Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
A Seattle woman is to abandon her controversial attempt to live on light on Wednesday after 47 days of surviving on water and tea.
Naveena Shine, 65, had been attempting to go without food for 100 days. She said the “overt” reason for ending what she described as an “experiment” was financial – she claimed she will lose the trailer she has been staying in on Wednesday – but said she believed her monetary woes were “a simple a message from the universe that it is time to stop”.
“After 47 days…I still feel really good, weight loss is slowing and all seems well. However, I still have no evidence that I am actually living on light and it could well be slow starvation,” Shine wrote on her Facebook page…
A touch of sanity, after all.
“Plants have what are called choroplasts that contain chlorophyll and they have the ability to capture energy from sunlight,” said Dr Ronald Hoffman medical director of the Hoffman Center and host of a weekly health podcast.
“Humans don’t have cholorphyll or chloroplasts. No humans do. It is impossible for a human to have that…
But Shine appeared to acknowledge the risk to her health, at one point saying “I have no idea if I could” complete the 100 days…”Personally, do I think it’s possible? For me it’s still a question. I see much more evidence to show that yes it’s possible, but I also see that it has to come out from the inside. I’m not willing to risk either my life or other people’s lives,” Shine said.
Challenging the facts of material reality are neurotic at best, possibly delusional. Knowing little more than the specific gravity of a human being I see no need to try to walk on water or attempt to fly after jumping off a skyscraper.
One of the delights of being a species with intellect, enabling, recording ongoing experimentation, is that we invent stuff over time. So, we have boats and airplanes. Leave the walking on water and ascension into heaven to the True Believers.
And, please, stop electing them to government.
A San Diego-area teacher was fired because her stalker ex-husband was due to get out of jail soon and could show up at her school, district officials said.
Carie Charlesworth…was let go by the San Diego Roman Catholic diocese because of concerns her former spouse could pose a threat to staff and students at the Holy Trinity School in El Cajon once he was released from San Diego County jail.
Martin Charlesworth was sentenced to jail for domestic abuse and stalking after he went to Holy Trinity in January in violation of a restraining order. The unannounced visit caused a lockdown and brought police to the campus.
The education department of the diocese said in its termination letter that Mr. Charlesworth had a 20-year record of abuse and violence toward women and they did not want to risk a confrontation on school grounds.
Carie Charlesworth told the Los Angeles Times she was stunned at losing her job after 14 years with the diocese and was considering both a lawsuit and a career change. Her ex-husband’s attorney told the newspaper Martin Charlesworth had meant no harm by his January visit and had only wanted to discuss details of their child-custody arrangements.
Surely no one is surprised at what passes for care and concern for women and children by the Roman Catholic Church. Or for that matter – local law enforcement.
Time after time, we learn of wives beaten or murdered by the criminal thug they’ve gotten a restraining order against. The lack of concern, the inability of law enforcement to provide protection, say, comparable to a bank vice-president is common. My disgust with a religion that turns its gold-encrusted back on women’s real needs time and again – just moved up another notch.
Members of the Southern Baptist Convention at their annual meeting have voted to support families who leave the Boy Scouts due to the group’s plans to accept gay Scouts, urged the removal of Boy Scout leaders who championed accepting gays and encouraged former Boy Scouts to join a Southern Baptist youth group instead.
“Homosexuality is directly opposed to everything that Scouting stands for. I am disappointed in Scouting,” said the Rev. Wes Taylor in speaking for the resolution endorsed by the convention. “They are moving away from the principles that it was founded upon. This is an attempt to open the door to broaden the acceptance of homosexuality in that organization. It is an environment that would prove just fertile for young boys to be exposed to something that is ungodly and unacceptable…”
History repeats more often than not among the truly bigoted and religious. You could take this Reverend’s statement and stuff it into a time warp back to the passage of the civil rights act of 1964 – substitute the word “negro” for “gay” – and have the same thing.
Before Wednesday’s vote, some Baptist pastors spoke in favor of the Boy Scouts in proceedings that have been streaming live online.
“The Boy Scouts have said they are against sexual activity of any boy. I don’t think they are condoning homosexuality,” said the Rev. Charlie Dale of Indian Springs First Baptist Church in Indian Springs, Ala., adding that he didn’t think the vote “will help the cause of Christ…”
“Say it now, say it clearly, and say it in love. The SBC in no way should ever shake or bend to our biblical convictions. We should always say as we always have that homosexuality is wrong or sinful,” said the Rev. Mike Janz of First Baptist Church of Rosamond, in Rosamond, Calif.
Separately, a Maryland pastor proposed a motion Tuesday that the convention investigate the Boy Scouts’ decision to lift the ban on gay youth and report back with options for families this fall. That proposal was still being considered…
Secession is a Southern Baptist habit. They did their best to shut down public school systems when the civil rights bill passed and schools were required to be integrated. They built private schools throughout the Confederacy and beyond.
Now, they use opportunist political flunkies, the Romneys and Perrys of the Republican Party, to fight for taxpayers to reimburse the expenses of running their church schools through so-called vouchers. Contemptible.
I don’t doubt in the least they will dedicate time and effort to building youth groups that compete with the boy scouts and preserve their Christian purity. Over time, they will fail.
Pope Francis lamented that a “gay lobby” was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group — a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See…
The group, known by its Spanish acronym CLAR, said it was greatly distressed that the document had been published and apologized to the pope.
In the document, Francis is quoted as saying that while there were many holy people in the Vatican, there was also corruption: “The `gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there … We need to see what we can do …” the synthesis reads…
In the days leading up to Pope Benedict XVI’s Feb. 28 resignation, Italian media were rife with reports of a “gay lobby” influencing papal decision-making and Vatican policy through blackmail, and suggestions that the scandal had led in part to Benedict’s decision to resign…
The unsourced reports, in the Rome daily La Repubblica and the news magazine Panorama, said details of the scandal were laid out in the secret dossier prepared for Benedict by three trusted cardinals who investigated the leaks of papal documents last year.
Sounds like the history of corruption among our own fascist-minded from Joe McCarthy to Ted Cruz: “I have this list in my hand of communist agents in the State Department/Harvard Law School/Occupy Texas” – just cross out the targets that don’t fit the day’s slander.
In the synthesis, Francis was quoted as being remarkably forthcoming about his administrative shortcomings, saying he was relying on the group of eight cardinals he appointed to lead a reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.
The document quoted him as saying: “I am very disorganized, I have never been good at this. But the cardinals of the commission will move it forward.”
Cripes, he even has his own Gang of Eight. No doubt as unlikely to place civil rights and civil liberties ahead of personal gain than the average Congress-thug. Meanwhile, the Vatican’s tradition of gay-bashing is dragged-out once again as a weapon of self-defense by a tottering group of old men centuries beyond their sell-by date.
“I’ll give you the password to the new kiddy porn site after lunch”
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has urged monks not to use cellphones to access the Internet in order to avoid temptation.
“Now the Internet appears to be a great temptation,” Patriarch Kirill said during a trip to the Zograf monastery in Greece, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the church’s website.
“Many monks act, in my view, quite unreasonably. On the one hand, (monks) leave the world in order to create favorable conditions for salvation, and on the other hand, they take their mobile telephone and start to enter the Internet where, we know, there is a large number of sinful and tempting things…”
Kirill has in the past warned against “manipulation” on the Internet but an Orthodox Church official, speaking on condition of anonymity, has said the patriarch does use it himself to seek out information.
A Facebook page dedicated to Kirill was launched last year to feed growing interest in a religious leader who has openly supported President Vladimir Putin. Putin has portrayed the church as the guardian of Russia’s national values.
Any country requiring a national religion is in some kind of trouble. Even those who pay the maintenance on a comparatively tame state religion are guilty of wasting taxpayer dollars at a minimum.
When push comes to shove, the use of state religions – like the Russian Orthodox Church or the various flavors of Islam favored by monarchies in the Middle East – generally fills only one function. That is – keeping people obedient – maintaining the most reactionary of nationalist traditions, right-wing ideology is sanctified to support the narrowest possible claque of power brokers.
More than three-fourths of Americans polled say religion is losing its influence on American life, a Gallup poll released Wednesday indicated.
The 77 percent who said religion’s influence was lessening and the 20 percent who said it was on the rise represent Americans’ most negative evaluations of the effects of religion since 1970, Gallup said.
Americans were more likely to say religion’s weight was increasing instead of decreasing when the question was first posed in 1957, in 1962, and several times in the 1980s during the Ronald Reagan’s presidency; and after the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks in late 2001 and early 2002, as well as in 2005…
The pollster said it found a modest relationship between Americans’ ideology, as well as partisanship, and their views of the influence of religion. Liberals and Democrats were more likely than conservatives and Republicans to say religion’s influence is increasing in American society.
Shock and amazement! Not over the results – but, that Gallup admitted as much as they did.
Conservatives relished Gallup polls for decades. Though their “push” led to some truly laughable reporting – like Dewey’s supposed victory over Harry Truman in 1948. A style still in fashion in the Republican Party – which they had to admit after their last defeat in a presidential election.
Speaking as someone who’s been an atheist since the age of 13, a philosophical materialist since 18 – the inevitable change is no surprise.
The Vatican retracted Pope Francis’ statement that everyone, “even the atheists,” were saved from sin and redeemed by God and therefore welcome in heaven.
People who know about the Catholic Church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her,” Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica said in an “explanatory note…”
He added, “No person is excluded from salvation simply because of so-called original sin; one can only lose their salvation through serious personal sin of their own account…”
Which – I guess – includes being an atheist.
Francis made headlines when he said in a May 22 homily: “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ — all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!
“‘Father, the atheists?’” Francis said as if asking himself. “Even the atheists. Everyone!” Francis said in answering his Socratic-style question…
Atheist Hemant Mehta wrote in his Friendly Atheist blog: “Atheists, according to Christians, are going to hell unless we accept Christ’s divinity. We already knew that. It was still an unusual and welcome gesture from the pope to recognize that everyone, regardless of beliefs, can do good and ‘be saved’ — at least it was a step up from what we’re used to hearing.”
British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, known for advocating atheism and science, wrote on Twitter: “Atheists go to heaven? Nope. Sorry world, infallible pope got it wrong. Vatican steps in with alacrity.”
“Conversations With God” author Neale Donald Walsch told United Press International Tuesday evening: “It is regrettable that the hidden hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church chose to officially retract the recent statement on eternal damnation bravely made by its new leader, Pope Francis. This rapid retrenchment wiped out what appeared to be one of the major advances in theological thinking within that institution in the past 500 years.”
Not that the discussion among the princes of the Holy Roman Catholic Church amounts to a whole boatload of anything much more than fertilizer refreshed by a new generation of manure. The ideology of a dying sect will inevitably thrash about in the waters of life, trying for a semblance of usefulness. A usefulness pretty much limited to solace in the presence of death to a species conscious of life.
The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to the campaign of abortion opponents to “defund” Planned Parenthood.
Without comment, the justices turned away Indiana’s defense of a 2011 law that would ban all Medicaid funds to an organization such as Planned Parenthood whose work includes performing abortions.
The high court let stand decisions by a federal judge in Indiana and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that blocked the measure from taking effect. The “defunding law excludes Planned Parenthood from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services, violating its patients’ statutory right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice,” Judge Diane Sykes said last year for the 7th Circuit.
The Obama administration had joined the case on the side of Planned Parenthood and argued that the Medicaid law gives eligible low-income patients a right to obtain healthcare from any qualified provider. This is known as the free-choice-of-provider rule…
Two years ago, Indiana lawmakers voted to go further and forbid the spending of any Medicaid money — federal or state — through “any entity” whose facilities perform abortions. Hospitals and state-licensed surgical clinics were exempted. But Planned Parenthood went to federal court and sued on behalf of a doctor, a nurse and two patients.
Arizona’s Legislature passed a similar measure, but it too has been blocked by a federal judge.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, welcomed the court’s decision.
“All women, no matter where they live, should be able to get quality, affordable healthcare from the healthcare provider they know and trust,” she said.
Anyone surprised how often a question of equal opportunity is opposed by the Republican Party and their Fundamentalist allies?
If you didn’t know what hypocrites and liars they all are – you might give some credence to all their posturing over Constitutional rights. But, every day – in every way possible – allowing someone to make a choice that affects their own life is opposed by these clown show-libertarians and their Old Testament ideology.
As the nation’s leading Roman Catholic bishop, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been spearheading the fight against a provision of the new health care law that requires employers, including some that are religiously affiliated, to cover birth control in employee health plans.
But even as Cardinal Dolan insists that requiring some religiously affiliated employers to pay for contraception services would be an unprecedented, and intolerable, government intrusion on religious liberty, the archdiocese he heads has quietly been paying for such coverage, albeit reluctantly and indirectly, for thousands of its unionized employees for over a decade.
The Archdiocese of New York has previously acknowledged that some local Catholic institutions offer health insurance plans that include contraceptive drugs to comply with state law; now, it is also acknowledging that the archdiocese’s own money is used to pay for a union health plan that covers contraception and even abortion for workers at its affiliated nursing homes and clinics…
The archdiocese agreed to cover its own health workers long before Cardinal Dolan became archbishop of New York, and even today insists that it has no choice. As a result, about 3,000 full-time workers at ArchCare, also known as the Catholic Health Care System, receive coverage for contraception and voluntary pregnancy termination through their membership in 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, a powerful health care workers union, according to Dave Bates, a spokesman for the union.
ArchCare, which operates seven nursing homes and a variety of other health facilities, gives its 1199 union employees the same coverage they would get at over 100 other nonprofit hospitals or nursing homes in the New York area, because ArchCare voluntarily belongs to the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes, a multi-employer organization that negotiates with the union every few years for a joint labor contract.
Bruce McIver, the president of the league since 1991, said…“Eventually, the Catholics just said, you know, we are going to ignore the issue and pay into the fund and people are going to make their own choices about contraception and so forth,” Mr. McIver said.
During union negotiations, “I don’t remember it coming up in the last dozen years or so, ever,” he said. “In a place like New York, their employees, not all of whom are Catholic, would react pretty badly…”
The root of all modern hypocrisy owes so much to the history of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
A Philadelphia couple who believe in faith healing over medicine and who were on probation in their son’s pneumonia death were charged with murder Wednesday after a second young child died under what a prosecutor called ‘‘eerily similar’’ circumstances.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible ignored a court order to seek medical care if their children needed it, prosecutors said Wednesday. The requirement was a condition of the probation sentence they received after the death of their toddler son four years ago.
First Assistant District Attorney Ed McCann says the Schaibles are entitled to their religious beliefs — until it endangers their children.
“How many kids have to die before it becomes extreme indifference to human life?” McCann said in announcing the charges. “They killed one kid already.”
The Schaibles are members and former teachers at the fundamentalist First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia. The church’s website quotes Bible verses purportedly forbidding Christians from visiting doctors or taking medicine and suggests it’s a sin to trust in medicine over faith…
A jury had convicted them of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment after the 2009 death of 2-year-old Kent, who had been sick for about two weeks. Brandon Schaible died of pneumonia in April after suffering from diarrhea and breathing problems for at least a week, and refusing to eat.
“The circumstances are eerily similar,” said Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, who handled the first trial and pushed for prison time because she feared the couple would not follow the court’s order on medical care…
“I am sorry for your loss. Deeply sorry,” Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told the couple. “But in all honesty, I am more sorry for the fact that this innocent little child will not be able to grow up to be what he wanted to be.”
A common dicho I hear all the time is that “some parent don’t deserve children”. Well, this is one of those cases where “the children couldn’t possibly deserve their parents”. Or they’d be alive.