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; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.
"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."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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)
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.