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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

Tuesday
May152012

Feminism & Men of the Left | Donors Leave Heartland | 40% of Youth Say When It's Your Time to Get Pregnant, You Will

Three generations of Seattle family women unite together on April 28 Unite Against the War on Women Rally. Image credit: Laura Walker

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Feminism and Leftist Men

Latha Pollitt takes up the much-needed discussion of women and the left for The Nation. At this spring’s Left Forum, only 15 of 440 panels even touched on a feminist issue. The problem is class, say leftist men, not feminism.

Funny. The leftist men of the 70s said exactly the same thing. “Trust us, girls, your boat will rise along with ours. Now be a good girl and get me some coffee. After all, activism is man’s work.”

Reproductive health isn’t a topic that Occupy will take up, writes Pollitt. She argues that with one in three women having an abortion in her lifetime and almost every woman on contraception at some time in her life, reproductive health should be a core concern of the Occupy movement.

And having just attended my first NOW meeting in decades, Occupy Philadelphia got a much more favorable review for being very supportive of “women’s issues” in this town.

A woman’s right to control her fertility is not confined to the ‘culture wars’. There is no issue more statistically associated with a woman’s lifetime earnings and lifestyle than her ability to control her fertility and childbearing years.

In New York, Women Occupying Wall Street is planning a Feminist General Assembly for May 17 at 6:30 pm in Washington Square Park.

Women Voters

Politico asks if finally this is the year that America’s women voters will determine the election results.

For 220 years, picking the president has remained, at least in terms of statistically provable results despite the 19th Amendment, a man’s prerogative. But this may finally change in 2012.

Meanwhile, the latest polls suggest another important shift: Younger women may be the kingmakers — offsetting Romney’s gain among older white men angry at their fate in this struggling economy.

Will the ‘War On Women’ Make Feminism Fashionable?

Writing for The Washington Post, Rebecca Traister says that Republicans have all but buried the image of the feminist as a mirthless, hirsute, sex-averse succubus — that grotesque stand-in for real women like the three generations of females above, photographed at Seattle’s UniteWomen rally.

More DFR

Heartland Institute

ThinkProgress directs us to ClimateWire, who published a story last Friday saying that the anti-global warming campaign billboard like the one above — featuring unibomber Ted Kaczynski, mass murderer Charles Manson and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro — came as a surprise to Heartland’s board of directors. However, the board supports the tactics, except for a single resignation.

Yesterday, news broke that Eli Lilly, BB&T and Pepsi will no longer support the Heartland Institute, supporting State Farm, GM and at least 150,000 individuals who have signed petitions condemning Heartland.

Young Adults & Birth Control Knowledge

Guttmacher Institute reports that an astounding 50% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 told researchers that contraception doesn’t matter because “when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen.” This group of women has the highest rate of unintended pregnancies and also abortion rates in America.

The new report is far from the first study to point out the educational gap that is often a consequence of abstinence-only education. While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported teen pregnancies in 2010 dropped to the lowest rate since 1940, it found that states with abstinence-only policies continue to experience higher rates of teen pregnancies.

view chart large size

US International Family Planning Assistance

The $35 million designated for the United Nations Population Fund brings contraception to 31.6 million women and couples:

  • 9.4 million unintended pregnancies, including 4.1 million unplanned births, are averted;
  • 4 million induced abortions are averted (3 million of them unsafe);
  • 22,000 maternal deaths are averted;
  • 2.8 million fewer healthy years of life (DALYs) are lost among women; and
  • 96,000 fewer children lose their mothers.

Anne of Carversville

Julia Restoin-Roitfeld | Mario Sorrenti | i-D Summer 2012

AOC Private Studio

Ellen von Unwerth | Chantal Thomass Lingerie Fall/Winter 2012 ‘Carnival’

Eva Herzigova | Philip Gay | Zoo #34 Spring 2012 | ‘Who Put the Bomp’

Alyssa | Jean-Claude Lussier | Elle Canada June 2012 | ‘Black Magic’

Marcelina Sowa | Kevin Sinclair | Grazia UK June 2012 | ‘Nomad Royalty’

Cristiano Miretti for Vanity Fair Italia May 9, 2012 | ‘Usi & Costumi’

Jacqueline Fernandez | Tarun Vishwa | Harper’s Bazaar India May 2012 | ‘Charting Her Course’

Malgosia Bela | Greg Kadel | I-D Summer 2012

AOC Style

Jin Jung Sun | Kim Youngjun | Singles Korea May 2012 | Wuthering Heights

Riley Hillyer | Roberto d’Este | Grazia Italia May 2012 | New Romantic

Zuzana Kopunkova | Robert Orlandi | Grazia Italy April 2012 | ‘Desperate Housewife’

Emily Ruhl | Leda & St. Jacques | Elle Canada June 2012 | Floral Fantasy

Erin Axtell | Norbert Schoerner | Condé Nast Traveler Spring 2012 | Enter Tangier

Sensuality News

SN Living

Henrietta Hellberg, Elsa Brisinger, Becca B & Patti P | Elisabeth Frang | The Creatives | ‘Chill Time’

Alyona Subbotina | Chad Pitman | Numero Tokyo June 2012 | Neighborhood Watch

Claudia Michels | Jacques Dequeker | Elle Brazil May 2012 | The Big Show

Amanda Nørgaard | Tomas Falmer | Cover Denmark May 2012 | Flash Light

Sarah Jordan | Leda & St. Jacques | Elle Canada June 2012 | ‘Pinup’

Anna Lundgaard | Stephanie Pfriender Stylander | Grazia Italia May 2012 | Fascino Navy

Claudia Michels | Jacques Dequeker | Elle Brazil May 2012 | The Big Show