Created on Friday, 27 June 2014 13:39
Last week, the High Court ruled against the current funding model of the federal government’s controversial school chaplaincy program. It's just the latest episode in a debate over education, religion and the state that goes back to the colonial era, writes Keri Phillips.
There are two strands to the dispute over education, religion and funding. The first concerns the government funding of private schools, almost all of which are run by or affiliated with religious organisations. The second concerns the place of religious instruction in public schools. Both have been the subject of referenda and legal challenges. The relationship between religion, education and the state has been controversial since the states began introducing compulsory public schooling in the second half of the 19th century. Until then, schools had been largely run by the churches and paid for by the government.
Created on Friday, 27 June 2014 12:41
According to Huffington Post, it's a sad, but well-known truth that many people around the world are persecuted for their religious beliefs. But many people are also suffering for their lack of religious belief, though their stories are not as often shared.
The American Humanist Association created this infographic which shows some of the ways in which atheists are socially and legally discriminated against.
The rise of the religious "nones" in the United States show that more and more people are choosing not to affiliate themselves with an organized religion. But why is this so threatening to people of faith?
Commenter Jackie Martinez wrote, "I don't identify as Atheist (but definitely Agnostic), but I'm saddened by the state of our world when we trust a cheater or rapist more than an Atheist. It's discouraging and disheartening."
Created on Friday, 27 June 2014 09:32
By Julia Llewellyn Smith, The Telegraph
When neuroscientist Andrew Newberg scanned the brain of “Kevin,” a staunch atheist, he realized that his brain operate in a significantly different way, compared with the Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns.
“He had far more activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area that controls emotional feelings and mediates attention. Kevin’s brain appeared to be functioning in a highly analytical way, even when he was in a resting state.” says Newberg.
When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us
“When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us, with jobs and children – they don’t show any sign of being delusional,” says Newberg. “Scans of their brains – when they’re ’possessed’ – show very different results to scans of Buddhist monks or Carmelite nuns in prayer or meditation. There you see increased frontal lobe activity in the areas concerned with concentration, but the speakers in tongues had decreased activity in the same area, which would give them the sensation that someone else was ’running the show’.”
Created on Thursday, 26 June 2014 09:42
According to The Guardian, a Nigerian man has been incarcerated in a mental health institution by his family after saying he had lost his belief in God.
Mubarak Bala, 29, is said to have been forcibly medicated for "insanity" for nearly two weeks, despite a doctor's opinion that he has no psychological problems.
Campaigners are calling for his release and say the case highlights the fact that atheists are a persecuted minority in many African countries.
Bala's Twitter account uses the handle "ExMuslim", and his profile says: "Chemical Process Engineer. I stand for Truth & Justice. Religion insults human conscience & reason, duped me that I have another lifetime. Agnostic Atheist."
Created on Sunday, 22 June 2014 19:55
According to BBC News, The Iraqi government appears to have lost control of its western borders after Sunni militants reportedly captured crossings to Syria and Jordan.
Officials said the rebels took two key crossings in Anbar on Sunday, a day after seizing one at Qaim, a town in the province that borders Syria.
The strategically important airport in the northern town of Tal Afar has also reportedly fallen to the rebels.
Created on Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:23
According to abc News, in the wake of a brutal murder by members of a religious sect, the Chinese government is renewing its crackdown on cults.
State-run publications, such as the Xinhua News Agency, are producing a steady stream of articles alarming citizens to the dangers of religious cults, known in Chinese as "xiejiao," which in English means "evil religions."
Xinhua reports that the government has handed out four-year prison terms to 59 of the 1,500 cult members arrested since 2012. These 59 individuals were charged with "using religious organizations to disrupt the legal system."
Created on Thursday, 19 June 2014 22:55
According to Huffington Post, the UK government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools.
Creationism cannot be taught as a valid scientific theory in any free school or academy, the government has said.
The British Humanist Association with “Teach evolution, not creationism” campaign, has been advocating for the change since 2011.
Created on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 08:12
Source: CNN Arabic , Translated in breif by: @benbazaziz
Sheikh Khaled Alshayea the assistant secretary of the the global commission for introducing the messenger has attacked animated series aired on MBC named "99" considering the idea is based on the embodiment of the names of Allah in cartoon.
" There is the inventor who called "Aleem": who will predict what will happen, and there is "Bari": who has the ability to heal the sick. and there is "Gabbar" who has strong muscles etc" He said
So the General Presidency of Ifta has issued fatwa that with cartoon is void ad must be forbidden.
Created on Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:57
According to EIN News, Czech MP causes storm after accusing the Catholic Church of agreeing to massacre of Jews, helping Nazis escape justice.
Speaking in the country's lower house of parliament Friday, Igor Jakubcik said the Church had been one of the biggest partners of the Third Reich, and accused it of agreeing to the expulsion and massacre of Jews as part of the Nazis' "Final Solution."
Jakubick further accused the Catholic Church of helping Nazi war criminals escape to South America.
Created on Saturday, 21 June 2014 00:35
WRITTEN BY CHRIS K, AAI NEWS TEAM
Equality of the sexes, worldwide, is “the major ethical challenge of our times,” said Dr. Robert D. Finch, past president of the Humanists of Houston, at the recent American Humanist Association (AHA) meeting in Philadelphia. Finch went on to detail some of the outrageous abuses against women and girls that are encompassed in a new book by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, titled “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.”
In his book (published March 2014), Jimmy Carter stresses the similarity between the racial prejudice that existed in the Deep South at the time when he was a boy and the worldwide prejudice, discrimination, and violence against females as a result of religious teachings and/or political and cultural forces.
When Carter was elected governor of Georgia, he found that black women prisoners staffed the governor’s mansion. It was a terrible injustice, Carter writes.
Created on Thursday, 19 June 2014 19:49
According to Ex-Muslims of North America, Twitter announced that it is restoring access in Pakistan to several accounts and tweets it had blocked at the request of Pakistan’s government starting on May 18, 2014.
EXMNA, thank Twitter for taking a stand against censorship, and for refusing to use their software to comply with oppressive, theocratic blasphemy laws. Twitter’s actions should strengthen the resolve of other international companies and organizations that find themselves in similar situations. Twitter was forged on the principles of open communication; we are glad to see them once again standing up for freedom of expression, and we hope they exercise due diligence in the future should the company receive demands for compliance with oppressive laws again.