Children Exposed To Religion Have Difficulty Distinguishing Fact From Fiction, Study Finds

The Huffington Post  | By Shadee Ashtari

Young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science.

Researchers presented 5- and 6-year-old children from both public and parochial schools with three different types of stories -- religious, fantastical and realistic –- in an effort to gauge how well they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional.

The study found that, of the 66 participants, children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.

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The Catholic Church still does not get child abuse

By Jacky Jones

The conviction of Rolf Harris is a reminder that child abuse is an abuse of power. The crime persists because perpetrators are not challenged and dealt with speedily by the criminal justice system. Children are still abused in Ireland every day.

According to the article by Irish Times, the HSE Annual Report 2013 shows that 6,462 children were in care at the end of 2013 and 1,547 children were on the Child Protection Notification system.

The HSE expects to receive about 40,000 referrals to the Child and Family Agency in 2014. Between April 2013 and the end of March 2014, 164 allegations were made against priests and religious to the National Board for Safeguarding Children.

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Think Twice, Lady Hale

Think Twice, Lady Hale

WRITTEN BY COEL HELLIER AND MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITERS OF AAI NEWS TEAM

Obama’s overhaul of America’s health care system required employers offering medical insurance to their employees to cover some costs of their birth control. A controversial move. The crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby (along with 80 other groups) sued the American government in protest (due to religious objection), and the Supreme Court ruled in their favor: 5-4.

Did this decision open Pandora’s box? Will religious believers now object to every government mandate that violates their “consciences”? Justice Kennedy has said “No,” that the decision is strictly limited to family-run businesses that object to providing certain contraceptives to their employees. But Justice Ginsberg has said that the decision opens the door to the many religious groups now demanding “conscience” exemptions in every conceivable area.

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Philip Hollobone MP calls for British ban on face veil

The Government should press on with banning the veil in Britain after a French law doing the same was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, a Tory MP said today.

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone, who has proposed back bench legislation to ban face coverings in the past, urged Commons Leader Andrew Lansley to find time for a Government statement on the issue.

Mr Hollobone, a prominent Eurosceptic who more typically criticises the European Court, raised the issue at the weekly Commons business statement.

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British jihadist warns of 'black flag of Islam' over Downing Street

According to The Guardian, British Muslims urged not to travel to Syria and Iraq as fears grow over homegrown involvement in terrorism

A militant waves a black Isis flag in Iraq. Abu Osama said: 'If and when I come back to Britain it will be when this … Islamic state comes to conquer Britain and I come to raise the black flag of Islam over Downing Street, over Buckingham Palace, over Tower Bridge and over Big Ben.' Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

A Briton who claims he has been fighting alongside jihadist militants in Syria has told the BBC he would not return to the UK until he could raise "the black flag of Islam" over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

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Vatican formally recognizes exorcist association


Exorcists now have a legal weapon at their disposal.

The Vatican has formally recognized the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons.

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Tuesday that the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy had approved the organization's statutes and recognized the group under canon law.

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Muslim man murdered pregnant prostitute for working near mosque

A Muslim man was yesterday jailed for 29 years after being found guilty of stabbing a pregnant Romanian prostitute to death after warning her not to work near a mosque.

The Daily Mail reports that Farooq Shah, 21, stabbed Mariana Popa in the chest while riding his bicycle along a stretch of road in Ilford, Essex, known for its sex workers. After being stabbed, Miss Popa staggered into a fast-food shop and collapsed in a pool of blood while her killer cycled away. She was pregnant with her second child.

CCTV footage showed Farooq Shah waiting on the forecourt of a petrol station late on 28 October last year. Miss Popa can be seen walking towards him and speaking to him before he stabs her twice in the chest.

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Urgent action needed to stem radical Islam risk: Dutch security service

According to Dutch News, the conflict in Syria has become a catalyst for radical Muslims in the Netherlands, with messages becoming more explicit and widespread, the Dutch security service AIVD said on Monday.

Radical texts spoken by young preachers and social media are leading to jihadist propaganda being spread more quickly, leading to 'further radicalization on a wider scale,' the AIVD said in a new report.

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Debate: Are 'New Atheists' Dangerous?

Dr Robert Grant, Lecturer in Philosophy at Trinity College, and Michael Nugent, CEO of Atheist Ireland, debate the merits of 'new atheism', as well as the manner in which some communicate their message.

According to even the last census, Ireland is still a Catholic country, with huge amount of people professing to believing in God.

But there is no doubt that atheism continues to gain in popularity.

Dr Robert Grant wrote an article in the Irish Times this week questioning how some atheists put forward their message, and even went so far to say that the way in which the message is sometimes coomunicated is 'dangerous'.

George Hook invited him onto the Right Hook this week along with the CEO of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent, and a lively debate ensued.

Listen to this debate at Right Hook

 

 

 

What god does to your brain: Neurotheology aims to find out why people have faith

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’.”

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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In All UK Public Schools

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.

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