Contumeliously defending the religious bubble

Treat other people as you want to be treated. It’s that simple.”

“The third possibility is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to jam a spoke in the wheel itself.”

“No matter how small your congregation, some ‘other’ is a part of it.”

The wreckage of a spacecraft amidst thousands of butterflies. This happened.

“Whoever wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.”

“This is what anti-blasphemy laws inevitably lead to: the arrest and persecution of religious minorities, including children, in order to ‘protect sensibilities’ of religious majorities.”

“I suppose that once you’ve started sleeping with minors it damages the credibility of your rants against toe cleavage.”

“Conservative evangelicals in England have dreamed or hoped for 20 years that England could be brought back to a Nigerian or Ugandan view of homosexuality. It’s not going to happen.”

The notion that Christians should dance carefully around reality, that we should speak in euphemisms and only tell comfortable, sanitized stories, is a destructive one that has profoundly affected the evangelical culture as a whole.”

“From inside the ‘hedge of protection’ — a Christian ghetto undisturbed by competing viewpoints — the pastors could not fathom 2016: Obama’s America as blatant propaganda.”

“I can’t wait for a little kid in the congregation to yell out, ‘Were you there?’

“They think there’s only one interpretation of the Bible — theirs. Which, when you think about it, is a strange interpretation of religious freedom, isn’t it?”

“The hustler isn’t simply scapegoating one group, he is betting on the thick-wittedness of the other group to which he alleges fealty.”

Haters tend to be equal-opportunity-haters. Once a person has closed his/her heart to one block of humanity, it is that much easier to close one’s heart to others.”

Neither of you is wearing a tie.”

"Yep. (Best part: finding my mother's great-grandmother and her daughter, who were English, in a ..."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"So what's stopping you?"

And you may say to yourself, ..."
"You mean, back in the days before the Irish were white?"

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’
"Oh right, Andrew Sullivan is racist AF despite his crush on Obama. I keep forgetting."

LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’

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  • A blasphemy law in America would be repealed the instant a Jew argued that Christmas decorations in a government building were offensive. 

  • I can see some people having distinct problems with the Bonhoeffer quote, simply because he’s saying that sometimes the church has to intefere with the state. (Spoke the wheel). How does that sit with seperation?

    It’s an easy call when you’re dealing with a force like the Nazis because there are some things any person of good will has to stand against.

    It’s harder with things that aren’t so clear cut. Things are rarely that clear cut.

    Noting when conservatives and progressives yell about said seperation I’m left with the feeling that it comes down to “only speak out when you agree with us”. It’s something I note in myself. When some priest or pastor says something hopelessly regressive I think “shut up, it’s none of your business” but I cheer for the nuns on the bus and similar.

  • Carstonio

    The Daily Beast article says most of what I’ve been saying about blasphemy laws.

    Andrew Brown is one of many people arguing for acceptance of gays based on orientation not being a choice. Once again, that implies that discrimination might be justified if it were a choice. I would prefer a broader statement that an individual’s orientation should be no one else’s concern in the first place.

  • El Durazno de la Muerte

     Alternatively, the court would just decide against hir and then continue to use the law as a bludgeon.  I could see it going either way.

  • Definition of CONTUMELIOUS
    : insolently abusive and humiliating — con·tu·me·li·ous·ly adverb

    Huh. The more you know.

  • EllieMurasaki


    I do, actually, have the choice to engage in heterosexual behavior, in homosexual behavior, in both at different times, or in neither. (Or in both at the same time if I’m real lucky.) That does not mean I can choose who I am attracted to, because I cannot. Nor does it mean I can choose whether to be straight or gay, because I cannot, no matter how many people (including far too many queer folk and queer allies) think I can. Nor does it mean it is okay to discriminate against me because of those attractions, because it is not. Nor does it mean it is okay to discriminate against me if I behave homosexually but not if I behave only heterosexually, because it is not.
    But do, whenever discussing whether queerness is a choice, kindly remember that I exist.

  • I like the order the stories are in.  It’s like a Fred sermon as a mixtape.

  • um? Did someone forget?

  • Carstonio

    Good point. You’re exactly right that people cannot choose their attractions, and that’s what I meant by orientation. I define orientation as one’s sexual and romantic attractions, and not one’s sexual behavior.


    Like girl gamers and the color purple?

    (No one is going to get that.)

  • Hexep

    I humbly request you enlighten me as to the origin and meaning of this turn of phrase.

  • Also English majors.

    That list actually needs to be updated. I can think of at least three more categories of People That Do Not Exist.


  • I got that. :)

    (But what about the English majors?)

  • Iiii doooo :P

  •  Ummm… That blasphemy law QUOTED above? That’s not from strange non-American country. That’s from MASSACHUSETTS. And it’s still on the books.

  • J_Enigma32

     I actually understand some of the logic behind claiming purple isn’t a color, even if the person was arguing under their own specious reasoning.

    Purple is a color. However, Pink, the color it’s commonly paired with, might not be. Pink is the combination of red and violent (not just desaturated red, apparently). Now, look at a rainbow; you’ll notice that red and violent are opposite ends (infrared spectrum, ultraviolet spectrum). Pink can only be achieved by bending the rainbow and combining light from the infrared spectrum and ultraviolet spectrum. This puts pink well outside of the normal spectrum of colors. the normal wavelength of color is red-orange-yellow-green-cyan-blue-violet, not red-pink-violet.

    So pink might not be a color after all.

    But then, if you’re one of the handful of people who are tetrachromatic, rather than trichromatic, your spectrum is a whole lot more than ROYGCBV, so it’s possibly a moot point.

  • EllieMurasaki


    Basic color theory as my eighth-grade art teacher taught it to me. Five primary colors: red, yellow, blue, black, white. Anything one can produce with red, yellow, and blue pigments is a hue, anything one can produce by combining a hue with black pigment is a shade, anything one can produce by combining a hue with white pigment is a tint, and anything one can produce by combining a hue with both white and black pigment is a tone. (I think grays are also tones, but don’t hold me to that.) Or there’s the other color theory, in which the primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow, the absence of all three is black, the presence of all three is white, and varying the brightness of each light produces varied colors.

    Most colors, one cannot point to a single wavelength or a range of wavelengths and say that that’s this color. That doesn’t mean those colors don’t exist.

    And ‘pink’ does so mean a red tint. It just is also, and equally validly, applied to a red-violet hue, and to various tints and tones and hues in that general vicinity.

  • cjmr

    “Pink is the combination of red and violent…”

    I think you meant violet.  But at my house the above is a very appropriate turn of phrase as I have one daughter who loves everything pink, and one who hates everything pink.  Pink clothing purchased for the wrong daughter will be violently rejected.

  • From my experiences reading clothing at university, pink can apparently mean black writing on a black shirt (the writing had different reflective qualities than the rest of the shirt, and thus was readable) amoung various other colors  and color combinations related only by their avoidance of the red parts of the color range.

    Which, more than anything, I take as a sign that labeled clothing can’t be counted on to usefully define colors.

  • J_Enigma32

     It’s a typo I make all. the. time. To such an extent that I will wonder why Java or Word is yelling at me when I type “ultraviolent”, when I *know* I typed it correctly (with the clear exception being I didn’t; although while “ultraviolent” might be a word, it’s not the one I mean).


    My understanding is that Red, Yellow, and Blue are your primaries while Orange, Green, Cyan, and Violet are secondaries. Any shades of those colors are achieved by mixing them to various degrees; so no, you can’t point to a single spectrum an say “that’s gold” or “that’s sea-green”, but you can with the primaries and secondaries. However, all colors have some corresponding wavelength(s), even if there is more than one.

    Magenta and its shades, which include pink, don’t work that way. Magenta is achieved by mixing red and violet, and because it requires mixing two opposing bands on the color spectrum it, and its shades, are classified as extra-spectral colors. Our brain may be inventing this color when we see it; there is no such thing as magenta light, so our cones are not registering it as a type of light that we can naturally see, being tricrhomes (if you’re tetrachromatic, I apologize for this assumption. I know tetrachromes exist, but I know there’s not that many of them). Magenta is better called “minus-green”, since it requires subtracting green from the color mix to allow the red and violet to blend.

    Here is my (albeit limited) knowledge of color theory: the color theory you’re referencing is CMYK (cyan-magenta-yell0w-key, or black); it’s a subtractive color theory, meaning that it starts with white as the primary color and then uses colors to subtract from that, creating additional colors. The other color theory I’ve encountered is RGB (red-green-blue), which is an additive color theory; start with black, and then use colors to add more colors. I have an intimate knowledge of these two theories, considering I ran headlong into how well they do not play together when I was designing the cover for my novel (long story short: I was designing it on a computer monitor in photoshop. Computer monitors use RGB, universally. Printers, however, universally use CMYK. CMYK, being subtractive, has a limited range of colors when compared to RGB and Pantone, another color model I’ve not encountered. The color that I was using was something like 50% blue and 50% red – so it was a very rich, dark blue, almost a Prussian blue. Unfortunately, CMYK could not replicate that color. So when I got my proof copy, the cover was an ugly, washed out, muted, reddish-purplish-gray. My monitor told me it was a lovely blue. My printer basically said “WFTLOL is this?”, and reached for the closest color it could get – magenta. I had to make the cover the ugliest, brightest cyan I could find it, and it came out a rich sky blue. Not the blue I wanted, but it was close enough for me, because printers couldn’t achieve the color blue I wanted – the moral of the story is that CMYK sucks at making blues but is really good at making reds).

    While achromatic, gray does have shades – white and black are shades of gray, and when you mix gray with yellow you get “warm gray”, and mixing gray with blue gets “cool gray”, among other shades.

  • GDwarf

    The two sets of primaries are red, green, and blue for additive (lights) and cyan, magenta, yellow for subtractive (pigments). Thats why getting exact matches between colours on a computer screen (lights) and a printer (pigments) is tricky.

    As such, there is no one, true, spectrum.

  • Jenny Islander

    I want to put that Bonhoeffer quote on a card and pin it up wherever I see that asinine misquote that’s used to drum up paranoia about GUMMINT COMIN TO GIT OUR GUNS.

  • mcc

    I would like to note that the spaceship-plus-butterflies is a photograph by Jonas Bendiksen from a collection called “Satellites”, but the “okay to be smart” guy did not include a credit.

  • mcc

    I love this post

  • Mary Kaye

    A biology fact that delights me is that there are creatures on earth with real color vision, quite unlike the three-color or four-color approximations of vertebrates (poor vertebrates, they think a mixture of yellow paint and blue paint looks like green!)  Certain  octopi who change color to match their background achieve color vision by measuring the diffraction of light–they perceive wavelength directly.  This means that no matter how the animal they’re hiding from perceives color, they will not get tripped up by changing to the wrong shade.  As a side effect, though, human painted and video art would probably look incomprehensibly awful to them.

    If you offered me an octopus eye–no blind spot, true color vision–I’d be tempted.  I don’t know how good the resolution is, though.

  • Somewhat off topic (I know next to nothing of colours), I really found the ‘2016-Obama’s America ‘link inspiring. It’s nice to hear stories of an involved parent who’s not just indoctrinating her kids (anymore, but I’ll take what I can get).

  • There are lots of weird laws still on the books that are invalid. This happens because it requires about the same amount of effort to repeal a law as it does to enact one in the first place. The important distinction is whether the law is enforced, as it’s attempts to enforce that result in court action (which, in the case of anti-blasphemy laws in the US, will result in the law being declared unconstitutional in short order). It’s far from an ideal situation, but absent a more efficient way to repeal out-of-date laws it’s more or less what we’re stuck with.

  • Tricksterson

    Don’t make</b. me post "Geek and Gamer Girls".

  • Tricksterson

    WTF?  I hate you Discus!

  • Tricksterson

    Silly humans, everyone knows that the primary colors are plaid, paisley and striped.

  • AnonymousSam

    This is why I have an account so I can edit these things. <.< Problem is on your end though. You left out a > sign.

    Don’t make. me post “Geek and Gamer Girls”.

  • Joshua

    I disagree.

    For background, my masters degree was in computer graphics, which included a pretty detailed examination of the eye and the human visual system. Well, from textbooks, not gooey bits.

    The word “colour” is just not a technical term. When you look at two spectra, whether you give them the same name or not depends not just on the degree of similarity of the spectra, including important features such as peak frequency, but also on your genetic background, your culture and your language.

    Where you put the dividing line between green and blue seems to be particularly  cultural-specific. Other languages have different ways to describe colour that sometimes don’t match up well to ours.

    Even just among English-speakers, plenty of words used as colours don’t match up to features of spectra at all well. None of white, grey or black have a peak frequency, and whether a given intensity of light looks white or grey really depends on its context, equally with grey and black. Orange and some shades of brown have the same spectrum, just different intensities.

    So it’s true that purple and some shades of pink have two peak frequencies, not one, but that doesn’t mean they’re not colours, because attempting to use colour as a technical term with a technical definition is just doomed.

    If you want to be technically accurate, you need to use jargon words. In computer graphics, we use words like “spectrum”, the set of frequencies that are actually present in the light; “hue”, the peak frequency of a spectrum that looks the same to the average human but consists solely of a combination of a monochromatic source and an even white; “intensity”, the area under the curve of the spectrum. By these definitions, purple and red+violet pink are not “hues”, neither are white, grey or black. Orange and brown are just one hue.

    EllieMurasaki describes another set of jargon words optimised for painting. By her definition of hue, it sounds like purple is a hue.

    But they’re all colours.

    And if people call a mixture of white and red pink, then that makes it pink, by definition.

    And I have to bring up this fantastic xkcd:


  • Oh my god people are arguing (nicely, of course) over the definition of purple. My day is made.

    Which is good, because I don’t think I’ll be able to play Star Wars: ToR, as it is patch day. 

  • A Jew?  Heck, all you need is a low church fundamentalist, a high church Episcopalian, and a high church Roman Catholic trying to decide on Christmas decorations for accusations of blasphemy….