In Brooklyn, a 17-year-old girl just testified against the man accused of sexually assaulting her. On the surface, this case is sadly too familiar: she and her accused rapist are both members of a strict right wing sect of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, known as the Satmar Hasidim.
Extreme groups exist in every religion, and Judaism is no exception. However, the Satmar Hasidim are a fringe group within a fringe group. Though they are ultra-Orthodox Jews (meaning that they keep kosher, observe the Sabbath, and follow all the other rules), they differ from other super-religious Jews in that they don’t support the nation of Israel. Like other ultra-Orthodox Jews (this isn’t really a thing in the more liberal branches of Judaism), they keep strict gender segregation, sending boys and girls to different schools that teach different subjects and keeping men and women separated in synagogue. But the rape case currently happening in Brooklyn could blow the roof of the place. Keep reading »
What happens to actors on “Two And A Half Men”? Seriously, people!
Angus T. Jones, 19, the child actor who plays Jake on “Two And Half Men,” was interviewed about his evangelical Christian beliefs for something called the Forerunner Chronicles, and goes on to bash the show as “filth” that’s brainwashing its viewers into evildoing. Keep reading »
Topless nuns were seen hosing down anti-gay marriage demonstrators with “holy sperm” last Sunday in Paris.
Go ahead. Read that sentence again.
Of course, these weren’t real nuns! FEMEN, the breast-baring Ukrainian women’s movement, is famous for spreading awareness about a cause through nudity. When FEMEN found out that more than 100,000 Catholics would be protesting against France’s legislation to allow gay marriage and adoption, they got their weapons ready. With various slogans written across their chests, including “In Gay We Trust” and “Fuck God,” Femen members got creative with baby powder, spraying the mist on protesters, calling it “Jesus Sperm.” Keep reading »
Pray Tell is The Frisky’s new biweekly column about the intersection of religion and women’s lives.
The third season of the TLC series “Sister Wives” premiered this week. The show is about the Brown family — Kody, and his wives Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. They have 17 kids, including three from Robyn’s previous marriage. The Browns are members of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), an offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, aka the Mormons). Since the mainstream LDS church agreed to outlaw polygamy in exchange for Utah being granted U.S. statehood, the members who wanted to keep on practicing plural marriage joined groups like AUB. While plural marriage has been around for thousands of years (Jacob marrying both Rachel and Leah, anybody?), the appeal of “Sister Wives” is seeing how the practice works in modern times. Think of it as a real-life version of “Big Love.” Keep reading »
Earlier this week, the world reacted to the news that a hospital in Ireland refused medical care to a woman during her miscarriage and she eventually died from blood poisoning. Savita Halappanavar, a dentist, began slowly and painfully miscarrying at 17 weeks into her pregnancy, but University Hospital Galway refused to terminate the pregnancy because a fetal heartbeat could still be detected. Halappanavar and her husband, who are both Indian and Hindu, repeatedly asked for an abortion but were told no because Ireland is “a Catholic country.” Within days, the fetus died inside Halappanavar and was removed, but it was too late; she died soon after at age 31 from blood poisoning and E.coli ESBL. Keep reading »
A young dentist named Savita Halappanavar died last month in Ireland because University Hospital Galway repeatedly refused to perform an abortion. Doctors would not terminate the clearly-failing pregnancy while she was undergoing a painful miscarriage because the fetal heartbeat was still present. Her fetus was eventually removed from her body when the heartbeat stopped, but not after she suffered over three days in pain. After her liver, heart and kidneys slowed and were barely functioning, Halappanavar died at age 31 of septicemia (blood poisoning) and E.coli ESBL. Keep reading »
I love hippies … I just don’t always understand what they’re talking about. Case in point: an uber-New Age-y piece Alanis Morissette penned today on The Daily Beast about the “divine feminine.” Well, it’s sort of about how everyone needs to reconcile the “divine feminine” and the “divine masculine” within themselves and that will bring peace and harmony to the Earth. Or something. Keep reading »
When I was a little girl and my non-Quaker grandmother wanted me to pipe down, she would say, “Quaker’s Meeting has begun. No more laughing, no more fun.” I obviously never listened, but enjoyed the quaintness of Grandma’s axiom. The Quakers must be kind of quiet and shy, I thought.
I’ve been a non-quiet, non-shy practicing Catholic for 28 years, and for the most part I’ve loved my religion. But as a pretty liberal human being who enjoys condoms and thinks her gay friends should be able to visit their partners in hospitals, I have issues. Keep reading »
The few times I ever imagined my future wedding as I grew up in suburban north Texas, I imagined it taking place in the church I was raised in, the altar strewn with pretty flowers and the minister who baptized as a child me officiating. This vague idea of what my wedding might be like never quite left me, even as I left organized religion as a young adult. Weddings were a church thing. Churches have ministers. Ministers do weddings. Seemed pretty simple.
But as I attended more and more church weddings as an adult, the more I realized that there would be no way I could have one of my own: it’s not exactly fair to ask a Christian minister to, you know, leave all those Jesus-y parts out. They do tend to like to get in a bit of that where they can.
My husband, Patrick, was raised Catholic. I was a Methodist. While we both spent our youth as devout practitioners of our respective faiths, we don’t currently attend church and don’t have any plans to. We are happily lapsed, though we both look fondly back on our days as Bible-beating teenagers. I, for one, credit the church for giving me moral guidance and an amazing social circle when I was in school. I’d do it the same way all over again. But it’s not who I am or what I believe today. Keep reading »