A college professor in Vermont has released a book in support of polygamy, explaining why she believes it is the next civil right in America.
Janet Bennion is a professor of anthropology and sociology at Lyndon State College in Lyndonville. Earlier this year, she released a book entitled Polygamy in Primetime: Media, Gender and Politics in Mormon Fundamentalism, outlining her research on the topic and why she supports the idea of a woman or man having two or more spouses.
Recently, Bennion sat down with the Vermont publication Seven Days to further explain her views on polygamy, as she has been studying the lifestyle for over 20 years, and even spent time herself among a polygamist group. Bennion, who said that she does not wish to be a polygamist as she is happily married to one man, outlined that much of her book is based on talks with Mormon women or those involved with the Apostolic United Brethren.
“The groups vary, and some women find that working with other women in the home is beneficial to them,” she told the publication. “One woman described her co-wives as ‘second mothers’ [who do the childcare], so she can go find a job in the community. They have this economical and social network that provides a little bit more freedom than you might see in a monogamous pair bond.”
Bennion said that while most modern Mormons no longer follow polygamist doctrine, there are a number of them who still do.
“[T]he mainstream is made up of people with ancestors who were polygamists,” she added. “You can see that there are some sensitivities there, especially in an election year. Half of my family was for Romney, the other half for Obama. The Romney half was saying, ‘You shouldn’t have that book out there.’”
The professor advised that lesbianism even exists within polygamist relationships. She said that she received “love letters” once from a married woman, and was also invited to dinner by another who wanted to see if she was marriage material.
“There are women in the Utah pioneer days who formed a sisterhood network and allowed for lesbian connections,” Bennion stated. “I talked to at least three women who had formed sexual connections to their sister wives or to another woman in the community.”
She said that she feels that those who oppose polygamous marriages are bigots.
“We need to just step back, get off our high horse, and look at this from a civil liberties perspective. If we’re going to pave the way for alternative sexuality, why not provide liberties for those who choose the polygamy form?” Bennion asked. “As a feminist, I say, ‘Bring it on; let’s legalize it.’”
Islamic Sharia law is on the rise in Great Britain as members of the UK parliament are seeking to ban self-established Muslim courts in the nation.
There are approximately 85 Sharia tribunals throughout Great Britain, all of which are run by Islamic judges who rule according to the Koran. There are no appeals following judgment and sentencing.
Sharia courts have been in existence in the country for some time, but in 1996, the passage of the Arbitration Act was seen by Muslims as being a doorway to enforcing Sharia law within British law. Now, some of the cities that have the greatest Muslim concentration, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford, also possess an Islamic court. The Tower Hamlets area is especially stated to be the seat of Sharia rule.
“If people are afraid of having their hands cut, don’t steal,” UK Islamic leader Anjem Choduary told reporters. “If you don’t want to be stoned to death, don’t commit adultery.”
Others state that homosexuals have been publicly beaten in the streets for violating Sharia law, and women have been threatened for not covering themselves with a Burqa.
Some tribunals are not courts at all. It is stated that rulings are sometimes issued at area mosques, especially as they relate to domestic issues, such as family disputes.
As a result of the prevalence of these courts, the Arbitration and Mediation Services Bill is now pending in the UK parliament, which seeks to put an end to Sharia tribunals, especially in England and Wales. Continuing to operate as a legitimate court could result in criminal penalties.
According to Baroness Cox, a Third World campaigner in the country who introduced the measure, a number of women have lodged complaints about the enforcement of Sharia law in the land. She recently debated the matter on the parliament floor.
“I feel betrayed by Britain. I came to this country to get away from all this, but the situation is worse here than in my country of origin,” she relayed one woman as stating.
Religious minorities in India have long faced persecution and resentment by dominant religious groups, but new developments indicate that the discrimination is not solely attributable to religious groups as government entities also become complicit in the acts.
Reports indicate that tribal Christians living in rural areas of India have been continually denied services due to their faith and minority status.
Christians who reside in India’s eastern state of Orissa, an area known for intense fighting between religious groups like Hindus and Christians, have claimed they are being denied access to government scholarships for education based entirely on their religious affiliation.
Local residents expressed anger over claims that authorities in the Kandhamal District have continually denied to issue government documents that are needed for local Christians to attend primary schools, colleges and universities. The injustice is the product of a government program that was created to help disadvantaged people in a Hindu dominated area of the country, according to reports from Christian Solidarity.
This most recent controversy centered on education has increased tensions in an already volatile situation in the Kandhamal District, where over 100 people died in anti-Christian protests in December 2007.
One of the hopeful students affected by these latest developments is Prakash Pradhan, from the Kandho tribe in Pikoredi village. He explained how local government officials told him he would not receive the required documents to attend school because he was a practicing Christian.
Contemplate German food. It’s a sea of brown and white characterized by meat and potatoes, sausage and bread, and cabbage that’s been fermented until all the color has drained away.
German cooking is often described with the rustic adjectives herzhaft and deftig, or “hearty” and “hefty.” It’s thought of as comfort food, not fine dining. But in the last few years, at least as far as the haute cuisine kingmakers at the Michelin Guide are concerned, Germany has bucked this stereotype to become an anointed powerhouse of European gourmet cuisine. With the 2013 “Michelin Guide,” unveiled at a ceremony last week in Berlin, the number of two-star restaurants in Germany has doubled in the last two years, from 18 to 36.
German chef Kevin Fehling also received his third Michelin star to become Germany’s 10th chef with the world’s top culinary designation, awarded for his work at La Belle Epoque, located at the Columbia Hotel in the northern city of Lübeck. Germany now has more three-star restaurants than any European country after France. German chefs are “breathing down their neck,” said the worldwide director of the Michelin Guide Michael Ellis last Wednesday at the release. There are now a total of 311 Michelin stars between 255 German restaurants.
After initially denying revelations made this April on SVTSveriges Television, Ikea on Friday admitted that prisoners had been used to make its products in East Germany.
“We deeply regret that this could happen,” said sustainability manager Jeanette Skjelmose in a statement.
Auditors Ernst and Young combed through tens of thousands of documents from the Ikea and German federal archives to produce the report, which Ikea presented at the Stasi victim association UOKG headquarters in Berlin.
Although steps were apparently taken to ensure prisoners were not used, the company did not “have the well-organised control system we have today and clearly did not do enough to prevent this type of production method,” Skjelmose added.
There were managers in the company at the time who knew there was a chance it was happening, the report revealed.
Since the investigation began in May, around 90 people have been interviewed – including prisoners who made the furniture. Both former and current staff were asked to fill out questionnaires and a hotline was made available for those with information.
Before being brought up on SVT, a German television documentary aired on WDR in July 2011 first accused Ikea of using prisoners. The company said in May that they had looked into it, and the accusations were false.
During the 1970s, Ikea developed a strong manufacturing presence in the GDR (German Democratic Republic), establishing operations in 65 locations across the country to produce parts and furniture.
You can write pretty much whatever you want, but if you do so you cannot hide behind the financial largesse of the taxpayer.
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s; or, don’t be hypocrites! Leading to various fellow travellers and tiresome anti-Tory types to moan on about censorship and free speech.
In fact, the Mennonites themselves can be a little fuzzy about free speech, as I found out when I was lecturer-in-residence at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.
For a week I delivered a number of speeches on various theological and social issues, and was stunned how secular and even mocking of Christianity some of the students and especially staff were.
Many were also outraged and wanted me silenced for daring to say at a Christian college that Jesus was God, marriage was the union of a man and a woman, and life begins at conception. Perhaps I should have asked for a tax-break.
You see, while the Mennonites are divided and do contain many fine people, their left wing is powerful and, if you’ll forgive the phrase, aggressively pacifist.
This alleged pacifism — itself a misunderstanding of Christ’s teaching — translates less to deploring violence than to opposing the United States, capitalism, the West, and more recently Israel.
They’re intensely political and they detest the Conservative government.
And all that is being said here by the authorities is that nobody is above the law or the tax code, and that while you have a right to speak your mind, you need to do so with an honest heart and clean hands.
The Supreme Court has ruled that a British Columbia man who tried to circumcise his 4-year-old son on the kitchen floor of his house is guilty of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
The top court was asked to hear whether his attempt was allowed under freedom of religion provisions.
The botched surgery happened in April 2007. He used a carpet blade that he purchased at Home Depot earlier that day and sterilized. He didn’t give his son any anesthetic, just four ounces of homemade honey wine.
According to the Crown, the father lacked the medical skills to perform a circumcision. He tried to circumcise himself in 2005 using a Zhenxi ring, or circumcision ring. It wasn’t successful and the father had to be rushed to a hospital.
The circumcision he performed on his son two years later wasn’t successful either and there was significant bleeding, which the father stopped with the help of a veterinary blood-stopping agent and paper towels. “The result,” according to court documents submitted by the Crown, was “the foreskin on D.J.’s penis stuck out like two arms. D.J. was not circumcised. He was disfigured.”
The pair cannot be named.
In 2009 the man was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. He was convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm but acquitted of the other two charges. The B.C. Court of Appeal found him guilty on all counts, and he appealed to the Supreme Court.
The father, as a Jehovah’s Witness, said he believes circumcision is necessary to “make things right with God.”
The Jehovah’s Witness church does not condone or forbid circumcision.
The man also argues he didn’t intend to hurt his son and took many safety precautions including consulting doctors (who advised him against it) and reading about circumcision online.
So, he claimed he did it for religious reasons, but his ‘church’ doesn’t even take a stand on the matter…
Lock him up and throw away the key.