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January 23, 2012

Israel finally realizes it treats women like dirt

I remember a story from last year where a female journalist in Israel was covering a story and dozens of orthodox Israelis surrounded her and starting spitting giant wet goobers all over her, because she had some calf and forearm exposed. Israel Faces Crisis Over Role of Ultra-Orthodox in Society - NYTimes.com
At a time when there is no progress on the Palestinian dispute, Israelis are turning inward and discovering that an issue they had neglected — the place of the ultra-Orthodox Jews — has erupted into a crisis. And it is centered on women. “Just as secular nationalism and socialism posed challenges to the religious establishment a century ago, today the issue is feminism,” said Moshe Halbertal, a professor of Jewish philosophy at Hebrew University. “This is an immense ideological and moral challenge that touches at the core of life, and just as it is affecting the Islamic world, it is the main issue that the rabbis are losing sleep over.” The list of controversies grows weekly: Organizers of a conference last week on women’s health and Jewish law barred women from speaking from the podium, leading at least eight speakers to cancel; ultra-Orthodox men spit on an 8-year-old girl whom they deemed immodestly dressed; the chief rabbi of the air force resigned his post because the army declined to excuse ultra-Orthodox soldiers from attending events where female singers perform; protesters depicted the Jerusalem police commander as Hitler on posters because he instructed public bus lines with mixed-sex seating to drive through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods; vandals blacked out women’s faces on Jerusalem billboards. Public discourse in Israel is suddenly dominated by a new, high-toned Hebrew phrase, “hadarat nashim,” or the exclusion of women. The term is everywhere in recent weeks, rather like the way the phrase “male chauvinism” emerged decades ago in the United States. All of this seems anomalous to most people in a country where five young women just graduated from the air force’s prestigious pilots course and a woman presides over the Supreme Court. . . .

January 17, 2012

Romney's great-grandpa fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution for polygamy

Polygamy Prominent in GOP Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney's Family Tree | Fox News
Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president. Romney's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, married his fifth wife in 1897. That was more than six years after Mormon leaders banned polygamy and more than three decades after a federal law barred the practice. Romney's great-grandmother, Hannah Hood Hill, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she "used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow" over her own husband's multiple marriages.

January 13, 2012

Mother Theresa defended pedophile priest, fought for him to continue ministry

And then he raped eight more boys. Mother Theresa does not deserve her fame nor her upcoming sainthood. Tainted Saint: Mother Teresa Defended Pedophile Priest - Page 1 - News - San Francisco - SF Weekly
Yet documents obtained by SF Weekly suggest that Mother Teresa knew one of her favorite priests was removed from ministry for sexually abusing a Bay Area boy in 1993, and that she nevertheless urged his bosses to return him to work as soon as possible. The priest resumed active ministry, as well as his predatory habits. Eight additional complaints were lodged against him in the coming years by various families, leading to his eventual arrest on sex-abuse charges in 2005. The priest was Donald McGuire, a former Jesuit who has been convicted of molesting boys in federal and state courts and is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence. McGuire, now 81 years old, taught at the University of San Francisco in the late 1970s, and held frequent spiritual retreats for families in San Francisco and Walnut Creek throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He also ministered extensively to the Missionaries of Charity during that time. In a 1994 letter to McGuire's Jesuit superior in Chicago, it appears that Mother Teresa acknowledged she had learned of the "sad events which took [McGuire] from his priestly ministry these past seven months," and that McGuire "admitted imprudence in his behavior," but she wished to see him put back on the job. The letter was written after McGuire had been sent to a psychiatric hospital following an abuse complaint to the Jesuits by a family in Walnut Creek. "I understand how grave is the scandal touching the priesthood in the U.S.A. and how careful we must be to guard the purity and reputation of that priesthood," the letter states. "I must say, however, that I have confidence and trust in Fr. McGuire and wish to see his vital ministry resume as soon as possible."