Pas de taxes pour le bon Dieu

Alors que le ministre de l’Éducation sabre dans les services d’orthopédagogie et l’achat de volumes et que les municipalités coupent dans les régimes de retraite, l’Église ne paye ni taxes scolaires, ni taxes municipales sur la valeur de son patrimoine immobilier, pourtant évalué à plusieurs milliards de dollars.

Alors que le ministre de l’Éducation sabre dans les services d’orthopédagogie et l’achat de volumes et que les municipalités coupent dans les régimes de retraite, l’Église ne paye ni taxes scolaires, ni taxes municipales sur la valeur de son patrimoine immobilier, pourtant évalué à plusieurs milliards de dollars.

Les groupes religieux de toutes croyances sont très actifs partout  au Québec. À preuve, on y dénombre plus de 4 000 lieux de culte public répartis sur le territoire québécois. Si l’Église catholique ne domine plus le paysage comme autrefois, le nombre d’emplacements occupés par les autres religions est globalement supérieur à cette dernière. Or, il faut savoir que les édifices à vocation religieuse bénéficient d’une exemption totale du paiement des taxes scolaires et municipales, en vertu de l’article 204 de la Loi sur la fiscalité.  Cet article est libellé comme suit:

«Un immeuble compris dans une unité d’évaluation inscrite au nom d’une corporation épiscopale, d’une fabrique, d’une institution religieuse ou d’une Église constituée en personne morale, et qui sert principalement soit à l’exercice du culte public, soit comme palais épiscopal, soit comme presbytère, à raison d’un seul par église, de même que ses dépendances immédiates utilisées aux mêmes fins.»

En savoir plus...

WESOLOWSKI SEXUAL ABUSE CASE A NEW APPROACH OR SAME OLD SAME OLD?

According to the article from Religion Dispatches, former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, ambassador of the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, is now a layperson awaiting criminal trial in the Vatican for sexual abuse of young people. After intensive negative press, the Vatican announced on August 25 that since he was no longer in their service, Wesolowski is not covered under diplomatic immunity and could potentially be extradited presumably to either his native Poland or the D.R. where he had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. There’s always more to a story than meets the eye, and in this case it isn’t pretty.

Read more...

Christian groups ‘violently offended’ about ‘Black Jesus’ TV series

According to NY Daily News, Jesus Christ is alive and kicking it with his followers in Compton, Calif., in Adult Swim’s new comedy series. But some Christians are not amused. One Million Moms and other conservative groups are attempting to organize a boycott of the show and its advertisers.

Do ya’ll have any f-----g faith, brah?”, asks Black Jesus from homeless guy in the first episode.

Read more...

Film Review: Contradiction

WRITTEN BY MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITER FOR AAI NEWS TEAM

In Contradiction, Jeremiah Camara’s intelligent film about religion’s seduction of African-Americans, Lawrence Krauss says “the rise of non-belief is the rise of science.”

Krauss refers of course to natural sciences like cosmology and evolutionary biology, disciplines now giving us empirically based theories for the origin of the universe and man; and to social sciences like sociology and psychology, which are now explaining how the brain generates religious beliefs and behaviors. These new scientific discoveries, Camara recognizes, “are clashing with biblical doctrine,” and exposing the contradiction between truth and African-Americans’ irrationality. In the film – to take just one example – we hear the muddled African-American view that god must have created us, that we could not have evolved from “monkeys” because on earth “we still have monkeys.” This illogic is followed by Richard Dawkins’ concise, scientific explanation of the human family tree. 

Contradiction seamlessly mixes this science with history. Camara traces religion’s stranglehold over African-Americans’ reason (today 76% of all African-Americans say they pray daily) to the institution of slavery, when African-Americans either went to church or faced their masters’ wrath. Slaves adopting Christian beliefs and attending Christian churches received special treatment, even if the ‘beliefs’ were dictated by their masters. And Camara nicely documents the similarities and differences between the roles religious belief and churches have served in African-Americans’ lives.

Read more...

Creationist Ken Ham calls to end space program because aliens are going to hell anyway


Creationist Ken Ham has said that the U.S. space program is a waste of money because any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell.

“I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life,” Ham wrote in the Christian website called Answers in Genesis.

According to The Raw Story, Ham argued that “secularists are desperate to find life in outer space” as a part of their “rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution.”

Read more...

Intuition and Humanism: A Dilemma for Science?

WRITTEN BY CHRIS K, AAI NEWS TEAM

What do you get when you cross a computer scientist with humanism? Naturalistic transcendentalism, of course.

Naturalistic transcendentalism, a nascent humanist philosophical approach, is the brainchild of Peter Bishop, PhD, a long-time humanist who worked in the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley. Bishop, who spoke at the recent American Humanist Association (AHA) meeting in Philadelphia, noted that transcendentalism gained traction in the 19th century, primarily from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. But Emerson’s philosophical approach, which had room for intuition, lost favor in the next century to science, the philosophy of science, and humanism.

“As we look at these issues today, we notice that our naturalism is much more complex than it was in the early 19th century,” Bishop said. “Naturalism today is so oriented toward scientific thinking that modern science has declared that human intuition should not be studied until we can understand the natural law that causes it to work.”

But naturalistic transcendentalism does not accept this view. Rather, Bishop’s philosophical approach deems it “appropriate to study intuition using the most powerful observations that exist of intuition: our subjective observations of our inner beings.” However, science measures what it can observe and subjective experience cannot be observed from an external vantage point. If scientists alone cannot study the personal experiences of intuition (or other subjective experiences), who else can? Bishop suggested turning to the humanities for help, as these disciplines “deal more with the subjective lives of people than do the sciences.”

Reason, Emotion, Intuition

One of the first steps along this path is to acknowledge that the human spirit is real, Bishop said. In other words, one’s subjective experience should be considered valid. The scientist can record the subjective experience as an event, but should not attempt to determine its meaning merely from its observation. This way, “we can remain on solid scientific footing.”

Read more...

The Death Penalty: Killing in the name of God is the ultimate act of blasphemy

 by Abdul Olugbala Shakur, San Francisco Bay View

The Death Penalty is one of many signs of a society that is morally deter­iorating, especially a society that proclaims an affinity with God and the Holy Scriptures. First of all, there’s nothing in the Holy Scriptures which gives moral support and/or credence to the implementation of the Death Penalty. This is a man-made evil, and it is this spiritual contradiction that will eventually condemn us all to a spiritual and moral death.

This is a moral and spiritual issue, and being thus, it is imperative for society at large to analyze the social and moral dynamics pertaining to the Death Penalty from a perspective that magnifies and values human life – humanity – for its social and moral implications are beginning to manifest within the norm of societal beha­vior and attitudes.

Read more...

Atheists Face Discrimination On A Shocking Level (INFOGRAPHIC)

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."

 

 

Pro-gay legal groups oppose Christian law school in Canada

According to Desert News, legal societies in Canada are trying to thwart the opening of a law school at British Columbia's Trinity Western University because the Christian-based school requires students to avoid sex outside of a traditional, heterosexual marriage. The moves against the school violate Canada's Charter, supporters claim.

A nonbinding vote of 3,210-968 by provincial lawyers seeks a reconsideration of the Law Society of British Columbia's accreditation of the law school, set to open in 2016 and graduate its first class of attorneys three years later.

Read more...

Women, Religion, Violence, and Power: Jimmy Carter Speaks Out

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.

Read more...

Twitter Restores Blocked Accounts, Upholds Free Speech Principles

 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.

Read more...