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Comments by Linda Ward

Go to: Secular wedding ceremonies - Canada

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Linda Ward

You didn't say which part of Canada you live in. Have you tried a Google search for a Humanist Officiant?

In the GTA try: http://aweddingceremoniesofficiant.com/

It is quite easy to construct a wedding service yourself and then do the paperwork with a Justice of the Peace in literally any community.

We attended a Humanist wedding in Spain and the couple designed the service. The next day they went to City Hall, Barcelona, and had the legal documents completed. Our friends in Toronto hired a Humanist officiant for their wedding. There is no Canadian requirement that I'm aware of for religious services for hatching, matching or dispatching. Do not be intimidated by superstitious relatives.

This is not all that complicated.

My husband and I were married by a Justice of the Peace at a real estate office in Port Hope, the celebrations were separate from the legal issues.

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 13:11:04 UTC | #949414

Go to: Should Depressed People Avoid Having Children?

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Linda Ward

If only more people were like Silverman, she is a clear headed thinker.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 00:20:32 UTC | #946005

Go to: How to safely watch the transit of Venus on Tuesday

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Linda Ward

Here in Toronto the sky was perfect and Varsity Stadium was packed with watchers. It was a wonderful surprise to see so many families queued up to get some glasses and to hear commentary from Astronomers.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/06/transit-of-venus-2012/

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 12:49:12 UTC | #945859

Go to: Nobel laureate joins anti-vaccination crowd at Autism One

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Linda Ward

@Red Dog

So, if parents know that their child is deaf and decide to have it anyway are you saying that things like Cochlear implants shouldn't be paid for by the government healthcare system?

Deafness doesn't preclude becoming a fully functional, self sufficient adult. My comment is in regards to severe birth defects such as:

A hysterectomy performed on a severely disabled American child to keep her sexually immature and comfortable was illegal, an investigation found on Tuesday.

The goal of parenting is to raise physically and emotionally healthy children who become self sufficient adults and are able to function on their own.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 22:53:32 UTC | #945593

Go to: How to safely watch the transit of Venus on Tuesday

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Linda Ward

I have tickets to attend a Transit of Venus event hosted by the University of Toronto tomorrow. While many of the extras such as talks and the play are sold out there are still some free tickets available to watch (with glasses) at Varsity Stadium on Tuesday.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 17:01:11 UTC | #945506

Go to: Nobel laureate joins anti-vaccination crowd at Autism One

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Linda Ward

@CEVA34

Not in any useful sense, if it's available to folk like Sarah Palin. They will go right ahead and have a baby even if they know it will be handicapped. God's will, and all that, you know.

Knowledge is still power. If a pregnant female as a consenting adult wishes to give birth to a child with disabilities IMO then that family should not expect the state to finance the tremendous amount of medical help and social support needed. Then again if the gods exist why on earth would they cause birth defects in the first place?

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 14:47:14 UTC | #945478

Go to: Nobel laureate joins anti-vaccination crowd at Autism One

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Linda Ward

Perhaps in the future when we are all tested for inherited gene problems then Autism can be prevented through choice in which sexually active adults refrain from procreating.

There are already some countries were gene testing before marriage is compulsory:

Who owns your genes? ABC Australia, The Philosopher's Zone:

Justin Oakley:

In Cyprus now for almost 30 years it’s been compulsory for couples intending to marry to obtain a premarital genetic test for thalassaemia, because there’s a particularly high incidence of that genetic disease in Cyprus and it’s one that without treatment reduces your life expectancy to about five years of age for the child that’s born with it. So Cyprus, way back in 1982, they introduced this program whereby couples have to obtain a genetic test in order to get a marriage licence. It’s then up to the couple to decide what to do with that information. So the couple, if one of them finds that they’re a carrier for this particular disorder, then they can decide perhaps to test the foetus, if they become pregnant with it. Or indeed perhaps decide not to get married at all to the same partner.

Pregnant women are given more knowledge about the health of the fetus their are carrying and there must be opportunity for anyone not wishing to deliver a baby that has severe problems to abort. Knowledge is always empowering.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 12:15:34 UTC | #945456

Go to: [Update] How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Linda Ward

Matt Seaton of the Guardian re: the correction on this piece(1 June 2012 7:31PM, page 27):

I edited the final par simply because I felt it offered a bit of a blizzard of questions, which slightly clouded the central issues already illuminated by the piece. The cut was intended to keep a clarity of focus.

I am pretty sure that this edit was made before publication, not post; so I don't think you could be getting that text from a cached early version (indeed, you don't). We do occasionally make editorial changes post-publication – usually to correct typographical or factual errors, or to update the article; but our practice is to place an endnote acknowledging the amendment or alteration. It is just conceivable that I hit 'publish', and then had second thoughts, and immediately made a further edit, without noting it; but I think I would remember doing so.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 18:55:25 UTC | #945042

Go to: UPDATED: Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Linda Ward

Kudos Richard, you finessed this topic eloquently and beautifully illustrated what children can learn from Christian historical mythology and see that morality is exclusive from the narrative. It will be interesting & fun to read the expected barrage of comments that will hit the piece when the GU opens the thread in the a.m.

Sun, 20 May 2012 00:41:46 UTC | #942332

Go to: Am I over-reacting?

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Linda Ward

Maybe you should have hit the link before allowing your child to attend an Evangelical training camp.

The website screams religious indoctrination. What kind of school does your kid attend in the first place? is it a faith based one? This is quite disturbing. Have you sat in on an RE class to discover if the course addresses comparative religious mythologies or is is it indoctrination?

After doing some research I now find out that the Abernethy Trust is a Christian organisation associated with the Evangelical Alliance

Sun, 13 May 2012 00:41:23 UTC | #941245

Go to: How was airline bomb made to be 'undetectable'?

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Linda Ward

Oh gosh, this means that there will be even longer security checks at airports while the witless, hired to screen passengers, are given even more intrusive leeway to insult us.

Tue, 08 May 2012 23:58:04 UTC | #940637

Go to: Cardinal Brady will not resign over 'abuse failure'

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Linda Ward

Youtube: Irishtimes.com: Cardinal Seán Brady responds to BBC programme

Catholic primate Séan Brady has today seriously criticised a BBC television programme which focused on the church's handing of clerical sex abuse allegations. According to the programme, a Catholic Church inquiry team that included the then Fr Brady failed to pass on allegations of abuse to parents of some of the vicims of the paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975. Irish Times Religious Affairs Correspondent Patsy McGarry considers Cardinal Brady's response.

Brady reminds me of the pope in the the HBO series 'the Borgias, the Original Crime Family'. The man comes across as an arrogant prat obsessed with his own self importance who is free to spread superstitious nonsense with impunity and that includes harming children and the emotionally weak.

The people of Ireland are backward, socially retarded and emotional disabled by their religiosity. Sectarian violence there continues fostered by clerics that continue to dominate.

Thu, 03 May 2012 01:30:14 UTC | #939228

Go to: It’s Time for the US To Finally Sign the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Linda Ward

Israel has nuclear weapons and I don't see that country on the list of names supporting test bans.

Thu, 26 Apr 2012 00:24:14 UTC | #937374

Go to: Mount Etna eruption expected any time now - webcam

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Linda Ward

Woody Allen's movie Mighty Aphrodite was shot in the Taomina amphitheater built to frame Etna. It is a spectacular place to watch the volcano and to get a sense of history and geology.

[> by far the most remarkable monument

remaining at Taormina is the Ancient theatre, which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, on account both of its remarkable preservation and of the surpassing beauty of its situation.]

It is easy to fall in love with Sicilia and the surrounding volcanic islands.

Paula, did you travel also to swim at Vulcano?

Sun, 15 Apr 2012 14:18:52 UTC | #934837

Go to: Q&A: Pell vs Dawkins - April 9, Easter Monday night

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Linda Ward

@ Richard, Given the nature of this weekend and that our Western nations continue to insist on a theocratic enforced public holiday it would be good to raise a couple of issues with the RC cardinal.

Currently in the UK themed passion plays based on the crucifixion tale are being acted out as public spectacle. I love theatre but do wonder if parents are allowing children to attend what is essentially snuff porn entertainment, are kids are free to watch violent films too. Should age appropriate concerns factor into religion presentations?

Why are people in the Philippines, an over populated and tremendously poor nation thanks to the interference in women being free to use reproductive technologies, allowing real torture to take place on stage? Is it right for children to watch this, they do have developing emotions that can be harmed by such trauma as the spilling of real blood.

Is it right to use this terrible imagery to tamper with the minds and emotions of children, telling them that it is a true story when there is not a shred of evidence in history of any absolutely dead thing ever resurrecting?

Why is the RC church continuing to practice magic, waving a wand while speaking special words over a snack food and presto turning it into a god for consumption?

I realize that if you ask my questions that you'll be accused of being strident, militant and insulting beliefs but should it matter when such ideologies are just plain antiquated?

The priest chatter against freedom from religion is truly aggressive and mean.

Best, Linda

p.s. Of course we all like holidays from work and surely they can be determined in an inclusive way without forcing religion. Here in Canada we have Family Day in February. A nice long weekend that all of us can enjoy.

Fri, 06 Apr 2012 15:54:02 UTC | #932766

Go to: Blessed are those with a persecution complex?

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Linda Ward

Paula,

Julian Baggini is wrapping up his stint at the Guardian, Cif, Belief. You would be a good writer to take up the role for a bit and even to do some podcasts to balance out the ones by Giles Fraser. Why is your voice absent from the Guardian?

Best, Linda

Fri, 23 Mar 2012 23:16:45 UTC | #929985

Go to: Heaven Can Wait - Was I wrong about the afterlife? No.

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Linda Ward

Superb

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:25:06 UTC | #927183

Go to: Atheist in Memory Lapse and Slavery Shock

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Linda Ward

I had a heart attack in November and the admitting nurse in filling out the intake form asked 'Religion', that made me double up even more as had no clue that in Canada that sort of thing continued. I said of course Atheist and the woman had a sympathetic look and tone and said, 'oh that's okay'. While in the ICU I did see a man wearing a dog collar patrolling the ward, that made me feel even sicker!

"Hospices, prisons, the military and hospitals are institutions that employ the services of a chaplain to meet the needs of their patients or constituents. Some airports also have chaplains and to a lesser extent, some corporations as well."

We are just back from traveling in India and exploring the beautiful painted Dravidian temples of Tamil Nadu. One temple unique temple has gods created in the images of the planets. A priest motioned us into the inner sanctum to meet the Sun God as he was holding court. Fancy that! I think it will take a few more years for Indians to embrace freedom from religion especially since we in the West are only taking baby steps to let go of the gods, no matter how goofy they are.

I find it truly disturbing to see starving, destitute Indians take their only rupee and buy a coconut to offer to a god and wonder why they simply don't eat it to relieve hunger.

http://www.ehow.com/info_7821283_much-money-do-chaplains-make.html#ixzz1nv1CfxSs

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 01:29:14 UTC | #923652

Go to: VIDEO: Richard Dawkins & Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Linda Ward

Hi Richard,

Thank you for the kind reply. Andrew and I have made a point of attending Atheism events and your speaking engagements around the world as we both feel it is important to understand and then empower other people to seek science based answers to questions and most of all, the truth in all things.

re: the Dialogue

One of the topics was a brief attempt to define consciousness, an elusive as yet aspect to our existence. The GU is presenting a podcast on the topic this week:

"Science Weekly podcast: Can science ever explain consciousness?

Three leading researchers and thinkers on consciousness discuss the emerging scientific understanding of this mysterious human faculty":

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/audio/2012/feb/27/science-weekly-podcast-consciousness

The Cif comments on consciousness again show the divide between trying to define what happens from a scientific viewpoint versus invoking the old 'god did it' excuse without evidence to support the assertion.

Why is it so hard to say 'I don't know' but will try and figure it out instead of taking the easy god road that more and more seems a shabby excuse for anything.

Given that the audience at the Sheldonian were mostly drawn from various theology departments I did wonder if any people understood the comment about neuroscience and the potential to answer more questions in time. Too many expect that all puzzles be solved by this time in our evolution without looking to the future for wisdom. Also making a point about A Universe from Nothing may have escaped those not familiar with Lawrence Krauss and the work of other contemporary physicists. While it does seem a complicated idea, when Krauss explains it is perfectly rational.

I am astounded that a man like Williams would feel the need to consult the bible on any matters other than to read the King James as a book of poetry.

All the best from Toronto, Linda Ward Selbie

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 15:48:16 UTC | #922465

Go to: VIDEO: Richard Dawkins & Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Linda Ward

My Dialogue Diary

I was fortunate enough to attend the Dialogue and it was certainly a thrill to be there in person. While neither Dawkins nor Williams made any proactive remarks that wasn’t really surprising given the natures of both people. The Archbishop is highly intelligent and even when pressed on the issue of ‘soul’ in a room full of theology proponents he had to fumble a bit and tried evasion rather than commitment. I do wonder if after he retires if he’ll also come out as an agnostic as Dr. Kenny did.

The organizer, Dr. Margaret Yee, planned an event for civil discourse and that was certainly achieved. If Dawkins had been put against others such as the evangelical W.L. Craig or other loud mouthed protagonists then fireworks would have happened and of course made the papers. There were many reporters perched in the choir loft hoping for a scoop that never came. While some may have expected a ground breaking historic event it was more like a genial afternoon tea party with nice Oxford folk.

The reception afterward was very pleasant and a rare opportunity for my husband and me to meet Rowan Williams. He is a very approachable, friendly, welcoming, engaging person who was intrigued to find two Canadians there. (We were on our way home to Canada from India). My husband had lots of questions of course but there were many wanting to meet the loveable man too. Although we have attended many events around the world with Dawkins, he completely snubbed us. That made me feel sad, but what the heck, at least the Archbishop was more than I expected as a human being. I can’t imagine that meeting the pope is so easy.

I remain an outspoken Atheist and did quite happily say that to the Archbishop.

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 15:01:22 UTC | #922452

Go to: No blood on the carpet. How disappointing. [Also in Polish]

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 113 by Linda Ward

My Dialogue Diary

I was fortunate enough to attend the Dialogue and it was certainly a thrill to be there in person. While neither Dawkins nor Williams made any proactive remarks that wasn’t really surprising given the natures of both people. The Archbishop is highly intelligent and even when pressed on the issue of ‘soul’ in a room full of theology proponents he had to fumble a bit and tried evasion rather than commitment. I do wonder if after he retires if he’ll also come out as an agnostic as Dr. Kenny did.

The organizer, Dr. Margaret Yee, planned an event for civil discourse and that was certainly achieved. If Dawkins had been put against others such as the evangelical W.L. Craig or other loud mouthed protagonists then fireworks would have happened and of course made the papers. There were many reporters perched in the choir loft hoping for a scoop that never came. While some may have expected a ground breaking historic event it was more like a genial afternoon tea party with nice Oxford folk.

The reception afterward was very pleasant and a rare opportunity for my husband and me to meet Rowan Williams. He is a very approachable, friendly, welcoming, engaging person who was intrigued to find two Canadians there. (We were on our way home to Canada from India). My husband had lots of questions of course but there were many wanting to meet the loveable man too. Although we have attended many events around the world with Dawkins, he completely snubbed us. That made me feel sad, but what the heck, at least the Archbishop was more than I expected as a human being. I can’t imagine that meeting the pope is so easy.

I remain an outspoken Atheist and did quite happily say that to the Archbishop.

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:04:25 UTC | #922431

Go to: Wife and daughters died in 'honour killing', court told

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Linda Ward

@ Daisy Skipper - I agree that the daily reporting on the trial by Blatchford was excellent.

Today in the Globe and Mail there is an excellent synopsis of what went wrong for the arrogant Shafias:

How arrogance and mistakes led to Shafia’s murder conviction

Christie Blatchford: No honour in ‘cold-blooded, shameless’ murder of Shafia girls

Interview with one of Yahya’s sisters, Soraya, in Kabul.

Soraya was “scandalized” by the pictures the reporter showed them, shot of Zainab and Sahar in ordinarily skimpy skirts or bathing and with male friends and boyfriends. She and her husband both cheerfully told Ouimet they believe in killing for honour.

Her husband Habibullah said simply, if his daughters (the couple has seven, plus two boys) dishonoured him, “I would put them in a bag and eliminate them so no one would ever find their traces in Afghanistan.”

The ongoing tragedy is that millions of women are suffering, bullied by monstrous patriarchal, violent men who are empowered by culture/religion to carry on.

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 20:41:42 UTC | #912800

Go to: Religious freedom under threat from courts, professor warns

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Linda Ward

The true colours of religiosity manifests when the front line workers, clerics, declare that the ideologies of superstition should always take precedence over EQUALITY! Goodness, how horrid are these people?

Thankfully the Good News is that at least in some jurisdictions common decency is considered the benchmark of a noble, moral society.

For too long the promoters of religions have existed above reproach and often the law, the gig is up as we have seen behind the curtain and the wizard is just an old man pulling puppet strings.

We will be free.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 21:58:36 UTC | #911499

Go to: Orangutans 'could video chat' between zoos via iPads

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Linda Ward

Damn, they will get the hang of the iPad quicker than me. I am iApp-ing as fast as Ican.

Fri, 30 Dec 2011 13:33:14 UTC | #903785

Go to: Lego bible too racy for Sam's Club

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Linda Ward

I bought this book for my husband for Christmas, it is hilarious. Then again we are lovers of Lego too!

Fri, 30 Dec 2011 01:15:04 UTC | #903681

Go to: Turin Shroud resurrected

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 89 by Linda Ward

It would be kind of fun to host an art workshop in which the participants make a Shroud of Turin. It is typical in the relic industry to keep churning out all sorts of kitsch.

Wed, 21 Dec 2011 21:38:44 UTC | #901791

Go to: Turin Shroud resurrected

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by Linda Ward

We know how to put a face pm toast or a potato, it isn't rocket science.

Wed, 21 Dec 2011 14:52:29 UTC | #901688

Go to: Turin Shroud resurrected

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Linda Ward

There is a copy of this fiber artwork at St. Sulpice, Paris. It is recreated with using contemporary materials. You too can make one of these.

How to make a Shroud of Turin

Italian chemist Luigi Garlaschelli and his team used the same type of linen. First they aged the cloth with heat, using a normal oven, and washing it with water. The shroud was placed over a student covered in red ochre, using a mask that simulated Jesus' alleged physiognomy. They kept aging and washing the shroud, adding the necessary blood stains in the process.

It is my contention that the so called 'Shroud' was fabricated by Leonardo who may be the first person to invent photographic image fixing as was later done by Daguerre (France). Daguerreotypes are positive, fixed photo images. Given that Da Vinci had to hide his experiments from teh Inquisition including the study of anatomy it would have been impossible to announce a new technique at that time. Even in the 19th century the photographic darkroom work of bringing a latent image to view was considered magic and by some evil. We still suffer from too much ignorance today.

Religious nonsense is easier to understand than regular nonsense

When will most people stop be so eager to be tricked by charlatans rather than accept facts?

Wed, 21 Dec 2011 14:21:45 UTC | #901675

Go to: Judgement reserved over Bideford Town Council prayers

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Linda Ward

The people of the UK continue to wallow in absurd fantasies promoted by clerics and the monarchy as if they do not have the emotional maturity to just say no, that ain't so.

As I look at the UK for e.g. and the problems with overpopulation and lack of work it makes me wonder why the people there are not willing to address the issue of the monarchy. The folks that grovel before the British monarchy seem to be engaging in willful blindness to the fact that the group receives millions of tax dollar handouts, own 50% of the UK coastline, Regent Street, more homes and estates than any of can imagine and yet nothing is done about that. Surely doing an Ataturk on those people, confiscated the property and using the liquidated assets to finance educating and bringing the population up to speed with modern times is an obvious plan.

Then again the USA is also doomed to failure thanks to the promotion of religiosity over science and common sense.

China and India are looking at the West in the their rear view mirrors.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 15:58:33 UTC | #896474

Go to: Nigerian senate passes anti-gay bill, defying British aid threat

Linda Ward's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Linda Ward

Barbaric, cruel, violent, ignorant and vile are those that enacted this backward law.

Sat, 03 Dec 2011 23:35:26 UTC | #895420