- Exorcist Bishop Resigns; In Love with Writer of Satanic-Erotic Novels
Xavier Novell was a controversial figure in the Catholic priesthood in Spain, as the youngest bishop in the country and one of the few priests to continue carrying out exorcisms and conversion therapy. Xavier met Silvia Caballo while she was studying demonology. Silvia, a psychologist from Spain, writes erotic-themed books riddled with Satanic representation. Her publisher describes her as dynamic and transgressive, someone who “turns upside down our ideas of morality and ethics.” Caballo invites her readers to journey “into sadism, madness and lust and a struggle between good and evil.” The bishop fell so deeply in love with Silvia that he abandoned the life he had cultivated for decades. Many in the local Catholic community were not supportive of the couple, especially with Novell leaving the priesthood for a woman who is a divorcee. It is alleged that even Pope Francis twice asked him to undergo an exorcism.
- Berlin Church Holds Leather-Fetish & Kink Inclusive Concert
On September 9th, participants clad in leather outfits attended the “Classic Meets Fetish” concert held at the Twelve Apostles Evangelical Church in Berlin. Classic Meets Fetish is a for-charity classical music concert with a twist; all attendees and performers wear leather outfits, including leather masks, braces, and vests. Tyrone Rontgagner, one of the organizers of Classics Meets Fetish and twice named Mr. Leather Germany, stated that most people equate the fetish scene with sex, "It's just another way to express yourself, like music”. Eric Beillevaire, a singer-performer in the concert, claims that aside from being fun, the event helps foster better relationships with two different communities. The concert has been held in the Twelve Apostles Evangelical Church since its inception, with the approval of the church's openly gay minister.
- Transgender Professor Fired by Religious Administrator to be Reinstated
On September 13th, a federal appellate court ordered Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) to reinstate Dr. Rachel Tudor with tenure after she was wrongfully fired for being transgender. Previously, in 2007, Dr. Tudor, an assistant professor at SOSU transitioned and started formally identifying as a woman. She received a phone call from an anonymous source claiming that the Vice President for Academic Affairs was probing for ways to expel her from the university because her “lifestyle” as a transgender woman offended his religious sensibilities. In 2009, she was recommended for tenure but denied and was fired the next year because she had not obtained tenure. She suspected transphobic discrimination and promptly took legal action. She initially won her case in 2017 and was awarded one million dollars in damages. Now, after a lengthy appeals process, it was determined that Dr. Tudor should be reinstated at the university, this time with the added security of a tenured position.
- Parents Sue Dept. of Education for "Promoting Aztec Prayers" in Class https://www.atheistrepublic.com/news/parents-sue-dept-education-promoting-aztec-prayers-class
Californians for Equal Rights (CFER), a foundation organized to combat legislative actions that will facilitate the implementation of critical race theory in schools, has become a bitter watchdog looming over the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). Now, CFER and three local parents are suing the school district for allegedly promoting Aztec gods. The lawsuit calls for the removal of a non-mandated Aztec prayer from the ethnic studies curriculum. Robert Weisenburger, one of the attorneys that represents CFER, claims that “the fact that the Aztec religion is not formally organized and is non-Western in its origin does not excuse the constitutional violations,” adding “Our clients have a religious objection to the Aztec prayer and they do not want their children chanting the Aztec prayer, being asked or pressured to do so, or risking ostracism if they refuse.” The prayer is specifically against the “Affirmations, Chants, and Energizers” that are included in the curriculum with the intention of teaching students about multiculturalism and building unity.
- Afghan Women Fight for Rights with #DoNotTouchMyClothes Campaign
Less than a month after the Taliban scrambled to assemble a skeletal government, the women of Afghanistan are fighting back. There are reports of crowds gathering to demonstrate against the Taliban. Now, the fight for women’s rights within the Taliban regime moves to a new front online with the hashtag #DoNotTouchMyClothes. The online movement directly responds to the Taliban’s rehearsed conference at the Shaheed Rabbani Education University, where women clad in a burka, covered in black from head to toe. The online campaign involves women all over the world posting themselves wearing colorful traditional Afghan clothes, a stark contrast to what the Taliban prescribes. These multi-colored dresses come with many unique variations from different regions of Afghanistan. The dress also includes pleated long skirts perfect for the swirling and spinning motions of Afghanistan’s national dance, the Attan.
- Taliban Announcement: Women Allowed in Gender-Segregated Universities
A month after the Taliban recaptured Kabul, Taliban officials began to construct their interim cabinet and outline their expectations for governance. Abdul Baqi Haqqani, the Taliban government’s new minister for Higher Education, announced on September 12th that women could attend school. However, women will be required to attend universities and schools that are segregated by gender. Haqqani also said that dress codes are mandatory, indicating that wearing the hijab is compulsory and must be worn at all times. Segregating classes, especially in universities, is already becoming a logistical nightmare. University representatives are worried that there will be no female teachers available to teach all-female classes. The subjects that will be allowed to be taught are also reportedly under review, with not much elaboration from Taliban officials.
- Christian Harasses Women for Wearing Bikinis, Preaches at Them
A viral Tik Tok video gaining more than 1 million views shows a man harassing women on a beach. The video, uploaded in early September, by Mia who goes by the TikTok handle "@ggarbagefairy", offers a first-person perspective of someone being harassed for their choice of clothing. The video opens with a burst of laughter, followed by the man asking the girls, "why are you dressed this way?" The man added that they are wearing "a thong and a bra," accusing Mia and her friends of "wearing pornography." Multiple women can be heard trying to convince the man to leave them alone. In an attempt to salvage his credibility, the man now identified as Logan Dorn, posted a video to his own Tik Tok account explaining his side of the story. Logan claims that he "just had a righteous anger" coming over him and that he had a "boldness by the holy spirit to confront the ladies… and to speak the truth."
- Rainbow Crosswalk in Ontario Vandalized with Bible Verse
A rainbow crosswalk was recently installed in a crossing in Port Colborne in Ontario, Canada. However, less than a month after the rainbow crosswalk’s installation, right-wing fundamentalist Christians were quick to spread their unfounded hate for the LGBTQ+ community. “Genesis 9:13,” a verse from the Old Testament, was scrawled on part of the rainbow to vandalize the crosswalk. The verse Genesis 9:13 reads, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” The verse is famous to anti-LGBTQ Christians who claim that their god has “original” ownership of the rainbow, crying foul over the LGBTQ community’s use of it. Austin Gooder, a member of Niagara’s queer community, stated that the vandalism is dismissive of the queer community that has worked hard toward its own liberation and is still working hard to this day.
- Polish Death Metal Artist Gets Blasphemy Charges Dismissed!
Death Metal musician Adam "Nergal" Darski, a founding member of the band Behemoth, recently announced that the blasphemy charges levied against him have been dismissed! On September 25th, 2019, Nergal had posted a picture of his foot stepping on what appears to be a painting of the Virgin Mary. In February 2021, Nergal was convicted of "offending religious feelings'' with a penalty fine that equated to nearly $5,000 USD. He contested the conviction, and formed the organization “Ordo Blasfema,” to help monetarily assist other artists legally persecuted for their creative expression, and fight for the repeal of the blasphemy provision in the Polish penal code. Nergal announced his victory in an Instagram post and said “Common sense beats the shit out of fundamentalist agenda which means one more step towards Poland remaining a secular state!”
- Atheists MUST be included in Canada’s Special Humanitarian Assistance Program for Afghans!
Atheist Republic is the first secular organization in Canada to call upon the government to clarify and correct a grave error in the recently constructed Special Humanitarian Assistance Program for Afghan Nationals. Canada is one of the few countries offering resettlement for vulnerable and at-risk Afghans who did not specifically work for any occupying foreign government, with up to 20,000 spots available. Afghans eligible for this program must fit within at least one of the following categories: women leaders,
human rights advocates, LGBTI individuals, journalists and people who assisted Canadian journalists, extended family members of previously resettled interpreters who assisted the Government of Canada, immediate family members of one of the above, and persecuted religious minorities. The language of this policy which designates the only belief-based persecuted group eligible for this program as “religious” explicitly discriminates against atheists, a group at high risk of deadly persecution by the Taliban. This highly restrictive wording is not aligned with Canada’s United Nations Human Rights responsibilities to protect “freedom of religion or belief,” and must be corrected immediately.