Seriously MOE? Abstinence?

At the time of writing, the following two news articles reported the Ministry of Education's drafting of a revised Sexuality Education Programme (SEP):

From Yahoo! News (SG)
A new focus on sexual abstinence

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has drafted a revised Sexuality Education Programme (SEP) to boost emphasis on abstinence over contraception, reported The New Paper (TNP).

The new programme, Breaking Down Bridges (BDB), will be taught to Secondary 3, first-year junior college and centralised institute students, said the paper.

TNP also reported that the old programme faced some criticism from some Catholics due to the emphasis on using contraception, and the lack of awareness given to abstaining from sex. While it understands from MOE that the new programme will be ready in 2012, no details have yet been confirmed.

An MOE spokesperson told TNP that the revamp is part of its "periodic review" of the SEP curriculum to "ensure that it is updated and relevant" to students.

Parents of students in Catholic schools in Singapore welcomed the change to the programme.

Yahoo! Singapore spoke to Marilyn Koh, 47, a Catholic whose son attends a Catholic school, "I'm really looking forward to MOE changing their focus on the SEP. I was not very comfortable with the previous curriculum as it was not catered to Catholic teachings."

Francis Chan, who also has a son in a Catholic school, agreed with the change, "It's a lot more appropriate for Catholic schools to be teaching the children to abstain from sex, instead of promoting contraception. I'm perfectly fine with the current programme running in a secular school, but Catholic schools should be imparting Catholic values, right?"


Online article by The New Paper
Sex-ed revision sparks questions

CONTRACEPTION may have to give some way to abstinence in a revised version of a Sexuality Education Programme (SEP) here.

The New Paper understands that a draft of this revised SEP for all schools here has already been drawn up – and that the 30 or more Catholic Schools here should find fewer issues with it.

Some communities find sections of the current programme overly promote the use of contraception, and lack emphasis on abstinence.

They are especially offended by a video showing how a condom should be used.

Others, however, are concerned about what the refreshed programme will entail.

The articles are not clear about what is meant by "boost emphasis on abstinence over contraception" and "contraception may have to give some way to abstinence". Is MOE adding some emphasis to sexual abstinence, reallocating emphasis to abstinence away from contraception or actually going for the "abstinence only" nonsense?

Secondly, why is Catholicism explicitly brought up in the articles? Again, is MOE placing additional weight on the "moral teachings" of Catholics over the well being of ALL students? No religion should hold sway over the secular (sexual or otherwise) education of students through their own religious teaching. There should be no sectarian bias in any of MOE's education programmes

Another point: Shouldn't sexual education be primarily decided by the Health Promotion Board instead? I'd think that sex ed. should be taught based on the science and data instead of religious "morals".

So, MOE, whatcha doing actually?

Farewell, Hitchens

Farewell, Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Here's a video (by TheThinkingAtheist) in memory of Hitchens.

Creationism Attack on Singapore

It has just come to my attention that Singapore is actually one of the 7 countries targeted by Creation Ministries International's "Question Evolution" campaign.

So if any Singaporeans has visited my blog, please be aware of this piece of religious nonsense attempting to spread itself further within our communities.

For more information and resources on the alleged Evolution-Creationism controversy, do visit the following sites:

This US non-profit organization has been defending the scientific theory of evolution for more than 2 decades. Check the site out for information pertaining to anti-Evolution movements by creationists in the US.

The TalkOrigins archive is home to the Index of Creationist Claims where practically all creationists claims has been answered/refuted. This is a quick resource for people looking for answers from mainstream science about creationists' "questions".

Creationism's pseudoscientific disguise, Intelligent Design, has been demolished in a federal court. The event was made into a NOVA documentary. This is worth a watch!

15+1 Youtubers, Christians and non-believers, has put together a 4 part video series to answer/rebut the 15 questions from the Question Evolution Campaign.

For those who enjoy being immersed in a stream of information, check out AronRa's Foundational Falsehood of Creationism series on Youtube.

Godless Bitches!

Just realized that I linked the Godless Bitches Podcast without making a post about them. So here it is.

The Godless Bitches Podcast is a podcast by the women of the ACA (Atheist Community of Austin) which also sponsors the Atheist Experience and the Non-prophets radio podcasts. The Godless Bitches podcast tackles feminist issues from a secular perspective and is regularly contributed by Beth Pressword, Jen Peeples, Tracie Harris and Lynnea Glasser.

I find myself enjoying the podcast a lot. The recent Episode 1.11 (embedded below) was hilarious (Tracie Harris rocked the show).

So check it out!

Religious harm (in the news)

I haven't writing any articles lately. Frankly, it's because there's not that much to write about when all of religion can be defeated with "Where is your fucking evidence?" (PS: "You must have FAITH!" is not a valid response.)

One other thing that is frequently propped up to save their religion is how much good it does. And if they want to play the weighing game, let's look at all the unnecessary harm attributable or contributed by religious idiocy. We don't have to look far at all. Just look at this past week-or-so's news -- we'll start with today.

Dec 2, 2011 -- Afghan rape victim freed from jail, to marry attacker

The Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered the release of a woman who was jailed for adultery after being raped -- but she now faces having to marry her attacker, officials said.

The move came after some 5,000 people signed a petition for the release of the woman, named Gulnaz, who has served two years in prison after a relative raped her at her home. She has been raising the child she had by her attacker in a prison cell in Kabul.

......But the officials also said that Gulnaz should marry the man who attacked her, due to fears she could be in danger if released because of the stigma surrounding her attack in Afghanistan.

She consented to the union, Faizi said.

"She agreed to the marriage but only if his (the attacker's) sister marries Gulnaz's brother," the spokesman added, explaining that this was a way to try and ensure Gulnaz was not attacked by the man in future.

Raped. Imprisoned for "adultery". Bore a child from the rape. Released to marry your rapist. Had to have the caveat that your rapist's sister be married to your brother to protect yourself from probable attacks in the future.

That is one very very sad state of affairs ENTIRELY brought about by Shariah law and a society soaked in Islam.

Nov 28, 2011 -- Egypt police: Killing sparks sectarian clash

Police say that a Muslim has been killed by a Christian in southern Egypt, sparking a sectarian clash, and the military has intervened to stop the violence.

......The director of security for the province of Sohag, Gen. Abdel al-Aziz al-Nahas, said the village of al-Ghureizat was under a police and army cordon Monday night following the death of a Muslim earlier in a fight with his neighbor. The conflict was about the building of a wall.

A sectarian clash over a murder over a conflict about building a wall. The divisive nature of religion really shines through this one.

Nov 27, 2011 -- 4 dead, churches burned in north Nigeria attack

Witnesses and authorities say at least four people died in an apparent attack on a northeast Nigeria city that saw churches and businesses burned to the ground.

......Witnesses say attackers blew up a local police station and attacked a bank, as well as set fire to businesses and at least eight churches.

More tribalistic behavior attributable to religious division.

Nov 26, 2011 -- Pope says all society, not just church, must be held to same standards against sex abuse

Pope Benedict XVI said all society must be held to the same standards against sexual child abuse and defended the Catholic church’s response in handling the series of child abuse scandals that have marred their institution starting in the 1980s.

Benedict made the statement on Saturday at the Vatican in remarks to visiting US bishops, insisting the “scourge” of pedophilia is a problem for every institution, the Associated Press reported.

Dear Pope, the rest of society has been held to higher standards compared to your church. We don't hide our pedophiles and send them off to other locations to rape more kids -- you DO. Now fuck off the moral high ground you stole.

Nov 25, 2011 -- Churches told dying patients they were cured

At least six people have died in Britain after being told that they had been healed of HIV, and could stop taking their medication.

There is evidence that evangelical churches in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow are claiming to cure HIV through God.

We sent three undercover reporters into the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) , which is based in Southwark, south London.

All of them told the pastors that they were HIV positive. All were told that they could be healed.

Christians performing subtle genocide against HIV patients amongst their own. That's some crazy shit there. What can I say? Faith is glorified ignorance and ignorance can kill.

Nov 24, 2011 -- Christian-Muslim clashes Nigeria kill at least 12

Clashes between Muslim and Christian ethnic groups in central Nigeria have killed at least 12 people and left "enormous" destruction, including houses burned, officials said on Thursday.

......A resident who did not want to be named said churches and an Islamic school were also burned.

......The clashes appeared to result from reprisals carried out over killings that had occurred several days ago.

......The area has been caught in a deadly cycle of attacks and reprisals that have regularly flared up for years.

Beroms and other mainly Christian ethnic groups are viewed as the indigenes in the area, while Hausa-Fulani Muslims are seen as the more recent "settlers" despite the fact that many have been there for decades.

Policies that favour indigenous groups when it comes to such issues as patronage and jobs have created animosity.

In turn, Beroms fear that Hausas -- a much larger ethnic group throughout Nigeria as a whole -- will eventually be allowed to dominate an area they see as their own.

Many say the crisis has been fueled by politicians in a local struggle for political and economic gain, but religious sentiments are increasingly being stirred as well.

Years of violence over arbitrarily defined division along religious lines. Again, tribal behavior facilitated by religious division.

Religion -- Creating unnecessary problems since conception.