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Christian parents jailed for life for causing their son’s death

Rather than seek medical help for their diabetic son Alexandru, above, a Calgary couple – Emil Radita, 60, and Rodica Radita, 54 – prayed for his recovery.

The result was that Alexandru Radita, 15, died a painful death in 2013 – and his parents, found guilty of first-degree murder, were jailed for life this week.

Justice Karen Horner found the Raditas, members of the Romanian Pentecostal Church, equally guilty of murdering 15-year-old Alexandru.

The boy, who was one of the Raditas’ eight children, weighed less than 37 pounds when he died in 2013 of complications due to untreated diabetes and starvation.

The judge said:

Mr and Mrs Radita intended to and did isolate Alex from anyone who could intervene or monitor his insulin treatment aside from themselves. Alex died as a result of bacterial sepsis brought on by extreme starvation. His physical condition at death was not a sudden or quick occurrence but rather took place over months and possibly, probably years.

Emil and Rodica Radita

Horner said by isolating Alex he was unlawfully confined and totally reliant on his parents. She said it was also clear that the Raditas knew what they were doing in denying him a sufficient amount of insulin and …read more

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Twenty-five years ago, just months before I was to enter medical school, I served as a translator for a surgical mission. A team led by plastic and general surgeons from the University of Minnesota descended on a small concrete-block dispensary in the highlands of Guatemala, turning it, for one week, into a makeshift surgical hospital.

Guatemalan colleagues had already screened and selected a full slate of patients — enough to keep two operating rooms going twelve hours a day for six days. And then Sebastian arrived.

Sebastian was 28 years old. He had been born with a deeply cleft lip and palate. And because he was born poor in Guatemala, his craniofacial abnormality had never been corrected. It was difficult to look at Sebastian. His upper teeth were twisted into the cleft, tenting up his nostrils. When he ate, food sputtered into his nose and sinuses.

The surgical outreach was to run from Monday to Saturday, and somehow, the Sunday before it began, Sebastian found out about it. He dropped everything to travel several hours by foot and on buses until he arrived at the clinic late Monday afternoon. There he learned that he was too late. He would have to wait until …read more

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Freethinker editor to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award

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THE board of G W Foote and Company, publishers of the Freethinker, are delighted to learn that Barry Duke, above, who has edited the Freethinker for 20 years, is to receive a Lifetime’s Achievement Award from the National Secular Society as part of this year’s Secularist of the Year celebrations in March.

Announcing the award, NSS President Terry Sanderson said:

The National Secular Society is to award a Lifetime Achievement honour to Barry Duke, editor of two online atheist/humanist magazines – the Freethinker and The Pink Humanist – as part of this year’s Secularist of the Year celebrations on March 18, 2017.

I am very pleased that the NSS is honouring Barry in this way.

He has been a consistent voice for many years in the fight for justice and secular humanist principles. From resisting apartheid in his native South Africa to fighting for gay rights in Britain and Spain. Barry, who celebrated his 70th birthday in February, has always provided a strong rationalist voice.

We are glad that Barry is able to join us in London and look forward to being able to recognise his many and varied contributions to the cause of secularism, humanism and his spirited opposition to religious …read more

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Actor Robert Davi Calls For Jailing Reporters Who Spread Lies About ‘Virtuous Political Candidates’ Like Trump

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Speaking today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), actor Robert Davi called for the passage of laws that would jail reporters for spreading false information about “the very best of our American heroes,” like President Trump.

Davi claimed that in Ancient Rome, anti-calumny laws made it “impossible to spread false rumors or lies against upstanding and virtuous political candidates” and called for such laws to be enacted in America.

“Let’s go back to Ancient Rome,” David said, “because if such laws existed today, we would see more men like Donald Trump and Mike Pence running for Congress or the Senate or the presidency and more fake reporters perhaps going to prison for the very lies they make up to commit cruel character assassination against the very best of our American heroes.”

…read more

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Faith-based company is to close its 240 stores in America

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In 2015 Family Christian, a chain of stores selling books and tacky religious gifts, went bust, leaving creditors out of pocket to the tune of millions of dollars.

But a Michigan judge, in granting the company a Chapter 11 bankruptcy sale, allowed the business to carry on trading.

Company President Chuck Bengochea said at the time:

We have been through dark days and now we can celebrate. We have a sovereign God who has a plan for Family Christian.

But God’s plan, as it turned out, was to put Family Christian out of business once and for all.

This week Family Christian is announcing it will close its doors – after 85 years in business.

It said in a press release:

Changing consumer behavior and declining sales led the world’s largest retailer of Christian themed merchandise to make the difficult decision to close. Family Christian is a not-for-profit business that employs more than 3,000 people and operates over 240 retail locations in 36 states, nationwide. Family Christian Ministries has provided humanitarian aid for more than 14 million orphans, widows and oppressed people across the globe.

Bengochea said in the release:

We had two very difficult years post-bankruptcy. Despite improvements in product assortment and the store experience, …read more

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Right Wing Round-Up – 2/24/17

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  • Eric Hananoki @ Media Matters: Michael Savage Says He Spent “Over An Hour Alone” With Trump And Urged Him To Continue Denying Human-Caused Climate Change.
  • Ken Meyer @ Mediaite: Trump Rips FBI After They Reportedly Denied Request to Undermine Media Stories About Russian Ties.
  • Kevin Drum: White House Offers Excuse For Improper Behavior: The FBI Started It.
  • Sarah K. Burris @ Raw Story: Watch Reince Preibus’ cringeworthy reaction to Steve Bannon patting his leg.
  • Lili Bayer @ Forward: Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary.

…read more

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Right Wing Bonus Tracks – 2/24/17

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  • The AFA wants you to join them in thanking First Lady Melania Trump for reciting The Lord’s Prayer at a recent rally because, in doing so, she “has reminded all of America that the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest hope for our country and our future.”
  • One Million Moms are not fans of “The Mick.”
  • Sadly, Ted Nugent will not be running for the Senate.
  • Janet Porter promotes her “Heartbeat Bill” in the Washington Times: “Like an SOS, the child in the womb is sending a signal we can no longer ignore. To deny it is to deny science.”
  • Finally, a prayer from FRC: “May God open the eyes of the American people to see organized rabble-rousers for what they are: paid progressive operatives taking orders from the likes of George Soros and the former president. Amid the fray, may God give our Congressmen and women the courage and strength of character to stand up to their lawless adversaries and champion what is right. May their constituents, God’s people among them, be unmoved by the machinations of hired ‘community organizers’ whose aim is to tear down and destroy the president. May God empower praying men and women to …read more
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From CPAC, The ‘Great News About Carbon Dioxide’

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The fossil fuel folks have things pretty well covered at CPAC – not to mention the Trump administration. Yesterday we reported on a panel organized by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, which says the idea of global warming connected to human activity is a huge scam by Marxists who are faking scientific data in order to justify the destruction of western economies. Another group at CPAC takes a different approach, arguing that regardless of whether the increase in carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is coming from natural sources or human activities, it’s a good thing for humans and for the planet.

The CO2 Coalition, which was established in 2015, appears to be an updated version of the old Greening Earth Society, which published lavishly photographed materials making essentially the same argument: That more carbon dioxide is good for plants and therefore good for the environment. “More carbon dioxide will help everyone, including future generations of our families,” says the Coalition brochure being distributed at CPAC.

Last year the Coalition produced a set of online videos featuring happy sunflowers, bears, and honeybees thanking carbon dioxide for making things grow. It also released a white paper …read more

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Wayne LaPierre Longs For The Good Old Days When Those Who Leaked Government Info Were ‘Hung For Treason’

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The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre delivered a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today that was, as it always is, nothing but a cavalcade of dark warnings about sinister forces intent on killing every law-abiding patriot in the nation.

Claiming that activists who are protesting President Trump are being paid thousands of dollars as part of a massive conspiracy to “dehumanize and demonize” conservatives in order to purge them from society, LaPierre painted the NRA as the only organization capable of protecting decent Americans from the “terror and bloodshed” that is sure to come.

LaPierre had nothing but scorn for the role that the media is supposedly playing in this effort to destabilize society and longed for the days when people who leaked government information were hung for treason.

“Our country is under siege from a media carpet-bombing campaign,” he said, “and America knows it. You can hear it in their tone, their sneers, you can literally see the disdain on their faces. Everything from their word choices to their inflection is trained on one target: purposely and maliciously destroying the Trump presidency, no matter what it takes and no matter what it costs.”

Outraged about damaging reports coming out …read more

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Cause & Effect: The CFI Newsletter – No. 75

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Cause & Effect is the biweekly newsletter of the Center for Inquiry community, covering the wide range of work that you help make possible. Become a member today!

The Main Events


The Story of an Incredible Year

Once again, it’s time to tell the story of yet another remarkable year with the latest Center for Inquiry Progress Report. Of course, 2016 was a year like no other—our merger with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science being just the beginning!—so we have a new and better way to deliver our Progress Report to you, so you can get a clearer, more immersive view of all you helped us accomplish in 2016. We proudly invite you to explore our 2016 Progress Report website.

More than a page-by-page account of our year’s activities, it’s an engaging visual representation of the full spectrum of CFI’s work throughout an unforgettable year. You’ll find at-a-glance data points, timelines, and personal testimonials all bound together by a unifying story of our shared mission for reason, science, and secularism.

From saving lives in Bangladesh to bringing accountability to the marketing of homeopathic junk medicine, from major national events to thriving local CFI communities, and from grassroots activism …read more

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