Exit/Mothers of the Disappeared

“I hope that Mr. Cheney’s new heart lasts long enough for him to be prosecuted for war crimes.”

It proves that we are nation-builders and liberators, not conquerors.”

“Woman is more guilty than man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading to all perdition.”

A week later, she was back on her ladder.”

“A study co-ordinated by Cancer Research UK and published in the Lancet has shown that abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer.” (via)

“Mass Effect 3 holds two realities in tension that we often do not: we are not in control and yet our lives matter.”

“The extent to which evangelicalism has been willing to make their identity almost conterminous with their opposition to homosexuality is remarkable.”

“Sometimes you’ve got to just listen to other people’s stories.”

“It seems like the only thing we should be talking about. But it seems like there is nothing we can say.”

Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today — perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850.”

“There is much, much more going on here than you see on TV.”

“We have been supplying a legitimate professional demand and not once could have foreseen the unlooked-for results.” (via)

This list is already hopelessly out-of-date.

(U2’s album, The Joshua Tree, came out 25 years ago this month. Hence the titles of this last string of random links posts.)

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  • Lori

    “Woman is more guilty than man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading to all perdition.

    So the woman who was tempted by Satan himself is more culpable than the man, who only needed to say “no” to another human being? Calvin might as well have worn a sign saying, “I’m a total ass. And also a moron.”

  • Anonymous

    God bless our Democrat president, Barack Obama

    [Anyone who thinks the rest of this comment isn’t worth reading is welcome to ignore it.]

    Leonard Pierce laments that people can’t talk about racism in general and the Trayvon Martin tragedy in particular.  Juan Williams talked about racism including a candid admission that he sometimes has racist thoughts.  And for his candor he was fired.

  • From the Alternet:
    “Because fundamentalist religion of all stripes has degradation of women at its core”

    Very true.  And it’s no accident that all absolutest mindsets tend to be most absolutest about the need for both male dominance and a single code of true masculinity that all men are subject to.  The heart of authoritarianism is the equation of strength with virtue.  Once it is conceded that the comparatively larger size and strength of the average man carries no existential mandate this central equation must break down very soon after. 

    Then of course there’s the ancient contradiction of everyone’s mother condemning us to death by the very act of bringing us to life.  This tension has always been the main fuel for misogyny.  And in our own time it is a screamingly obvious factor in opposition to abortion and reproductive rights in general.

  • Lori

    Juan Williams was not fired for his “candor” or for his racist thoughts.

    For all that Conservatives like to yap about people needing to
    be tough and independent and not whine and ask for “special rights”
    (aka the same rights that rich white men have by default), they sure know how to cry when they don’t get their way.

  • I think his idea was that when Adam sinned, he didn’t drag anyone else down with him. Admittedly, the fact that the human population at the time was exactly 2, and the other one had already sinned did work in his favor.

    Calvin was indeed a moron and an ass, but it is sort of interesting that that calvin, whose followers would go on to be the sort of people who decide that it’s okay to knowingly repeat lies (ie. about abortion, President Obama, Proctor & Gamble, etc) , would single out and assign more guilt to the person who was not just fell to temptation, but who *went on to “divert” others*.

  • P J Evans

    Yeah, when they don’t get their way, they like to whine about being persecuted (or at least discriminated against); when they do get their way, it isn’t enough to make them happy, because they didn’t get every single thing they wanted right then and forever after.
    Small children in the bodies of adults?

  • Anonymous

    “I hope that Mr. Cheney’s new heart lasts long enough for him to be prosecuted for war crimes.”

    So say we all.

  • Wait. We had the option of having a heart installed in Dick Cheney  all this time and we’re only just taking it *now*?

  • Lori

    I think his idea was that when Adam sinned, he didn’t drag anyone else down with him. Admittedly, the fact that the human population at the time was exactly 2, and the other one had already sinned did work in his favor.

    Yeah,  the fact that there was no one for Adam to corrupt does give him a huge advantage that Calvin did not see fit to acknowledge.

    Still, I just fundamentally don’t agree that Eve dragged Adam down. Of course Calvin and I have rather different views on personal responsibility.

  • They finally gave him enough dope to keep him from eating this one. 

  • P J Evans

    Doesn’t mean it won’t decide to reject him.

  • fraser

    The “we are nation builders” reminds me of a 1970s DC comics story, “Dirty Job,” that took roughly the same view (though the parallel was obviously Vietnam rather than Afghanistan).

  • Anonymous

    What amazes me are the comments on that history of the FDA post, where half of them are from people arguing that the EPA and FDA should be destroyed because you can’t point to any poisonous products released in the past 60 seconds, so they must be obsolete.

    It’s not forgetting history that leads to repeats, it’s insisting that people now are much to smart to do those silly things again. ‘Course, the kind of people who say that are the same kind who’ll ignore the fact that it’s been said before and is never true.

  • JessicaR

    That “A week later, she was back on her ladder” is especially important now with trash like October Baby getting released, http://www.avclub.com/articles/october-baby,71285/ 

  • Anonymous

    Regarding Adam, Eve, the serpent and the fruit and just who dragged whom down . . . Calvin and most other people are wrong.  It’s late, been a long day, and I’m on my way to bed, but just wanted to point out that Adam was instructed to pass on and teach his wife about the no-go zone of the tree of knowledge.  He failed to do that.  And while Eve was having the first ever recorded theological discussion, he stood silently by and didn’t do a damn thing to help her out. 

    He was standing right next to her when she ate the fruit and he didn’t do a damn thing! 

    He had the knowledge that would save her from “eternal damnation,” so to speak, and he didn’t speak up to stop her.

    Now, where have I heard this before . . . Oh yeah . . . Our friend Buck.  Adam would make a perfect member of ellenjay’s Tribulation Force.  Ish . . .

    It wasn’t Eve’s fault.

    Now that that’s been said, it’s off to bed.  Maybe more tomorrow.

  • I admit, it’s kind of a neat idea. Use the success of a program to prove that it was unnecessary all along. I think they call that the dishonest hack’s

    We don’t need child labor laws because when was the last time you saw a sweatshop operating openly in Manhattan? The 13th amendment should be repealed because, honestly, how many slaves do you see on plantations these days?

  • Anonymous

    Dick Cheney got a new heart? A new *human* heart?!?!?! Sweet Luna and Celestia, what a horrible waste of a perfectly good donor organ! There is no Justice in America.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    (U2′s album, The Joshua Tree, came out 25 years ago this month.

    Dude, that’s not even funny.

    [Anyone who thinks the rest of this comment isn’t worth reading is welcome to ignore it.]

    Oh FFS, really? You’re gonna carry a grudge over that? What are you, 12?

  • Nathaniel

     No, just a reactionary. Common internet mistake.

  • re: Adam and Eve – I heard someone presenting an interesting alternative story. The premise being that the whole Adam and Eve story is (at least in part) a way to explain sexual reproduction (they leave the garden, and suddenly start having kids, Eve suffers, etc etc). The alternate would have God slicing open an apple and showing it to Adam and Eve and saying, “Hey, check these seeds out! I think that’s the way everything is going to reproduce, what do you think? Is there a better way?” And then, leaving Eden isn’t a punishment, it’s a release from the nursery.

  • Tricksterson

    I woonder if it screamed as it went in?

  • Tricksterson

    It was a release from a nursery.  Or a zoo.  And people have been slandering the Serpent for his Gift ever since.

  • Anonymous

     I agree, the comments were infested with libertarians. Unfortunately regulations prevent us from spraying for them.

  • Anonymous

    Eve was set-up and Satan was either a patsy or in on the con. Until you eat from “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” how can you know it’s “wrong” to disobey the command not to?

  • Well, and one interpretation is that God WAS testing Adam and Eve with the Tree – but the test was to see if they could take the initiative and eat the fruit. The whole sin angle – that could well be a human interpretation of the situation. “We were comfortable in Eden, and now it’s hard!” Yeah, and living in your parents’ basement is easier than paying a mortgage too, but most of us don’t want to live in our parents’ basement forever. Or, to put it more loftily: “Planyeta yest’ kolybyel razuma, no nyelzya vietchno zhit’ v kolybyeli” (Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.), Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky

  • Lori

    We don’t need child labor laws because when was the last time you saw a sweatshop operating openly in Manhattan?

    I was going to look for something on this and ended up having a good example drop in my inbox this morning.

    Child labor in the US isn’t so much in Manhattan as it is in California and other major agricultural areas. Ag work is exempt from child labor laws, so there are children picking our food.


    Ag work is pretty much the perfect counterargument to the entire idea that employers no longer need to be regulated by health & safety laws because they just wouldn’t treat employees like they used in the bad old days.

  • Damn.

    Well… I guess the counter”argument” to that would be, since I don’t personally notice something on a day-to-day basis, that means it doesn’t exist. It’s kind of like how only heterosexual non- transgendered people can assess homophobia, or how only non-minorities can decide that we’re a post-racial society and the real racists are the ones who insist that we’re not, or how only men can realize that feminism is now unnecessary since sexism ended after we stopped burning witches.

  • Eve was set-up and Satan was either a patsy or in on the con. 

    No kidding!

    YHWH: Do not eat the fruit of this tree! It is FORBIDDEN!

    Adam: What, that tree there? The one filled with fruit, where the branches are low enough to hit you in the face?

    YHWH: Yes, that’s the one. No eating of that fruit, or I shall exile you!

    Eve: Well, if you don’t want us eating that fruit, why not put a fence around it?
    Adam: Or maybe a big ravine? Something we couldn’t jump over?

    Eve: You can make mountains, right? I mean, those big tall things that we can’t climb up? Why not put the tree on one of those?

    YHWH: Look, I’ve already told you not to eat the fruit. It’s really important that you not eat the fruit.

    Adam: Oh, yes, we get that. But I mean, if it was REALLY important to YOU, why not, I dunno, make the tree trunk taller so we coudn’t just pluck down a few bits of fruit while we’re standing here?

    Eve: Hey, you’ve got lots of birds. (and dinosaurs, if Ken Ham is to be trusted) Why not have them eat all the fruit, or at least carry it away before it falls. We can’t eat fruit if it isn’t available!

    YHWH: NO! There will be fruit, it will be ripe, ready, and easy to reach, and you will probably wind up tripping over some of it if it falls off the branches, but you MUST NOT EAT IT!

    Adam: …

    Eve: … this is bollocks.

  • “A week later, she was back on her ladder.”

    I’ve read accounts like this before, of health clinic workers facing down protesters day after day, month after month, only to find them suddenly waiting inside for services, either for themselves or their teenage children. The clinic workers do not turn these folks away, instead choosing to treat them the same as any other patient.

    On a base level, I’m wary of these “just so stories”. Obviously, they’re not the kind of thing that can be fact-checked, for a host of reasons. More than that, they fit into a sort of morality play that’s just too pat: the noble and principled clinic workers versus the hypocritical protestors.

    I didn’t really give those tales much consideration before, but in the linked piece, it stood out because the “abortion protester needs clinic services” stories always end the same: “…and the next week, they were protesting again, the same as before”. Which is odd in this case, because the rest of the story was about change, about how life and learning can lead a person to change their beliefs. To include a story where that doesn’t happen feels… odd.

  • JessicaR

    These stories, and the still important article from 2000 “The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion”, ring true to be because of the the It’s Okay When We Do It principle of modern conservatism. In modern conservatism of course if *you* need an abortion your reasons are completely valid, but if *Those People* need abortions it’s because they’re slutty baby killers.

    It goes back to why I disagree with Fred that most of these folks are helplessly trapped in their own unhappy delusions. Nope, they’re just selfish assholes. It happens.

  • Yep. And being a selfish asshole does make most people who are unhappy, but it also buys them the ability to treat other people like crap without bothering their consciences. 

  • Thank you for bringing this up.

    Christianity as a whole didn’t have to be misogynistic. Jesus wasn’t. And there was vigorous debate — real, spirited, and huge — during what we usually think of as the “Renaissance” as to women’s place in the church and therefore the world. One side was led by people such as the bestselling author of her time, Christine de Pizan. They say pretty much what you’re saying, and also that Eve was misled by Satan himself. Adam was merely misled by another mortal. Eve’s sin was proven lesser when it was expiated by Mary, when she had to watch her son be tortured to death. Man’s sin was shown to be greater when it was expiated by Jesus, who had to/chose to be tortured to death. In both cases, “original sin” was wiped clean, and humans were given a new church in which “there is neither male nor female.”

    There was also a contentious debate over whether priests should be allowed to marry. If you were a priest, the further you were from Rome, the more likely you were to be married. England had a lot of married priests up to (and likely after) the 15th century. They obviously fought hard to stay married, and balked at the idea being shoved down their throats that women were unclean and horrible, especially since the idea that a man had sacred, secular, and social duties to his wife went back way farther than Christianity. If priests separated themselves from the community by not marrying, particularly if the reason for not marrying was “women are icky”, what would happen? Well, I think we’ve seen what happens.

    In both cases, the misogynist side triumphed for a while, and is still triumphing in too many communities. But it did not have to be that way. The Bible itself would look different if the people who put it together didn’t have certain biases for rich property owners and against everyone else, particularly women. 

  • Anonymous

     If priests separated themselves from the community by not marrying,
    particularly if the reason for not marrying was “women are icky”, what
    would happen?

    It’s not that priests couldn’t marry because women were “icky.”  The real issue was power and control.  John Chrysostom was made bishop of Constantinople in 397 and, apparently much to his surprise, found clerical abuses running rampant.  Priests who claimed to be celibate housed “spiritual sisters,” and others were living lives in extreme opulence.  Seeing that the church in general was a mess, he began working to reform the clergy.  He ordered the spiritual sisters out of the houses of the clergy and began to control and audit finances.

    The monies and property that had been going to individual clergy families and their offspring were now being kept under strict control of the church.  Other assets (think artwork, silver, etc.) were sold, the profits going to feeding programs for the hungry.  He also ordered the clergy to open churches so that all people, not just the wealthy, had access to them. 

    The reformation John oversaw was much needed and did a lot to clean up the church.  But, as with anything, we find a way to mess it up.  Eventually money and property under church control ended up going to bishops and cardinals who became invested in keeping their own system of financial happiness intact.

    I’m not arguing that the church and Christianity has not been , or is not now, misogynistic (and, yes, even my own Episcopal Church can be that way in some quarters).  I’m just pointing out that clerical celibacy has its roots in money, property and who has control of those things.

  • And in the 15th and 16th centuries — when indulgences were being bought and sold,  nunneries were often used as brothels by priests and monks, when the pope was one of the worst of the Borgias, when Rome was the most powerful place in western Europe, it was “women are icky.” Powerful men in the church wondered whether women had souls, and claimed that “original sin” was sexual and solely in women, and that sexual contact — sometimes any contact — with women should therefore be avoided. In remote backwaters where priests had wives and families, the Church did their best to break up those marriages and families. The priests asked, how are we supposed to relate to the community if we aren’t allowed to participate in that community through marriage? The Church answered, you’re supposed to be above the community, not a part of it.  

    And the root of it is the idea that sexuality is bad and therefore celibacy is good. I don’t think what John did cleaned up the church — he just made it corrupt in a different way. He centralized power and disallowed consensual sexual relationships between priests (whom the Church had already decided must all be male) and women. Look at what he did to those “spiritual sisters”: he kicked them out of their homes and took away their livelihoods.

  • Those last two posts were great. I guess one thing I always need to remember is that it’s usually More Complicated Than That. It’s really hard to take a complex cultural and historical situation and come up with one neat, pat reason for it, and if you do chances are you’re reducing centuries of debate into a bumper sticker.

  • Anonymous

     Okay . . . and we can go on and on about this example or that example.  But the argument over whether the problem stems from property/monetary control or whether the problem stems from misogynistic attitudes is misplaced.

    The problem stems from the fact that men tend to control things. 

    I’d say more, but then I’d need to go to confession.  So let’s just say that I keep praying for that world where there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of [us] are one in Christ Jesus.

  • Tricksterson

    One can dispute whether or not the Serpent was Satan.  The Old Testament didn’t have a Single Monarch of Evil and Satan’s role in the OT is a lot more grey.  Anyway the the Serpent is described as a creature within the garden (personally I think the Serpent wa actually a dragon.  Before it was made to “crawl on it’s belly” presumably it had legs.  Wjhat would you call a legged,talking reptile with at least human level intelligenc?).  “Of all the creatures in the garden the cleverest was the serpent”.  Not an exact quote I think but xclose enough.