A novel solution

[First posted to the Freethinkers Mailing List (http://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/59614b00bd5be594).]

OK, so your priest is a convicted sex offender, and according to the law can’t be unsupervised near small children. What to do?

According to a local Jacksonville news affiliate, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has banned children from attending Sunday services because their new pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender and cannot have contact with children.[…]

Despite the seriousness of his offense, Gilyard’s return to the pulpit was swift. After being released from jail on December 28, he resumed preaching in January, and told reporters he hopes he can move past this incident and continue with his work.

Points for originality (http://clergygonewild NULL.com/sex-abuse/34-child-abuse/1424--florida-church-bans-children-to-keep-pedophile-pastor), I guess. And since priests are just normal people like the rest of us, with no special insight into orality or ethics, it’s perfectly natural to go out of your way to ccommodate them and listen to their interpretation of holy writ.*

HJ Hornbeck

* I’ve had someone hit me with that one in person. Religion does strange things to people…

Episode 8 – Interview with cosmologist Lawrence Krauss

Another week, another episode. Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss was in town last Thursday evening to give us a glimpse of the current state of answering the ultimate origin question, “How did the universe begin?” We interview Professor Krauss and get his views on secularism and critical thinking in the pubic arena and how best to instill the value of science in school children. We also visit yet again the anti-vaccination claims presented to inquiring parents by representatives of Xerion Homoeopathie in another episode of the “As My Stomach Turned…” saga. Enjoy!

Conservative-style Small Government

If there’s one thing my conservative friends agree on, it’s that the government is too damn big. It’s tyranny in the making, and those damn bureaucrats need to stay the hell out of people’s business! Well, except for what happens in womens’ uteruses. Outside of that the government should stay the hell out of the people’s business!

Wait, one more tiny thing, examining some people’s urine. But outside of womens’ uteruses and the people’s urine, the government should stay the hell out of the people’s business!

And Stephen Andrew hasn’t even finished warming up (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/zingularity/2012/02/22/the-gubmint-should-stay-the-hell-out-of-peoples-bidness/). Even if you know the punchline, the results are well worth the read.

HJ Hornbeck

Hippity-Hop Flip-Flop

[First posted to the Freethinkers Mailing List (http://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/85764bea8be9275a)]

Canada’s Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, pushed to get rid of the gun registry because it was an invasion of a citizen’s privacy. He also helped gut our Census, on the grounds that it was spying on our private lives.

A few months later, he’s pushing Bill C30. Currently, if the police want your address, emails, and any other communication you fire through an ISP, they have to get a warrant first. If C30 passes, they can just demand it. Also, ISPs have to build in secret back-doors to allow the police to snoop on you, again with no warrant necessary.

Vic claims C30 is needed in order to protect children from internet predators. Oddly enough, the bill only mentions “internet predators” once: it’s called the “Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.”

If the Conservatives are trying to be the Republicans of the North, flip-flopping about major issues and attacking anyone who dare point that out (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/lousycanuck/2012/02/21/vic-toews-gun-registries-are-invasion-of-privacy-internet-snooping-is-great-though/) is a logical next step…

HJ Hornbeck

And for everything else, there’s Mastercard

[First posted to the Freethinkers Mailing List (http://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/f2215741b0a14b26)]

A woman’s life: 50 camels.
A man’s left testicle: 66 camels.
A man’s right testicle: 34 camels.

I’ve taken a few university-level calculus courses, and sometimes scare myself by looking into Reimann tensors or the Dirac equation, yet I’ve never before seen math so strange (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/maryamnamazie/2012/02/20/in-case-you-dont-know-the-worth-of-womens-lives-and-mens-testicles/)

HJ Hornbeck

Podcast Episode 7

Christine, Graham and Randy discuss some good news in the fight for a secular education “alternative” in the town of Morinville, Alberta. Listeners will remember from a few episodes ago that in Morinville – a town just north of Edmonton with a population of 8,500 – has four schools, all of them Catholic despite the fact that only 40% of its inhabitants are Catholic. Sticking on the subject of religion and schooling, we go through the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on mandatory ethics and religion program in Quebec. Parents uninterested in having their children exposed to the reality of the existence of different faiths wanted to “turn on, tune in, and opt out”. The Quebec government said no, and the highest court in the land agreed.

A bad time to be Female in the US of A

[First posted to the Freethinkers Mailing List (http://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/462211f6b5586c52?hl=en_US)]

I’ve already mentioned the flap over Christian institutions having to provide birth control, but there’s a lot more asshattery over reproductive rights down there.

One of the most galling came from a big contributor to Santorum’s campaign, Foster Friess (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/blaghag/2012/02/women-should-just-keep-their-legs-shut-amirite/):

On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

Continue reading “A bad time to be Female in the US of A” »

Freedom from Religion, but only for the religious

Recently, the Alberta Human Rights commission refused to consider a complaint brought by some parents in Morvinville, Alberta, regarding the complete lack of secular educational options for their children. […] It’s also rather ironic that some Albertan students are unable to access secular public education while next door Saskatchewan is moving to fund faith-based schools and Ontario ensures every Catholic in its province can access publicly supported religious education.

While Alberta’s government passed a “parental choice” amendment to its Schools Act to allow parents to opt their children out of classes addressing sexuality, sexual orientation or religion, Morinville’s only school system – Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools – has refused to allow secular children to opt out of its religious classes.

The entire article is worth a read (http://life NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/2012/02/15/justin-trottier-alberta-parents-given-no-freedom-from-religion-in-schools/).

HJ Hornbeck