Worthy causes of the day: “Help Ensure a Lasting Future for Wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies”, “Save the Arctic's Marine Ecosystems”, “Free Choice Brings Better Wages for Women: Tell Congress!”, and “The new Administration is listening - ask President Obama to protect wilderness!”
Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
- “Pope lifts 4 excommunications”: As it is written:
Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops as part of his efforts to bring the Society of St. Pius X, which opposed some of the Second Vatican Council's changes, back into the Roman Catholic Church.The Pope making peace among Catholics is nice, but there is a catch. As it is written:
The four bishops — two Frenchmen, a Briton and an Argentine — were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent, a move the Vatican declared an act of schism, incurring automatic excommunication.
However, the lifting of the excommunications sparked outrage among Jewish groups because one of the four rehabilitated bishops is being investigated for Holocaust denial in Germany, where it is a crime. Some of the words by Bishop Richard Williamson were shown on Swedish state TV last week, including: "I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them in gas chambers."Add this to the Pope permitting use of a version of the Latin Mass asking for the conversion of the Jews to Catholicism, and the Pope is making a case that the era of warm Jewish-Catholic relations is over. This would be a good time for the Pope to excommunicate Williamson specifically for Holocaust denial and edit asking for conversion of the Jews out of the Latin Mass.
- “TAJIKISTAN: Islamic school of thought banned”: I feel ambivalent about this. I have little sympathy for Salafiyya or any other orthodox form of Islam, given the hostility of Islam to practitioners of all other religions who do not kowtow to Muslims and Muḥammad’s complete failure to justify why anyone should follow him, thus making following him very dangerous (theologically and otherwise) for people to follow him. On the other hand, the Tajik government is taking part of the post-Soviet tendency of squelching the practice of all unofficial or all religions; it is not just the Salafis that are being oppressed.
- More self-promotion: 2009 Darwin Week in Charleston | February 09-15. Come and heckle me when the panel I am on analyzes Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
- “Tests that show machines closing in on human abilities”
- “How to move a boat without an engine, paddles or sails”
- “An unvaccinated child has died from a preventable disease”: This is why everyone must be vaccinated.
- “Judge Orders Kevin Trudeau to Pay More Than $37 Million for False Claims About Weight-Loss Book”: Thank HashShem, sometimes pseudoscientific fraud does not pay.
- “The Green Renewal of the Cloth Diaper Industry”
- “Nigerian police detain goat over armed robbery”: I could not possibly make this up. Not even under the influence of psychoactive drugs.
- “What happens to the donor's DNA in a blood transfusion?”: Good question.
- “A New Strain of Drug-Resistant Staph Infection Found in U.S. Pigs”
- “Fed up with the financial crisis? Try Antarctica”