They cannot teach men

Let’s not forget the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They suck too.

A schoolgirl who left the Jehovah’s Witnesses after learning of its alleged failure to protect vulnerable women has blasted the organisation in a powerful speech to her classmates.

Holding back tears, she recalled her personal experiences as a member of the church and how she was taught everyone outside the religion, including her father, would be sent to Armageddon.

[Read more…]

All around us

Scary.

Scientific American:

The kinds of bacteria that can cause food poisoning lurk all around us. These germs can be especially easy to pick up when traveling internationally as well as in places, such as children’s day cares, which are hard to keep clean. The infections usually clear up on their own but sometimes require hospitalizations and hefty doses of antibiotics to expunge. Unfortunately, the bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment.

Oh great: antibiotic-resistant food-poisoning. That’s a joyous prospect.

The latest bad news came in April when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an outbreak of Shigella sonnei that has become resistant to ciprofloxacin—one of the last remaining medications in pill form that can kill the germ. Since then a Scientific American investigation shows the worrisome strain is still circulating in the U.S. a year after it first emerged. [Read more…]

Why are there little girls rather than nothing?

Raw Story reported on May 22:

Four homeschooled brothers pleaded guilty Thursday to molesting their younger sister from the time she was 4 years old until she was almost 15 – and their parents and two other brothers still face charges related to the case.

Eric Jackson, then 25, told authorities that he and all five of his brothers had sexually abused their younger sister for a decade, and authorities say their parents knew but did nothing to stop the abuse. [Read more…]

The woman was waiting at a bus stop

Via Taslima – a horrific gang-rape in a bus in Dhaka.

Police say the woman was waiting at a bus stop for a ride home after work on Thursday night when a minibus stopped in front of her and two men forced her aboard. They and three other men inside the bus took turns raping her for an hour and a half while the bus slowly drove around the Jamuna Future Park area in northeast Dhaka.

Inspired by the Delhi gang rape in 2012, no doubt, the one in which the rapists pulled the victim’s intestines out before they threw her and the guy who was with her off the bus.

The woman’s sister told reporters that the family had to visit three police stations before one agreed to take a report.

They went to the station closest to their home in the Uttara area around 4 a.m. Friday but were told by police that they did not have jurisdiction because the incident took place outside the area. They visited another police station an hour later and got the same reply, she said. [Read more…]

Which god is why there is something rather than nothing?

I saw most of this the other day: Star Talk hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, talking to a Jesuit priest and playing sections from a taped interview he did with Richard Dawkins. (There was also a comedian but he didn’t get to contribute much.) It was pretty entertaining.

One bit was very funny, when Dawkins was explaining something about why he challenges religion or some such thing, and he said he “good-naturedly ridicules” people’s odd beliefs. I burst out laughing at that, and laughed some more when Tyson gently said the people might disagree about the “good-natured” part. Dawkins chuckled amiably, but…you could see that no dent had been made.

So I guess that really is how he sees himself? As good-naturedly ridiculing people’s beliefs, as opposed to waspishly or sharply or harshly or brutally?

The Jesuit priest was predictably frustrating. He pretended to be perfectly reasonable and like a scientist and trying to figure things out just like Tyson and yadda yadda. He said he likes to ask people why there’s something rather than nothing, and Tyson said he answers he doesn’t know, and he’s happy with that – later amended to not happy in the sense of not wanting to try to find out, but in the sense of not letting it force him to answer “god.”

I liked that, but I also wished he had pressed the Jesuit – James Martin, his name is – on why “god” is any kind of answer to that question anyway. I also wished he had pressed him to say exactly what he meant by god, especially when he (Mr Jesuit) kept offering different versions of god, all of them much nicer than the fascist daddy-figure. I wished he had asked how any of that makes sense together.

Playing doctor

I heard about this on Facebook this morning via Vyckie; now RawStory is reporting on it.

Responding to criticism of the Christian “Quiverfull” movement, the wife of a Texas pastor who promotes the “be fruitful, and multiply” philosophy, took to Facebook to explain that admitted child-molester Josh Duggar was “playing doctor” as a teen and should be “left alone to live a good life.”

The conservative fundamentalist Quiverfull movement sees children as a blessing from God and promotes constant procreation, eschewing all forms of birth control.

In her rant on Facebook, Carrie Hurd, wife of Heritage Covenant Church Pastor Patrick Hurd, blasted Quiverfull critic Vyckie Garrison for being critical of Duggar, and Christians in general.

[Read more…]

Why anyone should care

I’m seeing people asking a lot of very strange questions about why anyone should care that Josh Duggar groped his younger sisters and his family covered it up and did nothing about it.

Are they serious? We should care because the Duggars think and say they are better than everyone who doesn’t think like them, and they have a very large public megaphone – and may still have it if TLC’s cancellation of their show turns out to be temporary. We should care because Josh Duggar was a higher-up in the reactionary homophobic Family Research Council until he resigned two days ago because the truth about his past came to light.

We should care because the Duggars are reactionary theocratic homophobic antifeminist Christian activists who pose as Nice and Smiley and Good. They do harm, so of course we should care that they covered up a crime against their own god damn daughters.

Libby Anne of course has a lot to say on this, and we should all be camping out on her blog for the foreseeable future. Yesterday she and a guest poster talked about the silencing power of forgiveness. [Read more…]

Stones

IS has taken Palmyra.

Islamic State militants have locked Palmyra’s museum and placed guards outside its doors, days after seizing the ancient city, Iraqi officials say.

Antiquities director Maamoun Abdulkarim said they had destroyed some modern plaster statues and also raised their flag on the ancient castle overlooking the Roman ruins.

Most of the museum’s antiquities had been transferred to Damascus, he said.

[Read more…]