Atheist Republic News Summary: Vatican Rejects Trans People

1. The National Socialist Movement (NSM) disturbed the annual Motor City Pride Festival in Detroit, Michigan with swastika flags, Nazi salutes, and other offensive items. Many Pride-goers were rightfully upset by the presence of NSM, especially as they got police protection.

‘Why are you protecting them? These are literal Nazis,’ one voice in a video can be heard saying.

‘How come they get protected and we’re not,`` shouted another. ‘Our police should be protecting us.’ At the same time, a woman marching under a swastika flag used a megaphone to shout, ‘you are all trash’ to the people celebrating Pride.

2. The independent Scottish Child Abuse inquiry is looking in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care. Dave Sharp described a catalogue of sexual, physical and emotional violence at St Ninian's in Falkland, Fife, between 1971 and 1975.

Mr Sharp, from Glasgow, said the abuse had left him with "lifelong trauma". He stayed in several institutions before going to the Catholic-run care home in Fife. He told how he was groomed by one of the religious brothers, who would tell him he loved him, which "no-one had ever done" before.

The inquiry heard then-12-year-old was later raped. The inquiry heard "two or three" boys were trafficked around Scotland and Ireland at a time to be used in drink-fuelled sex parties, which he described as "satanic". The inquiry, before Lady Smith, continues on Tuesday.

3. During Pride Month, the Vatican has issued a statement rejecting trans people, saying they ‘annihilate…the concept of nature’.

‘Male And Female He Created Them’, was released by the Vatican on 10 June without prior announcement. It is described as an ‘aid for Catholic school teachers and parents’. The document is also signed by Italians Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Zani. Pope Francis has not signed the document. The 31-page document also says ‘gender theory’ forces people to ‘move away from nature’.

4. Chintamani Majhi, 48, was arrested for allegedly beheading his 12-year-old nephew in order to "appease deities" for good crop harvest. He lured his nephew to a field in Nuapada district's Jadamunda village on Saturday. Majhi later hacked him to death with a billhook. Majhi was arrested. The police said the accused has confessed to the crime. Chintamani Majhi said he sacrificed his nephew as an offering for 'Choru', a local term that refers to the sacrifice offered to deities for bountiful harvest before the start of the new cropping season.

5. On Monday, Iran's top diplomat defended his country's harsh anti-gay laws, which includes capital punishment for consensual same-sex sexual acts. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif cited "moral principles" when asked why Iran executes homosexuals. "Our society has moral principles, and according to these principles we live," Zarif responded. "These are moral principles regarding the behavior of people in general. And that's because the law is upheld and you abide by laws."

6. Responding to the news that Iranian human rights lawyer Amirsalar Davoudi has been sentenced to 30 years in prison and 111 lashes for his human rights work, including publicizing violations through a channel he set up on the Telegram mobile messaging app and giving media interviews, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, said:

“This shockingly harsh sentence is an outrageous injustice. Amirsalar Davoudi is blatantly being punished for his work defending human rights. “With this sentence, Iran’s authorities have demonstrated that human rights lawyers in Iran today are effectively treated as enemies of the state and that the authorities will go to any lengths to deny individuals in detention access to justice.”

7. The Iranian capital of Tehran is down 547 restaurants and cafés following a severe police crackdown on establishments found to be flouting “Islamic principles”—playing illegal music, posting “unconventional advertising in cyberspace,” or otherwise permitting “debauchery.” Meanwhile, 2,000 new all-female morality police units are to be tasked with ensuring that Iranian women wear the hijab, or headscarf.

8. Several congregations from the New Independent Fundementalist Baptist Church (the NIFB) will host their “Make America Straight Again” conference at the location and on the anniversary of the PULSE Nightclub shooting. The NIFB are vocal proponents for not only bigotry against and marginalization of the LGBTQ+ community, but also for government-enacted capital punishment of its members.

In a show of solidarity, countless supporters of the Anti-NIFB effort have been incorporating pumpkin-themed emojis and graphics into social media handles and activity, after NIFB Pastor Tommy McMurtry attempted to slur pansexual YouTube-creator “Mr. Atheist” with the moniker “Mr. Pumpkin”, the world’s-biggest “fruit”.

9. Byron Wood, a B.C. nurse who lost his job when he refused to attend a 12-step program for addiction, will get a chance to argue he was discriminated against as an atheist. He contends Alcoholics Anonymous's emphasis on placing your life in the hands of a higher power simply won't work for someone who doesn't hold any religious beliefs.

That's an argument worth considering, according to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. On Wednesday, it denied Vancouver Coastal Health's application to dismiss Wood's complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of religion. In its submissions to the tribunal, Vancouver Coastal Health argued the treatment plan designed for Wood was reasonable and supported by medical experts.

10. In a recent Facebook post, evangelist Franklin Graham argued that U.S. embassies who have surreptitiously put up rainbow flags, in defiance of government orders, are attacking people like him because the “gay pride flag is offensive to Christians.” He posted, “I want to thank President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for making the decision not to fly the gay flag over our embassies during June in recognition of gay pride month. That is the right decision. The only flag that should fly over our embassies is the flag of the United States of America. The gay pride flag is offensive to Christians and millions of people of other faiths, not only in this country but around the world."

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