Christianity’s deep fear of exposure


cyrus

Miley Cyrus has done a nude photo shoot. To which I shrug, and note that we’re all naked under our clothes, and that I’m not particularly interested in Miley Cyrus, or her music, or her opinions, so fine. I am unperturbed and unenthused.

But then, I’m not Ken Ham. Ham is distraught that she made fun of the cash cow he’s hoping to start milking, and I’ve noticed that the issues that most distress Answers in Genesis is any challenge that might impede the revenue stream.

Although she was raised Christian, Cyrus maintains a particular contempt for fundamentalist lawmakers who rally against this sort of progressive, potentially life-saving change. “Those people [shouldn’t] get to make our laws,” she says. Those people — the ones who believe that, say, Noah’s Ark was a real seafaring vessel. “That’s fucking insane,” she says. “We’ve outgrown that fairy tale, like we’ve outgrown fucking Santa and the tooth fairy.”

OK, I confess, I do like some of Cyrus’s opinions, including her promotion of veganism. Ken Ham does not, and seems to find it convenient that a mocker of his Ark is a pervert.

Miley Cyrus is a popular singer and actress who rose to fame and fortune after her role in the television series Hannah Montana. She became a teen idol because of that role. But what parent would want their child looking up to someone like this today who now as an adult shakes her fist at God and promotes sexual perversion?

Recently, Cyrus posed nude for Paper magazine. (By the way, the origin of clothing is in Genesis when God gave clothes because of our sin—the first blood sacrifice as a covering—a picture of what was to come in Jesus Christ who would die for our sin; see Genesis 3:21.). Now, I will not direct people to that pagan magazine by linking to it, but many news sources carried quotes from the interview she did with this magazine.

Isn’t theology fun? I had to read Genesis 3:21 to see what he was babbling about.

21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

So an angry god slaughtered some animals and made coats to cover up Adam and Eve’s newly naughty bits, which is just like killing Jesus to cover up our sins. Ooooookaaaaay. I notice that in the second instance he didn’t make anyone a nice Jesus-skin coat, and now I’m kinda wanting one. Curse you god! <shakes fist at sky> Where’s my flayed Jesus apparel?

Ham goes on and on about all this wacky interpretation of his old book. You don’t get to reject the goofy book of Genesis (or paying $29.95 to enter his “museum”), because if you do, you are COURTING ETERNAL DAMNATION.

The same expletive was used a number of times in the interview. As you read what she reportedly said, it becomes very obvious that it’s not just the biblical accounts of the Ark and Flood in Genesis she is dismissing, but she is rejecting our Ark of salvation—Jesus Christ. Really, Noah’s Ark is a picture of salvation. As Noah and his family went through a door to be saved, so we need to go through a door to be saved from sin and its eternal effects of separation from God. God’s Son became a man (a perfect man—the God-man) to die on a cross and be raised from the dead to pay the penalty for our sin of rebellion against our Holy Creator.

I love it when they try to weave a seamless garment from the biblical mish-mash, because when they do, one little fray and the whole damn thing falls apart, and they’re left as naked as Miley Cyrus. There was no Adam and Eve; there was a population of primates splitting off from another population of primates. There was no global flood. There was no big boat that saved a tiny, genetically inadequate population of 8 people.

Therefore, by their own reasoning, there was no salvation by torturing one guy 2000 years ago, and Christianity is false. Yay! All done! The whole structure disintegrates by finding one flaw!

Thank you, Miley Cyrus, for destroying Christianity.

But of course, the kind of fanatical Christian represented by Ham does not actually accept falsifiability. The desired conclusion justifies believing absurdities, and believing them hard.

It also helps that it’s profitable. Ham ends his complaints with an advertisement, suggesting that Cyrus come visit his “Ark Encounter” when it’s done. Or the Creation “Museum”! That would be fun. Did you know there’s a wrecking ball in there?

wreckingball

Comments

  1. rietpluim says

    Heh. I think I’m starting to like Miley Cyrus.

    I liked the picture of the pig better, but still.

  2. says

    “pay the penalty for our sin of rebellion against our Holy Creator.”

    What do you mean OUR sin, paleface?

    It was Adam and Eve who sinned, not me. They might require Christ’s sacrifice, but “the sins of the father” is a really stupid idea that my classmates and I were catching out in Bible study at age 12 and arguing about with the rebbe.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Ham got Genesis all discombobulated. (no surprise)
    When God created Adam and Eve, he left them in the Garden, fully naked and uninhibited. Only when Eve sinned did she become aware of her nakedness and became so modest that her holding bushes to cover her “naughty bits” was the CLUE [to omniscient Gawd, he needed a clue?] that she ate the fruit HE forbade. So Gawd gave us clothes because we asked for them to hide our nakedness. Not because clothes were a sacred blessing, to cover the awful body He created us with. etc. etc. To go all ‘bornagain hippy-ish’, the body is holy, god’s greatest creation, and we should NOT be embarrassed to leave it visible. [lookin at you, Mo]
    I think Ham-ster needs to read that Book, of his, a little more thoroughly, and not just cherrypick it to pieces.

    re @2:

    but “the sins of the father” is a really stupid idea

    that idea is not only stupid, definies itself as disqulified. As in, sins of the father, in that “theory”, only extends 7 generations. I’m pretty sure we’ve gone past that expiration date.

  4. Randomfactor says

    We know your history, PZ. No posing naked on the wrecking ball!

  5. getkind says

    I note with relief that the Answers In Genesis myth-planation is no longer Google’s top response to the question “What happened to the dinosaurs?”

  6. says

    …it’s not just the biblical accounts of the Ark and Flood in Genesis she is dismissing, but she is rejecting our Ark of salvation—Jesus Christ.

    Really? Did she actually reject the teachings of Jesus? That’s not the same as rejecting an OT folktale — Jesus himself rejected bits of the OT — and Hammy is being laughably dishonest when he gets those things confused.

  7. iknklast says

    Raging Bee, I suspect he’s like another fundamentalist I knew, who explained to me in all seriousness that if you reject the Old Testament, you reject the New Testament. Without man’s fall and sin, there was no need for Jesus to die, and therefore, Christianity falls. While he was referring to evolution and the creation myth (he had a masters in zoology and totally rejected evolution. It was horrifying), this would also refer to the Noah myth, I’m sure, since it is part and parcel of the whole thing. To many of the Christians I’ve known (the conservative, fundamentalist ones), to reject one single sentence of the Bible is to reject the entire edifice of Christianity. So he’s assuming she rejects Jesus, because he doesn’t believe in liberal Christianity.

  8. Anna Elizabeth says

    I love Miley. She’s an out-and-proud Bisexual young woman that’s living as she chooses. For those that don’t like her music, may I suggest watching this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpz-5MO4nYw&list=PLaNU44PaThMI_a65u2vf379u0B97jjL7u&index=18

    ^ “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”, just to see how her voice has matured?

    As for Ken Ham? Another worthless Xtian proclaiming his moldy, warmed-over Bronze Age mythology gives him authority to control women.

  9. Artor says

    Huh. A few years ago, I made some comment about Cyrus, hoping that she might actually mature into an intelligent & talented individual & surprise us all. I was shooting my mouth off at the time, but whaddya know? I find myself surprised. I can’t say I care much for her music, but I think I’m starting to like Miley Cyrus.

  10. zenlike says

    Flayed Jesus Apparel. I imagine some tongue-in-cheek post-metal band. Either that or an Arcade fire cover band.

  11. Matrim says

    @9 iknklast

    I suspect he’s like another fundamentalist I knew, who explained to me in all seriousness that if you reject the Old Testament, you reject the New Testament.

    I’ll bet dollars to donuts that they still rejected the OT when it came to the blended fabrics, agriculture, pork, shellfish, and beard grooming parts because it’s “temple law” and not “godly god god law” (technical term).

  12. says

    And to think, I used Hannah Montana as a threat when my daughters would refuse to clean their rooms. It was amazing how much power that one cd had.

  13. says

    …who explained to me in all seriousness that if you reject the Old Testament, you reject the New Testament…

    A lot of the people who say this sort of thing explicitly reject bits of the New Testament they don’t like. Like the teachings of Jesus himself…

  14. freemage says

    Anna Elizabeth: Honestly, the only gripe against Ms. Cyrus that I’ve heard that had any sticking power (outside of taste-based opinions, which are personal and fine) were the complaints about her show at… was it the MTV music awards? The one with the appropriated twerking and the distressingly pedo-friendly themes. And honestly, I don’t know how much of that was her, personally, versus her management team. Everything else is basically just ripping on a young woman because she seems like an easy target.

  15. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    See, now that is an ad hominem. “This person poses nude, therefore she is a pervert, therefore her opinions on religion are wrong. QED.” Clueless denizens of the internet take note; and stop calling insults “ad hominems”.

  16. Alverant says

    I saw her at the NYC ball drop and she acted a bit too self absorbed for my taste. I don’t care for her music or her ego or her self promotion or for making twerking a thing. But that’s just my opinion. If she wants to parade around nude, that’s her business. If she wants to make fun of AiG then I’m all for it.

  17. Anna Elizabeth says

    I didn’t watch the MTV thing, so I wont comment on that, as for twerking, I see lots of girls twerk on rave videos and such.

    Before I started wearing all my Pride jewelry, I’ve had clerks at the Supermarket make comments if I grabbed a magazine with Miley on the cover. It gets tiring to hear about “oh, that girl’s gone to the Devil” while I’m just trying to pay for my groceries.

    Now that I’m very obviously out, I get fewer comments, but more staring. XD

  18. Richard Smith says

    I notice that in the second instance he didn’t make anyone a nice Jesus-skin coat, and now I’m kinda wanting one. Curse you god! Where’s my flayed Jesus apparel?

    Well, you know, by that point God had mellowed out a bit, what with becoming a father and all, so he was probably a bit more environmentally conscious, maybe even a bit anti-fur. That’s why he left a Jesus-print instead of a skin.

  19. says

    “Did you know that underneath their clothing the entire population of the world is walking around completely naked?”

    Sam the Eagle

  20. says

    Miley Cyrus’ Backyard Sessions version of Jolene is fan-bloody-tastic. The woman certainly has talent. She also doesn’t seem to give a shit about all the fuddy-duddies who are aghast that a former Disney child star refused to go away once she reached adulthood and is now making her way as she wants to.

    Count me as a converted fan.

  21. leerudolph says

    As in, sins of the father, in that “theory”, only extends 7 generations. I’m pretty sure we’ve gone past that expiration date.

    Presumably enough members of that first 7 generations, being both Originally Sinful (via their fathers) and Not Saved, both (a) committed new sins of their owns and (b) fathered [1] children of their own. So the whole thing slides along in a crowd of 7-generation-wide humps along the genealogical charts.

    [1] Gendered verb used deliberately. Mitochondrial Eve, meet Mightysinfulold Adam.

  22. coffeehound says

    She became a teen idol because of that role. But what parent would want their child looking up to someone like this today who now as an adult shakes her fist at God and promotes sexual perversion?

    Oh, absolutely I wouldn’t! I learned early as a parent as your role models go, so goes your child! I’ve made it a point to pick the purest of Christian role models, like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker to preach the word of God to my children……and the Duggars….they seem like good, Godly people….

  23. Sastra says

    “Now, I will not direct people to that pagan magazine by linking to it …”

    Okay, I was pretty sure in advance of my investigation, but I followed PZ’s link to Paper magazine just to confirm that no, it’s not really run by, for, and about pagans and paganism. From what I can tell it’s mostly about pop culture. I know you’re all surprised.

    I love watching the battle between paganism and atheism. Not that battle, the one where we examine claims and try to figure out what the hell the pagans are talking about, –but the contentious race to the bottom as viewed by Christian fundamentalists. WHO is worse? The pagans or the atheists? Is secularism pagan (the Greeks?) Or is it atheistic (humanism?) When you want to show that something is wrong or everything is going to hell in a handbasket, what’s the label? Is it pagan … or atheist?

    Of course, the third contender is devil-worshippers, but I don’t think I see “Satanists” being used much today as a blanket term for the guilty and/or blame-worthy rabble indifferent to God. Which is one reason why the recent appearance of genuine self-designated Satanists into the church/state debate is pretty damn amusing.

  24. CJO, egregious by any standard says

    The thing to notice about clothing in Genesis 2-3 is that, in 3:10-11, Adam and Eve are not naked; back in 3:7 they made loincloths out of leaves. Which is a clue as to what actually is salient to the Iron Age author about nakedness and clothing. It doesn’t have anything to do with sex per se, or “naughty bits” or even “sin” as that concept has come to us filtered by Christian theology. The issue with various states of undress (and indeed with all of the ramifications of eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad) is the human ability to recognize ahead of time favored and disfavored states. When the pair first eats of the fruit they are alone together, and find nudity inappropriate for the first time so they make a minimal effort to cover up. When Yahweh ambles by, the master of the garden and Adam’s social superior, a minimal state of dress is in turn disfavored. A man and his wife in domestic privacy may find acceptable modes of dress that would not be acceptable in the presence of social superiors. The Garden story, for its original author and audience, was not about a Fall from Grace or Sin or any of Ken Ham’s hobby horses at all. It’s an etiology for a variety of ways in which human beings uniquely differ from the rest of the animals, and rather a clever one for all that it’s been obscured by the detritus of moralizing interpretation over the millennia.

  25. says

    Alverant @ # 18

    I saw her at the NYC ball drop and she acted a bit too self absorbed for my taste. I don’t care for her music or her ego or her self promotion or for making twerking a thing.

    She didn’t “make twerking a thing” — it was already a thing. Note: That was definitely problematic. But Miely Cyrus is still very young, and she will make mistakes and that should be okay. She is still growing up, in front of our faces. We cannot expect perfection from our young women. That’s not fair. (It seems to me that young women in the entertainment industry are expected to be far more perfect than young men who can basically get away with anything and it’s normal, but heaven forbid a young female rock star act like a rock star — oh no! she’s the worst!)

    For someone so incredibly “self-absorbed”, she has raised a LOT of money for LGBT youth…

    She has stated, more than once, that she knows she gets attention, and she feels obligated to do some good in the world because of that attention. How is that self-absorbed? No, she’s not perfect, but she is actively trying to make the world a better place.

    I wonder how many people here dismissing her have actually bothered to read the Paper article.

    Eventually, she says, the problem of homelessness became impossible for her to ignore. “I can’t drive by in my fucking Porsche and not fucking do something,” she says. “I see it all day: people in their Bentleys and their Rolls and their Ubers, driving past these vets who have fought for our country, or these young women who have been raped.” She pauses. “I was doing a show two nights ago, and I was wearing butterfly nipple pasties and butterfly wings. I’m standing there with my tits out, dressed like a butterfly. How the fuck is that fair? How am I so lucky?”

    But because she’s young and attractive and has a lot of energy and is in the entertainment industry, she’s “self-absorbed” and has an ego. And apparently you’re able to determine she’s self-absorbed and has an ego all from ONE New Year’s Eve TV appearance, like, the biggest party of the year. Seems reasonable.

  26. says

    You know, Miley Cyrus reminds me SO MUCH of the LGBT youth activists I volunteered with and who volunteered for me back when I lived in Phoenix.

    They’d spend their days protesting and feeding LGBT youth homeless and volunteering at charity events, and then they’d spend their evenings partying their asses off. Not perfect, no, but full of passion, and ready to get their hands dirty or risk arrest for what they believed in.

    Miley Cyrus and her fans are the future Social Justice Warriors. Make way.

  27. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Sastra wrote above:

    Of course, the third contender is devil-worshippers, but I don’t think I see “Satanists” being used much today as a blanket term for the guilty and/or blame-worthy rabble indifferent to God.

    To pile on:
    Atheists are against Satanism also. As you know. we atheists [to speak generically] are against Religion. period. regardless of the “god” it is worshipping, or trying to appease. Likewise “paganism”, regardless of the “no god” aspect of paganism, it is effectively a religion. That is the badthing this atheist, objects to. but then again, I guess it could be said I worship rationality religiously, so I am thoroughly inconsistent. My only response is, “I contain multitudes…” ;-)

  28. says

    Wouldn’t a Jesus-skin coat just be a bunch of crackers stitched together? Stylish, perhaps, but not very functional in the rain.

  29. typecaster says

    …“the sins of the father” is a really stupid idea.

    One of the interesting surprises I ran across while reading the Bible (as we atheists are wont to do) is the rant against the whole idea of inherited sin in Ezekial 18. It’s one of my favorite passages to ask my Christian friends about when they start going on about that Original Sin thing.

  30. Usernames! (ᵔᴥᵔ) says

    From Hamster:

    But what parent would want their child looking up to someone like this today who now as an adult shakes her fist at God and promotes sexual perversion?

    Unlike the Bible, which has its own gems of sexual perversion?
    Take, for example, Genesis 38.

    :1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
    :2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.

    Judah “takes” an Adullamite and knocks her up. Then god totally kills his firstborn son, so Judah instructs his second-born to do his brotherly duty:

    :8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
    :9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
    :10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

    Cumming on the ground? That’s a killin’!

    Unfortunately, the third-born son wasn’t old enough to do the brotherly duty, so Jonah sends Tomar (the firstborn’s wife) packing until #3 was old enough to bang some out. Time passes and Tomar finds out Jonah never sent out #3 to her (because what’s a baby-making machine to do?), so she decides to fix Jonah but good: she changes clothes so she looks like a hooker and then sets up shop along the road where Jonah is sure to pass.

    :15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.
    :16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?
    :17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?
    :18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

    Tamar takes off and later, her baby-bump becomes obvious, which incites the old man.

    :24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.

    Remember kids! Woman having the sex outside of marriage: death by burnination. Man having the sex outside of marriage: ‘sokay, amirite?

    But she’s too smart for you, old man!

    :25 When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
    :26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.

    Cock. Block.

    Also, glory to god, for he provided the man on daughter-in-law sexy times and didn’t kill anyone for it (maybe he’d shot his load already?)

  31. Anna Elizabeth says

    The photos in the article aren’t bad. I have a couple of framed portraits of Miley nude, I think she enjoys her femininity. I love nude photos of women, not necessarily model-beautiful, some erotic, some artistic. I love the beauty and grace of women’s bodies.

    Those photos are the art I decorate my space with.

  32. Gregory Greenwood says

    I don’t really follow Miley Cyrus’ music, but I find myself appreciating her politics a great deal.
    About the pictures – shouldn’t someone warn her that exposed or inadequately covered breasts totally cause earthquakes? How many natural disasters could this photoshoot cause?

    (Yes – this is sarcasm in cae anyone is wondering)

  33. says

    Miley is certainly coming into her own, both as a performer and as an activist.

    To the former, in addition to her covers of “50 Ways” and “Jolene” referenced above (both of which are undeniable virtuoso performances), all of her 2015 Backyard Sessions (benefiting her “Happy Hippie Foundation” to help homeless lgbtq youth.) (I’d also highly recommend her cover of Happy Together)

    In particular you all need to listen to the cover of The Replacements “Androgynous” she did with Joan Jett and Laura Jane Grace: https://youtu.be/ZR6mM_zfxwE

    Honestly if that video doesn’t put a smile on your face then I don’t care to know you.

  34. unclefrogy says

    I would not take too serious Her appearing to be so full of herself that is part of her act and it is required as she sees it.
    It is similar to Lady Gaga and her performance persona like the meat dress outrageousness . That kind of thing works in the world of popular entertainment. It fills the seats and sells the music and puts you in the news.
    where as being all pious and doing good works like Jimmy Carter does not. The success that that helped Lady Gaga achieve gave her the freedom to do things like the duets with Tony Bennett.
    It is nice that Miley is able to use her success for more than just piling up crap to be king of the hill for a while. I am not a fan but that is just personal taste.
    It also fun to see fundy bufoons lose their shit over it!

    uncle frogy

  35. AlexanderZ says

    marilove #27

    For someone so incredibly “self-absorbed”, she has raised a LOT of money for LGBT youth…

    She did? Pray tell, how much money did the music star with a 150m$ net-worth raise for LGBT youth? And how much of it was her money, rather than that of low-payed ordinary people who won’t get a tax refund for charitable donations?

    Just to clarify: I’m not picking a fight with you or going after Cyrus in particular. It’s just I hate when the super-rich are praised for “raising awareness” or “raising donations” when they themselves pay little to nothing when you factor in their tax machinations.

  36. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    I will say I’m impressed by Miley being so out and open. It’s awesome to see. And I always thought she had talent, even if the MTV awards debacle kind of ruined it for me. That cover session @37 and some of the others there are amazing. Totally just changed my impression.

  37. Anton Mates says

    I thought it was a pity when Cyrus shot with Terry Richardson, because he’s a predatory scumbag–though I don’t know if that was a free or informed choice on her part, young as she was. But it’s nice to know that she ended up with a photographer who’s almost certainly less horrid, this time around.

    I suspect he’s like another fundamentalist I knew, who explained to me in all seriousness that if you reject the Old Testament, you reject the New Testament.

    Conversely, if you accept the Old Testament too completely, you’re probably a devout Jew and also reject the New Testament. Narrow is the path of reasoning that leads to eternal life!

  38. Pierce R. Butler says

    Our esteemed host: Curse you god! <shakes fist at sky>

    Note that he never employed an endtag to that bit of html, and thus remains in permanent sky-fist-shake mode.

    I betcha $1 that he leaves it open indefinitely, even after the next FtB server crash (unless maybe the techies beg him to unglitch the system).

  39. says

    Alexander Z

    There is nothing wrong with Miley making money. She is helping a lot of people. It’s more than just raising awareness and raising money. But you won’t bother doing that research and finding out yourself what she’s done, will you, Alexander? That’s okay. She didn’t ask you anyway.

  40. says

    Also, how do you know how much she’s worth, for certain? Or how much she’s given away of that? Don’t cite some shoddy “celeb net worth” website… none of them are very accurate.

  41. says

    I love Miley. She’s an out-and-proud Bisexual young woman that’s living as she chooses. For those that don’t like her music, may I suggest watching this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpz-5MO4nYw&list=PLaNU44PaThMI_a65u2vf379u0B97jjL7u&index=18
    ^ “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”, just to see how her voice has matured?

    Meh.

    Don’t get me wrong. She does have a wonderful voice and I think she’s very talented. Just… her music’s not my jam.

    I do admire her being so open. I love that she’s a Social Justice Warrior. Good for her. And the cultural appropriation conversation was legit; that was messed up. That said, she’s allowed to make mistakes on her journey through life; we all do. It’s what she does when being called out, and whether she learns from that and doesn’t make the same mistake multiple times after apologizing, that makes the difference. So far, so good in Miley’s case.

    She is someone to look up to, no doubt.

    I probably won’t have her music in my playlist anytime soon, but I’m rooting for her nonetheless.

  42. Anna Elizabeth says

    @NateHevens – No problem, I like that you can admire her but not enjoy her music. Different strokes and all that. :)

    @marilove & dysomniak – It’s all about the slut-shaming, isn’t it? Celestia forfend that an attractive female should enjoy her sexuality. I get crap about my sex life as well, and also for daring to be angry about the things I’ve survived, without checking with some man first to see if my feelings are approved.

  43. says

    I’m as anti-capitalist as anyone – when the revolution comes I’ll have no problem shaking down Miley and her friends for all their ill-gotten gains (to be distributed among the common people, of course) and if she refuses then I guess we’ll just have to put her back against the wall with all the other pigs*.

    But until we hit that point (and I’m sure most of you middle class fucks wouldn’t like it) I will continue to celebrate people of any socioeconomic class who fight for equality. If they do it while having the voice of a contralto angel, so much the better.

    *Apologies to actual pigs for using them as a slur

  44. says

    I’m usually a lurker and I’m a big fan, so sorry to speak up for the first time in years just to point out something I find questionable, but why is it that any time a celebrity who’s in the “love to hate” category does something people want to talk about, it’s so necessary to first point out how much you don’t like, or more frequently, *Don’t Care* about this person? Like nonexistent-god forbid anyone think you paid attention to a lowly pop star. And the majority of celebrities you see this phenomenon with are female pop stars or women who are famous just for using their image. You’re awesome, PZ, but why do you have to be so quick to distance yourself from this woman with the *I’m Too Cool To Care About Her* spiel? You clearly think it’s important enough for a blog post.

  45. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @51:
    reading your rant leaves me befuddled. I suggest you reread the OP. PZ just prefaced it with the “I don’t care about Miley” to maintain the focus on Hamster, who is slamming Miley, to sell his faux-Ark. And to defend her from Ham, who is slamming her pointlessly. Not because he is a rabid fan who would defend her from any criticism. Sorry to slam you, but I do think you are misreading the OP. Sorry to be rude, sorry to apologize repeatedly. Just trying to exercise my advice from that Hunt thread(s).

  46. Lesbian Catnip says

    I was 100% on board with this set until I saw the dangly thing above her vagina. Still trying to figure that one out.

  47. says

    @51 I agree. I think it’s a manifestation of the attitude commonly derided as “hipsterism” where one must always establish one’s credentials as “above it all” before offering any sort of approval to something that might be seen as “mainstream”. I’ve certainly fallen prey to it in the past myself.

    Steering back to the positive here’s a another of Miley’s “Backyard Sessions” where she sings backup to a trans woman’s song:
    https://youtu.be/ldWSMhu4CA4

  48. anteprepro says

    Is that Millions of Years wrecking ball an actual thing that actually exists? If so, what message was it meant to send? The message it sends to me is that the reality of that they allude to with their inane “Millions of Years” bleating nicely wrecks their little ideologies, but if it something they actually made, I doubt that is what they are going for. (Unless their argument is the utterly fantastic yet typical “logic” of saying “this contradicts strict literalist fundamentalist American Protestant Christianity, therefore it is a lie!”)

  49. David Marjanović says

    :15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

    Now that is interesting.

    (Unless their argument is the utterly fantastic yet typical “logic” of saying “this contradicts strict literalist fundamentalist American Protestant Christianity, therefore it is a lie!”)

    Close: it’s “be scared shitless of even contemplating the idea that the Earth is older than 6 ka, because once you let that idea in, in wrecks your faith, and then you burn forever”.

    @51 I agree. I think it’s a manifestation of the attitude commonly derided as “hipsterism” where one must always establish one’s credentials as “above it all” before offering any sort of approval to something that might be seen as “mainstream”.

    *eyeroll*

    1. Not everything anyone ever says is a message about social status.
    2. PZ only said “not particularly interested”; didn’t even express dislike.
    3. It’s clearly a rhetorical device as explained in comment 52.
    4. Not everything anyone ever says is a message about social status!

  50. AlexanderZ says

    marilove #44-45

    There is nothing wrong with Miley making money.

    There is something wrong about how much many she makes, though. And if in deed she, like every other super-rich, is using all available tax loop-holes to maximize her wealth – including refunds on charitable donation, I would say that there is also a problem with how she keeps and spends her money.

    She is helping a lot of people. It’s more than just raising awareness and raising money.

    Says you. Care to provide an example?

    Also, how do you know how much she’s worth, for certain?

    For certain? To the last cent? Nobody knows that, not even Cyrus. I do have estimates. While I agree that celebrity gossip sites are unreliable, they give a fairly good estimate as is reflected by previous Forbes estimates and the latest one. Note that I don’t have numbers for 2011, 2012 and 2013, nor the numbers for her expenses, but given what we know it’s a safe bet that she’s somewhere around 150m.$

    Or how much she’s given away of that?

    Good question. How do you know?
    I do know that her Happy Hippie Foundation is very new and hasn’t delivered a budget report as of yet. I know that she raised 200k$ for homeless teens, but I couldn’t find anyone saying it was her money (unsurprising considering the campaign was based of other people’s donations). As far as I can tell, her largest (or most famous) donation consisted of 500k$ for the fight against AIDS. Which, if Forbes is to be believed, is slightly less than 1.4% of her earnings for that year alone.

  51. AlexanderZ says

    Actually, I think I agree with dysomniak #50.
    My rant is against rich philanthropists in general and not Cyrus in particular. As such it belongs in the Thunderdome and not here.
    Cyrus does indeed deserve credit for her contribution to equality (even though she could give ten times more yearly without even a dent in her quality of life).

  52. Anton Mates says

    @51,

    but why is it that any time a celebrity who’s in the “love to hate” category does something people want to talk about, it’s so necessary to first point out how much you don’t like, or more frequently, *Don’t Care* about this person?

    Haven’t you answered your own question? If a celebrity’s in the “love to hate” category, that’s usually because they do stuff that pisses off a lot of people. So if you want to talk about something cool they did, you’re probably going to emphasize that you’re not also praising their history of drunk helicopter flying or whatever.

    (Not that I think Miley Cyrus is a love-to-hate celebrity for most people, but PZ didn’t say that he didn’t like her, either.)

    Like nonexistent-god forbid anyone think you paid attention to a lowly pop star.

    I think it’s less “lowly” and more “under half my age and working in genres I don’t listen to,” here. Likewise, I don’t know or care about One Direction’s music, artistic inspirations and political beliefs. That’s not a criticism of them; it’s just that there are 7+ billion human beings whose personal activities and opinions I’m not keeping track of, and the members of One Direction are among them.

    And the majority of celebrities you see this phenomenon with are female pop stars or women who are famous just for using their image.

    That may well be true; female celebrities get an extra dose of criticism on almost every front. Still, PZ does the same thing with the Pope, the President, Francis Collins, etc. When you’re a skeptic, you spend a lot of time going “I like this one point this person made, but I’m not endorsing every point they’ve ever made….”

    And as a middle-aged male professor discussing a 22-year-old woman’s nude photoshoot, I can see why PZ would want to be clear that he’s defending her remarks on their own merit, not because he’s delighted that she conferred her boobs upon the public.

  53. says

    Just to be clear, the interpretation of The Fall is incorrect. The Forbidden Fruit is Sex. Adam and Eve were forbidden to have sex with the Devil, the ole Serpent. She refused that advice and Adam’s sin was not telling Eve not to do it and then participated himself. This is the only interpretation that makes sense based on the curses issued to each participant in the First Orgy. Clothes are made as a result of “the shame of sex” or the “once you blow your load, then thinking returns to it’s indoctrinated state”.

    CAIN is the offspring of the Devil!

    Christians, Jews and Muslims cannot even get through the first three chapters correctly and they try to tell us how to live?

  54. says

    Alexander

    My rant is against rich philanthropists in general and not Cyrus in particular. As such it belongs in the Thunderdome and not here.

    Is that why you’ve spent paragraphs talking about Miley and how much money she makes rather than sticking to the actual point at hand? But heaven forbid we talk about a woman who is doing some good, right? Have to tear her down, nice and proper.

  55. says

    BTW, you’re obsessed with how much she makes. It’s as if you think she’s a capitalist “WHORE”.

    Huh.

  56. Adam James says

    From AlexanderZ (#60):

    There is something wrong about how much many she makes, though.

    There are good arguments to be made against systemic wealth inequality, and against people like the Koch brothers who have a hand in bringing about and maintaining such conditions. But claiming a person’s level of income to reflect on their character is deeply misguided and utterly misses the point.

    I’m with marilove: I don’t know a whole bunch about Miley Cyrus, but from the little I do know she seems like a really cool person. From the last graph of the Paper interview:

    “As long as you’re not hurting anyone,” she says, “your choices are your choices.”

    Now values, unlike wealth, are something that reflects on one’s character, and in this case quite well. At the very least, her sense of ethics are a few millennia ahead of Ken Ham.

  57. AlexanderZ says

    marilove #63-4
    So let me get this straight, you’re calling me a liar and a slut-shaming misogynist because I took the time to answer your question and provide the figures you asked for yourself?
    This looks like the work of a deeply dishonest with a siege mentality who automatically thinks that any criticism of anything to any degree on any subject is nothing less than treason.

    Let’s bring this back full circle. You think I agree with Ken Ham? You think I’m slut-shaming Cyrus? Prove your fucking point. But please, do so based on my words, rather than your mighty telepathic skills.

  58. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This looks like the work of a deeply dishonest with a siege mentality who automatically thinks that any criticism of anything to any degree on any subject is nothing less than treason.

    No, it’s how you disagreed. Ad nauseum against MC, rant after rant.
    Often that is the problem here with some folks. They have their say, then won’t let things drop. Why didn’t you let things drop? Think about that.

  59. AlexanderZ says

    Nerd #68
    I can’t let the matter drop now. What do you want me to do, accept marilove‘s accusations that I’m a slut-shaming misogynist? It’s not like she’s calling me a moron or a tedious and obnoxious fart – I can ignore that (and maybe even agree in this case). But I draw the line when the accusation touches a subject that’s way bigger than me.

    I may have a problem of letting things drop. Actually, let’s not beat around the bush – I most definitely have a problem of letting things drop. But that’s my problem, it’s a flaw of my character. It has no effect on larger issues. marilove‘s problem is far worse (and yes, that too is shared with some folks here who often mislabel people as creationist fundies without any real evidence), because she ties an important and immense social ill to her argument with me.
    I may shoot myself in the foot, but she cluster bombs everything.

  60. Anna Elizabeth says

    @Alexander Z – I won’t attempt to speak for marilove, or for anyone but myself, and speaking for myself, I’m getting very weary of speaking to men about any of these issues, and yes – I’m tired of Skeptical/Atheist men especially.

    I find of the freethoughtblogs, that I’m being told I’m *wrong* about everything. I shouldn’t be angry about being emotionally and religiously abused, I shouldn’t express that anger, I should be grateful when a religious person exhibits behavior that qualifies as “decent”, I should worry more about appealing to “the middle”, I should laugh because the latest inane hate-filled rant from the Xtian Right is so amusing, and now, it’s not enough that Miley Cyrus is giving a finger to the haters, we simply must hear that she isn’t giving enough money to charity.

    Call this a rant if you like, but I’d rather deal with the misogynists, haters, and stupid Xtians that are calling me names, than do any further conversations here, only to be instructed how to think, what to think, and to ask permission to feel how I feel about surviving abuse, andhow I feel about being a target for being a woman and a member of the LGBTQA+ community.

    This isn’t aimed at you specifically, but I wanted to say something.

  61. AlexanderZ says

    Anna Elizabeth #70
    Thank you for your comment.
    I want you to know why react as I do right now. I come from an abusive family (not nearly as bad as some of the commenters here, but it had violence and constant verbal abuse). Subsequently there are a few things that I react viscerally to, one of which is misogyny. I want marilove to either explain in what way I’m being misogynistic so I would strive to correct myself (I don’t presume to be free of sexism or bigotry, but I do try to better myself) or just apologize. It’s very personal and it’s very important to me.

    I understand (i think?) what you and Nerd and Adam James and dysomniak and others are saying. This is the first (as far as I know) post here about Cyrus. From your perspective I’m attacking a successful young woman who is maligned by women-hating fundies because she is unabashed about her sexuality. From my perspective it;s the first time (again, as far as I know) on this blog when a super-rich person is being so strongly defended. When I attack her I’m perceived like I’m attacking all LGBT women everywhere.
    You are right and I am wrong. I should not have brought my rant here in the first place.

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When I attack her I’m perceived like I’m attacking all LGBT women everywhere.

    Not from my perspective. You are annoyed that she doesn’t behave in manner you consider appropriate with her money. And wouldn’t let it go. It sounded like an obsession. Which is why I said something.
    I’m still at the stage of “who is MC, and why should I care”?
    *I know, Hannah Montana on Disney and daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus*

  63. Anna Elizabeth says

    @Alexander Z – I want to thank you for listening. I don’t like to minimize what abused people have survived. I was almost never hit, but I had constant emotional abuse, along with verbal and religious. Worse than some, easier than others? Who is to say? At least we did survive.

    It’s hard for me to trust what people say, on anything, because I never had firm ground for a stand, and my instincts are to lash back, to make up for all those years of taking it. Sometimes I wonder if I should discuss things at all, not because of what others say, but because of how I react. But what kind of life would that be?

    I’m going to keep trying, and I’ll try not to lash back so quickly, and I’ll try to remember that it’s not just women and LGBTs that have been through the hard times.

    From my perspective, I had wondered why Miley being rich was more negative than the good Miley does, and it’s not so much that all LGBTs were being attacked, as “let’s slut-shame this cutie, for daring to be herself”. And again Alexander, I don’t mean to single you out as the worst. or even that this thread has been very bad. It’s like accumulation for me, which is why I mostly took a break today.

    Again, thank you for trying to understand. :)