Is this Justice?

Consider the following scenario:

An African-American restaurant owner in New York City learns that one of his white employees was born in Alabama.  He calls that employee to his office.

Owner: “Is it true you came from Alabama, a southern state?”

Employee:  “Yes. But I moved to New York four years ago.”

Owner:  “Then you are FIRED!  I won’t have racists working for me. More than half of our customers are African-American and I won’t risk you offending them with racist remarks.”

Employee: “What?! But have I done anything wrong?  If I was a racist, I would not be here!”

Owner:  “I used to live in the south. And virtually every white person I dealt with there was racist, constantly looking down on me and other black kids. I finally got out of that situation, and I’ll be damned if the bigotry follows me up here.”

Employee: “Well, don’t you think I am also sick of the bigotry of my fellow whites? I also left the south to live here because of the culture. YOU are the one being racist against ME because of both my skin color and where I was born.  I’m not responsible for either of those things!”

Owner: “You still benefited from the racism you grew up in, just as I suffered from it. Now you are going to learn how it feels to be discriminated against!  GET OUT!”

Rape Apologists!

I would occasionally see the term “rape apologist” thrown around by feminists and I assumed for a long time that this was merely hyperbole. What man, in his right mind, would publicly defend the act of forcing a woman to have sex with him? Instead, I figured the only proper definition of a rape apology would be a rapist saying to his victim months or years later, “I’m sorry that I violated your dignity as a fellow human being and I promise I will never do that again to anyone.”

Boy was I mistaken! Continue reading

Celebrating Black History Month, Stupidly

Read this embarrassing article:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/black-history-month-inspired-school-lunch-menu-cau/ndGPD/
Black History Month inspired school lunch menu causes outcry

menuNoelle Walker and KTVU.com

CONCORD, Calif. —

A student effort to come up with a special menu for Black History Month backfired at Carondelet High School in Concord.

Interim President, Sister Ann Bernard, said students who were members of the Black Student Union club at neighboring De La Salle High School planned a special lunch to celebrate the month.  The menu included fried chicken, corn bread and watermelon.

“They thought this was a very clever way, in their own way, of celebrating Black History Month. It was as simple, and naive as that,” Sister Bernard explained.

On Thursday Bernard publicly apologized for the event she said was planned without following procedures to get staff approval.

“It was the parents who thought, rightfully so, we were being insensitive to African American culture, which is not who we are or what we profess,” Bernard said, shaking her head.

The first staff or administration heard of the proposed menu was when it was announced over the loudspeaker Monday morning.

“Most people were laughing, but they were laughing nervously because they knew it wasn’t right,” said sophomore, Dom Carpenello.

While Carpenello admitted the menu sounded tasty, she admitted, “The menu really doesn’t have anything to do with black history.”

The chief curator at Oakland’s African American Museum and Library, Rick Moss, agreed.

“I guess there’s an impression that all black people eat this kind of food, which of course is false,” Moss said.

He said the menu came from a place of ignorance about what Black History Month means, but says the reaction to the students’ misstep was also wrong.

“So this is wonderful opportunity to actually inform people, not something to react to,” Moss said.

Carondelet High School is using the incident as a “teachable moment,” Sister Bernard said there will be teacher sensitivity training and a student assembly this month.

“There’s education needed on every single level, not just for students, but also for faculty and staff,” she said.

As for the menu, Bernard said, “I can assure you that fried chicken and the rest of it is not part of it.”

I cannot believe the sheer ignorance being displayed here! This issue is about misrepresenting the culture of an entire race. Fried chicken, corn bread. and watermelon are not and have never been “black” foods, but were among the cheap foods served to the enslaved ancestors of most African-Americans by slaveowners. It would be like showing pictures of Nazi concentration camps as part of celebrating Jewish History Month!

For more details on the incredible stupidity of it all, read this:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/02/07/fried-chicken-lunch-black-history-month-really/

Rape, School Sports and Small Town Insanity

P Z Myers put the spotlight on a teenage rapist yesterday:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/14/matthew-barnett-sleazebag-and-rapist

The story is sadly typical of small towns and their pathetic bigotries, but what really drew my attention later was a comment below it. (Emphasis mine.)

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/14/matthew-barnett-sleazebag-and-rapist/comment-page-1/#comment-705351

39
MarkM1427

15 October 2013 at 1:04 am (UTC -5)

Anonymous? That scumbag will wish he only had the cops to deal with. If only they’d go after the media for not calling this shit what it is: an inexcusable, unforgivable act of violence against another human being. I didn’t see a word of this until ThinkProgress shared it on Facebook. I wonder why no one else seems to give a shit about the actual victims here. Ever since I first read this story it’s been stuck in the back of my head. It obviously pisses me off, but it also hits close to home in several ways for me.

As outraged as I am about this, I’m not at all surprised. It’s not the first time I’ve heard about a small town demonizing the victims who dared to put the town through the trauma of dealing with the fact that a heinous crime happened in their neighborhood instead of, you know, the actual criminal. A similar story of what happened to my grandmother has stuck with my family for nearly 50 years. (I’m not going to derail the thread with the whole story, but a small town covered up the murder of her mother since the guy who did it was close to powerful people in the town.) Why can’t this shit ever change?

And this has finally done it. I thought I would never say this, but I can’t go on believing that athletic programs are a positive influence for students. Even though I benefited from sports myself, I can’t support them anymore. I was an athlete in high school, and to this day I believe that being part of the football team did a lot to make me more social then. I have Asperger’s and I might not have as much as spoken a word the whole four years if I didn’t join one group or another. For so long I defended these sports programs as something that could be a great influence on the athletes if the coaches actually gave a damn about that like the ones I had did.

But no more. I now see that my experience was the exception, not the rule. School sports, much like religion, corrupts the adults who are involved in it, you know, the ones that are supposed to ACT LIKE ADULTS. If sports programs warp peoples’ minds to the point that they are consistently willing to enable rape by athletes in the name of winning a fucking ball game, they are toxic to society and we should cast them out of schools.

I don’t intend to derail the thread with the tangent I know I went off on, but this story has had my mind spinning faster than a centrifuge ever since I read it. I can’t wait for the town to finally have the wrath of the rest of the country descend on them for the scumbags they are.

And that led me to ask what, if anything, do sports programs have to do with the actual process of education? Nothing that I can see. Yet almost every school and college out there has a sports program which no doubt costs money to maintain. Perhaps it is time to start putting pressure on schools to eliminate funding for sports programs before they even think of eliminating anything else from a school’s budget!

Racism among Atheists too?

Jen McCreight, author of the blog Blag Hag, now finds herself having to confront the ugly issue of racism among her fellow atheists after she and other women dealt so much and for so long with sexism among them. I will provide links to her blog entries in question along with excerpts from them.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2013/08/on-silencing-anger-to-silence-minority-voices/

My favorite thing to wake up to in the morning is white straight cis men insisting they get to decide who your allies are and that you should not ever get angry, but rather calmly explain basic topics to hostile questions from every person that wanders across your path as if it were your personal duty on this earth. Continue reading

An Open Letter to the American People

August 3, 2013

To the concerned citizens of the United States of America,

The Republicans in the House of Representatives have tried 40 times to repeal Obamacare and 39 times they have failed. They will always fail as long as the Democrats have a majority in the Senate and Obama, or any other Democrat, is President. So why do they bother?  If anyone else was caught wasting as much time at their jobs as the Republicans have, they would be fired. So the obvious solution is to vote at least some of the Republicans out of the House next year.

The truth is that the Republicans are living on borrowed time. It is a given that they will never capture the Presidency again; George W. Bush will be the last Republican ever to hold it. But once Obamacare is fully implemented and its benefits become obvious, the insane opposition the Republicans have shown to it will cause them to never be able to hold a majority in either chamber of Congress and their status as a major party in the United States will be finished.

If you really want limited government, vote for Libertarians. Most of them are not hypocrites. They are indeed the only true followers of the U S Constitution left. No, not even the “Tea Party” bigots among Republicans. The Tea Party was just another right-wing scam to get votes from people who were scared out of their wits by the election of a black man to the Presidency. Ironically, I think Obama has not been liberal enough and that we need to push government even more to the left over the next few decades.

Indeed, if we were true to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence (“we hold there truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…..”) there would be absolutely NO place in American politics for Conservatism. Why? Because Conservatism by its very nature is based on trying to maintain some sort of social inequality; some traditionally privileged class seeking to maintain its exalted status as opposed to some other disadvantaged class. It could be rich vs. poor, whites vs. blacks, men vs. women, Christians vs. non-Christians, or heterosexuals vs. homosexuals. Conservatism works by constantly appealing to the irrational prejudices of those who are in power and seek to keep the power to themselves rather than share power with those who do not have it. Both the Democrats in the late 19th Century and the Republicans in the late 20th Century to today were infested by Conservatism.

The Republicans today have caved in so deeply to bigotry that they are not even capable of representing the real needs of the people anymore; they are controlled by giant corporations that have been holding most of our economy hostage for decades and own media outlets like FOX News to lie to the American people constantly. These same corporations that outsourced so much of our manufacturing to China, but blame illegal immigrants for taking jobs from real Americans. Those same corporations that make vast profits from wars overseas and a military budget at least six times greater than that of any other nation while causing us to drown in public debt. Hypocrites! They are the real parasites and traitors to our nation, not welfare recipients or those who dare to blow the whistle on the corruption and abuses of our government!

So let us destroy the Republican Party! The madness must end!

Sincerely,

Dale Husband, the Honorable Skeptic

 

Random thoughts about the George Zimmerman/Treyvon Martin case

1. Since both the victim and the defendant in the case were male, why was there an all female jury? How is that different from an all-white jury judging a black person having killed another black person?

2. It does not matter who attacked whom first, the fact remains that Treyvon Martin was unarmed and George Zimmerman had a gun, giving him an overwhelming advantage. The fact that Martin was shot in the heart shows that Zimmerman meant to kill him, rather than merely disable him to stop the fight. He should have been convicted of manslaughter, at least.

3. “Stand your ground” laws might as well be called “permission to use violence as a first option rather than a last resort”. What do we call societies in which that is commonly accepted? Barbaric anarchies, which America should be anything but!

4. The jury probably did not want to convict Zimmerman of anything because doing so would have been a virtual death sentence for him. He’d go to a prison, and prisons across the USA are known to have a disproportionate number of African-American men, most of whom would be more than happy to kill Zimmerman. A possible solution would have been to sentence Zimmerman to house arrest for many years instead of prison. Indeed, why not sentence most convicted felons to house arrest instead of prison?

5. Neighborhood watch groups are supposed to call the police and alert them to possible crimes being committed as they occur, not take the law into their own hands like Zimmerman clearly did!

6. I was just as outraged when O. J. Simpson was found not guilty of those murder charges he faced. It makes NO difference to me whether a person of any race gets off after killing a person of any race.

7. Treyvon Martin’s family could still sue Zimmerman for wrongful death of the victim. Unlike criminal trials where the prosecution is expected to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, civil court cases are decided based on how much the evidence is weighed on each side. By that standard, Zimmerman should lose badly, just as O J Simpson did.

No, Marion Bartoli is not a Barbie doll

When an average looking man wins a major sporting event, how often do you see anyone commenting on his looks? Yet if a woman wins one, that’s all some sexist jerks can think of!

http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/54864863081/womens-wimbledon-champion-marion-bartoli-deemed

Does this woman look “fat” or “ugly” to you?! WHY? She looks NORMAL!

marion-bartoli-5http://tennis.si.com/2013/07/07/bbc-commentator-marion-bartoli-not-a-looker/

WIMBLEDON, England — The BBC apologized after one of its commentators criticized newly crowned Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli’s looks.

The Telegraph reported that after Bartoli defeated Sabine Lisicki in Saturday’s final, John Inverdale asked listeners on BBC Radio, “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker? You’ll never be a [Maria] Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight.’”

The comment created a firestorm on social media and the BBC was inundated with complaints. Inverdale attempted a halfhearted apology, according to The Telegraph, saying, “We poked fun, in a nice way, about how she looks … but Marion Bartoli is an incredible role model.”

Yeah, that’s not an apology.

The BBC later issued a statement apologizing for Inverdale’s remarks.

“We accept that this remark was insensitive and for that we apologize,” a spokesman said.

Bartoli’s father, Walter, who served as her coach from childhood until this year, was told of the remarks and responded with class.

“I am not angry,” Bartoli said, according to The Telegraph. “She is my beautiful daughter.”
<snip>

As for Inverdale, he appeared to face no immediate sanction from the BBC. Later Saturday, he was back hosting the BBC’s nightly Wimbledon wrap-up show.

UPDATE: Inverdale said Sunday that he wrote Bartoli a letter of apology. In response to his on-air comments, Bartoli reportedly said: ”It doesn’t matter, honestly. I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I’m sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes. And to share this moment with my dad was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of it.”

Look, I am in favor of freedom of speech as much as anyone else, but when you are on a public broadcasting outlet and you make sexist remarks that millions of people can hear, you should face some consequences. Inverdale should have been fired. I’m sure a lot of people out there never want to hear from him again and the BBC needs to clean up its tarnished image.

The Skepchicks vs. the Asses of Evil

With this blog entry, I intend to put all the past references to the battles Rebecca Watson and her allies have fought against sexism in the secular communities into one place. This will be a work in progress.

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/the-downfall-of-richard-dawkins-credibility/

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/rebecca-watson-vs-stef-mcgraw/

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/beware-of-justin-vacula/

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/destroy-the-atheist-movement/

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/atheists-on-facebook/

Atheists on Facebook

The Center for Inquiry hosted a conference for women in which it’s CEO, Ron Lindsay, made a total idiot of himself and offended a LOT of the women (and enlightened men) for whom the conference was made by implying that feminists who wanted men to listen to them were no better than the men who were being disrespectful to them.

Continue reading

Destroy the Atheist movement!

Read this, which I have edited for the sake of brevity:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/05/08/policing-their-own/

We want religious believers to police their own.

We want religious believers to stop being silent about atrocities committed in the name of religion. …….And when they don’t, we call them hypocrites.

So why is it that when atheists speak out against screwed-up shit that other atheists are doing, it gets called “divisive”?

I have been hearing a lot of calls for unity in the atheist community. I have been hearing a lot of calls for an end to the debates, an end to the infighting. I have been hearing a lot of calls for atheists to stop focusing on our differences, and look at our common ground….But all too often, calling for unity equals silencing dissent. All too often, calling for unity equals a de facto defense of the status quo. All too often, calling for unity equals telling people who are speaking up for themselves to shut up.

I do not want to be in unity with atheists who [speak, write, or behave in misogynous ways]. And I do not want to be in unity with atheists who consistently rationalize this behavior, who trivialize it, who make excuses for it.

And I don’t think I should be expected to. I don’t think anyone in this movement should be asking that of me. I don’t think anyone in this movement should be asking that of anyone.

And when people, however well-meaning, make generic calls for unity — when they tell all of us to stop fighting and just get along — they’re basically telling those of us on the short ends of those sticks to shut up.

Quite simply, we as civilized people cannot unite around atheism. Atheism is merely rejection of theism, and lots of people who rejected theism in the past were part of governments that not only mistreated women, but mass murdered people outright.

So if you wish to profess atheism, go for it. But we cannot define ourselves only as atheists. Doing so is meaningless. The Atheist movement itself is meaningless.

Let us turn to this instead:

http://www.uua.org/beliefs/principles/index.shtml

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

What Greta Christina wrote about on her own blog is exactly why I have fought with atheist fanatics and hypocrites on the internet. Being an atheist is not enough, and there is nothing wrong with someone choosing to believe in a god of some kind if he affirms the seven principles stated above.

We do not need atheism, nor do we need religious bigotry. We do need tolerance and a world embracing vision and thus we need firm principles, which we may find among Unitarian Universalists. Let it be so.

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/why-more-people-should-join-the-unitarian-universalists/

 

A powerful statement about abortion

This statement was made by a woman on Facebook who used to be an anti-abortion activist. Her name will not be mentioned, but her words should be shared far and wide:

Sometime in college it occurred to me through logical, empathetic thinking that [having an abortion] must be a very scary and difficult position to be in and I couldn’t help but have the utmost respect for any woman who made a choice for herself and her life, whatever her choice was. That was a turning point for me, somehow suddenly recognizing the human involved in the situation.

I was fed a lot of false statistics about the relationship between abortion, depression, breast cancer, etc., and I believed it all. They (youth pastors) told us too that there were far fewer abortions before Roe v. Wade, and that was proof that banning it would decrease the number happening, that the back alley abortion was an insignificant number, mythical almost. I’ve since learned international statistics don’t support that and that all the other stuff is false, too.

I was skeptical about different aspects of the Church since about middle school, but I had no support for those thoughts, and it took a long time to get to where I am today on my own.

First, it never acceptable to lie to support a cause, however well intentioned. Second, if banning abortion will not save the lives of unborn children, but instead endanger the pregnant women, then anti-abortionists have no right to call themselves “pro-life”. NRA members often say, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” The same is true of abortions.

Traditionally, fetuses have never been considered citizens; personhood was always said to begin at birth, not conception, which is why you always to this day see birthdates on gravestones, followed by the date of a person’s death; the date of conception would be irrelevant even if it were known. Indeed, the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (emphasis mine)

A pregnant woman who was born in the United States is unquestionably a citizen, unlike her unborn fetus. And nothing could be more depriving that woman of her liberty than forcing her to bear a child she does not want to carry to term!

And that is the legal basis for the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973.

If Israel shouldn’t exist….

……neither should Pakistan. BOTH states were founded after World War II by followers of a specific religion who wanted to establish a society in which that religion would dominate it. Pakistan excluded Hindus and remains a hotbed of Muslim extremism to this day (which is why it was stupid for President Bush Jr. to accept Pakistan as an ally in his “War on Terrorism”, when in fact Osama Bin Ladin was hiding out in Pakistan for years until President Obama finally had him killed). And Israel continues to violate the rights of Palestinians by building and keeping Jewish settlements on the West Bank, thus stealing land the United Nations said was not theirs in 1947. Yet the United States also continues to support Israel, no matter what. Why is Jewish extremism more acceptable than Muslim extremism? Either accept both and the states made from them or condemn both and the states made from them. Not only one or the other, unless you are a religious bigot.

This understanding came to me after reading this:

http://skepchick.org/2013/03/whitefeminism/

While other countries are “Muslim” or “Islamic” because they just so happen to have a large Muslim population, Pakistan was founded by Muslims as a Muslim country in rather deliberate fashion.

I replied as follows:

Likewise, Israel was founded by Jews as a Jewish country in rather deliberate fashion. If one is illegitimate, so is the other. Can you discuss this too?

The blog author replied:

That isn’t at all part of my focus or within my scope as a blogger. There are plenty of critics of Israel and Zionism who can speak to such matters better than I can.

I then said:

I understand. My actual point is that I know of no anti-Zionists that also attack Pakistan for its existence as a Muslim state founded to separate its people from mostly Hindu India. Proving that they are more biased towards Islam and against Jews than any just person should be.

As an non-theist, I’m one of those “a plague on both your houses” people that gets it from both sides.

Women shouldn’t teach at Christian schools, round three!

Not again!!!!

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/women-shouldnt-teach-at-christian-schools/

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/women-shouldnt-teach-at-christian-schools-round-2/

And now……

http://www.inquisitr.com/550024/pregnant-woman-fired-for-premarital-sex/

A pregnant woman was fired for premarital sex, according to a lawsuit she filed that claims wrongful termination.

The woman, Teri James, was a teacher at San Diego Christian College when she was called into her supervisor’s office in October.

Her supervisor got straight to the point when she asked if James was pregnant, reports TODAY. James, unmarried at the time, confirmed the news.

The admission was a violation of the school’s rules, according to the lawsuit filed by James in San Diego County superior court. She explained in the lawsuit that the termination letter included:

“Teri engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission.”

James added that her then-fiance was offered a job by the school, even though they knew he engaged in premarital sex. James added of the meeting where she was fired:

“I had to leave right after the meeting. I had to go into the office with all of my co-workers and say I’m leaving. I never came back so I don’t know what my co-workers thought, but for me, it was humiliating.”

ABC Local notes that Teri James isn’t suing to get her job back. Instead, she is suing for damages because of wrongful termination and invasion of privacy.

The school’s community covenant states that Biblical character is highly valued and desire. It also states that the school frowns on sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, though it doesn’t say what the consequence would be for a violation. Teri James added of her termination:

“San Diego Christian College did not show any mercy or grace towards me, and acted completely un-Christ-like. They made more of a business decision than showing God’s love.”

James’ attorney, Gloria Allred, added that the college, while a Christian school, still has to “comply with the laws of the state of California.” This means they cannot discriminate against an employee based on gender, marital status, or pregnancy.

Do you think the college was right to fire Teri James for having premarital sex?

Even Jesus was quoted as saying, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Clearly, those Christian schools and their “Biblical” values are a load of crap!

Puerto Ricans and the Republicans

Last week, the people of the United States dodged a bullet by re-electing Barack Obama to the Presidency rather than accept a hypocritical plutocrat as his successor. Also, some of the strongest advocates for social Conservatism among Republicans went down to defeat in many races. At least two states legalized gay marriage by popular vote, something unheard of until this year, and also marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational purposes was legalized in several states.

And next year it will get even more hilarious to behold, because somehow the Republicans, despise losing several seats in the House of Representatives, still held on to control of that body. And they are about to face a most upsetting challenge.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/politics/election-puerto-rico/index.html

Puerto Ricans favor statehood for first time

By Mariano Castillo, CNN
updated 10:32 AM EST, Thu November 8, 2012

(CNN) — In an overshadowed Election Day contest, Puerto Ricans voted in favor of statehood in a nonbinding referendum, marking the first time such an initiative garnered a majority.

Puerto Ricans were asked about their desires in two parts. First, by a 54% to 46% margin, voters rejected their current status as a U.S. commonwealth. In a separate question, 61% chose statehood as the alternative, compared with 33% for the semi-autonomous “sovereign free association” and 6% for outright independence.

While the results may be an indicator of what Puerto Ricans want, statehood will not be possible without congressional action in Washington, something that is not guaranteed.

Indeed, given their dwindling power in society, the Republicans that still dominate the House may decide to reject Puerto Rico’s bid for statehood, because as a state it is most likely to send two Democratic Senators and several Democratic Representatives to Congress. But if they do this, it will only enrage millions of Hispanic voters all across America. They are already rejecting the Republican Party by a wide margin because of the illegal immigration issue and this will only harden their rejection. The result may be the Republicans finally losing control of the House in 2014. Then when Puerto Rico DOES become a state and sends those additional Democrats to Congress (and can also cast electoral votes in the 2016 Presidental election) then politically the Republicans will be finished as a viable party.
I can hardly wait to see them go down!

A Brilliant Statement About Gay Marriage

A friend of mine, Michelle Parsneau, made the following extraordinary public statement about the issue of gay marriage:

https://www.facebook.com/michelle.parsneau

https://www.facebook.com/michelle.parsneau/posts/4332476863607

For all those who talk about “traditional marriage based on the Bible”…

Now would that be Abraham and Sarah (half siblings), Jacob, Rachel and Leah, (not only bigamy but also cousins), David who loved Jonathan “better than any woman” and had multiple wives, or Solomon with his 300 wives and 900 concubines, or the one where a raped virgin is now ‘married’ to her rapist? Biblical marriage has never been one kind only, nor are all of them particularly just constructs.

At the end of the day, a marriage in the U.S. is a legal, civil contract. We only give pastors and religious leaders the courtesy of having the power to perform those ceremonies with legal binding. Preventing two adults from entering into that contract of their own accord based on gender is discrimination, and is not Constitutional, nor is it an American value.

In Minnesota, gay/lesbian marriage is currently illegal already. Can’t bring yourself to vote NO on the amendment? Then, I respectfully ask that you refrain from voting on that issue, as it is only mean spirited and discriminatory to vote for it. Utilizing empathy would be a good way to evaluate this issue.

I want to live in a country and a state that practices full equality as well as freedom of and from religion. Nothing in the idea of gay/lesbian marriage will force people of any religious faith to do anything against their faith. Concerned that pastors and clergy people will be forced to perform marriages they don’t agree with? Get over yourself. They aren’t forced to perform marriages for anyone they don’t like now. How do I know? A narrow-minded pastor who didn’t like what he thought were weaknesses in Kevin and my faith refused to marry us. Of course, he was wrong and 15 years has pretty concretely proven that one. Am I saying that religious leaders can be wrong? Um, hell yes I am. They are just as human as the rest of us.

I want that statement to be seen everywhere!

About George McGovern

George McGovern, the liberal Democratic Senator who ran for President of the United States in 1972 and ended up losing badly to Richard Nixon, died on October 21, 2012. Two days later, a blog entry was written about him. But is also revealing about the conservative mindset that defeated McGovern and has been a problem for liberals ever since.

http://vereloqui.blogspot.com/2012/10/an-american-hero-george-mcgovern-rip.html

I grew up in a family of conservative Democrats who were increasingly at odds with their party, and who mostly abandoned it on election day in November of 1972 to vote for Nixon. They voted for the crook: it was important. None of them liked McGovern’s politics, a dislike that overshadowed anything they felt about him as a man. His personality was lost in the distaste for his political positions.

Indeed, most of the former supporters of Democrats among southern whites would eventually become Republicans. As many of them might have said, “I did not leave the party, the party left me.” But that was because racism is wrong and should have been abandoned in the 1970s by any person with a sense of right and wrong. The stubborn opposition among Conservatives to Barack Obama to this day seems to stem from a racism that is no longer openly expressed by many of them but is still simmering just beneath the surface.

But there were two things that later rehabilitated him in my mind, and brought me to an appreciation of him that has stayed with me ever since. The first was seeing him speak when I was in college. He co-taught a class at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the early 1980′s. As part of that class he gave a lecture at Campbell Hall which my girlfriend (who was later to become my wife) and I went to see. The stereotypes that I had formed over the years were exploded when I saw a man who was incredibly intelligent, witty, and well-informed. This was not the political demon I had been raised to revile. We attended a number of lectures during my junior and senior years, and the three that stood out as truly outstanding were those by Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Jr., and George McGovern.

Indeed, ignorance and dishonesty seems to fuel both support for Conservative politics and condemnation of Liberalism.

The 35 missions that George McGovern flew were the maximum number a pilot could fly. After 35, you were done: They sent you home. Very few reached that number. When I read this, I thought back on his opposition to the Vietnam War, a position I strongly disagreed with as a very confident but fairly ignorant adolescent. It took on a completely different color. A man who flew 35 missions in a B-24 over Germany, I concluded, has won the right to say anything he wants to about war and he has earned the right to be listened to.

I would also add that in 2004 the same could have been said about Sen. John Kerry and his opposition to the Iraq War, having fought himself in the Vietnam War. And yet Kerry lost that election for the same reason McGovern lost in 1972:  political bigotry and lies by Conservatives.

I have said before that the problem with liberals is not that they’re evil; the problem is that they are good, too good. They are so good they are a danger to themselves and others. As a true liberal, McGovern possessed the fault characteristic of his political tribe: he projected his goodness onto his fellow men and assumed that they would what he would do under the same circumstances.

I would answer that the problem with Conservatives is not that they are evil either, but that they are cynical:  taking the corruption of mankind as a given, they assume that the only way to defeat their opponents is to embrace the corruption and use it to their advantage against those who are consistently honorable, perpetuating the cycle of abuse to the next generation instead of trying to make things better for all of us.

We forgive dead men for their badness. Can we forgive them for their goodness?

I do not want your forgiveness for liberals, sir! I want you to recognize that just as you were wrong about McGovern in the past, you are wrong about liberals even now and that the conservative perspective should be abandoned completely. Even Jesus himself would have expected you to return good for evil, as he taught, but that lesson has been totally lost on conservatives throughout history!

Beware of Justin Vacula!

First, read this:

http://skepchick.org/2012/10/secular-coalition-picks-anti-woman-leader-for-pennsylvania/

Doing so, I felt profoundly disgusted that such a misogynous bigot as Justin Vacula would be allowed to have any position of influence in an atheist organization. What are the leaders of the Secular Coalition for America trying to do, discredit their own cause?

Rebecca Watson said:

If I were a woman in Pennsylvania, I would never, ever want to get involved in any way with Justin Vacula. In fact, I will never, ever get involved with SCA so long as someone like him holds a position of power anywhere, let alone in a state I live in. So Vacula is actively driving people away from SCA. I’d like to know how they expect to overcome that – how they hope to reach out to progressive people, and particularly women in Pennsylvania, while an MRA is a co-chair.

Well, I am a man in Texas and likewise I want nothing to do with that guy. He just seems sick!

Men’s Right’s Activists (MRAs) are to sexism what the Ku Klux Klan is to racism. As I commented on the Skepchick blog:

  • A Voice for Men? How about a Voice for White People, a Voice for Christians, and a Voice for the Wealthy? Oh yes, we must always ensure that those who are already privileged in society get to yell louder than their opponents, to maintain the status quo in society, even if they are abusive and dishonest.

    Damn them!

A Classic Case of Male Entitlement

Read this story and note especially the phrases I have bolded:

Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker’s Life, Lawyer Says

Savannah Dietrich, a Kentucky teenager who was sexually assaulted and then threatened with jail for naming her attackers, has reportedly destroyed the life of at least one of the perpetrators.

“He’s had to move,” David Mejia, the attorney for one of the attackers, told The Huffington Post. “He has lost all the potential that was there. He was attending high school and was kicked out. He was on course to a scholarship to an Ivy League school to play sports and that may be jeopardized. He’s in therapy. He’s just overwhelmed and devastated by what started from the conduct of this young girl saying false things as she did.”

Mejia filed a contempt motion against Dietrich in July. She had tweeted the names of two teenage boys who assaulted her back in August 2011.

After naming the boys, Dietrich, then 16, tweeted, “I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell.”

Dietrich’s anger stemmed from a June hearing in which the teenagers confessed to felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism. She and her family were reportedly frustrated by the plea bargain the boys made with the state.

“If reporting a rape only got me to the point that I’m not allowed to talk about it, then I regret it,” Dietrich wrote on Facebook. “I regret reporting it.”

Mejia said that he and his client were angry about the posts and that Dietrich was not entirely honest.

“The victim, in a fit of anger, tweets my clients name, calls him a rapist — something he was never accused of — and said the court system was corrupt and he got away with what he did,” Mejia said. “She also said he videotaped her and put it on Internet. There never was a rape, there was no video and there was nothing on the Internet. But he did admit to the conduct as charged which was criminal sexual abuse or touching.”

The two boys charged were juveniles, and the court therefore kept the details of the case confidential.

Dietrich, now 17, told ABC’s “Nightline” what happened the night she was assaulted in an interview Monday.

She said she was drinking with friends when she passed out. When she later awoke, she discovered her clothes were disheveled and felt like “something wasn’t right.”

“I had my dress back on but my bra was shifted all weird and then my underwear was off,” Dietrich told “Nightline” host Juju Chang.

After the party, Dietrich said she was told the two boys had taken photos of her.

“They told me that it was me on the kitchen floor, passed out, my eyes are closed,” she said. “My clothes are — I’m exposed. Someone said one boy had his arm broken at the time and said his cast was in the picture.”

The details of the punishment the boys ultimately received is unknown, since court records have been witheld.

“Due to the confidentiality and privacy of the whole thing I am constrained except to say that what she is saying is a mischaracterization. It’s not accurate. It’s not true. What is the truth? That I cannot say,” Mejia said.

In the motion Mejia filed, he requested that Dietrich be held in contempt for violating the confidentiality of a juvenile. Dietrich could have faced 180 days in jail, but Mejia said that was not what he wanted. The motion, he said, was not to punish Dietrich, but to have a judge force her to delete her online posts about the boys.

“I was hoping she would even have some remorse or an apology to give. That didn’t happen,” Mejia said Monday on ABC’s “Nightline.”

The veteran attorney echoed those remarks during an interview with HuffPost.

“When we filed the motion, we wanted our client’s names off the Internet and wanted her to know that what she was doing was wrong,” he said. “[She should] acknowledge what she’s done, remove the name and promise not to do it again.”

But the motion prompted a flurry of national media attention and was quickly withdrawn. According to Mejia, canceling the motion did nothing to stop the influx of hate messages he and his client received.

“Everybody got hate letters and worse for this young boy — this high school kid was getting tweets, Facebook [messages], all kinds of terrible things. He even got death threats,” the lawyer said.

Dietrich told “Nightline” she identified her attackers because she felt like their punishment was a slap on the wrist. “I was upset,” Dietrich said. “I felt like they got less than the minimal punishment … I knew that they were manipulating the system to silence me.”

Mejia said that his client is devastated and would like to move on with his life, but that the Internet has made that impossible.

“I think it’s rather astonishing how the Internet changes everything,” he said. “Look at [Rep. Todd Akin], the politician from Missouri who was on the news a few days ago and made a comment about ‘legitimate rape.’ Those comments have now gone viral and he is ruined. Twenty years ago it would not have happened like this. These things just stream with enormous speed across the whole country.”

Dietrich’s attorney, Emily Farrar-Crockett, did not return a call for comment from HuffPost on Tuesday. Speaking on “Nightline” Monday, she was unsympathetic to Mejia’s complaints.

“They took the pictures, they disseminated it, they told people about what they had done. To come back and blame her now for ruining their reputation I think is despicable. They did this to themselves,” Farrar-Crockett said.

Yes, it is such a terrible thing when a girl who was assaulted is able to strike back at the boys who did it!

Actually, the plea agreement to keep the boys’ names confidential because they are juveniles was itself a violation of the girl’s free speech rights as provided under the First Amendment. It should be voided and the boys should be tried for any charges that can be made to stick. Age is irrelevant here.

The girl should be allowed to testify in open court, under oath, about what happened to her. Once that is done, she can be cross examined by the defense attorney. If her testimony is still credible after that, the offenders should be imprisoned and their names should be known to the public for what they are:  sex offenders.

Boycott Chick-Fil-A!

Chick-Fil-A's signature chicken sandwich

Chick-Fil-A’s signature chicken sandwich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was disgusted to read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/chick-fil-gay-marriage-201108120–finance.html

Chick-fil-A president slams gay marriage

The president of Chick-fil-A, the fast food chain with more than 1,600 restaurants and $4 billion in revenue, has come out against same-sex marriage.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” Dan Cathy, the company’s president and chief operating officer, said in a recent radio interview. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

In an interview with the Baptist Press published this week, Cathy doubled down on his stance against same-sex unions.

“Guilty as charged,” Cathy said. “We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

“We know that it might not be popular with everyone,” he added, “but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

The company, founded by Dan’s father, Truett Cathy, in 1946, has a history of “unapologetic social conservatism,” as the Daily Caller put it. All 1,608 of its stores are closed on Sundays, a day of rest for most Christians.

According to Queerty.com, the WinShape Foundation—Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm—donated more than $1.1 million between 2003 and 2008 to anti-LGBT groups, doubling that amount to $2 million in 2009.

Earlier this year, students at Northeastern University protested a proposal to put a Chick-fil-A on its Boston campus because of the company’s history of supporting anti-gay organizations. The school abandoned its plan.

I have been eating that restaurant chain’s food products for many years, and I love them, but I cannot accept this expression of homophobia and religious bigotry. So as a matter of principle, I am calling for a boycott of this company by all those who support gay marriage.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’”

What arrogance! Assuming that there is a God, that this God is that of the Bible, and that this God of the Bible is still against gay marriage because of statements made in his name thousands of years ago is the height of hubris, not skeptics like me casting doubt on all three claims, which are empirically UNFOUNDED. And being willing to alienate a large portion of your customer base because of unfounded claims is stupid!

This is the website for Chick-Fil-A:  http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Home

The company’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ChickfilA

And the company’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/chickfila

And a webpage to make comments directly to the company: http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Connect/Contact-Us-CARES

A Death Threat against Laci Green

 

Previous references on this blog to her:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/battle-on-youtube-between-two-atheists/

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/laci-green-your-warning-is-too-little-too-late/

Imagine my horror when I saw this:

http://lacigreen.tumblr.com/post/26843554247/hey-peeps-i-am-going-to-be-taking-a-break-from

hey peeps,

i am going to be taking a break from tumblr. i’m not sure how long. i have been getting a slew of people (who i can only guess are from “social justice” tumblr) telling me to kill myself, making violent threats, sending me my home address they somehow found. my inbox this morning was graced with pictures of my apartment building.

i honestly have no words.

love you all.

lace

To the bastard who sent those sick things to Laci, you are nothing but a worthless coward. Maybe someone should take a sledgehammer and slam it on YOUR face!

And if he wants to come after anyone for insulting Islam, what about me? 

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/category/religion/islam/

Except I never threatened the life of anyone for being Muslim, did I?

 

The Tragedy of Rodney King

First, read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/rodney-king-dead-swimming-pool-160339712.html

Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police in 1991 sparked the L.A. riots, was found dead at his California home on Sunday. He was 47.

Police said King’s fiancée discovered him at the bottom of the swimming pool at their Rialto, Calif., home, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles.

Police responded to a call at 5:25 a.m., pulled King out of the pool and attempted CPR, but could not revive him.

King’s representative Suzanne Wickman confirmed to his death to KABC-TV. According to TMZ, King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, told friends King spent the bulk of Saturday drinking and “smoked marijuana at some point,” before she went to went to bed at 2:00 a.m.

The cause of death is unknown, but police are investigating it as a drowning. Rialto Police Capt. Randy DeAnda told CNN there were no preliminary signs of foul play.

King was beaten by four white LAPD officers following a DUI stop on March 3, 1991. Footage captured by an amateur videographer showed the officers hitting King 56 times with wooden batons.

“I just got lucky that night to have the cameras on me,” King said in April, marking the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots. “When I saw the tape, I was so happy that it was on tape and then looking at it, it was like I was in another body. I felt like I had died in that one, and was just watching it.”

The four officers–Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon–were acquitted of criminal charges, sparking the riots that left 55 people dead. (Koon and Powell were later found guilty of federal civil rights charges and sentenced to 30 months in prison.)

In hindsight, it appears that Rodney King was an example of a soul who could not be saved and was doomed to pass away prematurely due to his own failures instead of being able to live a full life. Even so, he had a few good qualities that society should have done a lot more to nurture, instead of treating him like he was disposable.

There was simply no excuse whatsoever for the beating King received from the cops; they were clearly out of control and lawbreakers themselves. So why were they acquitted at the first trial? One reason was because the jury was all white, a racist practice that was all too common in the South, where blacks would be sent to prison for crimes they did not commit, while guilty whites would be exonerated.

Another issue was the misperception that it is better to have a few corrupt and abusive cops on the beat than too few cops to keep order in society. That is simply wrong; I think I’d rather have no cops at all than ANY cops that are themselves criminals and never held accountable for their misdeeds because such corruption can feed on itself to ruin a whole society from within. The riots that broke out resulted from people seeing lawlessness among the cops and in that courtroom and thus thinking, “If they will not uphold the law and promote justice, why should we?!” No, I do not blame them at all!

Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Stacey Koon, if they are still alive, should never work for any police force ever again, nor should any cop caught being so abusive. And no jury involved in a case involving a black person and white people should be of one racial makeup!

Racism in a beauty pageant?

Racism is normally thought of in America as whites hating blacks, but it is clear that members of any race can be bigoted against members of any other race. That’s clearly what we see here:  http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/beauty-pageant-winner-caught-ugly-controversy-150938019.html

Beauty pageant winner caught in ugly controversy

A newly crowned beauty queen in Fiji, who sparked an outcry because of her mixed heritage, was asked to give up her title because of her age, not her race, according to pageant officials.

Torika Watters, 16, was chosen last month to represent Fiji in the Miss World contest. The pageant drew the likes of supermodel Rachel Hunter, who was a judge.

But after Watters won the title, she faced heavy backlash because of her mixed European/Fijian descent, and some said she did not look Fijian enough.

Hundreds of derogatory comments had to be deleted from the Miss World Fiji Facebook page, according to reports.

Watters had to step down because she did not meet the minimum age requirement of 17, Miss World Fiji pageant director Andhy Blake told the Fiji Times. Koini Vakaloloma, 24, the first runner-up, will take her place at the Miss World competition in Inner Mongolia in August.

Watters issued a statement saying that she had been approached by Blake to be in the contest and at the time expressed concerns about the age requirement. Blake told her she was still eligible. “I had no intentions of doing anything sneaky or wrong and like the other contestants entered the competition for what I believed to be the right reasons—to be an Ambassador for Fiji and raise money for charitable causes,” she wrote.

She went on to say: “I am proud of my identity as a Fijian and have never considered my people as racists.” She is not challenging the decision and has chosen to walk away.

Blake confirmed that he was under the impression Watters could compete, but was told later by organizers that contestants had to be at least one month away from turning 17 by the start of the pageant.

A posting on the Miss World Fiji 2012 Facebook site says, “Please be informed despite media reports—Miss Torika Watters was never stripped of her title. We wish her well in her future endeavors and offer an apology to her, her beautiful family and friends for any distress this competition would have brought upon her! She will always be the very 1st Miss World Fiji!!”

Watters is eligible next year for the pageant, according to Blake, if she chooses to compete again.

But I’d be willing to bet $1000 that she even if she does compete again, she will not win, because they will find another excuse to exclude her. Indeed, even if the pageant organizers are not guilty of being racist, they ARE guilty of discriminating against Watters because of her AGE, another thing she had no control over. And since she was allowed to compete in the first place, she should have been accepted, period.

I would be proud to have this girl be Miss America, Fijian heritage and all!

Women shouldn’t teach at Christian schools, round 2

First, look at this:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/women-shouldnt-teach-at-christian-schools/

Are all Christian schools this bigoted? Appearantly!

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/former-coach-fired-christian-school-wedlock-pregnancy-145601399.html#

Former coach of the year fired from Christian school for out-of-wedlock pregnancy

In an incredibly bizarre situation that appears headed for a legal challenge, a Dallas-area volleyball coach and science teacher was fired by the Christian school at which she worked for becoming pregnant before being married.

As first reported by Dallas Fort Worth network WFAA, Rockwall (Texas) Heritage Christian Academy volleyball coach and science teacher Cathy Samford was fired during the fall semester after she became pregnant out of wedlock. Samford had led the volleyball program for three years and had been named the school’s coach of the year once during that span.

Still, that couldn’t help save her job when she first admitted her pregnancy during the fall semester, with the school terminating her based on a  violation of her contract’s morals clause because it was determined her pregnancy meant she could not serve as “a Christian role model.”

“I looked it up and thought, ‘They can’t do this,’” the 29-year-old Samford told WFAA. “We all have different views and interpretations. It’s not necessarily the Christian thing to do to throw somebody aside because of those.”

While Samford and her lawyer, Colin Walsh, are working toward filing a discrimination suit against the school, their case may be complicated by the fact that Heritage Christian Academy is a private school, and recent Supreme Court decisions have defended the right of Christian schools to exert more influence on their hirings and firings because they consider teachers to be “ministers in the classroom.”

“The Supreme Court, as a matter of fact in the last month, has ruled 9-to-0 that a Christian school does have that right, because this is a ministry, so we have the right to have standards of conduct,” Heritage Christian Academy headmaster Dr. Ron Taylor, who acknowledged that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had contacted the school, told WFAA. “How’s it going to look to a little fourth-grade girl that sees she’s pregnant and she’s not married?”

 

While the two parties attempted mediation, those efforts failed quickly because the school refused to consider a settlement for the case.

That has left Samford uninsured and in financial distress as she heads towards giving birth, a situation she never considered possible when she was a proud member of Heritage Christian Academy’s faculty.

Would it have been better if this teacher and coach had chosen abortion to hide that she was ever pregnant? According to traditional Christian morals, isn’t having an abortion even worse than having the baby out of wedlock? And have any men been fired for getting a woman pregnant out of wedlock? I’ve never heard of that happening!

This is why I will never teach at or send any children I have to such a school….most of them seem to be run by sexist hypocrites! This is not about enforcing morals, this is about a school trying to save money by denying an insurance claim, something you would expect only from corrupt private businesses! And even if having a baby out of wedlock is considered immoral, the BABY should not be punished for her parents’ mistakes!