Sunday, July 19

Get holidays and degrees for old religions

Heh, you couldn't make this up even if you wanted it. In the UK, you get holidays if you are a pagan. I quote:

POLICE who worship heathen gods will get eight days off a year to celebrate pagan festivals. They are also in line for thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in recognition of their status as a “community” of pagans.

Home Office chiefs this week gave their backing to the Pagan Police Association which will be entitled to public funding, along the lines of that given to other rank-and-file organisations like the National Black Police ­Association. Last year the Home Office introduced a pagan oath which can be used in the courts and yesterday officials said self-styled witches, Druids and heathens were welcome in the police. But last night there was growing anger that public money should be spent supporting the policemen’s “religion”.

Why stop at policemen? We now have traditional medicine.

THE desire of many of South Africa’s 180,000 traditional healers to be absorbed into the mainstream health system was given a boost yesterday when Wits University launched a degree for sangomas. A bachelors or masters degree in indigenous knowledge systems is on offer at the university’s school of medicine. Once qualified, traditional healers will be able to diagnose diseases such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and diabetes, and refer patients to state hospitals. They will also be taught how to sell their medicines and open their own surgeries. Yesterday, about 1400 traditional healers from across South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho met to urge the government to formalise their status.

We are in cloud cuckoo land moving into loony street soon. Very soon, we will get good remedies such as Rhino juice for AIDS.

One of them is a potion called Ubhejani, the Zulu word for rhino, and in the city of Durban 500 bottles of it are being sold every week as a treatment for AIDS. He said he was not taking the anti-retro viral drugs which his doctors had recommended - because he believed they would harm him. The recipe for Ubhejani is a secret closely guarded by its creator, Zeblon Gwala.He says the combination of 89 African herbs came to him in a dream. Mr Gwala is a former truck driver with no medical training. And yet he has no qualms about encouraging his patients to stop taking orthodox AIDS drugs and consume his potion instead. In his time in office Thabo Mbeki has questioned the existence of AIDS and accused the big drugs companies of preying on Africa. He has refused to dismiss his Health Minister, who has been nicknamed "Dr Beetroot" by the local media for trumpeting the benefits of African medicine and vitamin supplements for HIV-positive people.

What on earth is the world coming to?

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