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June 23, 2009

Virginity Movement on the Defensive, Scrambling to Rebrand

Virginity Movement on the Defensive, Scrambling to Rebrand | Sex and Relationships | AlterNet
Thankfully, the Obama administration has brought some measure of sanity to public health policy, cutting most abstinence-only education funding from the 2010 budget. But abstinence organizations are not going away. In fact, they're getting organized. Well aware that their cause is in trouble and unpopular, purity proponents are revamping their image to appear more mainstream. And with Obama's faith-based initiative lending them an ear, it just might work. In my book The Purity Myth, I call these folks the virginity movement. Composed of antifeminist think tanks like the Independent Women's Forum and Concerned Women for America, abstinence-only organizations, religious leaders and legislators with regressive social values, the virginity movement is much more than the same old sexism; it's a targeted and well-funded backlash hellbent on rolling back women's rights using modernized notions of purity, morality and sexuality. Its goals are mired in old-school gender roles, and its primary tool is young women's sexuality. (What better way to get people to pay attention to your cause than to frame it in terms of teenage girls' having, or not having, sex? It's salacious!)
Via Facebook pal **Michael Jackman**.

June 22, 2009

Notorious Adulterer John Ensign is a member of secret Christian group "The Family"

Did A Shadowy Christian Group Help Keep Ensign's Secret? | TPMMuckraker I first read about "The Family" years ago in Harpers. They are creepy, shadowy, fervent and out to infiltrate every branch of government. This is their stated goal. I'm not even being hyperbolic. Senator Ensign is a member and his fellow Family members worked to keep his affairs secret by pressuring the husband into silence.
But could it be that the Ensign imbroglio poses a particularly thorny problem for some Republicans because, aside from the sex and jobs angle, the story threatens to shine an unflattering light on the role of the shadowy religious group to which the Nevada senator belongs? . . . In The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, published last year, the journalist Jeff Sharlet reported that both Ensign and Coburn -- as well as several other members of Congress of both parties, but predominantly Republicans -- are members of a secretive and publicity-shy religious organization founded in 1935 that aims, broadly speaking, to forge ties with decision-makers around the world in order to put Christian teachings at the center of public policy. Elsewhere in the book, Sharlet added that Ensign and Coburn each at times lived at the Family's group home for members of Congress, described as a "four-story red-brick Washington townhouse, a former convent at 133 C St SE, run by a Family affiliate called the C Street Foundation." (The Atlantic's Josh Green wrote about Hillary Clinton's ties to the group, in the context of a larger profile of the then-senator, in 2006.) To be clear, the senators may have moved since then. The "Christian-oriented group house" that Ensign and Coburn currently call home -- and which the confrontation over the affair appears to have taken place at -- may not be the same as the 133 C Street house. . . .

June 19, 2009

Pastor Arnold Murray explains the magical nonsense world of Boomboomland

June 06, 2009

Boy who was chosen as reincarnated holy man turns back on Buddhism

Boy chosen by Dalai Lama as reincarnation of spiritual leader turns back on Buddhist order | World news | The Guardian

So apparently it really sucks to be taken away from your family when you're 5 months old and to be raised in austere, monasterial conditions.

As a toddler, he was put on a throne and worshipped by monks who treated him like a god. But the boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a spiritual leader has caused consternation – and some embarrassment – for Tibetan Buddhists by turning his back on the order that had such high hopes for him.

Instead of leading a monastic life, Osel Hita Torres now sports baggy trousers and long hair, and is more likely to quote Jimi Hendrix than Buddha.

Yesterday he bemoaned the misery of a youth deprived of television, football and girls. Movies were also forbidden – except for a sanctioned screening of The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy, about a kidnapped child lama with magical powers. "I never felt like that boy," he said.

He is now studying film in Madrid and has denounced the Buddhist order that elevated him to guru status. "They took me away from my family and stuck me in a medieval situation in which I suffered a great deal," said Torres, 24, describing how he was whisked from obscurity in Granada to a monastery in southern India. "It was like living a lie," he told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. . . .

June 03, 2009

America's Best Christian discusses marriage