Friday fragments

The Infrastructurist brings us “10 of the Dumbest Road Signs You’ll Ever See,” some of which are dumb, but some of which are kind of awesome.

To me the strangest road sign is the one that says “Form Two Lanes.” I used to pass such a sign every night at four in the morning on my way home from the paper, wondering, “How am I supposed to do that?”

Also infrastructure-related: the White Roof Project. That’s a Good Thing, though it might be even better as a nonprofit business employing people who need jobs than as a mainly volunteer effort.

Dave Lartigue points us to this depressing article about the Catholic Bishop of Toledo’s campaign in favor of breast cancer. I wish that were a joke, but it’s not:

Toledo Catholic Bishop Leonard Blair has banned parishes and parochial schools from raising funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, citing concerns that the global anti-cancer giant may someday fund embryonic stem-cell research.

So if you’re planning on donating to or fundraising for the Susan G. Komen Foundation any time soon, it might be fun to send a cheerfully polite note to Bishop Blair, thanking him for inspiring your gift.

Mike Todd finds that one of the lovelier remembrances of Amy Winehouse was written by Russell Brand:

When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they’ve had enough, that they’re ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it’s too late, she’s gone.

Frustratingly it’s not a call you can ever make, it must be received. …

The Rude Pundit: “A Scene From Our Unshared Sacrifices

… She was getting three prescriptions. The total was $6.00. This puzzled the old lady. She had never paid anything before, and even this seemingly small amount was obviously causing her consternation. The cashier checked with the pharmacist, who said that there had been a minor change to her plan, and now she had to pay a little for the scrips, a buck-fifty, three bucks. She apologized and put aside the couple of other things she was going to purchase to pay for the medicine. …

Ed Brayton tells us that Josh McDowell, professional convincer of the convinced, is still at the cutting edge of youth culture. He’s just discovered the Internet. He’s against it.

The Revealer’s Abby Ohlheiser explores the parallels between fandom and religion — “… it can do some of the things that religion does without actually being it” — in “Fans of Action: How Harry Potter Inspired a New Generation of Activists.” Dobby lives!

John says Your Yard Is Evil. Charlie Gardner says it’s Frederick Law Olmstead’s fault.

A pastor is asked about sexual ethics. He prudently notes that the nail that sticks up tends to get hammered down and — due to what he rightly identifies as “the scarcity of safe spaces” in the evangelical subculture in which to say anything at all about sexual ethics beyond strained prooftexts and purity rings — he opts to punt. Wise move.

And finally, The Consumerist points us to a resource that everyone ought to bookmark for future reference: the Corporate Consumer Contacts page from consumeraction.gov. Have a complaint? Here’s your contact information. Very cool.

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Thursday de Mayo
RIP Daniel Berrigan
The Bond villain running Donald Trump's campaign
NRA: Everyone dies, rocks fall
  • http://twitter.com/emjb emjb

    I think that Josh McDowell piece is the best thing I’ve read all day. The internet is exposing your children to IDEAS and THOUGHTS and EVIDENCE. Clearly, it’s evil and we must shut it down.

  • ako

    Yeah, it’s pretty fraught with the fear of skepticism*, exposure to new ideas, and the lack of certainty.   Which suggest that the truth he thinks everyone needs to believe isn’t one that people will naturally gravitate to if given the chance to look at all of the different possibilities. 

    *I’m wondering if he knows what the word actually means.  A lot of people don’t seem to understand the difference between questioning an idea and rejecting it. 

  • Lori

     *I’m wondering if he knows what the word actually means.  A lot of people don’t seem to understand the difference between questioning an idea and rejecting it.  

    To be fair when the idea in question is faith the whole questioning thing tends to get tricky rather quickly. 

  • Mark Z.

    I found it incredibly discouraging. The “OMG atheists and skeptics and agnostics will be able to ‘get to your children'” part, yeah, okay, the usual bunker-mentality paranoia.

    But the saddest part was his statement that the majority of questions he gets from young people are about sex, “mainly oral sex”. I can tell you exactly what the most common question is:

    “Is it wrong for me to have oral sex with this (guy/girl) I’m dating?”

    McDowell’s response to that is to complain about pornography. Because as everyone knows, oral sex was invented by some sleazy mustached dude in San Fernando in 1973.*

    They’re asking that question because they want to know, Josh. They understand that sex is powerful and possibly dangerous and they (very sensibly) want to know whether they’re doing it right, so they come to you, the pastor, for guidance, and you have nothing to say, other than alarm and disgust that they’re even aware of the subject. God, this is depressing.

    “You scholars and Pharisees, you impostors! Damn you! You slam the door of Heaven’s domain in people’s faces. You yourselves don’t enter, and you block the way of those trying to enter.”
    — Matt. 23:13

    * I haven’t seen a primary source for it, but I’m told oral sex was invented by the Sumerians, who viewed it as an element of civilization, like irrigation and priesthood and all that other stuff from the left-hand side of the tech tree.

  • Anonymous

    I made the statement off and on for 10-11 years that the abundance of knowledge, the abundance of information, will not lead to certainty; it will lead to pervasive skepticism.

    Y’know, I don’t think McDowell intended that sentence to be a glowing endorsement of the internet, but I just can’t help reading it as exactly that.

  • bread and roses

    I had a different reaction.  He didn’t call to shut it down, or even to shut it off- he said there’s nothing we can do to keep kids away from it.  he said:

    ” “First, we have to model the truth. If you don’t model what you teach
    your kids, forget it. If they don’t see it, they won’t believe it…
    Second, we have to build relationships.” Just as truth without
    relationship leads to rejection, rules without relationship lead to
    rebellion, he said. “Kids don’t respond to rules. They respond to rules
    in the context of a loving, intimate relationship.” And third, he said,
    we have to use knowledge. “You better arm yourselves to answer your
    children’s and grandchildren’s questions…no matter what the question
    is…without being judgmental.” Kids’ greatest defense, he said, was the
    knowledge of truth.”

    It’s hard for me to argue with any of that.

  • Rikalous

    I had a different reaction.  He didn’t call to shut it down, or even to
    shut it off- he said there’s nothing we can do to keep kids away from
    it.

    There’s nothing wrong with his solution, sure, but the fact that he thinks there’s a problem is, well, problematic. His big fear is that atheists and agnostics and skeptics will be able to present their arguments to kids. He’s basically saying that he’s worried about the ability of his great, meaningful truth to stand up to the free exchange of ideas, which doesn’t speak highly of said truth.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    He prudently notes that the nail that sticks up tends to get hammered down and  — he opts to punt

    I followed the link, and you’re not kidding. The letter writer asks a very simple but direct question: “What is the scriptural basis for pre-marital abstinence? Is there some moral law that was a direct command from God?”

    The answer he gives is a lot of ducking and weaving before punting the ball as far away as possible.

  • cjmr

    Every time I see that Rude Pundit piece about the elderly woman re-quoted, I wonder why the heck no one in the line pulled out $6 and shared the poor woman’s sacrifice! 

  • Guest

    Caught off guard? Not sure how to ask? I could see myself being one of the silent watchers and then kicking myself later for not making the offer and then hoping I would later be more aware and kind. That made me tear up a little.

  • carcinoGeneticist

    Everyone else is broke, too?

  • Anonymous

    Probably because they didn’t have six bucks to spare.   Poor people tend to shop together- this wasn’t at a boutique, or upmarket, small town, tony, family owned store. This was some CVS knockoff outside of skid row. I know I don’t have six dollars to spare right now, and I doubt I’m the only one. 

  • Lori

     Probably because they didn’t have six bucks to spare.   Poor people tend to shop together- this wasn’t at a boutique, or upmarket, small town, tony, family owned store. This was some CVS knockoff outside of skid row.  

    It certainly wouldn’t be all that surprising if none of them had $6 in cash to spare. There are now a staggering number of people in this country whose only income is food stamps. 

  • Egremont

    Which they spend on crab legs whilst showing off their new tattoos.

    http://tinyurl.com/438t2da

  • Daughter

    I can’t speak for the people this woman’s husband knows.  I can only speak for myself.  Last year my husband and I were both unemployed at the same time, and food stamps were a godsend to us.  We received $250 a month.  Having our food bill covered allowed us to use our unemployment checks to keep a roof over our head, the lights on, and our cars running. No, we certainly didn’t spend it on anything like tattoos. 

    I’m not a crab legs eater, but occasionally if we had money left on our card at the end of the month, we’d splurge on something.  But as others have pointed out, if you buy things like steak and crab legs all the time, you’ll run out of food stamps quickly.

    How does this guy know people are using food stamps anyway?  They issue debit cards these days, so you’d have to be looking very closely at people’s transactions to know.

  • Lori

     Which they spend on crab legs whilst showing off their new tattoos.  

    You know, I’m really trying to cut down on the anger, but in the case of that lady I’m giving permission. When you’re bragging about being judgey you’re almost certainly off in the weeds behavior-wise. 

    Just sayin’. 

  • Egremont

    I know. And they are basically lovely people, with foster children (including special needs), and I enjoy the blog, but every so often there comes a blast of right-wing nuttery that – well, mostly I just look the other way, knowing the futility of argument.

    The grocery store anecdotes rather leave me puzzled, though. I don’t think it’s “welfare queen” lies. I suppose there are a few system scammers who tend overwhelm their perception of the genuine users.

     

  • Anonymous

    Well, there is the famous “confirmation bias.” You hear people complaining that all truckers tailgate, largely because we notice when they do, and we don’t notice all the ones that don’t. So if the woman’s husband sees a person or two with tattoos, that quickly turns into lots and lots of people with tattoos using food stamps.

    She does say she lives in a fairly small town, so I have to wonder (a) just how many different people her husband sees with both new tattoos and food stamps, and (b) whether there’s something about the demographics of her particular area that combines those two elements.

    Either way, she’s off base in claiming that what she sees in her small town is evidence that a nationwide “system” is broken.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it’s “welfare queen” lies. I suppose there are a few
    system scammers who tend overwhelm their perception of the genuine
    users.

    I don’t think the tattooed food stamps recipients would even have to be that.  I can think of a number of ways a person might get new tattoos that don’t involve them having money – gifts, barter, etc – and being very poor doesn’t mean people are good with their money.  In fact, I think it’s mostly the opposite – poverty makes people worse with their money for a whole slue of psychological reasons.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    In fact, I think it’s mostly the opposite – poverty makes people worse with their money for a whole slue of psychological reasons.

    Is that actually true? I’ve heard references to studies showing that, all else being equal*, poor people tend to manage their money better than middle class people (to the extent that they can make a choice). I haven’t read them first-hand, so I should look into it. I have anecdata about poor people being generally less wasteful than middle class people, though.

    *that is, excluding people who explicitly have money problems that largely contribute to their poverty, such as those with gambling problems or unmanageable debt.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if there are actual studies, or not.  And I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that the poor deserve to be poor because of it, if that was your impression.  I meant more in the sense of each specific person would be better with their money if they weren’t poor.  Most of what I’ve heard is anecdata, but it’s on the order of spending money to feel human (something they wouldn’t have to do if they weren’t poor).

    Taking people with money problems (especially unmanageable debt) out of the equation makes my head hurt a bit, though.  (Since our culture – well, the USian culture, I should say – does such a damn good job of selling unmanageable debt to everyone it can.)  But, I don’t know if the “god, I just want to feel human, I think I’ll buy this steak/watch/whatever” is more something that applies to people who aren’t from generational poverty (or whatever the right term is) and only those who are struggling more than previous generations.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    And I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that the poor deserve to be poor because of it, if that was your impression.

     
    No, that wasn’t my impression. Don’t worry.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    The grocery store anecdotes rather leave me puzzled, though. I don’t think it’s “welfare queen” lies. I suppose there are a few system scammers who tend overwhelm their perception of the genuine users.

    From where I sit, it sounds more like “HOW DARE THOSE FILTHY POOR spend MY TAX DOLLARS on something NICE!!!  They should be subsisting on gruel and mouldy turnips, like God intended!”

  • Lori

     The grocery store anecdotes rather leave me puzzled, though. I don’t think it’s “welfare queen” lies. I suppose there are a few system scammers who tend overwhelm their perception of the genuine users.  

    I have absolutely no doubt that there are people simultaneously using food stamps and getting tattoos. I’m sure some of those people are scammers and some of them are just annoyingly foolish with money. However, I seriously question whether that woman’s husband is actually seeing a constant parade of food stamp + new tattoo people. 

    Among other issues, I live in an area where a lot of people are on food stamps. The remaining tattoo parlors aren’t exactly doing blockbuster business. Human nature being what it is, I doubt that the folks here are significantly less likely to be ripping off the food stamp program than those where she lives. 

    Also, it just bugs the crap out of me that people think that if a person is collecting any sort of assistance that makes it open season to judge them. What I want to say to that woman is, “Lady, you don’t know their lives. Let it go.” Also, the mass hypocrisy involved in so freely judging people who are getting a couple hundred a month in food stamps while it’s off limits to question the Wall Street people who got giant bonuses paid for with bail out money (i.e. welfare) makes that vein in the side of my head throb.  

    It also didn’t help that she used the line about not all choices being equal to others. That’s a particularly frustrating part of the Right Wing catechism and having recently gotten basically the same line as justification of our most recent troll’s bigotry against other cultures I’m pretty well primed to think badly of someone who uses it. 

    Oy

    @Egrmont: I know that you know this stuff and I’m not actually saying it to you. I’m just venting because this sort of thing makes me really upset. Especially now, when the Right Wingers are basically holding the country hostage in order to push through their plan to shelter the rich and stick it to the poor. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-McDonald/610556997 Matthew McDonald

    Tattoos, if you go to a reputable parlor and a good artist, take months and sometimes years to work on. I’m thinking about my Zombie Squid tattoo. It’s very large. Even though my artist generally gives me my tattoos at half price due to us being friends and the massive amount of business I bring him, the full thing still costs $600. 

    I started it when I was employed and had some savings and disposable income. I got the first session one month, the second three months later. The last one, though, I didn’t get for almost a year later. Not long after my second session, I got laid off from my job. They started at the highest paid employee in the department, which was me at the time, and worked their way down.

    I ended up on food stamps for a while. It was difficult, but me and my ex-wfie were making it. I just had a huge, visible, unfinished tattoo.

    Then my artist called me and informed me I had an appointment to get it finished. I told him I wouldn’t take it for free, and he told me that my best friend had come into the shop, set up an appointment for me, and paid for the final session in advance.

    When times have been good, Lord knows I’ve pulled the same stunt for the people I care about. 

    There’s just so many ways to get tattoos that don’t involve money. I’ve never met a reputable artist who isn’t willing to barter. My own artist told me he hasn’t paid for labor on car repair for years due to trade offs. He reroofed his home on inking labor. He says he got his kid into the preschool he wanted due to tattoo bribes. Hell, another one of my friends who’s an artist, Nick, once offered to give me a tattoo if I introduced him to this young woman I knew!

    What I’m getting at is that you’re right–we don’t know the other person’s life, let it the go. Other people have said it, but I’d honestly rather have a million people scamming the system than have one person who needs it not have it because we were worried someone was getting something they don’t deserve. Look to oil subsidies and wall street for that.

    Love. Peace. Metallica.

  • Claire Abeltin

    A huge zombie squid tattoo sounds absolutely awesome. Pics?

    Edit: Oh shit. I did NOT know that logging in with Google would make this display my real name. Can this please, please be deleted?

  • Claire Abeltin

    A huge zombie squid tattoo sounds absolutely awesome. Pics?

    Edit: Oh shit. I did NOT know that logging in with Google would make this display my real name. Can this please, please be deleted?

  • Lonespark

    hmmm, useful perspective.

    My homeless cousin has gotten some lovely tattoos as birthday and Christmas gifts from her otherwise total deadbeat of a father.  She likes tattoos.  She’d have liked him not spending her childhood in jail and whatnot better, but you take what you can get.

  • Anonymous

    The only way to avoid people gaming the system is not to have a system at all. I’d rather have a million people gaming the system than two million going hungry because their last income was their ninety-ninth unemployment check and that was more than a week ago.

  • Anonymous

    I think your question is why Rude Pundit didn’t. RP is the only person mentioned as being close enough to have heard and understood the situation. OTOH, RP may have, but couldn’t very well make that part of the blog post, because then it becomes about RP and zir fine and noble gesture.

  • Patches365

    One of the most obvious parallels between fandom and religion can be found in fanfiction.  For starters, the Mary-Sue and her offspring, the canon Sue.  A Mary-Sue is a fan-created character (usually female) who is inserted into the existing canon and acts as the author’s personal avatar, with all the same likes and dislikes, attitude, and beliefs.  The offshoot, the canon Sue, is the same character, just inserted into an existing character rather than an original one to make it less overt.

    So what you end up having is this canon that everyone in your fandom follows, but people regularly take a popular character in it and fuse them with their own ideals, paying absolutely no regard to how the character was originally written.  Sometimes a fan depiction becomes so popular that people start writing about it as if it were canon (something known as “fanon”).

    Years later, someone who experiences the original book/movie/TV show/game for the first time and then checks out the fandom is often shocked to see that the discussions and arguments going on in the fandom by this point bear absolutely no resemblance or relevance to the content of the original work.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure if this is an exact example, but I always found it amazing that nowhere in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings does Sherlock Holmes say “Elementary, my dear Watson”.

  • Viliphied

    Also, beam me up Scotty was never said In TOS. Tvtropes has a whole big list, but that site will devour your whole weekend.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    You got off lucky if it just devoured a weekend.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    So what you end up having is this canon that everyone in your fandom follows, but people regularly take a popular character in it and fuse them with their own ideals, paying absolutely no regard to how the character was originally written. Sometimes a fan depiction becomes so popular that people start writing about it as if it were canon (something known as “fanon”).

    TVtropes refers to that type of character as a “Possession Sue“.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    So what you end up having is this canon that everyone in your fandom follows, but people regularly take a popular character in it and fuse them with their own ideals, paying absolutely no regard to how the character was originally written. Sometimes a fan depiction becomes so popular that people start writing about it as if it were canon (something known as “fanon”).

    TVtropes refers to that type of character as a “Possession Sue“.

  • Anonymous

    Abby Ohlheiser explores the parallels between fandom and religion — “…
    it can do some of the things that religion does without actually being
    it” —

    Religion only started to make the slightest bit of sense to me when I realized it was basically God fandom.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    Now I understand why the zombie preachers hate Harry Potter.  The kids might give their money to something other than zombie preachers.

  • hapax

    Now I understand why the zombie preachers hate Harry Potter.

    I expect that they hate The Goon more.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    That would require them to have some idea who The Goon is.  

  • Rikalous

    That would require them to have some idea who The Goon is.

    In a way, I’m disappointed that the Moral Crusaders(TM) don’t target more obscure bits of media. Given the hullabaloo they make about D&D, where evil is an objective force that is there to be smote and one rulebook has a Risen Martyr prestige class, I’d love to see their reactions to, say Warhammer 40k with its genocidal, fascist warrior nuns, or Hunter: the Reckoning with its demonspawn (and demon-killing) protagonist group.

  • Narm00

    In a way, I’m disappointed that the Moral Crusaders(TM) don’t target more obscure bits of media. Given the hullabaloo they make about D&D, where evil is an objective force that is there to be smote and one rulebook has a Risen Martyr prestige class, I’d love to see their reactions to, say Warhammer 40k with its genocidal, fascist warrior nuns, or Hunter: the Reckoning with its demonspawn (and demon-killing) protagonist group.

    Got the wrong White Wolf game there – it’s the Lucifuge from Hunter: the Vigil you’re thinking of. It’d be doubly hilarious because another protagonist group in Vigil, the Long Night, are a group of… Christian fundamentalists.

    (Although their reaction to Reckoning and its secret backstory – and for that matter Demon: the Fallen – would be amusing too.)

  • Rikalous

    Got the wrong White Wolf game there – it’s the Lucifuge from Hunter: the
    Vigil you’re thinking of. It’d be doubly hilarious because another
    protagonist group in Vigil, the Long Night, are a group of… Christian
    fundamentalists.

    (Although their reaction to Reckoning
    and its secret backstory – and for that matter Demon: the Fallen – would
    be amusing too.)

    The Long Night aren’t just Christian fundamentalists, they’re explicitly hunting to cleanse the earth of evil so the Rapture can happen. One of their other names is the Tribulation Militia. It’s actually a pretty positive portrayal, since one of their three main factions wants to turn the other cheek and redeem the monsters.

    Another gameline they’d hate would be Mage: the Ascension, not just for the magic-using, but the way the universe works. Basically, beyond a few basic things like gravity, the laws of the universe are what people believe they are. Technology is just another form of magic that the enemy faction has gotten everyone to believe in. Phlogiston bombs or magic words of ice aren’t any less real than the laws of thermodynamics, just harder to force pass the consensus. In other words, the absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth. The fact that the miracle-working group includes Jews and Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Pagans and probably a Scientologist or two all under the same banner would be icing on the cake.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    I suspect they’ll come at that with holy water and an exorcism.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I’ve been complaining for decades that lawns are a waste of time and resources.  

    Sadly, my mom still made me do the mowing.  

    Now that I’m out of the house, she’s planted a lot of gardens, so there’s that.

  • Onymous

    Favorite sign: “hill may obstruct view”

  • Anonymous

    “Also infrastructure-related: the White Roof Project. That’s a Good Thing, though it might be even better as a nonprofit business employing people who need jobs than as a mainly volunteer effort.”

    This is a really good point.  My company allows its employees to spend a few hours participating in volunteering projects, one of which is this.

    I refuse to participate.  I sent a comment stating basically, the following:

    “Wouldn’t it be much better, and more socially responsible, for the company to redirect the thousands of dollars it is spending through lost man-hours, towards paying currently unemployed people to do the paint job instead?  

    1) It would be more effective, since unemployed construction workers are far more likely to do a better job painting roofs, than software programmers used to sitting on their backsides all day.
    2) It would cost the company less, allowing it to redirect the saved money towards getting more roofs painted, since you will be paying ~$10-$15/hr, instead of the over $30-$40/hr in lost man hours.
    3) It will help the unemployed by both, putting money in their pockets, and giving them work to do, which will have a positive effect on their psyche
    4) It will help the economy far more, since the money will be spent, since these are people who are unlikely to have the luxury of saving that money”

    I used to be a big fan of CSR, but the more I think about it, the more it comes across as nothing more than a way to maintain an image of being socially responsible, rather than actually being socially responsible.  I am not a die-hard capitalist, but there are many things the free market is really good at, and effective allocation of resources is one of them.  CSR in this form (which is the form most companies follow) is not an effective allocation of resources.

  • Lori

     I used to be a big fan of CSR, but the more I think about it, the more it comes across as nothing more than a way to maintain an image of being socially responsible, rather than actually being socially responsible.  I am not a die-hard capitalist, but there are many things the free market is really good at, and effective allocation of resources is one of them.  CSR in this form (which is the form most companies follow) is not an effective allocation of resources.  

    You are not alone. In one of my grad school classes we spent quite a bit of time looking at CSR from various angles. What I learned was that there are very few people who still have much faith in CSR. The only reason keep pushing for it is that it’s better than nothing and in many cases it’s literally CSR or nothing because there’s no way to get political support for programs that would be more effective. 

  • Daughter

    From the nonprofit perspective, a big problem with CSR is that they often want to do it at their convenience, not based on the NPO’s schedule or needs.  So they want you to arrange, say, a project for their employees on a Tuesday morning… but your run after-school programs and there’s nothing for them to do in the morning.  Or they want to do a painting project for you, but you rent your space and aren’t allowed to make changes like that to it.  And so forth.  And then they get angry that you can’t accommodate their good deed.

    (To be fair, it’s not only corporations who react this way.  My brother used to work for a veterans’ shelter, and one of his biggest frustrations was that hundreds of people would call wanting to volunteer around Thanksgiving or Christmas, and they couldn’t accommodate them all.  People would get angry when he told them this, and when he’d tell them that the 300+ non-holiday days of the year is when they really need volunteers and would they be willing to volunteer at another time, they’d often hang up on him.)

  • Anonymous

    “Also infrastructure-related: the White Roof Project. That’s a Good Thing, though it might be even better as a nonprofit business employing people who need jobs than as a mainly volunteer effort.”

    This is a really good point.  My company allows its employees to spend a few hours participating in volunteering projects, one of which is this.

    I refuse to participate.  I sent a comment stating basically, the following:

    “Wouldn’t it be much better, and more socially responsible, for the company to redirect the thousands of dollars it is spending through lost man-hours, towards paying currently unemployed people to do the paint job instead?  

    1) It would be more effective, since unemployed construction workers are far more likely to do a better job painting roofs, than software programmers used to sitting on their backsides all day.
    2) It would cost the company less, allowing it to redirect the saved money towards getting more roofs painted, since you will be paying ~$10-$15/hr, instead of the over $30-$40/hr in lost man hours.
    3) It will help the unemployed by both, putting money in their pockets, and giving them work to do, which will have a positive effect on their psyche
    4) It will help the economy far more, since the money will be spent, since these are people who are unlikely to have the luxury of saving that money”

    I used to be a big fan of CSR, but the more I think about it, the more it comes across as nothing more than a way to maintain an image of being socially responsible, rather than actually being socially responsible.  I am not a die-hard capitalist, but there are many things the free market is really good at, and effective allocation of resources is one of them.  CSR in this form (which is the form most companies follow) is not an effective allocation of resources.

  • Carla M.

    Q: “Is it wrong for me to have oral sex with this (guy/girl) I’m dating?”
    A: “hill may obstruct view”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-McDonald/610556997 Matthew McDonald

    This is rather off topic, and long, but this is the place to talk about over zealous evangelicals.

    On Sunday, my Jessica died. We had a really complex relationship I still can’t sort out. We were best friends, became lovers, fiances, bitter enemies, best friends again, and hadn’t talked for six weeks due to fight when she died. In the end, I loved her dearly, and it’s fallen to me to comfort her mother and tend to her final business. Lord it sucks.

    Last night I got this message on Facebook:

    I just read about your loss and having gone through something like this myself I implore you to look to Christ for support during these trying times. I was worse than you at one time, I was not agnostic, I was a flat out non believer. Since I have accepted Jesus as my savior my life has turned around like you would not believe. I am actually poorer right now than I have ever been in my life but am happier than I have ever been.Please talk to someone that knows Jesus, give them a chance to tell you about how He can help you in thiese times.I will pray for you.
    I replied:

    I appreciate what you’re trying to accomplish my friend, but it ain’t cool, you know? It’d be very akin to, in your time of loss, if I asked you to reach out to Allah or take comfort in the Buddha. Your heart is in the right place, but this was very ill timed.

    His reply, which I got as I was cleaning out her room and disposing of all her worldly goods:

    So be it, I will continue to pray for you.

    My reply, hotter than I intended:

    So be it? You really don’t have a shred of decency do you? You’re a Christian–you’re supposed to comfort those in pain, not be a further burden!

    His final reply:

    Sir,There is no better time for you to reach out to Him then in your time of need. In our prayer meeting this morning we discussed you and your burdens and prayed for you. It was explained to me that so many do not want to hear about the promise when they are down, they lash out just as you are doing. There really is no better time, He is there for us in the good and the bad, especially the bad.I will continue to prayer for your plight and your soul.Bless you.

    I responded:

    You just don’t get it do you? I’m lashing out at you because what you are doing is selfish. You’re using my time of pain to evangelize, to score points on your eternal score card. I do not begrudge you your belief, but do you not understand how surrounded nonchristians are by your religious rites and beliefs? Our culture is saturated with Christianity to the point that nonbelievers often times feel ostracized, especially as so many of your Evangelical brethren have set yourselves out to be the enemies of everyone who is a nonchristian. What you are doing is pushing a belief system that often causes me pain due to its refusal to accept I have no interest in it during a time when I fucking hurt.So, I repeat, you’re doing this for yourself. Not me. It’s selfish, and I no longer believe your heart is in the right place. Kindly take your self righteous tone and shove it up your ass.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    Also, definition of ‘asshole’: somebody who doesn’t know when to say “I’m sorry for your loss” and then shut up. (…yeah, I know.)

  • We Must Dissent

    this is the place to talk about over zealous evangelicals.

    Let me offer heartfelt “God damn them.” This is the kind of shit that makes me look for a word other than Christian to describe myself. I haven’t been inside of a church in years because of this crap.

    How many fucking times does the bible need to say “Mourn with those who mourn” and how many examples does it need to contain before Christians do that instead of this shit? Friends join you in the ash pit and weep; they don’t analyze your grief as a life lesson or tell you to believe harder. That is elusively the action of douchebags and assholes.

    The spiteful part of me wishes that this type of response is all they get when it is their turn to grieve.

  • Lori

     The spiteful part of me wishes that this type of response is all they get when it is their turn to grieve.  

     

    Many of them have already gotten exactly that response. It’s like any other form of abuse–a certain percentage of victims go on to be abusers themselves. 

    One of the positive things that I can say about the church in which I was raised is that they don’t go in for the nasty business of blaming misfortune on lack of faith. They have plenty of other problems, but they don’t have that kind of bone deep meanness. 

  • We Must Dissent

    My experience of Christianity is that bone deep meanness covered in a facade of not drinking, smoking, kissing, or dancing. As Barry McGuire wrote: “Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace.” It makes me wonder how Christianity, at least the parts I’ve encountered, got there from where is started:

    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  • Lori

     My experience of Christianity is that bone deep meanness covered in a facade of not drinking, smoking, kissing, or dancing. As Barry McGuire wrote: “Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace.”  

    I know. I’ve certainly experienced plenty of that myself. IME the faith tradition in which I was raised just doesn’t go in much for kicking people when they’re down. They’re judgey as all get out about plenty of things and they do think that people should turn to Jesus for, well, everything. They just don’t have the strong tradition of hammering on people who are suffering that I’ve seen in some other churches and they don’t treat every occasion of personal misfortune or sadness as an evangelism opportunity. 

  • Daughter

    Despite my loathing of the Church of Christ’s “we’re the only way” arrogance, a good thing about it is that by being somewhat separate from mainstream evangelicalism, they’re been spared some of its excesses: e.g., the prosperity gospel, or the politicization of the pulpit.

  • Lori

     Despite my loathing of the Church of Christ’s “we’re the only way” arrogance, a good thing about it is that by being somewhat separate from mainstream evangelicalism, they’re been spared some of its excesses: e.g., the prosperity gospel, or the politicization of the pulpit.  

    Yeah, they’re very much their own thing and as a result a lot of the worst trends have just passed them right by. (And thank FSM for small mercies, the insistence on a capella singing has saved them from the horrors of the praise band.) 

    I put the non-politicization of the pulpit in  a slightly different category though. I think many CoC ministers don’t tell their congregations how to vote because they assume (correctly) that there’s no need. I swear I’m the only Democrat ever to darken the door of the church here and the same is probably true of most of the other congregations I’ve attended. Telling these folks to vote GOP is like telling fish to swim—totally superfluous. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    I was surprised and very sorry when I saw your posts on this subject on FB, and I can’t fault you at all for lashing out…particularly since I see your response as being amazingly restrained under the circumstances. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I also want to thank you for sharing your emails to this person. They were spot on. You expressed, as clearly as I have ever seen it expressed, exactly what is wrong with that kind of behavior.

    And again, please accept my sympathy and my good wishes, for whatever they’re worth, as you work on doing what needs doing. 

  • Daughter

    My condolences to you, too.

  • hapax

    Matthew McDonald, I am deeply sorry for your loss.

    And I apologize humbly for the cruelty and self-centredness of those who share with me the name of “Christian”.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so sorry for your loss.  And for the asshat who wanted to exploit it.  People should not be salt in other people’s wounds. :(

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Matthew, I’m really sorry for your loss, and I’m really sorry someone made it worse. ()

  • ako

    I’m sorry you lost your Jessica, and I’m sorry you had to deal with that.  It takes a remarkable blend of venerating obnoxiousness and willfully denying empathy to get to the point where coming back for a third time to rub “If you had Jesus, you wouldn’t be sad!” in the face of the grieving seems like a good idea. 

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry for your loss. :(

    That person was definitely in the wrong. Reminds me of the song “Poor, Unfortunate Souls” from the Little Mermaid. Good song for a villainous sea-witch. Bad behavior for an actual person. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I am sorry for your loss.  As well, I kind of pity your evangelical friend.  Their heart is in the right place, but their tact is somewhat lacking.  Evangelizing is not simply trying to get people into the church, but also trying not to drive people away from the church, and that seems something that they do not understand. 

    Would that they could simply tell you that they are there for you if you need some support.  Or maybe find a few biblical passages that offer comfort to those who mourn and share them without judgement or pressure. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I am sorry for your loss.  As well, I kind of pity your evangelical friend.  Their heart is in the right place, but their tact is somewhat lacking.  Evangelizing is not simply trying to get people into the church, but also trying not to drive people away from the church, and that seems something that they do not understand. 

    Would that they could simply tell you that they are there for you if you need some support.  Or maybe find a few biblical passages that offer comfort to those who mourn and share them without judgement or pressure. 

  • Anonymous

    Off topic, for all the crappy news a tonic in a grand dance mashup, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1UgoM78Ts4

  • P J Evans

    I ran into that kind of meanness this morning on my way to work – a not-elderly woman was sitting in a walker in the subway station lobby, begging for dollars. A guy walked past me, turned to me, and said that the bible says that people who can’t work don’t get to eat. (I answered that it says a lot more about the obligation to take care of the poor.)

  • Anonymous

    A guy walked past me, turned to me, and said that the bible says that people who can’t work don’t get to eat.

    And it doesn’t say that. It says that those who refuse to work should not receive food from the general store (that everyone else contributes to by working).

  • Albanaeon

    Wow.  Really?  The guy said basically, “Eff off and die,” to a poor person and thinks the Bible told him to say it?  Methinks he missed a few verses.  err… Chapters…  Most of the Book…

  • Jenny Islander

    People who can’t work don’t get to eat? 

    Is that right next to the parable where Jesus talks about the two guys who walk by the man who was mugged, and the third guy who stops to kick him in the teeth, and how the third guy was the one to emulate because anybody who falls down deserves to be kicked in the teeth?

    Which Bible was he reading, the Mirror Universe Edition?

  • Anonymous

    It’s in Levitation 14:3: “Verily, verily, I say unto you. Strike not a man when he is down. Kick him. It saveth bending over.”

  • P J Evans

     Probably. I don’t know him, I’ve never seen him before, and if that’s what his church is teaching, I’d like to arrange for a lightning bolt to strike its front walk during the service.

  • Matri

    Probably. I don’t know him, I’ve never seen him before, and if that’s
    what his church is teaching, I’d like to arrange for a lightning bolt to
    strike its front walk during the service.

    Doubt if that will work, seeing as the church probably has a lightning rod.

    Lightning rods on a church. Y’know, to redirect lightning. Lightning as in “Acts of God” as recognized by every fine print.

  • smw

    Fred, if you didn’t see this already, I imagine that you’ll also be touched by the loss of Frank Bender: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20110729_Sculptor_Frank_Bender__70__helped_bring_many_to_justice.html?viewAll=y

    Commercials during radio broadcasts of baseball are gloriously old-fashioned in their unrepentant cheesiness. But I find the Scott’s (of Miracle-Gro fame) commercial both infuriating and hilarious. DANDELIONS, evil invaders of your wonderful lawn, KILL DESTROY GRR. Sure, that makes sense. Poison your land to kill the hardy perennial with highly-nutritious leaves that requires absolutely NO effort to grow. Who wants a plant that’s wholly edible and has documented medicinal properties, with flowers that can be made into wine? The nerve of the dandelion, conditioning the soil and attracting pollinating insects! MUCH better to grow grass, which…uh…see video. 

  • Anonymous

    I know I’d like to know why anyone would want their lawn to be naught but close-cropped grass. At the very least, get some shade trees and/or flowerbeds there. What could the bane be?

    Dandelions, in any case, are pretty. I’m not sure what the problem with them in particular is supposed to be, except perhaps the possibility of them being an invasive species.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    The irony of that video is that British front garden aren’t usually grass. They’re usally flower beds. Grass front garden means someone didn’t want to weed.

    My front garden *IS* a vegetable garden.

  • Anonymous

    Which still leaves me confused as to what’s going on with the archetypal American suburb. Your typical meadow is still going to have coreopsis, wood-sorrel, clover, etc. in places. Why would a lawn be marred, then, if you have a few flowers that latched on? For ones who claim to cohere to individualism, we’re not seeing much in willingness to take to arcane things (in this case, individual choices in non-grass plants).

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    Well, that’s as terrible a misreading of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 as I have ever heard. *facepalm*

  • Donalbain
  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    Yep, and the same people who complain about the poor having those “luxury” items would view that $15 watch that Rick Warren refers to owning to demonstrate that he doesn’t live high on the hog as being irresponsibly extravagant on the wrist of a poor person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-McDonald/610556997 Matthew McDonald

    I’m sorry for the double post, but I just logged into my Facebook and found that he’s gone on to have a fourth poke at me. Maybe it’s the exhaustion, but this one just ain’t pissing me off as much as the previous attempts.

    His reply:

    In Mark 16:15 Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

    I am not doing this for ME, I am doing this because our Lord has commanded me to do so.

    I am not your enemy, I am your brother and I love you as such. 

    I almost died on December 1, 2000. I lost my wife and two children. I was a non believer at that time but as I found our Lord my life turned around. Rather than trying to kill myself or just wallow in my own misery I stood up with Him and accepted the walk He gave me. You can do the same.

    You do not like “us” to to tell you about our “religious rites and beliefs” but we have no choice. I do not hate non believers, I love them as my brothers and I pray for them constantly.

    There is no better time to turn to Him then when you have hit the bottom. He loves all of us the same, you, I, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, all of us are equally deserving of His love. He will accept you at any time and forgive ALL of your sins. Not only will He forgive those sins but he will also wipe the slate clean making as if those sins never happened.

    We are getting close to the end times. There is a video that speaks to me today in relation to you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFZ1pt0WX5c

    And here is another to think about:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b8yjnXTqj4

    Are you going to be one of those left sitting there?

    And you say that we are all around you, consider this:

    http://www.thankgodforevolution.com/node/2049

    I will continue to pray for you and I will not judge you, you are lost and God is using me to help you out of the pit. Feel free to curse me or cry on my shoulder, I am here for what you need.

  • Lori

     He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
    I am not doing this for ME, I am doing this because our Lord has commanded me to do so.
    [snip]

    I will continue to pray for you and I will not judge you, you are lost and God is using me to help you out of the pit. Feel free to curse me or cry on my shoulder, I am here for what you need.

     I’m not saying that you should be pissed off about this. I certainly understand being too exhausted to get worked up. You need to put your energy into dealing with your own grief, not his crap. Just do what you need to do to take care of yourself and support others who are in pain over this terrible loss. 

    For the record though—this guy is full of crap and someone needs to smack him up side the head with the clue stick.

    The great commission does not say “Go ye into all the world and preach to everyone at all times without any consideration of appropriateness or compassion.” It also doesn’t say, “Go ye into all the world and use the misfortunes of others as an opportunity to tell them how they should feel.” 

    For this guy to say that he won’t judge you while in the midst of judging you is such an asshat move I don’t even know what to say. The complete absence of self-awareness involved with being that big a douche canoe is truly amazing.  

    Maybe there’s a chance for a silver lining to his horrible behavior toward you though. Maybe someone will read all of this and learn from it and thereby avoid doing the same. 

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry you are being forced to go through this!

    This is a pattern I recognize, though. The guy has some serious issues (yes, I am sometimes known as “Lieutenant Obvious”; I am working my way up to Captain). His understanding of God is that God takes care of every little detail of everyone’s life. That means God took (killed?–“lost” isn’t quite clear) his wife and two children. He believes that God must have had a purpose in doing so, and he needs, desperately, to find that purpose. Hence his belief that “God is using me to help you.”

    This isn’t, IMO, standard-issue evangelism–not that that can’t be as clueless and hurtful. But I think (disclaimer–not a psychologist) this person needs some serious counseling help. Not that it makes a difference from your end. One has to hope someone from his religious group will get hold of him and issue a “Dude. Not cool.” And then get him some help.

  • Albanaeon

    Wow.  Holy crap, literally.  I am sorry for your loss and sorry that you’ve got an asshole (well meaning as he thinks he’s being) that is not helping things at all.

  • Albanaeon

    Wow.  Holy crap, literally.  I am sorry for your loss and sorry that you’ve got an asshole (well meaning as he thinks he’s being) that is not helping things at all.

  • Anonymous

    Off topic, sort of: I’m selling my books and DVDs as part of the ‘Get Ellie Out of Debt and Into Her Own Place’ Project. Details and caveats at http://elliemurasaki.dreamwidth.org/251362.html. Any assistance you can render would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    Off topic, sort of: I’m selling my books and DVDs as part of the ‘Get Ellie Out of Debt and Into Her Own Place’ Project. Details and caveats at http://elliemurasaki.dreamwidth.org/251362.html. Any assistance you can render would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Claire Abeltin

    thing

  • Claire Abeltin

    Auugh. Obviously I cannot figure out Disqus at all.

  • Lori

     Auugh. Obviously I cannot figure out Disqus at all. 

    I know it’s cold comfort, but you’re in good company. 

  • Lori

     Auugh. Obviously I cannot figure out Disqus at all. 

    I know it’s cold comfort, but you’re in good company. 

  • P J Evans

     I think you can fix that in your profile setup; there’s an e-mail field and there’s a name field. (I don’t usually log in at all, but the computer remembers how it’s supposed to read.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-McDonald/610556997 Matthew McDonald

    My last reply. I’m sorry if this is a distraction, but talking about this is helping to take my mind off everything.

    Romans 12:15

    “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

    The Grand Commission to bring followers to Christ does not say to evangelize everywhere, all the time, under every circumstance. In fact, all commandments are subservient to the words of Christ himself: “Love thy neighbor”. Loving your neighbor is accomplished by grieving with them when they grieve, to roll in the ashes and weep with them.

    What you are doing is unloving, and thus unChrist like. Furthermore, it’s fucking cruel. I just went and saw my Jessica’s body right before they fed her to the flames, AND YOU’RE SENDING ME VIDEOS ABOUT HELL? Are you really that self absorbed that you cannot see how fucking callous that is?

    This is, again, all about you. I’m sorry you lost your family, but it has warped you. You desperately needed to believe that there’s a reason for it in the greater scheme of things, that there’s someone out there who’s behind all things in this world. It is a comfort to you.

    But it isn’t to me. Wether you’re my enemy is immaterial, you idiot. So many of your brethren are. They hurt me because I’m okay with my beliefs. I find comfort in other places, in my family, my friends, my wonderful girlfriend, my own inner strength, and it’s sufficient. But that’s not okay with you. In your warped, desperate little mind if I can find the strength and inner peace from places other than God, it invalidates your belief in your own mind.

    This is, and always will be, about you, you selfish prick.I’ve been nice because I demand that people respect my beliefs, so I try to respect the beliefs of others. But I’m done. You’ve steadfastly refused to accept my polite no as an answer, a polite no I did not owe you in my time of grief, so fuck you, here it is:There is no god. There is no heaven. There is no hell. Jesus existed, but he was not Christ. Hell, he himself never even claimed to be the son of God–Paul did that a hundred years after Jesus died.Your stupid little fairy tale does not comfort me. And the fact you keep trying to shove it down my throat in your blind, self-absorbed, self-righteous fashion is hurting me during a time when I am barely holding it together.
    Even if I’m wrong, and you’re right about God, you’re still wrong. Can’t you see that your intentions don’t matter worth three shits? All that matters is that you’re hurting me. Your Jesus tells you to be a comfort, and you’re being a burden.

    Can you honestly not see how you are not following your own God, you loony fucktard?

    Stop hurting me. Stop burdening me. Act like a god damn Christian, say I’m sorry for your loss, and back the fuck off.

    I’m a minority, a nonbeliever. I’m surrounded by those who believe in Christ. Yet you’re the only one who’s acting like this. Maybe that’s a hint, you worthless, selfish prick.

  • Ravenamore

    I started reading your writing because of the “Left Behind” critiques. I was disappointed when I ended up having to check this site for those writings, while having to wade through the other posts. I got very disturbed at the general trend of condemning and mocking anyone whose faith wasn’t as sufficiently inclusive and liberal as your own.
    The recent post where you trash the Bishop of Toledo for refusing to donate to Susan B. Komen was, for me, the last straw. See, if you’d have bothered to look into this, you’d could have found out in five minutes the bishop did so because Susan B. Komen gives money to Planned Parenthood, whose primary business is abortion, and believed that it would be immoral to donate money that might be used for purposes the Church would find objectionable. Susan B. Koman was asked awhile ago if the money given to them was specifically given to Planned Parenthood for their admittedly small breast health outreach, and the organization said it was given to them to do with as they want to. Many bishops throughout the country, when they learned that, decided they could not, in good conscience, donate to this organization, and choose, instead, to give money to cancer organizations where they know the money will go for its intended purposes.
    You may not agree with the Catholic Church’s view on abortion, but the bishop’s action was in line with its teachings, and not hypocritical, and it sure wasn’t condemning women to die of breast cancer. It’s interesting how people left of center seem to feel they have the monopoly on boycotting businesses and organizations because they don’t want their money to fund something they disagree with, and get upset and self-righteous when those on the right do the same.
    As a Catholic, I found this post to be the last straw. I will not come back to this site, and I’m letting other Catholics I know who read this site soley for the Left Behind critiques not to bother.

  • Anonymous

    Planned Parenthood, whose primary business is abortion

    Liar.

  • Mark Z.
  • P J Evans

    The Vatican is not the sole religious authority on ANYTHING, and what authority it has over members is up to them, not you (and not the Vatican, either). I hope that more people reject it as being out of touch with reality.
    I’m sorry to tell you that a whole lot of people don’t agree with the narrow-minded, regressive, hate-filled views that many people, including a large number of bishops and archbishops, insist are Moral and Christian. Jesus weeps over them.

  • Rikalous

    Planned Parenthood, whose primary business is abortion

    Behold: chart! http://cdn.front.moveon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Planned-Parenthood-Patient-Care.jpg
    This article is not, in fact, serious: http://www.theonion.com/articles/planned-parenthood-opens-8-billion-abortionplex,20476/?utm_source=morenews (The sad thing is, some people didn’t realize that.)

  • Matri

    It’s not serious, but they seem to be doing everything in their power to make it real: Link.

  • Matri

    It’s not serious, but they seem to be doing everything in their power to make it real: Link.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    As a Catholic, I found this post to be the last straw. I will not come back to this site, and I’m letting other Catholics I know who read this site soley for the Left Behind critiques not to bother.

     
    S’OK. As a Catholic, I find this blog to be insightful and thought-provoking, and I keep coming back, and I’m letting other Catholics I know about Fred’s blog (especially the non-LB bits) because the ones I’ve referred so far have got a lot out of it.
     
    So we probably balance out in the wash.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    This is more attention than a troll deserves, but what the heck…

    I got very disturbed at the general trend of condemning and mocking
    anyone whose faith wasn’t as sufficiently inclusive and liberal as your
    own.

    You came here for the Left Behind critiques, but got upset when he started critiquing other religious positions. Who could have seen that coming?

    Your implied position here is that faiths which are exclusive and segregating, which are narrow, hidebound, locked in tradition without concern for context, fixed and unchanging in a fluid society, these faiths should not be condemned or mocked, even when the harm they cause to parishioners and non-parishioners alike is clear. Got it!

    See, if you’d have
    bothered to look into this, you’d could have found out in five minutes
    the bishop did so because Susan B. Komen gives money to Planned
    Parenthood, whose primary business is abortion, and believed that it
    would be immoral to donate money that might be used for purposes the
    Church would find objectionable.

    If you had bothered to look into this, you could have found out in five minutes that
    a.) The Susan B. Komen foundation grants do not fund abortion.
    b.) The primary business of Planned Parenthood is not, and has never been abortion. Their legally required, publicly-released financial statements show abortion services account for 3% of their total business.
    c.) The Susan B. Komen foundation has two Catholic ethicists, Ron Hamel Ph.D. and Michael Panicola Ph.D. who concluded it was morally permissible for the church to be involved with Komen.

    . Susan B. Koman was asked awhile ago if the money given to them was
    specifically given to Planned Parenthood for their admittedly small
    breast health outreach, and the organization said it was given to them
    to do with as they want to.

    Blatantly false. As recently as June of this year, The foundation explicitly stated the funds they give to PP are not used for abortion. And unlike you, I cite my sources.

    You may not agree with the Catholic Church’s view on abortion, but the
    bishop’s action was in line with its teachings, and not hypocritical,
    and it sure wasn’t condemning women to die of breast cancer.

    The bishops action was born from deliberate acceptance of falsehoods and lies that are easily shown to be untrue. For an organizaiton that has as a commandment “do not bear false witness”, to openly and publicly take a stance based on known lies is a pretty clear case of hypocrisy.

    It’s interesting how people left of center seem to feel they have the
    monopoly on boycotting businesses and organizations because they don’t
    want their money to fund something they disagree with, and get upset and
    self-righteous when those on the right do the same.

    It’s funny you mention “the last straw”, because this is a pretty huge straw-man you’ve built.

    The “left of center” folks say ‘Hey, this business spent $8 million to fight same-sex marriage. I found this out by reading the company’s public statements on the matter, and I double-checked it against required campaign disclosures. I support SSM, so I don’t want to give money to someone with a proven, documented record of fighting against it.’

    The “right of center” folks say ‘Hey, I heard from a friend of a friend that this business is all about abortion, and this other business wants to give them more money that can be used for abortion. I read about it in an email my friend forwarded me. I think we should boycott both businesses without reading or researching anything further!’

    Left of center people get upset when lies and ‘truthiness’ are used for decision-making instead of evidence and reason, and they’re remarkably consistent about this. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Church bearing false witness against Komen, or what we teach in public school science classes, or the rights and privileges we give to people regardless of sexual identity, or the services doctors can offer their patients.

  • Anonymous for this one

    Wrong. Abortion is NOT the primary business of Planned Parenthood. In fact, MY Catholic girlfriend went there to get extremely cheap x-rays to make sure that her psychotic ex-boyfriends and stalkers had not completely broken her limbs. Fuck YOU for using a LIE to condemn other people.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite road sign, assuming it’s still there:

    In Bristol, TN, immediately underneath the road sign for Cemetery Road, a second sign says “Dead End.” 

  • Rikalous

    The best road sign I’ve seen says “Please do not throw rocks at the sign.” Now, one may consider the sign pointless, since if there was no sign, nobody could throw rocks at it. My theory is that it’s intended to attract the attentions of rock-throwers via reverse psychology, thus sparing the actually useful signs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-McDonald/610556997 Matthew McDonald

    This thing just doesn’t end. If ya’all would rather I shut up about this, say the word.

    He said:

    Maybe God put us together here on FaceBook so that I could tell you about Him. Did that thought ever occur to you?

    And yes, I am being very inconsiderate by trying to help you to find someone that can help you in your time of need. That is like the cruel person that sees a starving child and buys them something to eat, I hate cruelty like that, makes me very sad.

    The video from hell bothered you? Why would a “fairy tell” place bother you? Maybe it bothered you because you do doubt your beliefs?

    The fact that you continue to take the time to respond to me during your time of grief does lead me to believe you are wanting to hear what I have to say. It is not me speaking here, it is God speaking through me to help you.When I was a non believer it did not bother me in the least that people talked to me about what I considered to be a “fairy tale”. I laughed at what they said and it actually cheered me up. I was a true non believer and the world at that time was all about me and nothing or no one else. I was all that mattered to me, my own happiness. I never walked away from a good debate about religion, I spoke my opinion without ever getting mad or cursing at the other party. There was times I started laughing so hard at their beliefs that they would get mad and walk away. Then God found me and it all changed.The fact that I am not lashing back at you should tell you something.I lost my mother two years ago. It was the first loss I had had since coming to Christ. Losses before then were very hard on me because according to my beliefs they no longer existed. When mother passed away I did shed a few tears the day of the funeral but never another. I miss her but I do believe I know where she is and her suffering is over.I did not tell you at any time that I was sorry for your loss and I do apologize for that. I am truly sorry for what has happened to your friend and I feel for you on what you are going through. I did suggest you find someone to talk to about Christ and I will say that again. I would be happy to talk to you myself in anyway you would like. My phone number is:
    (removed for obvious reasons)

    Email:

    crsarm@gmail.com

    I will continue to pray for you and if that bothers you you need to take a hard look at what you do believe

    I replied:

    I continue to take the time to argue with you for two reasons. One, when someone behaves like an asshole, and do not realize it, it’s the right thing to do to inform them of it, and why what they are doing is assholish. I have done this. The second reason is that I am constitutionally unable to allow someone else to have the last word in a fight. It makes me crazy.I’m beginning to think you’re trolling me. You can’t really be this blind. The fact that you could have written those first four paragraphs, which are some of the most self satisfied examples of passive aggressive attacks I have ever seen, and still honestly believe you’re not lashing back at me can’t be reconciled. Those four paragraphs are more vicious than anything I have said to you, even if they were said with a false sense of politeness. You’ve now turned this into a tone argument, because you simply cannot address the meat of what I said: The Grand Commission doesn’t say evangelize always. It is subservient to love that neighbor, and the order to roll in the ashes. Yes, you offered it at the end there, but after the truly cruel way you’ve treated me, do you really expect me to accept? If I did, you’d once again press your agenda on me while I hurt. You’re cruel because all you care about is winning a debate. All you care about is adding one more point to your eternal score card when I am fucking bleeding. You don’t care about me, you care about winning. Say otherwise all you want, but your behavior, especially in those first four paragraphs, tell the truth of you.And if you really don’t see how vicious it was of you to send me hellfire videos on the day I fed my Jessica to the flames, then I have no idea how we can even converse. You’re not human. You’ve so buried yourself in winning that you can’t even connect to basic human decency. 

     hurt. I hurt badly. And instead of helping, you’re a smug, self-sastified, vicious, selfish burden that I have to deal with because I’m not able to walk away from telling an asshole he’s an asshole.

    You do realize that the way you’re behaving will never work? That acting in this manner, that by kicking someone who’s down, that by refusing the command to rolling in the ashes with those who mourn, that you’ll never convert anyone, but will cause many more to be driven away? It is exactly because of this kind of bad behavior that Christianity has such a bad name among unbelievers. 

    I don’t know why I bothered though. You don’t care I hurt, and you don’t even care about an honest debate. By turning this into a tone debate, you’ve proven all you care about is weaseling your way into a false win so you can feel smug, so what I really should have left it at is this:

    Go suck a whole bag of dicks and leave me alone to mourn.PS. One has to wonder at the sheer unmitigated pride one must have to think he is literally god’s mouth piece.

  • Rikalous

    If ya’all would rather I shut up about this, say the word.

    You did say this is helping distract you, so I at least figure post away.

    Apart from whatever benefits it provides you, I admit to a morbid curiosity about how far this vulture sink.


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