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Union or divorce

In freedom, history, people, politics, relationship on December 2, 2013 at 20:48

Whatever the outcome, it is a sad picture when a country splits apart. On the emotional level, I am happy for Germany, reunited. I am happy that more countries join EU, even if there are some troubles and worries. I am happy for Switzerland which keeps its national unity even if its people speak different languages. It feels like a wedding or a long happy marriage. I am not so happy for Yugoslavia or Russia/Belarus/Ukraine, where most people spoke very similar languages, had similar history but they failed to stay together. Divorce is always a failure – even a civilized one (as long as we treat life long marriage as a positive thing).

When a country splits there are family, friend and business connections torn apart. Customs and visas may creep in, different laws, currencies, different holidays. There often a nasty stench of aggressive nationalism involved.

I think more personal and regional independence but more national (but not ethnically nationalist) unity is the step forward – not multiplying governments, boundaries, checkpoints, and bureaucracy.

Teen forced to marry rapist

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2012 at 09:20

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Amman – The ordeal of a 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped and raped repeatedly for three days has infuriated Jordanians, especially when her attacker agreed to marry her to avoid going to jail.

In conservative Muslim societies like Jordan, rapists can walk free thanks to penal code Article 308, known as the “rape-law.”

In April, the unidentified girl was shopping in the northern city of Zarqa when a 19-year-old man kidnapped her, took her to the desert where he had a pitched a tent and raped her for three consecutive days, judicial sources said.

Police found the girl during a routine patrol, drove her back to her family home and arrested the man.

Within days news emerged that the boy had agreed to marry the girl, while all charges against him have been dropped.

Earlier this month, another girl, aged 15, was talked into following a young man to an empty apartment in Amman where she was also raped.

Judicial sources say the young man is now desperately trying to work out an arrangement with her family to marry her, to avoid going to jail.

Article 308 allows rape charges to be dropped if the perpetrator agrees to marry the victim. He cannot divorce the woman for five years.

“This article of the law not only helps perpetrators walk free, it rewards them by allowing them to marry their victims, who get punished… for God knows what,” Nadia Shamrukh, head of the Jordanian Women’s Union, told AFP.

“By applying this law, another crime is committed. How can this 14-year-old girl, who is a minor anyway, marry her rapist? Can you imagine this?”

The rape of a child under the age of 15 is punishable by death in Jordan, which recorded 379 cases of rape in 2010, according to court documents.

“In one case, we tried so hard to prevent a rapist from marrying an 18-year-old girl, who did not want to end up being his wife,” said Eva Abu Halaweh, a lawyer and human rights activist who heads law group Mizan.

“But the girl’s father struck a deal with the unemployed rapist, who was already married to another woman and had six children. He was unable to provide for his family and his wife was a beggar.”

Abu Halaweh said the law is “inefficient anyway.”

“It should be scrapped. What if a girl gets raped by more than one man? In this case, Article 308 will fail to address the problem,” she said.

“Even if the victim does not resist marrying her rapist, he should not walk free… The penalty could be reduced.”

But Israa Tawalbeh, the country’s first woman coroner, sees “nothing wrong in Article 308 as such.”

“The problem is how some local and international human rights groups interpret the law,” she told AFP.

“Actual rape cases are rare in our society. Sometimes, girls under 18 lose their virginity to force their families to accept marriage to their boyfriends. The law categorises this as rape.”

Tawalbeh said the law “solves problems for some.”

“Accepting marriage under Article 308 is better than leaving girls to be killed by their parents or relatives,” she said.

“I think the law fits our society and reality. It protects the girls by forcing attackers to marry them.”

In Jordan, between 15 and 20 women are murdered annually in the name of “honour” and at least six such killings have been reported so far this year, according to authorities.

Murder is punishable by death, but in “honour killings,” courts sometimes commute or reduce sentences.

But Hani Jahshan, who is a forensic pathologist and physician at the health ministry and the Family Protection Directorate, has a quite different view of Article 308.

“This law is a stark violation of rights of women and children,” he said “Sexual violence has a deep impact on victims that could last for a long time, and if a raped girl marries her rapist, her suffering will only be aggravated.”

Jahshan blamed social misconceptions.

“Society believes that a female’s virginity must be preserved until marriage. This forces girls to marry their rapists in order to protect her reputation and avoid social problems,” he said.

Jordanians, particularly women activists, have held several street protests against the law.

“This issue must be effectively addressed,” Nadia Hashem Alul, Jordan’s first state minister for women’s affairs, told AFP. “I think Article 308 should be amended to ensure justice to rape victims.” – Sapa-AFP

Pressured by church to sign a petition…

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2012 at 07:58

My former Orthodox church suggested to me to join a petition against gay marriage… That’s what I replied (for the record).

Could you please remove me and my children from all mailing and parish lists as we are not interested in religion any more?

Because of this I am also not interested in formalising personal relationships but as a person who has been married I feel it would be utterly unkind for me to deny this opportunity for any other grown up people, whatever they sex or number would be. I feel the things which really matter in any relationship are freedom, love and happiness, not labels, certificates or an opinion of absolute strangers. I am so happy I can now say freely what I have been suppressing inside for years.

I hope you will understand

These is a gross mistake in the text of their petition: “Throughout history and in virtually all human societies marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman. Marriage reflects the complementary natures of men and women…” “If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined to allow polygamy?” As far as I know, polygamy was quite common in many societies. Plus very early marriages forbidden now. Traditions can’t help their case. Also funny that their petition is not on official government site. Probably wouldn’t pass the standard.

The message has been forwarded from the main priest at official church mail address so the pressure on parish members to join the petition is obvious.

Anyway here is the link to an opposite petition if anybody is interested. No pressure whatsoever 🙂

Pressured by church to sign a petition…

In history, relationship, religion on February 25, 2012 at 07:44

My former Orthodox church suggested to me to join a petition against gay marriage… That’s what I replied (for the record).

Could you please remove me and my children from all mailing and parish lists as we are not interested in religion any more?

Because of this I am also not interested in formalising personal relationships but as a person who has been married I feel it would be utterly unkind for me to deny this opportunity
for any other grown up people, whatever they sex or number would be. I feel the things which really matter in any relationship are freedom, love and happiness, not labels,
certificates or an opinion of absolute strangers. I am so happy I can now say freely what I have been suppressing inside for years.

I hope you will understand,

Alexandra

These is a gross mistake in the text of their petition: “Throughout history and in virtually all human societies marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman. Marriage reflects the complementary natures of men and women…” “If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined to allow polygamy?” As far as I know, polygamy was quite common in many societies. Plus very early marriages forbidden now. Traditions can’t help their case. Also funny that their petition is not on official government site. Probably wouldn’t pass the standard.

The message has been forwarded from the main priest at official church mail address so the pressure on parish members to join the petition is obvious.

Anyway here is the link to an opposite petition if anybody is interested. No pressure whatsoever 🙂

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2011 at 08:12

“What about Zainab Singh? Her mother caught her at the bus stop, talking to a boy. That was three weeks ago and Mira hasn’t let her out of the house since. I said to her, “Mira, you have only yourself to blame. Let her mix with white girls and she will pick up white girl ways”“.

The worst think you can say to an Asian girl is that she is behaving like a white person. We weren’t allowed to mix with white people because Mum said they didn’t have any morals or self-respect. She said whites were dirty people with dirty ways. That’s what all the women I called Aunty thought too, and everyone else in our community. An Asian boy might have a bit of fun with white girls – “white meat”, that’s what they’d say – while he was growing up, but when it came to settling down, his family would find him a good Asian bride. If an Asian girl went out with a white boy that was different, that was bad. Her brothers or her uncles would find him and beat him up and then they would beat her too, for bringing shame on the family. Then she would be ruined; no decent Asian man would ever want her. Everyone in the community knew that.

Jasvinder Sanghera

Shame

Marriage denied

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2011 at 14:06

An Italian bishop has informed a paraplegic young man that he cannot marry in the Church because he is impotent even though his fiancee is fully aware of his disability.

Canon 1084.1 of the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church states that “antecedent and perpetual impotence to have sexual intercourse, whether on the part of the man or on that of the woman, whether absolute or relative, by its very nature invalidates marriage.”

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2011 at 11:07

In a move to “promote greater unity” among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities, Kentucky.com reports.

Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church’s secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.

According to Harville’s father, Dean Harville, Stella brought Chikuni to the church in June where they performed a song for the congregation.

Following the visit, former pastor Melvin Thompson told Harville that his daughter and her fiance could not sing at the church again. Thompson later proposed that the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage.

His proposal, which was accepted by a 9-6 vote last week, also suggested that married interracial couples be prohibited from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Love, marriage and… religion with its RULES

In relationship, religion on October 15, 2011 at 06:47

Some time ago I’ve heard a lady on TV saying “I reinvent my marriage every seven years”. Seven or not, its a good idea. To try and look at your partner in a slightly different way, for example to feel  yourself as the most devoted member of his fan club. To have an urge to tell the world of his exceptional qualities, as could be honesty, loyalty, commitment, striving to do his best and always be the good person.

When I tried to be religious, lots of strange rules affected our relationship. I constantly had to feel guilty – and without even offending any real being… Guilty of not loving my “imaginary friend” more than my husband and kids, guilty of not trying to convert my man to the Orthodoxy as I was told by a priest, guilty of having sex on the wrong day of the week, in the wrong time of the year (e.g. lent), guilty of enjoying it and not having babies all the time. The fact that there is practically no divorce in the Russian Orthodox Church made me very scared from time to time: what if I made a mistake being young and inexperienced? Now, honestly analyzing myself, I realized I’ve for sure met my dream man in my husband and I, alone, with all my heart, decide to stick with him for the rest of my life. Its my happy and free choice. No invisible beings with silly rules involved.

Speaking of silly rules. From time to time I’ve been forgetting that on particular days I’m “unclean“, “dirty” or whatever that disgusting church Slavonic word (“в нечистоте“) meant, and I was touching the icons when tidying the house or dusting. Horrible sin! Several “sin books” sold at various church kiosks told me so. I had to tell a priest (an absolutely strange man) about this. Such a disturbing experience. Also at the end of church services almost everybody went to kiss priest’s hand. I hate kissing strangers so that was another thing I dreaded and at the same time blamed myself for dreading…

I had Romanian neighbours giving me lifts to the church and on one occasion when we went here there was a traditional “kiss every other person in the church” ceremony. The poor Romanian man, why presumably couldn’t stand this kind of things too, went hiding. I hope these nice and intelligent people eventually would clear of this common mental illness called “religion”.

People use to see a “nice” face of religion: temples, glittering gold, procession, singing. But there is another side, its dark and very, very unpleasant. And absolutely unnecessary as I understand now. All my hopeless efforts to be a “good christian” didn’t give me any more love, satisfaction or inspiration. I felt confused, depressed and… “dirty”. Not any more.

Religion could also be dangerous to your life. After my mother had a serious operation the doctors told her to stick to a strict diet. She went to her church to ask for an advice because that diet was in conflict with the Orthodox “food rules” and a priest twice as young as her told her: “Of course you can follow that diet. On Sundays”.

Of course various belivers take the “rule” business differently. But in my experience they all have some strange irrational set of rules and many feel oblidged to impose it onto others. There couldn’t be a religion without some sort of dogma and a mind-killing feeling that “I am right because this is said in my little red/green/blue/whatever book”.

I had some preachers knocking on my door yesterday. “Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody on Earth lived in peace?” they said. Like believing in invisible friends ever stopped religious wars and persecution of infidels and so on. I tried to preach them back but I am normally a shy person, hate arguing and couldn’t stand it for very long. But I have this rebellious idea of putting a note on my door saying “Preachers will be humiliated”

or starting a “humiliate a preacher” campaign… Or even better: they are coming trying to convert me but end up being converted by me. Dreams, dreams.

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2011 at 11:00

She had buried three husbands, and at least two of them had been already dead

Terry Pratchett

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