Saturday, 28 March 2009

Yes, religion causes harm

Today there are two examples of religion causing harm.

1,

Prominent medical journal The Lancet said the Pope had "publicly distorted scientific evidence to promote Catholic doctrine on this issue".It said the male latex condom was the single most efficient way to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV/Aids. "Whether the Pope's error was due to ignorance or a deliberate attempt to manipulate science to support Catholic ideology is unclear," said the journal. But it said the comment still stood and urged the Vatican to issue a retraction. "When any influential person, be it a religious or political figure, makes a false scientific statement that could be devastating to the health of millions of people, they should retract or correct the public record," it said. "Anything less from Pope Benedict would be an immense disservice to the public and health advocates, including many thousands of Catholics, who work tirelessly to try and prevent the spread of HIV/Aids worldwide."
Full story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7967173.stm

and 2,

So-called "honour killings" in Turkey have reached record levels. According to government figures, there are more than 200 a year – half of all the murders committed in the country. Now, in a sinister twist, comes the emergence of "honour suicides". The growing phenomenon has been linked to reforms to Turkey's penal code in 2005. That introduced mandatory life sentences for honour killers, whereas in the past, killers could receive a reduced sentence claiming provocation. Soon after the law was passed, the numbers of female suicides started to rocket.
All Elif had done was simply decline the offer of an arranged marriage with an older man, telling her parents she wanted to continue her education. That act of disobedience was seen as bringing dishonour on her whole family – a crime punishable by death. "I managed to escape. When I was at school, a few girls I knew were killed by their families in the name of honour – one of them for simply receiving a text message from a boy," Elif said.
Full story at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/women-told-you-have-disho...

Originally posted by Nathan Dunn

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