Tough week, huh? Let's lighten things up a bit before we get into exactly why that is, and take a gander at this highly inappropriate and insane “International Pro-Life Memorial” that's being planned in Wichita.
Besides 1) the creepy 60 crosses on the front lawn, you know, to symbolize the 60 million abortions that have taken place over the years, and 2) the “(Left) Not Forgotten Memorial,” which shows a mother grieving for her lost child while looking up, and seeing said child in “the bosom of Jesus,” the part of the proposed structure that's getting everyone in a tizzy is 3) an exact replica of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The Western Wall—or the Wailing Wall, depending on how emotional of a person you are—is generally thought of as the most sacred place in all of Judaism. It's where people of the Jewish faith spend oodles of money to make their once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage. It's the Jewish version of a Designated Holy Place, like Christians with their Holy Sepulchre, or Muslims and Mecca, or your creepy uncle and Disneyland. In other words, if you're making a replica of it, you best be using it for super-uber-Jew reasons. So if you have a statue of Jesus right there next to it, that's a major thumbs-down. (As you'd imagine, the Anti-Defamation League sure aren't taking kindly to this.)
But this kind of thing isn't shocking from the super-Christian/anti-abortion sect. It's indicative of the narrow-mindedness of the group that allows them to overlook pesky technicalities like rape to condemn the action outright. It's tunnel vision, where nothing else in the world is relevant except for this one specific thing. It's living in a bubble, a vacuum, a gated community, without having to mingle with the unfortunates. It's living in a fairytale land, so it's not shocking when reality ceases to exist.
Onto the roundup!
- A suicide bomber killed five Israeli tourists on a Bulgarian bus, and Israel is dramatically pointing the finger at the Iranian government. A lot of folks think this is payback for Israel killing Iranian nuclear scientists awhile back, meaning the next phase of this assassination-and-civilian-terrorist-style-deaths clandestine war between the two countries is about to heat up.
- That horrific Dark Knight Rises shooting in Colorado? Definitely the fault of “liberal churches,” the ACLU, gay people, and simply the fact that America isn't as Jesus-ey as it should be.
- If you're in the mood to get in-depth and long-form this week, Outlook magazine has devoted much of their latest issue to examining corruption in the form of “sexual abuse, forced abortions, suicides, even murder” emanating from the Catholic church in the Indian state of Kerala.
- According to Amnesty International, since last month's bloody clashes in western Burma between Muslim and Buddhists—which supposedly started after a Buddhist woman was raped and murdered, followed by an attack on a bus full of Muslims, and on and on—the government's been relentlessly attacking and arresting the Muslim population (the minority in the region).
- Folks in Baton Rouge are standing around, praying to a statue of the hymen-intact Mary that kind of looks like she was in a bar fight.
- Speaking of things that look like things from the Bible, a family in Washington caught a crab that has an underbelly that kind of looks like the Jesus. Or, as the news reporter points out, Osama bin Laden. Your call.
- In Tatarstan, Russia, one Muslim leader was shot dead and another injured in a mafia-style car explosion. While there's no official word on who is targeting these folks, both of the men were outspoken critics of radical Islamist militants, so it's pretty easy to put two and two together.
- Do you partake of hobbies that are supposedly “components of Satan's Spiritual Structure” and “doorways to demonic possession?” Find out in this handly list. Among the entries: Yoga, cyberpunk culture, alt “comix,” rock music, Burning man, Twilight films, and postmodernism. Of course.
- In Pakistan, a suicide bomber blew himself up at an anti-Taliban commander's compound, killing nine.
- With Katie Holmes out of the way, it's only a matter of time until Tom Cruise holds his various screening room debates and creepy job interviews to find lucky wife #4. And various “sources” are claiming he's going to want to get hitched with a Scientological lady this time out, you know, to avoid all the nonsense that comes with marrying “normies.” First on the list, according to the same “sources,” is 27-year-old model/actress Yolanda Pecoraro, who Cruise apparently met back in 2004 (when she was 19, he was 43) and fell head-over-heels with. Oh, also, she apparently has a live-in Scientologist boyfriend. So, you know, this is about to morph into a whole lot of awkward for everyone.
- The holy month of Ramadan started last week, meaning things are about to get even bloodier in this column's space for a bit. First up: Thailand, where two people were killed and four wounded during a shooting/car bomb combo attack.
- Chick Fil-A can continue to go fuck itself, after Dan Cathy, the company's COO, just cold owned up to hating gay people. From Cathy: “We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” Guess what, citizens of the world? Eat a sandwich from Chick Fil-A at this point, no matter how delicious it is, and you're an asshole.
- The Boy Scouts of America officially reaffirmed their position that openly gay folk can't be members. (Oh yeah, irony alert: Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell was probably a closet gay!) The dominoes from the bigoted decision are already starting to fall, with Major League Soccer announcing it will not renew its partnership after this year.
- Oh, this is adorable. Wisconsin Governor, noted union-buster, and child of the already-noted Bastion of Christianity Colorado Springs Scott Walker used his social networking prowess to make a ridiculous comparison between government intervention and Noah's Ark. What fun!
- On the topic of terrible politicians in the country's northern region, Minnesota Rep. and noted lunatic Michelle Bachmann continued her religious-based fear-mongering witchhunt by claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating positions of power in the U.S. government. This is, of course, related to the false claims that President Obama himself is a “secret Muslim.”
- And our Person of the Week: Melinda Gates, wife to Bill and practicing Catholic, who took a stand against her own religion by coming out against the Vatican's “traditional” and “ass-backwards” way of thinking when it comes to birth control. But instead of just holding a press conference, condemning a bit and being done with it, Gates is actually devoting the rest of her life to improving access to contraception. And that's not just lazy reporting; “This will be my life's work,” were her exact words. Gates has billions of dollars, it should be noted, which will certainly come in handy.
Previously - The Gods Walking Earth's Sidelines
Epicly Later'd: Ed Templeton - Part 3
Meeting Earth's Strongest Men at the Top of the World
Welcome to the Bananapocalypse
The Return of Radioactive Man
The VICE Guide to Travel: Miss Camel Beauty Contest
Yakiri Rubio Killed Her Rapist in Self-Defense—Now She May Go to Prison
The VICE Podcast - Akhil Sharma and His New Novel, 'Family Life'
Fire Walk with Me
The Creator of the Greatest Criminal Defense Attorney YouTube Ad Is Also a Battle Rapper
VICE News: Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine - Part 5