Saturday, March 03, 2012
Atheists now targeting Muslims
I can't wait for the fireworks!
The Blaze has consistently reported about atheists’ use of billboards to spread their message of non-belief. But while their efforts initially seemed aimed at poking fun at Christians and others who embrace the nation that God exists, lately their methods have changed. Rather than making general and sweeping statements, organizations like American Atheists are targeting specific ethnic groups in an attempt to find non-believers.
Earlier this month, we told you about the campaign that African Americans for Humanism (AAH) recently put together. Now, just weeks later, American Atheists will unveil a special billboard initiative that targets Muslims and Jews. The organization plans to place one of its anti-faith signs in Paterson, New Jersey — an area with a high Islamic concentration. The Jewish billboard will appear in a Brooklyn neighborhood that, not surprisingly, has a heavy concentration of Jews.
As CNN reports, the billboard will read, “You know it’s a myth…and you have a choice,” the billboards proclaim. Both will include English along with the language that is most appropriate to each community. AA president Dave Silverman maintains that the purpose of the campaign is to reach non-believers who are embedded in highly-religions communities.
“Those communities are designed to keep atheists in the ranks,” Silverman says. “If there are atheists in those communities, we are reaching out to them. We are letting them know that we see them, we acknowledge them and they don’t have to live that way if they don’t want to.”
Silverman, who says he knows the billboards will cause a stir, says his group does not intend to incite or anger anyone. Instead, he says he’s attempting to reach non-believers. This push to encourage people to “come out” has been something that atheist groups have ramped up in recent years.
Historic reform 'to end culture of welfare payments being seen as an acceptable alternative to work' finally becomes law in Britain
David Cameron today hailed an 'historic step' in ending Britain's benefits culture as the Government's flagship Welfare Reform Bill finally became law.
The Prime Minister said the measures to curb welfare dependency would help get people back to work and start to turn around the something-for-nothing culture encouraged by Labour.
The Welfare Reform Bill cleared its final hurdle in the Lords last night despite bitter opposition from Labour and some Church of England bishops.
The legislation brings in a £26,000-a-year cap on the total amount of benefits any family can claim and introduces new curbs to a number of long-term benefits.
The Prime Minister said: 'Today marks an historic step in the biggest welfare revolution in over 60 years.
'These reforms will change lives for the better, giving people the help they need, while backing individual responsibility so that they can escape poverty, not be trapped in it.
'Past governments have talked about reform, while watching the benefits bill sky-rocket and generations languish on the dole and dependency. This Government is delivering it.
'Our new law will mark the end of the culture that said a life on benefits was an acceptable alternative to work.'
The Prime Minister paid tribute to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who faced fierce criticism from charities and pressure groups to water down the legislation.
He added: 'We've stood up against the abuse that left taxpayers footing the bills for people on £30,000 or even £50,000 a year in benefits.
'It's a fair principle: a family out of work on benefits shouldn't be paid more than the average family in work. 'This is a core part of the Government's task of turning around the legacy of debt, overspending and waste we inherited.
'We want money to go to people who need it, not subsidising the consequences of our broken society. By reforming welfare we will get people into fulfilling jobs - not abandon them to poverty and dependency - save billions of pounds of taxpayers' money and make sure those who really need help get it.'
The Bill had a stormy passage through the Lords, with peers inflicting seven defeats on the Government when the legislation was first considered and a further one after MPs had overturned all the setbacks.
The most prominent came when the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds John Packer led a move to exempt child benefit from the £26,000 cap.
Tory MP David Davies today pointed out that the Church of England pays its bishops' chauffeurs significantly less than the £26,000 still on offer to some benefits claimants. MPs were told that the Church's 19 drivers are employed at a total cost of £352,719 - an average of £18,500.
Mr Davies said the clergy were morally obliged to pay their drivers at least as much as a household can receive in benefits.
The Monmouth MP said: 'The Welfare Reform Bill has just become an Act. Those bishops who voted against this, who voted to ensure people who are not working should earn more than £26,000, should now feel a moral imperative to pay their chauffeurs accordingly.'
Conservative Tony Baldry, representing the Church Commissioners, said being driven around 'helps ensure the best use of bishops' time'.
African couple in London guilty of 'witch' murder of boy
Ain't multiculturalism grand?
A LONDON soccer coach and his fiancee were found guilty overnight of the brutal murder of the woman's 15-year-old brother, who they believed was a witch.
Eric Bikubi and his partner Magalie Bamu, both 28, subjected Kristy Bamu to four days of torture until he drowned in their apartment in Manor Park, east London, on Christmas Day 2010, after suffering 101 different injuries.
The boy had travelled with his two brothers and two sisters from Paris to stay with Bikubi and Bamu, but the couple turned on Kristy, who was singled out after wetting his pants.
They became convinced the boy was possessed, and when the teenager refused to admit to sorcery and witchcraft his punishments in a "deliverance" ceremony became more horrendous.
He was tortured for days with knives, sticks, metal bars, and a hammer and chisel until he "begged to die". He drowned in the couple's bath during a final ritual of deliverance.
The killers both hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo where belief in witchcraft, or "kindoki", is particularly strong.
The Old Bailey jury was told there was an "armory of weapons" at the couple's home, including several knives, a metal bar, wooden poles, a pair of blood-stained pliers, a hammer, a chisel, broken ceramic tiles and a blood-stained mop.
The two sisters aged 20 and 11, were beaten along with Kristy, but escaped further attacks after "confessing" to being witches.
All four of Kristy's siblings, including a 13-year-old boy and an autistic brother aged 22, were starved and made to stay awake for four days by Bikubi and Bamu, who forced them to pray and join in the torture of their brother.
At one point, Bikubi told the youngsters to jump out of the couple's eighth floor window to see if they could fly, the court heard.
They looked to their older sister to save them, but she encouraged Bikubi and beat Kristy until he also confessed to witchcraft.
The defendants, who denied murder, were remanded in custody to be sentenced on Tuesday.
Judge David Paget told the jury of seven women and five men that the case was so "harrowing" he was exempting them from jury service for the rest of their lives.
A statement from Kristy's father, Pierre, was read outside court overnight.
He said, "Kristy died in unimaginable circumstances at the hands of people he loved and trusted, people we all loved and trusted. I feel betrayed. How could they accuse, judge and sentence? To know that Kristy's own sister, Magalie, did nothing to save him makes the pain that much worse".
Coffee chain feels heat from animal rights group
Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee shop chain looking to make deeper inroads south of the border, is under mounting pressure by animal rights activists to assure that its U.S. pork and egg suppliers adopt more humane practices.
The Humane Society of America said on Tuesday it will propose a shareholder vote in May on whether the chain should work to stop the practice of confining hens in cages and sows in gestation crates.
"When it comes to addressing cruelty to animals, an issue that American consumers feel strongly about, Tim Hortons is severely lagging," Matthew Prescott, food policy director at the Humane Society, said in a statement announcing the proposal.
In response, Tim Hortons said it was actively working with its suppliers to make "realistic long-term improvements" in animal welfare. It said it will provide an update on the initiative and address the shareholder proposal in the next month.
"While we are not directly involved in the raising or handling of animals, Tim Hortons has significant initiatives and procedures in place to make sure our supply chain practices are consistent with both regulatory and industry norms," spokeswoman Alexandra Cygal said.
The Humane Society can claim a string of successes in persuading the U.S. food industry to treat its animals more humanely.
Fast food chain McDonald's Corp said earlier this month it would work to phase out the use of gestation crates.
The Humane Society said 70 percent of the U.S. pork industry confines its pregnant pigs to the crates, which are banned in the European Union and eight U.S. states - including California, Ohio and Michigan.
Sows are often confined in the crates - which are typically too narrow to allow them to turn around - from just before the birth of their piglets until the young pigs are weaned months later.
Tim Hortons is focused on expanding in its "core" U.S. markets near its Canadian base, including Ohio and Michigan.
The Humane Society said it owns 130 Tim Hortons shares, just enough to submit the proposal at the chain's annual meeting.
Named after Tim Horton, a Hall of Fame hockey player who was one of the founders, the chain dominates the coffee and light-lunch trade in its home market, blanketing the country with its Spartan yellow and red stores. It says it brews eight out of every 10 cups of coffee sold in Canada.
The company is facing tough competition from McDonald's, which has been renovating Canadian stores, promoting its coffee and introducing espresso drinks. For its part, Tims has beefed up its menu with items like lasagna casserole.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.