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.

The grossly misnamed Australian Vaccination Network

Dec 30th, 2011 5:15 pm | By

I just want to say

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

Going home

Dec 30th, 2011 4:43 pm | By

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports more revelations of threats to Pakistani journalists.

Najam Sethi, editor of The Friday Times and host of a popular Urdu-language political program on Geo TV, and Jugnu Mohsin, also a Friday Times editor, said they had lived under threat for years but the level of danger had become so menacing in early 2011 that they were forced to leave Pakistan. A few months later, the two went public with the threats. Then, on Thursday, Sethi told us that he and Mohsin had decided to return to Lahore on Friday.

Pakistan is, according to the CPJ, the worst country in the world for journalists.

A level of danger pervades the industry, and for the last two years, CPJ has ranked Pakistan as the world’s deadliest country for journalists. The courageous steps of some men and women in recent days to confront that menace head-on is admirable, but their courage alone won’t be enough to reverse the trend. The reality is that governance is weak in Pakistan, and it will require a concerted effort over a long time before Pakistani journalists–and normal citizens, for that matter–can live without fear of retribution.

This necessarily means that Pakistanis are starved of good information. They need it more than most people.

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

In which I talk some more

Dec 30th, 2011 4:17 pm | By

I did a podcast for the Buffalo Beast. I have the remains of a cold so there are one or two quick barks which are me coughing, but other than that I think it’s all right. It was fun.

I should figure out where the Discovery Institute is some day…

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

Acid in the name of god

Dec 30th, 2011 11:15 am | By

I think people who leave Islam should leave it for atheism, not for Christianity, but I also think people who do leave Islam for Christianity should not have acid thrown in their faces. Umar Mulinde, who used to be an Islamic teacher and is now a bishop of the Gospel Life Church International, had acid thrown in his face on December 24th. It destroyed one of his eyes.


From his hospital bed in Kampala, he told Compass that he was on his way back to the site for a party with the entire congregation and hundreds of new converts to Christianity when a man who claimed to be a Christian approached him. “I heard him say in a loud voice, ‘Pastor, pastor,’ and as I made a turn and looked at him, he poured the liquid onto my face as others poured more liquid on my back and then fled away shouting, ‘Allahu akbar,’” Mulinde said, still visibly traumatized two days after the assault.

As far as I can tell, Gospel Life Church International isn’t one of the Homophobia First sects that have been infesting Uganda, but I’m not sure about that. In any case, down with pouring acid on people.

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

More desk chair tourism

Dec 29th, 2011 3:23 pm | By

I did a post on Google Earth tourism last March.

Something I’ve just discovered in the last few days is that the chateaux of the Loire Valley have been very thoroughly visited by the Google van – blue lines all over everything, so you can see the gardens, the approaches, outbuildings, and the chateau from far and close and from all angles. You could spend hours just looking at one chateau. Look up Chenonceau or Chambord, if you’re interested.

Versailles has also been thoroughly Google-photographed.

I should check out the Taj Mahal one of these days…

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


Dec 29th, 2011 3:10 pm | By

You know about Rock Beyond Belief, right? The fun day of music and rabble-rousing for foxhole atheists?

Current Lineup

Dan Barker
Ed Brayton
Richard Dawkins
Margaret Downey
Jen McCreight
Dale McGowan
Hemant Mehta
Nate Phelps
Al Stefanelli
Todd Stiefel
Mikey Weinstein
Baba Brinkman
Jeffrey Lewis
Words Such As Burn
Roy ZimmermanWhen:
Saturday, March 31st, 2012 Time: Noon – 8:00PM
The main post parade field on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Cost: Free to everyone. This includes service members, spouses and family, and civilians from the surrounding areas that may wish to attend.

It should be hella fun, plus a good idea and much needed. Attend and/or spread the word.

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

Her provocative behavior

Dec 29th, 2011 12:27 pm | By

So repeatedly calling a woman a slut is actually a form of harassment?

An indictment was filed Thursday against Jerusalem resident Shlomo Fuchs, 44, an ultra-Orthodox man who hurled sexist slurs at a female soldier on a public bus in the capital.

The court also stated that sexual harassment does not only apply when the harasser demands something of sexual nature from the harassed, but also when the harassed is humiliated based on remarks relating to his or her sex. The judge ruled such was the case in this incident, since “there is no dispute that Fuchs spoke bluntly and shouted harsh and humiliating words at the soldier aboard the bus, calling her a ‘slut’ three times.”

And that’s harassment? Really? It’s not just a little harmless fun? It’s not a joke? It’s not a touch of boorishness? It’s actual harassment? Who knew?

Fuchs’ attorney claimed this was not a criminal offense. “We live in a free country. We’re allowed to curse, it’s part of the freedom of expression,” he explained.

If the court does decide this is a sexual harassment case, said the attorney, then any man who calls a woman a “bitch” or other curse words would be considered a sexual offender.

Or a cunt or a fucking cunt or a smelly snatch or a fucking fat slag or an ugly fucking cunt bitch or – you get the idea.

It looks like a stupid claim, on the face of it (though it’s probably the only claim Fuchs’s attorney could make). Being allowed to curse is not the same thing as being allowed to shout curses at a particular person on a public bus because she won’t obey an unlawful bullying coercive order to move to the back of said bus. Passengers on buses aren’t allowed to do whatever they like to other passengers. Being allowed to curse is not the same thing as being allowed to harass people.

The Jerusalem police on Wednesday arrested Fuchs for calling Doron Matalon, the female soldier, a “slut” after she refused to sit at the back of an Egged bus travelling from the Neve Yaakov neighborhood to the Central Command base in Jerusalem.

Another female passenger who was approaching the front of the bus in order to pay the driver was told by Fuchs that “a woman shouldn’t pass through the front of the bus to pay.” He then demanded she return to the back of the bus.

Matalon said, “I wanted to make room for her, but a man sitting nearby said to her: ‘Why are you at the front of the bus? You’re a woman.’ He looked at me and asked: ‘You too, why are you here?’” Matalon responded: “Women are not restricted to the back of the bus.”

“I told him that just as he doesn’t want to see my face, I don’t want to see his, and that’s when he called me a ‘slut, shiksa.’”

Matalon added that Fuchs yelled: “Slut, slut, slut. You have no respect. You’re standing among yeshiva students and it’s shameful.”

Fuchs was arrested by the police, and during his interrogation he admitted to calling Matalon a “slut”, explaining that the slur was a proper response to “her provocative behavior.”

Sure. That’s what they all say.



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

Comedy Hour

Dec 29th, 2011 10:37 am | By

Priests. Greek Orthodox priests, Armenian priests. Cleaning up the “Church of the Nativity” in Bethlehem. For the Orthodox Christmas on January 7. Scrub scrub, dust dust, polish polish, sweep sweep. Bash bash. Bash bash bash bash bash bash.


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

Tiny dog

Dec 28th, 2011 4:53 pm | By

Another one. Just for fun.

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


Dec 28th, 2011 4:46 pm | By

Jason Thibeault says why it’s useful that Rebecca Watson draws the pus of frothing misogyny out into the open where we can see it and then pour bleach on everything in sight.

Maybe not so good for her, but for all of us. These magical superpowers of hers are probably a curse for her own sanity, but they are a boon for our society, for our respective communities. It’s excellent that she can draw so much attention to the problem, and can draw out the people who are, in essence, part of it, where they can make examples of themselves. The “touch of boorishness” that she can draw out of complete strangers just by mentioning this nonsense is exactly the type of attitude we need to cleanse from our systems, to keep from becoming an entrenched part of our culture. We have to draw this venom out of our skeptical communities’ bodies somehow.

If we don’t know about it, we can’t deal with it. I’m not very optimistic that we can deal with it even if we do know about it, but I’m sure we can’t if it’s kept away from the fresh air and sunlight.

More from Jen, John, Ed, PZ.


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

We have to base our behaviour according to scripture

Dec 28th, 2011 11:14 am | By

It appears that David Cameron is jealous of theocracy. He wants him some of that extra goddy power!

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK is a Christian country “and we should not be afraid to say so” in a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible….

And he staunchly defended the role of religion in politics and said the Bible in particular was crucial to British values.

Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic weekly The Tablet, is chuffed.

“But what Christianity is really about is putting the least first. It requires us to feed the hungry, visit prisoners, have time for the lonely, fight for the oppressed, and love our enemies.”

No it isn’t. If Christianity were about putting the least first then it wouldn’t have put women last all this time, nor would the pope and the Vatican be telling the world’s Catholics not to use condoms despite the existence of the Aids virus, nor would Catholic bishops try to force Catholic hospitals to refuse to save women’s lives via abortion.

In a world riven with inequality, the belief that we are all equal before God requires that we speak up against those inequalities.

Bullshit, Catherine Pepinster. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Your church is one of the last big defenders of inequality.

More sinister than Pepinster, though, is MCB member and imam from Leicester, Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra:

As Muslims we also believe in the Bible. We believe in the teachings of Jesus. Not only that, but in the teachings of all the biblical prophets, including Moses in the Torah. So this is something that we feel is absolutely in tune with the Muslim thinking. We have to base our behaviour according to scripture, God’s revealed message.

For a long time Muslims have been trying to express this idea, that for us as Muslims Islam is not just a religion but a way of life. To divorce politics from religion is not something we are able to do, we cannot leave our religion at home or in the mosques, it comes with us wherever we go. So it’s refreshing to hear the prime minister say Christians should do the same.

As Maryam said – be afraid.

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

Just for fun

Dec 27th, 2011 5:00 pm | By

Cooper on the beach.

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

Post-born children don’t matter so much

Dec 27th, 2011 4:30 pm | By

There’s a thing called Personhood USA.

The Primary Mission of Personhood USA is to serve Jesus by being an Advocate for those who can not speak for themselves, the pre-born child. We serve by starting / coordinating efforts to establish legal “personhood” for pre-born children through peaceful activism, legislative efforts and ballot-access petition initiatives.

By “pre-born child” of course it means the embryo; by “pre-born” it means “inside the body of a woman whose wishes are entirely beside the point.” By “personhood” it means “usurping the rights of the woman who is gestating the embryo.”


It is pleased that Ron Paul signed the “Personhood Pledge” but it is also suspicious.

Upon receiving the signed pledge with the addendum, Personhood USA requested clarification from the Paul campaign for inconsistencies between the accompanying statement and the pledge language.

The pledge requires that the candidates “stand…with the Republican Party platform in affirming that [they] “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”

Regarding the latter, Rep. Paul stated that “The Fourteenth Amendment was never intended to cancel out the Tenth Amendment. This means that I can’t agree that the Fourteenth Amendment has a role to play here, or otherwise we would end up with a ‘Federal Department of Abortion.’”

Uh oh. Could be problems ahead. But don’t worry; I’m sure between them they’ll be able to figure out a way to remove women’s rights over their own bodies.

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

Aesthetic interlude

Dec 27th, 2011 3:21 pm | By

Just to knock your socks off -

Photography in the style of traditional Chinese painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties by Don Hong-Oai.


There are lots more; go look. They’re sensational.

Via Julia Galef at Facebook.

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

Decent women don’t have “crisis pregnancies”

Dec 27th, 2011 12:41 pm | By

And if we haven’t had enough religious bullying today, here’s another batch.

As ThinkProgress has reported, so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” that claim to help women in need are actually established by anti-abortion activists with the sole objective of shaming women out of having abortions. Despite receiving federal and state funding, they have a history of preying on and misleading pregnant women who are seeking abortions and giving them false medical information to dissuade them from making their own decisions.

After a year-long investigation, a new report to be released today by the pro-choice group NARAL reveals that those problems plague the vast majority of North Carolina’s crisis pregnancy centers. In addition to providing false medical information, many of the centers actively proselytize and tell women of non-Christian faiths to convert or face damnation

The number of centers in North Carolina has nearly doubled since 2006, and there are eight times as many of them as there are abortion clinics. Carey Pope, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said the group’s investigators found numerous instances where crisis pregnancy centers were misinforming and misleading women. “Staff and volunteers often use propaganda to dissuade women from abortions,” she said.

Publicly funded; 8 times more of them than abortion providers; medical misinformation; convert or face damnation. One-stop shopping!

North Carolina’s GOP lawmakers have flooded these anti-abortion centers with taxpayer money while defunding Planned Parenthood and taking money away from legitimate family planning centers that provide medical services. Two new state laws will drive even more funding and patients their way. Money from sales of the new “Choose Life” license plates will go to the centers, and starting this Wednesday, a state-run website will launch and list the places that provide free ultrasounds.

Keep those pesky women down.

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

Not a touch

Dec 27th, 2011 12:02 pm | By


Massimo Pigliucci did a skeptical post on Hitchens a couple of days ago, and Jerry Coyne defends Hitchens today. I mostly agree with the defense, but…hmmm.

Misogynyist? Does Pigluicci know what that means?  Let us check the Oxford English Dictionary. “Misogyny: Hatred or dislike of, or prejudice against women.”  I don’t think Hitch hated, disliked, or was prejudiced against women. Sometimes he was mildly paternalistic, as when he claimed that his wife didn’t have to work, and sometimes he made boorish remarks verging on sexism, as in his famous critique of the Dixie Chicks. (But remember that he used equal invective against people like Jerry Falwell, and was not accused of being a man-hater.)

[Update: The last sentence quoted above has now been altered, but I quoted it as it was at the time.]

Not verging on sexism; sexism, and not a million miles from misogyny. Disagreeing with women by calling them fucking fat slags is sexism and it does at least hint at the presence of misogyny. Men who don’t hate women as a category tend not to call them names of that kind.

So often these days, especially on atheist websites, a touch of sexism or boorishness, or even a criticism of a woman, is instantly condemned as “misognyny.”


If by “a touch of sexism or boorishness” he means calling a woman a cunt, a bitch, a twat, a slag, a smelly snatch, not once but over and over and over again – then I call bullshit. That’s not “a touch of sexism or boorishness.” If atheist blogs are calling it what it is, then well done atheist blogs.

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

Behold the whore

Dec 27th, 2011 11:00 am | By

I couldn’t watch more than a couple of minutes of the video of Na’ama Margolese without getting too angry to keep watching. It’s so disgusting that grown men consider it their “religious duty” or some such fucking nonsense to bully and threaten a little girl, call her a slut, and spit on her.

…she was featured in a news  broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 about the ongoing Haredi harassment of the girls who attend the Orot Banot School, and about the problem of extreme Haredi control in Beit Shemesh in general.

Naama spoke on camera of her fears while walking the short distance from her home to her school, after numerous occasions when she was cursed at and even once spit on by the Haredi demonstrators. Israeli viewers watched as her mother,  Hadassah, holding her hand, tried to convince her to make the short walk as she cried, whined and protested; it’s a ritual they go through every school day.

Members of an extremist Haredi group that have settled there over the past several years have been pushing for the creation of gender-segregated bus lines, designating parts of the city where women and men were directed to separate on public streets, and harassing the girls of Orot Banot on the ground that they did not dress modestly enough.

A Jewish Taliban, in short. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you? A Baptist Taliban, a Mormon Taliban, a Mennonite Taliban? Who knows, but the fashion is disquieting.

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

Pope says: be stupid

Dec 26th, 2011 4:22 pm | By

The pope said more in his homily than “look behind the pretty sparkly glitter.” He said the door to a church in Bethlehem is only a meter and a half high, which means people can’t enter the church while riding a horse. He thinks that’s way deep.

Anyone wishing to enter the place of Jesus’ birth has to bend down. It seems to me that a deeper truth is revealed here, which should touch our hearts on this holy night: if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our “enlightened” reason.

And there’s the voice of the cleric for you, telling you that reason is a nasty kind of snobbish upper class superiority which has to be abandoned along with our infatuated notions of reason being enlightened, so that we can “find” the god-baby. There’s the voice of the cleric telling you to ditch the best thing about you so that you can be stupid and ignorant so that he can go on wearing expensive robes.

We must set aside our false certainties, our intellectual pride, which prevents us from recognizing God’s closeness. We must follow the interior path of Saint Francis the path leading to that ultimate outward and inward simplicity which enables the heart to see. We must bend down, spiritually we must as it were go on foot, in order to pass through the portal of faith and encounter the God who is so different from our prejudices and opinions the God who conceals himself in the humility of a newborn baby.

No we must not, you evil bastard. We must set aside our blind mindless unthinking “faith” so that we can make use of our reason and realize that there is no “God” and so no “God’s closeness.” We must pay attention to the world around us and realize that if protection rackets like yours are telling us to be stupid and ignorant, it means you’re trying to fool us. You bend down if you want to, but I’m going to go on doing my best to see things as they are, and encouraging other people to do likewise. Keep your saint and your baby and your portal of faith. I want to go with the grownups.

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

People can be so ineffable

Dec 26th, 2011 11:40 am | By

I’d pretty much forgotten about Hugo Schwyzer, but I still (just) recognized the name, so I was motivated to read Comrade Physioprof’s post on him the other day, and startled by what it told me.

Now I find out for the first time (also see the comments) (although this is not newly public information, just new to me) that over a decade ago the motherfucker sexually preyed on his students and attempted to murder his ex-girlfriend, as described graphically on his blogge:

I walked into the little kitchen only steps from where my ex lay. I blew out the pilot lights on our gas oven and on the burners, and turned the dials on everything up to maximum. I pulled the oven away from the wall, leaving the gas line intact, positioning it so that the gas was blowing directly at the passed-out young woman on the floor.

Schwyzer claims to be a “male feminist” and to have focused his life on feminism out of remorse and to make amends for his past grotesque history of woman-hating and violence, including both having sex with his female students and attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend. This opportunistic motherfucker is full of shitte.

PZ’s post on him today prompted me to dig up the posts that relate to my long ago clash with Schwyzer. It was April 2004. I had been invited to join the group blog about history Cliopatria at History News Network a few months earlier, and had been enjoying myself there…and then Hugo Schwyzer joined. I posted about the problem that arose almost as soon as he joined.

It’s fundamental disagreement time.  I disagree radically with a line of argument at Cliopatria, and what’s worse, the kind of argument it is makes it very difficult to dispute as directly and bluntly as I would like to – or as I would like to in one sense but would not like to in another.  That’s exactly the problem.  I may decide to leave Cliopatria as a result – because as it is, I seem to be semi-acquiescing in views that are anathema to me.

My politics are derived from my faith, not the other way around. When I was younger, and a secular liberal, my politics were the only faith I had! Since coming to Christ (and yes, I do call myself “born again” without embarrassment), I have had to rebuild my politics from the ground up. When I consider political questions, I am forced to ask myself what position I believe Christ calls me to. This isn’t easy, for any number of obvious reasons, starting with the fact that the New Testament is not a modern political manual. This is why I can’t merely allow myself to hunt and peck through Scripture, finding passages that support my already-in-place suppositions about justice. (Many liberal and conservative Christians alike do this; it’s an understandable habit, but a bad one). Rather, I have to be open to what the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and my church community are telling me about right, wrong, peace and war and so forth…The Christian left must be faithful to Christ first, not secular dogma. Where our agendas and our understandings coincide, so much the better. But at times, we will stand with our Christian brethren on the right of the political spectrum, not out of sectarian loyalty but out of a sense that, as Carter said, “discerning God’s will and doing it is prior to everything else.” It is no easy thing to claim to have discerned God’s will. No wise Christian tries to do it alone. We do it in the light of (thanks Wesley) Scripture, Reason, Tradition, and Experience; above all we do it prayerfully, humbly, and together.

You can see how it was. I had simply assumed, without (that I recall) even wondering about it, that Cliopatria was a secular blog. What else would it be?! History is a secular subject that relies on secular methods. Historians don’t argue from revelation or “scripture” or divine afflatus. I found Hugo’s post wrong-headed and sinister, and also toe-curlingly embarrassing. I didn’t want to be on a blog that hosted that kind of thing. I also didn’t feel comfortable about saying so on the blog itself – which itself would be an obstacle. All of a sudden there was a big Taboo in the middle of the thing, and that wasn’t what I had signed up for.

And that wasn’t all. As you’ll see if you read the post, there was a lot of pushback from Ralph Luker of Cliopatria, who had invited me to join in the first place – a lot of very goddy pushback. This was 2004, before the monster Gnu Atheism was born, so I was foolishly surprised at the rising ferocity. Eventually Ralph called me Madame Defarge, which probably helped to make me the gnu I am today.

In the next round, I tried to figure out how Luker and others know so much about god when they escape pressing questions by saying god is ineffable.

One of the problems with religion when one is trying to have a rational discussion is that kind of having it both ways.  God is ineffable etc. but that won’t stop us from knowing all about it.  That kind of move doesn’t work in secular discussion, and doesn’t get resorted to as much.  But with religion – well, you know, everyone means something different, and it’s ineffable, and you can’t pin it down or define it, and if you try to you’re just being literal and scientistic…

And that’s where I decided to stop, and transfer over here, instead.  But that is a serious question.  I am constantly being told that when I disagree with religion on substantive issues I misunderstand because that’s not what it’s about, it’s about awe and wonder, or love, or inner experience.  But that’s not what Hugo’s post is about at all.  It’s about taking the Bible as a guide to morals, and without picking and choosing, because that’s a bad habit.  It’s about replacing one’s existing suppositions about justice with God’s will.  It’s about taking direction from the Holy Spirit – not metaphorically but literally.  That is the kind of thing that worries me, not awe or wonder, and not ineffable things (provided people don’t then decide that they’re effable after all when a different argument is going on).

And then I did a final post saying goodbye to Cliopatria, prompted by another goddy post by Hugo Schwyzer, which started with:

Debate here and elsewhere on the intersection of faith and historical method led me to this fine article from 2001 in Christianity Today.  It featured this terrific quotation from Mark Noll, who says what I have been trying to say in all of these debates for some time (but without much success):

Asked about the anti-supernaturalism of history, Noll made a distinction between what he called”ordinary” and”providential” history. Ordinary history, he said, limits itself to”evidence and causes and effects that almost everyone can be convinced might have taken place.” While ordinary history might look quite secular, Noll sees it as fundamentally Christian in its presuppositions and worldview. He compared it to science. Christian scientists do their work with confidence because they believe that the world will make sense, and that God has made it possible for the human mind to understand the world.  So with the historian.”If I want to study the history of the American Revolution, I’m presupposing that something real took place, that the evidence left corresponds in some way to what really took place, that I’m intelligent enough to understand that evidence, that I’m able to put together a plausible explanation of cause and effect that might get us close to the truth,” Noll said.”All those enterprises I see as implicitly dependent on a Christian view of God.”

It was rather obnoxious of Schwyzer, I thought. He could have simply kept the goddy stuff to himself, but he made a point of not doing that; he forced it on the rest of us, as bossy goddy types always do.

It’s fascinating to learn about this other side of him now.

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

Holy misogyny

Dec 25th, 2011 3:45 pm | By

More festive jollity, this time in Jerusalem Israel.

Residents of an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Beit Shemesh called Israel police officers “Nazis” on Sunday, after they removed a sign ordering the separation of men and women in a street in that neighborhood.

In response to the removal of the sign by police officers and city inspectors from Beit Shemesh, a crowd of local ultra-Orthodox residents gathered around them, shouting and cursing at them. One man hurled rocks at the police officers, but managed to flee the scene. No one was hurt and no arrests were made.

Several hours after the police removed the sign, residents of the neighborhood reinstated it.

Earlier on Sunday, a Channel 2 news team was attacked and beaten by 200 ultra-Orthodox men at the same location on the street where the sign that was removed had been hanging.

Nice guys.

Update: forgot to thank Stewart for the link.

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