Archive for November 2008

Armistice Day in the War on Brains *

Nov 9th, 2008 | Filed by

American voters have just picked a president who is an open, out-of-the-closet, practicing intellectual.… Read the rest



Anti-Semitism in 9/11 ‘Truth’ Movement *

Nov 9th, 2008 | Filed by

‘Texe Marrs outlines the eight pillars, or foundations, of the Zionist elite conspiracy to undermine the US.’… Read the rest



Visit the New Age Shop *

Nov 9th, 2008 | Filed by

Reiki; readings that combine tarot cards, angel cards and crystal dowsing; ‘Balanced Therapy’; much more.… Read the rest



Katha Pollit Says Sayonara to Sarah Palin *

Nov 9th, 2008 | Filed by

Palin models what feminism isn’t.… Read the rest



You can’t detect it, but you know it’s there

Nov 9th, 2008 11:33 am | By

As you may have seen in News the other day, David Colquhoun provides excerpts from ‘a lengthy set of notes for a first year course on “The Holistic Model of Healthcare”…from the 2005 course at Thames Valley University’ (along with a link to the whole thing). It’s fascinating stuff – and it raises a familiar question.

[T]he subject of Wholistic Nutrition transcends the area of human understanding for which science, alone, is appropriate. The reason is that it is ‘vitalistic’. It recognises the presence in all life forms including the human body, of subtle (or ‘etheric’) energy forces not easily measurable by the physicist’s equipment. It shares that position with the ‘energy medicine’ disciplines such as homoeopathy, traditional acupuncture and

Read the rest



Child-torture in Nigeria

Nov 8th, 2008 5:27 pm | By

Now for something more serious. Something intolerable.

Ostracised, vulnerable and frightened, she wandered the streets in south-eastern Nigeria, sleeping rough, struggling to stay alive. Mary was found by a British charity worker and today lives at a refuge in Akwa Ibom province with 150 other children who have been branded witches, blamed for all their family’s woes, and abandoned. Before being pushed out of their homes many were beaten or slashed with knives, thrown onto fires, or had acid poured over them…Many of those branded “child-witches” are murdered – hacked to death with machetes, poisoned, drowned, or buried alive in an attempt to drive Satan out of their soul. The devil’s children are “identified” by powerful religious leaders at

Read the rest



Faith, any faith

Nov 8th, 2008 5:19 pm | By

Michael Binyon in The Times slobbers over Charles for being interested in lots of religions.

[N]o monarch since the Stuarts has taken an intellectual interest in religion, and none has devoted time and respect to other faiths. The Prince, however, counts bishops and moral philosophers, rabbis, priests and Islamic scholars among those whom he regularly meets and with whom he discusses the spiritual dimensions of life in Britain today.

Find the odd one out. Got it in one. What are ‘moral philosophers’ doing in that mob? Does this beezer think moral philosophy is a ‘faith’?

For him, the concept of faith — any faith — is important in the crusade against the rising tide of secular materialism and scientific

Read the rest



Ireland: Priests Abused Children in Bulk *

Nov 8th, 2008 | Filed by

The horrendous scale of clerical paedophilia in the Dublin archdiocese since 1940.… Read the rest



Prop 8 Won and Religious Bigots Smell Victory *

Nov 8th, 2008 | Filed by

Godbotherers want to prevent Obama from expanding the rights of gays and lesbians.… Read the rest



Charles Hates Secularism and Science *

Nov 8th, 2008 | Filed by

‘Faith — any faith — is important in the crusade against the rising tide of secular materialism and scientific reductionism, both of which he detests.’… Read the rest



‘Faith-based’ Groups Fret About Future *

Nov 8th, 2008 | Filed by

Obama said he would not allow religious groups to get federal funding if they discriminate in hiring. … Read the rest



Child ‘Witches’ in Nigeria *

Nov 8th, 2008 | Filed by

Unbearable to read.… Read the rest



Nutritional Fairy Tales from Thames Valley University *

Nov 7th, 2008 | Filed by

TVU is one of those shameful institutions that offer Bachelor of Science degrees in homeopathy.… Read the rest



Goldacre and Colquhoun Investigate Quack Degrees *

Nov 7th, 2008 | Filed by

This latest batch of course notes from TVU sound more like religious evangelism than science. … Read the rest



Catholic Church in Ireland Opposes Gay Rights *

Nov 7th, 2008 | Filed by

Cardinal said ‘marriage and the family are of public interest,’ so it is appropriate for the Church to meddle.… Read the rest



Michael Walzer: Charisma Will Not be Enough *

Nov 7th, 2008 | Filed by

In these potentially ‘transformational’ moments, ginger groups on the left can make a difference.… Read the rest



Gene Robinson on Obama and Secularism *

Nov 7th, 2008 | Filed by

‘We don’t impose our religious values on the secular state because God said so.’… Read the rest



Letters for November, 2008

Nov 7th, 2008 | By

Letters for November, 2008.… Read the rest



Frederick Douglass and Randall Terry

Nov 7th, 2008 11:34 am | By

The other day ‘hanmeng’ said in a comment on ‘God-talk as an unstated norm’ that the bible is Obama’s favourite book and later quoted from a keynote address he gave in 2006. The quotation was worrying – especially this bit -

[W]hat I am suggesting is this – secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas[s], Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant [Bryan], Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King – indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history – were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their “personal

Read the rest



No ordinary moment

Nov 6th, 2008 1:00 pm | By

There are (I suppose this was inevitable) some skeptics now claiming that people are rejoicing at Obama’s election because he’s black – which is true in one way but false in another. The way it’s true is probably obvious enough; the way it’s false is that 1) that’s not the only reason and 2) we would have been rejoicing anyway. Obama’s being black is neither necessary nor sufficient for the rejoicing. Here’s why. Suppose a Sarah Palin who was black – identical to Palin in every other way, but black. A very different, much smaller, and much more delusional crowd would be rejoicing. Suppose an Obama who was white – identical to Obama in every other way, but white. We … Read the rest