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Anderson Cooper Investigates Scientology

Anderson Cooper has been investigating charges of abuse within Scientology for the past several months. This week, a four  part series will begin running on CNN. Here is a link to find out more.

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/03/25/scientology-a-history-of-violence/ .

I smell a RAT-zinger!

The Emperor of CatholicismWhy is the head of the world’s largest cult not in prison…you know, the Pope? I’m not sure why the “current” Catholic sex scandal is making such news. It has been known and documented for years that Ratzinger was the author of the Catholic policy to move child molesters rather than prosecute them. The scope of the Catholic child raping may be larger then originally thought but Ratzinger was always known to be the man in charge of the cover up. This has never been in question.

Now, more to the point. Why is the Pope not being prosecuted for his support (by willful inaction) of child rape and torture?

Imagine a school where young children were being raped. Now imagine the Superintendent of that particular school district KNEW that one of his teachers was raping children and that his solution to the problem was to transfer that school teacher to another school within the district. Now,  let’s pretend that this teacher had raped 50 children. Forgetting any legal culpability, would their be any moral culpability on the part of the Superintendent? You’re damn right there would be.  Last but not least, pretend this happened at your child’s school and that your child was one of the 50 children raped!

This hypothetical situation is tame when compared to the real Catholic sex scandals. The real scandal involves   (I’m being WAY conservative) priests and thousands of children worldwide! It has become virtually institutionalized within the Catholic priesthood.

This one goes out to all of you Catholics out there.  How could you voluntarily continue to be part of an organization that would allow this man to act as it’s moral authority? If you really don’t have an answer to that question just ask yourself this. What would Jesus do?

Fun with church signs

The sign at a local church has been updated to read…

Prayer should be our first resource… not our last resort.

I’ve written about prayer before (as have plenty of others), so this may seem like an easy target. However, I think the usual arguments of "prayer does nothing" or "prayer is the way to feel good about doing something while actually doing nothing at all" don’t quite cover this one.

In saying that prayer should be our first resource, not our last resort, this church is indicating that the first thing you should do is pray. Not act. Not evaluate. Not consider.

What’s wrong with that? In my opinion, it advocates laziness. It advocates an abdication of responsibility. Rather than deal with something directly in a real way, the church says, you should first pray for the intervention (or assistance) of a divine being. The implication is that, if I pray and my prayer is "answered," I can get away with not actually doing anything.

There’s a distinction that needs to be made, I think, between this type of taking the "easy way out" and the type of ingenuity that inspires the invention of time-saving techniques or appliances. Techniques and gadgets are the result of real effort. They’re measurable, tangible, useful, and provide a real, repeatable, consistent benefit to those who use them.

Prayer is simply wishing. Prayer is saying, "I hope I don’t have to do anything." Prayer is using ancient mythology and superstition for the express purpose of removing personal responsibility. That calm feeling that people report having when they pray would seem to come from the belief that they no longer have any responsibility… that everything will be fine… and that they didn’t have to lift a finger.

Actions get things done. Prayer is a hindrance.

Update: I’m not dead

Posts have obviously been slow in coming lately and I apologize to those of you who keep checking back. With following the healthcare debate, doing a lot of reading about evolution, and shooting some video with Craig about evolution, I’ve been distracted from posting updates.

Thanks to those of you who continue to check back. I’m hoping that, starting this weekend, I’ll be able to get back to a regular posting schedule and put some new material in front of your eyes.

Texas makes the USA sad… and ignorant

The Texas Board of Education is at it again. Having failed to achieve a complete victory in their efforts to instill their anti-science views on their children (and, by nature of their undue influence on the textbook publishing industry, the nation’s children), they’ve moved on… but not very far.

The new target is the history curriculum, onto which they want to slather their revisionist, right-wing coating of make-believe. You can read more about it from Phil Plait (and a multitude of others).

It’s absurd and they should know better… but they don’t. The influence Texas wields over textbook publishers makes the problem a national one and since it’s unlikely that the Texas BOE members in question will change their tune anytime soon, perhaps it would behoove us to look to textbook publishers instead.

Roger Ebert has the right idea and this quote is what spurred me to write about the issue.

Publishers with any pride would tell the Texas Board of Education to publish their own textbooks.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Keepin’ it real…

From AtheistCartoons.com

The Missionary… keepin’ it real.

themissionary

Hooray for Texas!

Don McLeroy is no longer on the Texas Board of Education.

Congratulations, Texas. It’s a step in the right direction, though you’ve still got a long way to go.

Intelligent Design… Fail!

From James McGrath of Exploring Our Matrix, I found these cartoons by Gordon Glover about Intelligent Design.

The accuracy of the depiction of Intelligent Design is amazing… and amusing!

Sean Hannity… smug and ignorant

Not much time to comment on this story from the American Humanist Association other than to say that Sean Hannity, with his recent comments about the Obama administration meeting with a group of non-theists, continues to display an amazing amount of smugness, ignorance, and outright idiocy.

Here’s the article from the AHA.

A smackdown given by Tree Lobsters

From Tree Lobsters comes an humorous, yet dead-on accurate, smackdown to abstinence-only sex education.

Tree Lobsters #131 - Safety Measures (click for the full comic)

(click the image for the full comic)