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The Duggars and the Bizarre Regressive “Quiverfull” Movement

Misogynist theocrats’ TV show is pulled
Religion • Views: 35,048
Admitted sex offender Josh Duggar

The TLC channel announced today that they’re pulling “19 Kids and Counting” from their schedule, following the reports of Josh Duggar’s admitted sexual abuse of five underage girls. TLC’s statement was posted on Facebook:

Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.

Maybe with this Duggar family story in the news, people will start paying attention to the deranged, dangerous “Quiverfull” cult that inspires them and many like-minded conservative Protestant Christians.

The Quiverfull movement promotes copious procreation, rejects all forms of contraception, and treats women basically as brood mares; second-class citizens who must be subservient to men, and whose primary purpose is childbearing.

The name “Quiverfull” refers to how cultists like the Duggars see their gigantic families: as arrows in a quiver — weapons in a religious war. It comes from an Old Testament verse:

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

It’s an explicitly theocratic and essentially racist doctrine; in an article for The Nation, author Kathryn Joyce described their obsessions this way :

Population is a preoccupation for many Quiverfull believers, who trade statistics on the falling white birthrate in European countries like Germany and France. Every ethnic conflict becomes evidence for their worldview: Muslim riots in France, Latino immigration in California, Sharia law in Canada. The motivations aren’t always racist, but the subtext of “race suicide” is often there.

If you’d like to learn more about Quiverfull, I recommend Joyce’s book Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. I read it years ago, and have been watching the rise of groups like the Duggars with great trepidation as a result. The news that this reactionary theocratic cult spawns sexual predators should come as no surprise.

The Noah’s Ark Theme Park Is on the Move, Maybe

Louisiana Bill Could Provide Millions in Public Incentives for Religious Theme Parks
Religion • Views: 24,522

While Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark theme park is breaking apart on the reefs of Kentucky government regulations, a new plot is afloat to move the whole shebang to Louisiana.

How wonderfully providential for Ham that his lawyer, who is suing Kentucky for millions over the failed venture, is also a brand new member of the Louisiana state legislature!

If signed into law, HB 771, a bill authored and proposed by Louisiana’s newest and most controversial state legislator, could provide tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives to subsidize the construction of large-scale theme parks by tax-exempt churches and religious organizations. It’s an outrageous proposal, and what’s even more outrageous, the legislator behind the effort is suing the State of Kentucky for millions of dollars after it pulled the plug on new earth creationist Ken Ham’s ostentatious and delusional Noah’s Ark theme park.

Newly-minted Louisiana State Rep. Mike Johnson has deservedly earned an enormous amount of state and national attention after he introduced House Bill 707, the so-called “Marriage and Conscience Act,” which would allow private businesses the right to expressly discriminate against a broad set of customers based on their belief about same-sex marriage and would prohibit the government from effectively enforcing any potential anti-discrimination claims (in the event that the Supreme Court decides to expand marriage equality nationally when it rules this summer).

But that’s not all, folks! There’s much more to Rep. Johnson’s storied resume:

Mike Johnson may be new to the Louisiana state legislature, but he is not new to the cause. He’s spent the bulk of his career as a lawyer working on cases involving the radical religious right. For a brief stint, he was the dean of Louisiana College’s failed law school; its president, Joe Aguillard, was, at the time, famous for his grandiosity and his bizarrely paranoid, almost totalitarian, leadership style. Aguillard fired an art professor after a student painted a nude portrait of an elderly woman; he seductively, creepily ate a live worm in front of the entire student body in order to demonstrate how he had conquered sin; he suspiciously agreed to providing one of his former assistants with a sizable severance package, after the assistant, a man in his mid-20s, was caught doing drugs and engaging in sexual acts with 18-year-old male students at a local motel, and he once called reporters at the local newspaper, The Town Talk, “tools of Satan” after the paper published a series of unflattering stories about the state of the college’s finances.

Have a listen as Johnson talks about the wonderfulness of tax incentives such as this:

YouTube

As a Kentuckian, I am delighted to see no more of my state tax dollars going to fund Ken Ham’s bottomless pit of craziness, and I wish the people of Louisiana well on this future endeavor.

At the very least, an Ark should come in handy the next time a hurricane hits there.

Really, please read more: Louisiana Bill Could Provide Millions in Public Incentives for Religious Theme Parks

Right Wing Media Already Misleading About Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Comments

Right wing media defend using Christianity to justify Jim Crow & Spanish Inquisition
Religion • Views: 21,733

Right wing media are already taking President Obama’s comments at this morning’s prayer breakfast out of context in order to play into the hateful attack that our President is a terrorist sympathizer who hates Christians.

Hot Air accused the President of comparing Christianity to ISIS:

Drudge went with the single out of context quote in his headline:

And of course, this is not what the President said at all. Below is the context (taken directly from the link that Drudge uses and then ignores):

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that “no god condones terror.”

“We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends,” Obama said during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He singled out the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, calling the militants a “death cult,” as well as those responsible for last month’s terror attacks in Paris and deadly assault on a school in Pakistan.

[…]

“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

“So it is not unique to one group or one religion,” Obama said. “There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.”

Obama called for all people of faiths to show humility about their beliefs and reject the idea that “God speaks only to us and doesn’t speak to others.”

So let me throw this right back onto the RWM by using their logic and giving you a sample headline:

Right Wing Media Defend Using Christianity To Justify Jim Crow & Spanish Inquisition

NPR: The Mormon Church Wants a Free Pass for Bigotry

Here we go again - bigotry redefined as “religious freedom”
Religion • Views: 22,632

MP3 Audio

The Mormon church has apparently learned a lesson from the Catholics and Protestants who’ve been redefining “religious freedom” as a free pass for bigotry, because they announced this week that they’ll support LGBT anti-discrimination laws — with one catch. They want to be immune from criticism when they continue the same anti-LGBT policies they’ve always had.

NPR has an interview with Mormon leader Elder Dallin Oaks, with a ration of phony victimhood that has to be heard to be believed. When I listened to this earlier, I was yelling at the radio: Mormon LGBT Announcement Met With Cheers, Skepticism.

Islamophobia, Fox News, and Bogus Statistics

Steve Emerson’s use of bs stats about Muslim demographics in UK furthers agenda of Islamophobia
Religion • Views: 27,408

Steve Emerson, who claims to be an Islam expert, was on Fox News spouting off bogus statistics about Muslims living in the UK. He claimed that Birmingham and other cities are majority Muslim and that non-Muslims can’t go there (no-go zones).

Steven Emerson, an American whose website describes him as a leading authority on Islamic extremist networks, told Fox News in a live broadcast Sunday that in Britain “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

Emerson, who was discussing the recent terror attacks in Paris with host Jeanine Pirro, also claimed that in parts of London, “Muslim religious police” beat and injure “anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim religious attire.”

Official figures show that the number of Muslims in Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city, numbered at 234,411, or 22 percent of the city’s population. That compares to 494,358 who described themselves as Christian.

Emerson quickly tweeted an apology saying his comments were “totally inaccurate.” But his comments continued to draw derision online, spawning dozens of humorous reactions on social media.

Many posted absurd, fictitious claims and jokes about Islam and Birmingham with the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts, which was trending on Twitter on Monday. One Twitter user said Birmingham buildings wear burqas and posted a photo of a building covered in scaffolding.

It was patently BS, and he had to walk back those claims, but not before he got them out there. That was entirely the point. Spout off claims that don’t hold up to scrutiny and hope no one notices.

Islamophobia is real, and people like Emerson are spreading their noxious nonsense all over the media, especially Fox News.

As a reminder, this is the true demographic picture in Europe, and far from being a majority anywhere, there’s a range from insignificant minority to a substantial minority.

In Birmingham, Muslims make up 22% of the population, which is hardly a majority (unless you’re playing RWNJ math).

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron has called out Emerson’s nonsense as well.

I’d go further and say that he’s not an idiot. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s sowing discord and fear of all Muslims, even though 98% of terrorism in Europe is not related to Islamic extremists. He’s sowing Islamophobia, and his audience is more than willing to pursue extreme measures - from limiting immigration to the US and curtailing constitutional rights and protections all the way to the genocidal calls to nuke all Muslims.

It’s a sickness, and there’s no easy cure.

UPDATE at 1/12/15 10:19:09 am by lawhawk


For the statistics, here’s what I’ve come up with:

The EU report indicates that for 2013, there were no terrorist attacks specifically classified as religiously inspired, though two attacks show role of religious radicalization (section 2.1). For 2013, there were 152 attacks total, with 535 arrests made.

Doing the math for 2013, and that works out to 2 out of 152 incidents = 1.3%
Doing the same for 2012, and the EU reports 219 attacks, six of which were religiously motivated. Since one of those attacks included the murder of a Shi’a imam in conjunction with an arson attack, I adjusted that to 5. 5 out of 219 = 2.2%

So, for 2012-2013, we’re looking at 371 attacks, 7 of which are religiously motivated. That’s 1.34%. In other words, that means 98.66% are not related to Islamic terrorism.

If you want to quibble that I shouldn’t have excluded the murder of the imam, then you’re looking at 6 out of 219 = 2.7% and 8 out of 371 for the period, which is 2.1%. That works out to 97.9%.

Christians More Supportive of Torture Than Non-Religious Americans

Sarah Posner, Religion Dispatches
Religion • Views: 32,249

This is no surprise to me since the most common question I get from xtians when stating my atheism is “But how do you tell right from wrong without God?” The real difference here is that there isn’t any forgiveness and few if any rationalizations for torture in the atheist viewpoint. At the WaPo link you have to use the “more details” link, and then the drop downs to see each question broken down by religion.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that Americans, by a 59-31% margin, believe that CIA “treatment of suspected terrorists” in detention was justified.

Using the Water Cure A plurality deemed that “treatment” to be “torture,” by a 49-38% margin.

Remarkably, the gap between torture supporters and opponents widens between voters who are Christian and those who are not religious. Just 39% of white evangelicals believe the CIA’s treatment of detainees amounted to torture, with 53% of white non-evangelical Protestants and 45% of white Catholics agreeing with that statement. Among the non-religious, though, 72% said the treatment amounted to torture. (The poll did not break down non-Christian religions in the results.)

Sixty nine percent of white evangelicals believe the CIA treatment was justified, compared to just 20% who said it was not. (Those numbers, incidentally, roughly mirror the breakdown of Republican versus Democratic voters among white evangelicals.) A full three-quarters (75%) of white non-evangelical Protestants outnumber the 22% of their brethren in saying CIA treatment was justified. White Catholics believe the treatment was justified by a 66-23% margin.

But a majority of non-religious adults, 53%, believe the CIA actions were not justified, with 41% of the non-religious saying the treatment was justified.

More: Christians More Supportive of Torture Than Non-Religious Americans

Also See

Most Evangelicals Believe Natural Disasters Are the Apocalypse, Not Climate Change

Fatalism
Religion • Views: 24,550

Yep, according to almost half of the Americans surveyed, there’s no such thing as climate change. It’s just the End Times.

Poll results released by the Public Religion Research Institute on Friday showed that sixty-nine percent of Americans believe there is solid evidence that Earth’s temperatures are increasing. This is good news, as so far this year has been the hottest ever recorded, despite the recent chill covering the United States. But the pollsters also asked about the cause of recent natural disasters, and the responses from some religious people could impact how America responds to climate change.

While 62 percent of total respondents ascribed the cause of recent natural disasters to climate change, 49 percent also thought biblical “end times” were the cause. For white evangelical Protestants, these numbers basically reversed — 77 percent pointed to the apocalypse, and just 49 percent attributed extreme weather to climate change (the numbers add up to more than one-hundred because people could offer more than one cause).

This fatalistic view of the impacts caused in part by burning fossil fuels could influence the national policy responses to the problem. More than half of the total respondents (53 percent) thought that God would not intercede if humans were destroying the Earth, while 39 percent said that God would step in.

The Public Religion Research Institute poll suggested that congregants who heard about climate change at church were more likely to be concerned about it. Of the respondents who attend religious services at least once or twice a month, 36 percent said their clergy leader speaks about climate change often or sometimes, and these respondents were more likely to be concerned about climate change.

More: Most Evangelicals Believe Natural Disasters Are the Apocalypse, Not Climate Change

Pope Francis Takes a Stand for Evolution

US conservatives are now to the right of the Pope
Religion • Views: 29,774

Pope Francis is more pro-science and anti-superstition than most Republicans: Pope Francis Takes a Stand for Evolution, Against ‘Magic Wands’.

Social conservatives in the United States who’ve been unhappy with Pope Francis’ moderation today have one more reason to be upset.

Daniel Berger reported this afternoon:

Pope Francis broke with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real, and remarking that God is not “a magician with a magic wand.”

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” the pope said at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, during a plenary meeting dedicated to evolving concepts of nature.

The pope’s remarks came earlier today in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

“The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary, it requires it,” the Roman Catholic pontiff said. “Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of [divine] creation because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve.”

ISIS Bans Teaching Evolution in Schools

Fanaticism in common
Religion • Views: 33,784

Here’s some common ground between America’s religious right and the jihadis of ISIS: ISIS Bans Teaching Evolution in Schools.

The new Mosul curriculum, allegedly issued by al-Baghdadi himself, stresses that any reference to the republics of Iraq or Syria must be replaced with “Islamic State.” Pictures that violate its ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam will be ripped out of books. Anthems and lyrics that encourage love of country are now viewed as a show of “polytheism and blasphemy,” and are strictly banned.

The new curriculum even went so far as to explicitly ban Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution — although it was not previously taught in Iraqi schools.

Maybe this is why the religious right and social conservatives are so hell-bent on fear-mongering about ISIS — they recognize a mirror image of themselves. Their worst enemy.

James Dobson Calls Obama ‘Abortion President’ at Allegedly ‘Non-Partisan’ Prayer Day Event

May 2, 2014 by Simon Brown
Religion • Views: 13,737

If anyone was still unconvinced prior to yesterday that the National Day of Prayer (NDP) is little more than a fundamentalist Christian political rally, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson’s rant on Capitol Hill should have erased any doubts.

During an event organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force (a non-profit run by conservative evangelical Christians) and attended by members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dobson slammed President Barack Obama, calling him the “abortion president.”

In a lengthy rant at an event that was supposed to be about prayer, not politics, Dobson attacked Obama primarily for his support of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which says that most businesses must offer insurance plans to their employees that include access to no-cost birth control.

“President Obama, before he was elected, made it very clear that he wanted to be the abortion president,” Dobson fulminated. “He didn’t make any bones about it. This is something that he really was going to promote and support, and he has done that, and in a sense he is the abortion president.”

He also called the regulations “wicked” and vowed to never abide by them.

Dobson’s opposition to the birth control mandate isn’t exactly a secret. His Family Talk radio program recently won a temporary reprieve from offering employees birth control in their insurance plans thanks to a legal challenge. Dobson claims his 28-employee organization is a Christian ministry and therefore should be exempt on religious grounds

More: Politicizing Prayer: James Dobson Calls Obama ‘Abortion President’ at Allegedly ‘Non-Partisan’ Prayer Day Event

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 Frank says:

If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT. -- From the Real Frank Zappa book.