I Don’t Care About Your Invisible Jeebus

I used to be a lot quieter about not believing- hell, ten years ago I remember talking to people about religion and trying to believe. But it just never happened, I never saw the light or whatever, and continued to think that all this invisible Jesus stuff was just a load of crap. But I was quiet about it. I really didn’t (and to a large extent still don’t) see the need to antagonize people about their deeply held religious beliefs. You can’t argue with people about it, because none of it is based on logic or reason, most of it is so ingrained in who they are because they’ve been instructed to believe since they were born and spent their lifetime going through the rituals, and I just see no point in being a dick about it. I mean, how do you argue with someone that sprinkling water on a newborn in a ceremony isn’t actually going to have an impact on the kid? How do you argue that no, you really don’t have to give up something for six weeks every spring to be a good person. How do you tell someone that a two ounce shot of wine really isn’t the blood of some guy who allegedly lived several thousand years ago? You just can’t, so why bother and why be a jerk about it?

And then I read crap like this:

But sometimes the state goes further. Not content with crowding out alternative forms of common effort, it presents its rivals an impossible choice: Play by our rules, even if it means violating the moral ideals that inspired your efforts in the first place, or get out of the community-building business entirely.

This is exactly the choice that the White House has decided to offer a host of religious institutions — hospitals, schools and charities — in the era of Obamacare. The new health care law requires that all employer-provided insurance plans cover contraception, sterilization and the morning-after (or week-after) pill known as ella, which can work as an abortifacient. A number of religious groups, led by the American Catholic bishops, had requested an exemption for plans purchased by their institutions. Instead, the White House has settled on an exemption that only covers religious institutions that primarily serve members of their own faith. A parish would be exempt from the mandate, in other words, but a Catholic hospital would not.

Ponder that for a moment. In effect, the Department of Health and Human Services is telling religious groups that if they don’t want to pay for practices they consider immoral, they should stick to serving their own co-religionists rather than the wider public. Sectarian self-segregation is O.K., but good Samaritanism is not. The rule suggests a preposterous scenario in which a Catholic hospital avoids paying for sterilizations and the morning-after pill by closing its doors to atheists and Muslims, and hanging out a sign saying “no Protestants need apply.”

Oh, go blow it out your ass. You know why the government is getting involved in this? Because if they don’t, there won’t be other options, because you god-bothering cretins are busy doing stuff like this:

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has announced that it will stop supporting lifesaving breast cancer screening for low-income and underserved women at Planned Parenthood health centers — including those in West Virginia.

It’s a deeply disappointing decision — made even more alarming because politically motivated groups and individuals determined to undermine women’s access to care appear to have successfully intimidated the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to withdraw this critical support.

Over the past five years, Komen funds have enabled Planned Parenthood health centers to provide nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and referrals for more than 6,400 mammograms. These cancer detection and prevention programs saved the lives of women who often had nowhere else to turn for care.

But when anti-choice groups began criticizing the Komen Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood, the foundation ended its support for Planned Parenthood health centers. We know our opponents put their ideology over women’s health and lives. What we never expected is that an ally like the Komen Foundation would choose to listen to them.

Again, I’m not naturally inclined to be antagonistic towards religion. My parents are both religious and are definite believers. I like Sundays off, I like the Easter and Christmas break, I don’t care if we have to do silly things like pray before certain events (I can just think about other things while they babble), it doesn’t bother me that In God We Trust and other such statements are everywhere in public life, and so on. I’m not some crazed reactionary on the issue.

But from where I stand these days, the only thing I see religion doing in the public sector is gay bashing and telling women, mostly poor and desperate and in deplorable financial and personal situations, what to do with their bodies. I see busybodies deciding what drugs they can dispense to which customers, or deciding that they don’t have to issue a marriage license because of some petty deity that I don’t believe in told them to hate their fellow citizens and ignore the law. In a country in dire financial straits but still spending billions and billions of dollars on education, I see religious folks actively and openly working to make our schoolkids dumber. I see them shooting people who provided a medical procedure, and I see others rummaging through people’s personal lives to find out who hasn’t lived up the word of God. I see glassy-eyed fools running for President claiming that vaccines that save lives actually cause cancer, or that if you get raped and are pregnant, you should just lie back and think of Jeebus and make the best of a bad situation. In fact, everywhere you look these days, if Christianity or religion is getting a mention, it means something ugly is happening and someone somewhere is being victimized, marginalized, or otherwise abused. Go read some of the arguments against integration and you’ll see the same bible verses used today against homosexuals. Fifty years from now, they’ll be recycling them again to trash someone else they don’t like or who isn’t good enough for them.

So, I’m sorry, Ross. I don’t give a shit about your invisible Jeebus, I don’t care if under the iron hand of Obamacare there might be a little more access to contraceptives, and until you and the rest of your godbothering pals get your act together and stop being a burden and cancer on society, I really don’t care what you think. Deal with it.

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426 replies
  1. 1
    tjmn says:

    Epic. Sustained. Rage. Thank you.

  2. 2
    Anne Laurie says:

    Good for you, John. And I say that as a person of faith (albeit a faith Doubthat would dismiss as not really a religion).

  3. 3
    gbear says:

    But if you believed in the invisible jesus, you’d be a so much happier person; so much more fulfilled and at peace with yourself. Ross wouldn’t make you crabby.

    Just ask my sisters…

  4. 4
    Gemina13 says:

    So it looks like Planned Parenthood is getting the donation I’d have made to the Komen Foundation in lieu of trying to raise the 3-Day Walk fee, and the Komen Foundation can go fuck itself.

  5. 5
    Trinity says:

    Woo! I need a cigarette.

    Cole, you give the best rant.

  6. 6
    Tonybrown74 says:

    Ramen!

  7. 7
    The Ithacan says:

    I too tried to believe. It never worked.

    My mother is a Methodist minister and all three of her adult children are atheists.

    Religion is a pox on society and the sooner it disappears the better.

  8. 8
    cmorenc says:

    I disagree with you and the Obama administration here in that it would have been far wiser to have permitted religious institutions the opt-out from including these items in their coverage, PROVIDED that each individual working for an institution electing to opt-out would have a completely confidential individual right to an inexpensive opt-back in rider covering contraception, etc. By “confidential” I mean set up so that the employer would have no right or means to know which individuals had opted back in and were availing themselves of the array of contraceptive services. This would also mean that the opt-in coverage would have to include off-premises pharmacies or facilities entirely independent of the opted-out hospital employers.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    So, all the blather from Douchehat over new regs for healthcare providers but nothing, NOTHING on how profit motives make health care less accessible.

    Gosh, I wonder if he really cares about the people who need a better system, or just institutions who discriminate?

    He’s a bigger asshole than idiot, at least for today.

  10. 10
    Rommie says:

    Wow, you just told God-Fearing Americans to stop being a burden and cancer on society. You should take Blog Breaks more often! And I do not envy you the Fire hose of Doom that’s getting turned on and pointed at you Soon(tm)

  11. 11

    Good rant.

    But you really are what you do. If you spend your time being mean and nasty and selfish and trying to make life harder for others, then you aren’t a good person. And if you can do all of these things and still be in good standing with your religion, then it is a false religion.

  12. 12
    Jeff Boatright says:

    @cmorenc: You live in a big metro area, don’t you?

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ramen, brother.

    May FSM smite these heathens with a noodley appendage.

  14. 14
    sylvainsylvain says:

    Preach on, Brother John!

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    Righteous!

    Oh, wait. Can I say that?

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    You know why the government is getting involved in this?

    /doing my best Horshack

    OH OH OH OH! Pick me, Mr. Kottah!

    Because one day its “abortion medicine” they decide is anti-jesus, the next day its the gays, then perhaps Teh Blax, then greasy illegals…..

  17. 17
    The Moar You Know says:

    I used to get beaten daily for loudly proclaiming my lack of faith back in elementary school. But I used to take it, quietly.

    That ended when some good Christian beat my little brother – who was in kindergarten, mind you – into the ER.

    I started hitting back. So did my brother. And then I started going after my tormentors actively.

    Never got a finger laid on me since sixth grade. Neither has my brother. You can’t give these people one fucking inch or they’ll be having a victory party over your removed kidneys.

    Cowards like the Komen foundation deserve nothing. I don’t reward cowardice, neither should anyone else.

  18. 18

    I’ve shared your general opinion– I can’t be convinced that supernatural beings exist, but also don’t care to be obnoxious to people about it. It’s a big deal to them, but just an abstract point to me, so, why talk too much about it.

    The problem is that the noisiest group of religion-proclaiming folks in the political discourse tend to be those whose deities have told them that the government should target the sick, the outsider, and the prisoner.

    Which is another thing that rankles about people like Douthat and Santorum, who claim to be all about their religion. But it’s not like they’re out there engaging with the Church’s anti-Iraq invasion views based on Just War Theory, or its views on the death penalty, torture, or poverty. No, it’s only when their God tells them to screw with the powerless that they give a hoot what He has to say about anything. And then, it’s all in the name of God, they insist. I have my doubts.

  19. 19
    Legalize says:

    Again, I’m not naturally inclined to be antagonistic towards religion.

    I am. More and more with each passing day. I’d be content to just leave them to their kooky delusions, if they’d simply leave me to my sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But they don’t. There’s always some loony group wagging its collective finger in my face about one thing or another. And it always tends to affect my quality of life adversely. So, fuck ’em. I’m not picking favorites; they all suck as far as I can tell.

  20. 20
    The Ithacan says:

    In the Balloon Juice tradition I give you A Lincoln

         
    “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it”

  21. 21
    Sasha says:

    “The new health care law requires that all employer-provided insurance plans cover contraception, sterilization and the morning-after (or week-after) pill known as ella, which can work as an abortifacient.”

    Entitled to his own facts apparently.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    Deal with it.

    That’s the problem John, they deal with it by making our lives worse with renewed vigor.

    Granted, the only solution to this is a final one.

  23. 23
    jayboat says:

    But, but, but… what about the talking snake? What have you got against talking snakes, Cole?

  24. 24
    cmorenc says:

    @Jeff Boatright:

    @cmorenc: You live in a big metro area, don’t you?

    Yes (Raleigh/Triangle area of NC), and I understand the distinction and problem you are driving at here in smaller/more rural areas. However, even under the rules requiring such insurance coverage without any opt-out, the insured still faces the problem of locating an accessible facility in their community which provides broad-spectrum contraceptive services. It’s the latter that’s the real problem in single-hospital limited available health-care or pharmacy provider communities. That issue is not resolved by technically having employer-provided contraception insurance coverage vs a private confidential rider policy.

  25. 25
    burnspbesq says:

    Forget it,Jake, it’s Douthatown.

  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    Entitled to his own facts apparently.

    “When I say something, I mean exactly what I mean. Neither more nor less.”

  27. 27
    Anoniminous says:

    Amen, brother!

  28. 28
    jibeaux says:

    I guess we have to hope some minority sects don’t gain a lot of ground. Blood transfusions? No, I’m sorry. You see, this is a Jehovah’s Witness hospital. We don’t do that. You could try next door, but it’s a Christian Science hospital, so best of luck to you!

  29. 29
    Comrade Mary says:

    @cmorenc:

    I disagree with you and the Obama administration here in that it would have been far wiser to have permitted religious institutions the opt-out from including these items in their coverage, PROVIDED that each individual working for an institution electing to opt-out would have a completely confidential individual right to an inexpensive opt-back in rider covering contraception, etc.

    Nope.

    1) Too complicated.

    2) Not great for low population areas.

    3) This would cover the current crop of employees — maybe. I used to work for a Catholic school, and I think that if even a single person opted out, gossip would point toward the right or wrong person soon enough.

    In short: if religious institutions take public money, they play by public rules. Or fuck ’em.

  30. 30
    Mike G says:

    @cmorenc:

    Ridiculouly convoluted, and the religious institutions wouldn’t go for such hair-splitting anyway.

    The rule suggests a preposterous scenario in which a Catholic hospital avoids paying for sterilizations and the morning-after pill by closing its doors to atheists and Muslims, and hanging out a sign saying “no Protestants need apply.”

    I used to work for a Catholic hospital. They weren’t too pushy on the religious stuff so the proportion of non-Catholics working there, and as patients, mirrored the general population. The idea that they would kick out three quarters of their staff and potential customers to uphold a ban on contraception in health benefits is beyond stupid.

    I prefer the principle that unless you work directly for a religious institution, your employer’s religious views don’t dictate your health coverage. Like employers aren’t bossy enough already.

  31. 31
    Sportello says:

    Amen.

    And it’s worth remembering that Obamacare requires no one — not one person — to use birth control. If you view it as immoral, you’re welcome to live your life without it.

    And nothing is preventing the Catholic Church from continuing to argue to the same. But American Catholics have ignored church doctrine in this point for decades, so the church turns to the state to impose its views. And this time, Obama said “no.”

  32. 32
    cmorenc says:

    @Jeff Boatright:

    @cmorenc: You live in a big metro area, don’t you?

    Yes (Raleigh/Triangle area of NC), and I understand the distinction and problem you are driving at here in smaller/more rural areas. However, even under the rules requiring such insurance coverage without any opt-out, the insured still faces the problem of locating an accessible facility in their community which provides broad-spectrum contraceptive services. It’s the latter that’s the real problem in single-hospital limited available health-care or pharmacy provider communities. That issue is not resolved by technically having employer-provided contraception insurance coverage vs a private confidential rider policy.

  33. 33
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Chunky Bobo, is a moral scold. I am sure he would be singing a different tune if he was a woman. Why do Catholic Bishops get to decide what I can do with my body.

  34. 34
    pragmatism says:

    i quite enjoyed susan of texas (or susan de tejas if you prefer) on ross. i would have titled it all of our wombs are belong to chunky reese witherspoon but that’s just me.

    http://agonyin8fits.blogspot.c.....uthat.html

  35. 35
    jl says:

    So, Cole does not want to be a dick, eh? Not sure Cole has what it takes to be a VSP in our great United States today. But I give him points for self awareness.

    But, hey, the google is a wonderful thing. We need some people like this guy today (at least as far as First Amendment goes)

    From conclusion of paper on Madison and publicly supported legislative chaplains.

    ” On the question of the legislative chaplaincy, the weight of the historical evidence suggests that the principal Framer of the First Amendment, James Madison, squarely and consistently opposed the legislative chaplaincy throughout his political life
    and also considered it a violation of the stablishment Clause he had helped to frame.”

    ” It is clear that Madison took some actions in his life that might be construed as support for the congressional chaplaincy, particularly if one ignores the specific historical contexts of those actions. It is equally
    clear that he explicitly claimed the legislative chaplaincy was an unconstitutional and unwise violation of natural rights, and that he had never supported it.”

    JAMES MADISON AND LEGISLATIVE CHAPLAINS
    Andy G. Olree
    2008
    Northwestern University Law Review Vol. 102, No. 1

    Edited to fix typo.

  36. 36
    cathyx says:

    This comment section is not the proper place for me to have a discussion about religion, and those people you are quoting may be religious, but they are not spiritual. There is a huge difference.

  37. 37
    Shinobi says:

    If everyone who works at your institution is a follower of your religion it doesn’t matter if your insurance covers these items or not, they will not be getting those services.

    If you employ individuals at your institution that do not follow your religion you would be penalizing them financially. (Plus I seriously doubt that it would reduce the cost of the insurance plan at all. They just go up, no matter what you do.)

  38. 38
    ABL says:

    i need a cigarette after reading that.

  39. 39
    burnspbesq says:

    There’s a quite simple solution to this particular problem: any hospital that wants to opt out should lose its 501(c)(3) status for failing to provide a sufficient amount of charity care.

    I’m as Catholic as the next Catholic, but the USCCB is dead wrong about this.

  40. 40
    matryoshka says:

    Preach it, John. I’m kind of a squishy spiritual type, but I have grown exceedingly weary of all the god-talk everywhere. STFU, people. If you have a relationship with a deity or whatever, STFU. It’s private. And the History Channel? All Bible, all the time.

  41. 41
    Major Mel Funkshun says:

    Tax the churches. Tax the businesses owned by the churches.
    –Frank Zappa

  42. 42
    Berial says:

    When the religious stop deciding with whom, when and how, people other than themselves have sex, and stop treating women as non-equal to men with regards to their health, including their sexy bits; then people will stop having a problem with their religion.

  43. 43
    beltane says:

    Once upon a time there were many smart, thoughtful, decent people who were also devout. Now that we have something called intellectual freedom, religion has gradually become a haven for the most fearful, hateful, and ego-entrapped members of our society. There are still some religious people who are also good people, but that is because they are good people, not because their attempts to cheat death via religion have made them better people.

    I used to think the New Atheists were kind of obnoxious. Now I think they are necessary. We need people with the balls to tell our inquisitor class that no, their efforts to oppress homosexuals and treat women as life support systems for their reproductive organs will not earn them an eternal home in God’s little gated community in the sky.

  44. 44
    dedc79 says:

    And what makes it all the more ridiculous is that these same religious institutions that claim their religious beliefs are being infringed are working day in day out to force their religion on the whole country by banning abortion and birth control.

    They don’t like having to offer health insurance that includes birth control, but the fact is, they don’t want any health insurance to provide birth control.

  45. 45
    phil says:

    As a Catholic, all I can say is, I am ashamed of the American Conference of Bishops and almost every prominent Catholic in our political discourse. They are the worst kind of hypocrites – those who openly preach hate, under the banner of hope and love. Please know that many of us believin’ types are actively working to reform the church from the inside and that, like all things, change takes time.

  46. 46
    MariedeGournay says:

    I’m so deeply torn about it. I was raised Catholic and certain imagery and ritual I just find appealing. However, my god-bothering fundamentalist father pushed me farther and farther until I couldn’t think of Christianity and not feel rage. I think what bothers me the most is that he and men like him poisoned the poetry of it from me. I love the Gospels; I think they’re some of the most wonderfully strange pieces of literature humanity has produced. However, now if I ever pick them up, it’s not about enjoying the variations of the passion narrative, the poetry, or weirdness of how Mark ends. Now it’s infected with the ignorance and malevolence of men who would use it raise themselves up and push others down. They took my joy in the tale, and I just hate them for it.

  47. 47
    priscianusjr says:

    @The Ithacan:

    “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it”

    http://www.myjewishlearning.co.....ment.shtml

  48. 48
    TooManyJens says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I’m as Catholic as the next Catholic, but the USCCB is dead wrong about this.

    If you happen to live in Wisconsin, this man would like to interview you: https://twitter.com/#!/News3David/status/164457570361294848

  49. 49
    ornery_curmudgeon says:

    Hey hey, John Cole! You have moments, my man … not many, but you do have them.

    I am a believer in Christ’s actual message (quiet as it’s kept) and I agree with you completely! Anymore I just think organized religion is set up to silence Christ’s Word by talking incessantly about peripherals.

  50. 50
    pragmatism says:

    @ABL: hey ABL. hope all is well.

  51. 51
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    If you spend your time being mean and nasty and selfish and trying to make life harder for others, then you aren’t a good person. And if you can do all of these things and still be in good standing with your religion, then it is a false religion.

    And this is now my Facebook status.:)

  52. 52
    t4toby says:

    Righteous. Well put. I couldn’t agree more.

  53. 53
    rea says:

    There is a very large body of caselaw dealing with when freedom of religion trumps the statutory duty not to discriminate in employment based on religon. The Baptist church down the street can’t be required to hire a nonBaptist minister, but it can’t insist that its janitor has to be a Baptist, too. The Adminstration’s new rule seems to be just this well-known caselaw recycled. Outside of its core religious functions, when a church acts as an employer, it has to obey the laws governing employment.

    “Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

    “But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

    “Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

    “And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

    “They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

    “When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way”

  54. 54
    gogol's wife says:

    @ornery_curmudgeon:

    Try a UCC church. The people who get all the publicity are not the real church.

  55. 55
    kay says:

    It’s so ridiculously short-sighted and narrow, because Obamacare SO benefits hospitals that serve the poor.
    They’re going to get paid, with the Medicaid expansion.
    They’re going to get paid for what was (formerly) uncompensated care.
    They should be cheering Obama. Instead of talking, he’s going to get them paid.

  56. 56
    Pangloss says:

    I went to a Jesuit university, and I had to respect the priests who were at least able and willing to debate just about any matter of faith. The evangelicals can’t even maintain rational thinking on which parts of the Bible are the direct word of God, and which parts need to be re-interpreted to match this year’s Republican platform.

  57. 57
    burnspbesq says:

    @beltane:

    “I used to think the New Atheists were kind of obnoxious. Now I think they are necessary.”

    Convince me I shouldn’t take Sam Harris seriously when he talks about the justification for killing people of faith, and then we can talk. Or convince me that I’ve misunderstood.

  58. 58
    eemom says:

    Righteous rant, John Q. Cole.

  59. 59
    General Stuck says:

    I loathe mixing religion and politics, which always seems to fall on the right wing side of the pol spectrum. I have no qualms and am in fact impressed by what this jesus dood had to say while on planet earth walking with the fools.

    Beyond that, and certainly having to do with governing this country, not only is it a bad idea imposing religious doctrine in things like health care, it is against the fucking law.

    Hell, most Catholics in this country use birth control, I think, and against the buggering powers that be in that sect, they just say fuck it, poptop a brewskie, and vote democrat.

  60. 60
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I for one am a believer of the Ceiling Cat and his representative on earth, Tunch. Lolcat bible is the bestest. Anom.

  61. 61
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I wish I could agree with you but there is more than one female Chunky BoBo out there, women who believe that if they submit to their role as the cursed, polluted vessels of male lust, Jesus will give them flowers and orgasms in the afterlife.

    These people all feel that earthly existence itself is dirty and disgusting and worthless. That is why they devote their energies towards increasing the amount of suffering and misery that is already here.

  62. 62
    redshirt says:

    I won’t knock on a Christian’s door to tell him how stupid Religion is; but if someone get’s in my face about the LORD, better believe I’m going to push back. Fuck Religion, all of them.

  63. 63
    seanindc says:

    early candidate for post of the year. Well played sir, well played.

  64. 64
    bemused says:

    OMG. We had just gotten requests for donations from two friends planning to do the Komen 3 day walk. I didn’t see a link to John’s info but found out this was just announced. This is tragic.

  65. 65
    TooManyJens says:

    Instead, the White House has settled on an exemption that only covers religious institutions that primarily serve members of their own faith. A parish would be exempt from the mandate, in other words, but a Catholic hospital would not.
    __
    Ponder that for a moment. In effect, the Department of Health and Human Services is telling religious groups that if they don’t want to pay for practices they consider immoral, they should stick to serving their own co-religionists rather than the wider public. Sectarian self-segregation is O.K., but good Samaritanism is not. The rule suggests a preposterous scenario in which a Catholic hospital avoids paying for sterilizations and the morning-after pill by closing its doors to atheists and Muslims, and hanging out a sign saying “no Protestants need apply.”

    What HHS is saying is, that if you’re going to interact with the wider society, you are going to have to play by the rules of the wider society. Especially if you are deliberately putting yourself in a situation where you have power over others — say, if you’re employing substantial numbers of people who aren’t your members.

    I think there’s a genuine conflict — I don’t love the idea of telling people they have to do/pay for things they think are morally wrong. But in this particular case, it’s not like there’s a victim if someone uses contraception (whether or not one would consider a dead embryo a victim, the evidence for contraceptives preventing implantation is actually poor to nonexistent. As I have tried to tell the Rachel Maddow show a zillion times, but I digress). It’s purely a question of philosophy: what is the proper expression of human sexuality? And I’m OK with the ruling that the party with power to adversely affect someone’s life (by making it harder for them to get contraception) doesn’t get to do so on the basis of their particular beliefs about proper sexuality.

    I think this whole thing is yet another great argument against an employment-based system of health insurance.

  66. 66
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @beltane:

    I wish I could agree with you but there are more than one female Chunky BoBos out there, woman who believe that if they submit to their role as the cursed, polluted vessels of male lust, Jesus will give them flowers and orgasms in the afterlife.

    Stockholm Syndrome? I sincerely don’t get these women.
    To me , religion seems like a means to keep women and and their sexuality under control. This true not just about the Catholics but almost any religion, you can think of. This includes all the four major religions of the world, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sportello:

    But American Catholics have ignored church doctrine in this point for decades, so the church turns to the state to impose its views. And this time, Obama said “no.”

    THIS.

    The Catholic Bishops need the power of the state to compel their flock (and everyone else, for that matter) to obey their fucked up sectarian busybody positions on human sexuality and health.

    Meanwhile, they’re buggering altar boys and covering it up.

    Fuck them all.

  68. 68
    jibeaux says:

    One anecdote I’ll share is that I had a friend whose husband taught in a Catholic high school and their insurance was through him, it was called Brothers Mutual or something like that and it only covers Catholic organizations. After two kids, she went to schedule a tubal ligation and was shocked to learn that the insurance wouldn’t cover it. She had really forgotten that there was anything “wrong” with tubal ligation. The church is already wrestling with the fact that their followers largely ignore what they say at best, and at worst consider their credibility on sexual matters to be pretty suspect. I’m sure they feel like this is kind of the last stand. So be it. What’s that sound? It’s your hair as we drag you across the border of the twenty-first freakin century.

  69. 69
    hamletta says:

    @MariedeGournay: Don’t give them that power.

    I had a dear friend who died, and her family was Baptist. At her funeral, the pastor used the parable of the prodigal son to explain how she’d “come home” from her wild rock & roll friends, when in truth, she’d drunk herself to death under her parents’ not-so-watchful eye.

    Several of us wild rock & roll friends were outraged at his misappropriation and perversion of Christ’s message. One woman went so far as to say he’d utterly ruined the story for her. But when it rolled around again in the lectionary, I only heard the message of love.

    Fuck that guy. My friend hated him, anyway.

  70. 70
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Preach it, Brother John!

    Oh, oops.

  71. 71
    AA+ Bonds says:

    As soon as the Church loses on the issue their hospital administrators will promptly comply

    In America, it’s all a matter of leading the bishops to their proper seat among the rabble and forcing them down by their shoulders; they’re not Southern Baptists; they don’t get points by play-acting the American Revolution

  72. 72
    Yevgraf says:

    The Soviets had it correct – overt repression and occasional institutionalization of the true believers, vague tolerance of cultural following of the secularized and defanged “recognized” churches.

    Were it up to me, they’d simply lose all of their tax exemptions, and could purify themselves into their much deserved societal oblivion. My personal prediction is that in 200 years, you’ll have about as many adherents to the monotheistic faiths as there are Zeus followers today.

  73. 73
    Yoki says:

    Thank you for this. I’m so sick of the whole Christian nonsense and the evil it does.

  74. 74
    seanindc says:

    btw, do you have a link to the Susan B. Komen mention? Would love to repost that on facebook.

  75. 75
    Original Lee says:

    @cmorenc: I have seen some chatter that such an option is actually on the table. Given that there was a letter read at Mass in Catholic churches all over the U.S. basically threatening to shut down Catholic schools and hospitals unless this rule changes, I sincerely hope that a sensible compromise is reached.

  76. 76
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @jibeaux:

    She had really forgotten that there was anything “wrong” with tubal ligation.

    Yeah the Church predates medicine, has its own universalist system to deal with that stuff, and they end up looking confused and stupid as shit when they have to deal with inventions like surgery

    The church is already wrestling with the fact that their followers largely ignore what they say at best, and at worst consider their credibility on sexual matters to be pretty suspect.

    In the United States and Europe, anyway

  77. 77
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @General Stuck:

    Hell, most Catholics in this country use birth control, I think

    Use or have used, and 90%+ have used some form of contraception

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    Between Cole’s beatdown and TBogg’s mockery, it’s a good day in Douchehatlandia.

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....on-planet/

    Shorter message to the Catholics: if you no wanna dispense the pill, no takea the federal bucks (or the tax shelter).

  79. 79
    TooManyJens says:

    For crying out loud, I don’t even think that the birth control teaching is considered a core teaching that Catholics have to follow. I mean, it can’t be, can it? The place would be empty.

  80. 80

    There is a solution. 2 Corinthians 6:17.

    This is a case of having your cake and eating it too. It’s cheap grace.

    The catacombs are right over there… don’t let us stop you.

  81. 81
    MikeInSewickley says:

    If someone can provide a clear explanation of how these “god-fearing” bastards are not American Taliban, I’m all ears.

    They trust us to spend our tax-cut dollars wisely but we can’t be trusted with our bodies…

    As Thomas Jefferson said

    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.  What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”

  82. 82
    Kyle says:

    Shorter Douche-hat:
    I’m afraid of a world where religion can’t control everybody’s weewees and hoohahs all the time.

  83. 83
    slag says:

    @beltane:

    I used to think the New Atheists were kind of obnoxious. Now I think they are necessary.

    Same here. It may make me “some crazed reactionary on the issue”, but I’m actually no longer ok with putting religion in the public square. For starters, I find it unnecessarily divisive.

    And when I stop to think about it, I just find it plain weird. Grown people should be over their Santa Claus phase. Confronted with so many of us who aren’t suddenly reminds me of how far away we are from civilization. And how far away we’ll remain as long as we continue to normalize fantastical thinking.

  84. 84
    kwAwk says:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    This law is equal to a requirement that all Mosques and Jewish Temples serve Pork BBQ sandwiches in any soup kitchen or food pantry they operate. Or that at every Mormon gathering where non-mormons are allowed in a requirement that they non-Mormons be offered a choice of coffee or tea.

    If you’re upset about the choices of the religious to wage a war against gay rights, one which they are losing by the way, and support this you are no better than they are.

    And you’re no less extreme.

  85. 85
    hrprogressive says:

    I’m not about to argue “For” God even though I believe there is one, however when I did Biblical research for a philosophy class, I found a lot of examples of Jesus telling his followers to go and help the poor, the needy, and basically helping his brothers and sisters you know, not live a shitty life (paraphrased).

    You know what I didn’t find?

    Anything about abortion, anything that said “hate gay people”, or anything about hording all your money and not paying your damn taxes.

    Anyone who calls themselves a “True Christian” almost certainly is not. Real Christians / believers are generally the quiet type, the ones with their prayer closets…not the hypocritical bigots standing on the proverbial temple steps shouting “Look at me, God, I’m awesome because I worship you!”

    Theocratic Fascism is not the type of religion I practice, and I believe it utterly and wholly bastardizes basically everything ever said by Jesus Christ.

  86. 86
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Catechism still holds that sex is properly within marriage and in that case for reproduction, and any and all forms of “unnatural” contraception are sin

    By doctrine, Rick Santorum has it correct, although of course most U.S. Catholics do not subscribe to his creepy scrupulous behavior

  87. 87
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    That really, really, really sucks that the Komen Foundation pulled its support of Planned Parenthood. Both my mom and my sister do the Komen walk every year, and I certainly encourage that, but all the same, I’ll just give my money directly to Planned Parenthood (which my mom and my sister do as well–both of them are pretty apolitical).

    Also: Fuck the whining of Catholic Charities. Your beloved Mother Church has one of the largest fortunes on the fucking planet. Go hit up ol’ Johnny Ratz for some money if you need it.

  88. 88
    TooManyJens says:

    @kwAwk: Nobody ever suffered any serious consequences due to not having a pork sandwich or a cup of coffee. If you’re comparing contraception to such trivial matters, you’re already not putting enough thought into the conversation to be able to contribute much of value. Please take a step back, think really hard about what the availability of contraception means to billions of people (and not just the women, either) and try again.

  89. 89
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Judaism isn’t one of the major religions of the world. There are way, WAY more Buddhists than there are Jews. Probably far more Shintoists than Jews as well. There really are not all that many Jews in the world. Certainly not nearly enough for Judaism to be considered one of the world’s foremost religions. That said, ultra-orthodox Jews are indeed about as bad as the Taliban when it comes to women.

  90. 90
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yes, it is not just about Catholicism or Christianity. Most religions are just elaborate justifications for treating women as part-human pieces of p**sy.

  91. 91
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Original Lee:

    Given that there was a letter read at Mass in Catholic churches all over the U.S. basically threatening to shut down Catholic schools and hospitals unless this rule changes

    Won’t happen; the bishops just like to make noise like anyone has ever given a fuck what they think in this country

  92. 92
    Keith G says:

    Shame on Komen. Their decision will lead to deaths that would have been avoided.

  93. 93
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Cluttered Mind: I did not include the Buddhists because I don’t know how they treat their women.

    ETA: I included Judaism because it is kinda the mother religion of the big two, Islam and Christianity. Just like Hinduism is the mother religion of Buddism and Jainism.

  94. 94
    Platonicspoof says:

    @The Ithacan:
    Daily Rotating Tagline and Twice on Sundays.

  95. 95
    kwAwk says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Condoms ain’t that expensive.

    People have the right to have their own religious beliefs and customs no matter how trivial you may think they are.

    My thoughts are when you make the choice to go to work for a religious institution you’re volunteering to work under the terms of their religious beliefs.

    The ban on contraception/abortion is one of the core tenets that sets Catholicism apart from other religions and churchs. It’s very important to the belief system.

  96. 96
    mothra says:

    Great, now John’s bashing us, and lumping us all in together. My crappy day just got crappier.

  97. 97
    Sly says:

    @jibeaux: .

    The church is already wrestling with the fact that their followers largely ignore what they say at best, and at worst consider their credibility on sexual matters to be pretty suspect.

    Why would anyone challenge the moral credibility of an international child rape cartel that holds “AIDs is bad, but condoms are worse” as its official motto?

  98. 98
    AA+ Bonds says:

    BTW I’m curious when Douthat will write that long-delayed piece where he explains how he also follows the Church’s line on Palestine and thus vocally opposes Israel’s abuse of the Palestinian people and demands that they negotiate an end to their decades-long occupation of Palestine

  99. 99
    TooManyJens says:

    @kwAwk:

    Condoms ain’t that expensive.

    Again, think harder. If you think that condoms are the best form of contraception for every couple in every situation, you’re ignorant of contraceptive efficacy as well as of the reality of most people’s lives.

    People have the right to have their own religious beliefs and customs no matter how trivial you may think they are.

    But do they have the right to use economic power to try to enforce those beliefs and customs on people who do not follow their religion?

  100. 100
    Bludger says:

    That pretty much sums up my feelings about the topic. Religion has simply become a tool to justify acting hateful toward others. If I tithe, I can hate the gays with impunity.

    The most tolerant, least hateful, most generous, most jesus-like people I know are atheist or agnostic.

  101. 101
    AA+ Bonds says:

    People, Christian or otherwise, who worry about the politics of God simply deny the advances in human thought contributed by existentialism

    That is: God would not change anything or answer any meaningful questions, not in terms of morality, and certainly not in terms of policy

    Whether I believe in God or not is irrelevant to how I think and act; if those things were changed by belief in God, they would simply be me choosing to be cowed by the possibility of force

    Acting a certain way because you believe Jesus is LORD is not, at its core, Christian – or rather, it turns “Christian” into a slur through one’s identification with it

  102. 102
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    I rely on the flying spaghetti monster to take care of me, in sickness and in health. Has worked out pretty well so far so why change my deeply held pastafarian beliefs.

  103. 103
    grandpa john says:

    As a Methodist, this is one of the things that truly piss me off, that in this country between the media, the movie industry, and the ruling elite of the Catholic church, it is some how assumed
    that Catholicism is the only religion practiced in the USA and that their wants , concerns , and wishes are the only ones that matter and that they then will speak for and represent all religions practiced in this country. Never mind that Methodist seem to have no problem with contraception or the morning after pill or divorce ,asshole Catholics like this arrogantly assume that they have the right to speak for all of us.

  104. 104
    kwAwk says:

    @TooManyJens:

    I am thinking and while I support contraception services being made available in insurance generally is a good thing, I don’t thing religious institutions should be forced to provide it if it violates their religious standards.

    By the way, to show you I’m thinking here, don’t we keep hearing day in and day out that Planned Parenthood’s largest source of business is to provide not abortion family planning services for those who don’t have access to such services otherwise?

  105. 105
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @beltane: Yes, you should see how orthodox Hindus treat widows, and the incidence of female infanticide in India.

  106. 106
    wrb says:

    @priscianusjr:

    True religion

    How many are the sins that men commit and that, being committed and not confessed, nor atoned for, make their committer a Peshotanu?
    __
    2.
    The Lord God answered: ‘There are five such sins, O holy Zoroaster!It is the first of these sins that men commit when a man teaches one of the faithful another faith, another law, a lower doctrine,and he leads him astray with a full knowledge and conscience of the sin: the man who has done the deed becomes a Peshotanu.
    __
    3.
    ‘It is the second of these sins when a man gives bones too hard or food too hot to a shepherd’s dog or to a house-dog;
    __
    4.
    ‘If the bones stick in the dog’s teeth or stop in his throat;or if the food too hot burn his mouth or his tongue, he may come to grief thereby; if he come to grief thereby, the man who has done the deed becomes a Peshotanu.
    __
    5.
    ‘It is the third of these sins when a man smites a bitch big with young or affrights her by running after her, or shouting or clapping with the hands;
    __
    6.
    ‘If the bitch fall into a hole, or a well, or a precipice,or a river, or a canal, she may come to grief thereby; if she come to grief thereby, the man who has done the deed becomes a Peshotanu.How many are the sins that men commit and that, being committed and not confessed, nor atoned for, make their committer a Peshotanu?

    ‘Whosoever shall smite either a shepherd’s dog, or a house-dog,or a Vohunazga dog, or a trained dog, his soul when passing to the other world, shall fly howling louder and more sorely grieved than the sheep does in the lofty forest where the wolf ranges.
    __
    9.
    ‘No soul will come and meet his departing soul and help it, howling and grieved in the other world; nor will the dogs that keep the [Chinwad] bridge help his departing soul howling and grieved in the other world.
    __
    10.
    ‘If a man shall smite a shepherd’s dog so that it becomes unfit for work, if he shall cut off its ear or its paw, and thereupon a thief or a wolf break in and carry away [sheep] from the fold,without the dog giving any warning, the man shall pay for thel oss, and he shall pay for the wound of the dog as for willful wounding.
    __
    11.
    ‘If a man shall smite a house-dog so that it becomes unfit for work, if he shall cut off its ear or its paw, and thereupon a thief or a wolf break in and carry away [anything] from the house, without the dog giving any warning, the man shall pay for the loss, and he shall pay for the wound of the dog as for willful wounding.’
    __
    12.
    O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall smite a shepherd’s dog, so that it gives up the ghost and the soul parts from the body, what is the penalty that he shall pay? Lord God answered: ‘Eight hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra,eight hundred stripes with the Sraosho-charana.’ __
    13.
    O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall smite a house-dog so that it gives up the ghost and the soul parts from the body, what is the penalty that he shall pay? Lord God answered; ‘Seven hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra,seven hundred stripes with the Sraosho-charana.’

    25.
    O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall give bad food to a house-dog, what is the penalty that he shallpay? Lord God answered: ‘Ninety stripes with the Aspahe-astra, ninety stripes with the Sraosho-charana.’

    __

    ‘A dog has the characters of eight sorts of people:- ‘He has the character of a priest, ‘He has the character of a warrior, ‘He has the character of a husbandman, ‘He has the character of a strolling singer, ‘He has the character of a thief, ‘He has the character of a disu’, ‘He has the character of a courtesan, ‘He has the character of a child.
    __
    46.
    ‘He is watchful and sleeps lightly, like a husbandman; he goes first out of the house, like a husbandman; he returns last into the house, like a husbandman; in these things he is like unto a husbandman. ‘He is fond of singing, like a strolling singer; he wounds him who gets too near, like a strolling singer; he is ill-trained,like a strolling singer; he is changeful, like a strolling singer;in these things he is like unto a strolling singer.
    __
    48.
    ‘He is fond of singing, like a courtesan; he wounds him who gets too near, like a courtesan; he roams along the roads, like a courtesan; he is ill-trained, like a courtesan; he is changeful,like a courtesan; in these things he is like unto a courtesan. ‘He is fond of sleep, like a child; he is tender like snow, like a child; he is full of tongue, like a child; he digs the earthwith his paws, like a child; in these things he is like unto achild.

    http://one-faith-of-god.org/ol.....r_0130.htm

  107. 107
    Veritas says:

    Everyone ready to witness the epic Romney blowout tonight in Florida? Take notes, “progressives”, because what he’s done to Gingrich he’ll do to Obambi.

  108. 108
    r€nato says:

    it’s really a shame that social conservative fundamentalist Christians, along with militant Catholics and pretty much all of the Church hierarchy, have given all of Christianity a bad name.

    There’s plenty of Unitarians and Episcopalians who are not on board with the far-right Tealiban agenda, for instance. But the far-right fundies have managed to put the entire brand in disrepute and have made it synonymous with gay bashing, destroying the social safety net, and generally being ginormous bags of douche who don’t seem to have really read the Bible.

  109. 109
    Redshift says:

    @beltane:

    These people all feel that earthly existence itself is dirty and disgusting and worthless. That is why they devote their energies towards increasing the amount of suffering and misery that is already here.

    Oddly reminiscent of how conservatives insist that government can’t work and when elected, do their best to prove it.

  110. 110
    dollared says:

    T@TooManyJens: Jen, sadly it is a core teaching. Hopefully it forces more Catholics to examine the other absurdities of its doctrine and the venality of its leaders.

  111. 111

    @kwAwk:

    This law is equal to a requirement that all Mosques and Jewish Temples serve Pork BBQ sandwiches in any soup kitchen or food pantry they operate. Or that at every Mormon gathering where non-mormons are allowed in a requirement that they non-Mormons be offered a choice of coffee or tea.

    That is a spectacularly stupid comment, outstanding in its idiocy.

  112. 112
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @grandpa john:

    It’s an inferiority complex, and specifically, it’s an inferiority complex spurred by the dominance of the New Evangelical wing of Methodism, etc. in American Christianity

    The Roman Catholic Church in America went straight from being loathed to being irrelevant

  113. 113
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Really, the Church is filled with envy of the LDS Church, which has outdone them in all their traditional social realms

    And of course the Mormons are going off the reservation much more quickly; every Mormon I know (five by my count, all under 30) vocally backed Obama in 2008 and will likely back Obama in 2012 – one young couple was rooting for Huntsman in this really nominal and dishonest way but have no love for Romney

  114. 114
    Redshift says:

    @kwAwk:

    This law is equal to a requirement that all Mosques and Jewish Temples serve Pork BBQ sandwiches in any soup kitchen or food pantry they operate. Or that at every Mormon gathering where non-mormons are allowed in a requirement that they non-Mormons be offered a choice of coffee or tea.

    Oh, please, do tell me what, in this analogy, is the equivalent of a chicken sandwich that can be served in place of pork?

  115. 115

    I really don’t care about religion right up to where it is used as a cudgel on myself or fellows. If a church doesn’t want the regulations then they need to get the fuck right out of business – and that includes paying janitors. Your floors and toilets can just stay dirty if you can’t get volunteers. Paying people to do things is engaging in commerce and that ain’t religion.

    For my city of 10K the only hospital is Catholic unless you get involved in at least 45 freeway miles consisting of mountain passes and etc. The other hospital, 60 miles the other way, is also Catholic and forget any other directions.

    Seriously, 45 miles north or 60 miles south or here and forget E&W.

  116. 116
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @General Stuck:

    am in fact impressed by what this jesus dood had to say while on planet earth walking with the fools.

    I think that’s the point.

    Too many who espouse walking in his shoeswant to order from their own menu, IOW, select those precepts with which they are most comfortable.

    They object to labels like ‘hypocrite’ with the lazy man’s religion “live by faith, not by works”, and excuse their habitual Christian laxity saying ‘I’m not perfect. Just forgiven”.

    Such forget Christianity is not a set of doctrinal imperatives which a man-made Church has canonized as ‘correct’ without (accurate) basis in Scripture.

    A Christians life is not supposed to be easy, but hard. He made that clear.

  117. 117
    Schlemizel says:

    I’m with you John. I grew up religious, went to bible class weekly for years, then I grew up. I really tried going back when I had kids thinking they really need to be able to at least pretend to have a religion. I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t foist that on the kids either.

    I generally avoid the topic or politely nod as long as the speaker does not go off on a rant or insist that I accept their belief. Then I have no problem going toe-to-toe as I can out quote them and they end up frustrated and beaten.

    Keep your religion to yourself & I will do the same.

  118. 118
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Although I still chuckle at the breathless announcement by the press that

    80% of South Carolina Republican primary voters go to religious services at least “once a month”

    “once a month”

    in my opinion that doesn’t even count as practicing a Western religion

  119. 119
    wrb says:

    @r€nato:

    But the far-right fundies have managed to put the entire brand in disrepute and have made it synonymous with gay bashing, destroying the social safety net, and generally being ginormous bags of douche who don’t seem to have really read the Bible.

    It is almost un-Christian.

  120. 120
    harlana says:

    why doesn’t anyone ever ask anti-choice people just what the hell is supposed to happen to unplanned or unwanted children after they exit the uterus? are they going to open up their homes and adopt all these kids? if so, i’ve never heard a one of them say it.

    they just absolutely don’t give a shit about that part which, it should go without saying, is a rather significant part. if you pop out of that womb straight into poverty, you’re supposed to start working as soon as you learn to walk.

    do republicans have a plan for the care and feeding of infants born to poor families until they have developed hand-eye coordination and are old enough to walk (clean toilets)?

  121. 121
    Redshift says:

    @r€nato: And worse, they’ve conned the media at large into going along with the idea that the correct term for them is “Christians,” rather than fundamentalists or conservatives (or dickheads.)

    I’m not religious, but that still pisses me off.

  122. 122
    dollared says:

    John, well put. The thing about your anger is it is hard and harsh, and entirely motivated by wanting the best for our people – even God’s people.

  123. 123
    Nutella says:

    @Original Lee:

    Given that there was a letter read at Mass in Catholic churches all over the U.S. basically threatening to shut down Catholic schools and hospitals unless this rule changes, I sincerely hope that a sensible compromise is reached.

    A sensible compromise has already been reached. The government already gave in to the outrageous demand to exempt the churches from employment law so they’ve already got more than they should have.

    This rule is just one consequence of the provision of ACA that preventive care must be provided with no copay — a rule of such stunningly obvious value in reducing medical costs that only a fool would go against it. The position of the [expletive-deleted] bishops and their fundie friends against it should continue to be ignored or laughed at. If we buckle on this, we’ve agreed that women’s preventive care is not necessary but men’s preventive care is.

    Marcotte has an interesting take on this.

  124. 124
    grandpa john says:

    @The Moar You Know: Not to disallusion you but these were not good christians regardless of what the may have claimed. As Jesus proclaimed in Matt 7-21 ” And on day of atonement many will cry out to me lord, lord and I will say ‘ depart from me, I never knew you’ “

  125. 125
    hamletta says:

    @kwAwk:

    Use semi-colons in 3 situations.

    Bzzzt! Wrong! When churches operate 501(c)3 organizations that take public funds, they have to comply with anti-discrimination laws.

  126. 126
    dogwood says:

    The problem here is that mainstream Catholics and Protestants ceded the religious/political debate to the minority 30 years ago. Watch any news programs that deals with religion. Do you ever see a Lutheran minister, a Presbyterian minister or a liberal Jesuit priest? No. To the MSM people of faith are evangelical Christians and nutball Catholics like that Donohue guy. Until decent Christians and mainstream church leaders decide to actively engage in the public discourse and demand a voice, this problem is going to get worse.

  127. 127
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I mean I can guarantee you that if it were just the bishops opposing this, instead of the bishops and a bunch of way more important Protestants, no one would give a fuck about it in the United States

    It’s like the Kerry-Eucharist thing in 2004, or Rick Santorum: without Protestants exploiting it, no one would give a fuck, people would just be fucking laughing at the Church, “can you believe these Papist freaks”

  128. 128
    Quicksand says:

    It took nearly 100 comments, but this thread is really rollin’ now!

  129. 129
    Redshift says:

    @harlana: That’s how you can tell they don’t really care about “life,” just about controlling sex and women’s lives.

  130. 130
    jenn says:

    @kwAwk: (1) Then those religious institutions shouldn’t get public funds. If they want public funds, then they should have to meet a certain baseline of standards. And your position also ignores that “birth control pills” are taken for more medical reasons than just birth control. And frankly, I don’t see why this isn’t just another test of free will, anyway. If you think that birth control is bad, then don’t do it.

    (2) Yes, I agree with you there.

  131. 131
    grandpa john says:

    @reflectionephemeral: As well you should, the voices they claim to hear are not coming from God

  132. 132
    Veritas says:

    @dogwood:

    Mainline Protestant churches are dead, though. I came from one (grew up Episcopalian) and am an atheist now. The more conservative a church is the more likely it is to retain members and grow. If people want to be religious, they like a demanding religion.

  133. 133
    kindness says:

    @mothra: Not you. Not unless you too feel it’s your place (or your religions place) to deny others their rights. Birth Control is now a right and praise the FSM it is.

  134. 134
    kc says:

    The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has announced that it will stop supporting lifesaving breast cancer screening for low-income and underserved women at Planned Parenthood health centers — including those in West Virginia.

    Then I will stop supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

  135. 135

    @kwAwk:

    The ban on contraception/abortion is one of the core tenets that sets Catholicism apart from other religions and churchs. It’s very important to the belief system.

    Then stay the fuck out of commerce. It is not real complicated. I could real easily form a Church of Libertarianism with the core tenet that building codes violated the strictures of the Invisible Hand of the Market and you’d just suck up to buying one of those houses? Then, everybody else has to play by the rules because they didn’t join up?

    Go right ahead and engage in some of that thinking you referenced.

  136. 136
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @dogwood:

    Wrong.

    My mother worked for the Church for eighteen years and you better fucking believe she did not shut her mouth about politics while she was doing it so I’d thank you to not deny her existence

    You might as well read up on how left-wing Catholics are very much not ceding the ground to the faux-Catholic fascism of Donohue and his fellow slime

  137. 137
    kc says:

    @harlana:

    why doesn’t anyone ever ask anti-choice people just what the hell is supposed to happen to unplanned or unwanted children after they exit the uterus?

    The little deadbeats need to pick up a broom and start cleaning the schools.

  138. 138
    WereBear says:

    So it’s wrong to pay for birth control pills for a young woman, a virgin, who has them prescribed to regulate her cycle and preserve her fertility, but it’s okay to aid and abet pedophiles and bring them fresh victims.

    Just so I have it straight.

  139. 139
    lamh35 says:

    wow GOP enthusiasm: FLORIDA EXIT POLL: 57% of GOP voters want someone else to jump in the race…

  140. 140
    schrodinger's cat says:

    OK I have a question about Newt and his new found Catholicism. Aren’t annulments difficult to get, how did Newt manage to get one? Do devout Catholics think of Newt as one of their own?

  141. 141
    slag says:

    @harlana:

    if you pop out of that womb straight into poverty, you’re supposed to start working as soon as you learn to walk.

    Or get thrown back over the border.

    Tom Delay complained that immigrants were stealing the jobs that rightfully belonged to those aborted fetuses. Now that there aren’t enough jobs, I hold all unaborted fetuses responsible for stealing them.

  142. 142
    Bago says:

    Well, as a Harvard educated Christian, I’m glad the lesson that Douthat and the church took away from the Parable of the Good Samaritin was that Christian thing to do was to deny health care to those that might not share your religion.

    Idiot.

  143. 143
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @lamh35: Oh noes, I has a sad.

  144. 144
    Veritas says:

    @WereBear:

    I could be wrong but IIRC, I’ve had this conversation with a Roman Catholic friend and he claims they would allow birth control pills for other reasons than, well, birth control on a doctor’s order.

  145. 145
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Anyone who thinks the Catholic Church in America contains only right-wingers and people who let them do whatever they want knows pretty much nothing about the Catholic Church

    Many of the body of Christ absolutely loathe the bishops – ultimately, my mother lost her job because people stopped giving to the Capital Campaign of the diocese over the child-rape scandals, and she knew it, and properly directed her anger at the Church’s leadership, not at the Catholics who quite correctly withdrew their support for the leadership

  146. 146
    Nutella says:

    @Original Lee:

    Given that there was a letter read at Mass in Catholic churches all over the U.S. basically threatening to shut down Catholic schools and hospitals unless this rule changes, I sincerely hope that a sensible compromise is reached.

    A sensible compromise has already been reached. The government already gave in to the outrageous demand to exempt the churches from employment law so they’ve already got more than they should have.

    This rule is just one consequence of the provision of ACA that preventive care must be provided with no copay—a rule of such stunningly obvious value in reducing medical costs that only a fool would go against it. The position of the [expletive-deleted] bishops and their fundie friends against it should continue to be ignored or laughed at. If we buckle on this, we’ve agreed that women’s preventive care is not necessary but men’s preventive care is.

  147. 147
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @WereBear:

    The bishops in America are shit and the Vatican enablers are shit and they should be excommunicated and publicly shamed

  148. 148
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    Of course the businesses like Catholic Health Care West only exist to serve the poor. This bullshoot is misdirection.

    This requirement only effects businesses that explicitly want government involvement. They want taxpayer dollars and so they have to serve all the taxpayers.

    Members of Religious groups that have explicit moral issues with war and killing still have to pay Federal taxes which go to the Pentagon. And if they live in a state with the death penalty they still are required to pay sales, property, and state taxes and fees.

    If the right-wing nutters will fight to keep the faithful from paying for war or the death penalty then I might consider that they actually are concerned with moral issues.

  149. 149
    beltane says:

    @Veritas: People don’t necessarily like demanding religions (they’d all covert to orthodox Judaism if that were the case) but they do like religions that make big promises. The megachurch movement is popular because it promises big material rewards in this life and the next without asking for any personal sacrifices in return. That’s why you never hear these fundie pastors railing about adultery and divorce they way they do about homosexuality. I mean, without all the adulterers and fornicators who would they have left?

  150. 150
    hitchhiker says:

    @kwAwk:

    No, the ban on contraception is not “very important” to their belief system. I was raised Catholic in the days before the pill, and my kids went to a fine Catholic high school.

    My classmates all came from families of 6, 7, 8, 9 kids. My daughters classmates came from families of 2 kids.

    Catholics use contraception just like the rest of us. They do not even think twice about it, believe me.

  151. 151
    graves007 says:

    Non-theists SHOULD be more vocal. Why? Watch this and be prepared to want to smash your TV/monitor:

    http://newsroom.blogs.cnn.com/.....-to-vomit/

    He, and people like him, apparently know what a omnipotent, omniscient being thinks (assuming such a being exists, which it doesn’t according to current complete lack of any evidence) and believers who lack the ability of critical thought would agree with him. This is disturbing.

    Religion and belief in supernatural deities etc etc is a joke and should be treated as such. At least until such omnipotent omniscient deity decides to step up and show the world he really does exist instead of leaving it to fools like Rick Santorum or Reverend O’Neal Dozier

  152. 152
    kdaug says:

    …and away we go.

    I’m with ya, Cole. Believe what you want, but leave me out of it.

  153. 153
    alhutch says:

    Thanks for posting John. Very disappointed in Komen now. Here’s the link to the exclusive AP story about this (hadn’t seen it posted yet):

  154. 154
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I just want to reiterate over and over and over to non-Catholics, as I do to Catholics: the ordained can confer the Sacraments while in a state of sin but there is nothing in Church doctrine or history that says that Catholics have to put up with a bishop or priest who behaves poorly

    In fact, history shows that patience for this is as often short as it is long

  155. 155
    Jeff Boatright says:

    @rea: I’ve always thought that this was Jesus pretty much directly saying the churches should be taxed. I’m interested to hear what others think.

  156. 156
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    What pisses me off is how it seems like all the extremely vocal and motivated Christians go out of their way to basically shit on Jesus’ message. Fuck all, I’m a lapsed Catholic, but that’s due to rejecting mysticism and the horror at the bullshittery foisted upon Christianity in general and its philosophy by its supposed most ardent practitioners.

    And good fucking god. So basically, one of the groups that helped Planned Parenthood be an actual women’s health provider yanks support because “OMG, PLANNED PARENTHOOD DOES NOTHING BUT ABORTIONS, STOP THE MURDERS NOW, NOW GODDAMMT NOW!!!!” What the good goddamn fuck you worthless prats.

    EDIT: And I want to especially clarify, I absolutely love the overarching message of the Gospels. Strip the mysticism, and you have a philosophy that I think everyone could stand to live by. But you have Arch-Christians who do everything but live Christ’s word and they, and THEY ALONE get to decide who’s Christian and who’s not, and who’s blessed and who’s evil and fuck all if you disagree because an ANGRY FUCKING GOD WILL RAIN DOWN HELL ON YOU!! Did these fuckers even read the fucking New Testament? If they did, they’d call themselves what the are: Philistines. All letter, no spirit.

  157. 157
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The Catholic Church does not consider any marriages made outside of the Church to be valid and so no annulment of these not-valid marriages was necessary. He could have gotten married in a Protestant church 50 times and it would have made no difference in the eyes of the R.C. Church.

  158. 158
    Redshift says:

    Also, as ThinkProgress reported, twenty-eight states already require employers, including most religiously affiliated institutions, to cover contraception in their health plans (though not the full cost.)

    Anyway, the bishops’ (and Republicans’) position makes perfect Puritanical sense: the Puritans came to this country for religious freedom — the freedom to impose their religion on everyone around them, which they didn’t have in the Netherlands. For those of us want actual religious freedom (including freedom from religion if we choose), it’s completely unacceptable.

  159. 159
    Veritas says:

    @beltane:

    Fair enough.

    BTW I hate “prosperity gospel” Christianity the most. It’s the most blatant and cheap distortion of the New Testament I can think of. For God’s sake these people should read Hebrews where it talks about how Christians are being whipped and stoned disowned by their families etc.

    It’s really not possible as a normal person to follow the teachings of the New Testament without becoming a monk or nun.

  160. 160
    kay says:

    I think the administration is treating religious entities as any other “large employer” under the PPACA, so on that basis I agree with the decision.
    They’re an employer. I think the state has a completely legit role in regulating employers and their should not be huge exceptions for “special” employers.

  161. 161
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Nutella:

    A sensible compromise has already been reached. The government already gave in to the outrageous demand to exempt the churches from employment law so they’ve already got more than they should have.

    It’s about the Catholic vote swinging back and forth from 2006-2010, a vote which would go solid Democratic again if priests and bishops did their goddamned jobs in explaining what the Church teaches about capitalism

  162. 162
    smintheus says:

    Here’s something that’s revealing of the Christian imperialist mindset. Last week the Pennsylvania House passed a resolution declaring that 2012 is “The Year of the Bible” because we all have a “need to study” it and put its teachings into practice. Also declares that the Bible is “the word of God”.

    Establishment clause be damned, apparently.

  163. 163
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Yevgraf:

    My personal prediction is that in 200 years, you’ll have about as many adherents to the monotheistic faiths as there are Zeus followers today.

    Didn’t Jefferson and Adams discussed this in their exchange of letters? I seem to remember their predicting that Christianity would be history-dustbinned by the end of the 19th century.

    I certainly don’t give myself much credit for arriving at my nonbelief. One day when I was 12 I asked myself if I believed in God, and the very idea of a supreme being seemed so preposterous that I laughed. I just never got it. Spirituality, either. When people mention it, I literally have no idea what they’re talking about; it’s like listening to extraterrestrials discuss the color btst#v*k.

  164. 164
    trollhattan says:

    @Veritas:

    Everyone ready to witness the epic Romney blowout tonight in Florida? Take notes, “progressives”, because what he’s done to Gingrich he’ll do to Obambia.

    Outspend him?

  165. 165

    Baker County Democrats, a Co Party of DPO – State Party of DNC is in vast majority church attending and would look quite at home in any left gathering. Monthly meetings are held, with nearly symbolic rent, at the Episcopalian Church.

    Now I have been State Delegate, Vice-Chair, and Chair of that organization and not one of them ever thought I was a Christian.

  166. 166
    trollhattan says:

    @kc:

    Yup. That’s one shark they’d best not jump if they want any further support.

  167. 167
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @beltane:

    Incorrect – Code of Canon Law canon 1141. Any sacramental or “natural” marriage is recognized as Holy and the presumption is in favor of the marriage, presuming it was consensual

    Gingrich just gets whatever he wants because many priests are opportunistic shitheels and encouraged to be so in certain ways by the bishops

  168. 168
    Nikita says:

    @John Cole up top.

    Oh god…oh god…[shudders ecstatically].

    I’m bookmarking this post.

  169. 169
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    @kwAwk: More like a law that requires a Jewish Deli owner that applies for a ham subsidy from the government being required to offer ham in his deli if he wants the subsidy.

  170. 170
    alhutch says:

    Thanks for posting this John. Very disappointed in Komen. Link to AP story (didn’t edit in time above):

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....print.html

  171. 171
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    In fact, history shows that patience for this is as often short as it is long

    I’m not sure about that. Seen no evidence. The Bureaucracy of the Church is vast and pyramidical. I feel sorry for the poor Parish, with no money. The Priest has his vow of poverty, but the Church has obscene wealth, the extent of which, is not known. As with any bureaucracy, the structure’s preservation (status quo) is paramount. It’s not much different from Big Pharma in it’s preservation of it’s own capital.

  172. 172
    Nutella says:

    @beltane:

    Interesting story about the Gingriches and annulment here.

    What it comes down to is that both Newt and Callista have extremely flexible views of what is required of them by their church. They’ve both concluded that if they just pretend that whatever they do is moral then it is moral. Very convenient.

  173. 173
    Violet says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    OK I have a question about Newt and his new found Catholicism. Aren’t annulments difficult to get, how did Newt manage to get one? Do devout Catholics think of Newt as one of their own?

    No, they’re not hard to get. A friend of mine’s dad managed to get an annulment after having been married twice, and having four children with his first wife. He wanted to get married a third time in the Catholic church and had to have his first two marriages annulled.

    My friend’s mom (her dad’s first wife) didn’t want the marriage annulled, even though they were divorced. She felt it negated the marriage in the eyes of the Church and de-legitimized her kids. She petitioned all the way to the Vatican to stop the annulment, via the local diocese and Archbishop, but her petition was eventually denied. So the first marriage was annulled, even though they had four children, had been married twenty years or so. They’d been divorced for awhile, but even so, annulling the whole thing like it never happened is awful if one of the spouses doesn’t want it to happen.

    My friend likes to tell her dad he has now made her a bastard child in the eyes of the Church.

  174. 174
    SRW1 says:

    These fucking fucks in their colorful robes, who pretend not to fuck, get a quiet fuck off from their own parishioners on the use of contraceptives and then nonetheless believe they are entitled to fuck up the lives of fucking unbelievers.

    Fucking unbelievable.

  175. 175
    wrb says:

    @Redshift:

    the Puritans came to this country for religious freedom—the freedom to impose their religion on everyone around them, which they didn’t have in the Netherlands.

    And that led to the anti-establisment clause?

  176. 176
    Veritas says:

    @Yevgraf:

    Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world. It might die out in the west but it’s growing very, very quickly in Africa and Asia in both its Protestant and Catholic varieties. And since the west is a declining proportion of the world’s population, I think you can figure out how wrong your prediction is. The next Pope, or at the very latest the Pope after the next, is going to be from the developing world. That’s a big change.

  177. 177
    Linkmeister says:

    The Komen Message Boards are lit up about its decision.

  178. 178
    harlana says:

    If I were Mitt, and I had all that money, and I was such a shitty campaigner and I had to twist myself into a pretzel on virtually every issue, and so many people hated me and I really did not enjoy mingling with the help and such, I would not run for office, So the only thing left is God wants him to be prez and told him so.

  179. 179
    Pseudonym says:

    Religious organizations should have no more right to prevent employees from using their health insurance to cover contraception than they have the right to prevent employees from using their salary to cover contraception. Employer-provided health insurance is a form of compensation just like salary, and it’s no business of the business how that compensation is used. But for Doohat it’s apparently fine for a panel of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to make health care decisions for people as long as those bureaucrats are wearing the right sort of collar. This is the conservative idea of liberty in a nutshell: preventing any popular constraint on the ability of the most powerful and reactionary elements of society to shape the choices and opportunities and freedoms available to the rest of us.

  180. 180
    Redshift says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    And good fucking god. So basically, one of the groups that helped Planned Parenthood be an actual women’s health provider yanks support because “OMG, PLANNED PARENTHOOD DOES NOTHING BUT ABORTIONS, STOP THE MURDERS NOW, NOW GODDAMMT NOW!” What the good goddamn fuck you worthless prats.

    Oh, it’s much more weaselly than that. They claim they have a policy of not funding any group that is under local, state, or federal investigation, and they’re just following that policy. So in addition to the appalling “guilty until proven innocent,” apparently they expect us to believe that they have no choice but to consider one congressman’s fact-free witch hunt as equal to a civil or criminal complaint, and this has nothing to do with pressure from anti-abortion wingnuts.

    This is going to do tremendous damage to their organization if it isn’t reversed quickly. Who do they think their supporters are? It’s utterly bizarre how these large organizations think they can “not get involved in political disputes” by really obviously taking one side of a political dispute. Perhaps they think it worked for the media, so it’ll work for them.

  181. 181
    Jeff Boatright says:

    @kwAwk: Again, from someone who probably lives in a large metro area…or who just isn’t thinking this through.

  182. 182
    Brian R. says:

    Lord, this is such a stupid issue. Churches can do anything they want, as long as they pay for it themselves.

    It’s only when they accept taxpayer money — which comes from believers and non-believers, pro-choice and pro-life, straights and gays, etc. — that they have any kind of restriction put on them.

    Don’t like the restriction? Don’t take the money. Simple as that.

    I say this as a Catholic, by the way. If Catholic hospitals don’t want to be restricted in this way, the church leaders can simply content themselves to rely on the billions of dollars they’re getting from parishioners like me.

  183. 183
    Veritas says:

    @trollhattan:

    Yup. Damn straight.

    Remember Citizens United. MILLIONS in UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH being poured into ads, direct mailers, internet sites, even full-length feature films tearing down Obambi.

  184. 184
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    I’m about as tired of conservatives co-opting my religion and using it to facilitate a war on women than I am non-religious folks who somehow believe they’re smarter than me or more prone to logic because I believe in Christ. The dickishness is beginning to resemble one and the same.

    I don’t begrudge someone’s belief nor non-belief but the right’s propoganda has hopelessly confused this area. I shouldn’t hafto fucking apologize for pro-rape Santorum or some fucking nutjob in Kansas who wants kill doctors for performing abortions. That shit has nothing to do with me or my belief. Not to mention half of these folks wouldn’t know Jesus if he came up and bit them on the ass.

    Sigh.

  185. 185
    Brian R. says:

    @wrb:

    And that led to the anti-establisment clause?

    Indirectly. Everyone else wanted to be sure the Puritans didn’t get a chance to impose their will on the rest of us, so they put that in there.

    And it’s still our best defense against the modern day Puritans who have managed to forget the whole “poverty and chastity” aspect and just maintained the part where they get to be sanctimonious assholes.

  186. 186
    KG says:

    @Bago: considering they also fail to understand the parable of the Prodigal Son and the expulsion of the money changers and the story of Zacchaeus and the Passion and well, most everything that Jesus of Nazareth preached, I can’t say I’m entirely surprised by this.

    The funny thing is, this isn’t much of a shock. There is a big difference between the Gospels and the writings of Peter and Paul (the various letters in the New Testament). A lot of these self-proclaimed followers of Jesus focus more on those letters than on the words/acts attributed to Jesus.

  187. 187

    @Veritas:
    heh…
    He’s having problems with Newt and you’d have us believe…

  188. 188
    WereBear says:

    And really, I understand Catholics who do not follow these precepts; there were and are lots of lots of people being born without benefit of clergy. And the benefit of other clergy. What, all these people being born are wrong? When you try to follow the logic; you find out there is none.

  189. 189
    dogwood says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Why do you have to be so rude? I stated very clearly that there are many Christians like your mother, but I’m sorry they simply don’t have a seat at the table when it comes to religious/political discussions in the MSM. When journalists want a comment from the Christian community they go straight to their evangelical rolodex. It’s time for mainstream Christian leaders to demand a voice in the national discussion on the national stage. I don’t see why noting that should piss you off.

  190. 190
    Veritas says:

    @KG:

    Uh, you do realize that Mark was most likely written by a companion of Peter and Luke was written by a companion of Paul, yes?

  191. 191
    Brian R. says:

    @Veritas:

    Yeah, I look forward to Mitt using an avalanche of outside corporate money to prove to Americans that he’s not a corporate money whore.

    “Obambi” is going to (metaphorically) do to the Republicans what he did to Bin Laden, Gaddafi, the Somali pirates and half of al-Qaeda — wipe a blot on humanity off the fucking map.

    Good luck with the neutered Ken doll your party’s running. Hope you kept the receipt.

  192. 192
    dance around in your bones says:

    I’m with you, John. People are free to believe any crazy thing they want to, especially if it gives them some comfort in this cold world.

    But when they try to impose their values on other people of different faiths, or no faith, or us true believers of the FSM, it’s just fucking rude.

    It seems to me that a person secure in their own faith would perhaps sadly shake their heads at the folks who don’t see the(ir) light, and quietly live their own lives according to their beliefs and be satisfied with that.

    If only it worked that way. le sigh.

    eta: All Hail His Noodly Appendage!

  193. 193
    Redshift says:

    @wrb:

    And that led to the anti-establisment clause?

    Actually, not, I don’t think so. I believe the Establishment Clause was based on Enlightenment principles and inspired also by the many religious wars that had resulted from state churches in Europe, but I expect one of our historians could explain better.

    Also, it was quite a while before the Establishment Clause was interpreted to mean that states couldn’t have an official church; several of them did well after the Revolutionary War.

  194. 194
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    Dude, check the records of ecclesiastical courts – I’m the last person you’ll see defending the Church’s insular behavior when misbehaving bishops decide to protect priests from justice, but there are plenty of priests who faced brutal ecclesiastical justice or were handed over to civil courts because they raped, or stole land, or etc. in Europe

    The point I would make is that the horrors of the Inquisition, both ecclesiastical and civil, grew out of a model that was used to punish misbehaving priests and laypersons for behavior that included shit like witchcraft and heresy, yes, but also simony, bribery, theft, murder, and other such offenses

  195. 195
    Samara Morgan says:

    dude, you still dont get it.
    religion is good for homo sapiens sapiens. its a fitness advantage handed down in the chromosomes from the EEA.
    pushing it on others is bad.
    proselytizing and missionariism have caused a great deal of the worlds ills.

    what Jeffersonian separation of church and state does is prevent the majority (white christians) from imposing their will on minorities in the form of law.

  196. 196
    harlana says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    Did these fuckers even read the fucking New Testament?

    they pull everything out of the Old Testament, i think because some of it is about sex (and there is certainly a lot about oppression of women!), they want to force women to have children they can’t afford and they hate gay people, these people are obsessed with sex in a sick way. It goes without saying there’s also a lot of violence. Liberal and moderate Christians look at the OT, as a historical document and these people use the passages that suit their purposes from the OT for their own sick, obsessive, oppressive purposes.

  197. 197
    Veritas says:

    The Inquisition wasn’t as bad as is commonly believed, and if you were actually alive in Spain at the time you would know that the secular courts made the Inquisition look REALLY good and merciful by comparison. People would even purposely blaspheme when being tried in a secular Spanish court so they could get tried by the Inquisition instead.

    There are a lot of things to hit the RCC over the head with but the Inquisition isn’t nearly the slam dunk everyone assumes it is.

  198. 198
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @dogwood:

    Because you might try rendering them more visible instead of mouthing off like

    The problem here is that mainstream Catholics and Protestants ceded the religious/political debate to the minority 30 years ago.

    which is patently untrue and insulting to my mother, who did not “cede” anything.

    Instead, you could recognize the strenuous efforts by liberal and left-wing Catholics to push reform in the Church and just policies in civil society – because that’s what would benefit you

  199. 199
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Veritas:

    Oh you got it right – that’s refreshing to see

    The caveat I would offer is that talking about “the Inquisition” as though it didn’t include Spanish/Portuguese civil courts doesn’t really represent history

  200. 200
    trollhattan says:

    @Veritas:

    Newt: Graf Zepplin; Obama: F-35. See the difference?

  201. 201
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Redshift:

    Indeed, I saw that, and it pisses me off, because it’s such a thin excuse.

    Fucking Christ, it seriously feels like the anti-abortion crowd is winning non-stop. I’m shit scared that they’re going to actually have safe abortion functionally banned (if not by law then by making it functionally out of reach for anyone but the richest…you know, like when it really was illegal), and basically shuttering organizations where abortion is maybe 5% of what they do, because “FUCK YOUR WOMEN’S HEALTH, the sluts should’ve closed their legs, praise be to God!”

    God, it really feels like everything from this to global warming to fucking everything is just going the right-wing fucks’ way and there’s no way to fucking stop it.

  202. 202
    Calouste says:

    @Yevgraf:

    The Greco-Roman religion disappeared because it was banned explicity in the Roman Empire, and its temples were closed. I don’t see that happening to Christianity, and the business of religion runs far too well to go completely bankrupt in the next 200 years.

  203. 203
    cckids says:

    The rule suggests a preposterous scenario in which a Catholic hospital avoids paying for sterilizations and the morning-after pill by closing its doors to atheists and Muslims, and hanging out a sign saying “no Protestants need apply.”

    But he doesn’t find the current state of affairs preposterous; a Catholic hospital can & will deny care, even at times life-saving, if it runs contrary to their edicts, i.e. a woman needing a pregnancy ended to save her life can be sent elsewhere, even if it could mean her death. Less urgent, but still stupid, if a woman gives birth in a Catholic hospital & has decided this will be her last pregnancy, she can’t have her tubes tied there, she has to go to another hospital for that procedure. Maybe just a pain in a metro area, but in a rural one? Could be hundreds of miles.

  204. 204
    Veritas says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I’m saying that you’d get a more fair hearing and merciful treatment from the ecclesiastical courts than from the secular rulers of the time.

  205. 205
    KG says:

    @Veritas: Mark was written somewhere around 70 AD, Luke somewhere around 85 AD. But that’s beside my point. Look at the lessons ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth and then look at the lessons ascribed to the Apostles in the Letters. There’s more than a slight difference between the two views.

  206. 206
    Samara Morgan says:

    and dont give me bulshytt about how those people are not “real” christians.
    they are what anglosaxon protestant xianity has evolved into in America.
    Prosperity gospel, megachurches, DOMA, NOM, WECs and the Religious Right, creationism, RTL warriors, and segregation academies.
    that is modern American xianity.
    you gotta roll with the xians you have, not the ones you wish you had.

  207. 207
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Veritas:

    Yeah I thought you mixed em up but I misread, mea culpa

    I get really kneejerk for the same reason, because most people are like THE CHURCH COURTS TORTURED PEOPLE ARGLE BARGLE

  208. 208
    scandi says:

    Best thing I’ve read all day!

  209. 209
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @burnspbesq:

    There’s a quite simple solution to this particular problem: any hospital that wants to opt out should lose its 501©(3) status for failing to provide a sufficient amount of charity care.

    This.

    Believe anything you want. Act accordingly. But don’t force the taxpayer to implicitly subsidize your particular set of prejudices.

  210. 210
    Pseudonym says:

    @kwAwk:

    My thoughts are when you make the choice to go to work for a religious institution you’re volunteering to work under the terms of their religious beliefs.

    Should Catholic hospitals be able to discriminate on the basis of religion when making hiring decisions? Sex? Race? Should they be able to ignore medical privacy laws in order to ensure that the money they pay out as wages isn’t being used to support contraception either?

    My take is that if the religious institution is providing a public service it should be held to the same standards as anyone else providing a public service. I see nothing in the Constitution that provides a religious institution with freer exercise of religion than their employees.

  211. 211
    KG says:

    @Veritas: yes, because no one suspects the Spanish Inquisition!

  212. 212
    Samara Morgan says:

    @KG: the past is dust.
    like i SAID.
    Prosperity gospel, megachurches, DOMA, NOM, WECs and the Religious Right, creationism, RTL terrorists, and segregation academies.
    that is modern American xianity.

  213. 213
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    You have that inside track. I am not well informed enough to discuss those particulars, but…

    I think the Church could afford better PR, because they are getting precious little out of their current agency

  214. 214
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I agree – there is like a 50/50 split in America between Catholics and fake-Catholic abortion-obsessed Prosperiterians and the latter have captured the bishops as well as the public discourse on “Catholics”

    The fight is still ongoing . . . but it is uphill

  215. 215
    kay says:

    I am so, so sick of conservatives talking about womens’ health.
    I want them to get another hobby.
    No more roundtables or abstract, lofty debates.
    Just stop talking about us. Go “help” someone else.

  216. 216
    opie jeanne says:

    @Gemina13: I’m so outraged by this. Got the letter today from Planned Parenthood and I think I’ll do the same thing. If enough of us do it they may get the message that there are lots of people who think it’s important, maybe more of us than the ones doing the pressuring.

  217. 217
    Original Lee says:

    @AA+ Bonds: While I agree with you, I just spent an hour reassuring my neighbor, who is a devout Catholic who works in a Catholic hospital and has three kids in a Catholic school, that she will still have her job and her children will still be able to get a Catholic education. My other neighbor, though, who is Protestant and teaches at a Catholic high school, is convinced he will be fired and is starting to put his resume together. I think the bishops are trying to get people to call their representatives about this. I am cautiously optimistic that a compromise can be reached, but not 100% sure because this seems to be the year of cutting your nose off to spite your face.

  218. 218
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    Those records are available in books, at Church libraries and centers for European history, although sadly, not so much online AFAIK – the Anglicans lead the way there according to Google

  219. 219
    Mark S. says:

    @Veritas:

    BTW I hate “prosperity gospel” Christianity the most.

    Me too.

    It’s really not possible as a normal person to follow the teachings of the New Testament without becoming a monk or nun.

    I wouldn’t go that far, but I certainly don’t think “I’ve Got Mine, Fuck You” complements the Gospels very well.

  220. 220
    4jkb4ia says:

    Damn it, my evil plan to comment every day until John came back from his hiatus was foiled :)

    I really must be getting better. This reminded me there was going to be a town hall sort of event with local Jewish state legislators about the agenda for 2012 on Friday, and I can assure you that it will be about none of those things. Or if it is about abortion, it will be about stopping the crazy fundamentalists to the extent that can be done. If you are a religious minority in politics the same way that Keith Ellison is one, religion in the public square can mean showing that your religious values exist and that applying them can benefit everyone. You are more likely to be a bully if you think that the country exists for the sake of your religious values.

    In any event, some of you may have seen the front page story in the NYT about Tunisia that uses exactly this kind of frame. Ennahda, the Islamist party that is actually in power, knows that they have to govern. But the Salafists, who are more to the right, are more than willing to exploit cultural issues like the veil and the broadcast of “Persepolis” on state television (one scene depicted G-d) to get attention for themselves. Fear of/disgust with corruption is a major reason that right-wing religious movements exist in the first place. In the Arab world, it is not as if there isn’t enough political/economic corruption to go around.

  221. 221
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Although I am a Christian, I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Unfortunately, the Christianists (right wing extremists who mask their hatred and paternalism in religion) have ruined it for Christians over all.

    As far as I’m concerned, please should live by Matthew 25:34-45.

  222. 222
    Byo says:

    A great synopsis of how I’ve felt about religion/church for 20 years, after 35 years of catholic school education, baptism, confirmation, 1st communion, church-going, Vatican-visit etc- you know the whole rigmarole.

    It has been a life-long search, truth-finding, reading, thinking, meditating, etc. But I’ve learnt not to even discuss/argue about religion anymore. My time can be spent more productively. But what I still don’t get is people around always assume you belong to some christian faith, anyway.

    Thank you! I perfectly know where you’re coming from.

  223. 223
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Original Lee:

    I really hope I am right is I guess all I can say

    The bishops are always acting nowadays like they’re on the verge of some sort of Protestant-style Great Awakening bullshit and I hope that this time is like all the other times

  224. 224
    Egg Berry says:

    I can’t believe the Times has a big base of god-botherers that agree with this crap. They’re wasting money on Douthat.

  225. 225
    Nutella says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    Priests don’t have vows of poverty. Some obscure orders of priests do, but your garden-variety diocesan priest does not.

  226. 226
    Samara Morgan says:

    Cole, all religions are NOT THE SAME.
    sure, catholics and protestants give xianity a bad name.
    But Issa was a great guy and said lots of cool stuff.
    My hero of heroes Thom Jefferson even said so.
    its that riddickulous virgin birth/jeesus godhead bulshytt that causes the problems.

  227. 227
    harlana says:

    @Brian R.:

    the modern day Puritans who have managed to forget the whole “poverty and chastity” aspect and just maintained the part where they get to be sanctimonious assholes.

    it’s becoming clearer to me, and i have heard it addressed, that they apparently believe their leaders are even above the law, as long as they say they believe and they are saved as many times as they want/need. they don’t need to practice the chastity part as long as they blubber and cry and pray publicly afterwards and before the next bang, and so forth.

  228. 228
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    This law is equal to a requirement that all Mosques and Jewish Temples serve Pork BBQ sandwiches in any soup kitchen or food pantry they operate. Or that at every Mormon gathering where non-mormons are allowed in a requirement that they non-Mormons be offered a choice of coffee or tea.

    And the problem with that would be … ?

    Seriously, I’d like you to explain why it’s bad for the government to say that if you’re going to serve the larger public that does not share your religious beliefs, you’re not allowed to force your religiously-based dietary restrictions on them. Especially when we’re talking about places like Catholic hospitals that accept government money, which means you’re insisting that they shoudl be allowed to use taxpayer money to impose their religious beliefs on their non-Catholic clients.

  229. 229
    smintheus says:

    @Redshift: Some state constitutions at the time had establishment clauses.

    Another important factor: At the constitutional convention, the initial impetus was to establish a religion. But when it came to selecting one, talks quickly broke down into sectarian squabbling. This led to the reasonable consensus that trying to mix church and state would lead to disastrous dissension more or less permanently…the very opposite of “domestic Tranquility”.

  230. 230
    enplaned says:

    It’s real simple. If you’re a religious organization playing in the secular sphere, you have to play by secular rules.

    If you’re playing in the religious sphere, then hey, knock yourself out, do whatever you want.

    But if you’re doing something in secular land, you have to play by the same rules as everyone else. And if that’s a problem, that’s your problem (the religious institution), not ours.

  231. 231
    rikyrah says:

    good post, Cole.

  232. 232
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Veritas:

    Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world. It might die out in the west but it’s growing very, very quickly in Africa and Asia in both its Protestant and Catholic varieties.

    This is a very good point and I hope Americans can absorb this

    Most Americans think

    Catholic

    =

    Catholic from the United States

    =

    Bill Donohue worshiping pro-capitalist apostate

    . . . while the real issue is probably African Catholics who are all about investigating people for witchcraft

  233. 233
    Tonal Crow says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Granted, the only solution to this is a final one.

    Get thee to stormfront, Nazi. This isn’t Shagrat’s fort.

  234. 234
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Christians should live by Mathew 25:34-45. Period.

  235. 235
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    I worked for a bit under the UN oil emgbargo program against Serbia and was stationed in Albania. My landlord, one Mehmet Xohxa (yup, you read it right) was an ex-commie who noted to me, “Ronzo, we all hate the Communists now, but you’ve got to admit, the one good thing they did was outlaw religion.” This at a time when the Christianists were killing each other in Northern Ireland, and the Serbs were final solutionizing Muslims in Kosovo and the Croats were killing ’em in Bosnia. Yep, brother. Our Founding Fathers would have done well to do the same, or at least force religion underground (which I believe was their intent all along).

  236. 236
    grandpa john says:

    @dogwood: @Sportello: Yes this.

  237. 237
    Martin says:

    @kwAwk:

    This law is equal to a requirement that all Mosques and Jewish Temples serve Pork BBQ sandwiches in any soup kitchen or food pantry they operate.

    Right, because chicken can’t substitute for pork, but aspirin can substitute for prescribed birth control.

    Sorry, I have to go with the chorus here – if you want to be part of the US commerce system, including the tax benefits that derive thereof, then you’re part of it in full. You don’t get to scream about religious oppression for participating in a system you opted into.

  238. 238
    Veritas says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The most irritating thing “everybody knows about religion” to me is calling the Middle Ages “The Dark Ages” and holding up Pagan Rome as some wonderful society the RCC destroyed.

    In reality, for an average person, it was better to be a serf under your local feudal lord (who could also be somewhat restrained by the Church) than be a chattel slave in the Roman Empire.

    @KG:

    Yes, and? I’m aware of the dates. But scholars agree Mark was written by a follower of Peter, and Luke-Acts by a follower of Paul’s. The letters are different because they’re different genres (you know, LETTERS vs. the Gospels which are a kind of ancient laudatory biography of Jesus).

  239. 239
    dogwood says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    What’s wrong with you? I more than recognize that mainstream Catholics and Protestant form the majority of Christians in this country. I also concede that they speak out about injustice and inequality. My point is they are not included as part of the Christian community in the MSM. Why you take my criticism of the media and turn it into a criticism of your mother and people like her is baffling. My only criticism of mainstream Church leaders is that they don’t put pressure on the media to include them in the discussion. I’m sorry, but I don’t see people like your mother getting time on cable news to make the case for the Christianity that most Americans practice, and I think it’s a problem. If people like your mother and like-minded clergy had the platform that the Christian right has, the Susan B Komen Foundation would never consider defunding Planned Parenthood. As it stands the SBK foundation knows the good Christians will keep sending money and support, and the bad Christians will get off their backs. I find this depressing.

  240. 240
    Samara Morgan says:

    @harlana:

    they say they believe and they are saved as many times as they want/need

    there yah go.
    saved by faith alone. that means they can do w/e atrocious actions as long as they recant.
    that saved by faith alone and the born-agains are a huge problem.

  241. 241
    Jon says:

    @Veritas:

    The Inquisition wasn’t as bad as is commonly believed, and if you were actually alive in Spain at the time you would know that the secular courts made the Inquisition look REALLY good and merciful by comparison.

    You do realize they expelled hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes and then hunted down an burned those that didn’t leave, right?

    Now as bad as is commonly believed? Next you’ll tell me Mel Gibson is right about the Holocaust.

  242. 242
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Veritas:

    Yeah Gibbon ruined history for a long fucking time, it’s really :(

  243. 243
    Arclite says:

    When people try to use the bible as justification for their and others behavior, I pull this out:

    Let’s see what else the bible says:
    *Not a virgin upon marriage? Death (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)
    *Disobey parents? Death (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
    *Adultery? Death (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).
    *Working on the Sabbath? Death (Numbers 15:32-56).
    *Set up a Christmas tree? Forbidden (Jerimiah 10:2-5).
    *Swearing? Forbidden (Ephasians 5:4)
    *Gossip? Forbidden (Leviticus 19:16)
    *Do you wear poly/cotton blend clothing? Forbidden (Leviticus 19:19)
    *Wear gold? Forbidden (1 Timothy 2:9)
    *Tattoos? Nope (Leviticus 19:28).

    I am sure you follow all these laws because the bible says so.

  244. 244
    Veritas says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    Yes because surely no secular powers have ever fought bloody wars for secular reasons. Nope. WWII was all about the real presence in the Eucharist. Sure.

  245. 245
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Nutella:

    OK.

  246. 246
    Veritas says:

    @Arclite:

    That’s a really facile understanding of the Old Testament law, and its place in Christian belief.

  247. 247
    Samara Morgan says:

    @harlana in the Bad Old Times you could get washed in the Blood of the Lamb with indulgences, as long as you had deep enough pockets.
    but now, murderers, rapists, oligarchs and capitalists can get saved by faith alone.
    ;)

  248. 248
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @dogwood:

    It sounds as though you wish to withdraw the claim

    The problem here is that mainstream Catholics and Protestants ceded the religious/political debate to the minority 30 years ago.

    And if so, I welcome your admission that it is a false statement.

  249. 249
    barkleyg says:

    I LOVE to tell Religious Sickies that

    Jesus( pronounced in Spanish) is nothing more than a PAGAN FIGURE!

    The real sickies go nuts, just like I planned.
    I call them as I see them, and regarding Jesus, I get the reaction I predict, and love to make fun of.

    The only(exaggeration)difference between the Taliban and the American Religious Right is that the Americans don’t “behead” people, when a good ol hanging will do!

  250. 250
    Josie says:

    John: I’m late to the party, but I wanted to add one more voice to the “Hell yeah chorus.” If they want to serve the public, they should play by the rules of the whole country, not just the religious portion.

  251. 251
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Not content with crowding out alternative forms of common effort, it presents its rivals an impossible choice: Play by our rules, even if it means violating the moral ideals that inspired your efforts in the first place, or get out of the community-building business entirely.

    Total lack of self-awareness.

  252. 252
    Nutella says:

    @Original Lee:

    Are you saying the church-run organization will fire their Protestant employees to avoid paying for their contraception? No, they have to include contraception in every employee’s insurance no matter what the employee is or does.

    And to the people who are saying that this rule is related to the Catholic hospitals accepting federal subsidies: No, it’s not. This rule applies to all employers, private and public, recipients of federal money or not recipients of federal money. It’s employment law that applies to all employers.

  253. 253
    Triassic Sands says:

    If religious people were content to practice privately, that would be fine. However, in my lifetime, fundamentalist Christians (often Dominionists) have decided they need to Christianize the government of the United States and in doing so force their beliefs on non-believers. That’s not OK. In fact, it’s not compatible with a free and open society.

    …it doesn’t bother me that In God We Trust and other such statements are everywhere in public life,

    There may have been a time when such an attitude was OK, but now that fundamentalist Christians are trying to turn the US into a theocracy, such a casual attitude is not a good idea. These supposedly innocuous symbols are increasingly being used by religious extremists as evidence that this is a Christian nation. That must be rejected. While there may be no hope, at least currently, of getting these violations of the separation of church and state removed, they should no longer be simply accepted. They do violate a strict separation of church, which is undeniably best, and that should be pointed out, even if one doesn’t burn Bibles and picket churches.

  254. 254
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Agreed – people forget that even that corrupt and imperfect system imposed some amount of standards on religious and lay leaders, and there is absolutely nothing of the sort constraining right-wing Protestants in this country

  255. 255
    joeyess says:

    Go ahead and take the leap, Cole. The water is fine. I openly rant against religion and the religious. They are not, nor ever have been, part of the solution. Everywhere we turn in this country we see the religious having their ridiculous beliefs affirmed. On our money, billboards, bumper stickers, teevee shows, Tebow (and nearly every other professional athlete when they score or win). If non-believers have the temerity to put an innocuous sign on a bus that says something completely harmless like “you can be good without god” the religious act as if someone walked into their worship hut and pissed in the holy water bowl.

    I have no problem with being an aggressive atheist. None. In fact, I quite enjoy the shock and awe of it all. Something tells me that you would enjoy it as well.

    Non-believers need loud and articulate voices. Speak up.

    Trust me, the religious and in particular, their leaders will never shut the fuck up. They have to be shouted down. Laughed at. Pointed out. Shunned.

    I understand that living in WV poses challenges for disbelief. After all, the more rural and hard working tend to be the most religious. Don’t worry about that. It’s time these people had their fairy tale challenged. I always say that the burden of proof is on them for their ridiculous claims. Make ’em prove it. Challenge them to prove it. The religious and their institutions have done nothing but bilk their followers, start wars*, and promote murder for power.

    Religion adds nothing to our search for the truth, our origin, our very existence. In fact, it impedes that very search by simply ending the process of thinking.

    *the first person here to mention Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot as classic examples of atheism in practice gets a punch in the neck.

  256. 256

    @Patricia Kayden: My favorite!

    What part of “this is the whole of the law” is so hard to understand?

  257. 257
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Veritas:

    @Arclite:
    That’s a really facile understanding of the Old Testament law, and its place in Christian belief.

    It’s not so facile as applied to many brands of fundamentalists, who seem more than happy to pick and choose which portions of the OT are law and which can be ignored because of Peter’s vision of the holy sheet of unclean foods.

  258. 258
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Veritas: that jeebus-godhead bulshytt didnt come along until Constantines meme-war on the gnostics…300 years after christ died.

  259. 259
    srv says:

    I think a lot of you are making the mistake that the most radically conservative Pope and American Bishops in generations can be reasoned with.

    These guys are kings, they do not give a fuck about your quaint rationalities and what-not.

  260. 260
    OzoneR says:

    Clearly Komen would not have cut funding if Obama had used the bully pulpit.

    What we need Obama to do is lead and force insurance plans to cover contraceptives and the like, people would follow because he’d be an example. Surely Komen would not be intimidated by right wing freaks if Obama took the first step against them.

    wait…what? Obama leads and no one follows? Quelle surprise.

  261. 261
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshift: Pilgrims (Separatists)and Puritans are different. Also, the Dutch were quite religiously similar to the Pilgrims. It was more poverty and a lack of Englishness that made them leave.

  262. 262
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    And then Constantine decreed that ecclesiastical court decisions were finally adjudicated, over and above the praetorian, what a stinker

  263. 263
    Veritas says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    There’s enough condemnation of non-heterosexual, non-marital sex in the New Testament to count. Not to mention other early Church documents like the Didache:

    http://www.earlychristianwriti.....berts.html

    That was written around the time of the New Testament ,btw.

  264. 264
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @srv:

    It is true that the Catholic Church is a universalist system that cannot really brook younger challengers like empiricism, capitalism, Communism, etc. among its leaders

    I just wish the bishops could muster the balls to treat fascism and capitalism among laypersons as they did Communism

    These marriages of convenience are not, shall we say, the Sacrament

  265. 265
    mclaren says:

    But from where I stand these days, the only thing I see religion doing in the public sector is gay bashing and telling women, mostly poor and desperate and in deplorable financial and personal situations, what to do with their bodies.

    Sorry, John, but that is absolutely not accurate.

    Christian priests are also heavily involved in sexually molesting underage boys.

  266. 266
    Samara Morgan says:

    @joeyess: look. religious belief may be a spandrel, but you cant …..argue ….people out of it.
    you can only do what my hero Thom Jefferson did…wall it off from political power.
    the rise of the Religious Right fucked up Jefferson’s firewall.
    but the demographic timer is going to restore it.
    ;)

  267. 267
    joeyess says:

    To add one more thing….

    This.

    In secularese…….. Shut the fuck up and no Tebowing.

  268. 268
    Samara Morgan says:

    @AA+ Bonds: doesnt matter.
    that fucker put the jeebus-godhead poison out there.

  269. 269
    JPL says:

    @dogwood: Sending Planned Parenthood a hundred dollars towards a mammogram would do more to save a life from cancer. Komen Foundation is a great advertiser and lobbyist for breast cancer awareness but they don’t provide the tests that save lives. Planned Parenthood does that and for Komen not to support them is sickening.

  270. 270
    OzoneR says:

    @Veritas:

    The Inquisition wasn’t as bad as is commonly believed,

    oh well that makes it all better then.

    Jeez

  271. 271
    grandpa john says:

    @smintheus: And the thing is that people like these are the ones who really do need to spend a lot time reading and studying it.

  272. 272
    Nutella says:

    @joeyess:

    the first person here to mention Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot as classic examples of atheism in practice gets a punch in the neck.

    Especially since Hitler was a Catholic (not a very good one, of course) who denounced atheism.

  273. 273
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    As usual I’m agreeing with you :()

  274. 274
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Veritas: As if the fukkin’ Nazis didn’t justify their Ayrian “purification” program to the general populace on religious beliefs. Wassa matta wichew? Read the propaganda, pal.

  275. 275
    Veritas says:

    @OzoneR:

    Did I SAY “it made it all better”? Seriously I’m just sick of people spouting off fabricated nonsense like “THE INQUISITION KILLED MILLIONS! (which would be fucking impossible given the population of Europe at the time).

  276. 276
    JoyfulA says:

    @dogwood: It doesn’t work that way. A couple of years back, my United Church of Christ tried to run commercials on the major networks to advertise our churchs as “open and affirming,” where everyone was welcome, regardless of income, disability, color, sexual preference, or any other criterion. None of them would take our money. They said our commercials were divisive.

    The media don’t cover our antiwar rallies, our press releases on voting rights, our food pantries, or anything else we say or do, let alone invite us to talk shows and newscasts. For a Christian to appear on TV as a Christian, they have to be loon right-wingers.

  277. 277
    Samara Morgan says:

    @joeyess: but you see….the xian past is dust because of memetic mutation.
    that is how snakehandlers and the Prosperity Gospel came about.

  278. 278
    Veritas says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    Eugenics and racial purity was a secular ideology. And they despised Jews for “racial”, not religious reasons. Baptized Jews went to the gas chambers too.

  279. 279
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Nutella:

    That really has more to do with the Church’s failure to excommunicate Nazis than with Hitler’s belief or practice, lay blame where it’s due

    And given that, the Pope had a duty to German Catholics – had he excommunicated the Nazis, even non-party Catholics in Germany would have been in mortal danger

    I don’t think that’s much of an excuse, just to be clear: doctrine would dictate that he should have done it anyway and there has always been more patty-cake between the Vatican and fascists than is necessary

  280. 280
    JPL says:

    Maybe if we mention Planned Parenthood enough an ad will pop up. That’s an ad I can support.

  281. 281
    Samara Morgan says:

    @JoyfulA: because you are outliers.
    50% of the GOP base are WECs (white evangelical xians).
    universalist xians have no demographics.
    in evo bio terms we would say you are “sports”.
    like mules…no possibility of reproduction.

  282. 282

    @Veritas:
    you probably should quit digging

  283. 283
    Veritas says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    You should probably make an actual, real attempt to respond to what I said with a counterargument.

  284. 284
    joeyess says:

    @Samara Morgan: I agree with you, but we’ve crossed the Rubicon, here. If we build that wall higher the screams will rise, the Newts of the GOP will use it as a political cudgel, and they’ll just build a taller ladder.

    Here’s how you erect a wall that they won’t tear down: Make them erect it. How? Tax the fuck out of them.

    Watch that non-existent wall get erected faster than a porn star’s penis.

    When they cry uncle, stop taxing them. Remind them from time to time that taxation is always a choice. Their choice. They can shut the fuck up or pony the fuck up.

    Beat them into the closet with their own wallets and people will see them for what they are: Snake-oil salesmen.

    ;^)

  285. 285
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Veritas:

    @Tonal Crow: There’s enough condemnation of non-heterosexual, non-marital sex in the New Testament to count.

    So? Going back to the original poster’s note, the NT also repeats the OT’s condemnations of adultery and nonobservance of the Sabbath, yet somehow many fundamentalists have little problem with violating those laws. Or with making the poor poorer — which I seem to recall so concerned God that Jesus never tired of the topic. No, it’s pick-and-choose, with homosexuality the favored whipping-boy (entendre intentional).

  286. 286

    @Samara Morgan:
    you probably should quit digging… also.

    A theocracy fluffer swinging her shit stick at theocracy fluffers is… well, stop digging.

  287. 287
    JoyfulA says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Newt didn’t have to get any annulments because he’s never been married before. Civil and non-Catholic religious marriages don’t count as real marriages; Catholics in such marriages are regarded as living in sin.

  288. 288
    joeyess says:

    Jeebus. I used two words that deal with hoisting the block and tackle (if you know what I mean). Would someone please get me out of moderation hell?

  289. 289
    joeyess says:

    never mind.

  290. 290
    Mackenna says:

    Great blog post, John Cole. I couldn’t agree more. Moderate religious people who used to keep their beliefs low key or private, or at least respected differences, seem to have gone the way of the dodo. I fail to see any appreciable difference between fundamentalist christians and crazed fundies in other lands. They’re all living in caves in their minds.

  291. 291
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Yeah I am really sad about having to use little kid terms for p*n*s given the importance of the subject to any discussion of society, civilization, or politics

  292. 292
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Veritas: Indeed they did. But they were “suspect” Xtians, and deserved to die as well (check out the Inquisition for a moment). AA+Bonds is right. Otherwise why were so many Catholics involved with dropping the Zyclon B into the gas chambers (I’m lookin’ achew, Austria)? Pius XII is not known as “Hitler’s Pope” for nothing.

  293. 293
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Chuck Butcher: oh, im scient enuff.
    its all down to the biological basis of behavior.
    the fact that al-Islam is a Maynard-Smith uninvadable strategy relly frosts your chaps, doesnt it?

  294. 294
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @JoyfulA:

    Civil and non-Catholic religious marriages don’t count as real marriages

    This is the second time I’ve had to correct this in this thread

    Incorrect – Code of Canon Law canon 1141. Any sacramental or “natural” marriage is recognized as Holy and the presumption is in favor of the marriage, presuming it was consensual
    __
    Gingrich just gets whatever he wants because many priests are opportunistic shitheels and encouraged to be so in certain ways by the bishops

    Once again, opportunistic shitheels aside, this is one of the reasons annulment exists – because the Church operates from the assumption that ANY marriage is a holy union

  295. 295
    OzoneR says:

    @Veritas:

    Seriously I’m just sick of people spouting off fabricated nonsense like “THE INQUISITION KILLED MILLIONS!

    Well since it lasted for about 400 years and spread all over Europe, it’s impossible to say how many it killed. It certainly killed thousands and displaced millions.

  296. 296
    pragmatism says:

    @Veritas: it’s the behavior people object to. How many is just an add-on.

  297. 297
    Samara Morgan says:

    @joeyess: im cool wid Jeffersons firewall getttin’ restored.
    i lurve that guy.
    the blacks, browns, and teh wimmens will save us all.

    Demographics is Destiny.

  298. 298
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    However, you should recognize that many Catholic priests were sent to the camps for the simple act of following their vows and that did in fact constitute Nazi persecution of Catholics, whether or not the Vatican was negligent in response

  299. 299
    Veritas says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    Have you ever heard of Mit brennender Sorge? I’m guess you haven’t, until you google it in about two seconds.

    The anti-semitism of Hitler was racial or “scientific” anti-semitism, not religious. Hitler even says in his book he could care less about their religious views, the important thing is that to him they’re racial inferiors.

  300. 300
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Veritas:

    Hmm, so you defended the Inquisition — which killed and displaced millions of Jews — as not so bad, and now you’re claiming the Nazis didn’t kill Jews for religious reasons, but racial reasons.

    Interesting linkage there.

  301. 301
    Veritas says:

    17. The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand; it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood.

    23. You will need to watch carefully, Venerable Brethren, that religious fundamental concepts be not emptied of their content and distorted to profane use. “Revelation” in its Christian sense, means the word of God addressed to man. The use of this word for the “suggestions” of race and blood, for the irradiations of a people’s history, is mere equivocation. False coins of this sort do not deserve Christian currency.

    8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_fat.....ge_en.html

    Only Vatican encyclical to ever be written in another language besides Latin, and ordered to be read from every pulpit in Germany.

    Seriously, I reject Christianity, but at least I know what I’m rejecting.

  302. 302
    OzoneR says:

    @Veritas:

    The anti-semitism of Hitler was racial or “scientific” anti-semitism, not religious.

    How do you identify a Semite in 1933?

  303. 303
    fubar says:

    Right on Brother John! You said a mouthful. About time we wage a religious jihad on god-botherers everywhere.

  304. 304
    Veritas says:

    @OzoneR:

    Well, the Nuremberg Laws said it’s anyone with at least two Jewish grandparents, no matter what religion or lack of it they have.

  305. 305
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Veritas:

    Hitler even says in his book he could care less about their religious views, the important thing is that to him they’re racial inferiors.

    So that makes it all okay, I guess, as long as you ignore the fact that “Jewish” is not, you know, an actual race.

  306. 306
    JoyfulA says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Not so. After my late husband had a stroke, he decided to become a practicing Catholic. We were required to have a Catholic wedding for him to be allowed to take Communion.

  307. 307
    Veritas says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So? Hitler believed they were.

  308. 308
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Um, the largest problem with the Inquisition is that the Spanish and Portuguese civil courts were murderously overzealous in investigating Christians of Jewish ancestry, as opposed to the Church courts

    The links between that development and “racial” antisemitism are hotly debated but there’s no contradiction in what Veritas is saying, nor is it necessarily antisemitic

  309. 309

    @Veritas:
    Shit for brains, the fact that the British and some others played propaganda with the fucking Inquisition doesn’t make it something other than what it was and the fact that it wasn’t millions but thousands is scarcely… reassuring. You’re somehow excusing relgious terrorism backed by the State as not involving millions? Or that the State was not nice, either? Geewhiz…

    Getting on the Nazi/Jew bandwagon isn’t going to do you any favors. Your “race” bullshit about Jews in Europe is nonsense and the historical record all the way back to Norman England says so. Jews got shit on for religion, particularly the part where they were the ones who could openly lend money for interest to Christians.

    Your waffling bullshit is so… Romneyesque it’s laughable. Your fucking wishes don’t change what was and what is, the goddam sun will still come up in the east.

  310. 310
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @JoyfulA:

    . . . okay, and what does that have to do with the type of marriages the Church recognizes as holy unions?

    Because in order to receive the Eucharist you have to actually have converted to Catholicism or otherwise you’re not supposed to receive it

  311. 311
    Veritas says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Try less than 2,000 over a period of 160 years in the case of the Spanish Inquisition. \

  312. 312
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @Veritas:

    The next Pope, or at the very latest the Pope after the next, is going to be from the developing world. That’s a big change.

    Alas, according to St. Malachy O’Morgair, there’s only one more Pope on the way.

    I agree that he’ll be from Latin America or Africa, though.

  313. 313
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Um, the largest problem with the Inquisition is that the Spanish and Portuguese civil courts were murderously overzealous in investigating Christians of Jewish ancestry, as opposed to the Church courts.

    Except that those cases were turned over to the secular courts by the church courts, because there was an official ban on torture by the church. It was the Inquisition’s own little version of extraordinary rendition — arrest the people you don’t like but keep your own hands clean by having the “official” punishment be done by someone else.

    And in case you’re not familiar with his history, I wouldn’t waste a whole lot of time defending Veritas, if I were you. It’s like being the frog who agrees to take the scorpion across the river.

  314. 314
    Veritas says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Of course it’s nonsense to say the Jews are a race. But Hitler and the Nazis treated them as such, whatever the objective reality is.

  315. 315
    OzoneR says:

    @Veritas:

    Well, the Nuremberg Laws said it’s anyone with at least two Jewish grandparents, no matter what religion or lack of it they have.

    I see, and how do you tell if a said person’s grandparents were Jewish?

  316. 316
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I already talked to him about the questionable rhetorical tactic of excluding the civil courts from the umbrella “the Inquisition”, if you’ll read the thread

    The doctrinal distinction in using the term to describe the ecclesiastical courts alone is really only correct from a Roman Catholic point of view

  317. 317
    OzoneR says:

    @Veritas:

    Of course it’s nonsense to say the Jews are a race. But Hitler and the Nazis treated them as such, whatever the objective reality is.

    They created a race out of religion. How can you not see this? Do you think because they put non-practicing Jews in ovens, that means they weren’t warring against a faith?

  318. 318

    @Samara Morgan:

    the fact that al-Islam is a Maynard-Smith uninvadable strategy relly frosts your chaps, doesnt it?

    The fact that you are as knuckle draggingly stupid as any Christianist doesn’t chap anything. You will keep digging as though your reactionary terrorist co-religionists are somehow different than the ones from other religions. Help yourself to that one as you proselytize away.

  319. 319
    Satanicpanic says:

    Waaaay late in the game, but I just gotta say (as a fellow atheist who doesn’t like to confront the religionists- you rock Cole!

  320. 320
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Veritas:

    Of course it’s nonsense to say the Jews are a race.

    In Biblical terms, there are three races based upon the sons of Noah…

    Japhetic, Hametic, and Shemitic-Jews, of course being Shemitic.

  321. 321
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Jeebus, what is Catholicism if not the Papacy? Didn’t one of the 19th century Leos proclaim papal infallibility as Catholic doctrine? I remember it so, as if I was there LOL in a Catholic grade school, high school and (gasp!) college. AA+ Bonds is absolutely correct. Had Pius XII excommunicated the bastards instead of submitting to BJ’s from Hitler, there would have been no holocaust. Period!

  322. 322
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Chuck Butcher: i cant proselytize xians or jews.
    We all believe in the same Allah.
    ;)

  323. 323
    THE says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    religion is good for homo sapiens sapiens. its a fitness advantage handed down in the chromosomes from the EEA.

    Unfortunately we are no longer living in the EEA. So whether it is still good for us today is the really important question now.

    There are so many things that have changed you see. The biggie of course is that we have science now. And that gives us an independently-validatable source of culturally-transmitted knowledge. Belief grounded in empiricism and subject to independent testing, not merely in tradition and authority.

    But also I would argue religion has changed in several really important ways too.

    Most importantly the rheification of religion in ancient texts, rather than living oral tradition. That has made religions inflexible and ultraconservative. I would argue that writing/printing is the worst thing that ever happened to religion. It fossilized it in thinking modalities locked in the dead past.

    And the full weight of religious authority weighs down on us like a ton of bricks.

  324. 324

    @Samara Morgan:
    You’re welcom to ’em, I don’t have anything to do with your version of a god.

  325. 325
    phil says:

    @ schrodinger’s cat
    I know this is already buried, but I had to google Stockholm Syndrome because I live under a rock. I want you to guess what percentage of captives exhibit symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome. Yes, its 27%

  326. 326

    @JoyfulA: A couple of years back, my United Church of Christ tried to run commercials on the major networks to advertise our churchs as “open and affirming,” where everyone was welcome, regardless of income, disability, color, sexual preference, or any other criterion. None of them would take our money. They said our commercials were divisive.

    I remember that now, and I take back an earlier comment where I encouraged such inclusive Christians to “try harder” to be heard. But you can’t try harder than offering money, and I’m chastened by their obvious agenda.

  327. 327
    Veritas says:

    What, matoko_chan is Muslim now? It’s just the old Arian heresy with a side order of high-octane desert pagan lunacy.

  328. 328
    dollared says:

    @kay: Kay, Dahlia Lithwick says the latest from the Supremes ends the application of employment law to a very, very large proportion of employees of religiously-based organizations. http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....religious/

  329. 329
    dogwood says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I don’t withdraw the assertion. Mainstream Christians did cede the debate when it came to the national stage. You can’t deny they don’t have a presence on national news programs. That doesn’t mean they ceded the fight locally and personally. We are talking about two different things.

  330. 330

    Take your pink ribbon and shove it.

    I am so OVER this bullshit. OVER IT.

    I never want to see a pink ribbon again. Ever.

  331. 331
    Aaron Baker says:

    Hurray, John Cole. I’ve always liked you; now I like you more. One really cannot overdo telling Ross Douthat to go fuck himself.

  332. 332
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dollared:

    Do you have an actual Dahlia Lithwick link? IIR the case C, the issue was that, since the woman was a “called teacher” who had accepted a religious position within that church, she lost the protections that a secular employee would have. (Basically, she became a para-minister as far as the church was concerned.)

    If Lithwick thought otherwise, I’d be very interested to see it, because the LGM guys agreed with the court that she did count as (essentially) junior clergy.

  333. 333
    opie jeanne says:

    @harlana: Church heirarchy told him to . The Quorum of 12 or the First Presidency were probably sitting around in their white suits, just a-glowin’ the way they do (ever visit one of their Stakes?) and said, gee, it sure would be cool if we could get a Mormon elected President.

  334. 334
    Lit3Bolt says:

    As much as Ross Douthat thinks about uteruses, you think that he wants one for himself.

  335. 335
    moderateindy says:

    @rea:

    An Honest to God theologian use to tell me to use this passage to judge whether or not your religious leader is a charlatan or not. He said if they invoke this passage as a reason to solicit you for money for the church, then he shouldn’t be trusted.
    He said Caesar’s pic was on the money, not God’s. What you’re suppose to render unto god is yourself, because you belong to god.
    He also put the quote into context. People hated taxes. The people that asked Jesus the question wanted him to come out against paying tribute to Caesar so the Romans would arrest him as a Saul Alinsky type radical. What Jesus told them was to quit bitching about paying taxes because it has nothing to do with what’s important.
    Odd, how 2000 years later the same class of people have ignored their savior’s advice, and continue to bitch about paying taxes, after he explicitly told them not to. But some disciple of his, who never actually met Jesus, wrote in a letter how in his opinion, not Jesus’, being a queer is bad (don’t even get me started on the absurdity in Leviticus, though some of the laws were just good sense. Like don’t eat the shellfish, and stay away from women during their period) and the followers latch on to that verse as if they were all pitbulls.

  336. 336
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Veritas: no its not.
    its the third stage evolution of monotheism.
    is it the final stage?
    who can say.
    ;)

  337. 337
    Yoki says:

    No more fuckin pink ribbons. I’m had breast cancer and I have always hated the whole demeaning garbage that has surrounded the issue, mostly owned by the pink-ribbon babes. But now they have cut us off above the waist. Apparently our boobs are sacred, and they shall not receive care if our icky lower parts also get a glance and a grope.

  338. 338
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Chuck Butcher: im a sufi and a universalist.
    all paths are the one path, and yours is better for you, mine is better for me.
    even if you are an atheist or a buddhist.

    man cannot acquire what he cannot use.
    ;)

  339. 339
    barbara says:

    Thank you, John Cole!
    P.S. There are a lot more of us out here than anyone imagines because most of us are polite and sensitive about other people’s feelings and don’t see the point of arguments with believers. As a result people assume that everyone around them feels just the way they do. Maybe it’s time we started speaking up.

  340. 340
    JoyfulA says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. My late husband was baptized as a Catholic, an altar boy, 100% parochial schools through 12th grade, etc., who in his teens decided it was all nonsense and stopped all religious participation. I would not have married a practicing Catholic.

    After that stroke, which left him unable to walk or speak clearly, he sort of reverted to teenagerhood. He wanted to be a practicing Catholic but scoffed when the priest referred to Joseph as Jesus’ foster father.

  341. 341
    chopper says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    “every other religion is stupid. except for mine, which is the only one that makes sense. it’s scientifically proven.”

  342. 342
    kay says:

    Thanks, dollared, for the legal end in employment law/ Catholic church, but I support the policy behind the decision, no matter how Justice Roberts reads the law.
    It’s simple to me. The Catholic church is a giant player in health care, and a “large employer”.
    They should have to abide by the same rules as any other “large employer” in terms of. the PPACA.
    In other words, I think the administration should follow sound public policy, as here, and let the church sue.
    Let them line up with every other conservative org and sue.
    I’m tired of threats.
    I wish they’d finally sue on Roe.
    They’ve been threatening for 30 years and I’m tired of it.

  343. 343
    geg6 says:

    Well, as we all know, I have no problem confronting religionists and god botherers. And I wish I wasn’t so late to this thread.

    That said, fuck the Catholic Church and especially fuck the entire hierarchy with a rusty chainsaw. Fuck the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which will never again get a dime from me and which I hope loses so much money on this that they can’t pay Lieberman’s wife another cent. Fuck religion in general and especially religions that are so scared and fearful of the power of xx chromosomes that any message of good they may have shoved between the lines of hate and fear in the dogma is illegitimized by their own actions. Which would be every.single.one.of.them. Can’t disappear fast enough. This world will continually suck, deservedly so, until these ignorant superstitions are shunned by all who have a shred of humanity. Until then, it’s a fight to death as far as I’m concerned.

  344. 344
    THE says:

    Well I just think people really ought to get over these ancient iron-age superstitions.

    It’s time the human race moved on.

  345. 345
    Politicalguineapig says:

    kwawk:Surprisingly, the pill isn’t just for sluts. It’s hormone based, and some people need it for more stuff then not getting pregnant.
    My sis started taking it for her complexion; it helped her acne clear up. A good friend of mine has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and she’d be bleeding all the time if it wasn’t for the pill. I take it to keep my cycle on schedule, becuase I get terribly anemic and need to bleed as little as possible. Now get back to your godbothering, curtain-twitcher.

  346. 346
    liberal says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    what Jeffersonian separation of church and state does is prevent the majority (white christians) from imposing their will on minorities in the form of law.

    More to the point, what it does is prevent us from murdering each other.

  347. 347
    Carl Nyberg says:

    Let’s cut the shit about the role of Christianity in U.S. politics.

    The purpose Christianity serves in American politics is to add a veneer of morality to policies that would otherwise be obviously discriminatory and bigoted.

    Christianity as a political force is never associated with helping anyone. Denying them services? Yes. Discriminating? Yes. Taking their land? Yes. Bombing their country? Yes.

    But helping poor people? Never.

    Christianity has become a farce. The corporate power elites use it now. The slaveholders used it in the past.

  348. 348
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    Let’s cut the shit about the role of Christianity in U.S. politics.

    Call it the role of profession of Christianity in U.S. politics. I believe that there are a large number of people in politics whose world view was shaped by Christianity, and lot of them are forces for good.

  349. 349
    OzoneR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I believe that there are a large number of people in politics whose world view was shaped by Christianity, and lot of them are forces for good.

    I don’t think it’s shaped by Christianity, it’s shaped by human morality and decency that comes disguised in a religion.

    Don’t all religion generally teach the same thing? so why are there different ones? At the end of the day religion is a tribal thing- man facing off against man for whose story behind the same message is true.

  350. 350
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OzoneR: Won’t argue that, but MLK and the Berrigans, for example, were explicitly Christian and those who seek to follow and emulate them were influenced by Christianity.

  351. 351

    […] …because he brightens my day with an awesome rant like this. […]

  352. 352
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Anne Laurie: And a strong
    “Blessed Be” to you and to John.

    I think the “‘christian’ right should be identified for what it truly is, a death cult intent on achieving totalitarian control over everything and everyone. To use a spiritual term, I prefer Sauronic, but the tradition they parasitize would identify them as Satanic.

  353. 353
    OzoneR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    but MLK and the Berrigans, for example, were explicitly Christian and those who seek to follow and emulate them were influenced by Christianity.

    The case with MLK, because he happened to be a reverend and his church became a place for people to congregate.

    Also keep in mind that those influenced by Christianity in the face of civil rights aren’t always on the side good. See: MLK’s children and gay rights.

  354. 354
    rdpayne says:

    Religions should be allowed to practice their religious activities, but businesses must all follow the common business law.

    Religions that wish to engage in non-religious activities must engage in those activities in non-religious way.

    What is so hard about that?

  355. 355
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OzoneR: Read my original statement above. I don’t make any claim that Christianity is always a force for good. Hell, I am an agnostic. I just wanted to add balance to the record.

  356. 356
    virag says:

    will chris king bicycle components, a feel-good, portland, or company break with komen over this bullshit. they sell very expensive pink bike jewelry and donate money to komen. it would be nice if they shifted that donation to planned parenthood.

  357. 357
    MattMinus says:

    As an Irish\Italian atheist who still feels culturally “Catholic”, I want to say that there are a lot of progressive Catholics doing a lot of good work.

  358. 358
    THE says:

    I just think that the whole idea of “the religion of the book” is a really really bad idea. We need to go back to the idea of religion as an evolving, fluid, constantly changing, system.

    Even the religion of the sacred Twitter feed would be a huge improvement. If it’s longer than 140 characters it’s too long.

  359. 359
    F says:

    Well said. Thanks for not being quiet, if only for this moment.

  360. 360
    echidna says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Most Americans think Catholics = Catholics from the United States

    Seriously, most USA people don’t really acknowledge the existence of the rest of the world.

    I have never lived in a more insular society than when I lived in the US – and this was in the heart of Silicon Valley. The rest of the world just seems to be out there, somewhere, but of no consequence to the USA.

  361. 361
    JR in WVa says:

    Veritas:

    You’re totally full of bovine waste. The RCC didn’t just burn witches at the stake, they eradicated whole cultures all over Europe who were deemed to be doctrinally impure.

    In Languedoc, France, the Cathars were obliterated to the extent that we’re not actually sure of the details of their heresy. It was also known as the Crusade against the Albigensians.

    The Huegonots were another culture and belief system that the RCC tried to obliterate, one of the early protestant creeds.

    Most of Europe was war-torn for generations after Martin Luther started the “reformation”, and whole cities were wiped out, because they were designated the wrong religion, or had the wrong Bishop, or their feudal lord married the wrong woman in the wrong church building.

    No, I won’t let you distort history to flatter your childhood memories. The Catholic Church makes Pol Pot look like a piker. Even if they hadn’t had centuries to do their horrible slaughter, they would have out done almost every other genocidal maniac in world history.

    The only real competition was perhaps Timur-i leng, and maybe Ghengis Khan, but I really expect the RCC made both of those guys look like civil and responsible leaders. Because the RCC claimed to be doing their murder and torture because a god of peace wanted them to.

    Despicable, all of it! Then and now!

    So just STFU about how benign churches are. They suck.

  362. 362
    Paco says:

    You had me until your accommodationist bullshit.

  363. 363
    Jafafa Hots says:

    We do not need to go by the “religion of the book” OR to religion as an evolving system.

    We need to GROW UP. Stop believing in fairy tales. Stop thinking that you’re so special in this universe that you’re going to the big rock candy mountain when you die.

    Religion is patently idiotic. Beyond silly. An embarrassment, really.

    Living in a world where most so-called adults believe in fairy tales so absurd as to be blindingly obvious is just damned depressing.

    We need to take the overly self-regarding nomenclature “homo sapiens” and change it to “homo dementis.”
    Just smart enough to thoroughly con ourselves.

  364. 364

    […] dollars that might pay for an abortion.  Theocrats with bully pulpits screaming victimhood unless the rest of us keep giving them tax breaks to discriminate.*  I’m exhausted by the very existence of Mitt Romney, and the fact that his […]

  365. 365
    burbank15 says:

    @Bill in Section 147:

    These types of disagreements between proper and required treatment vs. Catholic Church doctrine have led Catholic Healthcare West to change its’ name to Dignity Health.

    Now some hospitals in the system are more connected to the Church than other hospitals, so they may move more slowly.

    This link is to the new front page where you can see the new logo.

  366. 366
    moderateindy says:

    Raised a Lutheran, Church and Sunday school every week parochial school through the eighth grade through the adult life after actually studying the history of Christianity and spending time doing a little critical thinking I realized the Judeo-Christian god was way less than credible.Though I still cotton to most of the philosophy credited to Christ. But like Cole, I do not bother to argue with believers. Not because I know that they will never be convinced, but because I fear I might convince them. Most of the Christians I know are good hearted, well intentioned folks. And without religion they would still be good-hearted, well intentioned people. But their religion gives them comfort, a sense of community, and inspiration. Why would I want to take that away from them? Making someone else’s life less fulfilling is cruel. And surprisingly enough I don’t need to believe in Jebus to understand that hurting others is wrong.
    Sure the argument can be made that you should try to change the minds of the right wing freaks that are hateful and bigoted, but my guess is that they aren’t that way because of religion, and would find a completely different rationale for their hate and bigotry if they ever were convinced that Christ didn’t exist.

  367. 367
    Original Lee says:

    @Nutella: I’m not saying these Catholic groups will fire their Protestant employees, I’m saying that the letter that was read in our parish said that the bishops felt they had two choices: shut everything down or get rid of their employees who weren’t Catholic.

  368. 368
    THE says:

    @Jafafa Hots: I can only say, I think it’s too austere for most people. I think Samara is right. It is in the genes. And not everyone gets bitten by the reason bug sufficiently to fend it off.

    So my sense is that religion as poetry, religion as creative imagination is as good/bad as any other form of subjective creativity. In principle religion can be as benign as music or dance. The problem is the dogma. The laws. The authoritarianism, the patriarchy, the imperialism.

    See the form religion takes in Asia. Highly abstract, like Zen or highly creative and imaginative like folk-Shinto or Shen in China. At its best whimsical, playful. Sentimental. Respect for the dead ancestors. Respect for natural wonders. I find it very hard to take offense. You don’t have to believe. There is no reward for faith, no penalty for skepticism. It is a ritual like Thanksgiving is a ritual, like New Year is a ritual.

  369. 369
    Bogie says:

    @Original Lee: What would constitute a “sensible compromise” in this situation that would not result in these perverts having the power to deny medical services to people who don’t share their specific delusion about God and his/her/its presumed will?

    Sorry, some issues are simply too important to permit compromise with misogynistic zealots. If I ever decided to pray, it would be to ask that they all become extinct – – soon!

  370. 370
    wetcasements says:

    I used to be relatively quiet about my own atheism but ya know what, assholes like Douthat think I’m condemned to eternal hell for simply not believing in a sky-god.

    The fact that they’re trying to push through legislation that kills poor women is simply another reason to be loud about the silliness of their chosen cult.

  371. 371
    Jafafa Hots says:

    Reality is hardly austere.

    Those who think reality needs gussying up with nonsensical woo are not imaginative – they suffer from a severe lack of imagination.

    Looking at images of the Horsehead nebula from Hubble, how does applying a veneer of human-made, human-centered unreal BS and fantasy do anything but DETRACT from the awe and beauty?

  372. 372
    THE says:

    @Jafafa Hots: Even if I think you are right, in principle, and I do. I think you are going to have your work cut out, selling it.

    People are not innately rational. They probably are innately “spiritual”. Science is too recent to have left its mark on our genes. It needs commitment and training to sustain it. Religion OTOH is truly ancient – tens of thousands of years, going by the ice age cave-paintings. The genes have adapted to make use of it.

    Here is an interesting interview from the Center For Inquiry’s Chris Mooney talking to cognitive scientist, Robert McCauley. Why Religion is Natural (And Science is Not) (MP3 Audio file to download).

  373. 373
    Bruce Gorton says:

    Eugenics and racial purity was a secular ideology. And they despised Jews for “racial”, not religious reasons. Baptized Jews went to the gas chambers too.

    Actually, the Germans took Judaism back to the third generation as being a gas chamber offence.

    Now if you go to Deuteronomy, you will see that the sins of the father shall be visited upon the third or forth generation. The heritability of sin, the central creed of Hitler’s view of Eugenics, is a huge element of the Bible.

    Not only that, but the concept of racial curses is pretty well cemented. “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation.”

    In other words, there were pretty clear religious roots to Nazi eugenics. The prejudice was not a secular one, but born of longstanding religious propaganda and excused by pseudo-science.

  374. 374
    Tom Durack says:

    That was a thing of beauty. Thank you.

  375. 375
    Aquaria says:

    In effect, the Department of Health and Human Services is telling religious groups that if they don’t want to pay for practices they consider immoral, they should stick to serving their own co-religionists rather than the wider public.

    You know what, Ross?

    The Catholic church can avoid having to abide by Obamacare by doing one simple thing:

    Don’t take money from the federal government, you flaming bag of stupid.

    If they don’t take federal money (including Medicare), then they can do whatever they want. Live on your frickin’ charitable contributions, then. The religious are always bragging about how much more generous charity is than government, so they can just live on that “generosity”.

    The Catholics are the ones who want the money for their services. They can just earn it like everyone else–and that means following the rules of who has the gold.

    Otherwise, the Catholic Church is like a hooker who wants a john’s money but won’t put out to get it.

  376. 376
    Colleen says:

    Amen brother John! LOL

  377. 377
    bob h says:

    And you Catholic Bishops support Mitt Romney with a high heart.

  378. 378
    Jafafa Hots says:

    I am not impressed by Chris Mooney’s accommodating platitudes.

    Religion is simply incorrect information. It’s WRONG. It’s being incorrect, being ignorant.

    People are only innately “spiritual” if you use that word as a synonym for ignorance.

    People are of course innately ignorant, born that way. People also are innately curious – from the moment we’re born we set about correcting that ignorance.

    Religion only arises when that innate curiosity is either not satisfied with actual information, or it is actively derailed by the teaching of religion.

    People born and raised without religion don’t tend to come to it later, although there are of course exceptions.
    THAT is why religion is dying – people are being infected with it less and less.

    It’s not innate, it’s taught, and taught through mental and often physical abuse.

  379. 379
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Jafafa Hots: pfft.
    You should read Tomasello on The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition:
    Children at very early ages (two to four years) recognize “other” as extra-tribal outgroup with beliefs different than than their own– a signalling of outgroup.
    And capacity for religious belief is pre-programmed.
    Its in the wiring. There is a distribution of capacity of course along the spectrum of genetic diversity.

  380. 380
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE:

    We need to go back to the idea of religion as an evolving, fluid, constantly changing, system.

    haha, but that is the idea of quranic exegesis and mutawatir.
    al-Islam is a process……one of my shayyks says that alla time.
    all sacred texts are just recipes for making good humans.
    but the memetic hygiene of the Quran and the uncreated, revealed nature of the Quran distinguish it from static texts like the Bible and the Torah…..or the Upanishads and Vedas.

    a twitter religion would mutate out of recognition almost instantly.
    you have to consider memetic mutations like the Prosperity Gospel and snakehandlers in a fluid system.
    ;)

  381. 381
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Its in the wiring.

    Nothing is more easily changed than ‘wiring’.

  382. 382
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Jafafa Hots: that is simply not true.
    humans have an innate capacity for awe….which translates as religion to young children.
    in our primate ancestors this is known as Chimpanzee Waterfall Display.

  383. 383
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor: oh i agree– that is why im a transhumanist.
    ;)
    but actually, we are talking about HARD-wiring, not software.
    ;)

  384. 384
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Jafafa Hots:

    Religion is patently idiotic. Beyond silly. An embarrassment, really.

    orly?
    dig Dr. Hamerhoff, the skunk at the atheists convention.

  385. 385
    THE says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    a twitter religion would mutate out of recognition almost instantly.

    Why? That’s exactly what the oral tradition was like.

  386. 386
    THE says:

    @Jafafa Hots: I agree that religion is factually false. I think we would be far better off without it under modern conditions. But I see the intensity with which people cling to it. It is something far more than mere rational belief. I think religion is a phenomenon in its own right with its own distinct phenomenology.

    I am not sure a religion-free society is really possible. A lot of people aren’t intellectually capable of putting together a truly rational worldview for one thing. Cults and whacko beliefs keep recurring. So religions don’t only die out. People invent new crazy beliefs all the time and some of them can become new religions if you have sufficiently charismatic leaders.

    My attitude to religion is that atheism/agnosticism is ideal, but failing that, I’ll go for harm-minimization. Benign folk-religion seems to me about as harmless as you can get. I think modern Japan comes close.

  387. 387
    Bryan says:

    A brief description of article in the link about marriage licenses; a town clerk in a tiny farming town refuses to sign same-sex marriage licenses, opting instead to delegate that response to a deputy clerk. This means that same-sex couples can’t just walk in and get it done. They have to make an appointment and come back later.

    In the article, the clerk is quoted as saying that that government protects her right to have her job and her religious beliefs. How can she not understand that while that is true, as an agent of the government, while performing governmental duties, she must obey the law regardless of her religious beliefs. If she can’t handle that, she needs to step down, as other clerks throughout the state have done since the legalization of same-sex marriage.

    Yes, in a time when when millions of Americans are thankful just to have a job while millions more can’t get one, these people actually quit their jobs so they wouldn’t have to sign a piece of paper for gay people. I can feel God’s love just oozing out of them.

  388. 388
    THE says:

    @Samara Morgan: I think I am much less impressed by Hamerhoff than you are.

  389. 389
    Ladyblug says:

    Thank You from the bottom of my heart! ME TOO!

  390. 390
    canuckistani says:

    A belated “right on”, John. /clenched fist salute

  391. 391
    THE says:

    the uncreated, revealed nature of the Quran distinguish it from static texts like the Bible and the Torah

    Not to me it doesn’t. To me all three look like products of a particular culture at a particular time.

    The fact that they are monotheistic for a start. The fact that they share the Semitic creation myth. The fact that they are patriarchal — No female divinity. The fact that they are eschatological — They believe in a last judgment and an end of the world.

    Only one culture and one era put together these beliefs. It’s as unique as a fingerprint.

  392. 392
    al kimeea says:

    while “the uncreated and revealed nature of the Quran” might separate it from the B or T (it doesn’t), it sits alongside the texts of Smith or Hubbard

  393. 393
    Caylynn says:

    @slag: LMFAO!!!

  394. 394
    Dawn Jenkins says:

    I find it a tad ironic that you have Scientology adverts scrolling around you page!! Where there’s a wallet there’s a way hey?

  395. 395
    Ambidexter says:

    @cathyx:

    So you’re a fan of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

  396. 396
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: no it wasnt. a twitter religion could generate thousands of unique tweets per hour.

  397. 397
    Susan Jeswine says:

    I am an Episcopal priest and find these remarks to be pretty much on the mark. I do say, however, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“obamacare”) really is one of the ways to limit the damage that is being done in the name of our invisible jeebus and hasten to assure you that the Catholic hospitals that will be required to carry information that is contrary to their beliefs are those that are receiving federal funds. Now here’s where I get a little faint and weak in the knees: Do we as a secular people want our money to support religious institutions that are operating for the community good? I’m thinking of the many hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, intervention and recovery programs, food and clothing banks, disaster relief, transitional housing, half-way programs, and other such activities. If we serve the secular, do we do so on their terms or on our terms? Or does that depend on where the money is coming from? Do we as a secular people choose to let various religious organizations administer our money? Do we as religious people want to be administrators of secular money if it means we compromise our mission (and Commission!)

    It’s already obvious how much confusion and resentment there is with respect to religion. Do we as a secular people prefer to march ahead and establish our own service providers? How much will that cost us? Do we, as religious people, want to support our own work, without receiving public funds?

    p.s. Shame on the Komen Foudation for going religious! I have cancelled my monthly donation and redirected it to Planned Parenthood. Pfft.

    Anyway. Thanks for a very helpful essay! G-d bless you!

  398. 398
    michael ofquestionablebelief says:

    I guess as a prepubescent I questioned too much. I was raised Lutheran but spent a number of years (again prepubescent) in the Episcopal Church singing in the all boy’s choir and attending “Sunday School/pre-confirmation classes). My parents actually gave me the option of confirmation in the Episcopal or Lutheran Church. I later was more active in the Lutheran church attending a “Leadership Conference” and was Pres & VP of the Luther League. But during the “Conference” when I was 14 I was asked “Do you believe in God?” and I honestly answered, “I don’t know.” After the questioners regained consciousness they backed away and from there on, I came to my own conclusions about the need for and validity of “The Church” – I do fine without it…

  399. 399
    mrmike says:

    @kwAwk:

    This law is equal to a requirement that all Mosques and Jewish Temples serve Pork BBQ sandwiches in any soup kitchen or food pantry they operate.

    No, it’s equivalent to saying “If you provide a per-Diem for food, you must allow it to be spent on BBQ pork as well as on Filet-o-fish”. Or, more accurately, “You must provide a per-Diem for food, and you may not restrict what class of food it can be spent on”. Analogy Fail.

  400. 400
    Kagehi says:

    You know, claiming that anyone pissed at the amount of stupid BS that goes on, on a daily basis, which involves trying to shove the already *very public* and *very common* Christian nation stuff even more front and center, is, “some crazed reactionary”, is… not seeing the big picture. If ‘respect’ for the faith was seating in a stadium, they would be complaining about not being on the actual stage.

    As I posted on another blog, the problem with things, unlike the fellow up thread who says he as no problem with things, like “In God We Trust” on money, is that ***by itself*** he might be right, its nothing more than an anachronism. But, collectively, given the day in, and day out, attempts by the not just reactionary, but I would say, crazed, people on the other side of the issue, its a bit like saying, “I don’t mind so much the funny little rings X group wears, its just all the spray paint on the buildings, the burning cars, the dead people in the streets, and the small gang war they started.” Uh, huh… And, if all those other things where not going on, no one would be worried about the funny rings some people collected, or, in the case of the government, how many clowns think that “In God We Trust was put there by the founders”, and not tacked on by someone that, like the rest today, didn’t think there was enough Jesus plastered on everything, and didn’t know that E Pluribus Unum was *already* the national motto.

    By itself, *none* of the things these people do, including the absurd nonsense with “school prayer” means a thing. Its the fact that its not enough for it to be on the money, it has to be on everything else too, if possible. Its not enough that you can pray, by yourself, in school, teachers have to be able to lead it. Its not enough that their myths can be taught as fact in churches, they *must* be allowed to try to present them as fact in science classes. And on, and on, and on. Its not, “crazed reactionary”, to recognize that in less than a century we have gone from respecting people like Mark Twain, for his stance on human idiocy, and that of religion too, to some moron probably teaching that he was a “good Christian” because he was against slavery, by only ever allowing the students to read “Tom Sawyer”, and not “Letter From Earth”, and some of his other works, which are, if nothing else, way less than nice about Christianity.

    The same way they distort nearly everything the founders said by denying the content of one set of writings by them, and pushing others, or even, in some cases, actually *manufactured* quotes from them, knowing that everyone likes a good quote, and if the person they quote is dead enough, its damn hard to prove they didn’t just slap it on a website, instead of reading it off an actual document (which mysteriously can’t be found, or shown to people questioning it).

    No, “crazed” is a strong word, for what, in reality, is a simple awareness of how loud, and unduly powerful, some truly crazed people have managed to become, because the only people speaking against “everything” they are doing is the “crazed reactionaries” on the other side. Everyone else, like you, are apposed to the obvious, and more blatant, problems, but you are apposing people that would use *anything* and *everything* to get what they want, including our own kids, if they could get by with it, and have no problem taking things like personal choices, private (as apposed to state led) prayer, and even anachronisms, like having God on money, and use *all* of it, to lie, cheat, and steal their way into a position to do more of the blatantly wrong things.

    At some point, the message need to be gotten across that, “No, we don’t support your vision of the future, and its not just a small number of liberals and non-believers, that appose what you are trying to do, it everyone else.”

    That is going to require either a) intentionally giving up some symbols, so they can’t be used to support the idea that the majority agree with them, or b) a real effort to derail attempts to use them *for* such purposes. And, you won’t do the former if you cherish them so much that you literally can’t give them up, or the later, if you are hamstrung by the idea that faith, and quoting Bible versus, or authorities, trumps actually being able to present facts, and make arguments (also called critical thinking, and something else the crazies don’t want to be taught in schools, since it has a habit of undermining blind faith). Its not the sprinkling of some water on a kid that is the problem. Its the fact that churches are a place to teach people how, and what to *believe*, while schools… flat out fail to teach people how to think, all too often. And you can’t appose madness, with incomprehension, and mere “faith”. To change things, requires something to give, and its not going to be the Tea Party, or the Evangelicals, or the rest, giving something up. They, instead, steal everything in sight, which is useful to them.

    As I said, if they had front row seats, they would be complaining about not being seating on the stage, instead. And, we have already given them the whole second row of the theater, at this point.

  401. 401
    THE says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    no it wasnt. a twitter religion could generate thousands of unique tweets per hour.

    And conversations around a campfire generate thousands of verbal tweets too. And you don’t even need to type — just speak/chant/sing/dance.

    And the religions of the oral traditions evolved continuously over thousands of years of tales told around campfires.

  402. 402
    S. Snively says:

    Thank you, John. All of us atheists appreciate you coming out of the closet. Together, we can take pride in being who we are.

  403. 403
    THE says:

    The point is that tweets, like meatspace conversations, are pretty ephemeral. They are evolving narratives. They differ some, even from village to village.

    You need holy books to construct a dogma. It’s when people started to write stuff down, and collect and copy the writings, that religions became dogmatic and rigorously authoritarian. IMHO Writing is the worst thing to ever happen to religion.

    If I was world dictator, (there is no danger of this), the first thing I would do is ban and burn all the religious texts — Let the human mind be free to imagine again — In time it might free us from the dead-weight of the long-vanished past.

    The oral tradition is inherently more benign than scripture-based beliefs, that last for millennia, and become cages of paper, and authoritarian, legalistic traps, for the susceptible mind.

  404. 404
    THE says:

    The first commandment in my holy book, is that there are no holy books, including this one.

  405. 405
    Frimmy says:

    Very well said, sir.

  406. 406

    But from where I stand these days, the only thing I see religion doing in the public sector is…

    To add a slight dose of perspective, good things generally aren’t considered ‘newsworthy’

  407. 407
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: yup guy, that is organic evolutionary scale. thousands of years. thousands of unique tweets PER HOUR is mutation melt-down scale….its grey goo scale.
    @al kimeea: nah– big chunks of the Bible and the Torah are assimilated into the Quran.
    for example, the 25 quranic prophets include Moses and Issa (Jesus).

  408. 408
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: dude…..the Hamerhoff/Penrose model of quantum consciousness?
    Have you even read the Road to Reality or Shadows of the Mind?

    The Road to Reality and the Blind Watchmaker are two more of my holy books.
    ;)

  409. 409
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: and that is the genius of the Noble Quran.
    its not fixed in spacetime.

  410. 410
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: i think you should read The Golden Bough as well.
    relly.
    ;)

  411. 411
    Samara Morgan says:

    @al kimeea: if you prefer, we can say the Quran EVOLVED from the bible and the torah.
    religions like snakehandling and quakerism are dead-end evolutionary branches.
    memes evolve just like genes.

  412. 412
    THE says:

    Samara, Darling, I read the Golden Bough before you were born.

    Everything I write is inspired by the Golden Bough.
    Frazer and Campbell and Graves were, and are, MY Shayks.

  413. 413
    THE says:

    Yep My Golden Bough is 1974 edition.
    How old were you then? ;)

    My Shadows of the Mind is 1994 Hardback Edition.

  414. 414
    THE says:

    And I’m really not convinced by several things in Penrose’s book, including his idea that wavefunction collapse is gravitation-induced. I just don’t believe it’s possible to have a realist interpretations of quantum mechanics. It is a positivistic theory to the end. In that sense the Copenhagen School were right, pioneers like Bohr etc.

    It’s the reason I’m more attracted these days to the Bayesian Quantum people like Caves. I just think you have to accept that the quantum state is a knowledge state. And the collapse is a change in our state of knowledge that occurs when we have the results of a measurement. The collapse can’t be physically objective because it would have to have physically absurd properties, including faster than light collapse.

    I think Bell has proven it for all time. There are no local realistic quantum theories.

    This really rules out Many Worlds Interpretation too BTW. And all other attempts to give realistic interpretations to the quantum wave.

    I haven’t discussed this with you for a while, I know, but my views on this are evolving all the time. I am following the consistent histories decoherence approach or the Bayesians these days. I concede that neither approach is really completed logically yet. But I think it’s the only possible approach.

  415. 415
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: my views are always evolving too. im constantly rearranging my skull furniture and redecorating.
    But i doubt you read Penrose.
    He advocates neither Many Worlds or Copenhagen.
    His model is called the Omnium.

  416. 416
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: the problem is…you cant separate revelation from reality. some humans can get revelation. thats me.
    ;)
    but the reality is that Islam is the evolved form of monotheism, and a beautifully elegant EGT CSS.
    you dont have a god-shaped hole.
    i do.
    that is the diversity of the genome.

  417. 417
    THE says:

    It’s certainly a long time since I read Shadows, I haven’t read Road.

    But he talks about collapse/reduction theories in Chapter 6 and gravitationally induced collapse from 6.10. (Shadows of the Mind).

    A good general criticism of the whole realist approach to QM is Lubos Motl

    I’ll look up Omnium and get back to you.

  418. 418
    THE says:

    Checking my bookshelf I found I’ve also read Emperors New Mind (1989). But neither of the two books I have index the word “Omnium”. Must be in Road which I haven’t read.

    All I can find on the web, suggests that it is his word for the MWI as a realized state. In which case my previous objection holds.

    Here’s Lubos Motl on MWI. He pretty much lays out the standard objections. Again from the anti-realist perspective.

  419. 419
    THE says:

    @Samara Morgan: I detest authoritarian judgmental monotheism. The idea of eternal damnation for merely finite evil is obscene.

    It’s not that I don’t get revelation and monotheism.

    It’s just that even if it’s true, I am his enemy and I hate his fucking guts.

  420. 420

    […] Read the rest of it. Rate this: Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  421. 421
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: ah ha!

    And I’m really not convinced by several things in Penrose’s book, including his idea that wavefunction collapse is gravitation-induced.

    contradicts

    I haven’t read Road.

    sooooo you havent read it.

    there is no christianstyle hell in al-Islam. there is judgement, paradise and gehenna, the burial pit of the dead.
    do jews have hell?
    for Sufis there is faana, annihilation of the self in the Real.
    Islam doesnt even have original sin. Muslims believe babies are born innocent. Muslims believe mankind is forgetful, not cursed by a vengeful god with ancestral sins.

  422. 422

    […] just how is caving in to the rabid right wing working out for SGK? Not very well. At all. Directors are resigning. The organization’s own top public health official resigned […]

  423. 423
    THE says:

    sooooo you havent read it.

    Truth is I found the whole thing sufficiently flaky after Shadows (remember I had already read two of his books, Emperor and Shadows) that I lost interest in the whole thing. If you are saying there is something really worthwhile in Road, I may look into it sometime; but I can tell you the Physics community has not embraced “Omnium”, seeing it as a wrinkle on MWI, and that is almost always good enough for me. (I full-record searched ArXiv for “Omnium” — and zero hits. He himself has not published on it in ArXiv)

  424. 424
    THE says:

    there is no christianstyle hell in al-Islam. there is judgement, paradise and gehenna, the burial pit of the dead.

    That is also true in a few minor Christian sects. It may be true in your minor Islamic sect. I don’t know. But mainstream Islam does not agree with you. It is full of tortures for polytheism (shirk) and unbelievers AFAIK. Remember I am a pagan philosophically and aesthetically; and an unbeliever IPOF. I accept all sorts of “pagan” religious expression as creative poetic imagination i.e. Aesthetics and Psychodrama. But I don’t literally believe in the “supernatural”.

    The whole “Faith” thing blocks me from “Abrahamism”. I don’t believe faith is a virtue. I believe actual belief should conform to Bayes Theorem as required by normative rationality. Also Ockham and his trusty Razor.

    Jews views about Hell are complicated. Modern Judaism is based on interpretive traditions in the Talmud more than direct reading of “Old Testament”. Also there are schools of thought and different varieties of Judaism. Reform, Orthodox etc. Google if you are interested. Most Jews I’ve known are vague and trust to Hashem it seems to me. Judaism is not heavily focused on detailing afterlife in primary colors and Powerpoint ;).

    BTW lots of Christians don’t literally believe in Original Sin, it is a Catholic doctrine. But they still tend to accept sin of Adam and Eve as cause of death and suffering for all their descendants. For me this is already a travesty. We waz framed! Death was here before Man! See every fossil older than 10 million yrs bp. Every fossil is a dead organism. Death is older than Man!! Creation myth is full of (highly technical term deleted.)

  425. 425
    THE says:

    OK. I tried a different search method and did a full text search on ArXiv. I found a couple of hits, but after excluding all the references to Latin aphorisms, only a few were apropos.

    They almost all led back to Penrose’s books, mainly Road. One referer linked to Steven Weinberg’s Living in the Multiverse talk. Weinberg doesn’t mention “Omnium” or “Penrose”. So the referer seems to be using “Omnium” and “Multiverse” as synonyms.

  426. 426

    Missed this post until today. Very nice. I like you even more now John.

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