Archive for July 2011

Spitting, Prayers and the Spread of Diseases

Jul 16th, 2011 | By Leo Igwe

Spitting is believed by some people to be a way parents, elders and diviners pray and bless children, relations and followers. So, to some people, spitting is a sacred practice and spittle is revered as a purveyor and conveyor of divine benediction. In some cultures, anyone being prayed for by an elder or a diviner looks forward to being spit upon as a mark of benediction. I don’t know how human beings came about this dirty, unhygenic and medically unhealthy prayer habit, but I guess it must have been one of those faith based exploitative devices invented by diviners centuries ago. I am really shocked to know that this primitive and useless ritual persists among Africans even in this 21st … Read the rest

Lauryn Oates on the bored ayatollahs *

Jul 16th, 2011 | Filed by

One would think that suppressing a mass uprising would keep Iran’s theocrats busy, but the ayatollahs have been more focused lately on skirt hems and hair-dos.… Read the rest

The glorious golden city

Jul 16th, 2011 1:20 pm | By

Again a top cleric – excuse me, a “faith leader” – frankly admits that religion is the opposite of egalitarianism. Once again a “faith leader” (male, of course) admits that he and his religion consider equality legislation incompatible with “religious liberty.”

Seems a bit stupid, doesn’t it? To come right out and say that your religion is opposed to equality?

The “chief rabbi” said

I share a real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and discrimination on religious organisations is an erosion of religious liberty.

We are beginning to move back to where we came in in the 17th century – a whole lot of people on the Mayflower leaving to find religious freedom

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Another penny drops

Jul 16th, 2011 12:49 pm | By

Wait; what? Michael Ruse in the CHE:

There are days when, I swear to God, I am all set to enroll under the banner of Richard Dawkins and anathematize all religions and those who subscribe to them.  I take a lot of criticism from my fellow atheists, including my fellow Brainstormers, for arguing that science and religion are compatible.  I still think that, but increasingly I cannot for the life of me see why any decent human being would want to be religious, and increasingly I think one should be ashamed to be religious.

Increasingly? Increasingly?

What on earth took him so long? What’s different now? Why has he been yelling at us all this time just for … Read the rest

UK: chief rabbi bewails loss of religious liberty *

Jul 16th, 2011 | Filed by

Joins the archbishop of Canterbury in claiming that equality legislation equals “an erosion of religious liberty.”… Read the rest

Jesus and Mo and Moses emigrate *

Jul 16th, 2011 | Filed by

In search of more religious freedom than they can find in the decadent West.… Read the rest

Afghan women protest, men rage *

Jul 16th, 2011 | Filed by

Red-faced angry men shouted insults and spat on the ground as they passed.… Read the rest

“Interfaith” initiatives exclude the nonreligious *

Jul 16th, 2011 | Filed by

Any effort to nudge the purposely faithless under an “interfaith” umbrella abuses language, and does so in a way that disrespects the nonreligious.… Read the rest

Dawkins on Rick Perry’s “call to prayer” *

Jul 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Governor Perry would call himself a conservative, but he is a traitor to the very Constitution he pledges to uphold.… Read the rest

Living Under an Islamic Inquisition

Jul 15th, 2011 | By Maryam Namazie

Dear friends

I wanted to thank you for your support of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. As you know we were in desperate need of financial help and are grateful for the donations of many generous individuals and groups.

What we do – breaking the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam and challenging a movement that sentences apostates to death – is considered ‘controversial’ to say the least and makes it almost impossible to get support from mainstream funders. Also, we haven’t been able to secure charity status.

In its refusal letter the Charity Commission says: “Under English law the advancement of religion is a recognised charitable purpose and charities are afforded certain fiscal privileges by the state. The … Read the rest

Brothers jailed for “dishonour” killing *

Jul 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Their mother ended her marriage and was seeing another man, so the brothers and a cousin killed him.… Read the rest

Vatican has a history of not cooperating *

Jul 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Worried more about an “affront to Vatican sovereignty” than its own wrongdoing.… Read the rest

“Vatican watchers” call Irish protests “strident” *

Jul 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Pope is rethinking plans for Irish holiday next summer.… Read the rest


Jul 15th, 2011 11:34 am | By

Music, I tell you.

Ireland’s government demanded answers from the Vatican’s ambassador Thursday…

Gilmore and Prime Minister Enda Kenny accused the Vatican of violating Ireland’s sovereignty by instructing bishops in the letter that they should place the church’s laws above the nation’s…

“There’s one law in this country. Everybody is going to have to learn to comply with it. The Vatican will have to comply with the laws of this country,” Gilmore said after his face-to-face grilling of the ambassador, a rare experience for the pope’s diplomats anywhere, let alone long-deferential Ireland.

Exactly why it’s music. It’s about fucking time. The pervasive deference to the Vatican – by no means just in Ireland – is ridiculous and appalling.


Read the rest

Gilmore says Vatican violated Ireland’s sovereignty *

Jul 15th, 2011 | Filed by

“There’s one law in this country. Everybody is going to have to learn to comply with it. The Vatican will have to comply with the laws of this country.”… Read the rest

Priests face prosecution if they obstruct justice *

Jul 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Ireland’s prime minister says Catholic clerics will be prosecuted if they failed to tell the authorities about crimes disclosed during confession. … Read the rest

That’s more like it

Jul 14th, 2011 4:09 pm | By

The Irish state getting properly angry at last.

Ireland’s foreign minister summoned the country’s papal nuncio and demanded that the Vatican give a formal response to the Cloyne Report into the mishandling of clerical abuse.

That’s the stuff. Summoned; demanded.

The Cloyne Report said the Vatican, through its opposition to the Irish bishops’ 1996 guidelines for handling child sexual abuse, gave comfort to dissenters within the church who did not want to implement the procedures. In a letter to the bishops, the Congregation for Clergy described the rules as “merely a study document” and refused to give the document formal recognition.

Gilmore said the Vatican intervention was “absolutely unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” He said he had told Archbishop Leanza that

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The Cloyne report *

Jul 14th, 2011 | Filed by

All 426 pages.… Read the rest

Ireland’s foreign minister is steaming *

Jul 14th, 2011 | Filed by

“I want to know why this state, with which we have diplomatic relations, issued a communication, the effect of which was that very serious matter of the abuse of children in this country was not reported to the authorities.”… Read the rest

Irish foreign minister summoned papal nuncio *

Jul 14th, 2011 | Filed by

For a little chat about the church’s refusal to obey the law.… Read the rest