Vox Populi

If you’re like me and enjoy reading something excruciatingly dumb every now and then, then you can rarely go wrong with the Letters to the Editors pages of local newspapers. I usually find myself wondering, “If these are the ones they saw fit to publish, just how awful must the unfit ones have been?” And today’s three letters are no different.

Let’s start with C. Dale German of Bethany, OK, who has a nuanced and original take on the current condition of these great United States.

One nation under God

Ha ha! Just kidding. He’s just gonna regurgitate dishonest god-humper boilerplate. This asshole has totally drunk the “1950s were a utopia” Kool-Aid about the 1950s that too many Americans gullibly believe, and he wants us all to know how deluded he is.

America was once a civil place.

Even our Wars were Civil!

Democrats and Republicans fought from opposite political perspectives yet were both proud Americans.

In fact, just like now, they would NEVER shut up about what proud Americans they are. It’s practically the only thing politicians ever say in this country.

Families could watch TV with small children and never hear profanity.

Talk about first world problems. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant fucking god damn first world problems, you cunt-faced son of a bitch.

School days began with Bible reading, a salute to the flag and the Lord’s Prayer.

That flag reference sandwiched between two religious references is very revealing. As much as they yammer on about the evils of idolatry, the flag might as well be a god to fundamentalists.

We went to work and left our houses unlocked.

Then you were idiots, seeing as crime rates were about the same in the 1950s as they are today, and are actually steeply declining over the last two decades. The only thing that’s changed is now you have sensationalistic 24 hour news channels constantly bombarding you with real life horror stories.

The American military was strong and respected.

That’s because we’d just dropped a fucking nuke on Japan. The “respect” was bullshit. People just didn’t want to get fucking nuked.

Americans felt blessed to live in America.

We still do. I just had a conversation the other day about how happy I am not to live in fucking Mexico where the fucking cartels are leaving duffel bags full of severed heads in elementary schools. The difference is that I don’t feel the need to buttress those feelings with glurgy, sentimental garbage and lies like you do.

“Blue laws” supported businesses that closed on Sunday.

Free enterprise!

Those who don’t remember this America don’t know how heartbreaking it is for those who do remember the America we lost.

It wasn’t lost, because you can’t lose something that never existed.

For sure there was poverty, segregation and social ills to be cured in an evolving America.

*Snort!* Yeah, America in the 50s was great! We saluted the flag and didn’t say the word “shit” on TV! Sure, there was crime, injustice, racism, sexism, higher poverty rates, higher illiteracy rates and all. But we had blue laws! (By the way–blue laws still exist in many cities…)

But we remember a nice country.

That’s because you were a spoiled little brat who was shielded from the harsh realities of the country you lived in. Social ills and injustice are perpetuated by silence, and silence is exactly what a sanctimonious, censorious, prudish, sheltered society like 1950s America breeds. That’s why you were so content with your fucking censored TV and chintzy American flag crap while black people were being beaten in the streets just for protesting Jim Crow laws. “Yeah, there was segregation and poverty, but I remember a nice country.” Shut the hell up.

School teachers and clergy wore suits and were respected.

If you paid school teachers a decent wage maybe they could afford more suits. Or, you know, feed and clothe their children. But the suits seem to be what’s important to you, and if that’s what it takes to get you to pay teachers more, then I guess I can go with it.

Men respected women as ladies and women responded as ladies.

“As ladies”. There is so much packed into those two words that I could write an entire blog post unraveling it. (Don’t worry. I won’t.) Let’s just say that this is the 1950’s “suits=respect” way of saying “Bitches stayed in their place.”

We can hope that not all is lost.

I hope all of it is lost. I don’t want to live in a society where superficial crap like words on TV, saluting a flag and wearing a suit are more important than real life concerns like poverty and injustice. Take your shallow-minded, cotton-candy, shiny-surface-with-a-rotten-core vision of America and shove it.

When those who remember are gone and only those who don’t remember remain, we can hope today’s crass, vulgar, obscenity of incivility will one day fade into history in a born-again America true to its founding purpose — one nation under God.

Or we could just keep living our lives and wait for all you pathetic old fogies to die so we don’t have to hear about this crap any more. The really funny thing is that 60 years from now people will be saying these exact same things about the times we’re currently living in. Humans are nothing if not predictable animals.

Our next subject, Wayne Hull of Yukon, OK, has some serious fucking Fatwa Envy going on:

Regarding the staging of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” at Civic Center Music Hall: Why would anyone during the holidays condemn an actual religion of peace? Imagine the ferocious protests if the same venue was being used to stage “The Most Fabulous Ramadan.” Why mock people of faith who celebrate their faith?

Because it’s funny? It’s telling that every time Christianity is mocked, the response is a furious protest by Christians claiming that Christians don’t do furious protests so fuck the Muzzies. They are so jealous of Muslims they can barely contain it.

What’s hilarious about ridiculing the story of Christ, likely using the most exaggerated homosexual caricatures in the presentation, and infusing sex acts into a holiday otherwise devoid of promiscuity?

Christmas? Devoid of promiscuity? Are you fucking high? The whole damn holiday revolves around a teenage girl giving birth out of wedlock.

Oh, and notice how he says “likely” when describing the contents of the play he’s furiously not-protesting. That means he hasn’t seen the play he’s criticizing. Fucking typical.

How is this anything but an affront to people whose beliefs are different and, consequently, threatening?

Pretty sure you’re the one protesting people whose beliefs you view as different and threatening. Hasn’t that been the whole theme of every single sentence prior to this one?

They made a play about gay Jesus. Fucking get over it. You didn’t even fucking see it, and no one is forcing you or anybody else to watch it. Yet you protest its very existence. You, my friend, are the one being intolerant.

Last year the Obama administration openly condemned an American citizen for a YouTube video poking fun at the Prophet Muhammad.

This would be a good time to remind everyone that the term “religion of peace” in regards to Islam was coined by George W. Bush. Pandering to Muslims is nothing new, and both parties do it. It’s not right, but it’s not exclusive to Obama, either.

Now our elected officials waffle with another public piece that, if paralleled in regards to Islam, would likely result in mass riots.

More fatwa envy. American Christians really, really, REALLY wish they could get away with the violence that goes on in the Muslim world. They’d love to riot and chop people’s heads off if they could.

Christians are supposed to shut up passively as their faith is ridiculed. If they speak up, they’re chastised as being bigots or, at least, anti-First Amendment.

And rightly so, because that’s exactly what they are. But no one is calling for you to be censored. What you’re asking for, on the other hand…

Those who support a “gay agenda” must know how deeply regressive this play impacts their desire to be recognized as part of a larger society.

Only amongst small minded bigots like you. Normal people don’t respond to a gay Jesus play by thinking, “Well, I guess that means I should deny gays their rights!” That’s not how human brains work.

The Christmas story isn’t a story of gay sex, let alone gay persons.

See? The gay people don’t need your fucking approbation anyhow. You’ve already excluded them, so why should they censor their play to appease your bigoted ass?

It’s a Middle Eastern story of one man whose life changed the world forever.

Which is why we Christians fight tooth and nail to make sure it never changes again….

…And lose every time.

And just so it doesn’t look like I’m unfairly picking on my home state, let’s move on to Pennsylvania. Central Pennsylvania, to be more precise. And as we all know, central Pennsylvania is the most important Pennsylvania, because it’s central to all that other Pennsylvania. And it’s got those fires that never, ever, ever go out.*

But that’s not what the real problem is. Take it away, Chris Hicks of East Pennsboro Township.

If the question is gay marriage, God has the answer

Please tell me Jesus finally proposed to Muhammad.

In response to Shirley Ericson’s letter, “United Methodist church is acting against a courageous minister“:

Contrary to Ms. Ericson’s opinion, God is not this grandfatherly-cosmic-casual-genie that looks down on us and is OK with our sinful condition.

Grandfatherly Cosmic Casual Genie sounds a lot better when you sing it to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon theme. Seriously, try it.

And why would god even be a genie, casual or otherwise? I read Shirley Ericson’s letter. She at no point implies that Jeebus is played by Shaq or Robin Williams, or that he ever grants any wishes (see what I did there? Prayer is bullshit!). The only person talking about this weird genie Jesus is you, bub.

Anyways, if gob doesn’t like our sinful condition, he shouldn’t have created it in the first place. He chose to give us free will and put tempting fruit in the garden. If he’s unhappy with the result, he has no one to blame but himself. Would you put a steak on your floor then beat your dog for eating it?

His word is clear and infallible. It does not change, while a culture’s moral compass becomes clouded and is in decline.

How exactly can a compass be in decline? Maybe he’s referring to the Golden Compass film franchise…

His word is rock solid, firm and clear.

Weirdly, this is also true of his dick.

Sin is bad because it hurts the heart of God.

What is it about fundamentalist religion that turns its followers into prattling five year olds? The baby-talk that comes from these people is just plain fucking creepy. The above sentence should never be spoken by any human being over the age of 8, unless they have, like, Down’s syndrome or something. And even then they should keep it to a minimum.

But apparently, in this guy’s puerile mind, an omnipotent being can be hurt. How? How could a perfect being be harmed in any way? If he has ANY vulnerabilities or shortcomings whatsoever, then he is not perfect and omnipotent.  It makes no sense to speak of a perfect being feeling or wanting or needing anything at all. And, with one fell swoop, I’ve just erased the motivation for all but the most deistic forms of religion. Sorry about that. I know how you guys hate logic.

When will we quit trying to pursue our own fleshly lusts and sinful desires and seek to live sacrificial lives unto our great, gracious, holy heavenly Father?

When we all lose our god damn minds. So, hopefully never.

For a closing exercise, click on that link above and read Shirley Ericson’s letter, then go back and read Chris Hicks’ again.  These are both Christians, but they are clearly very different kinds of Christians. And I’m not just talking about their views on gay marriage being different. Their brains work differently.  They’re processing information and reacting to it in starkly different ways.

Even before we get to their beliefs and their claims, just the language of the two letters shows striking contrasts. Both letters, for instance, contain a single interrogative sentence. But they use the interrogative for entirely different purposes. Ericson’s interrogative (third paragraph) is a hypothetical in which she presents some evidence and then provides a logical conclusion from it in order to make the reader THINK about their position. She’s challenging her audience to use their minds and reconsider their position.

Now look at Hicks’ interrogative, which I just snarked at above. It’s a lament, intended to get people to stop behaving differently from him and start unquestioningly obeying an authority. It has precisely the OPPOSITE purpose as Ericson’s. And rather than use logic to persuade, he tries to change the reader’s mind by appealing to a cognitive bias humans have to be more trusting of people who look wealthy, clean, beautiful, or powerful. Seriously, would even North Korea use language like his to describe its leader?

The baby-talk is completely absent from Ericson’s letter. Her declarative sentences are more complex than Hicks’, and again she uses them differently. Her declarative sentences consist mostly of statements of fact that are not a matter of belief, such as “This guy will lose his job,” etc. She often uses these facts as premises and conclusions in arguments. For Hicks, EVERY declarative sentence states as fact something that is a matter of his own personal faith. He doesn’t actually state a single faith-free fact anywhere in his letter. Not one. And he doesn’t make any arguments at all. He just declares his own beliefs as absolutely true by fiat, as if he himself were god.

I could go on and on analyzing the differences between the two, but the point should be obvious by now. There are different kinds of Christians, and differences between them run so deep that they alter the very way they process information and interact with the world. Ericson focuses on concrete facts. She then processes these to see what they imply. And if what they imply contradicts what she believes about gay marriage, she adapts her beliefs to the new information. She then proceeds to spell out these premises and conclusions for others, hoping to replicate the process in other minds as well. This is all just a long way of saying she’s a RATIONAL FUCKING PERSON.

Hicks, on the other hand, is a textbooks example of an authoritarian. He associates power with truth and beauty. If someone is powerful, then whatever they say must be true and good. He sees himself as a conduit of this power, and issues demands on its behalf that others assimilate to his thought processes or face dire wrath. So he’s like the Borg, but without any real power. He views communication between humans as a string of commands that others obey the power that he is vicariously channeling from an imaginary being.  And he sees value in others only insofar as they conform to this arbitrary string of commands. Which, again, is just a long way of saying he’s a FUNDAMENTALIST FUCKFACE.

I’m glad there’s no heaven. Spending eternity with these guys would be hell.

 

____________________

*No wonder they based a horror video game on it. That shit is fucking scary.

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Comic Relief: The Girl Who Loved Stupidity (part 2)

Welcome to installment #6 of Comic Relief. To see the earlier installments, go to the Comic Relief Index.

To see Part 1 of my review of Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika, click here.

So, let’s recap where we left off. Hansi, the dumbest bitch in Czechoslovakia, has become a devoted Hitler Youth follower and blindly regurgitates Nazi propaganda without any thought or reflection whatsoever. She’s so blinded by Nazism that she decides to stay in Prague even when the Russians are invading, complete with their borscht and vodka and communism and all. Her boyfriend, Rudy, says he hopes she gets raped to teach her a lesson, and this is exactly what happens. Except that everyone except her gets raped, because that’s how the plot wants things to be.  She and her friend Hair Helmet easily escape the Russian concentration camp they were in, and now they’re on the run.

What to do?

"Because there's no rape in the American military. Besides, we'll probably be taken prisoner, and I've heard there's even less rape in American prisons! USA #1!!!"

“Because there’s no rape in the American military. Besides, we’ll probably be taken prisoner, and I’ve heard there’s even less rape in American prisons! USA #1!!!”

Okay, I get the gangsters part. But “gum-chewing”? Why would Czechoslovakians hate our mastication-based freedoms?

Hansi and Hair Helmet keep moving west in search of Glorious Wonderful Americans, and along the way they have a pseudo-philosophical debate about peace and love, which causes Hansi to recall her mother’s advice about not forgetting Jesus, because all the pain and suffering she’s witnessed (and that this supposedly omnipotent being must have just stood by and watched) still hasn’t sunk in. Gang rape? Jesus loves me!

After joining up with a group of refugees trying to make a clandestine run for the border into West Germany, they are spotted by Russian soldiers.

The "miracle" of hiding and being quiet, you fucking moron. It was just two panels ago.

The “miracle” of hiding and being quiet, you fucking moron. It was just two panels ago.

Hansi has now very suddenly started aping certain Christian platitudes, such as attributing events to “miracles” even when the actual, mundane cause is really fucking bloody obvious. Don’t expect the comic to be consistent with this, though. But it is notable that the Christian boilerplate re-entered her patois only after the Instructional Rape that Rudy wished upon her. Written by a woman, folks.

Look in the background in that top panel. I’m pretty sure Hair Helmet is dead. At least, I think. She appears to take a bullet. We don’t see her any more after this panel. Hansi apparently doesn’t give a shit about her, because poor Hair Helmet doesn’t have any more of a role in the rest of the story than Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Hansi never mentions her again. Hansi: Stupid, and selfish.

"I remember hearing about gum-chewing gangsters from somebody...who was it? Ah well, she was probably a twat anyways."

“I remember hearing about gum-chewing gangsters from somebody…who was it? Ah well, she was probably a twat anyways.”

Is gum-chewing gonna be some kind of weird leitmotif in this comic from now on?

Anyways, Hansi and the child she rescued are taken in by American soldiers (who are living in barracks much nicer than anything any real soldiers ever lived in).

Of course Spire Christian Comics felt the need to plug Archie and all his Christian wholesomeness in this scene, but this scene is a bit anachronistic. In 1945, the title would have been Archie Comics. It wasn’t shortened to just Archie until the 50s. Get it right, assholes! Besides, if I know anything about the American military, if that guy’s reading an anachronistic Archie comic, it’s this one.

Would you like a Freedom Foot Massage? A Liberty manicure?  Perhaps a Jesus facial?

Would you like a Freedom Foot Massage? A Liberty manicure? Perhaps a Jesus facial?

Rape you? What do you think we are? Russian?

This comic sure knows its audience. Fundamentalists suck at subtlety and nuance, and this comic makes sure to state its point so bluntly that even the dullest godhumper mind can grasp it. Russians bad. Americans good. Breakfast!

Were the American soldiers quilting in their free time?

The Americans give Hansi the royal treatment for a couple pages, then she’s taken in by the Red Cross, where Rudy’s sister finds her and informs her that Rudy’s U-boat was sunk, and he’s presumed dead. Good fucking riddance, I say. Sleep with the rapist fishes, Rudy.

By this comic's logic, that means Rudy's mom got raped.

Ugh. By this comic’s logic, that means Rudy’s mom got raped, too.

Why does everyone love Hansi so much? For a comic about the cruelties of WWII, Hansi seems to get off horse-fuckingly easy in every single situation. Horrible things are happening all around her, but she’s always just fine. Even the Russian rapists spare her. The Americans treat her like she’s the fucking Queen of Free Blowjobs. Rudy’s sister seems to love her more than her own mother. Hair Helmet took a fucking bullet for her.

And yet, all she does is just fucking stare stupidly into the distance and puke up stereotypes and propaganda she absorbed from others. Other than the fact that she’s got a pretty face (clearly modeled on Betty Cooper–go back to that gang rape scene and imagine it in an issue of Betty and Veronica), what appealing qualities does she have? She even hates gum!

She gets a job as a teacher in Bavaria, and her life is fucking wonderful and perfect. As lives in war-torn nations are, naturally.

The hills are alive with the sound of white privilege!

The hills are alive with the sound of privilege!

Hansi, you selfish bitch! You’re surrounded by people who survived the Holocaust, the families of those who didn’t, soldiers who were traumatized by the most destructive war ever fought, families devastated by all the fucking carnage and horror attendant to worldwide warfare, and you learn that your ex didn’t die a horrible death in a sunken U-boat along with all his comrades, and your very first thought is whether you should date him again?

Fuck. You.

Wait. Is that Hair Helmet? Is she a redhead now? I honestly can’t tell. The comic never tells us who this redheaded chick is, and we never see her again. I don’t think she’s Hair Helmet, as she appeared to be quite dead earlier. Unless… Oh my god, she’s a ginger zombie! She’s going to eat our brains! (Don’t worry, Hansi, you’re safe.)

The ginger zombie apocalypse might go some way in explaining the Dutch angles on those last two panels. Every now and then the artist tilts a couple panels, but there usually seems to be little rhyme or reason to it. Maybe he/she just got bored drawing Jesus crap for a hack publisher and decided to mix things up for shits and giggles.

So, anyways, yeah. Rudy’s back. Turns out he escaped in an inflatable raft. How the fuck he pulled that off in a submarine is anybody’s guess. He and Hansi get married. Because that’s what you do when you’re a girl. You marry the guy who said he hopes you get raped. But the marriage is unfulfilling. What could be missing?

Get out the Q-Tips, bitch, 'cause you're about to get ear-fucked by scripture!

Get out the Q-Tips, bitch, ’cause you’re about to get ear-fucked by scripture!

Hansi is reluctant at first (for, like, a single panel). But before long…

How fucking big is the print on that Bible?

How fucking big is the print on that Bible?

She and Rudy just start mindlessly regurgitating one Christian trope after another. All it takes is a few Bible verses and their little pea-brains are immediately won over.

Let’s note something important here. Hansi has not changed. She just as much of a blind follower as ever. She’s just as spoiled and myopic as ever. She’s the same person she was from page 1, but with a layer of Jesus smeared over her. That’s it.

And when has she ever been disappointed? Almost everything has gone her way, and every hardship she’s faced has been easily circumvented. Every shit-eatingly stupid decision she’s made has only resulted in harm coming to other people, like Rudy (sunken U-Boat) and Hair Helmet (raped, shot, and zombified).

The shallowness and gullibility of her character of course would be lost on this comic’s target audience. You can see why in the second panel above. “Do we DARE to believe?” As if gullible belief in a bunch of old fables is somehow a brave act. As if joining the Christian majority in the West is somehow courageous. “Dare to be a blind follower!” Because if your beliefs are petty, childish, and simpleminded, you can console yourself with the lie that you’re actually a hero.

Anyways, Rudy and Hansi take their new found faith and move to America. But they’re shocked when they arrive.

Go back to Czechoslovakia, you ungrateful whore!

Go back to Czechoslovakia, you ungrateful whore!

Oh my god! America has hippies and litter and black people! Maybe we should go to that Real America Sarah Palin keeps yammering about.

God hates TAB.

God hates TAB.

So diet food is evil now? Is there anything fundamentalists won’t complain about? (That HEALTH AIDS sign is a bit unfortunate, but not unprecedented.)

Hansi decides that America is too materialistic and hedonistic and needs more Jesus. I would inform her that America’s rampant materialism is a direct product of that capitalism thing that the fundamentalists are so fond of, but since she’s shown no sign of being able to connect two ideas that some authoritarian belief system didn’t already connect for her, it would be a waste of time. Hansi blames the problems she sees in her students on their lack of stupidity, and realizes what the world needs is for her to spread her idiocy far and wide. We then get the most revealing series of panels in the whole comic.

Am I the only one who can't help but think she's having an orgasm during this?

Am I the only one who can’t help but think she’s having an orgasm during this? (And for someone who apparently loves America so much, how did the author manage to get the Pledge of Allegiance wrong? How do you fuck that up?)

Remember when I said she hadn’t changed a bit from when she was a Nazi? Well, that is actually the entire message of this comic. Be like the Nazis, but replace Hitler and Victory with Jesus and America. It’s good to be God’s little fascist robot!

There is no other way to interpret this. Hansi’s flaw wasn’t in her bigotry, her ignorance, her blind jingoism, her sheep-like devotion to an authority figure, her inability to think for herself, or her rah-rah attitude towards the destruction of other nations. Those things are all just fine. She just didn’t include Jesus in the mixture. That’s the only shortcoming that this book ever points out in her.

Hansi goes on to create a ministry where she saves people from horrible fates like being a hippie or not being a God-Nazi. She goes to prisons to preach “the word” (presumably she still thinks there’s no rape in this country, or she might focus on more pressing matters in our prisons). When I think about all the resources people waste on spreading nonsensical beliefs, and think about how many starving people those resources might have fed, I get pretty pissed off. But not as pissed off as these two panels make me.

I'm pretty sure that "Hitler taught me many things" isn't the best way to start a speech.

I’m pretty sure that “Hitler taught me many things” isn’t the best way to start a speech.

Hmmmm. Look at the faces in that crowd. I wonder whom he meant by “militants”…

Hell, that’s just what this comic needed. More fucking racism. Yup. Let’s pile even more of it on for good measure!

"But I have this weird feeling that a white woman is putting words in my mouth."

“But I have this weird feeling that a white woman is putting words in my mouth.”

So Hansi speaks at the prison, inspiring all those black militants to love America for this first time ever.

You know all those accusations against Barack and Michelle Obama that they don’t really love America and are always apologizing for it and they’re also somehow simultaneously atheist and Muslim and communist and terrorist? That shit ain’t new. The right wing has been otherizing blacks as America-hating militants for generations. Kinda like how somebody I’ve heard of would portray the Jews. There was this group–I forget what they’re called–but they always portrayed Jews as rats who were feeding off of society and didn’t sufficiently love some western European country… Hmmmm.

And this is the note on which the comic ends. No shit. There’s just one more panel of Hansi in front of the American flag saying she loves Jesus, and we’re done.

What have we learned from Hansi? Well, the name “Hansi” looks like a diminutive for “Hansel”, which is a boy’s name. So I conclude she must be a cross-dressing homo-Nazi who hates dieting. Makes about as much sense as anything else in this comic.

How to be a Christian asshole, Part 2

Look at this face.

Ray Comfort: Heartless Assdouche

Ray Comfort: Heartless Assdouche

See him, all smiley and pretend-friendly looking? This is how he presents himself apart from his words. This is the face of the politician who kisses babies when he’s not slashing the Welfare budget that would feed them. This is the face of the used car salesman who isn’t capable of thinking anything other than, “How can I rip this guy off?”

I’ve spoken before about what a loathsome, hideous human being Ray Comfort is. But I want to make sure something is crystal clear. Ray Comfort hates you. He hates your mom. He hates your dog. He absolutely despises humanity and anything that’s good in this world. There is not a fiber of his being that doesn’t want to see you and everyone else burn and die. And until the day comes when we are all immolated and all of human history is dust, his only concern is to find a way to squeeze money out of his gullible Christian followers. He is not capable of thinking or doing anything else. He is composed of cynicism and hatred. He can’t be any other thing. He is the worst thing humanity has to offer. And he probably eats puppies.

He shows it whenever he transitions from plastic smile to using actual words in the English language. Take, for example, his regular column at WingNutDaily, which is called “Atheists Ask”, and which purports to be his answers to questions from “atheists” (which in his vernacular means anyone who doesn’t believe exactly what he believes). His most recent entry, from 2 days ago, shows beyond the shadow of any doubt that he hates each and every one of us.

ATHEISTS ASK

How could a man stone his own son?

Exclusive: Ray Comfort answers biblical questions posed by skeptics

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Any time WingNutDaily claims some story is “exclusive”, that means that it’s so bad that no other news website would ever publish it. This is no exception.

“Deuteronomy 21:18-21: ‘If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.’ – What’s the context of this, Ray?” – Bridgette Patterson

Bridgette is being way, way too nice. Do you really need context to a passage that states that parents should murder their own son? And that the whole town should join in on giving him a painful, tortuous death? There is no context in which that’s okay. None whatsoever. If the Bible commands people to do that (and it does), then the Bible is evil. Full fucking stop.

These kinds of questions are usually answered with mealy-mouthed equivocation and vague excuses by Christians. But not Comfort. Oh, no. He wants you all to know that stoning disobedient children is A-OK with him.

Israeli law was meant to produce fear. And it certainly did because it would seem that no youths mouthed off at or beat and murdered their parents. No doubt they showed respect, because there are no incidents in the entire Bible of any youths being stoned for disobedience to their parents. Again, this was because their criminal law produced a fear of consequences.

You know what society needs? More fucking fear. That sounds great!

I love how he thinks that the Bible not mentioning the victims of this draconian law means that they don’t exist. That’s not how oppression works, Comfort, and you know it. The victims weren’t recorded because they were the dregs of society. They were tortured, murdered, and forgotten, right down the Orwellian memory hole. What are the names of all the people Stalin killed? What are the names of all the people burned as witches in the early modern period? What are the names of all the black people lynched in the United States in the early 20th century? We don’t know. And we never will. The people who killed them didn’t even consider them to be proper humans, and didn’t see fit to record their names any more than they would the names of the cattle or sheep they slaughtered.

At this point, most Christians become moral relativists and say, “Well, things were different back then. So killing your kids was okay in ancient Israel, even though it’s not okay now.” This is because of cognitive dissonance between their barbaric belief system and their upraising as decent human beings. They don’t realize it, but they want to put the Bible’s barbarism in the past and live decently in today’s world. But not Comfort.

In recent years American criminal law has become spineless. It has lost its ability to produce fear. Murder someone and you may get six years in prison and be released in four. Richard Ramirez was found guilty of murdering 13 people. One of his victims was mutilated with multiple stab wounds, and her eyes were gouged out and placed in a jewelry box. On May 30, 1985, Ramirez attacked Malvial Keller, 83, beating her to death with a hammer. For his heinous acts he got free board and food for life and was allowed to get married and have conjugal rights.

When the law isn’t feared you have a nation that has had more than 380,000 people murdered since 1990. You have a nation where mass murder is so commonplace it hardly gets time on the news. Welcome to lawless America – who is afraid to take the life of a guilty mass murderer like Ramirez, but will fight tooth and nail for the right to take the lives of babies in the womb.

I want to emphasize that I am not being hyperbolic in any way when I call Comfort a loathsome human being who is filled with hatred. He lacks the basic decency that causes most Christians to want to find excuses for why the most barbaric shit in the Bible doesn’t apply today. Comfort wants it to apply. He wants people to live in fear, and he wants us to kill more people. He also wants us to put the value of fetuses that don’t have developed brains (and therefore lack experience and personality) over the lives of actual humans who really do have life experience.

Ray Comfort longs for the day when parents could viciously murder their sons. That says all that you ever need to know about him, really. But we can go further in analyzing this.

Note how, when asked for context, his only response is, “People should live in fear.” That’s all the context he needs, and he apparently believes that this is an adequate answer. He honestly thinks that he’s given a sufficient answer to this “atheist’s” question. He is fully in the authoritarian mindset. He read Machiavelli without realizing that Machiavelli wrote The Prince under the premise “Authoritarianism is awful, but if you must be an authoritarian, this is how to do it.”

Anyways, on to the next atheist’s question:

“Ray, you are an idiot. Your opinions on creation have no basis in reality. In order to understand what we are and where we come from we must study every detail of our planet and beyond, not close our minds and [say answers that] were spoon-fed to us by sheep herders that loved slavery and murder.” – Big Mike

I like you, Big Mike.

Studying every detail of nature shows design and order – from the atom to the universe, and that speaks of an initial cause that is unspeakably intelligent. I believe that was God. An evolutionist or an atheist doesn’t know what it was and usually closes his mind to even the possibility of it being God.

I loathe you, Ray Comfort.

No, there is not any sign of design in the atom or the universe. And there is no order in the universe. There is regularity, but that is not the same as order. Just go into any natural setting and look at the way plants grow to see what I mean. Plants will grow in any place that they can. Out of crevices, between randomly strewn boulders, off of other plants. Hell, there’s a pipe 7 feet off the ground against a cinder block wall in my apartment complex, but some dirt got wedged between it and the wall, and a plant grew in the dirt. Of course, it died after a few days. But life can’t predict something like that, because it has no purpose and no order.

Life spreads out wherever it can. It’s like a fluid splashed across the surface of the Earth. It is anything but ordered. It’s beautifully controlled chaos, with the only control being the principles of chemistry that determine its molecular make-up and the imposition of natural selection. No one designed it. Only an idiot would make life the way it is, and that’s part of what makes life so fascinating.

Creationism goes hand in hand with authoritarianism because it wishes to impose false order on something which is much more properly chaotic and free. It is no coincidence that the guy who thinks we should all live in fear is also the guy who thinks that an invisible being micro-manages the universe. He’s just taking his view of how laws should be imposed on humans and applying it to the natural world.

“If I were God, I wouldn’t sentence you to eternal torture just for not worshipping [sic] me. What an evil, egomaniacal god you worship.” – Tristan Miller

Ah, the doctrine of Hell, another Christian precept that many Christians find embarrassing. The reason they find it embarrassing is the same as before. No decent person would ever want to torture someone forever for any reason. Torturing someone forever just because of what they believe is even worse. On some level most Christians realize this, so they try to rationalize Hell away.

But, again, not Ray Comfort.

You are minimizing your crimes against God by just speaking of “not worshipping” Him. The truth is that if you die in your sins you will be damned for lust, lying, fornication, stealing, blasphemy, ingratitude, covetousness, idolatry, etc. You don’t realize it but you have a multitude of sins (as we all have).

Did you know that every single time you have lusted after a woman you have committed adultery as far as God is concerned? Did you know that each time you have done that you are “storing up His wrath”? Think of your secret sins that you thought no one knew about. God has seen them. Every one of them. Think of how many times you have done things you knew were morally wrong – because of the voice of your God-given conscience. He has seen each one, and the Bible says that His just wrath “abides” on you (see John 3:36). That’s why you need a Savior. Please, take the time to do the test on

This is the entirety of Comfort’s answer. Yes, even that broken sentence at the end (at least at the time I’m reading it; maybe they’ll fix it later). WingNutDaily needs a better editor. I have no idea what test Comfort might have been referring to, and honestly don’t give a fuck. Whatever he meant to say before the column got cut off, it was almost certainly just more horribleness.

Comfort is basically just affirming Tristan Miller’s charge. God is an evil egomaniac. Why else would he insist that his wrath abides in us, and condemn us to eternal torment just for masturbating while thinking of Angelina Jolie? Like Ray Comfort, he hates everyone. He’s a judgmental, selfish, arrogant prick, and no one in their right mind would ever worship the Christian God that Ray Comfort describes. God is a wannabe dictator, ruling through fear and intimidation, who wants to control every aspect of your personal life and make you feel constantly guilty and afraid over every single move you make and every thought you think. In other words, he’s just a projection of Comfort’s authoritarian fantasies, a simulacrum of a truly horrible man.

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.