Brasilian suurimman ongelman
Erkki Hartikainen 31.8.2016
Tätä ongelmaa on esitelty tämän lehden englanninkielisessä osiossa.
Huomaa, että Brasilian suurin ongelma on myös maailman suurin ongelma.
sanoi heille: "Antakaa keisarille, mikä keisarin on, ja Jumalalle,
mikä Jumalan on". Ja he ihmettelivät häntä suuresti.
Uskovaisten mielivaltaa ei
voi estää laeilla
Erkki Hartikainen 30.8.2016
Toisaalla kerrotaan englanniksi siitä, että sekulaarissa Yhdysvalloissa
uskovaiset virkamiehet harrastavat mielivaltaa. Tällaisia uutisia
voitaisiin kertoa joka päivä.
Erilaisten "vapaa-ajattelijain" ja "humanistien" tavoite sekulaarista
valtiosta on liian lepsu. Esimerkiksi Suomessa sekulaari valtio olisi
toteutettavissa varsin vähäisin muutoksin. Ne eivät kuitenkaan saisi
aikaan mitään todellista muutosta ateistien asemassa. Se, ettei Suomesta
ole tehty täysin sekulaaria valtiota, on lähinnä uskovaisten
poliitikkojen kiusantekoa. Muutoksella ei olisi käytännössä mitään
Myös monilla ateisteilla on liian lepsu asenne. Ainoa oikea tie
oikeasti sekulaariin yhteiskuntaan on omista oikeuksistaan kiinni
pitävien ateistien enemmistö väestöstä.
Kuten olemme nähneet, vallan kaapanneet ateistiset puolueet kuten erään
kommunistiset puolueet eivät ole tehneet ateistien hyväksi juuri mitään.
Kun ne ovat syystä tai toisesta menettäneet vallan, entinen meno on
Monissa maissa tapahtuu täysin ateistijärjestöistä riippumatta
ateistien määrän lisääntymistä. Ateistien olisi syytä vakavasti pohtia,
olisiko mahdollista tukea oikeasti tätä kehitystä. Kokoustaminen voi
tietysti aiheuttaa osallistujille mielihyvää, mutta siihen käytettävät
rahat ja ajan voisi käyttää paljon paremmin.
Onko maailma siirtymässä
totuuden jälkeiseen aikaan?
Erkki Hartikainen 29.8.2016
Ei, se elää totuutta edeltävää aikaa.
halventamisesta epäilty räppäri pääsi vapaaksi tutkintavankeudesta
kärsineen Nameween tapauksen tutkinta jatkuu edelleen.
Oikeus päätti torstaina olla jatkamatta Nameween vankeutta, koska
hänellä on pahoja vatsavaivoja. Penangin alueen poliisipäällikön Mior Faridalathrash Wahidin mukaan Nameween
tapauksen tutkinta jatkuu kuitenkin edelleen.
Tiesitkö, kuka on
Erkki Hartikainen 27.8.2016
Jos mukaan lasketaan laillinen varastaminen kapitalismissa, eniten on
varastanut maailman rikkain mies Bill Gates. Hän on varastanut enemmän
kuin Suomen budjetin verran. Varkaus on kohdistunut koko maailmaan.
Ehkä tiesit tämän, mutta tiesitkö myös sen, että Bill Gates on
kehottanut maailmaa olemaan käyttämättä mitään ilmaista?
Tiesitkö, että kirjoitan tätä ilmaisella käyttöjärjestelmä Ubuntlla ja
sen ilmaisella sovelluskehittimellä nimeltä Bluegriffon.
Sen varmaan tiesit, että teen tätä ilmaiseksi.
Olen syyllistynyt suurempiinkin ilmaisrötöksiin. Olen kirjoittanut
kouluja varten täydelliset elämänkatsomustiedon oppikirjat.
Ymmärrän, että muusta Euroopasta jälkeen jäänyt
fundamentalistikristillinen (luterilaisuus on fundamentalismia,
katolisuus ei) Suomi jättää huomiotta elämänkatsomustiedon oppikirjani,
koska ne eivät ole uskontomyönteisiä.
Sen sijaan on vaikea ymmärtää sitä, että Suomi jättää huomiotta
ilmaiset filosofian koulukirjani. Olen kirjoittanut ne lukemalla ensin
kilpailevat filosofian oppikirjat. Olen opiskellut filosofiaa koko
elämäni, ja minulla on myös opettajan pätevyys.
Tässä on kyse siitä, että Suiomessa ei saa käyttää mitään, minkä minä
olen kirjoittanut, kuten silloisen kouluhallituksen pääjohtaja Erkki Aho
(kristillinen sosialidemokraatti) aikoinaan totesi.
Mikä on muslimien pahin
Erkki Hartikainen 26.8.2016
Se, että heissä on paljon uskovaisia.
Helsingin Sanomat on aina
Vantaan uusi säästömuoto:
Ikääntyneet ylivelkaantuneet valtion ylläpitämiin vankiloihin
Erkki Hartikainen 25.8.2016
En kirjoittaisi tästä, jos en hanttityöläisenä (Vantaan kaupungin
virkamiehenä) olisi joutunut mm. ajamaan SAS - ohjelmistolla Vantaan
ylivelkaantuneista tehtyjä tutkimuslomakkeita. Jotkut kävivät jopa
tuomassa lomakkeensa, ja kertomukset olivat hirvittäviä.
Kirjoitan myös siksi, että Helsingin Sanomat ei ollut paikalla, kun
tutkimustuloksia julkistettiin eikä Helsingin Sanomat koskaan
julkistanut tutkimusten tuloksia.
Päin vastoin Helsingin Sanomat moitti ylivelkaantuneita ankarin sanoin.
Helsingin Sanomain kanta ei ole muuttunut. Miten se voisi muuttua, kun
Antti Herlin ja kumppanit eivät ole ylivelkaantuneita.
Kuten Jukka Peltomäen tapauksessa niin hyvin monissa muissa tapauksissa
ylivelkaantuminen johtui siitä, että ihmiset olivat taanneet
sukulaistensa lainoja, ja kun velkaisten rankaiseminen alkoi, takaajista
Vastaavia ilmiöitä löytyy viimeisten sadanviidenkymmenen vuoden ajalta
paljon. Eräät mahtavat suvut (kuten äidin äidin suku) kaatuivat velkojen
Alun perin tarkoituksenani oli kirjoittaa tänään Helsingin Sanomain
muista rötöksistä, mutta ehdin toki kirjoittaa niistä myöhemminkin.
Todellisuuden ja ns. tiedotusvälineiden välillä on sellainen
kuilu, että sitä ei voi selittää muulla kuin tiedotusvälineiden
ohjatulla ja tiedostetulla rötöstelyllä. Mistä löytyisi Suomen Jan
palaa tai maatua?
Erkki Hartikainen 24.8.2016
Arkkujen laatu on puhuttanut hautausalaa jo
pitkään. Kirkkohallitus on tarttunut toimeen ja neuvotellut hautausalan
toimijoiden kanssa ohjeistuksen, joka on tarkoitus saattaa voimaan ensi
vuoden alusta lähtien.
Maatumattomien materiaalien käyttö arkuissa
ja uurnissa on ongelmallista niin krematorioiden työturvallisuuden kuin
Entä mitkä ovat päästöt polttuhautauksessa?
Miten päästäisiin eroon maan käytöstä turhiin hautausmaihin
(muinaiseurooppalaiset polttivat ruumiit, kristinusko toi hautauksen).
voi pilata elämän väittää tuore tutkimus
Melbournen yliopiston tuoreen tutkimuksen mukaan metallimusiikki
aiheuttaa nuorille muun muassa masennusta.
Kyllä, luit oikein TUOREEN tutkimuksen mukaan.
- Yleensä nuoret kuuntelevat musiikkia positiivisella tavalla eli
nostaakseen fiilistä ja saadakseen energiaa. Poikkeuksena ovat
masennukseen taipuvaiset nuoret, jotka kuuntelevat metallimusiikkia,
tutkija Katrina McFerran väittää.
McFerran antaa esimerkin metallipäiden kuuntelutottumuksista.
- Jotkut kuuntelevat metallibiisejä uudelleen ja uudelleen, eivätkä
he kuuntele mitään muuta. He käyttävät musiikkia paetakseen
todellisuudesta, tutkija selittää.
- Jos tällainen käytös jatkuu, se voi ajan myötä johtaa jopa
itsemurha-aikeisiin, McFerran varoittaa.
Ehdotan tilalle musiikkia, joka ei käytä ollenkaan kitaroita ja
rumpuja. Basso kontrabassolla, soinnut pianolla ja soitinsoolot
viuluilla. Periaatteessa trio riittää iskelmämusiikin säestykseksi.
Laulajan pitää läpäistä laulukoe, jotta pääsee tällaisen orkesterin
solistiksi. Kokeen arvostelee oikea laulunopettaja.
Erityisesti minua ärsyttävät säroinen soitto ja laulu.
Metallimusiikkia saavat mielestäni kuunnella vain epämusikaaliset
ihmiset. Heillehän riittää pelkkä rap.
laitoksen johtaja ei tunne LINUXia?
Erkki Hartikainen 22.8.2016
Elokuun 21. päivän Helsingin Sanomissa on haastateltu
Tietojenkäsittelytieteen laitoksen johtajaa Sasu Tarkomata Linuxin
Olen sitä mieltä, että Helsingin Sanomilla olisi ollut varaa
haastatella Linusta itseään. On hupaisaa, että tietokoneiden
ohjelmistojen, käyttöjärjestelmien jne. opetusta johtava johtaja ei
mainitse Linuxin ns. distroja Androidia lukuun ottamatta.
On täyttä pötyä se, että Linuxin käyttöliittymät olisivat vaikeampia
kuin Windows. Tarkomalla on koneessan Windows siitä syystä, että
tietokoneiden valmistajat pakkomyyvät sen koneen mukana.
Jos Tarkoma olisi pyytänyt jotain köyhää opiskelijaa asentamaan
koneesensä Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:än tärkeimpine ilmaisine ohjelmistoineen
Windowsin rinnalle ja pannut Grubin käynnistämään suoraan Ubuntun,
johtaja olisi seuraavana aamuna ihmetellyt sitä, kuinka hieno
Windowsista on tullut.
Sattumalta tunnen Linuxin historian aika hyvin, sillä vaihdoin
ammattini tietotekniikkaan niihin aikoihin, kun Linus opiskeli
Helsingissä. Kun Linuxia ei vielä ollut, opetin UNIX-
käyttöjärjestelmää levykkeelle mahtuneella ilmaisella MINIXillä, joka
antoi Linusille ajatuksen oman unixin kirjoittamisesta.
Todettakoon, ettei Linus käyttänyt riviäkään MINIXin koodia vaan teki
koko käyttöjärjestelmän itse. Lisäksi todettakoon, että MINIX on yhä
opetuskäytössä elossa versiona Minix 3.
Minulla on kakkoskoneessa Windows 10, mutta ei mitään Microsoftin muita
ohjelmistoja. Työohjelmistoina minulla on täsmälleen ssamat
ilmaisohjelmat kuin Ubuntussa.
Mainittakoon, että olen neuvonut asentamaan tai asentanut ilmaisia
ohjelmistoja myös tuttavilleni. Esimerkiksi Libre Office tekee kaikki
samat asiat kuin Microsoft Office lukuun ottamatta Visual Basic makroja.
Tämä siitä syystä, että Visual Basic on Microsoftin oma
Abu Hurayrah kertoi Allahin Lähettilään (saws) sanoneen: "Kuka
tahansa, joka pitää koiraa, joka ei ole metsästykseen, paimentamiseen
tai maanviljelyyn, kaksi qiraatia tullaan vähentämään hänen
palkkiostaan joka päivä."
Ibn 'Umar sanoi: "Kuulin Allahin Lähettilään (saws) sanovan: 'Kuka
tahansa, joka pitää koiraa, paitsi sellaista, joka on koulutettu
metsästämään tai koiraa karjan paimentamiseen, hänen palkkionsa tulee
vähenemään joka päivä kahdella qiraatilla.'" (al-Bukhaari, 5059;
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen sanoi Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheenissa,
4/241:Koskien koirien pitämistä, tämä on haraam ja on itse asiassa
suuri synti, koska siltä, joka pitää koiraa, lukuun ottamatta
sellaisia joiden kohdalla on tehty poikkeus, tullaan vähentämään kaksi
qiraatia palkkiostaan joka päivä.
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen (olkoon Allah hänelle armollinen) sanoi:.Jos
talo on keskellä kaupunkia, ei ole mitään tarvetta pitää koiraa
vartioimassa sitä, joten koiran pitäminen siihen tarkoitukseen
tämänkaltaisissa tilanteissa on haraam eikä ole sallittua, ja se
vähentää kaksi qiraatia henkilön palkkiosta joka päivä. Heidän tulisi
hankkiutua eroon tästä koirasta eikä pitää sitä. Mutta jos talo on
maaseudulla eikä lähistöllä ole ketään muita, silloin on luvallista
pitää koiraa vartioimaan taloa ja sen asukkaita; talon asukkaiden
vartioiminen on vielä tärkeämpää kuin karjan tai sadon
Majmoo' Fataawa Ibn 'Uthaymeen, 4/246
Ibn Maajah (3640) kertoi 'Ali ibn Abi Taalibilta että Profeetta
(saws) sanoi: "Enkelit eivät tule sisään taloon, jossa on koira tai
kuvia." (al-Albaani luokitteli tämän sahiihiksi Saheeh Ibn Maajah'ssa)
Profeetta (saws) sanoi: "Jos koira nuolee jollekin teistä kuuluvaa
astiaa, hänen tulee heittää pois sen sisältö ja pestä se seitsemän
Abu Hurayrah kertoi että Allahin Lähettiläs (saws) sanoi: "Astianne
puhdistaminen, jos koira nuolee sitä, on pestä se seitsemän kertaa,
joista ensimmäinen on mudalla." (Muslim, 279.)
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (olkoon Allah hänelle armollinen)
sanoi:Koskien koiria, oppineilla on kolme eri mielipidettä:
1 - Että ne ovat taahir (puhtaita), jopa niiden sylki. Tämä on Maalikin
2 - Että ne ovat najis (epäpuhtaita), jopa niiden turkki. Tämä on
al-Shaafi'in mielipide ja toinen Ahmedilta kerrotuista mielipiteistä.
3 - Turkki on taahir, mutta sylki on najis. Tämä on Abu Haniifan
mielipide, ja Ahmedin toinen mielipide.
Tämä on oikein mielipide. Joten jos koiran turkin kosteutta tulee
jonkun vaatteisiin tai vartaloon, se ei tee niistä najis.
Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 21/530.
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen sanoi:Koskien koiran koskettamista, mikäli
siinä ei ole mitään märkää, se ei tee kädestä najis, mutta jos hän
koskee sitä ja siinä on märkyyttä, tarkoittaa tämä sitä, että kädestä
on tullut najis, monen oppineen mielipiteen mukaan, ja käsi on pestävä
sen jälkeen seitsemän kertaa, joista yksi on mudalla.
Majmoo' Fataawa Ibn 'Uthaymeen, 11/246
sisäministeri: Kasvot peittävä huntu kiellettävä kouluissa ja ajaessa
Saksan kristillisdemokraatit haluavat kieltää musliminaisten kasvot
peittävät burka- ja niqab-hunnut muun muassa kouluissa, yliopistoissa ja
autolla ajaessa. Kielto on osa puolueen suunnittelemia kireämpiä
Saksan sisäministeri Thomas de Maizière sopi asiasta kokouksessa Saksan
osavaltioiden kristillisdemokraattisten sisäministerien kanssa.
Huntukiellon lisäksi ministerit lisäisivät poliisien määrää ja valvontaa
– Me kaikki torjumme täysin peittävän huivin. Emme vain burkaa vaan
myös muut hunnut, jotka jättävät vain silmät näkyviin. Niillä ei ole
paikkaa yhteiskunnassamme, de Maizière sanoi uutistoimisto Reutersin
Meckenburg-Etu-Pommerin osavaltion sisäministerin Lorentz Caiffierin
mukaan peittävä huntu estää sopeutumista, rohkaisee eristäytymiseen
muusta yhteiskunnasta ja viestii siitä, että naiset olisivat miehiä
Sisäministeri de Maizière kuitenkin myönsi, ettei kasvot peittävä huntu
ole turvallisuusasia eikä ylipäätään suuri ongelma Saksassa.
Sisäministerit haluavat hänen mukaansa viestittää, etteivät ne kuulu
Ministerien ehdotuksen mukaan kasvot tulisi näyttää ajaessa,
viranomaisille rekisteröityessä, passitarkastuksissa ja
mielenosoituksissa. Lisäksi virkamiesten, opettajien, koululaisten,
opiskelijoiden ja oikeudessa todistajien olisi kiellettyä käyttää kasvot
Erkki Hartikainen 20.8.2016
Keiden tehtävä on luoda ennakkoluuloja? Tietysti
radion ja television
ihmisten välisten keskustelujen
Keiden tehtävä on poistaa ennakoluuloja?
? ? ?
? ? ?
Saako ennakkoluuloilla rahastaa?
? ? ?
(Un)believing in Modern
Helsingin yliopiston tiedekulmassa (Aleksanterinkatu 7) keskiviikkona
17.8. klo 15-16
(Tila saattaa olla aika pieni, joten kannattaa tulla ajoissa!)
Jörg Stolz, Nordic Conference for the Sociology of Religion:
(Un)believing in Modern Society
Religious phenomena don’t seem to be disappearing from our societies –
but the traditional categories of religious and secular might well have
to be re-examined. Jörg Stolz and his colleagues propose a new way to
analyze religious and spiritual phenomena in today’s me-societies: the
concept of (un)believing. What is it all about? Hear more at Think
Corner on Wednesday 17.8. at 3–4pm.
Jörg Stolz is a professor of sociology of religion at the University of
Lausanne, one of his main research interests being the explanation of
religiosity and secularization.
The event is organized by the Nordic Conference for the Sociology of
religion, taking place on 17th –19th August in the University of
Watch live stream:
läpeensä pahat ihmiset
Erkki Hartikainen 19.8.2016
Helsingin Sanomain rikos- ja oikeustoimittaja kirjoittaa "on läpeenä
Olisi kiintoisaa tietää, onko toimittajalla takanaan filosofian
opintoja, ja jos on, ketkä häntä ovat filosofiassa opettaneet.
Filosofian kuuluisin lause on Humen giljotiini.
Humen giljotiinin eli Humen lain mukaan
tosiasioista ei voi johtaa moraalisia sääntöjä.
Näin Humen giljotiini siis leikkaa moraalin irti luonnollisista
totuuksista. Periaatteen loi filosofi David Hume teoksessaan A Treatise
of Human Nature (1739). Alkuperäinen sääntö kuuluu:
”there is no ought from is”.
Tosiasioista ei voida johtaa väitettä "on läpeensä pahoja ihmisiä".
Toimittajan olisi pitänyt sanoa:
"Minun mielestäni on läpeensä pahoja ihmisiä".
En ole kuulut kenenkään filosofin sanovan näin. Jos filosofi sanoisi
näin, hän saattaisi joutua henkilökohtaisiin vaikeuksiin.
Mitä tulee psykopatiaan, jopa tunnetut psykologian testit rikkovat
Asiaa helpottaa hieman se, että sosiopaatin määritelmä voi ottaa
huomioon yhteisön arvot. Sosiopatia on siis suhteellista eli yhteisön
Se, ketkä luokitellaan psykopaateiksi, riippuu psykopatian
Asiaa helpottaa myös narsismin määritelmä, koska sekin voi ottaa
huomioon yhteisön arvot.
Jos psykopaatti määritellään siten, että mukaan ei oteta sosiopaatin
eikä narsistin ominaisuuksia, jäljelle ei jää paljon mitään.
Ilman arvoja psykopatia voitanee määritä perinnölliseksi
ominaisuudeksi. Eräitä perinnöllisiä ominaisuuksiakin kutsutaan
sairauksiksi. Myös sairauden määritelmä on turhan lavea.
Taipoumus väkivaltaisuuteen on huomattavan yleinen piirre, eikä sitä
voida näin ollen liittää erityisesti psykopaatin ominaisuuksiin.
Tietysti ominaisuuksien leikkausta on helppo käyttää määritelmissä,
mutta minun mielestäni tässä tapauksessa näin ei minun mielestäni ole
Jos jätetään määritelmästä arvot pois, jäljelle jää ihmisiä, joita on
Olen joskus sanonut, että jumaluustiede tutkii jotain, mitä ei ole
olemassa ja kasvatustiede jotain, mikä ei ole mahdollista.
Ihmisen sopeutuvuus siihen yhteisöön, johon hän kuuluu, riippuu sekä
yhteisön laadusta että ihmisen perinnöllisyystekijöistä. Oikeaoppiset
muslimit teloittavat ihmisiä teoista, jotka ovat ainakin Ruotsissa
täysin sallittuja ja suvaittuja.
On mahdollista, että psykopaatteja voidaan "parantaa" muuttamalla heitä
geneettisesti. Toistaiseksi ei minun mielestäni ole selvitetty sitä,
mitkä geenit tekevät psykopaatin.
Minun mielestäni psykopaateille pitää tarjota sellaista työtä, jossa he
eivät haittaa muiden ihmisten elämää. Missään tapauksessa heistä ei pidä
tehdä johtajia tai työttömiä, kuten nykyisin menetellään.
Minun mielestäni lähinnä tekniset alat sopivat psykopaateille. Teknisen
alan ihmisethän jossain määrin muistuttavat psykopaatteja.
ISISin saarnaajia yhteiskunnan varoilla
Erkki Hartikainen 18.8.2016
Tämän lehden englanninielisessä osiossa kerrotaan, että Britannia on
elättänyt ISISiä tukevaa saarnaajaa yhteiskunnan varoilla.
Britanniassa muslimit näyttävät saavan tehdä melkein mitä tahansa.
Nyt saarnaajia on alettu sentään tuomita lakien vastaisesta
Tuomioiden suuruus ilmoitetaan syyskussa.
Erkki Hartikainen 17.8.2016
Kansainvälisten pakolaissopimusten mukaan maahan on otettava minkä
lajin pakolaishirviöitä tahansa, jos toiset hirviöt ovat heidän uhkanaan
Mielestäni pahimmat pakolaishirviöt on jätettävä kansainvälisten
järjestöjen jollain saarella pidettäviin pakolaisleireihin.
Suomeen on mielestäni otettava vain niitä pakolaisia, jotka hyväksyvät
YK:n sopimukset kuten Kansalais- ja poliittisia oikeuksia koskeva
yleissopimus, Naisten oikeuksia koskeva sopimus, Lasten oikeuksia
koskeva sopimus jne. Maahan ei liioin ole ottettava naamioituneita
Muutenkin pakolaiset on otettava lähinnä niihin maihin, joihin he ovat
ensin saapuneet, ja heidän oleskelunsa siellä on kustannettava
kansainvälisin rahoin. EU:ssa kustannukset maksaisi EU.
Elintasopakolaiset on palauttevava kotimahinsa silloin, kun siellä on
taas turvallista (heitä ei esimerkiksi vangita tai jopa teloieta, kuten
Palautettavien pakolaisten turvallisuutta ja toimeentuloa on
kansainvälisten järjestöjen valvottava paikan päällä.
otti askeleen lähemmäs lapsiavioliittoja – tutkijan mukaan muutos on
kuitenkin vielä epävarma
perustuslakituomioistuin päätti heinäkuussa, ettei seksi alle
15-vuotiaiden kanssa olisi enää automaattisesti rikos. Tutkija
painottaa kuitenkin nykytilanteen epämääräisyyttä.
päätti heinäkuussa kumota säädöksen, jonka perusteella kaikki
seksuaaliset teot alle 15-vuotiaiden kanssa katsotaan
hyväksikäytöksi. Muutoksen olisi tarkoitus astua voimaan ensi vuoden
tammikuussa. Asiasta kertoi Hürriyet
Daily News -lehti.
Vaikka jotkut tutkijat ja ihmisoikeusjärjestöt kritisoivat päätöstä
tuoreeltaan, kansainvälisesti se jäi vähälle huomiolle. Viime
päivinä arvostelu on kuitenkin kiihtynyt. Päätöstä on moitittu
lasten oikeuksia sortavaksi ja lapsiavioliittoja helpottavaksi.
perustuslakituomioistuimen käsittelyyn alemman oikeusasteen
pyynnöstä. Siellä aiempaa lainsäädäntöä arvosteltiin siitä, ettei se
tehnyt eroa 14-vuotiaaseen ja neljävuotiaaseen kohdistuvien
Perustuslakituomioistuimen päätös kuitenkin poistaisi ikärajan
kokonaan. Muutoksen myötä lapsiin kohdistuviin seksuaalirikoksiin
jouduttaisiin soveltamaan samaa lainsäädäntöä kuin rikoksiin, joissa
uhri on aikuinen.
Hürriyet Daily Newsin mukaan tuomioistuin teki päätöksen äänin 7–6.
Vanhempi tutkija Toni Alaranta Ulkopoliittisesta
instituutista painottaa kuitenkin nykytilanteen epämääräisyyttä.
Tuomioistuimen päätöksen jälkeen Turkki on joutunut myllerrykseen epäonnistuneen
vallankaappausyrityksen seurauksena, ja moni keskeinen
vaikuttaja maassa on vaihtunut. Myös perustuslakituomioistuimen ovet
”On vaikea sanoa, mitä ennen vallankaappausyritystä tehdylle
päätökselle käy”, Alaranta toteaa.
olisi kuitenkin Turkin nykyisen suuntauksen mukaista. Alaranta
huomauttaa, että painetta konservatiiviseen linjaan tulee
valtaapitävästä AKP-puolueesta ja johtavilta poliitikoilta.
Viime vuonna Turkin perustuslakituomioistuin ilmoitti, että
avioliiton virallistamiseen riittää jatkossa imaamin suorittama
vihkiminen. Tätäkin päätöstä arvosteltiin vahvasti siitä, että se
helpottaa lapsiavioliittojen solmimista ja polkee lasten ja naisten
Islam hyväksyy orjuuden
Erkki Hartikainen 15.8.2016
Kaksi amerikkalaista muslimia on karkotettu Yhdysvalloista, koska he
ovat pitäneet orjaa.
Tähän on huomautettava, että kristinuskon ns. kirkoisilläkin saattoi
olla huomattavia määriä orjia, eikä kristinusko ainakaan Raamatun
valossa tuomitse orjuutta.
Trump ei tiedä, miten
hänen seurakunnassaan päästään taivaaseen
Erkki Hartikainen 13.8.2016
Tämä on yhtä tyhmää kluin se, että presidentiksi tultuaan Vladimir
Putin teki ortodoksisen ristinmerkin väärin päin.
Jos jokin jumala haluaisi kovasti, että häneen uskotaan, jumalan olisi
parasta päästää taivaaseen lähinnä ateistit.
Miksi koulut eivät käytä
Erkki Hartikainen 12.8.2016
Näiltä sivustoilta löytyvät täydelliset lukion filosofian ja
elämänkatsomustiedon oppikirjat. Myös lähes täydellinen matematiikan
aineisto löytyy täältä.
Jos ilmaisia oppikirjoja käytettäisiin, esimerkiksi lukion
oppikirjoissa voitaisiin siirtyä ilmaisiin kirjoihin, koska jotkut
tekisivät ne mielellään.
Alun perin ilmaisen oppimateriaalin kammo periytyy niiltä ajoilta,
jolloin Suomessa oli opetushallituksen virallinen oppikirjasensuuri. Nyt
sellaista ei ole.
Jotkut kunnat kyllä harrastavat oppikirjasensuuria.
Se, ettei elämänkatsomustiedon ilmaisia oppikirjoja käytetä, johtuu
siitä, että opetushallituksen kokoomuslainen ylitarkastaja Satu Elo ei
edesmenneeltä agnostikkopuolisoltaan Pekka Elolta perityn mielipiteen
mukaan hyväksy todellisuutta ja inhimillisiä mielipiteitä
totuudenmukaisesti kuvaavia oppikirjoja, "koska ne ovat liian
Monet kansainvälisesti tunnetut kasvatustieteilijät ovat sanoneet, että
koulussa on opettettava totuus ja vain totuus.
Koululaitokset ovat aina ja kaikkialla olleet totuuskammoisia.
Kouluissa opetetaan vain muutamia oppiaineita, joista koulua käyville on
todellista hyötyä. Muutoin koululaitos on lasten ja nuorten halpa
säiltyspaikka, kuten eräs silloisen kouluhallituksen ylijohtaja
Se, ettei näiden sivujen filosofian oppikirjoa hyväksytä, johtuu siitä,
etteivät ne ole filosofien itsensä kirjoittamia - ikään kuin minä en
olisi filosofiaa opiskelleena ja ikäni luikeneena pätevä vaan pätevyys
vaatii professorin tittelin. Mitään oleellisia eroja koulujen
hyväksymien ja itse kirjoittamieni filosofian oppikirjojen välillä en
ole havainnut. Ainoa ero on, että kirjoittamani kirjat ovat ilmaisia.
yliopistolla Joensuussa jaetaan islam-vastaisia lappusia. Lappuja on
piiloteltu myös yliopiston kirjaston kirjojen väliin. Lapuissa
kirjoitetaan muun muassa, että "islam on uhka suomalaiselle
tehtiin alkukesästä tutkintapyyntö Itä-Suomen poliisille. Poliisi
selvitti asiaa, mutta lappujen jakajaa tai jakajia ei tavoitettu ja
tapauksen selvittäminen lopetettiin.
Joensuun saamien tietojen mukaan islam-vastaisia lappusia jaetaan
edelleen avoimesti yliopistolla.
Sami Joutjärvi sanoo, että tekijän selvittäminen vaatii aktiivisuutta
yliopiston henkilöstöltä, jos lappujen jakajaa ei ole tallentunut
sanoo, että tapaus voidaan avata tarvittaessa uudestaan.
yliopiston rehtori Jukka Mönkkönen kuuli lappujen jakamisesta
ensimmäisen kerran Ylen toimittajalta. Rehtori aikoo selvittää, mitä
Joensuun kampuksella on tapahtunut.
Suhtaudumme tähän hyvin kielteisesti. Emme suvaitse tiloissamme
minkäänlaista poliittista tai rasistista propagandaa.
Itä-Suomen yliopistossa ei ymmärretä selvää Suomen kieltä.
Islamin vastainen propaganda ei ole
poliittista eikä rasistista propagandaa.
Sikäli kuin jonkin uskonnon vastaista propagandaa ei sallita, ei pidä
sallia uskonnollista propagandaakaan. Itä-Suomen yliopistossa voi jopa
opiskella sekä kristillistä luterilaista että kristillistä ortodoksista
Ne ovat molemmat kristillistä propagandaa, ja yliopiston pitäisi
pikaisesti lopettaa yhteiskunnan varoilla tehtävä uskonnollinen
Erkki Hartikainen 10.8.2016
Ilman uskovaisen Boris Jeltsinin sotilasvallankaappausta (nousi valtaan
hyppäämällä panssarivaunut päälle ja julistamalla Venäjän
neuvostotasavallan itsenäiseksi) Venäjä voisi olla hyvin uskonnoton maa.
Nyt jopa Rion olympialaisten uheilijoita kirkotetaan sekä ortodoksisen
kristillisen kirkon että muslimien toimesta. Asiasta kerrotaan tarkemmin
tämän lehden englanninkielisillä sivuille.
Mikä on profeetta
Erkki Hartikainen 9.8.2016
Profeetta tarkoittaa alun perin ennustajaa. Koska uskonnot sisältävät
kaikenlaisia ennustuksia tulevaisuudesta, uskonnollisia johtajia
alettiin jo muinaisina aikoina kutsua profeetoiksi. Selvimmillään tämä
perinne löytyy Raamatun Vanhasta testamenttista.
Ainakin sen jälkeen, kun muslimit alkoivat kutsua vätettyä islamin
perustajaa Muhammedia profeetaksi, tämän käsitten käyttö on laajentunut.
Juutalaisten profetointi loppui siihen, että juutalaiset papit
kielsivät profetoinnin. Muslimit kielisvät profetoinnin siksi, että
heidän mielestään Muhammed oli viimeinen profeetta.
Sikäli kuin ihmisoikeuksilla tarkoitetaan YK:n kansalais- ja
poliittisia oikeuksia koskevaa yleissopimusta, sen ratifioiminen ei
takaa ihmisoikeuksia edes Suomessa.
Yhdysvalloissa ihmisoikeuksia tukee tämän sopimuksen lisäksi Ranskan
vallankumouksen innoittama perustuslaki.
Edes Suomessa perustuslaki ei takaa ihmisoikeuksia.
Maailmassa on kaksi presidenttijohtoista maata, joilla on suuri
merkitys koko muulle maailmalle: Yhdysvallat ja Venäjä.
Vladirir Putin on Venäjällä tukenut ortodoksista kirkkoa. Jo Boris
Jeltsin muutti Venäjän lakeja uskontomyönteisiksi. Kaikkein
merkillisintä on, että Jeltsin nousi valtaan Neuvostoliiton
kommunistisen puolueen sisäpiiristä. Presidenttinä Jelstin hajoitti
Neuvostoliiton ja osoittautui uskovaiseksi.
Jos Trump valitaan Yhdysvaltain presidentiksi, hän todennäköisesti
tukisi kristinuskoa vastoin Yhdysvaltain perustuslakia.
Jo muinaisessa Roomassa yksinvalta johti ihmisoikeuksien vastaisen
kristinuskon valtaan nousuun ja toisin ajattelevien vainoihin.
Pakko puhua pahaa
Erkki Hartikainen 4.8.2016
Tämän lehden englanninkielisessä osassa on uutisia lähinnä muslimien
ihmisoikeusrikoksista. Uutisointi johtuu pelkästään siitä, että islam on
ihmisoikeusrikoksiin pyhillä teksteillä yllyttävä uskonto.
Kyse ei siis ole siitä, että muslimeista puhuttaisiin pahaa joillakin
rasistisilla perusteilla vaan siitä, että islam on paha uskonto.
Minun mielestäni muslimeja ei pitäisi ottaa pakolaisiksi ennen kuin he
ovat allekirjoitaneet YK:n kansalais- ja poliittisia oikeuksia koskevan
Erkki Hartikainen 3.8.2016
Jumalaton -lehden viisästyminen on tällä kertaa johtunut kahdesta eri
Elisan mobiiliverkko toimi huonosti jopa ulkoantennilla Iisalmessa.
Mahtaako surkealla maan hallituksella olla tekemistä yhteyksien
Toiseksi olen joutunut olemaan lapsenlapsen omahoitajana 74 vuoden isästä
huolimatta. Vantaa kyllä on parantamassa hänen hoitotukeaan, mutta kesällä
George H. Smithin ontologinen ateismin
Ateismi on väite: jumalaa tai jumalia ei ole olemassa
Tässä määritelmässä on määritelty olemassaoloa koskeva eli
ontologinen käsitys. Jumala joko on olemassa
tai ei ole olemassa. Mitään olemassaolon ja olemattomuuden
välimuotoa ei ole.
Teismi on väite: jumala tai jumalia on olemassa
Deismi (jumala on olemassa, mutta ei puutu
maailmanmenoon) ja panteismi (jumala on sama kuin maailmankaikkeus)
ovat tämän mukaan teismiä
Inhimillinen tieto siitä, mitä on olemassa, on vajavaista. Joku
saattaa pitää varmana, että jumalaa tai jumalia ei ole olemassa.
Joku toinen saattaa pitää varmana, että jumala tai jumalia on
olemassa. Joku kolmas voi olla epävarma siitä, onko jumalaa tai
jumalia olemassa vai ei.
Ateisti on henkilö, jonka mielestä
ateismi on tosi.
Agnostikko eli jumalaongelmainen on
henkilö, joka ei mielestään tiedä, onko ateismi tosi vai onko teismi
Uskonto on järjestäytynyttä teismiä.
Ne käsitykset joissa ei ole jumalia, eivät ole tämän määritelmän
This is a guest post by Peter
Wood. He’s a development researcher, mental health
activist, and amateur blogger.
With the XXXI Olympiad now complete, much of the world now has Brazil
on its mind. From water
pollution to street crime
income inequality to the Zika virus,
it seems that the nation has been criticized by the international media
in all ways possible. But one incredibly important point of tension
remains widely unacknowledged by outsiders: the role of evangelical
Christians in Brazilian politics.
Many already know that Brazil, and Latin America in general, is
notoriously corrupt. Most Brazilians strongly
distrust elected officials, and the current political crisis there
reveals the system at its worst. Brazil and Latin America are also seen
as heavily Roman Catholic, though despite being home to the first non-European
pope in more than a millennium, Catholic domination is beginning to
wane in the region. But unlike the United States, where “Nones”
are growing and Christians are dwindling, Brazil is experiencing a boom
in evangelical Christianity.
The rise of evangelicals in Brazil is largely underreported outside the
country but contributes directly to the political chaos currenting
besieging the nation. Dilma Rousseff, the first female
president in Brazil’s history, was impeached and awaits final judgment
by the Brazilian Senate in the coming weeks. That Senate, as well as
Congress in general, is controlled by a majority of outwardly religious
officials who make no efforts to hide their faith in Christ and, by
extension, their faith-based sexism.
Earlier this year, when Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies (similar to the
U.S. House of Representatives) voted on impeaching Rousseff, each
politician had 10 seconds to qualify their vote. Of those voting for
impeachment, many of them “dedicated”
their votes to God, family, Freemasons, even the military dictatorship
that physically tortured Dilma Rousseff herself. In fact, “God” was referenced 59
times during voting in April, all by those favoring impeachment.
The fact that many Brazilian politicians are outwardly sectarian when
performing public duties is a problem in and of itself, but the trouble
does not stop there. The country currently has an interim president, Michel
Temer, known to consult with popular evangelical pastors, and
the Senate is currently holding hearings on whether to permanently
remove Rousseff from office. Temer selected his interim cabinet after
Rousseff’s impeachment and failed to appoint even a single woman or
secretary of color. In a country that is 51% women and which has 97
million black, mixed race, or indigenous citizens, these lopsided
demographics put U.S. discrimination to shame. To make matters worse,
Temer selected Pastor Marco Feliciano to head the
Commission for Human Rights and Minorities. Feliciano has made claims
including that AIDS is a “gay cancer” and was recently accused of rape.
Now that the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics have come and gone, it is
hard to tell what comes next for Brazil. In 2017 São Paulo will host the
World Humanist Congress, but with the current
trend of political and economic instability, it is increasingly
difficult to foresee in what cultural climate the event will take place.
While the post-Obergefell United States suddenly seems
progressive on marriage equality, Brazil’s system still seems to favor
homophobic policy writers over popular support for marriage justice.
As the United States continues to endure the never-ending outtake reel
that is the Donald Trump presidential campaign, in
Brazil, an uncannily similar politician has already shown just how
dangerous it is for an egomaniac to vie for expanding evangelical
Christians’ political might. Jair Bolsonaro, a
congressman and prospective candidate for President in 2018, may
actually make you appreciate The Donald ever so slightly. Bolsonaro is
notorious (or beloved, in the right congregation) for his “straight
talk” candor and shocking sound bites. Some of his most shocking
include the following:
“I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son.”
“Women should earn less because they get pregnant.”
“I don’t run that risk [of my sons dating black women or homosexuals]
because they were educated well.”
And, when addressing a female politician, “I don’t rape you because you
don’t deserve it.”
During this election year, when the U.S. might elect its first ever
female president and far right conservative Christians still manage to
relentlessly push climate change denial, racism, misogyny, and
homophobia, perhaps we can learn some lessons from our
Portuguese-speaking friends from South America. When rhetoric and action
toward church/state separation are this vile, there might not be any
middle ground to occupy.
Atheists Sue PA House of
Representatives Over Discriminatory Invocation Policy
Added on: August 30, 2016
Harrisburg, PA—American Atheists
joined with Americans United for Separation of Church and State in
filing a federal lawsuit today challenging a policy prohibiting
atheists from offering invocations to open Pennsylvania House of
House of Representatives Speaker Mike Turzai is being sued in his
The five individual plaintiffs in the
case, including two members of Pennsylvania Nonbelievers, an American
Atheists affiliate, have repeatedly been denied an equal opportunity
to offer secular invocations before the House.
is about fairness and equality,” said Amanda Knief, American
Atheists National Legal and Public Policy Director. “If the House
wants to have invocations, they can’t simply exclude an invocation
that would represent the more-than 2.5 million nonreligious
This case comes after the 2014 U.S.
Supreme Court ruling in Greece
v. Galloway that
reaffirmed government bodies’ right to open meetings with prayers and
invocations as long as they did not discriminate against community
minority religious groups, including atheists, who wished to offer
their own invocations and prayers.
“It is long
past time for the Pennsylvania House to stop treating atheists like
said David Silverman, President of
could have been resolved by simply allowing everyone to participate,
but it seems that the leadership of the House is more interested in
preserving privilege for religious citizens than truly representing
Attorney Eric Husby is working on
behalf of American Atheists with attorneys from Americans United for
Separation of Church and State, including Legal Director Richard B.
Katskee, Associate Legal Director Alex J. Luchenitser, and Madison
Fellow Carmen Green as well as Pennsylvania attorney Allen Warshaw.
pastor in Georgia arrested over abuse allegations
Adkins is a notorious and outspoken opponent of LGBT rights. After 49
people died in the gay bar shooting he he tweeted:
I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what
The Savannah Morning Newsreports
that Adkins, 56, is a pastor in Brunswick, Georgia, who doubles as a
political consultant in the Jacksonville area.
He turned himself over to Glynn County authorities yesterday morning on
charges of aggravated child molestation and child molestation stemming
from allegations made by a former member of his congregation.
Said his wife, Charlotte Stormy Adkins:
We are disappointed with what appears to be a rush to judgment by
law enforcement authorities in this case. We are confident that
Kenneth Adkins will be found innocent of all charges.
Attorney Kevin Gough, hired to represent Adkins on Thursday, said a
bail hearing could be as early as Monday, but a preliminary hearing on
the charges likely won’t occur until September 9.
He looks forward to having his day in court.
Stacy Carson, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation’s Kingsland office, said District Attorney Jackie Johnson
asked the GBI on August 12 to assist the Brunswick Police Department in
the investigation. It focused on suspected molestation in several
locations in the Brunswick area including at Adkins’ church, a vehicle
and a victim’s home, Carson said.
The incidents possibly occurred in 2010 and would have had to involve
someone younger than 16 for child molestation charges to be brought.
Charlotte Adkins said she and her husband, despite the allegations,
share a concern for the mental health of the accuser who the couple has
This young man was part of our teen ministry. Ken and I have
treated him like family, as has our church. He is a deeply troubled
young man, to be sure, but our thoughts and prayers remain with him
Adkins has asked to be placed on unpaid leave from The Greater
Church Brunswick on Altama Avenue – the Greater Church also has
congregations in Jacksonville and Atlanta – while his case is
pending. His wife said she will serve as acting pastor.
Adkins is a controversial figure in Jacksonville politics, particularly
because of comments and crude caricatures he posted on his Twitter
account while he helped lead the fight against expanding Jacksonville’s
anti-discrimination law to cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Among the criticisms that Adkins lodged was his assertion that
expanding the law would make it easier for sexual predators to find
victims in toilets.
His work as a political consultant has been marked by harsh attacks on
opponents. In 2012 a Glynn County magistrate ordered Adkins to stop using
his Facebook and social media accounts to call a School Board member “a
fool” or a “runaway slave.” The order also barred Adkins from using the
term “child molester” without proof when criticising a worker for two
Secular Policy Institute
Added August 29, 2016
France has brought the spotlight onto a boiling cauldron of disputed
social, cultural, and political issues whose debate is at the core of
democracy and pluralism. In September the Secular Policy Institute will
seek to foster a dialogue on the different angles of the "burkini ban."
This issue serves as a focal point in the discussion of secularism,
pluralism, religious expression, personal autonomy and liberty, public
safety, nationalism, ethnocentrism, immigration, democratic norms, human
rights both for and against the concealment of the flesh for religious
purpose and many more interesting and important topics. As CEO I will be
announcing more on this in the upcoming weeks. There is one thing for
certain, this is a discussion that is being held by and is in need of
further dialogue by both the religious and non-religious alike.
This week in State News, a county in Nebraska has approved the prominent
display of "In God We Trust" at a county courthouse. Also, one of our
Fellows, John McWhorter discusses the allegations of Ellen DeGeneres
being racist by declaring her 'not,' as well as discusses whether
'colored people' is a slur. In Science News, a rocky planet is suspected
to orbit our Sun's closet neighbor ("Proxima b"). Lastly, we have a
brand new sign-on letter.
Representatives Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) have
introduced legislation to fix a major loophole in the 1993 Religious
Freedom Restoration Act. Because of this loophole, discrimination is now
permissible by law against established civil rights and liberties
protections. Please join us in supporting the passage of the "Do No Harm
have a great week.
Jason Frye, CEO
Secular Policy Institute
chastity campaigners were caught having sex in car
Added August 28, 2016
Two prominent Muslim politicians – Moulay Omar Benhammad, 63,
and Fatima Nejjar, 62, above – have been suspended from
Morocco’s Unity and Reform Movement (MUR) after they were
allegedly caught having sex in a car on a beach.
The pair are known for preaching the importance of chastity and
were both serving as vice presidents of the party.
According to this
report by Harry Cockburn of the Independent, police
said the pair were found in a “sexual position” in the car. The
incident is said to have occurred last Saturday at a beach in the port
city of Mohammedia, about 16 miles north of Casablanca and 40 miles
south of the Moroccan capital, Rabat.
Benhammad, who is married and has seven children, was charged with
attempted corruption. Nejjar, a widowed mother of six, was charged
with complicity to adultery.
The pair were released from custody and are due to appear in court on
MUR, part of another, more prominent party in the country, the
Justice Development Party (PJD), released a statement this week saying
the pair had been “suspended from all structures of the movement”,
while party officials from PJD said the incident was an “extremely
serious fault” that amounted to:
A violation of the principles of the movement, its orientation
and its values.
Benhammad reportedly said he lives with Najjar in a common-law
marriage and added that his wife does not want him prosecuted for
Extramarital sex in Morocco in punishable by up to a year in jail.
Following the incident, videos of Nejjar telling female students not
to give in to “temptation and vice” were widely shared on social
Are Jews a chosen people
Erkki Hartikainen August 27, 2016
No. Yahweh is a chosen god of Jews.
El and his sons made up the Assembly
of the Gods, each member of which had a human nation under his care,
and a textual variant of Deuteronomy 32:8–9
describes the sons of El, including Yahweh, each receiving his own
the Most High (Elyon, i.e., El) gave the nations their inheritance,
when he separated humanity,
he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of
for Yahweh's portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
thug faces jail for a brutal attack on a teenage boy
Added August 26, 2016
A close associate of convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary –
Michael Coe – is facing a ‘substantial’ jail sentence for a brutal
assault on a teenage boy.
According to this
report, Coe 35 – who took the name Mikaeel Ibrahim when he
converted to Islam – knocked the 16-year-old schoolboy unconscious when
he spotted the teen cuddling his girlfriend on a street in east London
in April this year.
He pulled his car over to confront the pair, demanding to know if they
were Muslims, before calling the girl, also 16, a “whore”.
He then grabbed the boy by the throat and threw him to the ground
before kicking his head as he lay on the floor, leaving him unconscious
and bleeding from two head injuries.
When passing schoolteacher Boutho Siwela tried to come to the
teenager’s aid, he was attacked by the thug.
Coe, who is 6ft 1in and weighs 16 and a half stone, admitted “shoving”
the boy, who is half his size, but claimed he was acting in self
It was revealed that Coe is a close associate of Choudary
and was on a list of individuals the hate preacher was
banned from having contact with while he was on bail charged with
inviting support for Islamic State, of
which he has since been convicted.
Coe had attended a number of extremist demonstrations, including
protests over the banning of niqabs in France and rallies promoting
Coe was reportedly radicalised in prison by al Qaida terrorist Dhiren
Barot in 2007.
At his trial in Southwark Crown Court, Coe was described by judge
Michael Gledhill as a danger to the public and warned him he will be
facing a “substantial” term of imprisonment. Sentencing was adjourned
until September 21 for further reports.
Coe has a long record of violent offences starting when he was 16,
including assaults, burglary, robbery and violent disorder.
He served an eight-year term for firing a shotgun at police during
Coe was convicted of a similar offence in May 2013 after getting out of
his car to confront a group of youngsters about their “inappropriate
language” on an estate in east London.
He allegedly called a young girl a “slut” and the others “kafir scum”
during the incident.
Coe became a close associate of convicted hate preacher Anjem
Choudary – founder of the banned organisation Al-Muhajiroun – of which
he was a member.
He was also been photographed at a demonstration on the 10th
anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
In December 2013 he took part in a demonstration in Brick Lane, east
London, against Muslim shopkeepers selling alcohol.
The married father of two was jailed for 15 months after being found in
the back of a lorry with false ID documents at the Kent port of Dover in
He was accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join IS but was
acquitted of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.
told UK Muslim was slain for practising ‘black magic’
Added Augus 25, 2016
Two alleged Islamist extremists are on trial for murdering
Muslim healer Jalal Uddin, above, who was bludgeoned to death earlier
this years in a children’s playground in Rochdale.
this report, Manchester Crown Court yesterday heard that the
accused – Mohammed Hussain Syeedy, 21, and Mohammed Abdul Kadir, 24 –
were Isis supporters who developed a hatred of Uddin after discovering
he practised a form of Islamic healing called ruqya.
The former imam was targeted as he made his way home from a mosque in
Rochdale, Greater Manchester, after months of being watched by his
alleged killers, the jury heard.
Prosecutor Paul Greaney QC, told jurors that Syeedy and Kadir “stalked
Jalal Uddin around the streets of Rochdale” before Kadir launched a
savage attack on the older man in the playground. Kadir unleashed
“repeated forceful blows” to Uddin’s head and mouth with a weapon
believed to be a hammer, leaving him with severe skull fractures.
These injuries were plainly not the result of a robbery gone
wrong. On the contrary, they were obviously the result of an attack
that was planned – why else did the killer have a hammer with him in
a children’s park?
[It was] motivated by hatred and by a desire to humiliate Jalal
Uddin and undoubtedly intended to kill or, at the very least, cause
really serious harm.
Greaney added that the severe blows to Uddin’s mouth were particularly
This was … an attack driven by hate and the blow to the mouth was
quite possibly the most symbolic of all: ‘You will not say anything
of which we disapprove’.
The plot to murder Uddin began earlier this year, the court heard,
after his alleged killers spent months conducting surveillance on the
former imam while deciding how to “paralyse” his strain of Islam.
Described as “quiet, dignified and well respected,” Uddin wore an
amulet – known as a taweez – that some believe to protect the
wearer against evil. However, Isis forbids the practice, considering it
to be “black magic”, the court heard.
Six months before the killing, Uddin’s books and notes on taweez
were stolen from the Jalalia mosque in Rochdale/ At the same time, one
of Syeedy’s friends sent a text message to the defendant saying he had
gone on a “taweez raid” at the mosque. When told his friend had found
Uddin’s “stash”, Syeedy replied: “Burn it.”
Jurors were told there was “clear and cogent” evidence that Syeedy and
Kadir supported Isis. Reams of jihadi propaganda were recovered from
Syeedy’s iPhone. Jurors were shown photographs of the 21-year-old, who
was born and raised in Rochdale, holding an Isis-style flag outside the
Jalalia mosque where his victim prayed. In another, he wore a stab-proof
vest outside the mosque. Other photographs showed Syeedy and two others
holding a jihadi flag over a road sign in Rochdale that had been altered
to read: “War Zone.”
On Syeedy’s laptop, detectives found a poster saying “Don’t wear
taweez” and the message:
Whoever wears an amulet has committed shirk.
Shirk is a sin of practising idolatry, the jury was told.
Syeedy sat alone in the dock as the court heard that his co-accused was
on the run – possibly in Syria – after catching a flight to Istanbul,
via Copenhagen, three days after the killing on 18 February.
Jurors were told Syeedy accepted Kadir murdered Uddin and that he was
with his accomplice before and after the killing. However, he will deny
that he knew anything about the murder beforehand or that he supports
Obinim, of the International God’s Way Church, whipped the couple and
chastising them for fornication in front of a cheering congregation.
The assault was filmed and posted on YouTube.
Obinim refuses to apologise for the floggings, defiantly saying:
Any person who is demanding an apology from me or calling for
my arrest for flogging my adopted children is unintelligent.
It was reported last Friday that lawyers filed a lawsuit against
Obinim for assaulting the couple. Francis Xavier Sosu, a human rights
lawyer, and two others are claiming that the pastor violated the
dignity of the victims and dehumanised them.
The complainants also mentioned that the incident is not the first
time members of the church were subjected to cruel treatment by
Nana Oye Lithur, The Minister for Gender, Children and Social
Protection, posted on her Facebook account that she has reported
Obinim to the Accra Regional Domestic Victims and Violence Support
Unit (DOVVSU) Office for investigation.
We have been informed that the Police have commenced
investigations into the matter and a complaint has also been filed
against him at the Tema Regional Police. We will keep you posted
on further developments.
contains further details of the incident. His female victim, who was
Flogged mercilessly with a belt in the full glare of his
The woman attempted to escape, but she was held by henchmen of the
“bishop” who meted out more beatings.
After subjecting the two to severe flogging for several minutes,
Obinim ordered his junior pastors to remove their belts and continue
Obinim has been involved in several controversies in the past.
According to a 2011 article from Vibe Ghana, the pastor admitted to
having sex with the wife of a junior pastor.
Salvation Army accused of running ‘slave labour’ camps
Added August 23, 2016
The Salvation Army in America is hardly short of a dollar or
two. This from the Tampa
Bay Times in 2011:
Few donors realize the Salvation Army owns a $12 million
Florida headquarters in Lutz, a $3 million office complex in New
Port Richey and dozens of homes in the Tampa Bay area — all part
of a largely tax-exempt local real estate portfolio worth about
Officers, who are ordained clergy, live rent-free in the homes,
including some that cost as much as $300,000. The organization
provides them with cars, health insurance, furniture and Internet
service. Its even pays the homeowners’ association dues.
While most of its wealth is derived from the donations, it’s reported
this week by The
Influence that the SA also profits greatly from
programmes run by its Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) that require
people to undergo “work therapy” – doing shitty jobs without pay.
In exchange for three hots and a cot, the Salvation Army’s
rehab clients are expected to labor for 40 hours a week, without
pay, for the profit of the Salvation Army stores.
These clients, he writes, are often “unconstitutionally” sentenced to
religious programmes run by organisations such as the SA and
There are 119 ARC rehabs in the US, operating from coast to coast; an
estimated 150,000 people go through this programme each year. An
average of 7,700 people live in the Salvation Army’s US rehabs at any
given time. Most clients are either homeless or court-ordered. The
basic programme lasts from six to 12 months, depending on the client.
Should they decide to leave the programme, their only options are
often to go to prison (if they are court-ordered) or to return to
living on the streets.
According to Don Coombs, Programme Director of the SA’s Adult
Rehabilitation Center Command, Eastern Territory:
Work is used as a therapy to assist persons in learning how to
be of service to GOD and others … [clients] receive no financial
wage or other compensation.
The work, says Anderson:
Consists of some pretty tedious and foul jobs, such as sorting
through donations of clothing and other items to be sold in
Salvation Army stores (such donations are often tainted with feces
or vomit), and bailing up unsalable items for shipment overseas.
Other forms of ‘work therapy’ may involve moving furniture or
janitorial work, including cleaning toilets.
Clients are typically housed four to 20 persons per room. In addition
to “work therapy”, other therapy consists of mandatory Bible study and
mandatory participation in Salvation Army worship services.
When you shop at one of our Family Stores, the men and women
participating in the ARC program are directly affected. They are
provided with a clean and healthy living environment, good food,
work therapy, leisure time activities, group and individual
counseling, spiritual direction, and numerous resources to help
them develop life skills and a personal relationship with God.
According to Coombs:
The ARC provides individual counseling for both spiritual and
character formation. We also provide both education and group
services as well. Clinical services for mental health and/or
chemical dependency most likely are referred to local agencies.
The Salvation Army is currently the second largest charity in the
United States, with an annual income of $4.1 billion from donations,
investments, sales and other sources.
With this kind of budget, the Salvation Army could surely do
better than sleeping 20 people to a room, using them as slave
labor, and achieving a completion rate of 17 percent. Instead,
they could be offering decent housing, decent wages, and the best
evidence-based treatment, which includes, for example, a
non-abstinence-based housing model.
It seems clear that the Salvation Army, despising people who
use any drugs, believes that such people simply deserve the kind
of ‘treatment’ offered by ARC. Certainly, no expense seems to be
spared when it comes to PR and self-promotion.
Although in its financial statement the Salvation Army claims
that 21 percent of its expenditure, $702,539,000, is spent on
‘rehabilitation’, there is little evidence that this money is
spent on the clients. Looking at the fact that average occupancy
of the programme is 7,700 clients, this would work out to over
$90,000 per client year. It surely seems that clients are not
receiving $90,000-a-year’s worth of services; on the contrary, the
Salvation Army is receiving tens of thousands of dollars of free
labor per client year.
And he asked:
Where does all the money go? With ads for the Salvation Army
everywhere, it is clear that a good chunk is spent on
However, since the Salvation Army is legally a church, it can
also give its officers free housing, free vehicles, free health
insurance, free furniture, and practically free everything else,
in addition to paying them a salary.
The Salvation Army seems to be an organization primarily
dedicated to ‘doing the most good’ for itself. When it comes to
people who use drugs, a more fitting motto would be ‘doing the
An America where people are forced to labor without
compensation under threat of prison is not an America that I can
support. Everyone should have the right to decide what to put into
their own body, and people who use drugs should not be imprisoned
or exploited by the self-righteous.
There are many organizations other than the Salvation Army
which will take your donations of items and actually put them to
good use—such as Housing Works, which provides housing for people
living with AIDS, or Goodwill, which connects people with paying
Or, do what I do. Give money directly to the panhandler and cut
out the middle man. Perhaps they will spend it on alcohol or other
drugs, but at least that way it might provide someone a modicum of
pleasure, which beats forced labor every time.
mounts on Ireland to scrap its foolish abortion ban
Added August 22, 2016
Two women have travelled from Ireland to the UK in order to
get an abortion, and to protest and highlight the fact that abortion
is illegal in the Republic of Ireland.
According to this
report, the pair recorded their journey on a Twitter account,
TwoWomenTravel, posting photos and updates of their journey by plane,
train, and taxi.
The account of the journey was set up in solidarity with the many
other Irish women who are forced to make the same journey every year.
It also supports the campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment – the
amendment which criminalises all abortion in Ireland with the
exception of a pregnancy which would result in the mother’s death.
The pair’s story comes just a couple of months after a UN human
rights panel said that the country’s restrictive abortion laws are
cruel and inhumane, and degrading to women.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here
that billionaire George Soros, 86, has incurred the wrath of
anti-abortionists by funding organisations seeking to scrap the Irish
A leaked strategy document details how Soros’s Open Society
Foundation planned to fund Amnesty International Ireland, the Abortion
Rights Campaign and the Irish Family Planning Association.
It was reported
in 2014 that, through a networkof non-profit groups, Soros had
spent at least $80 million since 1994 in an effort to legalise
cannabis in the US.
Cora Sherlock, of The Pro Life Campaign said:
These revelations are extremely disturbing. The fact that an
outside body is talking about funding and coordinating groups in
Ireland to dismantle protection for the unborn child represents a
gross interference and is an attack on democracy.
I think most people want to see a fair debate regardless of
where they stand on the issue. The public will be deprived of such
a debate if this kind of meddling continues from well-funded
The three organisations confirmed they had received grants from the
In the leaked strategy document, the foundation said it would fund
the three Irish organisations:
To work collectively on a campaign to repeal Ireland’s
constitutional amendment granting equal rights to an implanted
embryo as the pregnant woman.
The document continued:
With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a
win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in
Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change
is possible, even in highly conservative places. The recent legalisation of same-sex marriage offers valuable and
timely opportunities to advance the campaign.
Amnesty International Ireland said the funding it received from the
foundation amounted to €137,000 over two years.
Philanthropic foundations have always been an important source
of funding for human rights work, both here in Ireland and
globally. Amnesty International Ireland applied for and received
funding from the Open Society Foundation to part fund our campaign
on sexual and reproductive rights.
The Irish Family Planning Association said it received a support
grant of €132,500 from the foundation.
The funding will be used to support the IFPA’s long-standing advocacy
to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in Ireland.
The Abortion Rights Campaign did not disclose the amount of funding
it received, but said it would be disclosed in its financial
Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist Soros (86) is among
the 30 wealthiest people in the world, with an estimated fortune of
€22bn. He is thought to have donated almost €10bn to various causes in
Patrick Gunkel Is An Idea Man Who Thinks in Lists
Added August 21, 2016
AUSTIN, Texas-If you should need a list of 638 personality traits, 58 ways
in which elephants resemble stars or 45,540 what-if questions about
toxins, Patrick Gunkel is your man.
Mr. Gunkel is inventing a new field, which he calls ideonomy. Simply
described, it is a computerized spinning of ideas.
But Mr. Gunkel defines it in grander terms-as nothing less than "the science of the laws of ideas and of
the application of such laws to the generation of all possible ideas
in connection with any subject, idea or thing."
All ideas? On anything? Mr. Gunkel often sounds so far out, one doesn't
know quite what to make of him. But his notions intrigue just about
everyone who knows of them.
"He has provocative ideas on artificial intelligence," says Edward
Fredkin, the former director of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology's computer science laboratory.
"He has encyclopedic scope," says Frederick Seitz, the president
emeritus of Rockefeller University. Adds Robert Clark, a Harvard
University law professor,
"Gunkel is undoubtedly the most interesting person I've ever met."
The 40-year-old Mr. Gunkel flunked out of high school and never
attended college. But supported by occasional research grants, he has
wandered for 20 years among universities and think tanks, following his
nose from subject to subject and acquiring an astonishing breadth of
Ask him about black holes, economic cycles or pigs with wings, and he
will discourse on the subject at length. He has recorded all this
learning in the form of lists.
In fact, heaps of them litter his apartment here. There are lists of
odors, newly coined words, diseases and brain functions. There are lists
of analogies, archetypal shapes and lists of other lists.
Mr. Gunkel sometimes even speaks in rapid-fire lists: "With ideonomy,
we can design new kinds of clothing, textures, political systems,
sports! Flowers! Dogs! Dance movements!" If asked, he will reel
off the 14 kinds of soda pop he has on hand.
Lists are the raw material of ideonomy. Weaving them together in a
personal computer, Mr. Gunkel attempts to replicate, in some sense, what
happens when, in a flash, human minds make connections.
Combining lists of objects' sizes, for example, he invented an
educational game based on such analogies as this: "A blood cell is to a
pea as an oil tanker is to the atmosphere."
For another mind game, he combined lists of personality traits and
emotions in order to generate 84,496 two-word descriptions of
psychological states, such as "arrogant affection," "practical
hostility" and "insecure acceptance." Many of the phrases are senseless,
he says, but ones that click on a fast reading can suggest new insights
Such simple "idea combinatorics," as Mr. Gunkel calls this matchmaking,
is just a playful warming up for ideonomy's more serious goal of
suggesting insights to scientists and other researchers. Mixing lists of
natural phenomena and fallacies, for instance, he generates reams of
questions, such as "Can arteries have rashes?"
Most of them are gibberish-except to someone as wildly imaginative as
Mr. Gunkel, who once wrote several thousand words on fallacies about ant
slavery. But occasionally his method hits the eureka button.
Combing through Mr. Gunkel's printouts, a visitor recently stumbled
onto the question, "What are the structural irregularities of
superconductors?" Independently of ideonomy, this question recently
became a hot topic among physicists studying new materials that conduct
electricity without resistance.
But can arteries have rashes? When recently visiting Mr. Gunkel,
Austin pathologist Michael T. O'Brien was faced with that question. "At
first, I thought it was nonsense," he says. But on reflection, he
remembered that, like skin, some large arteries are supplied with blood
by tiny vessels. Then, he realized that such vessels might indeed become
inflamed and dilated, as do those in the skin.
"I don't know whether something like this makes any difference in a
disease or not," says Dr. O'Brien. "But it seems like something somebody
should be researching."
Though ideonomy seems surprising-or downright bizarre -- to the
uninitiated, it has plenty of precedents, says Mr. Gunkel, pulling
out a list of them from one of his stacks. In the 19th century, for
example, the British philologist Peter Roget devised a kind of universal
idea map as part of his well-known thesaurus.
And the periodic table found in any high-school chemistry book, says
Mr. Gunkel, shows how combining lists-of families of elements, in this
case- can reveal previously unseen connections.
Mr. Gunkel recalls that he first began thinking ideonomically when, as
a child, he visited Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and had a
religious experience with all the diagrams, graphs, meters and audio
recordings he encountered there.
In his teens, he discovered Joyce's "Finnegans Wake," the ultimate
novel of hidden connections. "It has 16 levels of puns!" he
marvels. Soon after that, he blasted off into intellectual outer
space, leaving behind such mundane concerns as schoolwork, jobs,
marriage, eating and sleeping.
In rapid succession, he failed as a student, mailman and
park-maintenance man. Even the Army found him unfit. When drafted, "I
just pretended to be myself, and they thought I was nuts," he says,
emitting staccato barks that sound uncannily like a list of
Meanwhile, he was researching and writing books -- 16 so far, all of
them unpublished-on everything from the science of sidewalks to theories
about the brain.
Occasionally, he would materialize without warning in the offices of
various luminaries, spouting ideas with the fervor of a boy scientist
who has just produced dynamite in the basement.
That's how he met MIT's Mr. Fredkin, who, ironically, was discussing
misunderstood geniuses with colleague Marvin Minsky one day in the early
1970s when Mr. Gunkel barged in.
With his rail-thin build, manic gestures and torrential ideas, the
young stranger "seemed to be a living example of what we were talking
about," recalls Mr. Fredkin, who soon brought him to the school for a
two-year research stint.
The late Herman Kahn, a co-founder of the Hudson Institute, met Mr.
Gunkel under similar circumstances and reportedly hired him after their
first rap session. Over the years, a trickle of money from such friends
has been Mr. Gunkel's life-support system as he has explored the
distant planet of his own mind.
That voyage has left him little time to socialize, a part of life that
he cheerfully says is "totally mysterious to me." But after 15 years of
reading, writing and ranting in Boston's academic circles, Mr. Gunkel
last year moved to Austin in search of more sun and new friends. To find
them, he pored over the University of Texas phone book, made a list of
52 students and faculty members living near his apartment and went
knocking on doors.
Introducing himself is a snap, he says: "I just show them one of my
lists." Meanwhile, he is beginning to write his magnum opus on ideonomy,
a project financed by a five-year unsolicited grant he was awarded in
1984 from New York's Richard Lounsbery Foundation, a nonprofit supporter
of research. The $20,000-a-year grant, like most of Mr. Gunkel's awards
through the years, was arranged by academic friends who regard him as
the ultimate long shot-one that just might pay off big.
The jury is still out on ideonomy. But it already has helped some
researchers. Ideonomical analogs, says Mr. Clark, the Harvard law
professor, helped inspire him to write a research paper comparing the
structure of plants with human hierarchies.
And a Gunkel list enumerating mistakes that people make may help in the
design of artificial-intelligence systems that can recognize and correct
their own mistakes, says Douglas Lenat, a researcher at Microelectronics
& Computer Technology Corp., a high-tech consortium in Austin.
But can there really be a science of ideas? Even Mr. Gunkel isn't
quite sure whether the notion is bonkers or brilliant. And even if it is
possible, it might be too unwieldy to be practical. Indeed, brainstorming
with Mr. Gunkel is a bit like being hit over the head by the muse
with a sledgehammer. "He puts people off," says Mr. Lenat.
To help a biologist interested in toxins, Mr. Gunkel within minutes had
his computer generate 45,540 questions on the topic. Paid a penny for each
of the interesting thoughts he is producing, Mr. Gunkel might someday be a
"He pours out about 60 ideas a minute, and 59 of them are bad," says Mr.
Fredkin. "But even with one good idea out of 60, it's still an amazing
Texas, a ‘good Christian’ used Scripture to abuse girl
Added August 20, 2015
Dell Ivan Godkin, 48, has begun a life sentence after he was
found guilty by a Montgomery County jury on charges of aggravated
sexual assault of a child.
The conviction of the onetime volunteer youth pastor came as a shock
to his family and members of his church,
according to this report.
Prosecutor Monica Cooper said his family and church members had
testified that he was a good Christian. They could not believe he had
assaulted a girl over a period of four years, using Scripture to
justify the abuse which began when the victim, a relative of Godkin,
was just 13.
He would say lots of things about God being OK with it. He
would use Bible verses about men’s and women’s roles to justify
the abuse. He’s the scariest kind of child predator because he’s
the kind who is sitting next to you in church, and he seems like
the nicest guy.
The victim testified against the man in court, Cooper said, as did
another alleged victim who is part of a pending case against Godkin in
Lead prosecutor Sheri Culberson.Cooper said:
We are very proud of the victims in this case. It takes a lot
of courage to face your abuser during a trial like this. But,
ultimately, the community is a safer place because of their
courage and bravery.
According to prosecutors, Godkin’s ex-wife testified during the
punishment phase of the trial that he beat her repeatedly during their
“One of the assaults occurred after she
had gone to their pastor at church seeking help,” according to a news
release from the district attorney’s office. “By the time she arrived
home, Godkin knew she had spoken to the pastor and beat her because of
Russia, Archangel Michael joins fight against corruption
Added August 19, 2016
Religion’s grip on state affairs in Russia tightened this
week when Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia appointed Saint
Michael the Archangel the patron saint of the Russian
Investigative Committee at the behest of the committee’s head
According to this
report, a spokesman for the anti-corruption agency, Vladimir
Markin, yesterday announced that “the Saint Archistratigus Michael”
In order to strengthen the spiritual and moral foundations of
the Russian Investigative Committee’s staff.
St Michael the Archangel was chosen because in the Holy
Scripture he is portrayed as the main fighter against all sorts of
illegality among people, and in the Book of Revelation Archangel
Michael acts as the warrior of light and the chief leader in the
war against the Devil and the dark forces
In Orthodox iconography Archangel Michael is depicted as
piercing the Devil with a spear and as trampling with a foot upon
a rich old man [as a symbol of the fight against bribery and other
corruption-linked crimes]. Archangel Michael is also often
depicted as holding the scales where one scale is heavier than the
other, which helps the guard of the Gates of Eden to discern
between a righteous man and a sinner, thus allowing us to draw
parallels with criminal proceedings, which is the main task of the
The first ceremony to hand over an Archangel Michael icon is expected
to be held at the St Petersburg Academy of the Russian Investigative
Committee on September 1, when the ribbon-cutting ceremony for
the academy will take place, he said.
A draft agreement between the Investigative Committee and the Russian
Orthodox Church is currently being drawn up at Bastrykin’s instruction
and with the involvement of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal
Department for Relations with the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement
Agencies, Markin added.
The agreements plans on:
Resurrecting and strengthening spirituality based on
traditional moral values, which is a crucial factor of Russian
society’s well-being and security; the use of the spiritual
potential that Orthodoxy has to protect cultural, spiritual and
moral heritage and historical traditions, as well as to enhance
stability in social life, overcome the threat of the people’s
spiritual degradation and reduce crime rates in the country; the
crackdown on negative phenomena such as terrorism, extremism,
corruption, immorality, as well as other negative tendencies
stemming from the false understanding of freedom and human rights
Archangel Michael is present in the majority of Russia’s traditional
religions (Orthodox Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and is mentioned
in the Old and New Testament, as well as in the Koran. This will help
ensure the worshipping of this patron saint in the Investigative
Committee’s departments in Russia’s North Caucasus Federal District as
well, Markin said.
Similar initiatives were earlier successfully put into practice in
other security and law enforcement services of the country, he said.
abused and threatened with hell by Texas woman
Added August 19, 2016
Olga Murra, above, convinced two Mexicans she held in
captivity for 14 years that she was ‘the voice of God’, made
them listen to recordings of her reading Bible verses and threatened
them with eternity in hell if they disobeyed her.
this report, she warned one of the women that if they
disobeyed, immigration officials would come to Texas, kill her and
bury her in a field “with other illegal aliens.”
Last week, a jury convicted Murra, 64, of two counts of forced labour
and two counts of harbouring an illegal alien.
When she is sentenced in November, Murra faces 20 years in federal
prison for each labour charge and ten years apiece for the harbouring
Murra made the women sleep on the floor and ask permission to use the
toilet. They could only talk to Murra — not anyone else in
the homes where they lived. She only fed them bread and water.
One woman told the FBI that Murra would hit her.
The women were forced to hand over money they earned from cleaning
houses to Murra, who also made them get jobs at McDonald’s and Walmart
using forged documents.
Murra was born in the United States, but lived in Mexico from shortly
after her birth until September 1997, when she moved to Texas —
first El Paso, then Fort Worth. She operated cleaning businesses in
When Murra returned to the United States, she brought a 33-year-old
Mexican woman with her.
A year later, she arranged for another woman, who was 21, to
come to the United States.
The women would be her slaves for the next 14 years
and endured a steady stream of abuse and indoctrination.
Approximately once or twice a week, the Murra required one of
her victims to attend religious instruction in the residence, during
which she preached for two to three hours. Additionally,Murra
required (the victim) to listen to religious recordings when she
cleaned homes, which consisted of the defendant reading Bible
verses and discussing their meaning.
Forced to endure Bible verses?
I’m amazed that a charge of torture wasn’t added to Murra’s crimes.
According to theGuardian, Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey after
jurors heard he had sworn an oath of allegiance to murderous Islamic
Choudary, who has links to one of Lee Rigby’s killers, Michael
Adebolajo, and the Islamist militant Omar Bakri Muhammad, also urged
followers to support Isis in a series of talks broadcast on YouTube.
Choudary and his co-defendant, Mohammed Rahman, 33, right, told their
supporters to obey Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader, who is also
known as a “caliph”, and to travel to Syria to support the terrorist
They were convicted in July but details of the trial, including the
verdict, could not be reported until today.
The men face up to 10 years in jail for inviting support for a
proscribed organisation. They will be sentenced in September.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said:
The prosecution case is that whichever name is used, the evidence
is quite clear: when these defendants were inviting support for an
Islamic state or caliphate they were referring to the one declared
in Syria and its environs by Ibrahim [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi at the
end of June 2014.
Terrorist organisations thrive and grow because people support
them and that is what this case is about. Do not confuse that with
the right of people to follow the religion of their choice or to
proclaim support for a caliphate.
Choudary, who has a long history with groups involved in radical
Islamist demonstrations, such as the now-banned al-Muhajiroun and
Islam4UK, denied he was inviting support for IS and claimed to be a
“lecturer in sharia law” giving:
The Islamic perspective.
He began studying sharia law under Syrian-born Bakri Muhammad, a Salafi
Islamist militant leader who formed al-Muhajiroun with the aim of
promoting sharia in the 1990s, the court heard.
Bakri Muhammad fled to Lebanon in 2005, where he was joined by Choudary
for about ten weeks. Bakri Muhammad was ultimately jailed in Lebanon for
Choudary admitted he was media spokesman for Islam4UK during a time in
which the controversial group put out “incendiary statements” calling
for Buckingham Palace to be turned into a mosque and Nelson’s Column to
On the ninth anniversary of the London terror attacks – 7 July 2014 –
Choudary and Rahman posted an oath of allegiance online under their kunyas
or Islamic names, Abu Luqman, used by Choudary, and Abu Baraa, used by
Rahman, on an extremist website.
Between August and September 2014, Choudary and Rahman posted speeches
on YouTube encouraging support for IS.
The prosecution also played an older lecture given by Choudary in March
2013, which did not form part of the charge but was provided to the jury
In the lecture, titled “Duties of the Khilafah State”, Choudary makes
clear his desire for the establishment of a caliphate as well as his
support for the military action of Islamic State.
We don’t have any borders, my dear Muslims. It is about time we
resumed conquering for the sake of Allah. Next time when your child
is at school and the teacher says ‘what do you want when you grow
up, what is your ambition?’, they should say to dominate the whole
world by Islam, including Britain, that is my ambition.
The prosecution told the court that the defendants were “acutely aware”
of the potential criminal implications of being overt in their support
Whittam told the court:
The prosecution alleges that this led to great care in the way in
which the defendants expressed themselves publicly, particularly
after Isil was proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the Home
Born in north London, Choudary initially studied medicine at Barts
medical school before changing courses and enrolling at Guildford
College of Law. He opened his own solicitor’s practice in his late 20s
but told the court that by that point he had become religious and his
beliefs did not sit easily with certain aspects of the law.
needed to keep Jewish children ‘pure and holy’
Added August 17, 2016
A fund-raising drive has been launched in the UK by
ultra-Orthodox Jews to raise £1-million to prevent
children escaping from strict faith communities and living with
‘irreligious parents’ in an ‘evil culture’.
TheIndependent reports that drive has been established to
fund the legal fees of divorcing parents involved in child custody
battles with ex-partners who want to join mainstream society.
Flyers for a fundraising event in the Stamford Hill area of London
call for the community to back the bid, saying:
We now need one million pounds and therefore the community is
requested to join in with a minimum sum of £500.
The flyers were accompanied by a letter of support from a local rabbi
stating they wish to fight cases involving 17 children:
To our great pain, and our misfortune, our community finds
itself in a terrible situation – 17 of our pure and holy
children where one of the parents, God rescue them, have gone out
into an evil culture, and want to drag their children after them.
This is a decree of apostasy and this situation has motivated
our rabbis who are in Israel … to come here in a personal capacity
to increase prayer and to gather money for legal fees, and to
achieve this a convention has been organised of prayer and also to
The Charedi community is notoriously insular and practices a
19th-century interpretation of the faith. Engagement with the secular
world is deeply taboo, Yiddish is spoken as the primary language and
arranged marriages are standard practice.
Men wear 19th-century Eastern European dress including long black
coats and black hats, while married women must dress modestly and
cover their hair.
Campaigners and former community members have told The
Independent the tactical funding of legal fees tears families
apart by denying those wishing to leave the religion access to
their children as a punishment for no longer believing in
They say the practice unfairly skews child custody battles in favour
of the funded parent who remains in the faith groups, rather than
enabling custody to be decided on the basis of the best interests of
children. Many who join mainstream society have little grasp of
the English language or legal system as well as no financial
resources, they are severely disadvantaged in court cases and can
struggle to understand or articulate their experiences or get adequate
A spokesperson for GesherEU, a charity supporting people wishing to
leave Charedi communities, told The Independent:
Child custody cases instigated by a parent leaving the
community are seen as a huge threat to the Charedi community,
knowing that people can leave the community and take their
children with them and give them a decent secular
education and live successfully outside of the community.
It is very common within the Charedi community for the
religious parent to receive full financial support throughout the
court process to ensure the children remain within the community.
The parent who stays religious will receive fully funded
solicitors and barristers with the sole intention of ensuring the
children remain resident with the parent who stays in the
The religious parent will be pressurised into filing for full
custody and even lie in court so that the other parent is seen as
‘an unfit parent’ and lose custody/contact with their children.
Often parents who leave will experience domestic violence as the
religious parent will resort to threats and emotional and physical
abuse to try and coerce their spouse to remain married and living
within the Charedi community.
The spoksperson added:
An event like this is a clear warning to those thinking of
leaving as well as a scare tactic: ‘If you leave we have all the
money power and resources to fight you and ensure your children
stay within the community are alienated from you.’ This does work
to some extent and deters many who would otherwise leave knowing
they will be facing a legal battle with possibly devastating
The Independent has seen details of legal cases brought
before British Family Courts in recent years whereby the
ultra-Orthodox Jewish community has funded legal fees of a “believing”
parent in the hope that they will be given custody of the children
above the other parent. In a 2013 ruling, a judge told the court:
The mother and father come from the … Charedi community of
ultra-Orthodox Jews. A major reason for the marriage breakdown was
that the mother no longer wished to follow the strict tenets of
that community. She remains an orthodox Jew but wished for a way
of living for herself and the children which allowed greater
diversity of educational, personal and economic opportunity. Her
wish has come at a price. Her own parents and siblings are no
longer in contact with her.
The financial cost of this litigation is significant. The
mother does not receive public funding, and pays the legal costs
from her own pocket. The father’s legal costs are paid for by his
community and by his parents … This is a grossly disproportionate
misdirection of the father’s available financial resources. It is
also a wearing down of the mother’s resources. I did not make a
costs order on this occasion but, if these or similar disputes are
continued, the court may have to intervene with costs orders in
future to prevent further financial injustice to the mother.
A court case last year exposed the extreme pressure individuals
feel when leaving the community as a woman sought to divorce her
husband after alleging sexual and domestic violence, and gain custody
of their daughter. Court records seen by The Independent
show the woman was unable to read or write English and was represented
on a voluntary basis by lawyers due to lack of funds. It is not known
how her ex-husband’s legal fees were funded.
The ruling notes that the woman says she was beaten and raped
repeatedly throughout her marriage but:
Was inhibited from speaking out about her abusive experiences
contemporaneously because of the culture in which she was living …
where she would have no audience and no sympathy.
The woman told the court that when she attended a GP’s appointment
for vaginal pain incurred by rape, her husband attended with her to
translate English for her, meaning she was unable to get help there.
She said that once she did speak out and seek custody of her child,
community members spread rumours she had been sexually promiscuous.
A member of the community threw eggs at me for disclosing
the violence and allegedly bringing shame upon the community.
The woman was granted custody and left the country soon after to
begin a new life with her child.
Priest sent picture of his
penis to a pool maintenance man
Added August 16, 2016
Catholic priest Monsignor Larry McGovern, above, is being
sued by a pool maintenance contractor for alleged sexual harassment
According to this
report, McGovern, of the Stockton Church of the Presentation of
the Blessed Virgin Mary in California, sacked the contractor after the
victim reported receiving a picture of the priest’s genitals.
Attorney John Manly, acting for the victim, said:
This is a classic case of sexual harassment and retaliation.
Monsignor McGovern texted a graphic photograph of his naked
genitalia to my client, then terminated his employment after my
client reported the lewd photo to the police. This would be a
clear violation of the law by any employer but it is even more
disturbing when committed by a member of the clergy.
The lawsuit states the incident happened on July 26 and claims when
the victim asked why McGovern sent the photo and if the monsignor was
supposed to be celibate, McGovern responded with:
Celibate means not married …
report adds that Manly’s client is a married man in his 40s.
The attorney said that when his client was cleaning the pool,
McGovern, who also heads the Presentation Catholic School, would often
sunbathe and make flirtatious comments while:
Laying around in a Speedo, making our client very
uncomfortable. Our client’s a married man; this is his pastor.
After being challenged by the victim, McGovern allegedly wrote:
Oops. Sorry about that. The curse of the Internet. Shame on me.
What is my penance?
Monsignor McGovern either fired him because he reported him or
he fired him because he rebuffed whatever advance McGovern was
making. If any principal or any school administrator sent a
picture of their penis to a parent, they should be fired, not the
other way around.
The lawsuit also reveals that McGovern was a key witness in several
sexual harassment lawsuits involving Father Oliver O’ Grady, who
allegedly molested and abused at least 25 children, and Father Michael
Kelly who allegedly molested an altar boy in the 1980s.
The victims’ attorney Vince W Finaldi, said:
Monsignor McGovern was a witness and denied knowing of any
sexual improprieties by Father Kelly and Father O’Grady, despite
living with them in the rectory for years and contrary to victim
statements. It is sad but not surprising that he now stands
accused of sexual misconduct.
On Friday, August 12, the Diocese of Stockton responded to the
allegations with the following statement:
Today the Diocese of Stockton learned for the first time of
employment-related allegations against Monsignor Lawrence
McGovern, the Pastor of Presentation Parish in Stockton. In
accordance with the Canon Law of the Church, Bishop Stephen Blaire
has placed Monsignor McGovern on administrative leave pending a
full and complete investigation.
judge banishes Muslim couple for keeping slaves
Added August 15, 2016
Texas-based couple Hassan al-Homoud, 46, and his wife Zainab
al-Hosani, 39, above, were ordered to leave the US after they were
found guilty of on charges of slavery.
The couple, according to this
report, pleaded guilty to the crimes of holding persons against
their will, and forced labour, otherwise known as slavery.
They tried to convince District Judge Orlando Garcia that their
actions were acceptable because the Prophet Mohammed kept slaves of
his own. Therefore, any punishment they received would be
Garcia was having none of that. He decided to banish the pair from
the US rather than sentence them to a term of imprisonment in an
American jail. He said he he did not want to risk having them released
early for good behaviour then have them repeat their faith-based
He knew that, as followers of sharia law, the couple posed a danger
to the United States.
The couple were ordered to pay each of their two victims a
sum of $60,000 in compensation.
According to a complaint prepared by Homeland Security’s Special
Agent Edward Acuna, the problems are believed to have begun when
al-Homoud applied for visas for two individuals, one from Indonesia,
and the other from Bangladesh.
In the application for the visas, al-Homoud stated the two would be
paid as a housekeeper, and a personal servant, respectively, and would
collect a monthly income of $1573.87.
This was a lie. Al-Homoud paid his slaves nothing.
The judge heard that the two women were living in squalor. There had
no utensils, no toilet paper, no television, no
books, no linen, no furniture, and only a couple of blankets and
pillows on the floor. The pair did not even have a key to their own
apartment, and al-Homoud is believed to have confiscated their cell
phones. Neither of the women had any money.
Each day, the two women would be transported to al-Homoud’s luxury
residence where they were forced to obey his and his wife’s every
whim. They were allowed to eat from the family’s leftovers, but
that amount was kept to a minimum, and were at times forbidden to use
the toilet in the house.
When al-Homoud was not “using” his slaves, he “stored” them in a
plastic box in his garage until they were needed again. He kept them
from escaping by threatening to incarcerate them in a prison in Qatar.
report identified al-Homoud as being a Qatari military officer
who received military training at San Antonio’s Camp Bullis.
In a statement read in court, al-Homoud said he took full
responsibility for his actions.
My conduct has brought shame upon myself, my lovely wife, upon
my family and upon my country.
a threat to public order, says French mayor
Swimwear displaying religious affiliation in an ostentatious
way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target
of terrorist attacks, could create risks of trouble to public
The ban on the full-body, head-covering swimsuit, at the height of
the French Riviera vacation season, came as tensions remain high after
the Islamist attacks on nearby Nice and on a Catholic church in
north-west France last month.
The town hall confirmed that the ordinance, which applies for the
whole month of August, means women wearing burkini-style swimsuits
face €38 (£32) fines if they refuse to change swimsuit or
leave the beach.
Thierry Migoul, head of municipal services for Cannes, said:
We are not talking about banning the wearing of religious
symbols on the beach, but ostentatious clothing which refers to an
allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us.
The mayor added:
I’m simply banning a uniform that is the symbol of Islamist
He insisted it wasn’t the only clothing restriction in force in
Cannes, citing a recently decree to outlaw men from:
Walking around bare-chested in a swimsuit in town.
The mayor of the nearby town of Villeneuve-Loubet, also in the
Alpes-Maritimes area, has also introduced a burkini ban.
But Muslim and human rights groups today slammed the move as absurd
Said Hervé Lavisse, President of the local section of the Human
This is abuse of the law and we reserve the right to take this
to the courts. What next? Morality police like in the land of the
Feiza Ben Mohamed, spokeswoman for the Muslims Federation for the
It’s scandalous to suggest this is a public security issue. How
is going to the beach in a veil a public security risk? They are
shamefully mixing up terrorists with the wider Muslim community.
This type of row is totally counterproductive and plays into
Isil’s hands. It’s exactly what Isil want – the mayor is doing
their work for them. Isil seeks to make our young people believe
that they are excluded, stigmatised and they will use such
examples in their recruitment drive.
France’s Collective against Islamophobia, CCIF, is helping ten Muslim
women bring an urgent legal request to have the ban overturned.
Spokesman Marwan Muhammad said:
These women tell me that as Cannes residents, they feel
He said he was confident the ban would be overturned within “three or
four days”, citing a 2014 case in which a court quashed a veil ban on
a beach in the Essonne area.
Authorities in Cannes claim they have noticed an upswing in the
number of women wearing burkinis on the beach, but admitted none had
been spotted since the ban quietly came into force at the start
of the month.
Trump, Whose Favorite Book is the Bible, Has No Clue How To Get Into
August 13, 2016
At a meeting with evangelical pastors in Orlando yesterday, Donald
Trumptold the crowd that he
needed everyone to pray for him. Because if they could get him elected,
he can do great things, and that will allow him to get into
“This may be the most important election that our country has ever
had. So go out and spread the word,” an unusually soft-spoken Trump
said at the event sponsored by the American Renewal Project. “Once
I get in I will do my thing that I do very well. It think it’s
probably, it may be the only way that I’m going to get to heaven.”
I know this is just his latest failed attempt at a joke, but it also
sheds some light into his ignorance. Plenty has been written about how
little Trump understands religion. Hell, at that same meeting yesterday,
he asked the
evangelical audience for help with his poll numbers in Utah,
unaware that Mormons, not evangelicals, are the dominant religious group
in the state.
But Trump’s joke suggests that he genuinely believes the only
way he’ll get into Heaven is by doing really amazing, consequential,
important things — by becoming President and helping people.
The problem is that that’s not what evangelical Christianity
teaches. That’s not even what Trump’s Presbyterianism teaches.
Both groups believe all it takes to go to Heaven is faith in the
divinity of Jesus. That’s it. That’s the whole point of why they want to
So this low-key moment Trump had with evangelicals became just the most
recent opportunity to show them he doesn’t understand the very basics of
Not that evangelicals will care. They haven’t cared about anything else
he’s done so far. Trump is pandering to them and they love it. And they’re
more than willing to throw the country out the window because they can’t
just suck it up and admit Trump’s not qualified to hold public office.
jail term imposed on ‘wolf in shepherd’s clothing’
Temple, a former children’s home worker, was sentenced at Woolwich
crown court after pleading guilty to 20 charges of sexual assault in
April and a further seven charges this week.
Temple twice stood trial in the late 1990s. In the first case the jury
was unable to reach a verdict and Temple was acquitted in a retrial.
Before passing sentence today, judge Christopher Hehir, apologised to
one of Temple’s victims, saying that
Justice was not done when you came to court in 1998 and 1999.
The court heard that the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons,
had become a self-harming recluse and had attempted suicide following
the trials. He said:
I can only imagine the damage he has caused to other victims. We
can never escape from what he did and we can never be free of it.
Temple was “an extremely skilled liar and manipulator with sociopathic
qualities”, the victim added.
The judge said there had been another missed opportunity to bring
Temple to justice when the youngest known victim, who was six or seven
when abused by Temple when he worked for Wandsworth council in south
London, began civil proceedings against the council in 1991.
According to Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, the civil case “appeared to
be settled with no payment” and police did not investigate when the
victim reported the alleged abuse four years later.
Temple sexually assaulted boys and one girl when working for Wandsworth
and Lambeth councils in the 1970s. He became a priest in 1988 and abused
two altar boys while serving at Christ the King monastery, Vita Et Pax
in Cockfosters, north London, in the 1990s.
The judge said he viewed Temple’s move to become ordained as a Catholic
An aggravating factor. You of course exploited the opportunities
your deceit as to your character had afforded you, not only by
sexually abusing children but, as a priest, by lying on oath to deny
the truthful accusations brought against you by one of your victims.
Your actions as a priest demonstrated that in truth you were a
wolf in shepherd’s clothing.
Detectives from the Metropolitan police’s sexual offences, exploitation
and child abuse (SOECA) command launched an investigation after
receiving information that implicated Temple in multiple offences.
He was arrested on 6 July last year.
Lambeth council said it was cooperating with the independent inquiry
into child sexual abuse (IICSA). A spokesman said:
We hope the outcome provides some solace to the victims of these
In a statement, the diocese of Westminster said it was:
Aware of the sentencing of Philip Temple, a member of the Monte Oliveto
Benedictine order. The diocese has fully cooperated with the statutory
authorities throughout the investigation. The diocese of Westminster has
robust safeguarding policies in place and rigorous selection procedures
for candidates for the priesthood.
Temple, of no fixed address, also admitted two counts of perjury
relating to his earlier trials.
Italy now accepts gay unions, it must also legalise polygamy
Added August 11, 2016
Muslim leader Hamza Piccardo, above, has ignited a row in
Italy by calling for the legalisation of polygamy.
According to this
report, the founder of the Union of Islamic Communities and
Organisations (UCOII) in Italy took to Facebook to declare that
polygamy is a “civil right” and that Italy would benefit from the
large number of Muslim births it would promote.
Responding to a new law allowing same sex couples to enter civil
unions, Piccardo argued that if gay relationships are a civil right
then Italians must accept polygamy as a civil right too.
When it comes to civil rights here, then polygamy is a civil
right. Muslims do not agree with homosexual partnerships, and yet
they have to accept a system that allows it. There is no reason
why Italy should not accept polygamous marriages of consenting
The call for polygamy, from Italy’s largest Muslim umbrella
group, was met with outrage by a number of politicians.
Debora Serracchiani, deputy chairman of the ruling Democratic Party
(PD), right, said:
Centuries of fighting for women’s rights can not simply be
brushed aside. Polygamy has nothing to do with civil rights.
Paolo Grimoldi, an MEP for the anti mass migration Northern League,
This is the moderate Islam, with which the Italian government
intends to keep the dialogue open.
Reflecting on the row his Facebook post unleashed, Piccardo said:
A simple consideration of legal philosophy has sparked an
uproar so grotesque as to be even funny.
The former European Muslim Network spokesman also suggested Italy
needs foreign labour and that polygamy would boost the nation’s
Do not underestimate the demographic action of polygamy. It
would rebalance population decline and the consequent need for
appointed to help stressed Russian athletes
Added August 10, 2016
Russians athletes who were cleared to participate in the
Olympic Games in Brazil following a major doping scandal are not
having a great time in Rio, despite having been blessed by a
walking, talking Christmas tree better known as His Holiness
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, above.
The Russians, like characters from any garden-variety Cold War
movie, are cast in the role of the villains at the Rio Olympics.
During the first three days of competition, they have competed
under the suspicion of fellow athletes and under the derision of
otherwise neutral fans. More than 100 Russian athletes were
banished from the Games because of their ties to a
state-sanctioned doping program; the 270 or so who were cleared
and are here to compete have encountered open hostility.
Heavens to Betsy, they’ve even been booed!
Bring on Archpriest Andrey Alexeyev, rector of the Church of St
Dmitry Donskoy in Severnoye Butovo, south of Moscow.
Alexeyev, according to this
report, been appointed “father-confessor” to the Russian Olympic
team. He declared:
I have an inner demand to share with you a piece of unexpected
news that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
appointed me a father-confessor of the Russian Olympic team during
their stay in Rio de Janeiro.
Alexeyev said that members of the Russian team have experienced:
Great stress in connection with the notorious developments,
which certainly exceeded sport grounds.
The priest urged parishioners to pray for Russian athletes:
Who will have to go through difficult trials. Our task is to
support them in this complicated affair.
Earlier Patriarch Kirill met with Russian athletes and conducted a
special prayer service for them in the Assumption Cathedral in the
A site called “Last news from Russia” adds
that Muslims are also fervently head-butting their magic carpets for
proclaim support for vicious killer Tanveer Ahmed
Added August 9, 2016
In a shocking display of support for taxi driver Tanveer
Ahmed – sentenced today to 27 years for the killing of Glasgow
shopkeeper Asad Shah – a group of Muslims present at his sentencing at
Glasgow High Court echoed his defiant shout of ‘Mohammed is the the
prophet, he is the only one.’
According to this
report, Ahmed, 32, travelled from Yorkshire to confront
Shah about clips the shopkeeper had posted online which he said:
Disrespected the Prophet Mohammed.
Watching a clip featuring Shah on his phone as he made his way to
Glasgow, Ahmed was heard in a phone message saying:
Listen to this guy. Something needs to be done. It needs nipped
in the bud.
He pulled out a knife and stabbed the 40-year-old, who he did not
know, at his store in Glasgow’s Shawlands area on 24 March, 2016.
Ahmed, a father of three from Bradford, pleaded guilty to the
murder last month.
In passing sentence, Judge Lady Rae said the killing was:
An appalling display of merciless violence.
She expressed her concern that Ahmed showed no remorse whatsoever for
James Matthews, Sky News’ Scotland Correspondent, said:
Inside court, a section of the public gallery was filled by
supporters of Tanveer Ahmed. As he was led away from the dock he
faced them, raised his hand to the air, and shouted in Arabic
‘Mohammed is the prophet, he is the only one’. They returned the
sentiment, with a collective voice, as the killer was forced down
stairs into the holding cells beneath court.
Shah, described as “a pillar of the community”, was a
member of the Ahmadiyya community.
The court heard that Ahmadiyyas differ from other Muslims in their
belief that the Mohammed was not the final Prophet.
A statement released on behalf of Shah’s family said:
Asad’s family have lost a peaceful, kind and loving brother,
son and uncle who can never be replaced. Most of his family
have now left or are in the process of leaving Scotland,
a country they came to seek safety in.
The murder shocked the close-knit community in south Glasgow, where
several vigils were held in Shah’s memory. An online fundraising page
for his family raised more than £100,000.
Rafiq Hayat, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK, said:
Mr Shah’s only crime was to spread a message of love and
compassion and the whole city paid tribute to him for
his kindness and care. No matter how brutal the crime and how
evil the ideology, the people of Glasgow and the UK have made
clear that we will not let hate prevail.
is Incompatible With the Universe As We Know It
John W. Loftus has released his latest anthology of
essays written by experts around one particular topic. This one is
called Christianity in the Light of Science
(Prometheus Books, 2016) and the chapters cover everything from
Creationism to Jesus.
In the excerpt below, written by the late Victor Stenger,
we look at whether the modern universe can have any compatibility with
the Christian worldview:
CHRISTIANITY AND THE NEW COSMOS
Let’s now ask how the Christian faith fits in with our current
scientific understanding of the cosmos, which far exceeds that of just
a few decades ago. The universe visible from Earth contains an
estimated 150 billion galaxies, each galaxy containing on the order of
a hundred billion stars. It is known to be 13.8 billion years old,
with an uncertainty of less than 100 million years. The most distant
object we can in principle see is now 46 billion light-years away,
taking into account the expansion of the universe during the time the
photons carrying its image traveled to our telescopes. This marks a
horizon beyond which we cannot see because light has not had the time
to reach us in the age of the universe.
Well-established inflationary cosmology implies that on the other
side of our horizon lies a region far larger than our visible
universe, which arose from the same primordial seed.
And that’s just our personal universe. Besides that, there may be an
eternal multiverse containing an unlimited number of other universes.
However, for the purposes of this discussion I will ignore the
possibility of other universes, which is still debatable, and just
stick with the one that indisputably exists — our own.
So, let us consider two possibilities that are so far consistent with
our best knowledge:
1. Intelligent life exists on only a single planet, Earth.
2. Life is rare, and intelligent life even rarer. But the universe is
so vast that there still are countless numbers of intelligent beings
in our universe.
1. We Are Alone
Christians are told that they are the special creation of a lone
divinity that created everything that is. While making sure every
photon and electron in the universe behaves properly without us
noticing, their God is also listening to their every thought and
helping them to do the right thing — as he defines it.
This involves God controlling momentous events, such as telling a
president of the United States to go to war, as George W. Bush said
God did, or redirecting a tennis ball off a Christian lady’s racquet
so it wins her the point as she shouts, “Thank you, Jesus!”
Of course, a God of limitless power could do all that. By why would
he have waited until just 150,000 years ago to create humans? And why
would he have confined them to a tiny speck of dust in a vast ocean of
space, with no chance, at least with our present physical makeup, of
ever traveling much beyond the environs of Earth? If he desired the
worship of humans so badly, then you would think he should have made
it available to him for all times and from all places.
Apologists make an illogical argument that they think is the clincher
for the existence of God. They claim that life in the universe depends
very sensitively on the value of a large number of physical
parameters. According to this view, since the specific values of the
parameters needed for life cannot possibly have resulted from chance
(they can’t prove that), they must have been “fine-tuned” by God in
order to produce us.
Surely any God worthy of the name would not have been so incompetent
as to build a vast, out-of-tune universe and then have to delicately
twiddle all these knobs so that a single planet is capable of
producing human beings. It would have made a lot more sense for him to
have enabled us to live anywhere in the universe, even outer space.
But the fact is — he did not.
2. We Are Not Alone
New estimates based on the brightness variations of thousands of
stars measured by the Kepler Space Telescope suggest that within our
horizon there may be as many as 5 × 1021 planets capable of
sustaining biological life of some form. We have seen that beyond our
horizon exists a far vaster region of space. It is estimated that this
region that contains a minimum of twenty-three orders of
magnitude as many galaxies as those inside our horizon but is likely
to be much bigger. This gives at least 1044 possible
habitable planets in our universe.
This is not pure speculation. It is based on observations and the
theory of cosmic inflation that is now empirically well established.
So even if the probability of intelligent life for an otherwise
habitable planet is miniscule, say one part in a trillion-trillion (1024),
that leaves 1020 planets with some form of intelligent
So, let us consider the scenario of a Christian God presiding over a
universe containing a multitude of intelligent life-forms, all created
in his image (being unlimited, he has an unlimited number of images)
living on other planets. Of course, the Christian could simply say
that this adds to the magnificence of her God. But the God of
Christianity does not hold a patent on magnificence. The gods of all
the major religions are equally magnificent. Christianity is more than
the worship of an infinite being. It is the worship of a highly
personal God who so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son
there to die an excruciating death on the cross to atone for the sin
of the first human beings eating from the Tree of Knowledge.
In The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine wrote, “Are we to
suppose that every world in the boundless creation had an Eve, an
apple, a serpent, and a redeemer?” Of course, Paine was unaware how
vast this “boundless creation” really is. Jesus must be continually
dying on the cross, every nanosecond or so, on some planet in our
universe, in order to save from eternal damnation every form of life
that evolved sufficient intelligence to eat from the Tree of
In the 1930s, astronomer Edward Milne suggested how multiple
crucifixions across the universe could be avoided by Jesus dying just
once, here on Earth, and the information of his act of atonement then
transmitted by radio to other civilizations. However, it would take
well over 46 billion years for a signal sent from Earth to reach every
planet currently within our horizon, and even longer to reach those
beyond. So most intelligent beings would have to wait an awful long
time to learn of the Atonement.
While I know of no official policy on this question provided by the
Catholic Church or any Protestant denomination, the Vatican is not
unaware of the problem. Speaking unofficially, in 2008 the director of
the Vatican Observatory, Fr. José Gabriel Funes, told L’Osservatore
Romano, the Vatican newspaper, that there may be other
intelligent beings created by God. However, he suggested, “They could
have remained in full friendship with the creator.” He likened humans
to “lost sheep” for which “God became man in Jesus to save us.” The
other intelligent beings did not necessarily need redemption. (The
fact that none have communicated with us yet could indicate that they
avoided eating from the Tree of Knowledge and, as a result, never
developed radio.) According to Funes, “Jesus became man once and for
all. The Incarnation is a single and unique event.”
So, if Funes is accurately reflecting Catholic thinking, humans
remain the favorite of God — although a strange kind of favorite who
needs redeeming while the countless other intelligent life-forms do
My guess, based on what one hears from pulpits across America, is
that Protestants would take the same view. Of course, fundamentalists
still believe literally in the cosmology of the Bible and think
scientists are a bunch of frauds, so they have no self-contradiction
here. Science is just wrong. There is just one universe created six
thousand years ago (and no evolution or climate change, which are just
Moderate Protestants, on the other hand, have yet one more conflict
between science and religion among the many that they must reconcile
in order to both accept the findings of science and also still hold on
to some semblance of Christian faith.
The Judaic-Christian-Islamic God is a mighty God when viewed from the
perspective of the desert tribes in the Middle East that conceived
him. But that God is not mighty enough from the perspective of modern
Religion claims to teach us humility. But it really trades in a false
pride, telling people they are the children of God, that they are the
center of the universe and the reason for its existence — that they’ll
live forever if they just follow instructions. But it’s an unearned
pride. So, when science shows that we, for a brief time, occupy but a
tiny mote in space and time, the religious recoil from this lesson in
Still, the very fact that in the short period of a few thousand years
humans have been able learn so much about the universe by just looking
up in the sky and at the world around them, and reasoning over what
they saw, testifies that we are unique among the millions of species
on this planet. A dispassionate alien observer of life on Earth could
only conclude that it is meaningless, brutal, and short — with one
We cannot yet compare ourselves with whatever intelligent life-forms
might be out there. But we are special, at least on Earth and the
solar system. Even though magical thinking and hubris may still
destroy us, we can hope that our unique abilities will lead us to a
Anti-gay Catholic cleric
faces lawsuit over abuse in Guam
Added August 8, 2016
A while back, Anthony Sablan Apuron, then Catholic Archbishop of Guam
warned that the introduction of marriage equality to the South Pacifiic
island that belongs to America would ‘destroy the basic fabric of
society’ and put Guam on the ‘road to a totalitarian system’.
Apuron and Guam’s Catholic archdiocese are now embroiled in a $2-million
lawsuit that alleges that Apuron abused boys in 1970s.
According to this report, three former altar boys and the mother of
another filed the libel and slander lawsuit, saying they were called
liars when they accused Apuron of sexual abuse.
The lawsuit appears to have forced a 95-year-old Catholic priest – the
Rev Louis Brouillard – into the open. After he was identified as an
abuser during a hearing this week in the Guam Legislature, he stepped
forward to confess abusing boys on Guam. He said he had confessed his
sins to other priests on the island at the time but none told him to
Instead, the other priests told him to “do better” along with regular
penance, such as saying Hail Mary prayers.
Brouillard served in Guam from the 1940s through the 1970s, teaching at
San Vicente and Father Duenas Memorial schools while he was a priest. He
said he molested “a couple of boys” during that time.
However, when pressed on how many boys he might have abused, Brouillard
said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press today:
I have no idea. Maybe 20. At that time, when I was
that age, I got the impression that kids liked it, so I went ahead. But
now of course, I know it’s wrong and I’m paying for it.
Leo B Tudela, 73, testified about what he said was abuse by Brouillard
in the mid-1950s during the Guam Legislature hearing. Tudela urged
senators to support legislation that would lift the statute of
limitations for lawsuits against those who sexually abused children.
Brouillard said he didn’t remember Tudela.
Meanwhile, Apuron has denied the abuse and not been charged with any
The Vatican appointed Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai as a temporary
administrator after the allegations surfaced.
After the allegations against Brouillard were first reported by the
Pacific Daily News this week, Hon released a statement:
With the news that Father Louis Brouillard, a priest
who served on Guam confessed to having abused altar boys on Guam in the
1950s, I convey my deepest apologies and that of the entire church to Mr
Leo Tudela and all other persons who were also victimised.
Brouillard said he hasn’t been defrocked, and lives in Pine City,
Minnesota, on a small pension from the church in Guam. He said he has
volunteered with the local Meals on Wheels programme for 30 years as
He said he never sought to silence his victims, and he offers daily
prayers to the boys he molested.
I regret with all my heart that I did anything wrong
to them,. I am praying for the boys and hope that they can forgive me
and that God can.
Devout California Mayor
played strip poker with a boy aged 16
Added August 7, 2016
Mayor Anthony Silva, above, is a very godly man – so much so that last
year he gave the Almighty a key to his city, Stockton in California, in
a stupid and tasteless stunt that following the shooting of a six year
Well, Silva is back in the news because he got himself arrested on
Thursday at his youth camp on charges of playing strip poker with a
minor and providing youngsters with alcohol.
Silva, who has form for being anti-gay, was taken into custody the day
after Amador County prosecutors filed criminal charges against him based
on evidence uncovered by the FBI.
The 42-year-old mayor stands accused of one felony count of making an
illegal recording and one misdemeanor count each of providing alcohol to
a minor, cruelty to a child by endangering their health and contributing
to the delinquency of a minor.
Silva, through his attorney, denied the accusations. He has been
released on $20,000 bail.
The charges stem from a recent search of Silva’s mobile phone by the
FBI. Local prosecutors said they were provided with details of that
search on July 26.
Among other things, investigators found 23 photographs and four video
clips relating to a youth camp, later identified as Silver Lake Camp in
Amador County District Attorney Todd Riebe said the strip poker game
occurred in Silva’s bedroom at the camp.
One of the participants was a 16-year-old boy. Witnesses also informed
FBI agents that Silva provided alcohol to the poker game participants,
all of whom were underage.
Meanwhile the Stockton Police Officers Association has called on Silva
to resign immediately.
The mayor’s actions have formed not merely a dark
cloud, but full fledged storm, over the mayor’s ability to govern and
represent the city of Stockton.
Thursday’s arrest is just the latest controversy to touch Silva.
In 2012, a 19-year-old woman accused Silva of committing sexual battery
a year before. No charges were filed and Silva told a local TV station
that the woman was a disgruntled former employee.
In 2014, the mayor was handcuffed but never arrested after a fight in a
limousine. The limousine driver and passengers sued Silva, including a
woman who alleged inappropriate advances by the mayor.
In 2015, a gun stolen from the mayor’s home was used to kill 13-year-old
Rayshawn Harris, according to the the San Joaquin County district
attorney’s office. Rayshawn was shot to death on Febebruary 23,
2015, while he stood in his driveway. The .40-calibre semiautomatic
pistol was registered to Silva.
University of Miami
Establishes Chair for Study of Atheism
Added August 6, 2016
With an increasing number of Americans leaving religion behind, the
University of Miami received a donation in late April from a wealthy
atheist to endow what it says is the nation’s first academic chair “for
the study of atheism, humanism and secular ethics.”
The chair has been established after years of discussion with a $2.2
million donation from Louis J. Appignani, a retired businessman and
former president and chairman of the modeling school Barbizon
International, who has given grants to many humanist and secular causes
— though this is his largest so far. The university, which has not yet
publicly announced the new chair, will appoint a committee of faculty
members to conduct a search for a scholar to fill the position.
“I’m trying to eliminate discrimination against atheists,” said Mr.
Appignani, who is 83 and lives in Florida. “So this is a step in that
direction, to make atheism legitimate.”
Religion departments and professors of religious studies are a standard
feature at most colleges and universities, many originally founded by
ministers and churches. The study of atheism and secularism is only now
starting to emerge as an accepted academic field, scholars say, with its
own journal, conferences, course offerings and, now, an endowed chair.
“I think it’s a very bold step of the University of Miami, and I hope
there will be others,” said Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist
and atheist luminary who is the author of “The God Delusion.”
“It’s enormously important to shake off the shackles of religion from
the study of morality,” Mr. Dawkins said in a telephone interview from
his home in Britain.
The percentage of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has risen
rapidly in a short time, to 23 percent of the population in 2014, up
from 16 percent in 2007, according to a report by the Pew Research
Center. Younger people are even less religious, with 35 percent of
millennials saying they identify as atheist, agnostic or with no
religion in particular.
Secular Americans are beginning to organize themselves politically. Next
month, nonbelievers are headed to Washington to lobby Congress and hold
a “Reason Rally” at the Lincoln Memorial to showcase their numbers and
promote the separation of church and state.
With atheists still often stigmatized and disparaged in this country, it
took some persuading for the University of Miami to agree to create a
chair with the word “atheism” in the title, according to Harvey Siegel,
a professor of philosophy who has helped to broker the arrangement. He
said that more than 15 years ago, when he was chairman of the philosophy
department, he and Mr. Appignani first began discussing the idea for a
chair to study atheism and secularism.
“There was great reluctance on the part of the university to have an
endowed chair with the word ‘atheism’ in the name, and that was a
deal-breaker for Lou,” Mr. Siegel said. “He wasn’t going to do it unless
it had the word atheism in it.”
The university had reason to be cautious, Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive
vice president and provost, said in an interview.
“We didn’t want anyone to misunderstand and think that this was to be an
advocacy position for someone who is an atheist,” he said. “Our religion
department isn’t taking an advocacy position when it teaches about
Catholicism or Islam. Similarly, we’re not taking an advocacy position
when we teach about atheism or secular ethics.”
Asked whether he anticipated any backlash, Mr. LeBlanc said: “This is an
area where people can get overly excited if they don’t actually look
carefully at what’s happening. The idea that there are nondeity
approaches to explaining our surroundings is not controversial in the
Mr. Appignani said he rejected a last-minute proposal from a dean to
call it a chair in “philosophical naturalism.” Instead, he and the
university leaders worked out the title, broadening the scope by
including humanism and secular ethics.
Mr. Appignani was raised a Roman Catholic in the Bronx by Italian
immigrant parents. His father was a clothing presser in the garment
district. He attended Catholic schools and said he became a nonbeliever
at the City College of New York when he discovered the work of Bertrand
Russell, the British philosopher and Nobel Prize winner.
With the money he made from the Barbizon school, he said, he created the
foundation that has given grants to groups like the American Humanist
Association and the Secular Coalition for America, and the Appignani
Humanist Legal Center.
Over the years, Mr. Appignani has sponsored two public lectures by Mr.
Dawkins at the University of Miami. The discussions about a chair gained
momentum last year with the arrival of a new university president, Julio
Frenk, Mr. Siegel said.
Dr. Frenk announced that he intended to recruit new talent by creating
100 new chairs in time for the university’s centennial anniversary, in
2025, said Margot S. Winick, an assistant vice president at the
university. The chair in atheism is the fifth he has added so far, she
Pitzer College, a liberal arts school in Southern California with about
1,000 students, became the first to begin a program and major in secular
studies five years ago. Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist of religion who
founded the program, said it now offered four courses on secularism of
its own and many others by the six professors associated with the
department. Only two students have chosen to major in secular studies,
he said, but the courses are popular. For its “Secularism and
Skepticism” class last year, he turned away 25 students, more than the
22 he was able to admit.
Scholars have formed a “Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network,”
which is holding its fourth conference this summer in Zurich. A
peer-reviewed journal, “Secularism and Nonreligion,” is now up and
“There is a real need for secular studies,” Mr. Zuckerman said. “As
rates of irreligion continue to rise, not only here in the U.S.A. but
all over the world, we need to understand secular people, secular
culture, and secularism as a political and ideological force.”
Rise of the Atheist Voting
August 5, 2016
I missed this story when it came out last month, but it deserves
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.
You read that right. If you took all the registered voters in the U.S.
and grouped them by religious affiliation, the biggest group would be
people of no religion. We’re now a plurality!
As recently as 2008, the nonreligious were just 14% of voters, a distant
fourth behind the country’s major Christian factions. But we’ve jumped
to 21% of the electorate, while Catholics, white evangelicals and
mainline Protestants have all declined. We now beat out the Catholics
and evangelicals by a hairsbreadth, while the Protestant mainline is
falling further behind. And as younger generations become more secular,
we can only expect nonbelievers to take an even more decisive lead in
years to come.
This is a momentous demographic shift, which makes it all the more
striking how little attention it’s received. There are many analyses of
how the American electorate is becoming less white and what this
portends for the future of our politics, yet hardly anyone seems to be
commenting on the fact that a full one-fifth of all voters are now
nonreligious. The Republicans are bearing down even harder on religious
culture-war issues, while the Democrats, as I wrote in the Guardian this
week, continue to flaunt their faith in public even though nonbelievers
are a crucial part of their coalition.
But even if the major parties are slow to acknowledge it, the effects
are being felt. From Pew:
The survey also shows that a declining share of
Americans say they want a president with firm religious convictions.
Today, just 62% of U.S. adults say it is important to them that the
president have strong religious beliefs, down from 67% in 2012 and 72%
This may be a ripple effect of Donald Trump’s candidacy. American
evangelicals have long claimed that religious faith was essential to a
candidate, but now that they find themselves compelled by partisan
loyalty to support Trump, who scarcely even pretends to be religious,
they’ve adjusted their other beliefs to be consistent with that. But
it’s not just because of Trump:
…this decline among Republicans predates the
nomination of Trump, having dropped 8 percentage points since 2008. And
it mirrors changes among Democrats as well; while a larger share of
Republicans (74%) than Democrats (53%) say it is important that a
president have strong religious beliefs, declining shares of both groups
hold this view.
This ought to be a warning to politicians who pander shamelessly to
religion or claim God’s endorsement of their personal beliefs. As the
electorate becomes more secular, this won’t just be ineffective, but
counterproductive. Candidates who flaunt their piety will be seen for
the distasteful, archaic relics they are. That’s a very bad omen for Ted
Cruz and other GOP nominees-in-waiting who think a redoubled emphasis on
domineering religious conservatism is their key to victory.
However, these numbers also show the challenge for the secular movement.
We punch below our weight in elections: the number of nonreligious
people who actually vote is consistently lower than the number who are
registered. Whatever criticism you have of evangelicals and other
religious voting blocs, one thing you can say for them is that they show
up, and that’s helped them to preserve their cultural influence and
leverage longer than the raw numbers suggest.
Many of the nonreligious are young, and the young vote less consistently
than older people. Others are apathetic or cynical about politics, and
stay home because they don’t believe their vote makes a difference. Of
course, when this happens, the religious right wins and gets to set the
agenda, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The secular movement can be a powerful, even dominant force in American
politics. We have the numbers, but we need the organization. We need to
work harder at building strong networks of atheist voters, keeping them
informed, and getting them to the polls. That’s especially true in
midterms, where there’s a predictable dropoff of young, diverse, secular
voters. Too many of us think elections don’t matter if we’re not voting
for a president. This won’t be easy to overcome, but if we can do it,
nonbelievers can steer the course of our democracy for decades to come.
abuser should be spared jail … because she’s a Muslim
Added August 4, 2016
Despite a plea by her lawyer that she should not be jailed for
sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl, Raheelah Dar, 43, above, was
handed a seven-year jail sentence when she was convicted
in Teeside Crown Court yesterday.
According to this
report, Dar’s barrister, Alison Pryor, said her client
should receive a community sentence rather than face a term in prison.
My client is a practicing Muslim; the shame that this has brought
and will bring on her family cannot be underestimated. It is
something that would not be found in a more ordinary case of this
Pryor also cited the mental health issues outlined in Ms Dar’s
psychiatric report, and her diagnosis of bi-polar disorder, as further
reason for a community sentence.
Dar was convicted of three counts of indecent assault and two of
indecency with a child, which she denied.
She was accused of isolating, manipulating and molesting the girl over
a four-year period. The victim, who is now an adult, cannot be named for
The victim described how she feels intimidated and “unable to engage in
social situations” due to the abuse, and could not stand to be touched
by other people to this day. She also explained she had suffered health
problems by feeling unable to see a doctor, struggled with her family,
with self-harming and with her weight.
Recorder Tim Roberts QC said he would be failing in his duties if he
did not pass a jail sentence. He told Ms Dar:
You were 26. She was only nine. You were sexually experienced and
had been married. She was an innocent. You were crafty.
A spokeswoman for Cleveland police said:
All cases of sexual abuse will be investigated thoroughly and
professionally by specially trained officers. Victims should not
suffer in silence and hopefully this example will assist in
encouraging victims of sexual abuse to report it to police. Today’s
sentence will stand as an example that those responsible for sexual
abuse will be brought to justice.
Mr Justice Holman found that said she had been “deprived of her
Delivering the court order, Mr Justice Holman said Mr Al-Jeffery:
Must permit and facilitate the return of Amina if she so wishes
to Wales or England and pay the airfare.
He set a September 11, 2016, deadline,.
However, he accepted there was:
Lttle or nothing this court could do to enforce the order if Mr
Al-Jeffery was determined not to comply with it.
But he said Mr Al-Jeffery might face contempt of court proceedings if
he returned to Britain without having complied.
Mr Justice Holman added:
There are no conventions between Britain and Saudi Arabia. The
courts in Saudi Arabia would not even recognise the basis of the
claim, because it does not recognise dual nationality.
street preacher swears at woman wearing tight jeans
Added August 3, 2016
Street preacher Krissoni Henderson, above, has been
charged with public order offences over an alleged outburst on a
busy shopping street in Birmingham.
Henderson, 31, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court in July
after a woman was allegedly sworn at “for wearing tight jeans”.
According to this
report, he is due back in court on September 6 over the
Henderson appeared in court after being charged with using insulting,
threatening words or behaviour and using racially aggravated insulting
words or behaviour.
His arrest came after a footage emerged of a tense confrontation in
Birmingham city centre, which goes on for several minutes, in which a
highly agitated man screams “Allahu Akhbar” in the face of a police
officer. He tells the officer that he not scared on him, only of
The video shows a crowd gather as the situation unfolds before the PC
eventually tells them the man has:
The right to assembly, to stand here and shout and offend.
But he adds:
If his actions go beyond that and he commits a public order
offence, then he will be arrested.
In response to the incident West Midlands Police said officers were
called to New Street at around 5.30pm on July 4 after a 38-year-old
woman dialled 999 saying she feared for her safety following a “verbal
The force added footage of a police officer trying to speak to a man
in connection with the allegation later appeared on social media
Atheism has ancient roots
and is not ‘modern invention’
Added April 1, 2016
Atheism is not a modern invention from the western Enlightenment, but
actually dates back to the ancient world, according to a new book by a
Cambridge academic – which challenges the assumption that humanity is
naturally predisposed to believe in gods.
In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh, professor of Greek culture at
Cambridge University, lays out a series of examples showing that atheism
existed in polytheistic ancient Greece. It is, according to its author,
partly “an attempt to excavate ancient atheism from underneath the rubble
heaped on it by millennia of Christian opprobrium”.
Early atheists were making what seem to be universal objections about the
paradoxical nature of religion. Disbelief in the supernatural is as old as
the hills. It is only through profound ignorance of the classical
tradition that anyone ever believed that 18th-century Europeans were the
first to battle the gods.
“We tend to see atheism as an idea that has only recently emerged in
secular western societies. The rhetoric used to describe it is
hyper-modern. In fact, early societies were far more capable than many
since of containing atheism within the spectrum of what they considered
normal,” said Whitmarsh.
“Rather than making judgments based
on scientific reason, these early atheists were making what seem to be
universal objections about the paradoxical nature of religion – the
fact that it asks you to accept things that aren’t intuitively there
in your world. The fact that this was happening thousands of years ago
suggests that forms of disbelief can exist in all cultures, and
probably always have.”
In the fourth century BC, he points to Plato, as the philosopher imagines
a believer chastising an atheist:
“You and your friends are not the
first to have held this view about the gods! There are always those
who suffer from this illness, in greater or lesser numbers.”
“We may balk at his disease
“but Plato was surely right in his
general point. There have been many throughout history and across all
cultures who have resisted belief in the divine.”
Because you disbelieved things that are not unbelievable, your name from
now on shall be Disbeliever (Apistos)
The god Asclepius, to a man who mocked miracle cures
These range from Carneades, head of the Platonic academy in the second
century BC, who argued that
“belief in gods is illogical”,
to the Epicureans, who were often called atheoi in antiquity, and the
atheistic writings of Xenophanes of Colophon.
Whitmarsh argues that the diversity of ancient Greece’s polytheistic
societies meant there was no such thing as religious orthodoxy, and no
clergy laying out how people should live. This meant, he said, that while
atheism could be viewed as mistaken, it was usually tolerated – although
not in the case of Socrates, who was executed in Athens for “not
recognising the gods of the city.
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Elämänkatsomustieto on eräs lukion reaaliaineista. Elämänkatsomustiedon
ainereaalissa kokelas valitsee vastattavakseen kuusi kysymystä
Reaaliaineiden sijoittuminen koepäivien kesken: Samana koepäivänä
järjestetään evankelis-luterilaisen uskonnon, ortodoksisen isen
uskonnon, elämänkatsomustiedon, yhteiskuntaopin, kemian, maantieteen ja
Suomen Ateistiyhdistys ry. kannattaa kaikkien mielipideaineiden
poistamista kouluista. Erityisesti oman uskonnon opetus on
Suomen ateistiyhdistys vastustaa kuitenkin jyrkästi kaikille
yhteiseen "elämänkatsomustiedon" opetukseen siirtymistä lukioissa. Se
merkitsisi Ruotsin mallin mukaista uskonnon opetusta eli sitä, mitä
Kulosaaren yhteiskoulussa nyt opetetaan.
Kulosaaren yhteiskoulun kaikille pakollisen opetussuunnitelman löydät
Koska peruskoulun järkeistäminen on Suomen äärivanhoillisessa
mielipideilmastossa mahdotonta, ehdotamme että järkeistäminen
Kun oman uskonnon tai elämänkatsomustiedon opetusta on peruskoulussa
9 vuotta, on kohtuutonta, että sitä on lukiossa.
Koska lukion elämänkatsomustiedon opetus oli aikoinaan filosofian
opetusta ja nykyään huuhaata, ehdotamme, että oma uskonto ja
elämänkatsomustieto poistetaan lukiosta ja muutetaan filosofian
opetusta niin, että lukioissa filosofian nykyiset kurssit 2, 3 ja 4
ovat pakollisia. Samalla on päätettävä, että näiden kurssien sisältöjä
ei muuteta lisäämällä niihin uskontotietoa.
Koska lukioissa on paljon evankelis-luterilaisia uskonnonopettajia,
ehdotan, että heitä varten luodaan lakkautuspalkkajärjestelmä
siirtymisajaksi. Vastaavasti teologikoulutusta vähennetään niin, että
lukioiden evankelis-luterilaisen uskonnon opettajat voivat siirtyä
joustavasti evankelisluterilaisen kirkon tehtäviin.
Nykyisin pätevät elämänkatsomustiedon opettajat katsottakoon
päteviksi lukion filosofian opettajiksi.
Siirtymäajaksi myös opettajakoulutusta vailla olevat, joilla on
yliopistossa suorittettu vähintään keskimmäinen oppimäärä
filosofiassa, katsottakoon päteviksi lukion filosofian opettajiksi.
Lakkautuspalkka lisää menoja, mutta teologikoulutuksen keskeyttäminen
Kun joukko teologian professoreja joutuu lomautetuiksi, tämä on vain
osoitus siitä, että kansalaisia lomautetaan tasapuolisesti kaikissa
Todellisiä hyötyjiä ovat lukiolaiset.
Mainittakoon, että ylempää löytyvät täysin ilmaiset lukion filosofian