The apes are acting funny again

The dingbats of Arizona were up to shenanigans recently. Here they are, speaking in tongues before denying women basic health care.

Although, you’ve got to have the right perspective on this bizarre behavior. It’s just signaling to their fellow apes that they belong, and that they’re not a member of that other ape clan. We tend to overlook the weird things other groups do.

Did you know most of our legislative bodies begin their sessions by talking to an invisible being they call a god? They’ve labeled this behavior “prayer,” and most people take it for granted as a perfectly normal behavior. Some few of us, like me, have our own distinctive behaviors, like refusing to “pray,” and it sets us apart and makes us look weird to the prayer people and the tongue-speaking people.

We need to look deeper. What, besides some goofy ritualistic behaviors, bonds these people into a group? What are their goals? Then we see people like Anthony Kern and Paul Gosar behind it all, and we should recognize that it’s not the silly babbling that matters, it’s the bigotry and authoritarianism. We should read that behavior as a flag to the rest of us, too — don’t let the speaking in tongues bother you as much as the bad ideas simmering underneath.

Look at that photo. Aren’t the red baseball caps also a signal? What about…neckties?

It’s aposematism all the way down.


  1. raven says

    It’s just signaling to their fellow apes that they belong,…

    It is pure witchcraft.

    Begging or asking a powerful supernatural being to do something for them, in this case to rule over and oppress the 7.5 million residents of Arizona. Especially the female majority of those 7.5 million people.

    It worked, although how much was due to their Invisible Sky Monster god and how much was from their own efforts isn’t clear.

  2. raven says

    It could also be looked at as part of a the fundie xian practice of human sacrifice.

    The faith healer subgroup of the fundies have been practicing human child sacrifice for a long time.
    They know it doesn’t work.
    The number of children sacrificed to their monster god in the USA every year isn’t well known but runs around 100.

    The fundies also sacrifice a few children by a ritual known as Raising Up A Child where they beat them to death.

    Lately with the overturning of Roe versus Wade, they are adding more human child and adult women to their list of blood sacrifices to their gods.
    By drastically restricting medical care for pregnant children and adults, they will inevitably kill some of them.

  3. Robbo says

    @2 Raven
    isn’t it amazing how, with near certainty, god’s plan aligns perfectly with the shit the right wing wants?

  4. cheerfulcharlie says

    Mathew 6:6
    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    They are doing this wrong. Jesus commands, they should obey. Jesus commanded that, the Bible proves it, that settles it.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 5

    That raises the question: If Christian god’s moral message is sooooo important to humanity’s “salvation” wouldn’t the allegedly omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent ruler of all could not only demonstrate this existence to everyone beyond a doubt, but he’d make damn sure that everyone knew and understood EXACTLY what he wanted from them instead of leaving it to interpretation of his alleged earthly representatives Isn’t it a little suspect that these religions actively dismiss and demonize the very idea of requiring evidence as a condition of belief while holding unvetted, unproven “faith” in spite of established evidence to the contrary to be the highest virtue? (e.g. “Thou shalt not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” and the tale of Thomas.)

    It’s almost as if the Christian god (or any god for that matter) doesn’t exist and the delusional and/or oppertunistic knuckle-draggers–both right AND left wing varieties–use his nonexistent authority to justify their political positions.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 6

    I woud point out that later on in that very same Gospel, Matthew 28:18-20, this happens:

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    So, which is it? Are Christians suppose to be private in their worship or were they supposed to be obnoxious preacher who, in later generations, will eventual turn to conversion by the sword? Jesus didn’t feel the need to elaborate further and he was supposedly Jesus was magicked up to Heaven afterwards. Again, it would be nice if their God would appear to everyone and explain this incongruity, but he remains sort of not real.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    Sigh, if my writing is any idication, either my ADHD is getting worse or I’m getting senile at 49. Either way, not good.

  8. stevewatson says

    And they complain about the Left doing “virtue signalling”. Because that is literally all this is.

  9. says

    Makes me think of the reaction of a bunch of the people coming down to fight the “invasion” at the border. When things looked bad (no real invasion), they started doing religious things like baptisms. Like faced with a group challenging event they deal with the insecurity through otherwise empty ritual, the pejorative “virtue signalling” (I can’t help it, challenging people to show the quality problem with the signal is how I dealt with the problem).

  10. robro says

    When I was a kid we were visiting my dad’s parents who lived in a small town in north Florida. Keep in mind that all of the adults considered themselves Christian. They preyed at meals particularly at my grandparents. My grandmother went to the local Baptist church regularly. My mom and dad went to church sometimes…funerals and weddings mostly…although when I was really little we went to church twice on Sunday and Wednesday night “prayer meeting”.

    My grandparents had a neighbor who was dying. As we were visiting one weekend, we were sitting outside one evening when we began to hear the praying in tongues coming from the neighbors house. My grandmother shook her head because, even though she was very much a Christian, she disapproved of that nonsense. My dad then told us about how as a boy he and his friends would go hang out near some Holiness church to listen to them speaking in tongues and watch the show. Apparently there was a preacher who would stand on the backs of the pews and jump from one to the other as he lead the ranting.

  11. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 10

    And they complain about the Left doing “virtue signalling”. Because that is literally all this is.

    That’s because they think the left’s public admonitions are insincere. We don’t actually think blacks are equal to whites or that LGBTQ+ folks are valid. No, we do it make ourselves look morally superior to everyone else.

    It’s not unlike those liberals who claim that right-wingers are really “grifters” and don’t actually believe the bat shit things they say but are just looking to make a buck.

    It seems no one wants to think anyone really believes what they say they believe. I suppose it’s easier than actually dealing with ideologies on intellectual and ethical grounds.

  12. says

    @10: One annoyance I have, though it might be that I was exposed to different definitions: Tribal signaling is easy. Genuine virtue signaling is harder because it requires you to put yourself at a disadvantage to express that virtue, like telling the truth when a lie would be easy and advantageous.

    But yeah, it’s always funny and frustrating seeing these people complaining about signaling when that seems to be their only reason to do anything. Like many an atheist, I find it particularly frustrating when piety is used as a substitute for actual virtue.

    Relevant comic from a while back I just remembered:

  13. raven says

    It is more reverse virtue signaling.

    It could be called malevolence signaling.
    “Watch out, we are powerful and dangerous and we will prove it by harming and killing a few pregnant children and adults.”

    PZ references this idea with his comment above, “…It’s aposematism all the way down.”

    Wikipedia Aposematism

    Aposematism is the advertising by an animal, whether terrestrial or marine, to potential predators that it is not worth attacking or eating.

    This fundie xian legislator is advertising that he is dangerous to pregnant children and adults in particular and dangerous to other humans, the biosphere, and the environment in general.

    It is similar to what coral snakes do with their vivid colors or rattlesnakes do with their rattles.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    Personally, I’m still waiting for someone to pop in and denounce PZ for calling these shits “apes.”


  15. stevewatson says

    @14: My understanding is that virtue signalling (as the term is used in ethology) is often also costly signalling (textbook examples being the peacock’s tail, the giving of gifts as opening move in a social negotiation, even the deliberate destruction of some valuable of yours). Note that “virtue” here is not being used (only) in the specifically moral sense, but in the wide sense of “I would be a good partner to include in your endeavour or group”. It acquires the moral sense when the purpose of the endeavour includes a moral component (as in religious or political movements).
    IIRC, Dennett suggests that there is indeed a cost in performing tribal rituals that are seen as ridiculous by outsiders — that’s how you pay your dues to be in The Club. I’m not sure what happens as The Club gains political and social ascendency (and the signalling thereby becomes cheaper).

  16. says

    Scarizona needs an enema and a secular exorcism of the repugnantcant xtian terrorists who run this 19th Century disaster of a state. But, of course scarizona doesn’t have the water to spare for the enema (all the water is being wasted on pools, water parks and the saudi owned farms) while the repugnantcant xtian terrorists still have a financially reinforced death grip on governance here. Luckily, Hobbs and Mayes and a few decent office holders are trying to prevent more massive catastrophic events.

  17. says

    Our guidance council just read the article about: /2024/04/meet-men-behind-arizonas-1864-abortion-ban
    In the majority opinion, conservative Justice Samuel Alito writes, “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion. No such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.

    Therefore, we conclude: pure scrotum logic dictates that, regarding breathing, ‘No such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision’ so we should use duct tape on the mouths and noses of the 6 members of scrotum to prevent them from that unconstitutional act of breathing.

  18. says

    If I recall my Bible stories correctly, when they spoke in tongues they were enabled to speak in the languages of the people they were trying to convert, which means that everybody could understand them, not this kind of thing.

  19. StevoR says

    @15. raven : “It is more reverse virtue signaling. It could be called malevolence signaling.”

    I use ‘vice signalling’ – literally the opposite of virtue and same initial letters but malevolence signalling works really well too. Better in some ways becuase vice is kinda more pleasurable indulgence that is more a personal thing (I like to drink, take drugs, fornicate, sleep & be lazy, eat lots, etc.. ) versus their love of imposing their hateful bigotries and sadism over others.

  20. cheerfulcharlie says

    Be very glad they are not like the animals that mark territory by pissing everywhere.

  21. StevoR says

    @ cheerfulcharlie :: We aren’t? You sure?

    Ok, maybe we’ve “graduated” to only doing so metaphorically but still.. 1

  22. StevoR says

    We..they.., people.

    All fucked up. Some much, much more so than others.

    Consequently also soem much,much LESS fucked up than others too.

    Coz spectrums, indviduals and all..

  23. rblackadar says

    Glossolalia may be signalling of a sort, but in many if not most cases it’s not a voluntary thing — rather, the person experiences it as something that comes over them. It’s a “gift of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 14 ). Per Wikipedia, it is “classified as a non-neurogenic language disorder.”

    Undoubtedly there are cynical exceptions, and I would not be surprised if some of them were on display im the AZ legislature. I think you would have to do some practicing, to be able to fake it convincingly.

    Personally, if the Holy Spirit wants to give me such a gift, I would hope he’d include a gift receipt so I could take it back to Target and exchange it for something useful,

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