Literally Tons of Thoughts And Prayers Are Being Distributed To Earthquake Survivors As We Speak

A wicked-good tearjerker from Louisiana’s Daily Crawfish: (IT’S SATIRE!!)

NEW ORLEANS, LA — Aid has officially begun trickling out of the state, as the first aircraft laden with thoughts and prayers departed New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport early this morning headed for earthquake victims in Ecuador. A flight also took off shortly after headed for Japan.

Both countries have been affected by strong earthquakes in the last week, and the generosity of Louisiana residents was clear as almost 1.5 million thoughts and prayers were donated to the American Red Cross in the past five days alone, all of which will definitely help victims in rebuilding their lives.

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Hundreds of Mentally Ill People in Togo End Up in “Prayer Camps,” Naked and Chained and Beaten

Imagine that you’re suffering from a debilitating clinical depression or a severe personality disorder. Now also imagine that you have no access to psychiatric or pharmaceutical help; the only treatment you get is being stripped, then chained to a concrete block or a tree, and beaten in the name of Jesus, so that the evil spirits will finally release you.

Via Al Jazeera:

For sufferers of mental illness, Togo is one of the worst places in the world to live. The country is so severely under-resourced and so little is understood about this form of disease that many desperate families see no option but to take sick relatives to so-called prayer camps.

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In Afghanistan, Playing Music Can Be a Dangerously Subversive Act — Especially For a Woman

To millions of hardline Muslims, music is against Islam — any music but the muezzin’s call. It could lead to joy… and sometimes even dancing. And so,

Playing instruments was banned outright during the period of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and even today, many conservative Muslims frown on most forms of music.

Negin [Ikhpolwak, 19 years old] took her first steps learning the piano in secret, before eventually revealing her activity to her father. He encouraged her, but the reaction from the rest of her conservative Pashtun family was hostile. “Apart from my father, everybody in the family is against it,” she said. “They say, ‘How can a Pashtun girl play music?’ Especially in our tribe, where even a man doesn’t have the right to do it.”

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Toronto Writer, Raised a Catholic, Wonders If Letting Her Son Grow Up Without Religion Was Selfish

Two Torontonians, both raised Catholic, decided to let their son grow up without religious dogma. In a short radio essay she wrote and read, Julie Green, the boy’s mother, now wonders if she did the right thing.

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Alabama’s Christian-Republican Politics Devolve Into Hard-To-Believe Farce… With Mo(o)re Around the Corner

In a long piece about the sex and fraud scandal (along with other trouble) that engulfed Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley recently, Washington Post writer Neely Tucker reflects on the bizarre spectacle that may unfold shortly:

Eighteen months after he was indicted on allegations of using his office for personal gain and soliciting things of value [link], House Speaker Mike Hubbard, a powerful leader in the state Republican Party, is finally going on trial. Bentley is expected to be a witness. Should impeachment proceedings come to pass, they would be overseen by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was removed from office in 2003 for defying federal orders to remove a stone monument of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the state’s Judicial Building.

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