell, as
you seem to suggest just now.
I would even suggest that saying things like this to a perfect stranger is a bit rude, but I know that in your
circles being rude to nonbelievers is not frowned upon at all.
I have never for a single moment in my life believed any of the stuff you mention and I don't really believe
that I ever will, as I have already reached a quite advanced age.
On the contrary I seem to drift further and further away from the world of blind faith towards appreciating real
world scientific knowledge more and more.

idan [Visitor]

22.11.2009 @ 21:26
Wow, Alex, you're really an idiot, aren't you?

Have you read the drivel that is in the bible? Sadly, I have.
In the original Hebrew, even. It's unethical, inconsistent, poorly written trash. It started out as an oral tradition
among bronze age primitives, got written down in Hebrew, then translated into Latin and then a variety of
other languages. It started as primitive garbage and - guess what - it still is that today.

| Show subcomments
Jay [Visitor]

24.11.2009 @ 04:57
Dear idan,

You say you have read the "drivel that is in the bible". Well, so have I. In full disclosure I am a Methodist
pastor, who by the way shares none of "Alex's" certainty of Mr. Saramago's damnation. The God I worship
and believe is a God of creation, not destruction, of reconciliation, not judgment. What disturbs me about your
post is that you cannot or choose not to see past some parts of the Bible, which are admittedly disturbing.
These parts are to me where men chose to attribute to God their greed and bloodthisrtiness.

However, you are choosing to overlook some of the most progressive, compassionate teachings in history. Try
reading Leviticus 19 with objectivity, and note that while there may be some what sound like us to be
arbitrary rules, as a whole this shows a remarkable sense of equality and justice that we "enlightened" 21st
century folks do not measure up to. For instance demanding justice for aliens and those in poverty.

The later prophets also showed a remarkable understanding that the God intends the world to be one of peace
and brotherhood of all nations. See Isaiah 2:4. Certainly Jesus demonstrated the importance of peace,
forgiveness and nonviolence, which to me is the hope for the world.

The Bible is not a monolithic document. It is a remarkable collection of literature of different types, written
for different reasons, and with varying levels of enlightenment. Most of today's translations reflect rigorous
schoarship in analyzing language, history, culture, and archaeology. I hope you will spend a little more time
reading the Bible with a little more open-mindedness.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
24.11.2009 @ 10:17
Dear Jay, are you a God? If the whole bible is Gods word (as Christians do claim, remember?) so all parts of it
must be equally true, as all parts are equally Gods words.
Can you just take the parts that you personally like and leave other untasty parts out, if you are not taking the
role of God? The fact is that you as a human then decide what of Gods words are good and what should be
forgotten?
If we however just assume that this book is just an old collection of texts written by ordinary humans, we can
do as you sugggest and enjoy freely the best parts and forget about the hatred, rape, incest and genocide that
this book is so full of.
Then however this book loses its divine status and it can be in fact quite forgotten, as after its finalization
there has been written much better and nobler books that are full of good advice on how homans should live
their lives justly and honestly.

| Show subcomments
Jay [Visitor]
http://bcbxe
27.11.2009 @ 04:03
Dear jacksaw,

Most mainline Christian denominations do not make the claim that the Bible is "divine". Most say that it is
inspired, but just what that inspiration means is open to debate. Please don't paint all Christians with the same
brush. Methodists believe that in understanding the Bible we are to use (in order) Scripture, Tradition, Reason,
and Experience.

No, I do not claim to be God, but I do claim the right to follow the teachings of Jesus that tell us that we are
first and foremost to "love God with all of our heart, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourself."
We are also called to be peacemakers, to turn the other cheek, and to break the cycle of violence. Do we live
up to theses teachings? Probably not. But we are to try.

If doing these things means that we are to disbelieve the truth that god calls for violence as interpreted by
others in places, then yes, we are called to choose which parts of the Bible (which was selected by humans
after all) to live by.

There are many Christians which do not follow blindly, but try to live authentic lives to make our world more
like god intends. Please remember that Christianity is not a monolithic religion, but a collection of groups
seeking the truth.

| Show subcomments
Kazuthu [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 10:07
Tradition comes before reason? I knew there was a reason that I uncomfortable with Christianity.
We had a tradition of slavery for thousands of years. It's in scripture. Sure, you can "reason" your way into
thinking that its bad, and experience also shows that it's not so hot, but if tradition and scripture come first, I
guess slavery must therefore be a-ok!

Thomas [Visitor]
http://thegodless.wordpress.com
25.11.2009 @ 04:18
I find it funny that we have a minister here telling us to ignore parts of the Bible. Do you not see that we are
just taking your advice and going one step further? If you dismiss parts of the Bible, why not dismiss it all? I
agree that there are some worthy principles in the Bible, but this does not lend at all to the validity of the
book. The Bible is nothing more than ancient fairy tales. Sadly, we still live in an age where people condemn
others for believing in what most agree with is the truth. I am less likely to burn in hell for condemning fairy
tales, than believers are of wasting the one precious life they have living the fairy tales.

| Show subcomments
Jay [Visitor]
http://bcbxe
27.11.2009 @ 04:24
Thomas,

Please believe me when I say that I believe that you have every right to reject the Bible if you wish. I honestly
don't believe that God will love you any less. I certainly should not love you any less. God's greatest gift to us
is grace, even allowing us the grace to be wrong.

But to dismiss the Bible as just a bunch of ancient fairy tales is to ignore a wonderful resource of many who
struggled to live lives of meaning. Most Christians do not view the Bible as a science text. I believe in
evolution, in scientific methodology. But I do not believe science holds all of the answers as to the ultimate
meaning of life.

We are called to love, not to condemn, to transform the world. Please believe that there are many Christians
who want to work with you to improve tolerance and reduce violence in our world, regardless of whether you
believe like I do or not.

Peace to you.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
27.11.2009 @ 10:56
Take a look at here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_text
Do you reject most of these books as a bunch of ancient fairy tales?
Why do you treat the holy book of your own religion differently?
Because accepting just that religion makes you think that just that old book of that religion is something
special.
If you would revert to another religion, you would very soon forget this "wonderful resource" and see it as a
bunch of old fairy tales and you would see a quite different book as a quite similar "wonderful resource".
World is full of wonderful books giving wonderful advice on how to be a better person, why in earth should
we spend our time studying just one of them?

| Show subcomments
Pal G [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 18:53
I would not dismiss the Bible as a "bunch of old fairy tales". It is a historical document in which many people,
who were witnesses, write and suggest a man who lived 2000 years ago claimed to be God and God's son, and
at the time, social leaders, both religious (Jews) and secular (Romans), and many, many common people (Jew
and not) took note of him. If he was not signifigant we would not be discussing him today.

So, why not take a look at Jesus' claims, not the claims of comment writers, by reading at least one of the
Gospels through. Try to ignore all the chapter numbers, verse numbers, and cross references, and actually read
the full account. It won't take long. Then one can choose to believe or not believe the claims of Jesus Christ.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
04.12.2009 @ 19:06
Bible is not a historical document, but one of the oldest works of literary fiction, that also contains references
to many historical events and persons. These references however very often do not relate the real events in
any meaningful way, but the historical figures are used as a way to give credence to the the stories, which are
most often written hundreds of years after the alleged events and are based solely on old folklore.
The bible is a quite random collection of very old rumors, hearsay, tall tales, poetry and prose.
Its compilers have of course had a clear objective in their minds. That was giving a aura of greater knowledge
and higher purpose to their pet ideology that had been crafted and created by the priestly class of a Jewish
clans.
This is the very reason many parts of the book are written it as if some kind of deity would have been
speaking directly to the writers.
Of course using different voices in narrative is an old trick of the writing profession.
Of course there are many attempts to influence the thinking and politics of the people of the time of writing,
which we not understand anymore and see as containing some strange wisdom.

Mark [Visitor]

15.12.2009 @ 21:29
Lovely. This is exactly what Christians do. They obfuscate because they know it's all a lie.

On the contrary. Read ALL the gospels and try to reconcile their claims, such as timelines, the events that
actually took place, and the dozens and DOZENS of contradictory claims.

Indeed, READ THEM ALL and compare them. Then you'll see that it's a fairy tale that was voted on by the
Council of Nicea in the early 300s AD. The gospels don't represent any real events. They represent religious
stories and nothing more.

Jaycee [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 14:41
Jay,

You're approach to interpreting the Bible is a clear act of dissimulation. What you want to do is cherry pick
the nice parts of the Bible that conform to your expectations of what it should tell you about God.

You correctly point out that the Bible was a book written, and put together in final form and content by other
men and so we should expect that their views should be appointed to God. I wonder, however, what principled
reasons prevent us from applying your insight in the opposite fashion.
For instance, if I claim that, those views that men falsely attributed to God in the Bible are the very same ones
"peacemaking, brotherhood of all nations, etc." that you claim are the true message. How are you to respond?
What principled method do we have for distinguishing which bits are the right bits? The "truest" bits?

I would suggest that what you are really trying to do is shape your reading of the Bible into another
pre-existing moral structure which you think the Bible should look like and selectively read and pick based on
that non-Biblical paradigm. This is not a principled approach but simply a form of selection bias.

| Show subcomments
Jay [Visitor]

06.12.2009 @ 10:53
Jaycee,

I really have no argument with what you are saying. I begin without apology any interpretation with Jesus'
teaching, particularly the Great Commandment. To me, any passage which is at odds with centering my life
on God (the definition of which is another topic, but certainly something greater than myself), and loving my
neighbor (both those like and unlike us - even our enemies) as much as myself is suspect.

I try to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I would argue that many who say they insist on the literal and
complete truth of the Bible are worshiping the Book instead of God.

You are right, I do "cherry pick". But if we are honest with ourselves, that is what everyone does in
attempting to make sense of our life and our world. We read, we listen, we observe. None of us do that
objectively. We all "cherry pick" those things which make sense to us and help us make sense of the world. I
would argue that Charles Darwin did that in arriving at the theory of evolution. Not all evidence as it was
understood and interpreted in his day fit Darwin's theory. Yet his genius was to find a kernel of truth and
begin to make sense of the world with that understanding.

For me, I find meaning in the teachings of Jesus that our world has meaning and hope only if we accept our
fellow human beings as brothers and sisters (we are all created in the image of God), and work for peace and
justice through loving all, even those who have hurt me. Ultimately following Jesus' teaching leads us to an
understanding that our true self-interest lies in the interest of everyone, particularly those who are the weakest
and the poorest.

To me, that is the only hope our world has, and the only task which has meaning. I don't mean to sound
self-righteous, because I fall far short of living up to Jesus' teachings (with the goal of becoming each day a
better follower), but I believe that a life lived pursing peace and justice is as principled as any life.

Thanks for responding.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
06.12.2009 @ 11:42
Dear Jay, the texts in then Bible that are attributed to the character named Jesus of course contain many good
things and following at least some of them would make many people live better lives.
There is of course many similar thinkers and Jesus no such message concerning the real world lives of people
that would not be presented by others as well, or even better, if you strip the dubious supernatural claims
away.
The sorry fact of life however is that there is no church that would really itself follow those teachings, as they
are worldly organizations that have their own goals as organizations.
Especially the immensely rich Catholic Church has nothing to do with the humble character of Jesus who
renounced worldly possessions, that the Catholic Church has been so busy gathering during its whole
existence.
Jesus did not want to throw the first stone, but the all Christian organizations have traditionally been the main
sources of judging and dismissing of differentiating people.
The sad fact is that the personal conviction is always a quite different thing than the organized religion and the
needs of the organization will always put the original high ideal to sidelines.
There they of course can be preserved and paraded on occasions in a try to convince people that these
principles still are applied, even if they are quite forgotten in the real world work of that very organization
which is often based on dogmatic beliefs on things that will foster the good of that organization itself and
nothing else.

RachelE [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 17:59
Excuse me for saying this to a complete stranger, but your logic is lacking. You claim to read the
"progressive, compassionate" teachings in the bible, and I'm assuming it is from here that you claim to derive
a sense of morality. However, the very act of your "choosing to see past some parts of the Bible" demonstrates
that you yourself has a moral center, not the Bible. A person must either take everything from the Bible as fact
or renounce it. Otherwise, he/she is demonstrating that his/her foundation of compassion, morality, ethics,
judgement, etc. does not in fact come from religious teachings.

What if everyone just took the Bible as the first great piece of fiction? In the time the Bible was written, there
was no such thing as novels or fictional writing, so of course it was taken literally. Why can't people read the
Bible as a work of fiction, not claim to derive a sense of right and wrong from it, and admit that each person
has their own center of judgement apart from what was written thousands of years ago.

In this way, perhaps we can create a more tolerant society, one open to all people and beliefs.

PS the Bible really is inconsistent and poorly written.

| Show subcomments
Jay [Visitor]

06.12.2009 @ 11:44
Rachel,

I appreciate your comment, but as you say, excuse me for saying this to a complete stranger, but your facts are
not quite correct. The writings of "The Bible" from the time it was first written down were never all
understood to be taken to be "literally" (we get into trouble when this phrase is used). For instance, Psalms
and Song of Solomon are books of poetry full of metaphors and similes. This was understood by its readers.
The prophets engaged in symbolic activity meant to convey a greater truth (Ezekiel 4:1-8 is just one example).

Jesus himself told works of fiction, known as parables. They were understood by his hearers not to be
factually true, but to be essentially true.

At roughly the same time Vergil was writing the Aeneid. He did not believe it to be factually true, nor was it
read to be so. It was written to help Romans understand what it meant to be Roman.

I don't understand why some insist that a "person must either take everything from the Bible as fact or
renounce it". Why? Science texts written 50 years ago may contain facts which have since become disproved,
but we do not think about renouncing everything it contains (i.e. Newtonian laws, evolution, etc...). Truth can
be contained in many sources.
I agree that each person has their own "center of judgement". But that does not arrive out of nothing. We each
search for what brings meaning to our lives and the world we live in. We accept some things and reject others.
To me, the teachings of Jesus provide this meaning and hope. Just because something was written a hundred
or thousands of years ago does not make it false or without value.

Should I reject you because you do not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ? Certainly not.

There are few people as holy and righteous as Gandhi. Even though he was a Hindu he acknowledged the
importance of many of Jesus' teachings. As a Christian I acknowledge his contribution and worth in
promoting peace and justice. We can (and should) build on a variety of sources.

I don't believe we create a more tolerant society than the one which Jesus envisioned. He taught true tolerance
and acceptance of others, even, especially, our enemies.

Peace to you, and I look forward to hearing back from you if you would like to continue the conversation.

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
06.12.2009 @ 12:14
Dear Jay, you say that you need not to reject people because they do not share your belief in Jesus. That is
very commendable and of course the only human way of thinking.
However all major religious organization reject the non-believers and tell their followers to do so too. You
speak of your personal conviction that is a quite different thing than a organized religion and it is applicable
only if you stay out of churches and all forms of organized piety.
When you succumb yourself to them, you will find the limits of tolerance are very soon diminishing.
The needs of that organization always will come first and the even most human personal beliefs of some of
the followers do not really matter in deciding how this real world organization works and behaves.
In the end however to your fellow earthlings the practical things this religious organization makes its
followers to do and how it makes them behave are way more important than the secret personal inner beliefs
of its followers.

tresc26 [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 15:54
In the New Testament, Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees, Sons of the Evil in the KJV, in the Original
Greek, it is really written Sons of Cain who became Scribes in the Book of II Chronicles Chap 22:55, and they
were sons of the Whore Rahab who was saved from a City By Joshua and Caleb, who were the Spies, who
later warned the Hebrew as they entered the Promised land, to never make Leagues with the People of the
land as they would then be spiritually blinded.
This is something he learned by making a league to deliver Rahab.
They became scribes and from then on the Bible was Commented in to Trash by Sons of Cain,..
Later they probably did the Same thing to the King James Version and especially Insulted the Most High
when they said Jesus arose on Easter, the Birthday of the Wife of Cain, Ishtar who later with him were
worshipped as gods Baal and Ishtar, they were Nimrud and his wife who set their followers to Confusion by
Building a Tower in Babel against the Will of the Father in order to make a name for them selves.

Yes,to this day they comment the bible and its validity away wherever they can saying the First Five Books
are everything there is and All else is Commentary as they Comment two or more Isaiahs in to some parts and
Probably even Deny Prophesy to Israel via the Deed of the Widow who sold her land to Jeremiah so that he
could use it in Prophesy in an Urn buried then to Prophesy that later Israel would buy and sell Land in Israel,
this was also done by one of Hannaneel, in another Cache of Documents and Prophesy by Israel.
Yes, Cain said it then that Israel had no Blessings by Baalam, and they say it by Cain today, some even carry
the Sound n their Last Name as did Athiests when they take the First three letter sound ATH as Their Religion
the Worship of Cain thus The Reason they are Athiests, hehe and they also say the Bible has Changed,
Knowing they Changed it by Commentary!

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
04.12.2009 @ 19:25
What have you been smoking lately, tresc26? "Blessings by Baalam," "Sound n their Last Name" and "First
three letter sound ATH," could however be great names of rock albums!

mark [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 01:54
Jesus Loves you, but if you don't submit to the Jealous God described by a thousands of years old oral
tradition kept by a bunch of sheepherders, you will BURN IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY WITH NO
HOPE OF ESCAPE!!!

Your God [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 20:19
"The Bible Says" is the start of every sentence you wrote...Enough said.

Zach [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 23:14
Can't defeat the word of god? How is it hard to defeat something that doesn't work? It's like defeating Santa or
the Tooth Fairy. Also, you conveniently forgot a lot of the bad scripture. Don't see any bias or such there.
Enjoy being crazy (I say crazy for the "these are the last days" thing).

Mary [Visitor]

03.12.2009 @ 00:52
I doubt his words are for the mentally fucked (i.e you), but rather those who are grappling with the inner
turmoil of knowing there is a scientific truth and yet have been brought up to think otherwise.

You can continue to live your life on 'broken record-player' (God is infallible because the bible says so. The
bible is true because God is infallible. God is infallible because the bible says so. Repeat, repeat, repeat.)

But for those of us who are trying to get away from circular logic, words like these are a good influence.I
commend Saramago.

Cory D [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 08:26
You know, if I wrote a crazy book full of nonsense, contradictions, and plain immorality, and I wanted to trick
people into believing it, I would probably add something like "For the preaching of the cross is TO THEM
THAT PERISH foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
If I wrote a book telling people that it was ok to be sexist, genocidal, filicidal slave owners, and that the
ultimate act of morality was to pin the responsibility for all of your wrongdoings onto a scapegoat, I would
probably write in something like "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for
light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

And boy, did you fall for it!

Steve [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 10:02
Proof positive of what the man said. Devote your life to good works rather than mouthing pieties.

Austin [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 10:10
I can't think of a more false virtue than faith (followed by piety and righteousness). Essentially having pride in
your faith is having pride in your ability to ignore evidence that contradicts your belief as well as pride in your
ability to believe in something without supporting evidence. If you had supporting evidence, you wouldn't
need faith. Faith is BY DEFINITION used to bridge the gaps between logical beliefs supported by evidence.
It really is a silly thing to brag about having.

ben [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 11:58
i lol'd

nothing can shake the faith of a christien? the same way nothing can shake the faith of a muslum? doesnt
sound so admiral to have unshaking grounds to me. Go and hate on homosexuals then claim all life is sacred
you hypocrytical baster

Douglas [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 16:41
You can keep qouting the bible all you want, your faith in a book writen by sheep herders, when they tough
the earth was flat, is big. But those scare tactics have no power over people that have common sence, take
your doctrine of fear back to a christian website.
If you dont like Atheist news why dont you pray for the wrath of god to fall on it, instead of anoying us with
stupid comments.

LP [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 16:51
Point Proven. Your a nut job... because of the bible.

QuantumPantheist [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 18:43
*yawn*
The Bible is just as intolerant and hateful as the Koran. It's just that westerners conveniently ignore or
re-interpret meanings to satisfy their cognitive dissonance.

For hundreds of years, Leviticus 25:44 (and many others) kept slavery alive in the ignorant American South
(where I unfortunately live):

"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves"

http://etori.tripod.com/slave-verses.html
http://bible.cc/leviticus/25-44.htm

Most religion is a fantasy that people buy into because they are afraid of their own mortality.

Mark [Visitor]

15.12.2009 @ 21:23
Tally up the number of people Jehovah/Yahweh/God killed or had killed in the Bible and you will be able to
count in excess of 2,000,000.

That's called a genocidal maniac. In addition, it's pretty clear that you can't wait for this genocidal maniac to
kill the rest of us.

You can keep your belief in imaginary wrathful, vengeful, jealous gods.

brian [Visitor]

18.12.2009 @ 01:53
I just want to personally thank you for so artfully proving the authors point in ways which only a
foaming-mad christian could. Kudos to you sir.

brian [Visitor]

18.12.2009 @ 01:53
I just want to personally thank you for so artfully proving the authors point in ways which only a
foaming-mad christian could. Kudos to you sir.

Petert [Visitor]

28.12.2009 @ 00:53
Always the same, the religous, when cornered can offer no more defence than to repeat quotes from a book
written by ignorant farmers who thought the earth was the centre of the universe. Is that REALLY the best
response you could manage, Mr Dhanvate?

Evan [Visitor]

29.12.2009 @ 05:31
Here's some more quotes from your good book Alex. They really are enlightening and show us how we must
let God decide the course of our lives everyday.:
He that is wounded in the stones [testicles] or hath his privy member [penis] cut off, shall not enter the
congregation of the Lord.

~ Deuteronomy 23:1

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy [Babylon’s] little ones against the stones [actually rocks this
time].

~ Psalm 137:9

Let your women keep silence in the churches:


for it is not permitted unto them to speak;
but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

And if they will learn any thing,


let them ask their husbands at home:
for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

~ 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

And finally...

There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that
of horses. So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your
young breasts fondled

Ezekiel 23:20-21

FSM Bless You

(Boom...Roasted)

Karin [Visitor]

12.11.2009 @ 04:25
I have to agree. More of the populace would be more educated, as well as peaceful. The bible causes hatred,
as it is filled with murderous rampages, rapes, belittling of women and dictatorship. It also contains absurd
literature as to how humans came to be. Which unfortunately many believe. I once asked a religious
individual if they believe the Genesis story. I was saddened when they said; Absolutely. Even after I asked
them if plants can survive without a sun or, moon.... You truly have to feel sorry for them. That is my moral
contribution to them!

C4MD3MON1UM [Visitor]

22.11.2009 @ 21:08
The Bible says: Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she
was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and
whose emission was like that of horses. Ezekiel 23:19-20

| Show subcomments
sterculius [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 22:44
Yeah, those were the good old days!!

misanthropope [Visitor]

22.11.2009 @ 23:56
the bible makes no difference one way or the other. all the morality it preaches, and all the immorality it
illustrates, all existed thousands of years before.

scumbags would have to work just a little bit harder to rationalize their actions, is the only difference. that's
the one task to which even the laziest and least talented person is willing to devote endless effort...

good people are good by their own choice, bad people by theirs, and that's all there is to it.

Joseph [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 00:09
The Bible says this, the Bible says that. The Bible says a lot of things. It kind of amuses me how the Bible can
say something obvious, or was know by a good portion of the population at the time it was written, and people
will cry to the heavens of how gosh darn accurate it is. Of course people will laugh and scoff at the Bible.
When you write a book about magic and tell people it's non-fiction, that's the kind of reaction you'd expect.

That's why the Scientologists got the right idea by using a combination of fierce litigation and fearmongering
brainwashing techniques to keep their "scripture" a well guarded secret. They knew damn well people would
laugh at the Xenu story and how they claim you can get super powers if you spend years of your life and
hundreds of thousands of dollars taking their BS courses.

Casey [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 01:11
The bible says allot of things.
If you are a good person, you will take good things away from the bible. If you are a bad person, you will take
bad things away from it.
The bible is just a tool that bad people can use to justify their actions. I do not believe that their are many bad
people who are bad because the bible told them to be (nor do i believe that there are many good people who
are good because the bible told them to be).
Many people want to be good, so they are good.. bible or no bible.
Many people want to be bad, so they are bad.. bible or no bible.

justin [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 02:29
Lol'd at comments.

Ronok [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 08:54
Poe on Alex!

Arel [Visitor]
23.11.2009 @ 14:53
The Bible was written in a time when it was very likely that you would be randomly captured into slavery,
marauders would swoop down into your pastures and swipe your sheep, steal your wives, and life was
generally a more more Locean, brutish place than today. It tries to lay down a moral code that is suited to a
desert Bedouin lifestyle from 2000 years ago. It is ignorant of today's issues or for that matter, the growth of
society in general. There are good, sane parts as well as wacky stuff that cannot be fully understood in today's
context. As stated above, it is a mix of oral tradition, slave mentality (especially the 'chosen people get
revenge' parts, like David and Joshua), common sense and mysticism. It is essentially a survival guide that
was codified as moral - and eventually civil - law. It is neither good nor bad, and (again, as stated above) you
can extract and separate those things that matter, from those that don't. Is there a 'higher power'? Probably. Is
there a hell - well, here on earth, yes... if you choose it.Is gos a guy in a cloud. Nope. Did Jesus walk the earth
- again, probably, like thousands of others on soap boxes vying for the hearts and minds of the people. Think
of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. After their death, who will be seen as the father fo personal computing - which
affects all of us in so many ways as to be world-changing? That's like the story of Jesus - the guy who had the
most popular influence. But there was no internet to factualize the journey. So there is mysticism. My money
is on Bill Gates being equated with the devil by the year 2600. We will all be in Windows VXVII hell, and
mac users will be hailed as the chosen people.

jerod b [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 17:04
There is one God Allah, and Mohamed is his prophet.

Islam is several thousand years older than any Born-Again Jesus Freakery, so I guess Alex and the Army of
Quoters can chew on that and stew in their belatedness.

I would feel smug enough to pass judgement and throw stones too if I fooled myself into thinking I'm special
enough to sit on Goddy's lap while the heathens burn below.

Christians, to be astute, should we Execute all NonVirgin Brides? Give to any stranger anything they ask of
us, including all our possessions? Live for hundreds of years, never get a haircut and only help others if it will
get us a better seat in the stratosphere? Or can we please go on being Jack-Christians in America? You know,
judging "the other" and fooling ourselves into thinking Jesus was really Blonde/White/Blue Eyes and takes
special interest in the way we fornicate and how big our crosses are in our homes.

Life is Short and No one but man gives a shit about you. How boring if We really had it figured out that
easily. Religion can be very interesting but very lazy at the same time.

| Show subcomments
Henry Strang [Visitor]

23.11.2009 @ 23:29
Mind if I just note that Islam is in fact younger than Christianity, being started around 632 AD.

Mary [Visitor]

03.12.2009 @ 00:43
I, for one, have been struggling to shake off religious dogmas and philosophies for the last few years. I found
his words comforting.
The Apostate [Visitor]

03.12.2009 @ 03:29
God is imaginary. Get over it.

mystery [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 05:58
I thought Santa was god?

phillydrifter [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 07:14
There is no god. Get over it and enjoy your life because it's the only one you'll get.

The stories were created to explain the unexplainable to primitive people. When they (I'm talking pre-humans
here) finally became sentient (which was due to a gene that was copied incorrectly [mutation, which is what
makes evolution possible] allowing our craniums to get larger at the expense of our jaws (which is why we
have wisdom teeth that most of us need surgically removed) they couldn't explain day and night, lightning,
death, so they created reasons to explain and comfort each other.

Religitards believe in that crap because


a. they've been brainwashed by their parents, who were brainwashed by their parents, etc. ad infinitum,
b. they just can't accept that their existence is finite, that one day they will die. They can't accept that, so they
believe in this fantastic BS.

cory [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 09:02
Yup. Give a dissenting opinion and all hard-core Christians can do is come back spouting more
biblical-quoted crazyness. It's a bull-headed certainty you almost have to admire in a perverse way.

The Burdon of Proof Rests upon the Believer [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 09:04
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: Jealous, and proud of
it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic,
homophobic, racist, infanticidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously
malevolent bully." - Richard Dawkins

Why sift through all the bullshit to try to find the good ideas? Believing the book to be anything but a work of
historical fiction leads to dangerous ideas and eats away at the moral and logical abilities that that the reader
might have or develop.

The main utility of the Bible is control. Religious leaders use it to make people fit in with the way they view
the world, to give them their morals. Political leaders like it because it gives believers a set of beliefs in which
everything is possible (God, paranormal, superstitions, etc.) and allows for an us verses them mentality.

If you want to achieve greater understanding of the universe and human morality, learn the logical fallacies
and try to avoid them as much as possible. It is my belief that the line that divides theists and nontheists is an
ingrained understanding and avoidance of logical fallacies in daily life. Some examples of illogical
arguments:

Description of Appeal to Fear

The Appeal to Fear is a fallacy with the following pattern:

1. Y is presented (a claim that is intended to produce fear).


2. Therefore claim X is true (a claim that is generally, but need not be, related to Y in some manner).

This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because creating fear in people does not constitute evidence for a claim.

Description of Ad Hominem

1. Person A makes claim X.


2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
3. Therefore A's claim is false.

The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a
person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of
the argument being made).

Description of Appeal to Emotion

An Appeal to Emotion is a fallacy with the following structure:

1. Favorable emotions are associated with X.


2. Therefore, X is true.

This fallacy is committed when someone manipulates peoples' emotions in order to get them to accept a claim
as being true. More formally, this sort of "reasoning" involves the substitution of various means of producing
strong emotions in place of evidence for a claim. If the favorable emotions associated with X influence the
person to accept X as true because they "feel good about X," then he has fallen prey to the fallacy.

For more examples, visit:

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-emotion.html

http://www.logicalfallacies.info/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

Me [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 13:12
Whats up with all the christian nutjobs and churches in sydney ?? Even my boss says some christian crap once
in a while. sheesh.

Thank you beautiful Portugal, keep pumping out those brilliant minds like Saramago!

Cheers

Gerard [Visitor]
04.12.2009 @ 14:03
Guys. It's just a book.

It was written by humans. God was just a figment of their collective imagination.

So, now what. We're going to kill each other over words? If you believe, fine. If you don't, even better.

If God existed he wouldn't give one bit about you believing in him or not. Just be nice, OK?

Rui Sousa [Visitor]


http://www.infotuga.com
04.12.2009 @ 15:45
Unfortunately, people still die and kill because of books and some supposed gods. There are somethings that I
dont understand and never will - if the christian god is so powerful and merciful why all the hate towards all
other religions and faiths? why do almost all religions promote hate and war? Why do some people need a
book or a god to tell them to be nice? and even so, they are not nice. They just go to church confess that they
were not nice and then they immediately get back to their lifes full of hate and lack of respect to their
supposed brothers.

I am Portuguese ( so please, excuse my english) and I know Saramago for a long time and I do hope he
continues to defend hes views despite the attacks made to him by the church and their lackeys.

Fun Facts:
Right now there are some Portuguese politicians and priest saying that he should renounce his nationality
because of hes statements (how about that for separation from state and church in a developed country?)

Jon [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 16:52
The Christians who are offended place all of their faith in a collection of ancient writings determined, by
people other than Jesus or the Apostles, to be the one and only infallible, inerrant and actual words of God,
The Bible. These Christians have no faith in God. For them, God is dead and The Bible is his Last Will and
New Testament.

Matt [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 18:23
the only question you all seem to leave unanswered is where we would be without some sort of God. If there
is no God, then what is right and what is wrong, anyone who says that what is right or wrong is what you
believe it to be is a liar. This being because when we think of 9/11 we condemn those who committed the act.
If they felt it was right, then according to that argument, they were morally upstanding and we should
commend them on their actions, not condemn. That being said, without A God, not saying that the Christian
God is the right one necessarily, BUT, without A higher being, there would be no purpose, nor would there be
any PROPER set of morals, and if I thought that killing a person was right, it WOULD be and no one would
have any right to condemn me. Laws and constitutional rights were created on a basis of morals, morals taught
to them by their parents. These morals were directly from the Bible. without the Bible, we would have no
good morals.

On top of that, why is it always the Christians who get attacked for this kind of thing. If you look in the
Qu'ran, it states near the beginning that muslims are to love those outside their faith. later on, it clearly states
that they are to kill those outside their faith, which are we to believe? it also states that if something is
mentioned later in the Qu'ran, then it "overwrites" something that was written earlier. In other words,
Terrorists, or as some call them, "extremists" of the muslim faith are the only ones who truly read the Qu'ran
in its full glory. This makes me question where our morals and ideal lie, especially in Canada, where we now
allow teenage muslims to carry daggers for "religious purposes" IN SCHOOLS... Why is it that Christians are
the ones who are attacked, when in this day and age, IF we do anything, we speak out against groups, other
religions blow themselves up, along with numerous other people.

just a thought

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
04.12.2009 @ 19:18
People have always had morals, even long before the first modern monotheistic religion was invented.
Morality is a necessary and inevitable aspect of the human society and all societies have always had a set of
morals, even if they have not had gods. Do you say that Buddhists are immoral, even the original and real
version of their religion does not have any concept of god?
What is seen moral and what is seen as immoral has changed immensely even among Christian churches
during the last 2000 years, and for example slavery was quite moral for 1800 years and has been labeled
immoral only during the last 200 years.
This example clearly shows that religion is not the source of morality, but even the religious moral codes the
moral codes are always created and crafted to suit the needs of current society and they change when societies
change.

| Show subcomments
matt [Visitor]

05.12.2009 @ 00:06
you seem very educated, and I do not feel like arguing about morals, but is there an answer to my second
question, why are christians the ones who are attacked about all of these problems going on in today's society.
why are christians not allowed to pray in school, but muslims are allowed to wear daggers into schools, when
christians speak out and muslims kill hundreds of people? why is it that the more "advanced" we get as a
society, the more we open ourselves to being attacked. and then we question how something like 9/11 can
happen after letting these things into our countries and changing our basic laws to accommodate these
immigrants

| Show subcomments
Guy [Visitor]

05.12.2009 @ 21:59
Christians are allowed to pray in school, but they are not allowed to lead the student body in prayer during
school hours. There are groups after school that kids can join if they wish, so I do not understand what would
make you ask "why are Christians not allowed to pray in school".

By the way, Muslims aren't allowed to wear the Kirpans, it is for Sikhs, but anyone could wear one if they
didn't mind claiming to be a Sikh. I'm with you, the members of any one religion should not have more rights
than anyone else.

Atheists most often attack Christians because they are the most familiar and the most common form of theist.

Corey [Visitor]
http://www.myspace.com/sawbonesjenkins
04.12.2009 @ 19:27
I dont believe in a christian god, a muslim god, or any other god as defined by any religion past or present. yet
somehow i manage to make it through every day without raping, murdering, stealing, sleeping with other
men's wives, and doing all those distasteful things mentioned in the bible as sins. how is this possible?

Ian [Visitor]

04.12.2009 @ 20:33
Talking about the incest, murders, and violence in the Bible isn't going to change the mind of a believer. Look
at Scientology. Their prophet, L. Ron Hubbard is a science fiction writer who said "You don't get rich writing
science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion." So he did. His views on religion as a moneymaker
prior to the existence of Scientology are well documented, but the faithful won't be swayed by this.

Both Scientologists and the people here vehemently defending the Bible and telling people they will go to
hell, are the victims of a social conditioning program that teaches them to respond to opposing viewpoints
with fear, hate, and/or revulsion rather than a rational approach. Reasoning with them just won't work. They
refuse to open to their eyes to the truth and respond by clenching them more tightly and yelling when
confronted.

Nuno Machado [Visitor]


http://advertenciabenevola.blogspot.com
04.12.2009 @ 23:16
I must congratulate José Saramago for his bravery, because there are not many people who speak so firmly
against the bible and the vices of religion in my country (yes, I have the (dis)pleasure to live in the same
country Saramago born).

I think tiring arguments are no needed: when a man ought to kill his own son to show he is a true god's
servant, it's obvious the bible is a handbook of bad morals.

Alan [Visitor]

14.12.2009 @ 05:20
Thank you Sr. Saramago for speaking out. How much better the world would be when men/women might
consider the intent and meaning in what another man says, even if we don't believe them. Knee-jerk reactions
only fixate s more firmly, instruct us us to grasp more tightly and instruct us not be open minded and open
hearted.

Wolf [Visitor]

28.12.2009 @ 00:13
Blah, blah, blah,

It seems as if society will continue to defeat the silly and dated ideas brought to us by religion until either
either all the crazies are gone or people just come to their senses.
If you feel you are being oppressed by sexism, racial prejudice, inequality or any other ridiculous old ideas,
you can thank the bible.

Look, I've prayed. I've searched. I've opened my mind. I've even taken the time to talk to one of those lunatics
who go door to door talking about how great "Jesus" is. None of it made any difference in my life other than
that it took up time I could have been using to do something productive.
I know christians don't care what I have to say. Hell, most atheists don't really care either. But it does seem
like every blue collar, white collar, no collar slob with a modem gets to throw an opinion into the hat, so I
figured I may as well bark a little. That, and I tend to run my mouth off for no good reason every now and
again.

Thomas Jefferson [Visitor]

30.12.2009 @ 19:25
Jay and Any Other Religion Supporters

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage
of reason more than that of blindfolded fear."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

Consider Jesus (The character) as the most altruistic person in history, as one without sin. Jesus was able to
achieve this because he was not doing good for the sake of someone else, he was doing good for his sake
(god's). If one seeks to learn from Jesus, one must learn to be good for goodness' sake rather than for god's
sake. Doing good because someone else tells you to, is always less altruistic than doing good without coercion
or needing to be convinced. That is why god must prefer an atheist who acts with kindness and love, without
thinking about eternal compensation, to that of a selfish christian that does the same acts of kindness.

Jesus was this biggest atheist of all, he didnt believe in god, he could just look in the mirror.

Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt,
tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket
nor breaks my leg.

-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

What is it men cannot be made to believe!

-Thomas Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, April 22, 1786. (on the British regarding America, but quoted here
for its universal appeal.)
Churches involved in torture, murder of thousands
of African children denounced as witches
Churches involved in torture, murder of thousands of African children denounced as witches

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-af-nigeria-child-witches,0,5276725.story

"KATHARINE HOURELD Associated Press Writer


EKET, Nigeria (AP) — The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring
blindly at the wall.
His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as
an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength
left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him — Mount Zion Lighthouse.
A month later, he died.
Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and
then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch
children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files."

by jaskaw @ 20.10.2009 - 09:35:42


http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/20/churches-involved-in-torture-murder-of-thousands-of-african-children-denounce
Editors Of "Ahmar Bel Khat El-Arid " In Court
Accused Of Expressing Sin
Editors Of "Ahmar Bel Khat El-Arid " In Court Accused Of Expressing Sin.

http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2009/pr1019-3.shtml

Cairo in 19/10/2009.
The Arabic Network for human rights information, ANHRI, stated that is totally unacceptable to try the
editors of the LBC program, "Ahmar Bel Khat El-Arid ", in relation to the case of "Mazen Abd El-Gawad", a
Saudi young man who was accused of expressing sin as he appeared on the show boasting his sexual
adventures. Mazen was sentenced to 5 years and 1000 flogs.
The two female editors (R.A.) and (I.N.) were accused of facilitating and organizing for the incident of
"expressing sin" , offering technical aid and helping to produce the show. This comes after closing down LBC
office in Saudi claiming it was an unlicensed channel.
Mazen's case stirred a lot of debate four months ago, as he showed up on air bragging about his sexual
relations. Tens of citizens filed law suits against him. The public would not calm down before sentencing
Mazen to 5 years in prison, a travel ban for another 5 years, 1000 flogs, seizing his car and cell phone in
addition to sentencing his three friends to 2 years in prison ,300 flogs for each and a travel ban for 2 years. A
fourth friend was sentenced for 3 months and 70 flogs and another fifth friend of Mazen's was sentenced for 2
months.

by jaskaw @ 20.10.2009 - 12:51:53

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/20/editors-of-ahmar-bel-khat-el-arid-in-court-accused-of-expressing-sin-7207208/
Religion Is Absurd by Christopher Hitchens
Collision: Is Religion Absurd or Good for the World?

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-hitchens/collision-is-religion-abs_b_326673.html

"Religion Is Absurd
by Christopher Hitchens
If Moses and Jesus and Mohammed had never existed -- let alone Joseph Smith or Mary Baker Eddy or Kim
Jong Il or any of the other man-made prophets or idols -- we would still be faced with precisely the same
questions about how to explain ourselves and our lives, how to think about the just city, and how to comport
ourselves with our fellow-creatures. The small progress we have made so far, from the basic realization that
diseases are not punishments to the noble idea that as humans we may even have "rights", is due to the
exercise of skepticism and doubt, and to the objective scrutiny of hard evidence, and not at all to faith or
certainty. The real "transcendence", then, is the one that allows us to shake off the notion of a never-dying
tyrannical father-figure, with its unconsoling illusion of redemption by human sacrifice, and assume our
proper proportion as people condemned to be free, and able to outgrow the fearful tutelage of a supreme
supervisor who does not forgive us the errors he has programmed us to make."

by jaskaw @ 20.10.2009 - 22:13:46

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/20/religion-is-absurd-by-christopher-hitchens-7211180/
Feedback for Post "Religion Is Absurd by Christopher
Hitchens"

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://www.atheistnews.blogs.fi
21.10.2009 @ 08:12
religion is a personal affair.it has no leaders. it is a way of living by which each member of the society can
exist peacefully and have mentalo and physical happiness.all organised religions should be avoided.they are
created for the leaders to sell god to the weak and make them lick their feet. and enjoy all plearues of the
world and commit all crimes and escape laws of the land with money and power.

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://www.atheistnews.blogs.fi
21.10.2009 @ 08:19
these wicked leaders preach one thing for others and practice different things.so religion is not absured .but
organised religion is absurd and wicked.no body has the right to preach and impose onesown beliefs on
others. who they think they are.useless dirty fellows.pretnding custodins of the keys of the kingdom.keep
away from those creachers. they sow the seeds of insecurity in the wolrd.terrorise people with hell to make
their fellow men their mental slaves.

jose joseph [Visitor]


http://www.atheistnews.blogs.fi
21.10.2009 @ 08:25
dante has shown their right place in his divine comedy.hell with their cross,infallibility and prtention of
authority over their fellowmen.they are doing it for their selfish motives and impunity for their crimes.

John McCready [Visitor]

21.10.2009 @ 22:24
Religion is too disgusting to dignify with acknowledgement, comment, or wasting any thought on. We would
be HUNDREDS of years ahead-in being behind-were there no religion!

elainep [Visitor]

24.10.2009 @ 13:37
The more I hear and read the more I am convinced this world is getting madder and madder.
I saw a tv programme showing Guatamala where organised crime in prisons are extorting money and killing
bus drivers.
Do something some one please before dead bodies appear in UK streets through ignorance.
A Mother, a Sick Son and His Father, the Priest
A Mother, a Sick Son and His Father, the Priest

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/us/16priest.html?_r=1&ref=us

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: October 15, 2009O‎
FALLON, Mo. — With three small children and her marriage in trouble, Pat Bond attended a spirituality
retreat for Roman Catholic women in Illinois 26 years ago in hopes of finding support and comfort

What Ms. Bond found was a priest — a dynamic, handsome Franciscan friar in a brown robe — who was
serving as the spiritual director for the retreat and agreed to begin counseling her on her marriage. One day,
she said, as she was leaving the priest‎s parlor, he pulled her aside for a passionate kiss.
Ms. Bond separated from her husband, and for the next five years she and the priest, the Rev. Henry
Willenborg, carried on an intimate relationship, according to interviews and court documents. In public, they
were both leaders in their Catholic community in Quincy, Ill. In private they functioned like a married couple,
sharing a bed, meals, movie nights and vacations with the children.
Eventually they had a son, setting off a series of legal battles as Ms. Bond repeatedly petitioned the church for
child support. The Franciscans acquiesced, with the stipulation that she sign a confidentiality agreement. It is
now an agreement she is willing to break as both she and her child, Nathan Halbach, 22, are battling cancer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/us/16priest.html?_r=1&ref=us

by jaskaw @ 21.10.2009 - 10:29:07

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/21/a-mother-a-sick-son-and-his-father-the-priest-7213865/
Kuwaiti women win passport rights
Kuwaiti women win passport rights

Read more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8317921.stm

"Kuwaiti women will be able to obtain their own passport without the consent of their husbands, following a
ruling by the country's constitutional court.
The court, whose decisions are final, said the previous requirement was in violation of guarantees of freedom
and gender equality in the constitution.
The decision came about when a woman complained her husband had prevented her from leaving the country.
The country's first female MPs were elected in May 2009.
The article abolished by the court dated back to Kuwait's 1962 passport law which required a husband's
signature on a woman's passport application.
Aseel al-Awadhi, one of the new MPs, welcomed the passport law ruling as a "victory for constitutional
principles that puts an end to this injustice against Kuwaiti women"."

Read more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8317921.stm

I have decided to adopt a new party line in this blog and refrain from my own comments and let the bleak
news to speak for themselves, but I cannot hold myself back anymore.
I just want to say of the above piece of news that Wau! This is un....f..ing...believable! A woman can have a
passport of her own without her husbands consent! This is what I call progress!
Okay, okay I got a bit carried away, as I would have called this progress a hundred years ago, but now this
piece of news is just a pitiful reminder of womens continuing position in even one of the most well to do and
progressive Arabic states.

by jaskaw @ 21.10.2009 - 18:06:59

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/21/kuwaiti-women-win-passport-rights-7216553/
How Mormonism Created Glenn Beck
How Mormonism Created Glenn Beck

Read more at: http://www.alternet.org/story/143381/how_mormonism_created_glenn_beck

"With Glenn Beck now a mainstay in the national debate, the public is getting exposure to a peculiar strain of
religious political conservatism rooted in Mormon culture.
Glenn Beck leans forward on his elbows. His voice hushes. His eyes grow red at the corners. He presses his
lips together and clears his throat. He cannot speak. The tears fall, and just for a moment the brashest voice in
American conservatism today falls silent.
This is what happens when Beck tells the story of his 1999 conversion to Mormonism.
"I was friendless, working in the smallest radio market I had ever worked in... a hopeless alcoholic, abusing
drugs every day," Beck said in an interview taped last fall. "I was trying to find a job and nobody would hire
me... couldn‎t get an agent to represent me."
That‎s when Beck‎s wife-to-be Tania suggested that the family go on a "church tour," which finally led
(after some prodding from Beck‎s longtime on-air partner Pat Gray, a Mormon) to his local Mormon
wardhouse. Six months later, the Beck family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Spiritual narratives of the I-once-was-lost-now-I-am-financially-sound variety are commonplace within
Mormonism, which, like most of American Protestantism, has never been allergic to wealth. The institutional
culture of the Mormon Church is strongly corporate, down to the dark suits, white shirts, and red or blue ties
church leaders wear instead of vestments; Mormonism‎s most powerful public figures like Mitt Romney, Jon
Huntsman Jr., and Bill Marriott Jr., come from the business world."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Beck

Read more at: http://www.alternet.org/story/143381/how_mormonism_created_glenn_beck

by jaskaw @ 22.10.2009 - 13:25:03

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/22/media-immigration-human-rights-environment-water-health-drugs-sex-corporati
Feedback for Post "How Mormonism Created Glenn Beck"

elainep [Visitor]

24.10.2009 @ 13:27
I wondered why Mr.Beck was so weird. Isnt this as bad as giving air time to those with closed minds. Who
only see things their way, without seeing both sides of a story. This could only happen in America.
The Bone Collectors - It's time to bring relics back
to the Catholic Church.
The Bone Collectors - It's time to bring relics back to the Catholic Church.

Read more at: http://www.slate.com/id/2232883/

"By David Farley


Posted Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, at 12:08 PM ET
Relics became ingrained in Catholic Church orthodoxy at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, when church
authorities passed a law stating that every church should have a relic at its altar. The punishment for failing to
obey: excommunication. But ever since the reforms of Vatican II in the early 1960s, relic veneration has
virtually disappeared from the official landscape of Catholicism, particularly in the United States.

So how much does a piece of a pious person run you these days? It all depends on official papers of
authenticity and/or an official red wax papal seal, both of which mean a relics expert at the Vatican has
inspected the piece and decided it is the real deal. Without one of these, a relic's price can drop. During one of
my visits to Broomer's shop, I spotted the vertebrae of St. Redempta, a sixth-century martyr, with papers and a
papal wax seal; it goes for $2,500. Next to that was a bone shard of St. Patrick (without papers), priced to sell
at $495. And yet next to that was a piece of flesh from Pope Pius X with papers: $350.

Broomer's relics usually come primarily from obscure saints—especially early martyrs—because they're more
likely to be authentic. The superstar saints—St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena—are the most
counterfeited. But that doesn't mean pious pieces of the most precious individuals in Christianity haven't come
through her door: the Virgin Mary's breast milk, baby Jesus' swaddling clothes, a thorn from the Crown of
Thorns, a sliver of wood from Christ's manger, a strand of the Virgin Mary's hair, Joseph's walking stick, and
various parts of the Apostles."

Read more at: http://www.slate.com/id/2232883/

More on relics and the Catholic Church: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relics

by jaskaw @ 23.10.2009 - 18:52:54

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/23/the-bone-collectors-it-s-time-to-bring-relics-back-to-the-catholic-church-723097
'A Universe From Nothing'
'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo
by jaskaw @ 23.10.2009 - 22:37:05

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/23/lawrence-krauss-universe-cosmology-science-7232167/
Former Muslim receiving death threats
Former Muslim receiving death threats

The Tulsa atheist was critical of all religions, including Islam, in a Tulsa World interview

Read more at:


http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20091001_18_A11_SbiHsb59831&allcom=1

"By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer


Published: 10/1/2009 2:29 AM
Last Modified: 10/1/2009 3:59 AM
Sabri Husibi, a former Muslim who is now an atheist, says he has been ostracized and threatened with death
since publication of a Tulsa World article Saturday in which he was critical of Islam and all other religions.
The article was written to promote a talk he gave the next day to the Tulsa Atheists organization.
Husibi, who has an unlisted telephone number, said he received about 30 calls Saturday from people who
were cursing him, calling him a traitor and threatening him.
Most were foreign-born, Tulsa-area Muslims whom he knows, he said. He also received angry calls from
friends and relatives in Syria. "

Read more at:


http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20091001_18_A11_SbiHsb59831&allcom=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam
"Legal opinion on apostasy by a Fatwa committee concerning the case of a man who converted to
Christianity: "Since he left the Islam, he will be invited to express his regret. If he does not regret, he will be
killed pertaining to rights and obligations of the Islamic law."
In Islamic law (sharia), the consensus view is that a male apostate must be put to death unless he suffers
from a mental disorder or converted under duress, for example, due to an imminent danger of being killed."

by jaskaw @ 24.10.2009 - 13:06:08

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/24/former-muslim-receiving-death-threats-7234725/
Feedback for Post " Former Muslim receiving death threats
"

elainep [Visitor]

24.10.2009 @ 13:32
Here we go again. I think if these religious bigots can not take the heat then get a life.
Islam want me stoned and I bet they would if they could. Surely Islam breeds murderers and they should be
bought to justice by criminal courts.
Where are my human rights and whom do I go to for my justice.
Why are these mad men getting away literally with murder.

LeeH [Visitor]

25.10.2009 @ 21:54
Death to the apostate, death to the infidel, death to the Jew, and on and on and on. Is there anyone that
fundamentalist Islamists DON'T want to kill? I hope these threats to Mr. Husibi are more bluster than intent,
but anyone who would make death threats like this still needs to be locked up pending psychiatric evaluation.
Is the FBI tracking down the "Tulsa-area Muslims" who made these threats?
In southern India, Hindu radicals declare war on
Muslims over Love Jihad
In southern India, Hindu radicals declare war on Muslims over Love Jihad

Read more at: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=16673&geo=2&size=A

"Sri Rama Sene leader Pramod Mutalik announces campaign against movement that entices young women
into marriage to force them to convert to Islam. He demands that for every Hindu girl forced to convert to
Islam, five Muslim girls be converted into Hinduism.
Bangalore (AsiaNews) – Karnataka’s radical Hindu movement Sri Rama Sene (the Army of god Rama) has
declared war on the ‘love jihad’, an alleged network of Muslim men bent on enticing non Muslim women to
marry Muslim men and then forcing them to convert to Islam. The announcement was made by Sri Rama
Sene’s founder Pramod Mutalik, a figure in this southern Indian State well known for its intransigence
towards secularism and non-traditional religions.
“I have asked the activists of the Sena to ensure that five Muslim girls are converted into Hinduism” for every
“Hindu girl who is converted to Islam by the ‘Love Jihad”, Mutalik said.
The call to arms came at a press conference on Wednesday. It coincided with a statement by the State High
Court expressing concern over attempts by the ‘Love Jihad’ to infiltrate the state’s colleges and university.

Read more at: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=16673&geo=2&size=A

by jaskaw @ 25.10.2009 - 00:21:56

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/24/in-southern-india-hindu-radicals-declare-war-on-muslims-over-love-jihad-72376
Feedback for Post "In southern India, Hindu radicals
declare war on Muslims over Love Jihad"

Siddharth Singh [Visitor]


http://photoofthemoment.wordpress.com
25.10.2009 @ 18:35
This extreme Hindu Right wing group was contered by the Pink Panty movement by feminist women in India.

The group was called "Consortium of Pub-going, loose and forward women", and the movement called "The
Pink Chaddi Campaign" where 'chaddi' here means 'panty'.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Chaddi_Campaign

Their site: http://thepinkchaddicampaign.blogspot.com/

learn quran online [Visitor]


http://www.learningquranonline.com
29.10.2009 @ 01:24
What is jihad

First, we would like to start with stating that Islam does not call for violence; rather it abhors all forms of
violence and terrorism, whether against Muslims or non-Muslims. Islam, moreover, calls for peace,
cooperation, and maintaining justice, and provides for the happiness and welfare of humanity as a whole. This
fact is declared in the Qur'an when Allah says: (Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to
kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may
receive admonition.) (An-Nahl 16: 90)

Jihad is one of the words that have been misused due to misunderstanding its true meaning. The word “Jihad”
is derived from the Arabic word “Jahd” which means fatigue or the word “Juhd” which means effort. A
Mujahid is he who strives in the Cause of Allah and exerts efforts which makes him feel fatigued. The word
“Jihad” means exerting effort to achieve a desired thing or prevent an undesired one. In other words, it is an
effort that aims at bringing about benefit or preventing harm.

Jihad can be observed through any means and in any field whether material or moral. Among the types of
Jihad are struggling against one’s desires, the accursed Satan, poverty, illiteracy, disease, and fighting all evil
forces in the world.

There are many religious texts that refer to these types of Jihad. Among the forms of Jihad is defending life,
property or honor. Those who die while engaging in Jihad are considered to be martyrs, as confirmed by
Hadith. Jihad is also done to avert aggression on home countries and on all that is held sacred, or in order to
face those who try to hinder the march of the call of truth.

In Islamic Shari`ah, Jihad in the Cause of Allah means fighting in order to make the Word of Allah most high,
and the means for doing so is taking up arms in addition to preparation, financing and planning strategies. A
large number of people are supposed to take part in Jihad including farmers, craftsmen, traders, doctors,
engineers, workers, security men, preachers, writers and all those who directly or indirectly participate in the
battle.

This type of Jihad was a major concern of Muslims in the beginning of the formation of the Islamic
community, and a lot of verses of the Glorious Qur’an and the Hadith advocated and encouraged it. Almighty
Allah says: (March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old
and poor) and strive with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allah.) (At-Tawbah 9: 41) Jihad is
considered an individual duty (Fard `Ein), on all Muslims who are capable and fit to fight, in the event of
being invaded by the enemy, and is considered a collective duty (Fard Kifayah) in the event of not being
invaded. However, if the Imam (leader) calls to Jihad, people must respond to his call. This is evident from
Allah’s Saying, (O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in
the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily on the earth?) (At-Tawbah 9: 38), and the Hadith narrated by
Al-Bukhari and Muslim, "When you are called to Jihad, then go forth."

learn quran online, learn quran tajweed


Christian Evangelists exposed
Christian Evangelists exposed

by jaskaw @ 25.10.2009 - 18:44:41

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/25/christian-evangelists-exposed-7241578/
Scientology Spokesman Storms Out Of Nightline
Interview
Scientology Spokesman Storms Out Of Nightline Interview

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/24/scientology-spokesman-sto_n_332715.html

Last night ABC's Nightline aired a report on the Church of Scientology, and accusations made against the
church's leader, David Miscavige, by ex-Scientologists. At one point, during an interview with the church
spokesman Tommy Davis, Nightline's Martin Bashir asked him about the church's alleged secret core beliefs
that have been divulged by former Scientologists. Davis took great offense to Bashir's questions, and
eventually walked out in the middle of the interview, tearing off his microphone and throwing it on the floor
on his way out.

by jaskaw @ 25.10.2009 - 23:24:17

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/25/fortune-magazine-to-cut-number-of-issues-chicago-news-cooperative-launching
Feedback for Post "Scientology Spokesman Storms Out Of
Nightline Interview"

Advocatus D [Visitor]
http://paholaisen-asianajaja.blogspot.
26.10.2009 @ 20:16
Bloody brilliant. Tommy knows how to entertain.
Saudi Talk Show Female Producer Sentenced to 60
Flogs
Saudi Talk Show Female Producer Sentenced to 60 Flogs

Read more at: http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2009/pr1025.shtml

"The District Court of Jeddah sentenced a young Saudi woman, Rosana, to 60 flogs after being convicted of
violating the "common decency law". The young woman is a producer to the show "Ahmar Bel Khat El-Arid"
aired on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC). The verdict was in response to an episode of the
show where Mazen Abd El-Gawad, a young Saudi man, boasted about his sexual adventures. The verdict is
final and executory.
The 22 year old Rosana was accused of working at an unlicensed media channel; as LBC was not licensed to
air in Saudi Arabia. In addition, she was accused of offering technical aid and helping to produce the show,
advertising it on electronic sites and facilitating meetings with guests and the show work team.
Rosana said she had no intention of making an appeal to the sentence, denying her knowledge of LBC channel
being unlicensed in Saudi. She also denied being a part of the show in which Abd El-Gawad was interviewed
stating that her only crime was cooperating with the channel."

Read more at: http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2009/pr1025.shtml

by jaskaw @ 26.10.2009 - 11:01:59

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/26/saudi-talk-show-female-producer-sentenced-to-60-flogs-7245459/
Iran arrests 12 accused of promoting satanism
Iran arrests 12 accused of promoting satanism

Read more at:


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-arrests-12-accused-of-promoting-satanism-1809271.html?t

Reuters
Sunday, 25 October 2009
"Twelve people accused of promoting satanism have been arrested in northwest Iran, a newspaper reported
today.
"A number of people in the city of Orumiyeh who engaged in the promotion of satanism through underground
music and the production of blasphemous video clips were arrested," the daily Resalat quoted senior police
official Kheibar Tiba as saying.
The socially conservative Islamic Republic said last year it would crack down on "indecent Western-inspired
movements" such as rappers and satanists.
That move signalled a widening of a clampdown on "immoral" conduct launched in 2007 against women
flouting rules dictating that they cover their heads and disguise the shape of their bodies in public, in line with
Iran's Islamic system."

Read more at:


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-arrests-12-accused-of-promoting-satanism-1809271.html?t

PS. I have adopted a new policy of letting the news do the speaking for themselves without further comment,
but again I cannot refrain myself. The "satanists" in this case just could be a bunch of heavy-metal fans, that
are quite innocently appreciating their rather strange kind of youth culture.
The very sad part of this sordid tale of course is that a bunch of elderly clergymen can find these kids guilty of
extremely grave criminal offenses and the ensuing punishment may be extremely cruel and harsh, as
everybody who has been following the happenings in criminal courts in Iran may well know.

"Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate." - Bertrand Russell in
Look (1954-02-23)

by jaskaw @ 26.10.2009 - 21:53:09

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/26/iran-arrests-12-accused-of-promoting-satanism-7249203/
Feedback for Post "Iran arrests 12 accused of promoting
satanism"

Amin [Visitor]

27.10.2009 @ 19:07
:D they are very sensitive on metal not rock, but that's awful too. it's just music. I live in IRAN.I am a rock
guitarist. Government here is very very angry about people. They will do everything to control the crowd.
Somalia's embattled Christians - Almost expunged
Somalia's embattled Christians - Almost expunged

Read more at: http://www.economist.com/world/middleeast-africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14707279

"WHERE is the hardest place in the world to be a Christian citizen? North Korea, perhaps? Saudi Arabia? Try
Somalia. There are thought to be no more than a thousand Christians in a resident population of 8m people,
with perhaps a few thousand more in the diaspora. The Islamist Shabab militia, which controls most of
southern Somalia, is dedicated to hunting them down.
The last nuns in the smashed capital, Mogadishu, were chased out in 2007. The year before, an elderly nun
working in a hospital there was murdered. The only Christian believers left are local Somalis.
Every month several Somalis are killed for being Christian. Sometimes that is just a label that the jihadists
stick on people they suspect of working for Ethiopian intelligence. But many are simple believers. According
to Somali sources and Christian groups monitoring Somalia from abroad, at least 13 members of underground
churches have been killed in the past few months."

Read more at: http://www.economist.com/world/middleeast-africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14707279

by jaskaw @ 26.10.2009 - 22:38:38

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/26/somalia-s-embattled-christians-almost-expunged-7249443/
Scientologists convicted of fraud in France
Scientologists convicted of fraud

Read more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8327569.stm

"French court has convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud, but stopped short of banning the group from
operating in France.
Two branches of the group's operations and several of its leaders in France have been fined.
The case came after complaints from two women, one of whom said she was manipulated into paying more
than 20,000 euros (£18,100) in the 1990s.
A Scientology spokesman told the BBC the verdict was "all bark and no bite".
France regards Scientology as a sect, not a religion.
Prosecutors had asked for the group's French operations to be dissolved and more heavily fined, but a legal
loophole prevented any ban."

by jaskaw @ 27.10.2009 - 20:38:31

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/27/scientologists-convicted-of-fraud-in-france-7255298/
Woman whipped for wearing a bra in Somalia
Alaa Al-Aswany: When women are sinners in the eyes of extremists

Read more at:


http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/alaa-alaswany-when-women-are-sinners-in-the-eyes-of-extremis

"Somalia is in the grip of famine and chaos but officials there are inspecting bras"
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
The Shabaab movement in Somalia controls large parts of the south and centre of the country, and because
officials in this movement embrace the Wahabi ideology they have imposed their views on Somalis by force
and have issued strict decrees banning films, plays, dancing at weddings, football matches and all forms of
music, even the ring tones on mobile phones.
Some days ago these extremists carried out a strange operation: they arrested a Somali woman and whipped
her in public because she was wearing a bra. They announced clearly that wearing these bras was unIslamic
because it is a form of fraud and deception.
We may well ask what wearing bras has to do with religion, why they would consider them to be a form of
fraud and deception, and how they managed to arrest the woman wearing the bra when all Somali women go
around with their bodies completely covered.

In fact this excessive interest in covering up women's bodies is not confined to the extremists in Somalia. In
Sudan the police examine women's clothing with extreme vigilance and arrest any woman who is wearing
trousers. They force her to make a public apology for what she has done and then they whip her in public as
an example to other women."

Read more at:


http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/alaa-alaswany-when-women-are-sinners-in-the-eyes-of-extremis

by jaskaw @ 28.10.2009 - 21:08:55

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/28/woman-whipped-for-wearing-a-bra-in-somalia-7263737/
Feedback for Post "Woman whipped for wearing a bra in
Somalia"

FedupwithR [Member]
29.10.2009 @ 12:11

It was in times of great social stress, famine and poverty during the Middle Ages that most of the numerous
"Shepherds Crusades" were launched, always by a "Prophet" The victims in those days were the Jews who
were massacred throughout Europe in such numbers that it is a wonder that they survived. It's the scape goat
syndrome probably due to pent up frustration which is now vented on women by Muslim men.
British Bishop Fined for Denying Holocaust in TV
Interview
British Bishop Fined for Denying Holocaust in TV Interview

Read more at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,569791,00.html

BERLIN — An ultraconservative British bishop was fined $16,822 in Germany for denying the Holocaust in
an interview with Swedish television, his lawyer said Tuesday.
A court in the Bavarian city of Regensburg issued the fine against Richard Williamson for incitement in
connection with his Holocaust denial, Williamson's lawyer Matthias Lossmann said.
"We received the order of punishment on Monday and my client has time until Nov. 9 to react to it,"
Lossmann said. He gave no indication how Williamson would react.
An order of punishment is a German legal tool that involves no trial but is equivalent to a conviction if
accepted by the defendant. If the defendant objects, it goes to trial."

Wikipedia tells more of the good bishop:


"Richard Nelson Williamson, SSPX (born 8 March 1940) is an English traditionalist Catholic and a bishop of
the Society of St. Pius X. Williamson opposes the changes in the Catholic Church brought about by the
Second Vatican Council. He sees such changes as being unacceptably liberal and modernistic, and as being
destructive to the Church.
Among the changes he opposes are the Church's increased openness to other Christian denominations and
other religions, and changes in the forms of Catholic worship such as the general replacement of the
Tridentine Mass with the Mass of Paul VI. Williamson has criticised Pope John Paul II, to whom he attributed
a "weak grasp of Catholicism"."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Williamson_(bishop)

by jaskaw @ 28.10.2009 - 21:54:20

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/28/british-bishop-fined-for-denying-holocaust-in-tv-interview-7264078/
Feedback for Post "British Bishop Fined for Denying
Holocaust in TV Interview"

jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
29.10.2009 @ 14:26
This is a thorny issue. Also Christopher Hitchens has often defended peoples right to say things that are
universally seen as untrue and false.
I think that there cannot be things that cannot be asked questions about, even if I personally think that the
overwhelming mass of evidence in this case indicates quite massively that the holocaust-deniers are on the
same league with the UFO- and reiki-people.
Things are also made even thornier by the fact that Holocaust is now used as a political weapon to further
Zionist ideals and goals that have nothing to do with the historical tragedy in question. So people opposing
Zionism and the bloody and high-handed polices of Israel are very easily tempted into Holocaust-denial.

George [Visitor]

29.10.2009 @ 16:27
This is interesting, because as far as I am aware, this bishop has not denied that the Holocaust happened. He
has only expressed doubts that the Jewish deaths in the Holocaust were as high as 6 million. Did he not also
express doubts that the Catholic deaths in the Holocaust were as high as 5 million?

| Show subcomments
jaskaw pro
http://www.beinghuman.blogs.fi
29.10.2009 @ 16:39
Richard Williamson ha said: "I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but
none of them in gas chambers."
He thus denies the use of gas chambers wholly and totally, but denying the existence of concentration camps
would be utter madness, as there is in fact millions of documents in existence telling about them.

Anonymous [Visitor]

02.11.2009 @ 02:20
jaskaw There is a big difference between Holocaust Deniers and UFO and reiki people. People who deny the
holocaust are denying something for which there is an overwhelming amount of evidence. UFO and reiki
people believe in the existence of something for which there is limited, anecdotal evidence. While neither
camps are practising rigorous empirical methods to come to their conclusions, there is something far worse in
my mind about intentionally blinding yourself to well-established but horrible truths than a person allowing
their enthusiasm for the magical possibilities of their imagination to get the best of them.
Denying the Holocaust is harmful- it is an attempt to deny very real suffering experienced by people still
living, and it is that same wilful blindness that allowed it to happen to begin with. The widespread denial of
the Turkish genocide against the Armenians is still an open wound for the Armenian people. What harm is
there in believing that we are visited by UFOs? What harm is there in believing in Reiki? If anything, it has
the potential to stimulate patients to heal themselves by the placebo effect- a well documented phenomenon.
Sugar Union Leaders Sentenced to Prison in Iran
Sugar Union Leaders Sentenced to Prison in Iran

Read more at:


http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&ID=6280&view_records=1&ww=1&en=1

"In a drive to destroy the independent union established last year by workers at the giant Haft Tapeh
plantation/refining sugar complex in southern Iran, a court on October 12 sentenced 6 union leaders to
immediate prison terms on charges stemming from October 2007. Three leaders convicted for their union
activity last year for "endangering national security" in connection with worker action in 2008 had their
sentences overturned on appeal in September.
Two union officers, president Ali Nejati and communications officer Reza Rakhshan, both of whom face
lengthy prison sentences, were still awaiting the outcome of their appeal when the court in the city of Dezful
sentenced the six leaders on the similar 2007 charges.
Ghorban Alipour, Feridoun Nikoufard, Jalil Ahmadi, Nejat Dehli and Ali Nejati were all sentenced to 6
months' immediate imprisonment and 6 months suspended sentences over 5 years; during which time they are
barred from union activity. Mohammmad Heydari Mehr received a 4 month term, 8 months suspended. Ali
Nejati must serve his suspended sentence as prison time, meaning he faces an immediate one-year prison
term. Should he lose his appeal on the 2008 conviction, his sentence could stretch to over 2 years.
Haft Tapeh workers in recent years have repeatedly had to resort to strikes and other actions to claim huge
wage arrears and protest deteriorating working conditions. The union was officially founded in June 2008
following a 42-day strike to demand long-standing arrears. The Haft Tapeh union is an IUF affiliate. "

Read more at:


http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/dbman/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&ID=6280&view_records=1&ww=1&en=1

by jaskaw @ 29.10.2009 - 13:01:32

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/29/sugar-union-leaders-sentenced-to-prison-in-iran-7267459/
U.S. opposes bid to bar religious defamation
U.S. opposes bid to bar religious defamation
Hillary Clinton says move by Islamic nations would restrict free speech

Read more at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33486054/ns/world_news-world_faith/

"WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Monday came out strongly against efforts by Islamic
nations to bar the defamation of religions, saying the moves would restrict free speech.
"Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation
policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion," Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton told reporters. "I strongly disagree."
Clinton said the United States was opposed to negative depictions of specific faiths and would always fight
against belief-based discrimination. But she said a person's ability to practice their religion was entirely
unrelated to another person's right to free speech."

I must again slip from my new line of not commenting on the news, but just letting them speak for themselves
to congratulate the current US administration for their courage in a issue that has kept also this blog busy in
the past also:

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/03/26/the-slow-death-of-freedom-of-expression-5838874/
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/02/14/today-we-have-to-use-our-right-to-criticize-religion-5571916/
http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2008/11/30/freedom-from-speech-5138889/

by jaskaw @ 29.10.2009 - 20:20:59

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/29/u-s-opposes-bid-to-bar-religious-defamation-7269844/
Doesn't Criticising Islam contribute to Racism?
Doesn't Criticising Islam contribute to Racism?

Maryam Namazie:

Respect!
by jaskaw @ 31.10.2009 - 00:36:04

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/30/doesn-t-criticising-islam-contribute-to-racism-7278104/
Feedback for Post "Doesn't Criticising Islam contribute to
Racism?"

FedupwithR [Member]
31.10.2009 @ 15:00

Bravo Maryam.
Religious Right Columnist: Halloween Candy a
Demonic Threat
Religious Right Columnist: Halloween Candy a Demonic Threat

Read more at:


http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/143619/religious_right_columnist%3A_halloween_candy_a_demonic_threat_--_rid

In a column on the Christian Broadcasting Network Web site, Kimberly Daniels warned of the demons
lurking in a Milky Way bar.
In a column posted yesterday on the Web site of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, writer
Kimberly Daniels issued an ominous warning:

"Most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches. I do not buy candy
during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it
by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store. The demons cannot tell the difference."

Read more at:


http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/143619/religious_right_columnist%3A_halloween_candy_a_demonic_threat_--_rid

by jaskaw @ 31.10.2009 - 13:50:43

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/31/religious-right-columnist-halloween-candy-a-demonic-threat-7280298/
Oscar-winning director: why I'm leaving
Scientology
Oscar-winning director: why I'm leaving Scientology

Read more at:


http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/oscarwinning-director-why-im-leaving-scientology-18099

Haggis fires parting shot at 'hate-filled and bigoted' church


Paul Haggis has angrily pulled out of the Church of Scientology

"By Guy Adams in Los Angeles


Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning film-maker, has resigned from the Church of Scientology in an explosive
letter that damns what he calls the organisation's "hate-filled" and "bigoted" opposition to gay marriage.
Haggis, who wrote Crash, Million Dollar Baby, and the last two James Bond films also registered his anger at
the church's alleged "disconnection" policy, complaining that it encouraged his wife to live estranged from her
parents.
His letter was sent to Scientology's official spokesman, Tommy Davis, in August. But it leaked to the
Hollywood press this weekend, bringing further tricky publicity to the already-embattled organisation."

Read more at:


http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/oscarwinning-director-why-im-leaving-scientology-18099

by jaskaw @ 31.10.2009 - 14:05:57

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/31/oscar-winning-director-why-i-m-leaving-scientology-7280374/
The Evolution of Confusion' by Dan Dennett
'The Evolution of Confusion' by Dan Dennett, AAI 2009

Dan Dennett talks about purposely-confusing theology and how it's used. He also describes his new project
interviewing clergyman who secretly don't believe anymore, and introduces a new term: "Deepity."
Dan Dennett is the author of many excellent books, including "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural
Phenomenon" and "Darwin's Dangerous Idea". He is also featured in the video "The Four Horsemen" along
with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.
by jaskaw @ 31.10.2009 - 21:48:10

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/31/the-evolution-of-confusion-by-dan-dennett-7282442/
Richard Dawkins: One Fact to Refute Creationism
Richard Dawkins: One Fact to Refute Creationism

Dawkins identifies what he views is the single most compelling fact to refute Creationism -- but states that the
real problem lies in convincing Creationists to listen to the evidence. "What they do is simply stick their
fingers in their ears and say 'La la la,'" says Dawkins. "You cannot argue with a mind like that."
by jaskaw @ 01.11.2009 - 01:49:58

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/10/31/richard-dawkins-one-fact-to-refute-creationism-7283272/
Feedback for Post "Richard Dawkins: One Fact to Refute
Creationism"

Anonymous [Visitor]

02.11.2009 @ 04:56
But why try to convince people who don't want to listen to reason? Adults locked into a pattern of blinding
following whatever their church leaders tell them are a lost cause- there's no point in trying to convince them
that the theory of evolution is true and that creationism is not.

The fight really needs to happen on school boards around the US and the world, to make sure that science
departments are adhering to scientific rigour and teaching children first and foremost how to think critically
and use the scientific method to evaluate ideas. Nobody who really understands how the scientific method
works can possibly believe that creationism is a valid scientific theory; it's classic pseudoscience- trying to
shape data to fit a particular claim.

The scientific method dictates that a theory MUST arise from naturalistic observation, and must be able to be
supported or refuted by further observation. The more that the science curricula of primary schools focus on
laying a groundwork of scientific thinking, the harder it will be to convince kids to blindly accept ancient
mythology on faith alone- which is ultimately what fundamentalist zealots are afraid of.

It's important not to forget that while humans have an in-born capacity to use logic, that capacity must be
exercised in order to function well.
The Big Book of Humanity -project is launching
What is "Big Book of Humanity"? The basic idea is that it will gather together the best ideas of thinkers,
writers, poets, philosophers and scientists of the past to form a comprehensive guidebook on how to be a good
human inhabitant of this little blue planet.
The "Big Book of Humanity" will be a result of collaborative effort. It is freely available and accessible to all
in the Internet.

BBoH will be created with the open Wiki-model, where all willing collaborators can supply content and what
most important also freely comment on the content supplied by others.
The domain bboh.info has already been reserved for the purpose, but the actual work is just starting. Project
already has its own Facebook-group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=179027371432 and a
Ning-community at http://bigbookofhumanity.ning.com/ Every interested person is free to join in them.

This project is not just another collection of great quotes, as the Internet is filled this them already. The
important part is that all the pieces of collected wisdom of humanity will be commented and explained in
layman terms.

These explanations make it possible that people with different levels education can get the hang of that the
great men and women of the past really had in their minds.
The most important part is that these comment and explanations need to be open to debate.

An open community will decide with instant voting especially about more controversial issues if they are to
be included or not. This process means that the "Big Book of Humanity" will be never sealed and would
constantly chance if and when the community creating and supporting it changes and new ideas would
emerge. The entire thing would be published under the Creative Commons copyleft that allows unlimited use
of the material.

A open-source project like this does not require any physical contact and work can be carried on
simultaneously from all over the wold. The end result will be an important tool in the work in preserving and
most of all presenting in a user-friendly fashion the collected wisdom of mankind.

Under the three millennium there has been accumulated a immense wealth of ideas on how to be a just and
moral human being and how to carry one's responsibilities as a member of society and humanity at large.

The most important thing would be that this work would be used as a place to where one could guide people
who are asking "If we have no religion, who will guide us into being just and moral people?"

This question has of course been answered many, many times in the past by great humanistic and secular
thinkers, poets, writers, scientist and philosophers. We still need an easily accessible and most of all easy to
understand repository of this past great wisdom.

by jaskaw @ 02.11.2009 - 00:06:49

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/01/the-big-book-of-humanity-project-is-launching-7288607/
Iran bans pro-reform business daily and bars
dissident from collecting rights prize
Iran bans pro-reform business daily

Read more at: http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSTRE5A129U20091102?tr=y&auid=5542887

"TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian media body banned on Monday the publication of a leading business daily,
Sarmayeh, which is critical of the economic policies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government.
The official IRNA news agency said Iran's press supervisory body took the decision because of "repeated
violations of the press law." It did not give further details.
"Based on a decision by the press supervisory board ... the authorization for the publication of Sarmayeh daily
was annulled," IRNA said.
Sarmayeh editor Saeed Laylaz, an outspoken government critic, was arrested shortly after Iran's disputed
election in June. The opposition says the vote was rigged to secure Ahmadinejad's re-election."

Iran bars dissident from collecting rights prize

Read more at:


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iXn7VBPQnZA8nzaoJ6q-p8-yZxRQ?tr=y&auid=5542889

"AFP) GENEVA — Iran is preventing dissident writer Emaddedin Baghi from leaving the country to collect
an international human rights prize, the organisers said Monday.
Baghi, an Iranian campaigner against the death penalty, is the first laureate in the 18-year history of the Martin
Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders to have been prevented from attending the award ceremony.
Previous incumbents have included another renowned rights campaigner from Iran, dissident journalist Akbar
Ganji, as well as from China, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Nigeria, Syria, Russia and several other
nations.
However, Baghi, who has headed the Committee for the Defence of Prisoners' Rights, has recorded a video
message for the ceremony later Monday in the Swiss city of Geneva and a statement by him will also be read
out."

by jaskaw @ 03.11.2009 - 10:13:33

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/03/iran-bans-pro-reform-business-daily-and-bars-dissident-from-collecting-rights-p
Iranian-American Scholar Sentenced to 15 Years in
a Judicial Travesty
Iranian-American Scholar Sentenced to 15 Years in a Judicial Travesty

Read more at:


http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&actio

"Academic and dual Iran-U.S. national Kian Tajbakhsh was arrested at his home in Tehran on 9 July. Kian
Tajbakhsh, a 47-year-old social scientist who taught urban policy at the New School University in New York
and who previously consulted for George Soros' Open Society Institute, was arrested on the night of 9 July by
agents of the Security Police. His family was not notified of the place where he was being detained. He had
been held in solitary confinement and subjected to prolonged interrogations for about three months.
Amnesty International has consistently criticized Iran’s Revolutionary Courts for their failure to adhere to
international standards for fair trials. Confessions extracted under torture or duress are routinely admitted as
evidence in the proceedings in these courts. Kian Tajbakhsh and his co-defendants were at risk of torture and
ill-treatment during their incommunicado detention, held without access to their families or their lawyers."

Read more at:


http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&actio

by jaskaw @ 03.11.2009 - 21:37:15

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/03/iranian-american-scholar-sentenced-to-15-years-in-a-judicial-travesty-7301194/
Nepal's 'laptop astrologer' takes to the airwaves
Nepal's 'laptop astrologer' takes to the airwaves

Read more at:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/6493026/Nepals-laptop-astrologer-takes-to-the-airwaves.html

"Deepashree Joshi, a Nepalese housewife, says she used to queue for hours to have her fortune told. Now she
only has to call her favourite television astrologer to discover what the future has in store.
By Subel Bhandari
Since Basudev Krishna Shastri, known as the "laptop astrologer", began his live television phone-in show in
January 2008 he has become a national celebrity, winning an army of loyal fans and spawning several
imitators.
"It's so convenient and comforting to be able to find out what the future holds for you with just one phone call
to a television show," says Joshi, 39.
"I believe in them because they are almost always right. And it helps me decide what my priorities should be."
Shastri, 34, uses specially designed software to read callers' stars, tapping the date, place and time of their
birth into a computer with the aid of his female co-host."

Read more at:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/6493026/Nepals-laptop-astrologer-takes-to-the-airwaves.html

by jaskaw @ 03.11.2009 - 21:56:32

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/03/nepal-s-laptop-astrologer-takes-to-the-airwaves-7301348/
Ayaan Hirsi Ali - The Caged Virgin
Ayaan Hirsi Ali - The Caged Virgin

Read and listen more at: http://www.pointofinquiry.org/ayaan_hirsi_ali_the_caged_virgin/

"In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Ayaan Hirsi Ali recounts opportunities that have allowed her to
become emancipated from Islam, emphasizing that every woman in Islamic societies can likewise work
against oppression and "have faith in reason."
She talks about how 9-11 was a turning point in her "gradual process of enlightenment" to renounce Islam.
She explains why she rejects Islam and all religions, even while recognizing that religion has some positive
characteristics.
She draws distinctions between favorable concepts of God in Judaism or Christianity versus destructive
concepts of God within Islam.
She argues that Islam, unlike Christianity and Judaism, is not a just a religion, but is a political ideology at its
core, and that it is fundamentally incompatible with liberal democracies.
She contends that anyone who cares about the freedom of individuals should work to "defeat Islam." She
recounts how gay rights figured prominently in her initial decision to speak out and write as a Muslim
apostate."

Read and listen more at: http://www.pointofinquiry.org/ayaan_hirsi_ali_the_caged_virgin/

by jaskaw @ 04.11.2009 - 01:10:06

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/03/ayaan-hirsi-ali-the-caged-virgin-7302510/
Italy condemns European crucifix ruling
Italy condemns European crucifix ruling

http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/italy-condemns-european-crucifix-ruling

"On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the display of crucifixes in state schools in Italy
contravenes the right to religious freedom. The verdict has caused consternation in Catholic Italy.
The Vatican says it has been shocked saddened by the decision. The Italian government is furious, calling the
ruling absurd and shameful.
Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini argues that the crucifix is ―a symbol of our traditionć rather than a
religious symbol. She is quoted as saying: "No one, and certainly not an ideological European court, will
succeed in erasing our identity".
The case was brought by Soile Lautsi. She first complained eight years ago about the presence of crucifixes in
every classroom at her children‎s school near Padua.
She had no success in Italian courts, but has now been awarded 5000 euros in damages by the European court.
The Italian government is appealing against the verdict."

As this blog originates from Finland, I am proud to point out that Soile Lautsi is a Finnish atheist.

by jaskaw @ 04.11.2009 - 10:33:09

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/04/italy-condemns-european-crucifix-ruling-7303924/
Healthcare provision seeks to embrace prayer
treatments
Healthcare provision seeks to embrace prayer treatments

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-na-health-religion3-2009nov03,0,6879249,full.story

"A little-noticed measure would put Christian Science healing sessions on the same footing as clinical
medicine. Critics say it violates the separation of church and state."
By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger
"Reporting from Washington - Backed by some of the most powerful members of the Senate, a little-noticed
provision in the healthcare overhaul bill would require insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer
treatments as medical expenses.
The provision was inserted by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) with the support of Democratic Sens. John F.
Kerry and the late Edward M. Kennedy, both of Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of the Church of
Christ, Scientist."

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-na-health-religion3-2009nov03,0,6879249,full.story

by jaskaw @ 04.11.2009 - 19:38:18

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/04/healthcare-provision-seeks-to-embrace-prayer-treatments-7307303/
Washed-Up Actor Leads Cause to Distribute
Christianized Version of Darwin's Evolution Theory
Washed-Up Actor Leads Cause to Distribute Christianized Version of Darwin's Evolution Theory

Read more at:


http://www.alternet.org/story/143378/washed-up_actor_leads_cause_to_distribute_christianized_version_of_darwin's_

"By Randy Olson, Island Press. Posted October 29, 2009.


Last year comic actor Ben Stein bamboozled evolutionists with his anti-evolution movie "Expelled!". He
hoodwinked evolutionists, even Richard Dawkins, into appearing in a movie that attacked them.
Now Kirk Cameron -- Mike Seaver in the 80s sitcom Growing Pains -- is lending some star power to the
vocally anti-evolution ranks with a plan to distribute 50,000 copies [on Nov. 22] of Charles Darwin's "Origin
of Species" modified to fit his Christian beliefs and subvert the 150th anniversary of its publication.
Both Stein and Cameron invoke the dishonest and inaccurate suggestion that Darwin inspired Hitler. Both are
celebrities playing the lead role for the anti-evolution forces. And both will elicit the same response from the
world of science: thousands of furious, hateful comments on the science blogs crying foul -- and in both cases,
all that ranting and rage won‎t compete with the anti-evolution messaging."

Read more at:


http://www.alternet.org/story/143378/washed-up_actor_leads_cause_to_distribute_christianized_version_of_darwin's_

by jaskaw @ 05.11.2009 - 12:22:28

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/05/washed-up-actor-leads-cause-to-distribute-christianized-version-of-darwin-s-evo
'Why Evolution Is True' by Jerry Coyne, AAI 2009
'Why Evolution Is True' by Jerry Coyne, AAI 2009

Jerry Coyne explains 'Why Evolution is True' (also the title of his excellent new book) at the Atheist Alliance
International 2009 conference, sponsored by The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
by jaskaw @ 06.11.2009 - 14:45:48

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/06/why-evolution-is-true-by-jerry-coyne-aai-7319145/
Bad Faith Awards 2009: the polls are open
Bad Faith Awards 2009: the polls are open

Read more at: http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2009/11/bad-faith-awards-2009-polls-are-open.html

The Bad Faith Awards 2009 of the New Humanist -magazine are now up for grabs and YOU can decide who
receives the higly valued prize this year. Last year, erstwhile US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin
walked away with the prize, polling a staggering 33 per cent of the votes, but this year the award is likely to
be hotly contested.

"Ladies and gentleman, the time has come. For months now, nominations have been pouring in for those most
deserving of our prestigious Bad Faith Award, presented each year to the person deemed to have made the
most outstanding contribution to the cause of unreason.
Last year saw a runaway victory for erstwhile US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (oh those halcyon
days, when she was a mere election and a heart attack away from the nuclear codes). Of course, Palin was
always a frontrunner in that contest (Bad Faith, that is), but this year's poll may well be more closely
contested."

by jaskaw @ 06.11.2009 - 20:15:15

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/06/bad-faith-awards-2009-the-polls-are-open-7321694/
The first Kiva Lending Team to reach $1,000,000 in
loans is the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics,
Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the
Non-Religious!
The first Kiva Lending Team to reach $1,000,000 in loans is the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics,
Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious!

Read more at:


http://www.kiva.org/about/inside/2009/10/07/first-kiva-team-to-reach-1-million.html%20?utm_source=jg&utm_mediu

"Congratulations!!
The first Kiva Lending Team to reach $1,000,000 in loans is the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers,
Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious!
The team consists of almost 6,000 Kiva Lenders and together they have made 32,946 loans totaling
$1,000,625.00 to Kiva Entrepreneurs - quite the feat and something we at Kiva are super excited about!"

http://www.kiva.org/about tells more about Kiva:

"Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique
entrepreneurs around the globe.
The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on Kiva,
choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards
economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the
course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then,
when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else."

PS. (Added 10.11.2009) I think that this kind of thing is done more and more in the future, as the secular
community is just awakening to the fact that this kind public good deeds are things that this community needs
to counter the allegations that atheists are selfish and uncaring people who are just after their own
satisfaction, when they differ from other people only in the fact that they refuse to believe the unbelievable.
There are good and bad people among atheists as is among the believers and will always be, but the public
image of the secular community needs things like this to clear the public image that has been warped in
purpose by the theists.

by jaskaw @ 07.11.2009 - 21:51:24

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/07/the-first-kiva-lending-team-to-reach-1-000-000-in-loans-is-the-atheists-agnostics
Three Views of Carl Sagan
Three Views of Carl Sagan

On the occasion of "Carl Sagan Day" we proudly present this wonderful video with a bit of patina, as it is
from the year 1999:

"In this Skeptics Distinguished Lecture Series talk at Caltech from 1999, three science biographers take an
illuminating look back over the life and legacy of one of the 20th Century's most celebrated astronomers.
First, Michael Shermer analyzes Carl Sagans career to test common claims (such as the idea that Sagans
popularizing interfered with his scientific research). Shermer reveals the true nature of the so-called Sagan
Effect.
Then, William Poundstone (author of Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos) provides an entertaining look at
Sagans lesser known interests — especially his marijuana use (and the media fascination with that revelation).
Keay Davidson (author of Carl Sagan: A Life) rounds out the event with a discussion of Sagans ideas about
exobiology and nuclear proliferation."
by jaskaw @ 08.11.2009 - 01:34:00

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/07/three-views-of-carl-sagan-7328542/
Intelligence Squared Debate: Christopher Hitchens
and Stephen Fry vs. The Catholics
Intelligence Squared Debate: Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry vs. The Catholics

Aired November 7, 2009 on BBC World


"The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world?
A new debate, presented from London by Zeinab Badawi
It stands up for the oppressed and offers spiritual succour to billions say the Church's supporters. But what
about the Church's teachings on condoms, gay sex and women priests, ask the detractors.
Speaking for the motion, Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Anne Widdecombe MP. Speaking against the
motion, Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry."

From Telegraph:
"The voting gives a good idea of how it went. Before the debate, for the motion: 678. Against: 1102. Dont
know: 346. This is how it changed after the debate. For: 268. Against: 1876. Dont know: 34. In other words,
after hearing the speakers, the number of people in the audience who opposed the motion increased by 774."
by jaskaw @ 08.11.2009 - 19:23:34

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/08/intelligence-squared-debate-christopher-hitchens-and-stephen-fry-vs-the-catholic
Feedback for Post "Intelligence Squared Debate:
Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry vs. The Catholics "

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 17:53

catholic church has nothing to do with goodness.it is created by wicked constantine and crooked beasts, for
their own ulterior motives.it is not a force for good in the world.it pretends as standing fo the oppressed to
conceal their crimes and escaspe from punishments. they killed,raped,burned and abused children
sexually.they used money and satanic power to escape from the clutches of law.

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 18:37

they use terrorism ie.preaching hell and damnation to enslave their fellowmen to make them lick their
feet.they say they ar the custodians of the keys of the kingdom and to enter heaven every one must lick their
feet.

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 18:39

they spread terrorism ie,preaching hell and damnation to enslave their fellowmen and make them lick their
feet.

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 18:39

they spread terrorism ie,preaching hell and damnation to enslave their fellowmen and make them lick their
feet.

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 18:39

they spread terrorism ie,preaching hell and damnation to enslave their fellowmen and make them lick their
feet.

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 18:58

they spread terrorism ie,preaching hell and damnation to enslave their fellowmen and make them lick their
feet.in india 2 priests and a nun killed another nun for witnessing their sexual misdeeds.they use money and
power to escape from the clutches of law.

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 19:08
give everything to the poor and take thy cross and follow me.they have lot of money and spend a small
portion of it to get acceptance and not for doing good for the sake of doing it.

jpfib [Member]
09.11.2009 @ 19:30

they enjoy all wordly pleasures while millions have no food,cloth and shelter. they live in palaces.where is
crist and them.thye are not for good but for the warmth of the throne and enjoyment.it is not to abuse
anybody.only reality.
Fatwa issued against the national song of India
Fatwa issued against 'Vande Mataram'

Read more at:


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fatwa-issued-against-Vande-Mataram/articleshow/5191847.cms

"Jamait-e-Ulema Hind or the JEU on Tuesday issued a fatwa against singing national song 'Vande Mataram'.
According to a resolution, Muslims should not sing 'Vande Mataram' as its reciting is against the Islam.
The resolution, which was passed at the Deoband national convention meet, says that Muslims should not sing
'Vande Mataram' as some verses of the patriotic song are against the tenets of Islam. The JEU leader said that
the some of the line in the song is against Islam."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vande_Mataram :

"Vande Mataram is the national song of India, distinct from the national anthem of India "Jana Gana Mana".
The song was composed by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay in a mixture of Bengali and Sanskrit. and the first
political occasion where it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.
In 2003, ‫‏‬BBC World Service conducted an international poll to choose ten most famous songs of all time.
Around 7000 songs were selected from all over the world. According to BBC, people from 155
countries/island voted. Vande Mataram was ranked second in the top ten songs.
However, many muslim organizations in India have declared fatwas against singing Vande Mataram, due to
the song giving a notion of worshipping Mother India, which is unislamic."

by jaskaw @ 08.11.2009 - 22:24:49

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/08/fatwa-issued-against-the-national-song-of-india-7333587/
Neil Tyson talks about UFOs and the argument
from ignorance.
Neil Tyson talks about UFOs and the argument from ignorance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

"The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam ("appeal to ignorance" , argument
by lack of imagination, or negative evidence, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true
only because it has not been proven false, or is false only because it has not been proven true.
The argument from personal incredulity, also known as argument from personal belief or argument from
personal conviction, refers to an assertion that because one personally finds a premise unlikely or
unbelievable, the premise can be assumed to be false, or alternatively that another preferred but unproven
premise is true instead.
Both arguments commonly share this structure: a person regards the lack of evidence for one view as
constituting proof that another view is true. The types of fallacies discussed in this article should not be
confused with the reductio ad absurdum method of argument, in which a valid logical contradiction of the
form "A and not A" is used to disprove a premise."
by jaskaw @ 09.11.2009 - 00:04:02

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/08/neil-tyson-talks-about-ufos-and-the-argument-from-ignorance-7334173/
Teacher beheaded in Philippines
Teacher beheaded in Philippines

Read more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8349771.stm

I have taken the new policy of letting the news speak for themselves, but again this is a piece of news that one
cannot let pass in silence. Why are the Muslim militants in the Philippines kidnapping teachers; six of them
this year alone?
Is it because they get better ransom money from teachers than for example from businessmen, administrators
or politicians?
No. It it because a every teacher is a threat to them, as their cult of violence can survive only in society
steeped in ignorance.
Every kid that gets too much knowledge is a threat for the power and long-time survival of the extremist
movements and so teachers must be scared away from the Muslim areas of Philippines.

"Police in the southern Philippines say the severed head of a kidnapped schoolteacher has been found in a bag
at a petrol station.
Gabriel Canizares was abducted by Abu Sayyaf militants three weeks ago. His body is still missing.
He was travelling with colleagues on the island of Jolo when he was seized.
---
Education Secretary Jesli Lapus expressed shock at the teacher's killing, saying six other teachers who had
been kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf earlier this year had all been released despite threats to behead them.
He said his department was at a loss as to how to ensure security for public schoolteachers in high-risk areas,
and feared that the kidnappings would discourage others from teaching underprivileged youths in Muslim
areas."

by jaskaw @ 09.11.2009 - 21:17:22

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/09/teacher-beheaded-in-philippines-7339389/
Act Now to Save Iranian Apostate from Execution
Act Now to Save Iranian Apostate from Execution

Read more at: http://www.iheu.org/act-now-save-iranian-apostate-execution

"Please act now to ask the Iranian government to stop the execution of Ehsan Fattahian scheduled for
Wednesday, November 11, 2009.
According to Mina Ahadi, Chair of the Central Council of ex-Muslims, and Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Chair
of the Giordano Bruno Foundation, both in Germany, Fattahian is accused of ―apostasyć among other
charges. Capital punishment for apostasy, or in any way making it a crime to leave a religion, contravenes
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dr. Schmidt-Salomon pointed out that ―the German
Government has supported several people who converted from Islam to Christianity. It is now time that it also
supports apostates who became free of all religion!ć
Ask your own government to protest this planned execution and also write directly to the Iranian government.
Information on this case and whom to write to can be found on the Amnesty International website at:
http://bit.ly/njZS3 "

by jaskaw @ 10.11.2009 - 12:32:36

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/10/act-now-to-save-iranian-apostate-from-execution-7343650/
Did Christianity Cause the Crash?
Did Christianity Cause the Crash?

Read more at; http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/rosin-prosperity-gospel

by Hanna Rosin
"America’s mainstream religious denominations used to teach the faithful that they would be rewarded in the
afterlife. But over the past generation, a different strain of Christian faith has proliferated—one that promises
to make believers rich in the here and now. Known as the prosperity gospel, and claiming tens of millions of
adherents, it fosters risk-taking and intense material optimism. It pumped air into the housing bubble. And one
year into the worst downturn since the Depression, it’s still going strong.

Like the ambitions of many immigrants who attend services there, Casa del Padre’s success can be measured
by upgrades in real estate. The mostly Latino church, in Charlottesville, Virginia, has moved from the pastor’s
basement, where it was founded in 2001, to a rented warehouse across the street from a small mercado five
years later, to a middle-class suburban street last year, where the pastor now rents space from a lovely old
Baptist church that can’t otherwise fill its pews. Every Sunday, the parishioners drive slowly into the parking
lot, never parking on the sidewalk or grass—“because Americanos don’t do that,” one told me—and file
quietly into church. Some drive newly leased SUVs, others old work trucks with paint buckets still in the bed.
The pastor, Fernando Garay, arrives last and parks in front, his dark-blue Mercedes Benz always freshly
washed, the hubcaps polished enough to reflect his wingtips. "

by jaskaw @ 11.11.2009 - 00:01:14

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/10/did-christianity-cause-the-crash-7347823/
Catholic priests, scientists head to Rome to
ponder alien life
Catholic priests, scientists head to Rome to ponder alien life

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/10/vatican_aliens/

By Joe Fay
"The Vatican may be a little closer to deciding how it deals with the tricky problem of extra terrestrial - and
most likely non-Catholic - life forms, as it wraps up a conference on astrobiology this week.
The Vatican Observatory has been running a "joint study week" on Astrobiology this week together with the
Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The Vatican has been already deemed 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy, with the Pope kicking
off proceedings last December by saying what a standup guy Galileo was, and musing on the pagan origins of
the Roman cityscape.
According to Marc Kaufman at the Washington Post, the study week includes sessions on how life might have
begun on Earth, what harsh environment microbes on earth point to on other planets, and how lifeforms on
other planets could be recognised."

by jaskaw @ 11.11.2009 - 20:20:06

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/11/catholic-priests-scientists-head-to-rome-to-ponder-alien-life-7352885/
Denying Reality, or the Heavy Cost of Political
Correctness
CFI Releases Statement from Ibn Warraq in Response to Fort Hood Tragedy

Denying Reality, or the Heavy Cost of Political Correctness

Read more at:


http://www.centerforinquiry.net/news/cfi_releases_statement_from_ibn_warraq_in_response_to_fort_hood_tragedy/

By Ibn Warraq
"In the wake of the murder of 13 and the wounding of 38 soldiers at Fort Hood on November 5, media
analysts, politicians, and other sundry experts scrambled to present the accused perpetrator of the acts, Major
Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, as a victim. In so doing they served, knowingly or otherwise, as apologists for radical
Islam. From CNN to the New York Times, NPR to the Washington Post, the killings were presented as a
result of racism. They were attributed to fear of deployment in Afghanistan and harassment from other
soldiers. Cited were Major Hasan‎s supposed maladjustment to his life and his sense of not belonging,
pre-traumatic stress disorder, and various personal and mental problems. All these explanations are variations
on what I have called ―the Root Cause Fallacy,ć which has been committed time and again since the terrorist
acts of September 11, 2001. The Root Cause Fallacy was designed to deflect attention away from Islam, in
effect to exonerate Islam, which, we are told, is never to blame for acts of violence. On this view we must not
hold a great world religion of peace responsible when individuals of that faith resort to force. We must dig
deeper: the real cause is poverty, U.S. foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Western colonialism and
exploitation, marital problems of individuals, and so on. The present ―psychologicalć interpretations in the
case of Major Hasan are just the latest example of the Root Cause Fallacy at work.

The Australian tells us that the mindset of Major Hasan remains a ―mystery,ć yet his Jihadist intentions are
there on the surface for everyone not paralyzed by political correctness to see. According to CNN (Nov. 7), on
the morning of the shootings Hasan gave copies of the Koran to his neighbors. According to the Associated
Press (Nov. 6), soldiers reported that Hasan shouted out ―Allahu Akbarć [God is Great] – the war cry of all
Jihadis – before firing off over a hundred rounds with two pistols in a center where some 300 unarmed
soldiers had lined up for vaccines and eye tests. "

Read more at:


http://www.centerforinquiry.net/news/cfi_releases_statement_from_ibn_warraq_in_response_to_fort_hood_tragedy/

by jaskaw @ 12.11.2009 - 21:12:18

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/12/denying-reality-or-the-heavy-cost-of-political-correctness-7360194/
Iran executes man charged with being an "enemy
of God"
Iran executes Kurdish activist

Read more at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/11/iran-executes-kurdish-activist

"Ehsan Fattahian, charged with being an 'enemy of God', had admitted membership of a banned opposition
group.
Iran has reportedly executed a Kurdish political activist charged with being an "enemy of God", ignoring
pleas from international human rights groups for his death sentence to be revoked.
Ehsan Fattahian, 27, was hanged today in the western city of Sanandaj, according to Ali Akbar Gharoussi,
head of the judiciary in Kurdistan province.
Mowjcamp, an opposition website, cited lawyer Mohammad Mostafai as saying there was no evidence that
Fattahian had engaged in violence, as charged. Fattahian admitted membership of the banned Kurdish
opposition group Komeleh and said he was tortured for three months. His initial 10-year jail sentence was
changed to death by a higher court.
Ezzatollah Fattahian, the defendant's father, told Human Rights Watch that prison officials had prevented the
family from visiting his son in prison for the past three months."

Read more at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/11/iran-executes-kurdish-activist

by jaskaw @ 12.11.2009 - 21:42:30

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/12/iran-executes-man-charged-with-being-an-enemy-of-god-7360379/
'Godless' billboard relocated due to threats of
violence in Cincinnati
'Godless' billboard relocated due to threats

Read more at: http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20091112/NEWS01/311090013/

BY JESSICA BROWN
"CINCINNATI - A billboard that reached out to those who don‎t believe in God lasted less than 48 hours
before threats forced organizers to move it, they said.
Billboard company Lamar Advertising tore down the billboard at the intersection of 12th Street and Reading
Road in Over-the-Rhine Thursday morning due to what the United Coalition of Reason – the billboard‎s
sponsor - termed ―multiple, significant threatsć to the property owner. Lamar re-erected the sign that same
day on a billboard tower along the Sixth Street Viaduct in Queensgate. The sign faces traffic traveling west
from downtown toward Delhi and Price Hill.
The billboard contains the phrase ―Don‎t Believe in God? You are not alone,ć and lists the web site of the
Cincinnati Coalition of Reason, a coalition of atheist and other ―free thinkingć groups in Greater Cincinnati
and Northern Kentucky in which members don‎t believe in any god.
This is the first time the group has moved a billboard in this year‎s campaign. It‎s launched 14 prior
billboard campaigns in cities throughout the country including this week in Cincinnati, Cleveland and
Columbus."

Read more at: http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20091112/NEWS01/311090013/

by jaskaw @ 13.11.2009 - 11:51:51

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/13/godless-billboard-relocated-due-to-threats-of-violence-in-cincinnati-7365442/
Feedback for Post "'Godless' billboard relocated due to
threats of violence in Cincinnati"

Rodney [Visitor]

13.11.2009 @ 22:40
I love evidence!
How Right-Wing Cult Leader Sun Myung Moon
Bought Washington
How Right-Wing Cult Leader Sun Myung Moon Bought Washington

Read more at:


http://www.alternet.org/story/143914/how_right-wing_cult_leader_sun_myung_moon_bought_washington

By Rory O'Connor, http://www.RoryOConnor.org. Posted November 13, 2009.


"With money, media and promotion of a conservative political agenda, a self-styled Messiah and convicted
felon became a frequent guest at the White House.
"Moon looked on the media as almost the nervous system for a global empire. Moon was the brain, and the
media are to be, or were to be, the communications vehicle for his body politic surrounding the globe.”

In January 1992, PBS Frontline broadcast a film I directed that documented the amazing rise, fall and
subsequent resurrection of Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church movement. The
documentary showed how, through an adroit combination of money, media and the consistent promotion of a
conservative political agenda, a self-styled Messiah and convicted felon had rapidly reinvented himself and
was soon hailed at the White House.
At the time, few Americans paid much attention to Reverend Moon – and those that did had bizarre
recollections of him and the “Moonies,” as his followers once called themselves: mass weddings of complete
strangers, flower-peddling in the street, and repeated allegations of mind control and brainwashing."

Read more at:


http://www.alternet.org/story/143914/how_right-wing_cult_leader_sun_myung_moon_bought_washington

by jaskaw @ 14.11.2009 - 00:43:55

http://atheistnews.blogs.fi/2009/11/13/how-right-wing-cult-leader-sun-myung-moon-bought-washington-7369589/
'Sabbath' protest targets Intel
'Sabbath' protest targets Intel

Read more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8360429.stm

"Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem have protested outside the offices of the US firm, Intel, against the plant
operating on the Jewish day of rest.
The demonstrators chanted "Shabbes! Shabbes!", the Yiddish word for Sabbath when Jews are forbidden to
work.
Intel, the world's biggest maker of computer chips, ringed its offices with barbed wire before the protest.
There were no reports of violence.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews have recently held a series of such protests in Israel."

Read more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8360429.stm

Jewish law, known as halacha, is considered a set of God-given instructions to effect spiritual, moral, religious
and personal perfection. As such, it includes codes of behavior applicable to virtually every imaginable
circumstance (and many hypothetical ones), which have been pored over and developed throughout the
generations in a constantly expanding collection of religious literature. An early written compilation of
halacha, the Talmud, is considered authoritative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-orthodox

"Halacha is a guide for everything the traditional Jew does from the moment of awakening until the moment
of sleep. It is a body of intricate laws, combined with the reasoning on how such conclusions are reached.
Halacha incorporates as rules many practices that began as customs, some passed down over the centuries,
and an assortment of ingrained behaviors. It is the subject of intense study in religious schools known as
yeshivas.

Throughout history, halacha has addressed issues on the basis of circumstance and precedent. There have been
some significant adaptations, including more formal education for women in the early twentieth century, and
the application of halacha to modern technology. While Haredim have typically been more conservative than
their Modern Orthodox counterparts regarding new practices and rulings on new applications of halac