Late to the party on this one, I know, sorry. It turns out that conservative (read: religious) states have the highest porn rates in the country. Probably because they’re not allowed to have deviant (read: fun) sex at home.
Meanwhile, people living in enlightened areas of the country have other outlets for their sexual urges, since sex is not dirty and can be discussed rationally with one’s partner(s).
not a huge surprise, I suppose…
RT @pizzocalabro RT @consumerist: Identifying Yourself As A Lesbian Gets You Banned On XBOX Live : http://tinyurl.com/cc48g8
And watch this vid. An MoF favorite singer and an MoF favorite cause: Regina Spektor and No On H8. Do this before V day and enjoy your partnership on Valentine’s Day guilt-free (and full of hope).
Let’s dedicate this Valentine’s Day to love.
Another execution of an unarmed black man by white cops. This one might have been covered up if not for citizen journalists, cell phone video recording technology, and YouTube. Read the news story, watch the (graphic) video, and if you’re appalled by this, pass the word on so that national media attention is focused on BART Officials.
It’s 2009 and I’ve been seeing more discussions of women and work than usual. Perhaps it’s just that I unplugged from my feminist news sites in the last few months of ’08. As a woman who will eventually go back to work, and if it’s at a law firm, certainly hopes that she’ll at least have a shot at partner, these are important issues to me. Two stand out.
The first, a discussion of how the recent economic slowdown has affected equality in the home (which is intertwined with equality in the workplace). Homemaking (including laundry, dishes, meals, &c.) is generally the rubric of the woman. That is, even if both spouses work, the woman in a heterosexual* relationship has a “second job” at home. Obviously, this is a sweeping statement and most of the men who hang out here might object to this generalization, but suffice it to say that MoF is more enlightened a community than the country at-large. In this article, the loss of the man’s employment results in a re-evaluation between spouses about the division of home labor. This can only be a good thing and may be a silver lining to the current state of the economy.
The second is on a slightly more entertaining topic: . This is a speculative correlation and may simply boil down to confident people get what they want because they (a) expect it and (b) ask for it. I’d be interested in hearing anecdotal evidence for or against this that any of you has (also, don’t forget to vote in her poll—it’s pretty far down the page, hidden on the left).
* it should be no surprise that homosexual relationships have a more equal division of home labor.
Last night, I had the privilege of marching with over 200 members of the community to protest the passage of the discriminatory Prop 8. Little disrupts the quiet of conservative Irvine outside the confines of the UC campus, and the unique nature of this event was underscored by the presence of an ABC News team and dozens of police officers (who, in spite of being initially perplexed and intimidating as hell, were generally respectful and facilitated the protest).
Irvinites passing by expressed more support than not (we even got two semis to blast their horns when we passed over the 405), though we had plenty of people lean out of their windows and yell “Yes on 8!” as they drove by. Besides occasional shouted retorts with drivers waiting for lights to change, we were followed by a handful of pro-Prop 8 protesters protesting the protest. At the final rally site, they were engulfed by a sea of gay rights advocates. I thank these H8ers for being a living reminder of fervent homophobia and for giving our tired marchers a significant energy boost.
I’m not sure what will ultimately come from these protests, but analysts and commentators seem to be surprised at the magnitude of the this grassroots upswell. Proponents of the marriage amendments expected gays and their friends to quietly accept the suppression of their civil rights but instead are nervous at the energy their unrighteous dominion has unleashed.
Synchronized debating. This is exactly why the internet is so important. Why fair use is not just some abstraction but something that affects each of our lives. And, it’s funny. So learn more about both candidates and a little something about the wonders of the internet:
I have to post this, since it’s lolreligion. By now, I’m sure everyone has heard that a particular Christian called others to join in prayer at the bronze bull on wall street to ask god to “shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems”. Which itself sounds super creepy. via etal. Now, attentive biblical scholars will tell you that there is a huge difference between worshipping a golden half and worshipping a bronze bull. I mean, they’re both metal cows, but that’s where the similarity ends. God didn’t say anything about bronze bulls. Just trees, golden calfs, & so on. So, they’re obviously in the clear. Still, this is funny:
from sf_drama stolen without permission.
By giving a girl’s family [...] financial benefits worth around $5,000, including health insurance, until she is 18, if she is sent to school and remains unmarried.I think this is a great idea, but I’m sure that the anti-feminists will spin it (they think that girls are more valuable than boys!!!). I also find it interesting that it tacitly incentivizes educating female children and delaying marriage (till, you know, she’s an adult…).
dunno how long this will be up, but right now, you can Google stuff in 2001: it’s like a window to the past (most of the links are dead, so you’re really searching Google’s cache, but still fun
From the “you have power over what you name” files comes this story of a woman who found out who she was in the process of naming herself.
So Freedom Sunday has come and gone. I didn’t hear anything on the news this morning about whether or not major changes are in the works, but I’d like to hear from the MoF crowd about this. Should churches be tax exempt or free to use their spiritual influence to exert political influence (and pay taxes)?
Some background: the Alliance Defense Fund, fed up with their lack of power and voice as members of the Christian minority in this increasingly secular society, came up with the Pulpit Initiative, a civil disobedience/protest against the separation of church and state in the body of the tax code, which disallows advocation of particular candidates by organizations with tax exempt status.
My understanding about how this tax exemption works is that churches do not pay property taxes for church property (which may extend to rectories and hospitals, I’m not certain). Additionally, they do not pay income tax because it is assumed that they do not turn a profit. Again, this is my understanding and I would be happy to have someone who understand the tax code better than I correct me.
Apparently, the major argument on this subject goes something like this: if we are exempting churches from taxation because of a benefit to society (as a charitable organization), maybe we want to reconsider and examine the assumption that religion is a benefit to society; if we are, however, exempting churches from taxation because they are nonprofits and it would be unfair to tax an organization that does not make money, it may be that tax exemption for churches makes sense.
To the first part, the benefit to society that is being focused on is a church’s secular charitable actions (blood drives, money to the poor, marriage counseling services) not a church’s religious “benefits” (provision of marriage, weekly moral instruction, baptism of your dead relatives). In which case, I would like to take a look at what kinds of secular charitable actions a particular church participates in. Does the tithe money really go to (a) fund the church and then to (b) provide charitable services to the local community regardless of their religious proclivities and without prosthelyzation? If they do not, I would agree with a serious reconsideration of the tax code. Of course, if this is our reasoning, we would need to take a look at what we consider to be charitable “benefits”. Selling used clothing? Substance abuse management? And how far may a religious organization go toward promoting their own moral code in exchange for these services? Is the government okay with someone providing these services (because then they don’t need to), no matter what? Can the government (reasonably, legally, or morally) restrict provision of these services to ensure that the government (by not taxing religious institutions that provide charitable services) is not advocating prosthelyzation of religion?
To the second part, it is generally considered that non-profits ought not be taxed. PBS & NPR are untaxable because they run at a loss or simply break even. Can the same be said of churches? All churches? There are certain churches which clearly have plenty of money lying around, but there are many that are simply struggling to survive. Is “non-profit” a valid distinction for a religion? Certainly we would hope that religions are not concerned with turning a profit, but does turning a profit mean that they are no longer a valid church? If that profit was put back into the “business”, as most would do—building a larger church, increasing staff, buying bibles for hotels—does it count as “profit”? If it does not, there are many businesses which might be able to claim “non-profit” status.
I recently heard an argument about why the government “would never” deny tax exemption to (Catholic) churches—because thousands hospitals across the country would suddenly close. I’m not certain that churches still maintain that kind of contact with their daughter hospitals (even the obviously ‘religious’ ones: St. Jude, Providence, &c.), but at least there is one argument for allowing churches to keep their tax exempt status.
It is widely acknowledged that religions “do” charity better than do atheists. I would submit that this is a function of the built-in community, hierarchy, and organization that a religion affords. There are many (and more every day) charity organizations that have no affiliation with religion and others that are so old that one forgets their affiliation with religion. That said, currently most atheist grounds do have tax exemption on the grounds of being non-profit. Many proponents of keeping the tax-exempt status for churches tend to compare their church with atheism. I think, however, that the best comparison would be to compare their church with their least favorite church (be it an Islamic church or a Pagan church—those are generally the two “hated” churches).
My hope is that, in a post-Pulpit Freedom Sunday, whoever chose to participate gets fined and thoroughly audited with serious consideration to lose their tax exempt status. I also hope that it starts a national conversation about tax exemption for (which can equal protection and therefor promotion of) religion.