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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 18,459

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Freedom to believe


ISIS has nothing to do with Islam

Mormon Church makes same-sex couples apostates, excludes children from blessings and baptism

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new policy in its handbook stating that children living in a same-sex household may not be blessed as babies or baptized until they are 18.

The policy change, which also states that those in a same-sex marriage are to be considered apostates, was confirmed Thursday by church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

“Church handbooks are policy and procedural guides for lay leaders who must administer the church in many varied circumstances throughout the world,” Hawkins said in a statement. “The church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages. While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.”

The LDS Church, popularly known as the Mormon Church, teaches that marriage is an institution created by God for one man and one woman. Before Thursday’s change, the church’s policy was that same-sex marriage may require discipline. Now that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country, the church decided to identify those in a same-sex marriage as apostates, or people who renounce their faith.

Mormon children are normally blessed as infants and entered into the LDS Church records. Most Mormon children are baptized around age 8, an act that Mormons believe is a covenant with God and essential to salvation.


Great job, LDS! You've just created a whole generation of anti-religious kids. This is wonderful news!

If only the RCC had the cajones to just come out and say it too...

Non-religious voters present a puzzle for political parties

(RNS) Political candidates are facing a new reality: Within the Democratic coalition, there are more religiously unaffiliated voters than belong to any single religious group.

This is a significant change in American politics, where nonbelief has long been a liability.

Survey data show that Americans with no religious affiliation are a growing share of both major political parties. But the trend is particularly strong within the Democratic coalition, where the unaffiliated now represent 28 percent of those voters, according to a new Pew Research study.

Given their expanding share of the electoral pie, and their political alignment, some have argued that their rise bodes ill for Republicans and well for Democrats. Religiously unaffiliated voters, known as “nones,” showed their preference for the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, giving Barack Obama 75 percent of their votes, and 70 percent when he ran for re-election in 2012.


The nones are also a difficult group for politicians to define and woo, said Dan Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute. They’re not cohesive, in that they include atheists and agnostics but also believers unattached to religious institutions. And unlike the pursuit of an actual religious group, it’s not so clear how to connect with the millions of people defined by their lack of religious connections.

“If I want to reach out to Jewish voters or African-American Protestants or Latino Catholics, I know where to go,” Cox said. “There are institutions where these folks congregate.” The nones, by contrast, have no presiding bishop, no pews, no holiday celebrations at which politicians can press the flesh.


“I believe in God, and God knows what happened.”

The words of this monster convicted of locking disabled people in her basement in order to collect their benefits.

Is this the good that comes from religion, absolution for horrific acts given by a god who chose not prevent you from doing those horrific acts in the first place?

And sure as shit, someone will say "thank god they found those poor people she locked up..."

‘You are evil': Woman gets life in prison for locking disabled people in ‘dungeon’

For 10 years, the group targeted mentally disabled people, luring those who were vulnerable and estranged from their families and locking them inside cabinets, basements and attics, according to prosecutors.

The group’s ringleader, Linda Weston, persuaded the victims to allow her to become their representative and began collecting their disability benefits. The victims, prosecutors said, lived in the dark and in isolation, and were fed food laced with drugs to keep them sedated; they were brutally punished if they tried to escape.


Weston had pleaded guilty in September to 196 counts, including murder in aid of racketeering, kidnapping and involuntary servitude. Thursday, she apologized in court.

“I am sorry,” Weston said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I believe in God, and God knows what happened.”

Rufe responded, “There are a lot of people in this courtroom who know what happened, too.”


Whole story at link, and it's much worse than you think.

Good Morning, Religion Group!

I just wanted to take a moment to say that the place looks great. It's so clean now, the air is so fresh.

Have a nice day!

Never give a religious leader power.

Dawkins Tells Fox News It's 'Disgraceful' That GOP Presidential Candidates Believe In Creationism

Richard Dawkins gave a full-throated interview to Fox News Radio this week, calling it “disgraceful” that Republican presidential candidates believe in creationism. The renowned biologist and author, in the US to peddle his latest tome ‘Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science,’ told host Alan Colmes evolution was a “fact” that cannot be "seriously" disbelieved.

During the exchange, Dawkins was asked if he thought religious people were “mentally ill.”
“It’s hard to use the word ‘mentally ill’ when there are so many of them,” the Briton responded. “If they believed what they did and they were the only ones they would undoubtedly be called mentally ill.”


“They’re all creationists, which really is disgraceful," said Dawkins. "The fact that one of the two major political parties, every single candidate except one says they don’t believe in evolution, they don’t even believe in the fundamental principle of biology, which is a fact.”


If You Are Pregnant, Stay Away From Catholic Hospitals

If you're pregnant, and can choose which hospital to go to, do not go to a Catholic one. I'm serious. It is finally coming to light that Catholic hospitals are systematically denying pregnant women essential health care, even when their life is at stake. It’s unethical, illegal, and just plain wrong.

One horrifying recent example is Jessica Mann’s story. While Mrs. Mann was pregnant with her third child, her doctors explained to her that, because she had preexisting brain tumors, a subsequent pregnancy could kill her. They highly recommended that when she delivers her baby she get a tubal ligation to prevent another pregnancy, and that she do so at the same to time as she delivers her baby to avoid the serious (and completely unnecessary) risk to her health that would be caused by a second procedure. Even when brain tumors or other health concerns aren’t a factor, the safest and best time for a woman to have a tubal ligation is immediately after delivery while she is still in the hospital.

Mrs. Mann’s OB/GYN is trained and willing to tie her tubes, but the Catholic hospital where Mrs. Mann planned to deliver — and where she delivered her other children — is prohibiting Mrs. Mann’s doctor from performing the procedure because of religious rules written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that govern what care the hospital will offer to patients. Those rules, called the Ethical and Religious Directives, apply even when the patient’s doctor says that the care is medically necessary.

Catholic hospitals also routinely put the health of women suffering from miscarriages at risk, as well. That is exactly what happened to Tamesha Means. Ms. Means was in the middle of her pregnancy, looking forward to having another child, when her water broke. She rushed to the only hospital emergency room in her area — which happened to be a Catholic one — and she was turned away three times despite being in excruciating pain and eventually developing a life-threatening infection. The pregnancy was doomed, but because of the Bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives, the hospital never told her that, giving her false hope that she could go on to have a healthy baby. The hospital also never told her that she was putting her life at risk by not terminating the pregnancy. Ms. Means finally started to deliver while she was being sent home for the third time. That’s when the hospital finally decided to treat her.

Sadly, these aren’t isolated incidents. Today, one in nine hospital beds is in Catholic-affiliated institutions that receive public money, but which abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives when providing medical care. That just isn’t right. Patients ought to be able to rest assured that their care is determined by their doctor’s best judgment, not someone else’s religious views, particularly when the hospital receives public funds.


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