After almost two months of being on hiatus, The Word of J.C. is back! Now that life has settled down a little bit, and I have more time to write again, keep on the look out for new posts, which will be coming out at least every two days, throughout the summer. For now, let’s review a few of the top stories that were missed during the break:
In April, Catherine and Herbert Schaible were charged with third degree murder, after losing their second child to a preventable illness. For those of you who don’t remember them, the Schaibles were charged with involuntary manslaughter and placed on probation in 2009, after another of their children died from pneumonia. The couple had refused to seek medical attention for him, opting for prayer as treatment, which eventually led to the child’s death. This time, another of their children, an eight month old infant son, suffered through two weeks of diarrhea and breathing problems while the couple once again refused to take him to a doctor, watching and praying as he wasted away.
Sylvia Browne, the widely acclaimed psychic, was once again exposed as a fraud this month, after Amanda Berry was found and rescued from her captor’s house, where she had been abused and held prisoner for a decade. Browne told Berry’s parents that Amanda was dead and “on the other side” in 2004, during a taping of the Montel Williams Show. This is not the first time that Browne has wrongly predicted the death of a missing child.
Pat Robertson told a female caller to his show, last week, that cheating is a “tendency of man,” and to stop focusing on her husband’s transgressions. He continued, telling her that it was her duty to “make a home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander,” implying that her husband’s infidelity was the result, not of his own choices, but of her inadequacies.
So far, over forty people have been killed in Myanmar, as a result of religious violence between Buddhists and Muslims. Around 1200 Muslims are now taking shelter in a monastery, while the government attempts to quell the violence.
In Louisiana, lawmakers have voted to uphold a bill that requires creationism to be taught in any school that includes evolution in its curriculum. A move to repeal the bill, which has been on the books since the 1980s, was shot down, despite the fact that the Supreme Court has determined it to be wholly unconstitutional, as it requires religious ideals to be taught in public school classrooms; a clear violation of the establishment clause.
These are just a few of the many examples of religion, science denial, and charlatanry causing direct harm to both individuals and society as a whole that have occurred in the short time that I have been on break from this blog. This, more than anything else before, has convinced me that humanists, secularists, skeptics, and all of their like MUST continue to speak out on a regular basis about the dangers posed by those who would choose to hold religious and supernatural ideas in higher regard than scientific advancement, the good of others, and the protection of constitutional principles. It is time that we as a society stop tolerating injustice and death on the grounds that we cannot infringe upon the beliefs of others. These are not issues of freedom of belief or religious liberty, but issues of safety, health, and law, and they must be addressed as such.