Ultra-Orthodox Male Jews Are Avoiding Sitting Next to Women on Flights… and It’s Annoying Everybody Involved

I’ve posted before about the problem of male ultra-Orthodox Jews causing a stir on airplanes because they refuse to sit next to women. They believe you’re not allowed to touch any woman who’s not your wife… even if it’s incidental and not-even-close-to-sexual in nature.

In a recent article in the New York Times, Michael Paulson spoke to people affected by this policy, including people who have offered to swap seats with the haredi men, people who have refused to move, and rabbis who say the Jewish men are taking their religious beliefs way too far:

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Mother Whose Seven Kids All Have Whooping Cough Is Now Urging Parents to Get Their Children Vaccinated

Tara Hills (below), a mother of seven from Ottawa, vaccinated her first three kids as any decent parent would (albeit on an alternative schedule so they hadn’t received them all yet). But then she backed off completely for the other four.

So none of her kids had the full slate of vaccinations:

We stopped because we were scared and didn’t know who to trust. Was the medical community just paid off puppets of a Big Pharma-Government-Media conspiracy? Were these vaccines even necessary in this day and age? Were we unwittingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved children? So much smoke must mean a fire so we defaulted to the ‘do nothing and hope nothing bad happens’ position.

But something bad did happen. All seven of them developed whooping cough, leading to the quarantining of the kids and partial quarantining of Hills. She wrote about the experience, not to provide ammo for the pro-vaccination side, but to warn those parents who continue to question vaccinations that they should stop worrying and get their kids protected:

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Missouri State University Students Respond with Humor to Christian Preacher Brother Jed

Brother Jed Smock, the notorious campus preacher, was at Missouri State University yesterday, but the Freethinkers & Skeptics group on campus was ready for him:



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“Atheists Helping the Homeless” Grows with Two New Groups

Atheists Helping the Homeless, the group that hands out items like pre-packaged food, toilet paper, soap, razors, and shampoo to people in the community who are struggling, has now expanded to two additional cities: Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and Kamloops (British Columbia).



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How Should You Handle Your Children Telling You They’re Religious?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses how to handle your children telling you they’re religious.



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