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February 10, 2012

Milwaukee Archdiocese covered up 8,000 child rapes, hid money to avoid paying victims

But god forbid we ask them to give their employees comprehensive health coverage! Joe. My. God.: Archdiocese Of Milwaukee Accused Of 8000 Incidents Of Child Molestation
Court documents filed in the bankruptcy case for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee appear to have revealed over 8000 incidents of child molestation not previously reported. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is about to be elevated to Cardinal, is the former Archbishop Of Milwaukee. Some suspect Dolan of having hidden over $130M in church funds in order to avoid massive court-ordered child molestation settlements.

February 07, 2012

This is a memoir of a woman who left her Hasidic Satmar community after her arranged marriage

She has a book out about the experience. Which sounds both pretty weird and also very much like every single other story about fundamentalists of any religion and the incredible lengths they go to oppress women. Former Hasidic Satmar member Deborah Feldman leaves community after strict childhood, arranged marriage - NYPOST.com
No one ever said the word “sex,” or even “vagina,” to me. We had no clue. We were like, “It’ll work out.” It never worked out. There is an actual rule that you learn before you get married that you are never supposed to look at genitalia. You can’t look at yours, and you can’t look at his. It’s always dark. There’s no hole in the sheet, but it’s pitch dark and there’s no looking and there’s a lot of fumbling around, and you’re wearing your nightgown rolled up to your waist. There’s no boob touching. Mine were totally wasted! There is no oral sex. After the first time, you have to call a rabbi and he asks the man questions — did this happen? And he declares you either unclean, or not yet consummated. Once you’re consummated, you’re unclean, because you bled. So after the first time, your honeymoon is a no-sex period. For two weeks every month, he can’t touch you. He can’t hand you a glass, even if your fingers don’t touch. He has to put it down on the table and then you pick it up. Secondary contact can’t happen. If you’re sitting on a sofa, you have a divider between you. It makes you feel so gross. You feel like this animal in the room. If there’s a question about your period, you take the underwear and put it in a zip-lock bag, and give it to your husband. He takes it to the synagogue and pushes it into this special window and the rabbi looks at it and pronounces it kosher or nonkosher. It’s so disgusting.

February 06, 2012

Alabama school forces elementary school kids to attend "Bible Man" lectures

Which of course is totally illegal. Alabama School Keeps “Bible Man” in Schools | Dispatches from the Culture Wars
In Jackson County, Alabama, the local elementary school actually allows a guy who goes by the name Bible Man to hold assemblies every month to tell stories from the Bible to the students. And now the school board, after meeting with their attorney, has decided to allow him to keep doing despite threats of a lawsuit. A parent’s complaint about religious assemblies during the school day brought more than 100 people supporting the assemblies to a called meeting of the Jackson County school board Monday night (Jan. 30, 2012). Board members retired with their attorney into closed executive session to consider the five-page complaint sent last month by the Freedom from Religion Foundation on behalf of the parents. After an hour’s deliberations, board members returned to the room to announce, to applause, that they would not be banning the Bible Man from schools, despite the complaint about his monthly meetings with county elementary children.

February 04, 2012

France officially classifies Scientology as a scam

Scientology News: France labels Scientology a business, not a church | GlobalPost
PARIS, France — A French court has slapped a fraud sentence on the Church of Scientology, saying it targets vulnerable people for commercial gain. The ruling is a major setback for Scientologists in France, and it marks the first time here that the Church of Scientology has been convicted of organized fraud. The development puts its famous recruitment methods under a spotlight. Scientologists vehemently reject the conviction, saying that they are the victims of anti-cult organizations trying to destroy them. “Respect my religion,” chanted several dozen Scientologists, braving sub-zero temperatures in the front of a courthouse in Paris. . . .