Caperton covered the Elizabeth Smart speech about abstinence already, and my Guardian column this week is on a similar topic: How an emphasis on purity is bad for women, bad for men and bad for rape survivors:...read more
Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped at knifepoint from her bedroom at age 14 and subject to horrible abuses for the next nine months, says she didn’t run from her captors because her abstinence-only education had taught her to feel like a worthless, chewed-up piece of gum....read more
Writing about adoption and Kathryn Joyce’s The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption in Al Jazeera this week, and looking at the ways the Evangelical claims of an orphan crisis hurt kids and families. A bit:...read more
Journalist Kathryn Joyce has a new book out called The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption about (guess what) the Evangelical Christian adoption movement. It’s a fascinating read, enlightening even for those of us who thought they knew something about the problems with the adoption industry. I interviewed Kathryn for Buzzfeed; here’s a bit:...read more
An investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar, a woman who died in an Irish hospital after being refused a medically necessary abortion, has confirmed that Ms. Halappanavar and her husband were indeed told that her pregnancy could not be terminated because Ireland is a Catholic country....read more
Knowing/caring that Chavez/Chávez is a very common surname in Hispanic cultures might have helped too.
A mouseclick instead of a kneejerk would have saved a lot of egg on a lot of faces....read more
Teri James was fired from her job as a financial aid specialist at San Diego Christian College for being unmarried and pregnant. Clarification: She was fired because the pregnancy was evidence that she had “engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission” — namely, premarital sex....read more
That is a thing that happened. I mostly agree with John Patrick Shanley here (and not just because I like his plays): The Church’s concentration of power among an elite group of white men and its wholesale hostility toward women makes its modern success impossible. That said, I actually think it’s great that the Pope is stepping down, and not just because I think he’s a kind of a bad dude. We need more people in positions of power to know when it’s time to throw in the towel. No doubt the Pope’s stepping down is related to the release of 12,000 pages of internal documents related to child sex abuse in the church, and his role in the cover-up. But stepping down when it’s time to go? I wish more leaders would do that....read more
In fact, it’s really only been considered Biblically “true” since 1979 — before that, Evangelicals held widely varying positions, and even some of the most vocal “life begins at conception” voices today didn’t think that zygote life was the equivalent of born-human life in the 1960s and 70s. But political necessities change, and with them Bible interpretations. Read that whole piece; it’s fascinating. Also worth considering the role played by the new Right, and the need to replace full-throated support for segregation with other issues that could rally racist whites, particularly in the South....read more
If a woman voluntarily gets an abortion, it’s murder, the Catholic church says. Because a fetus is an unborn person. If a woman uses hormonal birth control that might endanger a zygote, she’s a murderer, the Catholic church says. Because a zygote is an unimplanted person. If a slack-ass obstetrician can’t answer his damn pages and a woman and two potentially viable fetuses die, it’s a crying shame, says Catholic Health Initiatives, but there’s not much that can be done about it because fetuses aren’t people....read more
The Pope met with one of the leaders of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda, and reportedly gave her a blessing. I write about it in the Guardian, and discuss how the Catholic church uses sexuality to control its followers when it feels its power is threatened:...read more
“This is a Catholic country” was what Irish doctors told Savita Halappanavar after she learned she was miscarrying her pregnancy and asked for an abortion to avoid further complications. She spent three days in agonizing pain, eventually shaking, vomiting and passing out. She again asked for an abortion and was refused, because the fetus still had a heartbeat.
Then she died....read more