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cleanhippie

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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 19,705

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Cartoon: Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations

?1405512350

Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1218&pid=140029





Appreciation thread for the Trash This Thread feature.

Determining the Attributes and Effects of Gods

Found this to be an interesting read. Thought you might too.


How can we know we are looking at a god if we don’t know any of god’s actual attributes? I don’t think we can. But that’s not because I’m being circular or difficult. It’s because we lack a referent in reality to allow us to tell the difference between true and untrue claims about attributes of god. This situation, created by theists, who cannot agree on a metric to differentiate true claims from false claims about gods, is not a problem that can be laid at the feet of atheists. When someone asks me “what evidence would convince you?,” they have already invented a situation where it’s all but impossible to answer, because I don’t know what a god is. There are some vague notions, but nothing specific and agreed upon to the point of usefulness. But bring me your external referent, and then start making your claims, and at that point you and I can compare your claims to a real god and make some determinations about their truth values. Without that, though, it’s claims predicated on claims, predicated on more claims, with no way of determining what is true—for thousands of years, as we have already seen.


http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2014/07/03/determining-the-attributes-and-effects-of-gods/

Pastor, church members plead guilty to beating 13-year-old boy

The pastor and two members of a Corona church pleaded guilty Monday to state charges of beating and threatening the life of a 13-year-old boy, who was forced to dig his own grave, authorities said.

Lonny Lee Remmers, 56, Nicholas James Craig, 24, and Darryll Duane Jeter Jr., 30, tortured the boy in the church-run group home where he lived, according to a witness report in affidavits for search warrants.


-snip--

The March 2012 incidents included Craig and Jeter driving the victim to the desert and forcing him to dig his own grave. They then made him get in and threw dirt on him. They were responding to Remmers' instruction to "scare" the boy, according to the affidavits.

While the boy was showering, one of the men rubbed salt into the cuts on his back, according to Steven Larkey, who lived in the group home and provided the witness report in the affidavit. He told investigators he could hear the boy screaming and saw blood all over the shower the next day. The victim was later tied to a chair with zip ties and placed in the shower. Mace was sprayed on his face, causing it to bleed, and he was not allowed to rinse off for about 30 minutes, according to the victim's account in the affidavit.

At a Bible study later that evening at Remmers' home, Remmers asked the boy to sit in the middle of the group and then squeezed his nipple with pliers. The boy, his mother and sister were members of Remmers' church. His mother and sister lived in a women's group home, but the boy said he had been moved to the men's home as a disciplinary action.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-pastor-guilty-beating-boy-20140707c-story.html




The Pope’s New Clothes

THE IMAGE OF Pope Francis is that he is a breath of fresh air, more progressive on social issues than his predecessor and a kinder, gentler pope. But when the facts are examined, you see that he is none of these things. There is an enormous disconnect between who the pope really is in terms of his policies and his public relations image, as crafted by the Vatican’s PR man, previously with Fox News. The current PR mission is all about reversing the incredible decline in fundraising under the last pope from the U.S. Catholic Church in particular. Pope Francis has made any number of statements that seem to indicate change and progress that are not reflected in policy. In fact, in the wake of such comments from Pope Francis, the Vatican often makes a point to explicitly state that no church policy has changed.

While the pope transmits a populist vibe—particularly about the economy— he is an old-school conservative who, despite his great PR, maintains nearly all of the social policies of his predecessors and keeps up a hardline Vatican “cabinet.” He has done virtually nothing to change the policies of the church to match his more compassionate rhetoric. People excuse the pope, claiming that he doesn’t have much power to make changes, but this simply isn’t true. Further, it is ludicrous to suggest that a man who denies comprehensive reproductive health care (including all forms of birth control including condoms and abortion) and comprehensive family planning is a man who cares about the poor of this world. The bigotry of homophobia and sexism cloaked in religion are still bigotry and sexism. By giving to the church, American Catholics aren’t supporting “progress,” they are supporting oppression and in this way are complicit in the bigotry, sexism, and oppression of the church.

--snip--

Forbes points out that U.S. Catholics are responsible for almost a third of the charitable contributions that directly fund the Holy See, contributions that were down from $82 million in 2009 to 70 million in 2011. This time period overlaps the decline in Pope Benedict’s favorable numbers among U.S. Catholics and is widely attributed to Benedict’s lack of PR finesse, handling of the church’s sexual abuse scandal, and launching of an investigation into the practices of the American nuns. The same piece in Forbes points out that “as of the last Vatican financial report from mid-2012, the Holy See is in the red. The Church may be growing more rapidly in Africa and South America, but both the faithful and religious institutions in those nations simply do not have access to significant resources.” The U.S. Catholics are an imperative center of the funding picture for the church worldwide.

And these already staggering figures only account for money collected directly by the Catholic Church. Including the money raised by Catholic Charities paints an even more impressive picture of just how much money American Catholics are pouring into the coffers of the Church and Church-related organizations. According to Forbes, in FY 2012, Catholic Charities USA raised $4.39 billion dollars for its charitable and social service programs. Combine the facts that U.S. Catholics fund the majority of the Church’s activities worldwide, the decline in donations from U.S. Catholics, and how the drop in donations correlates with the decline in reputation of the Catholic Church in America over the same time period and the need for a serious PR campaign becomes clear: Improve the Church’s image with U.S. Catholics in order to improve the cash flow.

The new sexist, nun-hating, poverty-perpetuating, pedophile-protecting homophobe is the same as the old sexist, nun-hating, poverty-perpetuating, pedophile-protecting homophobe, but gosh how the media loves him.


http://www.theweeklings.com/amarch/2014/06/20/the-popes-new-clothes/




More at link.

Why Cling To Faith?

People of faith often share an experience that is so rarely discussed among themselves that, at first glance, it seems as if it’s existence is completely covered up – this quiet secret is not rare in any way at all, however, and most people of faith know more about doubt than they are willing to admit in public or even in private to their peers. There has to be a reason for this hush surrounding the uncertainties that are likely to accompany faith and that often do – that reason is that with doubt comes consequences.

And so doubt is buried and ignored and handled with no real help at all.

The first moment in which a person has an inkling of doubt about something foundational to their understanding of reality and something they have up until this time known to be true is utterly terrifying. Most people, as they test these feared waters, find themselves bravely dipping their toes in and then quickly retreating as soon as they realize just how difficult this will inevitably become. Faith is that thing we most fear questioning as the implications of being right vs. being wrong are eternal and severe.

--snip--

Unlike Pascal and nearly every young apologist I’ve ever encountered I understand something about belief that, upon first approach, is very difficult to swallow; you are not in charge of what you believe, you will believe what you are convinced is worthy of belief – but never anything that hasn’t met that criteria. You may study and learn and throw yourself into your faith – but if you, for whatever reason, later become unconvinced of the truth of that faith – not believing it’s tenets is entirely out of your control. Simply put: You cannot believe what you do not believe.

That’s what makes doubt so dangerous, once it’s seed is planted it cannot be stopped – and once well rooted and growing it won’t be pulled out by any amount of force. Of course, there are counter measures one can make – all of which are, in my experience, temporary. Most who experience doubt retreat quickly and then employ some sort of cognitive dissonance to explain away their experience – but as I said, these efforts are generally fleeting and as long as they may last the dormant root of doubt one day revives and lays the faithful to waste once again. I certainly experienced this a number of times throughout my life as a Christian. If I look back on it the times that I was most outwardly devout they are likely also the times I was most fiercely attempting to dissuade uncertainty. I think many people are the same way; their desperation leads to devotion – strained though it may be.

--snip--

Clergy aren’t the only people with a vested interest in maintaining a faithful status quo. The average believer will have invested a good chunk of his or her life into building a social construct consisting mainly of people who won’t challenge their beliefs. Within this social construct exist friendships and families, churches and social clubs that watch out for one another; if there is anything that the religious are good at it’s being inclusive of those with homogeneous stances and beliefs on the issues deemed important by the bodies that make those decisions. It should be noted that they are also incredibly good at being exclusive to those who fail to fall in line. It doesn’t take long for a convert into your average religion to notice what happens to those that begin to fall out of line, many of us grew up hearing the gossip about the backsliders in our churches and watching how those people slowly became appendages of little or no use – only to be cast away.


http://ragingrev.com/2014/06/why-cling-to-faith/


Court Forces Family To Give Teen Chemotherapy Against Rabbi's Advice

he family court in Tiberias has forced a 14-year-old boy suffering from lymphatic leukemia to undergo chemotherapy even though he and his parents have refused to allow him to undergo additional cancer treatment at a hospital in Haifa. The court stated that the boy had not been received from his parents accurate information on his chances for recovery if he underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The success rate for blood cancers in children and teenagers is very high, and the boy’s blood cancer receded. But the parents refused continuing treatment to keep the cancer in remission, saying that their family rabbi instructed them not to allow him to have the treatments because he would recover without them.

The parents told the court they were afraid their son would die from the therapy and that if the police came after them, they would take him to a hiding place. The boy said his previous treatments were very painful and that he preferred to “go home and die.”

http://www.vosizneias.com/167243/2014/06/11/family-court-in-tiberias-forces-teen-to-undergo-cancer-treatment-jpost-israel-news/


Religious ignorance, alive and well. I hope this boy beats his cancer and recovers (from cancer AND the religious ignorance forced upon him)

St. Louis archbishop claims he wasn’t sure it was illegal for priests to have sex with kids

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson testified last month that he wasn’t sure whether it was illegal for priests to have sex with children while he served as chancellor of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese.

The former chancellor gave a deposition last month in a lawsuit that claims the Minnesota archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona created a public nuisance by keeping information on abusive priests secret, reported Minnesota Public Radio.

The 69-year-old Carlson also faces a massive clergy abuse lawsuit in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he’s served as archbishop since 2009.

One document made public in that case shows more than 100 priests and church employees have been accused of sexual abuse, and the Missouri Supreme Court ordered the archdiocese to turn over their names under seal.

The Minnesota lawsuit was filed by a man who claimed a priest abused him during the 1970s, and Carlson told the plaintiff’s attorneys that his understanding of those accusations had changed over the years.

“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson said. “I understand today it’s a crime.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/10/st-louis-archbishop-claims-he-wasnt-sure-it-was-illegal-for-priests-to-have-sex-with-kids/


Wow. Just wow.

Jesus is proud, I'm sure.

#800deadbabies: A Fresh Catholic Horror

In the last few years, Ireland has been reckoning with a shameful part of its history: the Magdalene laundries. Established in the 1700s and surviving well into the 20th century, these were church-run institutions, overseen by nuns, where women were sent for transgressing against conventional morality or custom, or simply because they were viewed as a burden to society. Prostitutes, unwed mothers, rape victims, orphans, the mentally and physically disabled, or those who were deemed too attractive or too flirtatious, all could and did end up there.

Supposedly for reform and rehabilitation of these “fallen” women, in reality the Magdalene laundries were prisons where the inmates were used for slave labor, mostly doing menial jobs like laundry for no pay. Most of the women incarcerated there were brutally abused and tortured, both physically and psychologically, by church overseers. Over 10,000 women were forced into this system over its lifetime, with the complicity of the Irish state. Some were imprisoned for decades.

Because record-keeping in the Magdalene laundries was deliberately scanty, historians are still uncovering the truth about what went on within their walls. And this week, there was an explosive new revelation.

--snip--

The looming question, given how widespread the Magdalene laundry system was, is whether there are more children’s mass graves waiting to be discovered. (There are already rumblings of a much bigger burial site at another location in Blackrock, County Cork.) But whether or not this was an exceptional case, the attitudes that caused it certainly weren’t.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2014/06/800deadbabies-a-fresh-catholic-horror/


Another take on this. I suspect that this is only going to get worse as the light gets shined on this tragedy.
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