There’s such a lot of world to see

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“In 1854, in neighboring Jewett City, Connecticut, townspeople had exhumed several corpses suspected to be vampires that were rising from their graves to kill the living.” (via)

Without the right to engage in blasphemy, there can be no freedom of inquiry, expression, conscience or religion.”

“Moral of the story: Conservative Christians are clueless and the Beck family is going to hell because we like both the Hunger Games and Harry Potter.

“It’s about a Christian subculture that has moved out to the farthest edge of the rippling real. We’ve made our home 45 minutes from the heart of humanity.”

Photo by Landon Nordeman for The Smithsonian.

“It frustrates the heck out of me that my friends, who are resilient and determined and very hard workers, are treated like children or ignored, while ridiculous injustices are done.”

“There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.”

Always look up, every chance you get.”

“Many of the things we find ourselves uttering to a person with a health issue may certainly not be true — or theologically accurate, or evidence-based, or helpful.”

“I always say always have a prenuptial agreement, but I won’t say that because you people don’t get divorced, right?”

“A group of citizens that insists on a public policy that can be supported only by means of nonpublic reasons thereby shows disrespect for their fellow citizens.”

“It’s hard to conceive of the idea that a judge would rule as a matter of law that Pussy Riot’s protest represented an ‘act of hatred’ solely on the basis of the principle that it advocates feminism.”

“If we have the courage and wisdom to learn the backstory — ours and theirs — we can begin to transcend the vicious cycles in which we are now stuck, spinning.”

“Where they go, heterosexual women follow, dragging reluctant straight men behind them, who in turn bring Texans. That’s how civilization and musical theater evolve.”

“With his own hands, he sprinkles fresh house-grown rosemary on those potatoes (raises voice to a thundering crescendo), and they are golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside and they are delicious!”

That’s a much better phrase — more accurately descriptive, harmlessly funny for the kids, and even educational in its way.”

Dave and Liz and Chicago Save the World,” by John Scalzi.

  • Tricksterson

    IIRc isn’t the the divorce rate among Evangelicals as high or higher than the average?  Or am I just misassuming that if Donald Trump says it, it’s almost certainly wrong?

  • aunursa

    Donald Trump should be somewhat knowledgeable on the subject of divorce — he’s had two of them. ;-)

  • Lori

    This is on the short list of things about which Trump is actually correct. The divorce rate among Evangelicals has been about the same as the overall rate for quite some time now. They’re long past the point of being able to claim any sort of advantage or superiority on the issue, which is one of the things that makes the whole anti-gay, “support traditional marriage” such an infuriating load of crap.

  • VMink

    After having read Trump’s speech to Liberty University, all I can say is “Man what?”

    At least the students were probably thinking, “Don’t turn the other cheek?  ‘Get even?’  How much is the dean paying this knucklehead to speak here, anyway?”

  • LoneWolf343

    Okay, Harry Potter has a reason (tenuous as it is) to be rejected by fundamentalists, but Hunger Games? Why? Is it because it has a vision of post-apocalyptic America that didn’t involve gay communists?

    Then again, I remember reading a scathing review of The Giver by a fundie site, and it was clear that they never read the book, seeming to think that a book that mentions euthanasia is supporting it, rather than trying to horrify the reader.

  • JustoneK

    I can guarantee you there is some fundagelical thinking that _any_ mention of Bad Things means it’s bad to be exposed to, no matter the actual context of the material.

  • aunursa

    At least the students were probably thinking, “Don’t turn the other cheek? ‘Get even?’ How much is the dean paying this knucklehead to speak here, anyway?

    Trump to Liberty U. students: ‘Get even’ with foes
    The comment was met with silence from more than 1,000 students, who are encouraged to live “a lifestyle of Biblical morality” and commonly carry the Bible among their books on Liberty’s campus. In Christ’s Sermon on the Mount recorded in chapters 5-7 of the Gospel of Matthew, he tells his followers to reject eye-for-an-eye justice and, if slapped, turn the other cheek rather than retaliate.

    In another awkward moment in the packed basketball arena, the thrice-wed Trump advised students to have prenuptial agreements, then recanted it in the same breath.

    “The other thing I tell people … I always say always have a prenuptial agreement, but I won’t say that because you people don’t get divorced, right?” he said to measured applause. “Nobody gets divorced, so I will not say ‘have a prenuptial agreement’ to anybody in this room.”

  • fraser

    Unfortunately I have no problem believing a judge, even in this country, would decide that feminism deserves punishing just for existing.

  • VMink

    Yes, that was what I was reacting to. =) 

  • Lori

    I tend to think that anyone who pays any amount of money to Trump to speak is getting pretty much what they deserve. It’s not like Trump’s views and personality are a secret. The Teahadist wing of US Christianity eats up his love of money and his birther crap. If they didn’t like the fact that he said the quiet thing loud, oh well.

  • The_L1985

    It’s really frustrating wanting to look up news about a certain band at work.  See, URL’s containing the word before “Riot” are blocked by the firewall.

    Lunch break is slightly less enlightening.

  • The_L1985

     It is, and that doesn’t strike me as teh worst rule of thumb I’ve ever heard.

    Southern Baptists divorce like crazy.

  • The_L1985

     I’ve read reviews that state that fiction in general is not suitable for Christian children because the word “fiction” in and of itself implies a lie, and Satan is the father of all lies.

    Therefore, if you read your child any fictional story, however innocuous, you are lying to your child and leading them headlong into Satanism.

  • The_L1985

    May I just say that “throwing like T-Rex” is the best explanation of my elementary-school woes ever?

    In middle school, we spent a month on tennis.  Try as I might, I could not serve successfully–the ball got maybe halfway up to the net.  And we weren’t allowed to play doubles for some horrible reason.  So I would generally lose 15-love.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    IIRc isn’t the the divorce rate among Evangelicals as high or higher than the average?  Or am I just misassuming that if Donald Trump says it, it’s almost certainly wrong?

    Yes, but as far as I can tell, among Evangelicals it is impolite to actually point that out, even if it is true.  You are supposed to put your fingers in your ears and loudly assert that Evangelicals have strong family values and love their spouses and children, la-la-la-can’t-hear-you.

  • LoneWolf343

     Interesting, especially since Jesus Himself like to tell lots of short stories himself.

  • Worthless Beast

    Having clicked the link, it seems like the author and commentators are surprised that more conservative Christians are okay with Hunger Games than Harry Potter, which is weird because the former doesn’t really jive with their values and has all kinds of violence – Harry Potter has magic, which is apparently worse than murder. 

  • The_L1985

     I’m still not sure how they justify that.

  • Mark Z.

    I’ve met fundamentalists who insist that those were all true, because Jesus was incapable of telling an untrue story. Or at least that all the ones not specifically marked as parables are true.

    That’s obviously pretty silly, but on reflection, I don’t dispute the factual plausibility of any of his stories.* Our real disagreement is that I don’t think it matters whether there actually was a specific Samaritan who rescued a guy from the side of the road, and they think it does.

    * with the possible exception of the rich man and Lazarus, because I don’t think some people die and go to Hell and are able to look up at Heaven and yell at Abraham. Theological issues aside, I would think that any place where you have to listen to all the complaints from people in Hell counts as a part of Hell. Possibly even Double Hell.

  • AnonaMiss

    Awfully Chicago in here. Makes me homesick.

    The first Chicago link is rife with blasphemy. How dare she call it Macy’s, especially in reference to her childhood memories! Unless she’s still a teenager. Which she didn’t seem like.

    Also, Dave explains the Cubs poorly imo. Being a Cubs fan isn’t about holding on to hope that one day you’ll win – it’s about recognizing that the experience is the more important part. Wrigley Field is a perfect example of this. If winning was what was important, they’d be right to astroturf it up, put a roof on the field, tear down the ivy – but just try suggesting that to a Cubs fan and see what response you get. Rabies, usually. If it were about continually picking yourself up and trying to win again, they’d embrace those steps that would help to even the playing field against modern teams with their controlled stadiums, pah. But it isn’t.

    A century of defeats, often snatched from the jaws of victory, have created a culture of grace in each new generation of Cubs fans, unadulterated by the addiction to winning that cost the Bulls nearly their entire fanbase once Michael Jordan left. Cubs fans understand in their bones that the game isn’t about winning, it’s about ivy: the green and the fresh air and the dirt and the grass and a hundred years of slow, uninterrupted life.

    And for those who can’t stand to support a team with no chance of winning, well, there’s always the Sox. Which, I think is part of the reason for the Cubs’ enduring don’t-play-to-win culture: anyone who gets frustrated at never winning has an easy out, and excludes themselves from the fandom willingly. (Good riddance.)

  • SketchesbyBoze

    “In 1854, in neighboring Jewett City, Connecticut, townspeople had exhumed several corpses suspected to be vampires that were rising from their graves to kill the living.”

    Has anyone here seen the Season 5 X-Files episode, “Bad Blood”? I just watched it this morning, and that was the first thing I thought of.

  • dj_pomegranate

    I missed the Harry Potter hullabaloo when it started and just now am reading through the series (I’m 30.)  While I get that some Christians simply don’t like the ideas of magic and witchcraft, it’s pretty obvious to me that the majority of people who are anti-HP because it teaches the wrong values haven’t actually, you know, read the books.  Either that or they have no reading comprehension/basic appreciation of literature.  The books paint a very clear picture of good vs. evil, true friendship, and love.  It’s hard to imagine that any kid would read it and think that “Satan is good” is the main takeaway.

  • Stone_Monkey

    This attitude has a parallel in Islam iirc. Older fictional texts from the Islamic world – including, of course, the “One Thousand Nights and a Night” – often start with formulaic phrases about the all-knowingness and all-benevolence of Allah. The explanation I read somewhere for this is that the author is making some sort of formal apology to God in advance, because the content of what follows their opening words is, technically, a series of untruths.

  • aunursa

    Being a Cubs fan isn’t about holding on to hope that one day you’ll win – it’s about recognizing that the experience is the more important part. Wrigley Field is a perfect example of this. If winning was what was important, they’d be right to astroturf it up, put a roof on the field, tear down the ivy – but just try suggesting that to a Cubs fan and see what response you get.

    An op-ed writer in the Wall Street Journal a few months ago argued that Wrigley Field should be replaced.

    I asked Cubs fans this hypothetical question: Would you support the replacement of Wrigley Field if I could guarantee that the first year of the new ballpark, the Cubs would win the pennant and play in the World Series?  A majority of respondents answered “NO”, including my father-in-law, who lives and dies with the team.  (He watches or listens to each game religiously, owns thousands of Cubs items, travels 2000 miles to fan conventions, subscribes to the Vine Line, met Ernie Banks on a Cubs fan cruise, and talks as if he is on a first name basis with every past and present Cubs player, manager, coach, and broadcaster.)

    This constrasts sharply with Giants fans, who celebrated on the day that our team left infamous Candlestick Park for the state-of-the-art and cyclone-free Pacific Bell SBC AT&T Park.

  • Jenny Islander

    Oh, don’t you know?  Mentioning anything that in any way frightens people who have been groomed for timidity from birth is EXACTLY THE SAME as trying to get everybody enslaved to that thing.  A game rulebook that has a picture of an idol on it must therefore be designed to get people to sacrifice to idols, and never mind that the picture shows players (role-playing game characters) prying the gems out of the idol’s eyes.  A game rulebook that has a picture of a gigantic Arabian Nights efreet on the cover must be intended to get people to call one up and bow down to it, and never mind that the picture also shows players (role-playing game characters) trying to rescue somebody from its clutches.

    It’s partly intended to keep the flock penned fearfully away from the meadows and under secure control near the stewpot.  In less destructive congregations, it’s the tyranny of the weaker brother.

  • AnonaMiss

    Thank you for that link, Aunursa. Cohen does a wonderful job of describing the Cubs fan ethos. I think he over-credits Wrigley Field, though. Even at away games there’s usually a decent Cubs fan section – which is more than you can say about most teams in the game during losing years.

    What he fails to do is justify the idea that his “Yankee perspective” is the correct one. Of course a Yankees fan thinks winning is the most important thing. Why does he think the rest of the country hates Yankees fans so much? If Cubs fans are Baseball Buddhists, Yankees fans are Baseball Objectivists.

  • Jenny Islander

    Signal boost.

    http://www.politicususa.com/military-moms-account-day-supported-troops.html

    Summary: An American citizen has been jailed for exercising her right to free speech in the U.S. House of Representatives.  She uttered an appalled exclamation upon seeing her state’s Congressmen high-five each other after voting down a small increase  in combat pay for active-duty troops, including her own son.  The fine defenders of our Bill of Rights promptly had her arrested.

    Why the hell isn’t this headline news nationwide?  Edward R. Murrow, come back!  We need you!

  • aunursa

    Of course a Yankees fan thinks winning is the most important thing. Why does he think the rest of the country hates Yankees fans so much?

    It’s not that they value winning above all else.  It’s their sanctimonious attitude — baseball exists specifically for their benefit —  combined with their incomparable success that supports their attitude.  It’s why there is such universal hatred of Notre Dame football and (still) the Dallas Cowboys whenever they field a good team.

  • Tricksterson

    So what would you call Red Sox fans?

  • aunursa

    There are many places in Washington D.C. where visitors may exercise their freedom of speech by loudly expressing their views. The U.S. House of Representatives chamber, which has rules of decorum, is not one of those places.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think it rather telling that Republicans have no shame about shutting people up when they don’t like Repubs voting against the military.

  • aunursa

    It’s a matter of decorum, not partisanship.  I would expect that a Democratic speaker would act the same way in response to any disruption from the Visitors Gallery. And the speaker would be right to do so.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It’s a matter of decorum, not partisanship. I would expect that a Democratic speaker would act the same way in response to any disruption from the Visitors Gallery.

    Whatshisface the congresscritter who loudly accused Obama of lying to Obama’s face in the middle of the State of the Union, he got arrested? I hadn’t heard that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Asshat probably whined and snivelled and invoked Congressional immunity, if such a thing exists.

  • aunursa

    Representative Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s 2009 address to a joint session of Congress was in poor taste.  Lawmakers are expected to follow rules of decorum as well. Representatives of both major parties have violated the rules.  Such violations are frowned upon, but I do not believe the representatives are subject to arrest.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You misunderstand me. Someone objecting to a Republican speaker while in the House chamber got arrested. Someone objecting to a Democratic speaker while in the House chamber (a much higher-profile speaker and with a lot more cameras going and many many more eyes on the incident) got what? I know he was shamed into apologizing to Obama. I’m pretty sure that’s the only consequence ever hit him. Unless we count the sharp increase in donations to his 2010 campaign or his victory in same, but neither of those seems like a negative consequence on par with being arrested.

  • aunursa

    A gallery visitor loudly voicing her opinion would be subject to arrest regardless of whether the speaker she was protesting was a Republican or a Democrat.  A lawmaker disrupting a speech by the president with a two-word outburst would be not be subject to arrest regardless of the party of the president or the disrupter.  This is not a partisan matter.

  • EllieMurasaki

    [citation needed]

  • vsm

    Lazarus isn’t in Heaven in that parable. Both he and the rich man end up in Hades/Sheol, but as a righteous guy Lazarus gets to chill in Abraham’s bosom. People didn’t go to Heaven (with a few exceptions) until Jesus’ death, and by certain brands of theology will not get there until the Second Coming.

  • Will Hennessy

     If the Beck family is going to hell for liking Harry Potter, then J.K. Rowling is going to hell for liking the Bible. That’s where she got the idea to turn H.P. into a Christ figure in the last book, after all…

  • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com/ spinetingler

     “So I would generally lose 15-love.”

    You only played one point?

  • P J Evans

     Candlestick was cold – and that was in August. Windy, too, really; I remember Miller getting blown off the mound.
    They shouldn’t have built a ballpark there in the first place.

  • aunursa

    Legend has it that when the Giants first picked the site to build their new stadium, upon moving from New York, owner Horace Stoneham never went to Candlestick Point in the afternoon. Those building the stadium made sure to bring him out in the late morning, when the day was still and perfect and beautiful; once, he did happen upon the construction site in the afternoon and was nearly knocked over by the gusts.

    He made a remark about the severity of the wind and one of the construction workers replied: “Oh, don’t worry, it only kicks up like this around 3 o’clock.” “But that’s when we play our games,” Stoneham is said to have replied.

    My daughter and I were at AT&T Park for a game last night.  It was another fine evening for a game.  I wore my 2010 World Series Champions jacket, but she didn’t don her sweater until the 5th inning.

  • The_L1985

    No.  We would play a “full game.”  However, my hitting wasn’t much better than my serving.  Games were generally over in 5 minutes, and I wasn’t much fun to play against.

  • reynard61

    “While I get that some Christians simply don’t like the ideas of magic and witchcraft, it’s pretty obvious to me that the majority of people who are anti-HP because it teaches the wrong values haven’t actually, you know, read the books.”

    I’ve always maintained that if Rowling had simply written a parallel set of books (under a different name, of course) about three kids who go to a Christian boarding school and use Miracles to fight The Dark Sorcerer And His Dark Army Of Darkness, then she could have *REALLY* cleaned up at both Christian bookstores and with the bunch that seemed to enjoy having The Passion of the Christ inflicted on them.

  • Amaryllis

      If the Beck family is going to hell for liking Harry Potter…

    Mr. Beck: “We sin boldly when it comes to youth fiction.”

    Ha. Words to live by.

  • Ross Thompson

    In middle school, we spent a month on tennis.  Try as I might, I could not serve successfully–the ball got maybe halfway up to the net.  And we weren’t allowed to play doubles for some horrible reason.  So I would generally lose 15-love.

    You only played to the first point? That seems odd…

    [Edit: Ah, I see that's already been addressed. My apologies.]

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I think the conservative Christians who are against Harry Potter for “witchcraft” are a relatively small subset of that group. My sister-in-law would count as a conservative Christian, and she lets her kids watch the movies. Well, some of them, simply because her kids are pretty young. She also lets them watch the Narnia movies. She wouldn’t let them watch the Hunger Games, but again, that’s more to do with age-appropriateness than anything.

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

    Not really related but I thought Fred and the Slacktivist Community might be interested in this series of articles http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/category/the-commons/ (start at the bottom and work up – it’s food for thought even if you don’t agree with the guy. I suspect a lot of peeps here will).

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     That’s because magic REALLY EXISTS, unlike murder.


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