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The Big Problem With ‘Biblical Literacy’
America is, quite famously, a nation founded on the principle of freedom of religion. As a result it is easy to understand why many people would be uncomfortable with certain kinds of religious practices (mostly notably prayer) and education in public schools. A little over a week ago President Trump tweeted his support for the introduction of Biblical literacy classes in schools, drawing attention to efforts by a variety of Christian groups to put the Bible back on the high school agenda.
Following Trump’s statement there was a flurry of media coverage of the issue. Fox News reported that “at least six states, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia have introduced legislation this year pushing for public schools to offer Bible literacy classes,” noting that these classes would be electives. (The Indiana bill is not actually a Bible course bill at all. It demands that the previously existing world religions electives class has to include a conversation about the Bible).
There is a strategy here: Project Blitz, an initiative sponsored by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, the National Legal Foundation and the WallBuilders ProFamily Legislative Network, has been orchestrating the push to create these bills.
As prominent SMU religious studies professor Mark Chancey has written, it’s actually already legal to teach the Bible in schools, so in some sense these bills are unnecessary. Courses like the one Trump is tweeting have been around for a century. Chancey told The Daily Beast that “it is important to recognize that Bible course bills and their sponsors may have different motivations…sometimes a bill is clearly about more than just biblical literacy, and that's definitely the case with Project Blitz bills.” Other measures that Project Blitz has called for includes the promotion of the motto “In God We Trust,” the introduction of a “year of the Bible” and the limiting of the rights of same-sex couples and transgender people. Chancey told me, “Project Blitz is weaponizing Biblical Literacy for the cultural wars.”
The Daily Beast
Letting go of the “no gender” utopia
Now that the U.S. government is threatening to define gender as only male or female, we need to fight more than ever for transgender rights. But the idea there should be no gender categories and we should live in a label-free world, as some have argued, is a utopian dream.
Pioneering scholar Dennis Altman spoke for many gay and lesbian activists at the beginning of the modern queer rights movement in 1971 when he suggested the battle for acceptance of human and legal rights for gay and lesbian people had only one goal: the eradication of the need for any such rights at all.
According to Altman, categories of sexuality were a necessary evil, but in an ideal world they would be replaced by “a new human who is no longer imprisoned by limitations of sexuality and compassion….”
Cultural theorists Daniel Harris and Bert Archer continue to embrace Altman’s original utopian vision. Harris gleefully announced the death of both gay culture and straight oppression in his 1997 book, The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture:
This Is What Happens to Your Body if You Eat Almost No Carbs
In many ways, refined carbohydrates—bread, pasta, white rice—are like fossil fuels. They contain a lot of energy, they’re cheap to produce, and just when it seems as though supply can't keep up with demand, some technological innovation enables us to extract and produce more of them. And like fossil fuels, the scientific consensus is that an over reliance on refined carbohydrates is going to end badly.
Most people who are interested in cutting carbs out are doing so to lose weight. Anecdotal and scientific research suggests that it’s a pretty good strategy to take to drop some pounds. But carbs aren’t just in the types of food I mentioned above. They’re also hiding out in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, milk, legumes, and plenty else. With that being the case, you can imagine that cutting your carb intake to virtually nothing would be very difficult indeed and—as you'll read in a moment—there’s research suggesting that it’s potentially dangerous. Here are some of the things that would happen if you ditched refined carbs, limited the “good” (or complex) carbs named above and opted to consume butter, bacon, and bourbon to your heart’s content.
Culture, Not PrEP, Linked with Nationwide Rise of STIs in Gay/Bi Men
A new study from UCLA's Williams Institute may have found a new reason why STI's are on the rise among gay and bisexual men in the United States.
While some hypothesized that the STI rise could be linked to the use of PrEP, the drug for preventive HIV treatment, the report shows that's not the case.
"Our data don’t support the idea that we can attribute the rise in STIs to PrEP use, at least not in a direct manner. I personally don’t think that’s what’s happening," Professor Phillip Hammack, the study’s lead author, told Los Angeles Blade. Hammack believes there is a “culture shift about sex.”
Gay man hospitalized after putting 15 eggs up his butt while on chemsex drugs
A man was rushed to hospital after pushing 15 hard-boiled eggs up his butt while on chemsex drugs.
The 29-year-old Dutch man had taken GHB with his partner, the Daily Mail reports.
GHB is also known as G, Gina, Liquid Ecstasy or Liquid X. It is physically addictive.
The scientific names is gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) or gammabutyrolactone (GBL).
GBL is converted into GHB in your body when ingested, and in some cities, is more common than GHB.
The eggs caused a tear in his intestinal wall, leaving him in an extensive amount of pain.
Gay Star News
Homosexuality and Pedophila: The False Link
It is so hard to believe that people are still trying to use the purported link between pedophilia and homosexuality. The old, tired argument that pedophilia is linked with homosexuality is wrong on many levels.
First, we need to clarify our definitions. When discussing sexual abuse and molestation of children, there’s often conflict over terminology. One frequently quoted researcher on the topic of homosexuality and child molestation, Gregory Herek, a research psychologist at the University of California, defines pedophilia as “a psychosexual disorder characterized by a preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners, which may or may not be acted upon.” He defines child sexual abuse as “actual sexual contact between an adult and someone who has not reached the legal age of consent.” Not all pedophiles actually molest children, he points out. A pedophile may be attracted to children but never actually engage in sexual contact with them. Quite often, pedophiles never develop a sexual orientation toward other adults.
Herek points out that child molestation and child sexual abuse refer to “actions,” without implying any “particular psychological makeup or motive on the part of the perpetrator.” In other words, not all incidents of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by pedophiles. Pedophilia can be viewed as a kind of sexual fetish, wherein the person requires the mental image of a child — not necessarily a flesh-and-blood child — to achieve sexual gratification.
American Catholic leaders blame the Pennsylvania sex abuse scandal on gays
Trump Is Making America So Goddamn Dumb
Donald Trump is on vacation this week at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, where "his staff have largely given up on futile efforts to supervise him, leaving the president's schedule open and unstructured," Axios reports. Trump is probably filling that time watching TV (especially TV starring Trump) and aimlessly scrolling through social media until he decides to tweet something himself. On Monday, that "something" was an inexplicable riff about California's wildfires...
Parents Who Had Severe Trauma, Stresses In Childhood More Likely To Have Kids With Behavioral Health Problems
A new study finds that severe childhood trauma and stresses early in parents' lives are linked to higher rates of behavioral health problems in their own children.
The types of childhood hardships included divorce or separation of parents, death of or estrangement from a parent, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, witnessing violence in the home, exposure to substance abuse in the household or parental mental illness.
"Previous research has looked at childhood trauma as a risk factor for later physical and mental health problems in adulthood, but this is the first research to show that the long-term behavioral health harms of childhood adversity extend across generations from parent to child," said the study's lead author, Dr. Adam Schickedanz. He is a pediatrician and health services researcher and assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The study showed that the children of parents who themselves had four or more adverse childhood experiences were at double the risk of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and were four time more likely to have mental health problems.
Your Smartphone Addiction May Be Why Your Kid Acts Out, New Study Finds
The shocking truth about America’s mental health crisis
Groups working to stop teen pregnancy alarmed by Trump shift
Groups working to cut teen pregnancy rates in the United States say they would have to scrap programs they’ve been working on for years to meet new guidelines for funding from the Trump administration.
The administration is shifting the focus of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) more toward abstinence education, and groups will have to get onboard if they want to continue receiving financial support from the federal government.
Religious and conservative groups praised the Trump administration’s approach, saying the Obama-era funding requirements made it impossible for faith-based organizations with religious objections to participate.
Will Smith tries to make out with Sophia the robot, and it does not go well
Budding YouTuber Will Smith isn't afraid to churn out some weird content on his channel, including an attempt at getting frisky with a humanoid.
In his most recent clip, Smith sets himself on a date in the Cayman islands with Sophia the robot, a humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics that uses artificial intelligence to interact with humans.
People Think It's an Interesting Coincidence That Stephen Hawking Died on Pi Day
Some people on the internet think Stephen Hawking couldn’t have calculated a better day to die.
The 76-year-old theoretical physicist, one of science’s most famous luminaries died on March 14, also known as National Pi Day — an annual day for scientists and mathematicians around the world to celebrate the value of pi that even includes deals on pizzas and actual pies. Suffice it to say that the noteworthy coincidence was not lost on the internet.
Stephen Hawking Dies at 76; His Mind Roamed the Cosmos
Stephen Hawking Was an Atheist. Here’s What He Said About God, Heaven and His Own Death
MAN WHO HOPES TO PROVE THE EARTH IS FLAT IN HIS HOMEMADE ROCKET POSTPONES HIS PLANS
In an effort to prove the Earth is flat, 61-year-old “Mad” Mike Hughes plans to launch himself thousands of feet in the air in a homemade rocket. But his launch—which was originally set for Saturday—has been postponed, The Washington Post reported Friday afternoon.
Hughes was originally planning to conduct his experiment over Amboy, a ghost town situated along Route 66 in California, that has a population of 4. However, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reportedly informed him that he cannot launch his scrap metal rocket on public land.
According to Hughes, the federal agency told him his experiment was a no-go, but Samantha Storms, BLM spokeswoman, said she was unaware of any communication between the self-taught rocket scientist and the agency.
Why So Many Younger Guys Are Taking Viagra
We're all familiar with female-driven wellness brands like Goop — but so far, there hasn't been an equivalent for men. The startup Hims is trying to fill space in the market for male wellness by offering solutions for pretty much every nexus point of masculine insecurity. It sells a suite of shampoos and vitamins to counter receding hairlines, and it's working on a skincare line to clear up any lingering acne. It also offers is a $20-a-month subscription of Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, an FDA-approved medication that's been used for decades to treat erectile dysfunction.
You Asked: Is Watching Scary Movies Good for You?
The heart-pounding thrills of a scary movie may come with some health-related benefits, including a calorie burn and a happier mood. But how much you stand to gain from a scary movie seems to depend on how scary you find the film you’re watching—and how much you want to be scared in the first place.
In a 2012 study, funded by the former video subscription service Lovefilm, researchers from the University of Westminster in the UK asked 10 people to watch 10 different scary movies as they monitored heart rate, oxygen intake and output of carbon dioxide. The 1980’s film The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson, topped the list of the calorie-scorching horror films. The person who viewed it jumped and shrieked themselves rid of 184 calories: roughly the number of calories a 140-pound adult would burn after 40 minutes of walking, according to the American Council on Exercise's physical activity calorie counter. Jaws and The Exorcist took the second and third spots on the list, burning 161 and 158 calories, respectively.
Newspapers attack trans teens for wanting to be able to have kids later in life
Titled “Transgender children ‘as young as 12 having sperm saved so they can still have children after sex change'”, the article scrutinised and criticised the NHS for funding the freezing of sperm or egg or fertility treatment.
As well as quoting the MailOnline, the article also included a quote from Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former chairman of the ethics committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Bishop Nazir-Ali, who has in the past defended gay ‘cure’ therapy, was also set this weekend to speak at the UKIP conference.
Apparently missing the seriousness of gender dysphoria, he told MailOnline: “The NHS is about treating people who are ill – that’s what we pay our taxes for.
“It is not to aid people’s various wishes about what they want to do with their bodies or their futures.”