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.


Instant personhood

Sep 9th, 2011 6:24 pm | By

Brilliant. The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that voters can decide the “personhood” of the fertilized egg – human egg, that is, not chicken egg or salamander egg.

The measure would amend the constitution to extend “personhood” to the unborn, likely rendering abortions illegal in the state if upheld.

Anti-abortion forces hope the amendment, if passed, would ultimately be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, providing another opportunity for the justices to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

“Although our opponents were beaten in this lawsuit, we know that they will not stop in their desperate attempts to deny the obvious truth that life begins at conception and that every life deserves to be protected in the law,” said Steve Crampton, general counsel of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel. “Not only Mississippians, but all Americans, should support this commonsense amendment.”

He doesn’t mean “life,” the damn fool. He means human life. He doesn’t think every virus  deserves to be protected in the law.

Mississippi is the only state with a “personhood” initiative on the ballot this year. Similar measures are being planned for next year in Florida, Montana and Ohio, say supporters. Efforts it at least five other states are in the planning stages.

Something to look forward to.

H/t Ezra Resnick.

 

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



Child torture the biblical way

Sep 9th, 2011 4:52 pm | By

Anderson Cooper had a piece at CNN about the Schatzes and about Daniel Michael Pearl’s horrible child-rearing advice:

The Pearls

You hear a cop talking to Zahria about her injuries – they beat her on the bottoms of her feet, like any torturer. She says – well, you’ll have to listen. Good luck with not falling apart.

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



The death of Lydia Schatz

Sep 9th, 2011 11:50 am | By

The deeper we dig into Patriarchal Christianity, the more rot and corruption we find, so we dig again, and find more, so we dig again, and…

We find for instance (via Janet Heimlich at Religious Child Maltreatment) Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz of Paradise California, who beat their adopted daughter Lydia, age 7, to death.

The Schatzes adopted Lydia and her sister Zariah, a year older, from Liberia…and proceeded to beat them for hours on end. Lydia’s casus flagendi was getting a word wrong during a homeschooling lesson.

 According to authorities, when the Schatzes beat Lydia, they took breaks to pray. They then resumed the torture, as one held the child down while the other whipped her with 1/4-inch wide plumbing line. Lydia died from the beatings. Zariah barely survived, having suffered kidney failure and other injuries.

The Schatzes did not come up with their disciplinary methods all on their own. They were followers of the Tennessee-based No Greater Joy Ministries, which is operated by a fundamentalist Christian minister named Michael Pearl and his wife, Debi. The Pearls’ book To Train up a Child is hugely popular among Christian homeschooling parents; it has sold more than 650,000 copies and has been translated into many foreign languages, according to the Pearls’ website. The Pearls strongly advocate for the spanking of children—even those who have committed minor infractions—saying that God demands that parents spank. The Pearls suggests that spankers use implements rather than the hand, because “hands are for loving and helping.”

In particular, the Pearls believe that 1/4-inch-wide plumbing line is ideal for spanking children. “It will fit in your purse or hang around your neck. You can buy them [sic] for $1.00 at Home Depot or any hardware store,” notes Michael Pearl on his website. He adds that sections of the pipe “come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps kids in line.” The Pearls’ book was found in the Schatz home with passages underlined. Police photographed a section of 1/4-inch plumbing pipe lying on the parents’ bed next to a children’s book.

What else is there to say?

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



Meta-ignorance

Sep 9th, 2011 11:17 am | By

Dan Satterfield at AGU (whom I hadn’t read before: thanks Greg Laden) connects the epistemology of the Tea Party (or rather of Tea Partiers) with the Dunning-Kruger effect and authoritarian thinking.

Ed Maibach and Anthony Leiserowitz at GMU, and the Yale Center for Climate Change Communication have released a fascinating study of the opinions of different political party members on climate change. This is all the more fascinating because it defines the Tea Party as a separate group and asks some interesting questions about climate science. Take a look at the highlights from the survey below and see if you notice what stood out glaringly to me.

Yup; it jumped right out.

Tea Party members are much more likely to say that they are “very well informed” about global warming than the other groups. Likewise, they are also much more likely to say they “do not need any more information” about global warming to make up their mind.

Classic illustration of not knowing enough to realize you don’t know enough, in short, Dunning-Kruger.

According to Psychologist Bob Altemeyer this is classic authoritarian behavior…

When it comes to issues surrounding their world view, authoritarians show almost no critical thinking skills. You could say these people have a much stronger force field around their idea of reality than other people do and It’s nearly shatter proof. Authoritarians can easily dismiss and minimize the overwhelming evidence on climate and replace it with global conspiracy theories, involving thousands of researchers, that to most people are obviously downright silly…

The media is often frustrated by scientists who are reluctant to plainly state an opinion or make a concrete prediction about something. They are always qualifying their answers and for a reporter looking for a good solid sound bite, this can be maddening and puzzling. i.e. if the expert doesn’t know, who does! The Dunning-Kruger effect explains this as well, and in their original paper Dunning and Kruger ( you expected someone else??) quoted Thomas Jefferson in explaining it:

Thomas Jefferson once said, “he who knows best, knows how little he knows.”

It’s true – that’s one of the things you learn when you learn about anything – how little you know about it. You learn this because you find out how much other people know and how much there is to know.

It’s too bad so many people don’t know this.

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



Victimhood makes rudeness ok, yes? No.

Sep 8th, 2011 5:57 pm | By

Skepticlawyer has a great post with great comments on manners and geekdom and victim status as all-purpose excuse for off-the-charts rudeness.

There are various manifestations of these atrocious manners, but they seem (to me, at least) to boil down to an inability, on the part of certain men, to take ‘no’ for an answer. I think this is tied to participation in various ‘geek’ subcultures (both on-line and off-line, so while it may be convenient to blame the internet, blaming the internet is unfair). Participation in these varied subcultures is seen to give people something of a pass for rudeness. The justification proffered is that participation in the subculture resulted in bullying when the man in question was young, conferring victim status on him as an adult. And, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere on this blog, wrapping oneself in victimhood is often a way to avoid having to take personal responsibility–for anything.

Read the rest.

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



Slumber parties are sin parties

Sep 8th, 2011 5:07 pm | By

Libby Anne examines the ideological straitjacket of Christian Patriarchy.

The parents of Christian Patriarchy have one goal in mind: to raise children who believe and act as they do. The reason, of course, is that they see their beliefs and lifestyle as the only one that is truly Christian, and anyone who steps outside of their beliefs and lifestyle turns their back on God. Within this framework, parents of Christian Patriarchy act quite rationally.

Vision Forum and No Greater Joy and the Institutes for Basic Life Principles tell them that if they do just so, they will turn out perfect godly Children. This is the appeal these groups have, and parents buy it. They then live by the formulas these groups present and expect complete conformity from their children…

This is one aspect of the whole thing that I find quite opaque. What reason do people have for thinking this way of life is particularly “Christian”? What about it is specifically Christian? To an outsider it looks much more simply old-fashioned and off-the-charts strict, neither of which has anything at all to do with “Christian.”

I suspect it’s the other way around – people develop ideas of “religion” as being about purity (especially sexual purity) and related qualities, all of which are opposed to ordinary worldly secular life – pop culture, gossip, raucous music, advertising, sexy clothes, singles bars, non-marital sex, teh gayz, consumerism, the whole vulgar package. They think of the rejection of all that as religious and then they do a back-formation in which their particular religion turns out to mandate that rejection. Only it doesn’t. It forgot to, because it didn’t know about it.

Pascal Boyer talks about this way of thinking in Religion Explained.

As far as anthropologists know,  people in most places conceive of some supernatural agents as having some interest in their decisions. This can take all sorts of forms. Christians for instance consider that God expects some particular kinds of behavior and will react to departures from the norm…

For instance, religious codes like the Christian Commandments specify a simple list of prescriptions and prohibitions. But the range of situations about which people have moral intuitions or uncertainties is far greater than this. [p 173]

And people just fill in the gaps, and assume that’s “Christian/Muslim/whatever.”

With the Patriarchy set, the results can be pretty stringent. Libby Anne quotes from Michael Pearl:

Over the years as our children were growing up, Deb and I offended about every family member and some of our friends by being “overprotective” of the innocent charges God sent into our care. We guarded them from any suspect company and thoughtfully planned their associations. We have not trusted, “good Christian families.” We have not participated in churches where the children were separated from us. After church, we watched them and their associations. When kids stop running around in circles, screaming, and start talking, or drawing aside, you’ve likely got the beginning of troubles brewing. Keep the little ones standing right beside you after church. They should always sit with you, never with their friends. If they go out to the bathroom, go with them. Never allow them to spend the night with friends or cousins. Slumber parties are sin parties. Never allow them to listen to music through headphones. Three-minute phone conversations, no chat rooms, no surfing the web for any reason. Parents should make it physically impossible for them to even access the web. We didn’t allow our children to spend time in their bedrooms unless they were working on a project or reading. Bedroom doors were always kept open, except for two minutes while dressing.

Wouldn’t the Pearls have been happier with a set of robots for children?

 

 

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



English as a 47th language

Sep 8th, 2011 4:26 pm | By

There’s a little chat I did with Jonathon Narvey of The Propagandist last week. If you listen to it I recommend skipping at least the first three minutes, because before that I keep sounding as if I’m translating from the Jupiterian.

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



After mutual foot-washing

Sep 8th, 2011 12:18 pm | By

Via Classical Cipher in a comment, via Rebecca Watson at Facebook, via who knows what – marriage the old-fashioned way.

Let’s discuss this.

Marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church – so what is that then? What is the relationship between Christ and the Church? Does Christ have long interesting conversations with the Church, or does he just grunt now and then? Does Christ spend all his time with the Church or does he go out to work and leave the Church at home? Does Christ go to parties with the Church?

What exactly is that relationship, and how does the loon who wrote this stupid letter know what it is? How does anyone? What does that formula mean? What does it mean that can translate into a relationship between two (non-dead) humans? Is it just a fancy way of saying I am the boss of her the way Jesus is the boss of the Church? But even then…does Jesus tell the Church what to do every day/hour/minute? Did the loon who wrote this letter just give his wife a pamphlet of cryptic sayings and then disappear? In what way can these two people’s marriage be “a picture” of the relationship between Christ and the Church? I want to know.

And then husbands are to love their wives the way Christ loves the Church. Same problem. What way is that then? Husbands are to love their wives the way a guy who’s been dead for two thousand years loves an institution?

The part about the man asking the woman’s father for her as if she were an inflatable doll is too obviously disgusting to bother pointing out.

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



New entries

Sep 8th, 2011 11:25 am | By

There are new entries in the dialogue with William Hamby. I don’t know if subscribers get notified every time I update…in a way I hope not, since I don’t want people getting notified every time I fix a typo or berserker line-breaks, so in case you don’t, here is notification.

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



If they will ever, like me, break free

Sep 7th, 2011 5:27 pm | By

Libby Anne is, naturally, worried about her siblings.

…it is hard for me to watch my siblings being raised with beliefs and methods I have come to so oppose. I have to watch my sisters being taught that their only role is in the home, and to see my siblings expected to obey and conform. The hardest part is watching my sisters. I hear them talk about the blessing of fatherly protection against the evils of the world and their future plans to eschew all kinds of birth control and have as many children as possible. I watch them and wonder if they will ever, like me, break free.

That would be very difficult.

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



Individual apologies to everyone who complained

Sep 7th, 2011 10:31 am | By

Jesus is a strange guy. I’m always noticing it. On the one hand he’s God – the God, you know, the one who is omnipotent and omniscient and has a mind without a body – and on the other hand he’s so fragile that an ad for a cell phone hurts his feelings.

Wouldn’t you think he could handle it? Wouldn’t you think he would see the bigger picture and just not worry all that much about jokey cell phone ads?

I would; you probably would; but some of his fans think the opposite. Some of his fans think he’s so touchy and vain and narcissistic that he can’t even tolerate a picture of himself winking and giving a thumbs-up. The Advertising Standards Authority agrees with them.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the Phones 4U advertisement was “disrespectful” to the Christian faith and must not be used again…

The ASA said the complaints had cited the cartoon depiction of Christ and the Sacred Heart, the use of the term “miraculous” for describing a mobile phone deal, and the fact that it was published on Maundy Thursday.

Published on what? What the fuck is Maundy Thursday? Who in hell alive or dead gives a rat’s ass about Maundy Thursday?

Phones 4U said that as soon as it received complaints, it had apologised and withdrew the advertisement. It also sent individual apologies to everyone who complained.

With the benefit of hindsight, and in the face of complaints from Christians, it “understood and regretted” that offence had been caused, it said.

The ASA welcomed this but said the advertisement had appeared to mock and belittle core Christian beliefs and was likely to cause serious offence.

Grovel. Grovel grovel grovel. Slobber. Whine, bow, kiss, kneel, prostrate, whimper, simper, kiss, hug, grovel. Will that do?

Andrew Copson, from the British Humanist Association, said the “completely ridiculous” ruling represented a “further encroachment on free speech in our society, tantamount to a reintroduction of blasphemy laws by the back door”.

“The ASA have shown themselves to be absurdly hypersensitive to the
possibility of religious offence and are chilling the free mockery of all
beliefs which is vital in a free society.

“They seriously need to review their line on cases of this sort. It is an
embarrassment in an open society to have this sort of regulation,” he said.

Damn right. Well said, Andrew.

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



Out

Sep 7th, 2011 8:28 am | By

Out of the closet at last.

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



A whole future spread out before me

Sep 6th, 2011 5:52 pm | By

There are a lot of them – which is good, because it means some escape, but bad, because it means this is happening to a lot of people. There’s Sierra at Non-prophet Message. She is amusing on the subject of Jezebel and makeup and faking it.

 Shaping your eyebrows can go a long way towards that neat, meticulous, hyperfeminine look that screams, “I read my Bible so much, my eyebrows shape themselves!”

When she finally went to school – which was a community college – she discovered that she had a brain.

I turned in my final math exam with the lightest heart I’d felt since I was a little child, since before I’d ever heard of the Message or William Branham. I felt like a little girl again, with a whole future spread out before me for the taking. “I want to be an astronaut and an archaeologist,” the small child in my head whispered. “I want to write a book, travel the world and swim with dolphins. I want to do everything when I grow up.”

Weeks later, the final grade came in. I’d passed the math course with an A.

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



Breaking a daughter

Sep 6th, 2011 3:36 pm | By

One way crazy religion is crazy is in putting massive pressure on people to distort their own natures and aptitudes and wants. The fancy name for this sadistic habit is “dying to self.” A “broken daughter” tells us what it feels like.

Some people don’t seem to bother that much, but it’s always been hard for me to be as selfless as I was expected to be. You see, I’m a very private, calm, introvert kind of person. Though I grew up in a big family, I always liked being alone. I’m not much of a team player, I prefer doing things all by myself. I didn’t hate having a big family where there was always somebody, quite the opposite, I loved it. But I always tried to make room for myself in some way. That didn’t mean that I wanted to do things I liked, it was more like just being by myself doing ANYTHING really. I hated washing dishes. I loved doing it alone. I didn’t like vacuuming. It was ok as long as I was alone. Everything I didn’t like in a group I usually liked if I could just do it by myself. I treasured the quiet moments, though my hands were busy, my mind was free to wander, not occupied by yet another conversation, prayer, training or anything like that.

In other words her brain wanted periods of rest. It’s perfectly natural and reasonable…but oh no, it’s not what Jesus would have done.

Now my Dad was eager to teach all of us, especially the girls, that dying to self is key to life and salvation. You weren’t allowed to do anything fun, you were asked to serve others every moment of your life. If you didn’t listen to him, he’d have a speech prepared. “It always about ME ME ME. Do you think Jesus was like that? Do you think he would have died on the cross for us if he cared about himself? NO! He would have hidden somewhere and lived happily ever after! He wasnt about ME. So why are YOU?” and so on. I felt really bad every time I heard that. I started wondering if Jesus could even love me if I kept acting like this. I tried to train myself. I didn’t allow myself to do things alone. When I had to wash dishes, I called one of my smaller sisters over to help me, to teach her to be a servant and a good housewife. How to keep things in order. When I was working in the garden, I asked my brothers to do boy stuff, like carrying the heavy water buckets for me. I desperately waited for God to reward my selflessness. I gave up what I liked in order to feel as good as the people who kept raving about how great it feels to be selfless, how God rewards you for it. But I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel any different at all except that I was more stressed out than ever.

And for no good reason; there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be alone while washing the dishes, but the patriarch had to fiddle and fidget for Jesus.

Right now, I’m sitting here in complete silence. I’m all alone, doing stuff by myself. I’m selfish. I’m detestable. I’m lost. And I like it. God is quiet, he doesn’t bother me with his voices anymore. I now will go into the kitchen and have a coffee in complete silence, closing my eyes and enjoying nothingness. And I know that God will still be quiet.

And no harm will be done to anyone. Free at last.

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



Titles

Sep 6th, 2011 12:31 pm | By

PZ wants help finding the right adjective for the title of his book…but I don’t think it can be done. I think The _______ Atheist is a boring title no matter what ________ turns out to be. I think this because I tried to think of something interesting and then I read other people’s attempts and there’s just no spark, no matter what. This tells me that the formula is a dud – at least, it’s a dud if they (the publishers) want a buyer-thrilling title, which of course they do.

The Something Atheist. I just don’t think there’s a word that can make that sound exciting.

Unless they go absurdist or something. The Ruritanian Atheist. The Pioneer Atheist.

Think of something. Something not boring.

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



Fully shit

Sep 6th, 2011 12:04 pm | By

The Vatican and equivocation…it’s always been a dab hand at it. Michael Nugent points out another example.

The most significant sentence in the Vatican’s response to the Irish Government about the Cloyne Report comes on the second-last page, just before the concluding remarks. It says: “From the foregoing considerations, it should be clear that the Holy See expects the Irish Bishops to cooperate with the civil authorities, to implement fully the norms of canon law and to ensure the full and impartial application of the child safety norms of the Church in Ireland.”

This sounds reasonable on the face of it. But it conceals a vital distinction that the Catholic Church has already used to mislead people in Ireland on the same issue. Look again carefully at the wording: the Bishops should implement “fully” the norms of canon law, and ensure the “full and impartial” application of the Church’s child safety norms. Yet when it comes to cooperating with the civil authorities, as opposed to the internal rules of the Church, the important word “fully” is missing.

Oh good god. But…it’s just an oversight, or a quirk of style. Isn’t it? No of course it fucking isn’t.

This missing word “fully” is the exact formulation that the Dublin Archdiocese used in 1997 to mislead people about its response to the sexual abuse of Marie Collins. When the priest who had abused Collins was convicted, the Archdiocese issued a press statement claiming that it had cooperated with police in relation to her complaint. Collins was upset by this and told her friend Father James Norman. Father Norman told police that he had asked the Archdiocese about the statement and the explanation he received was that “we never said we cooperated ‘fully’, placing emphasis on the word ‘fully’.”

Are you kidding me? Is the Vatican 5 years old? Is the Vatican a spoiled brat who just ate all the cake after promising not to? [bratty voice] – “We never said we cooperated ‘fully’” – oh well that’s all right then you petulant lying child-raping thugs. It’s enough to make you want to claw their faces off.

H/t PZ.

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



It is time you resigned as chairman of the universe

Sep 5th, 2011 4:44 pm | By

Here’s a pretty item from Michael Pearl -

A woman wrote to him about her devastation at a miscarriage.

Even now I have nightmares every night. I dream that my baby is crying and when I go to take care of him, I can’t find him. I look everywhere but I can’t find my baby. I have even woken up my husband asking him to help me find our baby. I have dreamed that my baby was beautiful and healthy. I would wake up deciding how my baby and I are going to spend the day and I realize that there is no baby.

He set her straight.

Your anger is based on the assumption that you know better than God what is best. Your child is now in the presence of God beholding the face of the Father (Matthew 18:10). “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:14). Your child will appear again in the Millennium as a child to be raised by someone—possibly you—to maturity, and so make a choice concerning the Savior. In reference to the Millennium the Bible says, “And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof’’ (Zechariah 8:5). One of those playing children is your little one. Jesus held your child before your did. Are you angry at him for drawing this little one to himself? He said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14).

She wanted to have a baby, and Jesus decided he wanted that baby for his own self so he took it, and Michael Pearl scolds her for being unhappy with this arrangement.

 Like Job you need to be humbled and face the fact that your world has revolved around you. It is time you resigned as chairman of the universe and leave it to God to do a little “baby sitting” until you get there to take over for him. I am sure your baby is in the best of hands.

Christian compassion.

h/t to PaulG. (more…)

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



Charlatans preying on the vulnerable

Sep 5th, 2011 11:08 am | By

Oh hey, a good idea.

Chanting to cure snakebites, claiming to be a reincarnated spouse to obtain sex, and charging for miracles could soon be banned by an Indian state seeking to stop charlatans preying on the vulnerable.

Many superstitions are widely held in India but a campaign group  is lobbying hard for a new law in the western state of Maharashtra  to outlaw several exploitative activities, with penalties of fines or up to seven years in jail.

But………not so fast, pardner.

But the push to pass the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication  of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil Practices and Black  Magic Bill has not received unanimous support.

Some Hindu nationalists fear the legislation seeks to move  beyond the excesses named in its title and might be used to curb cherished religious freedoms.

One right-wing association, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, called  it “a draconian law targeting faith”, denounced its proponents as  “atheists” and called for supporters to lobby assembly members to  oppose it and demand amendments.

Because only atheists have any problem with claiming to be a reincarnated spouse to obtain sex or charging money for “miracles”; decent normal respectable people think that’s a fine way to carry on.

Some critics, however, say the draft law does not go far enough and has been watered down since it was first mooted way back in 1995 due to protests from pro-Hindu groups.

“In my opinion the bill that has ultimately come into Maharashtra suggests nothing new. It doesn’t give anything  additional,” said Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association.

Concerns about the draft law’s impact on legitimate religious practices from Hindu nationalist groups such as the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have delayed its  passing.

A semi-good idea, endlessly delayed, that might become law, some day, perhaps.

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



Redacted v unredacted

Sep 5th, 2011 10:33 am | By

One WikiLeaks staffer says why he felt he had to leave.

The final straw for me came on Friday. By drawing attention to, and then publishing in full, the unredacted cache of documents, WikiLeaks has done the cause of internet freedom – and of whistleblowers – more harm than US government crackdowns ever could.

Before the first publication of carefully redacted cables, human rights activists, NGOs, and organisations working with victims of horrific crimes contacted WikiLeaks begging us to take steps not to publish any names. To be able to assure them details would be protected was an immeasurable relief.

These cables contain details of activists, opposition politicians, bloggers in autocratic regimes and their real identities, victims of crime and political coercion, and others driven by conscience to speak to the US government. They should never have had to fear being exposed by a self-proclaimed human rights organisation.

 

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



More Debbi Pearl

Sep 4th, 2011 5:38 pm | By

More from “how to be a really high-quality doormat for God.”

This past week the local Preparing class invited two older mothers to share their experiences in marriage. It was quite sobering, and some of the girls came away from class unnerved by the burdens of marriage. What the mothers wanted to convey to the girls was, “Learn now while you are young to honor your husbands. Learn patience to continue in your role as a Help Meet, and commit yourself to God now while you are young so you can avoid some of our trials and errors as we struggle to find our way.”

Great. The girls were “unnerved” by the prospect of lifelong slavery, and what “the mothers” want to convey to them was “learn now while you are young how to be a good obedient self-denying self-immolating slave to another human being who gets to be the boss of you because he has testicles.” Learn that you don’t matter; learn that your dreams and hopes and plans are just fluff inside your head; learn that you are never going to have a full life of your own, but only a share of someone else’s; learn that you have no rights, no authority, no power, no autonomy; learn that you have to put up with whatever is handed to you. Learn what it is to be an inferior.

Today’s culture, our own selfishness, and our lack of knowing God’s Word all play a part in making marriages miserable. What you learn as a young unmarried woman can change your life more completely than you can imagine. If you are wise you will learn to become a many colored girl. Don’t say to yourself, “I am a go-to girl and not a servant.” Rather say, “I am learning to be anything I need to be. I want to be a servant, I need to learn to lead and teach, and I will learn to be creative because my husband may need me to be all of these.” Practice being flexible in your likes and dislikes, how you feel about things, and what you hope to accomplish. Start striving to shape your life to help others, and hide God’s Words in your heart concerning becoming a wife. Lastly, make a written commitment to honor the man God provides for you.

What an absolute horror that is. Practice being flexible in your likes and dislikes, how you feel about things, and what you hope to accomplish - in other words just forget all about wanting anything, feeling about anything, and hoping anything; just prepare to do what you’re told for the rest of your sad diminished life.

That is such an outrageous thing to tell anyone. This terrible woman is telling all the women she can reach to obliterate themselves in this way. It’s evil. It’s not just mistaken, deluded, unfortunate – it’s a moral outrage.

 

 

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