Jon Stewart rips Scalia.

We’re about to take off, so this post will be quick.  Yesterday, surprise surprise, Antonin Scalia said something really stupid.  Jon Stewart took the opportunity to tear Scalia’s words to ribbons and hang him with them.  Enjoy.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    To be fair, it wasn’t just Scalia that said something stupid. Alito’s remark was amazingly brain dead too. And pretty much every defense of DOMA falls in that category as well.

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      That’s all they’ve got, yet they manage to make the highest institutions of the land take them seriously.

      • baal

        Yes, I take it as a sign that the U.S. system of governance is deeply strained if not broken. I point the finger at the ultrawealthy who distort the system by their mere existence (6 members of the Walton family own as much wealth as 42% of the rest of the U.S.). If this were a video game, everyone would tell the devs there is OP and then there’s ridiculous.

        Every time I see or hear Scalia, I wonder how he’s still a sitting justice on the SCOTUS.

        • Glodson

          Every time I see or hear Scalia, I wonder how he’s still a sitting justice on the SCOTUS.

          Fucking Reagan.

      • Glodson

        It is that special deference that we, in this country, give to “religious beliefs.” Even when the beliefs argued aren’t explicitly said to be religious. Even odious beliefs are given a veneer of credibility by being religiously held.

        Which is why blasphemy is so important.

    • Andrew Kohler

      Alito’s point was, I regret to say, breathtakingly inane. Jon did an excellent job tearing it apart, fortunately, but I would add: if the concern is that something can’t be trusted if it’s new and untested, then we’ve got a problem because at some point *everything is new and untested.* Perhaps Alito wasn’t talking about whether or not something can be trusted so much as whether or not it is constitutionally guaranteed, in which case I would point out that at one point the US Constitution was new and untested. And so: the Scalia comment was the more bigoted, but the Alito comment was the more frivolous.

      I have bragged previously on this blog about having read all of the 1996 debates on the DOMA (possibly excepting some of the more long-winded statements in favor in the Senate), and can assure you good people that the clips Jon was showing were absolutely representative of many of the proponents of the legislation.
      There were others who tried to act like they weren’t being bigoted by relying on the Dictionary Defense, as I like to call it (“Well, it’s always been a man and a woman, so I guess it makes sense to have a law that says that!”). The Daily Show didn’t play some of the worst examples–they showed the late Henry Hyde (author of the infamous Hyde Amendment) but not the part where he talked about how incredible he found it that gay rights activists had made some people think it was okay for two men to live together and “penetrate” each other (ummmm). There was now Senator (whyyyy) Tom Coburn talking about how there was too much talk about “diversity” and not enough about “perversity,” and how his district believed homosexuality was based in “lust” (unlike heterosexuality?) I can’t remember who, but someone (other than Henry Hyde) talked about the “study drumbeat of propaganda” saying that homosexuality is normal and healthy. Other highlights include the late Robert Byrd rambling on and on about the Euphrates and how he had his Bible with him and how if we didn’t enact the DOMA we would be “judged and found wanting.” And, of course, in committee Rep. Mike Flanagan’s amendment–to allow states not to recognize any marriage contrary to their laws, not just those of same-sex couples, thereby making the bill intellectually consistent rather than gay-bashing–was rejected by a very large majority of the bill’s proponents.

      So, to anyone who says the law wasn’t based in prejudice and justified by religion, do your homework. In the days of thomas.loc.gov, there is no excuse for people to make arguments like that in ignorance, and for the lawyer arguing before the Supreme Court not to have read the House Report is just plain embarrassing. Although, to be fair, I remember it being quite insufferable.

      Oh, one more thing: when the DOMA passed in the Senate, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act failed 49-50. In the House, Sheila Jackson-Lee tried to get that bill added as a rider to the DOMA, but was told it was not “germane.”

      • Andrew Kohler

        That should have been “steady drum beat”–dammit! And I just looked up who said that and it was actually one of the people showed in The Daily Show, Rep. Funderburk (they just had a different clip). He said: “As the Family Research Council points out: Homosexuality has been discouraged in all cultures because it is inherently wrong and harmful to individuals, families, and societies. The only reason it has been able to gain such prominence in America today is the near blackout on information about homosexual behavior itself. We are being treated to a steady drumbeat of propaganda echoing the stolen rhetoric of the black civil rights movement and misrepresenting science.” He goes on to say that–of course!–people who oppose homosexuality will soon be persecuted (“the entire power of the civil rights apparatus can be brought against you”–yes, that evil APPARATUS of civil rights) and schoolchildren will be corrupted. In its own way it’s an impressive statement: a comprehensive and concise summary of all the bilious, histrionic, and specious arguments one hears against marriage equality.

        Here’s the exact line from Hyde: “The homosexual movement has been very successful in intimidating the psychiatric profession. Now people who object to sodomy, to two men penetrating each other are homophobic. They have the phobia, not the people doing this act. That is a magnificent accomplishment for public relation.” A bit different than how I remembered it: he just talks about the sex (of course) and not about the idea of two men living together–after all, that would acknowledge their relationship! (I think I may have been confusing Hyde’s remarks with something from Hadley Arkes, distinguished professor of homophobia at Amherst, who also likes talking about penetration.)

        OH and how could I have forgotten this gem from the raving lunatic Bob Dornan!? (Repression, most likely.) “This is a defining issue. I did not believe when I came here 20 years ago we would ever be discussing homosexuals have the same rights as the sacrament of holy matrimony, and I predict, that within 3 or 4 years we are going to be discussing pedophilia only for males and that will be the subject of my discussion this afternoon.” (Note: He rambled for an hour after the vote; I think I ever managed to get through that one beyond skimming.) One wonders: why only for males? And, it’s 17 years later now, and I’m pretty sure Congress has still not taken up that point; if I’ve missed it, please do let me know.

        I just closed the window in which I had the debate transcript, because it’s very bad for one’s health to read such things.

        • Andrew Kohler

          *I *don’t* think I ever managed to get through that one beyond skimming. A correction a comment that started out as a correction. (Please forgive the all caps, but I think it’s warranted: PATHEOS, GET AN EDIT FUNCTION.)

          While I’m at it, it just occurred to me: “They have the phobia, not the people doing this act.” Perhaps he meant they have the “problem”? I’ve never heard even the most horrible anti-gay hatemonger say that men having sex is the result of, or results in, or otherwise constitutes, a phobia.

        • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

          Man, I hate those steady drumbeats of propaganda black-outs.

  • Beutelratti

    And just how many children have been taken in by social services because of the piss-poor parenting of *GASP* heterosexual couples?

    “Considerable” damage to children happens because of a lack of parenting skills and not because of sexual orientation. How that hasn’t sunk in with so many people is one of the great mysteries of our time.

    I can’t believe this “It’s bad for the children”-crap is still used around the globe to make this look as anything else than a statement of bigoted, hateful “BUT IT’S SO YUCKY”-bullshit.

    Ugh.

    • Steven Findley

      You are wrong you most likely godless stalinist. It’s a known fact that children from a same gender household DO NOT FARE AS WELL SOCIALLY OR EDUCATIONALLY as children from a traditional man and woman household you idiot!! I’ll bet 9 out of 10 of those parents you speak of are drug addicts or alcholics. All this is aboutis a f……..king selfish social status!!!

      • Glodson

        [citation needed]

        • baal

          http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Supports-Same-Gender-Civil-Marriage.aspx

          I’ll post a cite but it won’t help Steven (who might be doing a Poe?).
          The American Academy of Pediatrics has gone through the studies and science and concluded that gay parents are just fine. Really, it’s been scientifically looked at the the empirical results are in. To say gays are bad parents ‘because (bad thing)’ is to deny reality.

          • Glodson

            Oh, I know.

            I just want to see a person back up what they claim. That’s how this work. I won’t even take the other person seriously unless they provide evidence. I want to see what they think supports this, and what they think evidence actually is.

            But it is a poe, in that a poe as that I cannot tell if the person or parody or serious.

          • Andrew Kohler

            The American Psychological Association beat the AAP by several years in endorsing equal rights. I’ve been less than impressed with the AAP in some other areas, but it’s nice to see they’re at least right on the money with this one.

      • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

        Steven Findley:

        LOUD NOISES

        Wait, I thought your side’s argument was that they couldn’t have children? Now it’s that the children they don’t have don’t do well?

        Which argument are you claiming here, that marriage is about procreation (which is false), or that children of same-sex households don’t do as well (which is also false)? I mean, relying on disproven claims is not a long-term winner, but you could at least make it clear which particular tree limb you’re climbing out on so we can saw off the right one.

      • Andrew Kohler

        “You are wrong you most likely godless stalinist.”

        I missed that Stalin was a supporter of LGBT rights, aside from having the equal right to disappear in the middle of the night and die in a gulag. (It is hard for me believe that this commenter is for realz.)

      • Jasper

        I actually laughed at this because I thought it was sarcasm.

      • Beutelratti

        I honestly thought this was a joke. ;)

        If not, well then … thank you for your clever and wonderfully documentend input you most likely shellfish-eating idiotic fundie. ;)

        • Glodson

          The godless stalinist bit makes me think it is in jest. As well as the irrelevant stat about 9 out 10 of those parents being on drugs or alcoholics.

          Sadly, the other parts, the screaming about it being a fact that kids with same gendered parents doing worse educationally or socially and the minimization of the issue to seeking social status are actual things people say in opposition of marriage equality.

          So, I honestly have no idea if this is a joke or not.

          • Loqi

            Whether or not it was a joke, it was a joke.

          • Glodson

            @ Loqi

            The tragedy is that if it was or wasn’t a joke, there’s millions that would agree with the point made in the post.

      • Loqi

        You don’t seem to have fared well educationally. As my evidence, I give you your comment.


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