Notes and Comment Blog

Our short and pithy observations on the passing scene as it relates to the mission of Butterflies and Wheels. Woolly-headed or razor-sharp comments in the media, anti-rationalist rhetoric in books or magazines or overheard on the bus, it’s all grist to our mill. And sometimes we will hold forth on the basis of no inspiration at all beyond what happens to occur to us.

Ireland has passed the same-sex marriage referendum by 1,201,607 votes

May 23rd, 2015 11:01 am | By

And it’s official official at last – they had to wait for Cork to finish counting, while all of Twitter yelled at Cork to hurry up.

  • 18:55 Ireland becomes the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote.
  • 18:51 Returning Officer Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile declares that Ireland has passed the same-sex marriage referendum by 1,201,607 votes (62.1%) to 734,300 (37.9%).
  • 18:35 The end is nigh! The returning officer for Cork North West/South West/East says two of three results are with Dublin Castle and the third is on the way in minutes.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

An example of something that’s wholesome and wonderful

May 23rd, 2015 10:21 am | By

Mike Huckabee on Josh Duggar and the Duggar family:

Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgement is not mature. No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility.

Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims. Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness. We have been blessed to receive God’s love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.

Mike Huckabee on people who aren’t his Christofascist friends:

“It won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” Huckabee said on a right-wing radio program while discussing the backlash against anti-gay religious-freedom legislation in Arkansas and Indiana.

“I’m talking now about the unabridged, unapologetic Gospel that is really God’s truth,” he said.

Huckabee made the remarks during an appearance on the conservative Family Research Council radio program “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.”

Mike Huckabee on how the Obamas raise their children:

In an interview about his new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, Huckabee tells PEOPLE he doesn’t get how the Obamas can encourage their daughters’ love for Beyoncé. Especially, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister says, if the president and first lady ever actually listened to the lyrics to – or seen a performance ofBeyonc´’s steamy “Drunk in Love.”

The Obamas “are excellent and exemplary parents in many ways,” Huckabee says.

“That’s the whole point. I don’t understand how on one hand they can be such doting parents and so careful about the intake of everything – how much broccoli they eat and where they go to school and making sure they’re kind of sheltered and shielded from so many things – and yet they don’t see anything that might not be suitable for either a preteen or a teen in some of the lyrical content and choreography of Beyoncé, who has sort of a regular key to the door” of the White House.

From the same article, Mike Huckabee on people who really do know how to raise children:

As for any 2016 bid for the White House, Huckabee says he’ll decide sometime this spring and, if it’s a yes, he wants some of the only reality TV stars he can stomach – the Duggars of TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting beside him.

“I’ve pointed them out as an example of something that’s wholesome and wonderful and I’ve known them since Jim Bob was in the legislature when I was governor,” says Huckabee. The Duggars campaigned for Huckabee in 2008. “Should I run, I’m hoping they’ll do it again. And now there’s more of ’em!”

The wholesomest.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)


May 23rd, 2015 10:08 am | By

Party time at Dublin Castle:

Embedded image permalink


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Done deal

May 23rd, 2015 9:44 am | By

RTÉ has called it.

RTÉ News‏@rtenews
Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum has been passed

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The Tweet of God

May 23rd, 2015 9:34 am | By

God has tweeted about the vote.

God ‏@TheTweetOfGod 2h2 hours ago
Dublin, if this doesn’t tell you My opinion nothing will. #MarRef

Embedded image permalink

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Reality check

May 23rd, 2015 9:29 am | By

RTÉ’s live count.

17:13 Result for Dublin North: Yes 72.61% No 27.39%. That is 34,494 Yes votes and 13,009 No votes. A margin of 21,485. The turnout is 65.83%.

17:02 Result from Dublin North Central: Yes 68.95% No 31.05%. That is 25,382 Yes votes and 11,431 No votes. A margin of 13,951. The turnout is 68.85%.

Result from Dublin Central: Yes 72.37% No 27.63%. That is 23,861 Yes votes and 9,108 No votes. A margin of 14,753. The turnout is 57.98%.

16:51 Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said the social revolution that Minister Leo Varadkar spoke about earlier has been going on for some time. He said the Catholic Church needs a reality check.

In so many ways.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

A day where the Irish people will have wide open arms

May 23rd, 2015 8:54 am | By

The Guardian says a Yes vote is certain – which is sort of obvious given the numbers, but still worth hearing. It’ll be official in a bit over an hour, at 6 p.m Irish time, apparently.

At the start of the referendum campaign a 67-year-old veteran politician finally outed himself as gay for the cause of the Yes campaign. Pat Carey, a former parliamentarian for Fianna Fail, told the Guardian two months ago that he came out to convince those of his generation and rural background that it was ok to be gay.

Turning up at Dublin Castle, Carey said of the result: “It means everything for myself and people like me. It’s a gigantic step along the road of a very long journey and it’s a day where the Irish people will have wide open arms, and embraced us like I never thought they would do it with such strength and generosity.”

Yes yes yes yes.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Merrion Square Yes

May 23rd, 2015 8:47 am | By


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

It will be a resounding Yes vote

May 23rd, 2015 8:12 am | By

RTÉ News on the referendum:

The same-sex marriage referendum looks set to be passed by a margin of possibly two to one, according to tallies.

A number of campaigners against the marriage referendum have congratulated the Yes side on its campaign.

The first official constituency result was declared in Sligo-North Leitrim with Yes on 53.57% and No on 46.43%.

In Waterford the result was: Yes with 60.33% and No on 39.67%.

In Wicklow, the result was Yes on 68.37% and No on 31.63%.

The official national result is expected to be announced before 6pm.

Large crowds have been gathering in Dublin Castle to hear the final result, which will be a resounding Yes vote.

Two to one!! That’s amazing!!!

The count in Dublin, RTÉ just said, is 71% yes.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Parteeeee at Dublin Castle

May 23rd, 2015 8:05 am | By


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)


May 23rd, 2015 7:54 am | By

The BBC says the yes side seems to be winning.

Government ministers have said they believe it will pass, while prominent “no” campaigners have conceded defeat.

Counting started at 09:00 BST on Saturday morning. An “unusually high” turnout has been reported.

A result is expected late afternoon on Saturday.

The Indy says the no side has conceded.

The Republic of Ireland appears set to become the first country to introduce same-sex marriage by a popular vote, especially now since the ‘no’ campaign appears to have conceded.

David Quinn, of the Iona Institute and ‘No’ campaign tweeted a concession and congratulations to the ‘Yes’ campaign amid widespread reports of a landslide.

A landslide!

Congratulations Ireland!


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The Family Research Council

May 22nd, 2015 6:14 pm | By

The SPLC has a dossier on the Family Research Council, former employers of Josh Duggar.

The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

To make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American society, the FRC employs a number of “policy experts” whose “research” has allowed the FRC to be extremely active politically in shaping public debate. Its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media. It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in an effort to “transform the culture.”

The SPLC provides a selection of quotations.

“[H]omosexual activists vehemently reject the evidence which suggests that homosexual men … are … relative to their numbers, more likely to engage in such actions [childhood sexual abuse] than are heterosexual men.”
– Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at FRC, on why the Boy Scouts should not allow LGBT Scouts or leaders, FRC blog, February 1, 2013.

“We believe the evidence shows … that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men.”
— Peter Sprigg, “Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views.” 2011.

“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
— FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010

“Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
— Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999

“One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”
—1999 FRC publication, “Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia,” Robert Knight and Frank York


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Josh Duggar boasts “children are a gift from the Lord”

May 22nd, 2015 5:40 pm | By

Think Progress collects Josh Duggar’s nine most sanctimonious moments as Executive Director of the Family Research Council. (Mr Family Values, that guy – grope your sisters, they’re Family.)

1. When Josh Duggar argued that an LGBT nondiscrimination measure in Arkansas jeopardized the safety of children:

Enacting additional laws that are trying to protect one group of people over another is not really the solution and in fact it has the inverse effect on others…We have to make sure we’re standing up to protect the rights of privacy and protecting the well-being of women and children in our cities.

Yeah baby. Keep the poofters from molesting our women and children. Don’t let them marry, because then they might have a straight son who would molest his younger sisters. We wouldn’t want that.

3. When Josh Duggar appeared at a charity event and talked about how doing evil things to children is the worst:

In the absence of doing good, Duggar said, “evil comes in to fill the void,” adding, evil done to children is “one of its worst forms.” CCHO is a place they can go and “break that chain (of evil).”

So is prison…if their parents don’t cover the whole thing up until after the statue of limitations expires. Isn’t this a great country?

7. When Josh Duggar went on the Today Show and talked about how “children are a gift” that require you to look “beyond youself”:

You know, really children are a gift from the Lord and when you look at them that way and you look at them really as more of an investment and really, you know, looking beyond yourself, I think that’s what’s so important.

An investment in high quality young tits and pussies to grope.

That’s only three of the nine. He’s a dedicated man.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The Duggar family is a cult

May 22nd, 2015 5:26 pm | By

Mark Joseph Stern at Slate points out the undeniable, that Josh Duggar’s horrible ignorant benighted fanatical parents made him what he is. Yes, indeed they did.

A boy grows up in a controlling, cultlike family that rejects Enlightenment values and closes off much of the outside world. He is deprived of any conception of morality separate from a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. His intellectual and ethical development is stunted by reactionary, dogmatic views about gender and sexuality. He is told that women were made to be subservient to men, to be obedient to their masters. How should we react when it comes to light that this boy repeatedly molested young girls?

With rage at his parents and the Quiverful movement, and at popular culture in general and TLC in particular for treating it like a darling quaint back to nature movement.

Duggar—star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, oldest child of the right-wing Duggar family, and (until now) a key player at the Family Research Council, a certified hate group—has spent his career fighting LGBTQ rights. He has fought against marriage equality and LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances, suggesting that such laws could jeopardize children. His mother implied that trans people are child predators. His employer wrote that gay marriage and gay adoption should be outlawed because gay men are extremely likely to molest young boys. And at the same time he and his family were promoting these noxious views and using reality TV to build their fame, they were covering up Josh’s record of molesting multiple young girls as a teenager. (TLC pulled the show from its schedule on Friday.)

All while looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in their sanctimonious mouths.

Although TLC goes to great lengths to mask this fact, the Duggar family is a cult. They forbid their children [to explore] outside ideas and expression, carefully monitoring every word and image they are exposed to. They forbid them [to wear] shorts. They homeschool them in order to indoctrinate them with backward beliefs. They refuse to let their adult daughters kiss or hold hands before marriage and demand to read every text between their daughters and their suitors. They adhere to a fringe Christian movement called the “Christian patriarchy,” which commands total female submission to men and limited education for women. The Duggars do everything they can to control their children’s minds, then brainwash them with misogynistic dogma.

So is it any surprise that they treat women and girls like shit? No. Is it any surprise that they don’t confine the shit treatment to lawfully wedded wives and daughters? Not really, no.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Arkansas police have destroyed the record

May 22nd, 2015 4:40 pm | By


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas police have destroyed a record outlining a nearly decade-old investigation into reality TV star Josh Duggar, a spokesman said Friday, a day after the 27-year-old resigned his role with a prominent conservative Christian group amid reports about sexual misconduct allegations from when he was a juvenile.

“Sexual misconduct” is putting it a great deal too politely. The allegations are that he groped his younger sisters.
The reports are also that his parents did nothing about it, and that his sisters were expected to “forgive” him and leave it at that.

And that the Duggars have been telling the world how fabulous they are because Jesus via a popular reality tv show for the past seven years. Amid those reports, the records have been destroyed. What a squalid tank of shit all this is.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which obtained the offense report before its destruction, reports Duggar was accused of fondling five girls in 2002 and 2003.

Other outlets have it too.

Duggar issued an apology Thursday on Facebook for unspecified bad behavior as a youth and resigned his role as executive director for FRC Action, the tax-exempt legislative action arm of the Washington-based Family Research Council.

“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions,” Duggar wrote. “In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

Fuck you. Fuck you you godbothering homophobic sister-groping creep. It’s not about you, it’s about the girls you groped.

Springdale Police began investigating Duggar in 2006 when officers were alerted to a letter containing the allegations that was found in a book lent by a family friend to someone else.

The report, originally published by tabloid In Touch Weekly, states that a member of Harpo Studios, the producer of Oprah Winfrey’s then show, received an email containing the allegations before the family was set to appear in 2006.

The tipster warned producers against allowing the Duggars on the show and studio staff members faxed a copy of the email to Arkansas State Police.

In 2006. In 2008 that revolting tv show started, and the Duggars have been lapping up the money and attention for seven years, after having successfully concealed a series of crimes against their own god damn daughters.

Springdale Police spokesman Scott Lewis said Judge Stacey Zimmerman ordered the 2006 offense report destroyed Thursday. Zimmerman didn’t return a request for comment on Friday.

“The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record,” Lewis said, adding that similar records are typically kept indefinitely. “As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.”

God’s will be done, eh?

Several Arkansas Republicans have rallied behind the Duggar family, which is still engrained in state politics. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar attended the kickoff event earlier this month for Republican presidential nominee Mike Huckabee, who supported the family in a Facebook post on Friday.

“Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed–not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims,” Huckabee wrote.

Oh really. And Huckabee knows that how exactly?

Arkansas Sen. Bart Hester said Josh Duggar, who he has known for about five years, has been open and honest about the incident with wife, family and friends. State Sen. Jon Woods, who has known the Duggar family since 2005, said the family had put the issue behind them.

“It’s between the family members and was addressed a long time ago but it’s new to the public,” Woods said. “The family had time to heal and now the public needs time to heal.”

No, you know what we need? An end to lectures on morality from Republican theocrats.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Counting what, exactly?

May 22nd, 2015 12:06 pm | By

This thing is horrific.

The In Touch article has the details, and they’re jaw-dropping. Vaticanesque, but with the extra turn of the screw that the “girls” in question are his sisters. Maybe having 19 children isn’t such a brilliant idea after all, huh?

WARNING: Graphic descriptions contained in police report.

Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year after his son, Josh, confessed to sexually molesting several female minors before contacting police, In Touch Magazine is reporting exclusively, based on information contained in the official police report.

The female minors were his sisters.

What’s more, Jim Bob informed the elders of his church about Joshua’s actions and they waited three months before contacting authorities. The explosive new information is contained in a Springdale, Ark., police report obtained by In Touch magazine.

The report has been hidden since 2006 and was just obtained by the mag through a Freedom of information Act request. Jim Bob also refused to allow police to interview Josh when they opened a felony investigation in 2006. The Duggars star on TLC’s hit show 19 Kids and Counting.

Just like the Catholic church, except that it’s his own daughters “Jim Bob” is victimizing.

The report is shown in the article.

Other bombshells in the police report are: Josh Duggar was investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were interview by the Springdale Police department on Dec. 12, 2006. The report says that James told police he was alerted in March, 2002 by a female minor that Josh — who turned 14-years-old that month — had been touching her breasts and genitals while she slept. This allegedly happened on multiple occasions. In 2006, Jim Bob told police that in July, 2002 Josh admitted to fondling a minor’s breasts while she slept. “James said that they disciplined (redacted, Josh) after this incident.” The family did not alert authorities.

Because “Jim Bob” is the only authority they recognize, presumably.

Jim Bob told police that about nine months later in March, 2003 “there was another incident.” Josh was again accused by a female minor of touching her breasts and genitals. Josh was accused by several minors of touching their genitals, often when they slept, but at times when they were awake.

So basically the parents had created a little harem of pubescent girls for their oldest son to molest. Generous.

Jim Bob then “met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.” No one alerted the police or any other law enforcement agency. Instead they decided to send Josh to a “program [that] consisted of hard physical work and counseling. James said that [redacted, Josh] was in the program from March 17, 2003 until July 17, 2003.”

He said the program was a “Christian program.” Michelle Duggar later admitted to police that Josh did not receive counseling and instead had been sent during that time to a family friend who was in the home remodeling business.

Because working in construction is well known to prevent men from sexually harassing or molesting women and girls.

The Duggars told police that Josh “apologized” to the female minors and that they had “forgiven” him.

An alleged victim told police in 2006 that Josh had told “mother and dad what had happened… (and) asked for forgiveness.” The report notes the alleged victim says Josh “sought after God and had turned back to God.

Jim Bob told police that “several members of their church were aware of the situation and had been supportive of the family.”

That’s how it works with the Amish, too: forgiveness is all important so the victims are required to forgive the perp – while the perp is not required to stop perpetrating.

In Touch magazine broke the story of Josh Duggar’s dark past in the issue currently on sale. The magazine obtained the police report, hidden since 2006, through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Police had to abandon pursuing charges because the [then] three-year statute of limitations had expired.

The alleged victims all described a consistent scenario of Josh touching their breasts and genitals and later apologizing. They said Jim Bob was aware of the situation and did not go to authorities for more than a year.

And last night TLC ran a marathon of their tv show about these people.

The whole thing is just fucking disgusting.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)


May 22nd, 2015 11:42 am | By

I have to laugh. I’m sure it’s very wrong of me to laugh, but I can’t help it – not once I spot the random guy in the back row, like Hitchcock making the cameo in his own movies.

Duggar family

Via In Touch

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Get the popcorn

May 22nd, 2015 11:34 am | By

The response of The “Learning” Channel (yes it’s really called that – the channel that runs “19 Kids and Counting” along with other voyeuristic dreck uses the word “learning” in its title) to the allegations about First Patriarchal Son Josh Duggar was to run a marathon of the show yesterday. Very learning, much educational.

On Thursday, 19 Kids and Counting’s Josh Duggar responded to reports that he molested five underage girls when he was a teen.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh, now 27, wrote on the Duggars’ Facebook page. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

Did he understand that it was about the lives of the little girls he was molesting before it was about his?

TLC, which has aired 19 Kids and Counting since 2008, did not comment on the subject. But the network did run a marathon of the popular series on Thursday night, upsetting many Twitter users.

It’s almost as if that’s not a particularly responsible or thoughtful way to react to the discovery that they’ve been promoting a hothouse of Masculinist Values for seven years.

After news of Josh Duggar sexually abusing his sisters, @TLC airs a marathon of 19 Kids and Counting instead of cancelling it. Disgusting.

They were his sisters? I missed that part.

Gee, The “Learning” Channel, great job. Impressive.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Events that occurred during his teenage years

May 22nd, 2015 11:05 am | By

It turns out that having 19 or 20 or 40 children and raising them SuperChristian doesn’t guarantee that they will be good people who don’t harm other people. The Duggars are finding that out.

A son in the large Christian family featured in reality television show 19 Kids and Counting issued an apology and quit his job on Thursday after reports that he molested underage girls when he was a teenager.

Josh Duggar, 27, is the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose long-running show on cable network TLC chronicles the daily struggles and triumphs of a conservative family in Arkansas.

“Conservative” is putting it too mildly. Patriarchal, backward-looking, theocratic, authoritarian – they’re all that and more.

Josh Duggar did not directly address the allegations that were “reported by In Touch magazine and other websites but said in a statement that he felt remorse for what he called “wrongdoing”.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” said the statement.

Duggar resigned from his job at the Family Research Council, a Christian lobbying group based in Washington DC, according to a statement from the organization’s president, Tony Perkins.

“Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years,” Perkins said.

“Events.” “Events” that “occurred” – as opposed to actions a person took. Tony Perkins doesn’t seem to be much into forthrightness or taking responsibility.

A Duggar family representative did not respond to requests for comment.

The apology came after In Touch published a document it said it obtained from the Springdale police department in Arkansas alleging multiple instances in which Duggar molested underage girls.

The police department said it could not comment and Reuters could not independently verify the document’s authenticity. In Touch reported that charges were never filed against Josh Duggar.

Well he comes from such a nice Christian family, you see…

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

For those with the privilege of voting in such an historic day

May 22nd, 2015 10:28 am | By

The Irish vote on same-sex marriage is today; polls close in a couple of hours. Counting doesn’t begin until tomorrow.

David Robert Grimes takes a look at some of the bad science being deployed by the No side.

Catholic think-tank the Iona Institute are amongst the loudest voices on the no side. Along with other no campaigners, their main argument has been a rather cynical attempt to reframe the referendum as about children rather than marriage equality, a misconception the referendum commissioner has taken pains to dismantle. This hasn’t discouraged Iona and their fellow no campaigners from attempting to emotively and dishonestly reframe the discussion, however.

Biological parents! Better! Better for children! Never mind that the research doesn’t say that!

Of course, if Quinn and his colleagues gave a damn about the reality of the situation, they would have found their protestations on the suitability of same-sex parents to be utterly misplaced. Numerous studies have since found precisely zero differences in parenting or child outcomes between same-sex or opposite sex couples. The American psychological association state rather succinctly that “… the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.”.

Sadly, the insinuation that same-sex parents are defective continues unabated. Fellow Iona patron Professor Patricia Casey was publicly rebuked on two separate occasions last year for misusing research from both Uppsala University and UNICEF to reach the same dubious conclusion, prompting UNICEF Ireland’s executive director Melanie Verwoerd to slam Casey’s spin as “incorrect and unacceptable”.

They’re lying for Jesus. Surely that makes it ok.

The polls are predicting a yes vote, but there are compelling reasons to consider them unreliable on this issue, partly because of the likelihood that many people will tell pollsters they’re voting yes when they’re not. The Shame Skew, you might call it.

The other big factor is turnout: when turnout is low, only those strongly invested in a particular outcome will vote, and this can skew the result to something quite at odds with majority opinion – essentially a selective sampling problem. This may have been the case in Seanad abolition referendum in 2013, when a turnout of less than 40% skewed the result to quite the opposite of polling predictions.

Ultimately, campaigners in both camps are aware it will be turnout that decides the election. While I generally attempt to hold a neutral position on the pieces I write, I feel obliged to declare an interest here, having canvassed for a yes vote in Ireland last week. As an Irish expatriate living abroad, I cannot vote, yet dearly hope it passes and Ireland becomes a more equal place. Regardless of one’s voting intention, the scaremongering from the no side is simply so much sound and fury, and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. Their ostensible grasps at scientific credibility crumble upon even a cursory inspection, and their odious arguments, bereft of facts, should not be allowed set the tone of the conversation.

For those with the privilege of voting in such an historic day, I implore you not to let apathy rule, and to use your vote so we can be proud of the country we all call home.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)