Thursday, December 13, 2012

Smorgasbord of right wing crazy...a couple of updates.

Reposting from Dispatches from the Culture Wars today...

Hey, remember the wingnut who was so happy god destroyed a strip club?

Well, he seems to have had an epiphany - god did it to stop a casino from being built in Springfield!

If the obliteration of SCORES actually was by God (even Mayor Sarno acknowledged that it was a “miracle” that there were no deaths or serious injuries), then what is the message God is trying to send? Could it be a warning to Springfield NOT to build a casino here?… 
If God did want to send Springfield a message, could He have done it any more blatantly than to literally pulverize the very center of the “entertainment district” during the period of public comment about the plan to bring in casinos?… 
Who will be the Savior of Springfield? Jesus Christ? Or Vito Corleone?
Sounds like god could give Vito a little lesson in how to persuade people, huh?  I'd say leveling a strip club beats a dead horse any day, wouldn't you?

This isn't exactly right wing stuff, but it's weird anyway:

You know how governments usually have these old laws that have fallen out of usage because culture has moved beyond the need for them?  Like the old laws against spitting on the sidewalk to stop the proliferation of ugly tobacco juice, or the old laws against witchcraft that haven't been used for over three hundred years?

Well, Canada has a new use for an old law - cracking down on scammers who are targeting seniors of various ethnic groups in Canada by warning them of a curse and charging them to get rid of it - and run off with the payment before even trying to perform the ceremony!

The law prohibits “fraudulently…pretend[ing] to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration.”

I wonder if that means that real witchcraft is ok?

You know how it is now legal to get married if you are gay in New York now?  Well, guess what is located in New York State?  The United States Military Academy at West Point!  Yes, folks, the school which has hit the news for being so taken over by the right wing Dominionists has slipped up - they allowed a gay marriage ceremony the other day... or was it deliberate, just to be able to play the persecution card to deflect criticism?
“We are in the grip of an unholy regime,” he contends. “We have people who are lawless, godless. They are a law unto themselves, and they have taken command of our government, our institutions, the media, Hollywood — you name it. So people who love God and obey his laws are up against huge force.”
Yeah, sure.  The right wing is so persecuted...

I've written about the ultra fundie groups like the Quiverfull Movement before, and may have mentioned the ultra-orthodox Jewish groups, but here is a story that is threatening to open that world up for all to see.

This is a Jewish Hasidic Community, and a girl there has accused a rabbi who was to counsel her of sexual assault.  However, the results for her have been extreme:

Indeed, ever since she reported the abuse, the alleged victim of Nechemya Weberman — an unlicensed “therapist” to whom, testimony has indicated, Satmar schools referred “wayward” girls for “help” — has been subjected to intense pressure to withdraw her claim, including intimidation, harassment, social ostracism of her family and even a reported $500,000 bribe. Last spring, members of the Satmar community held a lavish fundraiser for Weberman’s defense. Not long after, four men were arrested and charged with witness tampering in connection with the case. And last Thursday, four chasidic men were arrested for taking the young woman’s picture — which was then posted online — as she testified in the courtroom… 
However, many people with ties to the chasidic community believe there is something even more important about the Weberman case — namely, what it exposes about the larger communal role played by chasidic “modesty committees” in communities like Williamsburg, Borough Park and Kiryas Joel. These groups — to which, sources say, Weberman was connected — originated years ago to guard the “purity” of the community by enforcing strict dress and behavior codes that characterize the insular chasidic lifestyle. But, insiders say, the tactics of these self-appointed, freelance modesty patrols have evolved from public shaming to extortion and threats… 
However, community members and observers believe that Weberman’s connection to the modesty committee (or Vaad HaTznius; tznius is Hebrew for modesty,) and his ties to the Satmar schools make this case about more than one woman’s allegations of sexual abuse against a man ostensibly charged with helping her. 
According to Yerachmiel Lopin, who blogs at FrumFollies and has been reporting on the case for two years, “UTA was in effect, extorting money for Weberman. I strongly suspect they kept some of it. Given widespread rumors about his sexual misconduct, Satmar was in effect pimping its girls to Weberman, adding insult to injury by making the victim pay to be victimized.”… 
According to Engelman, one of the roles of the Vaad — which comprises various “divisions” and whose members’ names are not publicized — is to conduct surveillance on those who are thought to be transgressing. Examples include local businesses that may be featuring immodest window displays or creating an atmosphere conducive to mixed-sex socializing. Young people who are spending time with members of the opposite sex or leaving the community to attend movies or go to bars or clubs are also targets, as are those who are having affairs. 
Armed with their “evidence,” Vaad members then approach their subjects and, according to Engelman, attempt to persuade them to pay for therapy — with “therapists” they select — or risk public exposure. Wayward spouses are also given the option of paying members of the Vaad to fund “therapy” for their wronged mates.
And some folks have questioned my conclusion that religion is basically harmful?  This all the proof I need.

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