Oh no, the bishops are livid, we must give in!

What was that about US Catholic bishops insisting on imposing Catholic dogma on the entire US population by telling presidents and legislators to obey their rules? Well it worked.

White House advisors, including one of President Obama’s top faith consultants, are signaling a potential compromise on a controversial new mandate that requires some religious institutions to cover contraception costs for employees.

David Axelrod, a senior campaign adviser for the Obama reelection campaign, said Tuesday that Obama may be open to a compromise that would expand a religious exemption in the new Health & Human Services mandate to satisfy religious groups. [Read more…]

Falangists in Fleet Street

It’s interesting how cheerfully unabashed the Telegraph is in its belief that Catholic bishops should tell US presidents and legislators what laws to make. It’s interesting that they take theocracy – and reactionary all-but-falangist Catholic theocracy at that – for granted. It’s interesting and somewhat surprising. Would they really like reactionary Catholic bishops making laws in the UK?

Roman Catholic leaders have furiously criticised President Barack Obama for approving new regulations that compel religious organisations to include morning-after pills and other contraceptives in employee health insurance coverage. [Read more…]

A big win for theocracy

So Egypt is doomed. Islamists control two thirds of the seats in the People’s Assembly. In other words, the Assembly is in the hands of avowed theocrats.

The final results in Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections confirm an overwhelming victory for Islamist parties.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won the largest number of seats under Egypt’s complex electoral system.

The hardline Salafist Nour party came second. [Read more…]

Orthodoxy v freedom

Jonathan Turley was on the case in the Los Angeles Times in December.

This week in Washington, the United States is hosting an international conference obliquely titled “Expert Meeting on Implementing the U.N. Human Rights Resolution 16/18.” The impenetrable title conceals the disturbing agenda: to establish international standards for, among other things, criminalizing “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief.” The unstated enemy of religion in this conference is free speech, and the Obama administration is facilitating efforts by Muslim countries to “deter” some speech in the name of human rights. [Read more…]


I don’t normally like to agree with Republican Representatives, but I’m afraid this one time I’m going to have to. Actually I think I’ll see his bet and raise it.

A US lawmaker has urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to push back against the “criminalization of speech deemed critical of Islam” at a meeting next week of the world’s largest Muslim body.

In a December 8 letter, Republican Representative Ted Poe pressed Clinton to use a December 12-14 meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Washington to address the issue.

What.the.fuck. [Read more…]

We have to base our behaviour according to scripture

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. [Read more…]

Tenets of Islam are not subject to change

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay went to the Maldives, and there she said some things. She said some things relevant to human rights.

In an address delivered in parliament last Thursday, Pillay said the practice of flogging women found guilty of extra-marital sex “constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women, and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country.”

The UN human rights chief called for a public debate “on this issue of major concern.” In a press conference later in the day, Pillay called on the judiciary and the executive to issue a moratorium on flogging. [Read more…]

More whacked-out causation

They seem to have a shaky grasp on what causes what, in Saudi Arabia.

A report in Saudi Arabia has warned that if Saudi women were given the right to drive, it would spell the end of virginity in the country.

See? That’s bizarre. If Saudi women drove, babies would be born non-virgins? How? How would that work?

Though there is no formal ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, if they get behind the wheel, they can be arrested.

That too is bizarre. If there’s no actual law against women driving, what can they be arrested for?

As part of his careful reform process, King Abdullah has allowed suggestions to surface that the ban might be reviewed.

This has angered the conservative religious elite – a key power base for any
Saudi ruler.

Now, one of their number – well-known academic Kamal Subhi – has presented a new report to the country’s legislative assembly, the Shura.

The aim was to get it to drop plans to reconsider the ban.

The report contains graphic warnings that letting women drive would increase prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce.

…………..Homosexuality? How?

Anyway –  well-known academic Kamal Subhi seems to have a ludicrous idea of sensible risk-avoidance. Letting anyone do anything would increase all sorts of things, but it’s not worth locking everyone up in a small room for life to avoid all those things.

On the other hand, if the Saudi bosses do decide women can drive, I hope they urge them to reconsider the policy of wearing a blanket over their heads too.

Saudi women get in the back seat of a car

You don’t want those women driving a car, for sure.

And they lived happily ever after

Oh how sweet, Hamid Karzai has pardoned a woman who was serving a 12 year prison sentence for…arson? Armed robbery? GBH? No; for being raped. That’s what women who are raped get in Afghanistan (and not only there): they get long prison sentences, and that’s if they’re lucky; the less fortunate ones get stoned to death. Here’s why: it’s because a man was able to get access to the aperture between her legs, and allowing a man to get access to that is of course a horrendous crime. It’s no good calling it “rape”; it’s the woman’s job to make the aperture inaccessible, period; it’s not the man’s job to refrain from shoving his penis into it when he gets the chance.

But in this case it all works out, because Gulnaz, the woman in question, isn’t actually being set free (to go on making her aperture accessible to random men, the slut), she’s being let out of one prison so that she can enter another: marriage to the man who raped her. [Read more…]