Spiritual Warfare part 1 – Godless Gaming

Wes and Matt play a mediocre Zelda knock-off produced by Wisdom Tree, the company infamous for it’s shitty unlicensed Bible games.

Football is totally not gay

I’m a huge college football fan. I have a copy of the ESPN College Football Encyclopedia which I cherish like it was my own son. I regularly check several sports websites and blogs to hear the latest news about new commitments, injuries, conference realignment, BCS reform, etc. I love watching the OU Sooners and OSU Cowboys play. It’s awesome. College football rocks.

But here’s the thing. Like most excessively “manly” activities, it’s pretty homoerotic. Just try describing what it looks like without sounding gay. Watch any football game, and you’ll see big, beefy, sweaty men in tight pants wrestling each other to the ground, slapping each others’ asses, all trying to get “penetration” behind the “tight end” to go into the “end zone” for a “touchdown.” It’s super gay.

This, of course, doesn’t bother me one bit, because I have nothing against homosexuals and feel entirely secure and unthreatened in my heterosexuality even in the presence of something incredibly gay. The problem with football, though, is the central problem in many forms of unreflectively “manly” activities–it’s loaded with homoerotic undertones, and the people involved are often very homophobic.

Take this asshole, for example:

Nebraska assistant coach Ron Brown says he’ll keep speaking out against homosexuality even if it costs him his job.

Well, at least he’s got his priorities straight. Hmmmm, continue to feed your family, or say hateful shit about gays? The choice should be obvious. I’m sure the kids will find something to eat on their own. On an unrelated note, has anybody seen the cat?

“To be fired for my faith would be a greater honor than to be fired because we didn’t win enough games,” Brown said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I haven’t lost any sleep over it. I realize at some point, we live in a politically correct enough culture where that very well could happen.”

This is a common trope for fundamentalists. Portray oneself simultaneously as the mighty hero standing up for God, and as the vulnerable, helpless victim being persecuted just for believing. You get the best of both worlds: You can impress people by being a dick, and earn sympathy by being a pussy. Just ignore that tingling sensation of cognitive dissonance welling up in your anterior cingulate cortex. There’s no contradiction here. And this behavior, of course, is not at all androgynous.

But you gotta love the fantasy world fundamentalists construct for themselves. Petty, small-minded, childish behavior like hating someone for being different is, in this dumbshit’s mind, a noble crusade that makes him a hero in a cosmic war between good and evil. While scientists find cures for diseases, activists feed starving children in Africa, and firemen put their lives on the line to pull people from burning buildings, this guy says hateful things about gay people and might lose his job for it. I think we know who the real hero is. (Hint: It’s the one who likes giving butt-slaps to big, sweaty men who are half his age.) But, anyways, it’s all the fault of “a politically correct culture”. By which he means “a culture where, thankfully, people who are smarter, more reasonable and more compassionate than Coach Butt Slap have generally prevailed in getting equal rights for oppressed minorities.”

That said, I don’t think he should necessarily be fired just for saying bigoted things, unless they were so over the top as to embarrass the university (keep in mind, this is Nebraska, so they’d have to be pretty over the top). The first amendment applies to stupid bigots, too, so he has the right to say what he wants. If this is just about speech, then it’s not that big of a deal…

He has been under fire recently for testifying against an anti-discrimination ordinance that extended protections to gay and transgender people.

Wait! He was testifying to the Lincoln city council???

Brown — in a decision he said he now regrets — gave Memorial Stadium in Lincoln as his address of record. Baier said some people could have inferred he was representing the university, not just himself, when he appeared before the council. She said Brown’s continued employment creates an atmosphere hostile to gay student-athletes.

And he listed a public school building as his address???

So “speech” must be fundie for “Influencing legislation to discriminate against hated minorities while acting in one’s official, state-funded capacity.” And you gotta love how this guy is whining about “politically correct culture” when the goal he’s striving for is to make sure it remains legal to discriminate against people just because you don’t like what they do with their genitals when you’re not around.

“The question I have for you all is, like Pontius Pilate, what are you going to do with Jesus?” Brown asked. “Ultimately, if you don’t have a relationship with him, and you don’t really have a Bible-believing mentality, really, anything goes… At the end of the day it matters what God thinks most.”

The city fucking council has no fucking business asking what fucking Jesus Haploid Christ thinks about fucking anything. And apparently “God” is fundie for “I”.

Oh, and if I were Pontius Pilate, I would let Jesus go, because I oppose the death penalty and support free speech. But beyond that, fuck ‘im.

As for the “anything goes” horseshit, I can’t help but notice that the people at Penn State (including JoePa himself) were Christian too. And they looked the other way when a coach raped a boy in the locker room. Or is “teh gay” okay when it’s in the locker room, Coach Butt Slap?

It was just six months ago that Brown earned national acclaim for leading a prayer for healing at midfield before the Cornhuskers’ game at scandal-torn Penn State.

I fucking hate this shit, and it goes right back to my earlier point about how people lionize their own petty, futile actions. Let’s set aside for a moment that both Nebraska and Penn State are public schools and Coach Butt Slap is a public employee, making this prayer completely unconstitutional.  This guy earned national acclaim for doing nothing. Prayer doesn’t accomplish shit. It won’t bring justice for the victims. It won’t erase the deep psychological scars they’ve received because a bunch of Christians looked the other way. It won’t do anything to prevent future predators from harming kids. In fact, the mentality of “Talking to my invisible friend solves problems” is part of why problems persist.

All his prayer accomplished was to convince a bunch of people who have done nothing (including himself) that they’re so special and contributed so much. It’s childish bullshit. The only actual good that might have come of it was to help quell some of the psychological turmoil that the Penn State players were certainly experiencing. The players were not responsible and were mostly powerless to do anything. Speaking of which…

“Why don’t you ask me why I hired him?” [Head Coach Bo] Pelini said. “I hired him because he’s a good football coach. He’s trustworthy. He has a lot of integrity. I hired him because I believe in him as a football coach and a guy who has positive impact on kids.”

Pelini said he knows Brown injects religion into his relationships with his players and none have complained.

None of them complained? What a fucking shock. If none of the mostly helpless players complained about the man who holds their futures in his hands proselytizing to them while on his government paid job, then it must be the case that Nebraska’s football team is 100% Christian. Not a Jew, Muslim, atheist or Scientologist among them.

This is analogous to the CEO who sexually harasses and intimidates female underlings whose livelihoods depend on keeping their job, and then points to a lack of complaints as evidence that no one has a problem with it. “Well, no one complains that I refer to promotions as ‘blowjob incentivization’, so there must be no objection to it.” A player from a minority religion who doesn’t want to hear Jesus bullshit at his publicly funded place of education (which is entirely his right per the Establishment Clause and the 14th amendment) would be scared to speak up, given that the coaches could yank his scholarship or turn the other players against him on a whim. Pelini is being ignorant and/or disingenuous.

Brown acknowledges that he uses his position as a platform for his ministry. He sprinkles in football metaphors during his many speaking engagements and sometimes references the players he’s coached.

He said the risk of losing his job pales in comparison to the price others have paid for standing up for their beliefs. Christians throughout the world, he pointed out, have been murdered because of their faith.

So have atheists. The difference between me and him, though, is that I don’t use it as an excuse to prevent anti-discrimination laws from passing. The anti-discrimination laws also protect Christians. I think that’s great. They should be protected from discrimination. So should Muslims, Jews, atheists, blacks, women, Hispanics, the handicapped, immigrants, and, yes, gays. (But not Longhorns fans. Fuck them.)

“The same thing that was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today,” Brown said. “The thing that was right 2,000 years ago is right today.”

There’s actually no Bible verse in the New Testament that condemns homosexuality in general. There’s the beginning of Romans, where pagan orgies involving homosexuality are condemned. And there are verses (such as 1 Corinthians 6:9) that condemn those described as “µαλακός” or “ἀρσενοκοίτης”, but these don’t constitute unambiguous condemnations of homosexuality either. Mαλακός is sometimes translated as “effeminite” or “homosexual offenders” in the Bible, but it really just means “soft”. Aristotle used it to refer to cephalopods (squids and octopuses, not nautiluses, according to the biology of the time) because they were all soft parts (it could be translated as “softies” in Aristotle’s biological works), and elsewhere in the Bible it’s used to describe soft linens. The only place it means “gay” according to translators is when it occurs all by itself in a Pauline epistle. Not very convincing. As for ἀρσενοκοίτης, it’s an agglutination of the words for “man” and “bed”. While it definitely seems to have possible homosexual connotations it could just as easily mean male prostitutes. Paul is the only Greek author to use the word as far as I know–maybe it’s just a Pauline neologism, and given that it’s offered with no context, who the hell knows what it means.

The Old Testament does unambiguously call homosexuality a sin (an “abomination”, using the same Hebrew word to describe eating shrimp, which is deceptively translated as “unclean” in this case). In fact, homosexuality is one of numerous OT sins that receive the death penalty. Of course, absolutely nobody follows OT law by the letter any more (not even Hassidic Jews), and a Christian who eats bacon and wears mixed fabrics and doesn’t kill his teenage son for being a disobedient drunk has no business referring to the OT as absolute, literal truth that must be followed to the letter.

So, long story short–Coach Butt Slap needs a few lessons in history, hermeneutics and Biblical exegesis.

“The scriptures teach that blacks were created by God, that women were created by God, but that homosexuals … that is not what God had in mind at all,” Brown said.

So, then, who did create them? Taylor Lautner?  The Marquis de Sade? Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium? Flaminicus, the Roman god of sparkle?

Brown said his words should not be interpreted as an attack on homosexuals.

So if I argued that the law shouldn’t prohibit discrimination against Christian assholes, you wouldn’t see that as an attack?

“I have simply said that based on the Bible, homosexuality, the lifestyle of homosexuality, is a sin,” he said. “That has created a flame within itself. But I’ve decided I’m not going to be afraid of people calling me a bigot or a homophobic [sic] or narrow-minded out of a simple, gentle, compassionate expression of the truth of God’s word. I’m not going to be bought off by that.”

Okay. According to Coach Butt Slap, the following is a “simple, gentle, compassionate expression of the truth of God’s word”: It’s okay to discriminate against someone if they’re gay. In other words, “simple” means “bigoted”, “gentle” means “homophobic”, and “compassionate” means “narrow-minded” in fundie speak. Of course he’s not afraid of being called those things–they’re exactly what he means.

Worst of all, Coach Butt Slap isn’t even the most hideous, repugnant thing in the article:

Brown has been an assistant at Nebraska under three head coaches, starting with Tom Osborne in 1987. He was let go when Bill Callahan replaced Frank Solich in 2004. Bo Pelini, who took over for Callahan in 2008, rehired Brown.

Fuck you, Callahan, you worthless nut-juggling butt-viking! You’re worse than Coach Butt Slap! You’re worse than Hitler! You’re worse than Butt Slap Hitler! No human being could ever sink lower in my estimation than your opprobrious and incompetent ass…

At a time when Tim Tebow‘s faith has been the subject of admiration and ridicule, there are those who like the fearlessness Brown shows going against the grain of what they say is a culture out to marginalize religion and unwilling to define right and wrong.

I stand corrected.

Naughty Nuns

When seeing a title like “Pope Condemns ‘Radical’ Nuns” at CNN, no rational person should think it refers to, say, the order Sisters of Mercy, who had to pay $193 million to sexual abuse victims in Ireland. That would be silly. God doesn’t want us to handle real problems. God wants us to focus on fake things, like the “purity” of the arbitrary rules used to perpetuate an ancient patriarchy that has no place in the modern world.

The assessment said that a Leadership Conference of Women Religious conference yielded “manifest problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal errors,” that went unchallenged.   It also said the event promoted “radical feminism”and decried the “prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some programs and presentations sponsored by the LCWR…”

Whenever someone from some limp dick right wing patriarchal dunce-factory (like the Catholic Church) complains of “radical feminism”, read that as “any form of feminism whatsoever.”  The so-called “radical” ideas that are “incompatible with the Catholic faith” include terrifying notions like Women should share positions of authority with men.

You know, “radical” feminism.  And who’s in charge of investigating these “radicals”?

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the church’s doctrinal watchdog, on Wednesday announced the conclusion of a years-long “doctrinal assessment” investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80% of the Catholic nuns in the United States.

Ah, yes, the Inquisition. They’re certainly known for their reasonableness and tolerant attitude. For instance, look how understanding they are on the issues of abortion and gay rights:

While the assessment praised the social justice work of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Network and the Resources Center for Religious Life, it said the groups were “silent on the right to life from conception to natural death” and on the Church’s view on “family life and human sexuality.”

So just simply not saying anything about abortion and gay rights is “radical”. The only way to be non-radical is to be vocal in one’s homophobia and misogyny. Got it?

Pope Benedict XVI approved the request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to intervene and the implementation of their recommended changes, the doctrinal office said in its assessment.

Yes, Luke! Let the hate flow through you! Now release your anger!

Cardinal William Levada, a former Archbishop in the United States and now the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, said in a statement that the the Vatican process is aimed at “fostering a patient and collaborative renewal of this conference of major superiors in order to provide a stronger doctrinal foundation for its many laudable initiatives and activities.”

Make no mistake. There is not a single woman on the Inquisition. It’s just a bunch of old white male bigots like Cardinal Bill here. And “fostering a patient and collaborative renewal…in order to provide a stronger doctrinal foundation” means nothing other than “putting those bitches back in their place.

This ties in to one of my biggest complaints about not just the Catholic church, but religion in general. It elevates the doxastic over the pragmatic, the traditional over the personal, the abstract over the concrete, the afterlife over life, the empty realm of doctrines and scriptures over the actual experience of real flesh and blood human beings. The more intangible it is, the more valuable it is, and vice versa. Fuck the actual experiences of real women trying to work in a system where they’re prohibited from having any real authority or influence. Saint Paul said “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (1 Timothy 2:12)”, so you non-penis-having folks are just gonna have to sit down and shut the fuck up.

But it’s not just the Catholic church and the Bible’s sexism that’s to blame here.  CNN deserves some blame for how horribly written this fucking article is.  The vast majority of the article is devoted to quoting all the horrible “crimes” committed by these nuns. Of course, all these quotes come from men. A woman isn’t quoted at all, until we get this, an anonymous announcement from someone within the nun’s order that I presume (or at least hope) is a woman:

The sisters, for their part, expressed surprised at the findings. “Because the leadership of LCWR has the custom of meeting annually with the staff of CDF in Rome and because the conference follows canonically-approved statutes, we were taken by surprise,” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said in a statement.

“This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church,” the statement continued. “We ask your prayers as we meet with the LCWR National Board within the coming month to review the mandate and prepare a response.”

Where do we find this, the first quote from a woman in the article? At the very end. And it’s barely even a statement at all, but rather just a milquetoast and sheepish attempt to express surprise that their male masters have chastised them, and a typical call for “prayer”, which as anyone knows will do jack shit.

CNN seriously couldn’t find a single Catholic female willing to weigh in on this topic in any meaningful way? Not one? I find that hard to believe. More likely, they just didn’t look. Which makes them partially complicit in reinforcing the patriarchal assumptions that create this bullshit situation. Let the men do all the talking. You ladies speak when spoken to, then go back being a sandwich-making dick receptacle. At least, that appears to be the view of Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor. Any shocker that the author of the article is a man? Well, I guess it does remind me of one kind of shocker, anyways.

A rifflet on the trailer for a creationist film

Here’s a new Rifflet on the trailer for some shitty creationist film:

http://www.youtube.com/user/RiffingReligion

How do we know god exists? Because of, like, butterflies and flowers and shit. You see, the world is really, really complex, and complex things are really hard to understand, because thinking hurts. But, hey, we’re religious! Who needs to think? Why put out the effort to understand the world when you can just say “God did it” and leave it at that?

As for the trailer itself, it’s not as ridiculous as Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, but like anything produced by creationists it’s full of blissful ignorance and willful distortions. And yes, oh yes, will I get to Expelled some day. Some glorious day, right here, probably pretty soon. The only thing that bothers me is that, in order to blog review the movie, I’ll have to watch it again. And I nearly died from yelling at the screen in fury the last time I watched it…

How to ensure that your kids stay stupid

While looking up companies that support gay rights (so I can buy their shit and piss off NOM), I stumbled onto this dingus. He’s a Christian Reconstructionist named Sam Blumenfeld, or “Blumpkin” as I shall call him from now on.  Blumpkin’s article is in The New American, an ironic title since his piece (like every piece at the site) is aimed at taking America back to about the early 20th century or so.

Blumpkin would like to see education put in the TARDIS and taken back a few decades; you know, for the children. You see, liberal socialist progressive satanist marxist humanists have infiltrated the schools with their fancy-schmancy “critical thinking” and deprived students of their god given right to have adults make sure that they spend their formative years on rote memorization, religious indoctrination and corporal punishment. And Blumpkin ain’t having none of that:

Although about two million families are homeschooling their kids, most American parents still send their children to a public school. Few parents, however, know much of what goes on in their child’s school. In most cases they assume that their child’s school is not much different from the school they attended. And since they believe that the school is being run by “professional” educators, they are willing to accept whatever the school prescribes.

Yeah, that sounds like a fair assessment. Most parents assume schools haven’t changed at all, and blindly accept whatever the schools tell them. Sounds like a lot of the parents I know. If by “a lot of” you mean “hardly any of”.

Back in the early 1930s, when I attended a primary public school in New York City, it was easy to know what was meant by the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Well, back in the 30’s it was also “easy” to know what was meant by “nigger”–especially if you had white skin and a rope. It’s always “easy” to “know” things that you never question. Talk of how simple things were in the old days is usually code for “I never had to think about these things before, and I don’t want to now, ’cause it hurts my brain.” And Blumpkin might respond that he lived in mighty New York City, which is a long way from the dirty South where most of the lynchings took place, but that’s not the point. People tolerated lynchings back then because they just took it as normal and went along with it. It was easy. Things were always “easy” in the past.

Rote was considered okay in those days because arithmetic is a counting system which uses only 10 symbols for all its calculations and requires memorization of the basic facts for optimum use and speed.

There’s definitely some rote memorization required for arithmetic, but it’s a lot more than just that. I’m not saying that 1st graders should learn the Peano Axioms, but they should definitely do a lot more than just memorize multiplication tables. Learning how to use math and why it’s used that way is important, too.

Also, if you think arithmetic is so damn special, then where the hell do you get off saying it “uses only 10 symbols”? Maybe I’m a dumbass, but the basic arithmetic I learned in first grade used the following symbols:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, +,, /, ×, =, . (, ), <, >.

That’s 20 symbols, leaving out alternative notations like’÷’ for division or ‘*’ for multiplication. I realize that the number of operators exceeds what you need for completeness (for instance, you could express multiplication in terms of addition), but you still need more than just the ten numerals to… Oh, wait, I see. You’re not counting the numerals as symbols. Well, then, you’re stupid. Numerals are symbols too, you know. They have the same rights as functions and relations, you mathematical bigot!

They no longer teach mere “reading.” They teach language arts, literacy, communication, body language, whole language, invented spelling, critical thinking, and HOTS — higher order thinking skills.

Are you saying that  education has become more complicated? That’s horrible! If education doesn’t stay simple, then how can it produce the simple minds we Christians need to swell our ranks?

As for arithmetic, the subject no longer exists. It has been subsumed into what is now called Math and includes such esoteric concepts as set theory and numeracy.

Maybe I’m out of touch, but I have to ask: Is there any grade school in the country that teaches set theory? I didn’t encounter it until college, and I’m sure there are some high schools out there that offer it. But grade school? Seriously? I’d actually be quite impressed to see 4th graders who understood set theory. If they’re out there, then Bravo. If it’s true that grade school children out there can actually understand and use set theory, then I’m fucking glad it’s being taught. But I doubt that it is.

And while we’re talking set theory, Brother Blumpkin, let me take a moment to stipulate the non-empty intersection A∩B, where A = {x: x ∈ “your dick”} and B = {y:  y∈”dicks” and Length(y) < 4 inches}.

Anyways, what’s the big deal about “esoteric” concepts? Why is the “esoteric” so bad? For one, it’s not a good word choice. “Esoteric” implies that it’s some kind of secret info that’s only available to an initiated few (like Xenu for Scientologists), so if they’re teaching it to 8 year olds then it’s not esoteric. I think Blumpkin must mean “abstract”. If so, he’s right that set theory and numeracy are more abstract than simple ‘Rithmetic, but what’s wrong with that? Understanding more abstract concepts requires more mental effort than rote memorization. Is getting kids to actually think really that dangerous?

NB: If you’re a fundamentalist, the answer is “Yes”.

All of these new basics are subsumed under the heading of “cognitive skills,” a term devised by cognitive psychologists who believed that the behaviorists simply did not pay enough attention to what was going on in the mind.

And they were right to do so. The behaviorists were wrong. And I say that as someone earning a Ph.D. from a school that B. F. Skinner once called home. School pride aside, he just didn’t give enough credence to what’s going on in the brain. Why is that a problem?

In other words, the public school is the parochial school of the humanist religion, and the affective domain is the religious aspect of the school’s curriculum. In Catholic schools they teach, or used to teach Religion (the catechism and Bible studies) along with the basics. In Protestant schools they teach, or used to teach, the Bible as well as the Westminster catechism. In public schools they teach humanist doctrines and beliefs in the affective domain.

I hear they also eat puppies.

This “humanist religion” shit probably sounds laughable to anyone who actually attended a public school, where no such thing is taught. But if you want to understand people like Blumpkin, you need to realize that they really believe this horseshit. They actually believe that the underpaid, overworked civil servants in our public school systems are part of a vast conspiracy orchestrated by “humanists” (whatever a humanist is) to lure children away from Jeebus.

I’m not exaggerating. Just look at what Blumpkin has to say next:

What is interesting to note is that the form the basics take is determined by the religious orientation of the school. The old-style basics, the traditional three R’s, are most compatible with theistic, biblical religion in which God is the author of a reality that can be studied and known, a reality ordered by God’s sovereign rule. The new-style basics, or cognitive skills, are a product of humanistic religion and its Darwinian evolutionary concepts of man as an animal, society as evolving toward utopian socialism, and the idea of world government. Cognitive psychology is not only compatible with atheistic behaviorism but also with New Age paganism, mysticism, and pantheistic cosmic vision. It is also compatible with teenage body mutilation and tattooing.

You hear that everyone? Teaching set theory to 9 year olds leads to teens getting nose piercings! Or something. Look, we haven’t worked out all the details. What matters is that we have our ideology straight.

Another thing that’s “interesting to note” is Blumpkin’s use of Christian Reconstructionist concepts such as “ordered by God’s sovereign rule.” Reconstructionists are obsessed with authority, dominion, sovereignty, order, predictability, law and power. Their biggest fears all involve things that might lead to aberration, chaos, novelty or disobedience. Their MO is to insist that the world is strictly ordered while condemning it for not being so.

Also of note is their habit of continually tilting at the same windmills, even long after they ceased operation. Blumpkin is in full assault mode against Marxism, socialism, humanism, and behaviorism–thought systems that were influential in American politics over half a century ago, but carry little more than historical weight today. And I’ll eat my hat* when “pantheistic cosmic vision” is anything but a joke to anyone who isn’t a woo-woo dingleberry selling bogus naturopathic remedies in Berkeley or Portland.

*I don’t own a hat.

As Rev. R. J. Rushdoony has written: “Humanistic education is the institutionalized love of death.” Thus, for many children, a public school education is a death sentence. Since the early 1970s, when death education was introduced in the schools, over 50,000 teenagers have committed suicide up to 1989. By now the accumulated number of suicides is no doubt much higher.

And here is where we can confirm that Blumpkin is, without question, a Christian Reconstructionist. I’ve learned to seek out Rushdoony quotations in right wing rants. It’s usually a sign that you’ve come across a special kind of whackjob–someone who believes some of the most outrageous shit imaginable, but has also taken the time to arrange their beliefs into a system that, if viewed casually, looks intellectual. Imagine a person who meticulously saves and categorizes her poo. That’s what we’re dealing with when it comes to Rushdoony followers.

For the uninitiated, Rushdoony was the founder of Christian Reconstruction and a very influential (though little known) figure on the Religious Right. Rushdoony believed that America was originally established as a sort of medieval feudal state, where power rested in local authorities (for him the county was especially important) and Biblical law reigned supreme. All of biblical law. Including the parts about, say, stoning people to death for adultery. He explicitly stated that this was what we should be doing. And of course gays and atheists would also get their brains splattered everywhere if this ideology won out. It’s scary shit.

Rushdoony also advocated an explicitly conspiratorial and revisionist historiography, wherein Christians had a duty to reclaim history from “secular humanists” and recast it as a black-and-white, us-versus-satan conspiracy narrative in which Christians win in the end and claim dominion over all the world. Why “secular humanism”? It was a term coined by philosopher and education specialist John Dewey, and Rushdoony found his philosophy particularly despicable, so the whole global satanic conspiracy came to be known as “secular humanism”.  Whenever you hear some fundamentalist babbling about “secular humanism” taking over the world, keep in mind where this shit is coming from.

Reconstruction aside, I’d love to see some statistics on per capita rates of suicide among teenagers over the decades controlled for factors like income, social status, mental illness, urban/suburban/rural, population size, etc. But Blumpkin provides none. He just gives us a bare number for suicides and expects us to take it at face value. Given how Blumpkin views math and pedagogy, that’s not surprising.

Today, death education is a permanent part of the humanistic curriculum, marbleized into all of the subjects. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among teens. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are as many as 25 suicide attempts for every single completed suicide. Why are so many teenagers unhappy with their lives in a nation that gives them virtually everything they want?

Ooo! I know! Because they’re surrounded by adults who prefer to shame them into a predetermined lifestyle rather than let them become their own human beings.

“Death education”. Jesus titty balls, you fundamentalists have no shame at all.

Indeed, for this writer, September is the saddest month of the year. It is the month in which four million eager, healthy American children will enter the first grade of the public schools where they will begin the process of learning to hate life and love death.

Yep. That’s what I learned in public schools. Hate life and love death. They were especially insistent during mandatory pep rallies. I really hated life during those.

I also attended a Christian conservative school for eight years. The people there loved life so much that they refused to waste it by living it, and made sure that everyone around them did the same thing. Violators of this ethos were shamed. It was so godly. They also had mandatory pep rallies. I just can’t win.

They will be told that they are animals, the products of evolution, and that there is no God in Heaven who loves them.

All of these statements are true, except for the claim about them being taught in schools. Schools barely touch on evolution (bad) and are constitutionally prohibited from making any statements on god (good). But what I find amusing is that there are indeed many children out there who realize that they are organisms produced by biological evolution, and then deal with it and live their lives. Blumpkin, however, can’t handle it. So, basically, he gets owned by 10 year olds on a daily basis.

If they are lucky they will have a Christian teacher who, under her breath, will tell them that they have souls and that God is watching over them.

These are generally the really shitty teachers. But in the Reconstructionist mind, if it’s Christian, it must be good. Blumpkin closes with this:

And what about these pathological killers that are coming out of these humanist schools, where sweetness and light are supposed to prevail? The two killers at Columbine High School were not the normal products of this humanist education — or were they? From what we know, they were Satanists, disciples of the devil, the father of lies, mayhem, and murder. They hated life and loved death so profoundly that they planned to kill a thousand students just for fun. While the school did not endorse Satan worship, it did nothing to stop it because the only way it could have stopped it was to raise the cross of Jesus Christ. Several Christian children were killed because their parents thought they would be safe in a public school. There had been other instances of killings in schools before Columbine. But no one wants to believe that their school might be harboring pathological killers.

How true, Monsieur Blumpkin. Of course no one wants to believe that. I know you don’t want to believe it, but it happens in Christian schools too. Here’s the thing about school shootings: Maybe the problem isn’t “humanists”, but hateful humans. Maybe the problem is complex, involving a lot of psychological and sociological factors that go well beyond a particular person’s religion. Maybe it’s something that everyone–Christian, atheist, Muslim, Jew or anything else–should work together on since it affects us all.

But feel free to keep believing it’s your invisible boogeyman. The rest of us will work on real problems. We don’t need you.