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.

Priests ensnared by little boys

Aug 31st, 2012 11:00 am | By

A priest in Australia has been charged with hiding child sexual assaults by another priest.

He didn’t just hide them, either, he caned two boys who reported being assaulted.

Father Brennan, 74, was arrested and charged yesterday with two counts of  misprision of a felony – failing to disclose a serious crime – relating to alleged child sex offences by defrocked priest John Denham against two boys in  the late 1970s.

The offences allegedly occurred at St Pius X, in the Newcastle suburb of  Adamstown, where Father Denham was a teacher and Father Brennan was school principal.

In addition Father Brennan, of Toronto, south of Newcastle, was charged with assaulting the two boys by caning them after they allegedly reported being  sexually assaulted by Father Denham, 70.

“Compassion is at the heart of every great religion.” Karen Armstrong.

One of the  men from the Hunter Valley, who alleged Father Brennan caned him in 1978 after he alleged Father Denham had repeatedly sexually assaulted him at the school, thanked police for a determined investigation.

”If this makes one person stand up and say, ‘This is what happened to me’, then I’ll feel better,” he said.

Another Hunter man, who also alleged Father Brennan caned him after he alleged Father Denham had repeatedly sexually assaulted him at the school, said it was ”great news”.

”I feel better now that I’ve got it off my chest after saying nothing for all these years, but there’s still a dark side of it,” he said.

Probably because of the 34 years it took before Pa Brennan was charged.

But, hey, the boys probably seduced Pa Denham. That’s what they do you know.

A Catholic newspaper has removed an interview from their website in which a priest said that pedophiles are seduced by children in “a lot of the cases” and the abusers should not go to jail.

During an interview with National Catholic Register, 78-year-old Father Benedict Groeschel was asked about his experience working with priests involved in abuse.

Mmmmyes, and of course (assuming there is any truth in that, which I haz my doubts) the adult has no responsibility whatever to resist the child’s “seduction.”

You know what’s scary about that?

Groeschel has a PhD in psychology from Columbia University and hosts a television talk show on the Eternal Word Television Network, which also owns National Catholic Register.

That’s what. A PhD in psychology from Columbia.


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

Art morning

Aug 31st, 2012 9:30 am | By

Since we’re talking about it – Las Meninas.

File:Las Meninas, by Diego Velázquez, from Prado in Google Earth.jpg

From the Wikimedia Commons.

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

A little outing

Aug 31st, 2012 8:57 am | By

Village life in Punjab.

Five men allegedly shaved off the hair and eyebrows of a young woman and paraded her in the streets of a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province, police officials said Tuesday.

The incident occurred yesterday in Layyah district, 350 km from Lahore, after the married woman was accused of having “illicit” relations with a man.

According to an FIR registered by police, Parveen Bibi, 25, the wife of Sabir Husain, had a quarrel with her sisters-in-law.
Yesterday, her brothers-in-law Muhammad Pervaiz and Muhammad Zafar and three other men shaved off her hair and eyebrows. They then blackened her face and paraded her through the streets of their village.

Five men bullying one woman. How picturesque.

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

Jacob Jordaens

Aug 31st, 2012 6:31 am | By

Here’s the source painting, by the way.

Pieta - Jacob Jordaens


Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

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

Anybody who resorts to tactics of desperation like this

Aug 31st, 2012 5:25 am | By

A blast from the past at the Richard Dawkins Foundation (of which Paula Kirby is the UK head), December 15, 2006.

The following is an email sent by William A. Dembski to Richard Dawkins along with other prominent Darwinists, particularly those who defended Darwinism during the Dover Trial.

There’s a Christmas present for you at my website.

– a flash animation that features each of you prominently (some of you are probably aware of it already). We’re still planning a few enhancements, including getting Eric Rothschild in there and having Judge Jones do the actual voiceovers himself (right now it’s me speeded up though it’s his actual words). In return for the judge doing himself, we’ll drop some of the less flattering sound effects. We would have included Prof. Padian, but the images of him on the internet weren’t of sufficient quality (I’m copying Prof. Padian — if you send me a hi res jpg of yourself, I’m sure we can work you in — you were after all the expert witness at the trial).

Best wishes, Bill Dembski

How festive. What a pleasant friendly winter solstice joke.

Or was it. The recipient didn’t think so.

Reponse from Richard Dawkins:

Anybody who resorts to tactics of desperation like this has to be a real loser. Dembski is a loser, and it now looks as though he KNOWS it. My guess is that he will try to take it down when he realizes how foolish it makes him look. Josh, can we can keep a copy, after he tries to remove it from his own website?


Update: Here it is, on the original site, where Dembski found it. Apparently it had farts, but the hosts came over all adult and removed that aspect. What’s left is totally adult and clever.

H/t Gerry.

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


Aug 30th, 2012 4:03 pm | By

Gosh. Paula Kirby made a funny on Twitter.

Paula Kirby@PaulaSKirby

Ladies and gentlemen, may I request a moment of silence in honour of CrucifixionPlus (Restored).


That’s kind of startling. As I said before, when she called me a Feminazi and Femistasi and part of the Sisterhood of the Oppressed, I liked her a lot when I met her at QED. She was friendly to me, and I thought we’d had a good rapport – or to put it another way, I thought the liking was reasonably mutual. Clearly it wasn’t.

Fine; nobody has to like anybody. On the other hand, calling people totalitarians and Nazis and Stasi (when they’re not)? And circulating sneery caricatures? That’s…well it’s not very adult, for a start. And it’s nasty.

I’ve said this before too, but I’ll say this again too. I’m supposed to be such a monster, but I don’t do shit like that.

Mind you, the restored Jesus still makes me laugh; it makes me laugh every time.

But Paula Kirby? No. I don’t find her funny.

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

Next spring in DC

Aug 30th, 2012 12:32 pm | By

Oh hai, registration is open for Women in Secularism 2.

That means I finally get to tell you that Katha Pollitt will be there! Yes, Katha Pollitt. Booya.

Also Vyckie Garrison! Also Soraya Chemaly, also Teresa MacBain, also Amanda Marcotte, to name just a few.

This is going to be great.

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

Law in a theocracy

Aug 30th, 2012 11:01 am | By

Apparently in Pakistan, if you’re a lawyer and you think a case might not go your way, the thing to do is to muse aloud about people who got murdered in similar circumstances if you know what I mean wink wink nudge nudge. At least if you see yourself as a lawyer for Team God.

A lawyer representing the man who accused a Pakistani Christian girl of blasphemy has claimed that if she is not convicted, Muslims could “take the law into their own hands”.

Rao Abdur Raheem, who appeared in court for the first time at a bail hearing on Tuesday, cited the example of Mumtaz Qadri, the man who last year gunned down a senior politician who had called for the reform of the much-abused blasphemy law.

Because a girl of 11, with possible learning difficulties, may or may not have thrown out or burned or carried in a garbage bag a few pages from the Koran or a guidebook on reading the Koran – if she doesn’t get convicted, never mind the evidence or the age or the who cares about a few pages from a mass-produced book anyway growthefuckup, then let’s hope somebody murders her.

Really? Really, Rao Abdur Raheem? The case is so good? The “crime” is so horrendous? That you want her convicted (and executed, I take it?) or else murdered?

What a profoundly horrible person you must be. I hope you get over it.

The girl, Rimsha Masih, whose family says she is 11, was arrested earlier this month and charged with desecrating the Qur’an after a neighbour, Malik Hammad, claimed that he saw her with burnt pages of the holy text in a bag she was carrying.

Her family had hoped that she would be granted bail on Thursday after a medical report this week found that she was a minor – thus eligible for bail – and has learning difficulties. But those hopes were dashed when Raheem challenged the report in court and the hearing was postponed.

According to Raheem, the medical report on Masih was illegal, as it followed the orders of a civil servant and not the court, and went beyond its remit of determining her age. He accused the government of supporting her and manipulating court proceedings.

Speaking outside the Islamabad court after the hearing, Raheem said: “There are many Mumtaz Qadris in this country … This (medical) report has been managed by the state, state agencies and the accused.”

Later, sitting in his office beneath a large poster of Qadri, Raheem told the Guardian: “If the court is not allowed to do its work, because the state is helping the accused, then the public has no other option except to take the law into their own hands.”

Sometimes it’s actively unpleasant living in a world with so much obsessive stupid malice in it.








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

They’re not a separate issue

Aug 29th, 2012 6:19 pm | By

One nice thing.

There’s a transcript of a hangout PZ did with Rebecca and Jen and Brownian and Louis. (I’m not sure I know Louis.)

Louis is apparently in the UK, and he said a thing I liked.

So I see the vitriol, I see the vehemence of it. And I can understand Brownian’s point, of the, fuck you assholes [Unintelligible] misogynist skeptics. I can see it, because, you know, it’s so apparent to me as an outsider from that angle.

But when I’ve been to Skeptics in the Pub in the UK, or when I’ve been to skeptic events in the UK, or when I’ve dealt with, I don’t know, the Simon Singhs or these sorts of people over here, it’s all so obvious that. . . you know. . . Anita Anand, Simon’s partner, or any of these wonderful people whose names I can now not remember. Tessa Kendall for example. Who are fantastic skeptics and fantastic atheists and fantastic advocates for Enlightenment values and thought.

There was never a question. . .  that these people that didn’t have willies were somehow our equals or betters. It was never an issue. So I’m coming from an incredibly privileged background, where it was never questioned. Or at least in my limited view, it was never questioned.

That’s the feeling I got when I was there. (Although that’s partly because I naturally didn’t experience everything. I now know of one guy who was there from the fuck you assholes [Unintelligible] misogynist skeptics contingent.)

And to see some of the abhorrent stuff that’s been chucked out across the intertubes recently, and not so recently, is shocking to me. But that just makes me want to redouble my efforts.

That, you know. . . the Enlightenment values for which skeptics and atheists claim to stand are the Enlightenment values from which feminists have built feminism. It’s – they’re not a separate issue. So I don’t really feel like ceding ground to the misogynists. I don’t really feel like ceding ground to the homophobes and the racists, and the privileged white dudes who think that, you know, being skeptical of Nessie is somehow good, good enough. It just isn’t! You know, I think it all comes from the same wellspring. It all comes from that same Enlightenment value.

Yes yes yes and yes.

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

Landscape on Mars

Aug 29th, 2012 4:52 pm | By

Seen the picture of Mount Sharp?

Postcards from Mars, eh.

100mm telephoto image from Curiosity rover

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

So that she will mend her ways

Aug 29th, 2012 11:46 am | By

Małgorzata has sent me another gem - a lecture on tv by an Egyptian cleric explaining why men have to beat up women.

Abd Al-Rahman Mansour: Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.

That’s usefully blunt. We know where we are. We’re among stupid unreflective people who have not managed to figure out that stronger does not equal better or higher, and that the mere fact that person X is able to beat up person Y does not mean that person X is better than person Y. It’s the morality of street thugs. What do you do if you’re a street thug? You look for people you can take, as opposed to people who can take you. That’s not morality, it’s just engineering.

When ‘Aisha thought ill of the Prophet Muhammad, believing that he did not treat her the same as his other wives, and that when he left her room, he would go to another wife, she followed him and spied on him. ‘Aisha said that when the Prophet found out about this, “He gave me a shove that was painful.”

This was done in order to discipline her, not because the Prophet enjoyed beating or inflicting bodily harm. The Prophet did this in order to discipline this woman.

“Discipline” nothing. He did it to make her knuckle under and let him fuck around the house as much as he liked. She wasn’t as keen on polygamy as he was, so he punched her to force her to do what he wanted.

A good woman, even if beaten by her husband, puts her hand in his and says: “I will not rest until you are pleased with me.” This is how the Prophet Muhammad taught his women to be.

Well of course he did, because it make things so pleasant for him. It’s been making things pleasant for Muslim men ever since.


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

Police the borders

Aug 29th, 2012 10:37 am | By

The Everyday Sexism Project keeps track of that very thing. If you follow it on Twitter you see a lot of items that people send in. One today was the children’s magazine rack at Tesco.

Embedded image permalink

Picture by @sconesgone

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

Both parties have respect

Aug 29th, 2012 9:47 am | By

Fabulous. The Republicans are having New York’s archbishop Timothy Dolan saying a goodbye prayer at their convention, so now the Democrats are having him too, so that everyone will know that both parties suck up to the Catholic church because hey, votes.

The fact that Dolan will be speaking at both conventions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, shows the measure of respect both parties have for “ou[r] new cardinal.”

Yes exactly, and why the hell should they do that?

Mind you, the rest of what Bloomberg said sounded a tad perfunctory, or even contemptuous.

“It’s very flattering, I think, to him,” Bloomberg said. “He’s a very good speaker, and I’m sure he’ll give a very nice invocation, blessing or whatever he chooses to call it.”


But seriously. Timothy Dolan is the guy who pitched a huge fit at the New York Times for reporting on priestly child rape because other people do it too. He’s not someone both parties should respect. He’s a moral imbecile.

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

Enabling them

Aug 28th, 2012 2:23 pm | By

Aron Ra said his piece in Amy’s series.

Remember that we’re not talking about religizombies either; we’re talking about plainly prejudiced people who consistently identify as, associate with, and participate in the freethinking community –both virtually and personally. Yes or no, are these the sort of people you want to have seen as representative of your position? Or typical of it? Or welcome in it? Because when you minimize the threat they impose, you are enabling them.

If you’re tired of hearing what’s-her-name complain about this all the time, why not solve the problem? Could it help to pretend that isn’t a problem? Or not enough of one to warrant your attention? Should you become part of the problem yourself? Do you think a bit of name-calling would be an appropriate response? If you not only permit it –by ignoring it- but actually contribute to it at all, then you’re aiding and defending those trolls –which is much worse than feeding them. If you’re well-known in this movement, you’ll be seen as a spokesman for despicable behavior. I have seen it happen.

Because when you minimize the threat they impose, you are enabling them. Yes you are.

There was a time when one could get away with telling really offensive jokes, or expressing deep-seated hatred against any other demographic, and it would be nervously tolerated. Why is it not that way anymore? Because the pockets of humanity who permit that are dwindling. That means progressive people are having a positive impact, and there is just no defensible alternate position on this matter.

So be a progressive people and have a positive impact. Dwindle the pockets of humanity who permit the expression of deep-seated hatred against women. Because why not?

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

Giles Fraser versus human rights

Aug 28th, 2012 12:32 pm | By

Giles Fraser strongly disapproves of the idea (and the judicial finding) that non-medical circumcision is what it is: genital cutting of an infant for religious reasons.

Generally, the logic behind these moves is that circumcision is an act of unnecessary violence against a child and that it is imposing a belief system against a child’s will. If an adult wants to be circumcised, so be it.

But child circumcision violates the rights of the child over his body. I recently defended circumcision in the Guardian and was inundated with letters telling me I was a child abuser, that male circumcision was like female genital mutilation. But mostly, the arguments against were all about choice.

That’s surprisingly clumsy – it would be much easier to follow if the last sentence of the first para and first sentence of the second were one sentence -

 If an adult wants to be circumcised, so be it, but child circumcision violates the rights of the child over his body.

So I’ll do him a favor and re-write it, so that we can follow.

Generally, the logic behind these moves is that circumcision is an act of unnecessary violence against a child and that it is imposing a belief system against a child’s will. If an adult wants to be circumcised, so be it, but child circumcision violates the rights of the child over his body.

I recently defended circumcision in the Guardian and was inundated with letters telling me I was a child abuser, that male circumcision was like female genital mutilation. But mostly, the arguments against were all about choice.

Apparently, only choice makes it ok.

There; at least now we know where we are.

Choice doesn’t exactly make it ok, but it certainly (and obviously) does take the act out of the hands of the parents, and that certainly (and obviously) does make a difference. Doing something to someone is different from doing something to yourself. So yes – in that sense, choice does make it a hell of a lot more ok than the total absence of choice does.

Obviously this doesn’t apply to everything. It doesn’t mean don’t feed an infant, or don’t provide an infant with shelter from rain and cold, or don’t take an infant to the doctor. It does mean don’t cut bits off the infant unless it’s medically necessary.

But Giles Fraser doesn’t see it that way. He wants to do a reductio, instead, so he tells us to imagine parents not teaching their child a language, on the grounds of choice.

See above. Don’t play silly buggers.

I offer this bonkers experiment as a reductio ad absurdum of the sort of thing that is often said about imposing religion on children.

It is a rubbish argument because to be inducted into a community of values is a precondition for making sense of the world in a moral way — it is even a precondition of the very freedom that the mad liberal parents are after, a precondition of the child deciding that he or she is going to believe something different.

But this particular issue is not about imposing religion on children. It’s about not imposing genital cutting on infants for non-medical reasons, including religious reasons. The core of it is not the religion but the cutting.

Fraser is apparently simply taking for granted the idea that the religion and the cutting are inseparable; that if the cutting is delayed until adulthood, the infant/child is therefore not in the religion – is denied the religion, excluded from the religion.

How ugly. How ugly not to give the religion the chance to grow up a little and decide that cutting can be both optional and delayed. How ugly to insist that snipping infant penises is somehow mandatory for a particular religion, and that it’s “mad” to think otherwise.

Choice has become a cuckoo value in our society — driving out other values like fairness and community.

Fairness? Driving out fairness? What about the unfairness of snipping penises without consent? And how on earth is it “cuckoo” to think that people should have a right to choose whether or not to modify their genitals?

And the same goes for community. That too should be a matter of choice. It’s not for Giles Fraser to decide that all children should be drafted into one “community” or another from birth via genital branding.

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

Tighten it up

Aug 28th, 2012 7:43 am | By

Hooray, great strides for women in India.

An Indian company has launched what it claims is the country’s first vagina tightening cream, saying it will make women feel “like a virgin” again. The company says it is about empowering women…

Empowering women? By making them feel “like a virgin”? Because virgin women are so powerful? What, like the Delphic oracle? Tight virginal vagina=telephone line to the gods?

This video is designed to market a vaginal “rejuvenation and tightening” product, which was launched this month in India.

The makers of 18 Again, the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company Ultratech, say it is the first of its kind in India (similar creams are already available in other parts of the world such as the USA), and fills a gap in the market.

Ultratech’s owner, Rishi Bhatia, says the cream, which is selling for around $44 (£28), contains natural ingredients including gold dust, aloe vera, almond and pomegranate, and has been clinically tested.

“It’s a unique and revolutionary product which also works towards building inner confidence in a woman and boosting her self esteem,” says Mr Bhatia, adding that the goal of the product is to “empower women”.

Oh right! I get it now. Because of course any woman who has a disgusting sloppy baggy loose vagina has obviously lost any inner confidence she once had. It’s well known that there is a nerve that links the vagina to the inner confidence and that as the vagina sheds its discipline and becomes like a giant deflated balloon, all the air goes out of the inner confidence too. It’s tragic. How wonderful that there’s now a magical way to use gold dust to tighten up the horrible floppy thing.

Mr Bhatia says the product is not claiming to restore a woman’s virginity, but to restore the emotions of being a virgin.

“We are only saying, ‘feel like a virgin’ – it’s a metaphor. It tries to bring back that feeling when a person is 18.”

Or 16, or 14…or 9, as is not uncommon in India.

“This kind of cream is utter nonsense, and could give some women an inferiority complex,” argues Annie Raja from the National Federation of Indian Women, which fights for women’s rights in the country.

Ms Raja says that rather than empower women, the cream will do the opposite, by reaffirming a patriarchal view that is held by many here – the notion that men want all women to be virgins until their wedding night.

Well you know how it is – all those men tromping through there, they blow the thing out, so it gets to be like trying to fuck a blanket, and a very dirty used stained blanket at that.

Has anybody thought of inventing disposable vaginas? What about that for a solution? A new clean tight virginal one every morning, and high self-esteem all around. Win-win!


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

I do a guest post

Aug 27th, 2012 5:05 pm | By

Taslima invited me to write a post on why I’m a feminist, so now I get to have the honor of a post on Taslima’s blog. Woot!

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

Is this a fork in the road or just an added lane?

Aug 27th, 2012 2:54 pm | By

Ron Lindsay has some observations on atheism plus. Good stuff.

One question he asks in conclusion -

CFI has long been active in supporting LGBT equality, in supporting reproductive rights, in supporting equality for women, in opposing suppression of women and minorities, not just in the US but in other countries, in supporting public schools, in advocating for patient’s rights, including the right to assistance in dying, in fighting restrictions on the teaching of evolution, in opposing religious interference with health care policy, in promoting the use of science in shaping public policy, in safeguarding our rights to free speech, and in protecting the rights of the nonreligious. We focus on these issues because: 1. they are the issues where religious dogma and/or pseudoscience continue to have significant influence and, therefore, they’re the issues most closely related to our mission as a secular/skeptical organization; and 2. we have limited resources of money and staff time; we can’t do everything.

So do the advocates of A+ believe some or all of these issues are not worth spending time on? If so, why? What other issues will A+ be focused on? What are the connections between these other issues and atheism? Where will A+ find the resources to focus on these other issues?

Speaking for myself, no. I don’t think of atheism+ as diverging from CFI. On the contrary, I think of CFI as pretty much the same kind of thing.

I’ll just add a comment I made there. (As soon as I did, one “Dan” turned up to call me things, by way of illustrating the total non-existence of misogyny, or something. So I won’t be commenting there any more. That’s how this goes.)

So far, and speaking just for myself, I’ve been taking Atheist+ as an adjective more than a movement, which means among other things that I don’t have to worry about wasting resources or splitting into factions.

I think of it as a shorthand for saying “gnu atheist [i.e. explicit, vocal, assertive etc atheist] with extra added egalitarianism.”

It’s extra added, right now, because of this wave of cheery unabashed sexism. I feel a need for the + as a quick way to make the point that the atheism movement (and there is such a thing) shouldn’t include rude hostility to women. (Or any other groups, but that’s the thing: sexism seems to be exempt from the taboos on racism and the like.)

I did a follow-up comment to say I think of CFI as being on the same side of that issue.

Update: Rogi Riverstone provided an illustration on her Atheism+ Facebook page.

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

No joy

Aug 27th, 2012 11:32 am | By

Life should be dull and empty and joyless, because god. No music, no dance, no play, no laughter, no frivolity, no flirting, no getting jiggy. No faces, no conversation, no friendship, no mingling, no color. No joy – because that’s the devil’s work.

AFP reports:

Taliban insurgents beheaded 17 civilians, including two women, who were holding a party with music in a southern Afghanistan village, officials said Monday.

Party. Music. Women. Mingling. Too much fun. No fun for you! No fun, no pleasure, no heads.

“I can confirm that this is the work of the Taliban,” the Helmand provincial governor’s spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP, referring to Islamists notorious during their rule for public executions and the suppression of music and parties.

“Two women and 15 men were beheaded. They were partying with music in an area under the control of the Taliban,” he said.

Nematullah Khan, the Musa Qala district chief confirmed that the villagers had organised a party with music, and one local official said he suspected that the two women had been dancing.

Secret parties with dancing women from a gypsy-type tribe are common across southern Afghanistan.

During their 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan the Taliban, now waging a fierce insurgency against the NATO-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, also tried to stop the mixing of men and women who were not related.

I like to watch dancing. I like music. That party sounds like a very good time. It sounds like the epitome of humans at their best – doing beatiful things with music and bodies in motion to express celebration. It’s so deeply pathetic that there are people who think that’s the epitome of evil and that they worship a god who hates that.

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

She wept and begged to be released

Aug 27th, 2012 10:34 am | By

Spare a thought for that little girl in Pakistan who is in jail for “blasphemy” because she (supposedly, allegedly, some asshole saidly) had some pages of the Koran in a bag of trash, or put some pages of the Koran in a fire along with other trash, or some such stupid meaningless unreasonable bit of nonsense. Spare a thought for her, because she wants to get out. She would probably prefer to be at home, with people who love her and take care of her.

According to the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad, Rimsha’s lawyer said that when he saw her in jail over the weekend she wept and begged to be released.

Her parents have been taken into protective custody following threats, and many other Christian families are reported to have fled the neighbourhood.

There are fears that even if she is released, Rimsha’s family will not be safe in Pakistan. Others accused of blasphemy have been killed by vigilante mobs in the recent past.

Human beings: finding shitty reasons to torment each other for 100,000 years.

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