From a historical perspective, meatless Fridays are dubious at best. Modern scholars have no idea what Jesus actually ate when he was in the desert. He didn’t post any pictures of his food on Instagram or leave any well-preserved stool samples. I already checked the bottoms of my shoes just in case. Stepping on a Jesus turd would be the archeological discovery of the century. Given the current dearth of evidence, scientists can’t rule out that Jesus ate steak every night. For all we know, in 30 A.D. the desert could’ve been full of Texas Roadhouses. It’s impossible to prove a negative. If the theologians can use that argument to support the existence of God, then I can use it to support the existence of moderately priced chain restaurants.
Some Vatican experts have raised the possibility of the pope appointing women to senior positions in the Vatican bureaucracy, perhaps as the head of one of its powerful departments.
But the pope suggested even bigger changes could be in store, with a senior cardinal now consulting female experts in considering possible options.
“Women must have a greater presence in the decision-making areas of the church,” he said. “But I would call this a ‘functional’ promotion. That won’t take us very far.”
Some church leaders advocate making women deacons, ordained ministers who can participate in the Mass and perform other duties, although the pope made no reference to such a possibility.
This article does not lend itself well to paraphrasing - and really is worth reading in its entirety - this is worth quoting :
Although accurate figures on the number of atheists in the Gulf are nearly impossible to come by, a 2012 poll by WIN-Gallup International titled “Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism” published a surprising number of self-professed Saudi atheists. The researchers found that up to 5% of the Saudi respondents declared themselves to be atheist, a figure comparable to the United States and parts of Europe.
Read more @ AL-Monitor
While there was predictable outrage from many right-wing quarters this week over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of S.B. 1062 — a bill that would have legalized discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of protecting the “religious freedom” of people who did not wish to do business with them — the overwhelming reaction by most Arizonans, particularly its business people, was one of relief.
After all, the state is still recovering from the economic blowback wrought by another piece of far-right legislation - the infamous anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 legislation that put local law officers in the business of enforcing federal immigration law. The damage inflicted by the law itself, worsened by boycotts and other economic retaliation provoked by that legislation, remain fresh in the minds of the state’s business leaders, who pleaded with Brewer to boycott the law, as did the state’s entire congressional delegation and even a few of the legislators who had originally voted for the bill.
For now, the legislation appears to be dead in Arizona. But it is only one of several states in which the “religious freedom” legislation has made its presence felt, and in several states it may yet be approved.
The most remarkable thing about Arizona’s “License To Discriminate” bill is how quickly it became anathema, even among Republicans. Both 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called upon Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto this effort to protect businesses that want to discriminate against gay people. So did Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Indeed, three state senators who voted for this very bill urged Brewer to veto it before she finally did so on Wednesday, confessing that they “made a mistake” when they voted for it to become law.
The premise of the bill is that discrimination becomes acceptable so long as it is packaged inside a religious wrapper. As Arizona state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R) explained, lawmakers introduced it in response to instances where anti-gay business owners in other states were “punished for their religious beliefs” after they denied service to gay customers in violation of a state anti-discrimination law.
Yet, while LGBT Americans are the current target of this effort to repackage prejudice as “religious liberty,” they are hardly the first. To the contrary, as Wake Forest law Professor Michael Kent Curtis explained in a 2012 law review article, many segregationists justified racial bigotry on the very same grounds that religious conservatives now hope to justify anti-gay animus. In the words of one professor at a prominent Mississippi Baptist institution, “our Southern segregation way is the Christian way … . [God] was the original segregationist.”
God Of The Segregationists
Theodore Bilbo was one of Mississippi’s great demagogues. After two non-consecutive terms as governor, Bilbo won a U.S. Senate seat campaigning against “farmer murderers, corrupters of Southern womanhood, [skunks] who steal Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms” and a host of other, equally colorful foes. In a year where just 47 Mississippi voters cast a ballot for a communist candidate, Bilbo railed against a looming communist takeover of the state — and offered himself up as the solution to this red onslaught.
Bilbo was also a virulent racist. “I call on every red-blooded white man to use any means to keep the n[*]ggers away from the polls,” Bilbo proclaimed during his successful reelection campaign in 1946. He was a proud member of the Ku Klux Klan, telling Meet the Press that same year that “[n]o man can leave the Klan. He takes an oath not to do that. Once a Ku Klux, always a Ku Klux.” During a filibuster of an anti-lynching bill, Bilbo claimed that the bill
will open the floodgates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousandfold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate.
Well as most of us know, Republicans make a clear effort to inject religion into their policy making as much as possible. I guess I should clarify that because it’s not entirely accurate: when it comes to social policies, Republicans try to inject religion as much as possible. When it comes to economic policies then they suddenly forget that Jesus Christ spoke out against greed and focused on the responsibility a society has to its poor, needy, sick and elderly.
And it’s clear to anyone who follows me that I don’t consider most conservatives actual Christians. I believe they follow what I call “Republicanity.” It’s what reality shows me. It’s a mix of political ideologies tossed in with a handful of passages from the Bible. Because let’s be honest — when it comes to the Bible, everyone (who’s Christian anyway) picks and chooses which passages they want to follow and which they don’t.
That being said, I thought it might be fun to write the “Republican Ten Commandments” based on what the GOP seems to stand for. Sure, there are many really kind, caring conservative voters out there - but they still vote for a party that’s anything but. It just baffles me how so many Americans vote against their own interests.
So, based on what the GOP stands for, I present to you the Republican Ten Commandments:
1. Thou shalt worship no other Americans but Ronald Reagan.
2. Thou shalt pay no attention to the fact that tax rates have nothing to do with capitalism. Remember, we were in fact a nation based on socialism before 1980 when our savior was elected.
3. To speak ill of Ronald Reagan means you are not a real conservative.
4. Thou shalt honor Ayn Rand’s economic ideologies, but ignore the fact that she was an atheist who thought religious people were fools.
5. Thou shalt respect your mother and father by ensuring that we privatize Social Security and Medicare so that private corporations can profit from these programs.
6. Guns are the only means of salvation. Thou shalt live in fear every moment that someone is out to get you.
7. Though adultery and divorce are acceptable and frequent occurrences (especially in “strongly conservative” states), it is same-sex marriage that will ultimately destroy the traditional family and ruin the sanctity of marriage.
8. Women are to be treated as subservient to men. Their rights will be determined by panels consisting entirely of males as it is clear men know more, and are better suited to determine female equality and how to handle women’s health.
9. The poor are but leeches on society seeking a handout from everybody else. The rich suffer the greatest burden of all and it is your responsibility to ensure that the rich are properly taken care of, for they are the job creators.
10. Thou shalt remember that greed is good, the poor are lazy, gays are bad, women are wicked, Rush Limbaugh is a respectable citizen, Sarah Palin is intelligent and George W. Bush was a great president.
Lets start off with an excellent quote from the homepage of No Answers In Genesis,
“Creationism is not the alternative to Evolution - ignorance is”
“No Answers In Genesis” as you might imagine, is an old website devoted to refuting Ken Ham’s nonsensical Answers in Genesis
Speaking of that guy, I should have wrote this right after the recent Bill Nye vs Ken ham debate, but I wasn’t able to get around to it at the time. This however sums up what went on with the debate pretty nicely.
— Tim (TPO) (@tpobserver) February 5, 2014
Contrary to whatever creationists, including Ham will tell you, creationism isn’t science and never will be, while evolution is science. The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that nearly all scientists accept it. Creationists of course deny this reality and even try to convince us that evolution is not science.
On the other hand, despite what creationist may say, they can’t back up just about any of their claims with actually evidence. In the instances when we can test their claims, they pretty much always turn out to be flat out false. Here’s just one example. If the fanciful myth of Noah’s Ark for were true, all animals should have dangerously low genetic diversity like the Cheetah. Ironically in order to try to explain how all the animals alive today could have come from just one male and one female that survived the great flood, creationists have embraced a ridiculous type of hyper evolution. Or rather, super evolution as cdk007 calls it.
Yet despite this fact, creationism often gets taught in US public schools, at the tax payer’s expense. The good news is that this isn’t constitutional. The courts have repeatedly struck down laws designed to cast doubt on evolution in American schools. Since creationism is not only anti science, but a religious belief, masquerading as science, promoting it with public funds, violates the Establishment Clause. Despite the fact that under our constitution they’re not allowed to do it, they’re doing it anyway. They’re trying to get around the supreme court rulings by funneling money to private schools, through vouchers as Julie Crothers points out,
Indiana’s rapidly expanding voucher program, which funnels millions of taxpayer dollars into private schools, now funds some Christian schools that teach creationism or intelligent design.
Laws and court rulings limit what the state’s public and charter schools can teach in science classes based on separation of church and state challenges. But the curricula of private schools that enroll voucher students haven’t reached the courtroom.
The rapid growth of the program opens the door to an unanswered question: Can local private schools continue to teach intelligent design and creationism with state-funded voucher money flowing into the schools?
We need scientists to develop cures for diseases that threaten our lives and new technology to help solve our problems. But if people don’t understand science or are not interested in science, where will those scientists come from? If large numbers of people in the United States believe creationism over real science, it threatens our future.
Creationism of course isn’t unique to the United States, although here it seems to be the most widespread. No Answers In Genesis, awhile back compiled a list of articles debunking Australian creationists. Creationism is a problem in Australia to this day. US Creationists may even try to use the tactics used by Australian creationists to successfully pervert science education over there, here in the US.
Creationism takes many forms in addition to the Christian young earth version that we are used to here in America or in Australia. Intelligent Design is just one example.
Plus Christianity is not the only religion with adherents who reject the science of evolution. There is Islamic creationism. Many Muslims reject evolution as well, and what they believe is just as nonsensical as what Christians who reject evolution believe. One prominent Muslim creationist is Harun Yahya.
More exotic to most Westerners, is Hindu Creationism. In addition some Native Americans reject evolution, in favor of their tribal creation myths. Recently a group of Native American creationists interfered with an Archeological dig. But all forms of creationism, no matter what form it takes, and what creation myths people are trying to convince you are fact, are total hogwash. I’m not a scientist, but I can tell you based on what scientists have said, creationism is always pseudoscience. Wherever it is creationism is regarded as science by a large number of people, you have a large number of ignorant people.
Evolution is not incompatible with the idea of God. I don’t know who first said that, but its true. You can be a religious person and accept that evolution is a scientific fact. You don’t need to reject God to accept evolution, unless you insist that for God to be real, every single word of your “sacred texts” must be literally true. Evolution doesn’t threaten God. If there’s a God, he created all life on Earth through evolution.
However, rejecting science en mass threatens the future of our species. Just look at climate change denial. Many species may go exitint due to human activity not to mention the negative effects on human health caused by man made climate change. Lets not also forget rise in sea level that threatens coastal communities.
Lets also not forget the harm caused by the anti Vaccine movement. Just look at all the people who should have lived, but died because they didn’t get vaccinated.
In addition, here in the US we need good science education if we are to continue to compete with the rest of the world. Creationism doesn’t help anyone except those who profit from selling creationists materials or those who want to create a theocracy based on their religious beliefs. We need to continue fighting to keep creationism out of our schools and continue to promote the genuine science of evolution, regardless of how anyone may feel about it.
Won’t the natural progression of this law be the banning of the import of Kosher and Halal meat? Is something rotten in the state of Denmark?
The comments section have quickly shown how anti-Semitism/Xenophobia have attached themselves to this ‘cause’ for animal rights.
Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter will be illegal in Denmark starting on Monday, by order of Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jørgensen.
Ritual slaughter, known in Hebrew as shechita, is already banned in Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Netherlands attempted to ban shechita, but a deal was brokered, legalizing the practice in 2012.
On Monday, all slaughter that is not preceded by stunning will be forbidden in Denmark, rendering it impossible for ritual slaughter to be carried out according to Shar’ia or Halacha, Danish station TV2 reported on Wednesday.
“Animal rights come before religion,” the minister was quoted as saying.
More at the Jerusalem Post
Requirements for Halal slaughter at Halal Advocates of America
Requirements for kosher slaughter at Shechita UK
Check out each of the “Fox News” guests cutting out the “news” anchor’s entrails and feeding it to them on a silver platter. Bet they didn’t feel good afterwards!