Archive for September 2010

Financial Times reviews Robertson on Ratzinger *

Sep 11th, 2010 | Filed by

A persuasive case for the prosecution, so persuasive that the reviewer may join the protests.… Read the rest



Eagleton reviews Robertson on Ratzinger *

Sep 11th, 2010 | Filed by

Terry gets it right for once; no flattery for the pope or the Vatican.… Read the rest



Belgian child abuse report exposes Catholic clergy *

Sep 11th, 2010 | Filed by

476 instances, 13 suicides, documented cases of abuse in almost every diocese and in virtually every school run by the church.… Read the rest



Dublin: more graves found at mother and baby “home” *

Sep 10th, 2010 | Filed by

219 unmarked graves of infants who died of malnutrition and neglect have now been found.… Read the rest



Sadly, it’s not that simple

Sep 10th, 2010 6:00 pm | By

A guest post by Peter Beattie

Alom Shaha, of Why Science is Important fame, has a new piece in the Guardian, arguing that “angry atheists” are too quick to hurt the feelings of believers by implying they are stupid and should be more aware that they are capable of holding irrational beliefs too. Empathy, and how we say things, may be more important than what we say.

Superficially, it would be very hard to disagree with all this, and in fact none of the usual suspects in the “‘angry atheist’ brigade“–and I won’t even go there, nor into the tired “fanatical atheism can be as ugly as religious fanaticism” bit–to my knowledge ever have disagreed with it. Of courseRead the rest



Where are we going?

Sep 10th, 2010 11:59 am | By

I lifted this sermon preached at Duke last Sunday from Jerry. I’m always lifting items from Jerry. What can I tell you? He finds interesting stuff. There’s a lot of irritating nonsense in the sermon, so there are leftovers for me to work on.

It’s nice to have an actual sermon, as opposed to something written for a media outlet. It’s nice to get confirmation that clerics really do talk nonsense in their sermons without having to go to church to listen to them do it.

The last six years have witnessed the publication of a series of books, from a variety of authors, attacking religion with a virulence not seen for a long time. This movement has been

Read the rest



More on Ashtiani *

Sep 10th, 2010 | Filed by

The regime wants to fool people into thinking Ashtiani is safe; she is not.… Read the rest



The lie behind ‘suicides’ of Egypt’s young women *

Sep 10th, 2010 | Filed by

Officially, Egypt has no “honour” killings. Young women may commit suicide, yes, but they are never murdered.… Read the rest



Belgium: hundreds report sexual molestation by priests *

Sep 10th, 2010 | Filed by

Cardinal acknowledged that damage control often took precedence over concerns for victims in sexual abuse cases involving clergy.… Read the rest



Michael Ruse on G C Williams (1926-2010) *

Sep 10th, 2010 | Filed by

Williams was one of a group of biologists who completely changed the nature of evolutionary theory in the past half century.… Read the rest



Kurt Westergaard receives press freedom award *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

BBC does its usual best to make him sound like a very bad man; Merkel notes the value of press freedom.… Read the rest



Catholic pilgrims told to make sacrifices *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

Bishops told to finger their gold torture-device for the photographer.… Read the rest



Florida godbotherer ditches bonfire plans *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

Rage boys give their tonsils a good airing.… Read the rest



This fixation on matters ‘spiritual’

Sep 9th, 2010 5:45 pm | By

Paula Kirby says she was, at first, impressed by the pope’s letter to the Irish about the child-rape problem.

How many politicians or corporations have been able to bring themselves to say, ‘You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry’? I was impressed. (On reflection, perhaps more impressed than I should have been, given that statements of contrition trip lightly off the tongues of those who repeat them daily in Mass or in the Confessional, and are told that repentance is all that is required to release them from guilt.)

Exact, as they say in Sweden. The contrition sounded entirely empty and in fact insulting, to me, for that very reason, but then I’ve been soaked in the malfeasance … Read the rest



An apostate on Park 51 and reasonable criticism *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

Let us ask the important questions about problems within Islam instead of weird arithmetic about the distance from Park 51 to Ground Zero.… Read the rest



Johann Hari to Britain’s Catholics *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

Ratzinger refuses to let any police officer see the Vatican’s documentation, even now.… Read the rest



Paula Kirby on the Vatican and sin versus crime *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

What is a crime against a mere child compared with a crime against God?… Read the rest



Romania tries to tax witches and fortune tellers *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

A  law where witches and fortune tellers would have to produce receipts, and would also be held liable for wrong predictions.… Read the rest



Why having chronic illness hasn’t turned me to god

Sep 9th, 2010 | By Amy Clare

As an atheist, I am often told that I shouldn’t criticise religion, as it offers comfort to people in difficult situations. When you suffer every day, the faithful tell me, you need the hope and meaning that religion gives you – the implication of course being that atheism is a luxury, something that only privileged, comfortable, healthy, able-bodied people can indulge in.

These same people are often surprised to learn that I have a debilitating chronic medical condition, and in fact I do suffer every day. And yet, I have still not turned to god. I still do not believe in an afterlife, despite the fact that in my Earthly life, I will probably never feel truly healthy or ‘normal’ … Read the rest



Statement by Ashtiani’s son *

Sep 9th, 2010 | Filed by

“I ask the eight industrial countries and Turkey and Brazil and the entire world to continue the pressure against Iran.”… Read the rest