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Muslims and Females and Religion

There are roughly 1.8 billion Muslims in this world.  Of those, about 900,000,000 are women and female children. A large percentage of these women and children are arguably the most abused humans on earth.  The males in the Islamic societies literally hold the power of life or death over them.  The laws of their lands, more often then not, either do not have laws against violence on females and they look the other way, or in some cases actually sanction the violent beatings and mistreatment of women.  Stoning to death or throwing acid in a woman’s face is not uncommon in the Muslim world.

In various Muslim controlled countries women may not go outside without a husband or close family male relative.  They may not hold jobs or drive cars or do anything that somehow puts them over or in control of a male.  If they are allowed to go outside at all they may have to take segregated or female only buses. They may not speak loudly, they may not appear on the balcony of their home, they may not appear on TV or radio shows, they may not appear in pictures in newspapers, books, shops, or their homes. In Saudi Arabia non related women and men are strictly segregated in public and males have full and total control over women in their family

In Islamic culture it is often socially acceptable to kill girls and women who are suspected of “immoral behavior”. This is done to “preserve the family honor”

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Sheik Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak, a prominent cleric in Saudi Arabia, recently issued a fatwa saying those who call for the mingling of men and women should be considered infidels, punishable by death. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100322/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_gulf_poetry_of_protest

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In 1990, Iraq issued a decree effectively allowing men to kill their wives, daughters or sisters for adultery.

In Pakistan, current penal laws stipulate stoning to death as the maximum penalty for murder. Unlike man, however, an accused woman is not allowed to testify on her own behalf. Women who claim to have been raped are often imprisoned for committing ‘zina’, sex outside marriage. In maximum-sentence rape cases, women’s testimonies carry no weight. They must produce four adult, pious, male Muslims who actually witnessed the crime. An estimated 2000 women languish in Pakistani jails under ordinances governing such crimes as ‘zina’. http://www.themodernreligion.com/ugly/ugly_women.htm

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The top officials of the fundamentalist regime in Iran emphasize that it is the “sacred” responsibility of a woman to serve her husband and take care of the household. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the mullahs’ “supreme leader,” has declared that “women’s first job is to be a wife and mother.” Khamenei dismissed the notion of women’s equal participation in social life in July 1997 as “negative, primitive and childish.”

It has become common practice to sell or force very young girls to marry much older husbands, giving rise to all sorts of social ills. Adineh magazine wrote in summer 1991: “An 11-year-old girl was married off to a 27-year-old man. The father, who had seven daughters, received $300 for his consent. The morning after the marriage ceremonies, the girl was taken to hospital suffering from severe lacerations to her genitals.” http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/mhviran.htm

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“A Yemeni-American woman sought advice from several imams after her Yemeni husband of just a few months started to slap, punch and degrade her.

The clerics offered marriage counseling, but only if the husband came too, a condition she knew doomed the idea. Her sister suggested she lose weight and be more obedient. Her father encouraged obedience, too, while her husband hit her through three pregnancies. After she filed for divorce, she said, her father hauled her home and hit her too, for shaming him.

In Islamic culture it is often socially acceptable to kill girls and women who are suspected of “immoral behavior”. This is done to “preserve the family honor”

“Both my dad and my husband told me that women don’t talk back,” said the 29-year-old woman.”  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/us/06muslim.html

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Recently the case of early marriage in Yemen has come to light, especially after the divorce of a little girl last month,” said Amatalrazaq Hummad, Yemen’s Minister of Social Affairs, in an interview with the Qatari daily Al-Watan.

Hummad was referring to the case of ‘Noujoud’, the first eight-year-old child to obtain a divorce from her husband who is in his early 30s, through a court in Sanaa.

Over half (52%) of women who marry in Yemen are under 15 years of age, said a field study conducted by Yemen’s Women and Development Study Centre, which is affiliated with the University of Sanaa.  http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/CultureAndMedia/?id=1.0.2237886194

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Verse 34 of an-Nisa is one of the most important verses for husband and wife relationship in Islam. In most translations, it gives permission to men to beat/hit (they both have the same word in Arabic) their wives if they fear “rebellion,” or “nushûz“. Many interpretive problems have arisen regarding the occasions (if any) on which beating is appropriate, the type of beating prescribed, and whether beating remains discountenanced even if acceptable.

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The incidence (of wife abuse) in many Muslim-majority countries (where women hide their bruises and little is ever reported to authorities) is uncertain, but believed to be great by Muslim feminists. In some Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, reports indicate that domestic violence is quite widespread. One recent study, in Syria, found that 25% of the married women surveyed said that they had been beaten by their husbands.

One study found that half of Palestinian women have been the victims of domestic violence. A WHO study in Babol found that within the previous year 15.0% of wives had been physically abused, 42.4% had been sexually abused and 81.5% had been psychologically abused (to various degrees) by their husbands, blaming low income, young age, unemployment and low education.

A 1987 study conducted by the Women’s Division and another study by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 1996 suggested that domestic violence takes place in approximately 80 percent of the households in the country. In Pakistan, domestic violence occurs in forms of beatings, sexual violence or torture, mutilation, acid attacks and burning the victim alive (bride burning). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_domestic_violence

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Now other countries and societies have problems with violence against women, but most of them don’t have religious and governmental agencies on the side of the male offender.  Most humane and Democratic and civilized countries punish men who beat, kill, and rape women and female children…or any child for that matter.  Muslim controlled countries mostly do not.   Isn’t Allah the same God as the Christian one?

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Old Testament…A Work of Fiction

“Biblical history totally lacks an historical basis and its character as a largely fictional composition or wholly imaginative history is motivated by the theology of the time of its compilation in the Persian or Hellenistic periods, centuries after the alleged events took place.  At best, it contains only vague and quite unreliable information about early Israel.  Yet, the continuing power of the Biblical narrative is testimony to the literary skill of the authors as they produced a compelling propagandistic work to a highly receptive audience.”  Israel Finkelstein, “The quest for the Historical Israel”, Society of Biblical Literature, 2007

Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is currently the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel. Previously, he served as Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University from 1996-2002. In 2005 he received the Dan David Prize.

Born in Petah Tikva, he completed his studies at Tel Aviv University, writing his Ph.D. thesis on The Izbet Sartah excavations, for which he was also the Field Director.
Bio data from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein’s CV: http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/directory/dir_israel_finkelstein.html

For a hundred plus years or so we have known that the Old Testament had some major problems; such as…who wrote it, when was it written, are the stories true, etc?  Professor Finkelstein went out…did the science…and found out.

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Damn Those Catholics

Well now the World-Wide Catholic Church Sex Scandal has momentarily shifted back to the western hemisphere. Now it’s Brazil’s Catholic Churches that are hosting Pedophile priests.  This time there’s video. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would like to receive the communion Host from a priests hands…you never know what it’s been up to.

The secular authorities need to step up and arrest all those priests accused of abusing children.  The Church needs to notify the police when a priest is accused, and have no further contact with said priest.  From what I have seen, in all the cases I have followed, a sex offender never changes, he will always repeat offend.

Story follows:
“RIO DE JANEIRO – The Brazilian authorities are investigating three priests accused of sexually abusing altar boys after a video allegedly showing one case of abuse was broadcast on television, police said on Tuesday.

The case came to light after a network aired a video purportedly showing an 82-year-old priest having sex with a 19-year-old altar boy who worked for him for four years.  EEEwww.

Other young men appeared on the report saying that they, too, had been abused. The Vatican confirmed that three Brazilian clergymen had been removed in the paedophilia scandal.

The scandal is the first to erupt in Latin America since a wave of predator priest scandals recently hit several European Catholic churches.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI urged young people on Monday to follow “the call” to the priesthood as Catholic groups in his native Germany hit out at his silence over the snowballing paedophilia scandal.

His rallying cry came as the Catholic church struggles with damaging child sex abuse scandals in several European countries, including in Germany, the 82-year-old pope’s country of birth.

Former victims have alleged abuse at two-thirds of Germany’s 27 dioceses. One of them is a boarding school attached to Regensburg cathedral’s choir, which was run by the pope’s elder brother, Mr. Georg Ratzinger for 30 years.”  3-17-10

Full story Here:
http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC100318-0000087/Catholic-church-sex-scandals-rock-Brazil

You may want to check out this story at Slate webmag.
The Great Catholic cover up: http://www.slate.com/id/2247861/pagenum/all/

This issue will not go away until the Church is brought up on charges, or closed down.

GOD is NOT happy with these priests…and He is not happy with the leadership. 😦

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Shut Down The Catholics

They have no compassion for the victims, and the pedophile cover-up goes all the way to the top.  You can be pretty sure it covers the whole church all around the world

This whole German pedophile priests thing is getting pretty darn close to the present Pope. He really did keep a pedophile priest in a position where said priest could continue raping young boys.  This is criminal behavior on the Popes part, and criminal behavior by the church.

Story here:
“Hundreds of victims have come forward in recent months in Germany with accounts of sexual and other physical abuse from decades past. But no case has captured public attention like that of Father Hullermann, not only because of the involvement of the future pope but also because the child molester was allowed to continue to work with altar boys and girls for decades after his conviction.

Pope Benedict not only served as the archbishop of the diocese where the priest worked, but also later as the cardinal in charge of reviewing sex-abuse cases for the Vatican. Yet until the archdiocese of Munich and Freising said that Father Hullermann had been suspended, he continued to serve in a series of Bavarian parishes.

In 1980 the future pope reviewed the case of Father Hullermann, who was accused of abusing boys in the diocese of Essen, including forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. Archbishop Ratzinger transferred him to Munich.”
My underlining emphasis.

See whole story Here.
http://www.smh.com.au/world/priest-suspended-over-sex-abuse-20100316-qcmv.html

Ratzinger transferred Hullerman to Munich…where he continued to molest young children.

Is the Catholic Church not required to follow secular laws?  I’ve always thought NO ONE was above secular law.  The Church is acting like a criminal enterprise, and Ratzinger’s action seem to be criminal as well.

“Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion –- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.”
–Mark Twain

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Should Catholic Church Be Shutdown??

Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland…these are the countries that are now embroiled in priestly sexual, physical, and verbal abuse cases, and more are expected in the months to come.

Physical, verbal and sexual abuse seems to go hand in hand with anything that involves children and the Catholic Church. I have said for years that it was endemic in the church and it was world-wide.

It never would have been as bad if only the church had handled it properly in the beginning.  But no, they had to try to protect their image by moving the priest around to a new diocese, thereby leaving them free to start over with a new group of kids, and stay in denial to the outsiders.  This of course proved disastrous to the poor children, which the church never really seems to care about…it’s all about their image.

With all we now know about the Catholic Church do you think we should allow it to continue to exist.  Should we make them sell all their assets and make reparations to the victims of their evil abuses?  Remember not just the last few years, but down through time this has undoubtedly gone on in diocese after diocese in country after country…always kept secret, but always going on. How many children do you suppose have been raped and battered by these evil people since the beginning of their cult?

Go HERE for full story
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100313/ap_on_re_eu/eu_europe_church_abuse

“We all remember how many religious wars were fought for a religion of love and gentleness; how many bodies were burned alive with the genuinely kind intention of saving souls from the eternal fire of hell.”
–Karl Popper

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Arrest Em’ Before the Crime

A very disturbing story.  Oregon police/swat team arrests man they think would commit crimes

Several Oregon government and law enforcement agencies are patting themselves on the back for preventing a possible mass shooting incident by sending a SWAT team to arrest a recently laid-off employee of the state’s Department of Transportation. A news release from the Medford, Oregon, police department (yes, they put out a news release announcing their good work) says the man purchased three guns after his dismissal, and that former colleagues described him as “very disgruntled.” He was taken to a mental hospital for evaluation. By Radley Balko | March 11, 2010
Reason webmag.  http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/11/oregon-officials-consult-preco

Original story
Oregon’s-Mail Tribune-online newspaper.

I’m really torn about this story. On the one hand…yes the police probably did stop a very bad scenario, if the reported story is true in all the details given.

On the other hand if this pre-emptive strike stands as a legally defensible right of the police forces of our country…we are in serious trouble as a nation of free people.

Can you imagine all the bad that would come from this method of keeping the peace?  Do you think it should be allowed to stand??

1984 wrong date…right story.

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Misc. Bible Related Stuff

From Time Magazine
“…On the other hand, say many scholars, much of what is recorded in the Bible is at best distorted, and some characters and events are probably totally fictional. Most scholars suspect that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Judaism’s traditional founders, never existed; many doubt the tales of slavery in Egypt and the Exodus; and relatively few modern historians believe in Joshua’s conquest of Jericho and the rest of the Promised Land. In the most extreme view, all of the above are complete fabrications, invented centuries after the supposed fact.”

And:
“John Van Seters of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, summed up many of their commonly held positions. The oldest books of the Old Testament, he declared with Pope-like confidence, weren’t written until the Israelites were in exile in Babylon, after 587 B.C. There was no Moses, no crossing of the sea, and no revelation on Mount Sinai.”

And:
“The Bible’s accounts of these people and events are among the most familiar stories in the Old Testament. But even scholars who believe they really happened admit that there’s no proof whatsoever that the Exodus took place. No record of this monumental event appears in Egyptian chronicles of the time, and Israeli archaeologists combing the Sinai during intense searches from 1967 to 1982 — years when Israel occupied the peninsula — didn’t find a single piece of evidence backing the Israelites’ supposed 40-year sojourn in the desert.”

And:
“…considering that artifacts from as far back as the late Stone Age have turned up in the Sinai , it is perplexing that no evidence of the Israelites’ passage has been found. William Dever, a University of Arizona archaeologist, flatly calls Moses a mythical figure. Some scholars even insist the story was a political fabrication, invented to unite the disparate tribes living in Canaan through a falsified heroic past.”

Read the whole story: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983854-1,00.html

“It would be impossible…to argue that the Bible is a unified whole, inerrant in all its parts, inspired by God in every way. It can’t be that. There are too many divergences, discrepancies, contradictions; too many alternative ways of looking at the same issue, alternatives that often are at odds with one another. The Bible is not a unity, it is a massive plurality. God did not write the Bible, people did.”   Jesus Interrupted (p. 279). Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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A time will come when a politician who has willfully made war and promoted international dissension will be … surer of the noose than a private homicide.
~ H. G. Wells

Those Catholics Are Poking Around Again

Those ol’ silly Catholics are at it again; they just can’t seem to figure out that the vows they took in front of “GOD” means that they can’t play in “That” playground. I mean here is “GOD” telling you in your own holy book and in explicit detail that you can’t poke another man…I mean how hard is that to understand…Oh and “GOD” will kill you for this infraction of His rules.

Do you suppose they know something we don’t?

“The Vatican was today rocked by a sex scandal reaching into Pope Benedict’s household after a chorister was sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, was caught by police on a wiretap allegedly negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Vatican chorister, over the specific physical details of men he wanted brought to him. Transcripts in the possession of the Guardian suggest that numerous men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood.

While Catholicism does not condemn homosexuality outright, its teaching is that homosexual acts “are intrinsically disordered”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states unequivocally: “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

Balducci is also a senior adviser to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the department that oversees the Roman Catholic Church’s worldwide missionary activities.

Since 1995, he has been a member of one of the world’s most exclusive fraternities – the Gentlemen of His Holiness, or Papal Gentlemen, the ceremonial ushers of the papal household. In the words of a 1968 ordinance, they are expected to “distinguish themselves for the good of souls and the glory of the name of the Lord”.

Read full story with more details here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/04/vatican-gay-sex-scandal

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Where Do Our Morals Come From

So I was perusing the Bible in search for a code of morality, a guide or moral compass as it were.  Something to tell me how to act in this great world we have.  I was a little surprised to find that I had a stronger sense of what’s right and what’s wrong than…God!!!

  • Slavery may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Demeaning women may be approved by the Bible…but it is morally wrong.
  • Killing of pregnant women, babies, and children may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Raping of women and children may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Telling lies to convert people to Christianity may be approved by churches…but it is morally wrong.
  • Killing people accused of witchcraft may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Committing genocide may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Religious intolerance may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Killing of children for childish behavior may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Keeping women from leadership may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Killing those who disagree with you may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Killing a man who takes a wife from another tribe may be approved by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Human sacrifice may be allowed by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Animal sacrifice may be enjoyable to God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Murdering people for taking a census ordered by Himself may be allowed by God…but it is morally wrong
  • Murder of those who do not follow Jesus is allowed by God…but it is morally wrong.
  • Murdering homosexuals is allowed by God…but it is morally wrong.

“God is a being of terrific character…cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.” Thomas Jefferson

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