October 30, 2018

While Muslims are complaining that the four prayer rooms allotted to them at the university are inadequate, Hindus are griping that they don’t have one at all. Spearheading a demand for a “permanent and dedicated” prayer room at the Anglican institution, Rajan Zed,above, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said that such a space would be a step a positive direction given the of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at Columbia. It was, he said, important… Read more

October 30, 2018

Halloween unleashes some very scary apparitions  – personified, in the main, by hellfire-and-brimstone Christian fundamentalists bellowing dire warnings about folk dipping their toes in dangerous demonic waters. Evangelist and foe of Satan John Ramirez is one: But Sam or Samantha need not attend Halloween gatherings dressed as ghouls, vampires, zombies, witches and wizards and the like. Nope, according the Church of England’s National Children and Youth Adviser Mary Hawes, kids can safely partake in the revelry dressed as angels – winged little… Read more

October 29, 2018

Just when you thought that Catholic League President Bill Donohue could sink no lower, along comes the cretin with a statement describing the mass grave found at Ireland’s former Bon Secours Mother and Baby home at Tuam as a ‘hoax’ – and  insists that that nuns should not be ask to contribute towards the cost of exhuming the bodies of babies dumped in the institution’s sewage system. Worse, he denigrates Catherine Corless, the historian whose work helped expose the scandal, by calling… Read more

October 28, 2018

This, again. Not in Pakistan or Nigeria or Russia but here in the United States, which prides itself – or used to – on its openness to the world, its tolerance, its generosity. That was always laced with irony, of course, given the dire facts of slavery, usurpation and genocide of the native populations, Jim Crow laws, waves of anti-immigrant hostility, but it was at least an ideal. Now? We seem to be all about the eye-bulging rage and hatred… Read more

October 28, 2018

LifeSite is the go-to site if your want to get reports of the zany things being done and said by right-wing lunatics. I visit it every day to seek out items that might be of interest to Freethinker readers. I find it a valuable resource – but not to the extent that I would donate to an urgent appeal it issued yesterday. I have better things to do with my money. When I visited LifeSite today, I discovered it was… Read more

October 28, 2018

A ‘medieval’ crime that was ‘crowbarred’ into Ireland’s statute books will now be scrapped, thanks to a weekend referendum which saw around 70 percent voting to eliminate the criminal offence of blasphemy. Among the many celebrating the result was chairperson of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent. In a post on the group’s website today, Nugent wrote: The people of Ireland have finally removed the medieval crime of blasphemy from our constitution, after a decade of campaigning by Atheist Ireland to have… Read more

October 27, 2018

Iowa’s Paul Dorr is a thoroughly nasty piece of work – a right-wing Christian extremist whose intolerance recently led him to set fire to four books aimed  at young members of the LGBT community and their parents. What made his act even more abhorrent was the fact that the books weren’t his to burn. They were the property of the Orange City Public Library which is now exploring legal options to deal with his act of vandalism – an act… Read more

October 27, 2018

Sinéad O’Connor, who has been treated for mental health problems in the past, has converted to Islam. The Irish pop singer is reported in the Independent, which has posted a video of her conversion, as saying that her move was: The natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant. Clearly, the treatment she underwent didn’t quite work. The Guardian reports that she made the announcement on Twitter this week…. Read more

October 26, 2018

A few years back Austrian citizen Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted for ‘denigrating the teachings of a legally recognised religion’ by suggesting that Mohammed was a ‘paedophile’. She was stung with a fine of €480 ($546). The case , in which Sabaditsch-Wolff, above, claimed she was contributing to public debate, wound up in the European Court of Human Rights, which yesterday roundly rejected her defence. The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled that Austrian courts had carefully balanced the applicant’s: Right to freedom of… Read more

October 26, 2018

When a ‘vulnerable’ teenage girl in Lancashire, UK, developed an interest in the church and expressed the wish to deepen her faith and interest in Christianity, she soon became the victim of sexual abuse. Her abuser was a married Church of England vicar – Simon Marsh, 59 – who is now looking for an alternative vocation. March was sacked from his role of vicar of St Michael and All Angels Church in Bramhall, Stockport, after a hearing of the Bishop’s… Read more

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