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MellowDem

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Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2008, 05:59 PM
Number of posts: 3,970

Journal Archives

Catholic Teacher Backs Gay Son, Quitting to Protest Contract

Veteran Catholic teacher Molly Shumate stared at the Cincinnati Archdiocese contract for next school year and thought of her son.

She remembered when a nervous Zachery Shumate, a teenager at the time, approached her and revealed his homosexuality.

His revelation prompted the first-grade teacher to give him a hug, telling her boy she would always love and support him.

So when the new teachers' contract – strictly forbidding public support of homosexuality – was handed to her earlier this year, she was torn.


http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/education/2014/05/09/catholic-teacher-backs-gay-son-quitting-protest-controversial-contract/8898181/

Why Coming Out as an Atheist May Be the Most Powerful Way to Combat Religion

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/04/16/why-coming-out-as-an-atheist-may-be-the-most-powerful-way-to-combat-religion/

"Coming out atheist is not evangelizing. I’m going to say that right off the bat. If it is, than it’s evangelizing to simply say, “I’m a Christian,” or “I’m a Hindu.” If it is, then it’s evangelizing to say anything at all about what we think about the world, ever. And I don’t think that’s a particularly useful definition of the word. Simply disclosing that you’re an atheist doesn’t make you an irritating proselytizer knocking on people’s doors asking if they’ve heard the good news about Charles Darwin.

But it is true that coming out doesn’t just make you happier, and it doesn’t just make other atheists happier. Coming out actually helps create other atheists. Even if you never argue with anyone about their religion, even if you never once try to persuade anyone that their religious beliefs are mistaken, the simple act of telling people “I’m an atheist” puts cracks in people’s faith, or widens cracks that are already there. If you ask atheists what made them become an atheist, many will tell you that simply seeing other atheists, or hearing about them, is part of what made them question their beliefs.

You may not care whether there are more atheists in the world. And that’s fine. If you’re unconcerned about other people’s beliefs, if you’d be totally okay with religion if it weren’t for faith healing and homophobia and stoning adulterers and so on — that’s fine. You can skip this chapter.

But if you think religion is a harmful idea, or simply an incorrect one, and you’d like to see fewer people think it (as you would with any other harmful and/or false idea), then coming out is a powerful way to help make that happen. Maybe even the most powerful way.

Here’s why..."


Good, thought provoking article. I'm not sure it's the most effective way, but it's up there IMHO.

Another day, a more divided America...

A white man hits a black boy with his car (at no fault of the man that has been reported so far) and got out of his car to help, only to be beaten down by 10 - 12 other (presumably black) men. There are a lot of racial overtones to the story, to say the least, and many think it may have been a hate crime.

It may have been. An investigation is needed. But the response to the article in the comments section of this link were what you'd typically expect, bigoted in all sorts of ways. An us vs them attitude prevails. An "I told you so" of every race warrior out there. In fact, the website shut down the comments section completely, maybe embarrassed by much of their own readership.

http://www.freep.com/article/20140403/NEWS01/304030131/Driver-clings-to-life-after-beating-by-attackers-boy-expected-to-recover

Hidden in the article, and not raising any discussion at all, is the fact that the driver, now in critical condition, has a family that has started a charity to raise money for what? Why for the victim's medical bills. He had no health insurance, you see.

That's probably the saddest part of the article of all, the most damning to us as a society, that a person has to start a fucking charity to cover health costs if they are a victim of violence. That not everyone even after Obamacare and it's good intentions (even if it is not a full fix) has health insurance. But sadder still is the focus on bigotry and hate that glosses over this societal failure. It's a perfect example of divide and conquer in action. The public outrage isn't directed at the fact that our society treats healthcare as a commodity, but at reinforcing racial bigotry. The oligarchs have done their job depressingly well.

And what's ironic to me is that many of the conservative white commenters haranguing blacks and spewing bigotry are of the opinion that people with no health insurance should be left to die. But interestingly, none were shouting about how the irresponsible victim wasted their tax dollars and should have been left to die.

It gets awfully depressing in this country.

Putin - Conservative Darling

I'm always interested in subjects that split otherwise solid ideological groups. We have a couple here, such as pit bulls and Olive Garden (I keed I keed). These subjects can expose a deeper understanding of an ideology's reasoning, and often some of their hypocrisy.

I've noticed a trend among far-right conservatives on Free Republic. A sizable chunk view Putin as a hero, the opposite of the hyperbolically demonized Obama. That's right, the leader of an oligarchical plutocracy, supposedly everything a rugged individualist would hate, gets love from a lot of FR.

I've come up with some reasons I think that is:

1. He's white. Rarely said too explicitly, but not too hard to see either. All the dog whistles you want to hear.

2. He's Christian. This one is said bluntly all the time. Not only that, but he uses Orthodox Christianity as a tool of the state and ties it to Russian patriotism and nationalism. They can look past his Orthodox view for that.

3. He fights Muslims. The perception is, he is this white Christian crusader holding off the evil brown Muslim hordes.

4. He opposes Obama. That's enough to get you some love in FR, no matter who you are.

5. He promotes free-market capitalism. All logic aside (as usual for FR), the perception is that he's different from those socialist commie European countries to the west.

6. His nationalism/his distaste for multiculturalism. Again, a perception, but one that they think contrasts with European countries who are letting their nation be overrun by non-white heathens in the name of cultural diversity.

7. His macho strongman persona/propaganda. This resonates strongly with the FR psyche, which gets a boner just thinking about authoritarian bullies. Obama weak, Putin strong.

Not all of FR worships him, and the terrible arguments (well, it is FR) for and against him expose deep contradictions and inconsistencies in their thinking, not to mention plenty of cognitive dissonance and intellectual dishonesty.

Nothing to cheer about...

All he said is that the Church should stop focusing on things that make them unpopular. Whoop dee doo. Why is anyone excited? I guess some people are so invested in their idea of what the church is supposed to be that they'll grab onto anything to pretend it's changing.

That's one interpretation...

But it's easy to see from reading the Koran that the other interpretation is just as relevant. The Koran advocates horrible things. The practical minded ignore those parts in order to survive in the real world. In other words, intellectual dishonesty is a must in order for followers of a book like the Koran to not do all sorts of horrible things.

I find faith morally repugnant....

If someone believes in equality just because a book says that equality is good, then that is not a critical way of thinking and is open to a lot of abuse.

Basically, the reason NALTs are usually quiet and whisper their support of gay marriage etc. is because they're bumping up against cognitive dissonance and know their position is not strong. They know the Bible says a lot of backward things. They know they pick and choose what they like form the Bible, which is not consistent or intellectually honest, and yet they still claim the title of Christian.

They want all the perceived benefits of Christianity, the community, family tradition, the massive societal privilege, etc. without having to actually own up to what Christianity is defined by, it's belief system based on the Bible. They don't want to be accountable, and really, what liberal person would want to have to defend the Bible as part of their ideological framework? It would take some seriously poor apologetics and terrible logic, so I don't blame them for wanting to be discreet, I just wish they would get the outrage to be honest with the,selves and drop the title of a belief system they do t believe in.

I don't really care about coddling privilege and comfort for people who are intellectually dishonest. The name of the campaign is unfortunate, as it seems more like a whine (don't associate me with those conservative Christians!) addressing the shame of liberal Christians rather than an allied organization of the LGBT community.

Avoids the real conundrum for liberal Christians...

that is, how their personal beliefs contradict with their religion. The Bible is a terribly regressive tome. Having liberal Christians tell conservative Christians that they're wrong on gay marriage leads to a theological argument based on that very conservative tome, and those arguments are useless, given they are based on irrational thinking to begin with.

It is the type of thinking promoted by most all religions everywhere (faith) that is the source of such people as Pat Robertson and ignorance, hatred and fear of groups of people like homosexuals. The only difference is in how seriously people take the claims they assert. That is, how honest they are with themselves. Most aren't too honest.

Personally, I'm tired of tip toeing around people's intellectual dishonesty on this topic and ignoring the crux of the problem as a result.

I've seen the theological arguments of liberal Christians using the Bible to back their positions on homosexuality, and they're just as illogical and irrelevant. Sure, I'm glad they're on our side, but it's based on bad reasoning that is really no different than their conservative counterparts. I suppose we should take any help we can get etc. etc., but the crux of the problem is not being addressed.

I find taking a position based on "faith" to be morally repugnant, because taking positions without reasoning or logic can lead to many bad things, even if the position happens to be one you agree with for different (or any) reason.

The real problem is that anyone is taking a book as the word of god in the first place. While I could try to finger through the Bible, as contradictory and nonsensical as it is, to come up with some Biblically based reason to support my position in responding to those that use it against my position, doing so surrenders logic or reasoning in any following discussion and supports that morally repugnant way of thinking.

DU recs posts that praise the Pope when he farts...

Apparently, praising a homophobic bigot that leads an institution that continues to do great harm to the LGBT community is no big deal, so I doubt Putin is.

It's just DUers with lots of privilege being insensitive, not exactly anything new. Putin or the Pope or etc. makes some points that they agree with and feel strongly about, and they don't care so much about the gay hating thing in comparison. Usually isn't malicious, just oblivious and naive.

The Pope is a homophobic misogynist bigot....

and the head of an institution that ignores child rape and spreads ignorance and misery to millions, and treats women as second class citizens, and is actively involved in taking away women's and homosexual's rights, and pushes a despicable and harmful method of thought, where one should follow a vengeful, hateful, tyrannical God based on no evidence.

And you're impressed the guy drives a used fucking car? Or is wiling to merely discuss a sexually oppressive practice that any numb nut knows is terrible for any human to impose on themselves? Seriously!!!???

Religious privilege is great stuff. It's why you don't see DUers slobbering all over a local KKK leader because he recycles. Or get very excited about how the new white supremacist in town says he thinks other races are not below his, just different, and should be separate. I mean, this is exciting news guys! I'm really liking this new KKK leader!

I don't get excited when a bigoted organization that is dying, and needs your money and support, learns how to do PR and changes their message accordingly. All you have to do is look at the core beliefs of this institution.

And it's pretty fucking disgusting when an ignorant bigot that leads such a terrible institution and believes the bigotry himself and helps actively harm loved ones I know is praised on DU for meaningless shit. It's privilege at its best.
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