Sunday, March 31, 2019

When Islam is toxic

Yemen: According to the 1994 penal code, married men can be sentenced to death by stoning for homosexual intercourse. Unmarried men face whipping or one year in prison. Women face up to seven years in prison.

Iran: In accordance with sharia law, homosexual intercourse between men can be punished by death, and men can be flogged for lesser acts such as kissing. Women may be flogged.

Mauritania: Muslim men engaging in homosexual sex can be stoned to death, according to a 1984 law, though none have been executed so far. Women face prison.

Nigeria: Federal law classifies homosexual behavior as a felony punishable by imprisonment, but several states have adopted sharia law and imposed a death penalty for men. A law signed in early January makes it illegal for gay people countrywide to hold a meeting or form clubs.

Qatar: Sharia law in Qatar applies only to Muslims, who can be put to death for extramarital sex, regardless of sexual orientation.

Saudi Arabia: Under the country’s interpretation of sharia law, a married man engaging in sodomy or any non-Muslim who commits sodomy with a Muslim can be stoned to death. All sex outside of marriage is illegal.

Afghanistan: The Afghan Penal Code does not refer to homosexual acts, but Article 130 of the Constitution allows recourse to be made to sharia law, which prohibits same-sex sexual activity in general. Afghanistan’s sharia law criminalizes same-sex sexual acts with a maximum of the death penalty. No known cases of death sentences have been meted out since the end of Taliban rule in 2001.

Somalia: The penal code stipulates prison, but in some southern regions, Islamic courts have imposed sharia law and the death penalty.

Sudan: Three-time offenders under the sodomy law can be put to death; first and second convictions result in flogging and imprisonment. Southern parts of the country have adopted more lenient laws.

United Arab Emirates: Lawyers in the country and other experts disagree on whether federal law prescribes the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex or only for rape. In a recent Amnesty International report, the organization said it was not aware of any death sentences for homosexual acts. All sexual acts outside of marriage are banned.

Thanks to Harry's Place.

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People with "no religion" increasing in the US

Billboard from atheist group with slogan "Supernatural Belief is the Enemy of Humanity"
Cobb County Courier

Hemant Mehta in the Friendly Atheist:

According to just released 2018 data from the General Social Survey, “nones” are now the largest single “religious” demographic in the country (23.1%), statistically tied with Catholics (23.0%) and just above evangelical Christians (22.5%). 

While the single data point may not tell you much, look at those trend lines. “No religion” just keeps getting higher and higher, apparently pulling people from mainline Christian denominations and maybe some evangelicals, too.

According to Professor Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University, this trend shows no sign of slowing down.

The unaffiliated have had a much more dramatic trajectory, starting at just 1 in 20 of GSS respondents back in 1972. The nones experienced big jumps in 1993 and 1998, and have added, on average, 1-1.5 percentage points every 2 years for the last 10 years.

Their continued growth has been well-documented and at this point, expected. The big finding in 2018 is that those of “no religion” are now as common as evangelicals in the US, both about 23 percent of the population.

The difference between these groups is not statistically significant at this point; but I see no reason to think that the nones will level off anytime soon. If the nones maintain their growth while evangelicals stagnate, it is statistically inevitable that those of no religious faith will be the largest group in America in the next five years.

Given that the two largest religious denominations in the country — Catholics and Southern Baptists — are facing sexual abuse scandals that could go on for years to come, I wouldn’t be surprised if people who still believe in God leave those denominations altogether.

The next step has to be figuring out how to convert more of those “nones” into a voting bloc that cares about issues like church/state separation and civil rights. Having more of us makes no difference if conservative evangelicals punch above their weight at the ballot box.

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