Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Vatican gives the nod to exorcists

Jul 4th, 2014 8:52 am | By

The Vatican bounces from triumph to triumph. While its US arm was rejoicing at the Catholic victory handed down by the Supreme Court, the head office was giving a huge boost to the people who hunt and torture “witches”.

Exorcists now have an extra weapon in their fight against evil – the official backing of the Catholic church. The Vatican has formally recognised the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons.

Notice the wording. (That’s the Associated Press saying that, published by the Guardian.) Note the absence of scare-quotes on “evil” and “demons.”

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported this week that the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy had approved

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Free to get threats

Jul 3rd, 2014 5:31 pm | By

Mubarak Bala is out of the psych ward he was forced into but he’s not out of danger.

A Nigerian atheist released from a psychiatric unit to which his Muslim family committed him by force has said he is getting death threats for blaspheming against Islam.

Mubarak Bala, a 29-year-old chemical process engineer, said he is in hiding in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria where sharia law holds and some interpretations deem blasphemy punishable by death.

“People are threatening me, I mean life-threatening threats,” he said on Thursday. He said he was too frightened of drawing attention and wouldn’t allow an Associated Press video journalist or photographer to come to his hiding place.

Bala said that since he renounced Islam and

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Be safe

Jul 3rd, 2014 4:44 pm | By

The Onion has 4th of July safety tips.

  • Most serious injuries happen on July 4th, so set off your explosives on the day before or the day after.

That’s the best tip; I’ll stick with that one.

 … Read the rest

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It turns out nice people are Nazis!

Jul 3rd, 2014 4:33 pm | By

Just following orders. The Milgram experiment. You know the drill.

Can it be cut up into smaller pieces? Of course it can.

A new Milgram-like experiment published this month in the Journal of Personality has taken this idea to the next step by trying to understand which kinds of people are more or less willing to obey these kinds of orders. What researchers discovered was surprising: Those who are described as “agreeable, conscientious personalities” are more likely to follow orders and deliver electric shocks that they believe can harm innocent people, while “more contrarian, less agreeable personalities” are more likely to refuse to hurt others.

Ok wait. Slow down. Let’s not be in a hurry. Part of me is very

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Hobby Lobby sincerely wanted to score that point

Jul 3rd, 2014 12:40 pm | By

Nick Little has a post analyzing the Hobby Lobby ruling at the CFI blog. This is good, because I was wishing I could hear from him or Eddie Tabash or both. I talked to the two of them for a few minutes at Women in Secularism and the conversation was all about SCOTUS and Hobby Lobby and Kennedy (“it’s Justice Kennedy’s world and we all live in it”). I like lawyers’ shop talk when it’s about subjects of general interest. (Patent law and the like, not so much.)

Standing

According to the majority, for-profit corporations now have religious freedom rights. Commentators have been quick to point out that Alito sought to restrict this to closely held companies (which includes

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The court has eviscerated decades of case law

Jul 3rd, 2014 11:34 am | By

Slate has a frightening analysis of the Hobby Lobby ruling.

For the first time, the court has interpreted a federal statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (or RFRA), as affording more protection for religion than has ever been provided under the First Amendment. While some have read Hobby Lobby as a narrow statutory ruling, it is much more than that. The court has eviscerated decades of case law and, having done that, invites a new generation of challenges to federal laws, including those designed to protect civil rights.

To see how we got here requires some history. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Supreme Court adopted an expansive interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. In

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Sincere religious beliefs

Jul 3rd, 2014 11:14 am | By

Via WPLR New Haven:

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Freedom of guns

Jul 3rd, 2014 10:03 am | By

Nested ironies in Georgia.

On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest.

What’s even funnier is what the misunderstanding was about.

A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to see his identification and firearms license, according to the Valdosta Police Department report.
The customer making demands for ID pulled his firearm from its holster but never pointed it at the other customer, who said he was not obligated to show any permits or identification.
He demanded the man’s

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Ricky Gervais still bravely expressing hatred of female genitalia

Jul 3rd, 2014 9:34 am | By

Yes, still. I guess it went so well last time, with the whole “if I told Hitler ‘stop killing people you cunt’ then people would scold me for sexism” caper. This time it’s cruelty to animals instead of Hitler. It’s a public post on Facebook.

Ricky Gervais

I did a tweet once calling those who skin dogs alive, cunts and someone actually bothered to comment on my language, not the inhumane torture.

25,508 Likes  764 Shares

First comment:

And those who complained are cunts.

587 Likes

There was a little time between the screen grab and now – half an hour or so. There are now 27,882 Likes on Gervais’s post and 633 on the first comment.

Imagine if … Read the rest

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Feminism is not a dirty word

Jul 2nd, 2014 6:30 pm | By

Janelle Assellin on Wonder Woman and the new team writing and drawing her.

DC has a Wonder Woman problem. Or perhaps more accurately, Wonder Woman has a DC problem. The idea of Wonder Woman as a feminist icon is so imprinted in her history, and in analysis of the character, that separating her from feminism should be near impossible. But that hasn’t stopped people trying.

Much has been written over the years about the ebb and flow of feminism in the Wonder Woman comics, the relative feminism of her appearances on the small screen, and her role as an icon for the movement. A recent interview with the new Wonder Woman creative team of Meredith Finch and David Finch

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Certificates of exemption

Jul 2nd, 2014 5:40 pm | By

Sarah Posner reported on this back in August 2012.

Rcent disclosures by the Department of Justice reveal that the Obama administration has continued a policy, first put in place by the Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush Justice Department, of granting faith-based recipients of taxpayer dollars certificates of exemption from federal laws prohibiting religious discrimination in employment by such organizations receiving federal funds.  

A very good book about the Bush-era origins of this is Kingdom Coming by Michelle Goldberg.

Since President Barack Obama launched his Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships shortly after taking office in 2009, the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination (CARD) has been assiduously asking the administration a simple question: why are faith-based organizations that

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Obama’s homophobic “spiritual counselor”

Jul 2nd, 2014 5:02 pm | By

The Washington Post reports on That Letter. (Yes I’m going to run this to death. You bet I am. Those smug sanctimonious pieces of shit – we need to push back.)

Fourteen prominent faith leaders — including some of President Obama’s closest advisers — want the White House to create a religious exemption from his planned executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gays and lesbians in hiring.

A letter to the White House, sent Tuesday and made public Wednesday, includes the signatures of Michael Wear, faith director for Obama’s 2012 campaign; Stephen Schneck, a leader of Catholic outreach in 2012; and Florida megapastor Joel Hunter, whom Obama has described as a close spiritual counselor.

Obama … Read the rest

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From the Department of Obfuscation

Jul 2nd, 2014 3:49 pm | By

The letter from the “faith leaders” to Obama is full of the usual oily empty bafflegab to dress up the fact that they’re asking him to let them discriminate against a set of people for no good reason.

Americans have always disagreed on important issues, but our ability to live with our diversity is part of what makes this country great, and it continues to be essential even in this 21st century. This ability is essential in light of our national conversation on political and cultural issues related to sexuality. We have and will continue to communicate on these broader issues to our congregations, our policymakers and our nation, but we focus here on the importance of a religious exemption

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Faith leaders ask Obama to let them faith-discriminate

Jul 2nd, 2014 3:29 pm | By

Well of course they have.

Just one day after the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 14 faith leaders have written a letter to President Obama, asking him to include a religious exemption in his planned executive order barring hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation by federal contractors.  

That’s Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches.

The Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein reports that a group of faith leaders — including a former staffer on President Obama’s campaign and in his Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships — have asked Obama to create a religious exemption so that “an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identities and

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“Why aren’t there more women on YouTube?”

Jul 2nd, 2014 11:08 am | By

Wait wait wait wait. This was two months ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIfe35QBlEc

What the hell happened to her after that??

Update: Ok well I rushed this post before watching the whole short video, bad bad me. She hasn’t changed all that much. After a surprising beginning she says

Now I know people are going to leave me comments on this video saying how men on YouTube also get a lot of hate too, and I’m not trying to be a feminist, I never have said that, but be honest, I mean when’s the last time you’ve ever seen a man accused of sleeping their way to the top or when you’ve seen a man on YouTube be told that their videos are

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St. Anne’s residential school

Jul 2nd, 2014 10:40 am | By

I’ve posted a lot about Irish industrial “schools” but not much about the Canadian version. That was negligent. From CTV News last January:

For the past year and a half, lawyer Fay Brunning has been fighting to get the federal government to hand over documents about the St. Anne’s residential school.

It’s a school that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a judge described as having the worst cases of abuse out of any residential school in Canada. Brunning, who represents survivors, says they were taken away from their parents at age five or six for 10 months a year. They were forced to eat vomit, subjected to sexual and physical abuse and put in an electric chair.

What??Read the rest

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This is to avoid possible conflicts

Jul 2nd, 2014 10:10 am | By

Ok so sports are mostly sex-divided – women and men mostly don’t play on the same teams, and when they do the word “mixed” is attached. There are moves to erode this at least in schools, and that’s a good thing. But humans are mildly sexually dimorphic, so one can see that there are reasons for sports to be dimorphic also.

Sports, but not games. Games don’t need to be dimorphic.

Or do they?

A user on Reddit’s Hearthstone community yesterday shared this image—from an announcement pagefor a Hearthstone qualifier taking place during Finland’s Assembly Summer 2014. What made “Karuta’s” post notable was a single, highlighted sentence: “The participation is open only to Finnish male players.”

That

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Euthyphro 2014

Jul 2nd, 2014 9:54 am | By

Michael Nugent and Leah Libresco talk about the latter’s conversion from atheism to Catholicism, and what moral realism has to do with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GOKh5TXjUMRead the rest

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The theocrats get started

Jul 1st, 2014 5:51 pm | By

More nostalgia – May 21 2012 when the bishops announced their lawsuit against the administration. Catholic News Service was there, slavering.

The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special website–preservereligiousfreedom.org–to explain its lawsuit and present news

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The bishops want more, and more, and more

Jul 1st, 2014 5:02 pm | By

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops – which aspires to tell the secular government what to do, and has much success in doing just that – has a campaign for religious libery, by which of course it means the USCCB’s liberty to tell everyone else what to do. It’s pushing for a “Health care conscience rights act” – and we all know what they mean by that. They want Congress to make it a law that they have a “right” to refuse to do their jobs if that involves medical treatments they choose to have “religious” objections to. They have a fact sheet on the subject.

The right of religious liberty, the First Freedom
guaranteed by our Constitution, includes

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