Vatican says Pope Francis overreached – atheists still going to hell

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.

Supreme Court refuses Planned Parenthood defunding cases


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.

South Korea closes nuclear power plants using forged documents, substandard repair parts


South Korea has suspended operations in two nuclear power reactors and extended a shutdown of a third to replace parts that were supplied using fake certificates.

The government warned on Tuesday there could be “unprecedented” electricity shortages and rolling blackouts this summer due to the nuclear shutdowns.

The latest closures, which are part of a widening investigation into the supply of cables provided with falsified safety certificates, mean that 10 of the country’s 23 nuclear reactors are currently offline…

Blackout alerts, triggered automatically when power reserves dip below a certain level, were highly likely and power shortages could be “very serious” in August, the statement said…

At proper capacity, South Korea’s nuclear reactors supply more than 35 percent of national electricity needs.

“We expect unprecedented supply shortage this summer as we have to meet power demand while three reactors are halted,” said Han Jin-hyun, vice minister for trade, industry and energy…

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said it had shut down the reactors, one at the Gori nuclear complex and another at the Wolseong plant, after learning that both had used parts supplied with forged warranties.

The scheduled resumption of another reactor under maintenance at Gori, and the start of a new reactor at Wolseong, were postponed for the same reason, the commission said.

Parts used at all four reactors would have to be replaced

Corruption almost always jeopardizes safety. A factor which doesn’t mean a damned thing to corporate creeps who see a chance to increase profits.

Politicians think banning bikini-clad mannequins will reduce incidents of sexual assault in India

The civic body in Mumbai has passed a proposal to ban the display of bikini-clad mannequins in lingerie shops…The proposal, intended to reduce incidents of assault on women, is under active consideration by the body’s chief executive, Sitaram Kunte.

The proposal was unanimously passed by the assembly, which has 227 members from various political parties.

There have been a number of high-profile sexual assaults against women in India in recent months…Dozens of rape cases have been reported in Mumbai since the beginning of the year.

Ritu Tawade, a member of the civic body, first put forward the idea a couple of months ago, after a series of rape cases in the country.

She told the BBC that the public display of scantily clothed mannequins in shop windows “indirectly or directly leads to rape”.

Mrs Tawade believes that they are titillating for men. “It’s a Western thing, our society doesn’t allow them,” she said…

Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu supports the idea. He told a local newspaper that he believed scantily clad mannequins invited the unwanted attention of men, in a city that has seen a surge of sex crimes.

I’m less certain that there has been anything other than an increase in the reporting of sex crimes. Blaming the victims is pretty standard behavior for any ignoranus lacking respect for women. That doesn’t change according to the city you live in; but, rather, the culture controlling social mores.

If rapes aren’t prosecuted, if sexual assault on the street or public transit is acceptable male behavior, the context of advertising or clothing only defines this year’s excuse. It will continue unless the legal system enforces a code of behavior that doesn’t build-in excuses for sexual assault.