The First Amendment: Christians Only

Ed Brayton calls this quote by Bryan Fischer, the notoriously vicious Director of Issue Analysis at the American Family Association, “The Dumbest Thing Ever Said.” I don’t know if I quite go for that: it’s got some pretty stiff competition. The Reagan Administration alone provides piles and piles of political bullshit, and that only takes us up to 1988. Then you have to sift through another eight years of the George H.W. Bush years (starring Dan Quayle!), the crazed, drooling anti-Clinton paranoia of the eight years after that, and then finally the Shrub years, which may have triggered some tonic-clonic seizures as a result of all the facepalming I did in that time. Yes, the last thirty years of political culture have been heavy on the stupid, not to mention the sheer horrific. Fischer’s essay, in which he argues that Muslims—and by extension all non-Christian—have no First Amendment rights really falls more properly into that second category. The really horrifying thing is how used to hearing this sort of thing I’ve become.

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Children’s Books for Homophobes

Wow.  This is what the Christian Right reads to their children at night, apparently, to make sure that they don’t turn out to be queer.  Right here we have the entire text of a darling little book called Alfie’s Home, which explains how, thanks to an emotionally distant father, a mom who’s too emotionally close, and a pedophile uncle, Alfie starts to think that he might be a homo.  Fortunately, there’s a wise and compassionate psychologist who hasn’t fallen prey to the homosexual conspiracy who can explain it all to him.  All Alfie really needs is some male bonding time with his dad, and probably a hooker or two, to make him happily heterosexual.
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God Hates Fags — Even the Dead Ones.

For the ultimate in Christian love and compassion we hie ourselves down to the great state of Texas.  Arlington, specifically.  The local megachurch, High Point Church, run by the Reverend Gary Simons.  When Cecil Sinclair, a Gulf War veteran and the brother of High Point congregation member died last Monday, the church volunteered to host a memorial service, complete with refreshments for 100 people and a multimedia presentation showing the deceased’s life.

Everything sounds good so far.  Except for that multimedia presentation.  Turns out that Cecil was a big ol’ homo, and the photos the family picked for the multimedia presentation showed that.  In glossy, high-def color.  Or in the words of the Rev. Simons: “Some of those photos had very strong homosexual images of kissing and hugging…. My ministry associates were taken aback.”

And once they saw those images, the church told the bereaved parents to go take a flying fuck at the moon.  Or, to put it more diplomatically and charitably, that the family would have to have the service somewhere else.

The Rev. Simons explains his decision thus:

The issue was not so much that Mr. Sinclair was, from the church’s perspective, an unrepentant sinner, he said. It’s that it was clear from the photos that his friends and family wanted that part of his life to be a significant part of the service.

The pastor said that he could imagine a similar situation involving a different sin. Perhaps a mother who is a member of the church loses a son who is a thief or murderer, Mr. Simons said. The church would surely volunteer to hold a service, he said.

“But I don’t think the mother would submit photos of her son murdering someone,” he said. “That’s a red light going off.” [Emphasis added by incredulous blogger.]

Even if I were a Christian (I’m not) who believed that homosexuality was a sin (again, I’m not), it wouldn’t occur to me in a million years to compare that “sin” to murdering someone.  And I certainly wouldn’t make such a comparison while such a person’s family was grieving for the loss of their loved one. 

And yet, as one of Cecil Sinclair’s friends points out, this isn’t new or unique at all:

[T]hat kind of reaction is all too familiar to survivors of the AIDS onslaught of the 1980s, said Ed Young, a charter member of the Turtle Creek Chorale. Back then, having churches turn down funerals of gay men was not uncommon, he said.

“It may be surprising to younger gays, because most gays think that doesn’t happen any more,” he said. “But it’s still there.”

It’s an ugly history lesson to be learning at this late date.  (link)

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Technorati Tags: homophobia, gay, religion, politics

Laugh or Cry, Your Choice

Fundies Say the Darndest Things is a great site that shows what happens when you combine ignorant superstition, fear of your genitals, and a minimal familiarity with basic rules of grammar and spelling with a keyboard and an internet connection. If you were wondering who’s making up the 25% of Americans that don’t think George Bush is a nutcase, these are them. Some of FSTDT’s top 100 quotes from the non-reality-based community:

2006 Post of the year:

“No, everyone is born Christian. Only later in life do people choose to stray from Jesus and worship satan instead. Atheists have the greatest ”cover“ of all, they insist they believe in no god yet most polls done and the latest research indicates that they are actually a different sect of Muslims.”

Trinidad and Tobago, CARM [Comments (241)] 2006-Oct-01

Technorati Tags: weirdness, anti-feminist, politics

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Fear and Loathing and Fucking

No matter how cynical I get, no matter how many nauseating things that I see perpetrated in the name of morality and decency, it seems that there’s always some fucktard out there whose mission in life is to show me that there’s always just a little farther they can take things.

In short, although I didn’t think that I could be shocked anymore, I am once again appalled at the fear and hatred of sexuality that those in charge of our country harbor in their hearts. Hatred of the naughty bits has been an aggressive part of the Republican party’s agenda at least since Reagan’s malign neglect of the AIDS crisis, allowing thousands to die because they were a bunch of sinful faggots and junkies while simultaneously casting abortion as a luxury item for murderous sluts who would rather kill a baby than lose their girlish figures. [Read more...]

Onion V. Reality

If we ever run out of reasons to keep the Religious Right out of power (yeah, right!), then this ought to provide some motivation: it really is only a short step from reading the Bible literally to reading The Onion like it's The Washington Post.  If you can believe in a creation that took seven days, you can easily believe that there's a woman  on the editorial staff of The Onion named Caroline Weber who wrote an article called I'm So Psyched About This Abortion! Here's a few lines of the article:

As I pushed my way through the crowd, one of the picketers yelled, "How could you do this? How could you kill a child?" What? It's more like, "How could I wait this long?" It wasn't until now that I was lucky enough to be pregnant with a child I had no means to support. I tell you, for a long time, I thought it would never happen to me!

So, to all of you pro-lifers who are trying to rain on my parade, keep it to yourself, because I don't have the time for that kind of negativity. I've got an abortion to plan, and I just know it's going to be the best non-anesthetized invasive uterine surgery ever!

The funny thing is, I actually have the pro-life movement to thank for this opportunity. If my HMO wouldn't have bowed to their pressure not to cover oral contraceptives, I never would've gotten pregnant in the first place. Then what would I be doing a week from Thursday? I'll tell you what I wouldn't be doing: going to an awesome abortion clinic where I'll be the center of attention from the minute I put my feet up in those stirrups. I wouldn't be looking forward to induced dilation of my cervical opening and suctioning of my uterus, either. And I sure as heck wouldn't get the chance to have a doctor insert a metal instrument into my womb to dislodge tissue from my uterine wall!

Well. As soon as Pete, a pro-life blogger at March Together For Life, read those words, his first thought was that it was high time to use the power of Blogspot to give Ms. Weber a good talking to, so that she might understand the error of her whorish, baby-killin' ways:

Sorry ma'am, if you hadn't had sex you wouldn't have gotten pregnant, it's not the HMO's fault for not supporting your promiscuity while not married….

Miss Weber, you have killed your child, which you admit is a baby/human being, intentionally. That does make you an admitted murderer. I'm not going to "condemn you to hell", I'm going to pray for your forgiveness and for the suffering which you will endure when you realize what you have done. Every baby you see from that moment on is going to wake you up to the realization that you killed your child.

I can't think of what to type here that will sound pithy and intelligent, so I'm going to say the only thing that comes to mind: HUH?!? 

True, I don't give the Fundies much credit for intelligence, or even familiarity with the basic precepts of reality. But no matter how cynical I get, I just can't fucking keep up.  I would at least expect them to know that The Onion is a FUCKING JOKE PAPER.

Of course, Pete doesn't need me to tell him this; as of this writing, 649 people had commented on his post to tell him what an unbelievable jackass he is. His reply is actually the most revealing part of the whole thing, because he remains utterly clueless, even when it's pointed out to him. First, he keeps referring to Caroline Weber as if she's a real writer — all the personas in The Onion are as invented as the articles — and second, the pearl-clutching horror with which he tells us that, parody or not, she is a sterling example of the lib'rul baby-killing mindset, and then proceeds to prove it by creating a simpleminded parody of a liberal pro-choicer. He, however, really does expect us to believe that he met this woman.

I've considered deleting this entry, because frankly, I think this pompous little prick has gotten enough attention; he's turned into an Internet phenomenon overnight, and has even gotten a Wikipedia page out of it (although the page is currently being considered for deletion). In my ideal universe, I want to see him rot in obscurity.

But Pete really shows what I loathe and fear about the fundies: their literalism. People who can't think in metaphor or parody are the ones to keep your eye on because they've already decided what the answers are going to be far in advance of getting the facts. The inability to consider the world in abstract, mutable terms is what breeds fanatics and tyrants; the world consists of only binaries, and the opposing binaries can't be tolerated. In short, what might be the biggest warning sign about the aspirations of the Fundies is their utter lack of a sense of humor.

Jesus is Coming

What’s in a name? My name, Christopher, is greek, for “One who carries Christ.”  Whereas the saint I was named after was said to have literally borne Christ across a river, I (metaphorically) dumped Christ on his ass by the side of the road over twenty years ago.

Apparently there’s a lot more to a name in Sweden, at least if you’re in the medical trade.  A nurse named “Jesus” at a Stockholm hospital was asked to use his middle name instead because his employers feared that it would confuse the patients:

According to Jesus, an auxiliary nurse at Huddinge hospital, his superiors were worried that patients told “Jesus will be coming soon ,” might get the wrong idea.

“If they thought that Jesus was coming they might believe that they were already dead,” the nurse told The Local. (link)

Technorati Tags: religion, sweden, humor

You Knew It Was Coming….

It took mere hours for the American Taliban to crawl out of the woodwork and claim definitively that the grotesque tragedy of New Orleans was caused not by differentials in air pressure, or global warming, or gross bureaucratic, negligence, but fags. Yes, that’s right. If you’re a man, putting a penis in your mouth will cause catastrophic weather disasters; if you’re a woman who’s neglected her womanly duties, time to start putting more penises in your mouth (or whatever orifice may be handy), so that we can all be saved.

Gay Party Causes Hurricane!

An organization of Christian fundamentalists claims the destruction brought on by Hurricane Katrina is God’s judgment against New Orleans for holding festivals like the annual gay Southern Decadence party.

“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,” said Repent America director Michael Marcavage on the organization’s Web site. “From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence,’ New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same.”

You’ll probably get your wish on this one, Mr. Mike. Very little will be the same.

Southern Decadence, which was scheduled for the Labor Day weekend, has since been canceled.

Good to see the homos are doing the right thing.

“Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster,” Marcavage said. “However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long.”

And for God’s next trick, he will pull a brain out of Michael Marcavage’s ass.

It's Pat!

Weblogs and respectable news organizations alike are all a-twitter this morning about Pat Robertson’s statement that the United States should assassinate Venezualan President Hugo Chavez, with people on both left and right asking if Pat has finally rolled right over the edge of sanity. For those who haven’t caught it yet, here’s Pat’s words:

“We have the ability to take [Hugo Chavez] out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,” Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network’s “The 700 Club.”

“We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator,” he continued. “It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

All the excitement implies that Pat’s never done anything like this before, and in fact has been a relatively stable, intelligent human being, and, if not brimming over with the milk of human kindness, at least a master of discretion. It’s true that Robertson’s statement stampedes right over Constitutional issues, the Sixth Commandment, practically the entire text of the Gospels, and basic human decency as if they were all so much fairy dust, but for anyone who’s ever paid any attention to Robertson, this is just the same shit, different day. As such, I think this would be a good opportunity to review some of Pat’s greatest hits: [Read more...]