I’m amused by the Noah’s Ark replica Johan Huibers hopes to show off in London during the 2012 Olympics. His ambition to get pairs of animals into it might be a hell of a lot more fun to watch than the actual Olympics. He’s never going to get 2 million species on there, either, so if he actually wants to prove Noah did just that, he might do the atheists a favour.
I saw a book at the library (name escapes me but I’ll see if I can find it again and update this part) written by the lead singer from Bad Religion about evolution, something he actually teaches at a university somewhere. The page I flipped to had a bit about atheism and why he doesn’t call himself an atheist. Atheism is the absence of something and he’d never describe his role in the band as an adrummer or the like. I think I can agree with him on that part. We’d probably have more success on the whole if we’d stick to calling ourselves humanists if it’s quality of life and education we care about more than lack of god-belief. Why focus on lack of god-belief? Something to consider there.
I’m puzzled by the currently anonymous man who claimed God told him to swim to Liberty Island. When the rescue boat caught up to him, he refused to get in, preferring to drown and fail God than get in a boat and live, but fail God. Someone managed to talk him out of marrow-numbing water in the end, though, and now he’s being psychologically evaluated. If they hadn’t caught him, would they have known that was his so-called motivation? If he’d just drowned out there, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a splash (sorry) in the headlines. How many other believers are wandering around doing dumb shit because they think God’s telling them to do it? Maybe all that’s saved them from being headlines, too, would be the (so far) non-life-threatening “suggestions” they’re following.
Last niblet: I read an article about South Africa and other areas around there where tribal healers are going as far as murdering people for body parts which they believe have mystical powers for healing once prepared properly. If that’s not bad enough, the cops are doing the least possible when it comes time to investigate the murders.
While speaking out about ritual murder in South Africa is uncommon, the reaction of authorities is predictable. There is reluctance at all levels to address the issue.
“At one stage the premier of this province said to me, shut up,” said one local.
Most tradition healers rely on herbs and animal parts. The healers know there are problems within their ranks, but getting authorities to take action remains the greatest challenge.
Maswanganyi, who has only recently completed her initiation, runs her practice in the backroom of a house in Soweto.
She says those who deal in human body parts discredit an important cultural profession.
“Actually it makes me sick, to tell the truth, because I don’t believe traditional healers are meant to do any bad. We are not meant to do any harm,” she said.
A little woo and hooey is one thing. Herbs and tinctures, whatever. Might not really fix anything but hopefully won’t make the sufferer worse either.. just be something to take while waiting for the body’s immune system to do its job. But this body part stuff… it’s not just appalling that healers might think that works but all their buyers do, too. That’s incredibly sad. Why can’t more be done to stop these human poachers?