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Domestic Violence

Dear Pat Robertson: Please, Please Retire

Dear Pat Robertson: Please, Please Retire

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I realize it may be a waste of time to even comment on your uninformed “advice” which you continue to dole out without reservation. But some days I just can’t let it go without comment because there are still people out there who listen to you. Your latest opinion offers an opportunity to clarify once again how a faith leader or friend can help a battered woman, and how an uninformed response risks perpetuating a violent, dangerous situation.

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"Christian Domestic Discipline" - Really?

"Christian Domestic Discipline" - Really?

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Some days it’s embarrassing to be a Christian – and not in a good way. It’s those days when something like “Christian Domestic Discipline” is spread across the internet and I have to wonder, who are these people? For those of you not readily familiar with this lifestyle choice, here is the definition: "A Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) marriage is simply a traditional, male-led, Christian marriage which utilizes aspects of Domestic Discipline. It is set up according to Biblical standards." The "methods" include corporeal punishment such as spanking with objects.

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Boys to Men

Boys to Men

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A baseball game is a place where boys are socialized to become men. And in a world where men’s violence against women is rampant, it is worth considering as a place to work on changing the norm of violence against women. Help the Seattle Mariners win a $200,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant to support domestic violence work!

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Dear Pat Robertson:  Time to Retire

Dear Pat Robertson: Time to Retire

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Dear Pat: It really is time for you to retire. In your latest display of complete ignorance you are embarrassing yourself.

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“Another Hate Crime . . . with a Backstory”

“Another Hate Crime . . . with a Backstory”

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On a Sunday in late July, Jim David Adkisson entered the Tennesse Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville and opened fire. He said he hated gays and liberals and “all liberals should be killed.” He murdered two people and seriously injured 6 others before being subdued by other church members.

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“My Heart Is So Sore . . .”

“My Heart Is So Sore . . .”

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We sat together with the Religious Leaders Forum of Cape Town. Clergy and lay, men and women who have come together to address gender violence in their communities. Twenty people met in a room in a Dutch Reformed Church. The women began to share their stories.

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Getting it Right?

Getting it Right?

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I confessed my enjoyment of football last year when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl. I also understand that football (and the National Football League) is a huge part of the fabric of American culture, for better and for worse. It is certainly a primary factor in the socialization of boys and men in our society. So, yes, I do read the sports page every day. Sometimes a story jumps from the sports page to the front page. This seems to be the case with the Ray Rice story.

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GUEST BLOG: Happy New Year from Rabbi Mark Dratch

GUEST BLOG: Happy New Year from Rabbi Mark Dratch

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A Reflection for Rosh Hashanah: There is an old Jewish blessing offered as the New Year arrives: “May the old year and its troubles end, and the new year and its blessings begin.” A beautiful and hopeful thought, until you think: each new year begins with aspirations of change, redemption, blessing, and healing, and yet each ends with disappointment, struggle, and challenge. Perhaps this is the human condition.

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Speaking of Football...

Speaking of Football...

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Last week, I wrote about my love for football despite the many contradictions inherent in the world of professional sports. This week, I want to draw your attention to Dale Hansen, sportscaster in Dallas, Texas, who confronts these contradictions head on as he calls out cases of violence against women committed by some NFL players. Not to mention he quotes poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde.

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Fifty Shades of Depressing, Part 2 (The Movie)

Fifty Shades of Depressing, Part 2 (The Movie)

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First, a confession: I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey nor do I intend to. I have not seen the film nor do I intend to. When I choose a novel to read or a movie to see, I pay attention to reviews or suggestions of my friends. The thought of spending time reading second rate prose about dominant-submissive heterosexual sex or of watching soft-core porn in a theater just doesn’t seem very appealing. Life is too short. But I am intrigued by the apparent popularity of this book, now movie, and the discussions it has engendered. Sounds like a raunchy romance novel of the Twilight genre, expertly marketed and hyped to an adult female audience. Feminist? Anti-feminist? Liberating? Depressing?

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Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem!

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As Ramadan and the period of fasting draws to a close, Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on Sunday, August 19.

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Domestic Terror: A State of Intense Fear Related to Household or Family

Domestic Terror: A State of Intense Fear Related to Household or Family

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Here are two current events that, when juxtaposed, caught my interest. Changing social norms is getting harder, not easier. “In revealing the decision points that led him to choose waterboarding as an interrogation technique, Bush says, ‘CIA experts drew up a list of interrogation techniques . . . At my direction, Department of Justice and CIA lawyers conducted a careful legal review. The enhanced interrogation program complied with the Constitution and all applicable laws, including those that ban torture.’”

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Put Your Activism To Work Right Now

Put Your Activism To Work Right Now

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The New York Times is right on this one. If politicians are serious about fixing the perception that they don’t understand or care about women, they would do well to move quickly to pass the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) immediately.

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The Marriage Antidote to Domestic Violence?

The Marriage Antidote to Domestic Violence?

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I had trouble keeping up this past week. We saw a barrage of commentary in response to a troubling Op-Ed published in the Washington Post on Wednesday. In an apparent homage to Fathers’ Day, W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson offered their opinions under the title: “One Way to End Violence Against Women? Married Dads.” The critical response and push back to the article have been almost instantaneous. That’s the good news.

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Getting It Right? Part 2: Keep Trying

Getting It Right? Part 2: Keep Trying

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Every day seems to bring a new chapter in the National Football League's drama of discovering the urgency of addressing domestic violence in its ranks. Team sports are about statistics. Football is about yards gained/lost, touchdowns scored, passes completed, third downs converted, etc. Here’s a statistic: conservatively speaking, 1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence at some time in her life.

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“Guns Don’t Kill People . . .”

“Guns Don’t Kill People . . .”

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“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” This National Rifle Association (NRA) answer to any suggestion of gun control is only partially true. The fact is that men with guns kill people. At least this is what the headlines tell us.

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“The Bible Says . . .”

“The Bible Says . . .”

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“The Bible says I can have sex with my 8-year-old child . . .” “The Bible says I can beat my wife because she is to be subject to me . . .” These and other biblical justifications haunt my consciousness.

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Not Done Yet -- The US Violence Against Women Act Since 1994

Not Done Yet -- The US Violence Against Women Act Since 1994

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This month is the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the U.S.

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The Elders Name Religious Tradition and Practice as Sources of Harm to Women and Girls

The Elders Name Religious Tradition and Practice as Sources of Harm to Women and Girls

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“. . . we believe that the justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a higher authority, is unacceptable.”

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Preparing for Spring

Preparing for Spring

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I look forward to the beginning of February, not in anticipation of February 2 as Groundhog Day (which I have never understood anyway), but in celebration of February 1 as the Feast Day of St. Brigit—she who breathes life into the dead of winter.

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