Freethought Today · April 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.


The here and now is all you have, and if you play it right, it’s all you need.

The late Texas Gov. Ann Richards, quoted and portrayed by Holland Taylor in the one-woman show “Ann” at Lincoln Center

New York Times, 3-8-13


Halfway into their two-week annual meeting, delegates to the [U.N.] Commission on the Status of Women fear they will not be able to agree on a final communique, just like last year. Who is to blame? Delegates and activists are pointing fingers at the Vatican, Iran and Russia for trying to eliminate language in a draft communique asserting that the familiar excuses — religion, custom, tradition — cannot be used by governments to duck their obligation to eliminate violence.

Editorial, “Unholy Alliance: The Vatican, Iran and Russia work to block global standards on protecting women”

New York Times, 3-12-13


Violence against women must be seen as a human rights issue, and that has nothing to do with culture or religion.

Inga Marta Thorkildsen, Norway’s gender equality minister

New York Times, 3-12-13


Catholicism has never excelled at letting nonbelievers live as they believe they should. The right to legal abortion, for one, will be a ruthless field of that battle: “Our” pope will surely never allow his own country, where legal abortion remains severely limited, to set a bad example. Here, as everywhere, the Vatican is a main lobbying force for conservative, even reactionary, issues. An Argentine pope can bring this power to uncharted heights.

“God Is an Argentine,” op-ed by novelist Martin Caparros

New York Times, 3-15-13


Americans don’t appreciate the vast powers that investigating magistrates have in Europe. It only takes one who wants to make a name for him or herself to issue an arrest warrant for the former pope.

Nicholas Cafardi, canon lawyer and professor at Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh, “Victims raise legal questions about retired pope”

WTOP, 3-5-13


One-Lung Rabbi Feels Kinship With One-Lung Pope

Headline on news story about Pope Francis I and Henry Jay Karp, rabbi at Temple Emanuel synagogue, Davenport, Iowa

ABC News, 3-14-13

I’d pity the poor lady who is married to a Catholic priest. Catholics have very high demands on their priests.

Joseph Whittel, pastor at St. Paul in Chains Catholic Church, Waterford, Conn., where the previous pastor was arrested for possessing child pornography

Waterford Patch, 3-14-13


People like to read small, happy messages while sitting on the toilet. The vast majority of the feedback has been positive. Our intention was to spread love and joy, not religious messages.

Christina von Trampe, spokeswoman for a Finnish company criticized for putting bible quotes on Lambi brand toilet paper

Reuters, 3-4-13


People with Parkinson’s disease even have a tendency to lose their interest in religion — a change more readily considered philosophical than pathological. According to research by Patrick McNamara, Ph.D., of Boston University School of Medicine, people with PD report significantly lower levels of interest in religion. Brain scans show that this lack of interest coincides with changes in the prefrontal cortex but does not correlate with depression, age, education, intelligence or medication.

Article, “Losing Religion?”

Neurology Now, Dec. 2012/Jan. 2013


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Statement of a new group at Texas Christian University [mascot, Horned Frogs] seeking recognition from the Fort Worth school

Facebook, 2-28-13


Extensive discrimination by governments against atheists, humanists and the nonreligious occurs worldwide.

Statement to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, which has 120 member bodies in 45 countries

Reuters, 2-25-13

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