Judge Suggests Doctors Shouldn’t Impose Their Views on Child Who May Soon Become a Victim of Faith-Based Treatment

Several months ago, I posted about Makayla Sault (below), an 11-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The disease is treatable with two years of tough chemotherapy and has a nearly 90% survival rate… but Makayla no longer wanted to continue the chemo and her Ojibwe/First Nations parents were more than happy to oblige, seeking out useless faith-based treatments instead.

Makayla was allowed to quit the chemo, but we learned earlier this month that her condition had worsened.

And to make the issue even more on the forefront of people’s minds, it turned out another First Nations girl was in the same position — she would benefit from chemo, but she didn’t want to go through with it for cultural reasons.

This week, Justice Gethin Edward of the Ontario Court of Justice said that the doctors were in the wrong:

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Texas Judge Begins Court Sessions with a Five-Minute Bible Reading and Prayer

I’m pretty certain that high on the list of Things Judges Should Never Do is make the parties in front of them extremely uncomfortable.

Both sides expect a fair hearing and anything that detracts from that is a problem. Obviously.

So what the hell was Texas Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack (below) thinking when he opened a recent court session with a five-minute Bible reading followed by a formal prayer?

That’s what the Freedom From Religion Foundation wants to know:

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Police In Bangladesh Say They Thwarted an Islamist Murder Plot Against an Atheist School Teacher

Via Agence France-Presse comes the bad news that the fundies of Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) – whose crowning achievement came a decade ago when they set off roughly 400 bombs in one day – are staging a comeback.

But there’s also good news: Bangladesh police prevented JMB members from murdering an atheist school teacher.

Bangladesh police said Thursday they had foiled an attempt by suspected Islamic militants to murder an “atheist” school teacher in the capital, amid concerns a banned hardline outfit is reforming. Police fired on the militants from banned group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh whom officers had stopped by chance on Wednesday near the teacher’s home in north Dhaka, a local police chief said.

By chance? Not reassuring. Still, thank heavens Allah the Most Gracious and Merciful had the intended victim’s back. A bit ironic, that.

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Putting the Sin in Synagogue: DC Rabbi Accused of Spying on Congregants via a Hidden Camera in Temple’s Showers

You know what might tip a reasonable person off to something untoward going on in the mikvah, the ritual bath that orthodox Jewish women (and men) take to purify themselves? I dunno, maybe something like this:

Emma Shulevitz remembers seeing a clock radio in the mikvah. The rabbi told her not to put clothes in front of it.

For some reason, Shulevitz thought nothing of it at the time. But the rabbi, Barry Freundel of Washington D.C., was arrested this week when it was finally discovered that the clock radio — reported to be, appropriately, a Sony “Dream Machine” — contains a small camera. The pervy cleric had been digitally ogling unsuspecting women for years.

A rabbi at a prominent Washington, D.C., synagogue faces voyeurism charges following accusations he secretly recorded women in the changing and shower area there.

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In “Explosive Shakeup,” Vatican Demotes Homophobic U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke

Last week, Cardinal Raymond Burke responded to a question about the well-being of children, posed by the Christian website LifeSiteNews. You might think that the topic had something to do with the astonishing number of Burke’s brethren who like to illegally probe boys’ bottoms, but no. This was the concern:

How should Catholic parents deal with a difficult situation like this: When planning a Christmas family gathering with grandchildren present, parents are asked by their son, who is in a homosexual relationship, if he can come and bring with him his homosexual partner.

And this was Burke’s answer:

If it were another kind of relationship — something that was profoundly disordered and harmful — we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it. And neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.

The outspoken cardinal (below) has a history of homophobic remarks, and there’s no reason to think that that will change. What will change is his job title.

In one of the more explosive shakeups in recent history of the Catholic Church, the second-most powerful man in the Vatican has been ousted.

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