So That’s How the Vatican Works…

CGPGrey presents “Vatican City Explained“:

(Thanks to Scott for the link!) [Read more...]

Sex-Ed Banned in Public School Buildings Owned by the ‘Cash-Strapped’ Catholic Church

Children and teens in New York are being forced off-campus for education about sexual health and HIV prevention at the insistence of the Catholic Church. How can the Church get away with that? Well, it helps that they own the buildings in which the public schools are housed:

As a result of a longstanding but little-known agreement between church and city officials, dozens of city schools that lease church-owned buildings must take students off site for sex education.

So the church is using its ownership of the buildings to dictate what public school students can and cannot learn on campus. To my surprise, it turns out that the interference in public education has been going on for several years:

[Read more...]

Attack of the Fifty-Foot (Former) Pope!

Okay, technically he’s only 45.3 feet tall. (That’s 13.8 meters, for those who speak metric.)

But that still makes this statue, recently erected in Poland, the tallest likeness of Pope John Paul II in the entire world.

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Secular Party Candidate Killed In Pakistan

The people of Pakistan are just weeks away from achieving a historical election — whatever the result. The Pakistani Taliban do not like this, not one bit. If a government is successfully elected in the general election on the 11th of May, it will be first time Pakistan has ever successfully peacefully transitioned between two elected governments. To give you a sense of how momentus this could be, the forthcoming election will be the 11th general election for Pakistan since 1962.

One man who sadly won’t get to see this happen is Fakhrul Islam. A 46-year-old grocer from the southern city of Hyderabad, Kakrul was a candidate for the secular (in this case, meaning “not representing Islam”) Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), part of the outgoing coalition government which has previously been threatened by Pakistan’s Taliban. He is the first candidate to be killed in current election campaign.

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Richard Dawkins Hasn’t ‘Lost’; Just Look at the Movement He Helped Build

An article in The Spectator (UK) by Theo Hobson argues that “Richard Dawkins has lost” because the “New Atheism” is dying out:

The success of five or six atheist authors, on both sides of the Atlantic, seemed to herald a strong new movement. It seemed that non-believers were tired of all the nuance surrounding religion, hungry for a tidy narrative that put them neatly in the right.

Atheism is still with us. But the movement that threatened to form has petered out. Crucially, atheism’s younger advocates are reluctant to compete for the role of Dawkins’s disciple. They are more likely to bemoan the new atheist approach and call for large injections of nuance.

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