Category: Religion

Watch: That Mitchell and Webb Look – Evil Vicar

One of my favourite sketches of all time and what a performance from David Mitchell. More comedy on my channel.

Yes, this is comedy.


Florida’s Medieval Unwedded Cohabitation Law Punishes Hundreds

This is archaic, punitive, and barbaric.

This…, is Florida.

From policestateusa.com:

Hundreds of Floridians are being fined and imprisoned for the crime of living with a romantic partner without government permission, thanks to an old-time cohabitation law that is still in effect.

As stated in Chapter 798 of the Florida Statutes:

798.02?Lewd and lascivious behavior.—If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or if any man or woman, married or unmarried, engages in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Second-degree misdemeanors in Florida are punished by fines of $500 or up to 60 days in jail.

The law dates back over a century, crafted by authoritarians bent on using the state as a mechanism for social engineering and population control. The state’s primary means to this end was in forcing citizens to get permission to marry, in the form of marriage licenses. To prevent certain “undesirable” pairings of citizens, the state was empowered to deny couples the right to marry each other.

Florida resident Sierra Hooper tells Turning Left, “It’s just crazy to me that there is a law for that here … not only can an employer fire you at any time,  you can be arrested as well for who you live with.”

Welcome to Rick Scott’s “Right to Work” Florida.

Social engineering, indeed, socialism, at its worst.

Read more here.


Phyllis Bennis: Violating International Law in Gaza

water systems damaged in Gaza
Numerous water systems and wells have been badly damaged in the airstrikes, limiting the water supply to the people of Gaza. (Photo: flickr / cc / Mohammed Al Baba/Oxfam)

As Israel’s assault claims the lives of hundreds of Palestinian children, there’s no doubt that it’s a form of collective punishment.

As Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip rages on, ceasefires come and go. Most last just long enough for Palestinians to dig out the dead from beneath their collapsed houses, get the injured to overcrowded and under-resourced hospitals, and seek enough food and water to last through the next round of airstrikes.

“There is nothing left but stones,” Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer quoted an old woman saying as she searched desperately through the rubble of what had been her home.

Casualties are soaring. By late July, Israel had killed more than 1,200 Palestinians, at least 73 percent of them civilians including hundreds of children. Fifty-six Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, have died too.

July 28 poll shows 86.5 percent of Israelis oppose a ceasefire. Yet we continue to hear that Israelis want peace.

It’s true that at least some of them do. An Israeli protest in Tel Aviv brought 5,000 people into the street. That’s good — though a far cry from the 400,000 who poured into the streets to protest Israel’s invasion of Lebanon back in 1982.

And when a young Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and tortured to death — burned alive — in Jerusalem after the bodies of the three kidnapped young Israeli settlers were found, many Israelis tried to distance themselves from the horrific crime. “In our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed.

But in fact, there is a place for those who call for murder — at the highest political and military levels of Israeli society.

Meet Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Knesset — Israel’s parliament. She belongs to Israel Home, a far-right party in Netanyahu’s governing coalition. She issued on Facebook what amounts to a call to commit genocide, by deliberately killing Palestinians, including women, children, and old people.

“The entire Palestinian people is the enemy,” Shaked posted. “In wars, the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”

The Knesset member went on to say that the mothers of Palestinians killed should follow their dead sons to Hell: “They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Her language reminds me of a chapter in our own history — the genocidal Indian Wars. U.S. military leaders had called on their troops to wipe out all the Native Americans andCol. John Chivington was asked on the eve of the Sand Creek Massacre about killing Cheyenne children. “Kill and scalp all, big and little, nits make lice,” he replied.

Shaked’s comments also echo the words of an Israeli colonel who testified under oath at the wrongful death trial of Rachel Corrie, a young U.S. peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored bulldozer in Gaza. “In a war zone there are no civilians,” said the military officer — who was responsible for training Israeli soldiers to serve in the occupied territories.

There’s no question that Hamas’ primitive rockets violate international law. They can’t be accurately aimed at military targets. But that doesn’t justify Israel’s violation of its own obligations under international law as the occupying power in Gaza.

Israel has the region’s strongest military, the only nuclear weapons arsenal in the Middle East, and the unconditional backing of the United States. Its assault on Gaza violates the Geneva Conventions. Israel is imposing collective punishment against all Gazans, attacking hospitals, and using disproportionate force.

Israeli officials know full well that the best way to protect their citizens is to implement a real ceasefire — a breakthrough that would require opening Gaza’s borders. Some of them also know the best way to keep their citizens safe long term is by ending the occupation altogether. Problem is, not enough of them will admit it.

U.S. taxpayers also have a stake in this conflict because Washington keeps sending Israel billions of our tax dollars and refuses to push Tel Aviv to stop violating international law.

For real peace, both of those things must change.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.  Her books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A PrimerUnderstanding the U.S.-Iran Crisis: A PrimerEnding the Iraq War: A Primer, and most recently Ending the Us War in Afghanistan: A Primer. If you want to receive her talking points and articles on a regular basis, click here and choose "New Internationalism." You can find her on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/PhyllisBennis


NCR: Conservatives Squawk Over Pope’s Tweet on Inequality

From the National Catholic Reporter:

Another week, another communications controversy for Pope Francis?

That’s how it was looking after a three-word tweet from Pope Francis — in Latin — about inequality left some conservatives dazed and confused over Catholic teachings on economics. They were still digesting last week’s news about the pontiff’s call to an Argentine woman that left them wondering whether Rome was going wobbly on the sanctity of marriage.

The latest dust-up began routinely enough, with a Monday morning post to Francis’ Twitter feed that said: "Iniquitas radix malorum."?

"Inequality is the root of social evil" is how the English translation ran, and that tracked closely with other language versions.

Honestly, have these people read the prophet Amos? How about the teachings of Jesus Christ?

Try Matthew 19:21 –

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect,* go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Adding that because many of these "conservatives" call themselves Christians.


Can I Say That I Love The Pope? After This (Video), I Certainly Do

What you see here seems so simple.

So simple.

But remember this…

What you see is anything but simple…

This man "proves" by example.

"Teaches" by example.

"Loves" by example.

This pope understands the teachings of Christ.

And none of those teachings stipulate that Christ never, ever said, "DO NOT LOVE."

On the contrary.

First, there is no ordination in the Catholic Church higher than bishop.

Cardinals are appointed. Popes are elected.

The Pope is Bishop of Rome, and has an incredible amount of authority, power, whatever.

Which is why this is so striking.

The pope confessed his sins to "an ordinary priest."

Wow. Wow. And, Wow.

Love this guy, forever.

Francis should be the Patron Saint of Popes, moving forward.

I love him.


Newark Archbishop John Myers Is America’s Bishop of Bling

The previous winner of the “Bishop of Bling” awards was Germany’s now-disgraced Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg.

America has own contender for this ungodly award.

Meet Archbishop John Myers of New Jersey:

Newark, N.J., Archbishop John Myers’ decision to expand his summer residence cum retirement home — already a model of luxury with five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, an elevator, a three-car garage and a large outdoor pool and valued at nearly $800,000 — is nothing short of an assault on the goodwill and trust of the people of God.

The 3,000-square-foot addition, at a minimum cost of $500,000 (it is reported that furnishings, architectural costs and landscaping are not included in that figure), will bring the total area of the residence to 7,400 square feet and the total value to at least $1.3 million.

More at the National Catholic Reporter


Palestine: A Land Forgotten; Isreal: The One Forgetting

Peace in Palestine!

Palestine.

How much thought have you given Palestine recently?

We live in a country (USA! USA!) where celebrity news trumps news of the suffering in the world. News of the starving in the world. News of those still facing genocide. Still facing abuse. Still lacking basic human rights.

And we thrive to news of celebrity arrests, as if they matter one damn.

At all.

Had lunch with a now old friend, my friend is very young (comparable to my scalp line), but very, very wise.

And very empathetic.

My friend just returned from a half-month trip to Israel and Palestine (notice I’m naming them separately, as the two separate states the are, should be, shall be, Insha’Allah.

God willing, that is.

I will share with you in this space some of the amazing, alarming, and jaw-dropping things I learned from my friend today.

Israel, the state (not all Israelis, not all Jews), but Israel is persecuting the Palestinians.

And this must be stopped.

Did you know, for example, that Israel controls all water and electricity into Palestinian regions?

And, did you know, that Israel frequentlly cuts off all water and electricity if one Palestinian “misbehaves?”

Did you know that it is illegal for an Israeli to enter Palestine? Did you know that, on average, Israel demolishes four Palestinian home a day?

Did you know that Israel will not do trash pick-up in any region inhabited by Muslims, whether in the Old City, or Palestine?

Did you know that the Israeli government then uses that reality to refer to the Palestinians as filthy, dirty animals?

In short, did you know that Israel, to put it mildly, discriminates against the Palestinians, that the officials of the Israeli state refer to all Palestinians as “terrorists.”

Did you know that, at the Dome of the Rock, Israeli soldiers guard the entrance, allowing only a certain number of Muslims to enter each day to pray?

And did you know that Palestinians just want to live?

To own property?

To build homes (which is illegal now)?

To be human?

Thank you to my friend.

More to follow.

Insha’Allah.


From Common Dreams: Reformer or Hypocrite? Understanding Pope Francis

At first glance, Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” Pope Francis, is a mess of contradictions. On the one hand, he has vehemently denounced the evils of global capitalism, calling it “a new tyranny.” However, as pontiff, he heads the Catholic Church, which has beencharacterized as “probably the wealthiest institution in the entire world.” And, although the pope has championed the importance of women in the Catholic Church, saying in an interview, “The woman is essential for the church. … The feminine genius is needed whenever we make important decisions,” he continues to oppose as strongly as any pope before him the ordination of women, and considers abortion to be evil. How do we make sense of Pope Francis’ views?

Read more here.


Robertson: “Miserable” Atheists Trying To “Steal” Christmas (Video)

I honestly don’t know how this man comes up with this stuff, why he’s still on television, and I really, really don’t understand the person who would take him seriously.

The video is mercifully short. Enjoy.


Romney Palestine Flub Making Waves In The Arab World (Video/More)

Will the next protest involve the name Romney?

From Al Jazeera:

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said that Palestinians "have no interest whatsoever" in peace with Israel, seemingly dismissing the two-state solution, in hidden camera video from May that only now has become public.

The footage, which was posted online on Tuesday, shows Romney responding to a question about the "Palestinian problem" that was posed to him at a reportedly lavish $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Florida, on May 17.

"The Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and … the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish," Romney said.