Monday, July 6, 2015

What if it were Southern Baptists, or Catholics, or....

Listening to the religious right go on about how marriage equality is a violation of their rights makes me want to throw up. They are so full of shit. Not is there no possibility of finally recognizing the rights of yet another marginalized minority not a threat it is in fact these fucking whiners who are the threat. Sadly, our pathetic media still coddles such deceitful hypocritical ignorant assholes.

Showing how disingenuous they are is also very easy to do. Simply replace homosexual with Southern Baptist, Catholic, Orthodox Judaism, or any other conservative sect/denomination. Then see if they still agree with the notion of discriminating on religious grounds.  I am not religious at all but if I were I assume I would still be on the liberal end of the spectrum. I can easily see making a case that supporting in any sense conservative theists as being a violation of my "spiritual" beliefs. By working or serving with conservatives I could easily claim that that makes me an accomplice of evil. Why should I jeopardize my soul by becoming a collaborator with the agents of evil? See how that works? Clearly I should not have to provide any products or services to any religious conservatives. Shouldn't I be able to make a case for my religious freedom? Shouldn't I then be allowed to refuse any and all conservative theists?

NO! And, anyone who thinks this is a valid excuse to harass, persecute, or discriminate is a fucking waste of flesh. Basic civil rights should never be negotiable.

A few of the milder pieces that still made me want to scream include:

"Will the Court protect religious objectors to same-sex marriage?" Religious News Service

"Republicans pivot from gay marriage to religious liberty fight" CNN

Sunday, June 28, 2015


"I know that a creed is the shell of a lie"
Amy Lowell
What's O'Clock

Full of himself and full of shit

I'll start by stating up front I know nothing about William Giraldi beyond what he has written about himself in his July/August (2015) New Republic piece "Confessions of a Catholic Novelist." With that said I have to say my impression of him is rather low. He seems to be very self-obsessed and very ignorant of a topic you would assume he at least knows a little bit about.

He starts off from the very first line being hyperbolic and arrogant.
"It’s not altogether easy being a Catholic, and it’s immeasurably harder being a novelist, so you might imagine the myriad conundrums of being both." I can't say I was all that interested in imagining what he wants since the very first thing to pop into my head was a fairly basic question: in comparison to what? What makes being a Catholic any more difficult than abiding by other belief systems? What makes being a writer an especially difficult profession? Giraldi never successfully answers either of these. What he does succeed in doing is exposing his poor understanding of literary criticism and study.

Virtually every example he gives fails completely. Almost every author he writes about either went out of their way to make more of their Catholicism than any one else every did or they are authors who have been so thoroughly studied that no aspect of their life and times has not been examined. Their religion being just one more piece of that review. If this was the only flaw in his piece it wouldn't be worth bothering with but he goes even further in various places. He creates a false impression and then tries passing it off as factual.

Another line that irked me quite a bit was his patently false statement:
"More to the point, you won’t find a novel by Malamud or Roth or Bellow subtitled “The Adventures of a Bad Jew,” and even if you did, you wouldn’t have to prep yourself to be preached at (revisit Roth’s story “The Conversion of the Jews” to see for yourself)."
Bullshit. You can find literary pieces with that type of title. For instance after roughly a minute to two minutes perusing Google I found a review of a contemporary play entitled "Bad Jews." As for content, Catholics are not the only ones to produce either self-deprecatory works or preachy screeds. Just knowing an author's religious preferences doesn't immediately lead me to assume anything about their writing. That it clearly does bias Giraldi is no reason for him to project that onto anyone else. Yet, he does without a second thought.

There isn't anything in Giraldi's piece that can't be easily refuted and attributed to a lack of intellectual honesty. There's nothing automatically wrong with having strong opinions or even slipping into a woe-is-me self important stance but if that's all you've got why bother?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hypocrisy be thy name, Francis

I've never fallen for Pope Francis' PR veneer. He has done little to nothing to earn the praise he has routinely received since becoming Pope. Recently, even his superficial veneer has been wearing thin. Sadly, very few have actively criticized him for these massive doses of bullshit. One episode of hypocritical deceit that he recently unleashed should have every self-respecting historian calling foul. An AP story that the HuffPo reposted is just laced with an absurd level of hypocrisy.

"Pope Francis: 'Great Powers' Did Nothing When Jews Were Taken To Auschwitz"

This statement is a lot like someone finding the need to chastise his neighbor for playing with matches only moments after the whiner accidentally burnt down that same neighbors house with a flamethrower. Apparently a little paper known as the Reichskonkordat slipped the Pope's mind. The Vatican and the German government signed a treaty with each other in 1933. Even though Germany very quickly played fast and loose with the terms the Vatican stuck pretty close to it. In other words, in order to not get in trouble with the Nazis the Catholic Hierarchy did nothing to help the Jews or any other minority. If he actually did any fact checking he would have discover that the only reps of his beloved church to get off their asses to help were local parish clergy who frequently acted against the wishes of their superiors.

Francis is full of shit.

What makes an event "religious"?

Theists do genuinely seem to have difficulty coming to terms with the fact that religion can only have any meaning if they make it have meaning. In and of itself religion is nothing. This is demonstrated quite nicely in a recent blog post on the Religious News Service. A line towards the end of Cathy Grossman's "Better than church? Religions’ social events have higher purpose" is great at indicating just how willfully ignorant and/or self-deluded she and so many other theists tend to be.

"There’s also a twist to the popularity of religious events: People with no religious ties like them, too."

Grossman fails to notice that not one of the types of events discussed prior to this statement requires any religious elements whatsoever. In other words, the "events" that are so popular are secular in nature. Every type of event noted already is enjoyed by the non-religious without any religious trappings. That non-religious don't care about those details nearly as much our theistic fellows is not news. This is the same type of mentality that leads theists to be surprised when they discover their friendly neighbor atheist actually likes Christmas carols. It is silly. Unfortunately, it tends to indicate a greater level of misunderstanding.