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Nutbags From The Mailbag
The Screw-Loose Club just bought a book of stamps:

phanmail.jpg

I guess he missed this one. And this one. And a few others. On the bright side, he isn't an animal rights activist. The bunny huggers are a bit tweaked with me this week for mentioning in my column that I think it's okay to eat meat.

Posted by aalkon at July 11, 2007 12:53 PM

Comments

Couple things Amy, What exatly is Hade Amy, who owns Hade Amy, and where is Hade Amy?

You really should post all of these kinds of letters I havent laughed so hard in months.

You aught to respond and tell him that according to the bible god actually created man last, after heaven and earth and everything on it. And arent women and men the same damn species?

Posted by: lujlp at July 11, 2007 1:12 AM

Let's all reflect on the condition of pre-dominance.

Posted by: Crid at July 11, 2007 1:32 AM

Why does this guy cqpitqlize qll of his Rs?
oR Replace qll of his a's with q's?

Posted by: lujlp at July 11, 2007 2:08 AM

"All very interesting, but stupid."

Posted by: Anonymous Reader at July 11, 2007 4:38 AM

Obviously, this guy has issues!

Posted by: Flynne at July 11, 2007 5:53 AM

Wow. Talk about cherry-picking stupidity!

Wow. Talk about a letter that definitely gave me a good morning chuckle!



It's funny when people claim knowledge of what you write, yet make a tragic number of incorrect assumptions that could easily be remedied by reading more than one column (if he managed to read that far).

lujlp is right...we need more of these. Nay, an entire section for these letters! Maybe a section called "Stupid People Pics/Videos/Letters." Good stuff.

Posted by: Jamie at July 11, 2007 6:17 AM

Here's my probably incorrect assumption in response to this letter.


Everyone I've known that had "Wade" as a first name or middle name was a complete moron.

Posted by: Jamie at July 11, 2007 6:20 AM

Guys, guys. Have mercy on this 12-year-old.
He's clearly the son of born-agains and he stumbled upon Amy's site while looking for pr0n "Goddesses". He is trying to asssuage his guilt by blaming Amy.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at July 11, 2007 6:33 AM

Deirdre B.: Precisely what I was scrolling down to add to the comments!

He's just a mere lad born to nut-job Bible Thumpers. He's at that age where you still think your parents know everything and you just buy into everything they say. You do this w/o realizing that 1) their opinions are not fact 2) that sometimes parents are wrong 3) you are allowed to think for yourself! Those things come later...when you start to see that your parents are regular people who make mistakes. In other words kid, you and your parents are tapped in the head.

And start paying attention in school. "Hade's" shouldn't be possessive, the noun is simply Hades (or Hell).

Posted by: Gretchen at July 11, 2007 6:53 AM

"In other words kid, you and your parents are tapped in the head." - Gretchen

There you go! All he needs is some good old fashioned trepanation!

Yes, I admit I'm deliberately misinterpreting the quote. I just thought it was funnier this way.

I doubt it's a kid. Kids would be less likely to be reading a newspaper, and more likely to e-mail...especially if this was a distraction from pr0n hunting. ;)

Posted by: Jamie at July 11, 2007 7:01 AM

Amy,
You are my Goddess

Posted by: rusty wilson at July 11, 2007 7:32 AM

I'm fascinated by his assertion that, because "God created man first, not woman, and that women [sic] was created from the rib of man and not vice-versa," that "men are the predominant species in this world"-- implying that women are a different species. But a species is a taxonomic group whose members can interbreed. So that, in turn, means that men would only be able to interbreed with other men.

Hey, everybody, he's using the Bible to justify gay sex!!!

Posted by: Melissa G at July 11, 2007 7:35 AM

I just have to ask everyone, but what's the difference between a Christian that quietly worships and a nut job Bible Thumper? Are you just putting us all in one big ol' box and giving us a label? I don't agree with most of what Amy says, but it is her right to say whatever she wants. Please don't just label every Christian based on what you assume one loon to be. Even though I don't agree with her alot of the time, I do not feel it would be a very Christian thing to email/write/whatever and be rude. Just my thoughts.

Back on the topic, though, this guy is nuts.

Posted by: Sharon at July 11, 2007 8:38 AM

Christians who quietly worship are like people who believe their horoscopes -- irrational, and believing in something akin to the toothfairy, but not trying to shove the rest of us around because of it. The thumpers are the ones who try to legislate the behavior of the rest of us based on their evidence-free beliefs. And then, we have the terrorists who kill other based on their evidence-free beliefs. Here's to rationality!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 8:48 AM

Just a thought ... if the fact that god created man before woman means man is superior to woman, then what about the plants and animals that came before man? Hmm.

Posted by: Norman at July 11, 2007 8:57 AM

This is no kid, I assure you. I have been evaluating writing like this by grown people for a long time. But, as a self-professed penis goddess, I believe he has a minuscule member...a little marker dick!

Posted by: kg at July 11, 2007 9:04 AM

Well, we all have our faults. I don't read my horoscope. I do believe in a higher power, but if that's the worst thing I do in this life, then I'm doing okay. I don't care if you believe in a god or not. Its not my problem. I have other things to worry about. If having belief in a higher power makes me a bad person, then I'm a bad person. If chosing to believe in a God makes me irrational, stupid, primitave, brainwashed, or anything else you choose to call me, then I guess I am to some people. I've got too much else to think about than to worry about those who think I'm crazy. I have nothing to lose. I don't try to argue with people about my beliefs. I can't change anyone's mind. I know that. I honestly don't give a rip what other people believe. I have a dear friend that practices Wicca. I don't preach at her, she dosen't chant at me and we all get along fine. All that matters is how I live my life and how I teach my son to become a respectable, productive member of society.

All we can do while we're here is try to make the world around us a better place. When we die its not going to matter one bit if we enter Heaven, Hell or become a delicious buffet for the worms and maggots.

Posted by: Sharon at July 11, 2007 9:07 AM

Well, I wouldn't call irrationality a fault but a laziness in thinking. Irrationality is behind every letter I answer for my column. Many or most human problems are problems rationality could solve. You actually have a lot to lose by not being rational. For example, living as if there's a "hereafter" tends to make people live less hard than they would if they realized they'll likely just be worms after they die. I have friends who are religious and I can't respect the nonthink that goes into that, but I try to focus on the things I can respect. For the most part though, anybody I'm close to takes a rational approach to belief, meaning they don't believe in god, Santa, or the tooth fairy.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 9:17 AM

Also, the private worshippers validate the nut jobs. One does go with the other. How? A so-called holy text full improbable claims being used to validate a persons lack of knowledge and experiences. That's why.

So when the Rev. Fred Phelps uses the term: "God Hates Fags." It is a profound Christian theological statement found in both the Old and New Testaments. It is Christianity through and through. Of course, this pisses off my Christian moderate friends, but they cannot deny it. Just like little Wade using the Genesis Myth to validate his belief that men are superior to women.

My question is to any religious moderates: What is the criteria for cherry picking certain verses from their antiquated texts? Is it a divine direction or human intervention? The crazies will always use those verses that seem to be inappropriate, because of current trends and not some profound insight from the Luminous.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 9:18 AM

Joe is exactly right.

The Bible has some horrible stuff in it. For example:

http://www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm

1) Capital Punishment Crimes:


Kill People Who Don't Listen to Priests

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Kill Witches

You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

Kill Homosexuals
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Kill Fortunetellers

A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

Death for Hitting Dad

Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

Death for Cursing Parents

1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)

2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

Okay, how many of you religious types have slaughtered your teenagers for telling you "Fuck you!"? (And, if they just tell you "I hate you!" do you maybe just maim them?)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 9:38 AM

By biblical definitions, I should be dead several times over already.
I don't listen to priests.
I'm a (hedge) witch.
I've befriended gay people.
I read tarot cards. (it's a "gift".)
I've never hit my parents, but have sworn at them aloud (and under my breath) many times.
I haven't killed (or even maimed) my kids for swearing at me. But then again, I'm not really the religious type.
However, I'm still here. :)

Posted by: Flynne at July 11, 2007 9:47 AM

Exactly Amy and Flynne.

It goes for the apologists who defend the 'interesting' Muslim practices of forced veiling of women within Western secular societies. The crazies can claim it is written in their particular antiquated texts too. Tell that to a 14 year old girl who refuses to wear the hajib, but must live in a constant state of fear of family reprisals while living in the West. Should local authorities step in and protect her from her own religious parents?

"Well, its my faith."

That statement should be the Third Nuremburg Defense of our Modern Age. The first two were:

1. "I was just following orders."
2. "It pays the mortgage." (Thanks to Christopher Buckley)

Why did a young Muslim man strap bombs on their chests and walk into cafe full of civilians?

"Its my faith."

Why are atheists wrong, because they are asking me uncomfortable questions about my public views on spirituality?

"Its my faith."

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 10:34 AM

Sorry. I meant his chest, not their chest.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 10:38 AM

Hey, Chuck the Memo Warrior is gone today. He stayed longer than predicted: I was sure Monday would be his last day. A few posts from Amy about boys who like boys, styles from Paris and her little dog with a bow on its head is enough to chase out the rifraff. (Those things plus incessant mockery of Christians.)

It's neat how Reynolds sends over some new playmates (aka 'fresh meat!') every few months.

Posted by: Crid at July 11, 2007 10:55 AM

The memo format is especially annoying.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 11:01 AM

TO: Crid
RE: Memo Warrior

I miss him so much it hurts.

Regards,

Just(in)
[Quotation added in a thinly veiled criticism of other posters.]

Posted by: justin case at July 11, 2007 11:06 AM

The Stupid!!! It burns! It Buuuuuuuuurns the precious!!!

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at July 11, 2007 11:28 AM

Say it aint so, Crid. I never got to call him Colonel Bat Guano. There are so many famous military names from literature and movies to chose from and then he bails on us.

This is why I'm cynical and very jaded. Even if a clichéd MIC reject can't be dependable... then who can you place your faith in?

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 11:41 AM

The memo thing was brutal. The thing that really got me was his reasoning for it.....something about having evolved into such an interesting writer. Oh my god, it was all I could do not to touch that!!!!

Posted by: kg at July 11, 2007 11:51 AM

Crid - Chuck the Memo Warrior is gone today.

Very noticeably so. But gone for good? Or just to regroup?

Googling "Chuck Pelto" is quite interesting.

Posted by: Norman at July 11, 2007 12:00 PM

You mean Chuck "The Joy Juice" Pelto, Norman?

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 12:04 PM

I hope you are all proud of me for the amazing restraint I showed during the Chuck visitation. Hitting that 'scroll' button was painful, I tell you - painful!

Posted by: Pirate Jo at July 11, 2007 12:17 PM

TO: Pirate Jo
RE: Proud

I am very proud of you. Your restraint has helped to diminish the fuel for revisitation of the chuckle.

Regards,

(en)kg(ing)
[Newsflash: Memos are of the most tedious and boring writing to read.]

Posted by: kg at July 11, 2007 12:53 PM

So when the Rev. Fred Phelps uses the term: "God Hates Fags." It is a profound Christian theological statement found in both the Old and New Testaments.

I know next to nothing of the new testament, but nowhere in the old testament does it say that God hates homosexuals. I challenge you to support your assertion with citations.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 12:57 PM

Ok Amy,

You take the text from the Bible way to literally. I am a Catholic because my parents raised me that way, but I do have my own set of beliefs that I follow. I have always challenged the Catholic church (even in my Catholic schools that I attended). I had one excellent religion teacher who made sense when questioning the Bible.

He said that the Bible stories are parables or stories that men developed to assist teaching people how to live a Christian lifestyle - which really is just a foundation for living a decent lifestyle. Be nice to others, respect your parents and elders, etc.

So, as a bad Catholic - I do believe in something greater than just evolution, I don't really think that the Pope knows it all, I don't believe in very much of the Bible, but I do live a decent lifestyle, which includes marriage, children, work, etc. I also don't think that anyone has the right to hurt others, murder, kill, discriminate, etc. based on religion. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs or lack of.

Posted by: Klin1026 at July 11, 2007 1:55 PM

What, the citation above wasn't enough for you?

"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

How could you NOT infer from this that God hates homosexuals? This kind of crap could have been taken straight from the Koran.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at July 11, 2007 1:58 PM

Having been raised Church of England, I don't really know a whole lot about the Bible. But weren't the 10 Commandments the only laws of God? Stuff in Leviticus and such were man's laws, at that time, weren't they?

Posted by: eric at July 11, 2007 2:10 PM

Thanks, Pirate Jo.

Ever read the book of Leviticus, Kg? Is it not the third book of the Hebrew bible? Basically, the religious legal rules and rituals for the Torah.

The second part of the book (verses 17-26) is referred to as the Holiness Code.

Laws concerning sexual conduct (including some that are often interpreted as referring to male homosexuality), sorcery and false idols. Leviticus 18 and also Leviticus 20, in which penalties are given.

True Christians like Rev. Fred Phelps have interpreted those particular verses to validate his God Hates Fags message. Also, the Christian messiah, Jesus of Nazareth validated the OT along with his NT teachings. I recommend watching Phelps’ videos on YouTube where he discusses the book of Leviticus.

Now with the terms: religious, legal precepts, priestly rituals and holiness codes are for kg? Community relations? Or being on the good side of the almighty, but terribly insecure YHWH? Or a little of both?

So are religious moderates the ‘mildly eccentric’ bunch of theists, while the literalists are the kooks? Where do the nut bags get their crazy ideas from? Thin air? Nope. A collection of rambling verses that claim to have the intimate knowledge of the Luminous.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 2:17 PM

"How could you NOT infer from this that God hates homosexuals?"

I see no such inference. The verse sets forth the forbidden deed and its penalty. All assumptions as to God's motivation - which neither you nor I have any way of knowing - are your own.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 2:23 PM

It must be really neat to have an intellectual 'blind spot' that works at your own personal convenience, kishke.

By the way, sorry when I referred to you as kg in my last post. That was my real optical blind spot.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 2:39 PM

Wow, what nasty, small-minded comments about a fellow commenter. Is Amy's World so exclusive that no one else is allowed in?

I loved Memo Man, and found myself running to Amy's blog several times a day to find out what he was up to! He was clever and never mean.

Posted by: Donna B. at July 11, 2007 3:02 PM

What blind spot? (a) I recognize that punishment - even among human beings - does not equal hatred. (b) I do not presume to know God's motivations. You, however, build a straw man based on your own assumptions of His motivations, and attack religion on that basis. Is this an example of the rigorous thought of the rationalist?

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 3:04 PM

Ever read the book of Leviticus, Kg?

Now that I know you were addressing me, let me respond. Yes, I have read it. There's not a word there regarding hatred of homosexuals. What it says is that the homosexual act is an abomination.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 3:07 PM

Ok-- I admit it-- I wrote this letter to Amy.

This has to be a ruse. Amy is one woman who does not do what is alleged in the letter.

Posted by: jedwards at July 11, 2007 3:27 PM

Kishke,

So the original transition from Hebrew-Aramaic-Greek-Latin-German-English translation was specific in reference to the homosexual act and not homosexuals?

How many languages do you speak? Presently, I know five. English, Italian, Russian, Arabic (4 dialects) and Latin. Ancient languages were known for their opaqueness and lack of syntax. (Arabic is still known for these qualities) A word or expression could have multiple, but similar meanings. Could ancient Hebrew qualify under those standards? Or was it super specific in referring to the homosexual act and not the person? I'm referring to ancient Hebrew and not the modern counterpart spoken today.

So like I said before on being selective on your views of vague texts and my entire comments on the matter.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 3:54 PM

Joe,

Thanks for clearing my name. And excellent point about the languages. I only speak two, but still. Anyone who speaks more than one language knows how messy translation can be. Then, of course, is that stunningly unsimplistic fact that the bible has been translated over thousands of years. Shit, my neighbor can't keep a fishing story in perspective for a month....it keeps growing, and growing, and growing....unitl, BAM! The fish has actually conceived a human fetus through immaculate conception....oh, wait! That's the bible's story. No, no...my bad...it WAS my neighbor's story!

Posted by: kg at July 11, 2007 4:16 PM

Amy -- I read the linked columns.

If a man is 'accused " by a woman of being the father of her baby and he has doubts whether he is-- HE MUST UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ACT LIKE A FATHER.

If he does the legal fiction of "PATERNITY BY ESTOPPE" will be applied by many courts-- the Supreme Court of California adopted it last year. If a man accepts the child as his own, before and after birth and acts like a father-- even if he doesn't live with the woman and the child-- by paying her , by visiting the child and spending time with him/her etc-- the courts will say "he who acts like a father , is a father" regardless of whether he is the biological father.

Incredibly , according to the bogus "best interests of the child" standard ( read , Best Interests of the Mother and the state treasury), it doesn't matter if the man is the biological father or not. Since the child has come to see him as one it would visit permanent psycholoical harm ( insert female psychological "expert" here) on him/her if he walked off. Thats legal bullshit that means-- this guy has been lied to and screwed , but 'society' wants men to pay out of their pocket so the state doesn't have to pay for these bastard children women keep dropping. If he doesn't pay, she will go on public assistance and so will the child. So the law forces men to redistibute their money to women, even if they have no relationship to them whatever, as a matter of "public policy" to aid childred. (And this is a "patriarchial ", women-oppressing society?),

Any attorney will tell the alleged father-- don't pay a cent and don't go near the child or show any interest or establish any relationship.
This public policy deliberately and intentionally forces men who have been deceived about paternity by women to pay that woman- and unrelated child --support. So the law rewards women who lie to men and deceive them. Also-- what "best interst of the child" ?-- the courts never monitor the ensuing relationship between the un-father and the child-- . It s a legal fiction. The courts act as arms of the state treasury and rely on the old stereotypes of women.
.
Its the age-old legal rule-- find the nearest available man and make him pay so the state will not have to, becaue women are incompetent. Somebody has to support these two( these rules were made when women were all homemakers), so let it be this man...
It is still law that a child born during a marriage is presumptively the husband's. Why? The old stigma associated with illegitmacy was so great that it would harm the child. That is no longer true. Women use this ole rule when they claim paternity by Man A-- who usually has the income to pay, unlike potential Daddies B, C,D,E,F,G etc. If you don't respond to a letter in 30 days-- the state presumes you are the father based on the mere say-so of the women and engages the machinery of the state to get your money. The mere word of a woman can get a man convicted of rape, thrown out of his home by a DV allegation, barred from seeing his kids as an alleged abuser/molester, and can get a woman acquited of the most heinous crimes against men imaginable. Why ?


It is amazing that the New Women never objects to this blatant discrimianation against men. Why? They don't care. Equality to them means whatever is in women's self--interest. Blatant discrimination will be justified anyway they can.
Feminists NEVER do anything to advance EQUALITY or they would be equally upset by such grossly unfair and sexist laws. It puts money into some women's pockets-- thats their goal. Heavy weaher about EQUALITY is just that-- watch what they do, not what they say.

I know the feminists and ladies on this blog want to stop institutionalized sex discrimnation as they are devoted to EQUALITY between the sexes...
What can I put you down for ?

Posted by: jedwards at July 11, 2007 4:17 PM

There's nothing vague about the Hebrew here. I have studied Bible and Talmud for years, and I assure you, the translation is clear. The verse states regarding the homosexual act, "they have both done an abomination." The phrase addresses their act, not their persons.

Because you asked: I speak English, Yiddish and Hebrew, both ancient and modern. (I'm actually better-versed in ancient Hebrew than modern.) I also read several dialects of Aramaic (which is the language of the Talmud and other Rabbinic literature). [Interestingly, I find that Arabic is often similar to Aramaic. When I watch a clip of someone speaking Arabic with subtitles, I often recognize many words from my Talmud studies.]

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 4:19 PM

Then, of course, is that stunningly unsimplistic fact that the bible has been translated over thousands of years.

That's true, but not relevant here, as I'm reading it in the original Hebrew, not in translation.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 4:21 PM

Dude! How does this comment apply here? You need to calm the fuck down. Do you work? Look, get a bottle of Hennesey and Grand Mariner. Mix a good bit of the contents over a tall glass of ice. After two or three glasses, please dear jesus, get your dick sucked.

Posted by: kg at July 11, 2007 4:22 PM

Dude! How does this comment apply here?

You were suggesting that my reading is incorrect b/c errors have crept into the translations over thousands of years. I responded that I'm not using a translation. How is that not applicable?

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 4:36 PM

kishke, I believe that kg was referring to jedwards, who has made a distinct, as well as blatantly annoying, habit of posting very long vitriolic diatribes against feminism and women on this particular blog. Relax.

Posted by: Flynne at July 11, 2007 4:52 PM

Thanks Flynne! I thought my post would come right after jedwards! You can still try the second part, though, kishke!

Posted by: kg at July 11, 2007 5:02 PM

Jedwards,
You are a lazy fool. With even a modicum of effort, you could have determined that she has posts (more than once, I think) that criticize this very practice. Don't waste our scrolling time, dude. You're preaching to choir.

Posted by: justin case at July 11, 2007 5:07 PM

kishke, I believe that kg was referring to jedwards,

Whoops! My apologies, kg.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 5:15 PM

"That's true, but not relevant here, as I'm reading it in the original Hebrew, not in translation."

Interesting, kishke.

There are other contradictions over the issue of homosexuality found in the Old Testament. Especially, the relationship of a young David and King Saul's son, Jonathan.

Though sex is never explicitly stated, much of the Bible's sexual terms is clouded in euphemism. Actually is anyone surprised? Numerous passages allude to a physical relationship between the two men. Jonathan's disrobing, his "delighting much" in David, and the kissing before their departure. Saul accuses Jonathan of "confusing the nakedness of his mother" with David. The nakedness of one's parents is a common Biblical sexual allusion.

More Leviticus passages: 18:6-19, 20:11, 20:17-21. Ezekiel 16:36-37 and 23:10

What were David's words on hearing the news of Jonathan's death? Something about his love for Jonathan was greater than any bond he had for any woman.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 5:41 PM

Christian/Religion bashing-

For you Sharon and those like you fighting the "good fight" of Timonthy 2.

1. Why should Christians quietly worship? They have every right to join forces and present their grievances to the government and then to organize and act to effect their policy preferences into law. Its the American Way. "Shout it from the Rooftops" is perfectly appropriate for any Christian . Like anyone else they should pursue their view of the good life and seek to implement it into law. Everyone else does it-- feminists, liberals, conservatives, etc. I think feminsts are irrational hate-filled lunatics , but I would never say they have no right to organize and try to persuade others to their way of thinking and then implement that into public policy. Liberals shoved abortion down Christians's throat, by bypassing a democratic vote and enacting their morality into law.

2. The reliance on Rationality has to be the most dangerous myths of modern times. Endless crimes have been associated with it-- esp organizing states according to centralized planning etc.. William F Buckley was right when he said he would rather be ruled by the first 100 people in the phone book than the faculty of Harvard. Vast evil was visited on the world by the self-appointed Rationalists in the 20th Century. Tradition and history is a better guide for action than "Reason"-- every hare-brained scheme hatched by feminists, behaviorists, communists, fascists was always "Rational".
True Reason ? Who gets appointed to decide that and implement that in a democratic society ? The Supreme Court has made fools of themselves for decades with that approach-- a cover for importing liberal ideology into the constitution. The US Constitution dose not even arguably address abortion and precisely forbids "affirmative action" etc.. So much for "Reason".

3. Irrational animosity toward Christains-- Nietzsche's famuos quote-- "Be careful you do not become like what you hate"-- thats way we have extremists on both sides. Everyone has too watch out for that.

4. I once saw a small bus of folks pull up to a group home for the mentally ill. It was Christmas. The fellows there had nothing. These people came and brought a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. They brought presents for people they did not know and would never see again. Their only reward was the satisfaction they got from helping unfortunate others. As they left you could read on the side of the bus " First Baptist Church of Newton"---
Christians consistently act out of benevolence, kindness and self-less interest in the well-being of others.
You will never see a bus of atheists do a damn thing for anyone. That is a good test of the two belief systems-- moral action in this world.

Christians should be applauded for their service to others-- Catholic nuns and priests who built charity hospitals all over this country and worked in them for nothing... etc. People like that are worth emulating. Sharon need not defend her faith to anyone. That religion has been the occasion of atrocities and evils is well documented-- but it is also the basis for leading a moral life and that has been done by many millions since the birth and death of arguably the most influential "man" who ever lived -- Jesus Christ..

6. As far as the Bible-- the Gospels of Jesus Christ are probably the most profound and beautiful and moving statement of what is possible for humans ever written. If Jesus was not the Son of God-- he should have been.

By the way-- I am an atheist-- at least, I don't believe you can have a personal relationship with God. I have alwasy been impressed with Christians and believe they should organize to effect public policy like any other group and that such policy, reflecting the principles of Christ , as viewed through always imperfect lens, would be a vast improvement on what Reason has devised.
One person's opinion.

Posted by: jedwards at July 11, 2007 5:43 PM

Liberals shoved abortion down Christians's throat, by bypassing a democratic vote and enacting their morality into law.

Where are all the people being forced to have abortions?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 5:47 PM

Where are all the people being forced to have abortions?

The issue is not that women are being compelled to have abortions; it is that fetuses are being forcibly killed, which, by the lights of religioius folk, is murder. The legal right to kill unborn children has been shoved down Christians' throats.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 6:08 PM

"Where are all the people being forced to have abortions?"

Wonder what the penalty for an abortion would be?

And nobody even start with the line that Gawd doesn't condemn homosexuals, just the act:

No, I don't hate you for being left-handed, I just hate it when anyone writes with the left hand! If you happen to be left-handed, the answer is for you to never pick up a pen.

Those are some impressive mental back-flipsl.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at July 11, 2007 6:10 PM

> Where are all the people being
> forced to have abortions?

If you really felt that murder was routinely happening in a community institution in your neighborhood, you'd take steps, wouldn't you?

(For the record, I don't think abortion is murder, but it's unnecessary death that makes all sane people deeply uncomfortable)

Anyway, rhetorical clarity counts for something here... No pussyfooting! If it's murder say so. If it's not, don't be dramatic about it.

Posted by: Crid at July 11, 2007 6:14 PM

Atheists can be spiritual without embracing a supernatural explanation. They come in all shapes, sizes and personal views. Remember it is the default position and not an ideological movement.

A friend of mine always gets a strong feeling of exultation whenever she goes off hiking in the mountains. Now she doesn't automatically give a reference to a creator and understands the origin of her high emotional state is brain centric.

A vast majority of humans are wired for wishful or magical thinking. Religions exploit this condition for their own particular agendas. Also, this condition does not validate the existence of a Big Sky Daddy.

There is not one religion found in the world that has provided a tangible benefit to humanity. I am referring to the texts, rituals and the so-called authority figures. The community based social services are inconsequential and secular NGOs provide similar services without the emotional blackmail.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 6:18 PM

No, I don't hate you for being left-handed, I just hate it when anyone writes with the left hand!

All the Bible says is that the action is prohibited. The prohibition of an action does not denote hatred of the perpetrator. I know of nowhere that the Bible says that God hates sinners.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 6:25 PM

I really don't get the defense of abortion, for two reasons:

a) Right-to-lifers may not be able to prove that the fetus is a living human being, but neither can the abortions-rightsers prove that it's not. So it's an unknown, which means that there's a possibility that abortion is murder. Why should a person's convenience trump the possibility of murder?

b) Those at fault for the pregnancy are the careless couple. By what logic should the unborn child (whose death is possibly murder) pay the price of their carelessness?

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 6:51 PM

So does God hate sin? Who does God punish, kishke? The sins or sinners?

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 7:15 PM

Kishke, I think I probably speak for most people when I say that people having abortions in the third trimester gives me a case of the heebie-jeebies, but during the first trimester I don't see it the same way.

For it to be murder, it has to mean killing a person. When does a blastocyst become a person? Well, somewhere in the four to six month phase, but I don't really know where.

Crid points out that if you felt murder was routinely happening in your neighborhood you would be upset, but how many third-trimester abortions are really happening? Very, very few - and in virtually all of those cases the fetus has had severe abnormalities and might be brain-dead already, or the mother's life is at risk. The vast majority of abortions happen in the first trimester, and honestly I don't see murder happening there. Why all the fuss?

Regarding the homosexuals thing, if God doesn't hate homosexuals but simply hates it when they find sexually-consummated love (or a good bang, whatever), how do you account for the double-standard? If God doesn't condemn homosexual ACTS out of hatred for homosexuals, why does he condemn it?

Posted by: Pirate Jo at July 11, 2007 7:18 PM

So does God hate sin? Who does God punish, kishke? The sins or sinners?

Joe, I told you, I don't know - and do not consider myself capable of knowing - God's motivations. I only know what He commanded.

Obviously, He punishes the sinners for sinning. (Although that particular verse is concerned with punishment administered not by heavenly, but by temporal, authorities.)

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 7:39 PM

Kishke, I think I probably speak for most people when I say that people having abortions in the third trimester gives me a case of the heebie-jeebies, but during the first trimester I don't see it the same way.

Jo, I agree that there's a line somewhere at which the fetus becomes a person. The problem is defining that line. I don't know what it is, but my argument is at whatever point there is a reasonable doubt (again, not certainty but doubt), abortion should be prohibited, b/c of the possibility that it is murder.

If God doesn't condemn homosexual ACTS out of hatred for homosexuals, why does he condemn it?

I don't know why He prohibited homosexuality, but there's no reason to assume it's b/c He hates homosexuals. Hey, the Torah prohibits lots of heterosexual activity too; does that mean God hates heteros? It prohibits Jews to eat pig; does that mean God hates pigs or Jews?

The God I worship is, by definition, inscrutable to Man. There are many commandments that seem rational to people (e.g. murder) there are others that seem to have no rational explanation (e.g. kosher). In neither case do I believe that I understand God's reasons for His commandments.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 7:52 PM

I wrote:

"Laws concerning sexual conduct (including some that are often interpreted as referring to male homosexuality), sorcery and false idols. Leviticus 18 and also Leviticus 20, in which penalties are given."

Back to my original comment on how Fred Phelps uses the book of Leviticus to promote his 'God Hate Fags' message as a profound Christian theological statement and moderate believers shouldn't be shocked over its use.

What your comments did was reinforced my firm belief in not engaging in a debate with theists. On occasions there are exceptions to the rule. The whole unequal criteria of the 2 arguments. I said the verses are vague, opaque and full of euphemisms. You disagreed. In another post, I showed the same vagueness found in the 'special' friendship between David and Jonathan. I know it doesn’t back the condemnation by a god, but on the problems of the multiple meanings behind the words and phrases used in the Bible. Especially on the matter of sexual terms.

As a typical theist... you would use the personal view to back your claim that God doesn't hate sinners through your own interpretation of Leviticus. Fred Phelps and his fucked up family are doing the same thing in their own special way through the same texts.

Hence, you missed the points of my argument completely.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 8:20 PM

"God" didn't prohibit people from eating pigs. The late anthropologist Marvin Harris lays out the reasons for prohibitions against pork-eating in "Cannibals and Kings: The Origins of Cultures."

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067972849X?ie=UTF8&tag=advicegoddess-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=067972849X

Due to the nature of pigs...

Pig raising incurred costs that posed a threat to the entire subsistence system in the hot, semiarid lands of the ancient Middle East.

P.S. He also reports that "Recent epidemiological studies have shown that pigs raised in hot climates seldom transmit trichnosis."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 8:54 PM

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 8:57 PM

Joe, it's not my interpretation of Leviticus; it's the plain meaning of the words.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 9:00 PM

God" didn't prohibit people from eating pigs. The late anthropologist Marvin Harris lays out the reasons for prohibitions against pork-eating

And what about the Biblical prohibitions against eating lions and tigers and bears and bats and ostriches and armadilloes? Do they all carry trichinosis?

Anyhow, my point wasn't to claim the truth of my tradition. It was to show that in the context of Biblical belief, hatred doesn't explain most prohibitions.

Posted by: kishke at July 11, 2007 9:05 PM

Pigs were seen as man's rivals in the desert and provided no primary use besides meat. Cows and livestock ate grass, while pigs and humans would consume grain. Cattle could plow fields and provide transport. That was the primary reason behind the banning of pork in the Jewish faith.

It was similar to the way Hindus treat cows sacred. The whole need of producing male bulls to plow fields for crops. Kill cows for food and you destroy the production of future male bulls.

Posted by: Joe at July 11, 2007 9:18 PM

Marvin Harris was an old style "cultural anthropologist" who totally rejected the idea that social behavior had any significant genetic/biological basis.
He believed in the myth that culture is a "distinct reality" and cutural activities had to be explained by distinctively and uniquely cultural variables.
This was the reining belief ever since Boas recruited Benedict and Mead to "refute" the early biological approach to anthropology. Cultural determinism became the rage and continued until Sociobiology and EP brought biology back in the mid 70s (ethology had been chipping away since the 30s).
Harris' methodology and framework still survives in some anthropology and sociology departments , as it is based on and satisfies the ideology of political liberalism. It has been superceded and is mostly of historical interest now.

Posted by: jedwards at July 11, 2007 9:31 PM

I don't know Harris' work as a whole, but his stuff on meat wasn't tinged with "liberalism"; nor is the historical stuff I read on pork. If you have specific qualms with something he's written, fine. But to dismiss him wholesale seems wrong and uncalled for.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 11, 2007 9:55 PM

Paul's letter (to the Romans, IIRC) can be understood to mean that god inflicts homosexuality on people as a punishment. Not that that makes a whole lot of sense. Like punishing people by making them enjoy eating lemons.

Posted by: Norman at July 11, 2007 11:42 PM

While I don't typically disagree with your advice, except on the occassional minor point, I always thought you took the men's side, most of the time.

In recent columns, for instance, you've shown that you understand that men look, fact of life, rather than adopt the "men are such animals and two-timing perverts" attitude. You also don't buy into this crap about how women should, nevernevernevernevernever have sex, unless theytheytheytheythey want it, as opposed to putting out once in a while as a favor to him. "No, you mustn't. You'll feel used...you'll feel very, very used...you'll feel devalued and degraded as a WOMAN!"

You also, less recently, suggested that instead of trying to "get him to" accept that his wife was now a size 15 instead of a size 5 after having two children, she should drop the weight. That's a pretty anti-feminist pro-male stance, as opposed to the idea that "women have the right to gain 500 pounds after having children and men have no right to want them at their original size and that if the men truly loved their women, the women should be able to look like walking condominiums and their men should still lust after them."

I wonder what "anti-male" sentiments he thinks you've expressed. Don't see any examples in this weird penmanship that he's giving.

But I'm sure Amy is at this time dodging lightning bolts from the Almighty, whose so terribly offended that she calls herself a "goddess."

Posted by: Patrick at July 12, 2007 2:01 AM

Patrick,

There's a lot of sense in your comment.

But it's a little feeble to caricature feminism as a carte blanche enabler of fat wives. There is no divine feminist Bible.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at July 12, 2007 7:06 AM

There is no divine feminist Bible.

You're right, feminists aren't a monolithic bunch, but I'd say that the sentiments Patrick talks about are pretty common.

Posted by: justin case at July 12, 2007 8:03 AM

"but I'd say that the sentiments Patrick talks about are pretty common"

No argument there, Justin.

It's pretty depressing, though - from my sensitive perch - when the caricature sex war seems to come down to "you're a fat cow," - "yeah, but that's only because you're a wanker."

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at July 12, 2007 8:35 AM

This little diatribe is for jedwards. After you read this, keep your blasphemous mouth shut, please.


Fifteen years ago, I got pregnant with my 1st child, a daughter. The child’s father, who is 12 years younger than I, told me in no uncertain terms that he wanted me to abort the child. I, being 34 years old, said no, and if you don’t want it, I totally absolve you of all responsibility. Get the fuck out of my life. Which he did. (I had a marvelous pregnancy, I never felt better, no morning sickness, no problems at all. I saw him once during the whole pregnancy at his insistence. Told him again to get lost, I didn’t need him.) I was working, had a great support system in my family, life was great.


I had my daughter late that year, and Ex heard about it through mutual friends. He showed up at my house with $400 in hand and asked to see her. I let him. He told me he thought we should get married because I’d make a great mother. Little did I know he meant for him!


Long story short, we got married, had another daughter, got divorced. I worked full time, the whole time, and my parents babysat for me so that Ex could sleep late and then go to his part time photo lab job. He did absolutely nothing around the house to help me in any way, not with the babies, housework, nothing. His friends and his computer were much more important to him than his family. I left him and filed for divorce. At the time, I was making more money than he was and so was “awarded” a whopping $69 per week child support. The divorce papers stipulate that Ex is also to pay for the girls’ health insurance, which he has never done, because he doesn’t work! At last count, I have spent a little over $10,000 for health insurance for the girls. In the meantime, his parents have bought him a condo, a car, and have been giving him an allowance, out of which I get my child support. This has been the situation for the past 10 years, and as far as I can see, the only time it will change is when my youngest turns 18 and he no longer has to pay child support. Then maybe he’ll get a job, although I don’t think he realizes that being out of the work force for so long is going to be a hindrance. But I honestly don’t think he cares. I KNOW for a fact that he doesn’t care enough about his children to do right by them. I have worked full time, put a roof over my daughters’ heads, fed them, clothed them, and provided for all of their needs. He has never bought them even so much as a pencil to go back to school with.


My boyfriend has been more supportive of my daughters, financially and emotionally, than their father has. Ex has been given every chance to do right by his children and has failed miserably. He sees them once a week on Sundays, but almost never calls during the week to speak with them. His parents take them for one week in the summer to their cabin on the lake in upstate New York. They winter in Florida and call them once or twice a month. My parents see them every day. Lest you think I’m just whining or bitching, far from it. I’m just stating the facts.


Oh and yes, I’m a feminist. Not a fat, lazy, take-the-man-for-all-he’s-worth feminist, but a feminist just the same. You, on the other hand, haven’t got a clue as to what real feminism is.

Posted by: Flynne at July 12, 2007 8:48 AM

Flynne,

If you told him to get the fuck out of your life, had a marvelous support system and a good job, why tally up all he "owes" you? Sounds like you made a mistake marrying a guy who got you pregnant when he was 22. Who knows why you married him because based on your description, sounds like things would be better off without him at all.

Let it go. All the money he never paid, insurance etc. You don't sound like you are bitching, just bitter, which is never a good thing. And where in the world did you find a boyfriend to pay for your kids?? Impressive, and that isn't being sarcastic.

Posted by: Casey at July 12, 2007 11:39 AM

Remember one thing about jedwards is nothing but a tiresome screed artist.

Another sign of jedwards problem is his amazing ability to lump a person or group into a one size fits all category. A litany of dismissals, but not one counter argument. Not a good sign for a self professed deep thinker who tries, but fails to understand the nuance and subtleties of the other contributors on Amy's site. Or when contributors point blank tell him to get to the fucking point minus the volume of wordage. Don't we miss Brian? He was annoying, but at least he would get to the point of his argument.

If jedwards is going to be a tiresome screed artist, at least provide us with some content and from time to time expand on your views besides your slightly disturbing obsession on the so called evils of feminism.

So surprise us, jack ass.

Posted by: Joe at July 12, 2007 11:40 AM

Casey,

You asked Flynne - non-sarcastically, you tell us:

"And where in the world did you find a boyfriend to pay for your kids??"

What Flynne wrote was: "My boyfriend has been more supportive of my daughters, financially and emotionally, than their father has."

Where did Flynne say she'd found a piggybank with a penis?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at July 12, 2007 12:07 PM

Casey, I was only tallying up what he "owes" me so that jedwards would get the idea that the father did not get "taken" and that I was ready, wiling and able to care for my children, with or without him. We got married because he wanted to and I wanted to give him a chance to prove that he could be a good father and husband. He failed at both, and I did let it go. I know I'll never see it, because Ex is so irresponsible when it comes to damn near every aspect of his life. His parents are so into enabling him that it's kind of scary! Yes, I am a little bitter, but I know I'm still so much better off now. And in the end, it will be Ex's loss, not mine.


And just for the record, my boyfriend doesn't "pay" for my kids, I do, but he more than contributes to the household expenses, and provides better than average emotional support. I had met him a long time ago, he married someone else, that ended, and we found each other again. I truly believe that I live an enchanted life and am abundantly blessed,e ven with all the crap I've been through.

Posted by: Flynne at July 12, 2007 12:08 PM

Jody, that was great - "piggy bank with a penis"! ;)

Posted by: Flynne at July 12, 2007 12:11 PM

All this time, I was blithely unaware that men were a separate species from women. Are we still in the same genus, or are we biologically incapable of reproduction?
Sorry. Nerd moment.

Posted by: Steph at July 12, 2007 12:38 PM

If a person believes in the hype... then we are separate species.

Posted by: Joe at July 12, 2007 1:14 PM

Is jedward really Wade, the letter writer?

Posted by: Chrissy at July 12, 2007 3:25 PM

Flynne-- What are you talking about ? What does your life story have to do with anything I said about religion ? How was I "blasphemous'? By praising Cristians and Christianity ?. You seem close to a nervous breakdown-- something has totally eclipsed your mind.
Anytime you want to argue "feminism" -- step into the Arena

Posted by: jedwards at July 16, 2007 2:27 PM

Joe's nonsensical rant . The dissection -
1. This fellow accuses me of lumping people into one category-- and just the sentence before, he has done exactly that to me. Self-contradiction is not a good sign.
2. All I provide is arguments-- you are helpless to argue with me, so you vent.
3. I have never claimed to be a deep-thinker-- destroying your hapless comments is easy fodder for any high school graduate. You just drool.
4. Other posters tell me to get to the point ?-- never happened-- if you don't like my posts, don't read them. You cannot understand them obviously. My points are numbered as to separate issues .
5. Content-- thats all I provide. Truly ironical coming from Joe-- whose responses have so very little content.

Whats so weird is I had two posts -- on religion and on Marvin Harris-- and good ole Joe asks me to expand my comments beyond feminism ?
Then there is his arrogance-- "us" and "we" and my allegedly ignoring other posters. Hey , Joe-- speak for yourself-- that is hard enough for you.

Joe's incoherent babbling shows he is still smarting from a good- boxing about the ears-- hence the bizarre, irrelevant and mendacious commnets. You've got issues, Joe-- deal with them and don't displace them onto me.

Calling someone a jack-ass is not intelligent conduct-- but its about all Joe can come up with.

Posted by: jedwards at July 16, 2007 2:49 PM

-- I see-- I posted here a comment about an article that was linked about paternity fraud and advice to "act like a father". I wanted to draw Amy's attention to the fact that that was poor legal advice given the legal doctrine of "Paternity by Estoppel".
The rest is standard fare about the public policies and values the courts seek to implement, one of which is are obviously not "equality".
As usual, neither person insulting me argues any point I made. They just insult me, somehow thinking they are making a point.

Posted by: jedwards at July 16, 2007 2:59 PM

Oh my my. jedwards is at it again! The word 'blasphemous' isn't an exclusively religious reference (as I'm sure the rest of you well know). If he had a shred of common sense... well, obviously he doesn't, he just posted that to demonstrate that he can't refute my point that not all women are evil and taking the man for his money. Interesteing how he twists everything around. A sure sign of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Posted by: Flynne at July 17, 2007 6:29 AM

blasphemy -- to show gross disrespect toward the sacred...
what point-- you felt the need to tell us your life story. i have no idea why... i guess you thought my paternity fraud discussion was about you. it wasn't
its pretty easy to agree that not all women are evil and out after men's money...

Posted by: jedwards at July 22, 2007 4:36 AM

its pretty easy to agree that not all women are evil and out after men's money

Not according to your previous posts...

Posted by: Flynne at July 23, 2007 7:24 AM

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