Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in science class

In an opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Jones ruled that teaching "intelligent design" would violate the Constitutional separation of church and state.

"We have concluded that it is not [science], and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents," Jones writes in his 139-page opinion posted on the court's Web site.

"To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions," Jones writes.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Catholics condemn South Park episode about Virgin Mary

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is condemning an episode of "South Park" that it says "defiled" the Virgin Mary.

Pun intented?

The cartoon, which runs on Comedy Central, features an episode this week titled "Bloody Mary," in which a South Park character claims to have been sprayed by blood from a body orifice of a Virgin Mary statue. When Pope Benedict investigates, he declares that she's just having her period.

The Catholic League is calling on the board chairman of Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, to apologize to Catholics and stop the episode from airing the next several nights as scheduled.

The Catholic League notes that Viacom chairman Joseph Califano is a practicing Catholic, and that today is the church's feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

They just don't get it do they. That's the whole point of the episode: to laugh at their stupid beliefs. No Catholic Church approval stamp? Well, WHAT a surprise.

Concerning the Virgin Mary archetype:
Scripture may have very little to say about Jesus; it has even less to say about his supposed mother. For the earliest Christians ‘Mary Mother of Jesus’ almost did not exist: they were not interested in the nativity of their god-man – it was his re-birth after death that mattered. Paul does not mention Mary (or Joseph) at all, and in the gospels, the shadowy figure of Mary, destined to become the most pre-eminent of all the saints and Queen of Heaven, at best, is a two-dimensional nonentity.


Yet upon this sketchy outline a full-bodied character was to be fleshed out soon enough by ‘creative’ Christian scribes. Pagan gods, as often as not, were supposedly sired by virgin goddesses – quite commonly as a result of impregnation by a sun-beam. The resultant sun-god was depicted as an infant at the breast of his mother – the ‘Madonna and Child’ no less! Such iconography is to be found all the way from Egypt to China.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Priest criticizing cover-ups gets dumped

A Catholic priest sued the Newark archdiocese for $5 million yesterday, contending he was removed from his position as a school director in 2003 because he publicly criticized Catholic bishops for cover- ups related to the clergy sex scandal.

..another irony-free zone.

The federal lawsuit by the Rev. Robert Hoatson, which was filed in Manhattan, also named as defendants Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, the New York and Albany dioceses and four men from Hoatson's former religious order who he says molested him decades ago.

Hoatson, 54, still an archdiocese priest in good standing, has been a counselor for Catholic Charities since 2004, though he spends much of his time working with people who had accused priests of molesting them.

The suit claims the Newark Archdiocese violated New Jersey's "Whistleblower Act" after Hoatson criticized Catholic bishops on May 20, 2003, at a legislative forum in Albany, N.Y., on a bill to help abuse victims. Hoatson's comments came a year after the clergy sex scandal gained national attention with revelations that bishops had helped protect abusive priests.


Three days after making his comments, Hoatson received a letter of termination from his job at Our Lady of Good Counsel school in Newark.


The 36-page lawsuit recounts what Hoatson says is sexual abuse he suffered from other men in the 1970s and early 1980s, when he was part of a religious order called the Congregation of Christian Brothers.


Aretakis said the allegations show "the Catholic Church, after four years of being dragged through the mud with disclosures about the sexual abuse of children, still doesn't get it..."

Well, if you can't see evidence for macro-evolution, you probably also have trouble seeing evidence of a bigger problem.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Good News

The Anglican Church of Canada, one of the country's largest and oldest denominations, is in precipitous decline losing 13,000 members each year and facing extinction by the middle of this century, says a new report prepared for the church's bishops.


His report shows that between 1961 and 2001, Anglican parish lists plunged from 1.36-million to 642,000, a decline of 53 per cent.

That decline is also quickening. Membership fell by 13 per cent from 1981-1991, and by a further 20 per cent from 1991-2001.

Membership in the United Church, meanwhile, fell from 1.04-million to 638,000 from 1961-2001, a loss of 39 per cent.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hamas leader: No room for truce

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The leader of Hamas said Friday his group was growing weary of its pact with the Palestinian Authority to avoid conflict with Israel.

"There is no room for truce. I say to our brothers in the [Palestinian] Authority that we are witnessing political stagnation," Khaled Meshaal said in a fiery speech at a rally in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

"I say it loud and clear, we will not enter a new truce. Our people are preparing for a new round in this struggle," Meshaal said.

I'm not that surprised, the word truce can't be found in the Qur'an. You can find some other stuff:

If the unbelievers do not offer you peace, kill them wherever you find them. Against such you are given clear warrant.

Kill disbelievers wherever you find them. If they attack you, then kil them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. (But if they desist in their unbelief, then don't kill them.)

Don't bother to warn the disbelievers. Allah has blinded them. Theirs will be an awful doom.

And they act all surprised if we don't believe them:

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Pope blesses Olympic flame

ROME -- With a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI, the Olympic flame began its journey across Italy to the Turin Winter Games.

"May this flame remind everybody of the values of peace and brotherhood that are at the basis of the Olympics," Benedict told a crowd in St. Peter's Square on Thursday.

I'm not sure what the Pope was doing, but this should explain it. About his words: I think the Pope's memory's going bad.

The Olympic Flame or Olympic Fire is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, when a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the Olympics in 1928, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since. The modern torch relay was introduced by Adolf Hitler, at the Berlin Games of 1936, as part of an effort to turn the games into a glorification of the Third Reich. But despite its Nazi origin, the torch ceremony is still practiced as of 2005.

Peace and brotherhood right? Well, what would Jesus do?

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."

"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division [..]"