What’s In A Shirt?

It took me a little while to figure out my own particular problem with what has become known as the #shirtstorm. Oh, believe me, I was and am on the side of those who saw the now-infamous shirt as problematic. And I am on the side of those who currently are insulted by it.

But… see, I used to run a daycare. I see things, as often as not, through the eyes of those who have not yet learned to be as cynical as I am.

It is all too easy to claim “free speech” from the point of view of a comfortable, privileged majority. To say “I have every right to wear this shirt”… which, while showing off an edgy sense of fashion, also happens to show off a message which will tell the next generation who is in charge and who begs for scraps. Anyway…

Twinkle, twinkle, little shirt
How I wonder how you hurt
Who is watching? Who is there?
Who expects that you might care?
Twinkle, twinkle, little shirt,
How I wonder whom you hurt.

Twinkle, twinkle, what you did,
How you change tomorrow’s kid
When she asks what can be done,
Glad you had your day of fun
Twinkle, twinkle, what you did,
How you’ve hurt tomorrow’s kid.

Twinkle, twinkle, no surprise,
Outer space was meant for guys
If she asks if she can play
Yes she can!… some other day…
Twinkle, twinkle, no surprise,
Outer space is filled with guys…

If A Page In Thy Science Book Offend Thee, Pluck It Out

Headline: Gilbert school board votes to rip abortion page out of textbook

“And if thy science book offend thee
Pluck it out and cast it from thee”
Matthew 5 was quite explicit; we should cut the cancer out!
If a textbook says “abortion”
In one chapter—just a portion—
We should exorcise the demon—tear the page if there’s a doubt!

Lop your hand off; squish your eye out
See, this textbook is a tryout
Will you heed the word of Jesus, and reject the things he hates?
Rip a page right from your textbook
Leave it wounded; find the next book
If the books are deemed offensive, they deserve their heathen fates!

Though the cover may say “Science”
We shall rip it, in defiance,
Cos the law imposes penalties for telling kids the truth
So we’ll tear offensive pages
And defend the rock of ages
The destruction of some lessons in protection of our youth!

The folks who actually wrote the science textbook seemed to think that a discussion about reproduction should reasonably include a sentence or two on legal means of contraception. Silly them.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board voted this week to redact a section on abortion from a science book used in a high school honors curriculum.

Because school board members know better than textbook authors what belongs in a science textbook.

“You would expect a discussion of abortion maybe to show up in actual sex-ed materials. That’s why I didn’t like abortion in a biology book that all it discusses is natural processes. There’s nothing natural about abortion,” said Daryl Colvin, acting Gilbert school board president.

The discussion in Gilbert was first brought up by a conservative Christian law organization called the Alliance Defending Freedom. According to board member Jill Humpherys, Alliance Defending Freedom had complained to GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto over the summer.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the board voted 3 to 2 to nix the abortion section of the book, citing a recently signed state law that says school lessons on reproduction must give preference to childbirth and adoption over abortion.

“These textbooks were written before the state law so the easiest, simplest, cheapest way to bring them into compliance with state law is to excise that section. It’s only a page,” Colvin said.

Not much natural about the Alliance Defending Freedom, either, but their fingerprints are all over the removal of the page.

Hey, though, for once the comments at the story are [at least mostly] thoughtful!

Americans, Get Off Your Asses And Vote

You think it’s a toss-up?
You don’t want to vote?
You think there’s no difference
Or nothing of note?
You’re thinking of sitting it out?

You don’t see a difference
That merits attention
There’s no one to vote for,
Or even to mention
You’d rather just sit home and pout?

You think it’s decided?
Then go, and be vocal,
Make waves where they’re needed
And vote in the local
Elections, for city and state

The national picture
Is one part of many;
The local and state races
Show us that any-
One’s vote could determine our fate

You want to stay silent?
You think you’re not needed?
Your view won’t be counted?
Then they have succeeded,
Convincing you, give up the fight!

The truth is, you matter
In districts and states;
Your vote makes a difference
To so many fates;
So do it…, cos, frankly, it’s right.
[Read more…]

Priorities, Priorities (Football vs Cancer)

We’ve got ISIS and Ebola, we’ve got protests in Hong Kong
We’ve got Ferguson Missouri, where the cops say, “move along”
ICU’s have children with enterovirus 68
And there’s virulence as metaphor—they call it #gamergate
There are wars across the planet; people dying every day
And the climate, half-forgotten, set to blow us all away
With so many needy causes, all so worthy of your prayers…
Could I focus your attention on a pair of millionaires?

She’s a model; he’s a quarterback (he’s really very good,
But last week, he didn’t have the game the critics thought he should)
As a pastor in Los Angeles, I know the couple well
So let’s pray for Tom’s successes! (as for ISIS, who can tell?
If Ebola is God’s judgment, who am I to disagree?)
But New England over Cincy? Won’t you pray along with me?
Oh… and tell the Bengal lineman—whose little girl has cancer—
There are times when you can pray and pray… but, sadly, God won’t answer.

I am ready to remove my eyes with a grapefruit spoon. As you might guess, I just watched the news. Light-hearted, human interest stuff, about a Los Angeles priest asking parishioners to join him in praying for someone who needs their help. Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots. Multimillionaire, married to millionaire supermodel, incredibly talented, well-practiced athlete, part of a veritable machine of a team that simply does not lose two in a row. Clearly, someone in need of God’s help.

More ABC news videos | ABC Entertainment News

The Patriots did win (yay, God!). Which means, of course, the team with the guy whose daughter is battling cancer lost (boo, God!). Which means God works in mysterious ways, or some shit.

But holy fuck, ABC News, your headline: Did Divine Intervention lead Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady to Victory?

Clearly, the Christian religion is under attack in America, in danger of disappearing from the public arena. Well, with the minor exception of EVERYWHERE.

(note…. today’s verse originally was planned to have active links for each topic, pointing you to stories on ISIS, on Ebola, on Ferguson, etc. But frankly, it got far too depressing. So I took them out. You wanna be depressed? Search for yourself.)

“Christian Sexual Atheists?”

Donald is a farmer; he’s a steward of the earth
He’s a bible-thumping Christian, too, since practically his birth
He’s on all the church committees, cos he knows religion’s worth
And he’s never had a meal without a prayer.
Mary has a part-time job—a local clothing store
Her husband leads the household, and she wishes nothing more
She also is a Christian; she was saved when only four
Oh, and she and Don are having an affair. [Read more…]