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.)
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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 »
“I was suddenly faced with a choice I’d never thought I’d have to make. Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision… In my heart, I believed I had taken a life — an action that I thought God might one day punish me for. … My initial rage was quickly followed by another strong emotion: guilt. I knew I’d taken a life… I believed God’s payback was to give my son autism.”
This is Tori Braxton in her new memoir, Unbreak My Heart … and yeah, it is pretty heartbreaking that she actually believed that God punishes people with autism. Kinda offensive to her own son, no? Yet as the child of two pastors who grew up in an extremely strict, religious household, I suppose it’s not such a surprise that Braxton would create a sin/punishment scenario in her mind. In her memoir — which is quoted on RadarOnline — Braxton explained that years ago she discovered she was pregnant while on the acne medication Accutane, which can have negative side effects for women who are pregnant, specifically on her unborn fetus. So Braxton chose to have an abortion. But when she later had children with her now ex-husband, she learned her son Diezel had autism. I wish Braxton knew that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, roughly one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime. If every woman who had an abortion later gave birth to a child with autism, there would be a lot more autistic people around. Oh, and that whole NO MEDICAL LINK thing. Minor detail. [Radar Online] [Image via WENN]
Last Friday, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed a surprise music concert at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. Awesome, right? Only, because it was a surprise, Macklemore wanted to go a bit incognito and donned a costume. But the costume was anything but awesome. To me, and many others, the costume looked like a negative stereotype of a Jewish man.
For his part, Macklemore denies that he purposefully intended to mock Jewish people with his costume. Late yesterday, he took to Tumblr to issue an apology.
“My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more. Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic. I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. [...] I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended.”
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