Blag Hag Hipsters, rejoice!

If you’re one of those people I’ve caught saying “I read Blag Hag before boobquake,” then have I got news for you. An old friend is back: Pastor Tom Estes of the blog Hard Truth.

If you’ve forgotten Pastor T. Estes, don’t worry – I had to dig through the archives to remember why the name was familiar. Nearly three years ago, which is eons ago in the blogosphere, I poked fun at a dumb post he made about how atheists are taking over the internet. He made remarks about looking forward to personally finding me and meeting me when he found out I was going to the Creation Museum. I mentioned it was kinda creepy, he responded with threats of suing me for defamation of character, and I spent my Creation Museum trip slightly on edge. He referred to my blog as “Helga’s Battle Axe” because he thought it was clever. We continued to vaguely giggle in the direction of his blog until he packed up his toys and went home.

I honestly shouldn’t care that this random small town pastor decided to come back to blogging, but his first post was too hilariously bad to resist commenting on. What was one thing that encouraged him to return to blogging? He looked at Pharyngula’s traffic and saw that it has recently plummeted, presumably because Christians are awesome and winning. But of course he didn’t figure out that the traffic drop was because Pharyngula moved to Freethought Blogs, despite the giant box at the top of old Pharyngula informing him.

Pastor Tom did figure one thing out – if you want to be a Christian echo chamber without anyone to challenge your beliefs, turn off your comments. How predictable.

 

Bristol Palin’s advice to Obama

The advice:

“While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.”

My summary: “You should have raised your daughters to be ignorant bigots who are unable to think for themselves and parrot crap that has been repeatedly disproven by science, just like my mom did!”

Thanks for the advice, hypocritical teen mom abstinence shill!

Obama publicly declares support for same-sex marriage

Finally.

This was probably my favorite part of the interview:

“It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” the president continued. “You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know,  believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”

I think the first thing you learn once you become an adult is that adults don’t always get it right. What a perfect example.

I’m still cranky that he framed it as a “leave it up to the states issue”… I mean, if you truly believed this about equal rights, why should it be left up to popular vote? That didn’t exactly go well in North Carolina last night. But his support is still progress.

What do you think about this announcement?

Today’s example of Christian privilege: Delta Airlines

I’ve racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles with Delta, but I’m going to have to consider other airlines next time I’m booking a flight. I just don’t feel comfortable supporting a business that easily succumbs to the orders of religious bigots.

The Catholic League announced Monday that Delta Air Lines had pulled its sponsorship of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show following a boycott launched by the organization.

“I encourage everyone to choose Delta the next time they fly,” Catholic League president Bill Donohue said. “We need to support advertisers who act responsibly.”

What could the Daily Show have done that possibly justifies Delta pulling its support?

The Catholic League launched a boycott against the sponsors of the The Daily Show in April over a segment that featured “vagina mangers.” In the segment, which aired on April 16, Stewart mocked Fox News for criticizing the phrase “war on women,” even though the network promoted the phrase “war on Christmas” for years.

“What can women do to generate the same sense of outrage from Fox as” the alleged war on Christmas, Stewart asked. “Perhaps they could play into the theme. Maybe women could protect their reproductive organs from unwanted medical intrusions with vagina mangers.”

A picture of a nude women with a nativity scene ornament between her leg appeared beside Stewart, which Donohue described as an “unprecedented vulgar assault on Christians.”

Let’s back up and review this situation:

  1. A photo of a manger is photoshopped to cover a woman’s genitals
  2. This is to illustrate how Christians care more about forcing their own religion on everyone else on this country than the health and lives of women.
  3. The Catholic League responds by forcing their own religion on everyone else in this country because that’s more important than the discussion about the health and lives of women.

Leave it to Ol’ Bigot Bill Donohue to miss the point that badly. It’s not shocking – forcing Catholicism down everyone’s throats is the goal of the Catholic League. But that doesn’t mean businesses need to succumb to their will. Yet that’s the choice Delta made – to show that Christian privilege is more important than women’s health.

Donohue’s next target is Kellogg’s:

“Donohue outlined his attack strategy against Kellogg’s on the Catholic League website today: “Today, all the top management at Kellogg’s will receive a color photo of a naked woman with her legs spread and a nativity scene ornament in between. Let’s see if that jars them. Over 700 photos have been sent to leaders in Battle Creek, Michigan.”

Ah yes, the tactic of relying on misogynists being terrified of the naked female body in order to enact social change. I like it better when liberal groups do it to point out bigotry, rather than bigots using it as some sort of bigot bat signal.

Let’s hope other sponsors of the Daily Show aren’t so quick to fall to religious pressure. And make sure to let Delta (@delta on twitter) know about how you feel.

What, no Hitler?

The Heartland Institute is a conservative climate-denialist thinktank in the US. And this is their new ad campaign:

“The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”

In addition to Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro are also featured. Osama bin Laden is in the works for a future billboard.

…What, were you hoping that I would say something funny to keep you from throwing your laptop across the room? Sorry, I got nothing. This is too fucked up even for me.

(Via Bad Astronomy)

Liveblogging Abby Johnson’s “Do women have too many rights?”

(7:17pm) Well, I’m here. Tonight is Abby Johnson’s talk “Do women have too many rights?” at the University of Washington, sponsored by Students for Life of America and the Catholic Newman Center, who had this ironic poster hung outside the room:

Human rights! …unless you’re a pregnant woman.

I’ll be making updates throughout the talk, so keep refreshing!

(7:20) I’m not the only pro-choice person here. There’s an impressive amount of protesters civilly holding signs. Good job, ladies!

(7:33) On my way in I picked up the various literature they were giving away. Let’s see what goodies I got! Would you like some lies about Planned Parenthood and how contraception works?

Or maybe the terrifying thought that med students are supporting these unscientific claims:

(7:37) I kept ruffling through my various flyers. I was pre-raging when I saw the words “scientific truth,” expecting to read a pile of the typical anti-abortion garbage that parades behind the word “science.” I was pleasantly surprised…the protesters managed to hand out flyers with actual science on it! Wooooooo! Good job, ladies!

(7:39) The presidents of both student groups just said their names, which caused about a minute of crazy cheering and booing. Oh dear, this is going to be interesting.

(7:40) A police officer just confiscated plastic coat hangers from the people sitting behind me. I feel so much safer now.

(7:42) Some of the feminists behind me keep shouting out and booing loudly to drown out the speaker, and they need to stfu. Let the ignorance speak for itself. You’re coming off as intolerant douchebags.

Abby just got announced (I think, I could barely hear). Standing ovation helped locate where all the pro-lifers are in the room.

(7:45) Well, I’d live blog what Abby is saying, except I can’t hear what she’s saying, and she can’t talk because feminists keep screaming over her. Come on, guys. You sound like brats. This isn’t “freedom of speech” to shout down an invited speaker. Ugh.

(7:46) Abby says supporting Planned Parenthood is “uninformed choice”, and that she hopes there are no male pro-choicers in the audience because pro-choicers don’t want them to have an opinion.

(7:48) She just said pro-choicers want women “to be bought and sold for sex.”

(7:51) Abby said Planned Parenthood is in it to make money. Someone from the audience shouts that they bet she makes a lot of money speaking doing this, and agrees…then adds that she made a lot more money when she was at Planned Parenthood “coercing young girls and killing children.”

(7:53) Abby says that Planned Parenthood has an abortion quota, and they fire people if they don’t meet a monthly quota. Someone shouted “Citation needed!” She responded “I don’t know why they want a citation, because according to them, abortion should be everywhere. Everyone here should be having an abortion.” …I have no idea what that has to do with citations.

(7:55) Abby questions why Planned Parenthood wants every clinic to eventually offer abortion services if they claim to want to reduce unintended pregnancies. “Not about the health of the women. They’re not about keeping women safe. They’re about abortion. They’re about making money. They are not about unintended pregnancies.” Even though, you know, only 3% of PP services are abortion related.

(7:57) Someone just made an announcement that the police were going to start removing people if they keep being disruptive. She couldn’t even get through the announcement without people screaming to drown her out. Abby says she’ll say something that will make sure to upset the pro-choicers so they’ll get kicked out.

(8:02) Photos of the audience. Room is packed. Police officer is looming in the back where all the noisy pro-choicers are.

(8:06) Abby is telling her story about watching an abortion performed over an ultrasound, and how the baby tried to flee and move away from the abortion instrument. Even though this has been shown to be a complete fabrication. There was no ultra sound guided abortion performed that day where she worked.

(8:08) “If we saw a two year old in the parking lot and saw a man beating her to death, what would we do? We’d stop them from harming this child.” Yes, a two year old is totally equivalent to a couple week old embryo  ಠ_ಠ “People justify their own hurt by the killing of an innocent.”

(8:13) The most disruptive woman just got escorted out by the police. She started shouting “Women’s rights are under attack, what do you do?” and people replied “Stand up, fight back!”

“I know here in the state of Washington you feel discouraged because you’re in the minority. But know you’re not alone. The majority of this country sides with you when it comes to the sanctity of human life.” Blah blah blah circle jerk, claps from the pro-lifers. “Their anger comes from hurt.”

(8:15) “They’re only tolerant of your point of view.” I’m sorry, I am intolerant. I’m intolerant of people taking control over women’s bodies because some sky daddy told them to. I’m intolerant of someone resulting in the death of women because “awwww, a baby duurrr.” This is a more complicated ethical issue than any anti-choicer will admit.

(8:17) “I don’t believe women have too many rights. I believe women don’t have enough rights in this country.” Well, I’m glad you titled in your talk in such a trolltastic way. “They don’t believe in choice, they believe in abortion. They don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, they believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion.”

(8:23) Holy crap I don’t know what just happened. Some officer just tackled a woman in the back with general chaos. More people are getting escorted out.

(8:24) “The truth is the truth. If we weren’t speaking the truth in the pro-life moment, THEY wouldn’t be here!” I think that’s a logical fallacy…

(8:27) “The truth is scary and is often offensive. Never be scared to offend someone with the truth.” Oddly I agree with that. Except that, you know, pro-lifers don’t generally present the truth.

Annnddd they just ended the talk with no Q&A because the pro-choicers are so loud and disruptive. Good job, guys *facepalm*

The pro-choicers behind me are loudly chanting “Pro-life, that’s a lie, you don’t care if women die.” I’m sure they’re changing lots of minds  ಠ_ಠ  This was such a shitshow.

(8:32) You know, I was totally expecting to be in a frothy rage at the end of this talk. But I’m just vaguely confused. And hungry.

Look, I consider myself a firebrand. I don’t mince words or hold back. But the people screaming in the back weren’t firebrands…they were obnoxious and accomplished nothing. Did screaming the whole time change any minds? I wish she would have been able to give her dumb talk, then people could have asked her damning questions during the Q&A. But instead it just turned into a giant clusterfuck. I’m actually more angry at the pro-choicers than Abby right now. Blargh.

I’m going to go grab dinner. Goodnight!

When abortion is the more ethical choice

The other day I posted on Facebook, “Is abortion ever the MORE ethical choice over giving birth?” I left it at that. I didn’t want to explain why I was asking the question or what my views were because I was curious how my friends would reply. Here are some of the answers I received (with permission to share):

Beth Presswood (Godless Bitches Podcast):

“Certainly, especially in cases of extreme disabilities.”

Joel Klinepeter:

“Tay Sachs, Bringing a child into the world for no more than a couple weeks of abject agony is deeply immoral. Aborting a child with Tay Sachs is absolutely more moral than giving birth to one.”

Anonymous:

“Trisomy 18, anyone?”

Julie Lada (My DVM Vacation):

“In my opinion, wiping out a non-sentient bundle of cells rather than forcing a rape victim to undergo months of further psychological trauma during pregnancy and giving birth, no to mention her mental state afterward whatever decision she makes regarding adoption, is pretty fucking ethical.”

Nick Wallin:

“With population as high as it is, an ethical case can be made for any abortion. (This is, of course, if the woman wants said abortion.)”

Anonymous:

‎”(w/o reading previous comments) one possibility is if you have strong reason to believe you’ll be a terrible parent (you’re an alcoholic, say), and adoption options aren’t practically available.”

Sarah Moglia (Twitter):

“Mother’s life in danger, child’s life in danger, can’t financially provide for a child, trying to make sure you can support your other children (both financially and emotionally).”

Ashley F. Miller (Blog):

“In my opinion, any time a woman does not want to go through a pregnancy, forced birth is less ethical than an abortion. That is psychological and physical torture that will likely leave wounds for life”

Anonymous:

“A friend of mine was going through chemotherapy for brain tumors. She got pregnant by her husband, a complete freak accident (the pregnancy, not her husband). Doctors said that the baby would not survive the chemo, and the pregnancy hormones would boost the tumors’ growth. Her husband, her family, and her friends all think she made the right choice by aborting. Besides, she didn’t want to leave her 2-year-old without a mother, or her husband without a wife. I’d say that’s ethical. :)”

So, why did I make that update? I wasn’t looking to be convinced - I already thought there are many, many situations where abortion is the more ethical choice over giving birth. But I never see abortion framed in terms of being “more ethical.” I always see it described as this necessary evil that we all have to feel sad and guilty about.  That the choice must be a terrible struggle only allowable when followed by a certain amount of weeping and self-destruction as penance. We never talk about women who decided to give birth in those situations as making the less ethical choice. Birth is by default seen as morally superior and self sacrificing, when there are a number of situation where it is actually the unethical choice.

I obviously still think women have the right to choose either way. Forcing a woman to give birth or get an abortion against her will is so unethical it trumps the other arguments about ethics, at least in my mind. But I hate whenever I find a thread in 2XC where a woman says “I don’t feel guilty about my abortion…is something wrong with me?” No, nothing is wrong with you…something is wrong with our culture.