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.

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DJesus Freaks Uncorked

The fact that SNL somehow still finds a way to remain relevant convinces me that the American public hates comedy and wants to see it crushed beneath the iron heel of predictability, laziness, and immaturity. The show is almost always utterly unfunny, and yet somehow remains on the air after almost forty years of Nickleback-level mediocrity and scrotum-scraping tediousness in almost every sketch the show has ever aired. It is rare to see a skit that is actually funny (a few of the Celebrity Jeopardy skits managed some genuine laughs).  Most of the time the best “comedy” that the show can come up with is a sketch that’s funny in concept, but lazy and predictable in execution.

The recent Tarantino spoof called “DJesus Uncrossed” is an example of this. Is a movie about a vengeance-crazed DJesus storming through DJerusalem viciously killing Romans and avenging the plight of the DJews a funny idea? Fuck yeah, it is. I would like to see it done well. Alas, this is SNL, so ’twas not to be. Instead, we just get Jesus killing people. Obviously a Jesus parody based on Django Unchained will involved Jesus murdering Romans. That’s supposed to be the starting point of the DJoke. It’s the premise of the DJoke, not the DJoke itself. You’re then supposed to build on that, adding new humorous layers and observations. Maybe have DJesus walk across the water to kick off the heads of swimming Romans like footballs off a tee. Maybe have a weird thing about the holes in his feet to parody Tarantino’s creepy foot fetish (we all know he’d love to fuck a foot-hole). Or point out that, unlike Inglourious Basterds or Django Unchained, there’s no evidence to show that it didn’t actually happen this way. (At least, no less evidence than what the Gospel accounts have.)

There might have been ways to make these things funny, and that’s what they should do. But that requires the writers to make an attempt to do their jobs. Instead we just get 2 minutes of DJesus killing Romans in re-creations of scenes from various Tarantino movies, as if the mere sight of it will be funny every single time. It’s not. The humor wears off almost immediately, and there isn’t an attempt to build on the premise until the very end, when a fictional critic describes it as a less violent version of the Passion of the Christ, followed by a swipe at the fact that Tarantino likes to include the word “nigger” in his scripts a lot. Too little, too late.

“SNL skit sucks” isn’t news. It’s in the same category as the Pope’s Catholicism and bears’ woods-shitting. But at least I can get some enjoyment out of this crappy skit, because (quite predictably) the god-humpers are freaking out about it. All it takes is a couple jokes about their imaginary friend, and their heads go *POP* as tears come gushing out over the sad plight of the adherents of the most dominant religion in the Western Hemisphere. Yes, Christians, let me taste those sweet and salty tears!

The following comments were also posted on “SNL’s” website:

–”Seriously SNL? I am one of your biggest fans, but you really crossed the line with this. I am thoroughly disgusted…”

–”Interesting how SNL continues to mock Christ. As a Christian, I was highly offended. No doubt you would not dare to attack other faiths; Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, You can do better.”

–”This is just wrong. Once again, Christians are slammed. I find it ighly unfunny making fun of something that so many hold dear…”

It’s funny how people on the right wing love to talk tough every chance they get, but when something hurts their precious religious beliefs they turn into the biggest pussies on planet earth.

My favorite response so far comes from some dingleberry named Frank Kaufmann, who seems to be yet another religionist who thinks that unthinking, reactionary, gut-based babblings can be made respectable by adding a thin veneer of superficial erudition.

The LA Times explains, “DJesus Uncrossed” may have crossed the line, with some calling it the single most offensive skit in “Saturday Night Live” history.” [sic]

A lot bothers me about the SNL airing of Djesus Uncrossed using the risen Lord Christ as subject matter to parody Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Something tells me it’s not going to be the right things about it that bother him. Maybe it’s the pomposity of saying “risen Lord Christ” rather than just simply “Jeebus”…
These include the giddy cheers of the SNL live audience following the piece, the comments under the YouTube video of the sketch, the patent and far reaching double standard about whom it is fine to offend in American culture, the worrisome depths and numbness to which popular entertainment culture has declined, the pathological schizophrenia the [sic] obtains among left wing entertainment elite on the matter of violence, and the timing of the piece (namely the start of Lent).
Nope. None of the right things. Let’s go through these one by one.
  • the giddy cheers of the SNL live audience following the piece, [Dude. They’re told to cheer. There are frickin’ signs in the studio that say “Applause” and “Laughter” on them for this purpose. Obeying them is part of the agreement for being in the audience. Your complaint is like yelling in response to the laugh track on Full House, “Hey! That wasn’t funny! Stop laughing!”]
  • the comments under the YouTube video of the sketch, [Fucking YouTube comments? Haven’t you figured out how the internet works yet? ALWAYS IGNORE YOUTUBE COMMENTS!]
  • the patent and far reaching double standard about whom it is fine to offend in American culture, [It’s fine to offend anyone as far as I’m concerned. One of the reasons I feel that way is that “offensive” only sounds like a legitimate objection to someone who is him/herself offended. Case in point, Christians who cry persecution whenever someone makes fun of Jesus but don’t give a shit when gays complain about a gay joke.]
  • the worrisome depths and numbness to which popular entertainment culture has declined, [Getting even more pearl-clutchy and offended by every little thing would only accelerate that decline.]
  • the pathological schizophrenia the obtains among left wing entertainment elite on the matter of violence, [“Pathological schizophrenia”!  Gotta sound smart when attacking the “elite” straw man that every dumb Christian blubbers about whenever the TV appears to be smarter than he/she is.]
  • and the timing of the piece (namely the start of Lent). [We demand that shitty comedies on networks hardly anyone watches any more schedule according to our silly holiday rituals! But just ours. No need to pay attention to Ramadan or any bullshit like that. We might get offended if you avoid offending Muslims.]
Six objections have been raised, not a single one of which is even remotely legitimate. This was definitely written by a Christian.
The core of my disappointment lays [sic] not in moralist or liturgical obsessions involving legitimate charges of blasphemy (in my view a proper injunction) but in more widely applicable negatives namely that material like this is ignorant and childish. [sic]  Like a 1 year old smearing poo everywhere thinking herself an avant-garde rebel against constraining norms. [sic]
Or maybe said 1 year old wiped her ass with a thesaurus and needlessly smeared “liturgical” and “injunction” on the walls. Oh, and if you’re trying to look smart, you probably shouldn’t confuse “lay” with “lie” and put a run-on sentence right next door to a sentence fragment.
The difference between SNL’s skit and the little one smearing stink is that the child is not heavily funded, and does not participate in a network of self important figures in the multi-billion dollar entertainment industrial complex, spending your money and drinking your wine. The 1 year old thankfully is limited to her own rear-end, her own walls, her own face and hair, and she doesn’t have a thousand people excitedly cooing, under [sic]  a YouTube video imagining themselves champions of courageous and daring horizons of self expression.
I’ll give Frank this: I have never before seen a poop-based analogy pursued with such dedication. Bonus points for the overly-elaborate poop joke in a paragraph accusing the opposition of being immature.
I have, however, seen the kind of mind-reading Frank is attempting. I’ve seen it precisely 378 gajillion times (using Steven Seagal math). It’s pretty common for religious dingbats to create straw atheists motivated by whatever pet boogedy-boo(s) the author obsesses over. Obviously, Frank’s boogedy-boo is (perceived) transgressiveness in the art world, and he imagines a world full of liberals who think anything that offends Frank is therefore a masterpiece of rebellion. Never mind if anyone actually thinks that way, and in this case I would say hardly anybody possibly would. I find the mind-reading particularly amusing in this case, since no human being in this world or any other could use terms like “avant-garde” or “courageous” or “daring” to describe SNL. It does say a lot about Frank’s understanding of what the rest of the world considers to be daring or transgressive, though.
The putrid outcome of the little one in her diapers further resembles the Djesus skit in that neither is funny.
Jesus. You are really fucking committed to this poop thing, aren’t you?
SNL has long been lazy in creating elaborate enactments of profoundly average ideas. This skit had a single funny line, calling the SNL grotesquery less violent than Mel Gibson’s cartoonish and bloody depiction of Jesus.
You’ll get no argument from me on this point. It shows that at least part of you sees the real problem with this sketch. Now, let’s get back to the part of you that’s stupid and whiny.
The delighted squeals and cheers from the SNL live audience can probably be forgiven. Anyone who’s ever been a part of a live TV audience knows the demeaning experience of being manipulated by second rate comics or MCs telling you when to laugh and when to applaud. It is embarrassing. Some years back I went to see Tracy Chapman on the Letterman Show. Loved her, hated being told what to do all night long by cue card holding clowns.
Then why in the fuck did you object to it at the beginning of your op-ed? And why in the holy cunt-shitting, cocksucking, ass-badgering, poodle-fucking hell would anyone ever go to a Tracy Chapman concert? If Tracy Chapman were headlining the Free Limitless Beer and Pussy Festival I still wouldn’t go.
The freedom to offend Christians in a politically correct America is a disgrace.
Yeah! Fuck freedom!
Calling an athlete athletic has cost commentators their jobs and careers.
CITATION PLEASE.
Defiling the sacred and offending sincere religious believers is fine.
Especially if it’s someone else’s “sacred” that’s being defiled. How many people wanna take a bet on whether Frank complained when South Park ridiculed Scientology, Islam, or Mormonism?
A US army handbook in preparation reported by WSJ warns “that soldiers should avoid “making derogatory comments about the Taliban,” [and] “any criticism of pedophilia.” [sic] So we must be careful not to criticize pedophilia, but it is fine to portray the beloved object of worship and love for millions of Americans as a violent, underdeveloped, sadistic thug.
“We”? Are “we” all in a combat zone in Afghanistan? Because that’s the only possible way the two situations would be comparable. Oh wait. I forgot your were doing that Muslim Dog Whistle thing. The thing where you treat two completely unrelated situations as the same, but it’s okay because it involves Muslims.
This is the contemptible double-standard in contemporary America.
No, this is the safety-standards for soldiers serving in Afghanistan (who are trying to avoid getting blown up by religious freaks even more insane than the freaks in America) and the existence of a crappy SNL skit in America that makes god-humpers feel poopy inside (which leads to smearing shitty op-eds everywhere). Two unrelated situations. No double-standard at all. But lot’s of well-deserved references to feces.
Furthermore SNL chooses to air this skit to coincide with the dawn of the Lenten season, when millions of quiet, sincere, humble American Christians are seeking help from Jesus to be sorry for our shortcomings, and to try to be better people.
You can’t make fun of us, because we’re so GOOD! You’re also not allowed to make fun of the fact that we have this disgustingly self-righteous attitude about ourselves!
And galloping god-balls would I like to see more of these “quiet, sincere, humble American Christians.” I’m getting really sick of the whining, bigoted, thin-skinned, humorless, sanctimonious, complaining, asshole variety.
The core tragedy of the piece lies most fully in associating Jesus with violence and revenge.
Here’s what I’ve learned about Frank so far. He confuses prolixity with profundity. He thinks “Hurts believers’ delicate, precious feelings” is a legitimate objection. He really, really, really likes poop jokes. He really likes the word “core”. And it’s good to see that he’s finally realized the difference between “lies” and “lays”. But he’s fucking cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs if he thinks Jesus hasn’t been associated with violence and revenge for the past 2000 years.
Jesus refused that a single sword be drawn, even in his own defense when his life was in danger. As a violent mob descended on Jesus, he demanded a follower put up (re-sheath) his sword (Mt 26:52), and warned him about escalating cycles of violence.
That same godly motherfucker, according to your own bullshit gospels, also did this:

John 2:13-17

Jesus Clears the Temple Courts

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

He whips people for promoting capitalism at church! Hell, Christian Christ-fetishists have already included Jesus’ violent behavior in their cunt-sniffing hagiographical films of the bastard:
Where’s the outrage over this violent depiction of Jesus’ behavior? And keep in mind, the SNL hacks were just making a bad joke. The makers of that even shittier film, on the other hand, claim Jesus actually did that shit.
SNL has Jesus as a gruesome figure of revenge, yet the final act in Jesus life was to pray for the Romans. As Jesus hung to die, Roman Centurions gambled over his clothes. Jesus begged God’s forgiveness of them. With barely breath in his lungs Jesus tried to speak in defense of these men, arguing that their misdeeds were because of their ignorance. They did not understand what they were doing. (Luke 23:34)
The gospels differ on what his last words were. But they’re all in agreement that those were not his last words. In fact, Christian tradition has him saying six more things after the whole “They known not what they do” blubbering. (Did it ever occur to you that they knew exactly what they were doing, Jesus? Maybe a god who sends people to eternal torment for refusing to believe without evidence shouldn’t be welcome on this planet.) Hell, those aren’t even his last words in the very gospel Frank is quoting. Luke 23:43 and 23:46 have him saying and doing other things later on. Read your god damn Bible, Frank!
SNL producers choose to portray a vengeful and violent Jesus on the eve of the most sacred and most reflective 40 days of the liturgical calendar. Hear still that barely audible prayer recorded in Luke.
Hear also the violent, vengeful Jesus portrayed throughout the book of Revelation. Hell, Revelation could easily be titled “Jesus Haploid Christ Ass-Fucks the Entire Human Species” without misrepresenting its message.
I’m sick and tired of the religious trying to have it both ways. They want even non-believers to treat their invisible friend with reverence and respect and gush about how peaceful and loving he was, and they want to say that said non-believers will all be killed and thrown into the pits of hell for eternal torment simply for the crime of being non-believers. Jesus, as conservative Christians view him, is a sick, disgusting, violent, bigoted god, and anyone who says differently hasn’t read Revelation. Pretty much the only thing that SNL got right was the fact that there are a frighteningly large number of Christians out there who have a gigantic god-boner just thinking about the day when Jesus will return and destroy all the atheists and Muslims and everyone else who doesn’t buy into their twisted, sadistic eschatology. Prince of Peace my ass.

Someone sure needs a brain reinvention…

CNN has seen fit to publish a fluff piece by Deepak Chopra entitled “Reinventing the brain is closer than you think.” As is typical of Chopra’s brand of woo, it is light on facts, makes no new or insightful observations, and is padded out with feel-good woo-woo crap that is either too vague or too obviously nonsensical to be of any use to anyone.

He starts out reasonably enough:

We’re living in a golden age for brain research, which could revolutionize how we think, feel and behave.

Thanks to brain scans like the fMRI, brain activity can be localized and even the most precise activity pinpointed. For example, researchers can spot the minuscule area in the visual cortex that, when damaged, prevents a person from recognizing faces, including his own. The slant in neuroscience has been to map the brain down to the tiniest detail.

Well, yes, neuroscience is advancing at an incredible rate, but let’s not exaggerate what we have. There is still a lot of work to be done, and we can’t yet pinpoint “the most precise activity”, if I took that phrase to mean what it would mean if spoken by anyone using plain English.

But what will we use the map for? One obvious area is medicine. The more we know about what goes wrong in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, the closer we get to a cure. But the highest goal would be to reinvent how we use our brains.

Uh, actually I’d vote for saving lives if it were up to me. I don’t even know what reinventing the brain is, but I damn well know what Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are, and I want to see them cured.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, the answer is no. At no point for the rest of the article does Chopra give anything like a clear explanation of what he means by “reinventing our brains”.

“Reinvent” isn’t an exaggeration. Ten thousand years ago, Homo sapiens had evolved the same genetic array that modern people inherit. But in those 10,000 years arose reading, writing, advanced art and music, government, mathematics and science. Their foundation was a new relationship between mind and body.

What do you mean by “same genetic array”? Are you saying our genome hasn’t changed in 10,000 years? That’s demonstrably untrue. And what the hell does that last sentence mean?

If genes and a fixed structure of brain cells told the whole story, it would remain a total mystery why a cave dweller after the last Ice Age should have just the right complement of neurons to discover gravity or write a symphony. Now we realize that the human brain is far from fixed, at any level.

No, it wouldn’t be a mystery, because that’s a stupid thing to say. Who in the hell would think there must be “just the right complement of neurons to discover gravity”? That’s like wondering at the “mystery” of how my computer could have “just the right complement of computer chips” to read this particular page. Or why my eyes would have “just the right compliment of optic nerves” to see the glass of wine next to me.

Any such array would be nearly useless in any context, and natural selection would likely eliminate it (unless it were genetically linked to something that is useful). There doesn’t have to be a special compliment of neurons for computing the theory of gravity. A general capacity for math and logic is what you need. In fact, especially for a behaviorally generalized species like ours, the more generalized and multiply applicable the mental function, the better.

New brain cells are being formed throughout life; trillions of connections between neurons are developed; and the genetic activity inside each neuron is dynamic, responding to every experience and every stimulus from the outside world.

Wha…what? What genetic activity? You mean like transcription and protein synthesis? Those processes most certainly do NOT “respond to every experience”.  New synaptic connections do occur frequently, but that’s not because of a change in the genes. You seem to have confused genetics with the electrical relays in the nerves. They are not the same thing, and thinking doesn’t change your genes.

Human beings reinvent the brain as we go along, day by day. It’s not a matter of eons. In short, the brain is a verb, not a noun. It is reshaped by thoughts, memories, desire and experience.

The first two sentences are mostly true. Neural plasticity is real, although calling it “reinventing” the brain is unnecessarily hyperbolic, in my semi-expert opinion (phd minor in cognitive science). The third sentence, however, is nonsense. And the fourth makes no sense in light of the third.

The word “brain” is a noun. It’s referent, the actual physical gray matter between your ears, is not a noun or a verb or any part of speech, because it’s not a word. I realize Chopra is trying to be poetic and I’m being very literal, but I reserve the right to do so when the attempt at poetry is embedded in a sea of nonsense and half truths. And also, since being “reshaped by thought” is not what makes a thing a verb any way, I hold that his attempt a poetry fails utterly. I have the right to be as overly literal as I want.

Because it is dynamic, fluid and ever-renewing, the brain is much more malleable than anyone ever imagined.

Actually, a lot of people imagined it, seeing as Chopra surely isn’t doing any of this neuroscientific research himself. He’s just grabbing ideas from other people’s heads, dumbing them down to the level of the average woo-woo customer, then calling them his own.

And yes, the brain is plastic, adaptable and dynamic in SOME ways, but it is certainly not “ever-renewing”. It can be pushed to the point that it stops renewing. It’s called Being a Conservative Christian.

Consider a controversial British medical journal article from 1980 entitled “Is the brain really necessary?” It was based on the work of British neurologist John Lorber, who had been working with victims of a brain disorder known as hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”), in which excessive fluid builds up. The pressure that results squeezes the life out of brain cells. Hydrocephalus leads to retardation as well as other severe damage and even death.

Lorber had previously written about two infants born with no cerebral cortex. Yet despite this rare and fatal defect, they seemed to be developing normally, with no external signs of damage. One child survived for three months, the other for a year.

After reading that last paragraph, I had to sit and stare at my screen for a while and let my brain process a confusing and amusing realization: Chopra does not consider infant death to be an “external sign of damage”.

If this were not remarkable enough, a colleague at Sheffield University sent Lorber a young man who had an enlarged head. He had graduated from college with a first-class honors degree in mathematics and had an IQ of 126. There were no symptoms of hydrocephalus; the young man was leading a normal life.

Yet a CAT scan revealed, in Lorber’s words, that he had “virtually no brain.” The skull was lined with a thin layer of brain cells about a millimeter thick (less than 1/10 of an inch), while the rest of the space in the skull was filled with cerebral fluid.

I’ve read about this guy before, and Lorber was exaggerating. The guy did indeed have a brain, it was just greatly compressed by the fluid. This is not evidence that the brain isn’t necessary. Is it amazing? Oh, yes, but don’t read too much into it. Not that Chopra would heed such a warning. Reading too much into other people’s work is what keeps him in business.

Once medical science accepts that the brain can be reinvented, there is no limit.

No. There are always limits. And you still haven’t clearly defined what “reinventing the brain” even means. If you’re talking about neural plasticity, it’s not a reinvention. It’s adaptation and change in response to external stimuli.

Together with Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a leading researcher on Alzheimer’s, my efforts have been directed at how each person can relate to the brain in a new way.

As we argue in our book “Super Brain,” the most direct way to improve brain function is through the mind.

I knew it! I knew it! This isn’t a genuine op-ed. It’s a fluff piece letting Chopra hock his own book. Damn you, CNN! Damn you and your paper thin credibility held in place solely by the fact that Fox News is even worse!

By the way, that last phrase is about as informative as saying, “The most direct way to improve muscle function is through strength.” Chopra may not believe it, but the mind is just something the brain does.

The mind-body connection is powerful because our habits lead to brain changes. What you pay attention to, what your passion is, your approach to diet, exercise, stress and even basic emotions like anger and fear — all of these things register in your brain and drastically shape its structure.

Okay, again. Yes, these things do alter brain structure. But calling it “drastic” is irresponsible hyperbole. In fact, it would be more accurate is that each of these things slightly alters the brain, and over time the alterations build up, making your brain plastic and adaptable to your environment.

In the simplest terms, every experience is either positive or negative when seen as input for the brain. A brain that is processing positive input will grow and evolve much differently from a brain that processes negative input.

This is just complete and utter woo woo claptrap. Every experience is either “positive” or “negative”? Bullshit. The vast majority of experience, from either an emotional or moral standpoint (Chopra is unclear as to which he has in mind as “positive” or “negative”), is completely neutral. As I type this, I’m taking in a wide array of sensory experience about the colors and shapes of objects around me, the temperature of the room, the feel of the keys on my fingers, the sound of my heater coming on, etc etc etc. None of these has any particularly positive or negative effect on me (regardless of whatever meaning Chopra failed to give to those words but may have intended).

Rather than appealing to anything factual from neuroscience or rational from the philosophy of mind, Chopra here is just spoonfeeding his audience the over-simplified, puerile mush that unfortunately so many humans crave. There are good feelings, and there are bad feelings, and you can be better by feeling better. That is ALL he is saying. He’s cloaking it in the language of neuroscience to make his audience and himself feel smarter, but what he’s saying boils down to advice so grossly obvious and easily appealing that even a four year old could grasp it.

This has always seemed intuitively right; we all know that children who are well-loved, for example, almost always turn out better than children who are abused. Now, we have validation from neuroscience.

No, we don’t. At least, we don’t from anything you have presented.

The most important conclusion is that no one needs to submit to old conditioning. The past can be changed by changing the brain, just as the future can be shaped by how your brain is trained today. Reinventing the brain is much closer than you think.

No. No no no no no. You can’t just make problems poof into the aether by positive-thinking them away. The changes in the brain can’t be undone that easily. If you want to talk about things that are “intuitively right”, ever heard the saying, “Old habits die hard”? Well, there’s some truth to it. You can’t just erase the past with vapid platitudes about happy thoughts. For instance, you can’t change the fact that you’ve spent the last several years as a dishonest crackpot bilking people out of their money by talking out your ass about shit you haven’t even attempted to understand.

And, of course, none of this has anything to do with “reinventing the brain”. He’s just taken old codswallop and wrapped in a fancy new pseudoscientific garb. The closest thing we can gather from his article is that reinventing your brain means using positive thinking to feel better. And remember earlier, when he said reinventing the brain was more important than curing Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s? Yeah, not so much. Really, really, really not so much. But this is exactly the kind of spoiled, self-absorbed thinking that appeals to millions of under-stimulated American yuppies suffering with a bad case of White People’s Problems Syndrome. And Chopra loves making money off the problem rather than trying to correct it.

Grrrr, fuck this guy. And fuck CNN for promoting him. Bad! Bad 24 hour news network! Y’know, did you ever think that maybe there just isn’t enough news for 24 hours of programming, and perhaps you should try to focus on other things? And that if you didn’t feel the need to fill up 24 ours with whatever crap you can find, you wouldn’t be giving the time of day to babbling crackpots like Chopra?