I’m not laughing with you…

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The Editorial and Letters to the Editor pages at the Daily Oklahoman are just fucking pathetic. It’s just sad that the largest newspaper in my home state publishes such utter dribble. To me, they’re rarely good for anything more than a laugh. So I figured, I might check in and see what kinds of things make them laugh

Ten Commandments critics’ claims laughable

Ha ha! Those silly people who think we should have to follow the Constitution! It’s so laughable! Who needs the Constitution when we have totally non-laughable things like the Bible, which says important things like this:

2 Kings 18:27

But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

Serious shit, people.

We’ve raised questions about the wisdom of installing a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma Capitol — not because we disagree with the commandments’ content, but because limited taxpayer dollars will likely be wasted on an unsuccessful legal defense.

You don’t disagree with the commandments’ content? Not even this one?

Exodus 20:17

King James Version (KJV)

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

So you’re totally cool with slavery and men treating their wives like property? ‘Cause the author of that verse clearly is.

The U.S. Supreme Court has sent mixed signals, upholding some Decalogue monuments but ruling against others. Monuments passing court review have been components of larger, long-standing historical displays. The Oklahoma monument is a stand-alone item, likely undermining state arguments for its constitutionality.

A perfectly sensible paragraph. If only everything you wrote were like this. But the sense and rationality bus comes to a screeching halt and explodes in a ball of fiery pettiness and bad logic from here on out.

Even so, the claims of some critics are laughable. This week, New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc. and Oklahoma residents Aimee Breeze and William Poire filed a lawsuit challenging the monument. Breeze regularly travels to the Capitol during legislative sessions. As a result, the complaint claims that she’s “confronted” by the Ten Commandments display, which she finds “hurtful and exclusive.”

Seriously? The monument is on the north side of the Capitol. The main parking lot is on the south side. The main pedestrian entrances are on the south, east and west sides. To actually see the monument, you’d have to go looking for it. If Breeze is being “confronted” by the display, she’s deliberately going out of her way to experience this allegedly “hurtful” situation.

Where the hell do you get the balls to call other people’s arguments laughable when this is the putrid shit you spew?

“We put the monument on a side of the building where there are fewer people. If there are fewer people, then there are no people, and no one ever has a reason to go to it. Therefore, I get cupcakes!”

That’s the best I can do to parse out the illogical dumbfuckery on display here. Hey, Daily Oklahoman, how the fuck to you know which side of the building she goes to while she’s there?  Were you there? Do you know her? Do you know her routine? Did you ask her? If the answer to these questions is No (and I’m sure it is), then that last sentence came directly from somewhere between Saturn and Neptune. You have abso-fucking-lutely no way of knowing what her reasons for being on the north side of the building are.

Besides, even if she did go out of her way to see it, how the fuck does that undermine her argument? Rosa Parks got on that bus deliberately looking to get kicked off when she refused to go to the back. Does that make her claim that she was discriminated against “laughable”? Whether she was deliberately looking for it or not, she was discriminated against either way. Why she was there is god damn irrelevant.

And do you seriously expect people to buy this obviously fallacious “If it’s on a side of the building where fewer people go, then the complaints must be illegitimate” crap? If ANYBODY can see it then it’s in a public place and such complaints have at least some legitimacy. A ten year old could see the fucking holes in your logic. I fucking dare you to try an argument like that in court. The judge will likely find it, well, fucking laughable.

The lawsuit also claims the monument establishes a “thought crime” against coveting your neighbor’s wife, and restricts free speech rights through prohibitions on worshipping graven images and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Nonsense! There are no actual state laws against those activities.

Those are their italics. I didn’t put them there. They really want  to emphasize that last point. So here, let me use some italics of my own to emphasize the only rational conclusion any sane person should reach from this:

The Ten Commandments have precisely fuck-all to do with American law.

They came from a society where thoughts COULD be a crime. They came from a society that practiced slavery and traded women like they were fuckable action figures. They came from a society that had no religious freedom at all, no Bill of Rights, and you were taking your life in your hands if you said anything indicating you don’t believe in the Magical Pervert in the Sky.

They. Are. Not. Our. Laws. So what the fuck are they doing at our capitol? And why the fuck are you so confused when someone points out that putting them there is offensive?

Want to “worship” a statue you made in wood shop? Knock yourself out. Want to lust after married women or men? You can do so, although we wouldn’t recommend it.

Want to go to the capitol without being told that you’re inferior and this capitol isn’t really for you? Well too bad, unless you’re Christian or Jewish.

An individual’s actions can be immoral without being illegal, just as a monument can be a bad idea without validating the overwrought claims of its thin-skinned critics.

I really wish the right wing would get that first part through their glacially thick skulls. That would end every single argument against gay marriage.

But the latter half of that sentence is just fucking dumb. The monument at the capitol isn’t just a bad idea. It’s ILLEGAL. And, more importantly, its actual purpose is very, very clear. Apparently, the editors at the Oklahoman don’t read their own letters column, or else they’d already know what the bigots who read their pathetic rag think this monument is for:

The First Amendment doesn’t mandate the Christian faith for each person; however, it does mandate the freedom to worship as one chooses — or not at all. Ten Commandments monuments on public property are a tribute that recognizes our historic, constitutional commitment to the principles and values that the Ten Commandments provide. Other faiths not based on and committed to honoring the Ten Commandments don’t truthfully represent this Christian nation and its commitment to these civilizing principles and values. Neither can their monuments.

Got that? Only Christianity–with its “civilizing” principles–can represent the USA #1 RAH RAH RAH. So we can only put up the 10 commandments. Not, say, the Five Pillars of Islam, or something from Hinduism, or a fucking awesome Satanist statue. Nope, just Christians. They get special treatment. The rest of you don’t even have civilizing principles, you heathen barbarians!

So, no, their claims are not overwrought. The obvious purpose of the monument is to promote Christianity while denying that promotion to every other religious belief, thereby demeaning everyone who isn’t Christian. It’s not laughable for someone to claim to feel hurt by that.

The monument violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by elevating one religion over others and thereby creating an establishment of religion. It also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by allowing Christians to put up monuments but not Satanists or Muslims or Humanists. Hell, it might even violate the  No Religious Test Clause in Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, if you consider “Guy who puts the monument up” to be an office or trust. That last one’s quite a stretch, I admit. But it’s still better reasoning than the laughable shit the Oklahoman comes up with.

Discrimination: It’s good for business!

There are different types of conservatives out there. There’s just the run of the mill conservative, a person whose beliefs differ from my own liberal beliefs, but who isn’t an asshole or a bigot. Just different. Then there are the assholes and bigots, the ones who pick up on conservatism because it gives them an excuse to attack some racial or sexual minority. There are the True Believers (aka god-humpers), the ones so caught up in a religious ideology that they believe it without question and see implications of it in everything. There are also the plutocrats, heartless elites interested only in augmenting their own wealth and power, and constantly pushing for lower taxes even if it means the environment is raped and poor people die of preventable diseases. (Seriously, fuck those guys.)

But then there are the libertarian types. They’re generally easy to get along with in comparison to the assholes and god-humpers. They tend to be mostly rational and willing to see other people’s viewpoints. The points they have to make are not always irrational, authoritarian or just downright ignorant. They are often intelligent, informed and politically engaged. Honestly, if the libertarian types ran the Republican Party I wouldn’t find it loathsome like I do now. (Unfortunately, the plutocrats hold the real power in the party and the base is overrun with assholes and god-humpers. Hence the loathsomeness.)

But the libertarians do have one really, really, REALLY fucking annoying tendency. They have difficulty seeing the political, social, or legal value of anything apart from its economic value. If they get it into their heads that a law hurts the economy, then they’re against it, and their money-hardened brains don’t really even process the concept that it could be a good law apart from whatever (real or imagine) economic damage it does. Case in point, Joshua Steimle at Forbes.com, who recently spat out this bit of Libertarian Wankery:

Entrepreneurship Threatened By Ruling In New Mexico Gay Marriage Case

It should be noted that this case wasn’t about gay marriage per se. Gay marriage is in fact advancing in New Mexico and is already being carried out in some counties. But the case in question took place at a time when gay marriage was not allowed and the case is not about legalizing gay marriage. Rather, it’s a discrimination case about a photographer who refused to work at a gay wedding ceremony several years ago.

Steimle (I don’t have the foggiest idea how that letter-salad of a name is supposed to be pronounced) begins reasonably enough:

Whenever the law interferes with entrepreneurial activity it creates a barrier to entry and makes the practice of doing business less efficient. Some would say certain inefficiencies in an economy are good and desirable, as when bad people are prevented from doing bad things by laws and regulations that catch them before they do any harm. This realm of “positive law” includes laws against drunk driving and insider trading. These laws create criminals where there is no victim but merely the perhaps likely threat of harm, and reasonable people can debate the merits of such laws.

This is why I like the libertarians (Steimle doesn’t claim to be one, but comes across to me as one, so I presume he is). Even when I  disagree with them, I don’t entirely disagree with them. Part of what they say usually makes good, rational sense.

The recent ruling wherein the high court of New Mexico ruled against Elaine Huguenin, a professional photographer who refused to photograph a gay marriage ceremony due to her religious beliefs, goes far beyond merely attempting to prevent harm. Rather, it aims to criminalize behavior that has no potential to cause physical harm, but at worst can only be considered offensive. If allowed to stand, the consequences will be negative for all entrepreneurs whether straight, gay, black, white, male, or female.

And then he turns around and says something stupid. The worst harm discrimination can do is to be “considered offensive”? Do you know ANYTHING about the history of this country?

Elaine Huguenin is the co-owner of Elane Photography along with her husband. Their small business is based in New Mexico. In 2006 she refused to photograph a gay marriage ceremony for Vanessa Willock and her partner, citing religious beliefs. Elaine and her business came to national attention after the couple sued her, claiming discrimination. According to the New Mexico Human Rights Act, it is illegal for a business to refuse its services to an individual because of that person’s sexual orientation. The same law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry and gender.

On August 22nd, 2013, New Mexico’s highest court ruled against Elaine, stating “When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”

It cannot be disputed that Elaine broke the law.

And now he’s being sensible again. Yes, she clearly violated the law. Whenever a god-humper talks about issues like this, that part is often lost on them. If Steimle were a god-humper, he would probably “dispute” it by regurgitating Bible verses and whining that he’s being persecuted just like the Jews under Hitler.

What we can dispute is whether the long term consequences of having such a law in place are beneficial for society.

After the ruling, Louise Melling of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement saying “When you open a business, you are opening your doors to all people in your community, not just the select few who share your personal beliefs.”

Were this reasoning to be applied equally to all cases, as blind justice demands, then a business owned by a gay individual must provide services to the Westboro Baptist Church, if asked to. A Jewish entrepreneur must provide services to a neo-Nazi.

And now he’s being stupid again.

Dear Mr. Steimle, would you please LOOK AT WHAT YOU YOURSELF WROTE JUST A FEW PARAGRAPHS AGO.

According to the New Mexico Human Rights Act, it is illegal for a business to refuse its services to an individual because of that person’s sexual orientation. The same law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry and gender.

Do you see “political affiliation” or “organization membership” on there? No. And that’s the law. What Melling says is not the law. She’s just someone from the ACLU who said something that doesn’t accurately represent the law.

The reasoning behind anti-discrimination laws is to protect groups that have historically been given second class citizenship on a basis of something that is either not under their control (race, sexual orientation, place of birth) or that is specifically protected in the constitution (religion). There is no history of persecution of the KKK–in fact, they’ve historically been the ones doing and promoting discrimination.

That’s why we need these laws. What Melling said is irrelevant, and you know this, because you said so just a little while. Please pay attention.

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 85% of Americans believe Elaine had the right to refuse service to the gay couple. I suspect the percentage would be even higher if respondents had been asked not if a Christian woman could refuse to photograph a gay marriage ceremony, but if a business owned by an African-American woman must provide services to the KKK.

What do you think the percentage would be if it were a klansman refusing service to a black woman? People don’t exactly think very clearly on issues like this.

And a black woman refusing to serve the KKK is not comparable to a photographer refusing to serve someone just for being gay. The KKK actively hate and attack black people. Gays do not have anything against photographers.

It is important to reiterate that no harm was done to the gay couple other than to offend their sensibilities.

Utter bullshit. It cost them time and resources to find another photographer. If this practice were allowed to proliferate to other businesses, it could seriously impact the lives and well-being of gays by making it more difficult for them to obtain services than straights. Real harm, even ECONOMIC harm (since that’s how Steimle thinks) has been done here.

How do I know this? Because that’s exactly what happened to blacks back when it was allowed to discriminate against them. Ask anyone who played on an integrated football team in the 1950s who had to scramble to find a hotel for 80+ players and coaches when they learn that the one they booked didn’t allow blacks. Or any hungry black many who had to search around town to find a restaurant that would serve him. It hurts people.

If you are a Christian woman who a week ago was thinking of starting a wedding photography business in New Mexico, might you be thinking twice today?

I’d be impressed if you could think once.

If the Court’s ruling is allowed to stand, this sends a chilling message to entrepreneurs—if someone, anyone, doesn’t like you, your business, or what you stand for, then all they need to do is claim discrimination, and they can sue you.

Utter paranoia. Hypothetically, someone might attempt to abuse the law in this fashion, but whether they could actually succeed would require them to prove you actually discriminate.

It does not matter whether the entrepreneur is black or white, gay or straight, liberal or conservative, male or female. Anyone can be targeted. It’s only a matter of time before alleged inferior service, rather than outright refusal of service, is all that is necessary to claim discrimination and bring suit. To those who claim this is unrealistic and will never happen, I would point out this is exactly what I was told about the type of lawsuit Elaine Huguenin just lost.

“I was told this by my imaginary friend Steve the Wonder Chicken. He’s never done me wrong before!”

Entrepreneurs already face enough hurdles. They must deal with the IRS, The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare), and other city, county, state, and federal regulations.

Yeah, I’m sure wedding photographers are really struggling with Obamacare.

Add to this the threat of an expensive lawsuit based on your beliefs, even if you pick no one’s pocket nor break anyone’s leg, and for some it will be the difference between starting a business that brings us an innovative product or service that improves our lives, and getting a safe job working for someone else.

Anti-discrimination laws are bad, because people who want to discriminate won’t do business in your state. Think of the economy!

So should we allow discrimination against blacks or Hispanics or Muslims or Jews so that people that want to discriminate against them will do more business in our state? According to Heimle’s stupid argument, that’s exactly what we should do.

But the argument is utter nonsense. For one thing, there is more at stake here than merely who’s doing business in one’s state. There’s also the interest of protecting the rights of a class of people who have been historically subject to widespread discrimination. Even if that means a few bigots won’t do business in your state, it’s still worth it. But libertarians simply can’t process this. They see something that might hurt business and immediately conclude it’s bad without further consideration.

But even if we limit ourselves to economic arguments, it’s still stupid. Yeah, anti-discrimination laws might drive the bigots away, but so fucking what? Smart, educated people are more likely to favor gay rights and equality, and they also make for great entrepreneurs, and they would find a state that protects gay rights to be more attractive for business. And it’s not just entrepreneurs. Many big businesses today, including big ones like Google and Boeing, are actively pushing for protections for gays and lesbians and would find a state more attractive if it had laws to that effect. One could easily argue that protecting gay rights could improve the economy.

And as for a bigot who’s so petty and hateful that he/she wouldn’t open a business in NM simply because they won’t allow him/her to discriminate? Fuck ’em. Who needs ’em? Let ’em move to fucking Saudi Arabia and live in the repressive theocratic nightmare that they apparently think society should be. Let ’em move to fucking Russia, where discrimination against gays is now enshrined in federal law. I don’t see why we should need or want their business.

They’re probably shitty photographers anyways.

Gay rights = Civil rights

Civil rights movements are always transgressive in their own time. They break social mores, challenge previously unquestioned biases, and root out traditional moral values to replace them with newer, more progressive ideals. This is true of the abolitionist movement to end slavery, the women’s suffrage movement and subsequent feminist/women’s lib movement, and the civil rights movement for African Americans. In their own day, the “right thinking” traditionalists denounced them as unchristian and anti-biblical. But eventually, they become the new status quo, and the new religious right has to find a way to distance themselves from what their intellectual forebears wrought. Despite the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention specifically formed to defend slavery, you won’t hear Baptists today bringing that talking point up very often.

This creates a problem for god-humpers. The most prominent civil rights movement today is the gay rights movement. God-humpers oppose it, because it involves people living their own lives uninfluenced by a 2,000 book of fables that they believe should control everyone and everything. But the gay rights movement is playing out very much like past civil rights movements–civil rights movements which the fundamentalists now pretend they supported all along (they didn’t).  In fact, the arguments for and against gay marriage in particular are extremely similar to the arguments for and against miscegenation in the first half of the 20th century. In both cases, it was argued that god separated the races/sexes because he never meant for them to marry. In both cases marriage between people of different races/same sexes were argued to be “unnatural”. In both cases it was argued that mixed race kids/children of gay parents would somehow suffer from their parents mixed race/same sex relationship. And in both cases these arguments are complete and utter horseshit. The Loving v. Virginia case of 1967 guaranteed the right to marry to all mixed race couples in all 50 states, and the gay marriage issue is progressing in a very similar fashion, except at a much faster rate. It’ll be legal in all 50 states in maybe 5 to 10 years or so, and even the staunchest opponents seem to realize this.

What to do? The god-humpers want to oppose gay marriage, but they also want to pretend that god-humpers never took the wrong side in the very similar fight over interracial marriage. Well, there’s no way to resolve the cognitive dissonance other than to pretend it’s not real at all. Gay rights has nothing in common with black civil rights! Why, because I SAY SO DAMN IT!

Last month, Pennsylvania’s attorney general refused to defend a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Her website argues: “The issue of same-sex marriage is squarely in the tradition of the struggle for civil rights in the U.S.” That comparison has significant implications for how same-sex marriage advocates treat marriage laws that they disagree with. It also deserves more scrutiny.

No, it really doesn’t. The Pennsylvania judge didn’t just pull that comparison out of her ass. It has been noted again and again by numerous observers of the movement, and has strong historical evidence to support it. Like I said, look up the ruling in the Loving case and read it. Replace the racial stuff with sexual orientation stuff, and it’s easy to see that we are having the exact same argument, just about a different minority.

As a grassroots supervisor for California’s Proposition 8, I was surprised to see numerous yard signs stolen, slashed and defaced. Those responsible were likely law-abiding citizens. Why the exception? Undoubtedly, many felt they were in hand-to-hand political combat against discrimination, hatred and bigotry.

“Grassroots”? Bullshit. Michael Erickson, the author of this garbage, got his law degree at Brigham Young University. So he is probably a Mormon. There was nothing grassroots about the Mormon church’s support for Prop. 8 in California. The church itself funded numerous political operations in hopes of influencing the voting public (something non-profit organizations are not supposed to do), and then lied about their involvement repeatedly, even after documents proving their financial involvement surfaced.

I don’t support vandalizing signs, but if the vandals (misguidedly) thought they were helping fight discrimination, hatred and bigotry, they were merely using the wrong methods to target the right group. Anyone who supported Prop. 8 supported discrimination, hatred and bigotry. That includes you, Mr. Erickson.

I will give him credit for at least recognizing that the people who defaced signage are probably otherwise good people, and will extend the same courtesy to him. I have no doubt that Mr. Erickson opposes any form of violence or vandalism against gays or gay rights supporters, which automatically makes him better than the entire Russian government and a healthy chunk of the Russian people on this issue. But the fact that he is humane in one area of human rights does not cancel out his bigotry in others. In the 1960s there were undoubtedly people who thought blacks should be treated equally….except when it comes to marriage. Mr. Erickson has taken a similar position on gays judging by the rest of his op-ed. It’s a lesser bigotry, but lesser bigotry is still bigotry.

It’s no secret that media coverage disproportionately favors same-sex marriage. A candid admission in the Washington Post explains why “(many journalists) see people opposed to gay rights today as cousins, perhaps distant cousins, of people in the 1950s and 1960s who, citing God and the Bible, opposed black people sitting in the bus seat, or dining at the lunch counter, of their choosing.” (What goes unsaid is that the most influential civil-rights leaders, “citing God and the Bible,” opposed discrimination and segregation on religious grounds.)

Actually, what most often goes unsaid is that in almost every civil rights conflict, the Bible is quoted to support BOTH sides of the issue. This is because the Bible is murky, muddled, contradictory, and irrelevant to modern life. It’s primed to be manipulated and read however the reader wants to read it. Every civil rights movement (including the gay movement) has religious people on both sides, quoting the same scripture to say the opposite thing. It’s almost like the Bible is bullshit or something!

Regrettably, some infamous groups spew anti-gay rhetoric that is hateful and indefensible. But far too often the media amplify these voices and conflate all religious opinion with this easily assailable straw man.

Comparing you to the yahoos at Westboro Baptist Church or the American Family Association would indeed be tearing down a straw man. But that doesn’t mean that your views are not hateful or indefensible. Lesser bigotries, as before.

As such, they entirely ignore, as a Deseret News editorial put it, our “morally complex and pluralistic world” (June 30). A world where some religious faiths that only endorse marriage between a man and a woman also support nondiscrimination laws for gays and lesbians. And a world where some gays and lesbians oppose same-sex marriage “citing a belief that children benefit most from opposite-sex parents.”

Those are both minority opinions. Sure they count to some extent, but they don’t represent either group. More importantly, yes, we do live in a morally complex and pluralistic world. But that’s exactly why religion is growing more and more irrelevant every day, and why more and more people are leaving their churches. Religions too often speak in absolutes, in black-and-white morality, in unquestioned divine authority, in faith unsupported by facts and evidence, in the primacy of tradition over a society that adapts to improve the lives of real people instead of please the whims of invisible imaginary people. Religion just doesn’t fit any more, and it is slowly dying as a result.

Unfortunately, the situation is unlikely to change unless this civil-rights comparison is scrutinized. Here are three differences that deserve attention:

Scrutinize it all you want. It will change nothing, because your starting position, the very beliefs you stand on, are what’s really wrong with your argument.

First, laws prohibiting interracial marriage were designed to promote white supremacy. That’s why a unanimous Supreme Court invalidated these laws for having “no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination.” In sharp contrast as one gay-marriage advocate acknowledges, “Unlike racial segregation, to which anti-gay laws are often compared, the traditional restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples was not designed, in and of itself, to denigrate or harm same-sex couples.”

“One gay marriage advocate said something stupid, so that makes the stupid thing true!”

When North Carolina outlawed gay marriage in 2012, do you think that had any purpose other than to reinforce straight privilege? Straight people get the benefits of marriage, gay people don’t. Therefore, privilege. Straight people get to visit their dying spouses in the hospital, gay people don’t get that privilege. The law was designed specifically to reserve certain privileges to straight couples and deny them to gays. To argue that it serves any other purpose is absurd.

As for “traditional marriage”, there’s no such thing. Racial segregation has a long and storied tradition as well, and not all forms of it were “designed” to reinforce privilege in one race. Many, like marriage, weren’t designed at all, but instead arose organically and only became enshrined in law later on. Regardless of whether opposite-sex marriage was ALWAYS designed to denigrate gays, there’s no questioning that RIGHT NOW it is. And that’s what matters.

Second, the Civil Rights movement, according to noted leader John Lewis, “was built upon deep-seated religious convictions” and, without such faith, “would have been like a bird without wings.” But it’s hard to imagine prominent gay-marriage advocates describing their movement as “built upon deep-seated religious convictions.” Indeed, it has often been hostile to religion.

To be sure, some of that hostility stems from perceived, and sometimes very real, denigration by some religious adherents. Nevertheless, the different roots of these movements appear to manifest sharply contrasting fruits. Compare, for example, the gospel-inspired Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” to the now popular mantra “Get on the right side of history!” Or compare the Christian perseverance evident in this preacher’s promise, “We will win you with the power of our capacity to endure,” with the conventional pride revealed in this politician’s bluster, “It’s going to happen, whether you like it or not.”

The past civil rights movements also took place in a time when religion had more political strength than it does today. As I already mentioned, our society is going through a slow process of secularization, and religion’s power is waning. It should come as no surprise, then, that religion has less of a role to play in current issues.

This doesn’t change the fact that there are indeed many Christians who support gay rights. As I discussed above, this shouldn’t be surprising to anybody, because the Bible says only what the person quoting it wants it to say.

Third, whereas segregationists fought to preserve their social status and political power, many in the religious coalition for man-woman marriage seek, in the words of President Obama, “to preserve and strengthen families.” Although in favor of same-sex marriage now, even President Obama acknowledges that their “impulse” to strengthen families “is the right one.”

Bullshit. “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!” was a constant refrain amongst segregationists. It was alleged, without evidence, that mixed race families would be unstable, that allowing interracial marriage would lead to black men raping white daughters, that mixed race children would not turn out as well as “pure” children. The gay marriage opponents make all the same unsupportable claims, saying children of gay parents will turn out bad, comparing gays to pedophiles, and insisting that only opposite sex marriages can be stable. Nothing has changed except the identity of the minority being denied its rights.

Notwithstanding these differences, discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation should be addressed. Marriage, however, is about more than civil rights for individuals. Marriage has profound implications for a historically vulnerable and underrepresented class of persons — children.

That’s what the opponents of interracial marriage said. They were wrong, and so are you. Their beliefs were based on superstitious misapprehensions of a minority, and so are yours. Because of white privilege, they couldn’t see (or wouldn’t see) how they were harming others. The same goes for you and your straight privilege.

In the fortieth year since Roe v. Wade, public opinion has settled on a middle ground that recognizes the concerns of both pro-choice and pro-life advocates — approving of abortion for threats to a mother’s health, rape, incest, and birth defects, but disapproving for elective birth control, selecting birth traits or avoiding parental responsibility.

If the public discussion on marriage is not prematurely curtailed, public opinion might yet arrive at a common ground that recognizes the dignity of gay and lesbian Americans while also preserving marriage between a man and a woman as the surest foundation for the future of children.

How would you like it if we found a “middle ground” when it comes to YOUR rights? You seem to be fine when the rights of gays and women are on the line, but what if we start curtailing yours because of “the children”? That sound good to you? Would you like it if the people took a vote on your marriage? Would you like it if we declared, based on no evidence, that Mormons make bad parents, and that therefore you can’t get married? Would that be okay with you? Would you feel that we were “respecting” your “dignity” if we prohibited you from visiting a dying spouse in the hospital just because we disagree with your faith/lifestyle, based on such stupid arguments? You can’t respect people’s dignity while denying them certain basic privileges which you reserve to yourself. So long as you insist on doing so, you are a bigot, and you are discriminating.

Oh, and the Mormon church didn’t allow blacks to be ministers until…what? 1975? 1976? Some time around then. But you’d rather we forgot all about that, wouldn’t you, Mr. Civil Rights Man?

Couldn’t have said it better myself

More good news: Minnesota is set to become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. We got the bigots on the run, people. And their own words about this issue indict them more than anything I could say about the issue.

Republican fucknut legislator Dan Hall of Minnesota wants the world to know what a hateful shit-biscuit he is. In doing so, he reveals the authoritarian fundamentalist mindset that all freedom-loving people are up against:

“Forcing others to give you your rights will never end well,” said Sen. Dan Hall, a Republican and a pastor. “It won’t give you the recognition you desire.”

Hear that, folks? A vote held by a democratically elected state legislature is “forcing” the bigots to give you “your rights.” You really can’t make it any more clear who’s on the right side and who’s on the wrong side of this issue.

Well, maybe you can…

Hall said gay marriage supporters have told him he’s on the wrong side of history but, he said, “the truth is I’m more concerned about being on the right side of eternity.”

Sen. Hall, let me be the one to explain to you why we’re winning: History is REAL.

Good Ideas Don’t Need Death Threats to Protect Them

A group of Muslim extremists is demanding death for “insulting” their precious, delicate religious sensibilities. Must be Tuesday. Oh, wait, it’s Sunday. Guess it could be any day of the week, come to think of it.

Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) — Tens of thousands of radical Muslims marched toward the capital on Saturday to demand laws to target bloggers they said denigrated Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Muhammad must be a colossal wuss if he can’t handle a few bloggers making fun of him. Or could it be that Islam is all just complete bullshit unsupported by facts and reason (shock!), and the only way it can stand is by threatening and intimidating those who ask questions for which it has no answer?

Anyways, I’m 100% on the side of those bloggers.

The bloggers initiated a recent sit-in at Shahbagh Square demanding the death penalty for people involved in war crimes perpetrated more than four decades ago.

Okay, maybe not 100%.

Can we ever have a rally in a Muslim country that doesn’t involve calling for someone to be killed? That would be nice. Look, I’m all for punishing war crimes, but the death penalty is not the answer to all of our problems. Answering cruelty with more cruelty is not the right way to go.

But let’s also be careful not to equate what the bloggers are doing with what the Muslim extremists are doing. The bloggers are calling for the death penalty for war crimes. The extremists are calling for the death penalty for saying mean stuff. I’m not for the death penalty either way, but at least in the former case an actual crime was committed.

Muslim hard-liners under the banner of Hefazat-e-Islam on Saturday rallied against bloggers and authors.

Poverty. Starvation. Violence. Crime. Communicable diseases. Illiteracy. Superstition. Misogyny/rape culture. Ethnic hatred. Under-funded schools… What? Oh, sorry. I was just making a list of the problems faced by a struggling, third world country like Bangladesh. I’ll let you know when I get to “bloggers and authors.” Infant mortality. The lingering effects of the 2005 tsunami. Unsafe work conditions in factories. Political corruption…

The Hefazat rally branded the government as cohorts of the atheists and said they wanted it to meet 13 demands, including reinstatement of “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah” in the constitution and capital punishment for those who would denigrate Islam and its prophet.

The demands included declaration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect as non-Muslim, a ban on free mixing of men and women, making Islamic education mandatory at all levels and no installation of any sculpture in any public place.

That’s all a bunch of oppressive bullshit, but I’m almost with you on that last one. Wish more people were on board with that in my country, at least as far as publicly-funded property goes.

Speaking of my home country, let’s check in on how far we’ve come in our own struggle for civil rights and equality.

ROCHELLE, GA – …

Stephanie and Keela are white and Mareshia and Quanesha are black. They’re seniors at Wilcox County High School, a school that has never held an integrated prom during its existence.

“There’s a white prom and there’s an integrated prom,” said Keela.

The rule is strictly enforced, any race other than Caucasian wouldn’t dare to attend the white prom.

Sigh. It’s days like this that I just want to give up.

Oh, and hey, South, are you listening? I say this as a person who was a resident of you for many years: I want you to find every sharp object available and just ram it right up your tightly wound, bigoted asshole. Just fuck yourself with every sharp object known to man, and just keep doing it ’til you bleed out and die and let the rest of us finally try to make some real progress on racial equality in this country.

Segregated proms. In 2013. Fucking shameful.

America: Teabagged by God

Over at the WingNutDaily, legendary deep thinker Pat Boone has copiously spewed forth once again on gay marriage, and gifted us with yet another nuanced and erudite rumination on sexual politics in America.

LAW OF THE LAND

Still one nation under God, or not?

Exclusive: Pat Boone prays for ‘9 humans who will decide future of America’

When WingNutDaily calls an article “exclusive”, it can mean only one of three things:
  1. It’s not actually exclusive, and a dozen other websites are reporting it.
  2. It’s actually a thinly disguised advertizement for some charlatan “natural” cure or survivalist claptrap.
  3. It’s an op-ed so stupid, crazy, malevolent, incoherent and/or pointless that no one else would dream of publishing it.
This is definitely an instance of case #3.
Would you allow a doctor, no matter his credentials, to infuse you with pig blood?
Wait, I thought this was about gay marriage… Is pig blood code for dick?
My mother, herself a trained registered nurse, received a pig valve in her heart in her ’80s, and it apparently extended her life to almost 91.
So your mom’s gay? What the hell are you babbling about, Pat?
But pig blood? In her veins, mixing her human blood with that of a pig?
You’re fine with tissue, but incredulous about blood. Okay. Where is this going?
Never! And no doctor worthy of his certificate would ever suggest it.
Fine. I won’t infuse you with pig blood, or dick, or whatever it is you’re going on about.
Why? Because human beings are created different from other animal forms. While we can accept blood from other humans, we dare not corrupt or pollute our human blood with that of any other life form.
A few points:
  1. Ever heard of blood types? You can’t take just any human blood and put it in anybody else.
  2. You can’t put walrus blood in a yak, either. And I don’t see sharks being very receptive to a pig blood transfusion. The immune system would reject it. The fact that you can’t put just any blood in our veins doesn’t exactly make us special.
  3. What the fuck exactly is your point?

Our DNA forbids it, and it’s not negotiable. Messing with our created state is deadly.

Then why are the pig valves okay? Did the DNA just get sloppy?

What is America’s DNA?

An overplayed, Ur-Fascist and essentialist metaphor abused by self-righteous nationalists to disenfranchise those who supposedly aren’t American enough?

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

Catch that word, their “Creator”? Our founders knew – and publicly proclaimed – that our rights, and life itself, flowed directly from the power and benevolence of our Creator!

Actually, it’s just a bit of rhetorical flourish that you’re reading way too much into.

And that a democratic republic, unprecedented in human history, must be comprised of, and governed by, individuals who would diligently endorse and obey the rules laid out by that Creator for the continuance of that free society.

Again, a few points:

  1. America was not the first democracy or the first republic or the first mixture of the two. There are these things called Greece and Rome you might want to look into.
  2. If you actually read what the founders such as Jefferson and Madison wrote (rather than just regurgitating fake or out-of-context quotes you get from frauds like David Barton), you’d realize that they were keenly aware of the fact that the will of the “creator” differs depending on whom you ask.
  3. Again, is there a point to any of this?

There was no other way to perpetuate our new liberties, including equality for all citizens.

Yes, all the citizens get equally butt-fucked by the patriarchal Christian tyrant in power.

That way was based completely on the Bible, and on the precepts God had revealed unmistakably in His Book. Without the Bible, we would never have had our Constitution.

In fact, the Bible is so important to the Constitution that it is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, and the drafters of the Constitution actively resisted attempts to put religious language in the document.

The signers of the Constitution knew that full well. Has anybody ever informed you that virtually all the 55 writers and signers of the United States Constitution of 1787 were members of Christian denominations?

Has anybody ever informed you that literally all of them were wealthy white males, and many of them owned slaves? If the fact that most were Christian means that Christians should dominate everything, then the fact that they were also wealthy white male slave owners should mean that we should role back rights for women, blacks and the poor, right?

Some revisionists today want you to believe otherwise. When I talked about this with Bill Maher, a cynical unbeliever, he sent me an Los Angeles Times article declaring that all the framers were deists or outright atheists, not Christians.

I responded, drawing his attention to the byline, attributing the distortion of facts to a member of an atheist organization who deliberately lied, ignoring the historically recorded truth.

It’s by an atheist, so it must be false!

The truth is that the Founders were much more diverse than either Maher or Boone realize. There probably were very few outright atheists, but they certainly weren’t uniformly orthodox Christians. Many were Deists or very liberal Unitarians. Many rejected the divinity of Christ and the reality of miracles. Many viewed the Bible as a collection of useful moral tales rather than actual truth. However, it is also true that many really were devout Christians who believe all the stupid dogshit that Christians believe.

The point is that no one can claim that The Founders were a monolithic group that is totally in line with exactly what anyone believes in 2013. No one gets to claim the Founders as their endless allies.

I also sent him a quote from John Jay, appointed by President George Washington as the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, who helped form the Constitution itself:

“Providence (God) has given to our people the choice of their rulers,
And it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our
Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Why? Because it was Christians, guided by the Judeo-Christian Bible, who created the profound document guaranteeing liberty and equality to all, including atheists. They were – and are – the veins through which the blood of freedom flows!

First off, let’s look at some of the context for that quote, from Wikipedia:

Religion

Jay was a member of the Church of England, and later of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America after the American Revolution. Since 1785, Jay had been a warden of Trinity Church, New York. As Congress’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he supported the proposal after the Revolution that the Archbishop of Canterbury approve the ordination of bishops for the Episcopal Church in the United States.[27]He argued unsuccessfully in the provincial convention for a prohibition against Catholics holding office.[28]

Jay believed that the most effective way of ensuring world peace was through propagation of the Christian gospel. In a letter addressed to Pennsylvania House of Representatives member John Murray, dated October 12, 1816, Jay wrote, “Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not provoke war. Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous. Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”[29]

[Emphasis added]

We can learn a few things from this.

  1. The attitude which John Jay was expressing failed to prevail, since the Constitution explicitly prohibits having any religious test for office.
  2. John Jay had a rather naive view of history, seeing as Christian rulers have provoked war over and over and over throughout the entire existence of that noxious religion.
  3. John Jay seemed to have a view of “equality” similar to Boone’s, which boils down to “Christians are better than everyone else, so all non-Christians get to be equally pushed around and disenfranchised by Christians.”
  4. The mere fact that John Jay said something doesn’t make it law.

And the blood of freedom is the Word and will of God.

No. Whenever someone brings up the “word of god”, it is almost always something along the lines of “Believe this, without evidence, or else.” That is not freedom.

So what’s my point? I hope it’s obvious.

That’s some funny shit right there.

Just as your body, and mine, is created to run on one fuel – and only one – so our America was created to operate on only one set of principles. They are our very DNA. And those principles are found only in the Bible. Yes, the Bible.

Yes, the Bible. Where God orders his chosen people to commit genocide, slavery, rape, polygamy, torture, and a host of other things that are part of our principles.

And can we at least start circling around something vaguely resembling a point at some juncture in this article?

“Separation of church and state?” Take the “church,” the institution that promulgates Bible principles, out of the “state” – and you will not have the “state” called America. It will be something else (and some today seem to prefer it), but it will not – could not – be the America that became the greatest nation in history.

Except for the part that that’s exactly what it would be. It wasn’t the Bible that created our vast industrial system, our scientific excellence or our gradual march towards expanding civil rights to more and more Americans.

Our Supreme Court is faced right now with its greatest challenge, ever.

Because whatever topic I’m discussing at the moment is, in my goldfish-like mind, the most important thing that ever happened!

By June, concerning the very definition of marriage, nine human beings will decide whether we remain “one nation under God,” governed by the God who created us and them – or take on a new fuel, the treacherous, fickle, amoral “popular opinion,” a synthetic mixture of poll results, ignorance of unchangeable biblical principle and outright hedonistic rebellion.

Yeah, fuck democracy!

Don’t you right-wingers usually say that the Supreme Court is evil because it (sometimes) overrules the popular opinion? But now it’s evil because it might reach a decision that’s in line with popular opinion?

Why don’t you assholes just admit it? You hate the concept of an independent judiciary. You hate the concept of Americans reaching their own conclusions about other Americans rather than just accepting what your church tells them to think about others. You hate the fact that most people don’t give a flying fuck about your superstitions. You hate the fact that the things that are most important in your lives don’t mean shit to the rest of us. You hate the fact that you’re losing the so-called “culture war”. And you hate the fact that the very constitutional republic you pretend to idolize is your #1 enemy in all of this. You just hate the fact that the American people have a voice, and your voice is a tiny, screechy, obnoxious minority in it.

Already this court has ruled against equality, dictating that innocent babies still in their mothers’ wombs have fewer rights than their mothers. And in so doing, they’ve ruled against life itself – at least for the near 60 million babies aborted since their infamous decision in 1973.

Actual living, breathing, feeling, thinking women should be beholden to undeveloped fetuses that don’t even have higher brain functions yet. You know. “Equality”.

If you have any knowledge at all of our Founding Fathers’ intentions and guiding principles, can you seriously imagine their considering marriage, even for a second, as anything but the union of a man and a woman?

I can seriously imagine them thinking that it’s okay to own another human being. I can also seriously imagine them thinking that a marriage is only between a man and a woman of the same race. Because that’s exactly what they did. Why should I have to align every belief I have with theirs?

Were they stupid or naïve or ignorant about human inclinations?

No, but you are. They were a product of their time. You are a sad, pathetic twat trying desperately to pretend you don’t live in yours.

And as true now as then, our concepts of morality and virtue come directly from God, through His Bible. That’s undeniable.

It’s totally deniable. “Deniable” and “Morals come from the Bible” are so close they might as well be gay fuck-buddies. Every Christian on Earth, including Holy Pat himself, denies it every day. No one has ever actually derived their moral system from the Bible. They instead adopt the moral system of those around them, and then shoehorn Bible verses into it.

His love is universal, for all of us.

God loves you. And he created a place of eternal torment where you’re destined to go if you don’t believe in him. Because that’s how love works.

But His blessings are promised only to those who honor and obey His Word.

Because that’s how you treat people you love!

When a society decides to substitute its collective will for His, it changes its spiritual and moral DNA – like pumping pig’s blood into human veins.

Again, a few things:

  1. The collective will is this thing we call democracy. Get used to it.
  2. “His” will always seems to coincide with the prejudices of whatever old white male happens to be speaking. Can’t help but notice that “He” doesn’t actually pipe up very often.
  3. Putting the blood of another species in your body won’t change your DNA, you fucking dumbshit. Your analogy sucks.

People, we must pray, and pray very earnestly, for the nine human beings who will soon decide the future of America. Only if we remain “one nation under God” will we long survive.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Anyways, let’s take the obligatory look at what the commenters at WingNutDaily have to say on this topic.

nolejoea day ago

Decent NORMAL people don’t get sexually excited over people who are of their same sex. Mentally deranged perverts do.

BobCactusFlower William Wilson5 hours ago

You mean those NORMAL people, who, when constantly confronted by a deviant sexual behavior, find anal sex between perverts ABNORMALLY disgusting?

Nope. That’s as normal as (blechh) apple pie. It’s just that the perverts are still PERVERTS and rather than be legalized, they should be caged and retrained like the filthy animals that they are.

No need to thank me!

Equality! Biblical morality! Universal love!

proclaimingGodsTruth12 hours ago

I think judgment has already come to America; only now the judgments are increasing. The fabric of America’s Christian heritage is coming apart at the seams. We are on the verge of a huge financial collapse that will devastate this land.

It’s time to get right with God, it’s time to proclaim Him in the streets, in the churches, among family – everywhere! God means business – He doesn’t joke, kid around or play games.

We’ve got over 3,000 years of people saying this shit. The well’s gotta run dry at some point, right?

Nottolate buzz13195011 hours ago

When the framers of the Constitution spoke of freedom of religion, they were referring to Christianity only. How do we know? First, the majority of them were Christians (some deist mixed in). Second, other religions were not present in the land at the time. Third, what does that have to do with what I wrote? I spoke on the issue of gay marriage and not freedom of religion.

Can’t argue with that non-reasoning!

BobCactusFlower buzz1319505 hours ago

Brilliant assessment of American founding principles notwithstanding, this country remains OURS and when you try to take it from us, you’re going to find out just how much freedom of worship costs to create and keep.

You’re going to find out that it takes a lot more than a couple of filthy communists in the White House to make God’s people accept sexual perversion, murder, and open worship of satan and your other pals….lol

Freedom for all, as long as you recognize that this country is OURS and you can fuck off!

Larry Bohannon Michael Leone11 hours ago

I can tell that you are ignorant public school student. [sic] You don’t even know the difference between “you are” and your. [sic] Why should we even listen to foolish talk. [sic]

There’s this thing you should look out for when correcting the grammar of others…

Chris Farrell Michael Leone5 hours ago

Where did you gather that the Christians only argument against so-called “gay” marriage is that “Jesus doesn’t like it?”

Marriage, to a Christian, is a covenant in which one man and one woman enter into with God.

I couldn’t possibly have gathered it from exactly what you’re saying.

BobCactusFlower Michael Leone5 hours ago

lol…….get MARRIED to a pervert homosexual? (yeah, you call them gay, but I have YET to see one even marginally cheerful)

That’s probably because they’re stuck being around you.

02word6 hours ago

As one judge said, the gay rights/same sex marriage people haven’t even been around (I mean come out) for but a few years. It’s a made up excuse to push their beliefs into society.

Yeah, fuck them! Only an asshole would do that! Now let’s get back to that part where freedom of religion only applies to Christians and America’s laws all have to be based on the particular Biblical exegesis of a small number of self-righteous bigots.