No Tolerance For Theocracies


I was raised to regard people different from myself with a pretty healthy dose of tolerance. There are a lot of things that other people do, a lot of beliefs that other people have, a lot of traditions that other people take part in that I think are stupid, pointless, and/or even disturbing to a degree. I don't have to like anything...but tolerance is important. Why? Because I'd like the same treatment.

Golden rule and all that.

Tolerance of another culture is just as important as tolerance of an individual in my opinion. Yeah, I really dislike the music my neighbors play during the day and I also think it's kind of weird that they see no issues with buying food from one another off of homemade hand pulled carts. It's weird to me because it isn't me. I'm not going to go out and start buying food off their cart or jamming out to their tunes, but I have no issues tolerating their culture because they tolerate mine. Tolerance, not necessarily acceptance, is key in any modern society where cultures mix so frequently.

However, I believe there is a point where tolerance of behavior is unacceptable. If a culture, for example, had a tradition where they took their youngest child and beat him or her publicly on a certain day of the year, I don't think I would be wrong to report that person to the police, even though they are engaging in a cultural tradition. Even if the culture that engaged in child beating kept the tradition within their own country, I don't think it would be intolerant to speak out against that kind of behavior. Even if some of the kids who were beaten insisted that they were completely happy with the arrangement, I would still speak out against it and I don't think that I could rationally be considered intolerant.

That's why I don't think it's intolerant to say that the more I hear about the Islamic laws and how they're being enforced in places like Iran, the more I feel like that country is fucking crazy pants.

I bring this up because Iran, the country who brought you 'female immodesty causes extramarital sex which causes earthquakes', has said that women who suntan will now be arrested in order to maintain the Islamic dress code.

Juuust let that sink in a minute.

Yeah, my head kind of exploded too. Now, from the article:

Brig Hossien Sajedinia, Tehran's police chief, said a national crackdown on opposition sympathisers would be extended to women who have been deemed to be violating the spirit of Islamic laws. He said: "The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehaviour by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values. In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins.

"We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them."

Iran's Islamic leadership has in recent weeks launched a scaremongering campaign to persuade the population that vice is sweeping the streets of the capital. National law stipulates that women wear headscarves and shape shrouding cloaks but many women, particularly in the capital, spend heavily on fashions that barely adhere to the regulations.

I don't think it's intolerant to say that this is wrong. The subjugation of women is wrong, whether it's religiously motivated or not. For those Americans who continue to claim that our country is somehow a Christian nation - take a good look at what a theocracy looks like. Tits cause earthquakes and suntans are illegal. Is this really the example you want America to follow?


European Christian Stock Index Launched - Jesus Annoyed


Well, this is pretty interesting...

The STOXX Europe Christian Index, which comprises 533 European companies dovetailing Christian values, was launched Monday, echoing surging demand for ethical stocks, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Available in price and net return versions, and calculated in euros and US dollars, the STOXX Europe Christian Index is a new benchmark among all stocks in the STOXX Europe 600 Index set up by STOXX, a global index provider.

"With the launch of the STOXX Europe Christian Index, STOXX acknowledges the growing number of Christian market participants who wish to invest in accordance with their religious beliefs," said Hartmut Graf, chief executive officer of STOXX Ltd, while expressing the motive behind the move.

Evidently, companies are excluded if they profit from porn, weapons, tobacco, birth control or gambling. The companies who are allowed to participate are screened by a committee that includes Vatican reps.

I guess it just seems weird to me that businesses are banding together because of their common belief in Christianity - needles and camels and all that.

In fact, wouldn't the Christian thing to do be to convince those business owners to give their wealth to the poor and disenfranchised? I'd like to know when Christians decided that Jesus may have walked among the lepers in his lifetime, but were he alive today he would certainly afford himself a big house, nice cars, an ipod, etc. etc. etc.

Though I am assuming quite a bit - if I'm wrong and all of the approved companies are run the way Jesus would run them, I'd love to know.


All You Need Is Love...And A Civil Rights Lawyer.


Well, this shit is effing ridiculous.

Greene v. County of Sonoma et al.

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling: without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold's lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county’s actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. The only memento Clay has is a photo album that Harold painstakingly put together for Clay during the last three months of his life.

With the help of a dedicated and persistent court-appointed attorney, Anne Dennis of Santa Rosa, Clay was finally released from the nursing home. Ms. Dennis, along with Stephen O'Neill and Margaret Flynn of Tarkington, O'Neill, Barrack & Chong, now represent Clay in a lawsuit against the county, the auction company, and the nursing home, with technical assistance from NCLR. A trial date has been set for July 16, 2010 in the Superior Court for the County of Sonoma

This story isn't being covered very well (if at all?) on the news, so I think anyone with a blog should go ahead and post it too. Can you imagine what it would be like to be in either of these guy's position? If I was sick and I couldn't see B-rad, I don't know what I would do. Not to mention missing out on the last few months of my love's life, having my entire life sold out from under me, and being forced into a nursing home against my will.

This kind of substandard treatment of homosexuals needs to end. We're supposedly civilized people, we shouldn't be treating people this way because of who they love.

And, not to go off on an entirely separate tangent, but where the hell are the teabaggers when incidents like this occur? You all are supposedly all anti-government, look at what has happened to this couple! Oh, yeah, I forgot, fear of catching teh gay often trumps mindless compliance to hyped up conservative FOX-nurtured political positions.

Viva la revolucion, guys.