Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan quit their jobs in Washington, D.C. to experience the world in their late 20s. Austin wrote on the trip how he had found great decency everywhere they had gone. He wrote: “Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.” That inspiring world adventure came to the end in Tajikistan when they and two other cyclists were hit by a car filled with ISIS fighters who jumped and stabbed them to death as “nonbelievers.”
Students at Cambridge are objecting to the hiring of American Aron Wall, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California-Santa Barbara who studies “quantum gravity and black hole thermodynamics.” It is not Wall’s academic credentials or theories that are controversial. Rather, three years ago, Wall wrote a blog post critical of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, the decision protecting the right to same-sex marriage. Wall’s criticism was of non-monogamous relations in the gay and lesbian communities. One can easily see the objections to such arguments but critics have gone further to object that Wall’s personal views create a hostile or threatening environment. Continue reading “Cambridge Under Fire For Hiring American Physics Researcher Who Advocated Monogamy On Blog Three Years Ago”
Below is my column in the Washington Post on the implications of the resignation of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy and his own decisions setting aside prior precedent. Indeed, Kennedy’s last week before announcing his resignation reenforced the very arguments that could be used by a new conservative majority to strip away his legacy. Indeed, Kennedy spent the last week eagerly sawing away on the branch on which he and his legacy rests.
We have previously discussed flights delayed by Jewish ultra-Orthodox who refuse to sit next to women. Rather than remove these men for delaying a flight, airlines bizarrely coerce women to yield to their demands in moving their seats. Just a week ago, an El Al flight was delayed by ultra-Orthodox men refusing to take their seats. Now, an Austrian Airlines plane was delayed at Ben Gurion Airport for 40 minutes late due to the refusal of 26 ultra-Orthodox men to be seated by women. Again, there is no consideration for the other passengers, particularly the women who are singled out for requests to move to other seats to accommodate these men. Worse yet, because Austrian Airlines decided to accommodate the demands of these men, other passengers missed their connecting flights. Continue reading “Ultra-Orthodox Men Delay Two More Flights Until Women Agree To Move From Their Seats”
When Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid decided to marry his third wife in Thailand, he chose an 11-year-old girl who was handed over by her Malaysian family. The problem however was that this particular marriage to a child of eleven is that it was not approved by the local Shariah court. Besides being a rubber scrap dealer, Che Abdul Karim is an imam. The girl’s father works for him as poor rubber tappers. His third wife will not attend school now that she is an 11-year-old bride.
We have previously discussed the divine logic used by televangelists to justify their use of private luxury jets. Louisiana televangelist Jesse Duplantis, 68, not only believes that God wants him to have a jet but a fourth jet . . . and for the faithful to pay for it. Continue reading ““[Jesus] Wouldn’t Be Riding A Donkey”: Televangelist Calls On Followers To Buy Him A Fourth Private Jet For $54 Million”
Well, this explains it. Religious author Paul McGuire appeared on the Jim Bakker Show to claim that President Donald Trump is being pursued by a “Luciferian rulership system” set on his destruction and all of mankind. It turns out it is not Robert Mueller but “advanced beings” with “supernatural multidimensional” powers. And I thought his greatest threat came from beings with subpoena powers. Continue reading “Religious Writer: Trump Is Being Undermined By “Luciferian” Beings With “Supernatural Multidimensional” Powers”
By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor
I’ll admit that I had no idea who was serving as Chaplain of the House of Representatives until the recent controversy over the forced resignation of Fr. Patrick Conroy, S.J. But if someone had told me only that a Catholic priest had just been fired as House Chaplain, I would have guessed that he was a Jesuit.
The Society of Jesus has been a thorn in the side of princes and popes for centuries. Jesuits have been periodically banned by kings and suppressed by the Church, but they have always returned to continue speaking truth to power, inspired by a rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality and a fierce intellectual independence. My own alma mater, Jesuit High School in El Paso, Texas, occupied a campus built by Mexican Jesuits during a period of anti-clerical political repression in Mexico.
While I was still contemplating the meaning of the termination, the resulting political outcry resulted in Paul Ryan’s capitulation to political reality and Fr. Conroy’s reinstatement. But the question remains: what was behind the request for his resignation? The explanation initially provided, that he was not meeting the “pastoral needs” of his congressional flock, struck me as contrived. Nor did I buy into the excuse that he was a victim of generalized anti-Catholic attitudes among certain House members. The correct answer, I believe, lies behind Fr. Conroy’s own comments that he had been asked to “stay out of politics” following a prayer before the opening of a House session on the then pending tax overhaul bill. The words of that prayer suggest that Fr. Conroy’s sin was primarily theological.
Biplab Deb, who is the chief minister of the north-eastern state of Tripura, has become an international clown after claiming that the Internet was invented thousands of years ago by ancient Indians. He now competes as the world’s least intelligent person with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who claimed that Muslims discovered America.
There is another horrific report from Pakistan where village elders ordered a “revenge rape” as a punishment. After a man was accused of raping a woman in Pir Mahal in the Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab province, the village council formed and ordered the sister of the accused to be raped by the brother of his victim as justice. They all then reportedly watched the rape.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expanded his destruction of civil liberties and secular government with a new call for the arrest of students opposing war as “terrorists.” Erdogan was not content with arresting or firing thousands of intellectuals in Turkish schools. He now wants to arrest free-thinking students — leaving Turkish colleges occupied by government-approved faculty stooges and government-controlled students. He has also barred the teaching of various subjects including evolution. Erdogan’s ire was directed at students at Bogazici University. I had the pleasure of speaking at Bogazici University years ago and it was considered one of the finest academic institutions in the World. The university attracted the top students in the country and it is little surprise that Erdogan and his religious parties would view the students as a threat.
We have previously discussed the unparalleled bravery of the women fighting discriminatory Islamic law requiring them to wear veils and limiting their freedoms due to their gender. This is particularly true of the women engaged in protests over compulsory headscarves in Iran. Now however the Islamic regime is cracking down and not just arresting women but charging them with “inciting prostitution.” It is the perfect sexist charge to go with deeply sexist legal system. A woman who asserts her most basic right to expression and religious choices is treated by the Islamic government as fostering prostitutes.