Church & state and ‘beliefs’ that believers don’t care about

Republican state Sen. Dennis Kruse of has introduced a bill that would allow Indiana public schools to require students to recite the Lord’s prayer each morning.

Um … which Lord’s prayer?

Sen. Dennis Kruse wants to require Indiana schoolchildren to pray to Lord Cthulhu in His House at R’lyeh.

I don’t just mean the subtle differences of “debts” and “trespasses,” I mean that there are as many different Lord’s prayers as there are different Lords.

Could a school require students to recite this one?

In His House at R’lyeh Dead Cthulhu waits dreaming, yet He shall rise and His kingdom shall cover the Earth. …

To select an “official” Lord’s Prayer is to select to privilege one sect above all the others. It is, in other words, to establish an official religion.

Sen. Kruse wants to make a law respecting the establishment of religion and prohibiting the free exercise thereof. That’s not allowed.

Speaking of the First Amendment: Three nurses no longer work at an Indiana hospital because they refused to get flu shots.

The hospital has at least two good reasons for dismissing these nurses. First is simple public safety — having nurses who might be walking around and giving all of your patients the flu would be negligent bordering on reckless.

And second, hospitals really aren’t looking to hire medical professionals who don’t believe in professional medicine. Nor are they looking to hire nurses who defiantly refuse to protect the health of patients. Hiring a nurse who doesn’t “believe in” flu shots is a bit like hiring an auto mechanic who doesn’t believe in internal combustion. Or, you know, like hiring a nurse who doesn’t believe in hand-washing.

But the nurses’ attorney says their disbelief in modern medicine must be respected, because it’s their free exercise of religion:

lan Phillips, who represented several nurses at the hospital, says his clients had the right to refuse their flu shots under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination of employees. Religion is legally broad under the First Amendment, so it could include any strongly held belief, he said, adding that the belief flu shots are bad should suffice.

“If your personal beliefs are religious in nature, then they are a protected belief,” Phillips said.

But Phillips case has nothing to do with his clients’ “personal beliefs,” it has to do with their right to work as medical professionals despite their purported “religious” devotion to holy influenza. Phillips is pretending that this is a civil liberties case akin to the defense of conscientious objectors. It’s far stranger than that — it’s more like a pacifist Mennonite suing to become a U.S. Marine.

In any case, I have a very hard time accepting that these nurses really do believe “flu shots are bad” when, at the same time, they are completely uninterested in the question, “Are flu shots, actually, bad?” and when they seem unconcerned with the hospital’s flu-shot policies except as they pertain to themselves.

These nurses formerly worked at a hospital that requires its staff to get flu shots, and that administers flu shots to patients. Anyone who worked there and really believed “flu shots are bad” ought to be fighting those policies, arguing that the hospital must stop providing the shots for patients and stop requiring the shots for employees.

But Phillips isn’t arguing that the hospital should change its rules, only that the rules shouldn’t apply to his clients.

In other words, it doesn’t seem that these nurses lost their jobs out of devotion to their belief that “flu shots are bad.” It seems they lost their jobs out of devotion to their belief that “Nobody can ever make me get (or understand) a flu shot.”

When someone claims that a belief is a deeply held religious conviction, but simultaneously doesn’t seem at all interested in the substance of that purported belief, then it’s hard to see them as sincere. “Conviction” suggests interest and concern. Faith without interest is dead.

Related:

In South Dakota, a state senator, Jeff Monroe (R-Pierre), has introduced a bill making it easier for parents to refuse to get their children vaccinated thus guaranteeing an increase in deaths from preventable causes. Monroe says it’s all about religious freedom. South Dakota is already one of the states that allows parents to opt out of vaccinations if that is part of the doctrine of their sect. That’s not good enough for Monroe. He believes parents should be allowed to opt out if they have a “sincere, verifiable religious belief,” even if it’s at odds with the teaching of their sect.

 

  • EdinburghEye

    Ursula: “So you set up some sort of auction, where the pay for that day off goes
    up, until enough people have signed up to cover it.  (Everyone who works
    gets paid at the highest rate, because you don’t want to discourage
    people from saying they’ll work in order to hold out for more.)  “

    That’s excellent. Sorry Disqus won’t let me give it more likes than one.

  • EdinburghEye

    There’s an actual case that the actual former-former-Archbishop of Canterbury is actually supporting to the European Court of Human Rights: a hospital has a health-and-safety rule against nurses on duty wearing brooches on their uniform or dangly jewellery – necklace or earrings, and one nurse claims that this health-and-safety rule is against her religious beliefs and she’s going to sue because when she insisted that she had to wear the necklace or the brooch at work, Because Religion, the hospital obligingly moved her to a deskwork job so that she could do so.

    (The necklace had a crucifix hanging from it.  Denied her religious obligation to wear dangly necklace, the nurse claimed a religious obligation to wear crucifix as a brooch. The really bizarre thing is not the nurse herself – fools are found everywhere – but that George Carey, in theory at least as well versed in Christianity as being a priest, bishop, and archbishop for fifty years could make you, has supported her in her belief that wearing a dangly necklace or a brooch is an essential part of Christianity, and that for a nurse to be prevented from doing so because that would compromise her care for the sick, is a violation of her right to be a practicing Christian.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    This Indiana guy–obviously he’s talking about the Christian prayer, but which version? It can’t be both the Catholic one and the Protestant one.

  • Anton_Mates

    Ah, Dennis Kruse.  I’m not sure there’s another state lawmaker currently in office whose assaults on the Establishment clause are so wonderfully obvious.  The Discovery Institute spends over a decade and millions of dollars figuring out how to write creationist legislation that sortakinda doesn’t look like creationist legislation, with “intelligent design” and “alternate viewpoints” and “strengths and weaknesses” and “academic freedom” and “critical analysis,’ and Kruse just breezes past all of it and goes “Creation Science!  We Should Have That!  Jesus Bibles Yay!”

    His constituents love it, AFAIK.  He ran unopposed in 2010.

  • Carstonio

    I would agree if we were talking about obvious demagogues like James Dobson or Bill Donahue. Knowing my community, the clerks are most likely cradle Catholics who aren’t attention-seekers, and the only reason their views are in the news is because the reporters asked their bosses about the implementation of the new law. 

    Their objection doesn’t make sense, because there’s no reason they couldn’t regard same-sex marriage the same way the Amish regard phone and electric service. I could understand if they were working for an ad agency and they refused to take on Planned Parenthood as a client. But the clerks aren’t promoting homosexuality, to use the terminology of the demagogues. And since most of them are female, the chances of them having the same beliefs as male gay-bashers are probably low. I feel like I’m missing something obvious about their worldview, some easy way to show them that they’re worrying needlessly.  

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Um … which Lord’s prayer?

    This one:

    Our Father, who may be female or generdless or polygendered or just plain multiple and who may or may not have a relationship with us and might not even exist at all, who art in heaven, by which we mean whereever her/she/it/they happens to be, or indeed not be since we’ve established that he/she/it/they might not exist in the first place.

    And in Latin:

    Pater noster, qui fortasse femineus es aut sine genere es aut multi genus aut etiam simpliciter multus et qui fortasse propinquitatem nobiscum habes nonve habes et forte in minimis etiam es, qui es in caelis per quod in aninmo habere ubicumque eum/eam/id/eos/eas/ea forte adesse, aut etiam non adesse cum probaverimus eum/eam/id/eos/eas/ea in primo forsitan non esse:

    Note that the links take you to the full versions.

  • Lori

    It’s times like this that I’m reminded that the high water mark of the 2nd Klan was right here in Indiana.

    Between the (Bosses’) Right To Work (You To Death) law, Richard “God meant for you to have your rapist’s baby” Murdock, and Dennis “What Establishment Clause?” Kruse it seems the state is determined to recapture its former glory. 

  • Amaryllis

    Once again. I believe, really, truly, passionately, sincerely that 4=5

    There . . . Are . . . FOUR . . . LIGHTS!!!!!!

    Sounds like the Quadrene Heresy to me!

    (Which is not what you were going for, but it’s the first thing I thought of.)

  • Lori

     

    And since most of them are female, the chances of them having the same
    beliefs as male gay-bashers are probably low. 

    Citation needed. Or to put it another way, Maggie Gallagher would like a word.

    Women are not automatically more caring or open & affirming than men. Plenty of women are horribly homophobic. The fact that the subcultures most likely to push a homophobic agenda are also those least likely to have women in leadership positions visible to outsiders doesn’t mean that the rank & file women don’t agree with or support the homophobia they’ve been taught.

     

    I feel like I’m missing
    something obvious about their worldview, some easy way to show them that
    they’re worrying needlessly.  

    It seems to me that the obvious thing is that their objection is just homophobia and has no deeper connotations and that the relevant “worldview” is the institutional prejudice which has told them all their lives that they’re entitled to feel self-righteous about treating other people like crap as long as the Church tells them that Those People are worthy of eternal punishment.

  • stardreamer42

    It seems to me that one reasonable place to start would be to ask how old, how consistent, and how documentable is that belief. As I understand it, Orthodox Judaism has a very clear-cut requirement about Sabbath work in the Torah, which has been consistently interpreted for thousands of years and is shared by all Orthodox. The birth control and vaccine things, OTOH, appear to be mostly individuals deciding unilaterally that this is part of their religion, and are unsupported by the Bible or other major Christian dogma. That doesn’t strike me as being even remotely similar to Orthodox Judaism.

    Side note: that nurse is 61 years old. Her parents were almost certainly among the people praising God for the miracle of polio vaccine. I would be happy to let the anti-vaxxers have their way if we could somehow guarantee that they would be the only ones to die in the resultant resurgent epidemics.

  • stardreamer42

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV938U4Y96w

    How quickly we forget.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    Re: Senator Kruse’s bill:

    This bill sounds like the kind of bill that Congressional staffers refer to as a “showboat.”  It’s a bill that has no chance whatsoever of passing and is only introduced to impress the voters back home.  Sure the bill will get blown out of the water in the first ten minutes of debate, but the politician who introduced it can go back to his/her home state or district and use it as an example of how hard he/she is working to promote a specific cause or agenda.

    The most blatant showboat I’ve ever seen was a bill introduced by a politician from one of the Southern states (Alabama, IIRC) that would forbid all public libraries in that state from carrying books written by gay authors.  Obviously, the bill was quickly defeated, but that politician could cite the failed bill as proof of his valiant struggle against the Great Gay Menace.

    Other examples include every bill that Michelle Bachman has every introduced.

  • stardreamer42

    And, in the category “serendipity”, I just encountered this quotation from Tolkein’s essay “On Fairy Stories”:

    Fantasy is a natural human activity. It certainly does not destroy or
    even insult Reason; and it does not either blunt the appetite for, nor
    obscure the perception of, scientific verity. On the contrary. The
    keener and the clearer is the reason, the better fantasy will it make.
    If men were ever in a state in which they did not want to know or could
    not perceive truth (facts or evidence), then Fantasy would languish
    until they were cured. If they ever get into that state (it would not
    seem at all impossible), Fantasy will perish, and become Morbid
    Delusion.

    I think we’re there.

  • LMM22

    Republican supermajority FTW!

    California may be able to dig itself (partially) out of its self-imposed decades-long decline, but Indiana’s going to be in a lot of agony for the next few years.

  • LMM22

    As I understand it, Orthodox Judaism has a very clear-cut requirement about Sabbath work in the Torah, which has been consistently interpreted for thousands of years and is shared by all Orthodox. The birth control and vaccine things, OTOH, appear to be mostly individuals deciding unilaterally that this is part of their religion, and are unsupported by the Bible or other major Christian dogma.

    That opens a *lot* of legalistic loopholes and is quite likely to make things much worse.

    For example:

    – Is opposition to abortion a long-standing Christian belief? Many practitioners today would insist it is, and, in fact, early Christians *were* clearly opposed to abortion and birth control. However, as Fred has made clear, current evangelical opposition to abortion is a very recent development — and even the Catholic Church (like society in general) did not see early term (pre-quickening) abortions as abortions until maybe the turn-of-the-century. (Before quickening, women were in a kind of pre-pregnant state — maybe like having the sniffles but not yet having a cold.)

    – Is neo-pagan *anything* a long-standing belief? Pagan religions are clearly ancient — but most neo-pagan beliefs amalgamate practices from a range of cultures; I think it would be very hard to argue that a specific belief is long-standing.

    – Religious fundamentalism is often a reaction to the outside world — many European Muslim groups have only recently become much more religious. If your mother didn’t wear a headscarf, should we therefore claim that you shouldn’t have the right to wear one?

    – Hell, for that matter, Orthodox Jews *do* evangelicize — to other Jews. If your parents are Reformed and you decide to join an Orthodox congregation (maybe *after* being hired by your company), do you still get to refuse to work on the Sabbath?

  • Mrs Grimble

     She lost that case over two years ago  and the AoC didn’t apparently offer any  support beyond a single  mention about “bureaucratic silliness” and religious symbols in general.
    She wasn’t even required to remove the crucifix, just tuck it away somewhere it couldn’t dangle; according to her, this was making her hide her religious faith and was ‘disrespectful’.  If she wanted to flaunt her faith that much,  why didn’t she have a cross tattooed on her forehead?

  • EdinburghEye

    Yes, Shirley Chaplin lost her case in the UK Supreme Court two years ago, but it is now being heard by the European Court of Human Rights. Carey signed a letter in support of Chaplin in March 2010, but Carey appears on the ECHR docket supporting the other two homophobia cases – it’s the Bishop of Chester and the Bishop of Blackburn who are specifically named supporting the right of the nurse to contravene health, safety, and hygiene regulations at work.

  • Carstonio

    I didn’t say that women were more caring, or less likely to be homophobic, and I should have made that clear. I was suggesting that women are less likely to espouse the McCarthyist version of homophobia found among men, where anyone who doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes is instantly suspected of homosexuality. There are probably some women who believe in metaphorical “man cards” like on the gun billboard that was in the news recently, but I’ve never encountered any. 

    Institutional prejudice doesn’t stop most American Catholics from using contraception contrary to Church teaching. What you’re suggesting is that they care about doctrine only as it impacts their own behavior. But since an individual’s orientation has very little impact on others, ultimately it doesn’t make sense that anyone would care so much about someone else’s orientation. Assuming that the person isn’t sexually attracted to the other.

  • Ursula L

    It could work either way, for routine weekly days off, or for holidays and other times when, expectedly or unexpectedly, more people want a particular day off than can be managed with the schedule.

    For routine problems, such as Saturdays, it might be easier to work out a rotation – so that people could know which Saturdays they would have off, and plan accordingly.  

    My point is not to propose a specific solution, but to point out that giving preference to assigning days off to people who claim a religious reason for wanting the day off is unfair discrimination against those with other reasons for wanting the day of, and legal support for giving preference to religious reasons for days off is establishing religion, and also to suggest ways in which an employer can fairly assign days off to accommodate  people as much as possible without discriminating based on religion.  

  • Kubricks_Rube

    The conscience argument that the clerks are using almost seems to equate officiating at a wedding with actually taking the vows. Or else it implies that they’re aiding and abetting a moral crime.

    I’m fond of this formulation from Waking Up Now: “You’ve got state employees demanding you pass their personal religious test before they’ll help you. That’s not religious freedom. In fact, it’s the opposite.”

    Also, where does it stop? Can the clerks refuse marriage licenses to divorced couples or racially or religiously mixed-marriages? Can government employees claim a religious imperative to refuse to issue licenses or permits for liquor stores, strip clubs, a Ckif-Fil-A, Planned Parenthood, coed schools, banks, houses of worship of a different religion or denomination, blood banks, pharmacies, bars, etc, etc, etc? As Charity said above in reference to the contraception mandate, this is a dangerous precedent to set.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Also, where does it stop? Can the clerks refuse marriage licenses to
    divorced couples or racially or religiously mixed-marriages? Can
    government employees claim a religious imperative to refuse to issue
    licenses or permits for liquor stores, strip clubs, a Ckif-Fil-A,
    Planned Parenthood, coed schools, banks, houses of worship of a
    different religion or denomination, blood banks, pharmacies, bars, etc,
    etc, etc? As Charity said above in reference to the contraception
    mandate, this is a dangerous precedent to set.

    Of course not, that’s silly. Refusing to marry a pair of divorced people or to issue a permit for a liquor store are unreasonable intrusions of the government employee’s religious beliefs. Denying rights to QUILTBAG folks, refusing vaccinations, and denying medical coverage to women are reasonable.  Because they are. Because they said so.

    It is just an amazingly unlikely coincidence that it is precisely the things which are popular beliefs among american evangelical christians also happen to be the “reasonable” things. Not the de facto establishment of religion, nosireebob.

  • Carstonio

    Yes. Any such definition of conscience would almost make it impossible for the person to live in a society of many different religions. Some Catholic doctrines seem to imply that societies and all their institutions should be Catholic, or at least these don’t allow for the concept of a multi-religion society.

  • SisterCoyote

    Exactly! This is the whole problem with a “Christian” nation – there’s no way to come up with a homogenized, sanitized, church that everyone agrees with. I mean, there must be damn near an infinity of jokes about how Protestant churches will fracture over just about anything (which annotated version of the KJV to use, paved parking lots vs. unpaved, instruments used in music vs. a capella,  sitting in two columns vs. sitting in one, using the 1904 hymnal vs. using an updated version…), so what solution could a government possibly come up with that wouldn’t be rank HERESY to half of not only all the Christians in America, but even half the Protestants, at least half the Evangelicals, and perhaps even half or more of the Baptists?

    And it just seems like anyone who actually cares about their personal faith would be pretty squicked out by a sanitized version of something that might possibly resemble it, being the “official” religion of their entire community.

  • SisterCoyote

     I must admit, I’d be all for an American Church if it was the temple of the Bastard.

  • P J Evans

    They missed one obvious solution: get the crucifix as a tattoo. But maybe that’s against her religious views, too.

  • P J Evans

     It’s quite possible she got the Sabin oral vaccine, too.

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

    Days off.

    It would probably be ideal where possible for employees to decide for themselves which two days off per week they want, and then have that factored into the scheduling.

  • Ursula L

    Tatoo?  It could be even simpler – she can use a fabric pen to draw a small crucifix on the lapel of her shirt, or thread to embroider a small cross, or otherwise carry the symbol in a way that does not create a physical risk of it catching or falling and affecting the treatment of a patient.  

    If the employer provides uniforms, she can use a pen that has the ink come out in the wash, or if she provides her own, she can make the mark in permanent ink or sewn in thread.  

  • Ursula L

    What is the heresy of worshiping the Bastard but not the other four gods called?  

    One of the nice things about Quintarianism is that it rejects duality, a good/evil dichotomy.  A god for each season, and a god for things out-of-season.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Those are an interesting phenomenon. Many politicians (especially in the US House of Representatives, which has a remarkably low level of accountability for a variety of reasons) make their entire careers “showboating” — Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann are the readiest examples. They rarely/never spend any effort actually passing legislation. Their goal, rather, is to rack up votes for the reason you describe. They’ve realized that as long as they claim to have the right “stance” on a certain issue, that’s functionally the same as actually doing something about said issue. 

    The entire House GOP relies heavily on this, apparently — they’ve voted to repeal ‘Obamacare’ over 30 times since they took their seats after the last midterm. 

  • SisterCoyote

     I don’t remember a heresy for worshiping only the Bastard – but that was one of my favorite things about that religious system. There was no good/evil dichotomy. Evil is still addressed, but as the acts of individuals, with no real “The Devil Made Me Do It!” excuse. It’s nice.

    I also really appreciate the parallels – in Paladin of Souls especially, it seems like she’s highlighting the difference between the zealots in our world – the Quadrenes – and religious-Christians-who-don’t-suck, or the Quintarians. And it comes off really well.

  • alfgifu

    Tatoo?  It could be even simpler – she can use a fabric pen to draw a small crucifix on the lapel of her shirt, or thread to embroider a small cross, or otherwise carry the symbol in a way that does not create a physical risk of it catching or falling and affecting the treatment of a patient.

    Yes, but then she wouldn’t be able to heroically defend her faith by Taking A Stand in court.

    If the issue was purely about religious expression, there wouldn’t be a problem – some sensible alternative could be found. My guess is that the nurse is genuinely committed to believing in the righteousness of her cause (after putting all this time and effort into it, in such a public way, it would be painful in the extreme to admit that perhaps she was wrong), but that commitment was never just about her crucifix.

    Step one: general sense of discomfort because the Truth taught in church and observable reality don’t seem to match – particularly because those pesky unbelievers don’t seem to be acting the way they should.
    Step two: scaremongering within the church about secularism, combined with the need to quash lingering doubts by demonstrating true commitment (perhaps some nice comfortable longing for martyrdom, without any real appreciation of what severe pain or death means).
    Step three: this pent up and part imaginary conflict latches on to a tiny incident – such as the dress code/crucifix thing – which takes on symbolic weight and allows for some dramatic acting out of the heroic battle.

    To admit that there is no heroic battle is to acknowledge that a big part of the intense experience of faith (here in this context) is completely fabricated.

    I’m basing this on knowing someone who made a similar complaint about dress codes and a crucifix a few years ago. If I’m right, then healthcare and hygiene are equally irrelevant from the nurse’s perspective.

  • Lori

    I was suggesting that women are less likely to espouse the McCarthyist version of homophobia found among men, where anyone who doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes is instantly suspected of homosexuality. There are probably some women who believe in metaphorical “man cards” like on the gun billboard that was in the news recently, but I’ve never encountered any.     

    Respectfully, you need to meet a broader cross section of women because there are plenty who have fully bought into the “man card”. It’s natural that you’re more aware of the myth as it’s targeted directly at you, but I assure you it’s over here on the distaff side too. Have you ever heard a woman, or some type of messaging aimed at women, say something about wanting a “real man”? That’s the man card myth by another name.

    That’s just one example. If you want to see the man card in action among women pick a fandom, go to boards devoted to it and start looking for discussion of gay subtext. You’ll mainly find people speaking of it with great approval instead of opprobrium, but the foundation is the same—those two men are interacting in a way that’s outside the “manly” box, therefore they’re obvious gay. Everyone knows that men don’t have real friendships, not like women. So any two men who have a real conversation about personal things or who do anything together that’s not related to sports, video games or killing stuff is clearly gay. Ho yeah!

    Gender essentialism runs deep in our culture and women are far from immune.

     

    Institutional prejudice doesn’t stop most American Catholics from using contraception contrary to Church teaching. What you’re suggesting is that they care about doctrine only as it impacts their own behavior.

    No, I’m suggesting quite the opposite. They’re hypocrites who, supported by institutional prejudice, are perfectly willing to treat other people like crap precisely because their “sin” doesn’t effect the clerks personally. People tend to think the sin they commit is fine and not actually a sin at all (e.g. birth control, divorce), or at least can and should be readily understood and forgiven. The sin committed by Those People is just wrong though. 

    The women are homophobes. Their homophobia has the backing of their church so they get plenty of rewards for it in the form of warm, fuzzy feelings of self-righteousness and the approval of authority figures. That’s powerful stuff. We have no way of pinpointing exactly how they came to be homophobes, but I feel confident that it was not the result of reasoning. As Ben Franklin said, you can’t reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into. So if you’re thinking that you can reason them out of their homophobia by pointing out that others’ orientation has no real impact on them good luck with that, but I don’t recommend that you hold your breath.

  • AnonymousSam

    This. It falls under the category of demanding unlimited arm swinging privileges.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Very little about Orthodox Judaism is clear-cut, and the dividing line between “this is really part of Orthodox Judaism” and “this is something that some individuals made up” is not nearly as clear as you make it sound. Certainly very little about how the Sabbath is practiced among Orthodox Jews is something you would come up with if you simply read the Torah without knowing about thousands of years of interpretation and commentary and cultural practice.

    That said, yes, I agree that asking about how old, how consistent, and how well-documented a cultural belief is is a reasonable place to start in trying to determine whether accommodating it is reasonable (along with what the consequences of the accommodation are, and some other things).

    And while I sympathize with the sentiment of exempting people who oppose a cultural practice from the benefits of it, I mostly don’t think a community or a society can work that way. Part of being a group is accepting that group events affect me.

  • AnonymousSam

    I just wonder how long it’ll take until a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription because they only believe in homeopathic remedies (or worse, switches medication on those grounds).

    Caveat, I’m a little irritated with this subject in general today, after seeing a particularly obnoxious repetitive commercial for an anti-nausea drug that I had to stop and have a look at its manufacturers to be sure they weren’t the same people who created Head-On. They weren’t, but their products are mostly homeopathic or generic homeopathic-like versions of existing products anyway (example, Arthriten, for arthritis, is actually acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine).

  • http://sandhilldiary.wordpress.com/ C. (sandhilldiary)

    an infinity of jokes about how Protestant churches will fracture over just about anything (which annotated version of the KJV to use, paved parking lots vs. unpaved, instruments used in music vs. a capella,  sitting in two columns vs. sitting in one, using the 1904 hymnal vs. using an updated version…)

    See, there’s your problem: assuming that parking lots are canon.  All the Real True Believers know it’s all about on-street parking.  Heretic.

    (Excuse me while I go find a crowbar to get my tongue out of my cheek.) 

  • Carstonio

    Now I imagine the female fans you describe acting like macho shitheads, with truck nuts on their vehicles.

    They’re hypocrites who, supported by institutional prejudice, are perfectly willing to treat other people like crap precisely because their “sin” doesn’t effect the clerks personally. People tend to think the sin they commit is fine and not actually a sin at all (e.g. birth control, divorce), or at least can and should be readily understood and forgiven. 

    That’s what I meant about impacting or not impacting their own behavior. Hypocrisy driven partly by selfishness. Self-righteousness doesn’t feel like enough of a reward because it’s not tangible, at least when compared to privilege, and those homophobes have both.

  • Lori

     Somebody dates the guys with the truck nuts hanging from their bumper hitches. Just sayin’.

  • P J Evans

     singing vs no music at all, the laying-on of hands, the proper interpretation of a Bible verse….

  • Tricksterson

    “I am pondering what a ‘verifiable’ religious belief could mean”

    Christian of course.  maybe Jews if we’re feeling generous.

  • Tricksterson

    But do Episcopalians indulge in human sacrifice?

  • Tricksterson

    If we’re lucky.

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

    Gender essentialism runs deep in our culture and women are far from immune.

    QFT.  I knew a woman who used the term “mental castration” when referring to guy friends she had who weren’t “like other guys.”

    She described it as a conscious decision on her part – “I mentally castrated him a while ago.*”

    While she’s the only person I’ve heard put it in those terms, without going down the rabbit hole of “Boo Hoo, it’s so tough being a man” and blah blah blah, and treading into “Nice Guy” territory, I will say that I’ve had plenty of experiences with other women in which I can almost feel the, er, mental snipping taking place.

    *The context of the conversation was one in which she was complaining about how “all guys are the same” and one of her friends asked her, “Well, what about [Guy Friend]?”  She responded, “Oh, he doesn’t count; he’s not a guy.  I mentally castrated him a long time ago.”  (I wasn’t the Guy Friend in question, but I was friends with said Guy Friend and he and I were very much alike.)

  • Lori

     

    She described it as a conscious decision on her part – “I mentally castrated him a while ago.*”  

    Geez, Louise

      The context of the conversation was one in which she was complaining
    about how “all guys are the same” and one of her friends asked her,
    “Well, what about [Guy Friend]?”  She responded, “Oh, he doesn’t count;
    he’s not a guy. 

    Who could have predicted that when you use the slightest deviance to exclude someone from the set you end up with a very homogenous set?

  • Tricksterson

    There was no “Bastard only” heresy.  Nor is there any indication the he would want one.  Although the gods don’t seem to have an opinion on the heresy that proclaims the Bastard to be evil either.  The closest I’ve seen to a negative deity is the father.  It was after all an avatar of him that went on a rampage of conquest prior to the events of the first book right?  On the other hand when he actually makes an appearance he doesn’t seem evil, mor Lawful Neutral.  Maybe the Chalion deities adhere to the D&D rule that lets their followers be one step away on the alignment wheel.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Apparently there is such a thing as eyelashes to go on headlights.

    I now wanna see somebody with a car that has both headlight eyelashes and truck nuts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    And to give some examples, remember Charlotte Allen, the one who opined that if the educational system of the US hadn’t been so feminized, a real man (or a beefy 12-year old) would have  been on hand to take down the Sandy Hook shooter? 

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

    Vehicular anthropmorphization. O.o

  • EllieMurasaki

    I was going for either ‘trans man’ or ‘drag queen’ myself.


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