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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

October 13th, 2006 (07:34 am)
bitchy

current mood: snarky

I am currently sleepless, stuck in an unfortunate no-man's land where it's too late for me to go back to bed but too early for me to finish up any of the work that I have to do today (it involves making phone calls to a time zone that's an hour behind me, so, no.) Therefore I am killing time online, which means that I wandered over to Townhall.com, a site that is sure to fill a morning with endless hilarity if you can forget that people actually listen to these asshats. And I usually skip over Mike Adams' columns, because while I have a hardy stomach for most conservative wingnuts' incoherent rantings, the horrific racism and sexism of his columns is usually a bit too much for me. I don't know why I decided to read today's column. But I DO know why I am posting a point-by-point refutation of it: BECAUSE I AM BORED!

Is there any better - nay, any other - reason to blog?

Anyway. Here is his column. It is presented in the form of a quiz the likes of which he might give one of his college classes*, so I thought I would just go ahead and give my answers. At the end you all can grade me.

Good morning class! Before I get to today’s lecture, I am going to pass out the next set of questions designed to help you critically evaluate the assertion that “you can’t legislate morality.” Please answer all of the following questions by next week:

James Madison once said that “We have staked the future of all of our political institutions … upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Was this the same James Madison who wrote the First Amendment?


Why, golly gee willikers, Mike, I'm guessing it is! Or, you know, I'm guessing it would be! If it were not a made-up quote! Which it totally is! Before you go off to teach your next class, you might want to do some brushing-up on these little things called, oh, I don't know if you've ever heard of them, but they're called facts. Some people consider them to be important.

Take a few minutes to re-read the First Amendment. Did Madison include the word “separation” in that Amendment? How about the word “church”? How about the word “state”?

Wowee! Another good point, Mike! Only there is this other thing that some people consider to be important, and it's called reading comprehension. It's when you can read a sentence and understand it even when the sentence is not helpfully tagged with Cliff's Notes-style keywords. It's hard, Mike, I know. I understand.

In the Torcaso case, the Supreme Court declared that Secular Humanism was a religion. In Edwards, the Court established one religion (Secular Humanism) above all others. If Jefferson were alive today - and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – how do you think he would have voted in those two cases?

Oo oo oo! Can we also make him an ALIEN?! How would Jefferson vote if he were a Supreme Court Justice who was also an ALIEN from PLUTO?! That's an even BETTER question, Mike Adams! As for the rest - what the fuck are you on about? I guess by saying "Edwards" you are attempting to give people the impression that you are referencing some court case that they absolutely should be familiar with because everybody else is, thereby imbuing them with a sense of trust in the millions of *other* people who surely know about "Edwards" and making it seem unnecessary that they look it up for themselves. But in point of fact the only case I can figure that you might be referencing is "Edwards et al. v. Aguillard et al.", which determined that creationism does not need to be taught alongside evolution in public schools, on the argument that - follow me closely here - creationism is religion, unbacked by any scientific evidence whereas evolution is science, backed by lots of scientific evidence. The "secular humanism" line got thrown around by some Republican senator looking to get reelected. No one established secular humanism over anything, Mike Adams, except inside a couple batshit loony right-wingers' heads.

If the Constitution is a “living, breathing document” are we free to ignore original intent altogether?

OOH! I know this one! NO!

Is a stop sign of any use if I am free to interpret it as a “go” sign?

No. However, it is of use if you are free to interpret it as equally applicable to bikes, motorcycles, mopeds, all variety of cars, and any other kind of speedy transportation device that may be invented at some point in the future. It is also a good idea to note that when a pedestrian encounters an octagonal "stop" sign, that pedestrian is not bound to stop, EVEN THOUGH THE SIGN SAYS STOP, because that pedestrian is interpreting the sign. Imagine that!

Would it be fair to say that the religion of Secular Humanism has the public school lectern as its pulpit?

Bzuh?

Would it be fair to say that public schoolteachers are the missionaries of the religion of Secular Humanism?

Hm. Blee?

Would it be fair to say that our children are the potential converts of the religion of Secular Humanism?

Okay. What the shit?

Would it be fair to say that the missionary budget of the religion of Secular Humanism is the U.S. tax code?

Okay, this doesn't make any sense EVEN FROM YOUR NUTBAG POINT OF VIEW, MIKE ADAMS.

Why do we pay only ten percent of our income to our churches, but over a fourth of our income to a government that advances Secular Humanism over all other religions?

AIEEEEEEE THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT PLOT TO ADVANCE "SECULAR" FUCKING "HUMANISM" MIKE BATSHITCRAZY

Many people believe that Christianity is a bad religion responsible for many atrocities over the last few centuries. Why was the 20th Century the bloodiest in world history?

Off the top of my head: advances in killing technology? I mean, I think if Genghis Khan had had access to modern-day weaponry and bombs, he probably could have knocked off a whole hell of a lot more people than he did back in the 1200s.

What part did atheism play in the increased bloodshed during the last century?

Uh... none? As far as I am aware? Perhaps you should explain your theories instead of posing them as rhetorical questions, Mike Adams.

What part did communism play in the increased bloodshed during the last century?

Roughly the same role that capitalism did, as it takes two sides to fight a war, I would assume... or are we assuming that The Side That Mike Adams Likes is automatically equivalent to The Side That Never Shed a Drop of Blood? Because that is silly.

In the Casey decision (1992), the Supreme Court stated that “…At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, and of the mystery of human life.” Is the Court implying that morality is individually chosen, rather than objective, while simultaneously defending its right to deprive an entire nation of voting on the issue of abortion?

::sigh:: Goodness gracious, but you are tiresome. Mike, if people get to choose their morals individually, that means that the government does not get to tell them what to do. People have the right to make individual choices regarding abortion for themselves, but they don't get to make them for other people. That is why the Supreme Court ruled as it did. You lose at semantics.

Is the right to vote an individual choice?

::heavier sigh:: Mike. A right is a right. A choice is a choice. Please consult Merriam-Webster's. It will help you.

Later in Casey, the Court said, “(The Mother’s) suffering is too intimate and personal for the state to insist … upon its own version of the woman’s role, however dominant that vision has been in the course of our history and culture. The destiny of the woman must be shaped to a large extent on her own conception of her spiritual imperatives and her place in society.” How would Madison have responded to such a statement?

OOOH! CAN WE MAKE HIM AN ALIEN TOO? FROM NEPTUNE THIS TIME?!

Imagine a case involving a deadbeat father, in which the Court writes the following: “(The Father’s) suffering is too intimate and personal for the state to insist … upon its own version of the man’s role, however dominant that vision has been in the course of our history and culture. The destiny of the man must be shaped to a large extent on his own conception of his spiritual imperatives and his place in society.” Would Justice Ginsberg author such an opinion?

No, I do not suspect that she would. This is because - well, she didn't author the original statement, but anyway, moving on - this is because the first statement says one thing and the second statement says another thing, and as a consequence of this, the first thing and the second thing are not the same. You oughta get this one, Mike, Ayn Rand covered it - remember how A is A and B is B? And A is not B and B is not A? There. You get it now?

Given that homosexuals live about half as long as heterosexuals, is it fair to say that nature rewards with good health those who practice traditional morality?

...AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH by the way, you also lose at statistics AHAHAHAHAHAHA and "heterosexual" means "abiding by traditional morals all the time and without fail"? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Is the notion that consent makes something moral an appeal to an absolute moral standard?

Depending on how you define it, yes. Did you have a point?

The 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi-Equal Rights and Liberation sought to lower the age of consent for both homosexual and heterosexual sex. Is there any connection between that effort and their effort to gain access to all programs of the Boy Scouts of America?

Oh, dear, Mike, it's those noisome "fact" thingummies tripping you up again. Here's an education on what that was actually all about:

One of the demands [of the march] was "passage and implementation of graduated age-of-consent." In Kentucky and Indiana, [the age of consent is] sixteen; elsewhere it's higher but never lower. Under these laws, if two adolescents under the age of consent were to engage in sex, they could be prosecuted, whether the sexual activity was consenting or not. In addition, a seventeen-year-old can be prosecuted for having sex with a sixteen-year-old, etc.

Graduated age-of-consent laws would simply take into consideration the age differences of the individuals involved. In other words, they might allow a sixteen-year-old to have sex with a fourteen-year-old with impunity or reduced penalties. An eighteen-year-old might legally be able to engage in sex with a sixteen-year-old, a nineteen-year-old with a seventeen-year-old, and so forth. Sex with anyone under a certain age, such as thirteen, would continue to be prohibited, as it is now.


This is a subject worth debating, but Mike, see, you got confused again. There was no attempt to lower the age of consent. There was an attempt to untangle some of the legal and ethical tangles that result when one single guideline is imposed on an issue (capacity for sexual consent) that is fluid rather than hard-and-fast. Anyway, no, I think it can safely be said that there is no connection between that and gays' "attempt to gain access to all programs of the Boy Scouts of America". If by that phrase you mean "gays' wanting to be allowed to participate in a family activity that there is no earthly reason for them not to be allowed to participate in, given that gays /= pedophiles and gay is also not catching."

Is it fair to say that the gay agenda seeks to impose its morality on every child in America?

Ooh ooh, here's another one I know! No! ::dances::

Why do homosexuals place so much emphasis on recruitment? Is it because they cannot reproduce?

I think it's because they're we're trying to start an army to take down the U.S. military with fabulous uniforms and Carmen Miranda-style headdresses, actually. Or I would if I thought we were trying to recruit. Which I don't. Because we're not.

The truth of the matter is that all laws impose morals on others. Given that obvious truth, should we legislate the morality that kills people around the age of forty or the one that preserves them until seventy-five or eighty?

Ooh, you slipped an answer into that question! Also, what?

Would it be morally permissible to allow a woman to kill a workplace competitor in order to help her more rapidly advance in her career?

No. Again with the 'do you have a point?'

If abortion is appropriate because an unborn child is unwanted, handicapped, or poor, then why do we not round up and kill all unwanted, handicapped, and poor children? Would this be sufficiently immoral to justify a law legislating a more humane (read: moral) way of dealing with such children?

Mike, you are not too stupid to grasp the premise that pro-choicers do not believe that a fetus is the same as a child. I know you are not too stupid to grasp this premise. ...are you?

Have you ever met a person who supported abortion as a means of alleviating the “over-population problem”? Have you ever met a person who offered to sacrifice her own life in order to curb the “over-population problem”?

a.) No. b.) No.

Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that said “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one!” Have you ever seen a bumper sticker that says “Don’t like slavery? Don’t own one!”?

Oh, dear, Mike. Let's go back to the Ayn Rand, okay? A is A. B is B. A is not B. B is not A. Also, how would one go about owning a slavery?

Silly, silly Mike Adams. Please come to remedial classes after school. I know I can help you if you'll just let me.


*Mike Adams is a professor at some podunk fifth-rate hick college in the middle of like Georgia or something. He spends his time sexually harassing female colleagues, making smug references to how dumb the Vagina Monologues are, trumping up ever-more-bogus accusations of "reverse racism", and making semidaily references to how if they don't promote him to full professor it will be evidence of a political crusade against him. He's a sweetie.

Comments

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:09 pm (UTC)

Glad I amused you!

Honestly, whether secular humanism is a religion or not is irrelevant; the question is whether the founders intended to establish ANY religion, and the answer is "no." Even if it is one, they didn't intend that.

(Of course, technically, it *is* a religion... a fairly atypical and individualistic one, but it is. Or at least it is/was so regarded by its adherents.)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)

Yeah, but believing in evolution does not make one a secular humanist. Mike Adams seems to think that becoming a member of the secular humanist faith is achieved by filling out a little one-question computer survey - "DO YOU BELIEVE HUMANS EVOLVED FROM MONKEYS? (Y/N)" Not so, dear. Not so.

I d'no why I'm explaining this to you, since I am quite sure I am not telling you anything you do not already understand very clearly. Oh well.

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)

Well, yes, this was an aside from Mike Adams' asshattery - I just wanted to point out to Archaica that secular humanists appeared to be convinced that it was a religion (a heavily Christian-influenced one, ironically enough). As a "religion" is defined in large part by the fact that people believe it is one, well. Similarly, a case could be made that UU is not a religion, but that argument would be equally silly; its followers agree that it is, so we accept that.

Jefferson probably didn't have much opinion on evolution at all, of course! What with Darwin being born 30 years or so after the Constitution's crafting, and all.

On the other hand, what you've said did clarify a large part of my confusion. You mean to say, he's yammering about SH being the dominant state religion because EVOLUTION is accepted as scientifically valid?!?!! To that, one can only respond as you did. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)

Yeah, that's the "Edwards" case that he built that whole teetering tower of WTF on. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision that creationism did not need to be taught alongside evolution, some Republican senator was going around saying that teaching evolution was equivalent to promoting secular humanism in the school system. This was in 1986 and you would think people would have had time to stop being ridiculous, but I guess they enjoy it or something.

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)

Well, you make a very good point. It's about believing in secular humanism, not believing in things which some secular humanists also believe in.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)

I still fail to comprehend how people can refuse to grasp such a simple concept - religion is not taught in science class. If someone starts teaching calculus in religion class, they can start kicking up a fuss.

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)

But if you consider teaching anything other than traditionally-"religious" texts to be part of a "religion" (which, as Lietya showed, can be basically anything anyone decides it is), then science class can in and of itself be religous.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)

Hey, math can be religious too - it's pretty damn good at describing the natural world in simple, beatiful equations (well, most of the time, anyway, and the rest of 'em we just haven't figured out yet)...why *isn't* it taught as religion? And history - can you really teach people that Christians attacked Muslims in the Crusades without it being religion? I guess we'd better just stop teaching anything, then, 'cause no matter which way we turn, we're teaching religion.

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC)

Well, if you want a mathematical description of the world as religion, the Masons kinda have that .....

It has less to do with the content and more with it being a vehicle for inculcating a set of beliefs that are shared by people who call those beliefs a "religion". If a particular view of the Crusades were Holy Writ to your "religion," then yeah, history class could be a religious class.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC)

So, if my religion says that the moon is made of green cheese, can I require that this be taught in science class? And if I'm told I can't, can I kick up a fuss because they're still allowed to teach that it's made of rocks and dirt and such?

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)

OK, technically .... but only in the most general and non ..... magical-leprechaun-in-the-sky sense. (Hey, I checked your dictionary! :))

Exactly - the founders didn't say, "hey, we're only crazy about this one religion that wants to crush all others."

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)

It's a little weird to think of something that believes God is irrelevant as a religion, but who am I to argue with its believers. ;)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)

Stupid people using the word wrongly :)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)

Uh.... see below about how religion essentially is what its believers say it is. (I do personally believe that atheism is as much a leap of faith as religious commitment, so I don't really have a problem accepting that SH was a religion!)

glad you used a good source, at least. ;)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)

Oh, I was just tweaking your descriptivism there :)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: October 13th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)

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