In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

holymashedpotatoesbatman asked
So I saw that post about not leaning on your own understanding and that some things that seem wrong are right and vice versa. So if God says it's ok to enslave, rape, and murder people(which he does) then it's ok? You don't think that maybe you should use your own discretion? Logic never hurt anyone, but religion sure does.

academicatheism:

peterdwebb:

It’s interesting that you ask that question. The truth is that there are that who feel that murder, rape and abuse are ok. They might not feel any remorse or regret for doing those things. But God is totally against those things, and reveals that in His Word. Regardless of our feelings about gossip, lust, envy, selfishness, and lying, it’s all wrong. There’s a moral standard outside of our feelings. Right and wrong aren’t up to us.

Reveals that in his word? I’ll simply reproduce a response to another idiot. This is the second time I’m doing this, which shows you that your idiocy is quite common.

Your pathetic war god commanded genocide, rape, and slavery; let’s see you dig your way out from under all of these verses!

Oh and no rape you say!?  How did they enjoy the women as plunder?  You think the women of their enemies consented?

More rape!

Oh, let’s make them our wives; that makes it perfectly okay!  Oh wait, that sounds familiar.  If you’re raped, you gotta marry the assailant (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).  Oh and if some foreign guy rapes you and you don’t scream for help, you’ll be put to death with him (Deuteronomy 23:24).  And more rape!  (Deuteronomy 21:10-14).  Wait what!?  Come into her and then she shall be your wife?  Isn’t that fornication?  Contradiction much!  How about a prophecy involving rape (Zechariah 14:1-2)?  How about sex slavery (Exodus 21:7-11)!?

Infanticide in plain black and white!

And how about more ugly!?

 Now how you let a man sacrifice his own daughter to you!?  ”Oh but remember that time he didn’t let Abraham sacrifice his son?”  Your argument is invalid!

And let’s not bicker about translation.  The ESV is regarded as one of, if not, the best translation.  Your amateur textual criticism won’t save you here.

"Oh but that’s the Old Testament; oh but those are Levitical laws.  Jesus replaced the Law."  The point is not whether these laws are still valid!  The point is why the heck were they ever valid!?  The point is that on your view, they were valid.  On your view, Yahweh actually commanded genocide; he promised it through prophecy and followed through!  On your view, the conclusion is inescapable: it’s not that the Bible condones rape and genocide; it’s that your god commanded those things, promised them via prophecy, and carried out those promises.  It’s okay to believe that a people like the Amalekites were evil.  But unless you believe in that dubious notion of inherited sin, why murder the infants and children?  And come on, you cannot expect people to believe that every single adult was evil.  When was it ever okay to murder infants and children based on the crimes of their parents?  It’s one thing for someone like Hitler to do these things; it’s entirely another for a god, who is supposedly love, to do these things.  Also, since you obviously need reminding: Yahweh is Jesus’ father and Jesus is one with is father and thus, one with Yahweh.  Your savior is explicitly connected to this celestial child murderer, gang rapist, and ethnic cleanser.

What was that about god being against those things? You must be reading a different book.

See original post here.

Bob Jones University Shut Down Sex Abuse Complaints For Decades To Save Jesus

If you listen to the religious right as much as I do then you know that they feel like all people not conforming to their religious beliefs are heathens who will burn in hell because they are so pure, righteous and right with Jesus and God. But once you start peeling back the layers just a tiny bit, you’d be shocked what you would discover.

kmanovaere:

anarcho-queer:

Another Moroccan Teen Commits Suicide After Being Forced To Marry Her Rapist
A Moroccan teen committed suicide last month after her family forced her to marry her rapist, rights activists told Al Jazeera after reports of her death surfaced in the North African kingdom’s media on Friday.
The suicide happened amid protracted efforts to repeal a law, Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal Code, exonerating rapists who marry their victims, after the high-profile suicide last year of another teen, Amina Filali.
In March 2012, 16-year-old Filali killed herself in the northern town of Larache by taking rat poison after she was forced to marry her rapist. Her death provoked several demonstrations and the Twitter hashtag #RIPAmina to demand the repeal of Article 475.
The 16-year-old girl who died last month was from the northern port city of Tetouan and was raped by another minor, according to Abdel Ali El-Allawi, director of the local chapter of the international NGO the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH).  
The girl’s family has refused to grant interviews to the press.
“He was put in prison," said Allawi. "The family of the rapist entered negotiations with the family of the victim. They proposed the two get married.
“These are things that are common here in Morocco. When a man rapes a woman or girl, the justice authorities say, you have a choice — you can marry the girl or go to prison.”
According to Article 475, a rapist can avoid a prison sentence by marrying his victim. The law is based on a similar measure in France. Morocco was a protectorate of France until 1956.

Awful, completely awful. That such laws even exist is an affront to humanity.

kmanovaere:

anarcho-queer:

Another Moroccan Teen Commits Suicide After Being Forced To Marry Her Rapist

A Moroccan teen committed suicide last month after her family forced her to marry her rapist, rights activists told Al Jazeera after reports of her death surfaced in the North African kingdom’s media on Friday.

The suicide happened amid protracted efforts to repeal a law, Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal Code, exonerating rapists who marry their victims, after the high-profile suicide last year of another teen, Amina Filali.

In March 2012, 16-year-old Filali killed herself in the northern town of Larache by taking rat poison after she was forced to marry her rapist. Her death provoked several demonstrations and the Twitter hashtag #RIPAmina to demand the repeal of Article 475.

The 16-year-old girl who died last month was from the northern port city of Tetouan and was raped by another minor, according to Abdel Ali El-Allawi, director of the local chapter of the international NGO the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH).  

The girl’s family has refused to grant interviews to the press.

He was put in prison," said Allawi. "The family of the rapist entered negotiations with the family of the victim. They proposed the two get married.

These are things that are common here in Morocco. When a man rapes a woman or girl, the justice authorities say, you have a choice — you can marry the girl or go to prison.

According to Article 475, a rapist can avoid a prison sentence by marrying his victim. The law is based on a similar measure in France. Morocco was a protectorate of France until 1956.

Awful, completely awful. That such laws even exist is an affront to humanity.

stfueverything:

disgracefullyriversong:

stupidfuckingquestions:

Stephen Fry interviewing Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s Minister for “Ethics and Integrity” 

massive tw for rape apologism, rape culture, and homophobia 

what the actual fuck.

skepticalavenger:

I’ll focus on raising a daughter full stop.
Realistically though, I’d teach my children of either gender what sexual assault is and not to do it.  I’d also teach them to be smart and to be wary and to keep an eye out for their friend’s safety.
Given the number of douchebags in the world, we know that douchebags are raising their children to be douchebags, and thus the douchebag population will not be dropping any time soon.
I sure as hell would never tell my children not to dress like a “slut”.

skepticalavenger:

I’ll focus on raising a daughter full stop.

Realistically though, I’d teach my children of either gender what sexual assault is and not to do it.  I’d also teach them to be smart and to be wary and to keep an eye out for their friend’s safety.

Given the number of douchebags in the world, we know that douchebags are raising their children to be douchebags, and thus the douchebag population will not be dropping any time soon.

I sure as hell would never tell my children not to dress like a “slut”.

If you say that a woman wearing revealing clothes deserves to be sexually assaulted, you are saying that a woman’s body is inherently deserving of rape. That women are inherently deserving of rape. That women have to make sure their body is hidden in order not to deserve to be raped. That is misogyny in its purest form.

(via fawun)

(Source: vagabonddaiz)

Pastor had sex with teens to ‘cure’ their homosexuality

A former youth pastor in Council Bluffs, Iowa claims he had sex with teenage boys because it was his duty “to help [them] with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with [them].” Brent Girouex, 31, was arrested on 60 counts of suspicion of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist after authorities found out about his actions.

In February Girouex confessed to Council Bluffs police detectives that he had sexual relations with four young men starting in 2007 to help them gain “sexual purity” in the eyes of God. However, at least eight men have come forward with complaints that the pastor molested them.

Girouex told investigators that the longest relationship he had with any of the victims lasted four years. He said that it started when the boy was 14 years old and that the “mutual” contact took place 25 to 50 times. The victim, who is now an adult, told investigators the real number of times was between 50 and 100 times.

Three of the victims who came forward told authorities the sexual encounters took place at Girouex’s house. They all said that they went there to be helped with “sexual purity.”

“When they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind,” Girouex allegedly told detectives.

Authorities are further investigating the case. Girouex is free on $30,000 bond.

Source

skepticallyhopeful:

did-you-kno:

Source

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” - Todd Akin, U.S. Representative (1712)
When men in power in your country are talking about ideas known to be false since the 1700’s, it’s time for a serious conversation about who should really hold that power.

skepticallyhopeful:

did-you-kno:

Source

If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” - Todd Akin, U.S. Representative (1712)


When men in power in your country are talking about ideas known to be false since the 1700’s, it’s time for a serious conversation about who should really hold that power.

Hacker who outed Steubenville rapists could get more jail time than Steubenville rapists

abaldwin360:

matthewkeys:

Meet Deric Lostutter, a 26-year-old cybersecurity consultant who also goes by the moniker “KYAnonymous.” Lostutter obtained and published tweets and Instagram photos in which members of the Steubenville High School football team joked about an incident in which a 16-year-old girl was raped.

Lostutter’s actions inspired a group of people to take justice into their own hands. A hacker called “Bobcat” vandalized the Facebook page of the Steubenville football team. Other hackers took similar action.

It’s unclear if Lostutter participated in any hacking shenanigans, but if he’s indicted and found guilty of any, he faces 10 years in jail. By comparison, the Steubenville rapists received one- and two-year sentences each.

What the FUCK is wrong with our culture. :(

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Afghan Mullah Marries, Kills 8-Year-Old Girl on Wedding Night

This is a pretty horrific story that comes out of Afghanistan. The source for it is Mustafa Kazemi, an Indian war correspondent, who has been operating in Afghanistan since 2010 and has worked for AFP.

Law Protecting Afghanistan Women Blocked By Conservatives


KABUL, Afghanistan — Conservative religious lawmakers in Afghanistan blocked legislation on Saturday aimed at strengthening provisions for women’s freedoms, arguing that parts of it violate Islamic principles and encourage disobedience.

The fierce opposition highlights how tenuous women’s rights remain a dozen years after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime, whose strict interpretation of Islam once kept Afghan women virtual prisoners in their homes.

Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a conservative lawmaker for Herat province, said the legislation was withdrawn shortly after being introduced in parliament because of an uproar by religious parties who said parts of the law are un-Islamic.

"Whatever is against Islamic law, we don’t even need to speak about it," Shaheedzada said.

The Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women has been in effect since 2009, but only by presidential decree. It is being brought before parliament now because lawmaker Fawzia Kofi, a women’s rights activist, wants to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its potential reversal by any future president who might be tempted to repeal it to satisfy hard-line religious parties.

The law criminalizes, among other things, child marriage and forced marriage, and bans “baad,” the traditional practice of exchanging girls and women to settle disputes. It makes domestic violence a crime punishable by up to three years in prison and specifies that rape victims should not face criminal charges for fornication or adultery.

Kofi, who plans to run for president in next year’s elections, said she was disappointed because among those who oppose upgrading the law from presidential decree to legislation passed by parliament are women.

Afghanistan’s parliament has more than 60 female lawmakers, mostly due to constitutional provisions reserving certain seats for women.

There has been spotty enforcement of the law as it stands. A United Nations analysis in late 2011 found only a small percentage of reported crimes against women were pursued by the Afghan government. Between March 2010 and March 2011 – the first full Afghan year the decree was in effect – prosecutors filed criminal charges in only 155 cases, or 7 percent of the total number of crimes reported.

The child marriage ban and the idea of protecting female rape victims from prosecution were particularly heated subjects in Saturday’s parliamentary debate, said Nasirullah Sadiqizada Neli, a conservative lawmaker from Daykundi province.

Neli suggested that removing the custom – common in Afghanistan – of prosecuting raped women for adultery would lead to social chaos, with women freely engaging in extramarital sex safe in the knowledge they could claim rape if caught.

Another lawmaker, Mandavi Abdul Rahmani of Barlkh province, also opposed the law’s rape provision.

"Adultery itself is a crime in Islam, whether it is by force or not," Rahmani said.

He said the Quran also makes clear that a husband has a right to beat a disobedient wife as a last resort, as long as she is not permanently harmed. “But in this law,” he said, “It says if a man beats his wife at all, he should be jailed for three months to three years.”

Lawmaker Shaheedzada also claimed that the law might encourage disobedience among girls and women, saying it reflected Western values not applicable in Afghanistan.

"Even now in Afghanistan, women are running from their husbands. Girls are running from home," Shaheedzada said. "Such laws give them these ideas."

More freedoms for women are one of the most visible – and symbolic – changes in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led campaign that toppled the Taliban regime. While in power, the Taliban imposed a strict interpretation of Islam that put severe curbs on the freedom of women.

For five years, the regime banned women from working and going to school, or even leaving home without a male relative. In public, all women were forced wear a head-to-toe burqa, which covers even the face with a mesh panel. Violators were publicly flogged or executed.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, women’s freedoms have improved vastly, but Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative culture, especially in rural areas.

Saturday’s failure of the legislation in parliament reflected the power of religious parties but changed little on the ground, since the decree is still the law of the land, however loosely enforced. Kofi said the parliament decided to send the legislation to committee, and it could come to a vote again later this year.

"We will work on this law," she said. "We will bring it back."

Some activists, however, worry about potential changes to the law. Bringing the legislation before parliament also opened it up to being amended, leaving the possibility that conservatives will seek to weaken it by stripping out provisions they dislike – or even vote to repeal it.

"There’s a real risk this has opened a Pandora’s box, that this may have galvanized opposition to this decree by people who in principle oppose greater rights for women," said Heather Barr, a researcher for Human Rights Watch.

That’s true for lawmaker Rahmani, who said President Hamid Karzai should never have issued the decree and wants it changed, if not repealed.

"We cannot have an Islamic country with basically Western laws," he said.

(Source: The Huffington Post)

I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum. You throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.

Elizabeth Smart on being raped, Elizabeth Smart: Abstinence-only education can make rape survivors feel ‘dirty,’ ‘filthy’ (via msnbc)

Abstinence-only education, what an oxymoron. 
-FA

(via friendlyatheist)

Teaching Kids About Consent, Ages 1-21

teachthemhowtothink:

silkycurls:

Consent is essential for living safely, healthily, happily, etc. Educate yourself, educate your children. Read up.

This is the best article I have ever read on teaching consent to kids.  ~JJ