Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Judge tries to save little girl’s eye….from her parents

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 15, 2010

Yes, you read it right. The 7-month old daughter of  members of the Followers of Christ church, risks loosing eyesight in her left eye due to blatant medical neglect on the part of her parents.

The Wylands’ daughter, Alayna, had a small discoloration over her left eye when she was born.

The area started swelling and the fast-growing mass of blood vessels, known as a hemangioma, eventually caused her eye to shut, pushed the eyeball down and outward, and affected the eye socket, said Dr. Thomas Valvano, a pediatrician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health & Science University.

“This was medical neglect,” said Valvano, who testified at the hearing. Alayna could lose vision in her left eye and probably will need surgery, he said.

I’ve read versions of this sad story countless times, yet I still cannot get over them. How can a parent play dice with their child’s health because of their imaginary god? At what point do your parental instincts kick in and make you say “to hell with the church, I’m saving my child”? I guess never for these people; something’s wrong in their head!

The Wylands said they never considered getting medical attention for the growth and would not have if DHS had not intervened.

Attorneys for the Wylands said the couple weren’t given a chance to obtain medical care after DHS got involved in the case late last month and have been largely excluded from medical appointments.

So let me get it straight dear attorneys: the people who concede that they would not have taken their daughter to the doctor were impeded from doing what they weren’t thinking of doing by the DHS? That’s like saying : “The good Samaritan’s intervention prevented the rapist from stopping the raping of the victim”! Are you sure that’s the argument you want to make in defense of your client?

Gilmartin asked Rebecca Wyland why she didn’t take Alayna to a doctor.

“Because I believe in God and put my faith in him,” she replied.

And he let you down Rebecca; he let you down considerably. At what point will you consider dumping him?

So how long has the child-rape problem existed in the church?

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 6, 2010

Well they want to blame it on modernity. This video begs to differ! Oh and look at that, the video cites actual documents we can check out for ourselves. Yay!

Church doctrine in a nut shell

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 16, 2010

Don’t worry this won’t take long. Apparently Mexico gets it, their education officials that is, and as always the church completely misses it, the point that is.

MEXICO CITY – Mexican educators and officials defended the country’s public school sex education Friday from criticism by a Roman Catholic bishop who said such teachings make celibacy vows more difficult for priests to keep.

Education Secretary Alonso Lujambio told reporters that public-school sexual education texts “seek to make our boys and girls responsible, to take responsibility for their actions, and for that they need information.”

Lujambio said the programs are careful to avoid “hurting any social sensitivities.”

On Thursday, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said that “when there is generalized sexual licentiousness, it is more common to have pederasty.”

“In the midst of the invasion of so much eroticism, it is not easy to remain faithful in celibacy, or in respecting children,” Arizmendi, the bishop of the San Cristobal de las Casas diocese in Chiapas state, said at a meeting of Mexican bishops.

Of course! Because teaching children to use protection and safe sex when engaging in consensual sex, obviously sends the message to grown up men that raping children, non-consensually, is acceptable.  That makes perfect sense: what better to reduce the priestly carnal desires for young flesh than keeping said kids ignorant about safe sex? Elementary!

Yes, The Pope Should Be Arrested, and I Don’t Care Who Does It

Posted in Skepchick by Skepdude on April 12, 2010

As usual, the original Skepchic is right!

Yesterday morning the big news was an interesting article with a ridiculous headline: “Richard Dawkins: I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI“.

I thought my Tweet summed up my feeling on the matter:

Richard Dawkins is going to personally arrest the pope. I hope it’s like the video for Sabotage but with old dudes http://is.gd/bo707

I was wrong to assume that people would read that and think, “Yes, that is a completely ridiculous headline.” I’m kicking myself for not being clearer, because when Dawkins posted a clarification to say that no, he did not say he’d be personally arresting the pope, a lot of my Twitter and Facebook followers happily declared that it was all a big hoax. A few others declared that it was all a big publicity stunt on Dawkins’ part, and that it therefore hurt “the skeptical movement.”

Bullshit.

Dawkins’ clarification explained that while he was not going to swing into action Beastie Boys-style, he does support the actual effort currently underway to hold the Pope accountable for the systematic protection of child abusers. And that, to me, was the entire point: not that Dawkins is involved (though that is a funny image), but that the Pope may in fact answer for his crimes. So no, it’s not all a big, overblown hoax. It is a real and important story.

On to the second point, that this effort will apparently hurt the “skeptical movement”: it won’t, and it’s completely absurd to suggest otherwise.

I like and admire Massimo Pigliucci, but he is 100% wrong when he posted this (among other things) on my Facebook profile:

naturally, always a good thing to keep one’s baloney detector set to orange alert. though the basic problem remains: two of the “horsemen” are behind a sensationalistic stunt that has no chance in hell (pun intended) of actually succeeding in the real world

Bullshit, Massimo, on several points. Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins lent their support to an effort that was already well underway, and if it weren’t for that support, most people wouldn’t know that this is happening. To describe their support as a “sensationalistic stunt” is pointless cat-fighting. And to describe it as an effort that “has no chance in hell” of succeeding is simply ignorant.

Yemen would you please get your shit together?

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 9, 2010

Yet another Yemeni child has died because the idiotic Yemeni laws legalize child rape under the form of child brides. This time a 12-year old girl has died of internal bleeding, 3 days after being “married” to a much older pedophile rapist who proceeded to have intercourse with this child, as if she was a grown up woman! Does anyone think there was consent there? Is a 12-year old mature enough to even comprehend fully what marriage/sex mean? Yemen, get your shit together and repeal your moronic child-rape-facilitating laws, and punish all those that engage in this barbaric, stupid, criminal practice, starting with the children’s parents and finishing up with their pedophile raping “husbands” and everyone that willingly participates in this crime.

(CNN) — A 12-year-old Yemeni bride died of internal bleeding following intercourse three days after she was married off to an older man, the United Nations Children’s Fund said.

The girl was married to a man at least twice her age, said Sigrid Kaag, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Her death is “a painful reminder of the risks girls face when they are married too soon,” Kaag said Thursday.

Amal Basha, chairwoman of the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights, a Yemeni human rights group, identified the girl Friday as Elham Mahdi.

“Elham was married on March 29th and died three days later” and lived in Yemen’s Hajjah province, Basha said.

The death is the latest in a series of child marriage cases in Yemen, where the minimum age to tie the knot is still under debate.

Pope Vows To Get Church Pedophilia Down To Acceptable Levels

Posted in Fun, Humorous by Skepdude on April 5, 2010

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT THE ONION

VATICAN CITY—Calling the behavior shameful, sinful, and much more frequent than the Vatican was comfortable with, Pope Benedict XVI vowed this week to bring the widespread pedophilia within the Roman Catholic Church down to a more manageable level.

Addressing thousands gathered at St. Peter’s Square on Easter Sunday, the pontiff offered his “most humble apologies” to abuse victims, and pledged to reduce the total number of molestations by 60 percent over the next five years.

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” Pope Benedict said. “It seems a weakening of faith in God has prevented our priests from exercising moderation when sexually abusing helpless minors.”

“And let me remind our clergy of the holy vows they all took when they entered the priesthood,” he continued. “They should know that they’re only allowed one small child every other month.”

The pope said he was deeply disappointed to learn that the number of children sexually abused by priests was almost 10 times beyond the allowable limit clearly outlined in church doctrine. Admitting for the first time in public that the overindulgent touching of “tender, tender young flesh” had become a full-blown crisis, the Holy Father vowed to implement new reforms to bring the pedophilia rate back down to five children per 1,000 clergy.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT THE ONION

Your daily dose of religious morals

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 25, 2010

Of course without religion we’d have no morals. Who would show us, by example…over and over again, what immorality looks like? As reported in the NYTimes:

Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

The documents emerge as Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer.

The Wisconsin case involved an American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. But it is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger. It is still the office that decides whether accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked.

In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from Rembert G. Weakland, Milwaukee’s archbishop at the time. After eight months, the second in command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed the Wisconsin bishops to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to Father Murphy’s dismissal.

Prison time for homeopath parents that let their daughter die of eczema

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on September 28, 2009

People love to use the “its a harmless belief” excuse whenever they find themselves in a corner defending some non-evidence based belief, such say….oh I don’t know, homeopathy? However, it is not true that these beliefs are harmless. It is not true that they have no side effects. Because when such beliefs are adhered to in matters of health, and are preferred over established, science based medicine, death occurs.

You may remember a while ago reading in this blog about the little girl who died of eczema at nine months of age, a non fatal disease if treated with real medicine, because her parents choose homeopathy instead, even as her conditions got worse and even as it became obvious that the homeopathic potions were not producing the desired results. The parents were found guilty and now news comes out that they have been sentenced to prison time, 6 years for the father, 4 for the mother.

I do not know how to feel about this story. I am a bit torn, because obviously these parents did what they thought was best for their daughter. I do not think there was an intention to hurt her in their part. But they were negligent when the choose to ignore many warnings and advice to seek real medical help which could have easily saved this little girl’s life. They were taken in by the woo woo, the father was himself a homeopath who really believed in his “craft” to the point of letting his little girl die instead of getting help. But they did make choices that resulted in a young life ending prematurely, so….

I am not happy that this is happening, I’d much rather prefer this sort of thing never happened.

Yemeni girl, 12, dies in painful childbirth

Posted in News by Skepdude on September 14, 2009

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT CNN

AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) — A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a painful childbirth that also killed her baby, a children’s rights group said Monday.

Fawziya Ammodi struggled for three days in labor, before dying of severe bleeding at a hospital on Friday, said the Seyaj Organization for the Protection of Children.

“Although the cause of her death was lack of medical care, the real case was the lack of education in Yemen and the fact that child marriages keep happening,” said Seyaj President Ahmed al-Qureshi.

Born into an impoverished family in Hodeidah, Fawziya was forced to drop out of school and married off to a 24-year-old man last year, al-Qureshi said.

Child brides are commonplace in Yemen, especially in the Red Sea Coast where tribal customs hold sway. Hodeidah is the fourth largest city in Yemen and an important port.

More than half of all young Yemeni girls are married off before the age of 18 — many times to older men, some with more than one wife, a study by Sanaa University found.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT CNN

Shame on Washington state

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on August 28, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTYR AT PHARYNGULA

My home state! In a region with some of the highest percentages of godless people in the country! And they have this awful law on the books.

Washington’s law specifies that a person treated through faith healing “by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care is not considered deprived of medically necessary health care or abandoned.” Other religions are not mentioned.

Christian Science is not science, and it is definitely not medicine. I presume some religious lobby got this evil exemption on the books years ago, but now it’s time to remove it—it’s killing people. The mention of the law comes from a story about a young man, Zachery Swezey, who died a slow, painful death from a ruptured appendix, with his parents looking on.

The day his son died, Greg Swezey told sheriff’s investigators he knew Zakk would die 10 or 15 minutes before the teenager passed away. His condition had gotten much worse about an hour and a half before Zakk died, he told the investigators, and he realized Zakk was exhibiting some of the symptoms of death he’d seen when older church members died.

He did not consider calling an ambulance, he told them.

Who did he call instead? Elders of his church, who showed up to splash oil on the poor kid and pray.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTYR AT PHARYNGULA

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.