Consider the plight of Angus T. Jones. Just think about the various changes your body went through between the ages ten and 19. Now imagine that period being beamed into the homes of millions of Americans on a weekly basis as you play the role of Jake Harper in CBS's hit sitcom Two and a Half Men. Those changes don't just happen on the awkward acne landscape of your face. They take place within the inner workings of your mind. And maybe during that time, after years of your entire existence being used to fabricate reality, you're looking for something else, something with a little more substance. And maybe someone introduces you to The Lord, Jesus Christ. And after some quiet contemplation, you realize He certainly wouldn't be pleased with the product you've been creating. He's not going to be OK with the “my parents made me do this” excuse anymore. He's going to expect you to stick up for yourself, take control of your life, and understand that dirty jokes are perhaps not the greatest use of your limited time on Earth. You're contributing to the enemy's plan. A true God-fearing individual cannot continue to knowingly produce such scum. So, you must leave the show that Satan is so deeply embedded in. You are not a boy anymore, you are not a half-man. You must take a stand.
On the other hand: You also make $350,000 an episode, so you know, fuck all that?
Smart choice, Angus. But it may be too late.
Onto the roundup!
- John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunited to release a Christmas album. Not sure which religion gets blame on this one: Scientology for giving Travolta the confidence to come up with this idea, or Christianity for creating Christmas? Your call.
- This week in the “War on Christmas”: Bill O'Reilly welcomed American Atheists president David Silverman on his program to call him a “fascist”; Fox News also welcomed Catholic priest Jonathan Morris, who awesomely thinks War on Christmas is bullshit.
- A roadside bomb went off in Afghanistan killing ten civilians, including one woman and five children. All signs point to the Taliban.
- Responding to an item from a few weeks ago regarding GOP “star” Marco Rubio not being entirely sure about how long the Earth's been around, Bill Nye explained exactly how old the planet is, essentially calling Rubio and his ilk “a pack of fools” in the process. Also fun: Nye's “science” is shockingly backed by Pat Robertson.
- Last month, 24 Tibetans set themselves on fire as self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.
- A federal trial court judge in Nevada ruled that the state can restrict same-sex marriage, a decision that may mean nothing depending on what the Supreme Court does.
- In a series of eight car bombings around Iraq on Tuesday, 29 people were killed. On Thursday, another 39 were killed by a series of explosions in predominantly Shiite Muslim areas.
- Gunmen wearing solider uniforms—which isn't to say they were soldiers—attacked a pub in central Nigeria and killed ten people. No one's sure who to blame, but Islamist terrorist sect Boko Harem is getting the bulk of the attention.
- The Hungarian government is doing damage control after a member of the country's parliament suggested people of Jewish origin should be automatically placed on a “national security risk” list.
- Egypt is turning into a mess after some controversial religiously-motivated political decisions. First, president Mohammed Morsi declared an edict that basically gave him as many powers as he wanted until a new constitution was drafted. A few days later, the representatives of the country's assembly who are way into Islam (55 of the 100 members) got together and drafted a constitution that's tailored to their Muslim beliefs. So now, Egyptians have a choice: Ratify this horrific constitution created by the Muslim Brotherhood, or continue living under Morsi's near-dictatorial powers. Smartly, they went with protesting a hell of a lot more.
- The UN overwhelmingly approved to recognize Palestine as a “non-member observer state.” Israel, and thusly the US, are not pleased, meaning battle lines are being drawn in an ink that has a bit more permanence.
- Mohammed al-Ajami, a poet from Qatar who wrote a poem that is critical of his country's government and insults the emir, has been sentenced to life in prison.
- This harrowing piece in The Washington Post details how women in Afghanistan resort to killing themselves in order to get out of horrific marriages. That's really the only option available to them because of a divorce process steeped in traditionalism.
- Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the guy behind the Innocence of Muslim video that supposedly led to the violent protests in the Middle East, does not feel sorry for it. Of course not.
- A court in Russia banned Pussy Riot's music videos from being posted online.
- Rev. Rick Warren believes the sin of being gay is not about being attracted to the same sex, as that may be caused by genetics. The sin is acting on that attraction. Like, you know, the urge that people have to “drink arsenic.” Dude really needs to work on his analogies.
- And Our Person of the Week: Author Ethel Rohan wrote an amazing op-ed piece for the New York Times in response to the death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland following her doctors's failure to consent to an abortion. Says Rohan, “Religious dogma is all too often manipulated by people, institutions, and government for their own ends and made horrifically convenient and criminal.” Well said.
Previously - Balls and Chains