Social Justice Link roundup, plus more on Ferguson

13 per cent of Ferguson cops have faced excessive force lawsuits

Demonstrations were sparked by the August 9 death of black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot six times by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who remains under investigation.

According to the Washington Post, six other Ferguson officers – five current and one former – have been named in civil rights lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force.

That means 13 per cent of the 53-strong department has faced such investigations, compared to a national average of around 0.5 per cent of all police officers, as calculated by the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project.

 

 



 

 

Two white protesters arrived in Ferguson with pro-police signs

One of the two protesters held a sign supporting that shitweasel Darren Wilson.

The article says the police were on hand to rush the woman pictured above to safety, as it looked like the situation was becoming tense.

Curiously, one person tweeted this:

 

 


 

 

White People Educating White People About Racism So PoC Don’t Have To

(excerpt)

Racism 101: Prejudice vs. Power
Any time a white person uses their own personal experience of prejudice (or a fabricated one) to demonstrate how whites suffer from racism, there is an underlying tendency to believe individual experience reflects broader social and structural realities. This is not the case. Just as one white person who was harassed by a person of color does not prove “reverse” racism, one Black president does not prove the end of racism. For the few white folks with hurt pride, there are thousands more with staggering social comfort who make hurt pride an exception to the status quo; for the few POC with class/political privilege, there are thousands more with staggering social oppression who make this privilege an exception to the status quo. How much white privilege does it require to think one painful confrontation is equally damaging as living with the daily reality of racism? And how much white privilege does it require to think one isolated incident, or even several isolated incidents, are equivalent to the constant violence of racism?

 

 

Incidentally, I like the disclaimer:

Disclaimer: white folks do not experience racism, the moderator and future contributors are no exception, and that isn’t what this blog is about. No one is here to discuss the experience of racism–only POC can do that. I am limited to creatively engaging the social reality of whiteness and what white privilege means in personal, political, and institutional terms. I will regularly use personal narrative and analysis to do so, seeing as my stories are the only ones I am entitled to tell.


 

 

14 signs we live in a rape culture

A rape culture is one in which sexual violence is the norm, and everyday practices normalise and even excuse rape. It’s a culture where instead of teaching people not to rape, we teach people not to be raped.

I’m going to list a few of the 14 signs, but please read the whole article.

7. Beliefs that reports are fake might be undermining efforts to prosecute rape

In contrast the CPS say false rape claims are “very rare” but they have warned that a “misplaced belief” such accusations are common may undermine efforts to investigate and prosecute such crimes. Rape crisis Scotland say false allegations are at about 3 per cent – the same for any other crime.

 

8. Richard Dawkins

 

Richard Dawkins caused outrage last month on twitter when he tried to rank which form of rape was worse – “date rape” or “stranger rape” – while making a logical syllogism.

 

12. Judge Mary Jane Mowat

Retired judge Mary Jane Mowat said this week that rape conviction rates will not improve until women “stop getting so drunk”. Rather than the onus to convict criminals being on the police, or the Crown Prosecution Service – or rapists not to rape – Judge Mowat said it was women who need to change: “It is an inevitable fact of it being one person’s word against another, and the burden of proof being that you have to be sure before you convict”, she said.

“I will also say, and I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk. I’m not saying it’s right to rape a drunken woman, I’m not saying for a moment that it’s allowable to take advantage of a drunken woman.”

 


 

 

British woman ‘being held captive so her family can cure her gayness’

Christina Fonthes, 27, a translator and LGBT activist from Manchester, visited Kinshasa with her mother and younger sister on 11 August. But shortly into a stay with her aunt, friends say, her passport was taken by her mother. She was told the family wanted to keep her in Congo so that her sexuality could be “fixed”.

Ms Fonthes’ partner of three years, the BBC sports presenter Jessica Creighton, has been trying to raise awareness of her partner’s plight on Facebook and Twitter. She is now travelling back to the UK from China, where she was covering the Youth Olympics when she heard the news.

 

 

This just frustrates and angers me to no end.  When are we going to be treated like human beings with the right to engage in the relationships we choose without people attempting to force us into cages? That’s what is
happening.  People are trying to drag us into a cage.  The cage of heterosexuality-as if that’s the only possible way humans can express their sexuality.  As if it’s right to attempt to force someone change a fundamental aspect of who they are.  This really makes me want to rage at the world.  That people could work so hard to deny the human rights of others.  I hope this woman manages to escape the clutches of her family as soon as possible.

 


 

This woman’s funny, feminist cartoons are incredible

 


 

 

 

 

On Our Radar – Hatred, Denial, And The ‘Gay But’

 

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Social Justice Link roundup, plus more on Ferguson
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LGBT news

From Empathize This comes a reminder that bisexual people are often treated poorly or even erased in LGBT spaces.

This is not acceptable.  I admit, with a great deal of shame, that in years past, I engaged in similar behavior. I treated bisexual people poorly.  I felt they were trying to “have their cake and eat it too”. Sometimes I thought they just couldn’t make up their mind.  In the last 4-5 years, I’ve come to examine many of my biases and prejudices.  It hasn’t been easy, but I think I’ve become a better person for it.  This doesn’t mean I’ve rid myself of every bias that I have, but I do try to engage in self-reflection and reexamine my opinions and views when challenged.  So when I came to rethink my beliefs about people who are bisexual-which came when I actually listened to people who were bisexual and stopped talking over them/down to them-I realized that their lives and their experiences are valid and valuable.  I realized that I can’t expect others to respect my dignity and right to exist as I choose if I don’t extend the same respect and courtesy to others.  Once I realized that, I felt…well I felt pretty shitty.  There is no excuse for my behavior.  I can’t make up for what I’ve done in the past, but I can damn sure not repeat those actions in the future. Moreover, I can speak out about how such behavior is shitty.  Bisexual people are not trying to have it both ways. They are not trying to have their cake and eat it too. They are not “undecided”.  Their experiences are their own, and they are every bit as valid as mine or anyone else’s.  I refuse to engage in the behavior I once did, and I ask everyone to check themselves…to examine their beliefs and biases and give thought to the harm those beliefs could bring to others.

(via Feminist Batwoman)

Russian gay couple marries in the most fierce way possible through loophole:

Two brides have become two of the most kickass women in the world by marrying to protest against homophobia in Russia.

Alina Davis, a 23-year-old trans woman, and Allison Brooks, her 19-year-old partner, donned matching white floor-length bridal gowns and married at a civil registry office earlier this month.

As Davis is still legally regarded as male, the office had no choice but to hand them a marriage certificate.

It is unfortunate that the government of Russia will not allow all consenting adults to marry regardless of gender or sexuality.   I hope the day comes where this will be the case.  Everyone deserves the opportunity to marry without the state dictating the terms (obviously this applies to consenting adults only).  I wish the couple a long and happy life together.

Iranian Muslim lesbians marry in religious ceremony in Sweden:

Iranian Muslim women Sahar Mosleh and Maryam Iranfar married in Stockholm on 2 August during the city’s annual LGBTI pride festival – perhaps the first Iranian women to marry each other in a religious ceremony in the world, and the first in Sweden.

The couple married in a ceremony performed by Algerian born South African based Imam Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed who was in Stockholm as the festival’s nominated Imam.

Oh noes! It’s ‘ArmaGAYddon’!!!! Run for the hills! It’s the end of civilization as we know it.  Not really.  Unless you’re a bigot who thinks marriage equality is going to somehow be the downfall of society.  Which makes me wonder what the time table is on that.  Massachusetts has had same sex marriage for how long now-runs off to check…over 10 years now-and somehow their state hasn’t fallen into chaos and disarray.  Maybe The Gay takes a little time to set in.  Perhaps it creeps up on you little by little and before you know it BAM! You’re just like the couple in this hilarious horror movie parody:

I just realized that the commentary above could apply to the video or the story about the lesbian couple above it.  That wasn’t intentional, but it was neat.

LGBT news

"There there. I know it's rough."

Public businesses are being sued by people for refusing to accommodate them because they’re gay.  In a recent case against Liberty Ridge Farm, which functions as a wedding venue, a lesbian couple sued the owners for refusing to allow them to have their wedding at their establishment.

In October 2012, Jennie Erwin and Melisa McCarthy decided Liberty Ridge Farm, a popular venue for weddings in upstate New York, would be the perfect place to hold their “rustic” wedding. It is hard to argue Liberty Ridge isn’t in the wedding business; it offers wedding planning services which it advertises on a wedding blog. But when the couple tried to secure their date, they were turned away by the owner.

Feeling the sting of that discrimination, the couple tried again, but this time they taped the phone call in which the owner tells them Liberty Ridge Farm does not host same-sex weddings. Then they filed a complaint with The New York State Division of Human Rights.

[…]

Arguments concerning the complaint were heard in November 2013. The Giffords argued Liberty Farms was their “private property”, noting the family lived on the premises. They claimed their “religious liberty” gave them the right to choose what events they host on their farm, and they insisted a wedding exception should be made to New York’s public accommodation statute because of their “specific religious belief regarding marriage”, which they envisioned as applicable only to wedding ceremonies and receptions and not the other services they offer on their property.

According to WNYT, Cynthia Gifford broke down on the witness stand. Weeping, she stated that it would be impossible for her to go against her core values. Both Cynthia and Robert testified that their definition of marriage is “between one man and one woman, under God.”

Translation: “It’s just so hard you know? Being a True Bigot in this country is becoming more and more difficult. I just want to be able to live my life free to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexuality like people once did against African-Americans. Is that so much to ask for?!”

The New York State Division of Human Rights disagreed. Last week they ruled that Liberty Ridge Farm counts as a public accommodation because it regularly collects fees for space, facilities, services, and meals, and therefor cannot be considered “distinctly private.” They also said the fact that the Giffords live on the property does not render it private, and that the state’s laws do not provide for a “wedding” exception. They then assessed a $13,000 fine to be paid to the McCarthys.

The tears of bigots give me strength.

On a slightly more serious note, it amuses me to no end that some theists feel they should get a pass on their bigotry because it’s part of their religious belief system (or so they claim). It doesn’t where your bigotry comes from, it’s still wrong.

"There there. I know it's rough."

“There there. I know it’s rough.”

Public businesses are being sued by people for refusing to accommodate them because they’re gay.  In a recent case against Liberty Ridge Farm, which functions as a wedding venue, a lesbian couple sued the owners for refusing to allow them to have their wedding at their establishment.

In October 2012, Jennie Erwin and Melisa McCarthy decided Liberty Ridge Farm, a popular venue for weddings in upstate New York, would be the perfect place to hold their “rustic” wedding. It is hard to argue Liberty Ridge isn’t in the wedding business; it offers wedding planning services which it advertises on a wedding blog. But when the couple tried to secure their date, they were turned away by the owner.

Feeling the sting of that discrimination, the couple tried again, but this time they taped the phone call in which the owner tells them Liberty Ridge Farm does not host same-sex weddings. Then they filed a complaint with The New York State Division of Human Rights.

[…]

Arguments concerning the complaint were heard in November 2013. The Giffords argued Liberty Farms was their “private property”, noting the family lived on the premises. They claimed their “religious liberty” gave them the right to choose what events they host on their farm, and they insisted a wedding exception should be made to New York’s public accommodation statute because of their “specific religious belief regarding marriage”, which they envisioned as applicable only to wedding ceremonies and receptions and not the other services they offer on their property.

According to WNYT, Cynthia Gifford broke down on the witness stand. Weeping, she stated that it would be impossible for her to go against her core values. Both Cynthia and Robert testified that their definition of marriage is “between one man and one woman, under God.”

Translation: “It’s just so hard you know? Being a True Bigot in this country is becoming more and more difficult. I just want to be able to live my life free to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexuality like people once did against African-Americans. Is that so much to ask for?!”

The New York State Division of Human Rights disagreed. Last week they ruled that Liberty Ridge Farm counts as a public accommodation because it regularly collects fees for space, facilities, services, and meals, and therefor cannot be considered “distinctly private.” They also said the fact that the Giffords live on the property does not render it private, and that the state’s laws do not provide for a “wedding” exception. They then assessed a $13,000 fine to be paid to the McCarthys.

The tears of bigots give me strength.

On a slightly more serious note, it amuses me to no end that some theists feel they should get a pass on their bigotry because it’s part of their religious belief system (or so they claim). It doesn’t where your bigotry comes from, it’s still wrong.

“There there. I know it’s rough.”

All I can do is point and laugh at these fools

The Westboro Baptist Church is protesting.  This time it’s not at a funeral.  They’re protesting at the Missouri State Capitol.  Way to switch it up bigots!

WBC to picket the state of Missouri and Governor Jay Nixon for their crimes against the saints of God.  For years, WBC has warned Missouri to put away your sins — namely bestiality, idolatry, fornication, adultery and sodomy.  Under the express tutelage of your evil governor, Jay Nixon, you have waxed worse and you’ve not had an ear to hear WBC’s warnings.  Your time to be warned runs nearly out and God is punishing you for your impudent finger flipping to Him.  His standards still stand!  He lives!  The mess created in Ferguson is God’s judgment against a state full of proud sinners and a governor who tries to imprison WBC for telling you the truth.  This is not an issue of race; it is about obedience.  God requires obedience to Him!  Missouri is in more and worse trouble.  This will not be the end.  WBC has faithfully warned.  There is nothing left for Missourians but a fearful looking for of judgment

They’re a one trick pony. God hates gays. God hates fornicators. God has sodomy. God hates adultery. They have a new one-god hates bestiality. Why that’s in there is beyond me.  It’s not like Missouri added an amendment to their constitution allowing bestiality.  How bizarre.   Why anyone would want to worship such a hateful god is beyond me.  

All I can do is point and laugh at these fools

Kevin Sorbo doesn't understand atheists

Kevin Sorbo was the star of a syndicated 1990s tv show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.  Recently, he starred in a christian film called God is Not Dead where he played an atheist.  He says he doesn’t understand why atheists are so angry about a god they don’t believe in: 

Sorbo, who is still promoting his most recent film, God Is Not Dead, in which he plays an atheist, said he can’t comprehend the logic behind atheist’s lack of beliefs and their anger.

“I’m a Christian myself and had to play an atheist. I see the anger of these (atheist) guys on TV and it’s like ‘wow, how do you get so angry at something you don’t believe in?”  Sorbo said.

Earlier this year, Sorbo discussed self-professed atheist Bill Maher, calling him “angry and lonely,” before adding, “I did Politically Incorrect a couple of times, and all I can do is feel sad for the guy, because I think he is a very angry and lonely man. Comedy comes from anger anyway. You know, what are you going to say when a guy talks like this?”

 

My first question I’d ask him is have you ever listened to an atheist?  If he had, he’d realize that we’re not angry all the time.  You see, atheists, like other human beings, are human.  We possess and display the full range of human emotions (to one degree or another, and at various points in our lives).  

We laugh when we’re happy.

We cry when we’re sad.

We get frustrated when things don’t go as planned.

We shrug our shoulders over things we don’t care about.

We care about the lives of family and friends.

We show concern when the people we care about are hurt.

We are most certainly *not* angry all the time.  To believe that is to truly not know what the fuck one is talking about.

We do get angry though. 

Some of us get angry on a regular basis, and guess what? There’s nothing wrong with that.  Anger is an emotion and like all emotions it helps us express our thoughts and feelings.  There is much in the world to be happy or joyous about.  There is also much to be angry about.  I could discuss a great many things about religion in general that make me angry, but I’ll limit it to just 5 items (and not just christianity Mr. Sorbo, it’s hardly unique):

  1. I’m mad that the Catholic Church uses it position as one of the most powerful organizations on the planet to deny women the right to have an abortion.  The right to bodily autonomy is a right all human beings have.  It is foundational to the right to self-defense, which is a right all humans have.  To deny women the right to have an abortion results in women being denied a right they are entitled to by virtue of being human.  Such a denial relegates women to second class status, and I condemn that 1000%. 
  2. I’m mad that children are brought up, indoctrinated into religious belief.  The foundation of religious belief-faith-instills in children (from a very young age) the idea that it is preferable to hold beliefs without any reason to do so; in the face of evidence to the contrary.  Religious belief hinders the ability of children in the areas of logic and critical thinking.  The damage isn’t irreversible, but is difficult to overcome.  The ability to use critical thinking, logic, and reason is essential in learning how to understand and interpret the world around us.  These tools are also important in allowing us to cut through the bullshit we so often find in life. Faith-belief without evidence-allows people to believe in all manner of things, often to their own personal detriment.
  3. Religious teachings on sexuality are wrong.  As I’ve written before, there is no moral component to sexuality.  It’s personal to each individual, and has no bearing on questions of right and wrong in interactions between people.  I find the teaching of *many* religions on the subject of sexuality to be abominable.  Homosexuality is not morally wrong. Bisexuality is not morally wrong.  That many religions teach that homosexuality is morally wrong is itself deeply immoral.  These teaching have led parents to disown their kids, kick them out of their homes, and even kill them.  These teachings have led to a lifetime of shame and disgust that many people feel over their sexuality. These religious teachings have led entire countries-I’m looking at you Russia-to enact legislation that discriminates against and oppresses people.  All for the “crime” of not being heterosexual. Religious teachings on sexuality-on the whole-are deeply harmful to people, and actively work to make people miserable and the world a worse place.
  4. Creationism does not belong in the classroom.  It is a wholly religious idea that has no foundation in science.  There is no empirical evidence in support of creationism, yet despite this, there are efforts across the US and other parts of the world to teach creationism in place of evolution in the classroom.  This angers me because I want people to be educated, but I want that education to be reality based.  Not fantasy based.  Evolution has mountains of evidence to support it, and a vast array of scientific disciplines support the theory of evolution.  
  5. I am an atheist.  That means I do not believe in the existence of any god or gods.  That does *not* mean I’m an immoral shitbag who has no reason to not rape or kill people. I am angry that people believe-without knowing who I am-that I’m an immoral person. Morality concerns the distinctions between right and wrong or good and evil actions between humans.  How does one determine whether a particular course of action is good or evil?  One way is to attempt to understand how the other person feels in that situation.  If I’m trying to decided if I want to punch someone or not, by imagining myself in the shoes of someone else, it can be easy to see that they wouldn’t like to be punched.  I know I don’t want to be punched either, so it’s probably a good idea for me to not punch them, at least if I think they have the same rights as I do (which I do).  The Golden Rule-basically treating others as you would be treated yourself-has been in existence for longer than christianity, and informs morality.   Likewise, morality was a necessary component in creating societies.  There must be rules to govern our interactions if we’re going to live among each other, and humans being a social species, that’s pretty much going to happen everywhere.  These rules attempt to balance the desires of the individual against the desires of society as a whole.  Destructive, damaging behaviors obviously harm society as a whole and are discouraged.  Positive behaviors are encouraged.  This is obviously in simple terms, but we don’t encourage people to kill or rape one another because that threatens social cohesion by affecting the safety and security of others.  The idea that you cannot have morality without god is a false one (and ridiculous anyways-how can you decide which actions are good and which are bad when {if you use christianity} god commits genocide and encourages or permits rape, slavery, and murder?)

If Sorbo were interested in actually learning why many atheists are angry-sometimes-he ought to check out Greta Christina’s book Why Are You Atheists So Angry:  99 Things That Piss Off The Godless. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of good reasons to get angry at the actions of the religious. Given the shit going on in the world, if you’re not angry, then you don’t care, and apathy is responsible for tremendous amounts of human suffering.

Incidentally Mr. Sorbo, we aren’t angry at god. We’re angry at how believers act in the name
of god.

Kevin Sorbo doesn't understand atheists

Kevin Sorbo doesn’t understand atheists

Kevin Sorbo was the star of a syndicated 1990s tv show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.  Recently, he starred in a christian film called God is Not Dead where he played an atheist.  He says he doesn’t understand why atheists are so angry about a god they don’t believe in: 

Sorbo, who is still promoting his most recent film, God Is Not Dead, in which he plays an atheist, said he can’t comprehend the logic behind atheist’s lack of beliefs and their anger.

“I’m a Christian myself and had to play an atheist. I see the anger of these (atheist) guys on TV and it’s like ‘wow, how do you get so angry at something you don’t believe in?”  Sorbo said.

Earlier this year, Sorbo discussed self-professed atheist Bill Maher, calling him “angry and lonely,” before adding, “I did Politically Incorrect a couple of times, and all I can do is feel sad for the guy, because I think he is a very angry and lonely man. Comedy comes from anger anyway. You know, what are you going to say when a guy talks like this?”

 

My first question I’d ask him is have you ever listened to an atheist?  If he had, he’d realize that we’re not angry all the time.  You see, atheists, like other human beings, are human.  We possess and display the full range of human emotions (to one degree or another, and at various points in our lives).  

We laugh when we’re happy.

We cry when we’re sad.

We get frustrated when things don’t go as planned.

We shrug our shoulders over things we don’t care about.

We care about the lives of family and friends.

We show concern when the people we care about are hurt.

We are most certainly *not* angry all the time.  To believe that is to truly not know what the fuck one is talking about.

We do get angry though. 

Some of us get angry on a regular basis, and guess what? There’s nothing wrong with that.  Anger is an emotion and like all emotions it helps us express our thoughts and feelings.  There is much in the world to be happy or joyous about.  There is also much to be angry about.  I could discuss a great many things about religion in general that make me angry, but I’ll limit it to just 5 items (and not just christianity Mr. Sorbo, it’s hardly unique):

  1. I’m mad that the Catholic Church uses it position as one of the most powerful organizations on the planet to deny women the right to have an abortion.  The right to bodily autonomy is a right all human beings have.  It is foundational to the right to self-defense, which is a right all humans have.  To deny women the right to have an abortion results in women being denied a right they are entitled to by virtue of being human.  Such a denial relegates women to second class status, and I condemn that 1000%. 
  2. I’m mad that children are brought up, indoctrinated into religious belief.  The foundation of religious belief-faith-instills in children (from a very young age) the idea that it is preferable to hold beliefs without any reason to do so; in the face of evidence to the contrary.  Religious belief hinders the ability of children in the areas of logic and critical thinking.  The damage isn’t irreversible, but is difficult to overcome.  The ability to use critical thinking, logic, and reason is essential in learning how to understand and interpret the world around us.  These tools are also important in allowing us to cut through the bullshit we so often find in life. Faith-belief without evidence-allows people to believe in all manner of things, often to their own personal detriment.
  3. Religious teachings on sexuality are wrong.  As I’ve written before, there is no moral component to sexuality.  It’s personal to each individual, and has no bearing on questions of right and wrong in interactions between people.  I find the teaching of *many* religions on the subject of sexuality to be abominable.  Homosexuality is not morally wrong. Bisexuality is not morally wrong.  That many religions teach that homosexuality is morally wrong is itself deeply immoral.  These teaching have led parents to disown their kids, kick them out of their homes, and even kill them.  These teachings have led to a lifetime of shame and disgust that many people feel over their sexuality. These religious teachings have led entire countries-I’m looking at you Russia-to enact legislation that discriminates against and oppresses people.  All for the “crime” of not being heterosexual. Religious teachings on sexuality-on the whole-are deeply harmful to people, and actively work to make people miserable and the world a worse place.
  4. Creationism does not belong in the classroom.  It is a wholly religious idea that has no foundation in science.  There is no empirical evidence in support of creationism, yet despite this, there are efforts across the US and other parts of the world to teach creationism in place of evolution in the classroom.  This angers me because I want people to be educated, but I want that education to be reality based.  Not fantasy based.  Evolution has mountains of evidence to support it, and a vast array of scientific disciplines support the theory of evolution.  
  5. I am an atheist.  That means I do not believe in the existence of any god or gods.  That does *not* mean I’m an immoral shitbag who has no reason to not rape or kill people. I am angry that people believe-without knowing who I am-that I’m an immoral person. Morality concerns the distinctions between right and wrong or good and evil actions between humans.  How does one determine whether a particular course of action is good or evil?  One way is to attempt to understand how the other person feels in that situation.  If I’m trying to decided if I want to punch someone or not, by imagining myself in the shoes of someone else, it can be easy to see that they wouldn’t like to be punched.  I know I don’t want to be punched either, so it’s probably a good idea for me to not punch them, at least if I think they have the same rights as I do (which I do).  The Golden Rule-basically treating others as you would be treated yourself-has been in existence for longer than christianity, and informs morality.   Likewise, morality was a necessary component in creating societies.  There must be rules to govern our interactions if we’re going to live among each other, and humans being a social species, that’s pretty much going to happen everywhere.  These rules attempt to balance the desires of the individual against the desires of society as a whole.  Destructive, damaging behaviors obviously harm society as a whole and are discouraged.  Positive behaviors are encouraged.  This is obviously in simple terms, but we don’t encourage people to kill or rape one another because that threatens social cohesion by affecting the safety and security of others.  The idea that you cannot have morality without god is a false one (and ridiculous anyways-how can you decide which actions are good and which are bad when {if you use christianity} god commits genocide and encourages or permits rape, slavery, and murder?)

If Sorbo were interested in actually learning why many atheists are angry-sometimes-he ought to check out Greta Christina’s book Why Are You Atheists So Angry:  99 Things That Piss Off The Godless. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of good reasons to get angry at the actions of the religious. Given the shit going on in the world, if you’re not angry, then you don’t care, and apathy is responsible for tremendous amounts of human suffering.

Incidentally Mr. Sorbo, we aren’t angry at god. We’re angry at how believers act in the name
of god.

Kevin Sorbo doesn’t understand atheists

This gives me the warm fuzzies

Quick:  which religious organization boycotts the funerals of military service personnel because they think the United States is embracing homosexuality and “god hates fags”?

If you guessed The Westboro Baptist Church, you’d be right.  If you didn’t guess them, then it’s time to crawl out from under that rock you’ve been living under.

The WBC is a deeply homophobic organization that are almost universally reviled (I’m sure there are some nice fundamentalist christian churches that agree with them, but you’d probably have to search far and wide to find them). Obviously, they got a case of the sadz when Michael Sam came out of the closet. What to do, what to do?  Hmmm.  Oh, I know!  They can boycott a ceremony at a basketball game in his honor.  It didn’t quite go how they wanted (I’m trying to drum up a tear to shed in the name of the WBC, but my eyes just don’t want to agree with me):

Thousands of people have turned out to block members of the Westboro Baptist Church from picketing a basketball game during which openly gay college footballer Michael Sam was to be honored.

The Westboro Baptist Church members traveled to Missouri on Saturday after Sam came out publicly, labeling the Tigers ‘fag enablers’ for tolerating Sam on the team and calling for the death penalty for homosexuality to be reinstated.

In response thousands of Sam’s supporters – many fellow students at the University of Missouri – formed a ring around the stadium and turned their backs on the church members.

‘The college campuses of doomed-USA are over flowing with proud fornicators and fags,’ church members said ahead of their protest action.

‘They are most concentrated on your sports teams, especially football — the favorite religion of this idolatrous superstitious lost nation. By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, one of those foolish proud young men, Mike Sam, burst forth on the front pages, when he introduced himself in time for the NFL Combine & Draft as a proud fag football player, kicking off peals of perverse sin-justifying praise.’

Church members claimed that Missouri was famous for two things – ‘bestiality, and persecuting the saints of the Most High God.’

Student’s sang the University of Missouri’s school fighting song while keeping the church members away from the arena.

Photos of the human barrier soon went viral on Twitter, trending with the hashtag #StandWithSam.

Sam is expected to become the first openly gay professional American footballer to be chosen by a major team and several teams have already said they would be interested in him as a draft pick.

 

(yeah, the article is months old, but I’m just now hearing about it)

This gives me the warm fuzzies

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Right wing authoritarians seem to bleed hate, and they almost live in a perpetual state of pissiness, especially on subjects like guns, abortion, or queer rights.  They’re freaking out again, this time over a fake news report

On Monday, totallyfakeandnotreal “satire” news site National Report published an articleclaiming they had obtained a leaked script of the upcoming Superman Vs. Batman [sic]: Dawn Of Justice, one that portrayed the Dark Knight as “an out-and-proud homosexual.” Naturally, Internet bigots treated the report with their typical level of caution and skepticism, going completely bat-shit over the bat-rumors.

There is no chance Warner Brothers would allow a script to be approved that had a gay Batman (which is a problem of its own, but not the subject of this piece), so the idea that a movie would be produced with a queer Batman is laughable.  Apparently some conservatives took it seriously:

You have to love the mindset that implies that if you support the idea of Batman and Superman being gay, you’re not a decent American.  There are  a lot of people who be up in arms about it if Supes and Bats were made into gay characters, but there would be many that wouldn’t mind it.  Some would even like it.  Fuckers like ‘S’, above don’t get to decide who is a decent American, thankfully.

 

 

This guy doesn’t want to see, nor hear about gay people. He wants things to go back to the way he likes.  When he was comfortable.  When the world catered to his desires.  When the media did portray OMG gay people.  When we were in the closet for fear of our fucking lives.  Not gonna happen buddy.  We’re not going out.  It may be an overused saying, but “We’re here. We’re queer. And we ain’t going anywhere.”

We have just as much right to exist as you do.  We aren’t asking for much.  We want the same rights as heterosexuals have.  We want to be represented just like heterosexuals have been for millenia.  We want to read books, watch movies, and listen to music that reflects us, just like heterosexuals have had for millenia.  As human beings we deserve that.  And we’re not even asking people to stop making material for heterosexuals. We just want to be included in that material. We want people to acknowledge that we exist, and that we have a right to be treated just as normal as anyone else.  We exist everywhere and we’re not here to harm anyone (god that makes us sound like an alien race infiltrating humanity for devious purposes, ala ‘V‘).  Conservatives that can’t stand their small worldview being shattered-those are the people with the problems.  You’re the people that can’d stand black people asking for rights and representation. You’re the people who can’t handle women demanding to have bodily autonomy and equal political representation.  You’re the one with the problem dealing with queers wanting to live openly without fear of harassment, job termination, or being murdered.  

You people need to deal with your problems and join the 21st century, because none of us is going away.

Change into better human beings and work alongside us to make the world a better place for everyone.  Or you can sit over there, whining and complaining, impotently, as the world passes you by and you fade into irrelevance.  The choice is yours.

 

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