As we told you last week, the Church of Scientology has another famous defector! Leah Remini, best known for her role on “King of Queens,” has officially left the cult that she has been a member of for over 25 years, after reportedly becoming unhappy with church leadership and their policy of disconnection (in which members are encouraged/forced to cut off contact with people who have fallen out of favor), and enduring years of interrogations because she dared complain.
Losing another famous member — after recent defections by Katie Holmes and director Paul Haggis, not to mention countless former high-level executives who allege abuse in the Sea Org, the Church’s religious order — is the latest in a string of bad PR for the Church, and they are reportedly going into crisis mode. According to Tony Ortega, who runs the amazing Scientology intel blog The Underground Bunker, following Remini’s defection, a meeting was called at the home of her (now former) friend Melinda Brownstone to discuss just what to do about the situation. Among the attendees? Famous Scientologist Kirstie Alley, who tweeted about where she was, possibly to catch Remini’s attention. That same day, Alley also tweeted not-so-cryptic messages like, “When faced w malicious gossip I take a moment to experience the loss of the person I thought was my friend… Then I say fuck em…” and “the sweetest poison is often served with a smile…beware syrup.” Ugh, when will people like Kirstie Alley (and Tom Cruise and John Travolta, the list goes on) realize that where there’s smoke, there’s fire? [Tony Ortega]
While working at an orientation event at Sonoma State University of California, student Audrey Jarvis was asked by her supervisor — twice — to remove or hide her crucifix necklace because she was told it might offend someone or make new students feel unwelcome. What?!? Keep reading »
On Wednesday afternoon, the president of Exodus International, one of the largest “ex-gay” organizations in the world, issued an apology to the LGBT community. “I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage,” Exodus President Alan Chamber wrote in a sincerely worded letter. “But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.” Hours later, Chambers announced that Exodus would be closing its doors permanently, after 37 years in operation. I felt two distinct reactions to this news: relief for LGBT people who have felt attacked and abused by the social and political messages perpetuated by Exodus, and hope for what this change means for both gay and “ex-gay” people alike.
I have some first-hand experience with Exodus – not as a participant, but as an observer. In November 2007, I attended the organization’s North Atlantic Regional Conference in upstate New York. At the time, I was producing a short documentary film, “Just As I Am,” which explored the “ex-gay” movement through two opposing perspectives: an active Exodus ministry leader, and an ex-”ex-gay” minister who belonged to Exodus in the 1980s. BK, the ministry leader, was going to the conference to lead the music during the worship services, so she brought me along. Keep reading »
A collective groan from adolescent males can be heard ‘round the globe! The Miss World beauty pageant announced yesterday that there will be no bikinis worn in their 2013 pageant in Indonesia this September. Said the pageant organizer:
“It has been misunderstood by some people that Miss World is a beauty competition focusing on the physical attractiveness of a woman’s body … This is absolutely misleading. [It also focuses on] inner beauty, which includes intelligence, manners and achievement.” Keep reading »
Makeup companies tout lofty, unrealistic claims all the time. These include, but are not limited to … uh, well, almost everything they say? Working with beauty products all the time (and, let’s be honest, in my spare time, too) means that I don’t expect much from promises of “all-day wear” and a “flawless complexion.” There are some truly great products out there, but there are precious few that actually fulfill all, or any, of what they allege to do. So, with that said, I would like to personally address the woman who is suing Lancome over false advertising claims related to “24-hour” foundation. Rorie Weisberg, an Orthodox Jew from upstate New York, says the French makeup giant was lying when they said that their Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation provides, yes, a full 24 hours of “lasting perfection.” Keep reading »
You probably didn’t know that by taking the birth control pill, you are directly contributing to lethal experimentation, euthanasia, poverty, and crime. Well, this flower/weed graphic discovered by feminist blogger Jessica Valenti on One More Soul, a Christian website promoting chastity until opposite-sex marriage, will set you straight. Only through chastity will you have a strong family life. Anything else that sounds remotely fun is SEXUAL CHAOS!
Well. I happen to like dandelions. So … [Feministing]
Meet Katelyn Campbell, a high school student council vice president, Wellesley College-bound senior, and sex education rabble-rouser who is filing an injunction against her principal for threats he made after she boycotted and spoke out against an abstinence-only sex-ed assembly at her school.
According to ThinkProgress.org, Principal George Aulenbacher at George Washington High School in West Virginia threatened to call up Wellesley College to complain that Campbell had “bad character” because she refused to attend the abstinence assembly and filed a complaint with the ACLU because the public school event was hosted by a conservative religious organization.
Keep reading »
Janet Jackson, who is known for keeping her private life private, recently admitted that she had married her third husband, Qatari billionaire Wissam Al-Mana. Though she hasn’t confirmed or denied it, there are lots of rumors that Janet converted to Islam before the wedding. Considering that religious conversions for marriage happen all the time – and that Janet’s brother Jermaine publicly converted to Islam some years ago – this story should be a non-issue.
Alas, there are a lot of people out there who think it’s their right to see Janet Jackson’s hot body in skimpy clothes and think that a conversion to Islam will foil their plans. Keep reading »
Me: I’m sorry! It’s just not going in!
Him: Don’t worry – we can always try later…
Me: I’m really sorry! I’m just so scared! (Sobbing. Tearful search for bra.) What if this never works?
That was me and my now-fiancé during one of many abortive attempts to have sex for the first time.
For years, I viewed sex as something like the Ark of the Covenant in “Indiana Jones”: immensely powerful and great beyond belief, but if you tried to use it in an unrighteous way the wrath of God would melt your face off.
I grew up in a church which, like many churches, taught us that sex before marriage was Wrong with a capital W. To their credit, they also taught us that sex within marriage was brilliant, but still. This was a church where one of the pastors hadn’t even kissed his wife until their wedding day. We also learned that in courting situations (we were discouraged from the secular institution of dating; “courting” was the spiritually safe alternative) girls should also dress modestly because men’s thoughts so easily fall into temptation. Although a heated moment could seduce us into wanting sex ourselves, the message was that boys wanted sex and girls shouldn’t give it to them until the wedding night. A quick scan through my own experience, however – especially late at night – would have revealed that girls could feel the pull of temptation just as much as boys.The nature of that temptation was never really discussed. The few teenagers in the church were too embarrassed to ask about it; I know I was. It also didn’t help that this was a church full of middle-aged and elderly Asian people who did not talk about sex. Keep reading »