Escape: A Harrowing Tale of Fundamentalism and Freedom

I’ve been in an easily-distractable mood lately. I keep fussing around with books, picking them up for a few pages or paragraphs before tossing them aside and moving on to something else. I was afraid I’d never finish another book again in my life until I picked up Carolyn Jessop’s Escape. I didn’t even mean to buy it – I was there for Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, actually, and decided I’d better look around for similar books written by women, because my reading list has unfortunately been skewing too heavily dude. Up popped Escape, and I said “Brilliant,” and placed my order.

Image is the cover of Escape, which is photo of Carolyn Jessop on a black background. She cradles a framed picture of herself as an FLDS teenager in her hands. She is a woman in her thirties with chestnut hair and blue eyes.

This seriously screwed up my already-precarious sleep schedule, and almost ruined my April Fools’ Day plans. [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IX: In Which We Read a “Research Paper”

Did you think sea level would be a topic even Christianists can discuss without controversy? Ha! HA, I say! O ye of little faith in their ability to give the simplest subjects a bizarre religious twist. Of course they can make sea level controversial! Earth Science 4th Edition certainly delivers. And you are going to choke on your tasty beverage when you see what their idea of a quality research paper is, so I advise you spit-take proof your machine right now. [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: Biblical Family Values Parte the Thirde: Erecting Phallic Symbols

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Biblical Family Values Parte the Thirde: Erecting Phallic Symbols

(Genesis 35)

I would ask all of you who’ve ever giggled uncomfortably while watching Hindu priests oil up Shiva’s penis statue on the National Geographic Channel to pay close attention to the following section.

After Jacob’s sons pissed off the entire area by murdering a whole town full of dudes, then stealing all their stuff (including their women and children), the whole clan has to go. God tells Jacob to head back to Bethel and make an altar to him. So Jake makes everybody get rid of their strange gods, clean up, change clothes, and go. Traveling through the territories of all the cities who’d heard of their mass-murdering ways might have been a little fraught, but God jammed his divine finger into the terror centers of the residents’ brains, so they were too shit-scared to attack. How thoughtful (Gen. 35:1-5). [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: The Jacob Family Sexploits

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The Jacob Family Sexploits

(Genesis 29 & 30)

These chapters are absolutely X-rated.

Jacob, having been sent away to his Uncle Laban in order to find a wife and avoid being justifiably homicided by his brother, arrives at his destination, where he immediately begins to make a know-it-all nuisance of himself. While he’s busy telling professional shepherds how to herd sheep, his cousin Rachel arrives with another flock. It’s lust-at-first-sight for him. He proves his manly-manliness by rolling away the stone covering the well, waters the sheep, and then grabs Rachel and kisses her without so much as an “excuse me!” He then bursts into tears and tells her they’re cousins, as one does after manhandling a nubile young stranger (Gen. 29:1-12). [Read more…]

The Story of Flower Hating on the Book of Mormon, Plus Glorious Spring Flowers

The fruit trees of Bothell are putting on their annual show. Every year, I take about twelve kajillion photos of them, and share a few of the best with you. This year, thee shall have lots of beautiful flowers, as well as the story of that one time my mama cat Flower hated on the Book of Mormon, thus saving me from some of the worst prose ever written.

Image shows a shaded branch of plum or cherry blossoms against a blue sky.

[Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

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Biblical Family Values Parte the Firste: Sibling Rivalry

(Genesis 25)

Abraham’s sister/wife dies when he’s only in his mid-hundreds, so he gets himself another wife, Keturah, who’s apparently considered a concubine. He has six more sons with her. Old Abe isn’t one for keeping the sons he sires with mere sex slaves around where they can compete with his darling Isaac, so he gives them gifts and tells them to GTFO, just like he’d done with Ishmael. Like many men who hate paying child support, he apparently doesn’t really consider them his sons. After all that effort making babies he doesn’t even want, Abraham dies at a ripe old age. Ishmael, despite being cut out of Abe’s will, helps his half-brother Isaac bury their Pop, but after all he’s been through, and the loyalty he shows at the end, who do you think God blesses? Isaac. Of course. Asshole (Gen. 25:1-11). [Read more…]

Cast Your Vote! Which Awful Painting Should I Use to Illustrate?

I’m torn, my darlings. I’ve got one really terrible Bible story: Lot’s daughters seducing raping him. I’ve got two paintings illustrating said seduction rape. I’m not sure which one will say it best. So tell me which I should use in my forthcoming book, Really Terrible Bible Stories.

Should it be Joachim Antonisz Wtewael‘s Lot and His Daughters: [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VIII: Two Salty Tales of Ocean Origins

My conservative Christian former best friend used to say that too much prayer rots the brain. Earth Science 4th Edition provides clear evidence of this right from the blurb at the start of the “Oceans and Seas” chapter. They begin talking about desalination by saying wow, there’s more people on Earth than ever! Yay! “God didn’t place a limit on how many people should inhabit the earth.” [Read more…]

“For Good People to Do Evil”

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
-Steven Weinberg, Freethought Today, April, 2000

Sometimes, people tell me that religion doesn’t cause people to do bad things, that x and y caused their awful actions instead. Sometimes, I think that’s true. In same cases, religion is just the convenient excuse used for doing what they wanted to do anyway. A lot of religions do a great job giving cover to bad acts. A lot of religions allow adherents to justify horrible behavior. But if religion wasn’t there, they’d find another excuse. All the atheist libertarians, MRAs, and other assorted dipshits are proof of that.

[Read more…]

God’s Old Earth Curriculum Chapter 2: In Which We Get Our Earth Systems On

I’m seeing a pattern: the first paragraph of each of Greg’s chapters is all about establishing the Christian cred. Like so:

Our planet is perfectly designed by God to function using the physical laws that He set in place. Through these laws, the earth is constantly being modified. These laws can be seen operating in several key systems that He designed.

Image is a detail of God pointing from the Sistine Chapel. Caption says, "Look at that earth! I totally made that."

From there, God goes away, and science takes over. [Read more…]