Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Don't Shit Where You Eat (Religion of Peace My Ass)


Let's imagine... you had a book that said it's perfectly fine to shit where you eat.

And because of your devotion to this book, you formed a belief early on that it was perfectly all right to shit where you eat. And this you treated as a sacred truth.

After all, your parents always shat where they ate. They taught you it was okay. Moreover, everyone in your community shits where they eat. And when they come over to your house, they love to shit where you eat too--and so do you!

Then, one day you mature into adulthood and go out into the world to learn the ways of your fellow mankind. And you visit a distant land and the people there are friendly and welcome you with open arms and smiling faces.

Then, that evening, while breaking bread with them, you climb up onto the dinner table, drop trou, and shit right in the middle of the dinner table. Right beside the roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. You drop a big, steaming, duce.

To your dismay, everyone is appalled by this! Repulsed even. And unmistakenly disgusted by your crude, uncouth, and foul behavior.

And your only defense is to say... "B-but it's okay. See? For I have it written here in my holy book that it is perfectly fine to shit where I eat! And what's more, that it should be desired!"

Yet everyone with half a working brain knows that's not how it works. The majority of the real world doesn't shit where they eat, nor would they want you to. And they have good reasons and real world evidence for why this is so. Reasons like its unsanitary and spreads disease. That it's gross, polluted, and invoke undesirable physiologic reactions. All this is evidently laid out, unlike the claims of your fairy tale book which merely makes unfounded and unwarranted claims that are either in bad taste or simply goes against basic common sense, if not both.

Your fairy book may say "Religion of Peace," but everyone really knows the truth. It's just shitting where you eat.

And when you shit where other people eat, well, then those people have a right to ask you to leave.

But please, for all the is sane and good in the world, don't go and act shocked when people call you foul, disgusting, and grotesque. Because that's exactly what you are when you shit where you eat. Pretending it's not, because of beliefs, is simply to be disillusioned about the way oxymorons work.

If you say it's a "religion of peace" for example, but the religion only seems to generate violent and intolerant behavior, then it's not a religion of peace. It's the opposite.

And let's drop the excuses. If it were a few bad eggs, well, they'd be dealt with and fade away into the obscurity of time. It wouldn't be a weekly, monthly, year after year event...whereby the only thing that seems to be true is your inability to believe that shitting where you eat is a bad thing.

And that's nobody's fault but your own.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Abortion is Only Still a "Debate" Because...

Abortion: It's only still a "debate" because the pro-life side refuses to accurately define life, they refuse to define what legal status a fetus should have, whether it is limited as with other minors, whether it shares the same legal standing as the mother, or whether it has its own legal standing yet to be defined, or none at all.

In every case, in which the pro-life side talks about "baby killing" and "murder" they turn around and strip the mother of her autonomy, try to force her to bear a child without the proper medical expertise to even discuss such concerns, and in many cases try to erect laws to punish and jail the woman who chooses to have an abortion in defiance of their attempt at authoritarian control over her and her body.

It is telling then that the entire abortion controversy is still a "debate." It is still a debate because the pro-life side refuses to do the necessary legwork in creating a defensible position.

Here's a not so big secret. Until the prerequisite conditions of knowing the exact definition of life (not your personal opinion but an actual scientific and philosophically sound definition), until we know the precise legal standing of the fetus and its status in relationship to the mother's rights as an autonomous citizen with legal protections, until the discussion can be about what these rights should look like in a civilized society with advanced medical technology and medicine, there simply is NO pro-life argument.

All it is, at this time, is an attempt to control women. Hence, it's still a "debate" in their eyes, because women aren't yet fully under their control. And it will continue to be a debate until they take the questions of a fetus's identity and autonomy seriously.

You know who does consider these things? The pro-choice side. Which is why pro-choicers are in staunch opposition to the pro-life side. Because the pro-life side isn't about saving the life of babies. It's strictly about the control over a woman's body and dictating the rights of a mother's autonomy. This "debate" can never truly end until the pro-life proponents do better and fashion a defensible position. The control, power, and authority over another human being to get your way is not a defensible position.




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

***My Epically Long-winded GOP Rant***


Is the GOP on drugs? 

I mean, they must all be on drugs. Right? 

In 50 days of the Trump presidency, we see the GOP write up a health care bill that sucks so bad it will actually do real harm to Americans. And all because there are members of the Grand Ole Party that just cannot accept that Obama care is working--barely, since they blocked it at every turn, repealed it numerous times, and forced terrible rewrites into it effectively neutering a decent healthcare package and making it into a nightmare--but it's still better than nothing. And they want to replace a barely functioning health care bill that, as bare-bones as it is, is actually doing some good with a health care plan that wants to ass-rape 50 million Americans.

If this wasn't bad enough, we have a POTUS who passes an *unconstitutional* anti-Muslim ban that then gets suspended then stricken down as unconstitutional only to write another Muslim ban, as if that was going to go over well. But the GOP and its supporters are glad, because...well...MUSLIMS = SCARY to them. And OTHER CULTURES = ICKY to them. 

The Whitehouse Press secretary, Melissa McCarthy look-alike aka Sean Spicer, lies about the president's lies. Gets caught lying about the president's lies, and so makes up some lies to cover-up the previous lies. Really, this happened. Just...wow. 

The appointed education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is...surprise, surprise...anti-education. As if you hadn't already guessed. And has the vouchers to prove it. But if that's not enough to convince you, just watch that painful video of her appointment hearing where she basically confesses, by a vote of silence, that special needs and handicapped children do not deserve equal opportunity education. WTF? Who says no comment to that? Of course, special needs and handicapped children deserve equal opportunity education! Of course they do! Only a cold-hearted sociopath wouldn't be able to admit that. 

Seriously, people. This is the secretary of education we are talking about. She wrote a bill that essentially takes away school lunches/breakfast plans from public schools, even as many children need those meals. The wording of HR 610 stipulates that if a school has not applied for certain vouchers, they won't be granted enough funding to provide nutritious foods, and if they can't meet the requirements of the nutritious food mandate they aren't allowed to give any food to children at all--effectively repealing the No Hungry Kids Act. It's all there...in the bill people! It hasn't passed yet, thank goodness, but it's been introduced to the House. So, yeah.

The appointed secretary of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, is a climate change denier who has spoken out against the very real harms of the environment, essentially showing he has no sense. On top of that, he wants to make cuts to the EPA not realizing the EPA is what safeguards and regulates all the nuclear power/energy plants in the U.S., and that cuts to the EPA not only would have lasting--and quite possibly devastating--effects in the fight against climate change, but it could also lead to nuclear power being underfunded and shorthanded in the long term, thus laying the groundwork for deteriorating nuclear power plants, lack of safety measures being in place, and potentially more accidents. 

Steve Bannon gets put on Trump's National Security Council even though he's the founder of an alt-right magazine who both the KKK and Neo-Nazi parties have openly voiced support for, and who is currently under criminal investigation by the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway is living in an alternative universe where alt-facts are facts and things that didn't happen definitely did happen, and where spin is the only zone in her reality--which is so dizzying to us in the desert of the real that she appears to the informed to be little more than a muppet in a blond wig.

And don't get me started on Paul Ryan, who is so tone deaf as to the plight of working-class, middle-class America that he's practically willing to butt-rape them at every chance in the name of the 1% of the insanely rich, because...Democracy, Capitalism, Obama bad. 

And the supporters of these people, the advocates of the GOP like Faux New's own Sean Hannity has been drinking the same Koolaid as the rest, and things the Obama's never had it bad and were never ridiculed or scorned like Trump has been, when the right has been nothing but venomous toward the Obamas calling them everything from the anti-christ to secret Muslim spies to gorillas. Which was going on till the very last week of their tenure in the White House, if you'll recall, when Beverly Whaling, a mayor of Clay West Virginia, supported a racist tweet about the first lady looking like "An ape in heels" --overtly racist-- and then complimented it...true to racist fashion, then stepped down over the fact that she applauded racists tweets about the first lady of America in the very last week leading up to the Obama's exist of the Whitehouse.

Sean Hannity, apparently, is living with Kellyanne in her alternative universe with alt-right Bannon and all the weirdos which have jammed up the GOP so badly that no amount of enemas will seem to help clear that nasty, bile-filled, party.

And then there's the 65% Republican voting base of Americans who think all this is just fine and applaud Trump for all the good he's been doing--and then act shocked when the rest of the majority of Americans (who did not vote for Trump) act appalled--and they call us liberal snowflakes. 

And...the only explanation I can find is that...the entire GOP and friends are all on drugs. Mind-bending, reality altering, drugs. 


#themoreyouknow

Monday, March 13, 2017

Irreligion: On Hurting Religious Feelings (A short rant)






Did you know that being irreligious or irreverent toward religious belief isn't wrong if you're NOT religious?

To a non-religious person, irreligion and irreverence toward specific theological claims are simply what being non-religious is about. Non-religious people put no emotional stock in the God proposition because they find the entire concept, not to mention belief system, bogus.

Many religious people perceive this as being rude because they are emotionally invested in their beliefs. And if someone doesn't love their beliefs as much as they love their own beliefs, then they think you're looking down on them.

I'm sure some non-religious folks might actually be looking down on religious people. But the point is, the religious person can't tell who is looking down and who just doesn't care. Because in either case, in their religious eyes both points of view appear to degrade their personal beliefs by not taking them at face value.

They don't actually. But that is what many religious people convince themselves is happening when people won't take them seriously. They think there is something unfair at play here beyond simple indifference toward their personal views.

It's an artificial problem religious people create for themselves. Much like how blasphemy to someone who doesn't believe in the sacrosanctity of a religious text isn't actually wrong. Blasphemy is only wrong for the believer because they have convinced themselves that to say something bad or negative against their faith is wrong.

But that's a rule they have invented for themselves!

From outside of their faith, divorced from their beliefs, to be critical, skeptical, or even irreligious is simply a condition of not believing. Blasphemy cannot, therefore, be a crime to non-religious people. It can only be considered a crime to religious people who have convinced themselves that it is a criminal act to be irreverent.

Again, that's just a rule they have invented for themselves. To expect everyone else to automatically adhere to your arbitrary rule, and then enforce it, whereby you write anti-blasphemy laws to punish people who disagree with you -- often by inflicting violence or unfair imprisonment -- is downright evil, vile, and disgusting.

What religious people could do, however, and this is my personal advice, is grow up. People will disagree with you. That's a fact of life. Now get over it, and move on.

Sorry for the rant, but I get annoyed when people accuse me of being "rude" or "having it out" for them when I critique or speak on the vacuity of their beliefs--even when I go out of my way to be polite and non-confrontational.

I mean, if you say, "I believe X," then my saying "I don't believe X," isn't an attack on you--no matter what you may think. It's an equally valid and opposing point of view. The best response is to say, thanks, and agree to disagree. Getting bent out of shape and then resorting to name calling only proves how much you lack the confidence to stand up for what you believe in.

#notmyproblem #growup #notmygod

Monday, February 20, 2017

Public Discourse is a Civic Duty: Free Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom to Protest


I wonder if all these no-platforming proponents realize that that's the same thing as censorship. 



Not letting someone publish something because you find it *offensive* is censorship.


Canceling a television show or radio program because it's *offensive* is censorship.

Canceling a speaker from holding a public discourse is *censorship*.

Suspending or firing a talking head in the media, because you don't like what she is saying, is *censorship*.

Attacking the free press and calling everything they write "alternative news" or "fake news" is obfuscation (usually done to make an excuse to invoke censorship), but barring the press from the room and reporting on important matters (looking at you Sean Spice / Trump Whitehouse) is *censorship*.

Now, I'm not saying giving certain folks a platform isn't always a great idea (sometimes it's most definitely not).

Broadcasting pernicious, vile, and grotesque ideologies out into the world is always going to be problematic because there are always going to be pernicious, vile, and grotesque individuals which will latch onto those ideas as though they were scripture.

But the very concept of free discourse depends on the fair representation of both sides of an issue/position, whether wrong or right, and then we must allow for the best ideas to win through a thorough examination of their content and worth.

If your idea isn't good enough to beat something terribly awful, then that may be a fault in rhetoric, and you'll have to do better. Otherwise, if your ideas are continually on the losing end, then you should pause to wonder whether or not these ideas are worthy of championing or whether you're just wasting yours and everyone else's time.

The problem with pernicious, vile, and grotesque people, however, is that they often see themselves as heroes, and when their ideas fail they make themselves into martyrs to resurrect such ideas again under another guise.

The discourse is neverending. In a world where freedom of speech is valued, we must always be vigilant to speak out against bad ideas. That's a civic duty whereby we continue to value free speech, freedom of the press, and the right to protest.

The idea that we can censure ourselves from bad ideas, however, by simply by telling pernicious, vile, and grotesque people to go away is underestimating the sensibility of pernicious, vile, and grotesque people.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

JLaw and her butt touched a rock incident (Repost from Facebook)


Imagine for a moment, a person who claims all rocks are sacred, and that sitting on one or otherwise touching your ass to it is offensive in the extreme. Additionally, if you incidentally do touch the rock in an way deemed uncouth by them, they demand you apologize.

Now, imagine I come along and say, no rocks are sacred, they're just rocks, and they're best for sitting on, scratching with, and generally touching your butt to is not only fine, it's your right to do so.

Good. Next, suppose a popular actress comes along and touches her butt to some rocks. Maybe she knocks a few of them over.

Still with me?

Okay.

So JLaw is called out for demeaning the sacred rocks of some Hawaiian people because they say she desecrated it with her woman butt.

They demand she apologize.

She does. Because, presumably, she's a nice person. Her actions seem to validate this assumption about her character.

Now, let me ask you this. Is all of Hawaii going to apologize to me for defying my beliefs with their nonsensical claims that all rocks are sacred when I in fact believe the exact opposite?

Not likely.

Because there is a double standard at play.

You see, I didn't cry. I didn't caterwaul. I didn't complain that my feelings got hurt for the arbitrary rules you failed to adhere to that I made up.

Some tribal folks (I'll allow for the double meaning) got upset. They complained. They cried big fat tears.

And everyone gobbled them up. The media most of all. Yummy, yummy, tears.

They...and here it is...became emotional.

Appeal to emotion.

Their *sacred* beliefs were attacked by JLaw's butt! Cue the waterworks!

They are sad. They are crying. Their feelings are hurt, goddammit!

Obviously, obviously JLaw has to apologize. She looks so vicious, so callous, so wrong to have offended. After all, real people with real feelings feel accosted.

Appeal to emotion.

You know who's not getting an apology, though?

Me.

Why?

Two reasons.

One, I didn't cry. I didn't get emotional. I didn't turn mole hills into mountains. And I didn't demand anyone coddle me.

Second, I never claimed rocks were sacred. Because they're not. They're just fucking not. Okay?

It's people who place value on things, it's people who must imbue inanimate objects, like rocks, with sacrosanctity. It's people who subjectively determine what will or won't offend them. They choose their limits. They draw the imaginary line.

I do not do these things, but my beliefs were equally trampled on and disregarded by the Hawaiian people.

But they got emotional. They made it about their sacred rights. They cried the loudest.
They got the apology.

Such an obvious double standard.

But that's not the worst of it.

It gets much worse.

Precisely because I didn't grow emotional or allow myself to be offended, my very real belief is devalued, considered less important than the Hawaiian people's.

It's not sacred, so what do I lose, right?

I have no emotional investment, how can I be affected?

This is about real people with real feelings, with real history, goddammit!

A history ripe with oppression and mistreatment by outsiders who didn't respect their beliefs. A history full of real abuses.

But that's not now. This is now. Not then.

So what has changed?

Cultural sensitivity, perhaps? Cultural awareness? Historical knowledge? Maybe all of it. But what does this recent trend in outrage and scapegoating say about society?

It says we place more value on emotional sentimentality than we do on equality of belief.
Your beliefs be damned if you don't get regularly worked up over someone not sharing them.

You see, that's how you get attention. By caterwauling. By demanding a high profile actress apologize for her young adult antics. Because you, by God, felt offended.

I don't. So I don't get an apology. Nor would I ever demand one for simply having a different belief. I don't believe in the sacred. I'm 100% a contrarian. Irreverent till the end.

But because I am this way, I don't appeal to your baser emotions. I can't get your reptilian brain flowing with rage at the mere idea of someone not abiding by the tribal laws.

But if you cry, those sympathetic enough, those who make their every judgment based on emotional pleas, will come rushing in to demand JLaw apologize for offending the absurd notion of sacred rocks.

And we love to see people eat crow. We, being emotional creatures, straight up love it. Seeing someone be forced to bow down and kowtow, to admit to the offense of whatever imaginary crime they have committed, to fess up and apologize, it makes us salivate.

We love it. Because, why would anyone cry if it wasn't a greater offense than spilled milk? Why would anyone feign feeling accosted? They wouldn't. They must genuinely feel that way. We must apologize to them. Make them feel better again. Make amends.

We must have justice!

Right?

FUCK THAT!

Getting justice implies a real moral wrong has been committed.

The only moral wrong I see is that JLaw was emotionally blackmailed into apologizing for some made up offense.

If you think I'm being crass, that I don't get it, that the beliefs really were sacred and deserving of everyone's veneration, then I'm afraid you've been bamboozled by the appeal to emotion here.

Let me make one thing clear. I will respect people 's reasonable requests. Don't scratch you ass on our sacred objects. Okay. But make it very clear what you mean by that prior to my actually doing it. Don't expect me to know hundreds and thousands of years of history completely unfamiliar, if not irrelevant, to me. Make yourself clear. Not after the fact. Before it.

That's your responsibility. If you want people to know something, you must teach them. You can't expect them to magically know what they don't know. That doesn't make a lick if sense.

By the way, as it turns out, it wasn't a sacred rock. Those don't exist. It wasn't even part of the burial grounds that JLaw disturbed. It was an umarked pile of rocks which may or may not have been related to the customary beliefs of the people. The damage was fixed and the rocks were put back exactly as they had been found, just in case.

Yet JLaw still was said to have committed a grave offense of butt to rock.


And just so you know exactly how topical I'm being with this blog post, here are some media outlets that have reported on it:

U.S. Weekly

People Magazine

E!News

Advocatus Atheist Ranked in the TOP 30 Atheist Blogs

According to the folks at Feedspot, a new web-venture media news blog, the Advocatus Atheist ranks in the top 30 of blogs based on, according to Feedspot, these criteria:


  • Google reputation and Google search ranking

  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites

  • Quality and consistency of posts.

  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review 


I'm humbled and flattered to be included in these other fine blogs. And I'll put the badge on my site proudly. If anything, the analystics seem sound. And if we're going by raw numbers, well, that's good news for this blog which I've maintained for over a decade. Although I don't post nearly as much as I used to, I still get around to it once in a while. Once a month on average according to Feedspot, Alexa, and Google Analytics.

Here's to many more great posts!

Advocatus Atheist

Advocatus Atheist