To quote Mark Greenbaum of the Christian Science Monitor:
In a nation that is so diverse economically, culturally, and politically, a party that enforces a rigid litmus test for membership will not be able to remain viable.
If Republicans continue to move from the center in areas where adherence to conservative ideology is not palatable to a majority of voters, the GOP will not be able to regain Congress or the presidency anytime soon.
I think they’re dying, they just haven’t been buried yet. The sooner they realize this the sooner we can quit having “us or them” politics.
I’ve thrown my support behind the “New Atheist” movemtn.
“Intolerance of ignorance, myth and superstition; disregard for the tolerance of religion.
Indoctrination of logic, reason and the advancement of a naturalistic worldview.”
Right up my alley.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know that flight 1549 recently “crashed” into the Hudson River in New York.
The plane is reported to have suffered a loss of two engines due to a double bird strike, nobody died, and the worst injury was 2 broken legs.
People have been calling this a “miracle”.
Websters defines a miracle as:
“an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”
While I agree this was an excellent feat of piloting, and a great deal of luck was involved, I do not believe there was any divine intervention to be mentioned.
Perhaps if the NTSB report says “God assisted in the landing” i’ll change my tune, until then i’ll just acknowledge the heroic efforts of the crew.
Chesley B. Sullenberger III
I have no disagreement, the idea of training children in only abstinence is silly at best.
Abstinence-only sex education has totally failed the nation’s teens
Programs mandated to teach only “the social, psychological and health gains (of) abstaining from sexual activity” have been awarded failing grades for truth and effectiveness. The programs that work best combine honest information about sexuality, including contraception.
By Ellen Goodman
BOSTON â€” I hate to bring this up right now when the ink is barely dry on your New Year’s resolution. But if history is any guide, you are likely to fall off the assorted wagons to which you are currently lashed.
I don’t say this to disparage your willpower. Hang onto that celery stick for dear life. And even if you stop doing those stomach crunches and start sneaking out for a smoke, at least you can comfort yourself with fond memories of your moment of resolution.
Compare that to the statistic in the newest research about teens who pledge abstinence. The majority not only break the pledge, they forget they ever made it.
This study of teens and pledges comes from Johns Hopkins researcher Janet Rosenbaum, who took a rigorous look at nearly 1,000 students. She compared teens who took a pledge of abstinence with teens of similar backgrounds and beliefs who didn’t. She found absolutely no difference in their sexual behavior, or the age at which they began having sex, or the number of their partners.
In fact, the only difference was that the group that promised to remain abstinent was significantly less likely to use birth control, especially condoms, when they did have sex. The lesson many students seemed to retain from their abstinence-only program was a negative and inaccurate view of contraception.
This is not just a primer on the capacity for teenage denial or the inner workings of adolescent neurobiology. What makes this study important is simply this: “virginity pledges” are one of the ways that the government measures whether abstinence-only education is “working.” They count the pledges as proof that teens will abstain. It turns out that this is like counting New Year’s resolutions as proof that you lost 10 pounds.
We have been here before. And before that. And before that.
When he was running for president, George W. Bush promised, “My administration will elevate abstinence education from an afterthought to an urgent goal.” Over the past eight years, a cottage industry of “abstinence-only-until-marriage” purveyors became a McMansion industry. Funding increased from $73 million a year in 2001 to $204 million in 2008. That’s a grand total of $1.5 billion in federal money for an ideology in search of a methodology. And half the states refused funds to pay for sex mis-education.
By now, there’s an archive of research showing that the binge was a bust. Programs mandated to teach only “the social, psychological and health gains (of) abstaining from sexual activity” and to warn of the dangers of having sex have been awarded failing grades for truth and effectiveness. As Rosenbaum says, “Abstinence-only education is required to give inaccurate information. Teens are savvy consumers of information and know what they are getting.”
Our national investment in abstinence-only may not be a scam on the scale of Bernie Madoff. But this industry has had standards for truth as loose as some mortgage lenders. It manufactures a product as ill-suited to the environment as the SUV. All in all, abstinence-only education has become emblematic of the rule of ideology over science.
The sorry part is that sex education got caught in the culture wars. It has been framed, says Bill Albert of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, as a battle between “those who wanted virginity pledges and those who wanted to hand out condoms to 14-year-olds.”
Meanwhile, six in 10 teens have sex before they leave high school and 730,000 teenage girls will get pregnant this year. We see them everywhere from “Juno” to Juneau â€” or to be more accurate, Anchorage, where Sarah Palin, advocate of abstinence-only education, just became an unplanned grandparent.
The overwhelming majority of protective parents don’t want a political battle. They want teens to delay sex and to have honest information about sexuality, including contraception. The programs that work best combine those lessons.
Soon Congress and the new administration will be asked to ante up again for abstinence-only programs. As Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood says, abstinence-only education was “an experiment gone awry. We spent $1.5 billion and can’t point to a single study that says this helps. If it doesn’t help, why fund it?”
Teens are not the only masters of denial. But we are finally stepping back from the culture wars. We are, with luck, returning to something that used to be redundant â€” evidence-based science. That’s a pledge worth signing … and remembering.
Ellen Goodman’s column appears Friday on editorial pages of The Times. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Who would have guessed that the downfall of the Fundamentalist Mormon Church would come at the hands of the Texas Child Protective Services.
They’ve hauled away hundreds of children and arrested one adult. It’s definitely not a public relations win for the FLDS church. And it probably removes one-third of their cult members.
The cops are still digging for evidence, i’m dying to see what they found in the place.
I’m also wondering what other juicy bits of information and new cases they’re going to gain from all the children they took into custody.
Time will tell.
Yet another ritual stolen from the Pagans by the Christians.
Go out and do your duty to spend money and give gifts to add to the projected 16.9 Billion dollar spending spree during the “holiday”.
Today Bush rallied behind Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas routed his forces in the Gaza Strip and began imposing a new order in the enclave after days of bloody civil war.
In January Bush cut funding to the Palestinians after they elected Hamas. This directly led to instability in the Palestinian government, and the ongoing civil war between Fatah and Hamas supporters.
But, now Bush is backing the Fatah-based government, rather than Hamas, the democratically elected government.
I guess that’s what happens when you cry out for democracy, but you don’t like the results.
So, on NPR this morning I hear a story about Israelis having to deal with the trauma of rocket attacks. The gentleman they talked to was taking multiple anti-depressants to deal with the stress. All their medical paid for by the government of Israel, which in turn gets paid by the US government.
It would be nice if my government used my tax money to help it’s own citizens with healthcare before it offers it up to Israel.
Why is it that Israel is allowed to violate Lebanon’s sovreignty whenever it wants?
It’s like the US invading Mexico whenever it wants, someone would complain at some point, but Israel seems to be allowed to do whatever it wants.
When are we going to stop defending these actions and force both sides in the middle east to play nicely with others?
So, the Palestinians are holding an Israeli soldier hostage.
(Let’s get this straight, a soldier, not a civilian.)
And they are asking that women and children be released from Israeli prisons.
(Again, to make sure we understand this we’re talking civilians.)
The israelis refuse to negotiate at all and are massing for war in Gaza to bring home this one soldier.
(Gaza, which is full of both Palestinians with guns and innocent civilians who will get killed from collateral damage.)
The israelis pulled out of Gaza, yet are still restricting trade and aid to flow in and out of the region so the Palestianians there don’t see they have much to lose.
Personally I am sick of seeing Israel flex it’s muscle day in and day out to keep the Palestinians under it’s thumb. Israel has gone beyond simply trying to stop the violence of the region and is now perpetuating it under the thin veil of “we will not negotiate with terrorists” IE. Hamas, a democratically elected government.
Ok, so Abdul Rahman was facing the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity.
Western nations are having a fit over this,? bringing intense international pressure on President Hamid Karzai to have the charges dropped.
I seem to recall tho, a time when Catholics burned Protestants. How can westerners scream injustice when they came from that same injustice themselves?
We cannot change their lack of tolerence through force or pressure, they must change on their own. Forcing their hand is just going worsen their view of the west.
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