Lest you think that one religion is causing all of the problems of irrationality, I bring you the weekend roundup of issues with Christians in the West. Again, numbered for reference but no particular order:
Harry Clarke reviews the case against Mother Teresa, where belief in a Higher Power led to neglect of care here on earth (emph mine).
- Bush links the Department of Homeland Security with faith-based organizations. Great. Now we can pray for security.
- The Vatican wants Italian schools to allocate Islamic prayer time. They seem to rightly recognize that if one religion is allowed into schools, theirs might follow.
- Scientists are rallying as they realize that people will in fact believe Intelligent Design (read: creationist) BS if it’s fed to them. Educated people used to shrug it off, as if we could never slide that far back, but we are doing just that. It’s good to see that people are getting worried and doing something about it. Don’t believe it’s a real problem?
Aside from the recent legal battles, educators point to several other signs troubling them about evolutionary education in the United States. For example, in a study published last year, Randy Moore, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, reported that 20 percent of the biology teachers he surveyed in Minnesota include creationism in their classes and believe that it is scientifically valid.
More examples will follow.
- Lest we think that humans are somehow now exempt from evolution, a professor at the University of Chicago would beg to differ.
Providing the strongest evidence yet that humans are still evolving, researchers have detected some 700 regions of the human genome where genes appear to have been reshaped by natural selection, a principal force of evolution, within the last 5,000 to 15,000 years.
But humans didn’t evolve. An intelligent designer made it look that way to confuse us.
- More info on South Dakota’s move to criminalize abortion. A state senator explains the charity of the one loophole in the law,
“A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl, could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.”
I wonder, if she weren’t a virgin, but she were raped, would she be able to use the loophole? Or what if she weren’t sodomized? But surely, abortions are done for simple convenience, because people are too lazy or hedonstic to control themselves as long as abortions are available (Napoli [quoted above] believes most abortions are performed for “convenience,”)
“It was difficult when I found out I was pregnant. I was saddened because I knew that I’d probably have to make this decision. Like I said, I have two children, so I look into their eyes and I love them. It’s been difficult, you know, it’s not easy. And I don’t think it’s, you know, ever easy on a woman, but we need that choice.”
How callous of her. Soon, you won’t just be prevented from aborting a pregnancy, you’ll be prevented from preventing one:
In South Dakota, pharmacists can refuse to fill a prescription for contraceptives should it trouble their conscience, and some groups who worked on the anti-abortion bill believe contraception also needs to be outlawed. Good plan. After that, we’ll reconsider women’s property rights, civil right and voting rights.
- Britain, considered by some to be a shining example of secular rationality is considering teaching about creationism in school science courses. A science teacher in Sussex voiced some of his concerns,
“This opens a legitimate gate for the inclusion of creationism or intelligent design in science classes as if they were legitimate theories on a par with evolution fact and theory.
“I’m happy for religious theories to be considered in religious education, but not in science where consideration could lead to a false verification of their status as being equal to scientific theories.”
This rings of The Wedge Strategy.
- Tennessee is also on the way to banning abortion.
With regard to those suffering from serious diseases the Mother ‘prefers providence to planning; her rules are designed to prevent any drift towards materialism’. Her patients looked like inmates of Belsen because they all ‘had shaved heads…This is two rooms with fifty to sixty men in one , fifty to sixty women in another. There’re dying. They’re not being given a great deal of medical care. They’re not being given pain killers beyond aspirin…’. Why aren’t you sterilising the needles, ‘There’s no point. There’s no time’. Mother had money but who needs that when God is on your side and why corrupt these sufferers with materialism.
To a patient dying of cancer and suffering incredible pain the Mother said ‘ You are suffering like Christ on the Cross. So Jesus must be kissing you’. The patient replied ‘Then please tell him to stop kissing me’. Why could he not understand?
There’s an amusing bit about Paris Hilton as Mother Teresa at the end.
That’s enough for tonight. This is depressing me.