More Oklahomans make fools of themselves

I already looked at one idiotic argument against gay marriage from my home state of Oklahoma. That particular bit of stupidity was from just some random schmuck in Edmond. Today’s bit of drooling inanity, however, comes from people with actual power. Three state legislators, to be precise.

Young Oklahoma Republican lawmakers: Sanctity of marriage must endure

BY STATE REPS. ELISE HALL, JUSTIN WOOD AND JOSH COCKROFT

Note to bigots: If you want people to represent your position on gay marriage, you should not get guys called “Wood” and “Cockroft” to do it. You’re basically just inviting assholes like me to make fun of you.

As the three youngest members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Republican caucus, we continue to believe that the push for a new definition of marriage is an attempt to carve out a special right that has no basis in the traditions of our country.

Since when do rights need to have a basis in tradition? Did women’s right to vote have any basis in tradition? Did equal rights for blacks have any basis in tradition?

We believe that all Americans deserve to be treated with dignity…

Okay. I’m not playing bullshit bigot boilerplate any more. Just move on to the obvious contradiction of this statement that you will inevitably make…

but that equal treatment has no bearing on the question of how marriage is defined.

So we can just throw out Loving v. Virginia and start banning interracial marriage again. Because the definition of marriage has nothing to do with equality. Nothing at all.

You see this thing I’m doing here? It’s a rare (on the right wing) form of thinking called “following a sentence through to its logical implications.” You might want to try it some time. Because I don’t think equality having nothing to do with marriage is anything you would ever actually want to stand by.

Marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman. It’s not defined as a union between a man and another man nor a woman and another woman.

Don’t you just love how right wingers suddenly turn into strident lexicographers whenever the prospect of people they don’t even know having a relationship they don’t approve of comes up? We can’t redefine marriage! Think of the damage it will do to our dictionaries!

Doing so would represent creating a new right, not adhering to any previously understood right.

Bullshit. Giving women the right to vote didn’t “create a new right”. It took an existing right and extended it to a new group of people. That’s how this whole “equal rights” thing works.

Is gay marriage gaining traction with young people? Yes. But that is because of the moralistic relativity that is constantly being promoted by Hollywood and in many areas of pop culture today. The idea that is too frequently becoming the norm is that everything is allowed and nothing is off limits.

It’s pop culture’s fault! If we censored movies and made it harder to have this conversation, then we could be bigots all we want without ever having to worry about public exposure!

Whenever there’s some kind of moral panic, people often target some aspect of pop culture as the supposed cause of all our problems.  In the 20s it was jazz music and dancing. In the 30s it was movies.  In the 50s it was comic books. In the 60s it was rock music. In the 70s, heavy metal. Pornography, video games, horror films, gangster rap music, reality TV–all have found themselves in the cross hairs of sanctimonious culture warriors who want an easy target to solve all their problems. The reason is simple: pop culture is an easy target. It’s highly visible, and there’s always someone out there who finds some aspect of it offensive (usually because it depicts something unfamiliar to them). And, as any rational person might suspect, there is little evidence that pop culture actually has the power over people’s minds that the culture warriors say it does. Pop culture reflects us much more than we reflect it.

But culture warriors rarely care about facts. They care about airy principles and vaguely defined “values”. The myth of American “moral relativism” is a perfect example of this. Whenever right wing douche-nozzles like these guys talk of “moral relativism”, replace the term with “moral system different from my own” and you get their real point. I doubt there are very many Americans who believe “everything is allowed and nothing is off limits.” If there were, the murder and rape rates would be MUCH higher than they actually are because of all the people who just kill and take whatever they want. But the vast majority of Americans do in fact realize that these things are wrong, and don’t do them. They’re not moral relativists–they just have a moral system that differs from the Evangelical system, which is good, since the Evangelical system is based on bigotry, ignorance, superstition, venality, hatred, and pervasive stupidity.

God intended one man and one woman to be tied in holy matrimony for their entire lives.

No. God intended for Evangelicals to shut the fuck up and leave gay people alone.

I have just as much evidence to support my hypothesis as you do yours.

Proponents of gay marriage will point fingers at straight couples getting divorces, but that’s not the fault of traditional marriage — that’s an issue for each individual couple to deal with and answer to God. Humans are flawed individuals and fall short of the grace and glory of God. That, unfortunately, includes marriages that end. It is a straw-man argument.

It’s still better than “God says so.” Unless you’ve got a good solution to the Euthyphro Dilemma, your divine command ethics is up shit creek without a god-paddle.

And, no, it’s not a straw man. Bigoted douchenuggets repeatedly argue that gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed because children need both a mother and a father. Pointed out that divorce results in children being raised without one or the other–but we still don’t outlaw straight marriage–is entirely relevant.

Gay marriage proponents argue that long-term gay couples deserve the right to marry so they can maneuver certain legal matters dealing with things ranging from wills to being put on life insurance policies. There are alternate ways to address legal issues. A widespread acceptance of nontraditional marriage is not the way to go.

Not there aren’t other ways. Oklahoma has a frickin’ constitutional amendment which specifies that there not be any. Not only is gay marriage outlawed, but so are domestic partnerships and civil unions. There is no legal recourse, and assholes like your are precisely the reason why.

This is like putting someone in a cage, locking the only door, then saying, “It’s your fault for not finding another way out.” And it confirms one of the most important lessons we can draw from this whole gay marriage debate: The Religious Right is made up of a bunch of assholes.

We feel young Republicans and conservatives are open-minded and, in some ways, are very different from their parents’ generation. That doesn’t mean we are ready to stand for allowing the legal definition of marriage to be stretched into areas it does not belong for the pursuit of convenience or social pressure.

Go fuck yourself.

Is the ability to visit your spouse in the hospital a matter of “convenience”? If you think it is, then you really are a completely inhuman piece of shit. And the state legislature of Oklahoma is starting to fill up with these. I keep hoping that the next election will give it a good flush, but find myself disappointed year after year.

Sigh. Why do you do this to me, Sooner State? Why?

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Godly Goldfish

American news media is so pathetic that sometimes I really do wanna puke. It’s not just that they report on bullshit like a woman who claims that god sent her a sign on a goldfish cracker.  It’s that they do so without even a hint of skepticism or critical thought. The news mantra seems to be “Don’t think about it. Don’t question it. Just repeat it.” Woman says god speaks to her through crackers? Okay. Let’s disseminate this to the world exactly as is. And that guy over there having an in depth conversation with an empty KFC bucket while urinating in the street? He seems credible. Let’s just regurgitate whatever words dribble from his mouth whenever it doesn’t have a crack pipe in it.

MELBOURNE, Fla. –

A Brevard County woman found more than she expected while eating a bag of Goldfish crackers, according to Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

Patti Burke eats two or three pounds of Goldfish crackers in a week, one by one, looking for the saltiest of the snacks.

Okay, that can’t be healthy.

But only once has she found a sign from God on a little orange cracker.

The sign said, “Eat something other than goldfish crackers, you crazy bitch!”

“When I picked this one up, I knew he was special,” the Melbourne woman said of her Holy Week discovery. “He had a cross on him, and he had a crown circle up by his head. Something I’ve never seen before out of all the Goldfish I’ve eaten.”

Seeing as you’re basically a walking Goldfish Holocaust, I’ll grant that at least you’re right about it being rare.

So what exactly does this sign from God look like?

Goldfish

And I’m supposed to be impressed with this…why?

“I called Pepperidge Farm and said, ‘Hey, do you have some special promotion going on, I think I’ve got the lucky fish,’” she said. “They called me back and said there’s no way this could have been printed like that in the factory. … They said it sounds like something miraculous happened and we don’t know how it happened.”

There’s no way! Nothing on the machine that makes the goldfish crackers could ever make that shape! It could only be a miracle! There is literally nothing on a machine shaped like–

Pan Head Machine Screw3

Damn it! Stop piddling on my Jesus parade with your silly “facts” and “really obvious shit.”

It should be noted that the Yahoo! News version of this story includes an important caveat which the local Florida affiliate failed to mention:

(That comment has not been confirmed by Pepperidge Farm.)

Yeah, no shit.

And another thing about that Yahoo! News story. It begins thus:

It’s a fishy story, but the woman telling it believes it’s pure gold.

*Vomit*

Journalists, please. Just stop doing this. I seriously don’t understand why you guys are unable to express yourselves without the use of puns. Did you notice above how I didn’t make some sort of pun on the machine having a “screw loose”? Follow my example. Let’s call for a sweeping moratorium on all puns in the news. If you guys are going to report this bullshit so credulously (note that the obvious phillips head screw explanation isn’t even considered in either news report), the least you could do is avoid raping comedy and the English language in the process.

A hurricane of nonsense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe Allah could pitch in by NOT MAKING HURRICANES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Facebook:

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

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

Lies from the Pit of Stupidity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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