P ↔ ~P

Even religious people think religion sucks. That’s why we get goofball Christians declaring things like “I Hate Religion, but I Love Jesus.” While to any sensible human being this is like saying, “I hate cheese, but I love cheddar,” as if cheddar ain’t a fucking cheese, many Christians take this route to evangelism because even they realize that religion stands for everything backwards, boring, oppressive, invasive, ignorant, stodgy, sanctimonious, outdated, and hypocritical that the human animal has ever devised. They sell a “relationship with Jesus Christ” which, in substance, is identical to what I listed above, but which they’ve slapped a different label on. Well sorry, guys, but covering up the label on that can of expired Vienna sausages won’t turn them into big juicy Bratwursts on the grill. (Does that make you horny, baby?)

This is just the kind of stupidity that would appeal to a nincompoop like Victoria Jackson. (I promise my four readers this won’t turn into the All Victoria All the Time Blog. I just couldn’t resist going back to that bottomless well of dumbness one more time.)

Is Jesus different than “Religion”? (22 million views) Yes.

No.

And who cares if it got 22 million views? It’s probably just 20 million idiots and 2 million assholes like me who make fun of it.

Like I’ve always said, since learning it at Florida Bible College in 1976, the word “religion,” “re-li-gio” in the original Greek the New Testament was written in, means “to bind back” to God – in other words, “good works” for salvation.

Okay. First off, “religion” is from the Latin, not Greek. The Latin word “religio” does not occur in the New Testament. The word for religion in the New Testament is Θρησκεία, or sometimes δεισιδαιμονία.  Florida Bible College sure cranks out some excellent scholars, don’t it?

The Bible teaches that we could never be good enough to be with God, “our righteousness is as filthy rags.”

And who chose to create us that way? Man, God is such a dickhole. Make us imperfect, and then constantly insult us and threaten us with eternal damnation for being that way.

That’s why God became a man, Jesus, died, was buried and rose from the dead to pay for our sins.

So here’s god’s reasoning: “Huh. I’m not happy with the way I made humans. Therefore, I must become one of them and kill myself. That should fix the problem.”

And, Victoria, would you mind explaining how any of this is NOT religion? Sounds just like fucking religion to me.

That is called “the gospel,” or “good news.” Ephesians 2:8,9, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

That is called “the bullshit”. The only reason we even need to be “saved” is because God is an incompetent creator with a childish temper and a pathological need for affirmation from his underlings. It’s not a gift. It’s extortion.

This young guy, Jeff Bethke is telling the good news at FORTHEKING.TV Check it out! Praise the Lord! I’ve been praying for revival in our country and leaders to rise up and point us to Christ. My prayer is being answered.

Victoria, do you even understand what Mr. Bethke was saying? How does anything in this maundering mini-article relate to the “I hate religion, but love Jesus” line of bullshit it’s supposed to be discussing? Can you not even directly address a topic requiring at least a modicum of mental effort without losing track of your thoughts in the space of a mere three paragraphs?

Not that it matters. You’d have to be pretty dumb to think that a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” isn’t just religion in a new package. Nothing any of these superstitious God-humpers can say will change that.

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Incompetent and Malicious

The saying goes, “Don’t assume malice when incompetence will suffice.” But there are times when both apply, and Victoria Jackson is the paragon of what happens when you marry stupidity and hatred. Which is exactly why I chose to check in on her blog. Let’s see what she has to say…

At the gym today, I plugged my ear phones into the state-of-the-art-Elliptical machine and the only news channel out of the 23 TV’s hanging from the ceiling, was CNN. So, I watched the enemy. It’s fun to see how they distort things, to watch their blatant propaganda.

It’s also, fun to, put commas-and-hyphens where, they don’t belong.,-

I’m sure some CNNies don’t know they are propagandists. They were the kids in high school who copied the captain of the cheerleader’s hairdo without asking questions. 12″ beehive. 12″ beehive. Side bangs in your eye. Side bangs in your eye. No questions asked. They are pod people. They have no soul, so they copy whatever they believe is the “in” thing. Some of the CNNies know they are brainwashing the ignorant masses.

This is totally unrelated: Saturday Night Live is the most overrated and unfunny show on television, and comedians who join the cast do it solely because they think it’s a cool show that the good comedians do. And they think that if they go on it they’ll be stars, but most SNL alumni just become hacks.

That has nothing to do with Victoria Jackson’s pathetic tenure on SNL and her subsequent irrelevance in the world of comedy. She totally has a soul and shit.

Suddenly, the gym CNN is blasting a story of how a homosexual man is helping other homosexuals adopt children. He speaks about the personal, passionate sacrifice of his time for this cause as if he were Mother Theresa. I’m appalled. Homosexuals-adopting-children is child abuse. No, it’s pedophilia and sexual molestation. Teaching a young mind, a clean slate, an innocent soul that homosexuality is a natural, normal and moral lifestyle is evil. How is gay adoption different from the recently jailed Penn State Jerry Sandusky, child molester case?

…I suspect that this is one of those questions that you aren’t really expecting an answer for.

To top it all off, CNN called the segment, “Heroes!” CNN said if you want to submit someone as a hero, go to Heroes.com.  I think Benjamin Smith risking his life as a Navy Seal in Iraq is a hero, or my husband the cop, risking his life every day for 30 years to catch bad guys is a hero, not a gay man making out with his “partner” in front of his poor, adopted foster child, who is held hostage and forced to watch the pornography.

The homophobe’s vision of gay life is much kinkier than the actual thing. That says more about the homophobe than it does about the homosexual. In Victoria Jackson’s mind, a gay couple suck each other off in the living room while their kids watch Sesame Street. Her mind is much dirtier than anything going on in gay homes.

With all the TV shows, Modern Family, Glee, etc., and today’s Huff Po video of straight guys kissing at Chick Fil A “to make a statement,” I’m getting really tired of the topic. And then, my husband tells me an Army Brigadiere General brought her wife to her promotion ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery! What?! A wife can’t have a wife?! Who’s the insane person here? Is this a Twilight Zone episode?

I can’t tell if that’s a question or an exclamation?! I’m also pretty sure you misspelled “brigadier”?!

As for who’s the insane person here, I’m pretty sure it’s the hateful bitch who calls people “Twilight Zone” simply because they’re living a lifestyle different from her own. On the right wing that’s pretty much all it takes to be “insane”–just be different than what the person flapping his/her jaw is used to.

Seriously?! So, there was a parade with transvestites, and men in leather straps holding giant, rubber, anatomically correct genitals as props, swishing next to our uniformed military out in the street?!

Ummm… So now we know what Victoria Jackson jills off to in her free time… I wish I’d never known that. Seriously?!

And THEN… the Democratic Party announces, “DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM SUPPORTS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE”  Why isn’t anyone freaking out?

If you had even an ounce of self-awareness, I’d think that was an attempt at humor.

I wish I could forget about the social issues and focus only on the economic issues. I try. But, it’s impossible. Every issue comes down to what you believe is right and wrong.

This is a relatively new refrain from the Republican alternate universe, and it’s revealing. It’s becoming obvious that the real power brokers in the Republican party (i.e. those who have the money) are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the “movement conservatism” base that the party has been riding since Nixon’s southern strategy. The petty-minded, bible-babbling, homophobic, creationist bigots that have been this party’s bread and butter for 4 decades, but it comes with a cost. The party’s image has suffered, and people often perceive them as backwards, ignorant, out of touch, and just plain creepy.

This creates a dilemma–how do you keep the dumbfuck rubes on your side while not alienating those who don’t believe that buttsex will usher in the Apocalypse (by which I mean, normal human beings)? The answer they seem to have settled on is to claim that they don’t really care about abortion and homosexuality, and would rather just focus on “economic issues” (i.e. making the rich richer), but it keeps getting forced on them. This is a totally disingenuous move on their part, but I also take it as a positive sign. My guess is that the Republican power brokers really would like to move away from prayer in schools, homophobia, anti-evolutionism, anti-abortionism, etc. That’s a good thing. But I don’t know if they can ever fully abandon these issues, seeing as they’ve whipped up their base to the point where they think the very fate of the world depends on keeping schlongs out of buttholes and teaching children that reading the Bible is a science experiment.

Jane Lynch just announced publicly, “F**K Chick Fil-A!” I publicly stood up for Chick-Fil-A, and I don’t use the F word.  Jane believes her morals are just and loving. I believe my morals are just and loving.  We can’t both be right.

Fuck no, you can’t.

Jane’s the one who’s right, by the way.

The lines are clearly drawn. Which side are you on? Or, are you one of those people who say nothing and sit on the fence, the “moderate,” the lukewarm? Jesus said in Rev. 3:15, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I vomit you out of My mouth.” Pastors who preach nothing.  People who won’t put a sign in their yard, or a bumper sticker on their car. Christians who don’t vote.

I gotta admit, the image of Jesus vomiting is a rather bizarre choice for inspiring religious extremism. I bet Jesus’ puke smells like fish.

A guy on my airplane last week wore a T shirt that said, “One Nation…under surveillance.” Bravo for speaking up.

Pretty sure he was talking about the Patriot Act, honey. But you just keep thinking everything is about fags.

Just like the fable, The Emperor’s New Clothes, I feel like everyone is lining the street, bowing to the Emperor and telling him, “You are our great leader! You have saved our economy! And you are right, “Christian” Emperor, homosexuality is normal!”

If you keep fingering yourself over naked gay guys I’m gonna pull a Jesus and barf all over my keyboard.

I say, “He hates America. We are in an economic crises he has purposefully made worse and homosexuality is not normal.”

Well, you do say a lot of really stupid shit.

The people look at me with disdain, “Hush! You are hateful!”

I would never tell you to hush.  Where would I find my entertainment if you stopped flapping your dumb, hateful jaw?

“But he’s not a Christian, he’s a Communist! It’s so obvious! …’spread the wealth,’ and, the Bible says homosexuality is a sin.”

Okay, you’re just randomly stringing together non-thoughts at this point. Is your blog entry actually going anywhere?

The people and CNN spit on me and walk away. I see a few faces across the street with spit on their faces. I am not alone.

Oh, poor wittle you.

The lines are clearly drawn now:

Obama and his czars hold up Tyranny.

Romney/Ryan shout, “Liberty!”

Obama and his Greenies say, “Wind/solar.”

Romney/Ryan/common sense say, “Drill, baby, drill here!”

O says, “Make America a third world country.”

Romney/Ryan say, “U.S. is exceptional!”

O says, “One World Socialism.”

Romney/Ryan says, “Socialism fails every time.”

Obama and the Democrats applaud homosexuality.

Romney/Ryan shout, “Traditional Marriage!”

Obama and the Progressives bribe, “Free Stuff for all.”

Romney/Ryan affirm, “Balance the Budget.”

Obama and the Communists offer slavery to the poor.

Romney/Ryan offer opportunity to the poor.

Congratulations, you’ve somehow managed to get the platforms of both candidates entirely wrong while simultaneously regurgitating more brainless boilerplate catchphrases than should ever be together on one page in any just universe. And someone please tell the right wing nutbags that the Cold War is over already. Next thing you know they’ll be protesting the Norman invasion.

(*Biden says nothing. He was forbidden to open his mouth. He applies to Ringling Brothers for a job as a clown.)

Can’t argue with you there. I guess that in 1100 words you were bound to say something true at some point.

Can any American really be on the fence anymore?

Where does it end? Sodom and Gomorrah burnt up.

Jude 1:7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

But you’re not hateful. Oh, no. There’s nothing hateful about threatening gays with fire. That’s just some good old fashioned Christian love right there.

In the end, what have we learned from Victoria Jackson’s hateful, barely coherent rant? We’ve learned that social conservatism holds a special appeal for those who have particularly addled and disconnected thought processes. An incoherent mind is much more comfortable as long as all incoming information remains familiar and unchallenging. When something comes in that disrupts the comforting status quo, it reacts with hostility. Unable to actually formulate a response on its own, it borrows from others and vomits up catchy bromides about its own familiar affiliations and hateful slanders about the perceived threats. Victoria Jackson certainly fits this bill. She knows how to repeat platitudes she’s heard from others, but little else.

It’s sad. I hate SNL, but I actually liked UHF. Although, to be honest, she’s the most bland and forgettable character in the film, so fuck her.

Football is totally not gay… Part 3

Having earlier indicated my distaste for homophobia in football, it’s nice to see a positive statement on gay rights from a football player. Brendon Ayanbadejo (thank zombie Jesus that this is in print and I don’t have to pronounce that name) of the Baltimore Ravens has recently come out in favor of gay marriage. And, as you might imagine, the bigots are shitting themselves over it. One of them, Emmet C. Burns, is a Maryland state legislator who had his interns write to the Ravens’ home office to protest the fact that their players have opinions:

Dear Mr. [Steve] Biscotti [owner of the Ravens]:

As a Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly, and a Baltimore Ravens fan, I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex [sic] marriage, especially as a Ravens football player.

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

Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team [sic] would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.

Yeah! Don’t you know that athletic black men are only supposed to be entertainment for stodgy old twats like me? I’m appalled that one of your players might actually be smarter than I am and speak his mind! (I find the fact that this “shut up and entertain me” crap is being spewed by Burns, who is black, even more galling. Doesn’t he recall how often this bullshit has been used to silence black people, who for the longest time could only become celebrities by going into entertainment? Has he not seen how the white bigots reacted to the 1968 Olympics “black power” salute?)

Many of your fans are opposed to such a view…

Steve Biscotti: “Sigh. We need to get smarter fans…”

…and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement.

…Unless Tim Tebow uses the sport to shamelessly promote his doofy religion while on the field. Let’s keep in mind that Ayanbadejo does the gay marriage thing on his own time. He’s not hiring gay guys to suck each other off on the 50 yard line. If you just watched the game you’d never know he was *gasp* a reasonable person, and could just pretend he’s a knuckle dragging imbecilic bigot like yourself. And you can watch big, beefy totally non-homo men slap each other on the ass, which for you is probably part of the “entertainment” package in the game.

And who made Delegate Burns the God of Football? He’s gotta have adamantium balls to write to an NFL owner and tell him how to do his job. Maybe Biscotti should start giving Burns pointers on how to draft legislation and pander to the God-humper crowd.

I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base.

Well, I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo probably doesn’t give a fuck what you think. He’s not your trained monkey. He doesn’t exist solely for your amusement. And I think you might find the fan base a little divided by your “Football players can’t say smart things” policy, too. Some people treat entertainers like human beings, after all.

I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner [sic–what’s with the wonky capitalization in this letter?], to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.

You know you’ve got a doozy of a right wing bigot when they can cram so much stupid and evil into a single sentence.

For starters, since when is it “necessary” for an NFL team to prevent its players from making political statements? I’ve never heard of such a rule. And what’s with the sudden humility? Now he’s “requesting” something when earlier he was lecturing on what football is supposed to be all about. I thought you were God of Football! God doesn’t make requests! Don’t they keep reminding us that they’re the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Useful Suggestions?

There’s also the part where he gets a little too honest, admitting what he wants is “to inhibit such expressions”. Oops! The talking point is “Promote free speech by protecting the family and puppy dogs”, buddy. Get with the program, or we’ll send you and Clint Eastwood to Guantanamo.

And then there’s using language like “cease and desist” and “injurious”, as if Ayanbadejo were doing something illegal. And I’m sure, in Burns’ mind, it should be illegal. Because saying nice things about gay people is quite injurious to dumb bastards who hate gay people.

Burns’ interns conclude:

I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayambadejo [sic] is doing.

I already mentioned Tim Tebow, but here we come to the best part of the story. Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (what’s with these fucking unpronounceable names? Are football jerseys made from spare Alphabet Soup?) has written an open letter to let Burns know what those other football players think, and it is glorious. Everyone should read the whole thing, but just to give a taste of its wonderment, its title is “They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster”, and it starts like this:

Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,

I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):

I’m tearing up this is so beautiful. From the parodic use of “inconceivable”, to the unrestrained contemptuous tone, to the well deserved pimp slap at the end. Chris Kluwe, you win the prestigious Wes’s Favorite Football Player of the Week award. It’s like a Heisman, except you don’t have to give it back if you’re caught cheating. And there’s no trophy. And no prestige. But there might be a handjob in it if you’re nice to me. But probably not.

There are two versions of Kluwe’s opus, a profanity-laden tirade of empyrean crassness, and a toned-down version for those who feel all poo-poo inside when somebody says fuck-words (but feel just fine when someone can’t visit their dying spouse in the hospital because they’re the same gender). I bet you can guess which one I fucking linked to. It’s recommended reading for the whole universe. Here are a few more choice nuggets:

…you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain.

…To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit….

…the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for “beautiful oppressionism”)…

…This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom?

“Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!”

P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.

More people need to say these things whenever a bigot opens his or her mouth. If the entire world points out to them how ball-crunchingly stupid they are, maybe it will start to sink in.

On a side note, I’d just like to reiterate an earlier point I’ve made about the false stereotype that football players are stupid. I think Ayanbadejo and Kluwe are a couple of pretty smart fellows, and I’m sure they’re not alone in the NFL, or college or high school or any other level of football. (Except for the Canadian football players. You can go to hell, you stupid Snow Mexicans! Forward motion at the time of the snap? Goal posts at the front of the end zone? Come on!) As the current fiasco shows, football players are surely a hell of a lot smarter than the people that Americans choose to govern our country.

UPDATE 9/10/12: I have learned from some commenters over at Ed Brayton’s blog that this dingus Burns is also a Democrat. A Democrat! What the hell is wrong with him? Has the whole world gone completely down the rabbit hole?

Christian Compassion

Well, this is horrifying:

MOSCOW –  A Russian mother told witnesses she threw her two young sons to their deaths from a 15th-floor balcony because she was “fed up” with them, RT News reported Monday.

Galina Ryabkova, 30, allegedly tossed her sons, ages 4 and 7, from the Moscow apartment building where she lived with her husband.

Ryabkova reportedly later told witnesses she was “fed up with children” and “decided to get rid of them.”

You know, some people say that if there were more religion in the world, we’d be better people, but…
She later told investigators that her children were now “angels in heaven,” RIA Novosti reported.
Why am I not surprised?

Asian-Americans Rock!

Now this is a title that I like to see:

My Take: Asian immigration is making U.S. less religious

It’s interesting that while immigration debates usually focus on Hispanic Americans (and the bigotry against them that is unfortunately so common today), a recent Pew study found that Asians are immigrating here in larger numbers. And then there’s this:

Of all the Asian Americans surveyed by Pew, 26% are unaffiliated, 22% are Protestant, 19% are Catholic, 14% are Buddhist, 10% are Hindu, 4% are Muslim and 1% are Sikh. And when asked whether religion is very important in their lives, only 39% of Asian Americans say yes, well below the 58% figure for the U.S. public as a whole.

Woohoo! And is anyone shocked by the following?

This study also informed us that Asian Americans are wealthier and more highly educated than the U.S. population as a whole, and more likely to identify with the Democratic Party.

I would say if that does shock you, then either you haven’t been paying attention, or you’re a religious nut who will just ignore reality anyways. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Sociologists of religion have observed that immigrants often become more religious after arriving in the United States. So it could be that Chinese Americans, who are roughly half unaffiliated, will become more Christian or more Buddhist over time. But for now it seems that Asian immigration is doing more than making America wealthier, more educated, and more liberal.

It may also be making the United States less religious.

That first part shouldn’t be surprising. America as a whole is more religious, and has plenty of religious organizations that specifically target immigrants for conversion. Resist, my rational-minded Asian brothers and sisters! Don’t let them get their hooks on you! Remember, they don’t care about you as a person. They just want your money, your vote, and your precious, precious soul. And, in the case of the Catholics, your children.

This is great news all around, though. Hopefully an increase in secular-thinking Asian Americans can help blunt the effects of the religious right in this endlessly confused country. At the very last it increases the voting block of people who don’t want to hear politicians babble about what Jesus thinks is the best fiscal policy. (While ignoring that Jesus’ fiscal advice included things like “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” “Sell everything you have and give it to the poor,” and “It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”)

But, since this article appeared at CNN.com, it of course attracted some racist bigoted Christians to the comment section. I still can’t believe people consider CNN to be a “liberal” news source. They’re readership certainly doesn’t seem very liberal. Take this guy who calls himself “HeavenSent”, for instance:

HeavenSent

Figures you would be a zipperhead lover. Non-believers not so smart and bad taste.

Amen.

June 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

HeavenSent

We are losing our Christian values due to zipperheads, nigs and sp i cs.

Amen.

June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm

HeavenSent

I don’t hate. I just know where their role and place is.

Amen.

June 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Charming. And really, “Zipperhead”? I didn’t even realize people still used that racist slur. Are we back in 1970 all over again? But, then, I’m “not so smart and bad taste,” so maybe I’m just not hip to the most sophisticated, fashionable bigoted stupidity out there.

And then there’s Stone Age Fred, whose thinking might have seemed out of touch even to cavemen:

stone age fred

Atheists are powerless and they know they are thats why they hide.Troll the internet too

June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I’ve long been of the opinion that disorganized, incoherent writing and speech reflect disorganized thinking. And I can’t help but notice that they often correlate with worldviews like this guy’s.

But the really nice part about this is that there’s nothing shitheads like HeavenSent and Stone Age Fred can do to stop the gradual secularization of society, to which Asian Americans are providing a wonderful contribution. They can throw their temper tantrums and toss their bah-bahs to the floor, but it will have no effect at all.

And it’s fun to mock them while they squirm and cry. 🙂

Poe’s Law at work…

LZ Granderson has a good op-ed at CNN.com.  He doesn’t say anything surprising. Just the standard, sensible reasons why gays should have equal rights. You know, the kind of thing that people who use their brains all believe. I won’t rehash what he says, since I’m sure anyone who doesn’t have mashed potatoes between their ears has already said all the same things themselves a million times only to have it glance off the skulls of whatever bigot they’re trying to have a conversation with.

What caught my eye, though, was in the comments section. I honestly can’t tell if this is serious or not:

Homosexuals are disgusting. I know a guy who was driving to Florida and he stopped on the side of the road to take a leak. He stumbled upon a gay sex party and tripped over some guys doing it. Then the cops came and arrested everyone. He wasn’t even part of the gay party but they still brought him in. Like I said, homosexuals are disgusting

I…I’m speechless. The story clearly can’t be true. I mean, why would he stick around to get arrested rather than, you know, get back in his car and leave immediately? I mean, did he just see the gay party by the side of the road and decide to stick around for a while just for shits and giggles? How did he not see two people buttfucking each other until he was tripping over them? And who has “gay sex parties” by the side of the road? And the guy pissing by the side of the road isn’t the disgusting one in this story?

But as stupid and obviously false as it all is, I still can’t shake the uncomfortable and depressing feeling that there are plenty of people out there who are stupid enough to say something like this in all seriousness. In fact, the fact that it’s so stupid and so obviously false is exactly what makes me think that it’s just the kind of thing that some right wing bigot out there actually believes. Stupidity and falsity are exactly the kind of qualities they look for in beliefs when they’re hammering out a worldview.

Why Evolution Matters

Kevin Drum over at Mother Jones (a publication that, I admit, I rarely read) has said something rather dumb about evolution. Not that he’s a creationist (I’d be using the word “douchebucket” a lot more if he were). Rather, he’s concerned about how we, as people with functioning brains, should view the importance of the evolution/creation battle in America. According to Drum, it’s not all that important and has little relevance to the political issues that matter today.

He’s wrong. And he clearly knows very little about the anti-evolution movement in America and what their agenda really is. Simply put, if you support things like equality based on gender and sexual orientation, responsible economic policy (as opposed to slash-and-burn capitalism), religious freedom and secularism, and the all important task of trying to keep the American populace at least un-stupid, then the unending onslaught against facts and reality in America’s public schools should be on your radar.

Drum is responding to an article by Andrew Sullivan, who after lamenting the fact that polls consistently show that roughly 45% of Americans believe Jesus had a pet velociraptor, argues that this is perhaps not an issue of deeply held belief, but that instead creationism functions as a sort of “cultural signifier” demarcating “us” (good Christians) from “them” (Commie Muslim liberal fags). I think he’s probably at least partially right about this. My guess is that a sizable portion of American creationists don’t care about the theory of evolution in biology any more than they do about string theory in physics or dynamical systems theory in cognitive science. But they adhere to it because it has become a calling card that differentiates their tribe from the atheists and “socialists” (they typically don’t understand socialism any better than they do biology). Sullivan rightly asks how we could ever hope to have a productive dialogue when such a large chunk of he population decides even the most basic facts about reality based solely on tribal affiliation. (Although I also agree with Ed Brayton, who points out that Sullivan somewhat misses the mark by making this about “bring[ing] our country together.”)

Enter Drum. He thinks this is all a bunch of hooey:

Come on. This 46% number has barely budged over the past three decades, and I’m willing to bet it was at least as high back in the 50s and early 60s, that supposed golden age of comity and bipartisanship. It simply has nothing to do with whether we can all get along and nothing to do with whether we can construct a civil discourse.

If you’ve ever tried to argue with a creationist, you know what kind of “discourse” you’re in for. Civility will be the least of your problems. Intellectual honesty, logical reasoning, and the facts are going to suffer a lot more.

Honestly, I don’t much care for all the babble about “civility”.  If Drum wants to claim that the unchanging nature of American creationism shows that it is irrelevant, I would like to point out to him that American political discourse has never been civil. Read Alexis de Toqueville’s Democracy in America, written in 1832, for evidence of that. American political discourse has always been noisy, rude, loud and unruly. Really, nothing has changed in the day of teabaggers and fundamentalists except that they now have the internet amplifying their barking lunacy.

The fact is that belief in evolution has virtually no real-life impact on anything. That’s why 46% of the country can safely choose not to believe it: their lack of belief has precisely zero effect on their lives. Sure, it’s a handy way of saying that they’re God-fearing Christians — a “cultural signifier,” as Andrew puts it — but our lives are jam-packed with cultural signifiers. This is just one of thousands, one whose importance probably barely cracks America’s top 100 list.

I’m not so sure of this. The Gallup poll found that there is a strong negative correlation between education attainment and rejection of evolution:

December 2010 Views of Human Origins (Humans Evolved, With God Guiding; Humans Evolved Without God's Involvment; God Created Humans in Present Form) -- by Education

Now, this probably has a lot to do with the fact that the more pig ignorant you are, the more likely you are to believe that Jesus personally sculpted out the human rectal orifice. However, we should also consider the possibility that accepting bogus science might hinder one’s ability to think critically and achieve higher levels of education. Regardless, I don’t think one can just flippantly claim that belief in evolution has nothing to do with real life when it correlates so strongly with something so important.

And after making that highly dubious claim, Drum really goes off the rails with this:

And the reason it doesn’t is that even creationists don’t take their own views seriously. How do I know this? Well, creationists like to fight over whether we should teach evolution in high school, but they never go much beyond that. Nobody wants to remove it from university biology departments. Nobody wants to shut down actual medical research that depends on the workings of evolution. In short, almost nobody wants to fight evolution except at the purely symbolic level of high school curricula, the one place where it barely matters in the first place. The dirty truth is that a 10th grade knowledge of evolution adds only slightly to a 10th grade understanding of biology.

Okay, several points:

1.) There are people who would love to remove evolution from the universities, but they know it will never happen. Unlike local school boards and state legislatures, universities have a lot of smart people in them. You can sell your bullshit pseudoscience to a bunch of rubes at the local PTA meeting much more easily than you can at a university biology department (where people know stuff about, you know, science and all that).

2.) I think that the existence of a $20 million creation museum in Kentucky should disabuse us of the notion that creationist don’t take their beliefs seriously. Some don’t, but some most certainly do.

3.) Most importantly, the push to teach creationism in public high schools is not “purely symbolic”, and this is where it really matters. Also, this is where Drum shows his complete ignorance of what’s at stake in this battle.

Kevin Drum needs to read the Wedge Document and get a taste of what the creationists (currently playing dress up as “Intelligent Design Proponents”) are up to. He’s right that they don’t really take their beliefs in creationism very seriously (the document barely even talks about science). But there is something that they do take very seriously: Infiltrating the public school system and turning it into a tool for training up conservative religious freaks who will take over the country and institute biblical law over the rest of us.

Believe it or not, the people pushing creationism today are not stupid (their followers, on the other hand…).  They’re savvy. They know that once people reach adulthood, their outlook on life and their beliefs are basically set. If you want to turn people into mindless Godbots, you gotta start young. The younger the better, in fact.

Intelligent design creationism is not an end in itself to them. It’s a tool, a “wedge” as they call it, that (if they succeed) will be used to usher a whole slew of right wing nincompoopery into the school system, where it will be taught as fact. Would you like for your children (or anyone’s children for that matter) to be taught that our Founding Fathers were religious fundamentalists who founded a Christian nation, that gays can be cured, that relentless laissez-faire capitalism is the only economic policy endorsed by God, that AIDS is a punishment for gays, that America has been on the side of good in every war it fought, that atheists caused the Holocaust and slavery, that welfare only makes people lazy, that abortion causes breast cancer, that “secular humanism” is equivalent to Marxism, and a whole slew of other demonstrably false and ludicrous right wing fantasies that get spewed daily on talk radio and from pulpits? Well, that’s kinda what they’re going for.

The problem is that since creationism, in most people’s minds, serves merely as a cultural marker, they will vote in the person who promises “balance” in the biology classroom without realizing that they are voting in all this other stuff as well. Since so many people accept creationism, savvy (and cynical) politicians who want to radically alter our current system to favor white, wealthy Christians over everyone else can use it as a wedge issue.

So, yes, the creationism issue is very important, even if it’s merely a cultural signifier that most people don’t take very seriously. And this is why Drum completely misses the mark in his conclusion:

Now, I think evolution should remain in high school texts anyway. Why? Because it’s true. Biology is a science, and evolution is one of the pillars of modern science. For me, that’s a cultural signifier every bit as much as a literal reading of the Bible is for 46% of the country. But you know what? I could spend an entire day arguing politics and economics and culture with a conservative and never so much as mention evolution. It’s just not that important, and it doesn’t tell us much of anything about our widening political polarization. We should keep up the fight, but at the same time we shouldn’t pretend it has an epic significance that it doesn’t. I’m not optimistic about anyone or anything “bringing the country together,” but not because lots of people choose to deny evolution. Frankly, that’s one of the least of our problems.

I’m not optimistic about “bringing our country together” either, but that’s just fucking irrelevant. The importance of evolution isn’t in whether it can bring us all around the campfire where we can sing and roast marshmallows. It’s in the fact that its advocates have a much broader agenda, with creationism being the first step in infiltrating the schools. Simply put, if they succeed, we’re all kinda fucked, as future prosperity and progress depend pretty heavily on having a well-educated population.

I find it hard to believe that a liberal like Kevin Drum could be so dismissive about the importance of education. Does he really think that the ongoing attempts to put pseudoscience in public school curriculum is “one of the least of our problems”?  Does he really think that we can just ignore pedagogical concerns about what’s being taught in our schools and expect to be able to solve economic or social problems with an uneducated population?

My guess would be that he doesn’t think these things. He probably just didn’t think at all when he said it. And that’s kinda the problem with these types of issues.