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Wednesday
May232012

Will PA Defund Planned Parenthood? | Sudan Stoning Sentence for Young Woman Moves To Supreme Court 

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) introduces The Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priorities Act.PA Republican State Representative Daryl Metcalfe introduced the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priorities Act today, with the objective to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Existing state law already prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions but Metcalfe is not satisfied.

“Regardless of their position on abortion, Pennsylvania taxpayers must no longer be forced to subsidize the loss of innocent lives,” said Metcalfe.  “In reality, women in Pennsylvania will be healthier and the children safer when we permanently defund Planned Parenthood and its anti-family agenda.”

Mallory Quigley, communications director for Susan B Anthony List, called the bill an “upgrade” for women’s health services because it directs money away from Planned Parenthood clinics and toward hospitals and other kinds of family planning clinics that don’t provide abortions.

Six states enacted legislation to defund Planned Parenthood in 2011: Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee. District judges in all of those states except Wisconsin have since determined that those laws were unconstitutional and have temporarily blocked them. Similar cases like a new Texas law that has refused all Medicaid funds, are being ruled unconstitutional at a state level.

A federal judge in the Texas case wrote that the state has made no credible case that especially poor women won’t suffer under the new anti-Planned Parenthood legislation.

“In the past our clients would qualify for services for free, but now we have to charge them a fee,” said Jeff Teague, president of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee. “It’s put a burden on people, obviously. We’ve seen a ten percent decrease in patient numbers, and we’ve worked very closely with health department to see if they’ve seen a corresponding increase, and they have not. We have a serious concern that there are a number of women not receiving or delaying care, which is a bad situation either way.” via Huff Po

Related Reads

A Message to Girls About Religious Men Who Fear You Soraya Chemaly at Huff Po

What You Need to Know About the Law Behind the Catholic Church’s Anti-Birth Control Lawsuit ThinkProgress

California Bill Would Increase Access to Birth Control RH Reality Check

The battle among Catholic bishops E.J. Dionne Jr. at WaPo

Death by Stoning

A detail from Ercole Ferrata’s “Martirio di Santa Emerenziana” (1660), a marble engraving carved to adorn the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone of Rome, Italy. The engraving depicts the stoning St. Emerenziana, martyred at the grave of St. Agnes.Death by Stoning

It’s believed that stoning is the world’s oldest form of execution and is a common death penalty in the Bible, leaving scholars to conclude the Jesus’ famous anti-death penalty statement in John 8.7: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Today stoning is primarily enforced by Islamic fundamentalist sharia law. In 2004, 13-year-old Zhila Izadyar was sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for the ‘crime’ of being raped by her older brother. International protests saved her life.

How Stoning Works: The prisoner is buried either up to his waist (if male) or up to her shoulders (if female) and then pelted with stones by a crowd of volunteers until obviously battered to death. Under the terms of most fundamentalist courts, the stones must be small enough that death cannot reasonably be expected to result from only one or two blows, but large enough to cause physical harm. The average execution by stoning is extremely painful, lasting at least 10 to 20 minutes. via About.com

Help Us Save Intisar Sharif Abdalla

A young Sudanese woman, who gave birth to a child claimed not to be her husband’s, has been sentenced to death by stoning by Sudanese judge Sami Ibrahim Shabo. AOC will respond to requests for help from activists in Sudan trying to save the young woman from this brutal death.

Intisar Sharif Abdalla, believed to be between 15 and 17 years of age is presently awaiting her fate with her baby, in a jail in Khartoum. Prison authorities, who claim she is 20 years old, say the young mother was sentenced to death in accordance with Article 146 of the Sudanese criminal law. She had no legal representation.

The judgment was made on May 13, 2012 after just one hearing and came after an “admission of guilt” plea following torture and brutal beatings by Sharif’s brother who instigated the case. Her co-accused however remains un-convicted and walks freely.

The sentence must be approved by Sudan’s Supreme Court. To date, no stoning cases have been carried out but the demands for full Islamic shariah laws have escalated since the separation of Islamic Sudan and predominantly Christian South Sudan.

Anne is working with the same team of activists as she did on freeing Lubna Hussein, one of 40,000 Sudanese women who avoided flogging when she was arrested in 2009 for improper dress.

Again in 2010, Anne published a horrific video of a young woman being flogged in Sudan, stabilizing the footage on Vimeo when YouTube repeatedly took it down. She then sent the video files to Bloomberg News. Media contacts will be made regarding this stoning case in the next few days.

Sunday
May202012

Romney, God & American Exceptionalism | Rev. Thomas Williams" & A New Legion Scandal | Baptist Teachers Revolt

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

image via Soda HeadMaking God-related news and opinion the topic of today’s DFR was easy. Without plotting the result in any way — like Googling “Catholic bishops” to see what new legislation the boys club has in mind for women this week, God came to me today.

Romney’s Faith Runs Deep

Jodi Kantor, author of The Obamas, dissects Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s relationship with God in today’s NY Times.

Dozens of Romney’s friends, relatives and fellow church members “describe a man whose faith is his design for living”.

Clayton M. Christensen, a business professor at Harvard and a friend from church, said the question that drove the Sunday school classes — how to apply Mormon gospel in the wider world — also drives Mr. Romney’s life. “He just needs to know what God wants him to do and how he can get it done,” Mr. Christensen said. via NYTimes

Like Rick Santorum, candidate Romney’s frequent tributes to American exceptionalism are grounded in his belief that God has chosen the United States to play a special role in history — with its constitution divinely inspired.

In 1992 Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve  wrote an essay The Divinely Inspired Constitution, explaining the position of Romney’s church on the matter. In a thorough but swift read of the document, it lays out many precepts that most Americans agree on. Oaks stresses the “farsighted young statesmen” James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, “who favored a strong federal government” as necessary in leading the country forward.

Is the Catholic Church Uncatholic?

NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd thinks so. The ever-acerbic challenger to papal dogma in Rome, Dowd argues that today’s Catholic church is “intent on loyalty testing, mind control and heresy hunting. Rather than all-embracing, the church hierarchy has become all-constricting.”

The Catholic bishops hunt down nuns and lecture American women on the immorality of birth control and wanting to control our family planning, while that plagued-with-scandal Old Boys Club The Legion of Christ suffered another set back this week when the order’s superstar Rev. Thomas Williams admitted that he fathered a child. (cont)

More DFR

Rev. Thomas WilliamsRev. Thomas Williams, a moral theologian, author, high-profile television personality and former superior of the Legion’s office in Rome, admitted Tuesday that he had fathered a child “a number of years ago.” The Legion of Christ order, still in clean up mode from the scandal created by its pedophile founder Rev. Marciel Maciel, acknowledged that it has known about the child and apologized for not acting sooner to remove Rev. Williams as a moral leader for the Legion’s Catholics.

Huff Po reports that just last week, the “Legion admitted that seven of its priests were under investigation by the Vatican for allegedly abusing minors”, cloaked by the same secrecy and silence that allowed it founder to engage in a lifetime of abuse.

Back to Maureen Dowd who touched base with former New York governor and Catholic Mario Cuomo, whose son Andrew is weighing running for president.

“If the church were my religion, I would have given it up a long time ago,” he said. “All the mad and crazy popes we’ve had through history, decapitating the husbands of women they’d taken. All the terrible things the church has done. Christ is my religion, the church is not.

Cuomo continued, saying “The church would be wiser to take the path laid out for us by Kennedy than the path laid out for us by Santorum.”

South Baptist Educators Revolt

Shorter University is a 139-year-old Baptist school located in Rome, Ga. Recently, the school mandated that its 200 employees, including about 100 faculty members, sign ‘a personal lifestyle pledge’ declaring that they reject homosexuality, premarital sex and adultery.

The pledge may have backfired, as reports surface that only 12% of the faculty have signed the pledge. Many professors including tenured professor Sherri Weiler, have resigned.

“Lest anyone think I am ‘promoting’ homosexuality, please know that I am not,” professor Sherri Weiler, who resigned last week, wrote in the Rome News-Tribune, according to the “Save Our Shorter” site. “I am simply not going to judge anyone who expresses his/ her sexuality in this way.”

Students writing on the “Save Our Shorter” site say they welcome the focus on homosexuality but the even bigger issue is the school’s loss of academic freedom, which it has enjoyed for decades while respecting its religious heritage.

Anne of Carversville

Elza Luijendijk | Ben Toms | Dazed & Confused June 2012

AOC Private Studio

Vita Cagnone | Neil Francis Dawson | The Creatives | Rhinestone Cowgirl

Marlijn Hosk | Perla Maarek | L’Officiel Ukraine May 2012

Martina Klein, Veronica Blume, Leticia Dolera + | Sergi Pons | Marie Claire Spain May 2012 | ‘Spanish Noir’

Kamila Filipcikova | Oscar Falk | Plaza Kvinna May 2012 | Never Walk Alone

Meagan Callen | Chris Nicholls | Flare June 2012 | Into the Deep

Carolyn Murphy | Alexi Lubomirski | Vogue Germany June 2012 | ‘Murphy’s Law’

Leah de Wavrin | Seiji Fujimori | Marie Claire Spain May 2012

Kristen Stewart | Tom Munro | Elle US June 2012 | ‘She’s the Man’

Claire Danes | Mark Abrahams | Harper’s Bazaar Russia June 2012

Noomi Rapace | Solve Sundsbo | Dazed & Confused June 2012 | ‘Super Nova

Sophie Vlaming | Richard Bernardin | Grazia France No. 140 May 18, 2012 | ‘White LIght

Hanne Gaby Odiele | Michael Schwartz | Black #16 | ‘They Reminisce’

Calder Kusmierski Singer & Alexandra Marzella | Daniel Jackson | i-D Summer 2012 | ‘The Artist’

AOC Style

Audrey Tautou | Shayne Laverdière | Marie Claire Russia | ‘Belle Femme’

Cara Delevingne | Chanel Cruise 2013 by Karl Lagerfeld | ‘Cruise Pastel’

Lara Mullen | Tim Gutt | Vogue UK June 2012 | Paper Plates

Karolina Waz | Natalia Alaverdian | Harper’s Bazaar Russia June 2012

Masha Markina | Andrew Soule | Flare June 2012 | World’s Fair

Heidi Harrington Johnson | Matt Hind | Vogue UK May 2012 | ‘The Great Escape’

Thursday
May172012

Biblical Marriages Not One Man & One Wife | US Fertility Rates | VA Senate Candidate Says Sodomy Not a Civil Right

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

For the first time in American history, non-Hispanic whites now account for a minority of births in the US.

Among new mothers, births peak among black and Hispanic mothers in their early 20s. For Asian and white mothers, peak births occur among women in their late 20s and early 30s. Most white and Asian mothers are college educated, while most Hispanic and black mothers aren’t.

In 2009, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, 41% of births were to unmarried mothers, but the shares varied for different groups: 53% for Hispanics, 29% for non-Hispanic whites and 73% for non-Hispanic blacks. via Pew Research

Related: Minn. efforts to stem teen pregnancy effective Marshall Independent

SMART is one of several projects bringing down teen pregnancy rates in Minnesota. Increased use of contraception has decreased not only birth rates but decreased abortion rates as well. 

More DFR

Marriage and the Bible

Post President Obama’s announcement of support for the principles of gay marriage, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council condemned the president saying the marriage is the time-honored scared bond between one man and one woman.

Jay Michaelson, has written a brilliant piece for Religion Dispatches, saying “Time to break out your Bible, Mr. Perkins!”

Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)

Wives were prizes in war, writes Michaelson, reminding us that in biblical society, the conquerors of a city, tribe or nation took their defeated foes’ wives as part of the spoils.

Sodomy Not A Right

Virginia’s delegate Robert Marshall explained his successful effort to block an openly gay man from becoming a district judge today with the explanation that “sodomy is not a civil right.”

The Republican who is running for Senate called the prosecutor Tracy Thorne-Gegland an “aggressive activist for the pro-homosexual agenda.”

Marshall explained further his views on sodomy not being a civil right, saying, “When I was in public school … we all said, ‘Keep us from temptation.’ This was because we said the Lord’s Prayer. Nobody, nobody — should go where they’ll be tempted. That includes me, that includes you, that includes you, that includes a prospective judge.” via Politico