Archive for October 2009

Cartoonist on the Pope’s Kind Invitation *

Oct 29th, 2009 | Filed by

To all those unhappy disaffected Anglicans looking for a home…… Read the rest

Another Anecdote *

Oct 29th, 2009 | Filed by

The New Atheists + modern biblical scholarship = infidel.… Read the rest

Thank you, Doc, but we’ll just go with our instincts

Oct 29th, 2009 11:25 am | By

Scientists tell government some pesky facts about drugs; government brushes aside pesky facts, makes decision on other grounds, ‘having taken account of “public perception” and “policing priorities”.’

The refusal to accept the expert views of a council set up to judge the relative harms of different drugs went down badly with the scientific community in general, and Professor Nutt in particular. Today, he warns of the negative consequences of what he calls, a “highly politicised” process…The government view, though, is that they should adopt a precautionary principle. “Where there is… doubt about the potential harm that will be caused, we must err on the side of caution and protect the public,” as Jacqui Smith put it last year. Professor

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The old school noose

Oct 29th, 2009 10:44 am | By

Nick Cohen takes a look at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The FCO was not and is not standing up to the totalitarian ideas of the Islamist extreme Right, as it stood up to the totalitarianism of the socialist extreme Left in the second half of the 20th century. On the contrary, the establishment has appeased political Islamism abroad and interfered in the domestic affairs of its own country by mounting a covert operation to aid and abet it at home.

Well…perhaps they had some good reason?

The achievement of political Islam in Britain has been to suborn the liberal Left and cut off the most promising escape route for dissidents in the process. An abused woman, a young

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Priests Told: Ignore That Letter on Child Abuse *

Oct 28th, 2009 | Filed by

The letter attacks the Catholic Church for making itself immune from being sued over clerical sexual abuse.… Read the rest

Plot to Avenge Motoons *

Oct 28th, 2009 | Filed by

Two men men allegedly planned to kill Flemming Rose and Kurt Westergaard.… Read the rest

Sharia Spreading in Indonesia *

Oct 28th, 2009 | Filed by

Islamist parties tanked in elections, but local governments pass Sharia-based rules on conduct and dress.… Read the rest

First Order of Business: Inspect Women’s Bras *

Oct 28th, 2009 | Filed by

Somalia is a wretched country in the grip of famine and chaos but officials there are busy inspecting bras.… Read the rest

Scientologists Convicted of Fraud *

Oct 28th, 2009 | Filed by

Unlike the US, France has always refused to recognise Scientology as a religion.… Read the rest

Shh, be nice, it’s the Vatican

Oct 27th, 2009 3:38 pm | By

Randy Cohen points out an oddity:

Last week the Vatican invited Anglicans who are, as The New York Times put it, “uncomfortable with female priests and openly gay bishops” to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church. If a secular institution, Wal-Mart or Microsoft, for example, made a similar offer – Tired of leadership positions being open to women and gay employees? Join us! – it would be slammed for appealing to bigotry.

To say the least – in fact it would also be in trouble with the law, and in this administration I daresay the law is likely to be enforced. But the Vatican, of course, is well known not to allow women to do the jobs that matter … Read the rest

Can We Talk About Religion, Please? *

Oct 27th, 2009 | Filed by

We should discuss religious institutions as we would others – courteously and vigorously.… Read the rest

James Richmond Disputes Dvir Abramovich *

Oct 27th, 2009 | Filed by

How are we are to decide which parts of the holy books are to be taken as the inflexible Word of God?… Read the rest

Wafa Sultan’s ‘A God Who Hates’ *

Oct 27th, 2009 | Filed by

The god who hates, she says, specifically hates women.… Read the rest

Leaving Scientology *

Oct 27th, 2009 | Filed by

Better late than never.… Read the rest

Dawkins on the Vatican’s Outreach *

Oct 27th, 2009 | Filed by

Ratzinger urges the Anglican church to send its misogynists and bigots over to Rome.… Read the rest

University of Chicago Darwin-fest Oct 29-31 *

Oct 27th, 2009 | Filed by

Richard Lewontin, Ronald Numbers, Marc Hauser, and more.… Read the rest

Hitchens on What He Has Learned From Debates *

Oct 27th, 2009 | Filed by

That religious believers are not all as convinced as he’d expected.… Read the rest

How to Be Existentialist Socrates at the Airport *

Oct 26th, 2009 | Filed by

As with the airport and the dentist’s waiting room, so with the gym, Steven Poole notes sagely.… Read the rest

Danny Postel Replies to Scruton and Others *

Oct 26th, 2009 | Filed by

Feels less inclined to dispute those points than to ponder them and see if there might be something of value.… Read the rest

Roger Scruton in Praise of Dogma *

Oct 26th, 2009 | Filed by

‘It could well be that religion is a better discipline than pop science, when it comes to shaping the rational intellect.’… Read the rest