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…]

It’s a holy city with sensitivities

What is theocracy fundamentally (you should excuse the word) all about? Men on top. Nothing else is as central, as obsessive, as enforced, as nagged about.

Witness Jerusalem.

Posters depicting women have become rare in the streets of Israel’s capital. In some areas, women have been shunted onto separate sidewalks, and buses and health clinics have been gender-segregated. The military has considered reassigning some female combat soldiers because religious men don’t want to serve with them. [Read more…]

18, 19, 20!

Oh hey, what exciting news, the Duggars are going to have child # 20 – that is, Michelle Duggar is pregnant with child # 20. Quiverfull strikes another blow for theocracy.

The Quiverfull movement places emphasis on the importance of women submitting to their husbands and fathers, and is often recognized as a backlash to the gains made in women’s rights by the feminist movement. It is an anti-feminist backlash that holds that gender equality is contrary to God’s law and that women’s highest calling is as wives and “prolific” mothers. In line with other fundamentalist Christians, they believe a woman’s place is in the home, breeding children and serving her husband.

The movement embraces misogyny as God’s law. Women are reduced to breeders. Children reduced to metaphorical cannon fodder in to be brainwashed and sent out as cultural warriors, fighting for Christian dominion over America.

Yes yes yes, but let’s don’t be a party-pooper – they’re going to have another baaaaaaaybeeeeeeeeeee for Americans to watch on tv. Isn’t that cute?

Secular morality in a nutshell

Someone who commented on a very flimsy piece by Keith Ward at Comment is Free said a good thing.

There is a constant error made in many of these articles regarding the definition and scope of religion. Religion is not the study of ethics, natural science, philosophy or astronomy and cannot generate informed hypotheses on these topics.

The domain of religion is the interpretation of the desires of supernatural beings. It exists to answer the question “what do supernatural creatures want from us?”.

I guess a key point to ask would be “is that a question that really warrants such attention?”

Quite so. Maybe they do want something – tribute, worship, deference, adoration, sacrifice, an ox roasted whole, new clothes. But what if they do? We’re busy. We have natural creatures nearby who want more immediate things from us. The supernatural creatures will just have to take care of themselves.

Without religion

One important step away from theocracy.

The court ruling last week that granted the writer Yoram Kaniuk the right to be registered with the Interior Ministry as “without religion” rather than as Jewish, is a step in the direction of separation of religion and state. Such is the view of Irit Rosenblum, who heads the New Family organization, which favors making civil marriage more easily available in the country.

Currently Jewish Israelis can only marry other Jews in the country under the auspices of the Orthodox rabbinate. A law was passed last year that allows civil unions and considers them as marriage for all intents and purposes – but only under special, limited circumstances in which both parties are registered as having no religion. The legislation was criticized for not allowing people to marry in a religious ceremony because they are not of the same religion, and for not allowing people who do not want a religious ceremony to get married in Israel.

God’s messengers meddle with people’s lives again.

The God-given freedoms of its people

Now for Jordan Sekulow’s post itself.

He’s pissed off because the pesky leftwing atheist media have been saying Dominionists are Dominionists.

Whether it’s Governor Rick Perry calling for prayer for our nation, Congresswoman Bachmann discussing her “calling” to run for elected office, or Governor Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, it is now acceptable for many in the media to ridicule the religious beliefs of one particular group of Americans – conservatives. [Read more…]


Here’s a question. Why is the Washington Post providing a platform for Jordan Sekulow, Director of Policy and International Operations for the American Center for Law and Justice?

Founded by Pat Robertson, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and its Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow quickly established themselves as key players in the right-wing movement, litigating a variety of cases at all levels, including the Supreme Court. The ACLJ has been particularly active in fighting marriage equality and defending the Pledge of Allegiance, while Sekulow has maintained very close ties to the Bush White House and played a central role in pushing for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito.

It reminds me of Obama – listen to all points of view, invite everyone to the table, be even-handed to a fault, reach out to your enemies while abandoning your allies, model good behavior toward opponents and assume that they will do likewise. Right-wing newspapers and magazines don’t give left-wing commentators a platform, so why do putatively liberal or centrist or at least reality-based newspapers and magazines give right-wing theocrats a platform? Are they thinking the right-wing theocrats will reciprocate? Has it escaped their attention that this never ever happens? [Read more…]