What Has Religion Done for Us This Month? Episode 12

Daniel is back with another montage of some of the awful things done in the name of God over the past month:

(via ConversationWithA)

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After Pushback, County Council Member Removes $7,000 Budget Item Earmarked for Child Evangelism Group

You may recall how Jim McCune, the Pierce County Council member (in Washington state), made a push last week to give Child Evangelism Fellowship $7,000 in funding. CEF is a Christian group whose mission involves proselytizing to and converting elementary school students via their Good News Clubs.

What made McCune’s budget amendment even more appalling was how he defended his decision:

McCune said Friday night Child Evangelism Fellowship is non-denominational, and the money would not go towards religious items.

“Yes, (CEF) may come from a certain book (the Bible), but it’s not a so-called religious foundation. Completely separate,” McCune explained.

Riiiiiiiight.

Yesterday, Pierce County held the final meeting to approve the budget — and the $271,000,000 bill passed unanimously. However, McCune’s future-lawsuit-bait wasn’t part of that final budget:

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‘Psychic’ Sylvia Browne is Dead

Sylvia Browne, the “psychic” whose appearances on talk shows like “Montel” and “Larry King Live” made her a well-known celebrity despite her not-even-close-to-the-truth predictions, died earlier today at the age of 77.



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Why is This Georgia Town’s Chief of Police Using the Department’s Facebook Page to Preach Christianity?

It’s not strange at all that Harlem, Georgia Police Chief Gary Jones would use a Facebook page to keep citizens informed of local crime sprees, offer them some safety advice, and remind them of classes offered by the Harlem Dept. of Public Safety.

But it’s not hard to see how Jones crossed the line with this recent Facebook post (on the Department’s page):

There are many kids that have been raised in Godly homes that have went astray at no fault of the parent(s); however, too many have went astray due to parents failing to discipline and get involved in their children’s lives. The Police cannot raise your kids. Parents must become the disciplinarian and impose and enforce rules. The law does not prohibit a parent or guardian from spanking their children. The law says that parents may administer reasonable corporal punishment. No, it is not reasonable to strike a child with a bat or other object, but you can use a belt and strike their rear-ends. This may offend some parents that do not believe in spanking, and to you I say statistics are against you. Parents be nosy, check behind your kids and never assume that they will always be truthful. Doing these very things just may save the life of your child. Fathers you are the head of the home and God will hold you accountable. Get your children in church and teach them about the one and only true Saviour…Jesus Christ.

Apparently, Jones thinks that his government agency’s Facebook page is the appropriate place to offer his opinions on spanking and Jesus. As if we need another advocate for the kind of loving abuse featured in Michael and Debi Pearl‘s To Train Up a Child

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Can Quora Be Inoculated from Pseudoscience?

For those who don’t know, Quora is a question-and-answer web platform where anyone can log in, ask any question to the community, and potentially have it answered. It’s kind of a Wikipedia for Q&A. The questions can be on any topic, from the highly technical, to the superfluous, to the hilarious (see my posts on Quora questions regarding Starbucks on the Death Star and the geopolitics of Super Mario). As on platforms like Reddit, users can upvote and downvote both questions and answers to better curate the content. It’s a great way to get yourself lost for hours on end and destroy your productivity.

Anyway, this question came up anonymously about Quora itself, and it’s relevant to our little skepto-atheist community:

Are there any Quora policies regarding pseudoscience? If not, should there be one? Let’s discuss. . . . this question is directed towards a Quora moderation perspective.

Wow, what a great question. Quora can’t and doesn’t make any claims to hosting “definitive” answers to anything, but it’s true that an open platform like this easily provides those who shill nonsense, from homeopathy to the paranormal, with a soapbox and with an air of legitimacy.

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