HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » cleanhippie » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 11:24 AM
Number of posts: 19,705

Journal Archives

God to the Pope: Yeah, I'm gonna have to talk to this fool.

Publisher of a childrens religious book gets it right.

Australia's most senior-ranked Catholic says Jews 'intellectually and morally inferior'

In a widely watched televised debate – which led to ongoing debate over the winner – Cardinal Pell said "the little Jewish people" were shepherds who lacked intellectual development.

"I've got a great admiration for the Jews but we don't need to exaggerate their contribution in their early days," he said on ABC television. "They weren't intellectually the equal of [the Egyptians or Persians] – intellectually, morally ... The poor – the little Jewish people, they were originally shepherds. They were stuck. They're still stuck between these great powers."

Later, Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, seemed to suggest the Germans had suffered more than the Jews during the Holocaust.

Asked why god permitted the Holocaust to occur, he said: "He helped probably through secondary causes for the Jews to escape and continue. It is interesting through these secondary causes probably no people in history have been punished the way the Germans were. It is a terrible mystery." When the debate host suggested that the Jews had suffered more than the Germans, Cardinal Pell said: "Yes, that might be right. Certainly the suffering in both, I mean the Jews, there was no reason why they should suffer."

Cardinal Pell subsequently issued a statement clarifying his comments and insisting he did not intend to offend the Jewish community.


Indian skeptic charged with "blasphemy" for revealing secret behind "miracle" of weeping cross

Sanal Edamaruku, an Indian skeptic, went to Mumbai and revealed that a "miraculous" weeping cross was really just a bit of statuary located near a leaky drain whose liquid reached it by way of capillary action. The local Catholic Church demanded that he retract his statements, and when he refused, they had him arrested for blasphemy.

On 10th March, Sanal Edamaruku, President of the Rationalist International, flew to Mumbai. The TV channel TV-9 had invited him to investigate a “miracle” that caused local excitement. He went with the TV team to Irla in Vile Parle to inspect the crucifix standing there in front of the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni. This crucifix had become the centre of attraction for an ever growing crowd of believers coming from far and wide. The news of the miracle spread like wild fire. For some days, there were little droplets of water trickling from Jesus’ feet. Hundreds of people came every day to pray and collect some of the “holy water” in bottles and vessels. Sanal Edamaruku identified the source of the water (a drainage near a washing room) and the mechanism how it reached Jesus feet (capillary action). The local church leaders, present during his investigation, appeared to be displeased.

Some hours later, in a live program on TV-9, Sanal explained his findings and accused the concerned Catholic Church officials of miracle mongering, as they were beating the big drum for the drippling Jesus statue with aggressive PR measures and by distributing photographs certifying the “miracle”. A heated debate began, in which the five church people, among them Fr. Augustine Palett, the priest of Our Lady of Velankanni church, and representatives of the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) demanded that Sanal apologize. But Sanal refused and argued against them. [The whole TV program is recorded. You can watch an abridged version of it on YouTube.]

When they saw Sanal refused to bow to their demands, they threatened to file a blasphemy case against him. And they did. Yesterday (10th April,2012) Sanal received a phone call from a Police official of Juhu Police Station in Mumbai directing him to come to the said police station to face the charges and get arrested. He also said that FIRs have also been filed in Andheri and some other police stations u/s 295 of Indian Penal Code on the allegations of hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community. Mumbai police has announced that they were out to arrest him. It is apprehended that he can be arrested any moment.


Blasphemy? Who knew that critical thought, skepticism, and the scientific method were blasphemy.

Doing Something About State Promotion of Religion

I am an atheist. I think it would be great if there were more atheists, but I really don't care a great deal about trying to persuade anybody to give up their superstitions. Many believers have told me that they need their religious beliefs and cannot imagine life without them. I tend to think that they are quite a bit stronger than they realize, but I'll take them at their word. Atheism does not have to be for everybody. I'm fine with that. What I'm not fine with are the widespread efforts by many religious believers to have the state promote their religious beliefs.

We are all familiar with the overt efforts by religious conservatives to enter our bedrooms and impose their antiquated morality on us. They seek to restrict reproductive freedom while simultaneously opposing contraception and sex education. They want to tell adults who they can and cannot marry. They advocate censorship and would love to punish blasphemy. They even have the nerve to prohibit us from buying or selling alcohol on Sundays. Most atheists and many religious moderates recognize these as overreaches of the sort that turn many people off to religion. Why? Because they involve restricting someone's freedom on questionable grounds.

What only atheists and a small number of religious liberals seem to recognize are the far more frequent and much subtler ways the state promotes religion. Here in the bible belt, one can find Christian flags in government buildings, nativity scenes in capitol buildings, sectarian prayers offered at virtually any government function. I have personally witnessed prayers referencing Jesus multiple times at the commencement ceremonies of a state university. I have been in meetings with high-ranking university administrators that were opened with sectarian prayers. I have heard reports of sectarian prayers during mandatory jury selection, fierce religious bullying at public schools (sometimes including teachers), and religiously-motivated vandalism (indicated by notes left at the scene).

I understand that some atheists some of these examples as trivial, advising me to "pick your battles." In my youth, I would have eagerly heeded this advice out of a combination of fear and a desire to fit in. These days, not so much. I'm tired of holding my tongue. I realize that through my silence, I have become part of the problem.

As I have started to find my voice, I've learned something extremely valuable: some of my complaints have been effective. That's right, some of my complaints have actually resulted in positive change. Imagine that! And nearly every time, the initial response has been the same, "Oh, I had no idea. Nobody has ever complained before." So before we complain, maybe we should try…complaining.


THIS is where the common ground is to be found, keeping all religion out of government.

When science and religion are compatable.

Christian Newspaper Makes Hilarious Mistake

The (Australian based) Christian newspaper Eternity recently published a special issue focusing on atheism. It featured an article by Bible Society Australia CEO Greg Clarke in which he talked about “Ten Key Propositions for Atheists and Christians Today” — basically, ten things atheists ought to know about Christians:

If you look carefully at #7, though, Clarke may have accidentally told the truth…

I’ll second that. Christians have definitely done more harm than good.

Oh, sure, Clarke will call that a “typo,” but we all know better…

Hey, climate change deniers...

The Toxicity Of Religious Belief Systems

Batocchio of Vagabond Scholar has an excellent post up today analyzing the hypocrisy of their demands for special political privileges that theocratic religious authoritarians constantly make. The whole thing is worth reading, as Batocchio is one of the best long-form bloggers out there.

However, this assertion of his really caught my eye, as it starkly highlights the essential difference between the cognitive makeup of normal decent people and the pathology of religious (or other right-wing) authoritarian followers:

I wanted to assume, charitably, that some religious authoritarians were merely cloistered and unreflective, and had not really thought through the logical consequences of their positions.

The issue isn’t inattention or unreflectiveness. Religious authoritarian followers and other sorts of right-wing authoritarian followers have a cognitive makeup in which there simply is no such thing as objective reality–whether logical or empirical–that demands any sort of consistency whatsoever. It is hard for people whose minds aren’t warped in that particular way to grasp, but the notion that an assertion of fact has to be true or false simply doesn’t exist for them. When you are operating in such a cognitive regime, what normal decent people see as denial, hypocrisy, inconsistency, petulant demands for special privileges, and lying are indistinguishable from their opposites.

It was like John Kyl and “that was not intended as a factual statement”. When *nothing* is intended as a factual statement–indeed, when there are no such things as facts–there can be no such things as hypocrisy, inconsistency, or lying. And this is what makes genuine religious belief so utterly toxic: it demands rejection at the deepest level of cognition of the very notion of fact.


There is a link embedded in this article that goes to Batocchio's article (I just don't know how to do that)and it is also an interesting read.

A little science humor.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next »