Pornographer Turned Speechifying Christian Is Jailed for Repeated Sexual Assaults On Minors

No demographic in America seems to love porn more than conservative Christians do. But they also love it when a pornographer turns tail, so to speak, abandoning the commercialization of sex for a life of piety and preaching. Such was the career path of Donny Pauling Jr., a pastor’s son who made dirty movies from 1997 until 2006, when he became a Christian. Not only that; Pauling also began speaking out against the ruination that he said befalls porn workers; those people need prayers, he implored, and they need Jesus. He claims to have reached five million people with his tale of salvation.

But look at what this late-blooming beacon of morality did in his off-time:

A man who claimed to be an anti-porn crusader is facing new charges related to having sex with a minor.

[Read more...]

China Announces It Will Crack Down on “Religious Addicts” Trying To Enter the Party

It’s just not a real party until you throw out the religious addicts, amirite?

But seriously: For all its political and economic progress of the last 20 years, China is still dishearteningly uncomfortable with freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. Every once in a while, Beijing’s bureaucracy experiences a revolutionary spasm that seems like a throwback to the Mao days. Take this:

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has barred religious believers from joining the Party, declaring that it will step up its implementation of a long-standing rule prohibiting  religious ‘addicts’ from entering China’s ruling party.

Reports said China’s latest move comes in the wake of the widely reported efforts of Chinese authorities to strengthen the Party’s ideological values and standing in Chinese universities and various media entities.

[Read more...]

Halal Meat Is All About “Compassion and Animal Welfare” — But This Secret Video Shows the Gruesome Reality

[Caution, potentially upsetting images ahead]

A year ago, Denmark banned halal and kosher slaughter. For meat to be considered kosher by Jews or halal by Muslims, the animal must be conscious when killed, which in theory goes against the law (slaughterhouses are required to electrically stun the animals first, to lessen mental and physical suffering). Most countries have granted exemptions for religious slaughter, however. Denmark decided it would revoke those.

The Danish move was condemned by many Jews and Muslims, who saw it as evidence of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, rather than as a pro-animal-welfare measure.

Proponents of halal and kosher meat have long said that they care very much about animals, and that humane treatment is a top priority. Some easily put their religious differences aside over the issue. For instance, last March, Jonathan Arkush and Shuja Shafi penned a joint article for the Guardian, headlined “Jewish and Muslim Methods of Slaughter Prioritize Animal Welfare.” Arkush is the chairman of the defense division of the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Shafi is deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. They wrote:

It is unfortunate that the BVA [British Veterinary Association] and other animal welfare organizations in the UK tend to view religious slaughter as incompatible with humaneness; quite the contrary is truecompassion and animal welfare stand at the center of the entire process. … [Our methods] quickly dispatch the animal by severing the structures at the front of the neck — the trachea, oesophagus, carotid arteries and jugular veins.

A swift, decisive precision cut with a sharpened blade across the throat is just as good as stunning – nay, better – the authors claimed:

Irreversible cessation of consciousness and insensibility to pain are achieved, providing the most effective stun.

In practice, it doesn’t necessarily work that way, to put it mildly. A video recorded surreptitiously in a supposedly halal U.K. slaughterhouse called Bowood, in Yorkshire, shows that workers make careless, repeated sawing motions across the terrified, uncomprehending animals’ throats (hold the ISIS comparisons) – a far cry from the single cut with a surgically sharp knife promised by halal-meat supporters.

[Read more...]

ISIS Burned Its Latest Hostage Alive

When beheadings turn a little too run-of-the-mill, the so-called Islamic State has other ways to prove what an irredeemably atavistic bunch of barbarians they are — all “in the name of God, most merciful, most compassionate,” of course.


ISIS militants released a video on Tuesday purporting to show a captive Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage, just days after the militants beheaded a Japanese journalist.

[Read more...]

The Gods That Won’t Die: For the First Time In a Millennium, Iceland Will Build a Shrine To Norse Deities

Some ancient gods have remarkable resilience. They may fade away for a while, only to be rediscovered and re-worshiped. For instance, more than 16 centuries after Greek gods like Zeus, Apollo, and Hera were replaced by Christianity, the so-called New Hellenes dusted them off and venerated them anew. Today, several hundred thousand Greeks are said to be followers of the classic dodecatheon. I wrote about them here.

Next up: A revival of Thor, Odin, Freya, Loki, Heimdall, and other Norse deities?

Via the U.K. Telegraph:

Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.

[Read more...]