Bryan Fischer, host of American Family Radio, has outdone himself this time. I never thought that this man could get any more stupid and absurd with the stuff that he spouts off on a daily basis.
On the Tuesday broadcast of the show, Fischer said that “anytime a homosexual exercises any sort of selectivity at all when it comes to intimate matters, he is proving that it is a matter of choice. Nobody is compelled to follow those impulses.”
Yes, because gay people are not going out and having sex with literally every other gay person out there, then that is proof that being gay is a choice. Who knew?!
Mind = blown!
If being gay is a choice, because gay people are exercising “selectivity” in “intimate matters,” then being straight must also be a choice, because straight people also partake in selectivity. This means that straight people have those same urges for those of the same sex, but they choose to ignore them so they don’t make Baby Jesus cry.
Bryan Fischer is choosing to be straight, therefore, by his own logic, he is choosing to ignore “those impulses” and desires he may have for other men. When Bryan Fischer comes out of the closet, I don’t think many people will be surprised, other than his flock of sheeple that listen to him and actually take him seriously.
Carly Rae Jepsen, the artist who is responsible for the (really annoying) song “Call Me Maybe,” was invited to perform at the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree, and she agreed. She has since backed out of the event. The reason she cites is the BSA’s discriminatory policy towards gay members.
As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer. I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level and stay informed on the ever changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe.
The Boy Scouts have, for years, maintained their policy barring LGBT scouts and scout leaders. It was not until recently, after widespread national attention of the discriminatory policy, that they have been debating whether or not to discontinue the policy.
In January, the Boy Scouts claimed that they were going to decide whether or not to keep the policy, but after backlash from the religious right, they decided to stay their decision until May.
If the Boy Scouts of America do decide to end their policy, then it will be a major step in civil rights of the LGBT community. We really are making tremendous strides in the direction of equality.
You know what I don’t like about this whole controversy? No one seems to be paying attention to the Boy Scouts’ ban on atheists from joining their organisation. Why is no one trying to boycott the Boy Scouts for their ban on atheists or pressuring them to change that policy too? Why didn’t Jepsen say, “I always have and will continue to support the LGBT and nonreligious communities”?
I’m not trying to detract from the importance of LGBT rights and the advancements they have made, but no one cares that atheists are being discriminated against just as much as gay people within this organisation.
Baby steps, I guess.
Curtis Knapp, pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas, said that the United States government should exterminate gay people, because God commands their execution.
On Sunday May 27th, Knapp told his congregation about one of my favourite Bible verses, Leviticus 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.”
He went on to say, “They should be put to death! ‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ I’m saying the government should.” You mean the government that is run by people like you, so the difference is what exactly? “They won’t, but they should.” Similar to the North Carolina pastor that wanted to create a giant concentration camp for gays and lesbians, this guy simply to the source for why he hates gay people. It’s not, “We want to defend traditional marriage,” or “They’re damaging society, because they’re AIDS monkeys and they molest children.” No, none of that beating around the bush bullshit. It’s just, “God said so, so I want them dead, and I want the government to do it.”
Fundamentalists can be the most intriguing of people when they are not the most infuriating and outright scary. You can listen to Knapp’s entire sermon here.
This next part of his took the words right out of my mouth, “You say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you, you’re horrible. You’re a backwards neanderthal of a person.’ Is that what you’re calling scripture? Is God a neanderthal, backwards in his morality? Is it His word or not? If it’s His word, he commanded it. It’s His idea, not mine. And I’m not ashamed of it.”
Yes, your deity is a barbarian, a thug, a bully, a jealous and petty child, a psychopath, a genocidal maniac, and so much more. You follow a fictional version of Hitler, and you’re “not ashamed of it.” You are backwards. Your scripture is backwards. Your god is backwards. Your religion is dangerous, and so are you.
These are the kinds of people that want Rick Santorum in office to be their moral crusader. These are the kinds of people, who back in the day, would have been in favour of slavery, because the Bible says so. These are the real things that are damaging society. It’s not the “gay agenda.” It’s not those godless heathens (like me). It’s not the liberal media. It’s these people. The people who promote ignorance, fear, and bigotry. The people that want others dead for not believing in or disobeying the will of their imaginary friends. This is why I have a hard time accepting the idea of “freedom of religion” when their religion is promoting the mass murder of people, state-sponsored nonetheless.
During the most recent episode of Dogma Debate, we had on John Christy, a Christian listener of the show, for David Smalley and the rest of us to converse with. The segment was supposed to be only about twenty minutes long, maybe forty at the most, but we ended up talking to him for over an hour and a half. A reason for that is because 1) we had a lot to talk about, and 2) he takes forever to say anything.
He was a nice guy. I am not trying to hate on John. I like him as a person. I am not a bigot against Christians, as much as Christians (and some atheists) would like to think I am. I do not like his beliefs. I do not like what he stands for. I do not like the source he claims is his moral compass. There’s a difference. If the Christian can say, “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” then we can say, “Hate the beliefs, not the believer,” which is how I felt about John.
A very big problem I did have with him during the show was how when asked very specific and direct questions, he would employ how it takes forever for him to say anything, which derails the conversation to avoid actually answering the question. While the show was going on, I got comments from listeners who were saying exactly that. When repeatedly asked the same question because he was avoiding it, he just continued to ramble on as if he did not hear a thing (which maybe he honestly didn’t because he was calling in on Skype).
Getting onto some specific points from the discussion.
John claimed that Jesus was breaking the Mosaic Laws, such as when he broke the Sabbath, and this is why we shouldn’t follow those laws anymore. The problem here is that it’s not biblically accurate, which is funny, because John kept saying that we weren’t being biblically accurate, neither was the North Carolina pastor who wanted every gay to be put into a giant concentration camp for them to die off in.
The reason John is not biblically accurate is because Jesus was angered by the Pharisees for not following the Laws of Moses, as is clear in Mark 7:9-13.
And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)—then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Jesus is clearly mad that people are not following the Old Testament laws, especially the hypocrites who claimed he was not. Jesus wants us to follow the Old Testament laws of Moses. Jesus wants disobedient children to be executed. It’s right there in black and white.
In response to when I pressured him about this, John claimed that Jesus was a law-breaker, that he broke the Sabbath repeatedly. This is partially true. Jesus was accused of working the Sabbath by the Pharisees, because he ate grain on the Sabbath, which required work. Also, the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing the sick. However, according to an apologetics site, Jesus was not sinning when he worked on the Sabbath.
When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He was not breaking the Sabbath, but fulfilling it, because one is not at rest when afflicted, oppressed and bound by disease or infirmity. As many scriptures show, God delights in redeeming and restoring the afflicted, and giving them the rest exemplified by His Sabbath. God “hears the cry of the afflicted. When he gives quietness [rest], who then can make trouble?” (Job 34:28–29).
I’m not saying that I agree with the either John or the apologetics site, but it’s funny to see how Christians disagree with each other so much with their interpretations of who Jesus was, what he did, what he taught, and how we should live our lives according to his teachings.
Now the reason John brought this up was because he was saying that the coming of Jesus, that his time here on Earth, was him creating a new covenant and getting rid of the Mosaic Laws, such as stoning gays, disobedient children, people of other faiths, people who work on the Sabbath, and other people for what today would be considered barbaric and for arbitrary reasons. Well, that same article on Jesus breaking the Sabbath has this to say on that.
Had Jesus Christ actually broken the Sabbath, He would have been sinning. But the Scripture says that He “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22). Had He sinned, He could not be our Savior. But He, being undefiled and separate from sinners, offered Himself without spot and without blemish to God for our redemption (Hebrews 7:26; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:18–19).
Breaking the Sabbath, according to these Christians, is a sin even today. John did not say that Jesus did not break the Sabbath because he was doing God’s will or because it was a matter of life or death, only that Jesus broke the Sabbath, because he was creating a new covenant for people to live by. I, if I were a Christian, would spin this to say that the new covenant had already been made, so Jesus was still perfect and had not sinned, therefore he could still be sacrificed to God (who is himself…but is also his father…but is also a part of him…who is still separate…and then there’s that Holy Ghost thing…what?) for the sins that he let happen.
Speaking of, Smalley also tried to get an answer out of John on this one. Jesus was a sacrifice to God for the sins that God was fully aware were going to happen. God knew that Adam and Eve were going to sin by eating from the Tree of Knowledge. John responded to this by going around the question and speaking for a really long time without really saying anything that had anything to do with the question.
Here is the difference between Christians and atheists. Christians, when faced with the tough questions, will make excuses and/or go around the question itself. Atheists will straight up answer that question.
Another thing he claimed was that Christianity does not command the murder of people for things such as homosexuality, fornication, adultery, working on the Sabbath, etc. This is why he thought, when we played the audio of it, that the North Carolina pastor was being biblically inaccurate for what he said. However, nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus, or anyone for that matter, say that the laws of Moses have been voided, and it is all the more clear that Jesus himself wants us to follow those laws with how he quoted them himself. If he did not want us to follow these laws, then it would be just another contradiction added to the mountain of contradictions found in the Bible.
My favourite part of the interview, the part where you just want to facepalm so badly, is when John said this.
I’m not even allowed now to have my own opinion to myself. I don’t go out and attack homosexuals. I disagree with the Westboro Baptist Church, you know. But I can’t even just think that it’s sin in my own life. Now I have to conform to what society believes, otherwise, I’m gonna be in trouble. I’m gonna lose my friends…
Bigots should be ostracised. Why is the KKK ostracised? Why is it considered a hate group? Because it is! Soon NOM and other anti-gay groups and people will be seen as the same, and they should be. Persecuting others for their sexuality or their gender or their race is not acceptable. Thinking that they are inferior, that they are going to hell, that they are going to be eternally punished because of something that they can’t control should be frowned upon for so many reasons.
However, Christians are not persecuted in America. Christians are not banned from holding public office in several states. Christians are not misrepresented in the media. Christians are not told that less than half of all Americans would vote for them. Christians are not legally allowed to be discriminated against in the workplace. Atheists are. Gays are. No Christian can say they feel persecuted in a country where 80% of the population are Christian.
Michelle Malkin is a conservative blogger and political commentator that often appears on Fox News and other media outlets to spout off conservative lies and propaganda, and she very recently published an op-ed article titled “Bigoted Anti-Bigots” for the National Review Online.
First off, the title. Now, she’s referring to the LGBT movement, calling it the “gay-marriage mob,” claiming that they are “guilty of the very ugly bigotry [they claim] to abhor.” It’s the common saying of, “It’s intolerant to be intolerant of the intolerant,” which is an unintelligible sentence, at best. It is not bigoted to be against the bigots who want to oppress you. If that were true, then blacks and women were being bigoted towards whites and men when they were fighting for their right to be treated equally. I am sure Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony were great big bigots in their times.
When saying that gays and liberals are being hypocritical bigots, Malkin is referring to the recent controversy over boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for “being true to his Catholic faith.” This is because in a recent interview with Examiner’s conservative contributor Granville Ampong, he supposedly mentioned Leviticus 20:13 when asked by Ampong about President Obama’s recent new stance on gay marriage. In his original post, Ampong made it highly suggestive that it was Pacquiao who brought up the Bible verse. It was presumed even more after an actual quote from the boxer where he said, “It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.”
After the USA Today, the LA Weekly, and the Village Voice all reported (in that order) about the original interview, saying that Pacquiao quoted Leviticus 20:13 because of Ampong’s suggestive writing, Ampong wrote another article titled “Biased writers grossly twisted Pacquiao’s view on same-sex marriage,” where in it he blamed the writers from the USA Today and the other news sources mentioned for his terrible writing style, all without correcting his initial post.
Manny Pacquiao has since apologised for the confusion, and has said that while he is against same-sex marriage, he does not think that they should be put to death as commanded by God in Leviticus 20:13, even though he also said that God’s law should always come before man’s. So yes, Granville Ampong is a terrible journalist, Examiner needs to have more oversight of what their writers post, and Manny Pacquiao is still (only partially) a bigot for being anti-gay marriage.
Michelle Malkin, being everyone’s favourite conservative, took the side of Ampong in all this nonsense in order to blame the “politically correct bloodhounds” that are, of course, “backed by George Soros,” the right’s least favourite billionaire. I do not know what it is about conservatives, but nearly every time there is something happening in the media that they disagree with, they always try somehow to blame George Soros for it. Just because he’s rich, is not a conservative, and funds progressive causes does not make him the Anti-Christ. Calm the fuck down, people.
It is interesting, or more so mind-boggling, how Malkin is blaming the “left wing media,” even though the USA Today is not liberal or left-leaning at all, the LA Weekly is most certainly not liberal, and the Village Voice…okay, that one is. It seems that anything to the left of Fox News is, of course, part of the giant leftist conspiracy to turn your kids gay and America into a socialist state (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Near the end of her article, she says that the “bigoted anti-bigot brigade” is targeting poor, defenseless people like Rush Limbaugh, Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Catholic healthcare providers, among others, because they “refuse to conform to ‘progressive’ values.” Yeah, such a terrible thing progressive values are, like thinking that women should not have their healthcare denied to them because of someone else’s religion, that workers should have the right to unionise and not have their salaries slashed while giving tax breaks to millionaires, that gays should be treated equally for a change, and that bigots, actual bigots like Michelle Malkin, should be called for it.
My personal favourite part of the op-ed is when Malkin says that the “left wing media” is “shamelessly [demonizing] religion in the name of compassion.” So something that says gays should be put to death, along with many other people for completely arbitrary reasons, does not deserve to be demonised?
Update 19:56: A fan of my Facebook page commented on the link I posted of the original article by Michelle Malkin. They said something that I believe should be shared.
If one can actually consider intolerance of those opposed to the expansion of human rights to those that should already have them to be bigotry, particularly when those fighting against human rights have a habit of literally bullying, bashing, and beating those they oppose, then by Poseidon’s watery beard, I’ll wear THAT particular bigotry badge proudly.Of course, in my experience it is by far mostly the prejudiced, hateful, anti-human rights crowd that call their opposition bigots for opposing their bigotry, so forgive me it I can’t properly express the amount of fucks I don’t give regarding their opinion of people who do actually stand for things like equality.
This is probably the most ironic thing I have ever seen.
The Montgomery School District in Maryland occasionally passes out fliers from non-profit organisations to it students with report cards. Superintendent Joshua Starr called a recent flier “disgusting” and the efforts of the group itself “reprehensible and deplorable.” The source of the flier is an “ex-gay” organisation by the name of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), which is a group for people who claim they have changed their sexual orientation from gay/bi to straight, and they have recently filed a complaint against the superintendent over what they call “hate speech.”
The complaint goes like this, “Starr does not respect diversity and is creating an unsafe school environment. Superintendent Starr cannot be allowed to use his official position to display hate against any group of people because he disagrees with their sexual orientation. Starr’s flagrant violation of the Nondiscrimination Policy demonstrates that he is a prime candidate to receive ex-gay tolerance training and diversity education.”
I almost had a brain aneurysm when I read that. I thought this was a joke at first. Turns out, it’s not. Seriously. Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays is a real organisation that is really going after someone for speaking out against their religiously motivated pseudo-science that was targeted at vulnerable, scared kids and teens who may be questioning their sexual orientation or may be being bullied and harassed for it.
PFOX tries to claim that it is not an “ex-gay ministry,” which tries to turn gay people straight through controversial and ineffective methods of so-called therapy, but on the PFOX website it has an entire section of its Resources page dedicated to religion. As well, it offers daily prayers, which are extremely Christian in nature, in order to help those who are “tired of the gay life.”
Now, despite the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, among others, all saying that being gay is not a choice and that such therapy is actually dangerous to the individual receiving it, as it can cause things such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, many people do still believe that one can change their sexual orientation and actively try to do so. PFOX likes to call it “self-determination.”
I am glad that states like California are putting forth legislation, like SB 1172, which would regulate “ex-gay ministries” by forcing them to lay out the dangers of the therapy and make it so that anyone under the age of 18 cannot receive these kinds of “counseling,” even if their parents try to force them to.
As most people are aware, President Barack Obama recently said this during an interview with ABC on Wednesday:
I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
Gay rights activists and other supporters of gay marriage have been going completely insane over this. When the news first broke of this, I could not find anything in my feed on Facebook or Twitter for about two hours that was not about the president’s endorsement (or so it seemed) of gay marriage. The news was particularly shocking in light of North Carolina’s move on Tuesday to make a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage and Vice President Joe Biden’s recent interview on Meet the Press where he said that he is “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex couples receiving the same rights as straight couples.
The problem with this is that he has not actually said or promised to do really anything. Okay, he thinks that gays should be allowed to get married. Great. He has not said anything about trying to actively repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), although his administration says that they will not defend it in the courts, and he has not said anything about any new federal policy that would allow for gay marriage at the federal level. An aide to the president said that while President Obama feels that gays should have the right to be married, he also believes that the states should be the ones who ultimately decide if they want gay marriage or not.
The interview seemed to be carefully worded so that if he never does anything to repeal DOMA or try to bring a federal law recognising same-sex couples, he can say that he never promised such a thing. It all appears to be empty election politics so as to stir gay voters who may have been thinking of not voting for him come November (not that they would vote for Mitt Romney, who has stayed consistent, for once, on the issue of gay marriage and how he is against it).
Now despite this, President Obama’s words are encouraging. He has said that his position on the issue has been “evolving,” and maybe he will try to repeal DOMA someday. President Obama does not seem to realise this, but the position of the presidency does have a lot of influence with how the public feels and talks about certain issues, especially since he is a black man and black people and other minorities, while supportive of the Democratic Party, are not as supportive of gay rights as we would hope. Him coming out in favour of gay marriage by fully repealing DOMA and recognising same-sex couples would possibly put this issue in its dying days.
President Obama has done amazing things for gay rights, such as ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), and although this does seem like nothing more than election rhetoric to get liberals to the voting booths, the idealist in me hopes that someday (soon hopefully) we can all look back on this like we look back today at the people who opposed women’s rights and black rights and think to ourselves, “Those people were fucking stupid.”
Astrophysicist and populariser of science Neil DeGrasse Tyson recently said in a Big Think interview that he calls himself an agnostic. He said that atheists are outgoing people who want to change public policies and have debates and that the word “atheist” has so much baggage attached to it. He calls himself an agnostic, simply because that’s the word that he says describes him best and that he would prefer if there were not any categories at all over such things.
Unlike some people out there, I agree with him, at least to a certain extent. In the interview he talks about how taking on such labels makes people assume so many things about someone and that this is no way to talk to them. If someone says they are a Christian, we do not automatically assume that they are a fundamentalist Young Earth Creationist wanting to change our laws to fit with the Bible and ban evolution from the schools and burn every copy of On the Origin of Species. Of course not, we learn about what they think of the Bible and Christianity and go from there. I wish Christians would do the same for us though. Golden Rule anyone?
I too would prefer if there were no words for things like atheism, agnosticism, theism, or anything else on the god question. If it were not for foolish people inventing imaginary friends and forcing them onto everyone else, especially their children, we would have no need for such labels or to be actively opposed to them.
And here is where I differ with Tyson. Being an atheist does not mean that you are actively opposed or “proudly wear the badge” of atheism. What Tyson is describing here is an activist, not necessarily an atheist though. I may go so far as to say that he’s confusing atheists with antitheists. The atheists we see and hear about all the time are the activist ones that are “in your face” about it. This is merely a stereotype though. No different from the stereotype that all gay men are flamboyant fairies. No, those are just the ones we see at gay pride parades and in pop culture. I know plenty of very passive atheists who do not confront theists at all, in fact some of them, not all, will try to accommodate them so as not to offend and actually confront me to avoid confrontation with theists. They are still atheists though (as much as I do not like these people on a personal level).
I also disagree with his assertion that if he were an atheist then he might be biased in his work to support his preconceived notions about the world. The reason that most people became atheists was because they rejected their initial thoughts about what the Universe was and contained within it and wanted to learn the truth, no matter how upsetting it may be. Just because one is an atheist does not mean that they are going to be biased when they see something they may disagree with (but yes, that does happen much like with any other human being). Most atheists will say when you ask them what would change their mind about the existence of a god? Nine times out of ten they say, “Evidence. Independently verifiable evidence.”
However, I do agree with him and will defend his claim of being an agnostic. People are claiming that since he does not claim belief in a god then he’s automatically an atheist. That just is not the case. In one of my recent posts, I explained how agnosticism is a standalone position from either theism or atheism. Yes, he does not believe in a god, but he also does not disbelieve in a god either. He simply does not know if one exists or not. He’s neither an atheist nor a theist. He’s an agnostic, at least that is what he thinks is the label closest to how he feels. I personally would not call him anything from what he’s saying about not wanting any labels.
Even if all agnostics were really just atheists, so what? Is it up to someone else to define people? Is it up to someone else to give everyone a label just for their own convenience? If someone wants to call themselves an agnostic or simply not call themselves anything at all, let them. It is not someone else’s business what they call themselves. I call myself bisexual, but I have never been with someone of the same gender. I know plenty of people (gay and straight) who would call me straight because of that. I could go to the grave never having sex with someone of the same gender and I would still call myself bisexual no matter what someone might say about it. It’s not about how other people want to call me. It’s about how I feel and how I want to label myself.
As Neil DeGrasse Tyson points out in the interview, there is a lot of baggage that comes with the label of “atheist.” That baggage just is too much for some people, especially if they live in places such as the Bible Belt (such as myself) or the Middle East (where they can be executed under blasphemy laws). We should not blame people for being afraid to come out as atheists no matter where they are though. We should not blame them, but we should still encourage them to come out as atheists and other nonreligious people. Telling them the wonders of science and atheist solidarity is a much better approach than calling them cowards or insulting the theists they may still have close ties to.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson may actually be an atheist. He may just be purposely not using the atheist label so as to not automatically turn off the brains of theists to what he’s saying. If they think, “He’s just some atheist scientist,” then he might not be as effective as an educator. If they think, “Oh, he’s an agnostic,” they may be more receptive to what he’s saying, which is a good thing if we wish to educate people on the validity and awesomeness of science and bring science to the masses so as to prevent things such as Creationism entering our schools and climate change denialists changing public policy and deregulating corporations that destroy the environment.
As he said in the interview, he’s not an activist or wanting to be a part of some movement of atheists, and it’s his job, not ours, to label himself. He’s an educator. The only “-ist” he is and ever will be is a scientist.