Another Bangladeshi blogger murdered for atheism


Atheists neither need nor want martyrs, so could the mindless fanatics of the world please stop creating them? Niloy Neel has been hacked to death with machetes in Dhaka.

Imran H Sarkar, head of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network, told the BBC that Mr Neel had been an anti-extremist voice of reason.

“He was the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights – especially women’s rights and the rights of indigenous people,” he said.

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Go for the enablers


Good news in Minnesota: the Catholic church is getting slammed with criminal charges.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said Friday his office is filing criminal charges against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for “failing to protect children” from an abusive priest.

In a noon news conference Choi said the charges stem from the archdiocese’s handling of complaints about former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who is now serving a prison term for abusing two boys while he was pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul.

It’s not just that they gave an abuser access to children, it’s not just that they tried to cover it up, it’s that they ignored the church’s own rules on how to handle the pedophiles in their midst. It exposes the fact that Catholic priests tend to mouth one kind of piety while diddling the meaning of those words with their hands.

It beats Vacation Bible School

A church, Panama City Beach’s Life Center is no longer tax exempt, because authorities decided that they didn’t like its sacraments…which involved nude body-painting events (but the human body is one of god’s greatest creations, how can you object to celebrating it?) and selling sexually explicit t-shirts (again, sex is holy, isn’t it?). They were specifically appealing to college youth who were in town for spring break.

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Speaking of Catholicism…

Here’s a Catholic priest writing about the problems of Catholicism.

Everywhere from Boston to Minneapolis, Catholic churches have closed or been consolidated into regional clusters. The chief reason is declining Mass attendance.

In New York, Mass attendance has fallen to European levels, around 15 percent on an average Sunday, according to The New York Times. In Boston, it is even lower, around 12 percent.

Nationwide, only 24 percent of Catholics go to Mass on an average Sunday, down from 55 percent in 1965.

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Those wacky Italians

Pope “Not in the face! Not in the face!” Francis has been offering advice on child-rearing, based on his deep experience with the process, I’m sure.

One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them’, Francis said.

How beautiful. he added. He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.

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