It’s incredible to see how stupid people are. Here we have a group of young Jews in Israel who are engaging in book burning.
JERUSALEM: Orthodox Jews set fire to hundreds of copies of the New Testament in the latest act of violence against Christian missionaries in the Holy Land.
Or Yehuda Deputy Mayor Uzi Aharon said missionaries recently entered a neighborhood in the predominantly religious town of 34,000 in central Israel, distributing hundreds of New Testaments and missionary material.
After receiving complaints, Aharon said, he got into a loudspeaker car last Thursday and drove through the neighborhood, urging people to turn over the material to Jewish religious students who went door to door to collect it.
The books were dumped into a pile and set afire in a lot near a synagogue, he said.
The Israeli Maariv daily reported Tuesday that hundreds of Jewish religious school students took part in the book-burning. But Aharon told The Associated Press that only a few students were present, and that he was not there when the books were torched. Not all of the New Testaments that were collected were burned, but hundreds were, he said.
Let’s assume these students are young and stupid, and haven’t actually learned about their own history, what the hell were their older counterparts doing giving them the books knowing that the books were being collected so they could be burned? I suppose history really is doomed to repeat its self.
On April 6, 1933, the German Student Association’s Main Office for Press and Propaganda proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit”, to climax in a literary purge or “cleansing” (“SÃ¤uberung”) by fire. Local chapters were to supply the press with releases and commissioned articles, sponsor well-known Nazi figures to speak at public gatherings, and negotiate for radio broadcast time. On April 8 the students association also drafted its twelve “theses”, deliberately evoking Martin Luther; the theses declared and outlined a “pure” national language and culture. Placards publicized the theses, which attacked “Jewish intellectualism”, asserted the need to “purify” German language and literature, and demanded that universities be centers of German nationalism. The students described the “action” as a response to a worldwide Jewish “smear campaign” against Germany and an affirmation of traditional German values.
In a symbolic act of ominous significance, on May 10, 1933 the students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of “un-German” books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. On the night of May 10, in most university towns, nationalist students marched in torchlight parades “against the un-German spirit.” The scripted rituals called for high Nazi officials, professors, rectors, and student leaders to address the participants and spectators. At the meeting places, students threw the pillaged and unwanted books into the bonfires with great joyous ceremony, band-playing, songs, “fire oaths,” and incantations.
Not all book burnings took place on May 10, as the German Student Association had planned. Some were postponed a few days because of rain. Others, based on local chapter preference, took place on June 21, the summer solstice, a traditional date of celebration. Nonetheless, in 34 university towns across Germany the “Action against the Un-German Spirit” was a success, enlisting widespread newspaper coverage. And in some places, notably Berlin, radio broadcasts brought the speeches, songs, and ceremonial incantations “live” to countless German listeners.
Disgusting. “Dort, wo man BÃ¼cher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.” (“Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people.”) -Heinrich Heine
Despite a court-ordered ban on the teaching of creationism in US schools, about one in eight high-school biology teachers still teach it as valid science, a survey reveals. And, although almost all teachers also taught evolution, those with less training in science â€“ and especially evolutionary biology â€“ tend to devote less class time to Darwinian principles.
US courts have repeatedly decreed that creationism and intelligent design are religion, not science, and have no place in school science classrooms. But no matter what courts and school boards decree, it is up to teachers to put the curriculum into practice.
“Ultimately, they are the ones who carry it out,” says Michael Berkman, a political scientist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
But what teachers actually teach about evolution and creationism in their classrooms is a bit of a grey area, so Berkman and his colleagues decided to conduct the first-ever national survey on the subject.
The researchers polled a random sample of nearly 2000 high-school science teachers across the US in 2007. Of the 939 who responded, 2% said they did not cover evolution at all, with the majority spending between 3 and 10 classroom hours on the subject.
However, a quarter of the teachers also reported spending at least some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. Of these, 48% â€“ about 12.5% of the total survey â€“ said they taught it as a “valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species”.
Science teaching experts say they are not surprised to find such a large number of science teachers advocating creationism.
“It seems a bit high, but I am not shocked by it,” says Linda Froschauer, past president of the National Science Teachers Association based in Arlington, Virginia. “We do know there’s a problem out there, and this gives more credibility to the issue.”
Yes, it’s a cult. Who wants to take me to court?
A teenager is facing prosecution for using the word “cult” to describe the Church of Scientology.
The unnamed youth was served the summons by City of London police when he took part in a peaceful demonstration opposite the London headquarters of the controversial religion.
Officers confiscated a placard with the word “cult” on it from the youth, who is under 18, and a case file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.
A date has not yet been set for him to appear in court.
The decision to issue the summons has angered human rights activists and support groups for the victims of cults.
The incident happened during a protest against the Church of Scientology on May 10. Demonstrators from the anti-Scientology group, Anonymous, who were outside the church’s Â£23m headquarters near St Paul’s cathedral, were banned by police from describing Scientology as a cult by police because it was “abusive and insulting”.
Writing on an anti-Scientology website, the teenager facing court said: “I brought a sign to the May 10th protest that said: ‘Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult.’
“‘Within five minutes of arriving I was told by a member of the police that I was not allowed to use that word, and that the final decision would be made by the inspector.”
A policewoman later read him section five of the Public Order Act and “strongly advised” him to remove the sign. The section prohibits signs which have representations or words which are threatening, abusive or insulting.
The teenager refused to back down, quoting a 1984 high court ruling from Mr Justice Latey, in which he described the Church of Scientology as a “cult” which was “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”.
After the exchange, a policewoman handed him a court summons and removed his sign.
On the website he asks for advice on how to fight the charge: “What’s the likelihood I’ll need a lawyer? If I do have to get one, it’ll have to come out of my pocket money.”
Writing on the same website, another anonymous demonstrator said: “We also protested outside another Scientology building in Tottenham Court Road which is policed by a separate force, the Metropolitan police, who have never tried to stop us using the word cult.
“We’re completely peaceful protesters expressing a perfectly valid opinion. This whole thing stinks.”
BRYAN, Texas — A minister at a Dallas-area megachurch was charged with online solicitation of a minor after police said Friday he was caught in an Internet sex sting.
Undercover officers posing as a 13-year-old girl communicated with 52-year-old Joe Barron of Plano for about two weeks. The online conversations were sexual in nature, police said.
On May 6, Barron suggested meeting the girl in person. He eventually made the nearly 200-mile drive to Bryan on Thursday, where he was arrested. The Bryan-College Station Eagle reported for its Saturday editions that police surrounded the site of the suggested meeting place for two hours before Barron arrived.
Police said they found a web-cam and condoms in Barron’s car.
Barron was released from the Brazos County Jail on Friday night on $7,000 bail. Police were unsure if he had an attorney.
Barron is a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the country with 26,000 members and 40 ministers. Mike Buster, executive pastor, said in a statement that the church had no record or knowledge of previous improprieties or saw any inappropriate behavior in the 18 months Barron was on the church staff.
Buster said church officials are fully cooperating with police.
“We are disturbed and saddened by the reports we have heard and we are praying for the Barron family,” he said.
Barron is a minister to married adults.
Bryan police had run six similar sting operations in the past two weeks and only one other person arrived at the meeting site and was arrested, the newspaper reported.
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” So said Albert Einstein, and his famous aphorism has been the source of endless debate between believers and non-believers wanting to claim the greatest scientist of the 20th century as their own.
A little known letter written by him, however, may help to settle the argument – or at least provoke further controversy about his views.
Due to be auctioned this week in London after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, the document leaves no doubt that the theoretical physicist was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as “childish superstitions”.
Einstein penned the letter on January 3 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind who had sent him a copy of his book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. The letter went on public sale a year later and has remained in private hands ever since.
In the letter, he states: “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”
Einstein, who was Jewish and who declined an offer to be the state of Israel’s second president, also rejected the idea that the Jews are God’s favoured people.
“For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”
The letter will go on sale at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair on Thursday and is expected to fetch up to Â£8,000. The handwritten piece, in German, is not listed in the source material of the most authoritative academic text on the subject, Max Jammer’s book Einstein and Religion.
One of the country’s leading experts on the scientist, John Brooke of Oxford University, admitted he had not heard of it.
Einstein is best known for his theories of relativity and for the famous E=mc2 equation that describes the equivalence of mass and energy, but his thoughts on religion have long attracted conjecture.
His parents were not religious but he attended a Catholic primary school and at the same time received private tuition in Judaism. This prompted what he later called, his “religious paradise of youth”, during which he observed religious rules such as not eating pork. This did not last long though and by 12 he was questioning the truth of many biblical stories.
“The consequence was a positively fanatic [orgy of] freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression,” he later wrote.
In his later years he referred to a “cosmic religious feeling” that permeated and sustained his scientific work. In 1954, a year before his death, he spoke of wishing to “experience the universe as a single cosmic whole”. He was also fond of using religious flourishes, in 1926 declaring that “He [God] does not throw dice” when referring to randomness thrown up by quantum theory.
His position on God has been widely misrepresented by people on both sides of the atheism/religion divide but he always resisted easy stereotyping on the subject.
“Like other great scientists he does not fit the boxes in which popular polemicists like to pigeonhole him,” said Brooke. “It is clear for example that he had respect for the religious values enshrined within Judaic and Christian traditions … but what he understood by religion was something far more subtle than what is usually meant by the word in popular discussion.”
Despite his categorical rejection of conventional religion, Brooke said that Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for atheism. He was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote. “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”
At least they weren’t doing anything insane..
Â A man, woman and two teenage children apparently shared a house in Necedah Township, Wisconsin with a corpse for two months before authorities found the body.
At least one of the adults in the house insisted the dead woman inside wasn’t “fully dead,” and that they could pray her back to life.
Earlier this week, sheriff’s deputies in Juneau County, just east of Tomah, went to a home in Necedah Township to check on the welfare of 90-year-old Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth, after the woman’s sister reported she had not heard from her in some time.
When deputies arrived, the woman who answered the door at first refused to let deputies check on Middlesworth.
The woman, Tammy Lewis, finally relented, and allowed the deputy to search the house. He found Middlesworth’s remains in a heap on what appeared to be a toilet. Police reports indicate the smell of decay was “overpowering.”
The deputy ordered Lewis to take both of her children, ages 12 and 15, out of the house, due to the smell.
Police say Lewis then refused to talk to them without her “superior.” That turned up out to be Alan Bushey, who police say also goes by “Bishop John Peter Bushey.”
After Bushey arrived, Lewis told deputies that Middlesworth passed out a couple of months prior, and that Lewis had propped her up on the toilet.
She then claimed “Bishop Bushey” told her that God would raise Middlesworth from the dead, and that Lewis and her children prayed for days in hopes of that happening.
Police also interviewed the teenagers, who told them Bushey convinced them to be quiet about the body. They say Bushey told them demons were making it appear that Middlesworth was dead, and that if her death was discovered, the children would be sent to public school and be forced to get jobs.
It’s unclear what the relationship is between Bushey and Lewis, or their relationship to Middlesworth. The children called her “grandmother.”
Police say Lewis and the children shared the home with Middlesworth. The children have been placed in protective custody.
The home is reportedly in decent condition, although Lewis and the children apparently used a pail for a bathroom because Middleworth’s body was draped over the only toilet in the house.
Both Bushey and Lewis are facing charges of causing mental harm to a child, and obstructing justice.