“Religion cuts an intellectual brake line, making them incapable of dealing with certain situations rationally”

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From PZ’s blog:

“I don’t think religion makes people do wicked things, and that’s not my gripe with it. What it does is cut an intellectual brake line, making them incapable of dealing with certain situations rationally — they may do what is right, or they may do something that’s just nuts, but you just can’t rely on them doing what is reasonable.”

http://www.scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/09/i_didnt_even_know_there_was_a.php

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Why did god do this to those nice people?

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If very religious people had rational thinking and reasoning capabilities, some of them might ask critical questions, like how come disastrous things happen to even the most devout and obedient among them. If their gods loved them so much, and were capable of miracles and knows everything that is happening on the planet etc etc etc, then these gods must have reasons for all these evil things that happens to their devout followers.

Religion in South African schools

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Ok, now here is the fundamental question:

How come religion is still practiced openly in our schools when it is not part of any curriculum anymore? Isn’t it enough for god’s people to worship him in their churches?

I guess not, because reading the comments from the religious on this blog and in the papers, these fundies INSIST on jamming it down every child’s throat the minute the poor kids step onto the school grounds. They see it as their fundamental right. Which is scary. These are other people’s children. They are trained and paid to give them an education. Not to brainwash the children with some bullshit ideology and religion.

Just like in the GOOD OLD DAYS.

Talk about RADICAL FUNDAMENTALISM in the first degree. The poor Afrikaner. Still clinging on to his gods in the 21st century. Apartheid was enforced on these CHRISTIAN PRINCIPALS. Now they want to teach it to every child, even today, in the schools, like they did for decades. How could they talk about the love of jesus after what they did to the people of colour in South Africa for so long with a bible under one arm and a sambok under the other?

You guys who want to teach your bullshit in the schools are very dangerous and delusional and completely full of shit. And it is not your job or place to do this. Not as teachers under the employment of the government of South Africa. It should be grounds for dismissal. And it should be illegal and treated as such. Don’t you wankers have churches you can howl and worship your ghosts in?

And remember, you guys never explained how come jesus and god was on your side when you buggered up everybody else in the country in their name, and now god and the boy is on everyone’s side today.

To hear your dribble about the love of jesus, god’s forgiveness etc. makes me sick. You guys really believed they were on your side helping you keep your apartheid regime in power. Now you made your peace with the rest of South Africa, and you guys decided that the rest of South Africa can also worship your gods now, since we are all pals today. Lets forget about what happened yesterday, because jesus and god already forgave us all, and if you like, they can save you guys too.

You fundie bastards are pathetic. A pathetic bunch of arseholes who’s brains stopped working properly a very very long time ago in your lives.

It looks like this fight will turn in the courts. And you wankers will all howl at the moon: “we are been persecuted oh lord!!!! Help us from the heathens!!!!!”

Before you pathetic bunch of arseholes used your jesus and god to bugger up the people of colour, and now you are using your spooks to fight the atheists and people of other faiths and other preferences, like gays and lesbians and unmarried couples and women who has had abortions and people who are just demanding a proper education when they send their children to school. Anyway, it is the parents job to educate their own children in spiritual guidance, not the schools job. Not the teachers job, not the headmasters job, but the parents job. Stick to your trade. The last thing South Africa needs at this stage is more fundies to run the show and decide for us what is best for our children. Look around you. It was your brethren and your previous ideology, which you shared and built upon god and the boys “love”, that caused a hell of a lot of the shit everybody sits with today in South Africa.

Leave the children alone!

But all this is way too hard for any caveman-fundie-pig shit for brains-jesus freaks to ever understand. If there really was a god and if the boy really cared, he sure as shit would be embarrassed when he sees what you bunch of idiots have all done in their name. You should all be very ashamed of yourselves. For what you have all done directly and indirectly, as well as for letting all of yourselves to be fooled like this.

Leave the children alone, leave the schools alone. Save your religion for your churches.

Almighty row over ethics class in schools. Another group of fundie wankers who wants to legally obtain the right to tell other what is right and wrong.

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Almighty row over ethics class in schools

ERIK JENSEN

September 26, 2009

THE State Government’s religious education advisory panel will fight a pilot program that offers ethics classes to primary school students who opt out of scripture.

Instead, it will continue its support for a policy that prevents students who opt out from having any instruction, and specifically no ethical instruction, during the time set aside for scripture each week.

In some schools, that leaves as many as 80 per cent of students excluded from education for an hour each week – despite reviews dating back to 1980 recommending the policy be amended.

The pilot, developed by the St James Ethics Centre, is fully funded and was endorsed unanimously by the Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations of NSW in July. But it must still be approved by the Minister for Education in consultation with a religious advisory panel.

”It doesn’t have the support of the religious community, that’s just a pragmatic reality,” the acting chairman of the Inter-Church Commission on Religious Education in Schools, Reverend Mark Hillis, told the Herald. ”I don’t see how having a small interest group coming into a school and ramping up things helps.”

The pilot would begin as a 10-part discussion-based program, covering issues such as truth and fairness, offered to students in years 5 and 6. It was taken, in various form, to two previous education ministers but was rejected both times.

The present minister, Verity Firth, was first approached last November and was given a formal proposal on Wednesday. She would not comment on the proposal, other than to say it was being considered.

Philip Cam, a University of NSW philosophy professor involved in developing the pilot, said it would allow children ”twiddling their thumbs” to think critically about ethical issues that may otherwise be discussed in scripture. ”The question is about giving kids a chance to reflect on values – to think them through,” he said. ”They don’t get as much opportunity to do that day-to-day as they ought.”

http://www.theage.com.au/national/government-bows-to-religious-right-20090926-g76u.html

Fundies in Australia are legally discriminating against gays and lesbians, single mothers and people who hold different spiritual beliefs. Watch out Australia! These wankers will give your country a very bad reputation.

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Government bows to religious right

MELISSA FYFE

September 27, 2009

ATTORNEY-GENERAL Rob Hulls will today announce a controversial compromise struck with the state’s religious groups that will allow them to continue to discriminate against gays and lesbians, single mothers and people who hold different spiritual beliefs.

In a move that has delighted religious groups but angered gay activists and discrimination experts, Mr Hulls will protect the right of hundreds of church-run organisations – including schools, hospitals and welfare services – to refuse to employ or provide services to people who they believe may undermine their beliefs.

Under the deal, Mr Hulls will allow church groups to continue discriminating on the grounds of sex, sexuality, marital and parental status and gender identity. But they will be unable to discriminate on the basis of race, disability, age, physical features, political beliefs or activity, or breastfeeding.

The decision has dismayed groups that argued that the review was a chance to eliminate entrenched discrimination in Victoria, which has more exemptions to its equal opportunity law than any other state.

Leading discrimination law expert Professor Margaret Thornton said it was a win for fundamentalist religious groups. ”In terms of a person’s private life … their sexual preference or marital status really has nothing to do with their ability to perform a job. Being able to discriminate on marital status is particularly absurd. It is really out of date. It really amounts to the policing of women because the focus is on single mothers, not on men.”

Religious groups have mounted a campaign to save their exemptions, which mean, for example, that conservative religious schools can refuse to hire single mothers or gays – even as cleaners – and that an Islamic organisation can decline to employ a Christian.

Mr Hulls told The Sunday Age that the changes, which pre-empt a parliamentary committee report due within weeks, will limit how church groups discriminate. If a religious welfare agency refused to offer services to a same-sex couple, for instance, the agency would have to demonstrate how this action conformed with its religious doctrine. If a religious school rejected an atheist for a receptionist’s position, the school must show why a person needed to adhere to certain religious beliefs.

But it will still fall to the victim of discrimination to make a complaint and force the religious body to justify its actions. The changes will be part of legislation introduced early next year.

The compromise means that in the lead-up to next year’s election, Labor can make peace with conservative and religious groups, already at odds with the Government over the decriminalisation of abortion. Mr Hulls said the Government never intended to restrict religious freedom in Victoria. He said the changes struck the right balance between religious freedoms and Victorians’ ability to be free of discrimination: ”We have decided to narrow the broad exemptions that currently exist but also ensure that bodies maintain their right to religious freedom.”

Mr Hulls’ announcement was immediately endorsed at the highest levels of the Victorian Catholic Church, with Archbishop Denis Hart hailing the decision as ”striking a fair and correct balance” between competing rights. The Australian Christian Lobby’s Victorian director, Rob Ward, also welcomed the decision.

The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby’s convener, Hayley Conway, said it was concerning that religious groups holding Government contracts for welfare work were still exempted from the discrimination laws. ”We would have preferred to see Rob Hulls take a much stronger step on these issues,” she said.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission chief executive officer Helen Szoke said the move was a good step, but ”a whole section of the community is still left out”. She hoped that eventually the community would understand there was no reason to treat people differently because of their sexual preferences or marital status.

Mr Hulls said he acted before a parliamentary committee reviewing the exemptions had reported because of the ”high level of interest and concern” about the Government’s intentions.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/government-bows-to-religious-right-20090926-g76u.html

Buchan voorspel, toe reën dit

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Buchan voorspel, toe reën dit

2009-09-20 00:00

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Angus Buchan in Upington


Johannes de Villiers

In Upington – so sê die mense – boer hulle aan die een kant van die teerpad met druiwe en aan die ander kant met vee. Daarom bid niemand vir óf teen reën nie. Dit sal net tot kwaaivriendskap lei.

Maar dit het die evangelis Angus Buchan nie gekeer om verlede Saterdag in die Danie Kuys-stadion te voorspel dat die dorp danksy ’n bonatuurlike ingryping reën gaan sien nie. En na verneem word, het niemand in die Kalahari gekla nie toe ’n ligte reënbui Maandag daar uitgesak het.

“Reën nou is goed vir die veeboere en dis nog vroeg genoeg dat die wynboere nie sal kla nie,” sê ’n inwoner, mnr. Jeremy Swart.

Upington gons glo soos selde tevore. Pastoors vertel hulle moes Sondag ekstra stoele by hul kerke indra. En in die plaaslike Pick n Pay, waarvan Swart die eienaar is, klets mense in die gangetjies en in die toue oor min anders as Buchan.

“Jy kan sien die ou het die mense aangeraak.”

Ongeveer 7?500 mense het Saterdag na Buchan geluister.

Past. Dekker Stadler van die plaaslike Volle Evangelie Kerk vertel sy kerk bars uit sy nate sedert Buchan se besoek. En dis nie asof hy lidmate by die ander kerke afrokkel nie – die AGS is net so vol.

“Dit is die grootste geestelike gebeurtenis nog ooit hier.”

Volgens inwoners steek dit ook nie in elke prediker se broek om Upington in beroering te kry nie. Die beroemde Duitse evangelis Reinhard Bonnke het die dorp ’n rukkie gelede besoek, maar het ná die tyd glo verklaar die dorp is te droog vir hom – nie net klimaatsgewys nie, maar ook geestelik.

Buchan, daarenteen, is ekstaties. Hy het sy preek verlede Saterdag begin met die voorspelling dat reën op sy besoek gaan volg. Teen Sondag was daar wolke en teen Maandag was die reën daar – effens ylerig oor Upington, maar sterker in Kakamas se rigting.

“Dis ’n woestyn, maar binne 24 uur ná ons veldtog het Jesus sy pragtige reën oor Upington laat uitsak,” borrel Buchan.

“Ek wonder wat al die nuwe bekeerlinge gedink het toe die reën begin val? Hoe goed is God nie!”

– Rapport