THEIST_WATCH Msg : 109 Written : 10/03/94 12:37am From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : RcA

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THEIST_WATCH Msg : 109 Written : 10/03/94 12:37am From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : RcA To : ALL Subj : Religion and the Indian Plague RELIGION AND THE INDIAN PLAGUE So far, over 300 people have died in India due to an outbreak of the plague. And wouldn't you know that this is connected to another example of how religion harms mankind? It seems that many people in India worship the rat, because in Hindu mythology the elephant-headed god Ganesh is accompanied by a rat in his travels. Offerings are routinely made to the rodent, and few will willingly kill one. In fact, even at Indian airports, rats are routine. Last year, Air India had to postpone three flights to Toyko, New York, and London when rats were found in the cockpits of the planes. In Calcutta, Hindus flock to city parks to feed the tens of thousands of rats that live there. Rats are estimated to eat neary one-quarter of the produce of India. But still they are not killed because it would be a "sin" to kill the companion of the god Ganesh. Instead, householders capture the rats and release them. In fact, there is a temple in the desert tsate of Rajastan devoted to the worship of rats. THEIST_WATCH Msg : 146 Written : 10/27/94 12:35pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To : ALL Subj : Xtian doctors against euthanasia The Christian Medical and Dental Society has declared its opposition to Moregon's Measure 16, a bill which would allow physician-assisted suicides under certain conditions. According to the group's director, Dr. David Stevens, "Measure 16 would be a fatal mistake. No doctor should be entrusted with the power to kill. Our mission as physicians is to heal and ease pain -- not to play God." The real reason to oppose the measure is more than secular, however, according to Dr. Stevens. He notes that "As Christian physicians, we believe that God has created each individual in His image, making each human life sacred and of incredible worth. At the heart of the current debate is not relief of suffering -- advances in pain medication now provide extensive relief for terminal patients. The real issue is the sanctity and value of human life." Which means, we presume, that one should suffer for Jesus' sake. The Christian Medical and Dental Society was founded in 1931. It coordinates the efforts of 100,000 individuals to sponsor Christian outreach in 150 medical and dental schools. Source: PR Newswire, 10/26/94 --Robin Murray-O'Hair, Sysop, American Atheists Online * WCE 2.0/2394 * Religion is Myth-Information THEIST_WATCH Msg : 147 Written : 10/27/94 06:08pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To : ALL Subj : Measles and the Catholic Church Religious belief does no practical harm in today's world? You had better not believe that. On Wednesday, October 26, Father Leo Chamberlain announced that students in his school would not participate in a national vaccination campaign in Britain. Chamberlain is the headmaster of Ampleforth College; located in North Yorkshire, England, it is one of the leading private Roman Catholic schools of England. And why will the children under his care no longer be protected from these diseases? Has he health concerns about the vaccines? No, not at all. It seems that part of these vaccines were derived from the tissue of an aborted fetus over 20 years ago. And hence they are "unethical." Speaking on a television program, Headmaster Chamberlain said that "If you murder someone 20 years ago, it is still murder. . . . An absolute respect for human life requires the condemnation of direct abortion and a refusal to benefit from the product of an evil action." The boys attending his school will be offered only an alternative "measles-only" vaccine, offering them no protection from mumps or rubella. Since the goal of women is to bear children, however, he is allowing girls at his school to receive the vaccine because rubella and German Measles may endanger pregnancy. The World Health Organization predicts that there may be a measles epidemic next year. TO prepare for the problem, the British government is attempting to vaccinate 7 million schoolchildren. Britain's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth Calman, warns that because many British schoolchildren are not vaccinated, "there is a strong likelihood of a measles epidemic in this country. It is predicted that the epidemic would be the largest we have experienced since the early 1980s, involving upto 200,000 cases in England and Wales, mostly in school age children." There is no fetal tissue in the rubella vaccine, but a Department of Health official acknowledged that "The cell culture was originally derived in the 1960s from a small number of cells taken from a foetus. But the pregnancy had been terminated on medical grounds. There is no question of new foetal tissue being used in the vaccine for this champaign." Apparently, all rubella vaccines are grown in a cell culture whose cells are call MRC5. This cell line was developed from an original 1966 culture taken from a fetus. Measles can cause pneumonia, blindness, deafness, and brain damage and can be fatal. --Robin Murray-O'Hair, Sysop, American Atheists Online * WCE 2.0/2394 * Save you? God can't even cure acne! THEIST_WATCH Msg : 152 Written : 10/28/94 09:44pm From : ALBERT HIMOE Status : Rcd RcA To : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Subj : Sen. Harkin, alternative medicine, and prayer I just received the October Newsletter. The "Killing Children" story revealed Sen. Harkin's (D-Iowa) role in putting a provision in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriation bill, barring HHS from denying child abuse aid to states which do not provide medical treatment to children whose parents have withheld medical care for religious reasons, mostly Christian Scientists. This reminded me of Sen. Harkin's role in getting the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) established, which recently granted $30,000 for a study of the role of prayer to control drug abuse (mentioned in this Conference a few weeks ago). The politics of the establishment of OAM was described in a story in Science a few weeks ago (Sept. 30, 1994), and may be of some interest. Briefly Sen. Harkin believes that he was cured of his allergies by taking capsules of "bee pollen" obtained from his friend and former Congressman, Berkeley Bedell, a successful Iowa businessman. Harkin was then instrumental in getting the NIH to set up the OAM and obtaining $3.5 funding for it ($6 for fiscal 1995). Harkin and Bedell's idea is that the agency would do quick studies on "alternative therapies" to see whether they worked or not, dispensing with such frills as "fancy statistics or double-blinded controls". The result of this was that OAM gave out 30 $30,000 grants to investigate "alternative therapies". The prayer study was one of the 30. THEIST_WATCH Msg : 154 Written : 10/30/94 02:58pm From : ROBIN MURRAY-O'HAIR Status : To : ALL Subj : Christian Medical and Dental Society CHRISTIAN MEDICAL AND DENTAL SOCIETY The Christian Medical and Dental Society was in the news this week over its opposition to right-to-die laws, but what is the CMDS? About 9000 doctors and dentists belong to the 63-year-old, interdenominational organization. Its annual budget is $3 million, with most of its income coming from dues and donations. Each year it sends 1500 medical workers and volunteers on 50 two-week volunteer programs. In addition, the society sponsors worldwide missionaries, and "encourages medical students and doctors to practice their faith, on the job and off." It opposes euthanasia, surrogate motherhood, and abortion, except to save the mother's life. The general director of the society, Dr. David Stevens, claims, "The bottom line is, we need to change the physicians, the nurses, the people that provide the care. Physicians need to be more than just people that provide physical healing, but also those who can give spiritual counseling. . . . When people come into a physician's office, they're thinking about serious things and they're ready for change in the way they behave, in the lifestyles. Christian physicians are in an ideal place to share more than just pills, more than just surgery, but to share something that means more to them than their profession. That's their faith in Jesus Christ." In other words, buyer beware. It is a good idea to ask a new physician if his or her practice is limited in its services by the physician's religious beliefs, or if the practitioner will be "witnessing." SOURCE: AP, 10/20/94 --Robin Murray-O'Hair, Sysop, American Atheists Online *********************************************************************** * * * American Atheists website: * * PO Box 140195 FTP: * * Austin, TX 78714-0195 * * Voice: (512) 458-1244 Dial-THE-ATHEIST: * * FAX: (512) 467-9525 (512) 458-5731 * * * * Atheist Viewpoint TV: * * Info on American Atheists:, * * & American Atheist Press include your name and mailing address * * AANEWS -Free subscription: * * 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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