God says pedophila ok

Dateline: April 1, 2010 – The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree today saying that pedophilia is not a sin. According to the decree, the Roman Catholic Church no longer bears any responsibility for the ongoing child molestation scandal that has rocked the Church in the United States, Ireland, and several other countries for several decades. The decree was issued Ex Cathedra, which according to Roman Catholic Church dogma, is the result of divine intervention and protected from the possibility of error by God Himself.

Ex Cathedra decrees are rare, but this particular one may have been unique. The Pope himself is alleged to have shared the details of his conversation with God with his most trusted cardinals. A Vatican insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity explained what happened. “The Pope was in his cell praying and begging repentance for his role in the ongoing scandal for the ten thousandth time. Then he came out saying, ‘God doesn’t give a shit’.” The Pope was reportedly shaken but overjoyed by the unusual revelation.

Vatican accountant Father Guido Cartamoneta expressed relief over the momentous pronouncement. “It’s a great day for the Catholic Church. This resolves all of these issues that have been hanging over our head for so long. It’s just in time for the Easter donation season!”

Former Cardinal Bernard Law of the Boston Diocese also expressed his pleasure over the announcement. “I feel vindicated for my role in moving priests between posts. Maybe now life will return to normal and can get back to the business of filling our youth with the Holy Spirt.”

Somehow, the logic of this escapes me

Found on Facebook, with editorial commentary by yours truly.

Also, I wasn’t aware inventions could be homosexual. Probably explains that alluring rattle my space heater makes.


Addendum: Okay, everyone’s pointed out what I was hoping was the case: that this was some kind of epic Poe-ing. Still, that’s the whole point of Poe’s Law: that it should not be especially surprising to find people out there in the world calling for the destruction of computers by holding up signs that have a URL on them. This is exactly the sort of hilarity you’d expect to see coming from the Westboro crowd with no irony whatsoever.

BIRTH CONTROL IS SINFUL!!!!

We had a caller on the March 22nd show who was hearing impaired and we attempted to interact with him via a TTY service. Unfortunately, we didn’t get very far with the caller as the interaction was so painful, but he did get out a rather strange phrase having to do with abortion. Matt and I didn’t get gist of the call, so we moved on.

Some of our sharper fans figured out what the caller was trying to say. He was quoting a rather amusing book title, “BIRTH CONTROL IS SINFUL IN THE CHRISTIAN MARRIAGES and also ROBBING GOD OF PRIESTHOOD CHILDREN!!”. It’s being sold on Amazon and it’s worth checking out if you’d like a chuckle. Especially check out the description (mostly capital letters), reviews of the book, and its price. If it weren’t so expensive, it might make a nice book for a devout family member.

So, thanks to our caller. The message finally got through.

More thoughts on Ebert’s Poe

Martin wrote:

Ebert comes clean

And gives those of us who get a little smug about our critical thinking a refresher on the importance of critical thinking. Go read.

And he thanked me by name! You now get to ridicule me mercilessly for going into fanboy squee mode.

To be fair, PZ does have some valid criticisms.

Yeah, more than valid; it’s an excellent point that PZ is making. I like and respect Ebert, and many times I’ve relied on his well-written opinions to decide what movies to see. Having said that, I’ve seen this “point” made too many times to find it in any way novel or clever. The point appears to be: “I said stupid things in a public forum to show how people would react, and sure enough people called me stupid.”

I mean, yes, ho ho Roger, very droll. The problem is that if I went around assuming that everyone was kidding when they recited a bunch of ignorant tripe that sounds exactly like what real creationists say, I’d be wrong in 95% of all cases, instead of (as some people were) wrong in this one. I am a fan of Ebert too, and like Martin, I’m familiar enough with his history that I didn’t think he would really turned into a creationist. But most people, having at most a passing familiarity with his non-movie writing, would have no reason to assume it wasn’t real. The only way to be sure is to read through the creationist nonsense carefully enough to detect the subtle sarcasm. And who the hell wants to do that, when all the creationist “I told you so” lists are so very uninteresting and similar to each other?

Lots of people pull the “I acted stupid and people called me stupid” trick and call it a study of human nature. Many of them even use this tactic to cover up the fact that they really do believe something genuinely stupid, like Scott Adams. Another guy who very clumsily pulled the same thing was our good buddy Patrick, who, after receiving well over 100 emails that universally panned his weird lawsuit crusade, wrote to tell us that the whole thing was an “experiment.” Right.

I’m not saying that Roger Ebert is lying, of course, I’m just saying that it’s strange to criticize people for being convinced by your plausible imitation of real idiots. Ebert does make a very fine point at the end of his recent post:

These days, there is no room for ambiguity, and few rewards for critical thinking. Now every word of a politician is pumped dry by his opponent, looking for sinister meanings. Many political ads are an insult to the intelligence. Here I am not discussing politics. I am discussing credulity. If you were to see a TV ad charging that a politician supported “comprehensive sex education” for kindergarten children, would you (1) believe it, or (2) very much doubt it? The authors of the ad spent big money in a bet on the credulity and unquestioning thinking of the viewership. Ask yourself what such an ad believes about us. No politics, please.

Yeah, he’s absolutely right, somebody would have to be a moron for believing that Obama wants comprehensive sex education for kindergarteners. However, somebody would not have to be a moron to believe that somebody would earnestly claim that he said that. They already did, and do. Hundreds or thousands of blog posts have been written which take the claim seriously.

So suppose that instead of writing about creationism, Ebert had written a “Jonathan Swift” style post saying, “Hey did you hear about Barack Obama? He wants to teach six year olds about condoms.” And then further suppose that a lot of people had written to him with all kinds of verbal abuse, and then Ebert had said “Ha ha! You see how gullible these people are? To their credit, no Republicans wrote to me at all.” That’s really not all that clever.

Besides which, I’d have to say that PZ didn’t really get fooled. Oh sure, he wondered what was up with that post, but speculating that his blog got “hacked” instead of assuming that Ebert was writing a joke isn’t all that unreasonable. I would say that he was no more fooled than Matt was when “Eve” and I conspired to mess with him on the show. Matt took the call at face value, but he also looked suspicious and said “I’m not sure that call was real.”

The difference between our joke and Ebert’s was that I was genuinely trying to make Matt laugh later. I wasn’t trying to prove anything about his gullibility, or claiming to expose a character flaw.

Poe’d by Roger Ebert

I’ve oftimes stated what a fan I am of film critic Roger Ebert. He does what any good critic should do: present his ideas and opinions clearly so that you can understand exactly where he’s coming from even when you disagree with his review.

Today, though, he’s pulled a lovely prank on us all, and has maintained the poker face of a pure professional throughout. An article at his site, bizarrely titled “Creationism: Your Questions Answered” immediately catches the eye, as it seems so out of place. But Ebert’s subtle satire, which was such a successful application of Poe’s Law — that little law of the internet that asserts it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalist religious beliefs so absurd that no one will mistake it for the real deal — it startled PZ Myers, makes itself known right from its opening salvo, which calmly presents “Questions and answers on Creationism, which should be discussed in schools as an alternative to the theory of evolution.” What follows is conveyed in such a dry, non-histrionic style that it’s actually fooled a lot of people into thinking Ebert, who has made his support of good science and his full-on agreement with evolutionary theory and disdain for ID or other creationist pseudoscience plain, had gone over to the dark side.

Still, it becomes obvious we’ve been Poe’d with this gem:

Q. How long did the Great Flood last?

A. We know that Noah was 600 years, two months and 17 days old when he sailed. Using that as a starting point and counting forward, Genesis tells us it lasted for 40, 150, 253, 314 or 370 days.

Until he fesses up, it remains to be understood why Ebert chose just now to pull this little prank. It may have to do with the fact that this week, he’s posted a review of Adaptation, the 2002 Spike Jonze movie starring Nic Cage, to his “Great Movies” section. This review boasts the headline “Evolution Is God’s Intelligent Design,” and I can imagine that sparking a miniflood of indignant emails from creationists, pulling out all their tiresome “evilushun is not siyunts nuh-uh, lookit all the evidense for creashunz!” canards, and demanding “equal time.” So, that’s what Roger gave them.

Thumbs up, old chap!

Yesterday’s show

This one was a corker, so I thought I’d get it up here right away. Above and beyond the whole exchange with Patrick, there’s “Eve,” aka Microbiologychick, who punks Matt with some of the funniest Poe-ing you’re going to hear all week.

Oh, by the way. Apparently the latest backwash of Patrick’s foolishness is this: Living Waters has announced, I am informed, that they’re no longer going to be selling the bumper sticker that got Patrick all riled up. Now they’ll be giving it away for free!

Bravo, Patrick. You fucktard.


Addendum by Russell/Kazim:

To hear “Eve” call in, fast forward to about 54:00 in the video.