Russia Does Not Heart Pussy Rioters Or Gays

Russians seem to love authoritarianism.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the czarist, Communist or modern variety.

The latest flavor is different only in degrees.  Czar Vladimir, like his spiritual predecessors, has embraced God, specifically the Russian Orthodox Church, as a convenient enforcer.  Protest band Pussy Riot learned this the hard way.  From Masha Lipman at The New Yorker: Continue reading

The Bad News Bears

Exactly ten years ago the U.S. Supreme Court allowed legal after-hours access to elementary schools by religious groups (Good News Club v. Milford Central School).  This was a long standing practice in most upper schools, but many elementary schools felt that children would have a difficult time making the necessary separation between the authority of their school and the religious activities taking place there.  Such a perception could amount to a violation of the Establishment Clause. Continue reading

Tennesseans Iz Lernin

I grew up in Miami, but I spent my junior and senior years of high school in Houston, Texas.  My experiences in Jewish suburbia did not prepare me for the wacky Christianity that I would see there.  One day in my social studies class we had a guest speaker who came to “testify” about Christ.  The year after I graduated, students dedicated the yearbook to Jesus Christ.  The place was just nuts.

Like Texas, Tennessee lags behind no one in its love of faith-based everything and there is a proposed law to prove it: Continue reading

Sharia Hysteria And Unintended Consequences

In their continuing effort to make false distinctions among fundamentalist Islam, Christianity and Judaism, lawmakers here in Florida have crafted a law intended to block the rapid (imaginary) spread of Sharia law in America.  Unfortunately for them, it will also affect the application of Jewish halakha in certain cases (from the Forward): Continue reading

Another Baby Dies Due To Ritual Circumcision

I wish that I did not have to post things like this.  I’ve already written about my objections to circumcision.  It’s non-consensual, risky and irreversible.  But there’s circumcision and there’s circumcision and the kind of “b’rit milah” that is conducted with the tradition of “metzizah b’peh,” sucking the blood out direcly by mouth, carries risks beyond any other.

And once again, it’s resulted in the death of an infant: Continue reading