News From Around The Blogosphere 12.27.09

1. Indian couple raise controversy by not giving baby religious identityAalif Surti and Aditi Shedde refuse to label their baby with a religion for the birth certificate, as is required in India. It’s also required on other legal documents.

It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. “A few months into my pregnancy, we had decided that we would not give our child any religious identity,” says Aditi. “We are not against religion, but who are we to choose a religion on our baby’s behalf? We will expose him to the values of different faiths and cultures, and when he grows up he will be free to follow any faith — or none if he wishes.”

. . .

The couple had almost hit a dead end. There were four choices on the form — Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Others. Aditi says she did not want any of them for her child, as even Others required them to identify the sect or community. She argued with the officer some more and finally agreed on Others, but without any identification. “Others is just to facilitate the generation of the certificate. We know our child has no religion,” she says.

2. New Gallop poll says 29% of Americans say religion is out of date –  God is so yesterday. It’s all about sparkly vampires now.

3. Church of England’s new campaign to convert 2-year-olds

Children as young as two are to be targeted as part of a new campaign to recruit young people back to the church, the Guardian has learned.

The Church of England is planning its first concerted drive to engage under- 18s after admitting that it is comprehensively failing to connect with children and teenagers.

Wow, they’re going for older kids than usual.

5. Women sucked in by yoga cult

Say the word cult and many people think of Waco’s Branch Davidians or the horrific mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. It hardly seems likely that the term would apply to a chain of clean, airy yoga studios—a brand hyped on some local TV news shows, no less. Yet noted cult experts such as Steven Hassan, Cathleen Mann, Ph.D., and Joseph Szimhart say that Dahn fits the profile. “It’s very aggressive,” says Szimhart, an author of numerous studies on cults. “There’s an indoctrination process that quickly undermines free will.” Adds Hassan, author of Combatting Cult Mind Control, who’s talked to 85 former Dahn devotees: “Dahn has been flying under the radar. But it is one of the more destructive and harmful cults out there.” Hassan also believes that, because Dahn uses yoga to attract members, it has been successful at recruiting young women. “Many women use Dahn centers like regular yoga studios and go home to their normal lives when class is over,” Hassan says. But “a small portion become enmeshed like Lucie did. Of those true believers, many are young, bright, upper-middle-class women looking for their place in the world.”

I love child rapists

4. Fifth Catholic Bishop/child rapist protector refuses to resign – Bishop Martin Drennan’s got some balls! He is personally responsible for possibly hundreds of children being raped, somehow isnt’ going to jail for life, and has the audacity to deny any responsibility for his actions. It’s people like this who make me almost wish there were a Hell.


One Response to News From Around The Blogosphere 12.27.09

  1. shrikant barve says:

    Well done Aditi Shedde & Aalif Surti.

    Steps towards real freedom of thought for children.

    Something to cheer in this season.

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