Category Archives: Religion

Study: Religious kids do best at school

From Erielle Davidson at the Federalist:

Adolescents who practice religion regularly perform better in school than those adolescents who do not, finds a recent study performed by Dr. Ilana M. Horwitz at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Horwitz’s paper explores differences among the grade point averages (GPAs) of public school students based on their levels of religiosity.

Horwitz bucketed the students into five different levels of religious adherence, from most religious to least religious: Abiders, Adapters, Assenters, Avoiders, and Atheists. She found the most religious kids had the highest GPAs. Horwitz defines that group, the “Abiders,” as those who “display high levels across all measured dimensions of religiosity and ‘abide’ by religion in a classic, institutional sense,” while Avoiders, true to their nomenclature, “avoid religious involvement and broader issues of the relevance of religion for their life.” Unlike the Atheist group, they believe in G-d, but participate far less in religious ceremonies and prayer.

Horwitz’s paper focuses exclusively on the “Abider-Avoider” achievement gap, noting that Abiders outperform all the other religious groups, with the exception of Atheists, who performed comparable with Abiders, although the Atheist group size was very small, which affects its reliability. … More.

Reality check: Much that media retail on this subject is fashionable rubbish, of course and it is popular because it plays into stigmatizing religious people.

See also: Understanding the New Yorker’s Cool hatred of Chick-Fil-a

and

If naturalism can explain religion, why does it get so many basic facts wrong?

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A Quarter of Canadians Think That Religious diversity Is a Bad Thing

To wit:

In the survey, conducted the same week Quebec adopted a law prohibiting niqab-wearing women from receiving government services, 26 per cent of respondents said increasing religious diversity is a good thing while 23 per cent said it is bad. Nearly half — 44 per cent — said diversity brings a mix of good and bad; the remaining seven per cent were unsure.

When the pollsters sought respondents’ views on particular religious groups, anti-Islam sentiment stood out. Forty-six per cent of the people polled said Islam is damaging Canada compared with 13 per cent who said it is beneficial. The others either did not know (20 per cent) or said it has no real impact (21 per cent.)

The Angus Reid Institute, which conducted the poll in partnership with Faith in Canada 150, said the results are in keeping with “a well documented pattern” in recent years. “Namely, if Islam is involved, a significant segment of Canadians will react negatively,” the institute said in its analysis of the numbers.

The only other religion with an overall negative score was Sikhism, with 22 per cent calling it damaging and 13 per cent beneficial. Catholicism, Protestantism, evangelical Christianity and Judaism all had overall positive ratings.

 

I think some of this is due not only to Canada’s secularisation but to intellectual and moral laziness, as well. Most people worship quietly and do not cause problems. Indeed, many contribute positively to society. However, to admit that would mean that the haters would have to acknowledge these contributions, respect the freedom to worship and admit that the real problems do not lie in religions that serve as low-hanging fruit (ie – the Saturday and Sunday people).

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Xi Replaces Pictures of Christ With Himself

Xi does not find this inspiring for some reason.

 

Chinese officials and residents in a rural area of Jiangxi province have revealed a government plan to “melt the hard ice” in the hearts of Christians towards communism by denying them pivotal poverty relief packages if they do not replace images of Jesus in their households with photos of President Xi Jinping.

One official stated that the move was necessary because Christians are “ignorant” and need to be taught to worship the state, not God.

The move is the latest in a string of crackdowns against Christianity in the Xi era. Xi’s regime views Christianity, which has experienced a popularity boom in the past decade, as a challenge to the supremacy of the Communist Party’s growing cult of personality around Xi himself.

Why doesn’t Xi have posters of this guy?

 

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In what universe is it appropriate for a Governor General to deride people for their beliefs?

On Wednesday night, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette appeared as keynote speaker at the Canadian Science Policy Conference in Ottawa. From her podium there, she took on everyone from climate-change deniers to religious observers:

“Can you believe that still today in learned society, in houses of government, unfortunately, we’re still debating and still questioning whether humans have a role in the Earth warming up or whether even the Earth is warming up, period,” she said.

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Notley Refuses to Allow Catholic Sex Ed Program in Alberta Schools

Because the idea of several sexes, which has no basis in science, is somehow better for students who should only be learning actual subjects:

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says an alternative sex education curriculum being crafted by Catholic school officials will never be taught if it arrives as previously advertised.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Notley says the health and well-being of students comes first.

“Nowhere do the rights of religious freedom extend to that person’s right to somehow attack or hurt others — and that’s what’s happening here,” Notley said Tuesday. “We will not use public dollars to have sexual health programs that deny science, that deny evidence, and that deny human rights.

What a silly b!#ch.

 

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Former Google Employee Engineering His Own A.I. Religion

The present continues to take inspiration from science-fiction author Isaac Asimov’s visions of the future. In “The Last Question,” Asimov conceived of an artificial intelligence project known as Multivac. Its purpose was to solve for the inevitable heat death of the universe, but in the end, it becomes that answer.

Levandowski seems to have taken that story very closely to heart. His newly founded Way of the Future organization, whose filings were first uncovered by Wired, exists to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”

Yes, you read that right. To quote Wired’s Mark Harris, “God is a bot, and Anthony Levandowski is his messenger.” At least, that is the plan.

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Facebook Restores Catholic Pages After Blocking Them

The social media giant Facebook has restored the more than two dozen conservative Catholic pages it had mysteriously blocked on Tuesday, blaming the incident on “a spam detection mechanism on the platform.”

Observers are still skeptical, since Facebook seemed to target only conservative Catholic pages with a significant following, whereas a glitch in the system would have randomly blocked sites regardless of their orientation. The blocked Catholic pages generally had between hundreds of thousands and up to 6 million followers, according to Catholic News Agency (CNA).

One of the blocked pages called “Fr. Rocky” belonged to a U.S. Catholic priest Fr. Francis J. Hoffman, executive director of Relevant Radio, whose page had 3.5 million likes. Another site, “Catholic and Proud,” had 6 million followers and was similarly blocked.

Some of the page administrators of the blocked Catholic sites speculated that perhaps they were being censored, since Facebook has been accused in the past of censoring “conservative” news and websites, an allegation that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied.

One page owner, Kenneth Alimba of Nigeria, said he believes he was targeted specifically because it was a Catholic page. “They’ve fought and continue to fight anything Catholic and conservative,” he said.

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