Shit that Pissed me Off This Week – 9/28
The Story is one of the finest radio programs on the air. Dick Gordon is one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard and he finds amazing subjects every single episode. If I didn’t have a life, I would be listening between 9:00 and 10:00 PM every night.
This week he interviewed Nate Phelps, one of Fred Phelps’ sons. I’ve said for a long time that I’m going to maintain strict radio silence where the Westboro Baptist Chuch is concerned because talking about them gives them power and attention and that’s exactly what they want. I’m breaking my vow of silence to talk about the one thing we don’t really understand about these people.
Listening to Nate talk about the history of intellectual and physical abuse that he was subjected to at the hand of his father, I came to understand the tragic nature of the world Fred Phelps has created. He creates hateful, awful people by creating a world that makes that behavior seem normal.
When you hear Nate’s description of that insular society, you almost feel sorry for the people who have been, quite literally, brainwashed into doing what they do. Worse, every one of them is being taught how to make sure the next generation does the same thing.
It’s a never ending cycle of hatred and we all feed into it by hating them right back. I wish I knew the solution. I wish I could figure out how to rescue these kids from the cycle of hatred and abuse that Fred Phelps has created.
I don’t know how to do that. I just fear that every time those hate filled people are met with (deserving) hatred and anger, we are perpetuating the problem.
You want to know how I define evil? Fred Phelps.
Idiotic Pro-Life Billboards
I’ve been looking at one for a few weeks that says “Your baby could discover the cure for cancer.”
OK. Fine. I accept your premise. Couldn’t my baby grow up to be a cop killer? A serial killer? The next Fred Phelps? The next Uwe Boll?
Every child has the potential to be a lot of things. Some of them are very positive and some of them are very negative. If you want to argue that a fetus might end up being the next Gandhi, you have to allow the possibility that it may also end up being the next Stalin.
The argument is about as spurious as they come.
You know what, Minnesota? If you support civil unions, you should fucking support marriage.
What’s the difference? If your church isn’t OK with marrying gay people, they still won’t have to do it! What do you care if it’s called a civil union or a marriage? If two dudes get civil unioned, they are still going to say their “partner” is their “husband.”
If you have no problem with two guys or girls having the same legal protections as a guy and a girl, why are you getting bogged down in semantics? Is it so goddamned important to you that a gay union be called something different?
Would you feel better if we had gay churches and straight churches? As long as gay people got married in gay churches, you’d be fine with it?
When I use the language of segregation, your point of view doesn’t sound so reasonable, does it?
You also seem completely incapable of recognizing that no matter what the laws state, domestic partners always have more difficulty having their rights honored than individuals who are actually married.
If you are OK with Civil Unions, you should be OK with marriage. But a bunch of you aren’t.
I’m sorry – that’s fucked up.
No no no no no no no no!
I don’t know how to make this any more clear: Islam is doing just fine. So is Christianity. If someone says bad things about your religion or spreads misinformation about your religion, that is part of living in a world where free speech is protected.
Anti-blashpemy laws are oppressive because they restrict the free exchange of ideas.
Aside from that, right-wing religious jackasses say horrible things about atheists all the time. You won’t find any atheists trying to pass laws that would prevent that kind of speech because who gives a crap? Words are words.
Of course the UN is not going to help pass anti-blasphemy laws. Countries like the US, who are pretty staunch defenders of free speech, would never sign off on it.
What’s the end game on this? Do we want to put a bunch of people in jail just because they say bad things about a particular religion? Do we honestly think that is a justifiable solution? Isn’t God supposed to sort this shit out?
I think anti-blasphemy laws are horrible things already but at least they are administered by the government of an individual country rather than being laws that apply to everyone in the world.
In other words, I think you are ruthless and evil when you apply this kind of myopic legal bullshit in your own country. I don’t even have words to describe what I think of you when you want to apply it to everyone.
Although the words “fuck” and “that” come to mind.
P.S: Fortunately, our President had some pretty strong words against this notion. Among other things, he said this in regards to America’s support of free speech:
We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.
Yes. Exactly right. Thanks Mr. President.
I don’t write about sports in this column too much because I’m a Minnesotan. Unless you are a Lynx fan, Minnesota sports piss you off all the time.
Nobody wants to spend every week reading about how our sports teams still suck.
Currently, the NFL has locked out their professional referees because they don’t want to give the refs as much money as the refs want. They don’t want to give the refs that money so badly that they have hired replacement refs to do the work. The replacement refs aren’t that great. In fact, on Monday, they cost the Green Bay Packers a game.
As a Vikings fan, I’m elated as we’ll have at least one more week where it looks like our team could possibly make the playoffs this season.
As a football fan, it’s ridiculous. The game looks bad when the officials are regularly botching calls that have the potential to affect the outcome of a game.
However, I think legislating the issue is going a little far, isn’t it? As a liberal, I’m in support of industry regulation when it makes sense. This goes well beyond reasonable regulation of industry, however. This is – if you’ll pardon the obnoxious football analogy – unneccessary roughness.
I expect this dispute will get resolved (it did) without legislative interference.
And Steve Sweeney, you aren’t going to get any members or your party elected by passing a law that would prevent the Giants and Jets from playing in their home stadium. Nor is Scott Walker scoring any points but supporting unions when the Packers lose.
Politicians pander to their base. Especially candidates for President. They lie and distort facts because they know that is what their base wants to hear.
But Romney seems to be taking this kind of distortion to a new level. In spite of dozens of analyses that say his constant attacks on Obama’s Welfare policies are blatantly false, Romney has doubled down to say that they are “spot on.”
It’s like this dude is Obi Wan Kenobi and he’s telling us that everything he says is true from a certain point of view.
Guess what Mitt – Luke didn’t buy that shit either.
He’s made a faustian bargain with members of his own party at this point. He will say anything he has to say to shore up his base and all he’s had to sacrifice is his integrity. It doesn’t matter to hard-core Republicans who will vote for him anyway but when he most likely loses in the fall, I would hope that he realizes that what he did wasn’t worth it.
Most of us have lied to get a job we wanted. Mitt seems to be lying to ensure he won’t get the job he says he wants.
I followed a link to read this guy’s post on the Men’s Rights Subreddit. I probably shouldn’t have done that.
Here’s the thing – he blames all the issues he has with his wife on the fact that she’s a woman. That is the central problem with the Men’s Right’s assholes out there. Every single one of them is a heterosexual male who seems to think that women are the enemy.
I mean holy crap guys, if you hate women so much, why the hell do you keep marrying them?
The difference between MRA’s and the feminists I know is that feminists don’t think men are the enemy. They think that men and women are supposed to be equal.
This poster talks about how his wife is gaining weight and I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that he’s gaining weight as well. That doesn’t matter though, because he’s the perfect husband and father and she just doesn’t see how good she has it. Besides, dudes can gain weight. It’s the ladies who need to keep that shit off.
Of course it’s a subreddit just for men’s rights douchebags so everyone there is encouraging him and being supportive because the last thing an asshole needs is someone telling him he’s an asshole.
Well, asshole, I’m not going to say your wife doesn’t have problems (I can’t because I don’t know her) but here’s the thing – if she is having problems, it’s because she’s a person and people have problems. Stop judging her because she’s got a vagina and start asking her what you can do as her partner in life to help her work through those problems.
Or you can just let her read this post and then you won’t have to deal with her shit any more because you’ll be crashing on your best friend’s couch and fighting with her for the right to see your daughter. That won’t go too well when the courts see what you think of women in general.