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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Cloning the Language

There’s a widely cited term in the skeptical community about a commonly observed phenomenon in the gullible dingleberry community. Crank Magnetism, as it’s called, is the tendency of those who accept one ludicrous pseudoscientific or otherwise demonstrably false belief to accept others as well. So a creationist like Phillip Johnson also turns out to be an HIV/AIDS denialist.  Or a global warming denialist might also be a stem cell denialist. Essentially fucktardation in one realm of thought correlates positively with other realms of thought also being fucktarded. Stupidity spreads through one’s brain like the virus you deny exists, and makes your thoughts on a whole range of topics utterly fucktarded.

This is certainly true of the Discovery Institute, the primary driver behind the ball-crunchingly fucktarded pseudo-theory of Intelligent Design. They also are fucktarded in several other scientific domains, including the one I’m looking at today: Human Cloning. It also provides a perfect example of another odious practice that the superstitious and bigoted like to do: Appropriating Language. Observe:

Some worry most about the eventual birth of a cloned baby—an event that is still a long way off. But therapeutic cloning already poses an acute threat to human dignity.

It’s starting to reach the point where I cringe whenever I hear the word “dignity”, because it is more and more being used to attack things that have nothing to do with dignity. The damn Catholic Church claims that IVF techniques are an affront to human dignity, for fuck’s sake. Generally, “dignity” is more and more starting to mean “some airy idea or arbitrary rule that we will treat as more important than actual physical human beings.”

As Charles Krauthammer, who served on George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Bioethics, warned in the New Republic in 2002, creating cloned embryos for research—now accomplished—is “dangerous” because it reduces the cloned embryo to “mere thingness,” justifying “the most ruthless exploitation.”

Quoting Krauthammer, eh? That’s fucking hilarious, seeing as he once called you guys’ pet theory “tarted-up creationism” and thinks you Intelligent Design nuts are scientific phonies. But let’s see what this Iraq War supporter has to say about “dignity”.

He went on to say:

It is the ultimate in desensitization . . . The problem, one could almost say, is not what cloning does to the embryo, but what it does to us . . . Creating a human embryo just so it can be used and then destroyed undermines the very foundation of the moral prudence that informs the entire enterprise of genetic research: the idea that, while a human embryo may not be a person, it is not nothing. Because if it is nothing, then everything is permitted. And if everything is permitted, then there are no fences, no safeguards, no bottom.

Hey, Charles. Hyperbole just called. He said he wants you to tone it down, since even he’s embarrassed by this. Also, notice how he’s picked up the terms “exploitation” and “desensitization” from other issues and stuck them onto an issue to which they simply don’t apply. Remember, this is a single cell that we are talking about. One human zygote–that’s what therapeutic cloning produces. That’s it. It has no feeling, no thoughts, no experiences, no nerves, no brain. There is nothing there to be harmed in any way. A single cell has no dignity. It can’t be exploited. It has no senses. It is not a person. But in the name of “exploitation” and “desensitization” and “human dignity” we need to outlaw experimenting on it at the cost of valuable medical knowledge which could save thousands of real human beings.

Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine a trolley track with a fork in it. You’re at the switch. You can decide which track to send an out of control trolley down by pulling the switch.  On one track, there is a man tied to it. On the other track, a rack of petri dishes containing one thousand human zygotes. If you don’t pull the switch, the trolley will hit the man and kill him. If you pull the switch, it will hit the petri dishes and destroy all 1,000 embryos. What do you do?

If you answer “Pull the switch”, then you don’t believe zygotes are really people, since you’d be willing to destroy 1,000 of them to save one life.

If you say, “Don’t pull the switch and let the man die,” then you’re a fucking asshole.

The only effective preventative is to enact a comprehensive legal ban on human SCNT, not just the uses to which a cloned embryo may be put. Contrary to what the science intelligentsia, the biotechnology industry, and the mainstream media might claim, banning human SCNT is a step that is widely supported internationally. Indeed, in 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nationsvoted overwhelmingly in support of a non-binding resolution calling upon member states “to prohibit all forms of human cloning.”

Is there anything that the UN HASN’T issued a non-binding resolution on? I mean, Jesus, just about anybody can suck the right diplomatic cock and get a non-binding resolution through in the UN. And you gotta love how the right wing fuckberries rail against the evils of the UN and kowtowing to the international community…right up until they agree with them on something.

The devil will be found in how the term “cloning” is defined. In particular, we should be on the lookout for phony bans that actually legalize the SCNT process using human DNA. For example, many proposals would only outlaw “reproductive cloning.” But as we have seen, such a “ban” would not outlaw cloning at all, merelyone potential use that could be made of embryo made through cloning.

Yeah, kinda sucks when people use that tactic of  making a law vaguely worded so that it doesn’t actually do what you claim it does. Now, about those “academic freedom” laws that the Discovery Institute keeps pushing in state after state….

Outlawing human cloning would provide salutatory benefits

No, it wouldn’t. All it would do is deprive us of life-saving research in order to protect single cells. There is no plus side to this.

First, it would deprive cloning researchers of the funds to further perfect human cloning techniques.

Hear that? That’s every sane person on earth asking, “How the fuck is that a salutatory benefit?”

Outlawing human cloning would also be a clarion call to our scientists demanding that they stay within proper moral parameters as they serve society through the pursuit of knowledge.

I send this message out to all god-humpers, all sanctimonious twats, all conservative evangelicals and every moral crusader in the country:

YOU DO NOT GET TO DEFINE THE “PROPER MORAL PARAMETERS” FOR THE REST OF US. FUCK OFF.

And it would protect women.

You have got to be shitting me.

Recall that human eggs are the essential ingredients in the cloning recipe. As I wrote here last month, the need for human eggs in cloning threatens a great “human egg rush.”

But retrieving human eggs can be very dangerous to women’s health and fecundity. Banning cloning can thus prevent the further objectification of the female biological function.

There’s more appropriation for you. “Objectification”. Except for the fact that this issue has nothing to do with objectification or feminist critiques thereof.

This shit really pisses me of.  This asshole is leaving out the part where women volunteer their eggs in order to further scientific knowledge. It’s not like scientists are running through the streets probing every woman they find in order to get at her precious, precious ova. Women–grown up, adult women–donate the eggs of their own free will.

And yet, this guy is trying to sound like a feminist while leaving out a woman’s ability to make her own choices about her own body. I’m gonna call this bullshit Patriarchal Pseudo-Feminism. Basically, it means infantilizing women, treating them like they are unable to determine their own lives and choices, just like patriarchy always does to women, but disguising it in the language of feminism. I see it a lot. I’ve seen it used to attack pornography, abortion, IVF, contraception and a host of other issues relating to women. It frustrates me even more than overt sexism or misogyny, since at least if someone is being blatantly sexist they aren’t trying to lie to me about what a piece of shit they are.

But this fucknugget is treating women like they’re helpless children who need the law to protect them from evil scientists, and trying to make it look like he’s pro-woman for this. Fuck that. I’m not standing for it. Women can make their own fucking choices about their own fucking eggs. And (assuming they’re properly informed) if they want to give them to a scientist for a cloning experiment, the rest of us should respect their decision and not make condescending, patriarchal comments about how we need to protect them from themselves. Fuck you, Discovery Institute.

And any time you hear someone demanding that we need to ban something in the name of feminism, but they conveniently leave out the notions of informed consent and a woman determining her own life, tell hem to fuck off with their patriarchal wolf in feminist clothing.

Finally, on a positive note, once human cloning becomes beyond the pale, we could begin to row in the direction of areas of biotechnology that are morally licit, freeing human and financial resources for the pursuit of the abundant avenues of moral andefficacious biotechnological research—such as adult stem cell research, genetically tailored chemotherapy, and other medical treatments.

Except for the fact that there are things you can do with cloning that can’t be done with those other types of research. You’d be preventing us from making certain discoveries, not encouraging discoveries in other areas.

We can achieve remarkable biotechnology breakthroughs in this century without surrendering our ethics.

“Our” ethics? I certainly don’t share ethics with you, shitwad.

Outlawing human cloning is the essential progressive act.

And we end with one more act of cloning the left’s language in order to attack it. “Progressive” my boney white ass.

Maybe the problem is you…

I saw over at Ed Brayton’s blog this story about a restaurant owner named Ed McGovern in North Carolina who handed a proselytizing letter to a gay couple who ate at his restaurant (after they paid for their meal, of course). Apparently he objected to their brazen act of simultaneously 1) being gay and 2) breathing the same air as himself, so he felt the need to let them know that he hates them Jeebus loves them. In the body of the news article they reproduce the letter, but in an obviously cleaned up, grammatical version.  They also have a photo of the actual handwritten letter, and here is my word-for-word, letter-for-letter transcription of it. Everything below is [sic]:

LESBIAN-NOTE-1-jpg

God said in the Last days that man and women, would be Lover of self, morethen the Lover of God.

That man and women would have unnataurl effection for one another. Then the comnig of the son of man who is Jesus. So please Look at your life see how it hurt every one around your. and aske the Lord to open your eye. before it to late.

The Love of Christ

P.S. my dauaghte also was gay

it destroy her life

and my grandson.

I object to the fact that the original news report didn’t reproduce the letter exactly as written. Show these illiterate dumbfucks for who they really are.

But the real point I want to make is why I object to correcting the letter. It’s more than just “make the other side look stupid.” Of course this guy is stupid. There are 4th graders out there who can write more grammatically, more clearly and more eloquently than this. This is a very disordered, confused mind responding to an unfamiliar stimulus with something akin to “hurble burble nobble gobble Jesus says fags will ruin Christmas!” But this goes beyond just portraying him as stupid. This matters. No, fucking seriously, it does.

I’ve long thought that disorganized speech and writing reflect disorganized thinking. Someone who cannot string together a sentence or paragraph with proper grammar and spelling is someone who does not have the cognitive power to process complex or unfamiliar sensory input. Thinking about something that’s complicated or different from what one is used to requires one have the ability to organize one’s thoughts, contextualize incoming information, and follow premises to their logical conclusion. It also requires a bit of metacognitive awareness–at the very least, the ability to critique one’s own written or spoken words.

If someone’s thinking is disorganized, then they likely won’t be able to go much beyond familiar and comfortable cognitive shortcuts when confronting a situation. It’s not so much that they’re unwilling to think about how gays feel or how homosexuality fits into the grand scheme of things. It’s more that they simply lack the tools to do this. Try explaining why social mores opposed to homosexuality are arbitrary and antiquated in language that the author of the above letter would be able to comprehend. I’m not sure if it could be done, and this is why I disagree with Ed Brayton’s proposed response:

Here’s what I think should be done here. Every gay couple in the area should go there at the same time, sit down and order something really small, like an order of french fries. Then when they leave they should each give him a letter telling him that he should go to college and get an education, which might free him from the bigoted views of his false religion.

I don’t think this would have any effect. Even if he read these letters, what makes you think he’d understand them? This is a guy who thinks merely saying “Jesus says” to someone should be enough to change their sexual orientation. Clearly he has little comprehension of how humans other than himself think. And his inability to grasp how others think probably stems from his inattention to his own thinking. If gay couples did take Ed’s advice, my guess is that each couple that did it would receive in response another letter from him much like the one reproduced above. It would be like trying to have a conversation with the machine at the entrance to the parking garage. No matter what you say, it’s just gonna spit out another parking voucher, because that’s all it knows how to do.

This is just not a situation where a conversation can take place. This guy’s lost. The best bet would be to boycott his restaurant and hope he goes out of business, or publicly shame him to the point where he stops handing out such letters out of self-preservation. But patronizing his business to give him pro-gay letters will only give him more money and more opportunities to write anti-gay letters. And the fact that giving him pro-gay letters won’t work is pretty obvious when you see what he wrote. He simply wouldn’t understand them.

This is illustrated most poignantly in the postscript to McGovern’s dumbass letter. When you see just how badly written the letter is, and thereby just how minimal his understanding of the nature of the problem is, it becomes pretty obvious that it wasn’t homosexuality that destroyed his daughter’s life. More likely it was his reaction to her homosexuality that destroyed her life, as the letter shows that this is clearly not a guy who reacts to homosexuality in anything like a mature or rational manner. If this is a guy who can’t distinguish between the results of homosexuality and the results of his own reaction to homosexuality, then there is little hope of convincing him to behave otherwise with letters extolling the virtues of education. He needed that education years ago.  That ship set sail long ago. By this point, he’s a lost cause. Fuck ‘im.

I say all this because I object to correcting the letter not just because I want the restaurant owner to look like the stupid bigot that he surely is. I also want people to see the juxtaposition between ignorant views and the lack of cognitive ability that is often (but not necessarily always) associated with them. Let people see what the real problem is here: A man who cannot even write 4th grade level English is harassing gays for existing in his vicinity. Ed McGovern doesn’t realize it, but his real complaint is that the existence of lesbians makes the world too complicated for him to process. Unable to blame his own stupidity for this dilemma, he decides it must be the fault of other people who don’t fit into his tiny, comfortable worldview. His inability to comprehend becomes the lesbians’ problem, and the only way his tiny reptile brain can express this is by babbling about Jesus for a little bit.

What I hope people would see is not just that bigots are stupid. It’s also important to be able to recognize the importance of linguistic proficiency, and how failing to educate someone in how to express themselves clearly and coherently increases the likelihood that they will hold bigoted opinions. I’m not saying that there has never been an eloquent bigot, but they certainly aren’t common. It’s this causal connection that’s important–it’s why some kinds of ignorance are associated with some kinds of attitudes towards others. Organizing one’s thought is important, and a news story like this could be a good object lesson. This is what disorganized thought looks like. And the result of a mind untrained to organize itself is often bigotry: people thinking that their own inability to comprehend others is actually harm being done to them by others.

You can’t really get through to these people, because they can’t comprehend language well enough to understand what you’re saying. It’s this whole attitude of “I’m too dumb to understand it, so it’s evil,” that we need to be combating. If they’re too old for there to be any hope of actually teaching them how to communicate clearly, then often the only way to counteract their actions is to mock them. I’m more than willing to have a civil conversation with someone who at least shows that they can communicate in grammatical English. But if someone shows they can’t even do that, attempts at communication are pointless. Just point at them and laugh til they shut the fuck up.