The Church of England today took a pretty large step into the 21st century, voting by a two-thirds majority to allow the ordination of women as bishops. It’s a reversal of a 2012 vote that failed by just six votes, notes Sky News, and cements the role of female leadership in an institution that has allowed women priests for two decades. Read more on Newser…
I learned about sweatshops towards the end of junior high and I remember being deeply troubled. A burgeoning activist, I decided to boycott all clothing stores that sold products made in sweatshops. A quick AOL internet search (#old) revealed that my boycott would actually be incredibly difficult — if not impossible — given that I did not have my own money, transportation or sewing skills. The boycott was abandoned. With the exception of the fair trade purchasing when I do when it’s convenient, it hasn’t reared its head since.
Boycotting Hobby Lobby, however, is easy. The first reason is that I’ve never actually laid eyes on one. Frankly, I didn’t know it existed before they took it upon themselves to save all the unborn fetuses of crafty shift-workers of America. There is only one Hobby Lobby in my hometown San Diego, and it’s about an hour’s drive from my family home. The same is true in Boston, the other American city in which I’ve dwelled. In my current home of Melbourne, Australia, there is literally not a Hobby Lobby in the hemisphere. So you see, my boycott is a bit ridiculous but also VERY MEANINGFUL, you know?
I say this because I know that a boycott can be inconvenient. As the tidal wave of shit that is the recent Supreme Court decision drifts further into the past, it will seem less important to drive an extra 10 minutes to buy your yarn. Keep reading »
Well, surprise, surprise. Not. Just days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby — which gives business owners with “religious objections” the right to deny coverage of contraception in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act — a group of religious leaders are now demanding that they be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people when hiring on that same basis. Fourteen religious representatives sent President Obama a letter, asking that they be exempt from a forthcoming executive order that would prohibit contractors that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of gender or sexual orientation. Keep reading »
Fun facts about me: My mom’s whole family is Catholic going back centuries. It’s part of our family legacy – the Veteri Ponte (shortened to Vipond) were Catholic barons in England, and depending on who was ruling and whether they were Anglicans or Protestants, we had our land granted and taken away over and over. One of my ancestors was Queen Elizabeth I’s handmaid, and apparently she was mouthy (now you know where I get it from).
Which is all to say, Catholicism is part of my identity. I was loosely raised in the Catholic church. I stopped short of getting confirmed because I didn’t want to make a promise to a god if I didn’t know that I believed in it. Later in adulthood, when I was attending a Jesuit university, I started inching further back toward it. I took classes on Catholic history and on sacramentalism, I started reading the Bible more, I grew an affinity for Graham Greene. One of my favorite novels is still The Power and the Glory, in no small part for this very twentieth-century Catholic point of view, which I still think is a beautiful way of framing Christ:
“Man was so limited: he hadn’t even the ingenuity to invent a new vice: the animals knew as much. It was for this world that Christ had died: the more evil you saw and heard about you, the greater the glory lay around the death; it was too easy to die for what was good or beautiful, for home or children or civilization–it needed a God to die for the half-hearted and the corrupt.”
Keep reading »
The Supreme Court ruled today [PDF] that employers with religious objections to birth control are not required to cover contraception in health insurance plans for women under the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores owned by evangelical Christians who oppose birth control. The Obama administration had made a variety of concessions for religious employers like churches and religious non-profits, but this ruling affects for-profit businesses. (According to Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog, this ruling will not apply to publicly held corporations, just family-owned businesses when the owners in question are clearly religious.)
Update: Keep reading »
There’s no joy quite like the elation of finding out 1) there’s a trashy new Lifetime original movie about fundamentalist Mormons coming out, 2) it stars one of the hot guys in your spank bank, and 3) it’s airing this weekend when you just so happen to have no plans. Introducing “Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs,” a Lifetime original movie debuting this Saturday night. Tony Goldwyn, who plays Fitz on “Scandal,” stars as the fundamentalist polygamist Mormon/cult leader who believes he is a “prophet” and forces the marriages of adult men to underage girls. I’m sure Lifetime will have all sorts of lawyered-up language — “Inspired by true events!” — but will be accurate enough in a TV movie sorta way. One thing is for sure, I’ll be watching. [My Lifetime]
Sudan has freed Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging for not renouncing her Christian faith. Ibrahim was born to a Muslim father but was raised Christian, and then married a Christian man. Sudan lives under Sharia law and considers women the same religion as their father and relationships with non-Muslim men as “adultery.” It charged Ibrahim with apostasy and adultery and sentenced her to death while she was pregnant. Last month, Ibrahim gave birth to her second child while in prison. Today, her lawyer announced Ibrahim has been freed, claiming the initial judgment against her was “faulty.” Now she, her two children and her husband are reunited. It’s nice to read some good news for once. [CNN]
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who is eight months pregnant, was sentenced to death last week for marrying a Christian man.
In Sudan, a woman is considered to be of the same faith as her father, but 27-year-old Ibrahim’s Muslim dad abandoned her family when she was six, and she was raised with the beliefs of her Christian mom. Ibrahim has identified as Christian her whole life (although her brother is Muslim), but the Sudanese legal system sees her as a converted former Muslim and now refuses to recognize her marriage to a Christian man. Men are able to marry outside their faith, but Muslim women in Sudan are only expected to marry men who are also Muslims. Keep reading »