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The ISHV Cyber Think Tank A digest of articles, interviews, and blogs of consequence for thinking humanists and secularists everywhere        (Compiled by Robert Tapp)
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Rwanda's Horror + 20 by Edd Doerr  Twenty years have elapsed since the horror of the Rwanda massacre, in which half a  million to one million people were killed in just a few months, about 10% of the population of the small central African country. This bears looking at now because a major factor in the tragedy was human overpopulation, a global problem that threatens all of us. But first, a little background.  Rwanda and its virtual twin country Burundi are each about the size of Maryland. Their populations are both predominantly ethnic Hutu (2/3 in Rwanda, over 80% in Burundi) with a strong Tutsi minority ( about 14% in Burundi, slightly higher in Rwanda). The Hutu settled the two countries earlier, but the Tutsi  became dominant in both, rather like the Tutsi being the upper class and the Hutu the peasants. Germany took over both countries toward the end of the 19th century, but Belgium took over during WW I and ran both until independence in 1962. Catholic missionaries moved in during the German and Belgian occupations, so that today Rwanda is about 2/3 Catholic and Burundi over 80%. The European and Catholic occupations did nothing to alter the unstable balance between Hutu and Tutsi. Birth rates in the two countries have long been very high.
IN MEMORIAM: VICTOR J. STENGER New York Times–bestselling author leaves a rich intellectual legacy Prometheus Books is deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected loss of one of our most prolific and important authors, Victor J. Stenger. This Tuesday (September 9, 2014) marks the publication of his thirteenth Prometheus book, God and the Multiverse: Humanity's Expanding View of the Cosmos, and we can’t believe he isn’t here to see it off into the world and to engage the public in lively discourse on its topic at personal appearances or on his Huffington Post blog, as he would for any other book.
What is and how did the Religious Freedom  Restoration Act (RFRA) come into being?   RFRA places religious tenets above the rule of law. The use of RFRA by the Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House threatens and is well on its way to destroying U.S. democracy.   The beginning…   The Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon vs. Smith, 494  U.S. 872 (1990), is a United States Supreme Court case that determined that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, on the job, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. The Court ruled although states have the power to accommodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so.
by Toni Van Pelt
“A Judge Rules for Alabama Women” by Edd Doerr
Abortion clinic hospital admitting- privileges laws have nothing to do with women's health or safety. Rather, they are gimmicks used by the misogynist Religious Right to impose their narrow medieval religious opinions on all women, to take away women's religious liberty and rights of conscience. By cutting off access to clinics these laws actually harm women's health.
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