Jewish date: 6 Ṭeveth 5770 (Parashath Wayyiggash).
Today’s holidays: Saint Day of John of Kanty (Roman Catholicism), Founding of Agia Sofia (Greek Orthodox Christianity).
Worthy causes of the day: “Libel reform campaign petition statement”, “We Need A Hero | Progressive Change Campaign Committee”, “MoveOn.org Political Action: Sign the petition”, and “Stop New Mining Near the Grand Canyon - The Petition Site”.
Topic 1: “Measles kills children of anti-vaccination sect”. I have said it before, and I say it again (and probably many more times in the future, too): Whatever god exists or karma does not favor those who act foolishly in the name of religion. In this case, the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church (probably a Pentecostal group) in Zimbabwe holds that people should not make use of medicine, including vaccination. Unsurprisingly, this group is suffering from a measles epidemic, and 30 people have died. Keep in mind, wisdom literature (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes) is part of the Canon for a reason.
Topic 2: “Dishonest Reporter Award 2009” and “Kaddafi Back in My Backyard”. Both of these articles deal with current anti-Semitism. The former reviews the worst anti-Semitic incidents in a number of categories in 2009. The latter, by Rav Shmuely Boteach, vents over a number of recent incidents in the United States (the Libyan embassy setting up shop in Englewood, the settlement freeze), the United Kingdom (various hostile actions against Israel, trying to dictate who is a Jew), and the Vatican (the planned canonization of Pius XII); he pleads for Jews not to be complacent, to stand up for themselves, and to consider running for public office. Rav Boteach is definitely right that bad things happen politically to those who do not stand up for themselves. Politicians feel the pressure to do whatever they can to gain and hold on to power, even if it means stepping on people who do not deserve it. No one should let politicians commit injustice by being a doormat. The Dry Bones cartoon “Twenty Years Later” is also relevant to this topic.
Topic 3: For today’s religious humor: “Can i haz”.