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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Stating the Fucking Obvious

There are some times when, very briefly, the light of reason shines in a dull fundamentalist mind. These moments are ephemeral, and quickly yield to the tide of insanity, ignorance and authoritarianism that normally engulfs every thought a fundamentalist thinks, but they are real. The title of this piece from the American (non)Thinker is a perfect encapsulation of this phenomenon.

Why We Will Never Win the Argument Against Gay Marriage by Quoting the Bible

Jay Haug

No shit, Sherlock. I’ll even take your epiphany a step further: You can’t win any argument by quoting the Bible, unless the person you’re arguing with is already an indoctrinated fundigelical chowderhead. This fact is bloody fucking obvious to all human beings except those on the far, far right wing. Or those who are genuinely mentally retarded (at least they have an excuse).

But, I do commend the title for stating something rational and evidence-based. It’s all downhill from here, though.

Is marriage God’s idea?

No.

Yes, of course.

No! It’s not God’s idea. God can’t have any ideas, because God IS an idea, and nothing more. Marriage is a human idea, and the only people who want us to think it’s god’s idea are humans who want to control other human’s private lives.

We are 7 words into this article, and already it's pure, babbling nonsense.

We are 7 words into this article, and already it’s pure, babbling nonsense.

Besides, if marriage really is God’s idea, then shut up and let him handle it, and leave the rest of us alone.

Will we win the argument by quoting Scripture or arguing marriage as a religious institution? I doubt it. Why?

Isn’t the answer, as I said, bloody fucking obvious? If there is a God, and he’s really omnipotent, then he doesn’t need you or anyone else, because he could handle his own problems. If you have to thump your Bibles and shout at people, then obviously your god doesn’t exist and a fortiori can’t do anything. It’s really fucking simple. If there were a god, there would be no need for religion. Only a godless universe could contain religion.

People rarely put much thought into what the word “omnipotent” means. If there were a god, and he were really omnipotent, then everything religion does–all the prayers, all the scripture, all the proselytizing, all the rituals–is utterly pointless.  This world is exactly the way he wants it, if he exists. Or, more likely, he doesn’t exist, and that’s why so many people constantly call out to him in vain.

Because marriage is not a religious institution.

You’ve actually said something reasonable again. Good for you!

In the past I have heard a lot of Christians defending previous behavior in prior marriages by saying that they “were not in a Christian marriage.”

If they put it that way, then they weren’t defending it, per se. Think about it for, like, eight seconds.

But God expects faithfulness from us whether our marriage is Christian or not.

That doesn’t make sense. But why would anyone expect sense from a god-humper?

Marriage is a legal and binding contract that applies to all who enter into it regardless of faith.

Again, no shit. And this is why gay marriage should be legal. Not everyone follows your bullshit belief system. Marriage is about law, and law should be about equality. Equality of genders, equality of races, equality of religions, and equality of sexual orientations. Anything else is injustice.

The truth is that marriage both pre-dates the writings of all major religions and has applied to all people everywhere, religious or not. For centuries many marriages have been performed with no religious undertones at all. Marriage is a universal institution, not a religious one. Secondly, in the west, marriages were performed in secular contexts, often then blessed by the church, until around the 16th century.

Subsequently, secular authorities allowed churches, synagogues and other religious institutions to perform them. These religious institutions still had to conform to secular laws and turn in paperwork to account for these marriages. In a court of law, marriages could be annulled based on never having been consummated.

Holy mothercuntfucking shit, this guy’s actually making sense. He just stated actual facts. Can he now practice rationality–taking evidence based premises and, using logic, deriving true statements from them?

Often property and other matters depended on the fact or lack of consummation, another embarrassing historical fact to advocates of gay marriage, which is an artificial arrangement that can never be consummated.

Nope! He immediately plummets into the shit-strewn depths of mental depravity.

Setting aside the fact that consummation is no longer required by any law in this country, I can’t help but laugh at the fact that he spent two paragraphs basically admitting that marriage is a human construct, and then turned around and condemned gay marriage for being an “artificial arrangement”. Hey, numbskull! Read your own words. Those two previous paragraphs are just one long way of saying “All marriages are artificial.” They are a secular institution created by humans. We make them. We determine how they work. We set the rules for them. They are, by definition, artificial, in that they are the product of human artifice.

There’s nothing embarrassing to gay-marriage advocates about the fact that the rules for marriage used to be different. In fact, that is entirely our point. Yes, it used to be the case that, in some places, marriages were invalid if not consummated. We changed that rule, just like we changed rules about polygamy and treating women as property and child marriages and forced marriages. We can change the rules to marriage if we want. We’ve done it numerous times. Gay marriage is just another instance of changing the rules in order to make marriage more fair and just. It’s that simple.

The radical left pushing gay marriage has two tactics when it comes to ‘religious” arguments about marriage.

Gay marriage is a moderate position. But when you’re as far to the right as this jackass is, everything left of Pat Robertson looks “radical”.

The first is to dismiss any argument that has religious constructs as being out of bounds. In the eyes of many, arguments against gay marriage can be easily dismissed by appealing to “the separation of church and state.”

Obviously. Really. Fucking. Obviously. The church doesn’t control this country. The constitution prohibits that. You can’t make laws based on your religion. Laws must have a secular purpose, or they won’t stand up in court. It’s that fucking simple.

The second is a kind of under-handed appeal to compromise. In this approach, gay marriage proponents argue that “religious marriage” and “secular marriage” are two different matters. One should be governed by the church and the other by the state.

Okay, 1) That’s not a second argument. That is, in fact, exactly the same as the previous argument. And 2) It has nothing to do with “compromise”. Separation of church and state is not a compromise. There’s what the government does, and there’s what the church does. Never the twain shall meet. No compromise.

This is the “half a loaf is better than none” argument.

What’s true of loaves is not always true of brains, unfortunately. This guy might actually be better off as a vegetable. At least he wouldn’t embarrass himself.

Leftists want to govern all “secular marriages” in hopes of returning later to claim the “religious” ones.

No. Liberals don’t want to govern people’s marriages. And honestly I don’t give a fuck about your religious marriages. We want people to be free and equal. We want gays to have the same legal rights as straights. We want the government out of people’s bedrooms and out of women’s wombs.

It’s sanctimonious busybodies like the people at the American (non)Thinker who want to govern marriages by telling consenting adults that they’re not allowed to marry just because they’re the same gender.

Remember that the Obama administration already attempted to compel churches to hire gay clergy, a notion that was shot down by the Supreme Court 9-0 in the Hosanna-Tabor decision in 2012.

This is an outright lie. Here’s what happened in the Hosanna-Tabor decision:

The ruling came in the case of Cheryl Perich, a teacher who complained that Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Redford, Mich., violated the Americans With Disabilities Act in 2005 when it fired her after she received a narcolepsy diagnosis.

Got that? Disability, not homosexuality. Haug is lying through his fucking teeth when he says the Obama administration tried to force a church to hire gay ministers. No such thing ever happened.

Our response should not be to argue what the Bible says, though we believe it with all our hearts, but to appeal to the universality of marriage. In other words, we argue on our opponent’s ground, not our own.

On our ground you have nowhere to stand. There is no secular, evidence-based reason to deny gays the right to marry.  The “universality” of marriage is irrelevant. Yes, all societies have some marriage concept. But the concept changes from one society to the next and from one time period to the next. We can change it if we want to. Society does this all the time. It’s only universal in the sense that, in general, there is always SOME concept of marriage at work, regardless of which concept it is.

The key to winning is to keep our arguments to the universality of marriage and not play the religious “half-a-loaf” game with the radical left. Anatomy, history, culture, child development and family health are all on our side.

That shit is so fucking stupid, I think I just had an embolism reading it. Let’s address these items one by one.

Anatomy: What the fuck does anatomy have to do with marriage? Seriously, since when has anyone made anatomy a determining criterion for marriage? Oh, wait, I can think of an instance. They used to ban interracial marriage. So that’s a marriage law based on anatomy (skin). But we changed that and told the racists to fuck off. We can do the same here. There’s no obligation to define marriage in a genital-based manner. In fact, when you think about it (which I know the god-humpers won’t do) defining it that way is actually kinda creepy.

History: History affords numerous examples of the definition of marriage changing to fit contemporary norms. Haug said so himself just a few paragraphs before. Changing marriage won’t cause human civilization to crumble. In fact, we just keep right on going regardless of how marriage is defined. History fucks you in the ass, gay marriage opponents.

Culture: What the fuck does that have to do with anything? That’s such a broad term as to be meaningless in this context. He might as well have said “Things that involve stuff.”

Child development: Numerous psychological studies have found that children raised by gays do just fine. Moreover, even if gays were somehow worse at raising kids, since when have we told people that they can’t be married because their kids turn out bad? Has any marriage EVER been annulled in this country due to child development? I’m not aware of this ever happening. Even if someone goes to jail for how they raise their kids, they still remain married. Child development is just simply irrelevant to the legal question of whether such marriages should be recognized.

Family Health: Once again, there is no evidence that gay families are any worse off than straight families. But evidence isn’t exactly something that god-humpers care much about, which is why they keep regurgitating this tired, falsified argument.

If we stay consistent, informed, humble and resolute, this is an argument we can win.

If you stayed consistent, informed, humble and resolute, you wouldn’t be a fucking fundamentalist.

But remember, our opponents want to fight this on religious grounds. We cannot let them.

No. Abso-fucking-lutely not. I do not want to have this or any legal argument on religious ground. My position is that you can take your Bible, shove it up your tightly puckered asshole and fuck off. Religion should have no bearing in law. None whatsoever. I grow infinitely frustrated with the fact that religion keeps putting its bumpy dick in the law’s pudding. Religion is a waste of time and utterly irrelevant to legal matters. The last thing I want is to have this or any argument on religious grounds.

Ugh. At least I’m done with this guy. Let’s take a look at a few comments on that article, shall we?

commonsensealready

If we can’t use the Bible to defend marriage then by what authority are we going to be able to use to defend children from pedophiles?

The Bible says nothing about pedophiles. But keep using that “common sense” of yours. You might blindly stumble onto something true someday.

bullit56

I’ve run into the “marriage pre-dates religion” argument.

This reminds me that same sex marriage is nothing more than a fad that will never stand the test of time.  If it had any value or usefulness to society it would have been put in place by humans a long time ago, as opposite sex marriage was.

You do realize that that same argument could have been made against ELECTRICITY a hundred years ago or so, right? But keep typing away on that computer of yours…

Manuel Manjarrez

all marriages even in hedonistic societies like the Roman Empire and Greece and pre tokugawa Japan would call gay marriage blasphemy against the gods like Christians say that is also against god’s law in every culture even the promisive ones this would be against societal rules and norms it has always been understood that marriage is between a man and a woman

LOL.