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Welcome to The Secular Gospel According to Jess! In this blog you’ll find everything from cartoons that make me laugh, to quotes that inspire me, to stories of my own personal experience when it comes to dealing with religion and pretty much everything in between. The title of my blog is intended to be ironic, as one doesn’t often hear the word, “gospel”, associated with secularism, but my intent is to preach, for lack of a better word, what I think gospel should really be about: love, rationalism, fairness, equality, human rights, science and truth. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sexual harrassment.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Need I say more?

More faith healing failures.

I am posting this as a follow up to my February post, "I came across this in the New York Times." According to the article, "faith healing" will no longer be an acceptable defense in court, which will change the charge for the crime from involuntary manslaughter to first degree manslaughter or homicide.

As it well should.

"An Oregon couple were found guilty Tuesday on felony charges of criminal mistreatment of their infant daughter for relying on faith healing instead of medical treatment.

Last year, we told you about Alayna May Wyland, an infant treated for hemangioma (uncontrolled growth of blood vessels) with prayer and anointing with oil. She was taken from her parents’ custody after this treatment, much to their surprise, was found ineffective. As a result of delaying medical treatment for six and a half months of chanting and oiling, little Alayna may have a permanently deformed face. Developmental delays in her left eye may require surgery.

Had medical treatment been sought at the onset of the condition, there would likely have been no long-term complications.

Her faith-healing parents, Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, lost custody of their daughter briefly, and were charged with neglect.

On Tuesday, a jury in Oregon City found the pair guilty of felony criminal mistreatment for their failure to bring the child to a doctor. Their defense consisted of claiming themselves, via their attorney, to be the victims of religious persecution; the Wylands never took the stand in their own defense. Perhaps their attorneys felt that a recording made last year was evidence enough:

The Wylands testified during a July juvenile court custody hearing that they wouldn’t have willingly taken Alayna to a doctor because it would violate their religious beliefs. The Wylands said they put their trust — and Alayna’s fate — in God’s hands.

The jury heard a recording of the hearing.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 24. The Wylands face up to five years in prison. They are the first members of the Followers of Christ Church to be prosecuted before the death of their “faith-healed” child.

The Oregon House and Senate have both passed similar versions of a law which will remove the “faith healing” defense, leaving negligent parents open to charges of first-degree manslaughter or homicide."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not Surprised.

I scored 14 out of 15, which is better than 97% of the public. Funny, considering I grew up secular.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I was asked recently why it seemed that I preferred Judaism to Christianity. Fair question. I was raised in a secular household by a Jewish father and a Christian mother, neither of whom were religious. My mom stopped practicing Lutheranism at age 13, when she approached her parents and said, "I don't want to go to church anymore because I can't love a God that would send an unbaptized child to hell." Her parents, also not religious, were relieved, responding that they only took her and her siblings to church because they thought it was the right thing to do, but they had no desire to go themselves. When she met my dad she converted to Judaism, mostly to pacify my dad's moderately conservative family who preferred that he marry another Jew (as most Jews do), but also because she genuinely felt that Judaism spoke to her in a way that Christianity didn't. I tell this story because while I clearly think both religions are bullshit (excuser mon fran├žais), I DO indeed favor Jewish ideals IN GENERAL. Overall, I find it a rather more progressive and tolerant religion. While I won't go into the long-winded explanation, I did find this chart rather handy (and much more concise) to help me justify the reasons for why I feel that way.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

All that is necessary...

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men (and women) do nothing."