God News?
(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 061806)

But of course, people generally go to
church or synagogue or mosque or
temple or other place of religious gath-
ering to hear their God news, albeit
much of that is simply a reflection of
ancient superstition, and the rest is
simply a reflection of modern spin on
ancient superstition.

So, when it comes to God news, folks
can basically invent whatever they wish,
sticking the God word on, well, anything
that promotes the idea that God is not
make believe.

Here is some recent God news you're
not likely to hear about at any place of
worship, unless, of course, it's used in
spin-mode to try to support religious faith
(no matter what) as a good ...

- - -
Zoo lion kills man who invokes God
By correspondents in Kiev
June 05, 2006

- - -

A man shouting that God would keep
him safe was mauled to death by a lion-
ess in Kiev zoo after he crept into the
animal's enclosure, a zoo official said
on today.

"The man shouted 'God will save me,
if he exists', lowered himself by a rope
into the enclosure, took his shoes off
and went up to the lions," the official

"A lioness went straight for him, knocked
him down and severed his carotid artery."

The incident, yesterday evening when
the zoo was packed with visitors, was
the first of its kind at the attraction. Lions
and tigers are kept in an "animal island"
protected by thick concrete blocks.

- - -
Religion Running Roughshod
Over Cancer Science

Posted on Jun 11, 2006

By Gene Gerard

- - -


The Food and Drug Administration advisory
panel approved a vaccine for the human
papilloma virus (HPV) last week. The vaccine
appears to be 100% effective at protecting
against the most prevalent viruses that cause
cervical cancer.

While public health professionals view the
vaccine as miraculous, many conservative
organizations oppose it on the grounds that
it might encourage promiscuity among adol-
escent girls.

Now that the FDA has approved the vaccine,
conservatives are already working feverishly
[ http://feministing.com/archives/005183.html ]
to limit or even prevent its use.

The pharmaceutical giant Merck produced
the vaccine, known as Gardasil, which will
be nothing short of a lifesaver for countless

Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent
cancer killer among women in America, striking
nearly 14,000 each year.

Of those, nearly 4,000 die.


- - -
Whose Silence?

By Richard Cohen

Jun 7, 2006, 08:14
- - -


... what, I have to ask, did the pope mean
by what he said at Auschwitz?

Pope Benedict XVI went late last month to
that place where 1.5 million people, mostly
Jews, were murdered -- that memorial to
the very worst in mankind, that factory whose
sole product was death, and this is what he
said: "In a place like this, words fail. In the
end, there can only be a dread silence --
a silence which is itself a heartfelt cry to
God. Why, Lord, did you remain silent?
How could you tolerate all this?"


He said more or less what I did after visiting
Auschwitz-Birkenau -- and before that, Tre-
blinka, and afterward, Buchenwald and Ter-
ezin. He said what I said after reading a shelf
of books on the Holocaust and listening to
the stories of survivors: "Why, Lord, did you
remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

Only I put it differently. Where were you, God?
I don't think You were silent. I don't even think
You were there.

Religious people can wrestle with the pope's
remarks. What does it mean that God was
silent? That He approved? That He liked what
He saw? That He didn't give a damn? You tell

And what does it mean that He could "tolerate
all this"? That the Nazis were okay by Him?
That even the murder of Catholic clergy was
no cause for intercession? I am at a loss to
explain this. I cannot believe in such a God.

This is a God who was away from his desk or
something and did not notice the plumes of
human ash reaching to the heavens them-
selves. Is that what the pope wants us to

No, I think it is something even worse: If God
was silent, who could blame the church for
being silent, too? Is that what Benedict is
saying? If so, he is continuing the tradition
of saying nothing.

I know Holocaust survivors who are religious.
I don't understand it. I know others who feel
that Auschwitz is proof that there is no God.
I understand that. I am sure there are people
who feel that way about Biafra or Rwanda or
even Hurricane Katrina. I can understand all
of that, too.

I give Benedict some credit. Not from him
do we get the inane God of American opti-
mism, the deity of American politics who is
always compassionate and on our side and
will make everything just wonderful if only we
put our faith in him.

This is the Chamber of Commerce God of
George W. Bush and sometimes, when Bush
talks that way, I want to scream "Auschwitz!"
at him. Auschwitz! Mr. President, have you
ever heard of Auschwitz?

Rome is beautiful, as always, and the monu-
ments and buildings raised in the name of
religion are stunning, as always, and I want
to go directly to the Vatican, bang on the
pope's door and demand that he answer
my questions. But I imagine he would look
at me with pity because I hear nothing but
silence and he, buoyed by faith, just listens