“The Family Scapegoat” – Escape Chapter 8: Newlywed

So, imagine that the only way you can go to college is by having a sister-wife so jealous of you that she’ll talk your husband into sending you away. No one’s going to let you go just because it’s the right decision for you and your family. No one cares that you want to complete your education. It’s only because your sister-wife can’t stand you that you get the chance to go at all. And your new stepdaughters, asked by your husband to spy on you at college, are all clamoring for the chance to watch your every move. It’s the only way they’ll have a shot at college themselves. Their father certainly wouldn’t give mere girls an education just because they want one.

Welcome to Carolyn Jessop’s dysfunctional new family. This is what passes for sensible in the FLDS. [Read more…]

Proof of the Rapture!

Look, it really happened! Just like the Real True Christians said it would!

Image shows a pair of orange children's flip-flops in the sand. Each sandal is pointing in an opposite direction.

Evidence of the Rapture, my friends! The end times are upon us!

These shoes, sans owner, were lying forlorn upon the sand at Richmond Beach on September 28th. It can only mean one thing! God has raptured one (possibly nude) child and left the rest of us behind!! You know it’s the Tribulation now because we’re stuck with RTCs for at least the next seven years. If that’s not a trial and tribulation, I don’t know what is.

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 6!


Foolin’ with Pharaoh

(Exodus 10)

God is a nasty, small-minded jerk.

This is not a difficult claim to prove. One need only to turn to the 10th chapter of Exodus and read the first two verses. God straight up admits he’s a petty asshole playing power games.

Recall all of the suffering and death dealt to the Egyptian people so far – people whose only crime, mind you, was to be born in a country ruled by the Pharaoh. Recall the countless animals he’s tortured and killed just to show off his power. Recall that God keeps demanding Pharaoh release the Israelites, then laying a disproportionate smackdown on innocent people when he doesn’t.

And now, God tells Moses why all this is happening: [Read more…]

Dear “Religious Liberty” Brigade: You’ve Lost. You’ve Always Lost

I’m so sick of this script:

“Traditional marriage and religious liberty are under attack all across the nation,” writes former Harris County GOP Chair Jared Woodfill.

No, Jared and all the other crybaby cons. Not a bit of it. Traditional marriage is just being asked to share its sandbox with others. It gets to keep all its toys. It’s still got plenty of room to play. Nobody’s kicking sand in its eyes, or telling it to go home, or borrowing its bucket and shovel and not giving them back. If traditional marriage can’t play nicely with the other kids, that’s its problem, not theirs. It can learn to share the space, or go home to sulk, but nobody’s attacking it. [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter Two!


And Now For My Next Act…

(Exodus 4 and 5)

Poor Moses. He’s just this regular old dude fleeing a murder rap, and now God’s selected him to be his champion sorcerer in a magic-off with some of Egypt’s most talented high priests. Of course, Mo don’t know about the magic battle part yet. He thinks he’s giving a speech and inciting the Israelites to grand larceny. He’s afraid he’ll be lousy at it, and get shouted down by a bunch of skeptics. Who’s going to believe the Lord appeared to him? (Ex. 4:1)

So the Lord begins training him for his Vegas Thebes* act, beginning with a corny but classic line: “What’s that in your hand?”

A staff,” Moses replies, probably mystified.

Toss it on the ground,” God says. [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XVI: Wherein Geology is Roundly Abused

My darlings, our trek through these Christianist earth science textbooks has been a long and tiresome one, but our perseverance has at last been rewarded: we have arrived at the units on Geology! Thanks to the Flood myth, God is all over this branch of the earth sciences like long-lost relatives on a lottery winner. Geology is second only to evolutionary biology when it comes to science creationists can’t stand. So this should be good (for sarcastic values of good).

We’ll see if either Science of the Physical Creation or Earth Sciences 4th Edition acknowledge the fact that it was geology that first dealt creationism a mortal blow. I mean, before the early geologists really got to looking at the earth and went, “This overwhelming evidence shows this planet must be very old indeed,” it was possible for a scientist to be a creationist and still be perfectly respectable. But then James Hutton and Charles Lyell kneecapped the young earth theory with a rock hammer. And then, as creationism was thrashing around, hollering “It’s only a flesh wound!” and threatening to bite off their kneecaps, along came Darwin and lopped its head off with the theory of evolution, which itself had been forged in the fires of Lyell’s elegant evidence for an elderly Earth. And ever since, young earth creationists have been hobbling about headless, whilst brashly proclaiming they can still wear a hat.

So let us marvel at their shenanigans by first turning to page 192 of A Beka’s Science of the Physical Creation. [Read more…]

Turns Out Josh Duggar is a Lying, Cheating Sleazebag. Only Conservative Christians are Surprised

I wouldn’t ordinarily be writing a post about a grown man’s adultery with other grown people. If you cheat on your spouse, you’re a scumbag, but you’re your spouse’s problem – unless, of course, you’re one of those moralizing shitlords who try to keep my queer friends from getting married, encourage people to hate on them, tell us we’re damned for enjoying premarital sex on the regular, and try to legislate what we can do with our reproductive systems and our relationships. In that case, damn straight your cheating is public business, because if you can’t practice, you shouldn’t be preaching, much less trying to get laws passed to condemn others for what you’re doing.

And Josh Duggar, the holier-than-thou sleazeball who loved to pretend he was the perfect husband and father, whose actual work was to harm families that didn’t fit his own narrow definition, has not one but two different kinds of sex scandal going on. First we find out he molested his sisters and their babysitter, now he’s forced to confess that he signed up on Ashley Madison so he could cheat on his wife. He had an OK Cupid account, too. And a Facebook account where he followed local strippers. And a Twitter account where he showed himself to be the typical pathetic straight white boy interacting with women. The man was obsessed with illicit sex.

Image is grayscale. On the right is Josh Duggar, showing only his face. He looks like he's about to cry. To the left are the words, "Be sure your sin will find you out. Num. 32:23"

Yeah, in this instance, the Bible was right.

I’m not happy the truth came out like it did. The people who hacked Ashley Madison were so busy being self-righteous assholes that they gave not a single thought to the kind of people whose lives might be put at risk by their leaks. They didn’t think of the people who would be driven to suicide, the people who might face domestic violence, or the people who could get executed for breaking the law in their countries. They didn’t think of the singles who were on there because it seemed like a safe and secure place to meet a same-sex partner. They didn’t think of the sex workers who would be put at risk. didn’t think of the ordinary lives that would be destroyed. The little shitheads just wanted to prove their point. And like little shitheads everywhere, they’re so full of themselves they have no room for anyone else. I hope they get to contemplate their actions from the interior of a jail cell for quite a long time. [Read more…]

Strategic Responses to Tract Thruster Tactics: Let Us Brainstorm Together!

This article at No Longer Quivering gives some insight onto the tactics and motivations of Tract Thrusters. You’ve probably encountered at least one of these annoyingly religious folks who make it their business to get up in your business and thrust their terrible tracts at you, then run off having convinced themselves they’ve done something heroic. Or you’ve dealt with a shiny doorknocking person who’s just convinced you’ll come right to Jesus once you’ve heard their Extra Special Message You’ve Only Heard 1000x Before, and obviously you’ll want to forego sleep, food, etc. to hear the Good News.

Image shows an orange and white kitty dressed as a Mormon missionary, being held sitting up on its owner's lap with a mini Book Of Mormon.  Caption says, "Have you heard the good word about Ceiling Cat, Brother?c

Oftentimes, we’re caught flat-footed. Especially in the case of Tract Thrusters who impose themselves upon us in public without warning, we may not be ready with an instant riposte. So let’s think of creative ways to respond if some zealot tries to force religious tracts upon us.

For instance: if I’m in a hurry, I’ll hand their tract back, saying, “That’s so thoughtful, but I’m overstocked on butt wipes from bigots. Have a nice day!” If I have time and inclination, I shall sit down with them and ask them to explain exactly what each bit means, asking them to define terms like “God” and explain to me how the more violent or gross verses and stories in the Bible (or Holy Book in question) apply to the tract in question. Intersperse with horribly embarrassing personal anecdotes about fictional uncouth religious family members. Repeat until they flee.

Of course, the most efficient response would be to reciprocate with tracts from the Satanic Temple. Alas, those only come in a swag bag, but for cheap comebacks to religious solicitation, perhaps these spiffy buttons will do. And maybe, as an ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I should write a tract or two myself…

What’s your strategy? Have you already countered a Tract Thruster with a brilliant counter-ploy? Do tell!

“The Gravity Keeping My World In Place Was Gone” – Escape Chapter 7: Marriage

All of the content warnings, people. Have your emergency kitten on standby. In the final pages of this chapter of Escape, we get a first-hand look at what a forced polygamous marriage looks like.

Two days ago, the Prophet announced Carolyn could go to college – but she has to marry virtual stranger and terrible human Merril Jessop first. Carolyn, her dad, and her two moms arrive in Salt Lake City for her wedding to a man 32 years her senior. She hasn’t spoken with him. She doesn’t even want him to touch her. But when her father only gets two hotel rooms, she realizes she’s going to be forced to sleep with Merril. As her mothers get her dressed and coiffed for the ceremony, she feels like she’s “being prepared for a ritual sacrifice.” [Read more…]

“My Future Had Just Vanished” – Escape Chapter 7: Marriage

This chapter of Escape is going to infuriate you. I would advise you to have some time set aside for self-care afterward. Find something you can hurl, and something to hurl it at that won’t break. Maybe get a stick to bite down on, or a pillow you can scream into, if you’re reading this while others are trying to sleep.

Content Note for forced marriage, child marriage, sexual abuse, and misogynistic assholes.

Carolyn is still intent on becoming a pediatrician. She’s just graduated high school and worked the following year as a teacher’s assistant while attending community college. She knows she’ll need to attend a good four-year college in order to pursue her dream. For most of us, the biggest problem would be money. As long as we’d worked our academic asses off like Carolyn did, we’d have no trouble getting in to at least one excellent school. And our parents would be 100% behind having a doctor in the family. They’d move heaven and earth to help us fulfill our dream.

Carolyn can’t even tell her dad she wants to be a doctor. The most she risks telling him is that she wants to go to college. Just stop here a moment and picture that. Imagine having a parent with the power to keep you home, one who may destroy your dream in a heartbeat, just because he may decide your only possible use as a human being will be as an incubator. [Read more…]