Don’t you know I’m loco?

Jon Acuff on “How to make sure someone steals your kid’s lunch money.” What I was getting at here, but shorter and funnier.

Raymond Raines is now 28 years old and he was never punished for praying in a grade-school cafeteria.

Good to see: Rachel Marie Stone defends science at Christianity Today, writing “Love Your Neighbor. Get Your Vaccines.”

Not-So Good to see: Christianity Today reports on health-care funding for poor women in Texas. They seem to be against it. But they make a strong case: Christians are Good, and Planned Parenthood is Evil. Health care for poor women comes from PP, not from Christians. Therefore health care for poor women is evil. QED.

Uh-oh. What if you’re a poor woman in Texas, but the good Christians just cut your Planned Parenthood funding — how will you “Love Your Neighbor and Get Your Vaccines“?

William D. Lindsey shares a parable from Timothy B. Tyson. A true story from North Carolina, 1941.

The Parents Television Council says there has been a 2,700-percent “year-over-year increase in the amount of pixelated and/or blurred nudity on prime time broadcast TV.” And, they say, there has been a 2,409-percent increase in “the use of bleeped profanity” in recent years. They are, as always, outraged. And they should be. So let’s all demand that prime-time broadcasters stop bleeping profanity and stop pixelating nudity. For the children.

Ooh, this is fun. I second Milla, Jolie, Weaver and Hamilton. And I would like to also nominate Pam Grier, please. And Uma.

This is why giraffes get so much more done than I ever will.

Bruce Garrett wrote what I thought was the best response to the shooting last week at the Family Research Council. It’s four sentences. Go read them.

Paterson v. Barlow is the work of astonishing bigotry — bigotry now shaping elections here in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania voters, please read this, soon, or you may not get to be Pennsylvania voters.

“Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny.” Would you be surprised if I told you that the person who said that was an elected official — a law-maker, a person entrusted with the making of law?

No? That would not surprise you? Well, what if I told you that the person who said that was a Republican elected official from Kentucky? Still not surprised? Me either.

Six criteria that, if met, would justify using the word “demonic.” And the heresy that meets all six.

David Brin writes about the evolution of humans:

It enabled us to rise so high that our abilities and numbers may threaten the whole planet. Or else — if we choose — empower us to save the Earth, and heal it and tend and manage it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of Noah in two sentences.

Juan Cole highlights the “Top Five Worst Planks in GOP Platform.” Only five?

Sometimes people give tribal answers to pollsters, saying what they think will score a point for their team rather than what they really think. I very much hope that’s the case here. I hope that 52 percent of Republicans aren’t that stupid, and are just lying to score points for their tribe.

Franklin Graham thinks we’re witnessing “the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards” and that everything has gotten worse since the Golden Age of our lost innocence. I say it’s 2012, and that we now have the capacity and the will to stimulate squid chromatophores with Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Membrane.”

And I say that proves there has never been a more glorious time to be alive.

"If all are guilty, then the problem is with the law, not with the society. ..."

Moody people
"Making it easy for some ( lying societal gatekeepers) to construct an identity and narrative ..."

‘Don’t you agree?’
"All those babies are obviously being bred on Mars at the base where they faked ..."

"That's 'intra-family', FYI. 'Intra-' means roughly 'within', 'inter-' means 'between/among (two or more things)'. Yeah, ..."


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  • FearlessSon

    Off topic, but Bill Nye (The Science Guy) talks here about evolution, education, where personal belief falls into that, and why it is important that children receive an objective science education.  He is really eloquent and fair in this (not that being eloquent and fair will convince any creationist.)  

  • Matri

    I’m glad that they’re on our side for this one. The sheer amount of bleeping & pixellation has gone out of control. Countless shows & movies have been absolutely ruined! This is unacceptable, people.

  • Mrs Grimble

    The amount of ignorance, stupidity and sheer bile expressed in the comments to that pro-vaccines post is depressing and worrying.  Comments there appear to be closed,so I’m posting my comment  here.
    There are NO aborted fetal cells in vaccines.  Vaccines are grown in human and animal cell cultures, some of which are derived from aborted fetuses in the 1960s. None of this cell tissue remains in the finished vaccine, and the abortions were half a century ago.
    There is a trace amount of formaldehyde in vaccines; it’s a tiny fraction of the amount of formaldehyde that our bodies produce naturally every day.
    Other vaccine facts can be found here:

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Hell, when I was a kid, I learned that they prepared some vaccines in chicken eggs. That’s decidedly not an aborted human fetus there – hell, the eggs weren’t even fertilized.

  • Fusina

    Re Franklin Graham. Has he never read The Canterbury Tales? Gotta tell you, having read the expurgated version that was required at my high school, nothing has changed in our entertainment preferences in more than a century.

  • Tricksterson

    Or the Decomeron, or the Inferno?

  • Fusina

     Millennium. I meant, Millennium. Bloody long time for fart jokes to stick around. Apparently humans have always found such things amusing. I will say that it made it hard to buy into the mouth frothing regarding puerile humor in movies that Some People get so worked up about. As the French are wont to say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

  • Jenora Feuer

    Bloody long time for fart jokes to stick around….As the French are wont to say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

    Well, considering that the French are responsible for Le Pétomane, who used to play La Marseillaise through an ocarina hooked up to his anus…

  • Kiba

    Well, considering that the French are responsible for Le Pétomane, who used to play La Marseillaise through an ocarina hooked up to his anus…

    Now that’s a mental image if there ever was one. @. @

    And to add to the list of  old books (16th century) with lots of crude humor: Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Off topic:

    Fred’s probably aware of this, but just in case, Timothy Dalrymple’s latest blog post discusses the charity study Fred wrote about a few days ago. He raises some of the same points that the commenters here raised, but  also includes a few caustic paragraphs aimed directly at Fred, and his criticism goes way beyond that one post. Money quote:

    Enter Fred Clark, aka “slacktivist,” who can be relied upon to deliver any argument, no matter how specious, that attacks conservative Christians. 

    Like I said, Fred is probably aware of this, but just in case he isn’t I thought he should know so he (and/or we) have the opportunity to respond. (If anyone does venture over there and is wondering what kind of blog Philosophical Fragments is, I’ve found Tim to be fair and reasonable for someone who I disagree with so strongly so much of the time, as compared to say Bad Catholic or The French Revolution, two blogs I can’t read without ruining my day, but YMMV.)

  • AnonymousSam

    I looked at that link. I read the article. I read the comments.

    The depths of irony there are beyond my limited ability to convey in this medium.

    Conservative families are generous and loving? I hope so, I really do. It hasn’t been my experience. I had a family of conservatives over for the funeral of my step-mother and, dear Gods — Fox Geezer Syndrome. They were warm and friendly right up until any subject related to Those People arose, and suddenly the gloves were off and it was all hatred and bitterness, spitting about That Socialist and Taking Away Our Guns and Prayer.

    It’s like they have no idea how FUCKING INSANE they sound.

  • Tonio

    Fred made the very reasonable point the statistics are distorted by including donations to churches, yet the other blogger attacked him as if he was excluding all religious charities.

  • JustoneK

    still rather sounds like “How dare they present something I don’t like as fact!” donnit?

  • FearlessSon

    Actually, my roommate has been a life-long Republican, but he is incredibly kind and generous.  Unfortunately, that kindness and generosity only seems to apply on an individual level and not on a wider social one, in his mind.  

    I wonder if some of it is the belief that if only everyone was kind and generous, we would have no need of government to step in and provide the services it does.  There is some truth to that, but the fact that we do need government to step in and provide welfare services suggests that not everyone is in a position to be so kind and generous. 

  • AnonymousSam

    It also seems to come with caveats quite often. “You’re only a good person until you do something against our creed. Then I don’t care what you’re like, you Broke The Rules and that’s something I can’t and won’t tolerate.”

  • Nicholas Kapur

    So I took a gander at the post immediately after the one you linked.

    I’ll be honest; Timothy Dalrymple comes off as kind of a self-pitying, self-centered douchefuck who can’t find anything better to whine about than other people getting upset when he’s only telling them the truth about what God wants from them! Life can be soooooooooooooooooooo cruel! Let us all weep tears of blood for Timothy Dalrymple!

  • Nicholas Kapur

    Oh god, and he even does this thing:

    I hate that my gay friends find my views offensive.  I hate that my convictions on this issue come between us.  And, I confess, I hate that it’s not up to me.  I hate that I’ve never found the arguments in favor of the view that the Bible does not really condemn homosexuality convincing.  I hate that the meaning of the covenant of marriage is not mine to define.

    I’m pretty sure we talked about this exact thing already.

    Don’t blame God for your decision to pass judgment on others, Tim.

  • Tonio

    This issue would be so simple if everyone would stop giving a damn about other people’s orientations in the first. No one is demanding that Dalrymple turn gay, and he should return the favor. Taking a position of benign neutrality on another person’s sexual orientation seems not just respectful of personal boundaries, but also obvious and natural. 

    And even if Dalrymple believes that gays will be punished, the idea that he’s honestly concerned for them is laughable. Far more likely that he expects to be watching their suffering from heaven and cackling in glee.

    This is the worst:

    I hate that the meaning of the covenant of marriage is not mine to define.

    Stuff like that makes me want to yell at him with such fury and rage that he would tremble in fear at the sound of my name. He really wants to be God.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    God, what an entitled, whiny waste of space that guy is grousing about teh gays defining marriage and all that.

  • Donalbain

     I’m sorry that you were offended by my support for candidates who think you should be put in prison. I am sorry that you are offended by my support for policies that deny you the right to visit your partner in hospital. I am sorry that you are offended by my support for groups that advocate that you should be put to death.

    Yeah.. the problem is the gay friends. Fucking douchenozzle piece of shit.

  • Patrick McGraw


    Let us all weep tears of blood for Timothy Dalrymple!

    “Haemolacria” is one of my favorite words (along with “lament,” “defenestration,” and “antidisestablishmentarianism”), and “Bloody Tears” is one of my favorite pieces of music:

    Not that this has anything to do with the thread.

  • JustoneK

    oliolioliol specious arguments.  and here I thought his arguments tended to be fairly logical.

    but what do I know, I’m part of the echo chamber.

  • Tricksterson

    What no Michelle Rodriguez?  For shame!

  • D9000

    Hell, Fred, don’t you start with the squid pics … we don’t you turning into P Z Myers.

  • Lori

    If it works better for you, you can think of it as turning into Bruce Schneier instead. (Schneier does “Friday squid blogging/open thread” on his site every week.)

  • PJ Evans

     I thought the squid (and other critter) pictures were the best part of PZ’s blog.

  • D9000

    insert a want into the above post ….

  • AnonymousSam

    Just to add to the insanity, a New Hampshire candidate for sheriff has declared that he would use lethal force to stop an act of abortion, apparently completely missing the point.

    He also believes Agenda 21 is an act of “communitarianism.”

  • Tonio

    For a minute, I thought you were talking about the fascist sheriff in Arizona…

    The most charitable interpretation is that Szabo believes in the Left Behind mythology of abortion, where vulnerable women are being deluded and exploited by greedy abortionists. Because, you know, only filthy sluts don’t want to become mothers…

  • AnonymousSam

    Could be worse. Could be talking about the sheriff in Polk County Florida, a man who bragged about shooting someone to death with as much ammo as he and several others had in all their guns, who twice arrested a woman on no charges who had proved that the mayor was illegally using tax dollars for religious purposes, and who helped bless a highway with holy oil to invoke God’s blessing, which as described by the pastor, would consist of:

    God … have angels inspect every vehicle that travels into or out of this county and to bring under conviction to those who seek evil and we asked God to bring them to a state of submission and repentance. If they will not submit to God’s way of living, then the prayer is to have them incarcerated or removed from the county.

    They also buried bricks along the highway, inscribed with Psalm 37:9-11. Depending on the translation, the first line of this quoted section refers to either driving out evil or destroying it. Just the kind of sentiment you want for the motto of a city: “If you’re not Christian, we’ll destroy you!”

    This is why I have a hard time trusting law enforcement these days.

  • Tonio

    Scary. I can very easily imagine that sheriff using profiling that would amount to “Christianity checkpoints” on the highways. 

  • Tricksterson

    I suspect that that word doesn’t mean what he thinks it means.

  • Ross

    You have to remember: to a hard-right pro-lifer, the woman having an abortion is not a person. SHe’s a prop. Abortion is about an Evil Murdering Doctor, a Baby and maybe a Stork. The woman isn’t a real person, so clearly “lethal force” doesn’t refer to her. 

  • Wingedwyrm

    The sad thing about it is that there is a way to treat both the embryo and the woman as human beings each in their own right.  It would still yeild disagreement on whether or not abortion should be legal.  But, it would also yeild, to the pro-life croud, a different methodology of how to respond to women who are considering abortion.

    If a pro-choice person sees the woman as a person in her own right, then her decisions are being made as a human being, with human motivations.  That would lead to addressing societal and economic pressures that motivate abortion above and beyond simply attacking the decision as selfishness.

    There must be people on the pro-life side of this debate who do see the complexity in that, but are afraid to discuss the thought for fear of being declared not pro-life enough.

  • banancat


    If a pro-choice person sees the woman as a person in her own right,
    then her decisions are being made as a human being, with human
    motivations.  That would lead to addressing societal and economic
    pressures that motivate abortion above and beyond simply attacking the
    decision as selfishness.

    There must be people on the pro-life side of this debate who do see
    the complexity in that, but are afraid to discuss the thought for fear
    of being declared not pro-life enough.

    So basically these “pro-life” people are just like pro-choice people, except they still want to take the choice away from women and they want to give an alleged person legal rights to use another person’s body?

    There are tons of people who want to reduce the need for abortion, or at least improve life for for everyone which would reduce abortions as a result.  And those people are overwhelmingly pro-choice.

  • Wingedwyrm

    I’m not arguing that the position is right.  I’m arguing that the position A. most likely exists.  B. if it does, is more reasonable than the pro-life argument/position that we’re seeing and therefore allows for an actual conversation rather than the pro-life side shouting, and C. if it does exist is surpressed by a pro-life community that, to the vast majority of visible expression, is hostile to any deviation.

  • AnonymousSam

    That explains why a lot of them seem unable to understand that women’s autonomy can lead them to have abortions all on their own, without pressure from anyone else.

  • Chris Algoo
  • Vermic

    The Onion had to edit its article from yesterday as a result.  Very, very darkly ironic.

  • Daughter

    This sounds like a workplace shooting — which, while tragic, differs from the recent wave of random or political violence. Workplace shootings were horribly commonplace back in the ’90s, even generating their own term, “going postal” (since several such shootings happened in post offices).

  • Nenya

    re: Empire State Building shooting. That’s four shootings in six weeks! What the HELL. 

  • LL

    Yeah, 52% of Republicans being that stupid sounds very plausible to me. 

  • AnonymousSam

    On the subject of blurring and bleeping on television… at least we’re not the Ukraine.

  • Mr. Heartland

    I actually have a pretty intense fetish for pixelated nudity.  And if you’re going to use blatantly made up statistics, you had might as well say that there was an eleventy trillion X-1 percent increase in pixelated nudity.  Soooo much sexier. 

  • Tonio

    Does Romney even want to be president? Sometimes he gives the impression that he
    originally agreed to run only at the urging of party insiders who feared a Palin or Gingrich campaign. He refuses to share specifics about his economic and tax plans on the explicit grounds that so doing would be bad politically for him. This sounds like passive-aggressive venting like he find campaigning distasteful. He’s been pandering to the resentments of the Tea Partyers and religious rightists and maybe he genuinely doesn’t like this, like he fears he’ll end up as their puppet if he wins. Today he descended to Donald Trump’s level with a birther joke. Maybe some small part of him is truly repulsed by the direction his party is headed and he’s just going through the motions. 

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Why spend all that time and money campaigning, though? Or, for that matter, given that he’s a lock on the position and has passed the primaries, why not do a Dark Horse Ed Quinn style campaign?

    (See also: page for the book)

    Sure, he’d burn his bridges, but he’d really shake up the political scene in doing so.

  • Tonio

    Never heard of the book, but the author also co-wrote Seven Days in May. If my theory is right, maybe Romney feels trapped or wants to live up to his father’s legacy. Or perhaps he believes he’s the only bulwark against someone more extreme in the Oval Office and that he would be able to govern from the center, except he doesn’t seem to realize that his race-baiting is only encouraging the extremists. While his approach is obviously craven and despicable, there’s no gusto in his appeals to resentment like with Gingrich or Palin. Almost like he has a Lee Atwater type in his campaign and he’s just following the outline.

  • Chris Doggett

    Does Romney even want to be president? 

    To be fair, he’s been running for office so long, I doubt even he remembers why he started doing it.

    At this point, Multiple-Choice-Mitt doesn’t so much “want” to be be president as he feels entitled to being president. 

    Much like the infamous “Nice Guy ™” guys who think that buying dinner and acting nice entitles them to sex at the end of a date, Romney thinks that because he’s spent a boatload of cash, said whatever he had to say to whoever demanded he say it, and hung around long enough without quitting that it should be his turn.  (McCain had a strong air of this too, IIRC) 

    The actions that the media keep asking for (releasing his taxes, giving details about his policies) annoy Romney because he already feels he’s done enough to be president.  It’s almost as if he believes that you can “buy” elections, and is annoyed that having written the cheque, he still has to keep kissing babies and shaking hands. 

    (read a theory that his nearly-nakedly-racist birther remark today was driven by the popularity of the Libertarian candidate in certain swing states; don’t know if I buy it, but if the glibertarians are smart, they could exploit the “anyone but Mitt” mood in the Republican party)

  • Jake

     It appears that he does, but I can’t really figure out why. I mean, there’s something to be said for sitting in a big chair in the White House, but ordinarily seeking higher and higher public office involves, to some extent, wanting to impose some vision on the nation, and Romney doesn’t seem to have one. He’s spent his campaign fleeing from the things he used to support and being really vague about what it is he intends to do now, other than not be Obama.

    I didn’t much like the second Bush, but I could sort of figure out where his head was and what he felt the purpose of being President was. He had a vision, even if it was one I found repulsive. I’m not sure Romney has that.

  • Tonio

    I also doubt that Romney has a vision. Bush 41 was like that as well, lacking a passion or commitment to anything except cutting capital-gains taxes.

  • PJ Evans

     Well, Shrub didn’t seem to have much commitment to anything except vacations. His father was somewhat better, and had actual business experience.

  • Jen K

    What if you’re a poor woman in Texas, but the good Christians just cut your Planned Parenthood funding — how will you “Love Your Neighbor and Get Your Vaccines“?

    Oh, see, thanks to the prosperity gospel we know that poor people aren’t really Christians.  So convert, and God will make sure you’re not poor anymore. Easy!

  • Dave

    What if you’re a poor woman in Texas, but the good Christians just cut your Planned Parenthood funding — how will you “Love Your Neighbor and Get Your Vaccines?

    As the man didn’t say: “Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from bankers, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate poverty, the free market has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the poor person and not attacking the taxpayer.”

  • banancat

     We don’t have a comment of the week or anything like that at this site, but I feel the need to recognize your comments in some way.  You get a million internets.

  • Dave

     (grin) Thanks! I hereby bequeath 999,998 internets to deserving others, reserving one as a spare.

  • Nicholas Kapur

    Also, bonus points for having a big honking blog post about how horrible it is that people stereotype conservative Christians, followed by a bunch of comments about how progressive Christian Fred Clark read the Bible like once, doesn’t take it seriously, and is constantly looking for ways to take “cheap shots” at it.

    Because, you know. Progressive Christians. They hate the Bible.

  • jclor

    I second Milla, Jolie, Weaver and Hamilton. And I would like to also nominate Pam Grier, please. And Uma.

    Weaver and Hamilton, yes.  Grier, definitely.  Don’t forget Yeoh or Lawless.  Linda Carter should be their mentor.  I’d pick Sharon Stone over shrieky Milla, and Famke Janssen over doe-eyed Uma.  Throw in Katee Sackhoff and Zoë Saldana as the young upstarts, and you’ve got yourself a movie.

  • AnonymousSam

    In this world of conspiracy theories and significant nods whenever Obama sorta kinda almost makes a nod toward something resembling the Endtimes checklist, I’d like to point out something very important:

    The phrase “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” is an anagram for “My Ultimate Ayn Rand Porn”.

    That is all.

  • Trixie_Belden

    ZOMG THAT IS AWESOME!  It’s too perfect!  Did you come up with it or is it something that’s been circulating around the Internet?

  • AnonymousSam

    I saw it on another site. Here’s the animated version!

  • pinksponge

    I’d like to add Gina Torres, Lucy Liu, Carrie-Anne Moss, Gina Carano, and Cynthia Rothrock to the roster of Expendabelles.

  • BringTheNoise

    Two picks for villains: Ronda Rousey (from Strikeforce) and Kharma/Awesome Kong (from WWE/TNA).

  • Invisible Neutrino

    In a series of ‘snapshots’ of the current economic state of affairs, one chart is particularly telling – the distribution of household income.

    It is the starkest, most visible indicator that in a very real sense, the middle class was probably one-third larger in the 1970s.

  • PJ Evans

    People either are more likely to give up, or are more likely to believe in get-rich-quick methods as the way to success.

    Sometimes both in one household – which tends to result in the household breaking up.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    In addition, I think the divergence of economic fortunes is actually the driver of marriage breakdown, rather than any kind of “moral permissiveness” effect. When couples fall on hard times, the unfortunate side effect is likely to be arguments over money, especially if one member is more likely than the other to be a bit less diligent about tracking his or her spending.

    The increasing tendency to economic insecurity may also be the driver of the ever more vicious divorce disputes that seem to litter the anecdotal landscape of “men’s rights activists”. Their interpretation may be wrong, but the anedcotes themselves are perfectly valid pieces of information to fit into the matrix of analyzing relative economic security.

  • Bruce Garrett

    Wow…thank you Fred!

  • Rachel Marie LaMothe Stone

    Fred…Fact is, I, Rachel Marie Stone (defender of vaccines) am a big fan of publicly-funded healthcare. See this piece I wrote for God’s Politics/Sojourners: