Search results for "fear"

Who watches over us?

Lea Guilbeaut had a life many would envy. She had a good job, and by all accounts her marriage to her husband, Hani Beitinjaneh, was a very happy one. On her birthday the couple decided to go eat sushi at a small trendy restaurant on Peel St. They chose their own table outside so they could enjoy the sun (since it had been such a rainy summer). Meanwhile, a huge slab of concrete 18 floors above at the Marri ...

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Helen Ukpabio is a monster

I've written many times on the issue of child witches in Africa. Every year, thousands of kids are abandoned, beaten or killed because their parents or family members suspect them of being witches. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that in Nigeria alone, over 930,000 children are orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and often their remaining family members believe these children were responsible for their parents' d ...

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Reports of clerical abuse keep pouring in

One of my favorite movie moments from childhood is the scene from Rocky 4 where Rocky Balboa keeps getting repeatedly punched in the face by Ivan Drago (perhaps Doulph Lundgren's greatest role), until finally, exhausted from punching, Drago is defeated. Rocky 4 was a true 80s cheese movie, complete with endless montages, pointless moralizing about steroid use, and of course, America winning the day. Despite ...

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Muslim extremist jailed for arson

You might remember a few months ago, I wrote a story about the book, The Jewel of Medina, and the subsequent firebombing of her publisher's home by Muslim extremists. It seems now the case has gone to trial, with Ali Beheshti (pictured above holding a gun) and his two accomplices sentenced to four and a half years behind bars. The judge issued this statement, which I strongly agree with: "If you choose to l ...

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Tragic proof prayer is useless

For those of you deluded enough to think religion is the greatest thing in the world, and faith, prayer and well wishing has any real effect on the natural world, allow me to point you in the direction of science. If you're sick, you need science. If you're hurt, injured, or have an infection, you need science. Hell, if you want something as simple as clean drinking water and the ability to have it on tap, ...

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I got mail

I received this letter from a fan of the show, and I thought I might post it up. If you haven't listened to Episode 53 of the podcast, please do so before reading (if you've never listened before, you should know it's actually the crown jewel of the site). Hey Jake and Ryan, I am writing you this email to give you a personal perspective of one of the topics you discussed in episode 53 about mental illness. ...

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Pray for me, Doc!

I received a few emails this morning asking me to discuss this BBCNews article. Some doctors in Britain are worried spiritual issues aren't being addressed, and care is suffering as a result. They are demanding that staff be given the right to talk about religion, as well as allow them to offer prayers to patients. The problem here is there is always a fine line between talking about religion, and proselyti ...

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Faith schools in Britain try to defend their existence

When I was a young child, I was sent to a Catholic primary school. It was the only way my parents could ensure that I went to an English institution. The trade off was every day, the teachers would force us to say a morning prayer, and class time was occasionally devoted to learning about Jesus. It was insanely boring and annoying, but I got over it. I already knew how to read and write before I got to clas ...

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Pseudoscience puts everyone in danger

We take modern medicine for granted. It's something we hardly ever need to think about. The odds of dying of the flu are small; you're about as likely to die from that as from accidental electrocution. But it wasn't always this way. Just a few generations ago, before we had the ability to develop vaccines or antibiotics, infant mortality rates were frighteningly high. Children suffering from diabetes would ...

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How much control does the media have over us?

One of my recent tirades against Fox News prompted me to write about the degree of control mainstream media has over society. This piece is not meant to lay all the blame of society on their shoulders; rather it is an invitation to consider the fact that perhaps we do not all make rational choices based on a careful examination of the evidence. I am the first to admit it is often easier and more expedient t ...

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