Forced Apart by Christian Parents’ Hatred of One Gay Son, Brothers Reunite, And It’s Amazing

Decades ago, a young kid we’ll call Justin (he’s the Redditor I mentioned) lost his older brother — let’s say his name was Mark. They had a strong bond, but Mark just vanished once day, and Justin couldn’t understand why. Their parents went to the police and the story of the older boy’s disappearance was on the local news, but the investigation was soon abandoned for reasons that Justin didn’t quite grasp.

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Many years later, when Justin was playing the last days with Mark through his mind, he developed a hunch. Mark, he suddenly remembered, had been hanging out with a man much their senior. Justin had even seen them kissing and hugging one day, but, being a kid, he hadn’t thought much of it. Maybe, he thought, Mark’s fate, whatever it was, had something to do with that mystery man. He tried to put it out of his mind.

It didn’t stay that way for long.

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Forced Thai Worship of the King Reaches New Low: Maid Arrested For Two-Letter Facebook Message

When a military junta took power from the secular government in Thailand two years ago, it seemed obvious that civil liberties in the country would erode. But even the most pessimistic predictions have been eclipsed when it comes to what citizens may say about King Bhumibol Adulyadej and other members of the royal household. Prosecutions of people who are deemed to have insulted the monarchy are now a dime a dozen.

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In an especially Orwellian twist, none of the so-called insults may be publicly reported and discussed, so that the Thai have no idea what they may and may not say about the royals, other than expressions of outright reverence.

Meanwhile, prosecutors’ skins just keep getting thinner. Even the single word “ja” (“yeah”) in a private Facebook message could draw a multi-year prison sentence:

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I Read the Indescribably Racist Comments at FOX News, and Now I Need A Shower

Hoaxes have always fascinated me, especially the kind where people lie about having been the victim of a violent attack. Most often, it seems, the motive is to garner sympathy for the ethnic or religious group they belong to. Sometimes it’s to cast the blame for a crime elsewhere.

For these two African-American college students, who falsely claimed to be victims of an assault by a group of white people on a bus, it was probably a little bit of both. Their lie was despicable, and deserves every criticism it gets.

OK, wait — not every criticism. I just made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments section below that article. It’s like taking a dive in a pool filled with shit and barbed wire: painful and beyond repulsive.

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The Fight Against ISIS Has Unsung Allies: Imams and Muslim Scholars in the West

Here’s excellent evidence that divine books aren’t: if their texts were truly passed down by an all-knowing, omnipotent creator, they’d be clear and unambiguous. As it stands, the Torah, Bible, and Qur’an, whether carelessly read or craftily mined, support just about anything, including genocidal murder and radical peace-making; gentle tolerance and intense ethnic hatred; respect for women and the god-given right to enslave, rape, and beat them.

I’ve written a few times that just as there is no one true Christianity, there is no one true Islam. The articles of faith of different factions of Allah aficionados are varied and diverse, but all of these adherents — the gentle ones and the ultra-violent ones alike — can and do genuinely claim to be Muslims. The fundamentalist scum that is ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, etc., have about the same religious and theological legitimacy as any Muslim moderate or hardcore peacemaker.

To hear Islam’s apologists tell it, the headchoppers and suicide bombers represent a regretful “perversion” of “true” Islam; but that charge can be inversed, lobbed the other way, with as much justification.

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Math Is the New Terrorism

Via CBS and the Associated Press:

An Ivy League professor said his flight was delayed because a fellow passenger thought the math equations he was writing might be a sign he was a terrorist. American Airlines confirms that the woman expressed suspicions about University of Pennsylvania economics professor Guido Menzio. … CBS Philadelphia reports the woman was sitting right next to Menzio and became alarmed when she looked over and saw him trying to relax by doing math.

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