Ask Dawkins to reconsider his evaluation of the harms of “mild pedophilia”

I would very much like it if people stopped treating Dawkins as the Secular Pope. We don’t want any “leaders” in this movement, and yet friends of the secular movement will bow and scrape, and foes will treat him as the King of Atheism whose decrees are handed down from on high for all to internalize. Hell, half the time we can barely decipher what he’s saying. Take Twitter for example. A 140 character limit does the man no justice whatsoever — he does not wear “pithy” well.

His recent misstep is, as I’m sure you’re all aware, less than pithy — he’s been given plenty of time and space to bring this intellectual pursuit to full flower, and this is what he’s come up with: his recent suggestion that being sexually assaulted as a child is less bad than being brought up religious, and that one shouldn’t condemn sexual assault done in another era under different social mores.
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Chrstian propaganda: Every Young Man’s Battle

This is a brutally clever re-cutting of a Christian anti-porn propaganda movie, showing all sorts of examples of people being so addicted to porn that they’ve ruined lives, and suggesting the only way to kick the habit is — like with everything else — to get right with Jesus. Funny that that always seems to be the panacea. And funny the sources they picked to back up their assertions — like Ted Fucking Bundy himself. That’s right, trust the serial killer and sociopath, bordering on criminal supervillain, to tell the truth when a lie could do so much more damage.

To be perfectly clear, there is a (slightly controversial) subtype of hypersexual disorder for pornography, but “porn addiction” is not presently recognized by the DSM. If anything, it’s a compulsive disorder much like gambling.

And for those who aren’t prone to life-ruining compulsive disorders, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some pornography, even kinky stuff, as long as it involves fully-consenting adults. There’s nothing inherently wrong about exploring one’s own, nor one another’s, sexuality as long as consent is kept paramount. The fact that the god-botherers would rather nobody ever have sex except for procreative purposes, and even then to keep it as vanilla as possible, is shameful — they’re telling humans, in all their rainbow of sexual proclivities, that they’re broken, and the only way to fix themselves is to abstain from everything and seek forgiveness. Trying to convince us we’re broken, and that only they have the cure.

That’s the real shame here. Not that they’re playing people with a real condition as object lessons to the rest of the human race to make more Christians. They’re making something generally natural a sin. It’s sad, really.

Trailer: ChristCORE

I very much enjoy heavy metal music, with sounds that evoke imagery of primal battles and emotional release. Hardcore music is the genre’s intellectual successor in many ways, coming out of the punk rock movement in a sort of convergent evolution. And yet… even such a rebellious, discordant and anti-authoritarian genre of music is apparently not immune to being Jesusified.

ChristCORE Trailer from Robin Schlaht on Vimeo.

I don’t know how anyone can mistake the sort of subservience to arbitrary rules handed down by an authority that is completely out of reach one must evince to be a Christian, for the sort of rebellious attitude apparent in hardcore music. The mindsets do not overlap in any way, so I’m completely at a loss as to how people can compartmentalize to such a degree. It would be like being a vegan trying to spread their food philosophy by actively cooking and eating meat right in front of others.

I Get Email Too: On religious symbols, double meanings, and passing

In my FtBCon talk Mission Creep, I briefly touched on the episode in my life when I wore a plain silver crucifix hoping to “pass” as Christian in my predominantly French Catholic town:

Chi Rho, the "Monogram of Christ", one of the earliest symbols of Christianity

Chi Rho, the “Monogram of Christ”, one of the earliest symbols of Christianity

I felt isolated. I felt like I had to “pass” as Christian. I put on airs of being a Christian, wearing a plain silver crucifix, hoping that was enough to camouflage what was going on in my head. I justified wearing it, mentally, because I really liked the Castlevania game series — a game that used what scattered religious iconography it could slip past the censors at Nintendo of America. The cross was used as a smart bomb that killed all the enemies on screen; and there was a throwing weapon that was originally a cross-shaped boomerang but whose graphics had been altered to avoid the overt parallel. I was amused that I was wearing an icon that to me represented a video game I liked, but to everyone else a symbol of their devout faith.

It turns out I wasn’t the only one. This part of the talk, among a few others, resonated with one of the viewers and they wrote to me to express appreciation that their own life’s trajectory to and through deconversion worked much the same way. They mentioned that their wearing of the cross took on other stealth meanings as well, which I pressed them on. They agreed to my publishing their story here, in hopes of sparking a conversation.

I stopped believing that God was unambiguously good a long time before I stopped believing in the existence of God.

Basically, I read the story of Abraham and Isaac in my Illustrated Story Bible and the idea that what God wants = what I should do was immediately and unambiguously undone by the news that God had asked a guy to stab his son and set the son on fire for him. That was when I was about six years old.

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Newsworthy: Not every one of Pat Robertson’s opinions is detestible!

Given his history of racism, misogyny, his anti-science doublethink, ludicrous take on suicide, his belief that gays and feminists and the ACLU cause natural disasters, his belief that you should exorcise second-hand goods, not to mention his opinionation on the cause of the forever-ongoing Haitian hardship, you might be forgiven if it comes as a surprise to you that once in a while, Unky Pat has a viewpoint that isn’t completely damaging to the human race.

It should come as absolutely no surprise to you, however, that the non-odious viewpoint he’s just evinced has got his brothers-in-Christ all up in arms.


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Hilariously awful Christian End Times movie – title needed

Who says Christians aren’t capable of taking their mythos and creating true works of art?

Yes, this film looks like what would happen if you took Mad Max, Fallout, Star Wars and the Bible and stuck them in a blender. Yes, there’s a multitude of mullets. Yes, the laser effects are absolute crap, and the laser light show gratuitous. Yes, that guy should have actually shot after turning his gun on the warlord. Yes, this looks like an absurdly high budget for your average Jesusification of a genre movie. Yes, I have no idea why I’m itemizing things here.

I guess I’m saying I need to see this because it looks Nineties-riffic. Does anyone know the title of this, that is obviously someone’s magnum opus?

Found at Everything Is Terrible.

Should Spider-Man be gay?

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

Spider-Man kissing dudes upside-down, sans rain. Photo by Philip Bonneau, stolen from Project Q Atlanta.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching right-wingers lose their shit over people NOT treating homosexuals as eeeevul deviant pre-verts, except perhaps watching an entire media’s fandom lose their shit over an idea for injecting novelty into their favourite franchise that involves, you know, actually changing it. This is one of those rare celestial alignment type coincidences that is probably pretty unlikely to happen again any time soon. We should take careful note, and savour it for all it’s worth.

Andrew Garfield, star of the current iteration of Spider-Man movies — a franchise that, full disclosure, I absolutely love, and for which I found the Sam Raimi movies underwhelming at best — has suggested to the director, then publicly, that he sees no reason that Peter Parker shouldn’t be gay, exploring his sexuality in a rebooted universe where it turns out MJ is a guy.

Right-Wing Watch reports that this has majorly rustled the jimmies of Charisma’s Jennifer LeClaire:

Really? Don’t we have enough gay comic book heroes? About this time last year, DC Comics outed the Green Lantern. When he’s not wearing his neon-green garb and accomplishing superhuman feats, the chiseled Green Lantern enjoys kissing his new boyfriend. As I noted in my column last year, perhaps DC Comics was trying to compete with its rival, Marvel Comics, which announced just days earlier that it would host the first gay wedding in the June 20 issue of Astonishing X-Men #51.

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Send Ben Sweatervest someplace where he’ll be put to work!

Ben Sweatervest, who proposed to me very shortly after we met, is raising funds to do something absolutely amazing. You know how Christian groups do that culturally-polluting thing of going over to “the heathen countries”, and making aid to their peoples contingent on conversion (or faking conversion) to their religion? Well, the Foundation Beyond Belief has taken that idea and done it right: sending humanists abroad to both provide aid and scope out the territory for potential allies in founding their master plan for world domination — err, I mean, setting up a whole shitload of secular service groups worldwide.

It’s called the Pathfinders Project, and to get it done, they need your help.

Hi,

You may or may not know me, but I’ll assume you don’t. I am a microbiology/pre-med student that has worked extensively in the Secular and Humanist worlds for the past several years. I have grown to love this community, and it has always been a loving supportive place for me.

And I feel that this community can come together and make amazing things happen. That is why I am spending the next year working with the Pathfinders Project to do service projects in developing countries. Through the Pathfinders Project, I and 3 other volunteers will be going to several developing nations, including Cambodia, Uganda, Ghana, Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Guatemala, to do service work with existing nonprofits and NGOs to design, implement, and complete clean water, education, and environmental conservation projects.

This project will also play a role in shaping the Humanist movement, because it will serve as a research trip for the Humanist Service Corps. As we engage in service in each location, we will also be collecting data about potential partner organizations and countries in order to evaluate sites for the eventual Humanist Service Corps.

The work that we will be doing will have an important effect on both the service locations and our movement. I am incredibly excited, but we need your support!

He totally stole that opening stinger music at the start of the video from a fake news video I made a while back for some stupid work thing.

The prizes for funding his IndieGoGo project include: a wistful sigh while saying your name, VIDEO of said wistful sigh, an EMarriage Certificate (legal in most major nation-states!*), or even one of his trademark sweatervests!

And, not only that, but you’ll be sending a damn good person overseas to do a damn lot of good, in ways that don’t make that good contingent on belief in some invisible imaginary deity. A damn sight more palatable than missionary work — as long as they’re working with local allies and getting their actions right!

Oh, did I mention we’re engaged? I think he just wants Canadian citizenship, though. Sadly, polyamorous marriage is not legal in Canada. Plus, I keep catching him kneeling at other people and asking them some question I can’t quite hear, but he just keeps saying he’s being polite. I’m starting to suspect he’s interested in other people.

* (It’s probably legal to own one of these, I mean.)

Ashley, Heina and I talking about rape, comics and conventions

Three disparate topics, not exactly light conversation to start off, but we got progressively less ragey at least. It was an interesting conversation tonight on the Ashley F. Miller Show. (The F stands for “Fuckin'”. [No it doesn’t. And you’d know that if you’d watched FtBCon!])

It was a relief to be on a panel I wasn’t running, with people who needed no prompting to set things up appropriately, after having done that all weekend long. Though I think I might be burned out on public appearances for a little bit. Let me restock on spoons for a bit, then we’ll see.

Also: I can’t believe I misattributed the nude revolutionary calendar to Taslima Nasreen. Now both she and Maryam Namazie are going to hate me. :(