Nepal Blood Festival Draws to a Close; Hindu Faithful Hack More Than 200,000 Animals to Death

Every five years, the Hindu goddess Gadhimai works up quite the bloody appetite. In Nepal, besotted believers sacrifice goats, pigs, buffalo, and roosters to her. Accompanied by their animals, they undertake a twice-a-decade pilgrimage to Gadhimai’s temple in the south of the country. Many participants are from neighboring India. CNN describes the festival as “the biggest religious slaughter in the world.”

“From my village everyone has made a vow [to offer animals],” says Kushwaha from Bariyarpur, a community in Bara district about 60 miles south of Kathmandu. Some, he explains, are glad they have got a son or a daughter, others that a different form of good fortune has befallen them.

The ritual sacrifice of goats, buffaloes and roosters in temples and at home is widespread in Nepal where 80 percent of the population are Hindu. Some five million people from adjoining districts — and also from the bordering Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh — will attend the festival, according to local authorities, although only two days are dedicated to the sacrificial ritual itself.

The slaughter follows a set pattern: on Friday male water buffalo calves are killed while on Saturday attentions switches to goats. Officials estimate that up to 10,000 buffalo calves and 150,000 goats will be offered to Gadhimai — the goddess of power — during the ritual.

[Read more…]

Connect the Dots: Ken Ham Edition

(Via Skeptical Spectacles)

[Read more…]

Israel Contemplates Bill That Gives Jews More Rights While Reducing Those of Religious Minorities

In Israel, all are equal, but some may soon be more equal than others.

The “Jewish nation-state” bill would recognize Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalize Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and possibly de-list Arabic as a second official language. It is being promoted vigorously by the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu [pictured below], and was approved by the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, but has attracted fierce criticism.

[Read more…]

Pakistani Bollywood Star Veena Malik Gets 26 Years in Jail For the “Terrorism” of Blasphemy

Under the flag of fighting terrorism, virtually every outrage against people’s liberties is allowed as long as you work for the government. Nothing new, but this is surely a new low:

Veena Malik has expressed her anger and disbelief after she was handed a 26-year jail term by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court for ‘malicious acts’ of blasphemy.

Her crime? Appearing in a pretend wedding scene, staged on a daytime show broadcast by Geo TV and based on the marriage of the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter.

The program sparked a wave of controversy in the Islamic country when it aired in May, despite the fact similar scenes had been aired in the past to little or no such public outrage.

[Read more…]

Hollywood Conservative Pat Dollard: “God Publicly Executed Michael Brown as a Gift To America”

How many friends and Twitter followers will documentary filmmaker and Christian conservative Patrick Dollard lose over this Ferguson tweet?

[Read more…]