A hurricane of nonsense

Hey, another natural disaster with dozens dead and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. You know what that means. Obviously the message from Hurricane Sandy is that we should blabber about God some more! And CNN’s religion blog is on the job

As millions of Americans begin to clean up from Superstorm Sandy, many will  turn to insurance companies to cover damages caused by an “act of God.” It’s legalese for natural disasters.

Some of the online conversation around Sandy have treated it as such an act, with the term “prayer” trending on Facebook on Monday, as the nation awaited the storm’s landfall.

Well, at least the term “rain dance” wasn’t trending, or the storm might have been even worse!

1. God bless: It was a message expressed by well-wishers around the world. Those spared by Sandy took to social media to show their support and sympathy as the images proliferated of New York’s flooded streets and New Jersey’s eroded beaches. Despite different faiths and nationalities, the upshot was the same: Our prayers are with you.

That’s the fucking upshot of getting your house blown away? Not. Worth it.

Waleed Obaid My Prayers to all family and friends in NY and the rest of East cost OH Allah please help People to stay safe and no harm…

Maybe Allah could pitch in by NOT MAKING HURRICANES.

Darlene Guillen Bohorquez if this storm knocks you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray, and I will be praying with you. Keep safe and remember to help those in need in the aftermath.

The storm knocked me to my knees so that I could pray more? Thanks, God. Now could you please fix my shattered tibia?

Andrea Holmes My prayers go out to all the people who are affected by this storm. And praying does help. God is in control of everything whether you like it or not.

That’s really supportive! God’s shoving a hurricane up your ass whether you like it or not, so just pray to your torturer that he hurts you less than others! Oh, and God is merciful and loving and just. See you in church!

Bishop Hanson ‏@bishophanson
Merciful God, for the millions who this night are experiencing the fury of Hurricane Sandy we pray for safety and comfort. Amen.

I would only take Bishop Hanson seriously if he added MMMBop to the end of every tweet.

2.Thank God: For those caught in Sandy’s path, the conversation was different. More than 7.5 million in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast were without power on Tuesday. Those who could post online expressed gratitude, with “thankful” the 8th most shared term on Facebook by Tuesday morning. And from Twitter:

Demetrius Minor ‏@dminor85
Thanks to everyone who prayed for us during Hurricane Sandy. We were not affected. I thank God for that. Please pray for those who were.

Sam Gentile ‏@SamGentile
Thank God we escaped unscathed from Sandy except for power last night. This is unlike a lot of South Jersey that had lot of damage

Of course. You can never have any kind of disaster without hearing someone say, “Thank god it was them and not me!” Seriously, people, we’re supposed to be a civilized country. Does no one notice how arrogant that sounds? And can we ever get past the primitive notion that meteorological phenomena are caused by invisible boogie men?

3.God’s wrath: A small minority saw Sandy as God’s judgement.

This Tweet is from a leader of Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas congregation known for its anti-gay pickets at military funerals:

Shirley Phelps-Roper ‏@DearShirley
We bow in humble thanks 2 God 4 Sandy! Thank God for a plain message delivered to a puddle of states that proudly flip Him off! #FagMarriage

God sent another fag-related hurricane? Well, Katrina missed all the gay people in New Orleans, and, big surprise, Sandy didn’t single out the gays either. What’s that they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

Nikola Ilievski 24.03.1999. – 10.06.1999. God remembers everything, your NATO bombed us, now enjoy. Greetings from SERBIA!

Serbia??? Seriously, dude, we’re past you. You’re, like, four wars ago. And why did it take god over 13 years to get around to punishing us for bombing Milosevic? Or does this guy just shout this same thing every time something bad happens for America? “Your national hero Lance Armstrong turned out to be a big stinky cheater! Ha! Thank Jesus for steroids and all hail mighty Serbia!”

Hassan Chandio -Disrespecting others religion. and destroying others country killing thousand and millions of people in afghanistan, libya and syria . this is what you get

It’s disturbing that so many Muslims put “disrespecting religion” in the same category as “killing a gajillion people”. And let me pass a little info on to you, Hassan: We’re not at war in Syria. That’s Muslims killing other Muslims over there. But go ahead and blame us for it if you want. I guess it’s better than facing the reality that maybe Islam doesn’t make people as peaceful as you think.

4. God does not exist: Some used Sandy to question religion or at least the idea of blaming the storm on God, employing science, humor and venom. A back and forth between believers and nonbelievers sparked a tense conversation in the comments section on CNN.com.

From Facebook:

Johnny Trujillo Praying won’t do any good. Send some aid or go volunteer if you really want to help. Talking to your imaginary friend won’t do anything.

Well, it’s good to know there’s at least one sensible person on the intertoobs.  I salute you, Mr. Trujillo. As for the world, they and their imaginary friend will ignore you. And you’re not invited to their special tea party, either.

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Freedom for me, but not for thee

I saw Ed Brayton’s brief commentary on this article and had to throw in my two cents. The article is in WorldNutDaily, so you already know it’s gonna be goatballs crazy. But even by WND standards, it’s a whopper. The author, Erik Rush, calls his column “The Other Rush”, which one would think means that he’s happy being second fiddle to America’s most notoriously bloviating gas bag. But it seems rather that he’s trying to one-up Limbaugh in terms of just what a hateful right wing authoritarian he can be.

The title lets you know exactly what you’re in for:

How to disarm the Mainstream Media
Exclusive: Erik Rush wants ‘treasonous’ reporters prosecuted for misuse of free speech

“Misuse” of free speech isn’t very clearly defined in US law, Holmes’ overrated “fire in a crowded theater” standard notwithstanding. Regardless, if the purpose is to “disarm” the “mainstream media”, then it’s pretty clear that whatever this is about, it’s unconstitutional. The First Amendment explicitly protects the press from being disarmed. Kinda like how all those rednecks keep reminding us the Second Amendment does for American gun owners. Except in this case, the media isn’t actually gonna blow anybody’s head off.

Well, it’s Free Speech Week, an annual celebration of Americans’ right to free speech hosted by the Media Institute. Partnering organizations include media organizations across the political spectrum. What’s ironic is the extent to which Americans’ free speech is under assault at present. While this is more evident among the non-liberal, non-secular folks among us, this oppression is just part of a design that will ultimately stifle all of our speech and liberties to varying extents.

I think we need to start a Self Awareness Week. During Self Awareness Week, people will be encouraged to pay attention not only to what they’re doing but also to the context in which it’s done, and to notice things like the fact that you’re publishing this on the internet without any repercussions whatsoever so obviously no one has taken away your free speech you stupid fuck.

Since it is Free Speech Week, I can’t think of a more perfect time to clarify just what free speech is and, more importantly, what it is not.

Translation: I’m gonna make sure free speech only applies to “non-liberal, non-secular folk”.

I’m going to get ahead of myself here and presuppose a Mitt Romney victory in November. This is the only scenario in which America will be able to get her feet back under her, so to speak, and plot a course out of the bog in which President Obama has situated us. An Obama re-election will essentially mean a national bracing for impact, and all bets may be off with regard to preserving our liberties to any meaningful degree.

What liberties, exactly, has Obama taken from you? At least with Bush people could point to specific legislation, the PATRIOT Act, for example, which expressly curtailed certain freedoms. But what has Obama done that affects anyone’s freedom? Usually the “freedom” people accuse Obama of taking away is the “freedom” to take away other freedoms, such as the “right” to deny birth control coverage to an employee. And, as we’ll see, the “freedom” to take away other people’s freedoms is exactly the kind of “freedom” Rush wants to protect.

Yes, many Americans are now cognizant of the fact that progressives have “progressed” America dangerously close to being a Marxist-socialist nation and that we are collectively responsible for not having checked that progress.

Have you ever read the writings of Marx or any other socialist? America is nothing like the society they envisioned. It’s not even close. America is about as Marxist as Honey Boo Boo is talented.

…there are other widespread, organized threats to America’s ongoing concern as a representative republic with guaranteed personal liberties, free speech foremost among them.

Here, I am speaking of the press

Fucking First Amendment! It violates the First Amendment! Or something…

the conglomeration of national broadcast, digital and print media organizations that has been incrementally packed with ideological liberals and socialists, and so has disqualified itself as the impartial government watchdog it once was.

Okay, a few things here. 1.) If you think the media was ever impartial, I’ve got three words for you: William Randolf Hearst. 2.) Being liberal disqualifies you from being a government watchdog? I see what you did there. 3.) The existence of Fox News contradicts all such “liberal mainstream media” demagoguery. 4.) HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR FREE SPEECH? You can’t have free speech so long as liberals have free speech? You do realize that free speech doesn’t mean freedom from being disagreed with.

Oh, wait, we’re operating on the right wing conception of “freedom”, which means “taking freedom from others.”

During my lifetime, I have seen the press become an advance force for social engineering and global socialism.

During my lifetime I’ve seen the press become an ADHD fever dream of sensationalistic headlines and flashy graphics that convey almost no information and perpetuate the “careers” of people like Paris Hilton far beyond their expiration dates. But, yeah, global socialism and all that.

In the matter of this president, the press largely facilitated the ascension of Barack Obama. The instances wherein they have promoted, shielded and aided him are beyond enumeration.

This goes beyond such things as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and his man crush on Obama – I’m talking about treasonous collusion.

You keep using that word “treason”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

And how exactly is supporting the President “treason”? When people on Fox gushed about Bush, was that treason too?

One particularly scandalous incident occurred during the second presidential debate, when CNN moderator Candy Crowley made an interjection that appeared to have been as spontaneous as Ambassador Chris Stevens’ murder, and which led to a solid point scored for Obama.

Romney said something which was demonstrably false, and she asserted so. I don’t know if it’s flattering or frightening that you see “true” as meaning “a solid point for Obama”.

Most recently, after Mitt Romney brought up Obama’s 2009 “Apology Tour,” the press did their best to support Obama’s claim that this never happened, despite boundless reams of footage that exist chronicling the event.

Well, the footage proves that there was a tour. But it’s the whole “apology tour” thing that the press is denying. And so they should, as the tour had nothing to do with apologies. But when exactly do you plan to get to the part where any of this is treason?

In perhaps the worst recent transgression, on Oct. 21, Phoenix, Ariz., CBS affiliate KPHO ran a lower-third graphic indicating that President Obama had won the Nov. 6 election over Gov. Mitt Romney. A technician’s cute stunt, or subliminal propaganda? In any case, it was technically a prosecutable offense the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission should be all over.

What’s that? Some low level techie at a local TV affiliate in Arizona made a dumb mistake? Kill him! Kill him!

You think I’m kidding about the kill him part?

It is improbable that the framers of the Constitution anticipated a situation in which the press were entirely given over to seditious, anti-American policies. If they had, it is likely that their modus operandi would be similar to that for any faction found guilty of high crimes. Trials for treason and the requisite sentences would apply, and I would have no qualms about seeing such sentences executed, no matter how severe.

Still think I’m kidding? Treason is a capital crime, so Rush is in fact saying that people who support liberalism in the media should be killed. No joke.

And as for the “improbable” situation that Rush alludes to, something of this nature, in which people were saying “un-American” things in the press like “Let’s secede from the Union”, did in fact happen to our founders, culminating in the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798. And SOME of them, such as John Adams, did support rounding up dissenters and jailing them. OTHERS, such a Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, opposed the act. The Founders weren’t a homogeneous unit that agreed on everything. They had disagreements just like everybody else. And, in the case of the Alien and Sedition Act, it would surely be ruled unconstitutional today, and it led to numerous problems for the people who supported it. In fact, Jefferson (a Democratic-Republican) pardoned those convicted under the act, and then turned around and used the act against the very Federalists who had originally supported it!

The lesson? As our founders learned, if you support laws to prosecute your enemies for their speech, it won’t be long before that law is turned around and used on you. So don’t support such laws. But learning this lesson requires self awareness and foresight, things which are entirely lacking in today’s right wing.

This is not likely to occur, however. Radio personality and nascent media mogul Glenn Beck…

*Snort* Just a sec. I gotta take a moment to laugh at even the suggestion that Glenn Beck is a “media mogul”. I’m better now, please continue…

…has the intention of putting the establishment press out of business. While I wish him every success, it doesn’t seem likely that he will accomplish this through his organizations alone. In addition to the advent of powerful alternative media sources, I believe it will be necessary to codify – or reaffirm – the nature of crimes against the Constitution and the American people. In this manner, we can thwart the designs not only of the press, but all global socialists operating in America.

Again, what are these crimes, other than the “crimes” of disagreeing with you and (allegedly) supporting a candidate that you don’t support? And who the hell are these global socialists? And what exactly is so threatening about the media?

Let me check up on our Illuminati Lizard People Overlords over at CNN just to see what dastardly plots are unfolding… Oh God. They have a headline on the front page of their website that reads “‘Dancing With The Stars’ Goes Country”. Rush was right! This truly is the end!

Those whose speech and actions impinge upon the God-given rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution are, by definition, excepted from protection under the First Amendment (as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment).

So God gave you the “liberty” of not having other people vocalize opinions that differ from your own? And how much of a fucking pussy are you if you can’t even handle people in the media saying things you disagree with?

The wingnuts, if we took them seriously, would have us believe that America is simultaneously the strongest country on Earth and so fragile that it could be taken down by puffy faced blabberers like Chris Matthews. And that the only way to protect liberty is to take it away. And that we should make government smaller by expanding its ability to control individual expression. And that our unbridled, exploitative capitalist economy is “Marxist” and should be replaced by unbridled, exploitative capitalism. And that Chuck Norris has interesting things to say.

This is a very important concept to consider, because it is based on these presumptions of protected speech and equal protection for all that progressives and socialists have engaged in their predation upon our liberties.

They think they can effect change through free speech! How un-American! Don’t they know that here in America we effect change by shutting down people who suggest we might need to change something?

If these truths can be acknowledged and widely accepted as such (as opposed to progressives’ Orwellian interpretations), then the political disenfranchisement of liberals, progressives, socialists and Marxists can begin in earnest, and in the open.

The right wing sure is getting bold, isn’t it? My guess is that ten years ago WorldNutDaily would never have published such an unambiguous call for all those who oppose them to be silenced by force. Fascism was indecorous back then. But now, as a lovely infographic over at xkcd illustrates, the far right has pushed itself into the mainstream by taking over a big chunk of Congress (especially the House), and as the mainstream becomes more looney, the looneys see this as an opportunity to push the boundaries of “acceptable” lunacy.

The Overton Window has shifted, and we’re now living in a world where right wing authoritarianism can rear its ugly head unabashed and unafraid. Tell rape victims that God wants them to have that child? Sure. Declare that corporations are people? Why not. Call 47% of Americans freeloaders and unapologetically praise the greed of the wealthiest Americans? Of course! Transvaginal ultrasounds? Disenfranchising black voters? More warmongering with Iran after two failed wars? Second Amendment remedies? Women who use birth control are sluts? Football players should be silenced when they express an opinion? Jail people for being liberal in public on the charge of crimes against the constitution? Hey, the sky’s the limit!

Ed (not Brayton) over at Gin and Tacos gave a rather bleak assessment of our current cultural dialogue. While I’m not as pessimistic as he is, I have to agree that we as liberals have failed at something basic. In our misguided attempts to be “fair and balanced”, we’ve let the meaning of terms shift (including the term “fair and balanced”), and we’ve allowed the looniest of the far right lunatics to control the tenor of the debate and say the most ludicrous things without fear of reprisal or scorn.

Of course, I’m not a lunatic like Rush, and under no circumstances should even lunatics being censored just for disagreeing (I say this even when it comes to “hate speech” laws in Canada and Europe that penalize people for spouting homophobic garbage). But allowing free speech should never mean failing to mock and deride people who says stupid or bigoted things. Just look at Rush’s article for an example of how dangerous it is to play the “respect people’s beliefs” gambit. Rush is so emboldened that he now believes it is a CRIME to disagree with him. He’s grown so accustomed to seeing the media put kid gloves on when dealing with creationists, global warming deniers, market dogmatists, homophobes, and all sorts of goatfucking crazy people that he now perceives the mere presence of liberals to be treasonous.

When somebody says something stupid, there should be a chorus of dissenters pointing out how wrong and stupid the claim is. Of course the stupid person will say that being called stupid is a violation of the First Amendment, but the fact that he or she believes this is part of what makes him or her stupid. The people with truly indefensible ideas can’t withstand scrutiny, so their only recourse is to silence those who would contradict them. Bad ideas need external, non-intellectual support. And as long as we have this mentality of “respecting beliefs” no matter how insane or demonstrably false those beliefs are, we are giving them that support, and opening a window for them to completely alter how our nation discusses important issues.

I say let the wingnuts like Rush have their word. But then I’m gonna have my word. And if the wingnuts don’t like it, they can go fuck themselves.

Bring Your Problems to Church – A Riffing Religion Rifflet

I take 30 seconds out of my life to watch a 60 year old commercial trying to get people to come to church by convincing them it’ll solve all their problems. Why do I do this to myself?

Not helping

I’m a big fan of secularism and separation of church and state. But that doesn’t mean that everything done in the name of those causes is a good idea. Sometimes, it’s downright silly, and the recent kerfuffle over LSU’s strategically airbrushed photo of fans in a promotional email is a good example of pro-secularist silliness. Here’s the original photo:

And here’s what they sent out in their email to students and fans:

At first glance, they may not seem that different. But a closer look reveals that the young men in the picture had crosses painted on the upper left sides of their chests. These crosses were airbrushed out of the email version of the photo. It turns out that these guys are part of a Christian themed LSU Tigers fan club. Now, a Christian Tigers fan club is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. Why the fuck would the supposed Ruler of the Entire Universe give a fuck about football? And what the fuck does Jesus have to do with what sports team you root for? Did he die on the cross so that South Carolina would lose? Does god hate Steve Spurrier? And what about all the people on the other team praying that LSU would lose? Did god just say “Fuck ’em” and let USC’s quarterback get injured because he admires The Hat?

And the silliness doesn’t end there. One of the god-flogging Tiger fans explained why he felt the need to paint a cross on his chest:

“The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower, and it reminds me who I need to act like in Death Valley.”

What would Jesus do? Apparently he’d point at the camera and make a douche-face. And apparently this guy needs to paint meaningless symbols on his chest in order to remember that he should act like a decent human being. It’s kinda like how I paint the batman symbol on my forehead to remind myself not to eat babies. You know, normal human behavior.

But, whatever. Regardless of how inane it is, these guys have every right to display their childish beliefs on their chests all day long if that’s what they want. So why would the school airbrush it out? According to Yahoo! Sports, the university censored the crosses because

“We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out,”

Well, that’s stupid. Nothing about the picture implies anything about the SCHOOL making any statements at all. It’s a picture of fans. The fans are making the statement, not the school. If the school accompanied the picture with a caption saying, “Geaux Tigers! Oh, and Jesus loves you, as we demonstrate with this photo of silly looking young people with a lack of perspective,” then, yeah, that would be a violation of the Establishment Clause. But as merely a photo of fans with no message of endorsement from the university, how are the crosses a problem?

What if a fan is wearing a cross necklace? Would they airbrush that out too? What if they were wearing a shirt from their local church? What about a yarmulke? A turban? If we follow the university’s reasoning here, then they can’t show fans wearing any kind of religious or political attire whatsoever without “endorsing” it. Fuck, if that’s the case, I’m gonna declare Ed Hardy and Affliction to be religions so I never have to see one of their t-shirts in a broadcast ever again. Call it DoucheBrushing.

Yes, LSU is a public university, and yes, that means they should never endorse any religion. But no, that doesn’t mean they have to censor images of their fans who happen to have donned some kind of religious accoutrements. And apparently, I also have to insist that it’s censorship, because…

The school, in a statement, indicated that it was not trying to censor any views, but rather to avoid the appearance of endorsing one.

Again, that’s stupid. It is in fact censorship, so if they weren’t trying to censor, they failed; and fans independently expressing their views does not imply university endorsement. The only way I could see it implying endorsement would be if the school were deliberately singling out overtly Christ-humping fans for their promotional material in an attempt to imply that real fans are overt Christ-humpers. But since they’re not doing that, I see no need to censor the photo.

This kind of petty bullshit in the name of secularism really annoys me. It doesn’t help the cause, and it just gives the theocrats ammo for their bullshit crusade against anyone who thinks that church and state should be separate entities. It’s easy to confirm this by looking at the comments on the Yahoo! article, which are full of right wingers blathering on and on about all the false stereotypes they have of secularists. Here’s one example:

Jim B  •  12 hours ago Report Abuse

If I have not offended you yet, I am sorry, I will get around to you as soon as I can

You’ll have difficulty offending me, Jim B., because I rarely feel offended or appalled by anything at all. It’s just my nature. Religion doesn’t offend me. I just think its stupid and intrusive and a pointless waste of resources. And the same goes for a lot of the shit I stand for. I don’t oppose racism or sexism or homophobia because they offend me (they rarely do), but because I think they’re stupid, destructive, backwards bullshit.

But whenever someone does something silly and unnecessary in the name of secularism, as LSU has done, it feeds this myth that someone would only oppose theocracy because they’re “offended” by Christianity.

But there’s also another problem, and a single phrase in the article exemplifies it:

…someone somewhere inside LSU decided not to mix football and religion.

Football and religion get mixed all the time! I’ve written about this before. Coaches at public universities force their religion on their players all the time. They have team prayers. They “share the Gospel” (which means take advantage of their position of authority to lecture their players about the Gospel).  Public prayers are held at football games on the field. This kind of shit happens at almost every football game, and unlike the photo of fans, it is a real violation of the Establishment clause. But the schools do nothing about it.

There are plenty of violations of separation of church and state going on in college football. But it’s not the fans doing it. Primarily, it’s the coaches. If LSU really didn’t want to mix religion and football, they’d be telling Les Miles to respect his non-Christian players and not have team prayers, not censoring silly images of idiots in body paint. But really, all they care about is not getting in trouble. So they ignore actual Establishment Clause violations and censor non-violations. And in doing so, they throw chum to the right wing feeding frenzy looking for anything they can hold up to show how oppressive it is to be in the dominant majority.

LSU, you are not helping.

Praying With Balls

As a Sooners fan, pretty much the only thing worse that seeing my team lose in the Jan. 2009 BCS  National Championship Game was having to listen to the announcers prattle on and on and on about how Tim Tebow is the absolute paragon of human virtue and how we can all but hope just to merely bask in the radiant glory of his awesomeness. Tebow is one of the most over-sold sports personalities of the last decade (I say “one of” since it’s finally dawning on people that perhaps the hagiographies of Lance Armstrong and Joe Paterno were a tad premature). And that has a lot to do with the fact that he injects his religion into absolutely everything he does, which somehow convinces a disturbingly large number of Americans that he should be taken seriously, rather than laughed out of town.

Having said this, you can imagine my disgust a couple years ago when “Tebowmania” became a buzzword in American sports journalism.  The “mania” involved a mediocre quarterback on a mediocre team barely scraping by a few wins at the last second to end with a few more wins than the mediocre team was predicted to get, while a small number of fanatical Christians proclaimed the mediocre quarterback to be the second coming of Christ. It’s mania!!! But there was another word that came from this artificially concocted phenomenon that did make me smile a bit. Other players began “Tebowing”, mocking Tebow’s ostentatious habit of praying at the end of plays, by doing it in the same way that 14-year-olds tea bag their fallen opponents in an online game of Halo.  Prayer + balls on face = funny. Well, at least to my immature mind.

But Tebow can’t leave well enough alone and just fade into obscurity where he belongs. He’s now back in the news for filing for a trademark of the term “tebowing”. (I have no idea if he’s aware of the whole balls-on-face sexual assault angle of the term.)

Dropping to a knee like Tim Tebow might cost you now.

That’s called turning the tables. Usually it’s the whore who’s on his knees. But Tim Tebow says you have to pay him for the honor of giving him a blowjob! For Jesus. I would love it if Christians had to pay a royalty to Tim Tebow every time they prayed in public. We’ll see how important prayer in the public square is to them after that.

The New York Jets’ backup quarterback is trademarking “Tebowing,” the move in which he goes down on one knee and holds a clenched fist against his forehead while praying during games.

Never mind the fact that he didn’t coin the term or realize that people were making fun of him until much later. He’s the Mighty Tim Tebow and anything with his name in it must be his property! And speaking of his awesome mightiness, I first saw this headline on the front page of SportsIllustrated.com. How many other back up quarterbacks with no sense of humor and a pathological need to proclaim their superstitions to the world make front page news?

In the seven filings, Tebow says intended uses for the word “Tebowing” are to connect it with everything from sales of hats and shirts to even toy guns and pantyhose.

Ladies, do you want a nauseatingly religious man praying in a manner that calls to mind “balls on forehead” stamped on your ass? Of course you do! Buy some Tebowing Panty Hose today and get a free “Legitimate Rape” bra, because conservative Christian men know exactly what women want.

The devout Christian says his representatives filed on his behalf not for financial gain, but “to just control how it’s used, make sure it’s used in the right way.” Tebow did say sometime down the road the money would go to his Tim Tebow Foundation.

Nope. No financial gain. That panty hose money’s going to charity “sometime down the road”. That’s the “right way”.

Well if you ask me, the right way to use Tebowing is to drop one last scrotum reference.

Goliath Whines

So they’ve released the letters Jerry Sandusky and his wife gave to the judge prior to his being sentenced for molesting ten children over 15 years. Keep in mind, at the time he’s writing this he’s already been convicted. According to the court, he’s guilty. This is the time to try to convince  the judge to give one a merciful sentence. So how does he decide to address the court?

I write without expectation or a plea for leniency.

What? Then why are you writing at all?

As I sat looking at walls, I spent many hours reliving this ordeal. First, I looked at me, my vulnerability, my naivety (some say stupidity), and my trust in people.

Oh, poor you. Let’s all throw a pity party for the guy who coached at one of the biggest programs in the country, and who used his wealth and influence to lure young boys from troubled backgrounds into the showers where he raped them. I see Disney making an inspirational film about this in a few years. “The Little Child Molester Who Could” starring John Goodman as Rapey McGee sounds about right. They could get Brett Ratner to direct.

There were so many people involved in the orchestration of this conviction (media, investigators, prosecutors, “the system”, Penn State, and the accusers). It was well done. They won! When I thought about how it transpired, I wondered what they had won. I thought of the methods, decisions, and allegations.

This isn’t a game, Rapey, and it’s not a conspiracy either. Just how fucking delusional is this guy? Does he really believe that anyone is going to fall for this?  Hey, Rapey, the reason why you “wonder what they won” is because there is absolutely no reason for all these groups to conspire against you. Collectively they’ve got nothing to gain by railroading you. Get off your fucking high horse and realize that you are not so important that the whole world would go out of its way to bring you down. You’re a pedo football coach, not a god.

What would be the outcome of all the accusers and their families who were investigated? I knew the answer. All of their issues would surface. They would no longer be these poor, innocent people, as portrayed.

We all knew the victim blaming was coming, didn’t we? But even as victim blaming goes, Sandusky starts to get pretty god damn vile:

I have been blamed for all of their failures and shortcomings, but nobody mentioned the impact of the people who spent much more time with them than I did. Nobody mentioned the impact of abandonment, neglect, abuse, insecurity, and conflicting messages that the biological parents might have had in this.

Oh, so this is really about the victims blaming “all their shortcomings” on poor little you. Obviously the impoverished families of these charity kids are bullying the “vulnerable” wealthy, famous guy.

Those who have worked with troubled lives realize a common reaction for those with low self esteem is often to blame others.

It’s also a common reaction from self-absorbed, deluded perverts.

Maybe, they will have a better place to live, a new car, access to more highs, but they won’t change. Most of their rewards will be very temporary.

Well, I hope they enjoy all those new houses and cars they got from me shower-raping them.  I swear, some people just have no gratitude for a good old charity rape.

When I reflected, I realized much of what transpired was about protection. I was placed in protective custody; “the system” protected “the system”, the media, the prosecution, the civil attorneys, and the accusers. Everybody protected themselves. Penn State, with its own system, protected their public image, their decisions, and the allegations. The authorities were protected. Media protected their jobs and ambitions. Prosecutors protected their jobs and egos. “The system” protected the prosecution. As the stakes became higher, people had more to protect. Civil attorneys were protected.

Uh, actually, I’m pretty sure that this was mostly about protecting children from being raped.

The accusers were protected and provided access to potential financial gain, free attorneys, accolades, psychologists, and attention.

No, I mean protecting them BEFORE you rape them. You know, so all the attorneys and psychologists would be unnecessary.

And WTF? “Attention”? Really? Most of the victims’ names were never even publicly revealed. And rape victims are usually so ashamed of what happened to them that drawing lots of attention to it is the last thing they want.

But whatever, man. “The system” and all that, you know.

Then I thought of not being able to be with my wife Dottie, not seeing our dog, Bo, not being there for our kids, not seeing our grandchildren mature…

Okay, stop right there.

Instead of walls, I saw great memories: I saw loved ones who will carry the light; I saw family and friends; I saw those who overcame huge obstacles; I saw all the people who thrived with a little of our help and hope; I saw a locker room with people hugging and crying as national champs; I saw all the people who have stood by me; I saw all the inspirational cards and letters I had received;

Great speech, coach. And if this were the locker room before the big game, it might have some kind of point.

I saw me throwing thousands of kids up in the air and them asking for more;

EWWW!!!

I saw me in hundreds of water battles that nobody wanted to end;

EWWW EWWW EWWWW!!!!!

I saw black, white, brown, yellow, young, old, gifted, and handicapped all at our home; I saw kids laughing and playing; I saw a big, lovable dog licking their faces;

What the fuck is wrong with you??? You’ve just been convicted of child molestation. Don’t talk to the judge who’s about to sentence you about how you fantasize about child face licking, even if it’s a dog doing it.

Again: Ew!

The book with the most impact for me was entitled Left to Tell. It was about an amazing woman of tremendous faith who survived the Rwandan Holocaust. Over a million people were killed because they had to pick sides. She talked about what happened. In the words of a pastor, “I’ve seen these killing sprees before – once the blood lust is in the air, you can trust no one, not even your own children.” There was betrayal and murder. Families turned against one another. Best friends became enemies. Those who had been helped at one point in their life sought and killed those who had helped them. In a lesser way I’ve experienced this.

No. No, no, no, no, a million times No.

The sheer fucking shamelessness of this guy makes me want to puke. Being convicted of child molestation is JUST LIKE the civil war in Rwanda. Un-fucking-believable.

My trust in people, systems, and fairness has diminished. My faith in God who sends light through the darkness has remained.

Must be Catholic. God is very fond of kiddie-fuckers. Just one more reason to tell him to fuck off, in my opinion.

I was supposed to be David but failed to pick up the sling shot. Goliath won, and I must deal with the outcome.

No, you pompous, arrogant, bloated, perverted, self-centered, sick-minded, delusional gas bag. You are not David here. The victims are not Goliath.

You were Goliath compared to the ten year old boy you raped in a shower 11 years ago. You had wealth and power and physical strength on your side. He had nothing and no one to protect him, not even that coward McQueary who saw you do it and ran away rather than call the cops. You don’t get to be the victim here.

Sandusky’s also-evil wife also wrote a smug, self-righteous letter to the judge. It’s more of the same shit: victim-blaming, false martyrdom, whining, etc. etc. And as you might expect, it ends with this:

I pray each day that God will give me the strength to do what is right and that I will be able to hold our family together.

If you need any more proof that there is no God and we are alone in this universe, look no further than Jerry Sandusky. Earlier I called Mike McQueary a coward for witnessing a rape but not calling police. God, who is supposedly infinitely more powerful than McQueary, is even worse. God is infinitely more cowardly than McQueary or any of the others who knew but did nothing at Penn State. No benevolent God would sit by and watch a child be raped and do nothing to stop it. No maundering, logic-chopping theodicy from the “sophisticated” theologians can justify God’s inaction when it comes to the worst of human suffering, which would have to be violence against children.

Jerry Sandusky spent at least fifteen years molesting impoverished or troubled children while living a wealthy lifestyle. Fifteen years before he was finally brought to justice. Only a tiny fraction of the people who enabled this behavior will ever see justice. And Sandusky and those few who do see justice will blame the victims for their “suffering”. The worst part? This is only a tiny, tiny horror when compared with what the Catholic Church has done to children for centuries, often getting away scott free and attacking others who might even suggest that they should be held accountable. And these people, who are most dangerous to our children, then hold themselves up and the arbiters of morality!

There. Is. No. God.

Lies from the Pit of Stupidity

“U. S. Lawmaker Says Something Really Stupid” isn’t even a headline. It’s not news. It’s the way things are and always have been. It’s the festering tripe of America’s legislative sausage factory. Being stupid is a badge of honor for a disturbingly large proportion of the electorate, and it’s practically a rite of passage for an American congressman to get before an audience and proclaim to the world, “Yes, I am as dumb as you. Vote for me!” So there’s absolutely nothing shocking about the following…

A U.S. congressman is attracting attention and criticism for an online video that shows him blasting evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies from the pit of hell” in a recent speech at a church event in his home state of Georgia.

It’s a church event in the deep South. What else do you expect? I would be much more shocked if, at any church event in the South, someone stood up and said, “You know, guys, maybe we don’t already have everything figured out, and it might be a good idea to actually listen to outsiders rather than declare everything unfamiliar to be a plot by Satan to turn our kids gay,” without getting lynched.

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” U.S Rep. Paul Broun said in an address last month at a banquet organized by Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

Wait. Embryology is a lie? So are we going back to the Stork Theory of human reproduction? And if embryology is all a big lie, can you now stop getting in the way of embryonic stem cell research, please?

You gotta love how fundamentalists think that everything that everyone else does is actually all about what fundamentalists believe. Why do scientists study evolution and cosmology? Could it be because nature is fascinating, and discovering its secrets provides intellectual challenges and the potential to develop new technologies and advance society? Nope. It’s to teach people that Jesus doesn’t love them. Because that’s what really matters. Scientists just sit around all day conspiring to tell ten year olds that there’s no Easter Bunny, too.

Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Not even remotely surprising. Again, what would really astonish me would be if Congress actually put a real scientist on such a committee.

Speaking at Liberty Baptist Church’s Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, he said that “a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.”

Good. Present it at a scientific convention. Publish it in a peer reviewed journal. That shouldn’t be a problem unless you “found out” about it from your ass…

“I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old,” Broun said in the speech, which Liberty Baptist Church posted on its website via YouTube.  “I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”

So there’s the source of his “scientific” data. The Bible. Not that far from his ass, if you ask me.

In his speech to the church group, Broun called the Bible the “the manufacturer’s handbook. … It teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in our society.”

“That’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that,” he said.

Oh really? So what does the Bible say about energy policy? What’s Jesus got to say about strict constructionism? How does the Bible say we should handle income inequality? Wait, I do actually have an answer to that last one:

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed  to anyone as he had need. ACTS 4:32-35

So the Bible says we should be wealth-redistributing socialists. I’m sure you’ll get on that right away.

A spokeswoman for the congressman, Meredith Griffanti, said that Broun was not available for comment on Wednesday and that the video showed him “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.”

Anyone with a beating heart and functioning brain should be quite unnerved by the prospect of living in a world where the age of the Earth is a religious issue. But we’ve seen this all before. Whenever a politician says something idiotic and clearly false, the spin is to play the “Heart” card. No, it’s not the lame fifth element from Captain Planet. It’s the tactic of cordoning off a little Fact Free Zone, called “the heart”, and claiming that the politician was standing in this zone when he/she said something demonstrably false.

Because if you really, really, really feel it deep down, it doesn’t matter if it’s gibbering lunacy or blatantly false. It’s in your heart! That makes it okay. Nothing could be bad or dangerous if it’s in your heart. Which is why you don’t need to worry about your cholesterol or that massive plaque build up in your arteries. Keep eating those chili dogs dipped in bacon fat, Rep. Broun. I’m sure you’ll be in Congress for a long time, and I wouldn’t want you to get hungry.

The congressman’s remarks about science have drawn attention online, with critics taking aim at his role on the science committee.

Bill Nye, the popular science personality, told the Huffington Post in an e-mail that “Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun’s views are not in the national interest.”

“For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old,” said Nye, a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Broun “is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology.”

People are afraid to say this, but it’s true. Broun’s views don’t just disqualify him from making decisions about science. In any sane world, they should disqualify him from making decisions about anything that matters in this country. He is, quite simply, not fit to lead.

But Bill Nye’s not gonna say that, even though I wouldn’t be surprised if he believed it just as much as I do. If he did say it, Broun would cry persecution and run to the supposedly liberal commie media to proclaim what a sad wittle duckwing he is that people would be so mean to him, and the rubes out there would gobble it up. And Nye would have to “apologize” for taking an apparently controversial stand on the issue of whether stupid, crazy people should lead our country. And then we could get back to debating more pressing issues, like how Jesus feels about buttsex. And then we can devote a disturbingly large amount of time and resources to discovering what the Easter Bunny’s favorite casserole is, or what Thor’s second favorite NFL team is. ‘Cause that’s what our country needs right now. I’m sure poverty and crumbling infrastructure will sort itself out.