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Upsetment
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The Republican war on vegetables: How new dietary guidelines brought out the GOP’s inner petulant child

The Republican war on vegetables: How new dietary guidelines brought out the GOP’s inner petulant child | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Experts say to cut down on meat for the sake of our health and the environment. Republicans react like 3-year-olds
Kenneth Weene's insight:

That diet is the issue in this report misses the real point. Of course science supports eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables. Of course science supports cutting down on meat production to reduce CO2 emissions. Of course science...Ah, wait, there's the rub, Republicans don't like science, not even when the Pope, who happens to have a science background, talks about it. The GOP is the curia of the new Dark Ages, a time when Galileo must repent because his words are not in the Bible. The GOP has become the party of faith, and that faith is the whack-a-do faith of dispensationalism, of end times and "we're gonna get you" not a faith in a rational god who created a world that works by the wonders of science. So let's just eat our steaks and ignore reality because the horsemen are coming on the morrow.

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Morocco magazine Maroc Hebdo pulled over gay cover story - CNN.com

Morocco magazine Maroc Hebdo pulled over gay cover story - CNN.com | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Moroccan magazine, Maroc Hebdo, has pulled its latest edition from sale after controversy over a front cover that asked, "Should homosexuals be burned?"
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With about 10% of the human population identifying themselves as homosexual and with the vast majority of them being decent and law-abiding citizens (if we ignore their sexuality) and with all the real problems mankind must face, why do so many countries so preoccupy themselves with what in my opinion is this most irrelevant issue? I think if Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, or one of the lesser-known religious leaders of history were alive today they would say, "Forget about it. Worry about greed. Worry about climate change. Worry about abusive government. Worry about the accumulation of wealth. Your creator created these people, too. Let them be." That is what I think those religious leaders would say; what do you think?

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Gaza economy 'on verge of collapse', with world's highest unemployment

Gaza economy 'on verge of collapse', with world's highest unemployment | Upsetment | Scoop.it
World Bank report says Israeli blockades, war and poor governance have left 43% of people out of work and the strip facing dangerous financial crisis
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Take Israel and Hamas, add International indifference and the despair of the people of Gaza, now throw in religion and a belief that suffering will be rewarded: what you have is a recipe for suicide. We are watching a small nation, Gaza, commit what amounts to just that, communal suicide. The question is whether that suicide will come from starvation or gunfire. Even if an NGO or even a government tries to intervene and halt the slide into poverty, between Hamas and Israel they will fail. If there is one thing to learn from this horror it is that God is not going to intervene, is not going to rescue these poor people from themselves and the forces surrounding their lives. Sorry, guys, but no parting of the sea, no fiery pillar, no plagues and burning bushes.

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St. Louis Shelter Resists Order to Stop Helping All It Can

St. Louis Shelter Resists Order to Stop Helping All It Can | Upsetment | Scoop.it
St. Louis has ordered the New Life Evangelistic Center, a shelter known for taking in just about anyone, to cut its intake drastically after complaints of its impact on a revitalized district.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Not only do we have the poor with us always, but also we will always have disagreement about how to best help them. There are those who rightly want to give immediate hands-on and yes handout assistance, food and shelter. There are those who rightly want to give longer-term and probably bureaucratize assistance including housing and job training. And there are some whose inability to care for themselves do to mental and/or physical impairment, and for them we need other long-term care such as placement in facilities—not prisons. All of these approaches are valid and worthy. What upsets me here is the motivations: wanting poor and homeless people so you can feel good about your religion? wanting to develop bureaucratic solutions so you can make money? How about doing these things because they are quite simply right?

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Francis: Free speech has limits

Francis: Free speech has limits | Upsetment | Scoop.it
On board the papal plane from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, Francis also said that climate change is mostly man-made, and he revealed plans for new American saint.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Obviously, we all have limits to what is acceptable humor or sarcasm or satire before we get angry. That I might get angry enough to smack somebody else in the nose doesn't make my action justified. This time the Pope has hit not just a foul ball but taken a fool's swing.

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I may be the last, says Dalai Lama

I may be the last, says Dalai Lama | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course, according to the Tibetan belief system the soul of the Dalai Lama will continue to be passed in this world. However, the political/cultural title most likely will disappear or become a farce. Perhaps that is best in this materialistic world.

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Nepal kicks off religious festival by slaughtering 5,000 buffalo

Nepal kicks off religious festival by slaughtering 5,000 buffalo | Upsetment | Scoop.it
By Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Sword-wielding Hindu devotees in Nepal began slaughtering thousands of animals and birds in a ritual sacrifice ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With all the hunger in the world, this seems horribly wasteful. With all the violence in the world this seems truly barbaric. Why would gods who created and protect the world want us to sacrifice any life in their names? Sometimes religion just makes no sense to me.

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Israel Blocks Access to Contested Holy Site in Jerusalem

Israel Blocks Access to Contested Holy Site in Jerusalem | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Authorities closed off all access to a holy site in the Old City on Thursday, a step that a Palestinian spokesman called “a declaration of war.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Perhaps this could be the beginning of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation instead of enmity. Have the Palestinian Authority provide some of the troops enforcing peace on the mount, enforcing it for both Arabs and Jews alike. As for those who would ultra-nationalist Jews who would deliberately provoke by trying to access the top of the mount, which is supposed to be reserved for Muslim worship, they should face serious criminal penalties. On the other hand, it might also help if the Palestinian authorities would also allow occasional (and only occasional) visits by Jews (and others) to the mosque where they might also pray. While this is going on, perhaps the Muslim community could also be given access to the Western Wall for shot periods, although I don't know that it has particular meaning to them.

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Why right-wing Christians are actively promoting genocide

Why right-wing Christians are actively promoting genocide | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A leading Evangelical magazine is calling for the destruction of Islam. It's not the outlier we might like to think
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Do they think it time for another Crusade? We know how well that idea worked out. Perhaps they'd like to go to someplace like Baghdad and fight "evil." Wait, George W. led that one, and again we know how well it did. Well, I for one say if they want to go to the Middle East and fight against Islam, they are a much bigger threat to the world than ISIS or any militant Islamic group because these would-be Christian martyrs have had the opportunity to live in the modern world and to experience religious freedom and tolerance. 

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Why right-wing Christians think they’re America’s most persecuted group

Why right-wing Christians think they’re America’s most persecuted group | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new Pew poll reveals the extent of their complex. Its origins can be traced all the way back to the Bible
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Do evangelical Christians have a need to feel persecuted? Is a sense of persecution an integral part of dispensational thinking, the believe that we are approaching the end times? Are American Christians really that self-deluding?

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Christianity’s shame game: 5 dangerous & ridiculous sex myths spread by the religious right

Christianity’s shame game: 5 dangerous & ridiculous sex myths spread by the religious right | Upsetment | Scoop.it
From lying about sex education to smearing the LGBT community, here are the far right's favorite bogus claims
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I always figured the God created sex so he'd have something that was fun to watch. Let's face it, the Heavenly Host sound boring as hell. We, more than any other species, provide the material for a Divine soap opera. Now all these sinners on the right want to take away God's fun. By the way, I always figured J.C. tried it every way he could, certainly with that gal from Magdalene, probably with one or two of his apostles. What do you thing?

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Politics Stalls House Resolution to Honor Pope Francis

Politics Stalls House Resolution to Honor Pope Francis | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An apparently innocuous resolution intended to honor Pope Francis is having trouble making its way through the House of Representatives – reportedly mired in politics because some lawmakers view the pontiff as "too liberal."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I wonder if Catholics who have voted for Republican candidates in the past will recognize that the GOP has now pretty much said God is wrong. I really do want to know how my friends who are Catholics feel about this one.

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Questions Rebels Use to Tell Sunni From Shiite

Questions Rebels Use to Tell Sunni From Shiite | Upsetment | Scoop.it
How can the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria tell whether a person is a Sunni or a Shiite? From accounts, it seems they often ask a list of questions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If this reminds you of the questioning of the Inquisition during the Middle Ages, that is because this is exactly the same kind of religious madness. Sadly, Islam is an adolescent religion. For Christianity that stage was passed at a time when weapons were more limited and transportation took more time. Hence a religious war could last a hundred years. Sadly for the vast numbers of peace-loving Muslims in the Middle East, today's battle is being fought with modern weapons and transportation. How sad.

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Buddhist monks seek to ban schoolgirls from wearing headscarves in Burma

Buddhist monks seek to ban schoolgirls from wearing headscarves in Burma | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Influential group of monks also plans to encourage people to vote for candidates who ‘will not let our race and religion disappear’ in this year’s elections
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another example of how religion, all religion, clouds both human judgment and the human heart. I cannot imagine the Buddha smiling at such intolerance.

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Calls for aid to Syria's Druze after al Qaeda kills 20

Calls for aid to Syria's Druze after al Qaeda kills 20 | Upsetment | Scoop.it
BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - Fighters from Syria's al Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front, have killed at least 20 Druze villagers, raising fear for one of Syria's minorities as insurgents including Sunni Islamists
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While I am not a Muslim, I do know that the Prophet never approved of killing "People of the Book," those who believed in the monotheistic faiths of the Middle East, which to the best of my knowledge includes the peaceful Druze, a group which practices a gentle faith and goodness. Any movement willing to attack such people cannot be Islamic in nature. They betray their proclaimed faith and shame themselves before their own god. What drives them is the political goals of their leaders and not any spiritual motivation. Sadly, the Middle East in suffering through a new era of crusades, but these the machinations of Sunni extremists. All of this, by the way, was set into motion by the Eisenhower overthrow of the Mossadegh which unbalanced the Sunni-Shia rivalry and allowed the emergence of radical Sunni-ism in Saudi Arabia and it was then intensified by the dissolution of Iraq as a result of the U.S. invasion under Bush Jr., a mistake his father knew better than to make. As with the Christian Crusades, which for all the rhetoric were only partly about Jerusalem and were greatly about overthrowing the Orthodox Church of the East, so also these crusades are primarily internal to the Islamic world.

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Pakistan gunmen kill 45 on Karachi Ismaili Shia bus - BBC News

Pakistan gunmen kill 45 on Karachi Ismaili Shia bus - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Gunmen attack a bus in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, killing at least 45 Ismaili Shia Muslims.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The Ismaili are a peaceful sect. While once quite dominant in Islam, this sub-sect of the Shia who revere the Aga Khan as their spiritual leader. They are very much about the symbolic and allegorical meaning of the Quran  as opposed to the more literal approach of the larger body of the Shia.

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Here's The Real Reason Young Muslims Join The Global Jihad

Here's The Real Reason Young Muslims Join The Global Jihad | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Since the tragic attacks in Paris earlier this month, voices on the right and left have been vigorously debating the issue of Muslims’ assimilation in the West. But this focus on assimilation is at best misleading and at worst disingenuous. What has attracted young men to the global jihad is not necessarily their incomplete assimilation, but rather estrangement from the values and aspirations of mainstream society and ruling elites.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a reasonably good assessment of the issues, but it misses the biggest problem, unlike other crusades for social justice that have radicalized youth in other times and places, the current global jihad is about religion and its followers want to base their "utopia" on a specific faith not on real equality and opportunity for all. Starting from a "religious imperative" (as opposed to a religious perspective) is inherently the enemy of reasonable and therefore precludes meaningful dialog.

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Paris’s Muslim Suburbs Blame Jews for Charlie

Paris’s Muslim Suburbs Blame Jews for Charlie | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In France, the projects don’t look like ghettoes, but they’re filled with a poisonous mix of conspiracy theories and a some support for murderous jihadis.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In the end, the distortion of faith into magical thinking, of conscience into rationalizations, and of the human capacity for empathy into rage and blaming is a function of seeing ones life as outside of personal control. Those who know they can to some degree control their lives can work towards improving their lot with dignity, but those who feel trapped can do little but suffer a sense of degradation. Of course, there are always a few manipulators who will take advantage of those who feel helpless, who will use them in their march towards power. What a sad species we can be.

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India 'hate speech' MP keeps job

India 'hate speech' MP keeps job | Upsetment | Scoop.it

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has refused to sack a minister who used an abusive term to refer to non-Hindus.

Niranjan Jyoti had told crowds at a rally in Delhi that they faced a choice between a "government of followers of Rama and a government of bastards".

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is it enough for a government official to apologize for overt bigotry? Is this the beginning of the feared anti-Muslim bias of the Modi government or just a moment of stupidity. Can the world's largest democracy get beyond sectarian hatred and rise to greatness?

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Chicago Priests Raped and Pillaged for 50 Years

Chicago Priests Raped and Pillaged for 50 Years | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a disturbing document dump outlining lurid clerical abuse and a trail of coverups, retiring Cardinal Francis George tries to clear his conscience.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As appalling as this story is, my guess is that there is far more to come, perhaps from every diocese in the world. If one believes that  heaven can only be obtained through the ministrations and sacramental acts of an organization that tolerates and even at times protects such perpetrators, then one must assume that God is an evil force. To the degree that the law allows escape from these criminals be it through plea bargain or statute of limitations the law is also evil.

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Voyeur Case Spurs Rabbis to Add Post for Women

Voyeur Case Spurs Rabbis to Add Post for Women | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After a prominent modern Orthodox rabbi was charged with videotaping women as they disrobed for ritual baths, the council said it would add ombudswomen.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

That a commentator, the rabbinical council, and now the chief rabbinate even considered the question if these conversions were valid clearly raises  another question: Can Judaism ever get over its misogynism? Even more importantly, can these "leaders," men all, ever understand that a woman's faith is every bit as important as a man's. If a faith has any meaning it comes not from its rituals but from its congregants' belief.

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NFL says Chiefs’ Husain Abdullah shouldn’t have been penalized for slide, prayer in end zone

NFL says Chiefs’ Husain Abdullah shouldn’t have been penalized for slide, prayer in end zone | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Chiefs’ Husain Abdullah returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown Monday night, slid on his knees and bowed in prayer. His celebration drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but the NFL said Tuesday that Abdullah should not have been penalized. The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement asking that the NFL take steps in response to the penalty.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While I would prefer to penalize all such religious expressions as exhibitionist and outside the proper sportsmanlike rules, I certainly oppose treating Muslims differently from Christians. That is against all American values. 

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U.S. Air Force: Swear to God—or Get Out

U.S. Air Force: Swear to God—or Get Out | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In a new, unexplained shift, the Air Force is compelling its troops to use the phrase ‘so help me God’ in their oaths or be discharged.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There is something profoundly disturbing about this story. Even if the decision is reversed, that officers within the Air Force would think it alright to issue such a "fatwa" or religious decree, is against the freedom of religion and thought on which this country is based. I would suggest that the Sect. of the Air Force take immediate steps to discipline these zealots.

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Will U.S. Troops Stand By While ISIS Starves Thousands?

Will U.S. Troops Stand By While ISIS Starves Thousands? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Yazidis, members of an ancient religious sect, fled when the Islamic State overran their homes. Now they’re trapped with no food or water. Will the U.S. step in to help save them?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A fascinating example of religious diversity, the Yazidis, a Kurdish speaking group, worship a fallen angel, the Malek Tawwus, or Peacock Angel. Because of this they are often said to worship Satan, but, unlike Lucifer, the Yazidis' fallen angel was forgiven by God and restored to heaven.They also believe in reincarnation.

So the questions: Do we get involved to rescue this minority? The Kurds? The Iraqi Christians? Whom? Can we build a coalition that will take action and in time? Should we try to do so?

Perhaps the biggest and saddest question: Does anyone care?

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Hobby Lobby: Supreme Court To Rule In Landmark Birth Control Case

Hobby Lobby: Supreme Court To Rule In Landmark Birth Control Case | Upsetment | Scoop.it
On Monday, the Supreme Court is poised to rule in a landmark case about whether for-profit corporations are entitled to religious-based exceptions from neutral laws.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The ultimate question of most SCOTUS decisions is at the intersection between conflicting rights. If we start with the premise that women have a right to equal insurance treatment regardless of where they work and that corporations have a right to religious freedom, then we have a conflict worthy of adjudication. Of course, this entire case rests on the shoulders of Citizens United, which held that corporations were persons. Take that crazy assumption out, and there would be no case. It also rests on the assumption that the government should mandate health insurance -- not just provide it as the governments in most advanced economies do. For my part, I think that striking down Citizens United by saying that corporations cannot have religious views would be the way to go.

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