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Whither Moral Courage?

By Salmar Rushdie

WE find it easier, in these confused times, to admire physical bravery than moral courage — the courage of the life of the mind, or of public figures. A man in a cowboy hat vaults a fence to help Boston bomb victims while others flee the scene: we salute his bravery, as we do that of servicemen returning from the battlefront, or men and women struggling to overcome debilitating illnesses or injuries.
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POPE FRANCIS TELLS POPE BENEDICT TO STOP ROLLING HIS EYES IN MEETINGS

May 05, 2013 - Tags:

VATICAN CITY (The Borowitz Report)—Pope Emeritus Benedict’s return to the Vatican began on a sour note today as the current Pope, Francis, reprimanded him for rolling his eyes sarcastically during meetings, observers said.

The trouble started when the former Pope showed up at a meeting Francis scheduled to discuss plans for his Christmas mass, a meeting that “Benedict wasn’t even invited to,” a Vatican source said.

Fired For My Family

Sep 19, 2012 - Tags:

By Emily Herx, a teacher at a Catholic school in Indiana who was fired after the school discovered that she used IVF to try to become pregnant. The teacher filed EEOC charges and later a lawsuit in federal court alleging discrimination on the basis of sex and disability. The ACLU has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.

I did not imagine when I began teaching at St. Vincent de Paul School that I would find myself in this position today. I loved teaching, and was devoted to my profession and to my students. When I was fired, I was shocked and saddened.

Having already had one beautiful child, my husband and I decided to expand our family. As many couples have, we experienced difficulty in conceiving. After we consulted with our doctor, we were both deeply saddened to find out that I was suffering from a medical condition that caused infertility.  Couples suffering from infertility are subject to numerous emotional strains. I sought comfort from my friends and family. And I reached out to my school principal, who told me she would keep me in her prayers.

Our doctor recommended we pursue in vitro fertilization (“IVF”), and so, in 2010, we did. I was hopeful the procedure would help us add to our family. IVF is a difficult road, and our first try was ultimately unsuccessful. I approached my principal again for time off to complete a second round of treatment, and only then was I told I would need to meet with the school’s Monsignor about my procedure.

The sadness and stress that comes from difficulty in conceiving is bad enough, but it was only compounded after meeting with the Monsignor. That meeting was the first indication I received that my use of IVF might be contrary to church teachings. Shocked as I was to learn this after receiving support during my first course of treatment, I was even more horrified to be called a grave, immoral sinner by the Monsignor. I was told I would not have my teaching contract renewed because I pursued IVF. I was devastated.

Source : ACLU : Read the whole story here.

Did Jesus Have A Wife? Newly Discovered Ancient Text Reignites Debate

Sep 19, 2012 - Tags:

 

An ancient piece of text is reviving an equally ancient debate: Was Jesus Christ married?

Of course, most Christians believe that he wasn't. But today, Harvard Professor of Divinity Karen King presented a scrap of papyrus that dates back to the fourth century. She told a gathering of scholars in Rome that written in Coptic was this surprising sentence: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...' "

"Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim," King said in a press release. "This new gospel doesn'tprove that Jesus was married, but it tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage. From the very beginning, Christians disagreed about whether it was better not to marry, but it was over a century after Jesus' death before they began appealing to Jesus' marital status to support their positions."

King adds that this new gospel also tells us that some early Christians believed that Jesus was indeed married.

The New York Times reports that the provenance of the fragment is not known because the owner asked to remain anonymous. Still, the Times reports, this ancient debate is relevant today:

"Even with many questions unsettled, the discovery could reignite the debate over whether Jesus was married, whether Mary Magdalene was his wife and whether he had a female disciple. These debates date to the early centuries of Christianity, scholars say. But they are relevant today, when global Christianity is roiling over the place of women in ministry and the boundaries of marriage.

"The discussion is particularly animated in the Roman Catholic Church, where despite calls for change, the Vatican has reiterated the teaching that the priesthood cannot be opened to women and married men because of the model set by Jesus."

Source : NPR : Read the whole story here.

What the Bible says — and doesn’t say — about marriage

There’s a lot of talk about the biblical definition of marriage and the family; however, I can’t find where those terms are explained anywhere in the bible.

Nonetheless, a careful reading of the Good Book provides some basic guidelines that clearly warrant some discussion.

In both Genesis I and II we see a unique parenting by the Ultimate Unwed Single Parent: God. In this model there is no marriage, and apparently no sex either, as God performs like a sponge, an entity capable of sexual and asexual reproduction.

In Genesis, God is the perfect model for a petulant asexual parent arrogant enough to think children don’t need two parents. In this model we have a celibate male cloning children in any image he prefers, setting them up for failure and callously blaming them when they screw up. We can see in God’s actions many universal parental statements such as “you didn’t get THAT trait from ME… it must have come from your Uncle Beelzebub…”

Genesis also provides a family model, although not one I’d recommend since it begins with an excess of incest and a dose of fratricide – and your local state’s attorney won’t be too keen about either (just as a heads up, OK?).

Erring on the side of charity, however, which by the way is also biblical in case you forgot, we should forgive Adam and Eve and their progeny for complicating our lives since they were obviously abandoned by an asexual emotionally distant single parent who failed at home schooling and had the bad judgment to try to control their behavior by tempting them with a talking snake and a piece of fruit: definitely not the best way to shape the morality of children in their most tender years.

Source : LGBTQnation : Read the full article here.

Democratic Party’s 2012 national platform to include same sex marriage

The Democratic Party platform drafting committee has unanimously approved language endorsing marriage equality as part of the party’s official 2012 platform. According to LGBT newspaper The Washington Blade, two sources close to the drafting process have come forward and stated that same sex marriage will be a plank in the platform, which will be ratified at the Democratic National Convention in September.

The Blade quotes retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) as saying, “I was part of a unanimous decision to include it. There was a unanimous decision in the drafting committee to include it in the platform, which I supported, but everybody was for it.”

The 15-member panel has heard testimony from witnesses backing the inclusion, including Andy Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, Army Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, a lesbian New Hampshire guardsman with stage-four incurable breast cancer and a plaintiff in Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s lawsuit against the Defense of Marriage Act, Michael Macleod-Ball, the American Civil Liberties Union’s chief of staff for the Washington Legislative Office and others.

Every four years, a drafting committee made up of party officials comes together to write the party’s official platform, which is currently still in its draft phase. The group will meet again in Detroit in August to hear a “close-to-final” draft and suggest amendments before presenting the document at the Democratic National Convention.

Source : The Raw Story : Read the full story here.

Evolution skeptics will soon be silenced by science: Richard Leakey

May 28, 2012 - Tags:

Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.

Not that the avowed atheist has any doubts himself.

Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that "even the skeptics can accept it," the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist said.

"If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it's solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive, then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges."

Leakey, a professor at Stony Brook University on Long Island, recently spent several weeks in New York promoting the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya. The institute, where Leakey spends most of his time, welcomes researchers and scientists from around the world dedicated to unearthing the origins of mankind in an area rich with fossils.

His friend Paul Simon performed at a May 2 fundraiser for the institute in Manhattan that collected more than $2 million US. A National Geographic documentary on his work at Turkana aired this month on public television.

Now 67, Leakey is the son of the late renowned archeologists Louis and Mary Leakey and conducts research with his wife, Meave, and daughter, Louise. The family claims to have unearthed "much of the existing fossil evidence for human evolution."

On the eve of his return to Africa earlier this week, Leakey spoke to The Associated Press in New York City about the past and the future.

Source : CBC News : Read the whole story here.

Atheist converts to Christianity: Media’s coverage

Apr 05, 2012 - Tags:

There was an interesting article on the Huffington Post yesterday about an atheist who recently converted to Christianity. So who is this atheist? Surely, he must be a prominent scientist, right? Is he the author of an atheist book, a prominent atheist blogger, a well-known atheist activist, or the leader of an atheist organization? No, he is just some random 63 year-old guy. Apparently, it is such a rare occurrence when an atheist converts to Christianity that it has become a newsworthy event.

The now former atheist, Patrick Greene, was called an activist because he threatened to sue to get a nativity scene removed from his county courthouse. No lawsuit was ever actually filed. What the media failed to cover was that Greene threatened to sue a lot of people and that atheists within the local atheist community consider him to have a persecution complex after he threatened to sue Christian apologist Ray Comfort over a bumper sticker promoting National Atheist Day, which Greene found offensive.

Greene gave two reasons for his recent conversion. The first was that Christians raised money for him to help with living expenses. While that is certainly a noble gesture on the part of the Christians, it doesn’t speak well for Greene whose believes appear to be for sale to the highest bidder.

The second reason given by Greene for his conversion is a profound misunderstanding and lack of knowledge concerning the science of evolution.

Source : The Examiner : Read the whole story here:

Priest’s PC Autoplays Gay Porn Slideshow to Congregation

Apr 02, 2012 - Tags:

Father Martin McVeigh was giving a talk to 26 parents and one 8-year-old kid when computer disaster struck. He connected his USB drive into a PC to start his Powerpoint presentation and, instead of the word of God, a hardcore gay porn slideshow started—thanks to Windows' autoplay.

Some parents—who were there to hear McVeigh talk about First Communion—were angry. Others were in shock. Just like McVeigh. He was so embarrassed that, according to witnesses, unplugged the USB drive and walked out of the room without uttering a single word. Later he declared to the press:

I don't know how it happened but I know what happened. There are people making innuendoes who weren't even there but in this day and age these stories grow.

Well, Father, I think there's little space for innuendo after showing gay porn in church. McVeigh, however, claims there is an explanation for all this.

The Archdiocese of Armagh, where the parish belongs, called the police and gave them the USB stick for inspection. The police told them there was no crime in gay porn and the drive didn't contain any pedophilia. It was just normal gay porn.

Source : Gizmodo : Read the whole story here:

South Carolina woman kills nephew's 'devil dog' after pup eats her Bible

Mar 28, 2012 - Tags:

A South Carolina woman is claiming an act of canine cruelty was simply an act of divine intervention.

Miriam Fowler Smith, 65, told cops on Monday that she hung and burned her nephew's pit bull after the animal took a bite out of her bible.

She claimed God urged her to kill Diamond, a 1-year-old female dog, because the animal was a "devil dog" and would hurt neighborhood children.

Smith was arrested on Sunday and remains in Spartanburg County jail. She could face faces 180 days or up to five years behind bars if she's convicted with felony animal cruelty.

She does not have a lawyer yet.

Authorities said Smith confessed to wrapping an extension cord around Diamond's neck, hung the animal from a tree and then set the pup on fire.

Source : NY Daily News : Read the whole story here.

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