Faithful Hindus Give Their Gods Billions of Dollars in Gold, Resist Government Bid To Put It In Interest Accounts

Gods need gold:

India is the world’s biggest consumer of gold and its ancient temples have collected billions of dollars in jewellery, bars and coins over the centuries — all hidden securely in vaults, some ancient and some modern. … Now, the Narendra Modi government reportedly wants to get his hands on this temple gold, estimated at about 3,000 tonnes, more than two-thirds of the gold held in the U.S bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to help tackle India’s chronic trade imbalance.

The Modi government is planning to launch a scheme in May that would encourage temples to deposit their gold with banks in return for interest payments, it is said. The government is likely to melt the gold and loan it to jewellers to meet an insatiable appetite for gold and reduce economically-crippling gold imports, which accounted for 28 per cent of India’s trade deficit in the year ending March 2013.

Even if the plan succeeds, it’s still not nearly as good as converting the gold into cash directly to help the poor. Why would gods be interested in precious metals in the first place? It boggles the mind that more and more gold accrues to Hindu temples and none of it is used for anything but adornments, at best. A lot of the yellow metal just sits uselessly in vaults, hidden away for hundreds, possibly thousands of years.

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Mississippi Con Demonstrates You Can Use the Bible to Justify Anything, Even Sexual Assault of a Pre-Teen Girl

John Kirk Councilman, 45, already had a conviction for attempted murder on his record, for which he was out on probation. Then he was arrested and indicted again in Jackson County, Mississippi, for sexually assaulting a minor – under cover of Scripture no less.

[T]o justify the amount of time he spent with the girl weekly, he told her parents he was getting together with her to study and practice going over the Bible’s teachings.

Because who better to teach a child about morality than a guy with a rap sheet for attempted murder.

It was a long grooming process,” [detective Kim] Stevens said. “He’d known her 12 years of her 14-year life.”

Councilman began sexually touching the girl when she was 12 years old.

When he used the Bible to study with the child, he justified the acts, Stevens said, by “manipulating the words of the Bible to make some kind of sense of what he was doing to her.” … The detective said Councilman touched the girl sexually while the two were looking at the Bible verses and also studied the Bible with her before having oral sex with her and forcing her to perform oral sex on him.

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The L.A. Times Comes Up Empty in New Search For Motive in Chapel Hill Killings of Three Young Muslims

I had to triple-check the date on this Los Angeles Times story.

Craig Stephen Hicks murdered Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha on February 10, allegedly over an ongoing parking dispute. Frenzied speculation ensued about the motive, with even some atheists jumping to conclusions and writing that Hicks’ hard-line godlessness just had to be the real impetus for the horrible slaying of the three young Muslims.

Last week, the Times sent reporter David Zucchino to the scene of the crime, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. While there, Zucchino (I assume) did all the necessary legwork, interviewed all kinds of sources, and uncovered… nothing. For all intents and purposes, his piece is indistinguishable from ones that were published 24 to 48 hours after the shooting. In other words, we still don’t know with any certainty why Hicks did what he did.

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Did Ted Cruz Really Say That “There Is No Place For Gays or Atheists In My America”? (Spoiler: No He Didn’t)

This meme has been endlessly propagated all over social media for almost a month now. Because it’s untrue and dishonest, I wish we could shut it down.

That’s somebody‘s idea of “satire,” but everywhere I’ve seen that picture and quote, they led to earnest hand-wringing and/or angry denunciations of Cruz. Even within the Facebook group where the meme originated, most members and followers don’t seem to understand that Cruz never said this, that it’s a [cough] joke.

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Doonesbury Creator Garry Trudeau Again Attacks Anti-Islam Cartoons, Instead of Those Who Murder Over Them

When, last Friday, Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau received the George Polk Career Award, he took the occasion to attack Charlie Hebdo and its Mohammed cartoons.

It wasn’t new territory for him. After the violence over the 2005 Danish Mohammed cartoons broke out, Trudeau, disappointingly, pronounced his solidarity with, or at least his patient understanding of, the rioters. He rejected cartoons that are critical of Islam, he explained at the time, because he saw making a statement about freedom of speech by drawing even the mildest representation of Islam’s prophet as a useless, empty gesture.

“What exactly would that statement be?” he rhetorically asked an interviewer of the Santa Barbara Independent.

That we can say whatever we want in the West? Everyone already knows that. So then the question becomes, should we say whatever we want? That, to me, is the crux. Do you hurt people just because you can? Because you feel they shouldn’t be deeply hurt, does that mean they aren’t? Should the New York Times run vicious caricatures of blacks and Jews just to show the First Amendment in action? At some point, common sense and sensitivity have to be brought to bear.

Huh. We can “say whatever we want” in Western democracies, Trudeau claims; “Everyone already knows that.” I guess that excludes Theo van Gogh and Lars Vilks and Salman Rushdie and Stéphane Charbonnier, among other artists. After all, their right to speak their minds has been partially or entirely abrogated either by their actual murders (van Gogh and Charbonnier), or by ongoing attempts on their lives (Rushdie, Vilks).

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