Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Godwin's Law and PF's Corollary

facism, socialism, gingrich, newt, obama, drug, testing, mandatory, fail, hitler, nazi,

In case you've never heard of it, Godwin's Law states that "if you mention Hitler or Nazis in a post, you've automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in". After reading an interesting idea from Newt Gingrich (more on that later), I have come up with a corollary to Godwin's Law: invoking facism/Hitler/Nazi often enough is an effective strategy if you have something to do or say that actually is facist, and you don't want your opponent to be able to call you on it.

For example*: by David Niewert, Crooks & Liars

O'Reilly: I don't know whether you know this, but I did one of my papers at Harvard on this -- on how to reduce demand for drugs. But the United States has never figured it out. You can't lock up drug users, I mean, that doesn't work. And you can't force them into rehab, you have to want rehab, and even if you want it, it's very hard to get off hard drugs and alcohol. Very hard.
What you can do, though, is sanction people along the way. And this is what they do in Singapore. If you're caught possessing drugs -- and that means drugs in your bloodstream, they have a little hair thing, and they put it in there -- then you have to go to mandatory rehab. And they have centers where you go.

Now, they have no drug problem in Singapore at all, number one, because they hang drug dealers -- they execute them. And number two, the market is very thin, because when they catch you using, you go away with a mandatory rehab. You go to some rehab center, which they have, which the government has built.

The United States does not have the stomach for that. We don't have the stomach for that, Mr. Speaker.

Gingrich: Well, I think it's time we get the stomach for that, Bill. And I think we need a program -- I would dramatically expand testing. I think we have -- and I agree with you. I would try to use rehabilitation, I'd make it mandatory. And I think we have every right as a country to demand of our citizens that they quit doing illegal things which are funding, both in Afghanistan and in Mexico and in Colombia, people who are destroying civilization.

Conservatives have been throwing "socialist" and "fascist" at Obama nonstop since he was inaugurated (and before, really). At first, I found this to be a gross misunderstanding of both history and politics. To put Obama in the same league as Hitler represents a fundamental misunderstanding of that entire episode in our world's history. Complete, utter, fundamental history fail. To call someone both a socialist and a facist is like calling someone tall and short, fat and thin, pale and tanned at the same time. Socialism and facism are polar opposites on the political spectrum.

Now I understand why conservatives have been doing this. What Gingrich is suggesting is facism. Plain and simple. Drug test everyone and then forceably rehabilitate anyone who tests positive. The whole country is a suspect, and civil rights no longer apply. However, we cannot call Gingrich on his facism, because it looks like we're just joining in the "invoke Hitler as often as possible game", and that just makes everyone look stupid.

I suggest we replace "facism" with "Gingrichism".

Unfortunately, no matter what you call it, Gingrich's plan is foolish and dangerous, and we all might want to pay close attention from here on out to what I previously assumed were a bunch of Godwin's Law losers.

*link has video of the quoted conversation

Stop Thinking of Them as People

atheism, atheist, witness, evangelism, testimony, proselytizing, work, scripture,bible, jesus, ray, comfort
Unless you're new here (hi! stay a while), you know I find Ray Comfort endlessly disturbing. It's the combination of his smarmy self righteousness, his willful stupidity, and the fact that he is the evangelical's evangelist. Seriously, go to a christian message board and ask how to proselytize (you should call it "witnessing"), and 10 out of the 10 replies you receive will all reference the Way of the Master and Living Waters- Ray Comfort.

Which is what makes ideas like the one below so disturbing- lots of people are taking this advice. Lots of people see this as good advice.

How should I witness to my coworkers? short answer? you shouldn't. you're getting paid to work, for one thing. for another, it can lead your employer into legal trouble.

When we interact with people on a daily basis, we have many opportunities for sharing our faith. tell me about it. First, be sure you are respectful to your employer and set a good example in your work ethic by working "as to the Lord" (Colossians 3:23).When others around you grumble and complain, if you have a calm, forgiving, steadfast spirit, it will make an impression. probably as that guy that doesn't like to play along, and would rather kiss ass instead*, but whatever. As you respond in a Christ-like way to angry coworkers ummm . . . unsaved coworkers are naturally angry or something? crabby atheist stereotype? i dunno. and stressful circumstances, people will see a difference in your life.

Always be friendly and courteous, and show genuine interest in your coworkers’ lives. Invite them out to lunch to get better acquainted. Share their joys and sorrows by congratulating them in their good times and offering to pray for them in their bad times.

this is where the advice gets bad. Think about this for a second. If a coworker of mine showed this kind of interest in me, I would assume (a) they had a sexual interest in me, or (b) they wanted to be my friend. Not that I want my coworkers to constantly be fantasizing about me, but I would be horribly offended at this tactic. Think about it. Ray Comfort is encouraging people to treat other human beings not as people, but as marks. As targets. As means to an end.

Would this be acceptable if the product being sold were Amway rather than salvation? Beyond that, should people really need this kind of primer on how to relate to other people? Atheists are just like theists, guys. We have feelings, hopes, dreams, disappointments. We feel joy and pain, love and rejection, and you shouldn't need to be told to congratulate me in good times and comfort me in bad**. If you do need to be told that, well, I don't know what help I can offer you.

Be sure you do pray for them, then follow up by asking them about the situation you prayed for. Well, yeah, followup on people's problems does show you're interested.They will be moved by your concern. No more so than anyone else's sincere concern. If coworkers are discussing what they did during the previous weekend, you can share your excitement about attending church services or a special church event. and become that guy we never talk about off time with. Ask others if they have any plans for celebrating Christmas or Easter sweet Salvador Dali, I've worked with these people; be nonjudgmental of their answer, but be ready (if asked) to explain why you celebrate as you do. nobody is going to ask. we live in a country dominated by christians, we all know why you're celebrating that way. unless you're a Jehovah's Witness, in which case we think you're a freak show.

Displaying a favorite Scripture or a devotional calendar, or reading your Bible during lunchtime, may prompt others to inquire about your faith. it would prompt me to avoid you, but you can try that Bringing home-baked goods or leaving a small gift with a note on a coworker’s desk can sometimes have a greater impact than a thousand eloquent sermons. not when the price of that cookie is a really annoying spiel. We can show our faith by our works. Others may not like a tree of self righteousness, but they cannot help but like its fruit. I can. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, being careful not to infringe on your boss’s time. "For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men." (1 Peter 2:15)

Of course Ray couldn't avoid a chance to call atheists "fools".

*tell me you've never felt that way about a coworker that won't join in the occasional bash-the-boss session. it's called a "bonding experience", people.

**A sincerely offered "I'll pray for you" in response to something bad in my life is not offensive to me. I understand the intent behind it and appreciate that you are thinking of me, and you care.

On Unemployment

tanner, unemployment, mormon, lds, stupid, asshat,
I'm sick of hearing about the have and have not's
Have some personal accountability
The biggest problem with the way that we've been doing things is
The more we let you have the less that I'll be keeping for me
--Nine Inch Nails, "Capital G"

You can always tell an article on unemployment/poverty written by somebody who has never faced choosing between food and medicine, or heat and the mortgage. Clearly, James Tanner has never sat on the floor and cried because he needed to keep the phone on in order to get calls for job interviews, but that meant not paying the electric bill. Again.

People like this probably shouldn't write articles about how lazy and ungrateful the unemployed are. (At the very least, don't do it where I can see you.)

Most of the article concerns the history of the Mormon church through the lens of his ancestor's experience, and then we get this (as if life in the late 1800s were somehow relevant to the financial crisis of today):

It is remarkable to me to hear today's stories of the unemployed. They act like it is someone's fault that they do not have a "job." First of all, sarcastiquotes why? Is Mr. Tanner not sure what a "job" is? All right, I'll help you out: a post of employment; full-time or part-time position. In the current economic crisis, I think we can all agree exactly whose fault it wasn't.

What do all of these people do all day? That would be your business why? They're not lazy, Mr. Tanner, they're unemployed. I love how, in less than a nanosecond, a "blue collar hero" can become a "welfare queen" in the eyes of a conservative.

They certainly don't go volunteer at the public library, they don't show up to serve at the relief agencies mormon alert!, they don't volunteer in their communities, they aren't planting gardens, cleaning their houses or helping in care centers. How does Mr. Tanner know any of this? Particularly, how would he know that unemployed people aren't cleaning their houses? Has he checked? Why would he even assume this? It's just bizarre.

Oh, wait, got it. Welfare queens are poor and poor people are dirty! Dirty, and usually brown.

We certainly haven't seen a resurgence of community service in places like Michigan and Arizona where there is high unemployment. For one thing, "resurgence" implies that at some point community service was high, then it was low. I'm confused as to how he knows this, as official stats would be hard to get this soon after the layoffs, etc., but he may be talking about Mormon specific community service, in which case he may know that.

Maybe we need to rethink the concept of unemployment. Which concept? Redefining "unemployed" would be a little weird, as it simply means "not gainfully employed". I think he means "unemployment compensation". Here we are, in the middle of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and Mr. Tanner wants to take away unemployment compensation. That sounds like a great idea! Let's drag the entire world into an economic death spiral because, in Mr. Tanner's view, the unemployed are lazy welfare queens.

I'm beginning to think Mitt Romney might have been more dangerous than I originally thought.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sexism- Alive and Well in Medicine

patriarcy, feminism, feminist, gardisil, cervical, cancer, promiscuity, slut, asshat
You know what Gardisil is, right? That vaccine you give to girls so they don't get HPV, which in turn prevents them from getting cervical cancer later (by later, I mean their 20s) in life?

You remember how every religious crazy in this country suddenly decided that vaccinating girls against HPV would cause them to FUCK EVERY MAN THEY MEET? Because the only thing stopping teenage girls from having nonstop, raucus, perverted group sex was the threat of possibly getting cervical cancer 10 years down the line.

Well, now giving Gardisil to boys is being considered, and nobody's even mentioned that it might make them slutty. All of the sudden, we care about cost effectiveness and safety.

Hey, patriarchy? Yeah. FUCK YOU!

Eternal Critic Winz Teh Interwebs!

eternal critic, god, morality, bible, atheism, atheist, morals
Eternal Critic, over at One God Further, has the most succinct answer to "morality only comes from god" argument ever.

Atheists often have to argue about the issue of morality and whether or not we require a deity to be moral. The fact that not all gods can exist (as some are dogmatically the only one), and all societies have morals and ethics, how could a wrong god provide morals? Clearly god is not a requirement for this.

Well, duh. I feel silly for not having seen this.

Can We Say Disingenuous

religion, religious, morality, mormon, lds, homophobia, homosexual, marriage, tradition, traditional, gay, dna, rockwood, angela,

I would like to be upfront with you: when I offer you an argument, it's an argument I believe in. I truly believe it, I truly feel that way, and, when you read my words, you're getting an honest look at the way I think and feel. You're not getting unlimited access to my every thought, but the thoughts I share represent exactly what I really think.

I mention this, because in lurking around the bigotsphere, I came across this gem from our friend, Beetlebabee, aka Angela Rockwood, Director of/for/in the DNA. She not only admits to being disingenuous* at best in her arguments against same sex marriage, she encourages others to follow her down the yellow brick road of hiding one's true intentions.

Comment by beetlebabee on March 8, 2009 at 6:09pm

In order to be effective in the marriage debate arena
i.e., making sure homosexuals remain second class citizens, I think it's important to focus on love more than we focus on the sin. is this some new definition of "love" I am unfamiliar with? this, from the woman who has said, repeatedly, that marriage is not about love? pick a side, angie! While rejecting the behavior, Christ never rejected the soul. love the sinner, hate the sin. as if gay were a sin. way to frame the argument, ange. It doesn't do us any good to focus on "those sinners" with our fingers pointed out. it might do you some good to focus on "those sinners" with your fingers pointed inward, however. We've got to do a better job of articulating our position beyond just "That's nasty" or "that's evil". that's right, angie's not above reducing homosexuals to second class citizens because gay sex makes her feel squicky, and apparently she can't stop thinking about it.

There are a whole array of points that are infinitely more persuasive than opining on someone else's level of righteousness. glad you've noticed that, but it is highly disingenuous to go out there and propound on the other arguments, when you're real problem is that the bible, or the book of mormon, told you so. You know what I mean? be as insincere as possible? We're all sinners at some point, but those gays just won't quit! so let's move beyond that and talk about the other arguments that are out there. not the arguments that really represent our viewpoint, the other ones.

When I debate, I never use the word "sodomite" for instance because it's unbelievably rude?, because it pidgeonholes or possibly pigeonholes me immediately as someone who believes in religion as the basis for my argument. no, it outs you as a nasty bigot. who the fuck says "sodomite" anymore, other than Westboro Baptist? and if you're not familiar with Westboro, just type "god hates fags" into a search engine and see what comes up. While that is very true that you're a nasty bigot?, religion is my basis and my rock good for you, leave the rest of us out of it., it's not the only proof out there supporting traditional marriage, religion isn't proof. it's faith. two different things. and the reality is, that hearts and minds close to the truth very quickly if you take religion as your main defense. because the rest of us can tell the difference between truth and religion. of course, we're not mormons.

For me, Religion is my basic foundation. i'm glad for you, now stop trying to legislate it all over the rest of us. Because I believe in the scriptures and, again i'm glad for you, now stop trying to legislate it all over the rest of us. , and the word of God, I know that homosexuality is not the path to happiness. not for you. not for me, either. wtf does that have to do with anything? Because I know that, I know that studies and other proofs will automatically follow. oh, dear. the bible/book of mormon said so, therefore, there MUST be proof out there somewhere. we just need to find it. this is called "confirmation bias" ange. it's not how science works, it's not how logical argumentation works, but thanks for sharing. So, I focus on a broader base, truth. so, religion isn't truth? i'm getting a little confused here. Because everyone is searching for truth. except people who already know it, like you.

People will be much more open to our line of thinking if we come at it from the arena of truth, rather than overt religion well, yeah, but that's still disingenuous.....even though at heart they are the same. at your heart, not at mine.

just my two cents. i added at least another $1.50. i'm generous like that.

*disingenuous, for those unfamiliar with the word and lazy about the clicking, means lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere

The Tolerance Drips Off the Screen

atheism, atheist, christian, christianity, religion, bible, god, bus ads, seattle
Seattle became the latest city to allow the new atheist bus ads. Of course, the fundamentalists in this country accepted this news calmly and said, "First Amendment. I enjoy it, so should everyone else."

Back here in reality, they exploded into a frenzy of hate.

Here's a few choice comments that explain exactly why I maintain this blog:

seattleite2121 dusts off that old "you can't be moral without the bible" argument:

I realize that these are the author's words, and not necessarily those of Case, but I quote: "Now, every other month, 40 to 80 people gather to discuss topics such as how to raise children in a secular, moral way." "Now, he identifies himself as an atheist, but more important, he says, as a humanist — someone who believes people are capable of ethical conduct and of reaching their highest potential without relying on religious beliefs." The words "moral" and "ethical" are used here. Both imply an underlying, fundamental "good" or morality. How can atheists believe that anything is moral or ethical (granted, one may make the case that ethical doesn't require a "good," but morality does) if he does not believe in a system of morality? Without a foundational "good," an atheist can claim that anything within the law is good. Another atheist might claim that it's not, but how do the two reconcile their differing opinions? There isn't a solid system of beliefs for them to refer to. That said, I do not understand how atheists can raise kids in a "secular, moral way." For atheists, morality is nonexistent. And if they say otherwise, what is the basis for their morality?

helpfromdad has apparently never read the back of his money, or listened to a republican speak:

An article about bus ads generates theological arguments from both sides, usually about as shallow as a ship on the surface of the Mariana Trench . I just want to know why atheists get to put their philosophies on buses and around town, but Christians are muzzled in public schools, can't use a nativity in the public square, or pro-life groups can't advertise in the same way? And the churches are the "intolerant" ones?

Yes, we're so intolerant, we bought bus ads.

Jeremy8703 is little more succint: i hope you rot in hell atheists

midwestchick seems to be confusing atheists for republicans: Most Americans believe in a higher power no matter what they call it...As far as atheists go...your god is money for the most part so, for those of us that believe in God, take your money and keep your mouth shut!

Well, there you have it. My motivation to blog for the next 50 freakin' years.

The Audacity of Hope

I can haz chikin?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vagina as Leg Shackle

patriarcy, feminism, feminist, vagina, modesty, dress, feminine
This bothered me the first time I read it, and it's bothered me ever since, so I thought I'd bother you, and share the joy. (No need to thank me.)

From Modest Articles and Testimonies:

If you feel you can’t do something in a dress, I would encourage you to question whether it is an activity that you can do and be feminine.

First of all, I can think of one activity that it is easier to do in a dress than in pants*. Secondly, a vagina is not a leg shackle. Hi, this is Personal Failure, and I'd like to introduce you to the last 100 years. Honestly.

What does "feminine" mean anyway?

According to the dictionary:
pertaining to a woman or girl. Okay, so being a woman, that would make anything I do feminine. And that, kids, is the point. I am a woman. I can't stop being a woman (not that I'd want to). Therefore, everything I do is feminine. I don't become a man the instant I put on pants** or pick up power tools.

I think my irritation with this stems from two underlying ideas. The first is that everything a woman does, thinks or wears must stifle her and hem her in. Pants allow one to participate in sports and construction, and we wouldn't want women thinking they can do that sort of thing, would we? The other is that people like this are so obsessed with form over function. It's not enough that I am a woman, I must appear to be stereotypically female as well. I need long hair and skirts and aprons to shout to the world, and myself, that a woman is all I am.

That's what it is, isn't it? A constant visual reminder to the woman herself that she is less. That her life is confining. A constant visual reminder of all the things she can't do, not because she isn't capable of doing them, but because the patriarchy doesn't want her doing them. Because the patriarchy knows that the instant women figure out their own strength, their own power, the patriarchy's free ride is over.

I recommend putting on some pants and grabbing some power tools. Strength, now that's feminine.

*Ever since the summer of 1999, I have not been able to view walls the same way.
** If the writer of the quoted piece looks like a man in pants, she is wearing the wrong pants. I could not possibly be mistaken for a man while wearing pants.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Closest I'll Get

slacktivist, evangelical, evangelism, witness, christian, christianity, atheism, atheist, ray, comfort, fundy, jesus,
You know who gets me the closest to being Christian? Not because I believe or anything, but because I want to be more like him?

The Slacktivist.

I mention this because immediately after letting through a comment from a very angry Christian about my "post modernism*" and "intollerance" [sic], I read the Slactivist's latest post.

Ray Comfort and his cohorts stay up at night to think of new ways to insult and denigrate atheists, while the Slacktivist evangelizes with wit, wisdom and ultimately, kindness. The Slacktivist is, and you only need to read one post to see this, truly a good man. He truly cares for the homeless, the poor, the sick, the lonely. I imagine that if the Slacktivist were given three wishes, not a one of them would be selfish. He really would wish for world peace, and end to hunger, an end to disease.**

The Slacktivist is exactly what I imagined Jesus to be back when I believed.

Why do I mention this? Because his latest post is about exactly the form of evangelism Ray and others like him practice.

If you're worried about making friends then you'll wind up more concerned with what others think of you than you are with your duty and you won't be as single-mindedly focused as you need to be in witnessing at them. And let's face it, if you're at all concerned about how others perceive you, then you'll never find the courage to be as off-putting as this duty requires you to be. Treating others as friends, real or potential, involves treating them as subjects rather than how you ought to be treating them -- as objects of your evangelism. So stop acting like you're in some kind of popularity contest and get busy proving that you're not ashamed of the gospel.

That's not the most charitable paraphrase of this stock sermon, but it's accurate.

And anyway I'm not inclined to view this particular sermon charitably. It's pointless and ineffective, for one thing. It doesn't work. The poor souls subjected to some variation of this lecture week after week do not go forth to boldy proclaim the gospel in the way the speaker describes. And that's probably a good thing, too, since if they did that wouldn't work. It encourages a form -- and a spirit -- of evangelism that is far more likely to repel than to attract. It offers no motivation other than guilt, and guilt is just a lousy, lousy motivator. Anything we do because of guilt we do, by definition, begrudgingly. There are very few things one can do begrudgingly and still do well. Guilt also tends to produce a self-defensive resentment of those who provoke or remind us of it. You can see that dynamic in the hostility some people display toward the homeless. This sermon sometimes prompts a similar guiltily hostile form of evangelism.

Hostility and evangelism don't mix well.

Yeah, Slacktivist, I've noticed.

Anyway, since I apparently can't convince the fundys that calling me a fool, and railing about my post modernism and intollerance [sic], is very unlikely to convert me, maybe the words of an evangelical Christian will help.

*What is post modernism in this context? I can never tell.

**I would wish for myself not to be sick anymore, to be beautiful and for the Eagles to win the next Superbowl. Not necessarily in that order.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It Wasn't So Much the Post . . .

vera, doug, ray, comfort, religion, atheism, atheist, christian, christianity, witness, evangelical, evangelism, jesus, god, bible,
Ray Comfort is back from New Zealand, and his Raytards(tm) are back from . . . well, wherever it is they go when they're not making the world's most ludricrous comments. (I suspect insane asylums, or John Birch Society meetings.)

Ray's most recent post is nowhere near as amusing as the comments of some of his Raytards(tm), but I don't have room for all of them, so we'll confine ourselves to examining the work of Vera, of VeraandDoug.

This all begins with a comment by Steven J, he of the patience of 20, nay, 100 men.

Ray, you don't argue as though you're seriously trying to persuade us. You gratuitously insult us in petty ways, which is not normally considered an optimum approach for winning hearts and minds. But of course, that you insult us does not show that you're wrong.

Vera responds with:


Jesus offended people, Steven. (gratuitous overuse of a person's name is never a good sign.)In fact, I was thinking about that the other day. really? wow. The question was asked, "If Jesus were standing here, how would you react?" most christians would say how happy they would be by meeting their savior, but vera takes a slightly different tack. I was thinking that I probably would be offended by some of the things He might say such as my saying, "I'm going to first go bury my parents." what situation does she imagine her savior walking into? He says, "Let the dead bury their own dead." is jesus referencing zombies, or am i not reading this right? if the messiah is referencing zombies, maybe someone should clue him in to the fact that zombies are rarely ever known for burying the dead. eating the dead, yes. Or how about insinuating that I'm a dog. wtf?! Would I have the faith to say, "Yes, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table." okay, I do know the verse here, but . . . oh forget it. The Bible says that the preaching of the gospel is an offense and foolishness to those who are perishing. wait for it . . . There isn't any way to rectify that because sin is the problem and sin has to be repented of. yup, vera just said right out that evangelism (Ray's stock and trade) is entirely pointless. will that stop her? of course not! There will never be a compromise on this....ever.

Vera then attempts to debate Steven J on evolution, which is a really good way to make yourself look stupid. And moving on:

Steven J (to Ray) You're self-indulgent, careless, and lazy in your arguments.

That wasn't very nice to say. You just said Jesus was offensive to people, Vera. Apparently, Steven J was just being Christlike. Is that not exactly what you claim that Ray does. Perhaps you are personifying your own faults onto Ray. People have a tendency to do this. Says the woman who regularly calls atheists "hateful sinners".

Steven J.: You can't count on everyone in your audience being as impressed by those traits as, say, Terry Burton is. If you're really trying to persuade us, then you ought to try much harder to actually understand the ideas you argue against. And if you're not trying to persuade us, assuming that it's entirely up to us (and not at all dependent on the arguments and evidence you produce) whether we believe you, then it's hard to see what connection your posting and preaching has to your alleged concern for us. I am terribly confused by this as well. Ray has to know, HAS TO KNOW, that this isn't working. I spent an entire day on his site reading posts and comments (do not try that at home, kids) and have yet to see one conversion. And you just know that if somebody did convert due to Ray's website, there'd be a freakin' parade. So, why does Ray do this?

There will never be a conciliation between us in that way. Then Why. Fucking. Bother. and Leave. Us. Alone. and Shut. The. Fuck. Up. We know that God created the heavens and the earth. good for you- what does that have to do with anything? More information is coming in every day to show how He did it. what information? All of it points to the biblical account. no, it doesn't, just ask Stev- oh, never mind. We know God because He set us free from sin. That's amazingly circular. And I bet you still sin. What about you? I don't think you have any idea what freedom is, but whatever. Vera

See, it's not just Ray that's good for a few laughs.

Other Gods that Rose from the Dead

jesus, horus, osiris, attis, krishna, mithra, dionysis, christian, christianity, religion, bible,
It turns out that Jesus isn't all that special in terms of resurrection.

I've been seeing a lot of pseudoapologetics recently that assert that Christianity is the one true religion because Jesus is the only god who rose from the dead.

Yeah, not so much.

At least 6 other gods died and were resurrected prior to Jesus:

Horus c. 3000 BCE
Osiris c. 3000 BCE
Attis of Phrygia c.1400 BCE
Krishna c. 1400 BCE (possibly as early as 5771 BCE)
Mithra of Persia c. 600 BCE
Dionysus c. 186 BCE

Apparently, humanity demands a sacrifice. A long line of sacrifices.

So Sad

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Gay Marriage Skews Statistics

gay, marriage, homophobia, homosexual, tradition, dna, duncan, voice, prop 8
During today's Voice of a Nation, the guest, William C. Duncan, director of the Marriage Law Foundation (was it really necessary for me to listen to the program to know what he said?) said that the reason the "traditional marriage" crowd is "losing" in New England is because "marriage is weakest there."

Oh, really?

Perhaps Mr. Duncan simply equates "allowing gays to marry" with "weak marriage", but let's take a look at some dumdumdum statistics. (Ya know, science!)

According to the CDC's website, the rate of divorce (obviously the weakest point of a marriage) in New England is (as of 2004):

Connecticut* 2.4 (per thousand)
Maine 4.3
Massachusetts * 2.2
New Hampshire 3.9
Vermont 3.9

Now let's compare those rates to some other places in the United States.

Arizona** 4.2
Tennessee** 4.9
Arkansas** 6.1
Idaho** 5.0
Kentucky** 4.9
Utah** 4.1
Wyoming 5.2
Alabama 4.9

Clearly, gay marriage does skew marriage statistics***- toward stronger marriage and less divorce.

*allows gay marriage
**bans gay marriage
***yeahyeahyeah correlation does not equal causation, but there is definitely something going on there.

Letters from Hell

The Screwtape Letters for a new generation, Letters from Hell.

Rainbow Reclamation

homophobia, homosexual, gay, marriage, rainbow, stupid, asshat, dna, tradition, traditional,
Asshats in the traditional marriage "it's not marriage unless you're hetero and obeying gender stereotypes" bigotsphere keep trying to "take back" symbols from the LGBT community, specifically, in this instance*, rainbows.

I suppose you might want some explanation as to why your Ironymeter(tm) just imploded, leaving a small, unstable black hole hovering one inch above your desk. (Don't worry, Ironymeter(tm) tech support has a solution for that, but your desk will never be quite the same again.)

Rainbows naturally represent diversity, as they contain every color in the visible light spectrum. (Actually, they probably contain colours outside of the spectrum we can perceive, but obviously I wouldn't know about that.) The reason you now share desk space with a small, unstable black hole is that it is the height of irony- irony too powerful to be entirely contained in this universe- for a group of people that want everyone to be exactly the same to try and use the rainbow as their symbol.

Symbol fail.

I suggest asshats such as these adopt a more appropriate symbol for their cause: specifically a black square. It would be honest, informative and as ugly as their viewpoint.

*I would invite anyone with a basic knowledge of science to instruct dear Yours, Sincerely on the multitude of science fails contained within the initial two paragraphs. Do avoid being rude, please. Try to invoke Steven J's patience in explaining basic evolutionary theory to Ray Comfort ad nauseum.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Expect to Be Accosted

evangelical, evangelism, witness, witnessing, christian, religion, god, jesus, miano

Tony Miano, a good friend of Ray Comfort's, has this advice for the fundys:

Depraved Indifference: Being morally culpable while acting with wanton disregard for the life of another. If you refuse to share the gospel with lost souls, then you are guilty as charged.

The "life" of another, Mr. Miano. Not the "afterlife" of another. Feel free to leave us alone.

Functioning Genitalia Do Not Make You a Good Parent

abuse, child, children, homophobia, homosexual, SAHM, swope, jennifer, prop 8, marriage, tradition, gay
Jennifer Swope, a stay-at-home mother in Derry, gives us this little gem from Redefining marriage will come with costs:

What makes marriage unique among all human relationships and raises it to the level of a sacred bond is this: The union of one man and one woman is the only natural way that children are conceived. Moreover, the people best suited and motivated to take on the great task of raising a child from helpless newborn to independent adult are the mother and father whose love first brought that child into the world.

Catch that? In Jenny's world, all children are planned and conceived in love. If you can create a child, you are the best qualified person in the world to raise it. Conversely, if you can't create children, you must be a terrible person.

I don't know where Jenny's been living, but over here in the real world, none of that is true. Specifically, creating a child does not make one best qualified to raise a child. (Anyone who has experienced this first hand, raise your hand with me.)

In fact, according to the US Administration for Children & Families, in 2006, nearly 80 percent (79.4%) of perpetrators of child maltreatment were parents, and another 6.7 percent were other relatives of the victim . . . Of the perpetrators who were parents, more than 90 percent (91.5%) were the biological parent of the victim.

Clearly, in 2006, 657,492 children would have been better off with complete strangers than with their biological parents*. (If that number doesn't make you cry, it should.) Also quite clearly, simply sharing DNA with a child does not a parent make.

Really, people, do a little research before you make assertions, m'kay?

*total number of abused children in 2006 estimated to be 905,000. So, (0.794 x 0.915) x 905,000. If I did that wrong, please let me know.


fundamentalism, religion, religious, christian, modesty, muslim, atheism, atheist,
In reading about modesty, I learned something. Well, I learned two things. As is clearly demonstrated above, I am not modest*. I also learned something else. As much as I love having choices**, other people clearly do not.

Choices are scary.

Religion can save you from them.

Not sure what to eat? Religion's got you covered. Not sure what to wear? Oh yeah, religion really has you covered there. Not sure what to movies to watch, what music to listen to, what books to read? Religion has an approved list. Not sure what to do with your time? Religion has an itinerary. Not sure when, or how many, children to have? There's religion for that, too. Sexual desire got you down? Not sure if that particular fantasy makes you a freak? Religion will tell you who, when and how to fuck.

Not sure what to think? Religion has your opinions for you right here.

So tell me, other than the promise of a better tomorrow, what's the difference between fundamentalism and slavery?

*I consider the WonderBra to be the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century.

** I buy tea three flavors at a time just so every time I make tea, I have a choice as to flavor. Choice is the bestest thing every.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Modestly Nymphly

Cynical Nymph riffed on a link I had in my Defining Lust post, so props to her! (And, obviously, check it out.)

It's Not Logic, but It's Something

cameron, homosexual, homophobia, intolerance, gay, marriage, traditional, children, bigotry, asshat, speenweasel, stupid,
In the "It's not logic, but it's sure something" category, another attempt at logic from Playful "I call women fat so I feel like a man!" Walrus.

Is it possibly to truly achieve marriage equality? Despite you, but certainly not with you.

Much of existing family law is predicated on marriage being something that involves both a husband and a wife, as it has been throughout history. who's history, asshat? I love this argument. "Traditional marriage" as these spleenweasels define it has existed for maybe 100 years. Also, keep in mind before the invention of things like antibiotics, the average marriage lasted all of 7 years. "Til death do us part" wasn't really that much of a commitment. If we are truly to have "marriage equality" so that the voluntary association of two men or two women must be treated, under law, exactly the same as natural marriage "natural" marriage? what's that? i love how these asshats add qualifiers to the word "marriage" the way Angelina Jolie adds children to her family., I'm curious as to how this would work in the following areas: you could try doing some research this time.

Adoption – Same-sex couples would have just as much standing to adopt as a bride-groom couple, correct? actually, in some places they do without marriage. Some people who devalue either masculinity or femininity, gender stereotypes are meaningless. they change from culture to culture. try again. fatherhood or motherhood, being gay doesn't mean one "devalues" fatherhood or motherhood. though by this logic a woman whose husband died would be positively abusive towards her children to wait more than a week to get married. don't see this is as a problem, but I think most people do most people you know, perhaps, even if they support neutering state marriage licensing. adding to something is not neutering. neutering is removing. just ask my dog.

Paternity Assumption the opiners in general have a serious bug up their collective asses about this issue, which really makes me wonder about their personal lives. this is an easily solvable problem: if you get married, any child born during the marriage is automatically considered the child of both partners, unless one partner sues for paternity/maternity testing. that's how it works currently, so why change it?– In a bride-groom couple, for the protection of the child (and to keep the state from being on the hook for child support he's got a bug up his ass about welfare, too. look, asshat, if the parent ordered to pay support does not or cannot, what do you think happens? yes, we give the custodial parent help so that the child doesn't starve to death. do you think starving children to death is a just punishment for their daring to be poor? or are you trying to argue that a gay couple would be more likely to be poor? is there even an argument here beyond your reflexive hatred of gays/poor people/minorities/single mothers? ), the groom husband, actually. if you're not married, there is no presumption is considered the legal father by default of any child born to the bride. Would the non-carrying lesbian be considered the default parent of a child her partner carries, whether or not she agreed to the pregnancy, and regardless of how that pregnancy was accomplished? If not, then neither should a groom. Would a lesbian woman be held accountable if it turns out that her partner is secretly bisexual and turns up pregnant? BWAHAHAHAHAHA that's so ignorant/bigoted it's like dadaist humor.

Child Custody - Women are often given preference over men in child custody matters, even when the man begs for custody. perhaps this is walrus' problem in life? Hey, gay people didn't steal your kid. neither did fatties. leave them alone! How would this work when it comes to same-sex couples who are being divorced? so, women being given preference for no real reason is a good thing? fairness and equity in child custody would be bad? what?! Would fathers being divorced from mothers gain more from this? Would the biological parent, if any, be favored? not with the presumption listed above, no. If not, what implications would that have when it comes to traditional stepfathers and stepmothers? as a stepparent is a different thing from a parent, no. get a dictionary.

I will skip "Child Support" as I've already dealt with that issue twice now.

watch in wonder as Walrus answers his own asinine question. Abortion Rights - One woman gets pregnant, there is a split, the other woman - who has paid for the reproductive medical treatments, perhaps donated the eggs, and wants the children - sues to block abortion. Currently, a wife can get an abortion even if her husband objects. Will "gay rights" trump abortion rights? Oh, I can see the dilemma now! I suspect abortion rights will win that battle, especially if feminists realize that men could also use any precedent set. duh, asshat. married hetero couples also use expensive reproductive technologies to procreate, and no, you can't block an abortion by complaining about how much you paid. also, why would a lesbian, after going through that kind of effort to get pregnant, abort just because the relationship ended? it makes no sense.

Community Property was based on the idea that a marriage was creating a cooperative microcosm of society with a division of labor, more likely than not to raise children biologically related to both spouses, thereby perpetuating society. In order to treat all couples equally, would the concept of community property be diminished? since community property is not diminished in cases where both spouses work and there are no children (you know, like mine), no. asshatting asshat. seriously, i'm missing fitz at this point. he does enjoy pulling a fitz, but he does understand the law.

I'll skip alimony, because the question can be answered the same way as the community property question.

And now, for the coup de grace: Walrus argues that we shouldn't allow same sex marriage because it will throw off marriage statistics. seriously.

Marriage Statistics - Would government agencies be allowed to collect, compile, and release statistics that distinguish between natural and neutered marriage? If not, marriage statistics could show marriage as being less favorable than they have in the past in terms of longevity (of the participants as well as the marriage), fidelity, domestic violence, poverty, mental health, positive effect on children, etc. how about we not allow adoption because it would be hurtful to ask people if their children are adopted or not, and that would throw off statistics related to procreation? also, there is no evidence, none, that same sex marriages don't last as long, or that same sex marriages are more subject to infidelity* (none of the government's concern anyway), domestic violence*, poverty, mental health issues*, or problems with children*. nice try at slipping it in there, though, spleenweaseling asshat.

So there we have it: yet another mess of bigotry, assumptions, baseless assertions, and squickiness, courtesy of the guy who thinks that you have to be fat to be offended by a fat joke.

*You give me some debunked study by Paul Cameron, et al. to prove this point and I will come over there.

Defining Lust

atheism, atheist, religion, religious, jesus, bible, christian, christianity, muslim, hell, judaism, jewish, orthodox, burqa, modesty, lust
Quasar, over at the SMRT board, has possibly explained a fundy (and I'm speaking of Christian, Jewish and Muslim fundys here) viewpoint that has long confused me- lust.

Fundys make a big deal about sexual attraction, and it's never made sense to me. (Growing up Catholic, you learn a lot about the evils of birth control, but nobody makes a big deal about clothing or lust in general.)

We all know about the burqa and the head scarf, and if you live where I live, you've seen how Orthodox Jewish women dress. Christian fundys aren't generally quite that extreme, but they do make a fuss about modesty.

Quasar's explanation:

Now that I've got you interested with the title... how broad is the definition of lust, and how does this apply to sexually repressed fundies?

For me there are three distinct levels, and I only define the third as 'lust.'

1. The first is simply in passing: I notice a girl, and may not even consiously think about her, but my mind recognises that she has attractive features and I could tell others that she was attractive if they asked.

2. The second is more like 'admiration.' This is simply a platonic admiration of the other persons aesthetics: consiously registering their beauty. An example might be when your eyes fix on someone as they go by. Happens to me a lot.

3. The third is what I call lust, and involves actual sexual attraction. This emotion is extremely rare, and takes a lot to evoke, in me at least.

Now, I'm beginning to think that fundies may have a much broader definition of lust. Consider those who force women to wear head-scarfs to prevent lust from being evoked.It seems to me that they consider even the first definition, simple recognition of attractiveness, to be lust. Something Ray once did (Hi Maragon!) and the general behaviour of fundy christians, leads me to believe that they consider the second definition as lust. Or is it possible that the sexual repression both groups enforce causes them to experience the third definition of lust far more frequently than myself? Or a combination of the two? Chime in! What do you think?

While I find it entirely possible that people who are repressed about sex might end up thinking about it even more (Pink Elephants! I dare you not to think of them!), I think it may well be true that simply noticing a member of the opposite sex, or recognizing their relative attractiveness is what qualifies as lust to fundys.

This is an extremely odd viewpoint because, as another SMRT member noted, one could achieve 1 or 2 with a dog, a horse, a painting or a piece of furniture. Simply acknowledging the beauty in a person is not lust.

To view acknowledging beauty as sin is just mindblowing to me. "God made the world a beautiful place- don't enjoy it or you'll burn forever!" has to be the most depressing theology I've ever heard of.

Now on to 3, real lust. I fail to see what exactly is wrong with lust. For one thing, lust is a desire to act, not an action. For another, we're biologically programmed to lust. Perpetuation of the species and all that. I know, I know, Jesus did say that desire and action are one and the same. Lusting is the same as fucking. Anger is the same as murder.

What a peculiar viewpoint. For one thing, who can control their thoughts? Just writing this is sending me into a really detailed fantasy involving [censored] and it is HOT! What were we . . . oh, yeah, controlling your thoughts. Not possible. I suspect that any religion that puts you in the position of thought sinning is really aiming at a particularly insidious form of control. "You can't control your thoughts, pervert? Better get some Jesus before your burn! Oh, what, Jesus isn't enough to stop you from thinking sinful things? Better start attending church and reading the bible and tithing- otherwise it's the outer darkness for you!"

Thoughts are normal. Noticing another person's beauty is normal. Appreciating another person's beauty is normal. Lustful thoughts are normal. (This fantasy I am having- not so much.) Homosexual thoughts in an otherwise hetero person? Also normal. Getting worked up about it? Not normal, not healthy and not necessary.

We may need a few more bus ads.

It's Ben&Jerrys

prop 8, vermont, same sex, marriage, gay, homosexual, lgbt
Not Ben&Marys!*

Vermont same sex marriage bill advances!

From The New York Times:

The State Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to allow same sex marriage, setting the stage for the House to take up the matter this week. The Senate, which is dominated by Democrats, voted 26 to 4 in favor of the measure, which would allow gay couples to marry starting in September. Vermont was the first state to permit civil unions for gay couples, in 2000, and it would be the third, after Massachusetts and Connecticut, to approve same-sex marriage.

*hat tip to my hubby, who will say absolutely anything.

I'm So Damn Fat

Your turn, bitch.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The First Amendment May Apply to You

first amendment, dawkins, richard, oklahoma, legislation, free speech, atheism, atheist, investigation
But it certainly doesn't apply to me.

I'm an atheist, you see. And as PZ Myers* pointed out, that makes Richard Dawkins, and me, criminals worthy of investigation by the Oklahoma legislature.

Sure enough, I just received confirmation today in a letter from the Open Records Office at the University of Oklahoma. The letter confirms that on the day of Dawkins' speech, Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton requested substantial information relating to the speech from Vice President for Governmental Relations Danny Hilliard. Representative Hamilton's exhaustive request included demands for all e-mails and correspondence relating to the speech; a list of all money paid to Dawkins and the entities, public or private, responsible for this funding; and the total cost to the university, including, among other things, security fees, advertising, and even "faculty time spent promoting this event."

Rick Farmer, the director of committee staff for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, also wrote the University on March 12, requesting confirmation that Dawkins had indeed waived all compensation for the speech.

I wonder what the total cost of investigating a completely legal exercise of free speech will be?

You know what? Fuck it. If every homophobe in the country feels free to bother Vermont legislators on their vote, let's all hound the Oklahoma legislature about this aggregious waste of funds and antiAmerican suppression of free speech.

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Oklahoma Senate

Please, even if you hate Dawkins, even if you hate atheists, please let Oklahoma know that the First Amendment is for everyone, or someday, you may find that it isn't for anyone.

*I have such a crush on this man's brain.

More on the Tea Party Asshattery

tea bag, tea party, teabag, teabagging, conservative, liberal, obama, bush, spleenweasel, asshat, stupid,
The Washington Monthly as an excellent look at another part of the tea party silliness that has been bothering me: these spleenweasels weren't mailing anyone bags of Lipton when Bush was spending money and driving the US government into a deficit (not to mention taking away civil liberties, starting wars and ordering torture).

Now we're less than 3 months into the first black President's term and spending money is BAD! Taxes are BAD! Civil liberties are GOOD!

Seriously, bite me.

Outside the Beltway's Alex Knapp, a libertarian, took a look at some of these events and came up with some important observations. Knapp noted, for example, the fact that most "Tea Party" participants will get a tax cut from Obama, so it's kind of difficult to believe them when they say they feel put upon. For that matter, "Tea Party" cheerleaders didn't mind excessive government spending when it was going to an unnecessary war in Iraq. He concluded:
Let's call the "tea party" and "going Galt" nonsense what it is: unprincipled partisan hackery. If these were truly principled protests, they'd have been around all through the Bush and Republican-controlled Congress years, too.

Quite right. It's no doubt inconvenient for this crowd, but a Republican Congress and Republican White House worked together to increase the debt by $5 trillion, expand the size of government, increase spending, increase the tax burden on the middle class, and expand the powers of the executive to undermine civil liberties. The some people attending "Tea Parties" not only cheered these GOP policymakers on, but voted to keep them in office as long as possible. (Indeed, many condemned those who disagreed, accusing liberals of "treason" for failing to support elected leaders during a crisis..)

Literally just two months into a Democratic administration, far-right activists are now holding public protests? They're mad about deficits and a loss of "liberty"?

I almost feel sorry for the folks who get conned into believing this nonsense.

The Bill O'Reilly Squad

bill, o'reilly, fox, news, conservative, rape, alexa foundation, amanda terkel
Bill O'Reilly's method of silencing critics is unacceptable and (should be if it isn't already) illegal.

Here and here.

In case you're too lazy to click:

To summarize, if you follow Brad Pitt with a camera for two hours and shout obnoxious questions at him, Bill O'Reilly thinks you're the "scum of the earth." If you follow Amanda Terkel with a camera for two hours and shout obnoxious questions at her, Bill O'Reilly thinks you're a patriot on the Fox News payroll.

It's worth noting, of course, that O'Reilly has a goal here, and it's not limited to bullying and corporate-sponsored stalking. Ultimately, I suspect the goal is to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation -- don't criticize O'Reilly, or he might send some people to your home.

Under no circumstances is this acceptable.

Ode to My Puppy

Facepalm time, Part 2

atheism, atheist, atheophobia, muslim, islam, christian, christianity, stupid,
Sorry about the empty post, I need to remember not to accidentally hit "enter" while in blogger.

Today we revisit our friend Yusuf Khan, over at the examiner. Mr. Khan has, in five posts, picked apart atheism with "simple" arguments. (I hate it when people insult themselves for me. Takes all the fun out of it.)

I will now review part 2 and part 3 of Mr. Khan's delightful examination.

Welcome back, everyone.

As was said earlier, the non-religion of nonbelievers (a.k.a. "Atheism" stop that!) suspiciously finds its non-belief being aggressively proselytized in the 'Religion and Spirituality' section of most libraries and online media outlets.

I will restate my original dismissal of this bit of silliness: why does it matter what section of the newspaper articles about atheism (it is improper to capitalize atheism, btw) appear in? I can't think of a paper that has a philosophy section, so religion and spirituality probably is the next best fit. Business wouldn't work.

If we started putting articles about Islam in the sports section, does Islam become soccer? Of course not. Putting articles about atheism in the religion and spirituality section does not make atheism a religion.

Shouldn't they be categorized in the 'Philosophy' section instead? what paper has a philosophy section? Basically the genuine followers of genuine religions are too nice to tell them to go away. but not you, Mr. Khan. or Ray Comfort. Or Mr. Holmgren. Yeah, you're all so nice. So they stay, as unwelcome guests. yeah, we're pretty much used to that. i'm beyond being pissed that fundys don't want me around. in fact, i'd be a little worried if they did want me around.

For the most part being Atheist is not good enough. for what? you? it's quite enough for me. They have to drag you away from belief as well. not true at all. if you consider my not believing what you believe an attempt to "drag you away" from Islam, that's your problem. it says a lot more about the state of your faith than anything else. now, if you mean my unwillingness to submit to your spiritual superiority, then yes, i suppose you're right. Nothing less will do. i don't care what you believe. worship allah, worship odin, worship my socks for all i care, just leave me out of it. (if you do decide to worship my socks, i'll let you have them. otherwise, it gets awkward.) This of course, takes us to our discussion point for today: the Atheist desire for acceptance in mainstream society. why shouldn't i be accepted in the mainstream of society? discrimination is NOT a good thing.

Myth: Atheism should be considered a mainstream way of life. This is because Buddhism is a form of Atheism. i've never, NEVER, heard this argument. atheism should be considered a mainstream way of life because it is. billions of people worldwide are atheists, including about 40% of Buddhists, but even nonBuddhist atheists shouldn't be regarded as freaks.

Fact: Documented quotes from Buddha mention a Supreme Being on at least one occasion, which is an obvious affirmation. this is just painful. about 40% of buddhists are atheists, and about 60% are theists (here, here, and here) because buddhism is divided in the same way that christianity is divided, judaism is divided and islam is divided. and, while i can find many quotes from the buddha that propound and atheistic worldview, i couldn't find the quote that Mr. Khan refers to. (Mr. Khan has a little trouble proving what he says.) In essence, Buddhism as it stands today neither denies God nor is God-centric. Thus it can hardly be claimed that Buddhism is an Atheist religion. nobody claims that. we do acknowledge, however, that a large portion of buddhists qualify as atheists in that they do not believe in a god or supreme being. In other words, the lack of acknowledgment of the existence of an entity does not necessarily constitute disbelief in it.

my advice, Mr. Khan? don't try the semantics again. you're not good at it. either the buddha acknowledged god, or he didn't. either a certain portion of buddhists are atheists, or they are not. this sort of parsing proves nothing.
Take if you will the following example.

Islam acknowledges as valid all of the Prophets who appeared between Adam and Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon them all. how egalitarian! (ooh, and it leaves our Joseph Smith. Take that, Mormons!) However the Qur'an only mentions a little over twenty of them by name. possibly Muhammad was not familiar with all the prophets the world over? Now just because the others are not mentioned by name, can anyone say other Prophets from God are not a part of Islam? Obviously not. where is this going?

Therefore the analogy of Buddhism cannot be manipulated to normalize Atheism.
Buddhism is a world religion.
A=B therefore C=P? Sorry, I'm calling fail on that one.

Atheism? You figure it out. I'm still guessing. I have figured it out, being an atheist and all. Might be more helpful to ask me than this asshat.

Today's post is a little history lesson. this should be fun.
But before we begin I would like to take this opportunity to make it crystal-clear that I don't have an express agenda against individuals. It's the ideology I take exception to - just as Atheists take exception to monotheism. Fair enough? no, not fair enough. i don't take exception to monotheism, polytheism, monolatrism, or any other godism. Just stop trying to shove it down my throat already!

Having said that, let's proceed.

A basic review of Atheist tendencies reveals that they oppose the authority of God. what? i can't oppose the authority of a nonexistent entity. i can oppose your supposed "god given" authority, but that's a different thing. God is seen by them as 'controlling' or 'oppressive'. not god, religion. religion is controlling and oppressive. As a result of this, contemporary Atheist attacks are directed against God-centric religions, primarily Christianity. what other sorts of religions are there? (okay, buddhism, but I don't thinkg that's what he's referring to.)

On occasion Atheists will also make disparaging attacks against Islam. oh noes!
Curiously enough, ancient mythologies and pagan creeds are never attacked by Atheists. because i never have pagans calling me stupid or defiant, and i have never EVER had a pagan hand me a tract or interrupt my dinner to proselytize. which is a shame, cause that'd be cool. what would pagan tracts look like? But it remains Christianity that usually receives the brunt of their furor. Here's why. because most open atheists live in countries that are overwhelmingly christian. i sure wouldn't do this openly atheist blogging in Yemen or Saudi Arabia. I like not being beheaded.

The Medieval era in most of Europe was filled with great excesses committed in the name of religion. Witch-hunts, persecution of scientists (e.g. Galileo), even the cruel killing of cats that happened to be black in color were all the product of a twisted interpretation of Christianity. there had better be a mention of all the atrocities Islam has created. FGM anyone?

Forced conversions of non-Christians during the infamous Spanish Inquisition also gave politically established Christendom a bad name. and your point is?

Naturally those who arrived in the New World from Europe, though Christians themselves, expressly pledged to separate Religion and State. sigh. i suggest actually reading about US history if you want to talk about it.

Myth: Established religion is cruel and oppressive. it certainly can be, and has been.

Fact: The above conclusion is derived from a singular bitter experience: medieval Europe. oh right. the only example of established religion being cruel and oppressive is medieval european christianity. right.

Have Atheists taken the time to study other faith-based societies and empires? some of us, yes.

Where do we see forced conversions of Catholics during 850 years of Muslim Spain? Do we come across documented instances of witch hunts and prolonged persecutions of religious minorities in Ottoman Turkey? did we see atrocities at the hands of muslims? yes.

The fact is all Atheist accusations of religious atrocities are based on only one historical reference: medieval Europe. not a fact.

Expand your horizons. anyone got a used irony meter for sale? mine just exploded.

The remarkable progress in science and technology that was sparked in Asia, North Africa, and Eastern Europe was a direct product of Islam, not a pre-Islamic phenomenon. i can't speak to this.

This historical testimony serves as clear-cut evidence that the presence of monotheism in a society in no way hinders scientific progress. also not a fact. In fact the above example taken from Muslim history proves that in fact it fosters education and encourages development.

Don't agree? Proof please. already gave you that.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Protest Fail

tea bag, teabagging, conservative, protest, liberal, obama, asshat, speenweasel, stupid
There has been a lot of whingeing on the conservative blogosphere that the MSM is ignoring the right's righteous tea protest, because the MSM hates conservatives, to be sure.

You spleenweasels should be thrilled the MSM is ignoring these protests: they make you look stupid.

Just to review (for a far more thorough review, please visit the Accidental Historian's post on the same subject): our Founding Fathers were protesting taxation without representation. You have representation, you just don't like it. Welcome to the last 8 years of my life. Prior to the American Revolution, tea was taxed by King George after it left the ship it was delivered by. So, by throwing the tea off the ship into the ocean, the colonists were depriving the King of massive amounts of revenue.

Mailing President Obama a teabag is not an equivalent protest. Holding up an accidentally hilarious sign referencing teabagging is not an equivalent protest. Throwing a box of Lipton into a river is not an equivalent protest.

All three of these things are an example of an enormous ignorance of history that could easily be solved by visiting a 5th grade classroom. (The signs are is also an example of an enormous, and highly amusing, ignorance of popular culture.)

In buying teabags to protest with, you are actually giving more money, money you wouldn't have normally spent, to the very government you are protesting, which makes you not a brave patriot, but an asshatting asshat. You may as well protest abortions by getting an abortion.

Protest Fail.

By the way, were I the president receiving tea bags in the mail, this is the thank you note I would send in return:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for your generous gift. I find tea to be both refreshing and relaxing, and given the various crisis I waded hip-deep into the moment I stepped into office- the economic crisis, the health care crisis, the housing crisis, and two wars- I am in need of any bit of relaxation I can find.

I appreciate your thoughtful generosity, and I would like to again thank you.


President Barack Obama

Saddest and Happiest Thing Ever

lesbian, homophobia, homosexual, gay, pregnant, rape,
I'm not trying to make a point here. I just wanted to share.

I have a lesbian friend (surprise, right?), who has never had sex with a man. (I explain this because plenty of lesbians have had sexual experiences with men, and it's important to know this for what happens next.) About 2 months ago, she was raped. A complete stranger dragged her into the back room at the convenient store where she worked and raped her. That was her one, and doubtless only, sexual experience with a man.

She's 7 weeks pregnant now- and couldn't be happier.

I knew she loved children, I knew she was fantastic with children, but I never realized exactly how much she wanted a child of her own. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the money for IVF or adoption, so she figured she would never get to have a child, that that was something that she would forever be denied. All of our friends have children, and how it must have hurt her to watch everyone else have, multiple times, what she couldn't have once.

Now she will have her rapist's baby and she is thrilled.

I'm thrilled for her, too. It feels wrong to be tangentially happy* that a woman was raped, but life is a funny old dog, ain't she?

ps- I WILL NOT publish any comments decrying her "selfish" choice not to give the baby up for adoption to a hetero couple. It's her baby. Hers.

*by this I mean that I am not happy that she was raped, but she couldn't be pregnant without the rape, so, yeah, I feel weird. Which she is cool enough to totally understand.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Who Doesn't Love Some Vermont?

vermont, gay, marriage, tradition, homosexual,
Vermont's state Senate committee just unanimously passed a bill that moves Vermont one step closer to gay marriage!


And just so the bigots can't complain on freedom of religion grounds: The bill would exempt members of the clergy from performing same-sex marriages if their faiths forbid such unions, and would bar lawsuits prompted by such refusals.

Good thinking, Vermont.

Transcript of the first Voice of the Nation

homophobia, homosexual, obama, united, nations, resolution, gay, prop 8, marriage, tradition, angela, rockwood, drew, dna, ufi, united, families
In case you missed it (and I certainly hope you did), here is a reaction transcript of Drew and Angie talking homophobia. It will probably work best if you read along as you listen to the stupidity, but feel free to try it without. (It gets VERY interesting down at the end, if you feel like skipping ahead.)

Um, um, um, um, um

Angie’s protecting my freedom? Really? Because she seems to want to take it away. Funny how people who talk about freedom the most are the ones who like freedom the least.


Um, um, um, um, um,

Kind of

Um, um, um, um,

Gay marriage is the fight of the century? Seriously? We’re in an economic meltdown the likes of which was last seen during the great depression and her homophobia is the fight of the century?


Um, um, um


Uh, um, um, um

You know, I guess

Ah, ah, um, uh, um, kinda, um, uh

California, Iowa, Minnesota

Um, um, uh, ah, um, um

Voters voted for it.

Vermont, Minnesota

Um, um, um, uh, ah, um

Florida gay adoption battle

debunked studies, misunderstandings of difference between sex and gender (for the last time people, sex is what genitalia you are born with, gender refers to societal expectations based on those genitalia.)

Democrats suck!

Um, ah, um, um, uh, ah

More debunked studies, plugging UFI, asskissing between UFI and DNA

MSM, think of the children!, gender, science- it's science!

um, uh, um, uh

back to Vermont

one man and one woman

um, um, uh, ah, um, um, ah

Laura Knaperek, works at UFI, is the "inaugural guest", is a conservative's conservative who knows how to "bring it".

The UN rules the world! Run, it's Ban Ki-Moon!

Laura is both easily excited and easily impressed.

UFI's history: Women who hate feminists started UFI in 1978 to protest to the UN, hence becoming, well, a certain kind of female activists, which could be referred to . . . I think you can see where I'm going with this. They're certainly not at home, raising children and baking pies.

And then, Angie rather obliquely replies to me. She asks Laura why protesting nonbinding UN resolutions is so very important. See, I had a post in response to a post of hers that pointed out that the UN does not rule the world. So, Angie's question is aimed at me. The answer she gets is . . . interesting.

Basically, Laura states that sovereign nations create laws based on UN nonbinding resolutions. Laura's being disingenuous here. Every member nation of the UN is free to sign or not sign nonbinding resolutions. Even when they are ratified, they are, as the name implies, nonbinding. The fact of the matter is, a nation that signs a UN resolution is doing so because they already have, or intend to have, similar laws in their own country. A country entirely opposed to such a law would not sign the resolution. I suppose the argument could be made that if many countries have a certain law- say decriminalizing homosexuality- other countries might be peer pressured into creating a similar law, however, that seems unlikely. I highly doubt Iran is going to be peer pressured into being nice to gays.*

Also, using this same logic, we can see that ideas are dangerous, in that we make laws out of them!

Reproductive health services are BAD!BAD!BAD! Poor women around the world should NOT be allowed pap smears and birth control.

Gender stereotypes are good!

To these asshats, abstinence is HIV prevention. Of course, if your husband comes to the marriage with HIV, abstinence isn't really going to help you. Oh, and condoms=promiscuous sex. Who knew?

Laura is now arguing that homosexuals should not have human rights, and should be subject to the death penalty. Charming.

Now Drew tries to back away from that, stating that UFI does think homosexuals should have human rights, but shouldn't be recognized by the UN. That's the ticket. And not at all what Laura said.

Laura doesn't even try to agree with him. Drew gets uncomfortable. Angie agrees with Laura. Nobody likes Obama.

What can you do to help UFI? Go to the website, give them money, money, money, do what they tell you, bother your congressman, blog.

Kiss butt, kiss butt, see you next week.

*When you find yourself on the same page as Iran when it comes to human rights, you took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. A really wrong turn.

Atheist Pride Day

Liberals Stole My Children!

christian, christianity, religion, sound, doctrine, mills, custody, home schooling, jesus, god, religion, bible, child, abuse,
You know, or not.

Hat tip to The Panda's Thumb for finding the actual Court documents relating to this case. (If you haven't checked out The Panda's Thumb, you should. I only understand about one in three words of some of their posts, but it's still really interesting. And if you only read about what you already know, how would you learn anything new?)

The christosphere has been abuzz with stories of a woman who is losing custody of her children because she dared to homeschool them and raise them as good christians. In fact, check out this email from the Christian Anti Defamation League:

Dear Personal*,

A North Carolina Judge, Ned Magnum, has a issued an order that three homeschool children be returned to public school next year as part of a pending divorce settlement. This ruling is against the wishes of a Christian homeschooling mother Venessa Mills. Venessa has been homeschooling her children, ages 10, 11, and 12,for the past four years, taking them out of public schools in 2005. The father, Thomas Mills, who is an admitted adulterer, wants the children to go to public school. He is opposed to the children being exposed to "religious-based science curriculum."Judge Magnum must now decide between two competing sets of parental wishes. The way this is settled will set a very important legal precedence. The judge must decide what is in the best interest of the children. But under this very vague standard much havoc can be wrecked. Parental rights of homeschooling parents can be undermined as well as unintended harm done to the children.

Read more about the Judge's critic of homeschooling and why this is a threat to its future.


Dr. Gary L. Cass

P.S. Many Christian families choose to homeschool their children instead of placing them in private or public schools. Yet, as seen in the case of Venessa Mills, this right might be taken away soon. Click here to read more about this case and why it is so important.

Wow! That sounds really dire, doesn't it? Interfering with peoples' religion and how they raise their children- hardly sounds American at all, does it?

Because that's not what happened.

As the Mills v. Mills Temporary Custody Order shows, the issue wasn't homeschooling at all.

Mrs. Mills joined a cult (don't get me started on the difference between religions and cults. We will be using the accepted definition of cult for the purposes of this post.) and went from what everyone, including her exhusband, described as a "loving mother" to an abusive control freak.

According to a member of the cult that has since left, the leader of the cult "directed me to develop a 'boot camp style' program to instill better manners in my children. The point of this program . . . should be to 'break' the children and to establish my authority as a parent, so that the children would obey me right away. The program that I ultimately devised, and that [the cult leader] approved, involved waking the children up in the middle of the night to do push-ups and physical exercises, and screaming at them 'boot camp style.' This program lasted approximately one month. My children were ages 11, 7 and 4 at this time. During this month of 'training', my middle child became stressed out to the point of throwing up. When I informed [the cult leader] that she was stressed out and need to lie down and rest, he told me that she did not need rest, but she needed to work and that I needed to 'break her.'"

As an example of what Mrs. Mills was doing to her own children at the behest of the cult leader, we have this testimony: "The children were in the kitchen doing dishes and Daniel asked for permission to go to the bathroom. Mrs. Mills said that Daniel had to stay and finish the dishes. Instead of going to the bathroom, Daniel urinated in his pants right there in the kitchen, soaking the floor." Daniel would have been 8 years old at that point.

This is not a religion issue or a homeschooling issue, and I find it appalling that people are defending this woman's abusive behavior in the name of defending Christianity.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walrus Does Not Like the BBW's*

asshat, editorials, jackass, opine, preterm, stupid, walrus, misogyny, feminism, feminist, labor, pregnant, abortion, abstinence, birth control,
The Playful Walrus is at it again! Only this time it's not teh gayz- it's fat, ugly feminists! Is no one safe from The Judgey Walrus? (I have to wonder what this asshat looks like. Suggestions welcome.)

Associated Press Medical Writer Mike Stobbe reported, prompted by a CDC report found here.

While it shows the U.S. population is more than replacing itself, a healthy trend, the teen birth rate was up for a second year in a row. Wait, does this mean no more Demographic Winter, or are there too many brown babies in this study?

While it sounds bad that the teen birth rate was up, the article goes on to say point out that the birth rate was up in general. maybe the teen birth rate was up because of abstinence only training? it's been proven that doesn't work.

The birth rate rose slightly for women of all ages, and births to unwed mothers reached an all-time high of about 40 percent, continuing a trend that started years ago. More than three-quarters of these women were 20 or older.

Which means that almost 25% were 19 or younger. i'm impressed. walrus subtracted 75 from 100 and got 25. let's give him a round of applause!

For a variety of reasons, it's become more acceptable for women to have babies without a husband, said Duke University's S. Philip Morgan, a leading fertility researcher. you just know that's going to set an opiner off.

It helps keep sperm banks in business and is one reason I plead with men to never, ever donate sperm. because married couples in which the wife is fertile, but the man's sperm isn't doing anything never, ever use sperm banks. ever. sperm banks are only used by evil, single feminists and lesbians.

Even happy couples may be living together without getting married, they might be, we don't know. duh. experts say. And more women — especially those in their 30s and 40s — are choosing to have children despite their single status. countdown to the opine misogyny explosion in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

If a woman doesn't have the time or personality or patience to find, attract, and keep a man she is willing to marry (or a man who will at least have sex with her), should she really be a child's only parent?

that's right. if you're not angelina jolie, you have no business ever being within 5 feet of a child. unmarried women are all ugly and mean. and probably lesbians anyway. in fact, i'm willing to bet that anyone that wouldn't fuck walrus is a lesbian by definition. boy, my hubby is going to be really disappointed when he finds out i'm a lesbian.

Walrus, you just don't like women. I'm not saying you're gay, I'm just saying you clearly do not like women. You are a misogynist of Limbaugh proportions. And possibly dimensions, but I don't really know.

Meanwhile, U.S. abortions dropped to their lowest levels in decades, according to other reports.


Some have attributed the abortion decline to better use of contraceptives, but other experts have wondered if the rise in births might indicate a failure in proper use of contraceptives. Some earlier studies have shown declining availability of abortions.

I don't think I've ever heard in recent decades, from an anonymous source or otherwise, "I wanted to get an abortion, but I couldn't find a place where I could get one." Please. There are people out there willing to fly you somewhere and pay for it. as if anyone would suggest to an opiner that they desired, or even worse, had obtained, an abortion. actually, it is incredibly difficult to obtain an abortion in large portions of the country. there are fewer and fewer abortion providers and laws in many states require all kinds of hoops to jump through, including sitting through prolife seminars and waiting periods, and who are these people flying women places for abortions? link? something? anything? nah, just an assertion.

The pre-term birth rate, for infants delivered at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy, declined slightly. It had been generally increasing since the early 1980s.

The March of Dimes likes to use this as a call to fundraising. helping babies with birth defects is bad! bad! However, I wonder just how much of it is due to 1) an increase in multiple-baby pregnancies due to the use of “reproductive technologies” sarcastiquotes why? they are indeed reproductive technologies. i think some people don't know what sarcastiquotes are for, exactly. (remember – twins born prematurely are two births, while a singleton born at full term is just one, easily skewing the statistics about “births” i'm not sure that's true when it comes to the data collection on preterm births. i know some studies count multiples as one pre term birth (it is after all, only one pregnancy), and some studies throw out multiples altogether precisely because they are more likely to be born preterm and thus skew the results.), and 2) an increase in obesity, adding complications to a pregnancy that prompt doctors to remove the baby before full term.

see, it's not just mean, ugly feminists Walrus hates, it's BBW's, too. Actually, I looked up the causes of pre term births, and obesity wasn't mentioned at all. Here are the primary causes of pre term births:

When preterm labor starts on its own (as opposed to being induced):
Infection. About 40-50% of all preterm labor can be traced to infection. Many women do not show classic signs of infection, like fevers. One good note here is that with antibiotic treatement for Group B Strep, we have seen a reduction. Other than for Group B Strep, antibiotics usually lead only to antibiotic resistance and not a reduction in preterm labor rates.
Bleeding. This does include placental abruption, where the placenta tears away from the uterine wall too early. It also includes bleeding disorders that may be genetic or acquired. Bleeding of any sort should be reported to your doctor or midwife.

Stretching of the uterus. The stretching or overdistension of the uterus has also been linked to preterm labor and birth. This can be caused by fibroids, multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.), or even having too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios).

About 25% of all preterm births to mothers with one baby are ended early for maternal or fetal well-being. This can be acheived either through induction of labor or by planned cesarean section, depending on the reason for the early arrival and the condition of mom and baby. The American College of Ob/GYNs (ACOG) says that there should not be any induction done prior to 39 weeks without medical reason (often called social induction), because of the increased risks. That leaves 75% of preterm labors as spontaneous. About a quarter of the spontaneous preterm labors are due to premature rupture of membrames (PPROM).

See, no fat chicks. Jackass.

Among the states, Utah continued to have the highest birth rate mormons and Vermont the lowest. not mormons

Which could mean that more people who will grow up in larger families and want larger families themselves – and value marriage – are being raised than people who will be accustomed to, and will be more likely to create, a smaller family, perhaps without marriage. "We'll win through attrition!" Also the premise of Idiocracy.

*Big, Beautiful Women.
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Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at foreverinhell.blogspot.com.