An oldie but a goodie? A 1962 Vatican document, sealed by the Pope and marked confidential, instructing bishops around the world to keep sex abuse cases internal to the church, asking victims to take a vow of secrecy, and threatening excommunication of anyone that speaks out. Not real moral, is it?
Archive for November 2008
Should the phrase “under God” be in the Pledge of Allegiance?
This is cute.
It is the 30th anniversary of the infamous Jonestown massacre. On November 18, 1978, 918 people died in a religious centered community in Guyana. When I was younger the incident shocked me. It seemed like a freak event.
Honestly, I can’t really say that I’m really all that shocked at the Jonestown incident anymore. It doesn’t seem like any sort of mind control or freak cult attitude. After all, the communities biggest leap of faith in following Jim Jones to their death had already been taken well before they even met him. They believed that any death they would meet would only be a temporary one and that they would wake up rewarded in paradise. All Jim Jones had to do was to instill a bit of paranoia into the equation. And I see plenty of that in churches now.
Face it, anyone that can turn off their mind and never question anything that’s said to them in church or on the street is one step away from drinking the Flavor Aid. The only thing keeping it from happening more often is that most preachers aren’t that charismatic and most people are too lazy to to move to Guyana.
Best band name inspired by the event: The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Here’s an excellent and informative article about our current state of health care in the US. We really need to know where we are at if we are ever going to make any improvements. Points made:
- We DON’T have the best health care in the world
- We are already paying for our own insurance
- Private insurance has really high administrative costs
- The current system is dysfunctional and in need of reform
- Most American are ready for a change. Now!
Visit Health Care for America Now, and sign up for the email updates on how you can help
If you are in MN, you can help out by signing up for the Minnesota Health Plan, an org fighting for single payer health care coverage in MN. I think this is close and may wind up being a pilot state that shows the rest of America how it’s done.
According to this study, societies are much better off when religion is kept at bay. Societies with strong religious beliefs and practices have much higher rates of murder, suicide, abortion, and sexual promiscuity.
This isn’t surprising to me at all. There often seems to be a correlation between strong religious behavior and a refusal to take personal responsibilities for your actions. Of course, you do have to keep in mind that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. It could be that the high instance of social ills winds up driving people to religion. But, it would say that an increase in religion definitely does not improve anything.
My own view point, scientific or not, it that any form of non-humanist religious behavior would be inherently damaging to society. Social ills can’t be improved through inactivity. Effort has to be performed, i.e., giving to charity, volunteering. Many religious groupd do this (as do many atheist groups), but the ones that practice retreating from society and praying instead of acting will not be benefitting anyone.