Archive for marriage

“He had complete control over me mentally and therefore because I was his property and I was his, he was able to do what he did to me”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by arievergreen

Elissa Wall escaped from a forced marriage and has written a memoir about it. She has also worked with the media to challenge people to intervene in similar child-bride situations.

She said, “I didn’t want to be married at 14. [Sect members] honestly believe, and I did and so did my mother, that God sent down inspiration from heaven, like a strike of lightning, down to the prophet. This was God’s word. And we were to follow it, obediently and happily.”

How can a 14-year-old girl raised in this kind of environment be expected to resist her oppression, or even to know she has a right to live her own life? And how can we prevent similar abuses in other situations where humans say they’re carrying out god’s will?

Maybe the most important question is, how can any of us argue with someone’s faith? Can one have a rational discussion with someone who says their actions are justified by an all-powerful metaphysical being that they really, really believe in? If a society believes that religion is an acceptable defense for some oppressions (denying the morning-after pill to desperate teens, denying abortions to women, denying marriage to queer folks, and so on), isn’t that a slippery slope we’re on? How can we give institutional support to some practices, and decry others as immoral, if we’re all using “god’s word” as a justification for our actions?

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Links roundup: What’s up, religion?

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by arievergreen

I’ve been saving these ones up – stories of ordinary people who are subjected to oppression for religious reasons. (And several of them resist successfully!) Isn’t religion supposed to improve our quality of life, not destroy it?

Links Roundup: Lots o’ wrongness

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by arievergreen

I haven’t updated in a while, but I sure have saved up a lot of links! Here’s a whole batch of wrongness all over the world – and all of it done in the name of god.

Any of these stories speak to you? Please comment.

The Friendly Face Of Hate

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by arievergreen

Gawker on Brian Brown, the executive director of the anti-gay hate group the National Organization for Marriage:

His job is to come up with rational-sounding logical-sounding arguments designed only to reinforce irrational prejudices while making sure those who hold those prejudices don’t have to feel bad about being prejudiced… All of Brown’s Debating Club arguments are built on simple, elementary fallacies, but that doesn’t actually matter, because he is simply coming up with justifications for bigotry.

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Ironic similarity of Iranian women to Iranian Baha’i’s

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2009 by arievergreen

For the past 400 years… Iranian women have been second class citizens. From forced wearing of the hijab, whether its full chador or roosari to a whole host of other things that most of us Iranian men have known and know about but haven’t given enough crap to correct; examples are laws of divorce, inheritance, jobs, salaries, mandatory husband permission to do many things, custody etc etc. Bottom line, if you ask most women in Iran if they feel equal to men, the answer is NO. Women have been systematically oppressed via teachings of Islam and men have benefited from this for at least 4 centuries… Since the very first weeks of the so called revolution of 1980 and the formation of the Islamic Republic, the government of IRI has systematically done everything possible to make second class citizens out of the Bahais. The steps taken included but were not limited to: 1) confiscation of real and personal property 2) prohibition of work in public or private enterprieses 3) prohibition of enterance into institutes of higher eductaion (public or private universities) 4) creation of an atmosphere of fear and in some cases encouragement to leave Iran.

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Sex abuse testimony ends Alamo’s long crime career

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by arievergreen

Of all the horrid accusations against evangelist Tony Alamo — and the list is long — it was the testimony of formerly loyal subjects, recounting “marriages” between their cult leader and girls as young as 8, that may end his 40-year rule and send him to prison for life. Born Bernie Lazar Hoffman, the 74-year-old faces up to 175 years behind bars following his conviction Friday on 10 counts of transporting young girls across state lines for sexual purposes. Some jurors wept while women described being molested by and forced into sex with their decades-older pastor… “This man has been running around the country for decades getting away with doing awful things and hurtful things to people,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists Tony Alamo Christian Ministries as a hate group for its virulent anti-Catholicism and homophobic leaflets. “Law enforcement is very reluctant to intervene in what looks like religion,” Potok said “You’ve got to be very careful when you are attacking people’s beliefs. There is a tendency to not want to violate people’s constitutional rights.”… [The church] promised eternal salvation and free room and board. In exchange, they demanded total control of their followers’ money, communication and sex lives… Former members carried tales of corporal punishment, forced marriages and being refused food for days… 11-year-old Justin had been paddled. Authorities said he had been beaten for “misbehavior” including asking a science question in history class, punished with 140 blows from a 3-foot board while Alamo gave orders via speaker phone… [Alamo] still preached that Armageddon was around the corner and young girls made the best wives… Women were talking — on an Internet site and to state police, who alerted the FBI. They were tired of being abused, they said. They’d been given to Alamo as teenagers. They’d seen others handed over at ages 8, 9 and 10.

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Nigerian police find sect women

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2009 by arievergreen

Police in northern Nigeria say they have found another group of women and children abducted by the Boko Haram sect, locked in a house in Maiduguri. The group were in a deplorable condition, officials said, suffering from pneumonia, fever and rashes… More than 200 women and children have now been found over the last week, locked in buildings in Maiduguri… A Red Cross official told the BBC in Maiduguri that the women had been abducted by Boko Haram from six different states across northern Nigeria. Last week, the police rescued about a 100 young women and children from a house on the edge of the city. Many said they were the wives of sect members, and had been forced to travel to Maiduguri from Bauchi state. The BBC reporter in Maiduguri says the Boko Haram sect believed that their families should accompany them to the battlefield.

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