True North Humanist Perspective - March 2014


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Dwindling Christian Right lashes out

against civil rights and democracy

Demographic peril is taking on the form of political desperation

By CJ Werleman
26 February 2014 — Like a cornered animal, which turns instinctively to confront pursuing predators, the Christian Right, knowing it represents the views of an ever shrinking number of Americans, is engaged in an existential fight to the death. Veto or no veto, Arizona’s anti-gay bill is just another of its many efforts to transform America’s secular democracy into a tyrannical theocracy.

The Christian Right’s dirty little secret is they are acutely aware that changing demographics are running against them. While they may believe the earth is a mere few thousand years old, they’re not complete idiots. They can read polls, and the data tells them this: millennials are abandoning religious belief. According to a recent Pew survey, one in four Americans born after 1981 hold no religious belief, which is nearly double the national rate of atheism. Other studies confirm this trend, including a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute showing more than half of non-religious Millennials have abandoned their childhood faith. (More)


12 craziest things God did in the Old Testament

God was a bit of a hell raiser before Jesus softened him up

By Rob Bricken

26 February 2014 — Before Jesus arrived and his divine father chilled out, the Old Testament God was, ironically, kind of a hellraiser. He was not a nice guy. He really liked killing people. And he may have actually been insane, if his willingness to randomly murder devout worshippers like Moses was any indication. Here are the 12 craziest, most awful things God did in the Old Testament, back before that wacked-out hippie Jesus softened him up.

1) Sending Bears to Murder Children (More)


7 most absurd things America's kids are learning

thanks to conservative gutting of public education

Kids learn that gun control is a gateway to tyranny and that science is unchristian

By Katie Halper
28 February 2014 — Conservatives are masters at using distortion and subterfuge to sell people on things they would never buy if properly labeled. Nowhere is this more evident than in the arena of “school choice” — a conservative euphemism for "gutting public education from the inside out."

According to its major proponents, like the late Milton “Pinochet es mi amigo” Friedman, “school choice gives parents the freedom to choose their children’s education, while encouraging healthy competition among schools to better serve families' needs.” Sounds lovely! But, it turns out, there are plenty of well-documented problems with school choice, especially when it comes to the school voucher system, which provides families with public funds to send their children to private — often religious — schools. (More)


Christian conservatives love Jesus-hater Ayn Rand

Economic greed appears to trump Christian charity

By Elizabeth Stoker
28 February 2014 — Earlier this week, CNN  reported that American Atheists, an advocacy group for atheists and atheism, would have a booth at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference. The idea behind the booth was to build bridges between historically faith-motivated conservatives and their politically aligned but religiously different atheist counterparts. David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, called the booth “one of many steps” his organization would take in its “outreach effort” targeted at political conservatives.

But the Atheists’ attempt to extend an olive branch was evidently ill-received by the organizers of the CPAC, who have now  disallowed the group from sponsoring its planned informational booth. Apparently most conservatives weren’t amused by Silverman’s comments to CNN concerning the Christian right: ““I am not worried about making the Christian right angry. The Christian right should be angry that we are going in to enlighten conservatives. The Christian right should be threatened by us.” (More)


There can be no life without laughter

Pope groomed by online pontiff-phile

A plumber who pretended to be God

08 February 2014 — Pope Benedict XVI is said to be heartbroken that a long running ‘virtual romance’ on Facebook with someone pretending to be God has turned out to be a scam perpetrated by a 54-year-old plumber from the UK.

‘I simply cannot believe that I have been fooled,’ said the Pope. ‘He assured me he was God; he posted a photograph of God; he even used the language of God. Every day he would issue me with all sorts of commandments — though admittedly most of them involved me sending him saucy photos — and at the time it all seemed very convincing.’

The deception came to light when a Vatican cardinal saw the correspondence. ‘I thought it was a bit strange that God would choose to meet the head of the church at an abandoned playground in Frinton-on-Sea,’ he said. ‘I know He moves in mysterious ways, but this looked very suspicious.’ (More)

Women imprisoned at Tutwiler live in fear of the men who guard them
By Charlotte Silver
February 6, 2014 — Prisons and jails house over 2 million people in America. However bleak and undesirable the conditions of prisons are likely to be, they are, in fact, home to the people who live there.

I walked through one of these homes recently. The Chief Deputy Sheriff of San Francisco, while giving me a tour of an out-of-use facility, invited me to take a look at the populated floor of the jail as well. I accepted the offer with some trepidation, but it wasn't until I entered the single-floor jail that I realized where my discomfiture came from: I was intruding into the home of a couple hundred men, most of whom were awaiting trial, none of whom had been asked permission for my drop-in visit. (More)


Meet the American Empire's

Favorite NGO: Human Rights Watch

World's most respected human rights group has deep ties to US corporate and state sectors

By Keane Bhatt
North American Congress on Latin America
13 February 2014 — During more than a decade, the rise of the left in Latin American governance has led to remarkable advances in poverty alleviation, regional integration, and a reassertion of sovereignty and independence. The United States has been antagonistic toward the new left governments, and has concurrently pursued a bellicose foreign policy, in many cases blithely dismissive of international law.

So why has Human Rights Watch (HRW) — despite proclaiming itself “one of the world’s leading independent organizations” on human rights — so consistently paralleled US positions and policies? This affinity for the US government agenda is not limited to Latin America.

In the summer of 2013, for example, when the prospect of a unilateral US missile strike on Syria — a clear violation of the UN Charter — loomed large, HRW’s executive director Kenneth Roth speculated as to whether a simply “symbolic” bombing would be sufficient. “If Obama decides to strike Syria, will he settle for symbolism or do something that will help protect civilians?” he asked on Twitter.
Executive director of MIT’s Center for International Studies John Tirman swiftly denounced the tweet as “possibly the most ignorant and irresponsible statement ever by a major human-rights advocate.”[1] (More)