Category Archives: Religion

Man Shoots Friend to Death for Being Atheist

A debate about religion ended in the shooting death of twenty-five-year-old atheist Dzuy Duhn Phan.

From CBS San Francisco:

Yim killed 25-year-old Dzuy Duhn Phan after a night of partying and playing video games. Another friend, Paul Park, testified the two men had engaged in a heated discussion about God.

Yim became enraged and grabbed his gun after Phan asked Yim where God was when Yim’s father died of a stroke several years earlier.

Yim shot Phan at least six times… faces 126 years to life in prison.

murderer Atheist murdered after heated religious debate with God fearing friend

Now, I’m not super religious, but I’m pretty sure there’s a commandment spelling out how murder is so not something God’s cool about..

This is also worth mentioning: “33-year-old Douglas Yim was also found guilty Tuesday of assault with a firearm and mayhem for shooting a second friend in his living room two years ago.” Well, now he’s got plenty of time to pray about his anger issues.

Via Death and Taxes.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Religion, Sick Sad World

School Behind Genesis “Biology” Exam Shuts Its Doors

You might remember this “biology” quiz that made the rounds earlier this year. The quiz originated from a private Christian school in South Carolina, Blue Ridge Christian Academy, which was using a DVD from creationist entrepreneur Ken Ham, the cheerful crazy guy behind Kentucky’s “Creation Museum” and “Ark Encounter.”

Due to insufficient fundraising, Blue Ridge Christian Academy will not be opening for the current school year. The publicity surrounding the quiz helped them raise some money, but God did not inspire enough donors to raise the $200,000 they needed.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief. Now, let’s just hope these poor kids get to take a real biology class in their lives.


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Filed under Cheers!, Education, Religion, Science Schmience

Chuck Colson Dies at 80

Richard Nixon, Time cover April 30, 1973, &quo...

Richard Nixon, Time cover April 30, 1973, "The Watergate Scandal" (Photo credit: cliff1066™)


Chuck Colson, the convicted Watergate figure turned evangelist, has died, according to his website. He was 80.



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Vatican Tries to Rein in Nuns’ “Radical Feminist” Ideas

St. Peter's Square. Photo by Lindsay.

The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest group of Catholic nuns in the U.S., saying that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

The Vatican’s assessment said that members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious challenged church teaching on homosexuality and male-only priesthood and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The Vatican reprimanded the sisters for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” During the debate over the health care overhaul in 2010, American bishops came out in opposition to the health plan, but dozens of sisters signed a statement supporting it.

The conference is an umbrella organization of women’s religious communities and claims 1,500 members who represent 80% of the Catholic sisters in the United States. The Vatican requested the formation of the organization.

Word of the Vatican’s action took the group completely by surprise. The group’s leaders were in Rome on Wednesday for what they thought was a routine visit to the Vatican when they were informed of the outcome of the investigation.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued the verdict. Cardinal William Levada, an American, now leads the Congregation.

Doctrinal issues have been in the forefront during the papacy of Benedict XVI, who was in charge of the Vatican’s doctrinal office before he became pope. American nuns have come under particular scrutiny. Last year, American bishops announced that all Catholic schools and universities should remove a book by a theologian at Fordham University, Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson.

Via The New York Times.

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Pope Hangs with Chavez, Castro

Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pope Benedict XVI has met with Cuba’s former leader, Fidel Castro.

The pope also met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The pontiff celebrated Mass in Havana’s Revolution Plaza on Wednesday, steering clear of political statements but saying that “Cuba and the world need change.”

Earlier in his trip, the pontiff prayed for “those deprived of freedom” and told reporters that Cuba’s Marxist political system “no longer corresponds to reality.”

On Tuesday evening, the pope met with Cuban President Raul Castro privately and publicly. Raul Castro took the reins when brother Fidel stepped down six years ago.

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NYPD Spied on Muslim Students Across the Northeast

New York City Police Department

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One autumn morning in 2006 in Buffalo, New York, a college student named Adeela Khan logged into her email and found a message announcing an Islamic conference in Toronto.

Ms. Khan sent it to a group of fellow Muslims at the University at Buffalo, and promptly forgot about it.

That act was enough to arouse the suspicion of an intelligence analyst at the New York Police Department, 300 miles away, who combed through her post and put her name in an official report.

The report reveals how the NYPD’s intelligence division focused far beyond New York City as part of a surveillance program targeting Muslims.

Police trawled through student websites run by Muslim student groups at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and thirteen other colleges in the Northeast. They talked with local authorities about professors and sent an undercover agent on a rafting trip, where he recorded students’ names and noted how many times they prayed.

Via Huffington Post.

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Catholic Church, Defying 98% of Catholic Women, Flips Out Over Birth Control Requirement

Sacred Heart Catholic ChurchIn the conflict over the requirement that employers include contraception coverage in insurance plans they make available to their employees, opposition from the Catholic church is making headway with a powerful claim: when conscience and government policy collide, conscience must prevail.

The rhetoric grows more inflammatory by the day. “The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, ‘To Hell with you!’” according to Bishop David A. Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nondenominational organization that litigates on behalf of religious interests, is circulating a petition under the heading “The Obama Administration is giving you one year to stop believing” (a reference to the one-year delay the regulation offers to religious employers). Mitt Romney joined the chorus this week, calling the regulation “a violation of conscience.”

The policy grounds for the requirement are persuasive: the ability to prevent pregnancy is an essential part of women’s health care that shouldn’t be withheld because a woman’s employer is church-affiliated.

Ninety-eight percent of sexually active Catholic women have availed themselves of birth control at some point during their lives, so the conscientious objection to the regulation comes from the institution and not from those consciences it purports to represent. (Catholic women actually have a higher rate of abortion than other American women.) Catholics for Choice, whose magazine is pointedly entitled Conscience, is calling on supporters to “tell our local media that the bishops are out of touch with the lived reality of the Catholic people” and “do not speak for us on this decision.”

If this case goes to court, the question becomes whether the Church can convince the court to take a position that even its own followers think is wrong.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under Health, Religion, War on Women

SCOTUS: “Ministerial Exception” Allows Religious Organizations to Discriminate


Image by Rickydavid via Flickr

In a significant religious liberty decision, the Supreme Court on Wednesday recognized a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws, saying that religious groups must be free to choose and dismiss their leaders without government interference.

“The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in a decision that was surprising in its sweep and its unanimity. “But so, too, is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission.”

The decision gave limited guidance about how courts should decide who counts as a minister, saying the court was “reluctant to adopt a rigid formula.”

The ruling will have concrete consequences for people employed by religious groups to do religious work. In addition to ministers, priests, rabbis, and other religious leaders, the decision appears to encompass teachers in religious schools with formal religious training who instruct students about religious matters.

The case, Hosanna-Tabor Church v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 10-553, was brought by Cheryl Perich, who had been a teacher at a Michigan school that was part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Ms. Perich was fired for pursuing an employment discrimination claim based on a disability, narcolepsy.

Ms. Perich had taught mostly secular subjects but also taught religion classes and attended chapel with her class.

“It is true that her religious duties consumed only 45 minutes of each workday,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “and that the rest of her day was devoted to teaching secular subjects.”

“The issue before us, however, is not one that can be resolved with a stopwatch,” he wrote.

Ms. Perich was a “called” teacher who had religious training. The school said it fired her for violating religious doctrine by pursuing litigation and not trying to resolve her dispute within the church.

Chief Justice Roberts devoted several pages of his opinion to a history of religious freedom, concluding that an animating principle behind the First Amendment’s religious liberty clauses was to prohibit government interference in the internal affairs of religious groups generally and in their choice of their leaders in particular.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under Education, Law, Religion, The Supremes

Catholic Cardinal: UNESCO Trying to Turn “Half the World Population” Gay

English: Logo of the United Nations Educationa...

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For some in the Vatican, it seems that sinister group United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and their insidious plan to make “half the world population homosexual.”

The disclosure came at an event where Spanish Cardinal Archbishop Antonio Rouco Varela called for a repeal of legislation that provides for abortions on demand. He serves as the chairman of the Spanish Bishops Conference. The bishops gathered in Madrid under the motto “Christian Family: the hope of Europe.”

During the event, the Bishop of Córdoba, Demetrio Fernández, revealed that “[t]he Minister for Family of the Papal Government, Cardinal Antonelli, told me a few days ago in Zaragoza that UNESCO has a program for the next 20 years to make half the world population homosexual. To do this they have distinct programs, and will continue to implant the ideology that is already present in our schools.”

Via Jonathan Turley.

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Illinois Bishops End Catholic Charities Rather than Stop Discriminating against Gays

English: It's the original logo

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Roman Catholic bishops in Illinois have shuttered the Catholic Charities affiliates in the state rather than comply with a requirement that they consider same-sex couples as potential foster-care and adoptive parents to receive state money. The charities served for more than forty years in the state’s social service network for poor children.

The bishops have followed colleagues in Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts who jettisoned their adoption services rather than comply with nondiscrimination laws.

For the nation’s Catholic bishops, the Illinois requirement is an example of a campaign by the government to trample on their religious freedom while expanding the rights of gay people. The idea that religious Americans are the victims of persecution is a frequent theme for Catholic bishops, Republican Presidential candidates, and evangelicals.

The bishops face opponents who also claim to have justice and the Constitution on their side. They include gay rights advocates, many religious believers, and churches that support gay equality. They frame the issue as a matter of civil rights, saying that Catholic Charities was using taxpayer money to discriminate against same-sex couples.

The bishops have asked the Obama administration to lift a new requirement that Catholic and other religiously affiliated hospitals, universities, and charities cover contraception in their employees’ health plans. A decision has been expected for weeks.

The bishops are also protesting the denial of a federal contract to offer care for victims of sex trafficking. An official with the Department of Health and Human Services said the program was rejected because it did not offer the survivors of sex trafficking, who are rape victims, with referrals for abortions or contraceptives.

Critics of the church argue that no group has a constitutional right to a government contract, especially if it refuses to provide required services.

The controversy in Illinois began when the state legislature voted in November 2010 to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. The legislation was titled “The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act.”

Via The New York Times.

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