Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Give That Moderate Theist A MotherFucking Cookie

Addendum - My lovely partner (and Thomas himself) has pointed out that Thomas isn't particularly liberal. So we can add that he is also one of those delusional fucks who pretends that anyone who can't afford healthcare doesn't deserve it. What would you feel, if you suddenly lost the coverage you have. Seriously, if you did, would you just stoically accept that it is all your fault and that you simply don't deserve it? Because shit happens motherfucker, shit that you just can't plan for. What you have today could be gone tomorrow - through no fault of your own. So tell me, if you lost it all and needed help, can we assume you would be good enough to stand by your convictions? How about if you get desperately ill and your insurance company finds a way to squirrel out of covering it? Hmm?

Exhaustion has prevented me from getting nearly as much done with all this as I was planning, but there you have it. Eleven hours in the car yesterday, with a seven year old and a twenty month old, then another hour and a half after we dropped them off was rough. Getting on the road this morning by eight was also rough. But here I am...

Some moderate theists have been on the defensive, as of late. Philip H. was rather resentful of some characterizations of moderate theists. And a certain Thomas Joseph rather resents being lumped with extremist, fundamentalist loons. He whines that he's different - better. He's a liberal and all around decent fellow. And, and - he accepts evolution... Well YAY!!! Thomas, how about a motherfucking cookie? Because you deserve a cookie for being such an upstanding fellow who is apparently only mildly delusional. And dammit man, I am so sorry if my criticism of religion was in any way offensive - after all, it's your personal thing and your god forbid, I should criticize you're personal beliefs as though they have any impact on the society and the world in which I have to live and raise my family.

Except that they do.

But no, sputter the Thomases and Philips - we're decent people and don't believe monstrous things. We support gay rights and a woman's right to choose - we're decent liberal folks, who just want to be left alone to our faith. Don't alienate US!!! RESPECT!!! RESPECT!!!

I will most certainly not, fuck you very much. More to the point, I will happily respect you. I will respect your political stances when I agree and argue them when I don't. I will not, however, have the least respect for your religion. The fact that it is moderate, even liberal, just makes it more insidious and less worthy of my respect. To be clear, little more than a year or so ago, I was one of you. I spent the vast majority of my life wallowing in destructive ignorance and bullshit, not a whole lot different than your own. Moreover, I was a fundamentalist way back yonder, when I was quite young. I worshiped, with all of my heart and mind, the same genocidal maniac that you worship.

Eventually I got better and started recovering.

It is not the orthodox, fundamentalists and other assorted extreme theists who perpetuate the very worse that faith has to offer our society. It is the moderates who foster this mentality that says we should allow parents not to vaccinate their children, because some imaginary being told them not to. It is moderates who foster the notion that kids should be allowed to be "educated" at home, with little or no real monitoring from the state and allowed to wallow in ignorance, because that is what their religion demands. It is moderates who foster the attitudes that we should allow them to opt their children out of vital aspects of education - some of them lifesaving, because their gods don't want them to learn about science or avoiding STIs. It is the moderates who foster the belief, that I am a very nasty man indeed, for daring to criticize ignorant fucking bullshit, or for simply not believing in magical beings.

It is fucking moderates who foster the social phenom that makes the fringe fucking loons and their egregious behaviors acceptable.

And to make this whole conversation more delicious, Thomas is a bloody Catholic. So Mr. Nice Liberal Fellow, supports an organization that bears the brunt of the blame for the scope of the AIDS pandemic that is decimating massive swaths of sub-Saharan Africa. He supports an organization that hates most of my friends, simply because they prefer to have relations with members of their same sex. He supports an organization that believes women should not have the right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. He supports an organization that believes that birth control is fucking evil. He supports an organization that has repeatedly shown blatant disregard for the welfare of children, by not only allowing pedophiles in the clergy to have continued access to children, but also by actively fighting against those sick fucks being prosecuted or their victims receiving reparations.

While I am certain there are areas in which Thomas and I agree, in which he is even worthy of my respect, he has given up all credibility when it comes to discussing criticism of theism. In that, he gets nothing but my utter disdain.

15 comments:

Dan J said...

Wow! Excellent, dude.

Hope you enjoyed your time away from us. It is good to have you back again, though, if only for a while (until studies and family take a more prominent position once again).

DuWayne Brayton said...

Go fuck yourself, Denny the cowardly Christian. Your comment is being deleted, because I do not allow anonymous comments...

Dan J said...

Wow again! And you're attracting more nutjobs! Yay DuWayne!

Hey there, Anonymous Christian™! How's it going? You seem like you have some "issues". I think the primary issue is reading comprehension. You weren't "home-schooled" by any chance, were you? I've found (in my experience) that home-schooled people have trouble understanding a lot of different words and concepts in the same way that you are. You level of projection gives me the same impression.

Have you always been a lying sack of shit for Jesus™, or have you only learned it recently?

Jason Thibeault said...

E-mail me what he said, I'm about to put together a post called "Zdenny's Greatest Hits" detailing some of the insipid bullshit he's posted since being consigned to the holding pen.

Also, my captcha is "prenis". There's a joke in there somewhere, but I can't find it.

Dan J said...

"Also, my captcha is "prenis". There's a joke in there somewhere, but I can't find it."

Odd that you should mention that. I noticed mine at the time because it was "ststomp", which I took as "St. Stomp". I know there are some jokes in there.

Thomas Joseph said...

Thanks for the link DuWayne. Though I never once called myself a "liberal". Just because I think the fundamentalists took one too many trips over the cuckoos nest, and that I believe that all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc should have equal rights under the law ... that doesn't make me liberal either. I've never been one for such labels, especially when they carry such political overtones in such a partisan society. I do my best to study the issues, I formulate my opinions, draw up my conclusions, and then vote my conscience. If that means I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't from time to time ... oh well. I can look in the mirror in the mornings and evenings and live with what I see. I could give a rats ass if anyone else agrees with me or not.

You can keep your cookie, and I don't mind your angry ravings. You're entitled to them, as much as I am entitled to my "mild delusions". So, once again thanks for the link. It's brought me a whole two extra readers today. :)

RPS77 said...

I've read enough of your posts to know that you don't care about gently persuading people to agree with you, but I just don't see what the point of your attitude is, unless your ultimate goal is simply to hate everyone who disagrees with you as much as possible.

Why the hell am I saying this? Let me put it this way - I have known a few people in my life who believed that homosexual acts were sinful for mainly religious reasons. I'm pretty sure that you and I would both strongly disagree with this attitude. Strangely enough, though, I have never personally met a religious person who expressed the kind of concentrated hostility towards homosexuals that you often express towards anyone who doesn't share your worldview. I know that there are quite a few of them out there, but I have been lucky enough not to know any of them very well.

I guess what strikes me is that you could take some of your posts, make some pretty modest changes wording, and it would turn into a fundamentalist rant about how evil the gays and the abortionists and the liberals are, and how you would never compromise with that kind of evil. It certainly has the same tone.

Maybe hatred towards whole broad sections of the human population really is the only appropriate way to respond to the same kind of hatred on the other side. Maybe I've totally misunderstood the points that you are trying to make - that happens more than I'd like to admit, especially on the internet. There's just something about hatred coming from people who claim to be fighting against hatred that really sets me off.

[end of disorganized rambling]

Dan J said...

Okay guys, let's try a little thought experiment. Keep in mind that my experiment errs on the side of hyperbole, but it's only for illustrative purposes.

Imagine that you grew up in the southern United States. Imagine that your parents were unrepentant racists, your father even a member of the KKK.

Imagine now that you are eighteen years old. You're a member of the same Klan group as your father. You, however, do not believe in the superiority of the "White Race" as your parents and their friends do.

Do you:

A - Remain a member of the Klan (they have great barbecues!), but remind others that you aren't like all those other Klan members, and they shouldn't tar you with the same brush.

B - Leave the Klan, and tell your parents what bigots they are, and wish them well, promising not to see them until they acquire a brain between them.

I will, of course, entertain other options if they are provided.

Becca said...

Sir- I take issue with your characterization of homeschoolers.


"It is moderates who foster the notion that kids should be allowed to be "educated" at home, with little or no real monitoring from the state and allowed to wallow in ignorance, because that is what their religion demands."
In the immortal words of my SO: Bullshit. Bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit!
Kids should be allowed to be educated at home with no real monitoring from *cough*bigbrother*cough* the state because it is a fundamental freedom to allow parents to choose how to educate their children. Even if you don't think it's an important freedom (and I'd just like to see how you'd respond if someone insisted they had the right to teach your kids in Sunday school), the state fucks education up so egregiously that a few religious ya-hoos who don't believe in carbon dating is miles down a long list of educational problems our country faces.

Given your personal history with religion, I understand your passion. I appreciate that you are trying to save people from "wallowing in ignorance". But you are blinded by your zealotry. You sound exactly like someone trying to save people from "wallowing in sin". You may have abandoned the magical thinking, but you haven't abandoned that self-righteous holier than thou crap. "Think of the children" is the lamest excuse for imposing your will upon other people ever. It's lame when creepy batshit whackaloon people who exhibit a 'unique amalgamation of nuts and retarded and criminal' use it as an excuse to deny nonheteronormative people their rights, and it's lame when creepily obsessed-with-religion atheists 'LOOKATMEHOWMOTHERFUCKINGRAATIONALIAM" whackaloon sounding people use it to support facist state-mandated brainwashing (yes, this is how I see a lot of what happens in public schools).
You want to see wallowing in ignorance...have you read an average fifth grade American history or science textbook lately???
Will you kindly tell me exactly how kids are better off learning "Washington never told a lie" than reading Zinn's "A People's History of the United States"? Or why the insipid monotony of pretty-pictured science textbook "energy makes it go!" (bonus points for getting the Feynman reference) is superior to oh, I don't know, Lewis Thomas' "Lives of a Cell", or, well, Feynman, for that matter?
And don't get me started on the creepy bullying-oriented socialization... oh wait, Dan J has decided to demonstrate...

@Dan J- well a jolly old 'fuck you with the horse you rode in on'!

I've found (in my experience) that traditionally-schooled individuals seem to have some "issues" understanding people who don't fit into one of their high-school clique type boxes. "Religious = stupid" is an inaccurate enough stereotype, "homeschooler = poor vocabulary" is such a random stab in the dark by an incoherent mind it just makes me giggle (particularly since, well, I went to public school for a while. I got beat up for "talking like a dictionary").

DuWayne Brayton said...

Becca -

I am actually a fairly strong advocate of homeschooling. I am not however, a advocate of allowing parents to raise kids who can't manage basic competency tests. I am not suggesting a "teach the test" paradigm either - just something that proves the children are getting a reasonable education.

And I am not trying to impose anything on anybody, that isn't imposed on most everyone else who doesn't have the excuse of their gods telling them that it's wrong. All that I wish to impose on anyone, is what is imposed on everybody.

To be perfectly clear, I would love to be in a position to homeschool my children - especially the eldest, who has pronounced neurological and emotional issues, that make school exceptionally challenging for him. But then, my son would also be able to pass a competency exam.

I am not even trying to say that parents should be required by law to teach their children evolution or sex ed - if they have provided their child with a reasonable education, those are small areas to worry about the deficiency of. But we should be perfectly comfortable making their parents objects of ridicule and shame, for taking risks with their children's sexual health.

I am just sick and fucking tired of people telling me to respect other peoples fucking faith and to accommodate their fucking religious preferences, when public health and their children's health is at stake.

It's fucking bullshit.

Dan J said...

Becca (who is so ashamed of herself that she won't even allow people to see a profile) said:

"@Dan J- well a jolly old 'fuck you with the horse you rode in on'!"

Actually, Becca, the "jolly old" phrase you're looking for is "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on." You have failed.

You also did not see the comment from the obnoxious little prick to which I was responding with a little hyperbole. It was removed shortly after my response was written, as DuWayne recognized the author.

For you, dear, my response is "Fuck you and the cross you rode in on."

Becca said...

DuWayne- I understand the principle behind testing, and it's not that I didn't take nationally normed standardized tests or do well on them. But I don't think people generally advocating for testing homeschoolers really understand how weird the educational system is aside from homeshooling.
Let me explain a bit more about regulations in Illinois, where I grew up. State law says private schools aren't defined by how many pupils they have- so a "homeschool" is a form of private school. There is virtually no state interference in private schools- whether they are religious or not. There is no mandated testing or specific graduation requirements, or anything else for a private school.
You might think that's a system in need of reform, but in that context, I think it's a little wonky to say *just* homeschoolers need to be tested.

More importantly, a lot of the people I knew chose homeschooling precisely because their children had difficulty in school (or school had difficulty with their children, depending on how you look at it). I particular worry about preventing some special needs kids from getting effective one-on-one instruction just because they aren't likely to test at grade level. I suppose you could always mandate testing without mandating a certain performance level, but most regulation scenarios end up screwing over some parents who are doing the best possible thing for their kids.
Also, I see those special needs kids as only a particularly obvious example of a general principle... that everyone *needs* a different education. While that isn't necessarily completely incompatible with a "basic competency test"- I do think the task of defining what makes an "educated person" a fundamentally impossible one to achieve completely.

I'm not particularly urging you to respect parenting decisions you don't agree with... mock away. Just don't let it cross over into "there oughta be a law" without thinking about how it might actually play out.
As a parent, you should see the hazards inherent in the notion that parents should only be allowed to make certain decisions for their children.
Protecting children from imminent dire threats (like physical abuse) is one thing, but I've seen "protect the childrens!!1" used far too often as a scare tactic to 'justify' some frightening abuses of power.

Dan J- ok, I failed. Enjoy the horse.

DuWayne Brayton said...

Becca -

First, I absolutely believe that private schools should be required to prove some competency. Second, I am also keen on ensuring that children with special needs be tested with that in mind. And to be clear, I am advocating testing that shows that the child is actively being educated, not testing that proves they're a great student. I just believe that the state has an interest in making sure that kids are actually getting an education, when we consider that it is against the law for them not to.

The other reason I think this is important, is that I also believe that it is in the interest of children to be observed by agents of the state - at least with that minimum contact.

Basically, all I am asking for is a legal requirement that parents take their child into a school or administrative offices to meet with a guidance counselor for a short chat and a test that will indicate whether or not a child is getting an education. I also believe that homeschooling parents of children with special needs should receive the same funding that public schools do, for the education of children with special needs.

I am not interested in frightening abuses of power. I am only interested in ensuring that children get a reasonable education.

Which, by the way, also has me being a strong advocate for pretty massive changes in public schooling. I am even getting to the point where a few of my public school teacher friends have gotten and calling for a complete and total disassembly and reconstruction of the whole fucking system.

Dan J said...

Becca said, "Dan J- ok, I failed. Enjoy the horse."

Thanks, Becca. I just love all the pretty little horses. (j/k)

On the education side of things, no, I'm not a huge detractor of home schooling, and my comments above were not meant to be indicative of my attitude toward home-schooled individuals, only toward a particularly incorrigible person who shall remain nameless.

I'm a product of this country's public education system. It failed me miserably. I grew up in Indiana, but now live in Illinois. My oldest daughter graduated from public scholl in Indiana in May. She had a better time of it than I did.

Our country's educational system is in ruins. It's my opinion that B. F. Skinner, John Dewey, and behavioral psychology brought us to the travesty we're now forced to endure.

I think it needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. The biggest problem I see with that is that the biggest influences on a new system are going to be those with the most cash, which got us where we are in the first place.

[Okay; this time the captcha is 'weedf'. I'm becoming concerned.]

Thomas Joseph said...

DuWayne said:My lovely partner (and Thomas himself) has pointed out that Thomas isn't particularly liberal. So we can add that he is also one of those delusional fucks who pretends that anyone who can't afford healthcare doesn't deserve it.

DuWayne, you're being an asshat. Just because I said I do not define myself as a liberal does not mean that I think that anyone who can't afford healthcare doesn't deserve it. If you can find where I said such a thing, I'd love to see it. I'll save you the time though, I believe we should have universal health care. I also believe it should be affordable, effective, and sustainable. I also believe we should ensure that it is not subject to massive abuse and fraud. Rather than tinker constantly at systems which start out broke, I think we should do it right the first time, and I think we can do so quickly. It should take no time at all to craft a bill which works. How non-liberal of me, eh?