Category Archives: Religion

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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Yazidis’ Life of Prayer

Trudeau called prioritising them for refugee status “disgusting“:

By the time 17-year-old Sabah Jalal Mirad reaches Lalish temple at 8 a.m., he’s already been awake for three hours, sometimes four. The alarm on his phone wakes him in time for sunrise, when he raises his forehead towards the sky and begins to pray.

Over a breakfast of yogurt and eggs, his father reads the family a hymn. That night, he’ll light a candle and read another.

“I’d never thought about my religion until ISIL attacked us in August 2014,” Sabah recalls. “My family fled to Mount Sinjar to hide, but we had no food or water for 10 days, and I felt like I was being burned alive by the sun. I started praying without realizing what I was doing.” …

(Sidebar: for this, Trudeau recommended parkas.)

It has been almost two years since ISIL attacked the Shingal province of Northern Iraq. The genocide saw the terror group capture more than 10,000 members of the Yazidi community and kill up to 4,400 — half of whom were shot, beheaded or burned alive. The rest are thought to have died of starvation and dehydration while seeking safety in the nearby mountains. While the head of security at Lalish temple, Arsan Saed, 39, says the site has been at the top of ISIL’s target list for more than two years, the threat of attack has not deterred thousands of Yazidis from going there in search of sanctuary and support since the massacre. “We did increase our security team from 20 to 120,” he says. “But on a daily basis, our job is just to ensure nobody tries to smuggle wine into the temple. These days there are so many visitors here that even when ISIL are defeated, we’ll still need this many guards on site.” …

Many of those who were enslaved by ISIL are also finding that religion is helping to heal the psychological trauma. In August 2014, Sausan Husein Khalaf, 18, was captured outside her home in Solakh and forced to marry a militant three times her age. When she was smuggled out to safety in March this year, one of the first things she did was ask to be rebaptized into the faith. She cries at the memory. “I needed to feel like I was part of something again,” she says. “I felt like I’d forgotten who I was.”

“ISIL stole our independence,” Baba Sheikh agrees. “Before 2014, probably 95 per cent of Yazidis just dreamed of buying new houses or faster cars or getting better jobs. But when everything you’ve worked towards is gone, you have to work together to find a new identity that nobody can rip away. ISIL can try to take our houses and our hopes – but they can’t take away our culture, and they can’t take away our faith.”

 

Also:

Media in the West have been slow to focus on terrorism targeted at Christians. It doesn’t quite fit the conventional narrative: other groups, religious or national, are more likely to be persecuted. But Open Doors USA, a long-established agency for the protection of Christians around the world, recently noted that serious incidents of persecution have been increasing at an alarming rate. David Curry, president of Open Doors, says their research reveals “the worst levels of persecution in modern times.”

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Conrad Black: I put this as simply as possible: Many atheists are excellent, but atheism itself is hurting the West

I have had as much as I can take for a while of the belligerent atheists who come crackling through the Internet assuming the airs of prosecutors, declaring ex cathedra that any suggestion of the existence of a supernatural force or that anything is not explicable by applied human ingenuity is medieval superstition. They have a trite little formula that they don’t have to prove the existence of anything and so have the high ground in any argument and then lapse into Hitchensesque infantilistic mockery about pink-winged little men in the clouds. They are repetitive and obnoxious and their fervour betrays the vacuity of their position. I am declaring a moratorium for at least a few months on trying to reason with these self-exalted champions of reason.

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There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted. — Henry David Thoreau

“Do you think religion inherently good?” This was a rhetorical question posed to the class when I was a student at Queen’s University in 1986. The class was in a course in the history of Christianity. The question was posed by Professor William P. Zion who was on the faculty of the department of religious studies and the Queen’s Theological College. He was also a Russian Orthodox Priest, Father Basil. We were young students who never stopped to think about this. Professor Zion answered the question for us, telling us, “no, religion is not inherently good.” He cited the fact that historically Christians gathered to watch people burned at the stake as a witness to their faith. Professor Zion had a bit of fun with the class in posing this question, but what made me recall this memory is the fact that the majority of humanity practices some kind of religion. I appreciate and understand the appeal of religion for people. I was a pious Roman Catholic myself for several years. Interestingly, it was Father Basil who supported and encouraged me to accept my gayness and continue practicing my faith. I concur with Professor Zion in that I do not think religion is inherently good. This puts me in a bind at times as I interact with people of various faiths, who view their faith as inherently good, right and desirable, both personally and informally in my daily life.

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