Vatican backed exorcism threatens the mental health of the vulnerable

Goya's painting of a Catholic priest performing an exorcism (Wikipedia)

Currently a controversial and dangerous course on exorcism approved by the Vatican is underway at the European University of Rome.The course is sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy and organized by the Sacerdos Institute, all with the approval of Pope Francis and the Vatican.The course runs from April 13 to 18, with reports indicating that at least 170 students are attending in order to learn how to “recognize and fight demonic possession.”The conference is an assault … [Read more...]

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Don’t base government on ‘holy documents’

Wise words: Neil DeGrasse Tyson says government should not be based on “holy documents.” Instead, Tyson argues government should be based “on things that are objectively true.”Tyson, in a wide-ranging interview with The Daily Beast, said: It seems to me that the way you govern people is you base governance on things that are objectively true; that are true regardless of your belief system, or no matter what the tenets are of your holy documents. Later in the interview Tyson reiterates the p … [Read more...]

Creationist Ken Ham exploits children to lobby for Ark park tax break

Creationist Ken Ham exploits children in a public relations stunt aimed at shaming Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear into restoring illegal tax breaks for Ham’s Noah’s Ark theme park.Ham is angry that the state of Kentucky had the good sense to withdraw an offer of $18 million in tax breaks after it became clear that Ham’s Noah’s Ark theme park was not a tourist attraction, but a Christian ministry.In an attempt to garner sympathy for his cause and shame Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear into … [Read more...]

Leading scientists: Children should be protected from religion

Top scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss advocate for children, arguing children should be allowed to develop as critical thinkers and be protected from religious indoctrination.Speaking with The Irish Times, Dawkins, a leading biologist, and Krauss, a leading physicist, defended a child’s right to a proper education.Dawkins said: There is a balancing act and you have to balance the rights of parents and the rights of children and I think the balance has swung too far towards p … [Read more...]

NYC abandons consent requirement for Jewish oral suction circumcision ritual

New York City caves to pressure from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, and abandons a policy requiring written consent from parents before a mohel can perform metzitzah b'peh, a barbaric circumcision ritual that involves orally suctioning blood from the wounded penis.Metzitzah b'peh is a bizarre Jewish ritual where a member of the ultra-Orthodox clergy known as a mohel uses his mouth to suck the blood off a newborn's penis immediately after circumcision, in order to “ritually cleanse the w … [Read more...]

Stephen Hawking advocates for empathy

Humanism For The Win: Stephen Hawking says empathy should replace aggression to avoid a nuclear war and promote “a peaceful, loving state.”Hawking, speaking at London's Science Museum, said: The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or a partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all.A major nuclear war would be the end of civilisation, and maybe the end of the hum … [Read more...]

Oliver Sacks reveals he has terminal cancer


Oliver Sacks, famed neurologist, author, and atheist, reveals that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer in a poignant and beautiful post written for the New York Times.Sacks says terminal cancer of the liver has left him with only months to live, yet despite the sad news Sacks reports he feels “intensely alive” and is not yet “finished with life.”Sacks writes: Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepen … [Read more...]

Saudi cleric claims Earth is ‘stationary and does not move’

A Saudi cleric denies that the Earth revolves around sun, teaching students that the Earth is "stationary and does not move."When answering a student question on whether the Earth is stationary or moving, Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari replied: "stationary and does not move," in a recently released video.In the video the cleric supported his argument by quoting other Muslim clerics and selected religious statements.In addition to referencing Islamic scholars, the Saudi cleric also … [Read more...]