Friday, June 30, 2006

The local paper has a "Quote of the Day" in its sidebar on the front page of the Features section. Today's was:

"I'm in this huge feud with Lindsay Lohan. She knows what she did."

Former Vice President Al Gore, 58,
poking fun at Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's
famous fight and joking about
his new Hollywood life now that he's made
a film, "An Inconvenient Truth"

Not the sort of thing you'd expect from Al Gore... unless you take into account that he did his own voice acting on Futurama.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Demanding rights for great apes:

Spain's parliament is to declare support for rights to life and freedom for great apes on Wednesday, apparently the first time any national legislature will have recognized such rights for non-humans.

Parliament is to ask the government to adhere to the Great Ape Project, which would mean recognizing that our closest genetic relatives should be part of a "community of equals" with humans, supporters of the resolution said.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

According to Wikipedia,

In Russia, persons of Caucasus descent are called Black.


The Caucasus peoples of Abidjan, and Crimea are sometimes called black because, relatively speaking, they are darker and less European in their appearance.

I find this ironic. And amusing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Episcopalians recently elected one Katharine Jefferts Schori as their leader. Besides being the first female leader, she's also pro-evolution and anti-homophobia:

Interviewed on CNN, Jefferts Schori was asked if it was a sin to be homosexual.

"I don't believe so. I believe that God creates us with different gifts. Each one of us comes into this world with a different collection of things that challenge us and things that give us joy and allow us to bless the world around us," she said. "Some people come into this world with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender and some people come into this world with affections directed at people of the other gender."

This naturally has gotten a bunch of fundies pissed; Ms. Spaulding lists several quotes from Beyond constantly invoking idiotic comparisons of homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia, they include this gem of a quote:

I wonder how long until she throws out the other nine commandments.

I'd love to find out what this person thinks the decalogue comprises.

Monday, June 19, 2006

"On this subject, as on every other which may occur, I hold it my duty to lay before you all the facts which are relevant, all the opinions which are plausible, leaving you then to judge for yourselves."

Who said this? A Fox News reporter? An Intelligent Design advocate?

This was a quote from Dr. John Augustine Smith in 1808 before a group of New York medical students.

The topic of his speech was how whites ("Europeans") were superior to all the other races of man, "or, at least, further removed from the brute creation."

Teach the controversy!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Virginian businessman is being allowed to refuse to make copies of old gay pride parade videos (from Betamax to VHS) because the content offends his delicate Christian homophobia:

Tim Bono, of Bono Film and Video, sued the Arlington County government last week after its Human Rights Commission found him in violation of the county's anti-discrimination laws.

The commission said he denied services to a gay-rights activist based on her sexual orientation. The activist, Lilli Vincenz, had asked Bono to duplicate some archival footage of early gay-rights marches that she had on Betamax tapes.

Bono refused. He said his refusal had nothing to do with Vincenz's sexual orientation but with the content of the videos, which he deemed antithetical to his Christian values.

In April, the Human Rights Commission sided with Vincenz, and ordered Bono to either duplicate the videos or find someone else to do it at Bono's expense.

Bono filed a lawsuit challenging not only the commission's decision but also the county's anti-discrimination law. The lawsuit contends that state law prohibits counties like Arlington from adding sexual orientation to the list of categories that receive antidiscrimination protection, like race and sex.

The day after Bono filed the lawsuit in Arlington Circuit Court, the Human Rights Commission decided on its own initiative to vacate its earlier order against Bono.


Bono's lawyer, Rena Lindevaldsen, said Monday she has no plans to withdraw the lawsuit and still wants to challenge the validity of the Arlington law under Virginia's constitution.

Because Christian values include loving thy neighbor as yourself, unless that neighbor happens to be gay, or own gay stuff, or ask you to do things that are in any way gay. Then you're validated in treating them like crap.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I saw a headline, "'Mr. V' shows kids they matter with humor, patience, tough love."

So I imagined a cross between V and Mr. T--a Guy Fawkes mask and gold chains.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

And yet gay parents would do harm to kids:

A BUNDABERG couple who beat and starved two little boys have been jailed in Victoria for what a judge described as "sustained brutal and heartless treatment".

It took Judge Leslie Ross almost 15 minutes to detail the injuries suffered by the boys, then aged two and four, at the hands of their mother and her de facto partner in 1998.
Photographs submitted in evidence showed the boys beaten black and blue, with severe bruising and cuts covering their bodies.

Clumps of hair were missing from their heads and bruises to one boy's buttocks were so severe that Judge Ross said it was impossible to differentiate between them.

The older child received permanent brain injury after falling down stairs and the younger child was found to be suffering malnutrition.

Perhaps the stupidest reason to ban gay marriage ever:

U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle, the Republican candidate for governor, said today that amending the Iowa Constitution to include a ban on gay marriage would contribute to the state's quality of life.

Spelling out in the Constitution that marriage is between a man and a woman "demonstrates what kind of quality of life we have in Iowa and I think that’s a selling point Iowa ought to use," said Nussle on a taping of "Iowa Press."

Contribute to the state's "quality of life"? That's an even more empty and ridiculous catchphrase than "protecting the sanctity of marriage".

Thursday, June 8, 2006

In this article trying to dismiss the miscegenation analogy, I find this quote from a black pastor:

"To connect this to civil rights, to the rights of an individual, is absolutely intolerable,” he said. “Being black is not a sin. I rest my case there."

Which is technically true; blackness wasn't a sin, but it was taken to be the mark of sin. Like homosexuality, many people couldn't accept blackness as just a normal variation in humanity--its existence had to be explained away, and that explanation was always one that would validate the author's prejudices. For instance, Charles Carroll and "Ariel" both believed that blacks weren't human at all; they were two of a number of "pre-Adamists", who believed that a group of people existed before Adam and Eve. So the blacks were the 'people' inhabiting Nod when Cain went to live there. As beasts, whites were justified in treating them however they liked.

This was never a popular theory because if blacks weren't descendants of Adam, they didn't share in the Fall, and hence didn't have to be saved by Jesus--thus there was no point in converting them. A more popular theory was that blacks were the descendants of Ham, or his son Canaan, who was cursed by Noah--this curse was, supposedly, being turned black. Two interesting books on this topic are Ham and Japheth: The Mythic World of Whites in the Antebellum South, and Noah's Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery. There's also the theory that blacks are the descendants of Cain, whose 'mark' was also blackness, and Wikipedia mentions a "curse of Esau" doctrine, but I don't know anything about that.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

When people arguing for gay rights make analogies to the civil rights movement of the '60s, there are some who will invariably snarl that gays are hijacking the civil rights movement. In reality, of course, they're the ones hijacking it, and its history. They try to paint civil rights as something only belonging to black people--never mind all the other minorities that have been oppressed over the centuries. No, if they weren't enslaved and they don't have famous court cases that everyone recognizes like Dred Scott v. Sanford, then they don't deserve any rights at all.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Whenever you hear people rail against homosexuality because "the Bible says it's wrong", there's often a rebuttal laying out some of the other things the Bible says that people conveniently ignore. The inevitable response is "Well, I'm a Christian, so I don't believe in the Old Testament."

So I have to wonder: how many of these people are the same ones clamoring for the ten commandments to be erected in public areas?

And on a related note, you have people upset with The DaVinci Code because it dares intimate that Jesus did something so dirty and profane as, gasp, wed Mary Magdalene.

How many of these people will turn around and announce that marriage is a "sacrament" and something holy that we cannot allow gays to defile with their monogamous, loving relationships?

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Y'all have probably heard already about the pedophiles in the Netherlands trying to form a political party, proposing to lower the age of consent from 16 to 12, the legalization of bestiality, and the broadcasting of porn on daytime television.

I'm sure the religious in this country will sputter indignantly about this, at the least, and probably find a way to pin this on the gays. But before all that happens, I'd like to recall a story from March:

The [Kansas] Senate took up a bill last week that sets a minimum age for marriage at 16 with parental consent. The bill was prompted by a case in which a 21-year-old Nebraska man came to Kansas to marry a 13-year-old girl pregnant with his child. Kansas currently has no minimum marriage age.

Before the Senate approved the bill, Sen. Kay O'Connor, an Olathe Republican, pushed through an amendment to allow those under 16 to marry if a judge agrees it’s in their best interest. O'Connor, a supporter of last year’s ban on gay marriage, said she would rather not set any minimum.

[A]n act, passed on January 25, 1806, ... provided that "all slaves emancipated after May 1, 1806, must leave the state within twelve months after the act of emancipation, or be sold for the benefit of the literary fund." ... Because of its passage hundreds of petitions were addressed to the legislature by Negroes asking to be exempted from the penalty of the law. In these documents individuals were forced to show that their residence would not be injurious to the state... .

--Race Relations in Virginia and Miscegenation in the South, 1776-1860, James Hugo Johnston, pg. x