Apparently Their God Has a Sense of Humor

god-says-fuck-you

Morans:

A leap of faith that sent an Arizona family bound for the South Pacific in a sailboat has returned them in an airplane after a harrowing ordeal at sea that saw them adrift and nearly out of food in one of the remotest stretches of ocean on the planet.

Hannah Gastonguay, 26, and her husband, Sean, 30, were fed up with abortion, homosexuality, taxes and the “state-controlled church” and so “decided to take a leap of faith and see where God led us,” she . With them were Sean’s father and the couple’s two daughters, one 3 years old and the other an infant.

A few weeks into their ultimately 91 days at sea, the Gastonguays encountered “squall after squall after squall” that damaged their boat. Originally on a heading for the archipelago nation of Kiribati near the international dateline, they changed course to the nearer Marquesas Islands, but were unable to reach them either.

Along the way, they apparently suffered damage to their mast and, unable to set a foresail, made little westward progress.

They were down to “some juice and some honey” and whatever fish they could catch when a passing Canadian cargo ship tried to help out with supplies. But when it came alongside, it did even more damage to the tiny sailboat.

Eventually, the family was picked up by a Venezuelan fishing vessel.

“The captain said, ‘Do you know where you’re at? You’re in the middle of nowhere,’ ” Hannah Gastonguay told the AP.

From there, the five were transferred to a Japanese cargo ship and, after three weeks, dropped off in Chile.

So basically, my reading of this is that your God fucked with you on the high seas for three months and then whisked your stupid asses right back to Arizona where you belong. I wonder which tea party these clowns belong to…






207 replies
  1. 1
    Alexandra says:

    The Mosquito Coast is what this story reminded me of.

  2. 2
    Funkula says:

    I’m seeing it more as “Kon-Tiki meets the Darwin Awards.”

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    I’m surprised they accepted help and didn’t wait for God to save them.

  4. 4
    raven says:

    @Alexandra: Or Aguirre the Wrath of God.

  5. 5
    Scotty says:

    So I’m assuming they’ll have a visitor from Child Protective Services shortly. Just as God intended.

  6. 6
    aimai says:

    They really seem like a very crazy little family–you notice that she does all the talking for the two men, her husband and father-in-law? That’s very odd for a family that espouses what they think of as ur-biblical values. Its much more common for these little splinter family sects to be “led” by the husband or the husband’s father (or the wife’s father). Thats more in keeping with their general conservativism and pro-patriarchy values.

    And why micronesia? Did it even occur to them that other countries have sovreignity over who they choose to give asylum to?

  7. 7
    SFAW says:

    So basically, my reading of this is that your God fucked with you on the high seas for three months and then whisked your stupid asses right back to Arizona where you belong.

    Not only that, it took human intervention – which the Moran Gastonguay family will confuse with FSM Harris Glenn Milstead “Divine” intervention – to keep them from committing murder-suicide.

    What’s “fun” to contemplate is that their kids – if the State doesn’t take them away, that is – will probably grow up to be just as fucked up as their Idiot Parents. Assuming the Idiot Parents continue to be unsuccessful in their attempts to murder the kids, of course.

    ETA: Great graphic, by the way.

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    “Gastonguay said her family was fed up with government control in the U.S. As Christians, they don’t believe in “abortion, homosexuality, in the state-controlled church,” she said. Among other differences, she said they had a problem with being “forced to pay these taxes that pay for abortions we don’t agree with.”

    Well, I have a problem with the US State Department shelling my tax dollars out to repatriate these idiots — an actual expense, unlike the AbortionPlex-underwriting tax dollars these child-endangering ninnies pulled straight from their asses. If there was really a god, she would have sent the adults to Davy Jones’ Locker and dispatched magickal dolphins to rescue the kids.

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    the couple’s two daughters, one 3 years old and the other an infant.

    Christ almighty, who apparently isn’t, or doesn’t pay attention. I always say if the design were intelligent, people this dumb would not be able to reproduce.

    I know nothing about maritime vessels or traffic, but I’m curious about how/why the Canadian ship did more damage to their boat, and why that ship didn’t take them on.

  10. 10

    @Alexandra: I’m more of a mind of “Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…”

  11. 11
    RandomMonster says:

    To take those chances with an infant and 3 yr old is practically criminal.

  12. 12
    Alexandra says:

    @raven: Which I’ve never seen in its entirety. Thanks for the tip. Was wondering what to watch tonight, after being so utterly disappointed in finally catching up with Prometheus yesterday.

  13. 13
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Not mentioned: an albatross who was just asking for trouble.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    Good joke in the comments section:

    A farmer is in Iowa during a flood. The river is overflowing. Water is surrounding the farmer’s home up to his front porch. As he is standing there, a boat comes up. The man in the boat says, “Jump in, and I’ll take you to safety.”

    The farmer crosses his arms and says stubbornly, “Oh no thanks, I put my trust in God.” The boat goes away. The water rises to the second story. Another boat comes up. The man says to the farmer, who is now at the second floor window, “Hurry, jump in. I’ll save you.”

    The farmer again says, “Oh no thanks, I put my trust in God.”

    The boat goes away. Now the water is inching over the roof. As the farmer stands on the roof, a helicopter comes over, and drops a ladder. The pilot yells down to the farmer, “I’ll save you. Climb the ladder.”

    The farmer yells back, “Oh no thanks, I put my trust in God.”

    The helicopter goes away. The water continues to rise and sweeps the farmer off the roof into the swiftly moving water. Unfortunately, he drowns.

    The farmer goes to heaven. God sees him and says, “What are you doing here?”

    The farmer says, “I put my trust in you, and you let me down.”

    God says, “What do you mean, let you down? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!”

  15. 15
    raven says:

    @Alexandra: It ain’t exactly cheery.

  16. 16
    Alexandra says:

    @raven: That’s OK. Not in the mood for laffs. Some dark and unhinged Kinski intensity would do just fine.

    I’m wondering whether letting the woman in the family speak is some form of attempt at damage limitation, for whatever reason.

  17. 17
    Tony J says:

    Eventually, the family was picked up by a Venezuelan fishing vessel.

    Icing on the cake. Well played, Bearded Sky-Fairy.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    MattF says:

    Anyone have a link to a larger version of that image in the post? As in, large enough for a desktop image?

  20. 20
    raven says:

    @Alexandra: Double bill it with Fitzcarraldo.

  21. 21
    andy says:

    And He raised His mighty hand and said, “let them be fucked.”

    It’s interesting that their made-up butthurt led them into real life problems. I hope every skipper they came in contact with took some time to make sure that they know how stupid and irresponsible they were.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    JoyfulA says:

    She says they don’t go to church, they read the Bible. The infant was born while this family was on the boat. They named the baby Rahab.

    They must just love the way the name sounds, like any other undereducated, not-too-swift parental units inclined to name a baby Geritol because it sounds strong and nourishing. Otherwise, why would such devout parents christen their kid after the only (to my knowledge) named prostitute in the Bible?

  24. 24
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  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @raven: Thank you.

  28. 28
    RosiesDad says:

    We just returned from a week abroad. As happens every time we vacation outside the US, on about day 3, I turned to my wife and asked, “Why do we stay in the US?” The short answer is that we have a good business and still have to get the kids through college but in all likelihood, when the last one is done and we get to retire, we will do it elsewhere. Couldn’t tell you where elsewhere is at this point but on some days, anywhere but here seems like a good enough answer.

    There are good people here and there are some great things about America but the willful ignorance of what appears to be a growing proportion of the population (and their representatives in government) are working to outweigh those positives day by day.

  29. 29
    Regnad Kcin says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Since the types of vessels are not specified in the articles, I can only guess that they were in a sub-50-ft sailboat and encountered a large (potentially huge) Canadian cargo ship.

    The size disparity and a cargo ship’s general lack of being fitted out as a rescue vessel likely created a situation where they tried to get close enough to help, but the sea state was too rough. Any contact between the two could easily have been catastrophic for the smaller vessel. This is not an uncommon outcome: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2.....65232.html

    The Canadians likely put out a call (Pan-Pan or Mayday) and the Venezuelans were the nearest vessel which could actually help.

  30. 30
    NickT says:

    @JoyfulA:

    They probably meant to name her Rehab.

  31. 31
    SFAW says:

    @raven:

    God is a lefty? Who knew?

  32. 32
    ksmiami says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: My guess is that the sheer force of the nearness to that boat caused damage to the already suffering sailboat. Those tankers are huge and create their own force. I mean we sail in the Chesapeake and try and stay as far the f away from the tankers etc for that reason. You have no control and really a tanker is a floating city.

  33. 33
    cmorenc says:

    @raven: A staple parable of Christian faith-in-troubled-times sermonizing concerns a person questioning Jesus about his being there to help during troubled times. Jesus replies that if the person views their life as a walk along a shoreline beach, the person will see that there are TWO sets of adjacent footprints, one the person’s own, the other Jesus walking beside them. The person then says: “but in my most troubled times, I only see one pair of footprints”. To which Jesus replies” that’s because those times, the only footprints are of my feet, because those are the times I carried you in my arms”.

    A very comforting analogy indeed, which however begs the question about why someone needs to take their children out to sea in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to test whether Christ can carry them in his arms walking thousands of miles across the ocean. I somehow think that even the most fundamentalist Christian member of the Arizona Dept of Social Services is going to be hesitant to give the parents a pass on this, despite this well-known parable.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    @cmorenc: I like all fairy tales.

  35. 35
    sherparick says:

    It explains a lot once you realize that God has a wicked (emphasis on that word), sense of humor. I have always thought in f “Letters from Earth,” Twain was actually taking dictation. Given this story, Satan’s comment on humanity’s insanity seems particularly appropriate.

    “…This is a strange place, and extraordinary place, and interesting. There is nothing resembling it at home. The people are all insane, the other animals are all insane, the earth is insane, Nature itself is insane. Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at is worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm. Yet he blandly and in all sincerity calls himself the “noblest work of God.” This is the truth I am telling you. And this is not a new idea with him, he has talked it through all the ages, and believed it. Believed it, and found nobody among all his race to laugh at it.

    Moreover — if I may put another strain upon you — he thinks he is the Creator’s pet. He believes the Creator is proud of him; he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes, and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to Him, and thinks He listens. Isn’t it a quaint idea? Fills his prayers with crude and bald and florid flatteries of Him, and thinks He sits and purrs over these extravagancies and enjoys them. He prays for help, and favor, and protection, every day; and does it with hopefulness and confidence, too, although no prayer of his has ever been answered. The daily affront, the daily defeat, do not discourage him, he goes on praying just the same. There is something almost fine about this perseverance. I must put one more strain upon you: he thinks he is going to heaven!

    He has salaried teachers who tell him that. They also tell him there is a hell, of everlasting fire, and that he will go to it if he doesn’t keep the Commandments. What are Commandments? They are a curiosity. I will tell you about them by and by…” http://www.online-literature.c.....e-earth/2/

  36. 36
    shelly says:

    Interesting choice of the first island they headed to: Kiribati

    “More recently, President Tong has spoken of climate-change induced sea level rise as “inevitable”. “For our people to survive, then they will have to migrate. Either we can wait for the time when we have to move people en masse or we can prepare them—beginning from now .”

    Wonder what this family’s attitude is toward climate change?

  37. 37
    NickT says:

    @cmorenc:

    There is also the injunction that “You shall not test the Lord your God.” A small detail, perhaps, but one which the fundamentalist mind tends to overlook. (Matthew 4.7, but it goes back to Deuteronomy 6.16).

  38. 38
    MikeBoyScout says:

    What does the FSM have against safe regulated commercial travel when fleeing the oppressive tyrannical government of Arizona?

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JoyfulA: or they are buffoons looking for a reality TV series.

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @andy:

    And He raised His mighty hand and said, “let them be fucked.”

    I found this meme on Facebook the other day: substitute the “my guardian angel” line for “God,” and you’ve got my opinion. http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.....8;pid=15.1

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MikeBoyScout: I note that god was sending them to Kiribati and then they decided to steer to the marquesas, so they weren’t exactly letting Jesus Take the Helm.

  42. 42
    NickT says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I could see “Kourtney and Kim take Kiribati” enjoying some success. Not so sure about “Delusional whackjobs get smacked down by reality part 1000”.

  43. 43
    SFAW says:

    As Randy said:

    “Man means nothing he means less to me
    than the lowliest cactus flower
    or the humblest yucca tree
    he chases round this desert
    cause he thinks that’s where I’ll be
    that’s why i love mankind

    I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee
    from the squalor and the filth and the misery
    How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me
    That’s why i love mankind”
    .
    .
    .
    “I burn down your cities–how blind you must be
    I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we
    You must all be crazy to put your faith in me
    That’s why i love mankind
    You really need me
    That’s why i love mankind”

    Not that the Moran family would understand it.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @RosiesDad:

    Being a dual citizen, I idly consider moving out of the country every now and then. It just doesn’t seem like too much to ask to live in a society that acknowledges the need for, well, society.

  45. 45

    @shelly:

    Wonder what this family’s attitude is toward climate change?

    Liberal hoax.

  46. 46
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    It doesn’t look to me that much of anything occurred to them.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    @cmorenc:

    A very comforting analogy indeed, which however begs the question about why someone needs to take their children out to sea in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to test whether Christ can carry them in his arms walking thousands of miles across the ocean.

    Not to mention “thou shalt not test (or was it tempt?) the Lord.”

    ETA: beaten to it…

  48. 48
    MikeJ says:

    @NickT:

    They probably meant to name her Rehab.

    She said no, no, no.

  49. 49
    shelly says:

    the couple’s two daughters, one 3 years old and the other an infant

    You know that scene in the movie ‘Tootsie’ where he’s babysitting Amy? At one point he gives her a hand mirror and says, ‘See what a bad girl looks like?”
    I hope when this couple’s infant is old enough to talk, she holds a mirror up to her parents and says ‘See what a pair of idiots look like?’

  50. 50
    NickT says:

    @Chris:

    It depends on the translation. I think the King James version has tempt, but modern versions generally use test.

  51. 51
    NickT says:

    @MikeJ:

    Heh indeedy.

  52. 52
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Honest to Betsy, I’d love to be a believer with all its comforts, but the magnitude of deadly stupidity exhibited with the frequency we see of those who believe in their own private FSM is overwhelmingly scary.

  53. 53
    Suzanne says:

    Arizona is better off without these fuckwits.

    They probably live in the East Valley, too. DAMN.

  54. 54
    NickT says:

    @Suzanne:

    No such luck. Uncle Sam is delivering them back to you.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    A cargo ship is huge in comparison to a small sailboat.
    I was on a helicopter landing ship for a couple of months and we once found a small boat 20-22 ft, that the CG had been looking for. Dad, daughter and her friend had engine trouble. Ship tried to lower the landing deck tailgate and almost sunk the small boat. They act so different to swells in the ocean that only an experienced captain in the small boat should approach the bigger boat.
    The fact that the Canadian cargo ship didn’t sink the little boat is sort of amazing to me. Damn good crew.

  56. 56
    Michael G says:

    I just imagine God thinking “What the fuck does it take for these people to get the message that I hate them?”

  57. 57
    Mike in NC says:

    Originally on a heading for the archipelago nation of Kiribati near the international dateline

    Had to look that one up.

    A tropical paradise formerly known as Tarawa, or as the Marines dubbed it in 1943, “One Square Mile of Hell”.

  58. 58
    NickT says:

    @Michael G:

    “Jesus H. Christ, I left them on hold for months with the most annoying elevator music playing – and they still think I value their call!”

  59. 59
    gnomedad says:

    @raven:

    Aguirre the Wrath of God

    Loved the German-speaking conquistadors. “Der Kaiser ist tot!!”

  60. 60
    gnomedad says:

    {Crocodile Dundee mode on}
    That’s not a Finger of God. THAT’S a Finger of God.

  61. 61

    @NickT:

    It depends on the translation.

    Best guess is that these folks are KJV readers. Most of the wackaloon, “I can get everything I need by reading the bible myself” types are.

  62. 62
    pat says:

    I’d kind of like to hear more of the story. For example, where did they get the boat in Arizona, and why did they think they could sail with a pregnant woman and a toddler all that way, and how did they manage to load enough food and fresh water and diapers..

    But honestly, people that stupid have to have some sort of guardian angel looking over them, don’t you think? (snark)

  63. 63
    Suzanne says:

    @NickT: Fuckers.

    You know, this state is very weird. Despite the craziness of the last couple of years, it’s a pretty purple place, and Phoenix is a large and cosmopolitan city with a liberal mayor. Tucson and Flagstaff are both pretty damn liberal, also. Our Congressional delegation is more blue than red. But there’s just so many veins of crazy.

    Phoenix is a weird place. You can be in a really nice neighborhood, cross the street, and all of a sudden, you’re in the hood. Million-dollar neighborhoods are honestly a short walk from hearing gunshots at night. That’s what it’s like politically, too. Some places are absolutely majority liberal, and then there are others that are absolutely conservative, with relatively little mixing or transition. Even on my own suburban cul-de-sac of fourteen houses, the families on the south side are Dems and the north side of the street are Rethuglicans. The division is that stark.

  64. 64
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    MikeBoyScout says:

    @Mike in NC: Perhaps when repeatedly asked by some of the family the FSM had the right intentions for some of the family?

    HANNAH: Hello, God? We’ve attempted to reach you repeatedly. Where do we go to escape from the tyranny of that blackity black guy in the White House?

    FSM: Jeebus Cripes on a cracker! What don’t the 2 of you just go to …… Kiribati!

  66. 66
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Chris: My guardian angel often looks like this.

  67. 67
    raven says:

    @Suzanne: But the green corn tamales at El Bravo on 7th are soooooo good.

  68. 68
    Dolly Llama says:

    @cmorenc: That staple parable isn’t actually in the King James Bible, is it?

  69. 69
    Suzanne says:

    @raven: The Mexican food is amazing. Ever been to Los Dos Molinos on Central south of downtown? Bring some antacids.

  70. 70
    Haydnseek says:

    God’s favorite word is “Amen” because when he hears it he knows people are done asking him for stupid shit.

    from “The Tweet of God” website

  71. 71
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    Ruckus says:

    @Chris:
    That’s the minimum requirement.

  73. 73
    NickT says:

    @Dolly Llama:

    In brief, no,no and no. It’s the sort of schlock you find on posters or inside Tim Tebow’s locker.

  74. 74
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Dolly Llama: The poem.

    An improved version.

  75. 75

    @Suzanne: Ash Fork.

    But the real irony is that they were headed for Kiribati, which WWII buffs would recognize as the Gilbert Is where the battle of Tarawa took place. It’s a nation whose economy consists of coconuts and fishing and which is heavily subsidized by various nations, the World Bank, the UN, etc. So the world’s taxpayers are going to have to pay to keep these yahoos alive, which they clearly have no problem with.

    Kiribati is expected to be the first country to vanish due to climate change and has already lost two islands. The President has urged the population to evacuate, so it’s obvious that american fucknuts would want to move there, grift off of the rest of world and drown in a state of biblical denial.

  76. 76
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Nothing says FREEEDOMZ! like Kirabati

    Kiribati is considered one of the least developed countries in the world. In one form or another, Kiribati gets a large portion of its income from abroad. Examples include fishing licenses, development assistance, worker remittances, and tourism. Given Kiribati’s limited domestic production ability, it must import nearly all of its essential foodstuffs and manufactured items; it depends on these external sources of income for financing.

  77. 77

    @pat:

    For example, where did they get the boat in Arizona, and why did they think they could sail with a pregnant woman and a toddler all that way, and how did they manage to load enough food and fresh water and diapers.

    The answer to all of those questions is Jesus.

    But honestly, people that stupid have to have some sort of guardian angel looking over them, don’t you think? (snark)

    They renamed to the US Coast Guard in 1775.

  78. 78
    Suzanne says:

    @👾 Martin: Ash Fork. Not a surprise.

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    @👾 Martin:
    …grift off of the rest of world and drown in a state of biblical denial.

    Ahhh, the secret conservative mantra.

  80. 80

    @raven: @👾 Martin:

    God says, “What do you mean, let you down? I sent you two boats and a helicopter warnings from Al Gore and IPCC!”

    Updated for modern times.

  81. 81
    Yatsuno says:

    @👾 Martin:

    The answer to all of those questions is Jesus Jeebus.

    Adjusted that fer ya good sir.

  82. 82
    aimai says:

    @Suzanne: Fascinating. A sociology professor of mine (years ago) told a story like that about getting a great soc. paper from a student about his midwestern town where the swedes had one side of the street and the norweigians the other. He told us he “gave the paper an A because it was so good but didn’t believe a word of it, thought it had to be fiction.” But, he told us, years later, he actually passed through the town and found it was merely factual.

    I wonder if there was some kind of founder effect like people ended up selling to other people in their social circle/or through particular realtors and thus every time a democrat or a republican sold, or their immiediate neighbors sold, it was through a very limited social network and reproduced their political disposition along one side of the street.

  83. 83
    low-tech cyclist says:

    What gets me about this, is that the eastern Pacific is, from a landlubber’s standpoint, about as empty as it gets – no land for literally thousands of miles. Just look at an atlas. (I bet they didn’t.)

    It’s an insane place to be in a sailboat unless you’ve got a lot of experience in ocean sailing, because if you fuck up, you’re fucking up an awfully long way from landfall or help.

    And they took a three year old and an infant with them into this vast, unforgiving emptiness.

    I hope and pray that the state takes those kids from them, and lets a set of parents adopt them that have a clue or two.

  84. 84
    aimai says:

    @Betty Cracker: Heh. That was my blog post, more or less in its entirety, a few hours ago.

  85. 85
    fuckwit says:

    Huh, reminds me more of “Into the Wild”, where some yahoo takes off on a deliberately stupid adventure, knowing they’re unprepared, on purpose, and gleefully going ahead anyway.

    But in this case, there were kids involved, and yes I think a visit from CPS is in order. That’s negligence. The problem is, these bozos will assert their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and get away with it. IANAL, but I recall hearing about a case with Jehova’s Witnesses or Rastafarians or some such who don’t believe in surgery denying medical care to their kids and pleading First Amendment when CPS came along, but I don’t remember what precedent was set.

    Also, “squall after squall”, yeah, expect more of that, and keep burning those fossil fuels, you science-denying chicken-fuckers.

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    raven says:

    @Suzanne: Yup, I liked it a lot but have a soft place for El Bravo. My dad live just south of Bell for many years.

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    kc says:

    @cathyx:

    I’m surprised they accepted help

    From the evil government yet.

  88. 88
    raven says:

    @aimai: I can’t say what my Norwegian grandmother called Swedes.

  89. 89
    Tripod says:

    @raven:

    I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @cathyx:
    Even marginally functioning idiots have their limits as regards starvation and dying.

    Wanna bet they will never admit they were wrong and stupid?

  91. 91
    newdealfarmgrrrlll says:

    @aimai:

    i’m the product of a wisconsin “mixed marriage.” when mom was mad at dad she’d say “my grandma told me to never trust a swede!” and of course dad’s reply was “my grandma told me to never trust a norwegian.”

  92. 92
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @pat: Turns out they had moved to San Diego a while back, bought the boat and were living on it.

    In regard to some of the other comments, there’s really nothing in any of the available facts that would indicate whether they were experienced sailors or not. They might have been, and lots of people sail on long voyages with small children. Lots of experienced sailors get in trouble in storms on the ocean, too. So they might be religious nutjobs, but it remains to be proven whether they were actually negligent or irresponsible from a sailing point of view. Kiribati is the middle of nowhere, but sailing there from San Diego is not more complex nor much farther than sailing to Hawaii from San Diego, and people do that all the time.

  93. 93
    Baud says:

    I predict that in about a decade, “moran” will be the universally accepted spelling of that word.

    The only thing that would make this story better is if the parents had decided to go to Kiribati because they were sick and tired of the “illegals.”

  94. 94
    Richard Shindledecker says:

    The Maori did the same thing – but they knew how to build boats and how to sail. Big difference!

  95. 95
    raven says:

    @newdealfarmgrrrlll: My people came from Stevanger and somehow Ingeborg got the n word involved with Svenska’s. She died before I married my first wife, a Swedish-Hungarian.

  96. 96
    opiejeanne says:

    @cmorenc: isn’t there an admonition not to tempt The Lord? This would seem to be a violation of that command.

  97. 97
    burnspbesq says:

    @JoyfulA:

    Otherwise, why would such devout parents christen their kid after the only (to my knowledge) named prostitute in the Bible?

    Your question implicitly assumes that they really know their Bible. That assumption may not be well-founded.

  98. 98
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Well, I have a problem with the US State Department shelling my tax dollars out to repatriate these idiots

    Fear not. The State Department may assist with a loan, but will not pick up the tab for repatriation in these circumstances.

    Say what you will about Mormons, but they help each other out like nobody else on earth. That family won’t be needing a loan from the State Department.

  99. 99
    rob! says:

    I’ve always wondered, when I see stories like this, how do these couples meet? Is one of them crazy, and then turns the other crazy? Or were they both crazy–the exact SAME KIND of crazy–then they met one another?

    I mean, what are the odds that one person would come up with the hair-brained scheme of setting sail to Nowhere with no plans, no provisions, no clue, and two kids in tow, and then find another person on Planet Earth who says “Wow, great idea” instead of “Are you out of your fucking mind?”

  100. 100
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @aimai: And it was my immediate comment on Southern Beale’s blog when she posted the story yesterday.

  101. 101
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I don’t understand why the Gastonguays would have to flee the very red state of Arizona, since marriage equality, abortion and high taxes aren’t issues there. They should try escaping AZ again. Somalia would welcome them with open arms.

  102. 102
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @rob!: But they didn’t have “no provisions.” They set out on what should have been about a three-week voyage, they were dis-masted, so effectively stranded, yet survived for three months on what they had. They had a destination, logical or not, they apparently adjusted that destination when circumstances changed, and they apparently had sufficient supplies for nearly 3-4 times the expected length of the voyage. That’s not “no plans.”

  103. 103
    aimai says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well, a day late and a dollar short! I should read Southern Beale more often. I love her blog.

  104. 104
    aimai says:

    @Gin & Tonic: There’s a pretty big distinction between no plan and a “good” plan. By no stretch of the imagination was this any kind of sensible plan, anymore than a kid packing up a puppy and some biscuits into a kerchief has a “plan” for getting to New York from California. People do launch themselves by boat to get to freedom but usually they know a bit more about how to get where they are going, or they pay someone to get them there, than getting on board a boat and setting out for Kiribati.

  105. 105
    aimai says:

    @Mandalay: What makes you think they are mormons?

  106. 106
    Gex says:

    I take umbrage with the government interfering with their religion.

  107. 107
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @aimai: On what basis, though, are you concluding that they didn’t know much about how to get where they were going? Because I haven’t seen that in any of the articles or interviews. Sailing a small-ish sailboat from Southern California to Hawaii or Polynesia is challenging, sure, but people do it without incident all the time. Once you get a couple hundred miles off shore in that latitude you pretty much are pushed west anyway.

  108. 108
    linda says:

    @RandomMonster: @RandomMonster: Actually the infant was born on the boat. The mom went ready to drop a kid on this boat to nowhere.

  109. 109
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @shelly:

    Wonder what this family’s attitude is toward climate change?

    “Jesus will be back before it’s calf-deep. OK, Thigh-deep. But that’s max“.

  110. 110
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    They set out on what should have been about a three-week voyage, they were dis-masted, so effectively stranded, yet survived for three months on what they had.

    It’s like Hanukkah II.

  111. 111
    mellowjohn says:

    @rob!: as they say all too often on cable TV ads: “We met on Christian Mingle.”

  112. 112
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @aimai: If you can believe it, though, I may be the only person here who didn’t realize that you have a blog! Have just bookmarked it for catching up on the archives and regular following from here on out. I love your posts — you are one of my favorite commenters on Balloon Juice.

    Agree with you about Southern Beale, BTW — she writes wonderfully well, and manages to find all kinds of odd, pithy little news items that would otherwise slide under the radar.

  113. 113
    Haydnseek says:

    @linda: Fucking brilliant. “Honey, I think my water just broke!”

    “That’s the sign from god I’ve been waiting for! We sail with the tide!”

  114. 114
    Mandalay says:

    @aimai:

    What makes you think they are mormons?

    Thanks – my bad. I used to work with someone from Kiribati who had told me about Mormons proselytizing there, and I so incorrectly assumed that the family were Mormons. From reading the reports it is clear that they are not.

  115. 115
    Haydnseek says:

    @Baud: So much win………

  116. 116
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @linda: Not true. The infant was 8 months of age.

  117. 117
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The Irish monks had a word for it — the white martyrdom.

    Of course, they were completely insane.

  118. 118
    RandomMonster says:

    @linda: WTF? You’re pulling my leg.

  119. 119
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Say what you will about Mormons, but they help each other out like nobody else on earth. That family won’t be needing a loan from the State Department.

    The article says the family doesn’t belong to any specific church. I haven’t seen anything suggesting they’re Mormons.

    @Baud:

    It’s like Hanukkah II.

    We need an acronym for these Laughing.Out.Loud moments.

  120. 120
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: MOR ONS NOT MOR MONS!

  121. 121
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I’ve known many who have done it. I have crossed the Atlantic a few times, not in a boat this small. I owned a small sailboat and have sailed out of site of land in it. I know a couple who built their own boat to sail to HI. They didn’t go because they figured out they didn’t have enough experience. I don’t know the level of experience of these people but as aimai pointed out having a plan and having a stupid plan are not the same thing. Their reasoning and judgement was not sound or even close to it. Their luck was immense.

  122. 122
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:
    :-)

  123. 123
    NickT says:

    @newdealfarmgrrrlll:

    Ah, but what did they say about Danes and Icelanders?

  124. 124
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Kiribati is the middle of nowhere, but sailing there from San Diego is not more complex nor much farther than sailing to Hawaii from San Diego

    Hardly; Kiribati is almost twice the distance:
    San Diego => Honolulu = 2,611 miles
    San Diego => Tarawa = 5,009 miles

    I agree that the extra distance is no big deal if everything is going well. But it becomes a real big deal if you have boat problems, and/or get low on provisions.

  125. 125
    NickT says:

    @raven:

    Eh, just retro-baptize them after the boat sinks and it’s all good.

  126. 126
    pat says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Well either they had SOME sailing experience or they were incredibly lucky. I’d bet it was a bit of both.

  127. 127
    the Conster says:

    @Alexandra:

    Jimmy Kimmel had Harrison Ford on the other night to talk about his new movie, and he told Kimmel about his recent trip with his family down the Peruvian Amazon and Kimmel NEVER MENTIONED Mosquito Coast! Talk show host FAIL

    Also too Apocalypto and The Mission for movies about the Spanish coming to the Americas.

  128. 128
    Mandalay says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I haven’t seen anything suggesting they’re Mormons.

    You are correct – I had made an incorrect ASSumption (see post #114).

  129. 129
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ruckus: How small was their boat? I haven’t seen a figure anywhere.

    And why do you say their reasoning was not sound? Don’t mix in the religious/political angle, please, just the seafaring angle. What’s unsound about sailing from San Diego to Kiribati? Sure, if it was a 22-foot daysailer, I’d agree. What if it was, say, 40-50 feet, which it pretty much had to be to fit three adults, two children and two-plus months’ supplies.

  130. 130
    Suzanne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Say what you will about Mormons, but they help each other out like nobody else on earth.

    They help each other out. Everyone else, not so much.

    Unless you count attempted conversions as help. Then they’re all up your ass to “help”.

  131. 131
    MikeJ says:

    Ooh, nice special about the Premier league on NBC right now.

  132. 132
    Violet says:

    @MikeJ: NBC has been advertising that they’re starting to broadcast Premier League games. I guess soccer is become mainstream here in the US.

  133. 133
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mandalay: Sorry, I was thinking of Christmas Island (Kiritimati), also part of Kiribati, which is pretty much due south of Hawaii, and is just about 3,000nm from San Diego. I don’t know which destination those people were thinking of. Maybe they were headed for Tarawa, maybe they weren’t, that doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere.

    Kiribati, the nation, spans some vast distances.

  134. 134
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MikeJ:
    What are they saying about Liverpool’s problem child Suarez?

  135. 135
    Sandia Blanca says:

    “The family moved in November from Ash Fork, Ariz., to San Diego, where they lived on their boat as they prepared to set sail. She said she gave birth to the couple’s 8-month-old girl on the boat, which was docked in a slip at the time.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....f=religion

  136. 136

    @Gin & Tonic: I think Christmas Is is an Australian protectorate and not part of Kiribati any longer.

  137. 137
    RSA says:

    Hannah Gastonguay, 26, and her husband, Sean, 30, were fed up with abortion, homosexuality…”

    … which reminded me of this Onion classic.

  138. 138
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Kiribati, the nation, spans some vast distances.

    It does indeed. Tarawa to Kiritimati is 2,058 miles! So which part of Kiribati they were headed for is not insignificant, and perhaps Kiritimati would have been their safest (and most likely) choice.

  139. 139
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mandalay: Gotcha, sorry, I saw that after I had hit send.

  140. 140
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @👾 Martin: There are two distinct places called Christmas Island. The Australian territory is in the Indian Ocean, north-northwest of Western Australia, closer to Indonesia. The other Christmas Island, Kiritimati, is pretty much due south of Hawaii.

  141. 141
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @NickT: Particularly not high-stakes testing, eh?

  142. 142
    LanceThruster says:

    @RosiesDad:

    My friend Bernie the Attorney moved his family to New Zealand after selling me his house in the states. When people asked why, he said because the leadership and voting population was getting meaner and stupider and he didn’t want to be around for the meltdown.

    Barman: Did you say the world is coming to an end? Shouldn’t we all lie on the floor or put paper bags over our heads?

    Ford: If you like.

    Barman: Will it help?

    Ford: Not at all.

    [Ford runs out of the pub]

    Barman: Last orders, please!

  143. 143
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    My 30 footer would have been able to take that many. It would have been quite possible on the boat I owned. That said I have been in big storms with waves over 50 ft. that threw us off course nearly a thousand miles crossing the Atlantic. In a sailboat with very small children even a 50 footer is going to be pretty small when storms hit. They were demasted and then just floundered? Sorry but trying to sail 5000 miles to hit a relatively small island in a small boat is not that smart while having to take care of 2 small kids, especially one under a year old. Can it be done? Absolutely. Should it be? You ask to throw out the religious/political views but what else caused them to make this stupid of a trip? I’d need much better reason than that and would be looking for a better place to head to as well. How can you throw out the stupidity when the entire enterprise is based on stupidity?

  144. 144
    raven says:

    @Ruckus: God, that 32 ft Bertram I went deep sea fishing on in Maui seemed tiny.

  145. 145
    Billy Dilly says:

    @raven: My favorite Klaus Kinski movie!

  146. 146
    MikeJ says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What are they saying about Liverpool’s problem child Suarez?

    First hour was just “here’s the teams, here’s what town they;re from, here’s what color they wear” with the reminder that every team mentioned has a long history of greatness.

    Now they’re talking about the upcoming season. Talking about coaching changes all around now.

  147. 147
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ruckus: I just wonder if there’d be this vehemence of reaction here or elsewhere if they were headed there for vacation. I see people calling for taking away their children, for heaven’s sake. What if they were an apolitical, agnostic family who got in over their heads sailing to Hawaii or Kiritimati or French Polynesia because they had saved up some money, the kids weren’t in school yet and it sounded like a cool thing to do, but they hadn’t anticipated every possible emergency. Would that be a stupid enterprise or an unfortunate and nearly tragic accident?

  148. 148
    JoyceH says:

    @JoyfulA:

    She says they don’t go to church, they read the Bible.

    She’s lying.

    The Bible doesn’t say a thing about abortion. As for taxes, the most famous mention of taxes in the Bible is Jesus saying to ‘pay your taxes and kwitcherbellyachin’. Well, render under Caesar, but same diff.

  149. 149
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Would that be a stupid enterprise or an unfortunate and nearly tragic accident?

    Stupid Enterprise.

  150. 150
    Yatsuno says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Actually, no, it would still be stupid to take a 3 year old and an infant on a long journey like that, regardless of religious affiliation. If either child were to become ill on the voyage and die the parents could face negligent homicide charges.

  151. 151
    Mandalay says:

    @Ruckus: As G&T suggests, I’m not convinced that these people are necessarily “stupid” with respect to their trip, without knowing more.

    Highly experienced sailors competing in the round the world yacht race regularly need to be rescued. Are they “stupid”? And how about a 16 year old girl trying to sail solo around the world? Is that stupid?

    I think taking two very young children on that journey was unwise, and I wouldn’t do it, but it wasn’t necessarily “stupid”.

    OTOH, if this was the first time they had ever gone sailing for more than a couple of hours then you are absolutely correct – they were stupid. And add reckless, selfish and irresponsible to the list.

    But I think we need more details before casting the first stone.

  152. 152
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    It was.
    The problem is that when everything goes alright it’s only too small in a huge storm.
    As soon as things start to come apart the size of the boat matters a great deal.

  153. 153
    Mike G says:

    I’m curious about how/why the Canadian ship did more damage to their boat, and why that ship didn’t take them on.

    Perhaps they offered and Gastonguay rejected their help because they have “soshulist healthcare”.
    I’m surprised they accepted assistance from a Venezuelan ship given that country’s status as the teatards’ designated Commie Bogeyman of the Americas.

  154. 154
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Stupid enterprise. Hands down.

  155. 155
    Violet says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That would possibly depend on whether or not it was just a cool trip that went awry or they were going to leave the US permanently to live in a small island country without having made any plans about their move.

    The first option would probably leave people thinking they were kind of dumb but weren’t awful parents. The second option leaves people thinking that the parents are irresponsible and are willing to put their kids in danger to pursue their goals, so the kids might need better supervision.

  156. 156
    Linda says:

    @RandomMonster: I wish to hell I was pulling your leg. Here’s the story. It would seem that they burned through their quota of miracles by birthing a kid at sea, having no adequate food, and having both apparently be o.k.

  157. 157
    Ruckus says:

    @Mandalay:
    I’ve never known anyone who sailed around the world but I have known people who crossed oceans and they were prepared to die. Taking small children under the circumstances is just fucking stupid.
    They bought a boat big enough to sail across the ocean and possibly even in good enough condition then they had the money to go by air. First fucking class. No that wouldn’t be the same adventure but these folks don’t sound to me like that was their rational for going.

  158. 158
    raven says:

    This horse, she be beaten.

  159. 159
    MikeJ says:

    @Mandalay:

    And how about a 16 year old girl trying to sail solo around the world? Is that stupid?

    Yes.

    Update for Amir about Suarez: NBC’s analysts saying they think what the Gunners need is to open the wallet and buy Suarez away from Lpool.

  160. 160
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    And hopefully not ridden any more.
    At least I won’t.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I just wonder if there’d be this vehemence of reaction here or elsewhere if they were headed there for vacation.

    Presumably people heading there for vacation would not announce that they were trying to escape the rampant abortion and homosexuality destroying the US. So, yes, the schadenfreude you’re detecting is because these people were “escaping” a mythical US they had created inside their heads and got themselves in serious trouble.

  162. 162
    Amir Khalid says:

    If the Gastonguays could afford several months’ worth of supplies for a boat trip, not to mention the boat itself (presumably valuable in itself), surely they had enough money for plane tickets. Why didn’t they just fly to Kiribati?

  163. 163
    Violet says:

    @Mnemosyne: And also because the country they claim is so horrible (the US) is the country that is now helping them return to it.

  164. 164
    raven says:

    So, the last episode of Orange is the New Black was good.

  165. 165
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ruckus: Families with children sail around the world in 40-ish-foot boats all the time. Are they all stupid?

  166. 166
    Violet says:

    @raven: There’s a new open thread, if you’re bored with this one.

  167. 167
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MikeJ:
    NBC’s analysts should be aware of what John Henry has said: Suarez is not for sale now. It’s too late in the transfer window to find a replacement, and besides there’s no frakking way they’d let hm go to another EPL team.

  168. 168
    Violet says:

    @Linda: She didn’t give birth at sea. From your article:

    She said she gave birth to the couple’s 8-month-old girl on the boat, which was docked in a slip at the time.

    Wasn’t clear if that was before they left the US, but judging from their journey it seems it was.

  169. 169
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Linda: They didn’t “birth the kid at sea.” The kid was born when they were living on the boat *in a marina* in San Diego.

  170. 170
    Mandalay says:

    @Ruckus:

    I have known people who crossed oceans and they were prepared to die.

    And did they have kids? Surely parents who put themselves in danger to satisfy their adventurous spirit are just as irresponsible, even if they leave their kids at home, no? What kid wants to grow up hearing mommy tell them that daddy died doing something he loved?

    But I get it that your beef is that the kids were on the boat rather than the trip per se, and that’s pretty much my view as well. But bear in mind that you never hear about all the ocean trips with babies and toddlers aboard that end happily.

    What they were doing wasn’t that outlandish (apart from the apparent absence of a firm plan).

  171. 171
    Fair Economist says:

    I note they cleverly planned to sail through the Eastern Pacific during its hurricane season, which starts May 15th. If they’d done a little research they’d have known the the EPac season is frequently front-loaded, with most of the storms in the first two-three months.

    What if they were an apolitical, agnostic family who got in over their heads sailing to Hawaii or Kiritimati or French Polynesia because they had saved up some money, the kids weren’t in school yet and it sounded like a cool thing to do, but they hadn’t anticipated every possible emergency. Would that be a stupid enterprise or an unfortunate and nearly tragic accident?

    That would be bad judgement, probably (tough trip, and bad time for it) but since the goal wouldn’t be inherently delusional, it wouldn’t be as bad. In addition the agnostic family would almost certainly have called for help and abandoned the trip once they were dismasted. This family obviously kept going even then, as they had a radio and could have called for help (they didn’t want to put up a jib sail precisely because it risked their radio antenna).

  172. 172
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mandalay: But bear in mind that you never hear about all the ocean trips with babies and toddlers aboard that end happily.

    Probably a hundred blogs on this exact subject to prove you wrong.

  173. 173
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Probably a hundred blogs on this exact subject to prove you wrong.

    A hundred blogs for devotees means absolutely nothing, and hardly proves I’m wrong.

    Joe Sixpack is unaware that people sail the seven seas with babies and toddlers on board all the time. Joe doesn’t know because nothing goes wrong. It’s only the exceptional cases like this one that ever raise the issue past a blip, and Joe certainly doesn’t know or care about your blogs.

  174. 174
    Mike G says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    They didn’t “birth the kid at sea.” The kid was born when they were living on the boat *in a marina* in San Diego.

    I hope the kid doesn’t become a Democrat running for President someday. Teatards will sneer he was “not born on US soil”.

  175. 175
    mai naem says:

    Since I’m in AZ, I find this just embarrassing. Jeezus, I know I do live among some of the stupidest people in the country, but honest to god, Arizonans in total are not as stupid as some of these people make the state look like. I think Texas is way dumber than us. Also too, Floriduh which makes most other states looks like Mensa states.

  176. 176
    bemused says:

    Another chapter in the Conservative Book of Personal Responsibility.

  177. 177
    Persia says:

    “They were looking for a kind of adventure; they wanted to live on a Polynesian island but they didn’t have sufficient expertise to navigate adequately,” police prefect Jose Luis Lopez, who took the family’s statement at San Antonio, told the newspaper.

    Eediots.

  178. 178
    mai naem says:

    @Amir Khalid: Probably because the dumbasses don’t have US passports. And months worth of food is probably not that expensive. They probably got a ton of canned food, peanut butter, crackers,ramen noodles and figured they would live off the sea for the protein. I’m figuring the reason they didn’t get picked up by pirates is because the pirates probably decided people that stupid wouldn’t have any money or valuables worth having.

  179. 179
    Mandalay says:

    @Mike G:

    I hope the kid doesn’t become a Democrat running for President someday. Teatards will sneer he was “not born on US soil”.

    I hope he becomes a gay atheist. That should make his parents better human beings, as long as their skulls don’t explode.

  180. 180
    aimai says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I don’t think they should have their kids taken away–but that doesn’t make what they chose to do meritorious or sensible. Actually, if they were a hippy/dippy couple who chose to do this with as little history sailing as these people had, and with as kooky a necessity driving them, I think we’d all be just as skeptical. I have sailed around and about Tonga, actually, with some friends in two small boats. But some of us were pretty expert and knew what we were doing. If I’d spontaneously decided to hit the road during the Bush years in outrage at the Iraq war, and set out for a foreign country with no real preparation as to the trip or my status as citizen, I’d think I needed to have my own head examined. I fail to see why we should respect this totally crazy and, in fact, nearly tragic decision by these ridiculous people.

  181. 181
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid: My guess is that the boat would double as their house and if Kiribati wasn’t to their liking, they could just pull up anchor and continue their quest in search of Paradise.

  182. 182
    fuckwit says:

    @Ruckus: Huh, good point. Hadn’t considered that. Why didn’t they just fucking fly? Maybe they were intending to moor off the coast somewhere and live aboard permanently, I dunno. Still, fly there and buy/rent a house when you get there, can’t have cost that much more and it wouldn’t involve mortal risk.

  183. 183

    @raven:

    One of my favorite jokes of all time.

  184. 184
    aimai says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I agree. They really seem to have thought this out in a way that reflects a weird illogical logic.

  185. 185
    r€nato says:

    @Suzanne:

    Even on my own suburban cul-de-sac of fourteen houses, the families on the south side are Dems and the north side of the street are Rethuglicans. The division is that stark.

    Damn. I was going to say you’re a neighbor of mine but our c-d-s only hold four homes.

    Our precinct and general area leans sort of strong GOP, all but one of our elected officials from county on up are GOP (not counting Obama) and I would imagine our neighborhood is majority GOP as well, but right in our little block at the north end I know for a fact it’s majority Democratic. It was overwhelmingly Dem but my neighbors across the street sold and moved away and I have no idea what the persuasion of the new owners are.

  186. 186
    NickT says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Because Noah built an ark, thus demonstrating the proper Biblical survivalist procedure?

  187. 187
    Quarks says:

    Late to the party, but I’m going with the idea that no, they were not experienced sailors who knew what they were doing, and that they didn’t have much of a plan based on two factors:

    1) They chose to take off and sail through the east Pacific during the east Pacific hurricane season. No reason not to wait a few months and avoid that risk. By their own account they hit bad storms.

    2) They chose Kiribati. It does not exactly take a lot of research to find out that Kiribati is a) dirt poor and b) concerned about rising sea levels thus c) trying to get people OFF Kiribati not into it.

    So, while yes, I agree that it’s certainly possible to sail across the Pacific, and probably just fine to take kids along if you’ve planned things well, I don’t agree that this family fits the “planned things well” category. Add to that their ignorant comments about taxes supporting abortions and so on, and I feel safe in crossing them off my list of “people who can safely sail across the Pacific.”

  188. 188
    Mothra1 says:

    Sorry if it’s already been said, but the Bible is full of stories like this-Jonah and the Whale, Peter’s dream of clean and unclean animals. If would be nice if these folks would get the message.

  189. 189
    bill says:

    I’m tired of fundamentalist Christians populating the earth. Please go die. And if you must take your unfortunate children with you, then so be it. “Let God sort them out.”

  190. 190
    Mothra1 says:

    LOL Who are you trying to impress?

  191. 191
    bill says:

    Nobody in particular.

  192. 192
    RosiesDad says:

    @Chris:

    It just doesn’t seem like too much to ask to live in a society that acknowledges the need for, well, society.

    Exactly.

  193. 193
    RosiesDad says:

    @LanceThruster: Are they happy with their move?

  194. 194
    Redshirt says:

    Should have just joined one of those Libertarian city boats I read so much about on the Internet. Plenty of Supply Side Jesus on floating Galtopias.

  195. 195
    Draylon Hogg says:

    @Alexandra: Life of Pi for fundamentalist crackpots. Wouldn’t have been surprised if the Bible bashing idiots took a Tiger, Zebra, Hyena and Orangutan Noah style. It beggars belief.

  196. 196
    Draylon Hogg says:

    @Draylon Hogg: Life of Pious. Bwa Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha haaaaa

  197. 197
    boatboy_srq says:

    @RandomMonster: This is anti-choice in a nutshell. Make sure there’s birth – and after that spending the rest of your brief life in a rocking cockleshell waiting to drown is perfectly acceptable.

    abortion, homosexuality, taxes and the “state-controlled church”

    With that litany of woes, it’s a wonder they didn’t make for Somalia. Although “state-controlled church” is a new one – usually it’s the other way around.

  198. 198
    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t know, but I hope he grabs a bite to eat before, not during, his next match.

  199. 199
    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @boatboy_srq: Although “state-controlled church” is a new one – usually it’s the other way around.

    Not particularly. The only difference between a state-controlled church and a church-controlled state is semantics. Can you tell me there’s any substantial difference between Torquemada’s Spain, which was nominally a state-controlled church situation, and Iran, which is explicitly the reverse?

  200. 200
    Paul in KY says:

    @aimai: Lot of times in the Jesus Freak families, the female is the freakiest (IMO).

  201. 201
    boatboy_srq says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees: You’re assuming that the state would override the Church on matters of policy and doctrine, which in the case of the RCs is notable for its exceptions (Richelieu, Franco, and Mary Tudor (who showed far less intolerance of Protestant heresy than her Continental peers)) than it’s regularity. Vatican policy has historically driven the policies of RC-dominant countries. For Protestant states the lines get a bit blurry, but there’s still some fairly serious presumption that Church trumps State until you get to parliamentary models and republic/democratic government forms. If as you suggest we treat individuals in Church leadership positions like Torquemada as interchangeable with the monarchies at the time, then you’re equally suggesting that Europe until 1517 was a unified Catholic state and that the kingdoms that comprised it were regional governorships. Torquemada may have been a patriot for Spain, but his ultimate allegiance was to Rome and not either Toledo or Zaragoza. If anything, it can be said that Ferdinand, Isabella, Philip and the Hapsburg monarchs leveraged Catholic fervor to foster their own nationalist aims rather than using the Church directly to achieve control. France – where the cardinals took a more direct hand in guiding the monarchy – would be a better model for your comparison, though again the presumption is Catholicism directing the State rather than Rouen or Paris controlling the Church. And in nearly all those cases, you can fairly easily distinguish the difference between physical/population/resource expansion as practiced by the HRE, Spain, Portugal, and France (and Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark among the Protestants) as a state-driven political exercise, and religio-philosophical moves (the suppression of the Albigensians, Jews and other faiths; the wars against the Muslims, including the Spanish unification as well as the Crusades; the Inquisition and other attempts to root out “heresy) that informed but did not drive domestic policies.

    There’s also the question of intent. Rome, Moscow and the other centres of Christianity have historically driven nations to greater expansion and observance of Christianity: the states’ own aims are secondary to Expanding and Defending the Faith. Nations, when they had the opportunity to select a branch of Christianity, did so as much to reduce Rome’s influence as they did to refute Vatican doctrine: those choices were validation of the values of the nations themselves more than a desire to use Faith for nationalist ends. The Iranian model is a far more common one – where piety is the driver, and policy an artifact of religious observance – than the converse, where national interest directly drives religious doctrine, practices and ethics.

    If you subscribe to theories that state all authority – legal, spiritual, whatever – is a construct, then of course there’s little distinction to be made. But then you’re left with the priests of Jupiter controlling Rome just because they represented the head of that pantheon, and you diminish Athenian democracy by aligning it with worship of Apollo.

    I’m not suggesting that the niceties of state policy had no impact on religious doctrine and practice, but there’s little daylight between the Vatican and the regional cardinals and archbishops overall until you get to Avignon, and even then until Calvinism caught on there was very little assumption of state “control” of a faith unless you identify especially pious leaders as controlling both (a very rare occurrence).

  202. 202
    LanceThruster says:

    @RosiesDad:

    They love it. They’re both retired but still had to jump through hoops to get accepted.

  203. 203
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @cmorenc:

    The person then says: “but in my most troubled times, I only see one pair of footprints”. To which Jesus replies

    “That’s because the Sand People ride single file to hide their numbers.”

  204. 204
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Families with children sail around the world in 40-ish-foot boats all the time.

    If it’s that common surely you can come up with a dozen links easily enough.

    Actually, sailing around the world is rare because it inherently takes money and a set of skills few posses. And because it’s inherently risky.

    You’d better be damn good at open-water sailing and navigating. And you better have a good boat. And some luck. Because even good sailors with good ships can be wrecked in the next storm. It just happened to this family.

    Apparently unlike the Dyche family the gastonguays were not experienced sailors: “They were looking for a kind of adventure; they wanted to live on a Polynesian island but they didn’t have sufficient expertise to navigate adequately”, according to the Chilean police prefect.

    Obviously the Gastonguays are utterly unable to realistically assess the risks their own incompetence creates and the dangers to their own children. I’m cool with them killing themselves trying to get their Almighty to show them a sign, if that’s what they want to do. But with a very small child and a baby? That’s as bad as thesejeebus freeks.

    Edit: To make wordpress happy I took out the link to the Daily Mail online article that had the quote by the Chilean police prefect. FYWP.

  205. 205
    johnny aquitard says:

    Crap. In moderation for having the 3 dreaded links in one comment. Prolly have a double post now cause I tried to take a link out and repost.

  206. 206
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    They were looking for a kind of adventure; they wanted to live on a Polynesian island

    What’s everyone’s problem? I’m glad we’re stranded! It’ll be just like the Swiss Family Robinson, only with more cursing! We’re gonna live like kings! Damn, hell, ass kings!

    As “Under the Sea” plays, a fantasy sequence is imagined with the kids living in a wonderful tree settlement. Martin takes a shower. Wendell uses a water slide. Sherri and Terri drive a bamboo and grass car. Ralph pigs out on food and a monkey butler brings Nelson a drink. Back to reality.

    BART
    And every night the monkey butlers will regale us with jungle stories.

    NELSON
    How many monkey butlers will there be?

    BART
    One at first. But he’ll train others.

  207. 207
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Fair Economist:

    In addition the agnostic family would almost certainly have called for help and abandoned the trip once they were dismasted.

    These people waited 3 months to radio for help? Really? What the fuck is wrong with these people?

    Anyone who wasn’t a fucking loon would have radioed immediately.

    You lose your mast on a sailboat and it is Game Over because you are in the shit in the very worst way. You don’t keep bobbing with the wind and tide for months waiting for a fucking angel to appear on deck to tell you what you should do next with your life.

    I wonder if there may be maritime laws addressing this kind of negligence. They may argue freedom of religion as regards to the danger they exposed their children to by not doing anything. But as captain of a ship under sail one of these morans is legally responsible for the safety of the people onboard. And I can’t help but think that kind of dereliction of duty would be criminal. If it isn’t it should be.

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