‘The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.’ ~ Abraham Lincoln
A lot of Christians think they are being singled out when religion is criticized. In North America, this is actually true. But it’s not because we atheists have some soft spot for any other religion. It’s certainly not because atheists and agnostics in this part of the world think Christianity is somehow less credible than other mythologies. It’s simply because Christianity is what we are familiar with. Not surprising, given the relevant demographics on this continent. I just know more about it to criticize the specific elements of the religion. If I knew more about Judaism and Islam I would be equally critical in the specifics of their tenets.
And from what I do know about other religions, I see the same withdrawal from reason as that demonstrated by practitioners of Christianity. I see no reason to accept that any religion is more valid than any other. I’m very equal-opportunity in that regard. All religions ask one thing: either accept or reject unsubstantiated and unverifiable dogma. Given such a choice the path is clear: I do not. In the absence of positive evidence to the contrary, logic demands that the null hypothesis (in this case, the non-existence of god(s)) be maintained.
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Here we go again. From the local CTV affiliate….
HPV vaccine nixed in local Catholic schools
Updated: Wed Sep. 24 2008 22:53:00
The Calgary Catholic School District passed a motion Wednesday night to refuse to offer the HPV vaccine in its schools, making it the second school board in Alberta to do so.
Six out of seven board trustees voted in favour of opting out of giving the controversial vaccine to its grade five female students. The board says it’s following the Alberta Bishop’s spiritual guidance on the issue.
Last Friday Alberta Catholic School trustees met with one Bishop to talk about the vaccine which offers protection against sexually transmitted disease.
The Chair of the Calgary Catholic Board, Margaret Belcourt told CTV News parents will receive two letters, one from the Bishop stating his position and one from Alberta Health officials informing them about the vaccine.
‘The Bishop felt it was a moral issue and that might make schools, Catholic schools appear to be condoning pre-marital sex. We are saying, if parents felt that it’s a health issue and not a moral issue, then the parents can make that decision.’, says Belcourt.
The decision will affect grade five students in 83 schools within the Calgary Catholic School District.
The St.Thomas Aquinas school board near Edmonton is the first to refuse to offer the vaccine to its students.
CTV News spoke with Alberta Health officials Wednesday; they say any school board can opt out of providing the HPV vaccine.
Health officials are looking at other ways to make the vaccine available to students.
If someone would actually show me the data that HPV vaccinations promote premarital sex, I’d shut up. But then we’re dealing with an institution that recklessly claims (again without presenting any data whatsoever) that condoms are ineffective in the fight against AIDS. This is ONLY a health issue. Honestly, the only moral issue I see was created artificially by this demonstration of wanton disregard for their children’s health and welfare. I find it incomprehensible that the Catholic School Board would abrogate their responsibilities to the welfare of their wards because some bishop is worried how giving their students the HPV vaccination will look. I think they should be far more worried about how this needless risk-taking will appear to the public. Some trustees they are!
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