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Teacher in trouble for saying Adam & Eve story is a myth

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Parents of children attending a Muslim school in New York are furious that an English teacher, Nina Kossman, above, told a class that Adam and Eve did not exist.

They are even angrier with Kossman for showing pupils a picture of the naked pair by 17th-Century artist Paul Rubens.

Imani Al-Amin, an assistant to the principal at Razi School in Woodside, Queens, told Kossman:

The parents were in shock – in a fury.

He told her that a group of angry parents showed up at the school the next day to complain that she:

Discussed Jews with them and showed them pictures of naked people. You have to understand that this is a different environment.

Kossman was cast out of Razi and exiled to a Department of Education “rubber room”, a Queens office used for educators facing discipline. While she does nothing but menial paperwork, taxpayers have to foot her $90,000 salary.

Trouble erupted during a discussion with third grade pupils. The teacher explained:

One girl was trying to say that girls are as important as boys because without women there would not be any men.

The girl turned to Kossman:

Teacher, all people are born from a woman’s belly, right?

Kossman agreed, but a boy chimed in:

One person …read more

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Anti-abortion group receives grant from ‘tampon-tax’ fund

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The Government has received criticism for providing funding of £250,000 to Life, an anti-abortion organisation, who has previously made unevidenced claims about abortion, vaccinations and contraception. This grant was made from a £10 million a year fund set up to benefit women’s charities from the VAT receipts on sanitary products. The British Humanist Association (BHA), which has previously exposed the unevidenced claims being made, believes that this funding will put vulnerable women at risk by allowing Life to propagate false information about sexual and reproductive health.

Life claims that this grant will support a programme of ‘housing, practical help, counselling, emotional support and life skills training for young pregnant women who are homeless.’ However, the BHA and Education for Choice (EfC) have previously revealed that Life’s work is underpinned by an anti-abortion agenda that denies women access to accurate information about their pregnancies.

In 2012 the BHA and EfC exposed a number of claims that Life was making in its work in schools. These included that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, which has been refuted by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and that abortion contributes to higher suicide rates, which has …read more

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“No evidence” that denominational schools are academically superior, study finds

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A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research has found that there is “no evidence” to suggest Scotland’s denominational schools achieve better results than their non-denominational counterparts.

…read more

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Contrary to what we are frequently told, we are not “losing the war on cancer”

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A common narrative about cancer is that we are making no progress against cancer. Fortunately, the actual data do not agree. Yes, too many people still die of cancer and progress is slow, but it’s not correct to claim that we are losing the war on cancer. …read more

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Corrigendum. The Week in Review for 04/02/2017

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Death from vaccine preventable infections. Homeopathy and acupuncture do not work. There is a difference between cost and worth. And more. …read more

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Rabbi allegedly stole funds from special needs school

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Rabbi Osher Eisemann, 60, above, of Lakewood in New Jersey, has been indicted for stealing $630,000 worth of public tuition money from a special needs school that he founded – and used much of the cash to invest in a clothing business.

The tuition funds, according to this report, were meant to go towards students at the institution he runs, the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in a statement.

SCHI receives approximately $1.8 million each month in tuition from the Lakewood school district and other school districts that send their students to Eisemann’s school, Porrino said.

He accused Eisemann of creating an extra source of funding, a fundraising foundation called Services for Hidden Intelligence, which raised $430,000 for his clothing company – TAZ Apparel, which has since folded

Porrino said:

By allegedly stealing public funds that were strictly earmarked for the education of special needs students, Rabbi Eisemann broke the law, violated the public’s trust, and betrayed the vulnerable population of children served by SCHI.

Eisemann also was accused of laundering $200,000, making it look like he was repaying school funds with personal money.

His attorney, Lee Vartan, said:

Rabbi Eisemann has never taken any SCHI funds for his …read more

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‘Warrior king’ Jesus claim rubbished by historians

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British historian Ralph Ellis, above, reckons that after more than 20 years of research he has been able to prove that Jesus Christ and King Manu of Mesopotamia are the same person. His claim has been dismissed as ‘completely crackers’.

Ellis, who has previously stated that Cleopatra was the great grandmother of Jesus, told Premier that the Romans had tried to delete King Manu from history.

His claim, according to this report, is based on the discovery of a 1st Century coin which shows “the true likeness” of Jesus Christ.

The coin is owned by Ellis, who said that it shows Jesus depicted as a “warrior king” and leader of Edessa, in present-day Turkey. He details the theory in his book entitled Jesus: King of Edessa.

The coin shows a figure in profile wearing a headdress that he likens to a crown of thorns.

That’s a traditional crown of the Edessan kings – a plated crown of thorns. We don’t know the significance of the thorns.

That Jesus was a warrior king came through strongly in the gospel, like in Luke 22:36 when he tells people to go out and buy swords. Even within the gospels you can see this hint about the warrior …read more

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London bishop and accomplice jailed over sexual assaults

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Bishop Benjamin Egbujor, 55, and his sectretary Rose Nwenwu, 43, of the Jubilee Christian Centre in Peckham, yesterday received jail sentences for sexually assaulting a teenage girl and a woman during private prayer sessions.

According to this Metropolitan Police report, Egbujor was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for the sexual assault and four months, to be served consecutively, for inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He was found not guilty of one count of sexual assault.

Nwenwu was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for sexual assault and three years, to be served concurrently, for helping and encouraging Egbujor.

The offences took place from March 2011 to January 2013, at the centre.

Officers in the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Command (SOECA) started an investigation in January 2014 after a teenage girl disclosed to her family she had been abused by Egbujor.

The victim, who was under the age of 16, said Egbujor told her she had been chosen to attend an individual prayer session.

After being taken into his private office, the girl was forced to undress and oil was poured over her.

Egbujor delivering a sermon on morality, emphasising the three Ds: Discipline, Duty and Devotion (click on pic for video)

As a result …read more

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Put on the naughty step for trucker Trump caption contest

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This being April Fool’s day, I decided to invited caption entries in the Freethinker bulletin for the picture above, showing the Trunp at the wheel of truck outside the White House

One subscriber – “Suzie” – was outraged, and said in an email:

This is the President of my country! How dare you make fun of him this way. You call yourselves Free thinkers? This is petty, churlish, childish, undignified thinking! I am putting your emails in my junk file.

You are trying to shape people’s political opinions? Try growing up. Your country is in a shambles. Our president is trying to keep us from going down the drain like your ‘non-thinking’ country!!


I replied:

Suzie, I’m sorry you’ve had a humour failure over our caption contest. The picture I chose was one of many that went viral on the Internet, and made the man a bigger laughing stock than he already is.

If you haven’t already signed up to receive the bulletin, which often contains items not on the Freethinker site, I urge you do do so. This will give you the opportunity to enter periodic competitions.

The prize offered for the best caption is a paperback copy of James Merryweather’s excellent <a target="_blank" …read more

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Inappropriate praying: nurse loses her appeal over sacking

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Last year, Sarah Kuteh, above, complained that she was being persecuted for her Christian beliefs after she was sacked by Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, following a series of complaints from patients.

She appealed against her sacking, but this week Victoria Leivers-Carruth, who chaired the hospital trust’s appeal hearing, said the panel believed Kuteh had used her one-to-one time with patients to “impose her religious beliefs” on them.

She said in a statement:

We did not believe that Mrs Kuteh was being disciplined because she was a Christian. It was apparent to us that Mrs Kuteh was disciplined because she had engaged in conversations about religion that were unwanted by patients and contrary to her line manager’s instructions.

One cancer patient said the nursing sister, who has 15 years’ experience, told him he would have a better chance of survival if he prayed to God.

Another told how being subjected to such religious “fervour” by the mother-of-three was “bizarre”, and compared the experience to a “Monty Python skit”.

One other patient felt Kuteh spent more time talking about religion than completing a pre-operative questionnaire, according to statements submitted to the tribunal.

Eight complaints were made by “extremely vulnerable” patients facing surgery and the nursing …read more

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