Culture warrior baffled by symbol with two short parallel lines

Culture warrior baffled by symbol with two short parallel lines October 2, 2012

In order to stop the momentum of those un-signing the “Manhattan Declaration,” the group’s executive director has unveiled a new logo. (Yes, it’s an organization now, not just a document — a manifesto can’t cash checks.)

Eric Teetsel describes his inspiration for this logo:

When I moved to Washington I noticed these small blue stickers with two yellow lines permeating the city. They were on cars, t-shirts, and lamp posts. It wasn’t long before I Googled “blue sticker yellow lines” and discovered it is the logo of the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest gay rights organizations.

The new logo for what’s left of the “Manhattan Declaration.”

Teetsel is surely aware that two parallel lines make an equal sign, he just can’t bring himself to say it. Teetsel won’t allow the word “equality” to be spoken, or even thought.

That’s some high-level weaseling there — the sort of self-deception that’s so flimsy and desperate that even a large part of Teetsel’s own brain is probably mocking him more mercilessly than anyone else.

(See earlier: “The fatuous foolishness of the Manhattan Declaration.”)

* * * * * * * * *

Patrick Mitchel (via Rachel Held Evans) reviews a “complementation” book purporting to explain “What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women.”

[Author Claire] Smith’s obvious implication is that other readers who come to different conclusions must not be letting the Bible speak clearly – presumably due to feminist bias (she speaks of this in the opening chapter). There is more than a whiff of arrogance here – does she really think that other evangelical Christians are not coming to the text with equal sincerity and seriousness as she is?

Ooh, me, me, pick me! The answer is “Yes.”

Yes, she really does think that other evangelical Christians are not coming to the text with equal sincerity and seriousness as she is.

Or, rather, that those who do not agree with her interpretation do not share her sincerity and seriousness because they are not really Christians.

Or, rather, that she’s acting on the pretense that they are not really Christians in the same way that Eric Teetsel is acting on the pretense that he’s never seen an equal symbol before.

* * * * * * * * *

Rachel Barenblat (a.k.a. The Velveteen Rabbi) posts a sermon on Jonah:

Why does Jonah run from God? Because he knows that once he goes to Nineveh and preaches teshuvah, the people will repent and God will forgive. And they do, and God does, and Jonah is furious. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of our childlike fantasies of a world of simple equations, where those who do good are rewarded and those who do evil are struck down.

That’s an excellent four-sentence summary of the book of Jonah. And an excellent four-sentence response to folks like Teetsel and Smith.


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  • VMink

    One of the recurring horrors of the ‘culture war’ is how what in the past we would have called universally “virtues” are now being called ‘sins,’ and vice cersa.

    When did ‘Avarice’ swap places with ‘Charity?’

  • EllieMurasaki

    It hasn’t. Charity’s still up there on the virtues list. It’s just that Avarice is up there too, and ensuring that everyone’s needs are met without relying on the whims and desire to attach strings associated with private charity, well, that interferes with individuals’ desire to practice Charity, and of course it’s more important for middle-income and rich people to practice Charity than for middle-, lower-, and no-income people to get their needs met.

  • Jon Knowles

    To be fair, I didn’t know what that symbol meant until a couple months ago, when I also had to Google it. Of course, my reaction was “Oh great, this is really cool”, not “Oh wow, this symbolizes liberation and equality and deserves to be crushed”.

  • And only the “correct” kind of charity too: that which cannot possibly replace the government safety net, yet is touted as being such so rich people can pay less taxes and look like generous philanthropists at the same time. (>_<)

  • (._.),,/ Jesus was effing metal.

    What can I say…

  • Jessica_R

    As a palate cleanser a lovely Expedia ad of all things, one that gives me hope that one day that button will displayed in the American History Museum with the same distaste as segregationist propaganda,

  • hagsrus

    Carol rose. She suggested that the Thanatopsis ought to help the poor
    of the town. She was ever so correct and modern. She did not, she said,
    want charity for them, but a chance of self-help; an employment bureau,
    direction in washing babies and making pleasing stews, possibly a
    municipal fund for home-building. “What do you think of my plans, Mrs.
    Warren?” she concluded. 

    Speaking judiciously, as one related to the church by marriage, Mrs.
    Warren gave verdict:

    “I’m sure we’re all heartily in accord with Mrs. Kennicott in feeling
    that wherever genuine poverty is encountered, it is not only noblesse
    oblige but a joy to fulfil our duty to the less fortunate ones. But I
    must say it seems to me we should lose the whole point of the thing by
    not regarding it as charity. Why, that’s the chief adornment of the true
    Christian and the church! The Bible has laid it down for our guidance.
    ‘Faith, Hope, and CHARITY,’ it says, and, ‘The poor ye have with ye
    always,’ which indicates that there never can be anything to these
    so-called scientific schemes for abolishing charity, never! And isn’t it
    better so? I should hate to think of a world in which we were deprived
    of all the pleasure of giving. Besides, if these shiftless folks realize
    they’re getting charity, and not something to which they have a right,
    they’re so much more grateful.” 

    “Besides,” snorted Miss Ella Stowbody, “they’ve been fooling you, Mrs.
    Kennicott. There isn’t any real poverty here. Take that Mrs. Steinhof
    you speak of: I send her our washing whenever there’s too much for our
    hired girl—I must have sent her ten dollars’ worth the past year alone!
    I’m sure Papa would never approve of a city home-building fund. Papa
    says these folks are fakers. Especially all these tenant farmers that
    pretend they have so much trouble getting seed and machinery. Papa
    says they simply won’t pay their debts. He says he’s sure he hates to
    foreclose mortgages, but it’s the only way to make them respect the

    (Main Street by Sinclair Lewis)

  • phranckeaufile

    Or, gasp, “empathy.”

  • Hawker40

    “Still germane to their message, after all, you know what they say about sailors at sea…”

    Yeah, ‘It ain’t gay underway’.  ‘The United States Navy, where we seperate the men from the boys… with crowbars.’  ‘100 men leave, 50 couples come back’.

    I’ve heard them all.

  • Is it just me or is anyone else suddenly flashing back to high school geometry proofs with that picture?

    “Alternate interior angles on the transversal…”

  • Kiba

    In other news a group of Catholics nuns made a video that links teh gay with oral contraception. Yes ladies, your taking the pill makes men so sexually confused that they go gay.,b=facebook

  • EllieMurasaki

    I can’t video at work. Is there a transcript?

  • Kiba

    I haven’t found one but we’ll see if this link works better.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Youtube. Video. Blocked. Thank you, but.

  • Kiba

    Okay. I’m working on transcribing it now for you ^_^

  • EllieMurasaki

    :) thanks!

  • Madhabmatics

    “”isn’t “bad people get smacked” the basic premise of justice?”


    I can’t like this post twice so I am just going to quote it

  • Kiba

    Not done with it yet, taking a break to make dinner, but here is a partial transcript (a tad over 3 mins of a 13 min video). Hopefully Disqus doesn’t eat my formatting.

    (Text: Side effects if Chemical Contraceptives-Decreased Desirability)Voice:Studies have shown that women release a chemical hormone or pheromone when they fertile making them more desirable and attractive to men.  Pheromones are odorless and colorless and can only be detected on a subconscious, instinctive level and are proven to effect the behaviour of both animals and humans. When a woman is taking a contraceptive her body responds as if she is pregnant and infertile and no longer releases the pheromone of fertility making them less desirable to men. Studies have shown that men are far more attracted to average, fertile women than they are even to supermodels.In 2008 National Survey of Family Growth reported that 99% of sexually active women in the United States had, or were, contracepting. What is a man to do when the majority of women are contracepting and he no longer finds then desirable? While contracepting women degrade themselves through immodest dress and action (shows images of women drinking and wearing/applying make-up, high heels, and plastic surgery) in an attempt to attract men who are confused from the lack of fertile women. In the 1970s a study was conducted on a tribe of monkeys. Austin, the alpha male, chose three females to be his exclusive sexual partners. Researchers then injected his mates with the contraceptive depo-provera. Austin, not surprisingly, chose three other mates. (Text: Divorce 25% in 1965 to 50% in 1975) Then the researchers injected all the females in the tribe. Austin became confused and his actions bizarre. He no longer paid any attention to the females of the tribe and instead had sexual interactions with the other males. (Study by Lionel Tiger 1972 “Decline of Males”)(Text: Possible Side Effects of Chemical Contraceptives-Increased Irritability-Increased Propensity to Depression-Weight Gain-Reduced Sex Drive -Blood Clots-Permanent Infertility-Heart Attack-High Blood Pressure-Migraines-Stroke-Increased Risk of Liver, Breast, and Cervical CancerThe World Health Organization classifies hormonal contraceptives as class 1 carcinogens.It is impossible to calculate the deaths due to contraception because mortality is often attributed to another cause. Nowhere on the U.S certificate of death does it even mention the use of contraceptives. At present there are tens of thousands of law suits in the courts against pharmaceutical companies for death and/or serious side effects. It is also impossible to calculate how many millions of babies have died. Many chemical contraceptives try to prevent ovulation, however research has shown that break through ovulation can occur and the egg can become fertilized. In that case the chemicals prevent the implantation of the developing baby to the lining of the womb  and as a result the mother’s body rejects and aborts her baby without ever knowing she was with child. This is the cause of death for 7-12 million babies in America each year. (“Infant Homicides Through Contraceptives,” 1994 by the Study of Abortion Deaths Ad Hoc Commission – Bardstown, KY **I’m leaving off the phone number**) 

  • EllieMurasaki


    I think the many many male consumers of porn focusing on female actors would be very surprised to find that pheromones have a damn thing to do with it.

    And the usual ‘contraception = abortion’ bullshit, and the bit about the 1970s monkey study smells like bullshit…yeah, I think they’ve made their point.

    There’s probably other people for whom a transcript of that video would be useful, but I don’t think I need anything further; thank you very much.

  • Carstonio

    WTF doesn’t begin to describe my reaction. And I had thought nuns were more likely to be clearheaded in comparison with the bishops, since they have little power in the Church hierarchy to defend. The anti-theists may be rude when they bash Catholicism as a fertility cult, but as far as these nuns are concerned, reproduction does indeed seem to be their god.

  • Kiba

    Wait, you mean you don’t want to read about how estrogen in the urine of women (from contraceptives) is causing hermaphroditic infertile fish and the threat this poses (1 out of 7 couples suffer from infertility)? Or about how Texas could “quite comfortably” hold all of the world’s current population?  Or that contraception is the reason that adultery, promiscuity, homosexual behavior, and abortion is on the rise? 

  •  (grin) Well, it was a simple question!

  • EllieMurasaki

    Could everyone in the world live in Texas? Sure, if nobody minded living twenty-six thousand people to the square mile. I don’t know enough about the estrogen thing to judge, but I am not terribly bothered by infertility issues given the number of adoptable children in the world (though I admit I have also never had infertility issues and may feel differently if I ever do), and the rest is, again, usual bullshit.

  • Kiba

    Anywho, if anyone needs/wants the rest of that video transcribed let me know and I’ll finish it up.   

  •  That is only ONE of the asshattery in this video. They claim that 2/3 of students are taught about contraception, and 50% of those students get pregnant. (Wrong in like 5 ways before you even consider that they don’;t mention the teen pregnancy rate among students who aren’t taught about contraceptives).

    THey also claim that overpopulation is a*lie*, because “the entire population of the world could fit in the state of texas”.

    And there’s also some alarmism about the increasing rate of, um, lesbians.

  • Chris

    My brain parses that Manhattan Declaration symbol as a large block leaning on a medium block leaning on a small block.  Which obviously symbolizes the strong oppressing the ordinary, who in turn oppress the weak.

  • EllieMurasaki

    How much arable land does it take to feed the current population of the world? How much fresh water does it take to keep everyone hydrated and clean? Let us not even discuss the requirements in energy and raw materials to maintain anything resembling a standard of living. Or the traffic. Logistics, people. And not everyone would appreciate being packed in twenty-six thousand to the square mile.

  •  no, a lot of people would not. But on the other hand, there are LOTS of techno-eco-liberals who believe that “the solution” to environmental collapse is to do pretty much that: pack the entire human race into super-giant mega-cities where they can live efficiently, can’t have cars, and people aren’t heating, cooling and powering individual dwellings. While the entire rest of the world can be turned into an agrarian paradise consisting of equal parts rainforest and super-giant automated farms.

  • Nah, there’s no reason to think that. I’m sure we could all think of at least one or two examples of female politicians promoting ideas that many people would think are misogynistic or upholding male privilege in some way. It’s not safe to assume that just because someone is out of (one) privileged group doesn’t mean that they are more clear-headed. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Supposing we could persuade seven billion people of the benefits of city life, and various other logistical and political obstacles between here and there? Yeah, I can see that working.

    Saying that, because we could hypothetically pack everyone in at a rather higher population density than Hong Kong, overpopulation isn’t gonna be a problem for a while? As though the only reason overpopulation would ever be problematic is if there weren’t enough places to put warm bodies? That’s just foolishness.

  • I think a lot of people come up with that bad idea at one point. The best thing to do is keep them away from political office until they calm down. It’s rare to find forced migration that is not accompanied by (often ethnic) violence or persecution.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That right there would be one of the obstacles. All the problems we currently face thanks to farming megacorps, cubed, that would be another.
    I think the only actually feasible thing to do is persuade the whole world to drop the reproduction rate to no more than one child per four adults (replacement rate being a tad over one child per one adult) and do that right snappy, and not let the reproduction rate return to replacement rate until the population’s down to no more than one billion, and thereafter not let the reproduction rate get above replacement rate unless there’s been a mass die-off, and hope the environmental crisis isn’t so close that it’ll hit before everybody currently alive is dead.

    Impractical because like half the planet belongs to one or another religion where the religious authorities are vehemently against contraception, because most people want a child who shares their genes and often more than one, and because the environmental crisis is probably less than a hundred years away. But none of the other ideas I’ve heard are any more practical.

  • The_L1985

     The not-equal sign in this article is not the actual Manhattan Declaration logo.  Click the 2nd link.

  • P J Evans

     Well, the fish part isn’t BS. That’s actually a problem with the current water treatment methods, which allow a lot of drugs to go through (not just contraceptives).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Obvious solution being to improve water treatment, not to discontinue contraceptive use. Though they seem to be saying that estrogen in the water makes people infertile? Is there evidence for that?

  • Further implications of squeezing 7 billion people into the area of a state.  (Granted,  that’s a much much smaller state, but you’ll get the general idea.)

  • glendanowakowsk

    They also claim that overpopulation is a*lie*, because “the entire population of the world could fit in the state of texas”.

    That’s the same kind of logic that tells you that your checking account can’t be overdrawn because you still have plenty of checks.  It’s not about how many people you can physically cram into a particular space, it’s how many the environment can support.

  • P J Evans

     Okay – I thought my father’s were just way tarnished. (On the other hand, they are older than I am, by several years.)

  • P J Evans

     It probably has some effect. The scientists are still working on that one. (Not enough data, mostly. Long generations is another problem,)

  • Matri


    As soon as these idiots stop blocking the research into fields necessary to make these work, we’ll get them.

  • Kiba

    Well, the fish part isn’t BS. That’s actually a problem with the current water treatment methods, which allow a lot of drugs to go through (not just contraceptives).

    What got me was their claim that the estrogen in the water was from the urine of women taking oral contraceptives. Everything I’ve read on the subject has been about people flushing old/unused medications down the toilet as the mail reason for stuff like that ending up in the water supply.

    And if that is the main cause then the simple solution would be to have a secure way to turn in old or unused medications instead of simply flushing them. Where I live the city periodically runs drives to collect old medications, mainly old narcotics, but those drives are infrequent and difficult to participate in if you don’t have access to some form of transportation. 

  • Carstonio

     Good point. In another thread I noticed that female Republican politicians tend to be more centrist on women’s issues, with Palin and Bachmann as vocal outliers. Those two may be embodying what I call the Alan Keyes syndrome, having met him 20 years ago when he was running for the Senate. I perceive a correlation between politicians who lack one type of privilege essentially endorsing that privilege, and the degree of the fanaticism of their endorsement. The nuns’ group seems to embody that syndrome.

  • Carstonio

    The increasing size of stripes shows momentum – the building of a movement

    Or as Lois Lane put it, “There’s another kind of activity two people share, repetitive motion, builds to a climax.”

  • exiledjerseyite

    Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, CO, has a very similar logo. The Flatirons are the name of the mountains that Boulder is pushed up against, and Lafayette is the next town east. 

    (I’m a student at University of Colorado-Boulder so I see those mountains every day, and this sticker pops up on cars all over town.)

  • Anton_Mates


    Or about how Texas could “quite comfortably” hold all of the world’s current population?

    Wait, what’s all this right-wing bitching about undocumented immigrants, then?  Apparently the entire population of Latin America could move here and we’d fit them in just fine.

    Or that contraception is the reason that adultery, promiscuity, homosexual behavior, and abortion is on the rise?

    So taking contraception turns your boyfriend gay just after he’s impregnated you, I assume?  Be kind of weird if it happened in the opposite order.

  • The_L1985

     Have you seen the actual logo, or are you basing this on the Slacktivist image?  The actual logo doesn’t look like =/= at all.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     “If you think you know all the answers, you don’t ask any questions.”

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Or as Lois Lane put it, “There’s another kind of activity two people share, repetitive motion, builds to a climax.”

     Singing a duet?

  • The_L1985

    It wold be pretty cool if we could do that…but logistically, I don’t thin there’s enough money in the world.