Nel's New Day

November 1, 2015

Good, Bad According to Fundamentalist Christians

The Hobby Lobby company, also called a person by the Supreme Court, fought contraception for their employees and succeeded in convincing the highest court in the land that they should violate their fundamentalist Christian religion. Although contraception is bad, theft and fraud seem to be good, according to Hobby Lobby. Before they went to court to declare themselves highly moral in their rejection of contraception, they shipped themselves 200-300 small clay tablets from Israel that had come from Iraq’s cultural heritage. The U.S. Customs agents seized up the FedEx shipment of Middle-Eastern cuneiform tablets thousands of years old that were described as “hand-crafted clay tiles” with a monetary value of about $300.

The destination for these “tiles” is the Museum of the Bible that Hobby Lobby is building in Washington, D.C. It allegedly “demonstrates the Bible’s impact on every facet of life throughout the ages—including science, the arts, government, literature and languages.” The museum’s website states that “scholars have scoured the world to assemble the more than 40,000 biblical antiquities that today comprise what is known as one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts.” The description doesn’t mention anything about ordinary “hand-crafted clay tiles.”

Hobby Lobby’s CEO, Steve Green, said that some of the museum collection might be illegally-acquired antiquities, but Museum of the Bible president, Cary Summers, said that the only problem with these “tile samples” is the paperwork. The work Green did with Patty Gerstenblith, a DePaul University law professor, regarding legal complications in antiquities sales in 2010, however, indicates that he was not ignorant of the law when the tablets were shipped a year later. The hundreds of hours of investigative interviews indicate more than a bureaucratic delay for the past four years—and much more than a logistical oversight.

The Hobby Lobby people doing the shipping most likely understood that informal customs declarations are for shipments with a collective monetary value of under $2,500. Anything over that is considered formal entry. Those wishing to bring something into the country illegally undervalue the item to avoid scrutiny. A recent example of this evasion was the shipment of a Picasso worth $15 million that was listed on the custom declarations as a “handicraft” worth $37.

With its $4.5 billion, the Green family can afford fines, but it doesn’t look good for someone who pretends to be devoutly religious.

Texas parents of nine homeschooled children consider death good, education bad. The McIntyre family of El Paso is suing the state that requires them to teach their children math and spelling. Even with the serious lack of oversight in homeschooling that doesn’t require a curriculum or standardized tests, the problem surfaced when a 17-year-old daughter tried to run away from the home. Her uncle reported that the parents were neglecting their children’s education. One of them said that learning was unnecessary because “they were going to be raptured.”

Parents argue that teaching only church hymns and theology is perfectly appropriate because the second coming of Jesus Christ is almost at hand. By now the case has gotten to the state Supreme Court where the McIntyres call the all-Republican court “anti-Christian” and use the time-worn complaint of “sweeping governmental power.” The governor may support the parents; he just appointed a Christian homeschooler to lead the Texas Board of Education.

The McIntyres are not unique. In early 2015, a young woman from Texas had great difficulty in proving that she exists. She didn’t have a birth certificate or Social Security number, and her parents had never taken her to a doctor or enrolled her in school. When she fled her home, she had no identity.

Death is good but medical treatment is bad. That comes from Michelle Moon who wrote in her blog that she will allow 4-year-old daughter Julianna, suffering from a severe neuromuscular disease, to go live with the angels. That’s where she can run and meet God, according to her father. After this indoctrination, the parents will permit a four-year-old to make medical decisions for herself. When Julianna tells her mother she is frightened, the parents explains that she won’t be afraid on her way to heaven because of the angels. Moon has recorded her brainwashing techniques in her blog, The Mighty.

Being denied sex with a wife might be bad, but forcing her to have intercourse is good, according to Biblical Gender Roles that provides help for men whose wives refuse to have sex with them. It explains that men should not feel guilty about raping their wives because it will teach women how to enjoy sex. Women also should understand that they always enjoy sex with their husbands because God says they must. If all else fails, men should just not look at their wives’ faces during the forced sex. The directions are as follows:

“Focus your eyes on her body, not her face. Focus on the visual pleasure you receive from looking at her body and physical pleasure you receive from being inside your wife.

“I know you love your wife, most of us as men love our wives. You want to connect with her physically AND emotionally during sex. But your wife is the one refusing to connect with you emotionally, so you have to concentrate 100% on the physical side.”

The religious blogger compares the wife to the mythical Greek mythological monster Medusa who could kill people who looked at her. In this case, the expression on the wife’s face could kill the man’s “sexual pleasure,” and that is unacceptable. It is sad, wrote the blogger, but “sometimes we have to work around the sinful behavior of our wives and this will be one of those times.” These are people who refuse to understand that no means no.

Belief in climate change is a religion—and bad—according to GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, but on the good side at least 70 percent of the people, up from 63 percent last spring, now believe in the reality of climate change supported by solid evidence in the past 40 years. Accompanied by that figure is last year’s drop in the number of Republicans who doubt the existence of climate change, down to 26 percent from 41 percent. Many of these people have cited the drought as the reason for their shift in belief. Thus they continue to use weather experience for their beliefs about climate change, but this time they’re right.

yeast infection

My favorite good/bad story of the week comes from Portland (OR). Children protesting abortion is good while learning about yeast infections is bad. Working at a café near a Planned Parenthood location, Mary Numair saw a protester with a sign saying “Abortion Kills Children” in front of the café. Numair told her the protest was down the street, but the woman said that she had to stand in front of the café. That’s when Numair took a piece of cardboard out of a Dumpster and made a sign that said: “Dear P.P. Thanks for helping with my yeast infections.” When she was in her early 20s, Numair could not afford insurance for her pre-existing condition of yeast infections so she went to Planned Parenthood where the condition was treated “quickly and effectively,” she said.

Numair stood in front of Planned Parenthood next to a boy of about ten holding a sign that said “Abortion is Murder.” She knelt down and asked, “Do you know about yeast infections?” Adults turned red and pulled their children away while others formed a prayer circle. That’s when Numair started chanting, “YEAST IN-FECTIONS, YEAST IN-FECTIONS.” She tried to take a selfie with the protesters, but they walked away.

This strategy could be used by other counter-protesters across the country. Numair said, “I did look at the preacher-pastor guy and said, ‘See you next time!’ and I intend on sticking to that.” She plans to make a bigger sign and maybe a few props. “If someone wants to help me make a giant wooden labia, that would be great.” The best part of Numair’s courageous action is that it’s gone viral with articles about it across the country’s media.

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