THEIST_WATCH Msg : 25 Written : 07/03/94 07:12pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To :

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THEIST_WATCH Msg : 25 Written : 07/03/94 07:12pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To : ALL Subj : Thank God for Measles You can thank god -- and religion -- for the largest outbreak of measles in the United States since 1992. On Thursday, June 30, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an outbreak of measles began on April 4 when an unvaccinated 14-year-old girl returned to Illinois from a trip to Colorado, where there was a small measles outbreak at that time. While living in Illinois near Principia College, she commuted each day to school in St. Louis County, Missouri. Within a month, 141 persons in St. Louis Country and 49 people living at or near Principia College were diagnosed with measles. What's the religion connection? The girl attended a Christian Science day school in Missouri, and Principia College is an institution where all the faculty, staff, and students are Christian Scientists. Of the 190 cases of measles, only 2 involved non-Christian Scientists. All the victims were unvaccinated. This is not the first time that measles has hit Principia College. There were measles outbreaks there in 1978, 1980, 1985, and 1989. Three students died during the 1985 outbreak. Christian Science advocates the sole use of "spiritual healing," that is, prayer. And state laws allow parents to claim a religious exemption from vaccination laws. THEIST_WATCH Msg : 29 Written : 07/03/94 07:51pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To : ALL Subj : Baptism a Health Hazard It seems that even men of the cloth are admitting that traditional baptisms can be a health hazard. Traditionally, American evangelical churches have baptized members in creeks and rivers. But now our waters are so polluted that many pastors are switching to indoor ceremonies. As Jame Kelly Caudill of Tom's Creek Free Will Baptist Church in Nappa, Kentucky, put it recently, "There's none of them [creeks] fit to baptize a dog in, to be honest with you." It seems that the Christian god just can't keep the rivers and creeks clean enough for true believers now that open dumping and raw sewage is being put into creeks. According to the EPA's National Water Quality Inventory, 29 percent of U.S. stream miles are at least partially unfit for swimming because of pollution. The Kentucky water division claims that 52 percent of stream miles in that state are "at least somewhat impaired." Or perhaps Pastor Dick VanHoose of the Salyersville Free Will Baptist Church in Kentucky puts it best: "My reasoning [for discontinuing outside baptisms] was if you walk into a river or stream and you've got dead animals, you've got open sewers and all other types of debris, that just in my opinion makes it unsafe to take someone for a water baptism." But not everyone agrees. Elder Joe Evans of the Church of Jesus Christ of Old Regular Baptists in Delbarton, WV, says simply, "Don't mind the stuff that's in it [the water]. It's not what baptism is all about -- to clean your body .. . Jesus has nothing to do with pollution." Ah, blind faith. THEIST_WATCH Msg : 42 Written : 07/21/94 05:33pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To : ALL Subj : Prayer Bad for Health Atheists always knew that prayer was bad for your mental health. But now a near study suggests it causes arthritis. In a report released Wednesday, July 20, Dr. Cyrus Cooper and Dr. David Coggon of the environmental epidemiology unit of the University of Southampton in England reported that ministers, nuns, and priests are among those most at risk of getting arthitis in the knee joints. The study was based on 2000 people. Also at high risk are carpet fitters and construction workers. Apparently, kneeling to pray for long periods puts the knee cap under strain and wears away at the protective cartilage. Now, the question is, if there is a Christian god: 1. Is he so dumb that he would tell people to pray in such a way that it would injure them, knowing that it would because (a) he is all-knowing and (b) he made them that way? 2. Is he so indifferent that he would not "heal" those who pray to him most? *********************************************************************** * * * American Atheists website: http://www.atheists.org * * PO Box 140195 FTP: ftp://ftp.atheists.org * * Austin, TX 78714-0195 * * Voice: (512) 458-1244 Dial-THE-ATHEIST: * * FAX: (512) 467-9525 (512) 458-5731 * * * * Atheist Viewpoint TV: avtv@atheists.org * * Info on American Atheists: info@atheists.org, * * & American Atheist Press include your name and mailing address * * AANEWS -Free subscription: aanews-request@listserv.atheists.org * * and put "info aanews" in message body * * * * This text may be freely downloaded, reprinted, and/other * * otherwise redistributed, provided appropriate point of * * origin credit is given to American Atheists. * * * ***********************************************************************

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