Weekend Coffee: May 5


• A Christian fundamentalist couple that believes in faith healing has now killed two of their children by refusing to seek medical care for them. This likely violates the terms of their probation, agreed to in 2011 after the death of their first child, in which they agreed to obtain medical care for any of their other children who needed it.

John Paulk, the former chairman of the “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International, has recanted. In a statement, Paulk said he no longer believes that sexual orientation can be changed, and urged people to no longer buy his previous books.

• Susan Griffiths, a terminally ill Canadian woman, sought and received an assisted death in Switzerland last week. The reporter who wrote about her public decision marvels at some of the feedback he got:

“The day after my story about Susan ran, I got a phone call from a distressed man,” Reynolds recalled. “He wanted me to give him Susan’s number. He was a Christian, he said, and he needed to tell her she’d go to hell if she went ahead with her plans.”

Saudi Arabia kicks off its first-ever anti-domestic violence campaign. I doubt it will have any effect as long as the laws there treat women as the voiceless, powerless property of the men who beat them.

• I was amazed and horrified to find out that Mitt Romney is a Quiverfuller:

“Get married, have a quiver full of kids if you can.” That’s the commencement advice Mitt Romney delivered this past weekend to 110 new graduates of Southern Virginia University, a largely Mormon school near Lynchburg, Virginia…

As much of a disappointment as Obama has been, I’m still glad he was reelected; the alternative could have been much, much worse.

• Rabia Kazan, a well-known Turkish author, writes about her decision not to wear a headscarf any longer and the immense freedom she felt from removing it, despite getting death threats from Islamists.

• Since we’ve been discussing Islam and Islamophobia a lot lately, see this brilliant article from Ali A. Rizvi, a self-described “atheist Muslim”, on why “criticism, satire or mockery of any ideology isn’t bigoted or racist.”

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