Those little tramps are at it again. The nefarious-cookie sellers are trying to pull a fast one on us! The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched an official inquiry on the Girl Scouts out of concern that scouting materials contain links to other groups like Oxfam, the Sierra Club, and Doctors Without Borders, which support family planning and contraception. Apparently the connection here is that some Girl Scout troops are held in Catholic churches. Mind you, Oxfam works to end world poverty, the Sierra Club is an environmental organization, and Doctors Without Borders supports medical professionals in conflict zones. Nevertheless, those tenuous links to the Girl Scouts are “problematic,” say the bishops.
Sigh. Can’t we just leave the poor Girl Scouts alone already? [New York Times] Keep reading »
Dating is hard enough. But what about dating when you’ve recently left an insular religious community that pretty much forbade interaction with the opposite sex?
Such is the problem faced by ex-Orthodox Jews who are “Off the Derech” (derech is Hebrew for path), or OTD, and assimilating into secular society. Hasidic communities separate boys and girls while young; girls often marry around 18 or 19, while boys tie the knot in their early 20s, having children shortly after. Touching members of the opposite sex to whom you are not related is forbidden and interaction is generally discouraged. Is it any wonder ex-Orthodox Jews are utterly bamboozled when it comes to l’amour?
That’s where dating coach Israel Irenstein comes in. Keep reading »
A few weeks ago, an article in the Orthodox Jewish newspaper The Jewish Press began to make waves in the religious community. Yitta Halberstam, a well-known Jewish author, wrote about the process of trying to find her son a wife. In her part of the Jewish community (a right-wing faction of Orthodoxy sometimes known as yeshivish), it’s not uncommon for a professional shadchan (matchmaker) to pair up young eligible men and women. A shadchan who makes a successful shidduch (match) can be paid well for their services. However, there has been a recent “shidduch crisis,” which is that there are more prospective brides than grooms. Orthodox boys are waiting longer to marry, while girls are essentially considered over the hill if they’re not married by 18 or 19.
One way that shadchanim (the plural of shadchan) have tried to solve this issue is by hosting events where mothers can meet and interview prospective daughters-in-law. Halberstam attended one of these events and she admitted that the whole process made her uncomfortable. However, as the mother of an eligible bachelor and therefore someone in a position of relative power, Halberstam could have called off the whole thing and pointed out how awkward and unfair it was to the young women involved.
Instead, she penned a long rant about how young women should wear more makeup and their families should be willing to pay for plastic surgery if that’s what it takes to land a husband. Keep reading »
Most women have to ward off horny creatures on a daily basis, but the one that Phoenix teenagers Brynne, Tess and Savannah contend with isn’t a high school quarterback, or a fist-pumping “Jersey Shore” wannabe — it’s the devil.
That’s because when the trio aren’t shopping, practicing karate or singing musical theater in local productions, they’re performing exorcisms on people who’ve found themselves demonically possessed.
“We’re just normal girls who do something extraordinary for God,” Brynne, 17, told ABC “Nightline.” “After seeing an actual exorcism in person, led by us, you will walk away with no doubt, whatsoever.” Read more …
The State of Texas, beautiful and God-blessed land led by the white conservative men Jesus always intended it to be led by, rewards people who go to premarital counseling. The prize? You get to waive your license fee and don’t have a three-day waiting period between obtaining the license and getting married.
I discovered this fun new law while checking out marriage licenses generally, and learned that as of March 1, 2011, Texans getting married can either pay an increased fee for a license or get their asses to a counselor for an eight-hour course that will allow them to waive it.
The program is called, barfily enough, Twogether in Texas. I figured hey, if we can waive the fee and get counseling, that might be kind of cool. Of course, it’ll have to be free counseling because otherwise, there’s no money saved in waiving the fee. And we’re sure not paying a stranger hundreds of dollars to tell us we love each other and agree on major life issues like children (not for us, thanks), money (let’s make a reasonable amount of it and share it with each other) and religion (we’ll pass). Duh. That’s why we’re getting married. Keep reading »
“Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me, but they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim, they all want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and our own bodies. Yes, it is hard to believe. But even here at home, we have to stand up for women’s rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us because America needs to set an example for the entire world.”
— Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton spoke this weekend at The Daily Beast’s Women In The World summit and reminded us why we’re grateful to have this woman representing us to the world. I love how she spoke about extremists in general, not naming one religion specifically, and how she didn’t reference anti-abortion Republicans specifically, either. It makes it all the more powerful that she’s talking about the philosophy behind control, not sidelining her point by bashing anyone in particular for doing it. [Nerve]
I won’t beat around the bush: “tips for a happy marriage” from Michelle Duggar are as bad as they sound.
In the season premiere of “19 Kids and Counting” this week, the reality TV mama (whose family is stumping for Rick Santorum) is filmed at a conference on how to have a happy, evangelical Christian marriage in which the man is the authority and head of the household.
Michelle passed out tips from her lecture to the audience and a viewer screengrabbed the advice, where it was posted on Television Without Pity. Not suprisingly, you might want to “keep a barf bag handy” as Faith Goes Pop blogger Lilit Marcus puts it, because Michelle Duggar’s happy marriage tips include become financially dependent on your husband, always keeping your hair did, watch your weight, and being more “loyal” to him than your family and friends.
You can read some of the more egregious tips from “7 Basic Needs Of A Husband” — the workbook off of which Duggar was reading — after the jump: Keep reading »
Nine-year-old Bhintuna sat smiling in jewelry and a red and gold brocade bridal dress as she held a tray of offerings, waiting for her turn to take part in the ritual that would wed her to a god.
The schoolgirl is just one of hundreds of Nepali girls set to take part in the rite that weds them to the god Vishnu over the coming month, a symbolic time of weddings according to tradition in this deeply religious, majority Hindu nation. Read more…
L’chaim! Another one joins the tribe! Drew Barrymore is reportedly converting to Judaism before she marries fiance Will Kopelman, because being a shiksa won’t fly. It’s time to start brushing up on the Torah and boot up that old episode of “Sex and the City” where Charlotte converts for Harry Goldblatt. [New York Observer]
Drew Barrymore isn’t the only blushing bride making the move to matzo. Many celebrities have made the spiritual switch for love.
Imagine, if you will, a world in which Cosmopolitan magazine is covered in a non-transparent wrapper and only available to readers ages 18 and over. If you want to read a “Sexy Vs. Skanky” charticles about how purple nipples are out but purple nail polish is in, you need to show some ID.
This is the world model Nicole Weider is trying to inhabit with her crusade, Project Anti-Cosmo. The ex-model, who became disillusioned with the world of modeling, now seeks to rid the world of “pornographic” content one drugstore magazine at a time. “As a former reader of the magazine, I happened to pick up an issue [of Cosmo] and was reading it and was completely shocked at how pornographic and explicit the content had become,” Weider huffed to Fox News. “I immediately thought of my young teenage brothers and it horrified me to think that they and their friends could be reading this material, and the damage it would do to them if they did. So I decided to do something about it.” Her young brothers are reading Cosmo, what what what? Also, HAHAHAHAHA.
Keep reading »