Created on Friday, 10 October 2014 21:41
By: Tom Elliott
70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are set to arrive in Melbourne next week for a massive conference at Etihad Stadium. I’ve done some research into this religion and what I’ve discovered has convinced me that scepticism about blind faith is absolutely the right path.
Despite their earnest efforts to convert people via doorknocking, “Witnessing Jehovah” is an extremely exclusive religion. Among other things, the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that only 144,000 people globally will eventually ascend into heaven. That means that 99.99999% of the population will go somewhere far less pleasant if Judgment Day ever arrives.
Created on Thursday, 09 October 2014 23:28
According to Religion Dispatches, just a day before gay marriage in the U.S. received a significant boost from the Supreme Court, the much-anticipated Extraordinary Synod on the Family opened in Rome yesterday with Pope Francis pointedly criticizing “bad shepherds” who seek money and power and “lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move.”
As some 190 bishops and a collection of lay advisors meet to discuss “pastoral challenges” facing Catholic families, divisions are being laid bare in the church that were largely suppressed in the Pope John Paul II/Benedict years, with a cabal of conservative bishops (presumably the “bad shepherds”) looking to beat back any liberalization of church doctrine promoted by more moderate cardinals.
Created on Thursday, 09 October 2014 22:31
According to Global News, eighty-four per cent of Canadians say they support assisted dying, according to a new national poll released Wednesday.
Just a week before the Supreme Court of Canada will begin hearings on a landmark case on assisted dying, a Dying with Dignity and Ipsos Reid survey suggests that Canadians are supportive of the controversial idea.
Created on Thursday, 09 October 2014 22:13
For years now, the international community and human rights activists within Pakistan have been trying to draw the attention to minorities' rights in the country and the use of the blasphemy laws by hardline groups as a tool to oppress and prosecute minorities.
According to The Parliament Magazine, in the most recent incident, a 70 year old British citizen of Pakistani descent who had been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges was shot by his guard in a high security prison.
Created on Friday, 03 October 2014 10:19
According to The Journal, Irish voters will have be asked to vote on whether to remove the crime of blasphemy from the Constitution, it was announced this morning.
Junior Minister Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin told the Dáil:
“The Government accepts the main recommendation of the [Constitutional Convention], which is that a referendum should be held on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution.”
Created on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 07:52
South Africa’s first gay-friendly mosque, which also allows women to lead prayers, must close, a local official has told the BBC.
A City of Cape Town councillor says the newly established Open Mosque has violated municipal by-laws by not having any parking spaces.
The mosque officially opened its doors on Friday despite criticism from members of the local Muslim community.
Created on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 07:14
Some schools in east London are being taken over by Muslim extremists who are trying to convert pupils and staff to their hardline ideology, according to a report in today's Sunday Times.
The newspaper spoke to a contact within the Department for Education (DfE) who clams the problem there is even worse than in Birmingham, where a 'Trojan Horse' plot to take over schools was revealed this year.
"Tower Hamlets is expected to be the next Birmingham," said the DfE source, "but even worse, because the problems surrounding Muslim fundamentalists imposing their views on education seems to be more embedded."
Created on Monday, 06 October 2014 14:36
By: Michael Tomasky
The Real Time host’s spat with the 'Gone Girl' star gets to the heart of a major and longtime problem within contemporary Western liberalism
Every once in a great while, something happens on television that you know while you’re watching it: Well, this is unusual. Those old enough to know what I’m talking about when I say “Al Campanis” will remember that that was one of your more extreme cases. The exchange between Bill Maher and Ben Affleck on last Friday’s Real Time wasn’t a Campanis moment, but I knew instantly—watching it in, well, real time, as it were—that this was going to spark discussion, as indeed it has.
Created on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 07:57
According to Reuters, The Vatican last week arrested a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic, the first-ever arrest inside the city state on charges of paedophilia.
Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal in June, has been placed under house awaiting a criminal trial, the Vatican said in a statement.
The 66-year-old Wesolowski is the most prominent church figure to be arrested since Paolo Gabriele, a former papal butler convicted in 2012 of stealing and leaking private papers of former Pope Benedict XVI.
Created on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 07:47
“The targeting of gay persons in Egypt happens when someone, on the senior level, chooses for it to happen,” an Interior Ministry official told BuzzFeed News.
Last week, eight men went before an Egyptian judge in the country’s highest-profile trial over homosexuality in more than a decade. The men stand accused of appearing in a video showing two men exchanging wedding rings, and face the possibility of more than three years in prison.
Created on Saturday, 27 September 2014 09:34
According to Huffington Post, Stephen Hawking says he's an atheist, arguing that science offers a "more convincing explanation" for the origins of the universe and that the miracles of religion "aren't compatible" with scientific fact.
"Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation," the celebrated physicist said in a video posted by Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is we would know everything that God would know if there was a God, but there isn't. I'm an atheist."