Posts Tagged ‘politics’

…But I’m Not That Crazy…

by Noah Lugeons

It never fails to amaze me the way one religious person can look at the beliefs of an alternate faith and say, “well, that’s just silly” without realizing that the same is true of their own sacred cow.

I’m reminded of my freshman anthropology class. The professor was talking about the early signs of religion in human history and he spoke at length about the tribal magic of ancient cultures. A girl who was in the process of learning that college was for smart people looked puzzled and asked, “how could they believe in magic if it didn’t work?”

I glanced back at the crucifix hanging around her neck and then back to the prof to see how he would handle the question. I could see him biting the words “why do you pray?” back as they tried to escape. He was nicer than me. So I said it.

“People still believe in prayer and that doesn’t work,” I offered, much to the disgust of the inquisitor.

But somehow people can switch to a different set of eyes when they are looking at what is considered holy by the other guy. They can see how untenable and silly any religion is but their own. Even within their faith they can point to one belief of another and say, “well, I don’t believe in that, but I believe in this”. They offer it up as though clearly believing that a talking snake is silly, but a man sacrificing himself to himself to appease himself is quite defensible.

Poor Mitt Romney is finding this out the hard way. As he desperately seeks the republican presidential nomination he finds himself constantly butting up against the common prejudice that Christians have against other Christians. Of course, his liberal history as Massachusetts governor isn’t helping him either, but a number of reports overlook his support of jesus-ish policies like universal healthcare and go straight for his faith.

He’s a Mormon, of course, and those people are just weird. They believe that a magical space man came to America to teach people the ways of heaven. Of course, all the thinking folks understand that magical space men only go to the Middle East to reveal such things. Mormons think that God lives on some planet out in space when all the critical minds know that he lives in a different dimension paved in streets of gold. Mormons believe that special underwear can protect them from harm when smart people know that it takes water blessed by an ancient incantation to truly keep you safe.

It always strikes me odd that we atheists are often the only defense that small religions have against big ones. The general rule is that everyone is in favor of separation of church and state except the nation’s largest church. When the “ground zero mosque” was in the news it was largely the secular institutions (and, at the very least the secular community) that stood up and said, “hey, their stupidity is no more stupid than your stupidity.”

Evangelical journalist and general fucktard Warren Cole Smith was recently quoted as saying:

“You can’t say that his religious beliefs don’t matter but his ‘values’ do. If beliefs are false, then behavior will eventually–but inevitably–be warped.”

Smith, of course, would not tolerate this type of blatant and inexcusable bigotry if it was directed at his sacred cow. Interestingly enough, he accidentally pinpoints the source of his hypocrisy within that brief statements. His beliefs are false and his behavior is warped.

Mississippi’s “Conceived in Rape” Tour

May 31, 2011 4 comments

by Noah Lugeons

Since my childhood, abortion has been the very definition of a “hot button” topic. Throughout my memory it has been the singular issue which has spurned the most disagreement and has been debated with the most ferocity. Religion ran a close second, of course, but too few atheists bring the subject up for it to be a true contender.

But through it all there was at least some sense of civility. Even in the most vehement disputes some exception was made for the more extreme circumstances. Even most ardent opposers of abortion rights would agree to exceptions in cases of rape or incest or in instances when the health of the mother was in danger.

No more. The “personhood” movement that is sweeping through the bible belt seeks to do away with that last vestige of civility by offering up amendments to state constitutions that would give full legal rights to zygotes. To put to rest and lingering doubts that they might have any sliver of compassion, the group “Mississippi Personhood” is sponsoring a “Conceived in Rape” tour.

The tour will feature one Rebecca Kiessling who was, predictably, conceived in rape.

Despite having never met her and having very little familiarity with her work, I feel confident in saying that Kiessling is a revolting bitch. If you doubt my assessment, a quick trip to her website should convince you. She is a dedicated anti-abortion activist and her whole shtick seems to be cashing in on the traumatic circumstance of her conception.

On her home page she announces:

Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, “I think your mother should have been able to abort you.”?  It’s like saying, “If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.”

Yes. Of course that is what they’re saying. Thus, those of us who believe that every woman should have the right to get an abortion are clearly saying “If I had my way, everyone would be dead right now”, which laudably sums up the goals of the pro-choice lobby.

But again, Kiessling is a rampaging bitch. I suppose that when people say they wish her mother had been able to abort her it is truly because they wish she had personally been aborted. I shouldn’t be so quick to label her conclusion as bullshit.

She continues:

And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life “except in cases of rape” because I absolutely would have been aborted if  it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts.

I’m not sure how many people I’ve met that are “Pro-Choice” except in cases of rape, but let’s continue on as though that part of her statement made sense.

Note that she says she “absolutely” would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan at the time. Her mother was raped and did not want to carry the child to term. Of course, with an over-inflated sense of self-worth, Kiessling assumes that her inherent worth makes it clear that the world is better off with her than it would be without her. She assumes that earth was one babbling Christian extremist shy of perfection at the time.

But there’s also a pretty deep insult to logic in this whole notion. We can’t go back in time and replay how the world might have gone if Kiessling’s mother had been allowed to abort her unborn child. Of course, I don’t know the first thing about the situation, but we’re not really talking about this one situation. She says herself that she wants to “put a face” on this phenomenon. So realistically, we shouldn’t be weighing a world with or without Rebecca Kiessling, but rather we should explore a world with or without baby X, conceived in rape.

Perhaps a mother who was otherwise destined to finish school, get a degree and cure some disease was thrown off the path to success when a brutal assault left her with a child she did not want and could not care for. Little matter in Kiessling’s world. Perhaps a mother who was raped at a young age might have been a great mother at an older age but because of the financial difficulties of her first (forced) child, she was unwilling to have another.

I could break out a thousand more examples and the opposition could break out a thousand theoreticals in the other direction. In the end we would be no closer to solving anything. The very exercise is insane. Rebecca Kiessling believes that people who believe a woman should be able to abort a child in cases of rape would change their mind if we only put a face on the “victim”.

I propose she take a dose of her own medicine. How about if and when Mississippi ever enacts their medieval law, she can have the job telling all the underage rape victims that they can’t have abortions. Perhaps she should meet the real victims before trying to cash in on her mother’s personal tragedy.

If you’re in Mississippi and you’d like to remind this abortion that should have happened what a foul and despicable person she is, you might be able to get tickets to one of her stops. But get your tickets quick. Events at the Trinity Baptist Church in Southhaven (on Swinnea just north of Goodman) tend to sell out fast.