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.

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.