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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
Protesting drag queens has become the new religious right merit badge
Another day, another religious right protest at a public library.
Evangelical Christians have a new target for their inane protests – drag queens. The perpetually perturbed are up in arms that drag queens are reading stories to children in public libraries.
All over the country, the radical right is showing up to terrify children and parents in the name of God. While the religious zealots would protest outside of abortion providers to shame and scare women who are at their most vulnerable, now they’re focused on being child abusers.
Trump is forcing 4-H to stop welcoming LGBTQ kids & the guy who tried to block him just got fired
The youth development and mentoring organization 4-H is the latest target of the Trump administration. The group is under fire for being too nice to LGBTQ youth.
After the international youth organization issued diversity guidelines meant to grow membership by ensuring all children felt welcome, evangelical Christians and anti-LGBTQ hate groups targeted the group to try to get the policy withdrawn.
The Trump administration, beholden to the far right for power, has taken up the cudgel on behalf of their political overlords once again and this time they’re going to war against children.
'Hunk of the Year' nominee dropped from LGBTI awards for homophobic tweets
Organizers of an LGBTI awards event dumped the nominee for Hunk of Year because of homophobic tweets.
The LGBTI Feather Awards decided to drop fitness model, Tumi Seeco, only hours after it revealed the 2018 nominations.
The Feather Awards started 10 years ago in South Africa to lightheartedly celebrate people the LGBTI community loved. Since then it has become an important platform for raising awareness about LGBTI issues.
Gay Star News
Queer YouTube star attacked after leaving LGBTI event in London
Man given life sentence for chopping up his girlfriend's gay best friend
Street preacher gets 27 years in 'Basement of Horrors' case
A self-proclaimed street preacher who had a role in kidnapping, torturing and enslaving mentally disabled adults chained up in a filthy basement has been sentenced to 27 years in prison.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia announced that Eddie "the Reverend Ed" Wright was sentenced Thursday for the scheme that lasted from 2001 to October 2011. He is the second of the five people charged in the case that shocked Philadelphia and the nation to be sentenced this week, after Nicklaus Woodard was also sentenced to 27 years on Tuesday.
Last month, Jean McIntosh was sentenced to 40 years prison for her role. McIntosh helped prosecutors build a case against her mother, Linda Weston, the ringleader of the group that held victims captive for years in a cramped basement in the plan to steal more than $200,000 in government benefits.
Woman sues diocese, alleges 'smear' effort over abuse claims
Court declines to intervene in case of Indian bishop accused of raping nun
Catholics, keep your wallets closed until the Church reforms from the Vatican on down
Chile Church scandal: 'How I escaped the priest who abused me for decades'
Sistine Chapel Choir under financial investigation: Vatican
Smut slinger dreams of AI software to create hardcore flicks with your face – plus other machine-learning news
Roundup It's a long weekend in England and Wales, with many Reg vultures taking time out and making the most of what's left of the quiet August month.
We haven't forgotten you, though, so here's a roundup of artificial intelligent software related tidbits.
Oh dear, a porn company wants to monetize the deepfakes craze: Hey, remember when internet perverts used AI to stitch famous people's faces onto the bodies of smut flicks, and generate X-rated vids of celebs, dubbed "deepfakes"? It sparked outrage, with people freaking out over this direction of deep-learning technology, and how it could be used by people with little or no coding background to craft almost believable bogus porno. Tools emerged to detect faked vids.
Everything We Know About Toronto’s New Sex Doll Brothel
Grindr Suggests It Will Tackle Sexual Racism with 'Kindr'
The LGBTQ dating app Grindr sent out a cryptic message on its social media accounts this week, suggesting it will be tackling sexual racism with a new program called Kindr.
"It's time to play nice. Dropping September 2018," the company tweeted last Friday. The message also linked to a website: Kindr.grindr.com.
Edge Media Network
These Cities Are Beginning to Treat Violent Crime as a Public Health Issue
Humans engage in a wide array of risky behaviors that can lead to serious health problems: smoking, overeating, sex without protection. It has long been the accepted wisdom that doctors should encourage patients to change their behavior—give up smoking, go on a diet, use a condom—rather than wait to treat the emphysema, obesity-related heart attacks, or HIV that could be the result. Yet when it comes to violence, the discussion is often underpinned by an assumption that this is an innate and immutable behavior and that people engaging in it are beyond redemption. More often than not, solutions have been sought in the criminal justice system—through tougher sentencing, or increasing stop-and-search (despite substantial evidence that it is ineffective in reducing crime). Is enforcement the wrong tactic altogether?
The first video showed an officer restraining a child. The second one told a more complicated story.
13-Year-Old Boy Charged with Assault for Blowing McDonald's French Fry Out of Straw
NYPD files formal departmental charges against officers in Eric Garner case
Florida Gunman Who Killed Father of Three in Parking Space Dispute Won’t Be Arrested
Donald Trump sent the worst tweet of his presidency this morning
President Donald Trump has sent a lot of bad tweets. He's tweeted things that aren't true. He's tweeted personal attacks about everyone from Hillary Clinton to Mika Brzezinski and back. He's called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "Little Rocket Man." But a tweet he sent Monday morning -- just hours before sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin -- has to be the worst.
"Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!," tweeted Trump.
Let's be very, very clear about what Trump's tweet suggests: That the reason the US and Russia have an adversarial relationship is because of the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
Staggering. Stunning. Surreal.
Trump Administration Declares War on Poverty “Largely Over” Because of Huge Success
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.
On Spirit Day, Millions of People Stand up Against Anti-LGBTQ Bullying
On the third Thursday of every October, people around the world wear the color purple to celebrate Spirit Day—an LGBTQ bullying-prevention event in which people show their support for gender and sexual minorities. The day of action was started eight years ago when ordinary-person-turned-activist, Brittany McMillan, discovered through social media that LGBTQ youth have a greater chance of attempting suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. According to the Trevor Project, an organization that offers resources to suicidal LGBTQ youth, young people who identify as LGBTQ are five times more likely to have tried taking their own life.
‘They needed to know who we were’: Coming Out Day changes, but not the spirit behind it
The first National Coming Out Day had eight events across the country. For this year’s Coming Out Day, set for Wednesday, the number is easily in the thousands — from outdoor events to high-school celebrations to observances at Starbucks, say two activists from the Human Rights Campaign — but the point is still the power of visibility.
Candace Gingrich, the associate director of youth and campus engagement at HRC, said that the first Coming Out Day was a way to capitalize on the momentum from 1987’s Gay and Lesbian march on Washington, which drew hundreds of thousands of people to D.C.
The idea, Gingrich said, was to demonstrate the size of the community: “In order to gain support for LGBTQ people, they needed to know who we were. … Their friends, the family members, their neighbors, their co-workers, their teammates, their classmates.”
It’s hard to remember how things were in those days, but Ellen Kahn, director of HRC’s Children, Youth and Families division, said that coming out, and being out, was a risk: “You’d lose your job right away; you could potentially get beaten up just for walking out your front door.”
Amidst a violent political and cultural landscape, LGBTQ Youth continue the fight
Last month, Advocates for Youth organized its 17th annual Urban Retreat: Youth Activist Institute in Washington, D.C. Each year over 120 youth activists gather to share expertise with one another and Advocates for Youth staff, learn about the latest findings and legislation that affect sexual and reproductive health and rights including LGBT rights, participate in trainings, and make a commitment to be lifelong advocates for young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights.
This year, the urgency of our issues and the commitment from young people to organize and mobilize was more palpable than ever before. The 120 young people included immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ youth, Muslim youth, and young women of color, all using their collective voices to push back on the increasingly normalizing culture of hate, and making a commitment to do the same when they go back home to their communities.
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.”
New Study Says If You’re a Man With This Face Shape, You’re More Likely to Cheat
Canadian-led face shape study recently published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior concluded that men with shorter, wider faces “tend to be more sexually motivated … have a stronger sex drive … are more easy-going when it comes to casual sex and would consider being unfaithful to their partners,” compared to those with faces of other dimensions.
How the face shape study worked
The study, led by Steven Arnocky — a professor who specializes in evolutionary psychology, sexual conflict and behavioral ecology at Nipissing University in Canada — happened in two parts.
In the first part, Arnocky’s team asked 145 university undergraduates currently involved in romantic relationships questions about their sex drive and interpersonal behavior. In the second part, his team issued asked 314 students the same questions and additional ones about their sexual orientation, their openness to infidelity and their comfort with casual sex not involving love or commitment.