Tuesday, 3 September 2013

North Carolina becomes 7th state to ban Muslim Sharia law

North Carolina has become the seventh state to prohibit state judges from considering Islamic law in family cases, joining what critics say is a national anti-Muslim campaign.
Deseret News

"Philomena": Venice Review

Stephen Frears is in full possession of his filmmaking talent in Philomena, one of his most pulled-together dramas in years. The true story of a poor Irish woman who, fifty years after being forced to give her 3-year-old son up for adoption, searches for him with a worldly British journalist, is touching, witty and always absorbing.
Though well-received by critics in Venice, its chance of winning a major prize could be down-sized by its similarity to PeterMullan’s The Magdalene Sisters, which took home the Golden Lion in 2002. 
When she is a young girl, Philomena Lee (Sophie Kennedy Clark) meets a good-looking boy at a fair. She is completely in the dark about where babies come from, and this innocent seduction results in pregnancy. It also lands her in an institute for “fallen women” run by nuns of the Sacred Heart, where she gives birth under horrible circumstances (“Pain is her penance.”) Forced to spend years working in the sweat-shop laundry to pay off their “debt” to the order, she and the other girls are allowed to see their children one hour a day, until Mother Superior finds a buyer for the tykes. The heart-breaking scene of Philomena helplessly screaming as her little Anthony is taken away by a rich American couple in a big car is filmed like a scene from a Nazi film, which is how the hatchet-faced nuns appear.
Philomena, a devout Catholic, even blunts Martin’s atheistic outrage at the Church and chooses to forgive the inhuman treatment she received, showing how anti-inflammatory the film’s final message is. But even so, it pulls no punches in describing the devastating effects of punishment for sexual pleasure. While old Sister Hildegarde rabidly goes on about punishing “the carnal incontinence of girls,” Frears draws a sobering parallel with the AIDS crisis and the similarly cruel reaction of conservative America. Whose fault is sex? The film asks.
HolliwoodReporter

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Ray Comfort: Humanism is to Blame for Miley Cyrus’ Twerking

On his daily online show today, Ray Comfort explained how Miley Cyrus‘ provocative dance at the MTV Video Music Awards was the result of her godlessness.
Patheos

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sensible careers are all well and good – but I want the adventure of a religious life

OPENING AVAILABLE FOR challenging and unfashionable work. Salary – non-competitive, non-negotiable. Flexibility required. Availability for weekend and night duty essential. Location variable. Contract – until death…’
It doesn’t exactly leap off the page, does it? So why do people continue to enter religious life?

Data Protection Commissioner contacts maternity hospital over abortion data leak

THE DATA PROTECTION Commissioner has contacted the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street over a potential data breach after a story in the Irish Times last week revealed details of a woman’s abortion at the hospital.
Last week, the Times reported that doctors at the hospital had carried out the country’s first termination under the provisions of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 – a claim that the Department of Health has refuted.
Last week obstetrician at the hospital Dr Peter Boylan said that it is “absolutely unacceptable for patient details to be splashed around the front pages of the newspaper”.
theJournal

Freedom From Religion Foundation, National Atheist Group, To Expand Headquarters After Huge Growth

After seeing their paid membership ranks increase 130 percent in six years, organizers of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a national group of atheists and agnostics based in Madison, Wis., said Monday that they are set to begin a large-scale expansion of their headquarters.
Huffington Post

Measles Outbreak Traces To Vaccine-Refusing Megachurch

A measles outbreak in Texas traces to a congregation of a megachurch whose leader, Kenneth Copeland, reportedly has warned followers away from vaccines, advocating for faith healing and pushing the debunked notion that vaccines cause autism. One of Copeland’s churches, Eagle Mountain International Church in North Texas, is the epicenter of the outbreak, which now has hit at least 20 people.
Forbes