Notice how misogynist the GOP has gotten lately? Want to do something fun about it?

Abortion rights is not necessarily an atheist issue. But it is a human rights issue. And it’s something the Christian Right has chosen to go to war over with its biggest, nastiest guns. They’re not exactly about playing fair either.

Recently, civilized hominids everywhere were left slack-jawed in disbelief when Republicans tried to redefine rape in order to make it damn near impossible for any actual rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy. They coined the baffling term “forcible rape,” implying they think there’s such a thing as “consensual rape.” Or something. Anyway, it’s obvious no Good Christian Woman would be out drinkin’ in bars and shit. So if some slutty sinful whore gets her drink roofied, it’s obviously her fault for not being pure enough, ain’t it?

Now it’s gotten crazier. As it seems to be GOP policy to constantly try to out-douche one another, Pennsylvania’s Republican Senator Joe Pitts has introduced H.R. 358. This bill would allow hospitals staffed by the kinds of people with a bug up their ass about abortion and a thin grasp of the Hippocratic Oath not only to decline to provide a life-saving abortion to a woman who direly needs one, but even to refuse to facilitate transporting her to a hospital that will. Save her life, that is. So we are presented with the spectacle of a woman dying in agony in a hospital parking lot while the nurses and orderlies on duty calmly watch Oprah and tweet about their weekends. Paradoxically, Pitts calls this the “Protect Life Act.” What a lovely thing Christian family values are.

And remember, these are the same people bleating about less government, less government!

It’s especially boggling when women, in what can only be thought of as Stockholm Syndrome taken to exponential new heights, fall into the right-wing misogyny camp and oppose the very medical procedures designed to help them in the unfortunate and hopefully unlikely event they will need them. Get it straight: no one is a fan of abortion. But to deny that sometimes the procedure is necessary, and moreover, to declare that the life of a woman is automatically worth less than that of a blastula, and that once a woman is gestating, she is automatically deprived of her personhood and her only function is now that of incubator, is nothing less than monstrous. That this is in fact how the Christian Right thinks is enough to make you think nuclear holocaust might be all humanity deserves after all.

But here’s a little something you can do. It’s even fun!

Recently, Lila Rose, a rising star in the (sexist wisecrack coming) right-wing bimbo brigade behind Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, made a ludicrous attempt to swiftboat Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides a plethora of invaluable health assistance to women everywhere, but which the right chooses to characterize exclusively as Dachau for Babies. Rose’s stunt was butt-stupid, even for a Republican. Like her BFF, convicted criminal James “Doctored ACORN Videos” O’Keefe, Rose tried to punk PP with some video doctoring of her own. Her ingenious plan must be read to be believed.

Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring…. Men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, have visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame. During their visits, they claimed to be involved in sex trafficking of teens, some of whom are in the United States illegally. These men appeared at health centers without appointments and said that they were seeking health services for themselves, but they quickly turned the conversation to the sex ring they said they were managing.

Wait, what?

Yes, you read that right. The plan was to get PP to appear as if they were helping conceal the existence of a child-sex trafficking ring. Rose’s little brainchild was itself aborted, however, when PP did what she hoped they wouldn’t do: report this bullshit to the FBI.

Now of course, poor Lila — abetted by her pals in right-wing media, of course — will continue to try to sell this false story, and probably paint herself as some kind of martyr for truth. Wingnuts do that kind of thing. But here’s a fun thing we can all do, as a kind of sweet revenge. It’s a way of letting petty little people like her, and all her anti-choice pals, know that the more they lie, the more they try to tear down women’s right to safe and legal health options through disinformation, the more we will remain committed to the cause of women’s health. And a little thing called truth.

  • Click on this link. It will take you to Planned Parenthood’s “Honorary Giving” donations page.
  • Throw a few bucks their way “in honor of” Lila Rose!
  • Finally, send Lila a friendly, cordial, profane-insult-free email at [email protected], informing her that you have done this, and that her campaign of disgraceful lies has resulted in your increased support for Planned Parenthood. In her name. Don’t be snarky. Don’t cuss her out. Don’t give her any ammo to whine about the evil libral socialist godless heathen scary people who are stalking her. Be so civil it hurts. You could also add that you hope she never finds herself in need of PP’s services, and to keep an eye on her drinks when she goes out.

That should do it. A little bit of the old martial artist, turning your opponent’s attack back upon them, you see. Most satisfying. But then, people like Rose have committed to a life of lies. Committing to truth, as she’ll soon learn, wins in the end.

Compassionate Woman Stops Reluctant Robber With Lie

ABC calls this story: “Faith Stops Florida Robbery” and “Christian Woman Stops Robbery With Faith”.

Paraphrased:

“I’m here to rob you.”
“Let me tell you about Jesus, I’m a Christian.”
“I am too and I hate doing this, but I still need to rob you.”
“Do you have a family?”
“That’s why I’m doing this.”
“I can help you get a job.”
“I’ve got a job.”
“Then why do this?”
“I need $300 or I’ll get evicted.”
(snip)
“I’m sorry, I have to take every cent.”
“Well, they’ll charge me for this.”
“They’ll charge you for the money I’m stealing?”
“I’m the one responsible.”
“OK, I won’t rob you. And, hey, it’s a BB gun.”

The dishonesty-in-reporting brigade ignores the fact that he didn’t stop until he thought he’d be robbing her…and it gets chalked up to a robbery stopped by faith.

Are people more willing to steal from a corporation than an individual? Yes.
Are people less likely to victimize people once some personal connection is established? Yes.
Did a shared religion help establish a connection? Sure.
Would this robbery have been averted by almost anyone else letting the gunman know that they would have to personally pay back what he stole? It seems likely to me.

The claim that she’d have to pay is also, as far as I can tell, a lie. Essentially, she talked him out of robbing the place by explaining how he’d be robbing her, and not just the store.

So, why doesn’t the headline read “Compassionate Woman Stops Reluctant Robber With Lie”?

Rush, if you wanna be truly evil, you gotta be less lame

So Rush Limbaugh woke up yesterday in his palace on Geidi Prime, and while he was being hoisted by his catamites into the gravity-support harness he’d been given by the Baron Harkonnen as a hand-me-down, it occurred to the least drug-benumbed of his brain cells to think, “You know, I’m tired of everyone in the galaxy thinking Pat Robertson is a more evil piece of shit than I am. Let alone the Baron!” So on his radio show that day, he made the awesomely ludicrous suggestion that his Republican God caused the volcano in Iceland to erupt because He was pissed off over Obamacare.

Truly, there is no bottom to the level of rank idiocy defecated across the right-wing airwaves.

Thing is, if Rush was angling to take Pat Robertson’s “Most Evil Piece of Shit in the Galaxy” crown from him (with its lifetime supply of mélange and a little Oxycontin on the side), he lamed out. Because as evil as Pat is, you’ve gotta give the old boy props for backing that evil up with balls so large they exceed most known Kuiper Belt Objects in sheer mass. Over more than half a century, Pat has leveled up his evil to such a degree, he could calmly exploit a disaster that killed a quarter of a million people, informing them as if it were the most natural thing to say that it was all their own fault for making pacts with some imaginary devil.

On the other hand, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull (I had to copy-paste that, and don’t even challenge me to pronounce it), while it has wrecked everyone’s flight plans and necessitated some serious evacuations, has apparently had a death toll so low I cannot find it recorded anywhere. (Maybe someone else’s Google-fu will be better.) So Rush was careful to pick a disaster where hardly anyone’s died, avoiding the universal condemnation that Pat got, even from Shepard Smith on Fox News. Though if anyone did condemn Rush, he’d just whine about the leftist socialist media ganging up on him again.

So you’re just too lame to be the ultimate in supervillainy you were hoping for, Rush. But don’t worry. You are still a total piece of shit and all decent people hate you. You’re welcome.

Atheism in the news? Not really…

Read this post from the blog of the religion reporter at our local newspaper.

My comment was long, so I wasn’t sure if it got posted and thought I’d post it here, as well.

Three comments, in mixed order:

First, the study isn’t worth the attention it’s getting. In addition to all of the other problems with IQ, the variance here simply isn’t notable. This is a weak correlation and little more.

Second, the UTSA event is not to everyone’s taste, but your question; “why equate it with pornography?” is an interesting one. The implication is that you’d like to label porn as ‘bad’ but the Bible as ‘good’ or ‘not as bad’. I don’t find pornography objectionable, yet I find the Bible incredibly objectionable…so, your implication is correct, they’re not equal. I think most Bible-supporters know this which is why, despite calling it the “Good Book” not one of them would agree to let me read Bible stories of my selection to their children.

Some people are uncomfortable about nudity and sex, and that’s their prerogative.

Those, though, who would exalt a book that explicitly endorses slavery – the owning of another human as property, the beating of that property and the instruction for slave to obey cruel masters – just one of many objectionable points, can never claim the moral high ground. They have sacrificed their humanity for a poisonous and corrupt ideology.

And that, leads me to the third point – the focus on the fact that this individual had books on atheism and demons. There is nothing within atheism (because it’s a single position on a single question) that would direct one to burn a church. Atheism is not a necessary and sufficient cause for any act, let alone this one.

But the problem here is the self-righteous bigotry in both the headlines, the focus and the commentary. Where is the headline that reads “Bible found among clinic bombers belongings”?

Because it’s all just so depressing, that’s why

I have, as many of you have doubtless noticed, been absent from the blog for most of August, preferring to concentrate on some other things and take a bit of a break from the whole atheist-activism thing. Mainly, this has been due to a real need to decompress. I am frankly in a state of despair regarding America as a whole. The right wing — duplicitous, self-serving and dishonest at the best of times — have simply descended into bugfuck insanity and psychosis. I mean, for Set’s sake, we’ve actually got Republican politicians openly “joking” about killing Obama. What the blue blazing phuque is wrong with these maniacs?

I’ve never seen anything like the mass insanity surrounding the health-care reform “debate,” which hasn’t been so much a debate as a mindless, frothing mob going absolutely apeshit over the most preposterous lies that such bobblehead demagogues as Limbaugh and Beck can cook up. Apparently, Obama is going to send the SS to kick down your door, gun down grandma, and hold you down while they forcibly administer HPV vaccines whether you’re a girl or not. That so many of these people just believe the shit they’re being spoonfed without so much as a pause for thought (a skill they evidently don’t possess) makes it dismayingly clear just how far this country has sunk into near-savagery. The neocon Christian right are no longer even recognizably human; they are simply wild animals driven into a Pavlovian rage at the mere sight of a sliver of red meat, even when (especially when) it’s a wholly imaginary sliver. (After all, as Matt Taibbi has pointed on in Rolling Stone, what kind of fucking morons must these people be to decry as “socialism” a health-care reform proposal designed to preserve as much of the private sector as it can?)

I just don’t want to be in the same dimension with these, um, “people.” I’d rather read lots of sci-fi or hang out with my dogs. Unreason, fear, hate, anger, racism, and literalist Christianity are sending America down the toilet fast, and I think we’re already too far down the U-bend to be drawn back up with even the heartiest application of a plunger.

So. How’s your day?

Out of the mouths of blondes

The extremist far-right wackaloons good and godly people in the loving Christian community of lovingful loving loveness figured out a while back that their message of hate, hypocrisy and ignorance love and apple-pie decency was a much easier sell when it came from the mouths of photogenic blondes. Hence their embrace of Miss California pageant winner Carrie Prejean, who made evangelicals around the country cream their prejeans when she spoke publicly against marriage equality.

Now, I’m the last guy anyone would accuse of political correctness — okay, scratch that, I’m entirely sure I’m far from the last guy there, as I suspect just about everyone on the right is significantly more disdainful of the practice than I am. Anyway, where I was going with this is that I think beauty pageants are teh stoopid, if for no other reason than their smug duplicitousness. I mean, come on, they parade chicks around in bathing suits while at the same time expecting them to maintain an alabaster-goddess image of unrealistic virginal purity. The average porn movie and topless bar is, if nothing else, at least honest about its agenda of prurient objectification!

Which is why it’s so hilarious that some of the same evangelicals who’ve pounced on Prejean to be their hot homophobia cover girl are wondering if they need to back off now that a couple of totally G-rated glamour shots of her have — inevitably — turned up. Again, what’s funny here? That topless photos featuring a consenting adult woman are fine; it’s the hypocrisy of the pageant’s “it’s only okay to display women as sexmeat when we do it” attitude that’s risible and asinine.

For her own part, Prejean is responding to her recent publicity, criticisms of her homophobia, and the possibility she may lose her title because of these pictures, in the expected fashion: by playing the Christian Persecution Card.

“I am a Christian, and I am a model,” she said. “Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.”

She said the photos “have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith.”

“I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be,” she said. “But these attacks on me and others who speak in defense of traditional marriage are intolerant and offensive. [Emphasis added.] While we may not agree on every issue, we should show respect for others’ opinions and not try to silence them through vicious and mean-spirited attacks.”

I just love it every time a vocal bigot (regardless of whether or not she’s blonde and hot, thank you) calls anyone else “intolerant.” I mean, that’s not only rich, rich irony. It’s a double-deluxe extra-chocolate fudge and cherry syrup level of richness. And we’ll not even get started on the plea for “respect” from someone who thinks her Bronze Age beliefs entitle her to deny millions of people she doesn’t know and whose lives will never impact hers the right to enter into loving, committed relationships.

Anyway, it’s just another example of the sort of uncontrolled clusterfuck that erupts whenever evangelicals make absurd spectacles of themselves. Personally, Carrie, you should have stuck with topless modeling. I promise you, you’d be in a lot better company.

The ICR gets even more sleazy and desperate

Following in the morally bankrupt footsteps of Ben Stein and Expelled, the ICR is responding to its snub by the state with a PR campaign designed (and not intelligently) to paint themselves as heroic champions and martyrs to “free inquiry” whose work is being “stifled” by a hostile scientific mainstream. Those of you who opened the Austin paper today to page A16 were probably aghast to see the full-page, four-color ad they bought pushing this very fantasy.

This is how far creationism has fallen. Having never produced any actual scientific research to support their position, thwarted time and again by courts and school boards to push their openly religious position in classrooms, they have run out of ways to rebrand creationism with terms like “intelligent design” to slip past the lemon test, and are now reduced simply to pounding their widdle fists on their high-chair tables and bleating “It’s not faaaair!”

Their bogus “academic freedom” bills in Florida got stalled and died in committee, their movie flopped, the courts are eating their lunch, newspaper and media editorials are ridiculing them mercilessly. (Even arch-conservative John Darbyshire, a man so despicable he mocked the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting for not being brave enough to rush the shooter while he was spraying them with lead, derided Expelled and the whole ID movement as “shifty” and “morally corrupted…irredeemably.”) What are poor creationists to do? Well, certainly not science. That’s a hell of a lot more work than just placing newspaper ads. And besides, if you actually did scientific research, there’s that distressing risk your results would not back up your “doctrinal statement” you force your members to sign, that “All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the creation week described in Genesis 1:1-2:3, and confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11. The creation record is factual, historical and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development which involve evolution in any form are false.” Yes, I know the ICR claims to do actual scientific research. But curiously, they do not submit this work to peer-reviewed scientific journals. All the better to sell their conspiracy theory and martyr fantasies, of course. But as Texas Citizens for Science points out:

Real scientists use the scientific method and possess the scientific attitude, which means that they work within a framework of methodological naturalism no matter what their religious beliefs may be. About 40% of real scientists believe in a supernatural, personal deity, but they don’t conduct their scientific inquiries within a framework of supernaturalism as do the ICR Creation “scientists.” ICR claims that its staff members keep their Biblical beliefs separate from their scientific beliefs, but that’s nonsense. All of their classes and literature are Bible-based and stress their Literalist doctrine of Young Earth Creationism. Real scientists propose hypotheses that can be tested using empirical and logical methods — that’s the basis of methodological naturalism — and Creationism by a supernatural Deity ultimately cannot be tested in this fashion. Of course, many proximate claims of the Creationists can be tested, such as the 10,000 years age of the Earth, a universal global flood, the lack of transitional fossils, macroevolution does not occur, etc. Fortunately for us, these claims have all been tested and they have all failed, since the claims were all based on specious reasoning and misinterpreted evidence, which has been amply documented in the anti-Creationist literature.

So the ship of fools sails on, low in the water, undaunted by the fact it’s been hulled beneath the waterline and the pumps are failing. My letter to the Statesman has been sent, and I sure hope it pisses off some ICRbot if it appears. I suppose one could admire the tenacity of creationists like them, were it not for the fact it’s the same tenacity of, say, some kook who’s taken to stalking a woman. There’s a time to get the message, and to realize no means no, and you’ve been out of the running for a long long time. Creationism is well past that point, and I think they’re going to find further efforts at pursuing their pseudoscience and pseudomartyrdom received by even more disdain and ridicule than they’re already getting.

Talking to a victim of Expelled

Some of our Christian commenters are just idiots or mean-spirited trolls, but occasionally we get someone who’s sincere and easily duped by the lies spewed by Ben Stein’s little movie. One of these, a young woman (I assume) calling herself Verity, has commented here, and my comment, straightening out a number of the falsehoods and misconceptions she holds as a result of taking Stein at his word, follows right away.

While I have no sympathy for the fundie fanatics of the world, for the people who concoct the lies Expelled is selling to begin with, I do have sympathy for the victims of their deception, and how their view of the world is thus impoverished by trusting in ignorant ideologues like Stein, rather than in reality. Go have a look see, and comment yourself if you see any details I might have missed.

Meanwhile, the weekend estimate for Expelled is shaping up to place the movie at 9th overall, with earnings of around $3,153,000. Its per-screen average of $2,997 means that it was getting about 111 viewers a day on each of its 1,052 screens. Of course, distribution will not be even, so that means some showings each day were nearly empty while others would have been fuller. But mostly this means that Expelled had a thoroughly average opening weekend, actually a bit above average due to its being a propaganda film “documentary.” But a far cry, I’d have to say, from the projected $12-15 million that Mark Mathis said was the opening he’d consider “successful.” I suspect that on Monday, however, he’ll have downgraded his expectations accordingly and be raving about what a blowout success the movie was.

Mostly, though, I think we can consider Expelled pretty much a blip on the “culture war” radar at this point. Hopefully now that they’re done being vilified as Nazis, all of America’s hard-working and underpaid scientists can get back to work now. You’ve earned it, gang.

Why yes, the bad reviews are all part of the [echo]Conspiracy-iracy-cy![/echo]

Via Expelled‘s site:

“Big Science Academy” is proud to have the support of the “Mainstream Press” in stifling the rise of freedom of speech in our science classrooms. In so many ways, “Big Science” and “Big Media” are on exactly the same page, when it comes to making sure that dissenters and troublemakers are properly expelled.

Well, what can I say? It’s been a busy week for us here at the Nazi Darwinist Conspiracy Headquarters (I could tell you our secret handshake and door-knock, but then I’d have to expel you) over at Area 51. I myself have had to wash and wax half a dozen black helicopters all by myself! That hasn’t left me much time to suppress anyone, but Obergrüppenführer Dawkins tells me he’ll let me have some overtime on Tuesday.