As a feminist organization, Secular Woman promotes gender equality. We stand against and combat sexism, hate, intolerance, and misogyny.
Transgender women are women.
Cisgender women are women.
We do not, in any way, view the existence of transgender women, genderqueer individuals or transgender men as a threat to the safety of women, female identity, or the goals of feminism.
As intersectional feminists we acknowledge the privilege that cisgender people experience. We aim to dismantle the axis of oppression that this represents.
Unfortunately, not all who claim the label “feminist” agree with us. They do not represent us and we reject their actions and views as unethical and devoid of reason.
We stand in opposition.
Members of our community have been targeted by trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). Personal information such as former names, current legal names, and photographs have been compiled and displayed on the website “Name the Problem”. Several of the entries are self-attributed to “Pegasus” (“PegasusBug” is a pseudonym of Cathy Brennan, the head of Gender Identity Watch). This information was presented alongside reports describing rapists and batterers of women.
DOOFUS OF THE DAY
Last week Gothamist published a photo of a car in Brooklyn plastered with a ridiculous amount of offensive bumper stickers. That car turned out to belong to Heshi Fried—Fried is a Hardei, which is considered the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism. Considering our negative take on his vehicle, we were pretty surprised when Fried called us this week to thank us for writing about him. “I think it was great, and you know, most people are very much with me, the people who are religious are basically all giving me a thumbs up,” Fried said. “Except secular Jews, who usually like, express shock. They feel like I’m causing anti-Semitism or something. They feel really embarrassed.”
Fried, who was a follower of Rabbi Avigdor Miller, was incredibly civil during our 30 minute conversation, during which we tried to pose questions based around the offensive bumper stickers he so proudly shows up. Fried confirmed he used to be a member of the fringe Hasidic group Jewish Political Action Committee, but after the big “Jews against the internet” protest at Citi Field a few years ago, they removed their website. “[The Rabbis] didn’t want us to have anything that may cause religious kids to go look at the internet to see what’s going on. So that’s one of reasons we removed the website.”
As for those bumper stickers, which he makes himself, Fried says it’s part of his goal to make as many people more observant as possible. He proceeded to explain each bumper sticker to us in detail, and how it stems from some passage in the Torah. But we pushed him about the Hurricane Sandy sticker in particular—how can someone possibly connect a weather phenomenon with a legislative action? Below, you can read Fried’s answer, which involves a very vengeance-happy, hail-and-brimstone Old Testament reading of God.
Well, I just feel like I want to Throw Up. It’s very disturbing to read about a religious Jew who embraces the crackpot ideas of the Westboro cult and the extreme creationists. Babushka remembers Avigdor Miller from the 1970’s. He was a fire-and-brimstone stand-up comedian-preacher whose lectures about young-earth creationism and anti-gay diatribes were taken primarily from fundamentalist Christian sources and crackpots like Emanuel Velikovsky. It’s very embarrassing to recall that at one time I actually thought he was entertaining, kind of the same way that Rush Limbaugh used to be funny back in the day.
Having these hateful notions is one thing—a person really ought to work on his middos (good qualities), keep hateful feelings to oneself and concentrate on loving one’s fellow human, even if that person has different beliefs, skin color, or sexual orientation. To plaster one’s vehicle with hateful messages just invites reciprocal hatred, key-scratching, tire-slashing and windshield smashing.
Hateful people suck.
The truth is discomforting: hatred and intolerance are moving into the mainstream in Europe.
An Afghan migrant is stabbed in the heart on the streets of Athens. Black-shirted paramilitaries linked to Hungary’s third-largest political party march through a Roma neighbourhood shouting, “You will die here.” A neo-Nazi gang commits a string of murders of Turkish immigrants in Germany. An ideologue driven by hatred of “multiculturalism” kills 67 mostly young people on a Norwegian Island.
It may be comforting to see these incidents as isolated, disconnected or driven by local events. But the truth is more discomforting: hatred and intolerance are moving into the mainstream in Europe.
Intolerance in Europe manifests itself in support for extremist parties and violence and discrimination against minorities and migrants. Rather than tackling the problem head on, Europe’s leaders often downplay the problem or blame the victims. But concerted steps are needed to stop the violence and discrimination and curtail the corrosive influence of racist parties, without limiting freedoms of speech and association.
In many European countries, extremist parties— espousing racist, anti-immigrant or anti minority policies—are part of the political landscape. Their platforms vary, with some corresponding to traditional far-right parties. But they frequently define themselves by strong opposition to particular groups, including Muslims and immigrants (particularly among parties in western Europe) and Roma (in eastern Europe).
This is one of the smaller and more superstitious Lutheran splinter groups.
A conservative Lutheran group is reprimanding its pastor in Newtown, Connecticut, for participating in an interfaith vigil after the Sandy Hook massacre.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod says the Reverend Rob Morris inadvertently gave the impression that he was involved in joint worship with clergy from other religions. The denomination bars joint worship because it doesn’t want to appear to mix its beliefs with those of other churches.
The December 16th vigil included Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other leaders. President Barack Obama and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy attended.
The church says Morris has apologized for taking part in the event.
Powell’s in the same boat I am — I voted for the GOP presidential candidate in the 7 elections prior to 2012. I’m now a registered Democrat, and it’s unlikely that I will vote for a Republican anytime soon.
More: Powell on Racism
More at Politics USA politicususa.com
Ensuring that it does is the raison d’etre of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Indeed, the very reason for the existence of MRFF, the organization that I head, is the toxic environment of religious bigotry, intolerance, and oppression that lies systemically and ubiquitously across the entirety of the United States armed services as a living, breathing, metastasizing national security threat. This enormous danger has compelled us to tirelessly persevere in our campaign for Constitutional compliance. Schwartz’s issuance of a memo on “Government Neutrality Regarding Religion” back in September 2011 was one result of our fervent Constitutionalism. The memo’s release was terribly discrete and its application appallingly discretionary. At some USAF installations, the men and women under Schwartz’s command treacherously saw fit to keep the memo under de facto quarantine, accessible only to officers of the most senior rank. For weeks this travesty played itself out at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), my alma mater and a hotbed of unconstitutional Christian extremism and Dominionist fundamentalism. Did Schwartz lift a finger against these open acts of obstructionist insubordination? Of course not. Following a literal torrent of complaints from numerous officers, NCOs, staff, and cadets at USAFA, our civil rights foundation was finally forced to erect a highly visible public billboard down the street from the Academy containing the text of the entire memo. This billboard’s display led to frenetic damage control efforts by USAFA that were ultimately crowned by the open distribution of the memo throughout the Academy’s Cadet Wing (student body). MRFF’s billboard (and overall efforts) forced that victorious outcome.
Security is tight around a Moscow courthouse where three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are to hear the verdict Friday in a trial that could send them to prison for seven years.
The case has attracted international attention as an emblem of Russia’s intolerance of dissent. The three women have been jailed since March after the band put on a brief guerrilla performance in Moscow’s main cathedral, a so-called punk prayer entreating the Virgin Mary to protect Russia from Vladimir Putin, who at the time was on the verge of winning a new term as Russian president.
The women, two of whom have young children, are charged with hooliganism connected to religious hatred. But the case is widely seen as a warning that authorities will tolerate opposition only under tightly controlled conditions.
Boiled down to essentials, Barton is saying you can’t be a true christian if you don’t hate gays. If this were a mullah in the hinterlands of North Waziristan the average person wouldn’t have an issue with labeling this as evil. However in the US, pseudo-historian hate preacher Barton gets prime air time.
There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.
The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.
“Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood,” he said.
Regardless of the fact that the city has no official connection to the event, and that Mayor Rick Meehan’s presence was only ceremonial, it’s beyond beyond revolting that in this day and age a resort town like Ocean City, Maryland would feature a speaker with a substantial documented history of promoting religious bigotry and discrimination.
If you’re Muslim, have Muslim family members or friends, or if you’re simply a person who believes that religious bigotry and discrimination should be opposed on moral grounds, then if you have plans to vacation in Ocean City, MD, you might want to change your itinerary.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly town on the mid-Atlantic seaboard, I can personally highly recommend Ocean City, New Jersey. It’s beautiful, clean, has a boardwalk with plenty of shops & great little amusement park, and it doesn’t give platforms to known purveyors of hatred. Oh, and it doesn’t allow the sale of alcohol—or at least it didn’t when I lived close by in Atlantic City—however you can BYOB.
Breakfast with Boykin
Retired Gen. Jerry Boykin was the featured speaker at this morning’s “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast” in Ocean City, in spite of calls for city officials not to give a platform to the promoter of religious bigotry and discrimination. RWW has documented that Boykin has spent much of his retirement calling for American Muslims to be denied the protection of the First Amendment and denied the right to build mosques for worship. Boykin has also insisted that President Obama is building a Hitlerian army of brownshirts to force Marxism down Americans’ throats.
Over the past week more than 1600 individuals contacted city officials to ask that they distance themselves from Boykin’s religious bigotry and extremism. and other civil rights and social justice organizations joined PFAW’s Michael Keegan in criticizing Ocean City officials for associating the city’s good name with Boykin. […]
From The Baltimore Sun, prior to this morning’s breakfast:
Religious bigotry in Ocean City?
[…] Make no mistake: This is not an issue of freedom of speech or of any of the constitution’s protections for religious expression that Mr. Boykin seems so eager to deny to those who don’t share his own Christian faith. Mr. Boykin has every right to say whatever outrageously offensive and hateful things about Muslims pop into his head, and the private organizers of an Ocean City prayer breakfast have the right to invite him to speak. Likewise, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and the town council can attend the breakfast if they so choose. What they cannot do, however, is pretend that their presence there won’t reflect badly on them and the resort town they lead. They need to make clear whether they agree with Mr. Boykin’s views, they need to do it immediately and they need to do it publicly.
Here’s a sampling of the type of person Ocean City, MD felt is was appropriate to invite to a prayer breakfast that’s supposedly designed to bring together “clergy, citizens and visitors of all faiths”—note that he has also compared the President of the United States to a Nazi brownshirt:
Shame on you, Ocean City, MD. Who will you invite next year, David Duke?
Official Twitter page of the Ocean City, Maryland Department of Tourism.