Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Peter Gabriel - Biko

I have to admit.  During the entire Stubbenville rape saga I kept thinking of this song.



Not everything in the song.  Gabriel was singing about apartheid and the death of Steven Biko at the hands of the police.

But this:


You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher

And the eyes of the world are
watching now
watching now


There are thousands of Steubenvilles out there.  Some more horrible.
But with some luck we can make some changes.







Tuesday, March 19, 2013

UGH...I have to stop arguing with idiots.

Word of advice. Arguing with the Illinois Family Institute is like arguing with a duck. They just look at you, don't understand a word you are saying, say the same thing over and over and then crap on the ground.

Explaining Gay Marriage to My Children

I have two boys.  Aged 10 and 13.

I was talking to my 10 year old yesterday about marriage and I told him that my brother was getting married today (yesterday).  I asked him if he ever wanted to get married and he said "of course".  Ok. So they get, at their level, what marriage is.  Cool.

Last might I was mentioning my brother again and said that he got married to his long time boyfriend (and btw it was married, not a domestic partnership).  Their responses where along the lines of "great! are we going to the wedding?" "that's nice. Can I play Minecraft now?"

My kids get it.

Why can't the idiots at the Illinois Family Institute get it too?
Well that is because they are quite literal dumber than a 4th grader.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Asking For it

Somethings from my own little corner of geekery:
http://karinacooper.com/rage-warnings-she-was-asking-for-it

Long story-short a well known Steampunk "personality" opens up a fetish-y/erotica site.  Steampunk "fans" go ape shit.

Then there was this little gem about cosplayers, ie women (mostly) that go to comicbook/fantasy cons dressed as their favorite characters. I think it is great that women are interested in what has been to date a predominately male-centric hobby.  But not everyone agrees.

Comic book illustrator Tony Harris doesn't like cosplayers. Here are some links, you can read them.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/comic-book-illustrator-tony-harris-hates-women-co
http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/post/35644420254/tonyharris
and one from Other Side favorite Strikes Twice, http://strikes-twice.deviantart.com/#/d5l04ol

If there is someone in fandom and you don't like them or think they don't belong there then the trouble might be with you, and not them.

Following me so far?

We have had the same battles in Atheism and Skepticism.   (Remember "Elevator-gate"?).

The problem is this is all the same thing.  The systemic devaluation of women in society.
It's not a male-rights thing or something like that. No one is trying to stand up for something they want or need.  This is about keeping a certain class of humans down.  In this case, women.

Overreaction?  No. Not really.

See we have built a culture here where women are treated like sex objects. Look no further than the recent Steubenville rape trial where one of the guilty rapists claimed he didn't even know what rape was, or the victim's mother stating that their daughter was used like a toy.

I am not saying someone can't be sexy, or have sex appeal. At all.  I am saying that we need to start treating each other better than what we have been doing.
In fact "sexiness" isn't even the issue.  A woman (or a man for that matter) should be able to walk down the street in ANYTHING or NOTHING and isn't "Asking for it" any more or less than any other circumstance.

For example.


Who is this woman?  No idea. But she is brave as hell.

I love the look on her face. Strong and confident.  She could be covered head to toe and with that look still more confident than anyone else there.

Could that pic be considered "sexy" of course it is. But message matters. The message here is "don't judge me by how I look. Judge me by my actions and words."  Same with the Cosplayers. Same with Kato. Same with Jane Doe in Steubenville.

And then who is to blame?  The victim. At least that who gets blamed by the media, courts, people involved.
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23steubenville&src=typd
http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/
http://rogercanaff.com/site/2013/03/media-rundown-on-steubenville-from-thinkprogress-org-its-her-fault/

and so many more that it is making me ill reading these responses.

All I can do really is raise my kids better and ask you all to do the same.
The rest of humanity seems pretty fucked if you ask me.



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Guilty

That is the verdict on the Stuebenville rape trail.
Both of the boys were found guilty on all counts and will spend 1-2 years in a juvenile detention center.

It's a victory and I hope that the victim, Jane Doe, can heal.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Week

A Week is coming up. Thanks to Hemant for pointing this out to me.

You can find out more at: http://www.aweek.biz/ and http://www.facebook.com/AWeekOfficial

They have banners and icons for your Facebook or G+ pages.




Those are the two I am going to use.

My goal on Facebook is NOT to get into any fights about this, but rather answer questions posed to me.
We will see how long that lasts.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Religious Freedoms end where Human Rights begin

One of the reasons I set up this blog was so I could talk about issues that interest me without having to deal religious minded people that use dogma in place of thinking.

Here is yet another case.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is going up again for a vote.  This legislation would keep people from being fired or not being hired in the first place on the basis of their sexual or gender orientation.

Sounds fine really.  Read the page, nothing here that really should offend anyone right?
Wrong!

The Religious Right are saying this legislation is impeding their religious freedom.  Their freedom to be bigoted assholes maybe.

Here is a letter I got on one of my stealth accounts I use to keep track of these people.
Read this and consider the fear mongering here. The persecution complex. They have decided that treating others fairly is an attack on them.


Click to make bigger (I am including the image to show this has not been edited)
Here is the text, in text format.


ENDA Will Destroy Your Religious Freedom
March 06, 2013 |  | Share with Friends 
Dear XXXXX,
Like a B-grade 1950's horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead.
ENDA--the Employment Non-Discrimination Act--is dangerous. It feeds on freedom, primarily the freedom of religion and speech: not in theory, but on a practical, everyday level. It leaves few freedoms behind.
Yes, the bill has a fair-sounding name, but in fact, ENDA would givespecial rights to men and women who engage in homosexual behavior. It will force Christian schools and colleges, Christian-owned businesses, day care centers, and other organizations to employ people who make their sexual behavior an issue as they parade their proclivities into the workplace.
Under ENDA, biblical morality becomes illegal.
Now is the time to stand firm
ENDA was first proposed in 1994 and has been repeatedly introduced since then. We've beaten it back again and again. But in today's political climate you don't need subtitles to know this is their "perfect storm":
  • a Liberal majority in the Senate;
  • a strongly pro-homosexual media machine;
  • an emboldened homosexual lobby;
  • a Republican establishment that is afraid to stand up;
  • and most of all, a second-term President with no need to worry about reelection, who has sworn to his radical homosexual supporters that he will personally "usher through an Employment Non-Discrimination Act and sign it into law."
I urge you to get involved personally, immediately, in fighting ENDA--because this dangerous bill could rise from the floor of Congress at any time they choose.
Certainly to you and me, the very idea of ENDA--giving special rights and protections to people based solely on their sexual behavior--is outrageous. But to this pro-homosexual President and the totalitarian homosexual lobby, it's a reasonable way to advance their cause--and crush the biblical view that stands in their way of fundamentally transforming America. ENDA is massive leap forward in redefining America.
You probably will not hear much about ENDA in the news. This could give liberal members of Congress the opportunity to move ENDA forward without a lot of noisy opposition. President Obama also could try to enact ENDA-type policies with federal regulations.
We've got to prevent any kind of "stealth" operation--by making our position overwhelmingly clear to our Senators and Representatives.
FRC Action stands ready to lead the way, but we need your support. Your generous donation today will make a real difference. FRC Action is the most influential and most respected group inWashington on the Hill every day, deeply involved in the inner workings of legislative battles affecting faith, family and freedom.
We must defeat ENDA to protect our religious freedom
The specter of life under ENDA is not theoretical: we have the tragic experiences of Christians in Canada where a version of ENDA is already the law.
The evangelical Christian Horizons ministry, committed to extending God's love to developmentally disabled children, dismissed a lesbian employee for lying about her immoral sexual behavior. The woman sued under Ontario's ENDA-type law.
The ministry was immediately fined thousands of dollars, plus two years of back pay, and ordered to indoctrinate its Bible-believing employees in the homosexual agenda.
It's easy to see that the same kind of disaster will come to America if ENDA becomes law here. It will become impossible for any church or ministry or Christian organization to stand as a Christian example, as Titus 2:7 admonishes. Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.
We must defeat ENDA to protect our children
The danger of ENDA goes beyond employment. It will essentially give the radicals government approval to reach the heart of your family. We've seen how this will work too.
In Indiana, a child on a school bus stated her pro-life, pro-marriage beliefs--the bus driver verbally assaulted the girl, demeaning her as "a stupid little bigot"--and the school district defended the bus driver as "working within the scope of her employment."
This was a preview of ENDA: government workers empowered to intimidate children who dare express Christian values that conflict with the homosexual agenda.
We must also defeat ENDA so that the good work you are accomplishing through your support of FRC Action can continue. It's no secret that we are the number-one target of the homosexual Left's hatred because we repeatedly stand against their agenda on Capitol Hill ... when fewer and fewer are willing to stand. Many in Congress describe FRC Action as the most effective voice for your traditional Christian values in Washington, D.C.
But if ENDA becomes a federal law, I have no doubt activists will use it to provoke a confrontation--and try to silence us through legal action. If they silence us, they silence you!
Take action today
To keep Christians from being fired for their faith ...
To keep Christian businesses from being forced to hire cross-dressers ...
To keep a Christian from being terminated for "anti-gay harassment" simply because he kept a Bible on his desk ...
To keep Christian schools from being forced to employ homosexual teachers ...
To keep our children free to proclaim the values we've taught them ...
We will continue to fight every single day for the preservation of your freedoms. Meanwhile, I hope you will follow your gift with prayer Thank you. God bless.
Sincerely,

Tony Perkins
President
P.S. After making the most generous gift you can, please share this with your friends.
FRC Action is a tax-exempt corporation under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Financial contributions to FRC Action are not tax-deductible.

What I see here is a group whining about the loss of their ability to persecute and bully another group.
To bad.

I hope that they are right in one respect. I do hope that the time has never been better to get this passed.

Friday, March 1, 2013

SB 10 and the Culture of Blindness

I know I have been going on a bit about Illinois SB10, aka the Gay Marriage bill, and not Atheism, but this is my blog after all....

Anyway I just got this letter back from Rep. Tom Morrison,


Well I thanked him for emailing me back but I think it is obvious (to me) that he didn't really read my letter.

While I don't want to come off as smug on this, I do think that Marriage Equality in Illinois is only a matter of time.  If not now, then in a few years.  Certainly a generation.  While I am sure that Rep. Morrison believe he has the best of intentions he is letting his religious belief get in the way of his civic duty. He is putting his on comfort over the rights of others.  One day we will look back on these days the same way we look back on the South in the 1960s with civil rights.

I still say email your representatives in Illinois.  You can find them here.
Let them know how you feel.

This is another case of religion denying another group of people their human rights.

Now while I will grant Rep. Morrison the benefit of the doubt in terms of whether his vote against human rights is hate-motivated, the Illinois Family Institute gets no such pass from me.  They keep referring to this bill as the "faux marriage" bill or the "counterfeit marriage" bill.  There is nothing but hate on their site.  They are even designated a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I say please use their own "Take Action" center to email your reps to let them know that your support this bill and you do not support the IFI.