Turkish Military Sheds (Some) Secular Principles: Game of Thrones Is Out, Studying the Qur’an Is In

Remember how proudly secular Turkey was since the days of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk? Unusually for a country where 98 out of a 100 citizens still self-identify as Muslims, Turkey became a secular, democratic republic close to a century ago. In the last two decades, driven in part by its remarkably thin-skinned, immoderate Islamic leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who rarely misses a chance to push his religious agenda, that ideal has been hollowed out.

And so we get this:

The Turkish Armed Forces has updated its set of regulations for the high school academies that it administers, inserting an article in the chapter for “protection of students.” It advises a ban on screening films or shows that depict “sexual exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, abuse, harassment and all negative behaviors.” [The national newspaper] Hurriyet cites Game of Thrones as one of the main culprits.



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Once Again, No One Is Upset When Carrie Underwood Sings About God

Only a month ago, right wing websites were running with a story about how atheists were up in arms over Carrie Underwood‘s new single “Something In The Water” because it had religious references in it.

The problem with that sentiment was that atheists didn’t give a damn. Hell, atheists didn’t even know she had a new song out. Double hell, atheists don’t even know who Carrie Underwood is.

And those articles never bothered to mention which groups or individuals they were talking about. They had a catchy headline — and that was enough!

Turns out it’s still happening.

A site calls “Hot Moms Club” posted an article yesterday with a headline suggesting that Underwood was told not to sing that song at the recent Country Music Awards… but did it anyway!

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Epic Rap Battle: Ghostbusters vs Mythbusters

Now, there’s a Rap Battle: Ghostbusters vs Mythbusters!



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Vladimir Putin is The Advocate‘s 2014 Person of the Year

The Advocate, the oldest LGBT magazine in the country, has announced that its 2014 Person of the Year is Vladimir Putin, the horrifically homophobic president of Russia and a committed opponent of all things pro-LGBT.

The yearly recognition is not necessarily meant to highlight someone who has made great strides for LGBT rights (an obvious fact, based on this year’s choice), but rather the person who has had the most profound influence on LGBT people in the previous year. Much like TIME magazine’s Person of the Year has, in the past, gone to anti-justice leaders (including Putin), sometimes the Person of the Year is a really, really influential bad guy. And Putin’s toxic, even deadly influence on LGBT people needs no explanation.

The magazine cover breaking the news even illustrates the Russian president as a new-age Adolf Hitler, with the help of some strategic headline placement:



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Catholic Diocese Hopes to Reach Teens with “Urban Feel” of Hip-Hop Catechism

It might sound like a Stephen Colbert “aging pundit tries to appeal to young viewers with cringe-worthy attempts to prove he gets them” skit, but it’s not.

The West Virginia Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has a project with the edgy name of VCAT — Video Catechism — aimed at the young ‘uns. The goal is “to effectively reach this generation of teens with the richness and beauty of [the] Catholic faith.” Since teens “consume… a staggering” amount of media each day, much of it video, the messages are video-based.

If the name doesn’t win back the young, erstwhile Catholic demographic, the content is sure to make an impression. Content like one of the latest VCAT productions: a hip-hop video catechism called “Love God/Love Each Other” written by youth icon and Franciscan University Professor Bob Rice.

Explaining the purpose of this and other VCAT productions, he states

What we are doing with these 18 videos is show young people that the commandments of God actually set us free and don’t restrict us.

While that may be their intent, it seems like an overly optimistic goal considering the production in question.



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