I’m sure they are a very spiritual couple

Kristy Bamu and his two sisters were visiting their older sister, Magalie Bamu, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, over Christmas in London. Initially, it was apparently a jolly time…and then Eric got it into his head that his three visitors were witches.

The court was told that over a period of days the pair, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, attempted to exorcise evil spirits they believed were in three of the children – Kristy, his sister Kelly, 20, and their 11-year-old sister, who cannot be named. Bikubi refused "to let them eat, drink or sleep for days, while the punishments became increasingly violent, with [the attackers] using the many implements found in the flat as weapons of torture", Altman said.

During their ordeal the siblings were forced to pray and chant throughout several nights and, in a "staggering act of depravity and cruelty", the defendants recruited sibling against sibling as "vehicles for their violence", said Altman.

Kristy became the focus of Bikubi’s attention, the court heard. He allegedly struck the boy with a hammer in the face, knocking out his teeth; on another occasion he shoved a metal bar into the teenager’s mouth, the court heard.

When Kelly attempted to hit her brother using something light, she was ordered to use a heavier implement. In a desperate attempt to prevent any further suffering, Kristy and his two sisters eventually admitted to being sorcerers, said Altman. "As Kristy’s injuries became ever more severe he even pleaded to be allowed to die," he added.

They gave him his wish and drowned him in the bathtub.

A couple of people believe there is magic in the world and that their delusions are real, and a 15 year old boy ends up tortured to death.

The couple are denying that they committed murder; Eric Bikubi claims “diminished responsibility”, apparently because he’s an evil idiot who believes in spirits.

There is no such thing as magic

This is horrifying and barbarous.

Saudi authorities have executed a woman convicted of practicing magic and sorcery.

There is no such thing as magic or sorcery, so this is murder for a crime the person couldn’t possibly have committed. But then, there’s a little clarification…

The London-based al-Hayat daily, however, quoted Abdullah al-Mohsen, chief of the religious police who arrested the woman, as saying she had tricked people into thinking she could treat illnesses, charging them $800 per session.

That’s still horrifying and barbarous, but quackery at least is a real offense. It’s an offense not deserving of execution, however.

The Mormon mentality

Ashley Billasano was an 18 year old girl in Texas who claimed to be a victim of sexual abuse by her stepfather and another family member. She poured out her story on twitter and then committed suicide. It’s a tragic and horrible story, but of course there’s always someone around to make it worse, and that someone will use religious morality as a prod.

A demented fuckwit has opined.

I don’t care what did or did not happen to her. First and foremost, I don’t believe rape exists. When there are incidents that are classified as “rape,” or names that are similar, what usually ends up happening is that the “victim” tends to “forget” to mention immodesty, flirty actions, or other conduct on their part that contributed to the matter. A woman who dresses immodestly must accept accountability for her choice of attire.

If, in fact, this girl was being molested or forced into prostitution as the media outlets say her tweets claimed, then it was her fault that it happened, and continued to happen.

The guilt of the stepfather has not been established, but it must be some consolation to him that his actions were irrelevant, no matter what: if he raped his stepdaughter, it was all her fault.

This sounds like the institutionalized misogyny of the Taliban, doesn’t it? You won’t be surprised to learn that the source of this heinous doctrine was the Mormon church.

The prophet Spencer W. Kimball wrote in his book “The Miracle of Forgiveness”:

“In a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where this is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

The bold emphasis is mine. Even though a woman may cry rape or may claim that sex was not consensual, if she doesn’t successfully defend her virtues, and allows the so-called “attack” to take place, then she loses the right to call herself a victim. It is better to die defending one’s virtues!

There may be no “condemnation,” as he says, but notice that that only puts the woman in a “more favorable position,” and that’s assuming that she didn’t “cooperate,” by not defending her virtue or in cases such as this story allowing the “abuse” to go on for years without taking steps to stop it.

I would say that, condemnation or not, she is not completely absolved of accountability unless she successfully defended her virtues or died in the process, or at the very least take steps to stop it. She appears to have not done any of these things, save for the last one, and that was done far too late, which I would say calls her motives into question.

The Mormon leadership claims to be literal prophets — this is the church of latter day saints, after all — and therefore speaks the literal voice of god. Which just means that wretched awful excuses for humanity like Spencer Kimball get to stand up and declare their bigoted opinions to be divine and inarguable. It’s a sweet gig. And the followers get an unlimited excuse for tolerating the intolerable.

Here’s Michael Crook’s Mormon morality.

There are those who would say that her followers should have helped her. Not so! They had no legal obligation to do so. I wouldn’t help someone, whether they cried out on Twitter, or whether I personally witnessed so-called “abuse.” Welcome to real life. The onus is on the so-called “victim” to man up, per at least two General Authorities of the LDS Church.

He’s admitted that if he saw a woman being raped, he’d shrug it off and let her defend herself. It’s all her fault, and church dogma tells him that that’s OK. In fact, there are a lot of things he considers OK that normal people would find repugnant.

Catholicism steals a generation of Spanish children

Another Catholic scandal? Yeah, it’s another one, this time in Spain. Mother Church knew best who should raise children.

Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.

But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial.

In reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate parents.

Official documents were forged so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates.

300,000 children. 300,000 heartbroken mothers. 300,000 lies.

Many mothers who gave birth there claim that when they asked to see their child after being told it had died, they were shown a baby’s corpse that appeared to be freezing cold.

The BBC programme shows photographs taken in the Eighties of a dead baby kept in a freezer, allegedly to show grieving mothers.

Who needs ethics and morality when you’ve got god?

Anthony Navarro is an evil scumbag

Be warned. This is a horrific story.

Anthony Navarro Jr. is a righteous fundamentalist who is opposed without reservation to divorce. His brother, Dave Navarro, decided to leave his marriage — so Anthony Jr. stalks and harasses his own brother, threatening him, harasses people associated with him, lies about him, contacts his clients and basically destroys his business, all because he will not tolerate the fact that a man and a woman can decide to dissolve the bonds of matrimony. He has a religious belief in an absolutely insoluble form of marriage, which he insists on imposing on others (Anthony Jr.’s wife is apparently trapped for life).

Anthony Jr. writes a letter to Dave.

Psalms 69:5
O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Jeremiah 3:25
Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

Brother, no matter how fast you run, you cannot run from your sin, nor its penalty. Come back to the light, come back into the circle of blessing. You need not continue to live like a fugitive… Like a coward.

Adultery is the greatest sin addressed in the bible. Realize, Dave, that you are committing adultery… Against your wife, Alison; against your children, and against God. You are guilty of the same sin as our mother and it cost her her life in the end… It cost her her soul. Her selfishness was her downfall. Do not fall into the same trap… The same spiral… The same death… The same eternity.

Why do you not even talk? Are you so ashamed? You can turn back to the right path, and you can be forgiven.

It’s not too late. Yet.

-Anthony

That’s a scary letter. That’s a letter written by a demented fuckwit. But you haven’t heard the worst of it yet.

What happened to Dave and Anthony Jr.’s mother?

Their mother left their father when they were children. Anthony Navarro Sr. hired a hit man to murder her in front of her daughter and mother. Anthony Navarro Sr. was convicted of this crime and is currently serving life in prison.

So Anthony Navarro Jr. is now blaming his mother for her murder by his father, and is now perpetuating the same warped, sanctimonious idea that divorce justifies murder.

So that’s what the Bible means by “sins of the father”.

Our disgrace

I just saw @ThatKevinSmith’s Red State. It was the perfect movie to watch on 9/11: full of violence, sanctimonious religion, and terror in the name of anti-terrorism. It’s such an American movie. If you really want to feel the grim despair of living in God’s own America, this is the movie to see — a painful vision of our nightmare.

That’s really how I feel: we have been marching backwards since 9/11, throwing away our civil liberties, lashing out at the world with violence, as if that will solve anything. For contrast, read this description of what Martin Luther King did for the country. He inspired people to stand up for their rights, and got African Americans to unite and demand respect.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.

My father told me with a sort of cold fury, “Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south.”

Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this. If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.

But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

It was a great stride forward for black people. Yet when you look at the last ten years, what do we see? The opposite. The country rushing to embrace fear. There’s nothing to honor today. Americans should see this as a day of shame, not because we were attacked, but for how we responded afterwards — we left courage behind and became a nation of bullies and cowards.

And that’s all I have to say about 9/11.

Archaic religion + modern technology → horror in Bolivia

We think of Mennonites as an extremely conservative Christian sect that is cautious about adopting modern technology. But apparently, with the right incentive, they can innovate, as a group of Bolivian Mennonites demonstrate.

Wall is among 130 women and girls of the Mennonite colony in Manitoba Colony, who claim that from 2005 to ’09, the same cloudy horror visited them. They’re the victims of what is allegedly one of the ugliest sex scandals in the history of the Mennonites, a pacifist Christian Anabaptist denomination founded in Europe in the 1500s, if not Bolivia and South America. In a criminal trial now under way in nearby Santa Cruz, Peter Weiber, 48, a Mennonite veterinarian, is accused of transforming a chemical meant to anesthetize cows into a spray to be used on humans. For four years, Weiber and eight other Mennonite men allegedly sprayed the chemical through bedroom windows in Manitoba at night, sedating entire families and raping the females.

Charming fellows. Old-timey farmers. Quaint horse-drawn buggies. Insular, inbred, arrogant patriarchal monsters.

The accused didn’t just commit horrible acts, but don’t seem to feel guilt or remorse.

The men range in ages from 20 to 48. Four of them, including Weiber, are married. But they don’t seem to take the case too seriously: they often joke with guards or fall asleep during trial proceedings, and during one victim’s testimony the judge had to reprimand them for laughing and making faces. That may be one reason victims rarely go to the courthouse. “My heart was racing and my head hurt,” Susana Banman, 55, tells TIME about her one day at the trial.

Suddenly, I don’t find myself as distressed at the thought of the imminent potential extinction of humanity by ecological disaster as I once was. So that’s a bit of good news.

(via Jen)