Windsor Humanist Society

July 25, 2007

Norway’s Princess Martha Louise ‘talks to angels’ – guess we’re not that bad off with The Windsors after all!

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Her Royal HighnessNorway’s Princess Martha Louise says she has psychic powers and can teach people to communicate with angels. Princess Martha Louise describes angels as a resource in people’s lives

The 35-year-old daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja made the announcement on a website promoting her plans for a new alternative therapy centre.

She says she realised as a child that she could read people’s inner feelings, while her experiences with horses had helped her make contact with angels.

Princess Martha Louise is fourth in line to the Norwegian throne.

The royal palace says it has no official link to the princess’ planned alternative therapy centre, the AFP news agency reports.

The princess, who trained as a physical therapist, says on the website for her Astarte Education centre that she has “always been interested in alternative forms of treatment”.

Students at her centre, she says, will learn how to “create miracles” in their lives and harness the powers of their angels, which she describes as “forces that surround us and who are a resource and help in all aspects of our lives”.

“It was while I was taking care of the horses that I got in contact with the angels,” she says.

“I have lately understood the value of this important gift and I wish to share it with other people, maybe with you.”

A three-year programme at her centre costs 24,000 Norwegian crowns ($4,150; 3,000 euros; £2,000) per year.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a July 25, 2007 article in The BBC News OnLine

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President of ‘The Islamic Medical Association’ faces discipline hearing following attack on gays

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A GP has been suspended by a Midland healthcare trust amid allegations he labelled gay and transsexual patients “twisted”.

Ol' Doc SiddiqDr Muhammad Siddiq, president of The (UK) Islamic Medical Association, is being investigated by Walsall Primary Care Trust over a letter sent to doctors’ magazine Pulse.

The letter, which he is alleged to have written, was responding to an article which claimed the profession was ‘homophobic’.

The communication, only part-published by Pulse, apparently mocked the fate of a transsexual patient referred to Dr Siddiq by The Samaritans.

It read: “Changing male to female, then reverse change and vice versa. They play with their bodies and waste NHS funds.

The letter, which he is alleged to have written, was responding to an article which claimed the profession was ‘homophobic’.

“The gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizens of this country.

“They are causing spread of illness by their irresponsible behaviour. They are the root cause of many sexually transmitted diseases. They neither need sympathy nor help. What they need is a stick of law to put them on the right path, mend their ways and behaviour and to protect society from their ravages.”

Walsall Primary Care Trust bosses spotted a follow-up article carried by Pulse and have now launched a full investigation.

Moderator’s note: One wonders if the Islamic MD’s from the UK, allegedly responsible for the recent attacks on Glasgow Airport were also ‘fellows’ of Dr. Siddiq’s (UK) Islamic Medical Association.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a July 25, 2007 article in The Birmingham Post

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July 24, 2007

Ontario’s PC leader pledges public funding for faith-based schools

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Ontario would move toward provincial funding for Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu schools if the Progressive Conservatives are elected in October, provincial party leader John Tory said yesterday.

John ToryMr. Tory said he would name former premier Bill Davis to lead a panel into extending funding to faith-based schools.

Mr. Davis, who was also an education minister, led the move to full provincial funding for the province’s Roman Catholic schools in the 1980s.

A statement from Mr. Tory said that with public funding would come requirements to teach the Ontario curriculum, standardized testing and teacher credentials.

“Ontario has funded faith-based education to varying degrees since Confederation,” Mr. Tory said.

“This inclusive approach has proven to be successful in managing and respecting religious diversity within public education,” he added.

“It has taught children of different ethnicities and faiths to value our respective religious and cultural heritages, while also being unified by common standards and equivalent experiences.”

The cost of bringing all of Ontario’s religiously based schools and their 53,000 students under the province’s educational umbrella would be about $400-million, Mr. Tory said.

He added the Public Education Fairness Implementation Commission to be led by Mr. Davis would undertake wide public consultation with an eye to having pilot programs running in September, 2008.

Mr. Tory’s position was quickly welcomed by several Christian and Jewish groups.

“Very few people in Ontario represent the devotion to public education demonstrated by Mr. Davis. It’s a commitment that we share,” said UJA Federation vice-chairman David Koschitzky, who heads a Jewish community steering committee on inclusive public education (moderator’s note: the “J” in “UJA” stands for “Jewish” – read more about UJA from their website here)

“Former premier Bill Davis is particularly well-suited to this task,” said Igor Ellyn, Ontario region education chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress (check out their website here).

“His record on public education instills us with the confidence that the process of integrating faith-based schools that meet provincial standards into the public system will proceed fairly for the benefit of public schools and all Ontario residents.”

Mr. Koschitzky stressed that both Jewish groups urge political candidates from all parties to endorse a policy of inclusive public education, which will, he said “strengthen the public system by enhancing its diversity and encouraging greater interaction among children of all faiths.”

The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (here) also welcomed Mr. Tory’s announcement.

In a statement, alliance executive director Dr. Adrian Guldemond said he is confident a balance can be struck between the need for public accountability and safeguards for the unique features of the faithbased schools.

Dr. Guldemond said OACS schools have been developing parameters for public accountability, focussing on teacher certification, curriculum and student achievement.

He stressed that not all of Ontario’s 400 faith-based schools would be eligible for funding on these conditions, although they could upgrade to these standards.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a July 24, 2007 article by Pat McGrath in The National Post

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July 20, 2007

Hungarian Humanist Party organizes country’s first “gay” marriage

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On Monday, July 16, 2007, the Hungarian Humanist Party sponsored Hungary’s first openly “gay” marriage as Éva Moór and Réka Kinga Papp embraced and kissed for the cameras in front of parliament, as they accepted one another’s hand in a “symbolic marriage.”

The event was organized by The Hungarian Humanist Party (website here) as a reaction to assaults on gays and lesbians during Budapest’s Pride celebration. Both Éva Moór and Réka Kinga Papp are not only humanists but also heterosexual women. Spokespersons for The Hungarian Humanist Party said it is “symptomatic of the sorry situation facing gays in Hungary that the words ‘gay’ and ‘married’ must be placed between inverted commas.”

Katalin Lévai, a Socialist MEP, has called for Hungary’s civil code to be changed to allow same-sex marriages. She said that this was not even a question in many EU member states, but there needed to be a “change of political will in Hungary and greater support on the part of mainstream society.”

The ceremony took place at Batthyány tér (Batthyány Square – immediately across from Hungary’s Parliament Bldgs.), and police were present to make sure there were no disturbances or repeats of the following weekend’s violence. Budapest Police are investigating incidents of assault that took place during, and after, the Gay Pride march held on the weekend of July 7.

The police posted the announcement on its website and said it would investigate reports of extreme right wing groups having thrown eggs and sand bags at gay and lesbian marchers, and also examine the reported beating of some 12 people as they were leaving the event.

The investigation was requested by András Léderer, leader of New Generation, the youth arm of the junior coalition Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz). Lederer said he was “convinced that it was the hatred-inciting slogans that anti-gay protesters chanted during the march, which led to physical incidents,” MTI reports.

Following the march and alleged assaults, gay groups demanded that the police launch an investigation. The Rainbow Mission Foundation and other gay rights organizations made a statement that “far-right counter-demonstrators attacked those peacefully taking part in the gay demonstration, intimidated them and physically assaulted them.”
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a July 18, 2007 article in The Budapest Sun

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Drugs, guns fuel crime fears

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Don’t tell Bill Iggulden crime is down in his neighbourhood.

Police released statistics Wednesday showing Windsor is similar to the rest of the country, with an overall decline in crime rates. But in the Drouillard Road area, Mr. Iggulden’s home for 33 years, he said the drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes and violence are still prevalent on the often rough and tumble streets.

“In a way, they control the neighbourhood, the bad ones,” said Mr. Iggulden, 49, a security guard who also helps out at a methadone clinic and volunteers with New Song Church. “There’ve been stabbings, there’s been beatings, murders.”

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that Canada’s crime rate dropped another three per cent last year, to its lowest point in 25 years. Windsor’s crime rate ranked 10th among 18 cities with populations between 100,000 and 499,999. Our city had 6,754 Criminal Code violations per 100,000 people.

Windsor police also said Wednesday that crime here was down 12 per cent in the first half of 2007 compared to last year.

But some crimes were on the rise, including drug offences, which increased from 28 in June 2006 to 53 last month. There were 294 drug charges in the first half of 2007, compared to 261 for the same period last year.

Where there are drugs, said Staff Sgt. Ed McNorton, you’ll often find guns.

“We’re seeing it more frequently,” he said. “That combination is a deadly one. It is a great concern to us.”

Sgt. McNorton said the police service’s recently restructured guns and drugs unit is having success. He pointed to an arrest Wednesday night on Tecumseh Road East, where police seized a package with $17,000 in cash, 14 packages of suspected cocaine and a loaded handgun.

“We’re picking up guns on a regular basis.”

Drugs also bring prostitution into neighbourhoods, he said. Police have laid 80 prostitution charges this year, including 10 last month.

Some of the worst areas have been Wyandotte Street West and Drouillard Road, he said, and police are battling the problem year-round. A lot of the fight is complaint driven, with people calling police after seeing the hookers in their neighbourhoods.

“We send undercover officers into those areas,” he said. “People don’t want that around their neighbourhood.” Count Mr. Iggulden among them. “The cops have been cleaning it up,” he said. “But it hasn’t really changed. It quiets down, then it comes back again. They get banned from the area for a period of time, then they come back. It’s frustrating. After a while it gets routine. You expect it to happen. What else can we do?”

Mr. Iggulden, part of a group trying to clean up Drouillard, said he often spends his nights walking the area picking up trash and whatever else he finds. At the park, among the wrappers and beer bottles, there are often needles.

“I find so many,” said Mr. Iggulden, who lives above a Drouillard bar. “It’s all over, drugs.”

Prostitution isn’t the only byproduct of neighbourhood drug use, he said.

“They beat each other up. They’re running, chasing each other with baseball bats. There’s guys pulling knives.”

A week ago, he said a fight broke out at a church dinner between a pair of drug addicts.

But people in other neighbourhoods describe different lives, where crime does seem to be declining.

In Walkerville, Kelly Shepherd is so unconcerned with crime that she lets her four-year-old daughter play by herself in the neighbourhood.

“She gets to wander because there are good neighbours,” Ms. Shepherd, 27, said from her front porch while her daughter played nearby. “Everyone watches out for everyone’s kids.”

She said someone once broke into her car, and she is concerned enough about crime that her house has an alarm. But nothing has happened in the 18 months that she’s lived here to make her afraid to walk alone at night or fear for her daughter’s safety.

“Nothing big, so far.”
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a July 20, 2007 article by Trevor Wilhelm in The Windsor Star

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July 19, 2007

Woman raped before ‘honour killing’, UK court determines

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Banaz MahmodA Kurdish woman was brutally raped, stamped on and strangled by members of her family and their friends in an “honour killing” carried out at her London home because she had fallen in love with the wrong man.

Banaz Mahmod, 20, was subjected to the 2-1/2 hour ordeal before she was garroted with a bootlace. Her body was stuffed into a suitcase and taken about 100 miles to Birmingham where it was buried in the back garden of a house.

Her badly decomposed body was found in April 2006, three months after the killing.

Last month a jury found her father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and his brother Ari Mahmod, 51, guilty of murder after a three-month trial. Their associate Mohamad Hama, 30, had earlier admitted killing her.

On Thursday at a pre-sentence hearing for Mohamad Hama, the Old Bailey heard details about Ms. Banaz’s last moments.

Prosecutors said the three convicted men, along with two other suspects who are still at large, had carried out the killing fearing that the authorities were closing in on them.

They believed Ms. Banaz had brought shame on the family by leaving her husband, an Iraqi Kurd she had been forced to marry at 17, and falling in love with Rahmat Suleimani, an Iranian Kurd.

Her former unnamed partner had raped her as well as repeatedly beating her, the court heard.

Mohamad Hama, who prosecutors said had been a ringleader in the murder, was caught by listening devices talking to a friend in prison about the murder.

In the recordings, transcripts of which were relayed to the court, Mohamad Hama and his friend are hearing laughing as he described how she was killed with Ms.  Banaz’s uncle “supervising”.

“I was kicking and stamping on her neck to get the soul out.  I saw her stark naked, only wearing pants or underwear,” Mohamad Hama is recorded as saying.

His lawyers say there is no evidence to support the prosecution’s claims.

The decision to kill her came after a meeting on January 23 — the day before she was murdered — when the family decided to take action before the police could foil their attempts, said prosecutor Victor Temple.

Mohamad Hama is due to be sentenced on Friday with Mahmod Mahmod and his brother, Ari Mahmod.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a July 19, 2007 article from Reuters

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July 18, 2007

Police draw guns in Howard Ave. residential neighbourhood – seeking drug-related suspects

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Residents of a Howard Avenue neighbourhood south of Niagara Street were witnesses Tuesday night to a gunpoint arrest of suspects by Windsor police.

Around 7 p.m., officers in an unmarked vehicle following a northbound Ford Escape forced the silver SUV to pull over to the side of the road, then approached it with guns drawn, witnesses reported.

John Bernier, 52, who lives in the 900 block of Howard near the scene, said he heard the officers shout to the SUV’s occupants that they were under arrest for drug possession.

“They were all in the tactical team,” said Mr. Bernier about the arresting officers. “My wife — as soon as guns were drawn, she headed for the hills.”

Police took into custody the SUV’s male driver and male passenger. Mr. Bernier said the men didn’t resist.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Constable John Atkinson
WHS Note: It’s been a little over a year since Windsor Police Constable John Atkinson needlessly lost his life by gunfire, on streets in east Windsor, due to illegal drug-related activities.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a July 18, 2007 article by in The Windsor Star

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July 16, 2007

Pivotal gay rights case starts in Calgary

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More than five years after a controversial letter was published attacking gay activists as being “just as immoral as pedophiles,” a human rights panel will begin a hearing today that one lawyer calls Alberta’s most important human rights and free speech case to date.

Good ol' Rev BoissoinThe complaint launched against Rev. Stephen Boissoin by University of Calgary professor Darren Lund has led gay rights organizations, Christian lobby groups and even the Alberta government to weigh in — and not all of them in the corners most would expect.

Today will be the start of what’s likely to be three days of hearings that will pit Mr. Boissoin’s arguments of free speech against Mr. Lund’s argument that Mr. Boissoin’s letter promoted hatred against gays.

“It’s going to be a very significant case, probably the most significant constitutional case involving human rights legislation that has ever been considered in Alberta,” said Gerald Chipeur, Mr. Boissoin’s lawyer.

The controversy stems from a letter written by Mr. Boissoin, then a Red Deer youth pastor, that was published in The Red Deer Advocate in June 2002.

In it, Boissoin wrote “my banner has now been raised and war has been declared” against those who are part of the “homosexual machine.”

“From kindergarten class on, our children, your grandchildren are being strategically targeted, psychologically abused and brainwashed by homosexual and pro-homosexual educators,” he wrote.

“Your children are being warped into believing that same-sex families are acceptable; that kissing men is appropriate.”

Boissoin went on to attack gay activists as “spreading their psychological disease,” saying they were “just as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities.”

“Where homosexuality flourishes, all manner of wickedness abounds,” he wrote.

The letter led to a complaint from Mr. Lund, then a high school teacher in Red Deer.

Mr. Lund, a married father who is not homosexual, is a longtime human rights activist who has won The Alberta Centennial Medal and a national education award.

Now an education professor at the University of Calgary, he said he was glad the case will finally be heard, five years after the letter that sparked it was published.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “I’m eager for the panel to make a ruling on this case.”

In between the letter’s publication and today’s hearing, Mr. Boissoin launched an unsuccessful $400,000 defamation suit against Mr. Lund.

Mr. Chipeur said the debate for today’s hearing comes down to free speech: if Mr. Boissoin is rapped for his letter, it could silence any political debate on the issue, he argued.

The letter doesn’t fall under the legal definition of discrimination, he added, largely because those laws weren’t meant to censor or restrict public debate.

The Alberta government has intervener status in the hearing and will be backing Mr. Lund.

A national gay rights group, meanwhile, has said it won’t be supporting him. EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) has said that Mr. Boissoin has a right to express his opinions in the public arena, though it notes it vehemently disagrees with them.

“It is far better that Boissoin expose his views than have them pushed underground,” the group said in a 2005 statement. “Under the glaring light of public scrutiny, his ideas will most likely wither and die.”

Mr. Boissoin has been getting support from Concerned Christians Canada Ltd., a Christian lobby group he used to head at a local level that is also named in the human rights complaint.

The group has tried to lead campaigns against Mr. Lund.

It also helped to organize a 2005 legal defence fundraiser for Mr. Boissoin and others that featured Calgary Catholic Bishop Fred Henry.

Fred Henry, along with members of The Christian Heritage Party, defended freedom of expression and of religion.

There have been other rallying cries to back Mr. Boissoin in the past five years, including from American religious rights groups and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

The one-person panel will be chaired by Lori Andreachuk, a lawyer from Lethbridge.

(See also former KKK grand dragon David Duke‘s website for more on this story here)
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist (Neil.Hod.) after a July 16, 2007 article by Joel Kom in The Calgary Herald

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“Faith-based health” in cottage-country leaves many Ontarians without access to reproductive-related medicine – now that’s SICKO!

Filed under: Uncategorized — moderator @ 11:11 am

The Midland-area of Ontario might soon be left with one hospital system – and a Roman Catholic-based one at that – if current plans by the North Simcoe Hospital Alliance  to merge The Huronia District Hospital (a secular hospital) with The Penetanguishene Hospital (a Roman-Catholic hospital) take place. The resulting hospital would be operated under the Roman Catholic hospital’s administration.

Huronia District Hospital is presently the only hospital in the Georgian Bay area from which those Ontarians can obtain reproductive medicine services/procedures (i.e. abortion; tubal ligations; vasectomies; In Vitro Fertilization procedures; etc.) with some Ontarians traveling from as far away as Collingwood, Ontario to obtain this care from Huronia District Hospital.

It’s rightly feared that these services will no longer be available to these Ontarians, as the allianced hospitals begin operating under solely the ‘catholic-model’. It’s also feared that other procedures, like ‘end-of-life care’, certain transplantation procedures, and of course, medical research, will be drastically effectively as the Roman Catholic hospital takes over administrative decisions for healthcare in the region.

Should this amalgamation take place, Ontarians living in this area of our province would need to travel to as far as Barrie and/or Toronto to obtain these basic reproductive health-care procedures – yet again even here, travel costs to patients have not be addressed (and are not covered) in the regional hospital budget – nor does the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care plan to include some kind of assistance for secular Ontarians who require these basic services. Click here to listen to a 10-minute podcast broadcast over CBC Radio-One’s “Ontario Today” (in RealAudio).
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist (Neil.Hod.) after a July 16, 2007 broadcast piece given by Rita Celli over CBC Radio-One on ‘Ontario Today’.

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July 12, 2007

Uganda pastor denies miracle scam

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Kojo Nana Obiri-Yeboah, a Uganda-based preacher has denied charges he tried to import an electric shock machine to make people believe he could pass on the Holy Spirit.

The “Electric Touch” machine gives people an electric charge, which they can pass on.

“This is a toy. It was sent for my daughters’ birthday,” Ghanaian Kojo Nana Obiri-Yeboah told the BBC.

The machine was seized at Entebbe airport and police are investigating.

There has been a massive growth in churches set up by charismatic preachers in Africa in recent years, amid fears some could be fraudsters.

The pastor told the BBC that during his prayers, members of the congregation “act as the spirit comes in them”.

The website of the company Yigal Mesika, (here) which makes the “Electric Touch” machine, among other magic tricks, says: “Charge a spoon, keys or coins and watch as it shocks a volunteer!

“They will believe you have supernatural powers!”

Police report the person doing the trick wears the machine and gets an electric charge, which they can transfer to people or objects.

Kojo Nana Obiri-Yeboah denies trying to con his congregation.

Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo has asked police for a report into the activities of churches, such as Mr Obiri-Yeboah’s We Are One ministry, following several charges of impropriety.

“We feel there is a need for a policy on religion,” he told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.

He denied the government was interfering in people’s private lives.

“When matters go to impinging on the stability of the country, I think the government gets interested.”

When the machine was seized, some thought the machine was a piece of bomb-making equipment.

Some fear that some preachers are taking advantage of poor, illiterate people, by asking them for financial contributions in the belief that in return, they would be blessed and become rich.

They rarely have any formal religious training – usually they set up a church and say they have been touched by God.

But Mr Buturo said that most of the new churches, known in Uganda as “balokole” were “contributing to the stability of our country”.
…this post forwarded by a Windsor Humanist (Neil.Hod.) after a July 12, 2007 article over The BBC Newswires

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