Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Black Atheist is Running for U.S. Senate in Oklahoma


Of the many atheists running for higher office this year, most are seeking positions in state legislatures. There’s one (Jamie Raskin, who doesn’t even like the A-word) who has a chance at a seat in the U.S. House, but that’s about it.

In Oklahoma, however, there’s an independent candidate on the ballot to become U.S. Senator, and he’s openly atheist.
Incumbent James Lankford holds the seat that’s considered among the safest in the nation for Republicans, even with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.

But Sean Braddy is challenging him, anyway.

While his lack of religious faith isn’t evident on his campaign website, he wasn’t hiding it in 2013 when The Oklahoman ran an article on local atheists:

Sean Braddy, 41, of Norman, said he grew up in church but decided when his son was born in 1982 that he was completely done with religion.

“I wanted him to be able to think for himself and not be controlled,” Braddy said.


Braddy, who is black, said he grew up in the 1970s and saw the Ku Klux Klan and other white opponents of desegregation do many un-Christian-like things — all in the name of religion.

See more at: www.patheos.com

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect bans women from going to college


© Keith Bedford / Reuters

According to a document, obtained by 'The Independent,' conservative Jewish Rabbis are banning women from obtaining college degrees because “It is very dangerous.”

The decree warns: 

“It has lately become the new trend that girls and married women are pursuing degrees in special education. Some attend classes and others online. And so we’d like to let their parents know that it is against the Torah." 

“We will be very strict about this. No girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree. It is dangerous. Girls who will not abide will be forced to leave our school. Also, we will not give any jobs or teaching position in the school to girls who’ve been to college or have a degree.
“We have to keep our school safe and we can’t allow any secular influences in our holy environment. It is against the base upon which our Mosed was built.”


This is taking place in the same community (the Satmar sect), by the way, where women and girls are told that they can’t drive (Satmar was founded in 1905 by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, in city of Satu More, Transylvania/Romania).

israel is a highly developed country, where women and men have equal rights in law. The majority of the population is democratic. But some religious organizations want to have their own 'laws.' They often oppress women and LGBT people

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The non-religious are now America’s largest religious voting bloc


Image: ACLJ.ORG

More American voters than ever say they are not religious, making the religiously unaffiliated the nation’s biggest voting bloc by faith for the first time in a presidential election year. This marks a dramatic shift from just eight years ago, when the non-religious were roundly outnumbered by Catholics, white mainline Protestants and white evangelical Protestants.



These numbers come from a new Pew Research Center survey, which finds that “religious ‘nones,’ who have been growing rapidly as a share of the U.S. population, now constitute one-fifth of all registered voters and more than a quarter of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters.” That represents a 50 percent increase in the proportion of non-religious voters compared with eight years ago, when they made up just 14 percent of the overall electorate.

“In 2008, religious ‘nones’ were outnumbered or at parity with white mainline Protestants and white Catholics,” the survey’s lead researcher, Greg Smith, said in an interview. “Today, ‘nones’ outnumber both of those groups.”

The growth of the non-religious — about 54 percent of whom are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 23 percent at least leaning Republican — could provide a political counterweight to white evangelical Protestants, a historically powerful voting bloc for Republicans. In 2016, 35 percent of Republican voters identify as white evangelicals, while 28 percent of Democratic voters say they have no religion at all.

But while the religiously unaffiliated are making up a larger share of American voters, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that will translate into actual votes. 

Exit polls of people who actually cast votes — as opposed to preelection polls of registered voters — have traditionally shown that the unaffiliated underperform at the ballot box relative to their raw numbers.

For instance, in the 2012 election, the unaffiliated made up 18 percent of registered voters in preelection polls but only 12 percent of the people who actually voted, as measured in post-election exit polls. Some of this difference may be due to the different ways the two polls ask religious-affiliation questions, but Pew’s researchers say that the underperformance of the non-religious is a very real phenomenon.

“While the group is growing rapidly in the general public, its growth has been much less dramatic in the electorate,” Pew’s Smith said. “It could be the ‘nones’ are not connected, almost by definition, to religious institutions, which can play an important role in spurring turnout and interest in politics.”

Smith also points out that the unaffiliated tend to be younger than the religious and that young people tend to vote less than older people.

Still, the Pew study finds other evidence that religion may be becoming a less potent force at the ballot box. In 2008, for instance, 72 percent of voters said it was important for a president to have strong religious beliefs. That number is down to 62 percent today.

Similarly, Americans see religious institutions as playing a smaller role in the public sphere. In 2008, 75 percent said that churches and other houses of worship contributed a great deal to solving social problems. Today, that number has fallen to 58 percent.

By Christopher Ingraham | 14 July 2016
The Washington Post

Imagine If All Atheists Left America (2009):

Friday, August 19, 2016

Anti-gay pastor, who believes, floods are God's 'punishment,' flees flooded home


Image via YOU TUBE

Tony Perkins, a pastor from Louisiana, who believes, natural disasters are sent by God to punish LGBTIQ people, has fled his flooded home in Louisiana.

A year ago, Perkins said, that natural disasters are sent by God as punishment for abortion and gay marriage.

US pastor has revealed that he was forced to escape his property in a canoe with his family.

"This is a flood of near-biblical proportions," he said in an interview with the Family Research Council.

"We had to escape from our home Saturday by canoe. We had about 10 feet of water at the end of our driveway. Our house flooded, a few of our cars flooded."

In 2015, he interviewed extreme Messianic Jewish pastor Jonathan Cahn who told him that Hurricane Joaquin, which devastated Hawaii last year, was a "sign of God's wrath."

During the interview, Mr Cahn stated that the storm was a sign God was angry about the legalisation of gay marriage and abortion and the relationship between the United Nations and Israel.

He's quoted as agreeing, adding "God is trying to send us a message."

The Red Cross has called the Louisiana floods the worst natural disasters in the US since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Thirteen people have died in catastrophic floods across the US state and tens of thousands of people were stranded in their homes and vehicles.



Tony Perkins ran for US senate in 2002 and has campaigned against LGBT rights. Image via YOU TUBE

"The fact that so many people in Louisiana have been forced out of their own homes this week is heartbreaking," she said in a statement about her contribution.

"I encourage those who can to help out and send your love and prayers their way during this devastating time."



Source: www.bbc.com

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Burkinis are now banned in Cannes

The southern French city of Cannes has banned burkinis on its beaches, and says it will fine women wearing the full body swimsuits if they refuse to change or leave the shoreline.

Mayor David Lisnard, who called the burkini "the uniform of extremist Islamism, not of the Muslim religion," cited public order concerns in light of the July terrorist attack in nearby Nice, which left 80 people dead, and a subsequent attack on a Catholic church in northwest France, in a municipal ordinance forbidding swimwear that doesn't respect "good morals and secularism."

This could be bad news for some wealthy Arab Muslims, who descend on the city in the summer months to escape the heat in places like Dubai and Kuwait.

"Beachwear manifesting religious affiliation in an ostentatious way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target of terrorist attacks, could create the risk of disturbances to public order," says the ordinance, which will be in effect through August — peak vacation season in southern France.

Other religious symbols, like the kippah and the cross, won't be affected by the ban, the mayor told local media. Neither will the hijab, which some Muslim women wear to cover their hair. The ban could also include saris worn by Indian women, however, because the long cloth could make it difficult for rescuers in case of an emergency, Lisnard told the Nice-Matin newspaper.

Before a fine of 38 euros ($42) is imposed, women wearing burkinis will be given the chance to either change or leave the beach. Since the rule came into effect on July 28 in the city — home to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival — no one's been apprehended.

This is yet another restriction on how Muslim women dress in France, home to about 5 million Muslims. The country was the first in Europe to ban burqas, which cover the length of the body, and niqabs, full veils for the face, in 2010.

A Marseilles waterpark, which arranged a burkini-only day earlier this week, cancelled the event in response to criticism from politicians, who said it contradicted France's secular values.

"I simply forbid a uniform that is the symbol of Islamic extremism," said Lisnard, according to the BBC. "We live in a common public space, there are rules to follow. "

The ban will be challenged in court by the Human Rights League, as well as the Collective Action Against Islamophobia in France, which expressed "deep concern about this new violation of the most elementary principles of law," and called Lisnard's argument "shocking."

One of several religious groups outraged by the ban, France's Southern Muslim federation also condemned "the illegal and abusive use of such procedures for the purpose of unique stigmatization and exclusion.


Image: GETTYIMAGES

Source: www.vice.com

WATCH: Christian protestor laugh at gay man grieving over his dead husband


Image via VINE

In Alabama Roy Moore was speaking after being suspended for defying the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. He will go on trial in September. 

"A few hundred feet away from Moore’s speech to crowds with many holding signs like ‘homosexuality destroy families’ and ‘sodomy ruins nations’, there was an alternative press conference organized by the Human Rights Campaign.

Among the people speaking there were people like Dr Paul Hard, who has been involved in a legal fight for his husband who died five years ago to be recognized as his husband.

And when he began to speak about his partner’s death, a man in the crowd laughed," reports GAYSTARNEWS

John Archibald, a columnist who was there at the conference, asked: ‘How can any man, no matter his position on Roy Moore or any issue, stand before another and mock his pain?

‘How can one stand under the banner of God and laugh at another man’s death?

‘How — in the name of God — can one deride genuine grief?’

He added: ‘Christians cannot let these people define their religion. All they have is volume. As a substitute for moral authority.’ 

According to scientific research, homophobia is a mental illness. Homophobic people are really sick. And religion is also sick. No wonder that homophobia and religion are soulmates. 

Russia's antimonopoly agency bans Hieronymus Bosch

Russia's antimonopoly agency has found that Artplay company violated the advertising law when promoting “Bosch. Visions Alive,” the watchdog reports in a press-release a few days ago.

RELATED: Michelangelo's 'David' is 'dressed' now in St. Petersburg by Russian fundamentalists

A concerned Russian citizen has turned to AA with a complaint about an advertisement containing a reproduction of Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” 

Upon reviewing the case materials, the agency (AA) concluded that on the whole the images of people in the advertisement were 'indecent' or 'immoral' and thus contravened the federal advertising law of Russia.

According to RAPSINEWS, Russia's antimonopoly agency issued an order to rectify the violation addressed to Artplay, which was found to be the organizer and advertiser of the exhibition. The antimonopoly agency is also working on materials needed to initiate an administrative case against the company, which may face a fine amounting from 100,000 to 500,000 rubles.

According to the advertising law, no profanities, indecent or abusive images, comparisons and expressions relating to gender, race, ethnicity, profession, social status, age, language, official state or religious symbols, as well as national and UNESCO heritage objects are allowed in advertisements, whereas advertisers should be responsible for respective violations.

In reality, the only reason to ban was the great similarity between the Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin and a face on the painting of Bosch.

Hieronymus Bosch was always one of the most remarkable and original painters of all time. And irresistible is the art of the death agony of feudalism today highly topical for Russia.

The true art is not immoral. The true art is immortal. 



Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights

By David Chutlashvili | 13 August 2016 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mike Pence believes in creationism and he wants to teach that to kids


MIke Pence. Image via YOU TUBE

During an emotional speech on the House floor in 2002, Pence regurgitated the ignorant ‘evolution is only a theory’ theme, and declared that “intelligent design” should be taught to children as a scientific alternative with equal weight.

RELATED: Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence Doesn’t Accept Evolution or Climate Change

“I believe that God created the known universe, the earth and everything in it, including man,” Pence said. “And I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”


“I would simply and humbly ask, can we teach it as such and can we also consider teaching other theories of the origin of species?” Pence continued. “Like the theory that was believed in by every signer of the Declaration of Independence. Every signer of the Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created and were endowed by that same Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image, male and female. He created them.”
Writing for PatheosMichael Stone points out that Pence’s false and misleading claim that creationism is a valid scientific alternative to the theory of evolution is a tactic widely used by evangelicals to undermine the way science is taught in the public school system.
As the National Academy of Science notes, the “formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence."
See more at: www.deadstate.org

No abortions for pregnant women infected with Zika, Marco Rubio says

Marco Rubio (R) — an American politican and attorney, the junior United States Senator from Florida, said on Saturday that pregnant women who are infected with the ZIKV, should not be allowed to terminate their pregnancies.

In an interview with Politico‘s Mike Caputo, Rubio said:

“I understand a lot of people disagree with my view — but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one. But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.”

Zika is believed to cause severe birth defects like microcephaly. And microcephaly involves debilitating deformities of the brain and babies born with the condition begin their lives very critically ill. 

“Obviously, microcephaly is a terrible prenatal condition that kids are born with. And when they are, it’s a lifetime of difficulties,” Rubio told Politico. “So I get it. I’m not pretending to you that that’s an easy question you asked me. But I’m pro-life. And I’m strongly pro-life. I believe all human life should be protected by our law, irrespective of the circumstances or condition of that life.”

Unfortunately is no wonder what Rubio says. The intolerant speeches are not exotic for him. Rubio hates women. He said last year also that he opposes abortion access for women who have been the victims of rape or incest (!!!). 


"CBS said in June that while some individuals born with microcephaly can live somewhat normal lives, most are severely disabled. Many pass away at a very young age, but those who do not can require constant care for the rest of their lives. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Director Dr. Thomas Frieden estimated that the total lifetime medical costs for each microcephalic individual ranges from $1 million to $10 million or more. The first reports of Zika associated microcephaly came from Brazil and scientists quickly raised the alarm that it could spread throughout the tropics and to the United States. In June the CDC and the Obama administration attempted to pass a bill allocating funding to fight and research the disease, but Republicans blocked it," says RAWSTORY's David Ferguson in his article. 
Any conservative and very religious politician worldwide generally opposes abortion. And they are especially dangerous for democracy. 

Marco Rubio. Image: USATODAY

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pastor Steven Anderson: Men Rule Over Women at Home, and I’ll Arm Wrestle Any Woman Here Who Disagrees


Steven Anderson. Image via YOU TUBE

Pastor Steven Anderson said that “the husband’s the head of the wife,” then laughed off criticism that he was misogynistic because, he continued, “it’s like a new word” and he wasn’t interested in jumping on some “trendy” bandwagon.

RELATED: Anti-Gay Pastor Who Wants To Kill Them All Gets Bad News And Throws Massive Temper Tantrum
"I get an email every day calling me “misogynistic.” What a stupid word. This is, like, a new word. I never heard that when I was a kid. I didn’t hear that. Did you hear that growing up?…"
"See, I don’t go with all your little trendy words and all your little trendy concepts. You know, people have been doing it my way for the last 6,000 years — in all cultures, pretty much, in all nations of the world, and it’s worked out great for a lot of people."
Anderson doesn’t get the problem with misogyny because things have “worked out great for a lot of people.” Which is true. Men are doing just fine.
Anderson continued:
But all of a sudden, we’re supposed to get on this trendy little faggoty type of a relationship where, you know, my wife and I are supposed to dress the same, act the same, look the same, talk the same, live the same lifestyle, have the same authority.
Not-so-subtle homophobic slur aside, gender equality doesn’t mean men and women have to do everything the same way. Have the same opportunities? Yes. But no one’s forcing Anderson to dress like his wife as a way to promote feminism.
I want to tell Anderson to get a dictionary and look up the word “misogyny” so he doesn’t keep misinterpreting it, but I’m pretty sure he has a rule against opening up a second book, says Hemant Mehta, a blogger from Patheos
And Anderson went far:
… honestly, women are just as happy in this lifestyle as men. When there’s a proper lifestyle, where the husband is the leader. Because here’s the thing: Women are not wired to want to be in charge and rule over a man. It goes against the grain with them to be the boss and make all the decisions. They love to be married to a strong man. Women don’t want to be married to a weakling…
There are no doubt women who accept and appreciate their traditional gender roles. But you know what would make that argument even stronger? Giving them the option of working outside the house, being a boss, leading a church, etc. and seeing what they do. For many women raised in fundamentalist Christianity, they’re taught from a young age that they must accept certain roles. Of course many would seem happy. It’s not like they’ve given any thought to the alternatives.

Even the feminist women, deep down, they’re like, “Please rule over me! Please be my leader!”
And then we got to the best part of all. Anderson challenged women to arm wrestle him. Because that’s how you settle all disputes about who’s really in charge.

… I challenge any woman right now to come up and arm wrestle me… I’m gonna make the challenge that I’ve made over and over again… I’m not the strongest man in the world! Any woman can come up and arm wrestle me right now. And if you can come up and defeat me in an arm wrestling match, I’ll admit that women are as strong as men.

Anyone?

… I’ve had about five women take me up on that over the years, and they all went down, and they went down hard, alright?
To this day, men and women are not equal. Every day are the women victims of violence. The women earn less than men. They are often raped. The women are sexually unfree. If they have free sex, they are often stigmatized as 'sluts.' And this disparity has religious motives. "Women are treated more equally in some countries that are atheistic or where governments are strictly separated from religion,” says Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States. Steven Anderson and many other pastors want to strengthen this inequality. But such persons have no chance.





By David Chutlashvili | 7 August 2016 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pastor dies after fasting for 30 days, he wanted to break the record of Jesus

Alfred Ndlovu, a pastor from South Africa has died of malnutrition after going without food for 30 days when he tried to emulate Jesus Christ and fast for 40 days and 40 nights. 

Alfred Ndlovu, 44  left home on 17 June and headed into the bush to conduct prayers, redirecting his attention to God, away from things of the earth. He was known by his family and community at large as a very spiritual person whose faith could move mountains and his death has puzzled those close to him and church members.

One close relative said: He was a very spiritual man. Its unfortunate he had to die this way. After a month we got the sad news of his death. 

Pastor was a healthy and religious old man who did not even look his age.”

Attempting to equal or break Jesus Christ record of fasting for 40 days, Mr Alfred Ndlovu gave up the ghost after just a month despite having no history of illness. He was alone in the wilderness and his body was found by a stranger who then alerted the police. 



Image via YOU TUBE


Monday, August 1, 2016

Arrested Afghan cleric after marrying a 6-year-old girl


Image: Jorge Silva / Reuters

A cleric in his 60s has been arrested in Afghanistan after he married a 6-year-old girl. The arrested man says that the child was sent to him as a “gift,” but the rescued girl has a different opinion saying: “I am afraid of this man.”
The arrest took place in a village in the Ghor province in central Afghanistan. Mohammad Karim claims he married the child as a "religious offering,” adding that the parents of the girl were fully aware of their marriage.



Mohammad Karim. Image: RFELR.ORG
"The girl was given to me as a gift and we were married so I could raise her," Karim told Radio Free Europe. "After the parents gave their daughter to me, they said, 'you can take her wherever you want.’”
Muhhamad  Karim said that the marriage was performed “during Ramadan in the presence of 30 to 40 people.”
However, the parents tell another story – they say they are shocked, adding that the child was kidnapped from western Herat province.


"This man has said his wedding to this girl was approved by her mother and father," said Mohammad Zeman Azami, the deputy police commander of Ghor.
"We spoke to her parents and they strongly deny they attended the wedding. On the phone, the parents told me their daughter was kidnapped."
The girl’s parents have already headed to take her back from a woman's shelter in Ghor where she has been held ever since, government officials told AFP.
"This girl does not speak, but repeats only one thing: 'I am afraid of this man,’" said Masoom Anwari, head of the women affairs department in Ghor.

According to Dr. Nashafarin Shihab, who works at the main hospital in Firuz Koh, the medical examination showed that the girl had endured no physical or psychological harm."


The governor's spokesman Abdul Hai Khatibi confirmed that the cleric "has been jailed and our investigation is on going.”
The Afghan Civil Code states that the legal age of marriage is 16 years for women and 18 years for men. The Karzai government has relaxed policies around women's rights, and in Kabul women can be seen driving cars and engaging in many other activities that they would have previously been banned from participating in. But in spite of everything Violence against (young) women is yet usually in Afghanistan. The father of the girl may give consent to her marriage if she is as young as 15. Poor families consider a daughter “as an economic burden who must be married quickly to reduce the financial strain,” UNICEF report says, adding that with the on going conflict in the country many parents marry their daughters at young ages to 'secure their futures.'
"Of course, this is such a fundamental breach of a child's basic rights," the organization says

WATCH: Scientists discovered a mysterious glowing purple orb at the bottom of the ocean


Image via YOU TUBE

Near the Channel Islands, very deep under the sea, several kilometers off the coast of Los Angeles, marine scientists noticed a mysterious glowing purple orb hiding in the rocks. They zoomed in on the creature with an underwater robot camera and were completely shocked. They had never seen anything like this before. 

“I’m stumped,” you can hear one of the scientists say in the video below. “I have no idea. I couldn’t even hazard a guess.”

In the video below, you can hear the scientists — part of the ocean research vessel E/V Nautilus — chatter in real time, completely agog about what they are approaching.


Some sentences from their conversation:

“What if it’s an egg sack of some sort?”
“Is that a little embryo-type thing inside?”
“Maybe it’s a spider egg sack?”
“Maybe we should leave it, then, we don’t want to mess with spider egg sacks.”
“Get some lasers.”
“It looks like a disco ball right now.”

The group of marine scientists brought it onboard the ship for further analysis. And they still have no idea what it is. 

Their best guess is that it’s a type of pleurobranch. Or it could be a newly discovered species altogether. 

The ocean is still a very mysterious place. In total, humans have explored less than 5 percent of the ocean floor. Ocean can be our future; We could find a lot of drugs and other very useful things in the ocean. But we pray. We pray and pray and pray. 'God' promises us eternal life, and we think that life is truly eternal.