In Medieval Superstition News, U.S. Presidential Delegation Honors Mother Teresa’s Miracle Cures

In Medieval Superstition News, U.S. Presidential Delegation Honors Mother Teresa’s Miracle Cures

For mysterious reasons, U.S. politicians and major media outlets are today hyperventilating over one religious group’s unproven claims of ghostly miracle cures.  President Obama has sent a presidential delegation to pay tribute to the ghost faith healer. 

I’m speaking, of course, of today’s canonization of Mother Teresa by the Catholic Church, making her a saint. A saint is someone Catholics believe has special after-death powers to which they can appeal for miracles, as evidenced by at least two miracles so far.

The political and media honors would be slightly more understandable if this were one of the secular tributes for her that have also taken place for her non-miraculous work.  Work, that is,  which largely involved raising vast sums of money to convert Hindus to Catholicism and crusade against contraception and abortion, thereby increasing poverty and suffering.  Using the funds to bring modern medical cures and comforts went against her belief that poverty and physical pain made sufferers more holy to Jesus.

But no, in this case the honors are for her elevation in heaven to God’s miracle broker.

My question is, how exactly does  Pres. Obama determine which unproven miracle cures to honor?  Will we soon be seeing this?   Continue reading

Why is CNN Asking Presidential Candidates if They Believe in God?

Why is CNN Asking Presidential Candidates if They Believe in God?

CNN has been asking third-party political candidates if they believe in God, pray, and go to church.  It’s a new trend that’s deeply unethical.

[Excerpts.  The full version of this article can be viewed where it is published at The Friendly Atheist.]

By Bo Gardiner

“Do you believe in God?”

Since June, CNN has boxed into a corner three third-party candidates for President and Vice-President with this ridiculous question.   On June 22, the Libertarian Party candidates for president and vice-president, Gary Johnson and William Weld, answered questions by CNN reporter Chris Cuomo and selected voters in a CNN-hosted “town hall.”

(Video here, relevant portion starts at 22:00)

CNN selected Amanda Lindemann, an undecided voter from New York, to ask Johnson “Do you pray and do you believe in God?” 

Johnson isn’t interested, but knows what he must say:  “I have to admit to praying once in awhile and yes, I do believe in God.”

Cuomo clearly thinks she should have asked the vice-presidential candidate too, so puts the litmus test question to Weld:  “Governor?”

Weld is even less interested, but knows what he must do:  “Same on both.  Same on both.”

Cuomo is unsatisfied, and pushes Johnson harder:  “What do you want people to know about you in terms of religion?   I mean, is the answer “none of your business?” Or do you go to church?  Do you ascribe to a particular religious philosophy?”

Johnson:  “I was raised a Christian, I do not attend church, and if there’s one thing I’ve taken away from Christianity, ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’”

And then this from Cuomo:  “Why don’t you go to church?”

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“Predatory” Illegal Christian Recruiting Program Uncovered at Many Virginia Public Schools

[A version of this article was published at The Friendly Atheist.]

Football practice at public school Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke County: the team bows heads in prayer led by Thomas Brown with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Al Soltis directs the Federation of Christian Athletes’ “Watermelon Ministry” at southwestern Virginia public high schools (photo from his Facebook)

On a sweltering August afternoon at a Virginia public high school’s football practice, the coach calls his hot, thirsty players to attention.  A guest, he announces, has brought them ice-cold watermelon—and a message. As the grateful young teens in uniform drop to the grass to savor their treat, the coach steps back and nods to his guest. The visitor is a preacher, and he’s there to bring the boys around to Coach’s particular brand of faith.

Coach figures all his boys and assistant coaches are Christian, because that’s what good Virginians are. And if they aren’t, they should be. He tells himself it’s part of his job because it’s good for the team.  A boy without Jesus isn’t as respectful, strong or reliable—you know, Christian traits.

The preacher reads “The Competitor’s Creed” from the back of the book he holds, God’s Game Plan: The Athlete’s Bible:

I am a member of Team Jesus Christ… I do not trust in myself… or believe in my own strength.  I rely solely on the power of God… I submit to God’s authority and those he has put over me.  I respect my coaches… My body is the temple of Jesus Christ… Nothing enters my body that does not honor the Living God… My sweat is an offering to my Master.  My soreness is a sacrifice to my Savior.

Many of the boys have their own deeply held beliefs that are not those of the Coach and this preacher.  Perhaps they’re Jewish, Muslim, Unitarian, Buddhist, or atheist.  But the situation is intimidating and they remain still. It’s a rare child who could find the courage to stand up first, alone, in front of his teammates, to walk away from them and the stern coaches with folded arms who control his athletic fate.

So they obediently bow their heads in prayer to Jesus, in a scene that’s replaying quietly at public high schools throughout southwestern Virginia, and has been for about a decade.

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Ted Cruz’s Chief Advisor & Dad Campaigns for Son, Christian Rule, & War on the Faithless

[Excerpts from my original post at The Friendly Atheist, where I’m a regular contributor.]

Sen. Ted Cruz leaves no doubt that his father, evangelical minister and wildly popular conservative Christian speaker Rafael Cruz, is his most important professional and personal mentor. Throughout his 2012 Senate campaign, the Texas Republican relied heavily on his father as both chief advisor and veritable stand-in for himself whenever needed. The senator opened both his March 23rd speech declaring his presidential candidacy and his first campaign ad with tales of his father’s inspiration and guidance.

Rafael and Ted Cruz (via YouTube)

While it was questionable whether President Obama‘s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, was fair game for those seeking clues to Obama’s views and intentions, here there can be no question. Rafael Cruz is a wide-open window into Ted Cruz’s soul. And the view isn’t pretty. Continue reading