Irish Catholics denigrate Hispanic Catholic artwork


University College Cork is hosting a small academic event featuring the work of Chicano artists, which includes an art exhibition that includes irreverent images of the Virgin Mary, with titles like “Our Lady and Other Queer Santas”. Apparently, this image has stirred up fury and threats from deranged Catholics everywhere it goes — but then, it really doesn’t take much to set off mindless fanatics.

Irish Catholic bloggers are outraged and calling for it to be taken down — you aren’t allowed to denigrate beliefs, they claim, never mind that yes, you are, and that there isn’t anything particularly denigrating about the image. But of course, there is a poll.

Should an exhibition like this be allowed to take place in UCC?

Yes 60%
No 40%

By the way, if you want more weirdness, check out America Needs Fatima. This is an American organization that thinks that the way we’ll solve all of our problems is by putting a statue of the Virgin Mary in every home and getting everyone to worship it.

Do Iowa State football players need to be converted to the Christian faith?

Athletics are a fine part of the college tradition — students come to our universities, and some of them want to participate in sports, others like to watch, and others like to enjoy a non-academic social event. I think some support for our students’ extracurricular interests is a good idea. What I detest, though, is the overpaid coaches and the tendency to set the small group of college athletes apart as something special, deserving of special consideration. Even at my small university, there is a constellation of special programs to serve the college athletes, and it gets rather annoying that this one group with no unique academic ability is granted privileges other groups do not receive.

UMM isn’t too bad in this regard, but then we’re small and everything is on a tight budget. Larger universities are more prone to excesses and waste and the promotion of a separate tier of students (I attended the University of Washington; the football team members were treated as small gods there). Now look at our neighbor to the south, though: Iowa State University hired a Baptist chaplain to minister to the football team. This was opposed by 130 of the faculty, who signed a petition asking that sectarian counseling not be given this privileged access to students, but the coach seemed to take it for granted that he could add another lackey to his retinue.

Much like we have offered our student-athletes access to drug and alcohol counselors, sports psychologists, nutritionists, hypnotists, physical therapists, learning specialists, chiropractors, physicians, etc., we are now going to also provide access to a spiritual advisor.

Well, the chaplain would fit right in with the hypnotists and chiropractors. But I read that litany and wonder why the football team gets such special treatment over other, apparently less important students.

But that’s a different question. The issue here is whether it is appropriate to bring on a Baptist minister as a full-time chaplain to the team. It looks like there are two tiers of privilege: if you’re on the football team, you are a big man on campus, but if you’re a Protestant ball player, you are exalted beyond that. It’s also not exactly clear what this person would do: pray for victory? Lead the team in prayers? Reassure everyone that god really loved Iowa State? It’s a pretty damned useless sinecure.

Except we know one thing this chaplain would do: as a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, his job was to “use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ”. He was a professional proselytizer brought on to evangelize a narrow faith to the football team. The coach basically hired a local shaman to convert a subset of ISU students to his faith.

This chaplain has revealed all in a talk to the FCA titled “Overcoming Adversity”. What adversity, you might ask? His. The entire half hour talk is about he was so oppressed because so many people, including that wicked atheist Hector Avalos, opposed granting him this ride on the gravy train.

Notice that one of his mechanisms to “overcome adversity” was to simply lie about his motivations and purpose in the job.

Kevin Lykins is no longer employed at ISU, but he set a precedent and there is now an empty slot for a chaplain to the football team, and there is push to fill it with yet another useless bozo. I hope ISU alumni will write in and protest — this is an entirely inappropriate attempt to couple an extracurricular activity to sectarian religious belief.

Oh, look. One of the local radio stations has a poll on the issue.

Are You in Favor of College Football Teams Having a Life Skills Assistant/Chaplain?

60.53 %
39.47 %

The video has been abruptly yanked — I wonder why? — but it has been captured and if you really, really want to watch it, you can download it here. I don’t recommend it. It’s incredibly boring, consisting of nothing but self-righteous evangelical babble, but if you really want to see what kind of tedious tool Kevin Lykins is, you can.

An ugly pointless poll

It’s become standard in the US for polling places (real polling places, not the online kind) to hand out little “I voted” stickers after you’ve made your contribution. This is a totally meaningless act; the stickers aren’t used to actually track who has voted or not, they’re just there to make you feel good and allow you to display to everyone you meet that you’ve done your civic duty.

Unfortunately, when the bureaucracy gets their hands on this trivial little detail, they can’t leave it alone. It’s got to be made more elaborate; it’s got to become an ideological statement. So the state of Ohio is running an online poll to determine the design of these stupid little stickers. They have six designs to choose from, varying in quality from clunky to hideous, and two of them contain the bizarrely inappropriate message, “With god all things are possible”.

So far, the leader is choice #3, with 38.8% of the vote, and fortunately it does not contain the religious message. Instead, it says “I <map of Ohio> VOTING”, which doesn’t even make sense, but it says something that it is probably the simplest and cleanest and most comprehensible of the non-godly stickers.

In order to vote, you have to give them an Ohio zip code to prove you’re a resident, because there’s no way a goddamn foreigner could possibly know an Ohio zip code. It just adds another layer of stupid to the whole enterprise.

Hey, Ohio: how about a sticker that just says “I voted”? Why turn it into a fashion statement, or worse, a testimony to ideological purity?

Worst poll ever

After the scandal of an atheist pointing out the illegality of forced public prayer, the Bastrop Open Enterprise has put up a poll. And what a poll! I had to stare at it for a while to try and figure out what they’re asking, and I think they’re actually polling on the logical and grammatical skills of journalists at their newspaper, because it makes no sense.

How do you feel about a student at Bastrop High School stating they were an atheist and pledging to contact the American Civil Liberties Union if a Christian prayer were offered at the school’s graduation on May 19?

I agree. Nothing should be done to offend anyone regardless of their beliefs. 57%
I disagree. The student should respect the desires of their fellow students. 36%
No opinion. 5%

The choices of answers don’t fit the question. The “agree” and “don’t agree” choices each go on to affirm the same thing: that the student ought to shut up. Nominally, I’d say the right answer is that I agree with the student going to the ACLU, but it’s not because we shouldn’t offend; they’re turning this into an issue about protecting all religions from criticism.

Whoever wrote this poll was completely clueless about the issues.

I don’t normally tell you how to vote (usually it’s obvious!), but in this case, I’m going to make a recommendation. Vote “No opinion.” Swamp that crap, and make ’em wonder. Maybe they’ll track it back to here and discover that we’re protesting the false dichotomy they’re making.

Heavenly poll

You’ve probably already heard the latest blunt comment from Stephen Hawking:

I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.

I like it. Very clear.

Now a newspaper wants to know what you think.

Do you think heaven exists?





I think we can improve those numbers.

A Pharyngula poll?

Awww, my presence in Philadelphia today is acknowledged in Faye Flam’s blog with a poll. I’m sure you’ll all be able to give the correct answer to this one.

What is a pharyngula?

The structure in the back of your throat that hangs between your tonsils.
A retractable “penis bone” that supports erections in cats, dogs, hedgehogs and chimpanzees but not humans.
The language spoken by the aliens that Scientologists believe started life on Earth.
An advanced Kama Sutra position that requires partners to put both feet behind their heads.
A tiny parasitic catfish that lives in the Amazon and occasionally invades the human urethra.
A stage in the development of vertebrate embryos when construction of a spine begins and we all have brief possession of a “post anal tail.”

Yes, as you all already knew, the correct answer is #4.

Australian poll needs your help

I knew it would come to this. There’s been long-running contention over the government-sponsored chaplaincy programs in Australia — those crazy mad independent godless Aussies actually pay good money to have these goofy Christian wankers sit in their public schools and provide…heck, I don’t know what. But now it has suddenly and justifiable led to public outrage because the chief executive for one of the cults that provides chaplains has openly stated that Christians from other countries envy the access their proselytizers have to public school kids, and has bragged about converting kids.

In Australia, we have a God-given open door to children and young people with the Gospel, our federal and state governments allow us to take the Christian faith into our schools and share it. We need to go and make disciples.

Australians, what did you think this whole chaplaincy business was about? Of course it’s been about converting children.

And now The Age is running a poll on the subject, and although the results are going in the right direction, they clearly need some help from the international community. Go forth and adjust the poll to be more realistic.

Do you support religion in schools programs?




This is not a poll

Well, it is, but I don’t recommend voting on it. It’s on WingNutDaily, and the only way to vote is to register with them…which is not recommended. Them folks is craaaaazy! They were asked their opinion of Obama’s birth certificate.

Sound off on Obama’s release of his purported long-form birth certificate

The most compelling eligibility arguments deal with parental citizenship, and this document shows Obama’s father was not a U.S. citizen, making Obama ineligible 40% (93)

Now that Obama is so willing to be open, let’s hear him explain why he has a Connecticut-based Social Security Number when he and his parents never lived there 12% (28)

I’m with Trump in calling for the rest of Obama’s vital documents that he’s been concealing for years 9% (21)

I suspect the image released by Obama is a forgery 8% (19)

I know the image of the document is a fake, just like Obama 8% (18)

If the document is so innocuous, why did Obama take so long and spend a fortune on attorneys preventing its release? 8% (18)

The release is opening up a can of worms and is creating more questions than answers 3% (8)

Obama blinked. I can’t wait to see what happens next 3% (6)

The birthers will never be satisfied no matter what documents are released 3% (6)

All I can think about is Lt. Col. Terry Lakin rotting in prison because Obama refused to release this document before now 2% (5)

Let’s hope this signals an end to this nutty birther nonsense once and for all 1% (3)

Thanks to WND and Trump, Obama was forced kicking and screaming to release his document 1% (3)

Face it, Obama has outsmarted the birthers and completely destroyed their issue now 0% (1)

Good, let’s move on, there are far more important issues for the country to deal with 0% (1)

If it had been a poll I could have voted on, I would have picked the very last entry above. Trust WND readers to favor the nuttiest of the choices!

TSA Poll: I’ve come to really hate these guys’ bosses

No more, no more, please. We’re already taking off our shoes, getting our junk scanned, waiting in line, dangling our goo in plastic bags, and basically suffering through ludicrous post hoc measures that do nothing to improve our security. And now the TSA is dispatching ‘behavioral experts’ to watch you as you stand in line. Don’t look nervous, don’t act annoyed, don’t do anything that these arbitrary arbiters of the appropriate might notice!

Do you think behavioral specialists are a good idea?

Yes, it’s an extra layer of security. 49.5%
No, it’s completely ludicrous. 50.5%