Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 05:18 pm
(X-posted to a few relevant communities; please pardon me if you see this more than once, but do feel free to share!)

While I still hope that this comm will revive itself, I have gone ahead and started [community profile] anti_theocracy, a new community dedicated to gathering resources & information on theocracy and the activities of the religious right in the post-Obama era.

It is more imperative than ever that we be aware of what our politicians, religious and cultural leaders are up to, and what they stand for. I hope to make [community profile] anti_theocracy, a clearinghouse and resource for anyone concerned with religious overreach both in the US and abroad.

Please come by and join! I hope to have some solid informational pieces up in the next few days, and I welcome contributions from members.

Here is our Profile Page that has posting guidelines, and a little bit about the purpose of the community.

It's open for everyone to join, so I hope to see some folks there!
Monday, April 1st, 2013 08:12 am
Apparently, failure to recognize Christian holidays with special treatment is an "insult."

Google's Cesar Chavez Logo Insults Christians On Easter: posts gathered from the forums include Posting a picture of Chevez on Easter makes me feel uncomfortable and creates a "hostile web environment". Please replace Chevez with an Easter-theme.

Got that? It is "hostile" to not make special Christian-holiday-themed pages. Maybe not if you don't ever do them (Yahoo had no Easter theme and got no flak for that, but Yahoo doesn't make themed search pages), but it's certainly insulting to honor something *else* that happened on the same date as a Christian holiday.

A couple of weeks ago, I switched to because of privacy concerns. The Easter Chavez logo, and surrounding controversy, makes me less twitchy about still using Google for those searches where DDG just doesn't have what I'm looking for.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 04:29 am
Do we have a label for "media doesn't bother reporting when the majority/dominant/privileged group is involved in a crime?" Or "media downplays affiliations to privileged group even when overwhelmingly obvious?"

California Preschool Closing After Alleged Sexual Activity Between Students

A Christian preschool was cited for sexual activity between the students and failure to provide adequate supervision. While school and church officials insisted that their religion has nothing to do with the several incidents of oral sex between students, at least one parent admits that his child is a sexual predator.

No, wait. That's not quite what happened. It's not very far, though. )
Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 10:06 am

If Adam Lanza had been Muslim, the early reports would have blared that loud and often, and there'd be a whole drama, possibly bigger than the gun-control debates, about whether Islam is, or is not, an innately violent faith. If he had been atheist, the fundamentalist crowd would've jumped on that as proof that America's future safety lies in a return to church-based laws and mandatory attendance. Had he been any kind of Pagan, there would've been a flood of articles wondering if he thought the shooting was some kind of bizarre human sacrifice.

Since he was, instead, Catholic, there's only a side mention of his religion, buried in an article about how the community is mourning at the church he and his family attended.

Because it's not *news* when a Christian is a violent criminal. His religion can't possibly be part of his psychological problems; it doesn't matter if his religion allowed him to justify his acts by thinking "they're innocents; they'll be going to heaven anyway." No media campaign wants to inform the public when the disturbed criminal whacko is Christian, just like no media campaign calls Adam Lanza the "white" shooter. However, while his race is obvious, his religion is not--and that feeds into the privilege-blinders that allow Christians to believe that their religion is "better" than other ones.
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 10:02 am
The AFA has sent out its "Naughty or Nice" newsletter, updating the list of stores that do and don't mention Christmas in their advertising. The newsletter, not available to the public on the site (can only get it by subscribing), mentions:
Over the past seven years, your AFA has stood firm in the "War on Christmas." Companies who used to refuse to acknowledge Christmas now have Christmas "shops" inside their stores. Many of them now liberally use "Christmas" in their advertising and in-store signage. Sadly, there are still some companies which refuse to use "Christmas." They continue to insult and offend Christian shoppers by sticking with their politically correct "holiday" term.
Emphasis added. That's right; it's offensive and insulting to *not specifically mention* someone's religious holiday. (If that someone is Christian, of course. There's no outcry against not mentioning other holidays.)

They only focus this campaign on stores that carry "items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.)" Because, of course, trees, wreaths, and lights are what the birth of Christ is ALL ABOUT.

Stores that are adamant about refusing to use the word Christmas include Home Depot (the AFA has a special hate for Home Depot, which provides support for gay employees), Old Navy, Gap, Barnes & Noble, Staples, and Victoria's Secret.

No, I don't have any idea what theoretically Christmassy stuff Victoria's Secret carries.
Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 11:25 am
Tip from [personal profile] herlander_refugee: "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" should stir thought, scholar says

They've got a bit of text in which Jesus refers to his wife:
The fragment, which measures 8 cm by 4 cm (3.1 by 1.6 inches) includes words in ancient Coptic in which a scribe writes: "Jesus said to them, my wife ...".

Another section of the fragment, contains the phrase "she will be able to be my disciple"
So far, so good. However, Karen King, Professor at Harvard Divinity School, doesn't want us to rush to any conclusions:
"I want to be very clear that this fragment does not give us any evidence that Jesus was married, or not married," she said in the interview during a break in the congress.
Fascinatingly, she also said, "this is the first unequivocal statement we have that claims Jesus had a wife," but apparently that claim is not "evidence" in her mind. Because if it were "evidence," then all those churches would be wrong, and we wouldn't want to say that. At least, not in public.

Head, meet desk.
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 06:03 pm
I got an email from the America Family Association, urging me to sign my church up for a free DVD about the life of Jesus... so I did. Then they urged me to tell my friends to sign their churches up, so here you go. This is no-doubt a short-time offer, so if you enjoy Christian propaganda, sign up soon. They may also have non-English versions available.

They want to reach EVERY CHURCH IN AMERICA! I'm assuming that includes the non-Christian ones, so have fun! )
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 11:52 am
Shorter University, a Baptist college in Georgia, has been making news by requiring its employees to sign a "lifestyle pledge" including the statement,

"I reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality."

So far, over 60 staff members have quit over it. It's getting a lot of attention. What's not getting nearly as much attention? The statement of faith they have to sign, which apparently went into effect last October.

They require staff members to be Christian. )
Thursday, May 10th, 2012 09:57 am
How to win a culture war and lose a generation:
When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)
Emphasis in original. The article is written by a Christian who is denouncing the evangelical-political factions; she asks, "Is a political 'victory' really worth losing millions more young people to cynicism regarding the Church?"

I expect this to be a popular article--and I expect the standard flood of "there are lots of good Christians too!" responses.

Count me nonplussed. )
Friday, February 3rd, 2012 05:09 pm
[ profile] thnidu points out in What First Amendment? that the PA House of Reps has declared 2012 to be The Year of the Bible in a supposedly "noncontroversial resolution."

Text of the bill is short and about as overtly theocratic as you could imagine )
Thursday, November 10th, 2011 07:36 am
Yeah, cause it is "that" special time of the year. Brace yourselves...the Xian songs and insistence on "merry Christmas you damned heathen" is coming.

Monday, September 26th, 2011 11:08 am
The city of Bay Minette, Alabama has a new option for some misdemeanor convicts: attend church for a year to stay out of jail. This saves the department $75 per day per inmate, and they hope it will "change the lives of many people heading down the wrong path."

56 churches in the county are involved. (The city has ~8000 residents.) I couldn't find a list of the churches. Want to guess how many are Jewish, Islamic or Pagan? (Hint: the AU couldn't find any.)

Even the Christian Post notes that it's problematic, reporting that the policy advisor for AU says "the ROC program is offensive to nonreligious people as well as people of other faiths, since offenders are not given a choice that represents their beliefs." So, apparently, "church" means "Christian church."

AU is in contact with them, so I won't step on their toes trying to find out the list of churches. I'm sure that if it's a public-info document (it should be; participation in gov't funded programs is kind of a public thing), we'll soon get a list of the churches involved.
Thursday, August 11th, 2011 11:48 pm
Invisible Christian Privilege

I’ve been writing about Christians a lot lately. It’s seems largely unavoidable, as the influence of Christianity often haunts even the most Pagan of stories. We may be slowly moving into a post-Christian era, and some may question if the United States is really Christian at all nowadays, but the facts on the ground show that the vast majority of Americans (and Britons, Canadians, and Australians) identify as some flavor of Christian. Contrary to the fear-mongering of some about the evils of secularism, Christians still have massive influence on our culture, our economics, and our politics. The terms of debate on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion are framed by Christians.

Really. Really?? Still, always - my evangelical sister has whined about her supposed persecution. The bible admires her martyrdom.
Sunday, August 7th, 2011 11:44 am
I decided to poke around for articles about "how to witness to Pagans" today (apparently, my life does not have enough irritations; I need reminders of of what really annoys me), and rounded up a collection of links. A clever researcher could watch the shape of evangelism change by tracking similar posts on a timeline--these range from 2003 to 2011, and how the tone changes as Wicca became more public & gained legal protections is interesting.

None of these are packed with hatespeech, because they're all focused on "how us wunnerful Christians with the inside line to the Real Truth can help our poor lost Pagan siblings, well, not quite siblings yet but we're working on that part."

7 links with quotes )

Post title from a rant about the nasty Pagans in the military.
Friday, May 27th, 2011 04:18 pm

Mrs. B. Gets..... Religiously Persecuted

This is going to be a long one, folks!  

Yesterday,  I was going about my business after a nice day with friends to find a message about my participation in The Circle of Moms contest for the Top 25 Faith Blogs by Moms.  It was a contest that someone else nominated my blog for, and I only found out about a few days ago.  I was extremely touched that someone had thought to nominate my blog (I'm still not completely sure who did it!) and within a a couple of days, I'd reached the top 10.  Along with my own blog, there were several other Pagan bloggers in the contest as well, I was happy to see.

The message I received yesterday informed me that a few of the other bloggers in the contest seemed to have some serious issues with there being Pagans and "self-professed witches" in the contest at all - much less that some were doing well in it!   The shock!  The horror!  The satan worshippers - that's not "faith"!!!!1

........con't. at above source

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 02:15 pm
It's graduation time, and that means time for "moment of silence" in the presentation, to allow those who have specific religious faiths to contemplate how those helped them learn & grow. Except, of course, when the speaker introducing the "moment of silence" decides to use that moment to recite the Lord's Prayer instead:
“I was initially chosen to deliver the invocation but I was recently informed that I would be leading the moment of silence,” Barlow said. “However, before I fulfill my obligation, I would like to say that I am of the Christian faith and I respect those who do not share the same beliefs as I do. But at this time, I would like to give thanks to the God that has made the class of 2011 a great success. For those who share the in the same beliefs as I do, may I ask that you please bow your heads as I pray.”
Amazing concept of "respect" she's got going there. Apparently, that means "I don't think they should be shot on sight or thrown out of public events, but certainly we shouldn't allow them to be comfortable just because they've got a legal right to be here."
Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 04:05 pm
Except that is a headline you'll never read.

What you will read is shit like The Wild Hunt blogged about:

Using Tragedy as a Bludgeon

At the end of April a Colville, Washington man and his 14-year-old stepdaughter were found dead, the seeming results of a murder-suicide or mutual suicide pact. The two admitted in letters left behind that they were in love, and much was made of the fact that both allegedly claimed to be adherents of Wicca.

“Ann Lykke, 36, said she found letters after the two disappeared that indicated they were having a romantic relationship. ”I didn’t believe it until I found the proof when she was gone,” Ann Lykke said in a brief telephone interview Thursday from Colville. Lykke said her husband and daughter practiced the Wicca religion, and shot themselves because they believed they would spend the afterlife together. Lykke, a hypnotherapist, said she is a Christian.”

I really have tired of this. Perhaps we need a news round-up of Christians who commit heinous acts that we can publish far and wide on the Internet to smear their religion.

Friday, May 20th, 2011 05:24 pm

1) The ability to make whacked-out unsubstantiated claims about imminent future events, based on interpretations of mistranslations of multiple fragments of scripture, and be taken seriously by major news media corporations. (Not that major news media are claiming it's true, but they're claiming it's news that some religious nutjobs are claiming the end of the world is nigh.)

2) The ability to disagree with aforementioned imminent future events, and just expect everyone around you to accept that, despite being a member of the same group, you are not part of that particular Tinfoil Hat Brigade.

3) The ability to expect not to be publicly ridiculed the day after the future events don't happen. This applies to both believers in the IFE and people who share the privileged category but do not claim the IFE is going to happen. Well, at least, not the way *that* group is claiming it.
Sunday, May 15th, 2011 04:09 pm
I simply can't put it better than this article did!

The Christian exceptionalism attitude that dismisses any heterodox view as 'deceived by Satan' has always made my bullshit meter peg right out. Surely, they can't all have evaded logic class in college, right? A circular argument is circular, not valid!

I think Corsi sums it up pretty well.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 02:19 pm
This is not necessarily a specifically Christian issue, as much as it is an issue involving being a minority in the majority's space. In the US, when it comes to getting time off work, Christian holidays are treated as the default, and the holidays of other religions aren't figured into the work calendar unless there is a local majority of those religions.

I've seen other discussions of time-off-work holidays touch on these things, but I wanted to explicitly lay out the two major paradigms someone needing time off from work for a non-Christian holiday might be dealing with.

This is one of the cases where the non-Christian near-minimum-wage shift worker who is an interchangeable part in the system may be at an advantage compared to the non-Christian nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday worker.

Workplace hours tend to fall into two major categories: maximum-coverage (or peak-coverage), where the workplace is open either all the time, or as much of the time as possible to (cost-)effectively cover the majority of the time when the services of the place will be needed; and maximum-cooperation, which aims to get as many as possible of the people working together in the same place at the same time. (And then there's the much-sought-after maximum-productivity workplace, which doesn't have much in the way of time-of-day-sensitive external demands, and doesn't believe that everybody has to always be in the same place at the same time to work together, and declares that as long as all the work is getting done, people can set their own schedules.)

Read more... )