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The God Delusion is a great read; funny and witty in places and deadly serious in others. The author, Richard Dawkins is a professor and a scholar of renown and of course the brilliant writer of several significant books.

The God Delusion is divided into chapters with the several headings within each chapter making the book easy to read.  Dawkins is an atheist who has written, and lectured on, a great deal about the harm religion does to children, by religious indoctrination, which he believes is a form of child abuse. This book was right up my alley, so to speak. Christianity, just as much as Islam, teaches  that unquestioned faith is a virtue.

Religion, whether either one or other of the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity or Islam, is full of contradictions…no wonder children are confused. And it’s not just Muslims who are inspired to become martyrs. I can remember as a child revering those Christian martyrs whose stories we heard every day from the pulpit or in catechism classes. These three monotheistic religions have engaged in extreme violence against their respective ‘infidels’ and apostates. One only has to read the Qur’an to know that Islam is not a religion of peace.  Dawkins quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson “ …the religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next”…Except, writes Dawkins, ‘we are not allowed to laugh at Islam, under threat of fatwas!’ And anyway, Dawkins comforts his fellow atheists by promising us that monotheism is doomed to subtract one more god and become atheism. It cannot come soon enough for me and the millions of other atheists around the world.

Another thing about monotheistic religions that has no place in 21st century in my view, is that they enjoy tax-free status and as Dawkins states: ‘… far better to abandon tax-free status for religions altogether… because it helps to promote them while allowing them to avoid the rigorous vetting imposed on secular charities.’  Dawkins has researched the huge amounts of money amassed by TV evangelists in USA unscrupulously ‘stolen’ from believers. And believe me, the amounts of tax-free ‘donations’ these religious thieves steal from the true believers are the only ‘awe’ inspiring thing about the capitalist religion of televangelists.

I was especially interested in the chapter in which the author, who is a biologist and supporter of the Darwinian theory of evolution, discusses his views on religion as a ‘by-product’ of something else. Once again evolution of the human species comes into play and indeed does make sense to me. A theory that posits a selective advantage to children’s brains that possess a  ‘rule of thumb’ in order to keep children safe and so preserve human life; e.g. the experience of previous generations. Obey your parents, obey your tribal elders, ‘especially when they adopt a solemn minatory tone.’ This makes perfect sense to me having been indoctrinated since infancy into Catholicism which ensures children do not question anything they are told, and never learn to think for themselves. It has perhaps allowed so many children to be sexually abused by clergy with impunity, for centuries. Believe, and obey without question!

I love Dawkins’ description: ‘The god of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant in all fiction: Jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak. A vindictive, blood thirsty, ethnic cleanser. A misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully!’  What chance do children have when  they are inculcated from infancy, to believe in, and fear, this vile father figure of a god?

Many scholars, including the author, are of the view that it’s the very moderate inculcation of religious teachings that inspire suicide bombers, and Dawkins discusses this at length. He also enlightens the reader on the many arguments that arise between creationists and atheists, and this was intriguing and at times gobsmacking that creationists actually believe such pie in the sky fairy tales in the face of proven and widely accepted scientific research and findings.

Scientists posit that we humans have evolved and so are products of natural selection; so ‘we should ask what pressure or pressures exerted by natural selection originally favoured the impulse to religion’ and Dawkins gives us compelling answers. The roots of morality and why we are good is also a riveting chapter and I urge all those who believe that religion acts as humanity’s ‘moral compass’ to at least read this chapter. Morality was a factor in human existence long before religions came into being. Dawkins asks  if our moral sense has a Darwinian origin, and he suggests that readers will find no surprises in this chapter if they are well read and open minded, which of course those indoctrinated with religious dogma throughout their childhoods very likely won’t be! In any case, writes Dawkins, his purpose in analysing scriptures is to demonstrate  that most religious people who claim to derive their morals from scripture do not really do so in practice. But, he adds, ‘suicide bombers obviously do.’

As Dawkins states, the Bible and Qur’an are ‘plain weird…as you would expect of chaotically cobbled together anthologies of disjointed documents composed, revised, translated, distorted and improved by hundreds of different authors, writers, copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning several centuries.’  He also discusses at length the Old Testament stories taken from much older mythologies, which I found especially interesting.

One of the most ridiculous statements Dawkins elicited from an interview with a well-known televangelist, was that he blamed the disastrous flooding of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, on a lesbian who lived in the city at the time. And he recalls the statement by a certain Anglican bishop, ‘thank god Jesus spoke the Queen’s English.’  Historic Mecca, the cradle of Islam is being buried in an unprecedented onslaught by religious zealots, but as Dawkins avows, there isn’t an atheist in the world  who would want to bulldoze Mecca or the Buddhas of Bamiyan,in the mountains of Afghanistan, for example.

And of course we all know that scriptures are blatantly misogynist and the author highlights relevant, horrific passages, full of rapes incest, sodomy, which would have been enough to add to my childhood nightmares if I’d read them at that time. For instance, in one chapter, two male angels (whatever they are) were sent to Sodom to warn Abraham’s nephew, Lot,  to leave that city. Lot invited the angels into his house and when all the men of Sodom gathered around outside and demanded that Lot hand over the angels so they could sodomise them, Lot refused and instead offered his two daughters ‘which have not known men’ to do with whatever they wanted. However, he warned them to do nothing to the two men whom he was protecting under his roof! Eventually Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt and Lot commits incest with his two daughters. Dawkins suggests here that parents do not use the bible to teach their children morality. It’s obvious that zealous protectors of the Bible and Qur’an cherry pick chapters pertaining to peace whenever it suits them, because neither of these books can support their claims  that their religion is a religion of peace and morality. Nothing could be further from the truth. And the latest ludicrous claim by some Muslim women that Islam is not only a religion of peace, but also a ‘feminist’ one, is laughable! And how does it help to engender equality of the sexes, when the men of Jewish faith pray and thank god every day, for not making them a woman?

Dawkins provides the reader with clear and concise reasons why he believes moderation in faith fosters fanaticism,  and I found his reasons for this perfectly feasible. He uses the phrase ‘moral zeitgeist’,  spirit of change, or ‘enlightened consensus’, of which the opposite is the dark side of religious absolutism or extremism. His point is, and this is important in 2017,  that even mild or moderate religion helps to provide the climate of faith in which extremism naturally flourishes. It goes without saying of course, that indoctrination begins in early childhood because parents inflict their religious beliefs onto their children.

In his book, Dawkins quotes respected journalist, Muriel Gray, writing in the Glasgow Herald, 24 July 2005, with reference to the London bombings: Everyone is being blamed, from the obvious villainous duo of George W Bush and Tony Blair, to the inaction of Muslim ‘communities’. But it has never been clearer that there is only one place to lay the blame and it has ever been thus. The cause of all this misery, mayhem, violence, terror and ignorance,  is of course religion itself, and it seems ludicrous to have to state such an obvious reality, the fact is that the government and the media are doing a pretty good job of pretending that it isn’t so.

Religious indoctrination and absolutism  has, in my humble opinion, allowed children of all Abrahamic religions to be sexually abused by their own paedophile clerical minders and others of their own faith. Dawkins writes: ‘More generally, (and  this applies to Christianity no less than to Islam), what is really pernicious is the practice of teaching children that faith itself is a virtue. Faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument. Teaching children that unquestioned  faith is a virtue primes them, given certain other ingredients that are not too hard to come by, to grow up into potentially lethal weapons for future jihads or crusades. Faith can be very dangerous, and  deliberately  to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong. It is purely and simply a violation of childhood by religion.’

Dawkins quotes another scholar, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity: The mantra, ‘Islam is peace’ is almost 1,400 years out of date. It was only for about 13 years that Islam was peace and nothing but peace…For today’s radical Muslims – just as for the mediaeval jurists who developed classical Islam, it would be truer to say ‘Islam is war’. One of the most radical Islamic groups in Britain, al-Ghurabaa, stated in the wake of the two London bombings, ‘Any Muslim that denies that terror is a part of Islam is kafir.’ A kafir is an unbeliever ( i.e. a non-Muslim), a term of gross insult…Could it be that the young men who committed suicide were neither  on the fringes of Muslim society in Britain, nor following an eccentric or extremist interpretation of their faith, but rather that they came from the very core of the Muslim community and were motivated by a mainstream interpretation of Islam?

Food for thought: Is the reason Muslims murder and torture those who criticise or make fun of Islam and their prophet, because they know that if Islam endures the same scholarly scrutiny that Christianity and Judaism have in recent decades,  that it will be revealed as the sham that it really is? I urge readers to place their Bible, Qur’an or Torah in their home library on shelves alongside other great classics of  literary fiction.

The other night I watched a news item showing a Muslim child, barely five years old, at a kindergarten, dressed in a black hijab and full length black dress….while the other children around her were dressed in pretty, colourful clothing, their pretty hair tied up in dainty ribbons and bows  …how is this conducive to a small child feeling a part of the community she lives in? And why do Muslim women insist on wearing clothing that makes them stand out from the crowd and attract negative and sometimes abusive reaction from extremists of other religions? Surely religion is a private matter to be celebrated at home or in a church or mosque?

-Anne Frandi-Coory 20 June 2017

Also here on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myhomelibrary/

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Zahra; what suffering lies behind those eyes?

We will never know the full extent of the physical and mental suffering of Zahra Baker.  Born in Brisbane, abandoned by her mother at two years, Zahra suffered and survived severe cancer, and was then taken to America by her father. Bad enough you would think.  There have been many platitudes given about Zahra, but the fact of the matter is that both  her parents failed her,  failed to protect  and nurture their daughter.

Zahra’s mother may have suffered from depression, but where was the rest of the extended family?  It must have  seemed to Zahra as though everyone in her family had deserted her; why else did she not have the confidence in them to write and tell them what was happening to her?  She believed no-one really cared. At five, Zahra lost her left  leg above the knee to bone cancer, and then she lost her hearing; she almost died in the struggle to overcome the disease.  Later, she had an operation for lung cancer and her recovery was very slow.  Just to survive that much in her first ten years is truly heroic.  Did her pain and suffering become too much of a burden for her mother, or was her mother too self-centred to care?  Perhaps she did not have enough support.

Zahra’s father, Adam Baker married an American woman he met on the internet,   and left Australia for good to live in America.  But for Zahra, her father’s decision to leave Australia, where Zahra’s medical treatment was free, for North Carolina, where it’s not, was stupid and selfish. The new Mrs Baker had no medical insurance and family members advised Adam not to go.  He had little money and his needy daughter was deprived of the regular medical care she needed.  There is no evidence that Adam Baker ever took Zahra to a doctor in America. The weak man that her father was, should never have left Australia with his daughter; her needs were great and should have come first.  Most dads would agree with that, no matter how lonely they might be.  Excuses just don’t cut it here.  Instead, Zahra was placed in the trailer-home world of a vicious step mother who began to beat and torment this defenceless child.  She was shifted from small town to small town. Zahra’s strength of character would prove her undoing; she didn’t complain to anyone.  However,  Adam Baker knew Zahra was suffering.  The North Carolina Department of Social Services admitted with some embarrassment that its staff had visited Zahra four times last year to investigate allegations of abuse by her stepmother.

Adam would not talk to News Limited this week, except to say that his first wife, Emily, Zahra’s mother, who was expressing her grief for Zahra back in Australia, had “never been a mother to Zahra”.  Well, he obviously had never been a father to Zahra. Adam Baker did not create the person that is Mrs Elisa Baker. But he would have known during his two years in North Carolina that his daughter was being neglected and ill treated. The most telling and troubling thing that has come out of this heartbreaking case, is that  Adam Baker  called the police fifteen days after  Zahra had gone  missing from his home.

Mrs Baker had beaten her own three children to the point where, in a bail hearing shortly after Zahra’s remains were found, Mrs Baker’s  daughter, Amber Fairchild, 25, testified her mother was a flight risk and a danger to her children. Mrs Baker has had  seven husbands – some in bigamist circumstances.  Shirley Mims lived right next door to the Bakers but only saw Zahra once, when they first moved in. “We never even knew a child lived there,” Mrs Mims says. “There was screaming, hollering, cussing – they were very violent. They were asked to leave.” In late 2009, Elisa, Adam and Zahra moved to a trailer home in Granite Falls, and the young girl was sent to the nearby Hudson Elementary school. It was then that Mrs Baker’s mistreatment of Zahra began attracting the attention of authorities, but Adam says he noticed nothing amiss.

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The two people who probably had more dealings with the family than anyone else in North Carolina were their trailer-park neighbours, Bobby Green and Kayla Rotenberry. “The whole time, everything Ms Baker ever told us about her life was nothing but lies,” said Ms Rotenberry.Every time something bad would happen to Zahra, Mrs Baker said it was best for Zahra. The reason Mrs Baker told people Zahra was confined to her room permanently was because she was a hospital baby, that she was used to it. Then Zahra appeared with a  black eye, which was also her fault. “Everything was Zahra’s fault.”  Mr Green got Adam a job working with him at Mark Coffey’s RealTree company, mulching, tree-lopping and landscaping, but Mrs Baker did not work. The neighbours say they never saw Mrs Baker hit Zahra, but they knew something was wrong.  “I got the feeling Zahra was scared,” says Mr Green. “One night, the Bakers had to go somewhere and they was gonna leave Zahra by herself. Ms Rotenberry said she could stay here with her”. Zahra never left Ms Rotenberry’s side all night.  “When we said, ‘There’s your mum and dad back home’, she ran and hid in the bedroom. She didn’t want to go home. The red flag started going up.”  The neighbours say they made no complaints because they had no evidence and they knew welfare was already involved. Mrs Baker’s own daughter, Amber, who also lived in the park, publicly attacked her mother for forcing Zahra to walk up the steep hill on her prosthetic leg, even though it was obviously causing the poor little girl great discomfort.  What Zahra wanted more than anything was a bike. Her step mother told her  she’d never get one unless she walked, hard, all the time.

Zahra; A short, tortured life

Residents living in the trailer park, complained to police that Mrs Baker was threatening them with violence when they questioned her treatment of Zahra.  Mrs Baker then moved out of the trailer park to Hickory, taking Zahra out of Hudson Elementary where she had completed fourth grade.  No-one ever saw Zahra at the new address, or ever again.   Adam Baker called the police to report his daughter missing.  His tone in that recorded call is flat, unengaged, matter-of-fact. He says he had last seen Zahra at 2.30am, when he checked on her. The 911 dispatcher sounds more shocked than Adam. Adam tells the dispatcher a garbled story about a ransom note, explaining that it seems the kidnappers thought the Coffeys lived at his address, and took the wrong child: Zahra.

Somehow, with the apparent threat of a kidnapping in the air, from 5.30am, Adam did not bother to check on Zahra until he made the 911 call at 2pm – 8 1/2 hours later.   Interviewed by police, Adam changed his story, saying he had not seen Zahra since Wednesday.

That afternoon, Mrs Baker failed a polygraph test. Asked whether she had hurt the child, whether she knew anyone who had hurt the child or whether she had written the ransom note, police assessed she had shown deception on all three answers.  On Monday, October 11, Adam Baker appeared on Good Morning America, pleading for information about his lost daughter. Later on the same day, Mrs Baker admitted to police that she had written the ransom note, saying she was “mad” at her landlord, Coffey. She was held on charges of obstructing justice, along with other outstanding warrants.

On November 19, Mrs Baker told Hickory police that Zahra had died on September 24 and had been cut up and dumped the following day. She said Adam dismembered Zahra and they both had disposed of her in various woodland locations around Granite Falls and Hudson, claims he denies.  Despite telling police he had not seen his daughter for a number of hours, then a few days, before reporting her disappearance, he finally told a Hickory TV station, immediately after Mrs Baker was charged, that he had not in fact really seen Zahra for some time.  His mother told the Herald Sun: “Adam was working long hours. He would go into Zahra’s room and [Mrs Baker] had made up the bed to make it look like she was in bed asleep.”   This means he didn’t talk to his sick little daughter, who was living in the same house, for 15 days.

It also means he slept in the house, on the evening of September 24, when Zahra was dead, and he came home on the evening of September 25, after she’d been dismembered and taken away, and noticed nothing.  Increasingly, it looks as though Mrs Baker had become an active meth user, if not distributor, in the Granite Falls and Hudson areas. There is speculation that police do not yet know how she killed Zahra. The girl’s remains that were found have told only the story of her dismemberment, with evidence that cutting tools were used on her body.  Zahra’s skull, which could reveal her cause of death, has not been found and is the likely reason why Mrs Baker is facing a second-degree murder charge, rather than first-degree, which in North Carolina carries the death penalty. Her indictment states she wilfully and with premeditation murdered Zahra.  As yet, no-one knows exactly how Zahra died.

Rest in Peace, Zahra.

See Post: Zahra, Daniel & Caylee No Summer Will They See (poem)

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The face of an evil stepmother: Elisa Baker

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Update 16 September 2011

Source: Herald Sun

 Zahra Baker’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, has pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering her body, WCNC-TV reported. Elisa Baker, 43, was charged with second-degree murder, and has since been sentenced to a maximum of 18 years in prison, with a minimum of 15 years. Adam Baker has been cleared of any involvement in his daughter’s murder.

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Adam Baker: a weak man who probably did love his daughter

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Zahra Baker may have been raped by associates of Elisa Baker,  in North Carolina before she was killed and dismembered, according to court documents. Zahra was probably murdered to cover up her sexual abuse and rape.

The information was contained in search warrants issued in connection with the case that were unsealed by a judge today in the US state of North Carolina. This information would not have been revealed at the trial unless the plea bargain of second-degree murder was agreed to.

In one warrant, a source told police they had information that two men raped Zahra – and when asked if those same men killed her, the source said: “They might have hit her in the head,” The Charlotte Observer reported. It was claimed one of the men had a relationship with Elisa Baker, Zahra’s stepmother.

The documents released today also revealed Elisa Baker’s lawyer told police that remains might be found in the bathtub of the home where the Baker family lived in Hickory, North Carolina, 93km northwest of Charlotte. When police searched the home they removed drain pipes and traps looking for blood, along with sections of a wall.

A mattress with a dark stain on it was recovered from the home, while Elisa Baker told police she and Adam Baker had discarded another mattress at a dump in Granite Falls. Elisa Baker previously provided information to police as to where they should direct their search for Zahra.It was also revealed her dismembered body was concealed in a bed comforter and car cover, and discarded in a skip behind a grocers, according to court documents released overnight.

Elisa Baker had directed investigators to the Fox Ridge apartments in Hickory. Through her lawyer, she admitted that she and Adam Baker wrapped Zahra’s prosthetic leg in a white trash bag and threw it in the apartment skip.  On October 10, a dog trained in recovery of bodies gave a positive alert for the presence of human remains in or on two vehicles at the Baker home in Hickory.  Zahra’s prosthetic leg was recovered at the first site and later a bone, identified as belonging to Zahra, was recovered.

Zahra’s biological parents, Adam Baker and Emily Deitrich, have pleaded for Elisa Baker to give them more information to enable them locate the rest of Zahra’s remains, including her skull. Meanwhile, a memorial for Zahra that was to be held on Thursday local time has been rescheduled to a later date, The Hickory Record reported. The family asked that the date remain private.

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Zahra Baker Law Passed In North Carolina

Updated 14 November 2014  

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Paedophile Priests Sent Abroad…….yes, children are still being sexually abused by Catholic Priests and yes the Vatican is still shifting them to poorer countries! 

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A message for Pope Francis:  

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pope francis

 

Get your own palace (The Vatican) in order before you preach to the rest of the world about peace and kindness. As far as I can see, you have done nothing different to any other pope before you, when it comes to transparency about the Catholic Church’s scourge of clerical child sex abuse!

Paedophile priests are still being shuffled around the globe, this time to Africa, Asia, South America etc. Until we see paedophile priests defrocked, convicted and sent to prison, your words are just empty words.

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Britain Pope

Kiss of Betrayal

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This photo is disgusting in light of the Vatican’s cover up of the sexual abuse of thousands of children and the protection of paedophile priests. Just wait for the time bomb of huge numbers of abused children to explode over the next few years in countries such as Africa and parts of Asia.  Children are now being abused in developing countries where these rapist priests have free reign after being exiled from America, Australia, Canada, Ireland etc, to escape conviction.  But not only children suffer from this insidious clerical abuse.  It was revealed in 2001 that predator priests sent to Africa, forced themselves on nuns, because they were free from Aids/Hiv virus.  Convents stripped the abused nuns of their vows and evicted them from the convent with no means of support.  Of course, the offending priests were free to continue their abuse.  Anyone like me who was indoctrinated into the Catholic faith from infancy, will know first hand the adoration which nuns bestow on priests.  So, like children, they are powerless and vulnerable in the hands of a  priest intent on his own sexual gratification.

The Vatican has a priority list when in damage control and spin: Protect its wealth, priests and reputation. Women and Children’s welfare is not considered! The hypocrisy is sickening.

Guido Cagnacci: Allegory of Human Life (1601-1663)

Updated 16 November 2013 … The Italian painter Guido Cagnacci encompasses it all in his beautiful painting which depicts the “cyclical regeneration of life out of death”.  He knew the realities of life and death.  His nude woman was the personification of beauty and fecundity, fundamental to the eternal  cycle of life and  the antithesis  of patriarchal  Catholicism. The Church created the dichotomy of the female; the virginal mother vs the whore.  Easy to commit ‘sins’ against the worthless latter and be forgiven in the confessional.  Within the flawed doctrine of Catholicism this is implicit.

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See posts: Are We But  a Flock of  Sheep? & Saint?  Pope?

& Australian Royal Commision into The Institutional Sexual Abuse of Children

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The power brokers behind the Vatican machine are very astute.  Every so often they target some obscure person for beatification; the penultimate  stage before sainthood.  They don’t have to pay millions of dollars for publicity and enhancement of Catholicism because it is all free once this ‘news’ is released to the Global Media.  But the global congregation is growing weary of the sheer numbers of abused children.  The Dead Sea Scrolls have revealed that so much of Christianity is based on fantasy. The latest canonisation  into sainthood scams regarding the 19th Century cardinal John Henry Newman and Sister Mary MacKillop are nothing but   pathetic attempts at diversion from the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by Catholic clergy around the world and especially the latest discoveries in Belgium.  This has been going on for centuries but in the past the Church always covered it up.  Priests’ sexual gratification and its secrecy was paramount;  children’s welfare wasn’t an issue.  The Church just ignored the abuse and shifted the offending priests around the parishes where they carried on with their proclivities.   Perhaps The Church’s fantastical teachings made it easy for priests to delude themselves into believing that they weren’t really having sex with their victims.  It was women, those evil temptresses they had to avoid.  I cannot believe that the problem is solely down to paedophilia.  It is much more psychologically complicated than that.

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Sexually abused children suffer and grow into adults who continue to suffer for the rest of their lives, that is if they haven’t committed suicide; and by the way, suicide is another sin in the eyes of the Church so the victims are condemned to “go to hell” as if they haven’t already been there. In some cases priests refuse to bury them!   Little Boys are as fair game as little girls; in the latest investigations into the Belgium abuse cases involving Catholic clergy,  girls and boys from two years of age were repeatedly raped.  Celibacy is a joke and the Vatican’s continued stance on celibacy, that Jesus was celibate,  is rubbish; he married twice and fathered children.  His second wife was called Lydia, but Mary Magdalene, his first wife, was always labelled by The Church as a prostitute and Mary, mother of Jesus, was promoted to the pedestal of sainthood and mother of God because, The Church’s doctrine would have us believe,   hers  was an Immaculate Conception.  Some parts of Catholicism were taken from paganism so they had to have a replacement for the ancient  mother goddess such as the Babylonian Ishtar.  In the grottos around the Middle East whatever figurine of a goddess was in residence,  was removed and replaced with a statue of the Virgin Mary.

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(See my book ‘Whatever Happened to Ishtar? – A Passionate Quest To Find Answers For Generations Of Defeated Mothers‘).

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Previous Post: Scandal in the ADF

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7 News Item: Pregnant Nun Image Sparks Outrage:

Pregnant nun image sparks outrage
An ice cream advertisement featuring a pregnant nun has been banned in the UK, media reports say. The Italian ice cream brand Antonio Federici launched the magazine campaign with the attached tagline text: “Immaculately conceived … Ice cream is our religion.” According to the British Advertising Standards Authority it reportedly received 10 (is that all?) complaints from magazine readers who said the ad was offensive to Christians, especially those who practice Catholicism. “We concluded that to use such an image in a light hearted way to advertise ice-cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith.” an official statement from the ASA says. A UK advertising watchdog says the imagery used to illustrate Immaculate Conception was likely to be seen as mocking Catholic beliefs. The Italian company said the ad, featuring in The Lady and Grazia magazines, aimed to gently satirise religion and that the notion of conception represented the creation of their ice cream product. Where’s the outrage about predatory priests? one person asks in the comments section of the news item.

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