1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  |  37  |  38  |  39  |  40  |  41  |  42  |  43  |  44  |  45  |  46  |  47  |  48  |  49  |  50  |  51  |  52  |  53  |  54  |  55  |  56  |  57  |  58  |  59  |  60  |  61  |  62  |  63  |  64  |  65  |  66  |  67  |  68  |  69  |  70  |  71  |  72  |  73  |  74  |  75  |  76  |  77  |  78  |  79  |  80  |  81  |  82  |  83  |  84  |  85  |  86  |  87  |  88  |  89  |  90  |  91  |  92  |  93  |  94  |  95  |  96  |  97  |  98  |  99  |  100  |  101  |  102  |  103  |  104  |  105  |  106  |  107  |  108  |  109  |  110  |  111  |  112  |  113  |  114  |  115  |  116  |  117  |  118 

Former PM Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens debate religion at sold-out show

I love watching these debates, especially when the people actually know their history and don't just toss platitudes at each other. Christopher Hitchens 1-0 Tony Blair | World news | guardian.co.uk
The occasion was part of the Munk Debate series, organised by the Aurea Foundation group, and the motion was simply: "Be it resolved, religion is a force for good in the world". Both men were unabashedly stalwart in their positions. Hitchens, one of the leading "new atheists" and author of the hit book God Is Not Great, slammed religion as nothing more than supernatural gobbledegook that caused untold misery throughout human history. "Once you assume a creator and a plan it make us subjects in a cruel experiment," Hitchens said before causing widespread laughter by comparing God to "a kind of divine North Korea". Blair, perhaps not surprisingly, was a little less forthright. On the backfoot for much of the debate he kept returning to his theme that many religious people all over the world were engaged in great and good works. They did that because of their faith, he argued, and to slam all religious people as ignorant or evil was plain wrong. "The proposition that religion is unadulterated poison is unsustainable," he said. Blair called religion at its best "a benign progressive framework by which to live our lives". Throughout the 90-minute debate Hitchens seemed to have the crowd's sympathy. That might have been to do with his ill appearance due to cancer, but was far more likely to be down to the sharpness of his verbal barbs and the fact that 57% of the audience already agreed with his sceptical position according to a pre-debate poll, while just 22% agreed with Blair's side. The rest were undecided.

November 24, 2010

Texas priest caught hiring hitman to murder boy he molested

Allegedly molested, that is. Police: Priest solicited murder of boy accusing him of sex abuse - CNN.com
(CNN) -- A Catholic priest, facing criminal charges and a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused a teenage boy, is now charged with attempting to hire someone to kill the youth, authorities said Tuesday. The Rev. John M. Fiala was in the Dallas County, Texas, jail on Tuesday, charged with one count of criminal solicitation to commit capital murder, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety and the jail's website. He also is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. His bail totals $700,000. Fiala, 52, of Dallas, was out on bond on other sexual assault charges involving the youth, now 18, when he allegedly attempted to negotiate the boy's murder, said Tom Rhodes, the teen's attorney. He was arrested last week after he offered an undercover agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety $5,000 to kill the teen, according to department spokeswoman Lisa Block. "This guy," Edwards County Sheriff Don Letsinger said, "is an evil man."

Father loses custody of his children for being agnostic

November 21, 2010

The Bible on, "How Hard Can I Beat My Slave?"

[via Joe. My. God.]

November 20, 2010

The pope formally okays condom use for male prostitutes

Joe. My. God.: Pope OKs Condom Use For Male Hookers
To illustrate his apparent shift in position, Benedict offered the example of a male prostitute using a condom. "There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be ... a first bit of responsibility, to re-develop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes," Benedict was quoted as saying. "But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection." Benedict reiterated that condom use alone would not solve the problem of HIV/AIDS. "More must happen," he said. Becoming simply fixated on the issue of condoms makes sexuality more banal and exactly this is the reason why so many people no longer find sexuality to be an expression of their love, but a type of self-administered drug."

November 13, 2010

American Catholics clamoring for exorcisms

For Roman Catholics, a Renewed Interest in Exorcism - NYTimes.com
There are only a handful of priests in the country trained as exorcists, but they say they are overwhelmed with requests from people who fear they are possessed by the Devil. Now, American bishops are holding a conference on Friday and Saturday to prepare more priests and bishops to respond to the demand. The purpose is not necessarily to revive the practice, the organizers say, but to help Catholic clergy members learn how to distinguish who really needs an exorcism from who really needs a psychiatrist, or perhaps some pastoral care. “Not everyone who thinks they need an exorcism actually does need one,” said Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., who organized the conference. “It’s only used in those cases where the Devil is involved in an extraordinary sort of way in terms of actually being in possession of the person. “But it’s rare, it’s extraordinary, so the use of exorcism is also rare and extraordinary,” he said. “But we have to be prepared.” . . .