Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – insisting on apologies for telling the truth

no-evidence-no-respectThere’s an op-ed by Christine Flowers, a conservative Catholic with a problem. She isn’t happy that her religion is presented in a less than favorable light by some emails that are supposedly from the Clinton campaign, released by Wikileaks. She demands that Ms. Clinton apologize for what one of her staffers said. Let’s see how this plays out.

Ms. Flowers is aghast that anyone would point out that her church is rather medieval in its outlook, and sophist in its approach. She, like many American Roman Catholics, has invented her own Catholicism, picking and choosing what she obeys. However, if you show that she and her church are without base for their claims and hypocrites, then the wagons get circled immediately. She claims she can’t bear to actually post what was said except for one excerpt, but we can do that easily enough.

This is the excerpt she posted “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the (Supreme Court) and think tanks to the media and social groups. It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

Hmmm, now, is there anything untrue about this? Well, there is and it’s from the fellows assuming that there is anything called “Christian democracy” since that term is never supported or mentioned by the bible’s Christianity nor by the Roman Catholic Church. Some more liberal Christians from various sects (including Catholics) do go by this, but it is an invention to match modern mores, not biblical standards. The truths stated are that the RCC has very systemic thought (going all the way back to the Church fathers aka Thomism amongst others) that is still considered dogma, and the completely ignorant ideas about women and homosexuals that the RCC tries to instill as law in any country they can. We have blasphemy laws still on the books in majority Catholic countries, and we have such wannabe theocracies like El Salvador where the RCC is so strong, a woman can’t get an abortion for any reason and children are forced to have babies or die in the attempt. We also have the RCC’s efforts to prevent sex education and their concerted effort in countries in Africa where AIDS is rampant to prevent anyone from taking any precautions at all, including wearing condoms. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – insisting on apologies for telling the truth”

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – pure hypocrisy

It’s no surprise at all that the woman who is doing her best to force her religion on others in Kentucky is a complete hypocrite.  Married many times, having children out of wedlock, and surprise, not considering anyone else as sinful when giving out marriage licenses to other divorcees, and evidently a couple, one of who was transgender.

She picks and chooses her bible.  She ignores the command not to be yoked to unbelievers, desperate to hold onto her job where she swore to obey the laws of the country.   She ignores the command to obey any earthly rulers since her god supposedly put *all* of them in their positions of power and thus evidently has no problem at all with the marriages between homosexuals.  She just dredges up the hate in the bible, so she can pretend her own hatred is divinely approved of.  She of course has no problem with ignoring all of those other commandments supposedly by her god.  She ignores her supposed savior when he said it was a bad thing to divorce.  for all TrueChristians claiming that atheists consider their god a vending machine, it takes a true believer to intentionally sin repeatedly and expect a deity to shell out that forgiveness they demand.

A matter of heaven or hell?  Shucks, if her version of Christianity actually is right, she’s already got herself a front row seat rubbing Satan’s bunions.

Post-script (09/07/2015 :

Best quote about this situation so far:

“A local Presbyterian pastor, Josh Akers, said Davis had a right to believe that same-sex couples shouldn’t wed. “What we don’t support is her right to impose that belief on others through the power of her office.””

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jailed-kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-asks-court-block-governors-order-n422961

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – now just where does it say “you shalt not do your job” in the bible

So… we have an entire bunch of clerks in Tennessee that have resigned their jobs rather than even have a chance of granting a marriage license to someone they don’t like, that being folks who want to marry whom they want, and not whom the clerks want them to marry.

It’s great that other people who don’t hate so much can get now some decent jobs (22% population below federal poverty level).  But where does it say in the bible that you don’t do your job or obey the government?  The bible repeatedly says obey the government.  Why?  Because the Judeo/Christian god put every government in place and every king or leader in place and this god doesn’t make mistakes.  It doesn’t say only follow it when you feel like it.

If the clerks want to cite not being yoked with others, well, they’re a bit late in that since I can be pretty sure that they’ve associated with plenty of people who have gotten divorced and remarried, Christians they don’t share beliefs with, etc.  As for calling on the “commandments”, I’m sure that the clerks don’t follow all of them though they are quick to claim that the bit about homosexuals is all-important.  How many people who work on the “Sabbath” have they murdered, in God’s name, of course.  Makes it hard to go out for lunch after church, doesn’t it?

Considering that there must have been a lot of prayers going up to prevent same-sex marriage and those failed, one can make some guesses about what was going on:

This god is fine with same-sex marriage and indeed supports it.

The Christians praying were doing it wrong.

There is no God.

Buh-bye, Pope, Bell and Butler.  Don’t let the screen door hit you on the bum on your way out.

Post-script – in a amusing turn, we have a TrueChristian(tm) Colorstorm, being unable to quote his bible in support of the clerks, and himself, but claims that Thoreau’s “Life Without Principles” supports what the clerks did.  You can see the discussion in comments.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – marriage and a lovely example of TrueChristian hysteria

Remember this. credit - Greta Christina
Remember this.
credit – Greta Christina

Whoo-hoo, marriage for all!   I hope that everyone who chooses to get married is as happy as my husband and I.

Rather than reviewing the SCOTUS decisions since others have done a better job than me, I found a typical opinion piece by one of the horrified TrueChristians, or as he puts it “orthodox Christians” (not to be confused with Orthodox Christians, of the eastern varieties). It’s much more fun to watch the schadenfreude and hypocrisy that such people create and reap for themselves.

First, a few thoughts though on the decision. The reason rights are enshrined in the Constitution is because states shouldn’t have that power. We fought a war over that. We’ve constantly been adding classes of people who get to enjoy those rights.   The dissenting justices were amazingly unprofessional sounding in their writings and ended up using nothing more than personal attacks and the logical fallacy “appeal to tradition”. All of their arguments would have been just great in defending slavery or denying women the right to vote. It strikes me as they lost their minds as soon as their religion was under fire for simply being wrong. They aren’t special snowflakes any more. Another thing that these idiots can’t quite get is that there are churches that have no problem with people who are gay and lesbian. All they want to do is enforce their particular religion on everyone.

Now, let’s get to the fun bit. An opinion piece out on the Time magazine website was written by Rod Dreher, a writer for the magazine The American Conservative. For a bunch of people who claim to hate big government, they sure want it when it can force their religion on others. We wouldn’t expect anything less. Dreher is the person who claimed that the Roman Catholic Church wasn’t at fault for allowing priests to molest children, it was the gays!

This post is full of sarcasm. Anything that resembles agreeing with these twits isn’t.

At least the fellow is smart enough not to claim that the sky is falling, at least “not yet”.   It’s always so embarrassing when “orthodox Christians”, and Orthodox Christians (not the same), and evangelical Christians, and Protestant Christians, and Catholic Christians, etc ad infinitum fail repeatedly in their predictions of how their god is going to get us, honest, really soon now.

We’re supposedly now in “post-Christian America.”  Funny how that seems to be not the case because there are churches still on many corners, still hundreds of media outlets that are entirely Christian, my local screaming preacher on street corner is still there.  Bibles are in every library and every bookstore.  Scads of websites and blogs, and golly, Mr. Dreher is still writing his very own and very TrueChristian opinions on the Time magazine website!  You know you are persecuted when you are in Time. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – marriage and a lovely example of TrueChristian hysteria”

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Did you miss the social anarchy? Cal Thomas and the usual deceit by Christian conservatives

as usual, from atheistmemebase.com
as usual, from atheistmemebase.com

Seems like we have a wealth of less than true comments here in the news from conservative Christians.

Here in the US, the Supreme Court has essentially abdicated its responsibility and has left a series of lower court decisions to stand when it comes to the legality of same sex marriage. They have let the Equal Protection Clause argument stand. From my perspective, it seems that the usual conservative justices are too afraid of speaking their opinions on the subject (mostly Roman Catholic) and want the whole issue to just go away so they aren’t exposed for the theocratic twits that they are.

Of course, this means that the usual conservative pundits are having a conniption that their ignorance and bigotry hasn’t a chance of becoming the law of the land. One pundit has a great column in my local Sunday paper; it shows just how nasty this type of person is. The pundit is Cal Thomas, the former VP of the infamous Moral Majority, which was neither moral or a majority, a sad collection of Christians who hated other Christians, other theists and everyone else. It, and its founder Jerry Falwell (see here for some good quotes from ol’ Jerry) did its best to make the US a theocracy. It died a deserved death when people realized its predictions of dire events were nonsense and money driven by fear dried up.

Cal does want some attention, so I am inclined to give it to him, if only to show that such people still exist. They occasionally crawl back into the light and it is worth seeing what misery they might be fomenting in the darkness.

In Cal’s column, titled What Next? (my local paper doesn’t have a link to it, so we’ll use the Albany Herald’s), he says that there are three points that need to be made about the SCOTUS action to allow the Equal Protection Clause (EPC) argument to stand without challenge. The EPC states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This was originally just applied to states but it was expanded to the federal government in the 1950s with the Bolling vs Sharpe decision.

Point number one is a baseless claim which may or may not be partially true. Cal is sure that the conservative justices are all about states’ rights and simply must have wanted the states to decide for themselves on matters of equal protection under the law. He is sure that the liberal justices must have wanted to accept these cases where states banned same sex marriage and that the lower courts over turned those laws. This doesn’t make much sense because if the SCOTUS let the lower courts ruling stand, as it did, the liberal justices would have to do nothing and still agree with the result and still have the overturning of DOMA on their side. If the conservative justices thought their arguments had merit, they would have wanted to establish that states rights trumped federal. They intentionally chose not to. Why would they allow lower court decisions that they did not agree with stand? It seems that they were not confident in their arguments at all and again, did not want to be forced to declare what they really believed, that some people have more rights than others according to religion.

Cal tries to make the argument that maybe (!) they conservative justices didn’t want to have another Roe vs Wade, because they didn’t want to create a controversy that would exist for a long time. Umm, Cal? Roe vs Wade didn’t create a controversy; it came about because of a controversy, if women could exercise their rights without interference from the government.  Same sex marriage has been a controversy for years; having one more ruling on it would make no difference to that controversy. You and yours would still be claiming that the sky will fall if you don’t get your religious beliefs made law.

Point number two is Cal trying to claim that it’s fine for the court to ignore its responsibilities because it stops “judicial activism”. If there is no ruling, then the judges weren’t activist and no one can complain about conservative justices being the same activists as they say liberal justices are. What an attempt to claim that well it’s no our fault if something bad happens and oooooh, it will, honest, really, just like every other prediction of disaster if we go against some religion. I live about 20 miles from Dover, PA, where another Christian conservative predicted dire consequences for saying that his religion was wrong and still nothing. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Did you miss the social anarchy? Cal Thomas and the usual deceit by Christian conservatives”

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Study has evidence that religion does not make one more moral. Theist shakes his head furiously, hoping that equals evidence

threat__-650x487A research report “Morality in Everyday Life” was featured in the September 2014 issue of Science (this is just the abstract, there’s a fee to read it in its entirety). This research demonstrated that religious people and non-religious people did not differ in the number of moral acts that they did And of course, this sent the theists into a tizzy, because a common claim is that no human can be a decent moral human being without some magical being to enforce this behavior by promises of reward or punishment after a human dies. I’ve had more than a few Christians tell me how horrible a person they would be/were if they didn’t have their god requiring them to be decent so they can get their magical prize in the afterlife. (One can read more about the study in some articles at the NYT, a blog about empirical research on morality, the Daily Mail article mentioned below, and a pdf of an article from one of the participating universities in the study. As always, this study is not the final word on such things, until it is supported by more research.

Now with that as background, you’ll understand more as I address an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette claiming that the religious have one up on the rest of us because religion is a moral “safety net”. This is by a fellow named Tom Purcell, a conservative who has been featured on such lovely things as the Rush Limbaugh show (one of the more verminous conservative liars in the US), the Laura Ingraham show (a woman who subs for Bill “I have no idea how tides work” O’Reilly on Fox News, and why yes, she *is* blonde and finds homosexuals e.g. “sodomites” and feminists abhorrent. Well, she does think that homosexuals should have some rights now just like so many conservatives who suddenly have an out family member.)

So, what does Mr. Purcell have to say? Well, boiled down, it comes down to a grudging acknowledgement of the study but a baseless claim that religion somehow “helps” having morality, even though the study showed that it did not. Unsurprisingly, this is another example of how a type of theist will do anything to ignore reality in favor of making false claims to shore up their religion. It isn’t only creationists…

In this study, the researchers reviewed the acts recorded and assigned them as they related to six principles related to morality: authority, caring for others, fairness, liberty, loyalty and sanctity, which I assume must mean the dictionary definition: the quality of being worthy of worship.   Again, the research says that religion has no impact on acts based on these things. All the research came down to is that theists may feel more positive emotions when doing/observing moral things, aka “I did good so I feel good. I see someone doing good, I think they should be rewarded.” and more negative emotions when doing/observing immoral things aka “I did bad so I feel guilty. I see someone doing bad, I think they should be punished.”

After reviewing the study, Mr. Purcell says “It is certainly true that nonreligious people can be principled and that regular churchgoers can be crooks in their business dealings.” Here seems to be the usual claim that not all Christians are “TrueChristians”, with the attendant circular argument that TrueChristians are Good are TrueChristians, etc.

Mr. Purcell argues that “many religions people” have a framework and community that helps them lead “more” moral lives. Which is again not supported by the evidence presented in the study. He claims that religion gives theists a “methodology”, that allows them to decide what is moral and what is not, what is “good” and what is “bad”. This is a problem since many things that are god-approved and deemed moral in the various holy books are seen now as very immoral and bad. This shows that religions are no objective way to know what is moral and what is not and thus, this “framework” is not to be trusted at all. This lack of any special powers of religion also jibes with the evidence that there is no difference between theists and non-theists when it comes to actions.

Mr. Purcell mentions that Greek philosophers had names for what is good: prudence, temperance, etc. They did indeed, and again it shows that no particular religion has anything special about it. The ancient cultures, from Greek to Chinese to Egyptian, were talking about morality long before any Abramic religions were around. The idea of the “golden rule” was nothing new. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Study has evidence that religion does not make one more moral. Theist shakes his head furiously, hoping that equals evidence”

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – on the anonymous ad about the same sex marriage decision in the Harrisburg Patriot News

Support-Traditional-MarriageTo get myself in the mood for ridiculing bigots, I’m watching Blazing Saddles and The Constitution USA with Peter Sagal as I write this post. On June 22, 2014, there appeared an anonymous advertisement on page A16 of the Harrisburg Patriot News (Harrisburg, PA). It was ostensibly about how “wrong” Judge Jones III was when he struck down Pennsylvania’s protection of heterosexual marriage nonsense.

It’s quite a word salad, always using a $5 word where a $1 word would do. What it boils down to is the old claims that if we allow homosexual marriage, then we’ll allow people to marry trees and that the marriage of two heterosexuals is the only “natural” marriage because it’ll result in children. I guess that my marriage of 20+ years isn’t a “natural marriage”. I’m guessing that we can safely assume that our anonymous ad poster is a Roman Catholic, since they are so impressed by claims of “natural” whatever and having children. Of course, I probably offended our anonymous source by saying that such a TrueChristian is a Catholic since, you know, Catholics are sun worshippers, or Satanists or Papists, or whatever Protestant Christians want to call them in their Christian “love”.

The above is all I really need to say about the ad, thanks to the usual lack of creativity of the average TrueChristian. However, it’s just too much fun to actually read this mess and point out its failures. Let’s proceed, shall we? Alas, this isn’t available online, since it’s just an ad and not actually part of the paper. I’ll do my best of picking out the best and most representative quotes from our anonymous TrueChristian source. I think I’ll call them “Annie”, just like a character I particularly revile from the unfortunate prequels from the Star Wars universe….. (If someone really wants to look at this mess in the original, just ask and I’ll scan it in.)

First Paragraph: “In effect, he (Judge Jones) reinforced the truth that all are created equal and have individual rights that can’t be denied; thereby, proving that homosexual individuals have been discriminated against.”

Isn’t it great that a TrueChristian has admitted that they’ve been lying all along and that everyone is created equal and deserves individual rights? Why, Annie is admitting that there is indeed discrimination. I wonder, would Annie support the attempts to pass laws in PA to prevent discrimination of homosexuals in jobs and other daily activities? I somehow doubt this but alas, we can’t ask Annie since he/she is hiding.

Ah, but then Annie decides that the problem with Judge Jones’ decision is that homosexual marriages and heterosexual marriages are innately different and thus can’t be considered “equal”. Our Annie claims that Judge Jones did this “In doing so, he immediately stepped away from the Constitutional protections of due process, and the rights and equality of individuals.”   Annie wants to claim that unions are different from individuals and thus have different rights. If the marriages aren’t “equal”, then Annie claims, they can’t be treated as equal.

So, how aren’t these marriages equal? Why yes, dear reader, it’s because marriages are only expected to produce children. Again, per Annie, my marriage of over 20 years isn’t a real marriage, only marriages that he/she approves of are “real”. Let’s see what Annie says: “An essential importance that focuses on the core difference is that a homosexual union hasn’t the physical structure, or capability within itself, to conceive another human being, or raise offspring with a male (father) and female (mother) influence as intended by a marriage.” Just like our other TrueChristian, Brandon McGinley, we get to see TrueChristians insisting that no one but them and those who agree with them have real marriages and real families. At least our Annie has decided that families with adoptive children are real families as opposed to Mr. McGinley. Alas, they are only “real” families if they have a male and a female in the household, so sorry you folks who have single parents thanks to divorce, death or any other reason. You simply don’t qualify. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – on the anonymous ad about the same sex marriage decision in the Harrisburg Patriot News”