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Shit that Pissed Me off – 7/25

Syrians are Destroying Sculptures Because Allah

Dear everyone in the world:  Just because your particular strain of god does not approve of something is no reason to take that thing away from the rest of us.

When you destroy a sculpture that is thousands of years old, you can’t just make a new one.

This has existed for thousands of years and Allah has done nothing about it.  Therefore we must!

This has existed for thousands of years and Allah has done nothing about it. Therefore we must!

Unfortunately, this sculpture ended up in one of those places where the prevailing belief system says that historical significance is not a good enough reason to keep something around if there is a face on it.

So thanks, religious extremists, for taking something away from the rest of the world because you believe it will lead to eternal damnation! You guys are the best!

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Friend a Day – Stephanie Zvan

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CONvergence week continues here at Friend a day headquarters!

I met Stephanie when we were in the same play in college.  I was nearly killed by a piece of scenery on opening night.  That’s a different story.

After that show, I hardly saw her for years.  It was only through the Skepchick/FreethoughtBlog events at CONvergence that we re-connected.

Stephanie is devoted to supporting social justice issues through her Almost Diamonds blog.  She has become a target for a lot of internet hatred because she’s not willing to back away from an important fight.  She’s openly critical of well known members of the atheist community like Richard Dawkins.

I can’t imagine how exhausting the abuse can become and yet Stephanie faces it with a sense of humor and, I think, the conviction that she is right.

When there is an issue that has me upset, I find that Stephanie frequently is commenting on exactly the thing that has me frustrated.  Her thoughts are well researched and detailed.  Certainly you can disagree with her but you can’t disagree with the effort she put into presenting a cogent argument.

She was a guest on Geeks Without God our first weekend and was one of the people who helped set the tone.  We’ve had her back since to play the horrible Left Behind Board game.  You have to have a little extra helping of respect for anyone who endured that game.

I remember working with Stephanie on that show all those years ago and even back then she had a ton of confidence you knew would get her through a lot.  It is that strong sense of self that helps her keep saying things that make her a target for a lot of petty stupidity.

And that is something I don’t think the petty, stupid people have figured out.  Being an asshole on the internet is easy.  Fighting against the assholes is a lot harder.

I’m really proud to know someone who is fighting the assholes.

 

Shit That Pissed Me Off – 6/13

George Will Is Unsurprisingly Tone Deaf When It Comes To Rape

Nobody expected anything less from Mr. Will, right?  When he writes about rape on college campuses, he’s not going to come off as particularly sympathetic to the victims, right?

Well, he sure doesn’t.  He gives an example of a rape story he thinks is a false accusation and when I read it, I see an example of a young woman being raped.

I know, I know. I say “tomato” and George Will says “tomato.”  I say “rape” and George Will says “Sexual Misunderstanding.”

Why is rape insensitivity primarily a conservative trait?  Is it just that conservatives are dumb enough to say it out loud?  They always seem to be trying to find some way to ignore rape statistics.  Will doesn’t believe the numbers so he goes through an analysis of one set of numbers to prove that they all must be wrong.

He’s a smart guy, right?  He knows that the single set of numbers he’s using don’t actually constitute and kind of proof, right?

I don’t think he cares.  He was looking to torpedo the Obama administration because he’s a conservative columnist and that’s what he’s paid to do.  What he managed to do was tell every rape victim on college campuses that what happened to them isn’t so bad.

BTW, I don’t think most conservatives are rape apologists. They need to be telling the conservatives stepping up to the microphone to stop because I don’t think George Will is going to listen to me.

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Friend a Day – Brianne Bilyeu

1417623_657636340934047_1685969728_oI’ve only called Brianne a friend for a couple of years now.  We knew each other but it was only once I started co-hosting Geeks Without God that I began to grow more familiar with some of the prominent secular voices in my part of the country.

Because it impresses me, I’d like to tell you what Brianne does on weekends.

She goes to women’s health clinics and escorts patients past the protesters who are standing out front.

She walks women (and men) past crowds of people who are there to call them names.

I don’t care what side of the abortion debate you are on – what Brianne does is amazing.  She stands up and defends those who have made a decision that is, to some, extremely unpopular.  She shows them that there are people out there willing to sacrifice time so they might have some dignity at a very difficult time.

There are lot of other things I like about Brianne, but what she does so many weekend mornings is, to me, heroic.

Brianne blogs as Biodork on the Freethought Blog network.  She blogs about social issues and atheism but she also does a lot of photoblogging.  It makes her blog one of my favorites on the site.  She has a voice that is one of my favorites and I always look forward to a new post.

As the result of appearing on Geeks Without God, Brianne is also responsible for introducing me to Lords of Waterdeep,  which is only a problem because all I want to do is play *more* Lords of Waterdeep.

She’s one of my favorite sources for new games.  Whenever we are at Omegacon together, she makes me play at least one new game that inevitably results in dropping several dollars at the Source one or two weeks later.

Finally, while I could say this about most of my friends, Brianne has one of the best smiles around.  It is a smile that will brighten anyone’s day and it is a smile that she hardly ever puts away.

Brianne is a great friend and a great person.  I’m glad that choosing to use my voice helped me to get to know hers.

 

Shit That Pissed Me Off – 5/2

Concerned Citizen Calls the Cops on Someone Giving Away Banned Books

So to be clear: this was a private citizen who was distributing donated books to High School students after the school board voted to ban the title in schools (because SEX.)

The book wasn’t illegal to own and it certainly wasn’t illegal to distribute copies that had been bought and paid for.  It wasn’t even illegal to give the book to High School students.  Nor was parental consent required for High School students to own a copy of the book.

But somebody decided that the police had nothing better to do than question someone for handing out books.

If she’d been burning the books, police involvement wouldn’t have been required

Now here’s where I get snarky.  Do you think that same person would have thought to call the police if someone was handing out bibles in the park?  Even though the Bible has a lot more sex than the book that was banned?

That’s OK, though, because I’m not sure I want my kids reading the bible but if they do want to read it, I’d rather they got a copy for free.

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Shit that Pissed Me Off – 4/25

Christian Comedian Asks A “Hilarious” Question That “Proves” It Is Crazy To Be An Atheist

This is pretty old and I just happened to click-through because I wanted to know if the question really proved I’m crazy.

Basically, his hilarious question is “why are atheists offended by ‘under god’ in the pledge of allegiance if they don’t believe in god?”

HA!  You got me there, buddy!  Forcing my kids to acknowledge a god they don’t believe in is totally OK.  Having a problem with that is completely insane!!!

If they object to saying “Under God,” they are COMMUNISTS!

Let me ask you, though, how you would feel if we changed the word “God” to “Allah?”  Or Shiva?  Would that be OK with you?  Or would you be upset because you were expected to say that our country was under a god you didn’t believe in?

The issue has nothing to do with the existence of god and everything to do with the idea that nobody’s god should be held higher than any other god in the eyes of the state.

So anyway, I don’t think the question proved I’m crazy.  You can’t prove a negative, however, so it’s impossible to prove that I’m not crazy.

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Shit That Pissed Me Off – 4/18

Indian Politician Says Women Should Be Hanged With Their Rapists

I would love to believe that there is a little voice inside everyone’s head that says things like “you shouldn’t say that out loud” and idiots like this simply don’t listen.  It is bad enough he thinks a woman who is physically assaulted by a man is just as responsible as the man.

Because she made him do it.  Simply by being a woman.  And for that, hang ‘em both high.  That should totally solve the problem.

I’m just posting a picture of a flower because I need to calm down.

But you have to be the worst kind of person if you actually choose to say that sort of thing in a room filled with other people.

That said, I suppose I’d rather he put his horrific opinion out there so everyone knows what an awful excuse for a compassionate human he is.

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Shit that Pissed me off – 4/4

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Idiot Climbs a Rock, Injures Himself and Sues the City for Creating Unsafe Conditions

This moron is probably going to win, too.

He saw a rock sculpture and thought it looked like a lot of fun to climb around on it.  I don’t blame him.  I would have thought the same thing.  I would need a taser and some bungee cords to stop my kids from climbing on something like that.

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Here’s a picture of one of my kids on a rock at Yosemite National Park. There are a lot of rocks at Yosemite National Park and he’s climbed on damn near every one of them.

There were no signs telling him he couldn’t so he jumped on the thing, landed awkwardly and tore his Achilles tendon.  Ouch!

Now he’s suing the city.  Because he did a reckless thing and hurt himself.  Also because he probably has crappy health insurance.

Look dude, if you are going to jump on a rock because it looks like fun, you need to recognize the risks.  If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t jump on the fucking rock.

The only unsafe condition the city created was they one they created when they allowed you to leave your house every morning.

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Geeks Without God Tries to Decide if We are Arrogant

Geeks Without GodA few weeks ago, we had our friend Mark Lazarchic on Geeks Without God to talk about why he doesn’t like to say he’s an atheist.  His argument was primarily focused on the fact that atheists sound arrogant when they say they don’t believe in god.

We come back to that assertion in this episode because I genuinely wondered if it was more arrogant to say that there is no god than it was to say that you were positive god existed and further, you knew exactly what god was thinking.

To me, the reason it is considered arrogance is because a lot of people believe in god.  If you stand up and say you don’t, you can either be perceived as courageous or arrogant.  I think it depends, in a large part on the beliefs of the person to whom you are stating your opinion.

So are atheists any more arrogant than anyone else?  I know what I think but you could always listen to this week’s episode and decide for yourself!

Shit That Pissed Me Off – 2/28

Alabama House Committee Approves Prayer in Schools Bill Even Though They Lost the Vote

The bill looks to improve Alabama schools by allowing up to fifteen minutes of organized prayer per day. The believe, apparently, that this will improve children’s test scores more than any other more proven technique.  Kids who aren’t Christians are welcome to opt out and deal with ridicule from their peers and teachers.  So that’s fair.

In order for this bill to go before the Alabama house, it needed to be approved by committee.  It wasn’t.

By voice vote, it was two votes for the bill and three against (with three abstentions).  The committee chair claimed that she “heard more yays than nays” and forwarded the bill to the entire House.

Might I suggest she get one of these before the next session?

You would think that her devout Christianity that was on display when she supported a bill to improve schools through prayer would have been on display when she was called on to honestly count the votes.

I guess, though, that she would rather spend state money on defending the inevitable lawsuit coming their way if this bill becomes law.

How, exactly, are Christian values winning out here?

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