National Avenue Assembly of God will host a Halloween alternative this weekend that is meant to give young people a new way of looking at issues of today. "Eternal Nightmare" will feature walk-through scenes that depict "the horrors of drugs, alcohol, abortion, self-mutilation" and more, said the Rev. Jim Cookson, pastor of the church.
The final scene will present the story of Jesus Christ as the answer to those horrors ... This is the fourth year the church has presented the program.
Herouxville Coun. André Drouin said the Charter of Rights and Freedoms must be changed to drop protections for religion, or provinces like Quebec should separate and adopt their own rules.
"If there is some kind of religious accommodation to be asked or to be given, don't ask us, ask your God," Mr. Drouin said.
While Herouxville has been ostracized in some quarters, it was also clear Wednesday that the town's residents are not alone in thinking the protection of personal and religious rights is a threat to Quebec's francophone, secular culture. Many other presenters, including academics, feminists and Quebec nationalists, mentioned the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as enabling religion to creep into secular society.
On the flip side, and not to be lightly dismissed of course, are arguments such as :
"It's another way to say, 'We don't want Muslims,'" said Muslim woman Asmaa Ibnouzahir, a Montrealer. "For them, all Muslims are related to stoning, genital mutilation. They're saying, ‘We want people to come to Herouxville who look like us, who don't look different, because we don't like differences.'"
"We're pretty far from stoning here," commission head Gerard Bouchard said flatly.
This second point is certainly true ; the first is a more generalized, wishful and fear-mongering approach that borders on the absurd accusation of "islamophobia." The point missed by both objections, however, is that our best hope for keeping the stonings and mutilations at bay is to simplify the rules by maintaining a clear, firm and non-negotiable separation between Church and State.
Activists are marking the 12th year of detention for Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in a series of protests taking place in 12 cities. In the Thai capital, Bangkok, a small group gathered outside the Chinese embassy, dressed in chains and wearing masks of Ms Suu Kyi, chanting: "Free, free, Aung San Suu Kyi." Other cities involved in the protests include London, Paris, Brasilia, New York, and Cape Town.
A woman testified that she began having sex with Sean Buckingham when she was 19, only a few months after giving birth to her second child ... to feed her addiction she agreed to oral sex and intercourse in exchange for prescriptions ... on several occasions, she said, Buckingham picked her up after Narcotics Anonymous meetings ...
There is something seriously wrong with this headline -- not the least of which is the fact that it's accurate.
In a 2001 article in The Washington Post, Susan Orr, the new chief of family planning services at the Department of Health and Human Services, applauded a Bush proposal to stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees to cover a broad range of birth control.
Now her job is distributing birth control. I wonder if her health insurance plan includes unlimited condoms?
In South Florida, 34 percent of the gas stations inspected in the past three years had at least one gas pump that failed accuracy tests ... The Sun-Sentinel analyzed state inspection reports from 2004 to 2006. The analysis found 580 of more than 2,500 stations in South Florida had at least one pump dispensing more gas than customers paid to purchase, while 477 provided less fuel than they should.
So let's start with why we're angry. Or rather -- because this is my blog and I don't presume to speak for all atheists -- why I'm angry.
I'm angry that atheist conventions have to have extra security, including hand-held metal detectors and bag searches, because of fatwas and death threats ... that evangelical Christian groups are being given exclusive access to proselytize on military bases ... that it took until 1961 for atheists to be guaranteed the right to serve on juries, testify in court, or hold public office in every state in the country ... I'm angry about what happened to Galileo. Still. And I'm angry that it took the Catholic Church until 1992 to apologize for it ... I'm angry at preachers who tell women in their flock to submit to their husbands because it's the will of God, even when their husbands are beating them within an inch of their lives ... especially angry that so many believers treat prayer as a cosmic shopping list ... I get angry when religious believers base their entire philosophy of life on what is, at best, a hunch ... when believers glorify religious faith without evidence as a positive virtue, and then continue to accuse atheists of being close-minded and ignoring the obvious truth ... I'm angry that I have to know more about their fucking religion than the believers do. I get angry when believers say things about the tenets and texts of their religion that are flatly untrue, and I have to correct them on it ...
Le mouvement de grève et de protestation, jeudi 18 octobre, contre la réforme des régimes spéciaux de retraite semblait devoir être largement suivi. A la demande de l'ensemble de leurs syndicats, les employés des secteurs des transports publics et de l'énergie sont appelés à la grève.
Nicolas Sarkozy's iron will to face down trade unions and modernise France meets its first test today as a national strike threatens to paralyse public transport, shut down the Paris Opera and disrupt fans travelling to the Rugby World Cup.
Dubbed "Black Thursday" by unions, Parisian commuters face at least 24 hours of chaos and cities across France will be left without viable transport as workers take to the streets for the first time over the president's reforms.
Remember last spring, when Canadian-born artist Cosimo Cavallaro sent people into a blinding rage when the Lab Gallery in midtown Manhattan displayed his sculpture called "My Sweet Lord" in a ground-floor window? Well, heeeeeee's baaaaaack.
The life-sized sculpture will be included as part of the "Chocolate Saints Sweet Jesus" show at the Proposition Gallery in Chelsea timed to coincide with All Saints Day on November 1. The show also will feature eight chocolate sculptures of Catholic saints.
And don't forget the best part of all :
The art space is expected to mail invitations next week featuring a "scratch n' sniff" on the breasts of a likeness of the Virgin Mary.
REGINA --A wife's nickname for her husband has been deemed offensive. "Diablo" is a pet name for William Harris, given to him by his wife ... for his birthday, she went to Saskatchewan Government Insurance to get a vanity plate made up with the nickname.
When Harris called to inquire about the plate, he was told it wouldn't be issued because it was considered improper. Oddly enough, the plate "666" had been issued, according to both SGI and Harris.
Most of the shock, according to Harris, was due to the fact that it is possible to buy many things in the province that are named Diablo, which is Spanish for "devil." "I can buy a car, I can buy the game," said Harris. "The government seems to have no problem making a buck off the taxes of those things."
MADISON, Wis. - Members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation's largest group of atheists and agnostics, are gathered this weekend for nonprayer breakfasts and raffles for God-free currency at the group's 30th annual convention.
The foundation, based in Madison since its founding in the 1970s and boasting 11,300 members, has helped give Wisconsin's capital a reputation as a city filled with heathens ... "You expect those people to be communing with Satan," Bill O'Reilly once said.
The foundation is a watchdog group that advocates for the separation of church and state and promotes free thought ... The group has grown more than 50 percent from last year, co-president Dan Barker said. He credits an advertising campaign and publicity surrounding its high-profile lawsuit that challenged President Bush's faith-based initiative.
SIM Jae-Duck was born in a toilet and now he plans to live and die in one - a $US1.6 million toilet-shaped house designed to promote his tireless campaign for cleaner loos worldwide.
Mr Sim will open what is billed as the world's one and only toilet house on November 11 to mark the launch of his World Toilet Association. Mr Sim's birth in a public toilet was in line with traditional beliefs.
"It was intentional. My mother followed advice from my grandmother that people born in restrooms will enjoy long lives," said the 74-year-old.
Mr Sim's campaign began during his term as Suweon mayor from 1995 to 2002. His drive to transform toilets into "clean and beautiful resting places imbued with culture" earned him the nickname "Mayor Toilet".
And just in case you were wondering : yes, he does rent it out. For $50,000 (US) a day. Don't forget to flush.
"I can't believe this crap," Scott A. Masters said. And you can believe this 41-year-old resident of Farmington, Missouri. He's accused of shoplifting a doughnut and "pushing a store worker who tried to stop him ... with that shove, his shoplifting turned into a strong-arm robbery."
The "doughnut man," as the suspect is now known, faces five to 15 years in prison for his crime. Masters, who appeared in court Friday, is stunned. The prosecutor shows no signs of backing down. In fact, because Masters has a prior record, he could get a sentence of 30 years to life.
Just for the record, it cost 52 cents "and Masters never got a chance to enjoy that fateful doughnut. He said he threw it to the ground when he fled."
MONTGOMERY, Ala - The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a challenge to Alabama's ban on the sale of sex toys ... Sherri Williams, owner of Pleasures stores in Huntsville and Decatur, said she was disappointed, but plans to sue again on First Amendment free speech grounds.
"My motto has been they are going to have to pry this vibrator from my cold, dead hand. I refuse to give up," she said.
Alabama's anti-obscenity law, enacted in 1998, bans the distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary value." The law does not ban the possession of sex toys. Residents may legally purchase sex toys out of state for use in Alabama.
Of course, if you happen to be in Alabama and absolutely need to purchase sex toys, be careful which state you travel to ...
Similar laws have been upheld in Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas.