Just in time for Thanksgiving, via The Friendly Atheist. I'll give thanks when my country shrugs off its dependance on that old sky beard, Jeebus. Happy holidays, nobody.
It's sickening that we have people like Scalia on the Supreme Court, people who are so bigoted it's barely concealed.
“The due process clause has been distorted so it’s no longer a guarantee of process but a guarantee of liberty,” Scalia expounded. “But some of the liberties the Supreme Court has found to be protected by that word - liberty - nobody thought constituted a liberty when the 14th Amendment was adopted. Homosexual sodomy? It was criminal in all the states. Abortion? It was criminal in all the states.” “The way to change the Constitution is through amendments approved by the people, not by judges altering the meaning of its words,” he added.
So gays and women aren't entitled to equal rights? FUCK YOU. I'm so sick of people who beleive that minorities should work through legislature, that they should convince the general population that they deserve equality. Scalia, as somebody on the FUCKING SUPREME COURT should have a better understanding of what the courts do in our system of checks and balances.
There are people who say that gay people lost the prop 8 battle because they didn't work hard enough to convince voters that they deserved marriage equality. If you beleive this, you're a dick. It's your responsibility to not be an asshole, not mine to change you.
How much longer will flagrant homophobia be acceptable in public discourse? How much longer will there be "two sides" to common equality for gay people? Kudos to Dan Savage who had this to say on the subject on CNN this week:
"There are no 'two sides' to the issue of LGBT rights. Right now one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups and yet the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins, are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people who are targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on CNN."
Seriously. This bitch is certifiable. Please watch as Janet porter prays for Christian control of the government.
This. This is why I beleive there can be zero tolerance for religion in the public space.
One of the most frustrating things about being in the gay rights movement is religious people that honestly beleive they harbor no ill will towards LGBT people, even while denying them civil rights. You know, the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" schtick that every gay person knows is absolute bullshit.
I understand that religious folk might not feel like they hate gay people, but when you marginalize people, remove their civil rights, mobilize against their quality of life, you are committing an act of hate. No matter what your intentions are, good or bad, you are committing hate against another person. No matter what your religion says to the contrary.
Dan Savage just knocked it out of the park in response to a Christian who wrote into his column, Savage Love in The Stranger (my hometown paper!)
The Christian writes:
I heard an interview with you about your It Gets Better campaign. I was saddened and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetuation of bullying. As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage, I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man who took his own life.
If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man.
To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are all imperfect, fallible, and in desperate need of a savior. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people.
Please consider your viewpoint, and please be more careful with your words in the future.
Dan Savage responds:
I'm sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.
No, wait. I'm not. Gay kids are dying. So let's try to keep things in perspective: Fuck your feelings.
A question: Do you "support" atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about marriage, and yet there's no "Christian" movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not?
Sorry, L.R., but so long as you support the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, it's clear that you do believe that some people—straight people—are "better or more worthy" than others.
And—sorry—but you are partly responsible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.
Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not "sinners." Gay and lesbian children.
Try to keep up: The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from the lips of "faithful Christians," and the lies about us that vomit out from the pulpits of churches that "faithful Christians" drag their kids to on Sundays, give your children license to verbally abuse, humiliate, and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of your children—having listened to Mom and Dad talk about how gay marriage is a threat to family and how gay sex makes their magic sky friend Jesus cry—feel justified in physically abusing the LGBT children they encounter in their schools. You don't have to explicitly "encourage [your] children to mock, hurt, or intimidate" queer kids. Your encouragement—along with your hatred and fear—is implicit. It's here, it's clear, and we're seeing the fruits of it: dead children.
Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words?
Did that hurt to hear? Good. But it couldn't have hurt nearly as much as what was said and done to Asher Brown and Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas and Cody Barker and Seth Walsh—day in, day out for years—at schools filled with bigoted little monsters created not in the image of a loving God, but in the image of the hateful and false "followers of Christ" they call Mom and Dad.
This bitch tried to sell her baby for $25 in a Walmart parking lot. She's so dumb though. She could have gotten $50 at Target. When police showed up to arrest her and her 38 year-old boyfriend they were strung out on meth. Of course they were. Look at her face:
Ugh. Nothing terrifies quite like meth. How any gay man takes that shit is beyond me. Anyway, then I read this story about a stripper mom who punched her kid for trying to hug her as she was abandoning them. Nice!
I read both of these stories after seeing this ad on the subway this morning:
Really? REALLY? You know what else changes you? Having a fucking baby, asshole. I'm so sick of "pro-lifers" who only give a shit about life for the nine months it's inside some poor teenager's womb. It's no surprise that these are usually the same people who don't support welfare and social programs. I mean, just because you force women to have babies it doesn't mean you have to help support them, right? Of course not! Just give them to the military or one of our many McPrisons when they're old enough and let them sort themselves out.
Ugh. America FAIL.
Abortions for everybody! My treat!
Oh no she didn't.
So sayeth Sarah Palin: "Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the ten commandments. "
Listen to me and listen to me good, witch. I'm sick to death of the misguided notion that this is or has ever been a Christian nation. (Okay, it kind of is now but only because of retards like you.) Our founding fathers were largely Deists as was the fashion among the intelligentsia at the time of the American Revolution.
What is Deism? From Dictionary.com:
belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.
Sure, the founding fathers may have believed in god, but they sure as hell didn't believe that Adam and Eve lived among the dinosaurs like the fucking Flintstones.
So get off my tit already with this Christian nonsense and stop using your crazy old cult to deny people's civil rights, suppress women, marginalize people of other faiths, ignore climate change etc.
Wonkette is awesome for coining the terms "Pope Nazi Pedobear" and "Emperor of Rape" and for creating this gif.
A University of Texas student group called "Atheist Agenda" has begun an on campus campaign they call "Smut for Smut." During said campaign, any persons with proof of ID can exchange any religious texts of their choice for good old fashioned pornography.
Of course Fox News was incensed. INCENSED.
(Ugh, I hate that anchor woman!)
Anyway, as hilarious as I think this is, I'm just not sure how strong the parallel between religious texts and porn is. Sure, there's some porn-y stuff in there, but maybe a "Fiction for Fiction" swap would have been more effective, as some have suggested.
I've been thinking a lot about privileges and disadvantages lately, especially in relation to race, gender, and sexual preference. But I wanted to gently write about what it's like to be an atheist in America. I want to be as honest about this as I can, so bare with me.
For a country with a supposed separation between church and state there's... um... not a lot of separation between church and state. I pick on Christians a lot because I was raised Christian. Also, as a gay man I've been the victim of their religious based bigotry for going on thirty years now. Do I think that all Christians are bigots? Of course not. But as a group the Christian right holds tremendous power in this country and have aggressively used it to impede justice and attack reason.
The radical Christian right has especially gained power during my lifetime (Ronald Reagan and on) partially because religion is off-limits. I know it's not especially nice or anything, but why is it that somebody can say to me, "I'm sorry, but I don't believe your relationship is as real as mine." But I can't retort with, "Well, who cares what you believe. It's not relevant." Because people's religious beliefs are always to be respected, even when they infringe on civil rights for gays or women.
I think atheists are angry and becoming more militant specifically because of the growing power of the Christian right wing. I mean, we just came out of eight years on a fundamentalist president who hired lawyers from Liberty "University" for Pete's sake. But that's just the Christian Right and radical Muslims. And, whether you disagree or not, anger pointed at those sorts of religious people is absolutely justified.
What's harder is religious people that aren't crazy. I have a lot of friends and family (and blog readers... gulp!) who are religious, be they Christian or Muslim or Jew.
Studies show there's a lot of hatred toward non believers. A recent study showed that Americans were less likely to elect an atheist president than any other minority group, dead last under blacks, latinos and even the hated gays. The idea is that non-belivers can't have morals without god, as if the commandments (those that aren't there to stroke god's ego, that is) are anything more than human instinct. I mean, we knew it was wrong to murder before Moses carried that big rock down a mountain.
I'm trying to understand. Because to me, believing in God or Allah or whatever is no different than believing in Zeus. It's just seems plain preposterous. If somebody told you that Shazam was the Goddess of Gold Lame and lived in a city called Shoop-Shoop, you would rightly think they were crazy. Clearly, they made that up. But I fail to see how any of the world religions are any different except by being "legitimized" by time.
A Catholic friend recently made a quip about Scientologists being crazy with their dianetics etc. and I had to balk, "How is that crazier than pretending to eat a dead man's flesh and blood?" I want to respect all of my friends and I'm not trying to tear anybody down, really I'm not. I just want to understand.
Like I said, I was raised Christian (Church of God, actually, which is it's own entry) and I tried so hard to believe. I pushed and pushed and... nothing. I wonder if my Catholic friend really believes. I mean really, really in her secret heart of hearts believes. Sometimes I suspect that she doesn't.
Anyway, in short, being an atheist in America feels like being that dude from The Emperor's New Clothes.
"You have GOT to be kidding me, right?"
P.S. Check out a new study that shows that men who are liberal or atheist or monogomous may be more intelligent than other men.
UPDATE: Oh, snap! That reminds me. Come see my brunch play, "Bitch, Please" about Aphrodite and a riot grrl:
The Gods are coming. And they want bacon.