In lieu of a proper intro, I'm going to give you a week off from my ill-conceived, uneducated ramblings and just instruct you to gather the family and watch the following video. Being nearly three minutes – an eternity in InternetTime – it will no doubt have you trying to duck out early. But stick with it and watch it all the way through. It's worth it.
Onto the roundup!
- During an inquiry in Australia about how the Catholic Church has handled sex abuse scandals, a child protection expert dropped the damning stat that members of the clergy commit six times as much abuse as the rest of the country's churches. Combined.
- A series of bombs went off in Nigeria's northern city of Maiduguri on Tuesday. It was the work of the Islamist militant sect, Boko Haram. While the government isn't saying how many casualties resulted from the explosions, they are saying they killed 24 militants themselves. Later in the week, Boko Haram blew up some more buildings in Potiskum and killed at least 23 people.
- Two members of al-Qaeda and two tribes-folk in Yemen died after a firefight near a military checkpoint.
- The FBI arrested 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, who had plans to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank. While he wasn't personally affiliated with al-Qaeda – the closest he got was online chats with FBI moles – he was one of their biggest fans.
- Due to being used as evidence in a civil lawsuit, over 15,000 pages of private documents by the Boy Scouts of America regarding their sex abuse scandals were released to the public. This includes accusations made against 1,247 scout leader between the years 1965 and 1985. While this isn't religious-based exactly, their stance of keeping homosexuals out of their ranks is a mostly religious decision, so let's all scoff at the irony and hypocrisy present here.
- Representative Joe Walsh, Republican from Illinois, believes abortion is never necessary, even if it is the only way to save a pregnant mother's life.
- A minister from Lebanon is trying to sue the creators of Showtime's Homeland for negatively depicting the city of Beirut, saying it could have a negative impact on tourism. As opposed to, say, bombs shearing the fronts off the city's buildings.
- Scott Brown, Republican Senator from Massachusetts, doesn't use paid actors in his television ads. He uses real people, like construction worker George Patriarca, who not only wants to get Brown re-elected, but also thinks the President is “a faggot” and “a Muslim”.
- Speaking of the ongoing and purely-racist conspiracy theory that Obama is a “secret Muslim,” apparently Mitt Romney's willing to dip his toes in those murky waters, as evidenced by allowing Lead Birther Jerome Corsi from WorldNetDaily.com to fly around on his jet as a credentialed reporter.
- Nicolas Cage signed on to star in a trilogy of movies based on the Rapture-sploitation Left Behind books.
- Romney's “binders full of women” phrase from last week's presidential debate was funny in how fucking awkward it was. But it left Wonkette pretty peeved because (a) Romney was, of course, full of shit about ever asking to hire women; (b) it reminded them of “joy books”, lists of young girls in Warren Jeffs's creepy polygamist cult who were ready for marriage to old dudes looking to “do God's work” (i.e. bang).
- In New Zealand, a 14-year-old homoschooled girl wrote a letter to the editor where she explained exactly why homosexuality is wrong: People stop having heterosexual sex, humans stop procreating, evolution ceases, ducks take over the world. Ducks.
- The American Family Association, an organisation of evangelical folk, is trying to put an end to Mix It Up at Lunch Day, an 11-year-old program implemented in more than 2,500 schools as a way to cut down on the childhood bullying. (The mindset being, if school kids meet and talk to one another, they won't be as apt to bully them. It's a pretty noble undertaking.) Why would they do such a thing? Because, to these type of crazy Godheads, trying to stop bullying is really “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools”.
- Oh this is grand, and a nice palette cleanser to all of the suicide-bombings/child-molestation cases: The top five most embarrassing ways churches are trying to be hip, over at Cracked. Let's all get tatted up in the middle of a preachin'!
And Our Person(s) of the Week:
Most of the folks involved in this amazing story as reported over at DailyKos. The other day, some asshole started the Twitter hashtag #SignsYoSonIsGay with the terrible (and, worst of all, unfunny) homophobic jokes that you'd imagine would be associated with something like that. But then, quickly, the Tweet topic got hijacked by a more intelligent bunch who took the “jokes” into a whole different direction. Sample: “#signsyosonisgay He loves his husband & children more fiercely, appreciates them more because their legal standing is so precarious.” That kind of thing. That mindset kept on growing and multiplying until the hashtag became nothing but ways gay people are great and deserve our respect. The whole conversion, then, is pretty much a brief time-compressed snapshot of our society's progression from religion and “tradition”-based homophobia, to enlightened acceptance. This is one to put on the “things are looking up” side of the ledger.
Previously - God Vs. The Ladies