ABC’s Nightline Shines Light on Child Sex Abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses

The story is painfully familiar. Children are sexually abused in a closed-off cult that is averse to secular justice. The victims either don’t dare accuse their influential tormentors, or, if they do, no one believes them. If the leaders can finally be convinced that the abuse took place, the offenders receive a slap on the wrist; and within a few months or years, as scrutiny slackens, the abuse cycle begins anew, with fresh prey.

ABC Nightline presents the case of Candace Conti, now in her 20s, who says she was sexually assaulted many times when she was a child, by a fellow Jehovah’s Witness named Jonathan Kendrick.

When Candace was 9 years old she says she was abused by a well-liked member of her small congregation in Fremont, California. While door-to-door evangelizing, which Candace would do without her parents, she says Jonathan Kendrick began taking her to his house and molesting her. She testified that he abused her several times a month for what she says felt like two years.



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12-Year-Old Boy Was a Normal Schoolkid in France Last Year; Now He’s an ISIS Executioner

Killing for Allah can run in the family:

Schoolchildren in southern France are in shock after seeing a former classmate executing a hostage in a video released by the Islamic State (ISIS). The Islamist group posted online gruesome propaganda video showing a boy in military fatigues shooting an Israeli-Arab teenager in the head. The [victim] had been accused of working for Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

In the video the child, aged 11 or 12, is flanked by a bearded man, who is believed to be his stepfather.



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Reddit’s Biggest Atheism Hangout Scores Sky-High For Toxic Content and Bigotry, Data Analysts Say

On Friday, I published a moderately unkind comment about Reddit; I said that while I love Reddit warts and all, its content is 80 to 90 percent dross. Mostly, that referred to the atheism subreddit (or r/atheism, in Reddit-speak). I visit the place five or six days a week, and there is always a lot of junk to wade through: from rickety, poorly-worded arguments to repetitions of old news stories that had already been posted days or weeks earlier. Also, of course, there’s a deluge of low-quality memes.

While the dreck is annoying on some level, I fully accept that it’s part of the give-and-take of online communities without gatekeepers. Anyone can join, and you never know if the next link or comment you read was left by someone with decent thinking/writing skills, or by a dim 13-year-old crudely rebelling against mom and dad saying grace over dinner. Like this specimen, say.



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Mother’s Day Threatened by Same-Sex Marriage, Claims Irish Senator; Already “Banned” in Some U.S. States

Ireland’s Fidelma Healy Eames, a socially-conservative senator, tweeted yesterday that Mother’s Day might just cease to exist if gay couples are allowed to get hitched.



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Five Scientists Are Immortalized In Stained-Glass Art

I guess this means there’ll be more ribbing from believers trying to argue that atheism is just another faith.

In celebration of this year’s Pi DayShutterstock commissioned five stained-glass lithographs from artist Aaron Coleman for some of science’s most renowned names (using Shutterstock assets of course).

Feast your eyes:



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