Archive for the ‘lgbt’ Category

Fundamentalists from religions that place an emphasis on the correct interpretation of a revelation in the form of a holy text tend to claim not only that their interpretation is the only correct one – but that their interpretation is the correct one because it’s literal, doesn’t involve any metaphorical readings and sophistry(1).

Very often those claims of literalism are taken at face value in the discourse about religion, usually not by scholars, by but activists, journalists and atheist bloggers.

This uncritical reception of facts provided by parties who are by no means objective, neutral participants in the discourse about religion – namely, the fundamentalists themselves – constitutes a deeply flawed approach to understanding the phenomenon of fundamentalism, and to fighting it.

1) Fudamentalists are selecting the parts of their holy texts they want to interpret “literally”; those parts usually support their anti-modern, absolutist, Manicheist, xenophobic stance. Have you ever heard of a Christian fundamentalist sect that chose to interpret Matthew 22, 37 literally?:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

There is no such fundamentalist sect. Quite the opposite, the fundamentalist sects will engage in all sorts of spurious sophistry to metaphorically explain this bit of the Bible away so that it doesn’t seem to be in contradiction with their plans of eliminating sexual minorities and subjugating women.

2) Fudamentalists’ literal interpretations are completely decontextualised and in fact false

Let’s consider the common stance of various fundamentalist Christian sects on homosexuality, namely that it is a sin, and that the Bible explicitly states that it is so. However, the Bible cannot possibly explicitly state anything at all about homosexuality, because it has no word for homosexuality in any of its many books. Even if there are some words that might or might not refer to homosexuality in the New Testament, there are describing a completely different phenomenon than the one we understand as “homosexuality” today. What the Bible says about homosexuality is:

(Leviticus 18:22) “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

What it means in more modern terms is more or less this:

Two men having an anal intercourse is a bad thing, because if a man is penetrated by a penis that makes him a woman. A man becoming a woman, who is less of a human than a man, is a bad thing and a violation of a natural order. The natural order of things was established by God – therefore, anal intercourse between two men is an act of disobedience against God, and a sin.

Because women are unimportant, women having sex with each other are never mentioned. This isn’t because when the Bible says “man” it means “human”. Any such claims are ridiculous: in antiquity “man” meant “a non-foreigner who is male and who is not a slave”.

As in the example I provided, the process of constructing a typical “literal” fundamentalist interpretation looks more or less like that:

A. Picking the parts of modern ideology fundamentalists disagree with and want to fight against; this will be the things that they consider to be the biggest threat to the traditional, idealised way of life.

B. Re-defining them in modern terms and decontextualisation: they’re taking a stance against modernity not by ignoring or rejecting it but by actively opposing it; this paradoxically makes it necessary that modern terminology and vocabulary be included, at least as a point of reference.

C. Making a list of the things selected in B; this will be the list of fundamentals, the things that are especially important and interpreted “literally”, according to the members of the fundamentalist religion. As mentioned above, parts of the holy text that could be considered a threat to the literal interpretation of the fundamentals will be interpreted metaphorically, often with the help of seemingly sophisticated theology, which however will in the end be only the tool in the hands of a above-all anti-modern movement.

It’s extremely irritating to see atheist activists and sceptics being deceived by the claims fundamentalists make about their interpretations being literal. It’s quite certain that many of them sincerely believe that this is the case, this however, is not a sufficient reason to take them at face value; in fact, any sort of self-report, or claim about ideology someone is invested in should undergo a thorough scrutiny.

ETA: fixed typos ^^;;;;;;;;;;;

(1) Obviously, I will be only writing about the fundamentalisms that have holy text that are considered to be the word of the relevant god, and important because of it. However, it should be clear that not for all fundamentalisms, just for religions, the existence of such a holy text is necessary: a good example would be the Buddhist fundamentalism in Sri Lanka, or various Hindu fundamentalisms (this of course doesn’t mean they’re not using any texts at all, only that those texts are not considered to be the word of god(s) and consequently their interpretation and analysis is not accorded such a great importance as in the case of, for instance, Christianity or Islam).

I can’t make up my mind what’s actually a bigger news, in a way. Anyway:

1. Apparently, a bunch of Teabagger trolls on Digg has been suppressing non-teabagger (as in, not extremely right wing, not denying artificial climate change, not denying evolution, not denying that assorted social problems are problems, not denying that the social justice discourse is important, etc, etc) news and articles for years.

This is completely batshit insane, if only for the reason that there are actually people perfectly willing to waste sizeable chunks of their (free?) time on creating multiple accounts, circumventing bans, and so on, only so that they can collectively remove articles that say Obama is not a Kenyan Muslim terrorist or something.

And a good waste of life to you too, sir(1)!

2. Prop 8 is temporarily overturned, and everybody is quite rightly in a jubilant and festive mood, but! Not all! I know, I know, the Maddow video is awesome and stuff, but let’s focus on something not a lot of people is focusing about because of their jubilant and festive mood, namely, right-wing gnashing of teeth, bawwing and wailing(2).

Maggie Gallagher!

Judge Walker has added insult to injury by suggesting that support for marriage is somehow irrational bigotry, akin to racial animus. The majority of Americans are not bigots or haters for supporting the commonsense view that marriage is the union of husband and wife, because children need moms and dads.

(…)

Parents will find that, almost Soviet-style, their own children will be re-educated using their own tax dollars to disrespect their parents’ views and values.

Cry me a river of crystalline tears, with your sapphire orbs! (I’ll even donate some money for the Soviet style re-education camps, if a donation drive is ever undertaken by the fellow Marxists hurr durr derp)
Worldnut Daily!

He seeks to deconstruct (and then reconstruct) the definition of traditional marriage by describing its constituent elements and showing how those elements can be applied equally to heterosexual marriage and same-sex marriage, thus concluding there is no difference between the concepts. It’s as if he compared my DNA with any of yours and concluded that because 99.9 percent of human DNA is the same in everyone, you and I are the same person.

Guys, the Fans of proof by analogy(3) group on Facebook has a new member (guys, we need an international version now, too) hurr hurr derp derp derrrrrrp.
Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling yesterday, in which he trampled on the will of seven million Californians, is a monstrous, egregious, reprehensible expression of judicial activism and tyranny.
TYRANNY! TYRANNY! It’s when someone doesn’t allow the state you live in to support your  treatment of human beings as if they were subhuman. Clearly.
Although almost no other organizations other than the American Family Association are making an issue of this, Judge Walker should have recused himself from this case since he is a practicing homosexual. This created a clear conflict of interest, and he had no business issuing a ruling on a matter on which he had such a huge personal and private interest.
I’m sorry, I had to guffaw here.

He is Exhibit A as to why homosexuals should be disqualified from public office. Character is an important qualification for public service, and what an individual does in his private sexual life is a critical component of character.

Catholics: first, they come for the gays. Next, the Protestants(4).

I would watch out for the Catholics if I were a Protestant.

Coffee time now.

(1) I haven’t been using Digg, so, I’m not actually invested or anything. I’d love to hear about that from someone who did. Did the users notice suspicious patterns in the articles being buried? I mean, someone obviously did, duh, or there wouldn’t have been an investigation and stuff, but how common was this noticing? Did people think that the burying patterns actually reflect people’s opinions accurately, and lost faith in humanity in general, and joined VHEMT? I wanna know.

(2) Oh, the sweet taste of suffering and misery! *Sendai-in-her-festive-and-jubilant-mood*

(3) Where by analogy obviously a false one is meant.

(4) Yeah, I know that the term “Protestant” is polemical and therefore problematic. I couldn’t think of another word for “mostly all Christians who are not Catholic”, though.

You haven’t misread. Indeed, it is Vox Day who indeed pontificates the benefits  the society can gain if it embraces the feminist ideology. I can’t blame you if you twitch a bit, and ask yourself quietly whether this Vox Day, the defender of feminism and women’s rights, can really be the same person who wrote this:

Consider the two great laments of the modern American woman. For the unmarried woman, it is the reality that she must marry later in life than ever before, if she is able to marry at all. For the married woman, it is that unlike generations of women before her, she cannot afford to stay home with her children unless she is fortunate enough to have married to a man of the financial elite.

Both of these developments can be traced directly to women’s rights. Men’s increasing unwillingness to marry stems primarily from two causes — the feminized family court system that transformed marriage from a mutually beneficial contract into a financial and emotional liability, and the removal of paternal responsibility for the sexual behavior of young women. Ergo, the need for marriage has been eliminated while its liabilities have increased. As Blue America and de-Christianizing Europe increasingly show, in the absence of religion there is now very little impetus for marriage. (source)

or that:

I have said before that calling a feminist a feminazi is an insult to National Socialism. Now, it is clear that even Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot are second-rate killers in comparison with Ms. Sanger, Ms. Friedan and Ms. Steinem. (source)

or even this:

Since only the woman who is not entertaining the possibility of sex with a man and is subsequently raped can truly be considered a wholly innocent victim under this ethic, it is no wonder that women who insist that internal consent is the sole determining factor of a woman’s victimization find traditional Western morality to be inherently distasteful. (source)

And yet! In Why women have to vote? Vox Day points out several important reasons for why they should:

1. Although he starts his initial argument very uncertainly, by cautiously mentioning that there is very little conclusive research done on how the women’s suffrage positively influence societies, he soon gives a long list of examples where women’s suffrage and women’s rights movement did influence societies positively. In any case, we think that Vox Day, not being an expert on feminism and sociology, as painfully  evinced by the above quotations, would benefit from studying the relevant literature a bit more closely.

2. Vox Day’s subsequently indicates that countries whose governments focus on the support of the capitalist system at the cost of personal freedom of their citizens often tend to have severe restrictions on voting and political representation, also of women.

3. In his next argument, Vox Day points out that the increased liberalisation, which often follows the recognition of women as full citizens by the state, has many a time lead to a sudden change of priorities for the better, such as more restrictive gun laws in Switzerland introduced 22 years after women’s receiving suffrage, in recognition of the obvious fact that one’s right not to be more likely to be shot is more important that one’s right to own a boom stick. This was accomplished at a relatively swift pace despite Switzerland’s long tradition of private militia.

4.  To quote this short passage in its stunning perceptiveness:

The opponents of women’s suffrage have been proven correct with regards to their predictions of a) increased divorce, b) increased abortion, c) sexual promiscuity, d) increased paganism.

This means that despite many pessimistic predictions, various women’s movements throughout the last two centuries did manage to fulfill many of those movements’ demands, and that we are, despite everything, progressing towards equality for everyone, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and class.

(I would also prefer Vox Day not to forget that lesbians and trans* women also are and have been part of the women’s movement in a way, although I don’t want to erase their, or rather our *own* accomplishments)

It’s always very heart-warming to see the efforts of many generations of women around the world recognised by a, hopefully, former opponent.

5.  Next, Vox Day quotes John Lott (unfortunately, his website is now defunct. I’m certain I’m not the only feminist who would have liked to see his brilliant analysis of our, let’s face it, epic win):

“The two consistent results were: allowing female suffrage resulted in a more liberal tilt in congressional voting for both houses, and the extent of that shift was mirrored by the increase in turnout due to female suffrage. The effects are quite large.”

The above words refer to the US situation, so the correct re-interpretation for Europe would be “social-democratic tilt in parliament voting”; this of course means that women were smart enough to recognise that anti-feminist political parties, such as the most conservative ones, are least likely to represent their interests effectively, and voted accordingly.

6. Finally, in the last attempt at hipster irony, a stylistic choice of Vox Day I tend not to value very highly, he amusingly mentions that:

Perhaps not all women are fascists at heart, but without their votes, few fascists would ever be elected.

Some readers who are less well-read than Vox Day may misunderstand his sophisticated irony, so I’ll try to explain: Vox Day is wittily alluding to the fact that under the fascist regime in Italy women were not allowed to vote;  they receive suffrage only in 1946.

Thank you, Vox Day.

(Link to the Vox Day post was found in the comments of this post.)

1) Victorian sex survey:

“I opened it up and there were these questionnaires”— questionnaires upon which dozens of women, most born before 1870, had inscribed their most intimate thoughts.

In other words, it was a sex survey. A Victorian sex survey. It is the earliest known study of its type, long preceding, for example, the 1947 and 1953 Kinsey Reports, whose oldest female respondents were born in the 1890s.

2) What can happen to an absolutely priceless artefact during WWII:

Within a few years, he’d pawned the tablet, along with rare coins, to purchase the liquor store, the attorney said. But he soon paid back the pawn broker and reclaimed the coins and tablet.

3) Constance McMillen thing. By now everybody surely must know what happened, so I’ll just point to the account of her school mate about the school mate’s trials and tribulations at the hands of the omnipotent attention-whoring Gay Mafia, pulled straight from the comment the cross-burning ignorant hick’s left at another blog (her name was later pulled from her public Facebook profile, and how stupid you have to be to have a public profile when there’s a bunch of data-hungry lawyers prowling the internet in search of damning evidence? The lawyers who, I hope, do have the Screengrap app). Gee, it’s JUST LIKE In the Grove:

What people are failing to realize is that much of the fault of this whole stink lies with Constance, not her mistreatment by the school district, but her crazy-reckless need for attention. It sounds mean and horrible and like we planned it all specifically to embarrass Constance, but we didn’t. We let her have her prom with her girlfriend and her tuxedo and we went to party it up in the “boondocks” not because we wanted her rights violated, but so we could salvage what has turned into a total fiasco

Well. I can think of someone who’s failing to realize things; it’s not “the people” (whoever they might be).

Also, there are some photos from the no gay, disabled,  and otherwise different folks allowed prom here (again, pulled from Facebook accounts of those involved, and  again, not very smart, I’d say. Good for Constance though).

The most spectacularly failtastic bit of fail comes with this, though:

So, I guess it’s OK for two girls to kiss, as long as they aren’t real lesbians? Very cunning. Also, a girl in the other photo is wearing JEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANS.

I mean, jeans. This is hardcore stuff, guys. Like, a step away from fully fledged lesbianism or something. I’d pray for that girl, just in case.

As usual in cases like that, a plucky internet detective uncovered the Facebook groups those people (that is Itawamba blahblah  Highschool students) belong to and unsurprisingly:

And, if you look at the facebook profiles for the “secret prom” attendees you see the same pages recurring in their profiles:

Greenville Christian School
The Charleston Baptist Congregation
Little Creek Baptist Church
“I’m Proud To Be Christian” by Aaron Chavez Religious Center
Prayer In School Religious Center
I Love Jesus Religious Center
Freedom Rally 2010 “A call to Revival”
Dedicated to Christ
Going to Church Religious Center
God id Love Religious Organization
Jesus Daily Religious Organization
I’m a Christian & I’m Proud Religious Organization
The Resolve Tour Religious Organization
ChristBuild Inc Religious Organization
Christ In Action Non-Profit

CUTE. Clearly, what they need is moar Jesus in their lives OH WAIT-

Also, I personally agree with the following comment made about the latest developments in the Constance McMillen’s prom case:

If they [people who organised the no-;esbians-allowed prom — Sendai] keep digging that hole, they’ll soon be swimming in magma.

Dig faster.

I hope the original commenter will forgive me for quoting her verbatim, but I believe the comment i’s indicative of the attitude a sane person ought to preserve in face of the fail exhibited repeatedly by the Itawamba Highschool students, their parents and teachers, may a concert piano fall on their bigoted heads.

4) (I’m thinking about having a book-by-book reading orgy progress report on Twitter. Hmmm)

Apologise to us for being abused by us and our friends

Brb, gotta go to a doctor who is 100% sponsored by my taxes, so that I have to pay nothing for the visit.

OH THE HUMANITY

1. Figure skating is such a girly sport. Where by ‘girly’  clearly some sort of inferiority is meant.

This means that men who are exceptionally good at such a ‘girly’ thing can’t be, like, real men or something, like Johnny Weir:

“This may not be politically correct,” Mailhot said during the segment, in which Weir … was shown sporting a semi-sheer, pink-and-black costume he designed himself.

“But do you think he lost points due to his costume and his body language?”

Goldberg replied that Weir’s feminine style may reflect badly on other male figure skaters.

“They’ll think all the boys who skate will end up like him,” he said. “It sets a bad example.” (source)

Let me just-

Bad example?

There’s nothing offensive, insulting, ironic, sarcastic or cynical that could make this statement more ridiculous, absurd and surrealistic than it already is.  Mailhot is so stupid he’s like a parody of himself.

Also:

“We should make him [Johnny Weir] pass a gender test at this point,” Goldberg said, and Mailhot then jokingly suggested Weir should compete in the women’s competition. (source)

As if his complete gender fail weren’t enough, Mailhot&  Goldberg  also had to be offensive to trans people. Is there some sort of award they give for that sort of idiotic, mindless, thickety thick clueless fuckwittedness? Because, I’d like to propose Mr Mailhot as a candidate.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world can enjoy Johnny Weir dancing to Lady Gaga’s  Poker Face:

Somehow, the Koreans seemed pretty enthusiastic.

(I HATE PEOPLE WHO PREVENT ME FROM NOT CARING ABOUT THE OLYMPICS. MAILHOT WILL PAY ONE DAY)

2. The best game ever:

forevergeek.com where I got the cap says: so bad it's good. BAD??? BAD??? what a bunch of bitter, sad n00bs you all must be :(

My review will be very short and to the point: UNICORNS!!!!!!!1!!!!!

Also:

(via MRW <3<3<3)

3. Also, in Oppenheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, where I currently reside, it’s all Suddenly!Spring. BIZARRE VERY BIZARRE.

NSFW (profanity)

Finally, a message I can approve of, with a shiny cute adorable video: