Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oh for the love of...

Goddamnit, Florida, how are even your LAWYERS this stupid?

The firm of Greenberg Traurig, legal counsel to the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers, this week updated a memo it sent July 1 that says the same thing: If you issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex [outside of Washington County], you've committed a first-degree misdemeanor and could spend a year in the county jail.

At first, this seems, well, normal.  But that's only because I haven't told you something rather important just yet...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

As if I needed more reason to hate the Salvation Army

First, don't get me wrong, the SA does a lot of good.  They also do a lot of bad, however.  They have highly discriminatory policies that I just cannot stomach.  This recent story is just another example of this.  It's just straight up bullshit.

They wouldn't let a family in on a 14-below night because they had a teenage son.  Nevermind the teenage daughter, she can get in just fine, but that son...oh, no.  He's too old/young/whatever to stay here, so you can't stay here:


"They said he's too old to stay on the women's side, because of the women running around in their pajamas and they said he's too young to stay on the men's side in case some pervert wants to do whatever," [the boy's father] said.

 And yes, this is Salvation Army policy:

Oh hell YES I'm loving it (it's not you, fuck off McDonalds)

So, I'm sure you've all heard about that Ark Encounter theme park that's been getting set up in Kentucky.  If not, let me give you a real quick primer (no links, because the Friendly Atheist has all this information for you, too, and he has better writers. That, and the AiG hiring site has been taken down, and FA still has screenshots).

  • Answers in Genesis decided to make a Noah's Ark theme park (Ark Encounter).  For some reason, they decided to make this in Kentucky.
  • In order to get tax credits and breaks for the park, they made it its own, for profit organization.
  • Other organizations of the type that they made Ark Encounter have to follow certain laws in order to keep a tax-exempt status.  You know, little things like non-discriminatory hiring practices.
  • In order to attempt to do an end-run around these laws, Answers in Genesis is having Ark Encounter outsource its hiring to....Answers in Genesis.  The theory is that since AiG - the non-profit part - is the one doing the actual hiring, they don't have to follow those laws.
Well it seems Kentucky disagrees:

Kentucky has pulled potential tax credits for a proposed Noah’s Ark-based theme park, telling the developer on Wednesday that the plans had evolved from a tourist attraction into a ministry seeking to advance religion.
State tourism officials had given preliminary approval for tax incentives of potentially more than $18 million over 10 years for the Ark Encounter park slated to open in 2016, but later warned the park’s parent company, Answers in Genesis, that it could lose them if it hired only people who believed in the biblical flood.
 All I can say is "it's about goddamned time."  I'm sorry, just what about this project made you think it was anything BUT a religious ministry run by AiG? Quite frankly, you should have resigned the second you gave the approval.  What's amazing is that they promised to not discriminate in hiring when applying for the grants in the first place, and they're now complaining that they're being punished for breaking the agreement. The Modus Operandi of Christian Missionary Organizations, everybody - Try to get special treatment, then scream "PERZEKUTUNZ!" when you're denied it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

An Open Letter to Anita Sarkeesian

Dear Anita Sarkeesian,

      I have almost no respect for you anymore, mostly due to the tweet where you say that sexism against men is impossible (though there are admittedly other factors).  I now have the opportunity to give you the chance to gain my respect back.  How?  It's rather simple:  You will just have to explain to me just how this music video is NOT sexist against men:


Note that I am not talking about the lyrics, here.  I am not talking about the song which displays rage against an ex.  I am talking about the abuse of a male by a group of women that is laughed about.  It is abhorrent.  Why is it acceptable to tie up a man, smear lipstick on his face, forcibly cut his hair, break eggs on his head, cover him in flour, and take a picture of it?

WHAT exactly makes this not sexist against men?  I can guaran-dam-tee that, were the roles reversed and it was a woman being abused by a group of men, you and I would be screaming "THIS IS MYSOGYNY!" from adjacent rooftops.  You and me both would be decrying this video as an abhorrent glorification of abuse of women.  So why does it not work that way when the victim is male?  Why don't you scream "THIS IS MISANDRY!" from the rooftop adjacent to me?  Is it because of the "+ power" part that you think is required?  Well then WHERE IS THE LACK OF POWER?  She's a damned celebrity, this was made in a professional studio, and was shared by a professional promoter.  Is it because it's not a "grand narrative"?  The video I linked to has nearly FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND VIEWS, and it is not the only copy out there!  How is this not some "grand narrative"?  And if it's alright because it's a guy getting abused, doesn't that say something about the culture, which is oh-so important to that "+ power" part of the equation according to the link you yourself provided later on?

Speaking of that link, even it disagrees with you somewhat:


Men are undoubtedly affected by sexism, but because of their privilege they don’t experience it the same way that women do; this difference in experience is acknowledged through the distinction of sexism versus gender-based prejudice.

Now, I know that you're going to try and claim that this falls under that "gender-based prejudice" part, but does it really?   Just because men have a history of being the ones in charge, that somehow softens this action?  Really?  Just because sexism isn't experienced in the same way DOES NOT FUCKING MEAN SEXISM ISN'T HAPPENING.  And even if it does, that does not change the fact that IT SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING IN THE GODDAMNED FIRST PLACE.  Institutionalized vs non-institutionalized sexism is a distinction without a difference:  the end result is the same.  So please, explain to me just how this isn't goddamned sexist.

Monday, December 1, 2014

John, Interrupted

First, thank you Bart Ehrman, for your wonderfully titled book Jesus, Interrupted which inspired the title of this blog post.

Note that this post is not about John.  Or the bible.  Other than that my reading of it has been interrupted while reading through John.


What interrupted this, you might ask?
Why, some Darren Wilson grand jury documents.  Goody!  I've heard about how softball they are, and now I get to see it for myself.  Expect a rather large bit of commentary.

Also it seems appropriate to note the creeping amounts of antisemitism and pro-Roman themes going from Mark to Matt to John.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ken Ham Can't Keep his Propaganda Straight.

Alright, so you all remember the Nye-Ham debate a while back?  Specifically, the parts where Ham bitches about "observational science" and "historical science"?  Well, now he's applying it to climate change (link goes to RawStory article that links to his blog.  I refuse to link directly to that shill).

In his blog, he complains that scientists are using "historical science" to say that humans are the cause of climate change. As you'll recall, he defines this strange "historical science" thing to be "our interpretation of the data as opposed to the data itself" - a definition that directly conflicts with the claim that it is "science" to begin with.  But of course, there's a small problem.

That problem is the actual fucking dataIt's there.  This is not "interpretation": to say that it is is akin to saying that we interpret that the sky is fucking blue.  We are the cause, get over it you Australian slab of pig meat. This is why we call bullshit on your "observational vs. historical" bullshit.


Also, small note regarding CDMTGM:  I will be skipping over Luke to deal with John, and then revisit Luke and Acts together to properly transition to the Epistles.

Monday, November 17, 2014

CDTGM Part 4: Mark

Mark was rather sparse on the moral teachings.  It was almost exclusively Jesus healing people and telling them not to tell anyone (and of course they blab anyway).  What moral teachings it has are simply repeats, same with Jesus' actions (though it would be more accurate to say that Matt is repeating Mark).  We have a retelling of the fig tree - this time explicitly out of season - a retelling of the Legion cast-out - this time explicitly giving the pigs an owner - a restatement of the anti-divorce decree, a repeat of the racist comparison to dogs, this time with a Roman and not a Samaritan, and a reaffirmation that Jesus is using parables to deceive.

It was rather disappointing.  I expected this of John, not Mark.  Then again, the Jesus of John won't shut the hell up, so I suppose that one will work...

Next up will be Luke.  I will not include Acts, despite it being the sequel.  I want to do Jesus first, then deal with Paul and the Disciples.