Friday, October 12, 2012
religious reluctance, carnivorous hogs, and evolution is from hell?
Hey kiddos, how has everyone been? Things have been a little frustrating here, but that should be going away soon. As soon as I have a steady paycheck again, it should make things easier. There have been a lot of things that have popped up lately that have really irked me, and one that was a little morbid, but goes to show that on occasion, urban legends and folk stories do have a grain of truth behind them. I've got a lot of short stories to get to, so lets go.
A quick congratulations to the State of California. They have banned gay cure therapy, but still won't let same sex couples marry. The copy of the article I found was at http://now.msn.com/law-banning-therapy-to-cure-gay-kids-signed-in-california . This has been an issue in a lot of places, especially lately. For the life of me, I have no idea why people try to "cure" the gay out of people. It's like trying to pray the gay away. Neither works, unless they both involve some form of gene therapy that is decades ahead of anything else on Earth (which I just realized is the only planet not named for a Roman god). I hear a lot of people say that homosexuality is a choice. Why the hell would someone choose a lifestyle that will leave them ostracized from friends, family, community, and possibly cost them their lives? Once again, kudos to California, and if they would just get back to work on the marriage issue.
A quick note on this story I found on NPR. Basically, it states that both candidates are going to avoid mentioning god, or any other deity on the campaign trail. I say YIPPEE. Now if they can just leave god out of the White House, regardless of who wins, and policy is developed on rational thought and careful analysis, everything should be good. That can happen, right? Right? At least we can hope.
This one I found at http://www.npr.org/2012/10/02/162080111/both-candidates-leave-god-off-the-campaign-trail
The morbid one has nothing to do with religion, WOO, cryptids, education, or any other normal skeptical topic, but being the farm boy that I am, it grabbed my attention, mostly because I grew up hearing warnings about this, and we always had to have an adult with us when we went to feed the hogs. I grew up, as I said, on a self sufficient farm. Meaning we had a lot of livestock, including pigs. Anyone that has grown up around hogs has heard the old saying "If you need to hide a body, put it in the pig pen." I don't know why every hog farmer feels they have to know where to hide a body, but they all do. I found the story at http://now.msn.com/terry-garner-farmer-eaten-by-his-hogs . When I heard people talking about it, I realized most people 1) Don't realize that pigs are omnivores (they eat animal and plant matter) and 2) don't realize where their food comes from. I don't just mean the meat eating part of society. I'm including vegetarians, vegans, and all the other plant based energy intake diets that exist. The only exceptions are those that grow all of their own food, and to these people, my commendations. I feel sorry for the mans family and it was a horrible way to die, but contrary to some of the vegans I've seen or heard comment on it, I don't feel that it was an act of karmic fair play. Shit happens, and sometimes, you get eaten by breakfast.
Here's an idea. Tell me what you think. Take a religious zealot, the kind that thinks god is punishing America for allowing homosexuals in the military (or to exist), will picket military funerals, his group is fairly litigious and the leaders are also lawyers. Lets also have him against evolution and get him to run for a board of education position. It's happening in Kansas, sorry guys. http://now.msn.com/jack-wu-running-for-seat-on-kansas-board-of-education A member of the ever popular, forward thinking, love thy neighbor Westboro Baptist church is running for a board of Ed. seat. I glanced at his Twitter feed, and he comes across as being a little unstable. The Friendly Atheist has a pretty good blog post about him at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/10/03/an-interview-with-jack-wu-the-westboro-baptist-church-member-running-for-kansas-state-school-board/ . I know this will probably send a few readers to his blog, mostly due to the fact that his articles are a lot more researched with better references than mine,as well as he seems like a friendly guy, but come back, there's cookies and milk later. Really though, his articles are really good, and he puts in the hours.
This next topic shows what we may be in for for the next few years.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/republican-congressman-says-evolution-is-lie-from-hell-8202896.html I found this one in several places, but I think The Independent covers it the best, just ignore the banner that pops up in the middle occasionally. Paul Broun, a Georgia politician, basically says that evolution is from hell and is a test of faith. I'll give you 3 guesses as to his party, but the first 2 don't count. Keep in mind that this man is responsible for U.S. government policy on science and technology. What The Fuck People!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This kinda of dogma is why I keep saying religion should not have any bearing on public policy. If he has his way, evolution will be taken out of schools and basically the answer to everything will be "god did it" or "god willed it". This is a scary, scary man. This kind of power, and these religious ideals are like matches and small furry animals. They should not be put together.
This last one pissed me off to no end. I mean I was yelling at the television. Recently in Tulsa, which for the foreign contingent in located in north-eastern Oklahoma, there was a 13 year old girl that reported being raped in a stairwell on a church campus. She reported the assault to employees at Victory Christian Center, which is a mega church. I don't know if these things exist in other countries, and if they do, let me know. If you haven't seen these, they are monstrous. Instead of a normal church that holds maybe 150-200 people, this one has 17,000 members. No, I did not misplace the comma. I've pulled a couple of dogs out of these things, and the stage looks more like a television studio than any pulpit I've ever seen. The girl reported the rape on August 15th and it was finally reported to authorities on the 30th. Just the fact that someone would sexually attack a child is enough to set me off. Personally, my views on harming children is no quarter given. People that hurt kids like that should have no where to hide. What really pissed me off is the fact that the 5 people that were suspended for failure to report the rape are being allowed to return to work at the ministry. This poor girl is believed to be at least the 4th victim of a couple former workers. I believe in forgiveness, and I know it's kinda the churches deal, unless you're gay, muslim, buddhist, or some other non-christian denomination. Other than that, it's forgiveness out the wazoo, which I think may be a stoning offense in Leviticus. This church tried to investigate the matter in house. To me, as an outside observer, this seems to be more damage control than anything. This story can be found at The Tulsa World and other places. I first heard about it on one of out local news channels and the on-line article is here.
I know that I had a jumble of topics this time, and they kinda ran the gambit. I just needed Kevin Trudeau, Sylvia Brown, holistic medicine, Richard Hoagland, and bigfoot riding up on Nessie and building a pyramid before taking off to Alpha Centari and I think I would have had it all. And I just found out that bigfoot is not a valid word in spellcheck, but Nessie is. I know I mentioned "The Family" in the last post, and I promise, I'll talk about these goofnuts soon. The research is taking longer than I thought, partly because a lot of links that I've tried to follow on-line end up being dead ends, or are so pro-The family that I get nauseous. I thought that reading the creation museum or answers in genesis web site was rough. Have a good weekend, be good, be skeptical, and stay out of jail this time.
The Skeptical Okie