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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘religion

[LINK] “Controversial bishop — head of his church in Canada — sent packing”

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The Toronto Star‘s Jacques Gallant looks in detail at how controversies over church politics and personal behaviour have led to Bishop Georgije Djokic being removed from his position as head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Canada.

The decision came after the gathering listened to accusations for three days, and one day for Djokic’s defence, said Rev. Ljubomir Rajic of All Saints Serbian Orthodox Church in Mississauga.

The allegations against Djokic, head of the church in Canada, have not been made public. Allusions have been made to “indecent behaviour” in Serbian media, which also reported that Djokic denied the allegations.

“The bishop is about 67 years old. He had promised to retire when he reached 65, so probably the best thing he could do is to accept this (decision) and bring peace to the Serbian community by retiring,” said Rajic.

“There’s nothing wrong with retiring at the age of 65. Myself, I can’t wait for that.”

Djokic is reportedly still in Belgrade until the weekend and could not be reached for comment. He retains his title of bishop, according to church officials.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 26, 2015 at 10:33 pm

[LINK] “Inside the Christian Cult That Told the Duggars to Blame Their Daughters for Their Abuse”

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Mic‘s Scott Bixby has a distressing article about the structural muisgyny and victim-blaming of the Duggar family and the Quiverfull movement

For most of America, InTouch Weekly’s revelation that reality star Josh Duggar is a serial child molester came as a sickening shock. But to some self-described survivors of the “Quiverfull” movement of evangelical Christianity to which the Duggar family belongs, the family’s story of secrecy, victim-blaming and denial is all too familiar.

Former members of the insular religious movement, which promotes procreation by forswearing all forms of birth control and conscripting women into a life of perpetual pregnancy, describe a cult-like movement obsessed with public appearance and deeply at odds with its dogmatic beliefs on sex.

“[The abuse] is not at all an aberration to Christian teachings about family values,” Vyckie Garrison, a former adherent to the Quiverfull movement, told Mic. Garrison is the founder of No Longer Quivering, a blog that serves as a “gathering place for women escaping and healing from spiritual abuse.” She believes the religious fundamentalism of the Quiverfull movement is a recipe for all kinds of domestic abuse, and sees the Duggar family’s tragedy as a “crystallization” of the hypocrisy rife within the movement.

[. . .]

The family’s devotion to the fundamentalist Quiverfull movement has been viewed more as a curiosity than a liability, and the seemingly wholesome brood became a fixture on TLC’s programming lineup with the hit show 19 Kids and Counting (formerly 17 Kids and Counting and 18 Kids and Counting, which premiered in 2008). The show was a ratings smash for the network; in October 2014, 4.4 million viewers tuned in to see daughter Jill Duggar walk down the aisle and share the first kiss of her life with her new husband — TLC’s highest-rated telecast in four years.

But there was darkness behind the scenes. While the Quiverfull movement the Duggar family proselytized was seen as a harmless quirk by fans of the series, its archaic view of sex and the role of women created an atmosphere where public image was valued above all else — and where victims of sexual abuse are blamed for the crimes committed against them.

Much more at the site.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 25, 2015 at 9:48 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Church of Scientology owes city over $100,000 as Yonge-Bloor site languishes”

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The Church of Scientology’s downtown Toronto location on Yonge just south of Bloor, where I had some readings performed on me on the streetSeptember 2004 and where I witnessed Anonymous protests in February 2008, has today come up in the news for back taxes. The Toronto Star‘s Stephen Spencer Davis reports.

The Church of Scientology of Toronto, which owns 696 Yonge St., owes more than $61,000 in property taxes and penalties for 2014, out of a total of just under $112,000. The organization made only partial payments of its 2014 property taxes, according to Supervisor of Collections Stephen Franceschini.

It also owes $57,348.15 in taxes and penalties on the interim 2015 property tax bill, according to Franceschini.

Property owners receive an interim tax bill near the beginning of each year, and typically a final bill in May. Payments on the 2015 interim bill were due March 2, April 1 and May 1, according to the city’s website.

“We have contacted the local Church in Toronto and they intend to get this paid forthwith,” Scientology spokesperson Linda Wieland said in an email.

The news comes as the organization says it still plans to convert the Yonge St. building into one of Scientology’s “Ideal Orgs,” which it first announced in early 2013. Scientology describes these facilities as “cathedrals” in desirable locations, “intended to meet increasing demand worldwide for Scientology services and initiatives.”

Written by Randy McDonald

May 19, 2015 at 6:18 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • At Acts of Minor Treason, Andrew Barton is very unhappy with the misuse of the Hugo Award.
  • Anthropology.net notes that DNA has been retrieved from an ancient and mostly fossilized Neanderthal fossil.
  • Centauri Dreams examines the early history of the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the controversies over religious liberty.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers how extraterrestrial life can be detected through disequilibria in exoplanet atmosphere and notes the recent Alpha Centauri B study.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that by 2018 a laser will be deployed on a drone.
  • Geocurrents shares slides from a recent lecture on Yemen.
  • Language Hat examines the Yiddish word “khnyok”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the Republican race.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the unpopularity of political jobs among young Americans.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes SpaceX’s problem with retrieving the first stages of its rockets.
  • Torontoist looks at beekeeping in Toronto.
  • Towleroad notes a Kickstarter fundraiser for Emil Cohen’s photos of queer life in Providence.
  • Transit Toronto notes the expansion of free WiFi throughout the subway system.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that divorce papers can be served via Facebook if it is the most practical alternative.
  • Window on Eurasia fears a summertime Russian attack on Ukraine, notes Russian fears of rebellion at home, and looks at Russian Internet censorship.
  • The World’s Gideon Rachman wonders if the Greek demand for Second World War reparations will bring the Eurozone crisis to a head.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the essential lack of difference on government spending between Labour and the Tories and looks at flawed computer databases.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes the opening of a Detroit-style pizzeria in Toronto’s Leslieville.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper claiming that circumbinary Earth-like worlds can exist.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the American military’s mysterious X-37b space plane.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the opposition of Walmart to an anti-gay bill in Arkansas.
  • Language Hat argues that, at least in the recent past, English has displaced local languages in India. This may be changing.
  • Marginal Revolution seems to warn that too many Chinese are getting into stock speculation.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the overly-close relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian state and observes the closing of Crimean Tatar news media.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that a study of Epsilon Eridani’s debris disk hints at the existence of planets.
  • Inkfish notes that global warming is harming the nutritional value of rainforest leaves.
  • Joe. My. God. quotes Larry Kramer being an alarmist.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines the Ted Cruz candidacy.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on a study suggesting the continuing underrepresentation of women on television and in the movies.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a report on the changing religious demographics of the United States.
  • Torontoist notes that the Scarborough rapid transit line is getting a makeover.
  • Window on Eurasia observes that irredentism is popular among Russians.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Gerry Canavan produces his own compendium of interesting links.
  • Centauri Dreams speculates about the colours indicative of extraterrestrial life, and ecologies.
  • Crooked Timber takes a look at Northern Ireland and the legacies of past violence.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on a hominid fossil that may indicate a much greater diversity in our ancestral gene pool than we thought.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh wonders when the European Central Bank will start to taper interest rates.
  • The Frailest Thing warns that the promises of tech giants to free people from the shackles of the past should be seen critically.
  • On St. Patrick’s Day, Joe. My. God. and Michael in Norfolk both note the extent to which attitudes towards GLBT people in Ireland have changed.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders about the good sense of going off of anti-depressants.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen proclaims Scarborough to be one of the world’s best food cities.
  • Savage Minds makes the case for anthropologists to aid the post-cyclone people of Vanuatu.
  • Spacing interviews the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair on urban issues.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s David Bernstein is unhappy at the consequences for Israel of Netanyahu’s reelection, while Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at income disparities in Israel.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that high inequality and low social mobility in Russia will doom the country, notes the potential for water-driven conflict in Central Asia, and notes Russian interest in acquiring more slots of Muslim pilgrims after Crimea’s annexation.
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