A Dynasty Falls

And good riddance.

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty reality television show, recently did an interview in GQ — yes, Gentlemen’s Quarterly — wherein he described how his evangelical Christian beliefs come into conflict with the idea that some people might be gay in an absolutely offensive display of what many Christians really do believe. His TV show on A&E about his family of conservative rednecks — who became rich after he built an empire on the Duck Commander duck lures — now faces the terrible wrath of public opinion.

When my sister heard the news that he’d given his interview in GQ, and that GLAAD had publicly denounced his words, she posted a link on her Facebook wall. One of her friends — an ex co-worker apparently — swanned in to drop this steaming pile of opinion on her wall about how terrible it was… that anyone was asking A&E to reconsider hosting this douchenozzle’s opinion.
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Paul Cameron: “Gays more likely to have sex with kids and animals, according to survey produced by My Rectum”

Okay, that’s not an exact quote, but damned if it’s not close enough to be serviceable. Some survey this anti-gay group produced, has apparently determined that a quarter of gays have had sex with kids or animals. I’d love to see the methodology used. Actually, hell — I’d love to see evidence that the “survey” exists at all.

How many times must we say it? Pedophilia and bestiality are problems because of consent, and the inability to obtain informed consent from the other participants. Lack of informed enthusiastic consent is the core and only factor that makes it acceptable for society as a whole to frown upon any sexual activity, in my view. And the reason that it’s harmful to children to have sex with them, even if they think they’re mature enough to handle the repercussions and think they’re consenting, is that psychologically, most of the time, they’re not.

The only reason these preachers and evangelists and homophobes go to that well is because they know that people (rightly) frown upon bestiality and pedophilia, and they involve sexual acts that are not part of “normal sex education”, and so are taboo. The parallels are drawn along taboo-sex and sex shaming lines, but the parallels fail on the one test that actually matters about those acts.

Linus Torvalds rages against Microsoft, with a side-order of splash damage

It’s no secret that I’m a Linux guy. I love open source software. I’m not the greatest coder in the world, but I get by. I’m not the greatest scripter in the world, but I get by. Computers are my bread and butter, and considering my livelihood and my freedom to choose what software to use is threatened by this, I’ll be damned if I stand idly by while Microsoft engages in their latest and possibly greatest power-play ever — controlling what operating systems are digitally signed and allowed to run on your computer in the UEFI boot standard they’ve created and are demanding hardware manufacturers support.

The move is ostensibly intended to prevent rootkits that aren’t signed by a signing authority from running on your computer, but its real effect is that every operating system that isn’t Microsoft-made will have to come grovelling before Microsoft to have their operating systems signed just so that your computer will run them. It is, in effect, leveraging a virtual monopoly into a true one — while their marketshare was slipping, suddenly if your computer will only run a Microsoft-approved OS, you’re at MS’ whims.

I’ve already butted up against this issue once, after buying my current laptop and failing miserably to install Ubuntu until I discovered that UEFI was the new spanner thrown into the works. I had to disable that — being told by my computer how vulnerable I was leaving myself to hackers, and being informed by various websites how fortunate I was that ASUS, my laptop’s manufacturer, deigned fit to ALLOW me to disable UEFI booting — before I could install the operating system of my choice.

Others may not be so lucky, it seems. So Red Hat has decided to try to have Microsoft sign their distribution of Linux. And Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator and godfather, was hopping mad. On the Linux Kernel Mailing List, he scolded Michael Garrett of Red Hat:

On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Matthew Garrett wrote:
>
> There’s only one signing authority, and they only sign PE binaries.

Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest.

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Ashley Miller loses her father

If you haven’t already seen this post by Ashley Miller, you probably should. Especially if you’re under some misapprehension that we’re in a post-racial society just because Obama got 51% of the vote. She didn’t lose her father to disease, or to an accident. She lost her father because her father decided his Southern upbringing was more important than his filial relationship.

I’m sorry to be doing this over the phone, your father has forbidden me from seeing you in person. I’m sorry, he just cannot support your lifestyle anymore, he will not be speaking to you again, he asked me to tell you.

That was my stepmother, the day after Thanksgiving, the day after she discovered I was dating someone. Someone who was not white. Someone who was black. Someone who was sitting in the next room and knew what the phone call was going to be about before it even started.

Your father wants you to know that he still loves you. But you’ve gone too far.

This broke my damn heart.

And what’s more is, I’ve seen something very similar myself when my father all but disowned my sister for being gay. And in a way, it would have been better if he had disowned her, rather than simply harboring a “father knows best” grudge that he brings up every time we communicate with one another. My sister and I are both practically estranged from my father except for the very rare and awkward call. Whenever these calls happen, I cringe inwardly knowing that if conversations venture anywhere near my sister’s “life choices” and his disapproval, I’ll let fly with a rant about how she no more chose her sexuality than I chose my eye color.

And yes, I know that elides a lot of the argument of how much sexuality is a choice. But frankly, when someone talks about how they disapprove of someone else’s lifestyle choices, it damn well ought to be a lifestyle choice you have total control over. Who you love is not a choice you can truly make, any more than you can choose to be convinced about something. What you choose to accept as true without ever examining critically, on the other hand — especially if it’s a revulsion to a whole class of people so well internalized that all you can do to defend said revulsion is to preface your otherwise blatantly hateful statements with “I’ve got no problems with the coloreds or the the queers BUT” — that’s a choice.

You can choose to examine that loathing of miscegenation or of homosexuality. Or you can choose to lose a person who represents a valuable part of your life over your dogged determination to stick with your “traditions” or “values” because of how you were raised. It’s your call to make — to decide that your daughter’s happiness is expendable and must be subsumed into her strict obedience to the social mores of your older generation.

You may only get to make that call once, though. And you will both be the poorer for it.

Write your local MP: No more Canadian aid for Uganda while they’re murdering gays

Update: Please read Melanie Nathan’s caution on what should and shouldn’t be done to fight this initiative — she strongly urges that countries not withdraw aid because of this bill, because the LGBTI community will be scapegoated and targeted as a result.

I leave the rest of this post intact because I am concerned that they are already in trouble — every activist in Uganda risks being arrested as it stands, with or without economic sanctions from countries opposed to Uganda’s declared murderous intentions. Her advice is excellent for outsiders like us looking in, though.

Uganda’s apparently delivered an early “Christmas gift” — their words, not mine– to all the homophobic Christians in their theocratic regime. Thanks to GOP members, Catholic pastors, and other outside interference by various and sundry religious bigots, Uganda’s finally built enough momentum and passed the two-year-old proposed bill that will require the death penalty for the high crime of “aggravated homosexuality”. Update: Apparently Kadaga declaring that it will become law doesn’t make it set in stone. There’s a chance this won’t be passed despite her sabre-rattling.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said the anti-gay bill will become law by December since most Ugandans ‘are demanding it’.

Referring to the law as a ‘Christmas gift’ to the population, she spoke of ‘the serious threat’ posed by homosexuals.

The law will broaden the criminalization of same-sex relationships by dividing homosexuality into two categories; aggravated homosexuality and the offense of homosexuality.

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Petition to Chick-Fil-A: Stop serving cocks who like cock!

No, not cannibal chickens. This petition demands that Chick-Fil-A stop serving GAY chickens.

Chick-fil-A has a long history of supporting anti-gay organizations. Now their Chief Operating Officer (and founder’s son) Dan Cathy has said, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

But the harsh fact that Chick-fil-A ignores is that, as early as 1764, male chickens have been observed sexually mounting other cocks. How can Chick-fil-A claim to be truly committed to their selective and hateful misreading of the Biblical definition of marriage when the nearly 300 million sandwiches they sell yearly contain chickens, some or all of which might be gay?

Tell Chick-fil-A to put their money where their mouth is and only sell animals that are 100% heterosexual. (That rules out beef, too. Raccoon? Oops! There are homosexual raccoons, too. Er… maybe they can eat crow?)

CITATIONS:
Bagemihl, Bruce. “Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity.” St. Martin’s Press: New York City, 1999. (p. 83)

Neill, James. “The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations In Human Societies.” McFarland & Company: Jefferson, NC 2009. (p. 13)

So if you’re interested in reminding those folks of the ubiquity of homosexuality in the natural world, signing this petition is a good way to do it.

Did Chick-Fil-A bear false witness not once but twice?

“Lying for Jesus” is not a new tactic, but it’s certainly a hypocritical one, if you’ve decided that it is more important to follow the rules set out in the Bible than to trust your basic human empathy to guide you in dealing with other human beings. It’s fascinating to me that someone can square a dogmatic need to force everyone to adhere to one lesser set of guidelines in the Bible involving where you’re allowed to put your penis, while completely failing to follow one major rule set forth as a Commandment: thou shalt not bear false witness. Bearing false witness means, in no uncertain terms, lying — the rule, therefore, means “do not lie”.

And yet, Chick-Fil-A has possibly lied twice in their recent PR campaign to weather a crisis caused by their anti-gay COO Dan Cathy.
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Dear racist, misogynist, homophobic trolls: THANK YOU!

Clever Pie has crafted what could be the ultimate love song to the most useless and hate-filled parts of the internet. Also known as, “its general populace”.

I really hope those of you who get off on this kind of trolling see this video and have a moment of self-reflection. You know, at least long enough to realize that maybe you should re-lube and switch hands. No no, don’t stop to wipe the Dorito spice off. It’ll make it tingle.

Hat tip to Man Boobz and, in turn, Feministe.

Maddow on GOP homophobia flip-flopping: “absolute bull”

I can’t believe this nonsense about Thorne-Begland being blocked from becoming a judge by Republicans because he’s gay. Impeccable credentials, bipartisan support, and a waxing public support for gays, and yet these backward-looking Republicans are entrenching themselves in their homophobia.

Only now that they’ve realized their anti-gay opinions are anathema to public discourse, they’re lying about it!

I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprise.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Gay screeds result in CCOKC: Child Celebrities Opposed to Kirk Cameron

We here in the atheist community have known for a very long time that Kirk Cameron is a total asshat. His creationist screeds and antiscience campaigns were evidently not quite sufficient to generate outrage amongst his peers, but as it turns out, his latest anti-gay nonsense finally put him over the top. A number of child celebrities have banded together and formed a group to oppose his nonsense once and for all.

Now if only they’d also speak out against the nonsense he spews about evolution or the secular founding of America, our least-favorite Growing Pain might finally fade from public view.