Thursday, April 27, 2006

Politics: Would the Protestant South vote for a Mormon?

Jokes like "I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman... and a woman... and a woman..." probably aren't helping his chances.

[E]even if he ditches the cheesy jokes and learns to play it cool when he has an ecumenical moment, he'll never be able to offer Mormonism the defense it deserves. The LDS Church seems strange because it's new, which makes the human agency behind it especially palpable. In contrast, the passage of time has given the weirder aspects of other faiths a patina of sanctity. In a perfect world, Romney could point this out to any and all anti-Mormon voters, perhaps using some lighthearted religious banter to drive the point home: So, are you Catholics still praying to little bits of saints' bodies, or what? But now that Romney's a social conservative with national aspirations, such a move would be political suicide. Compared to Mitt, JFK had it easy.
I certainly cannot imagine a Baptist voting for a mormon over any other person, even a pro-choice democrat. Especially not after the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in SLC a few years ago, decrying Mormons for converting their flock.

I guess given the current president, even Romney is looking like a progressive dream. Are we looking at a Massachussetts conservative vs a moderate Southern democrat election? I've documented well that I think Romney is a douche-bag in his own right, but his affiliation with LDS is certainly not an aspect of his douchery. I'll be interested to see the eventual FoxNews spin on Romney as 2008 approaches.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Happy 4.20 day!

Although I was unsuccessful talking my daily bong-smoking patient down from his chronic blunt ledge, Sparkgrass will celebrate 4.20 day with congrats to our very own Aashoo, who deserves props for being named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholar. That means he'll be placed in a box for a year and turned into a researcher of some sort. But it's prestigious anyway, even if it's punishing. We know the incubation-with-dorks will not phase his wondrousness or wonderfulness.

MedLaw: Judge rules against Kline in teen-sex case

So, this is one of those stories that may have fell off your radar awhile back, but Attorney General Phill Kline tried to force abortion clinics to report any girl under 16 who showed up for services. He was acting under a Kansas law requiring health care providers and others who work with young people to report any case where there's "reason to suspect that a child has been injured" as a result of sexual abuse.

Well, the court has decided that Kline is crazy:

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled that Kansas health care providers should retain discretion in deciding what teenage sexual activities they report to the state as abuse.
Morten also clarified that being in favor of patient privacy is not the same thing as advocating teen sex:
This case certainly is not about promoting sexual promiscuity among underage persons. Each and every witness testified that underage sex should be discouraged.
One of the lawyers opposing Kline's one man crusade noted that this could have big effects outside Kansas.
This is the first time a federal court has recognized that the United States Constitution protects the right of young people to keep certain information they give their doctors and psychologists private.
Just to remind you that Kline is indeed crazy, after losing the case, he claimed victory. Yeah right, and abstinence only education works wonders to reduce teen pregnancy.

Photo Caption: Phill Kline and his daughter, Hillary, who has experienced consenting "sexual abuse" by her boyfriend three times since the start of Freshman year (four if you count that time she got drunk)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Scientology Sucks: So happy to be veggie (or at least not a cannibal)

Placentae are every medical student's worst nightmare. After pushing with mom for hours, grumpy resident comes in, pushes student out of way, delivers baby, and commands medical study to deliver the placenta.

If you look up placenta in the dictionary, here it goes:

pla·cen·ta (pl-snt) n. pl. pla·cen·tas or pla·cen·tae (-t)
A membranous vascular organ that develops in female mammals during pregnancy, lining the uterine wall and partially enveloping the fetus, to which it is attached by the umbilical cord. Following birth, the placenta is expelled. An organ with similar functions in some nonmammalian animals, such as certain sharks and reptiles.
Botany. The part within the ovary of a flowering plant to which the ovules are attached.
If you ask a medical student to provide a definition for placenta, here that goes:

Oh my f---ing God, what the f---ing motherf--- is that f---ing alien piece of s--- crawling out of that goopy meconium f---ing stained bloody f---ing chasm that used to be a woman.
No, seriously. They're that disgusting. In fact, they're disgustinger than that.

And Tom wants to eat it.

Now I realize that I'm not being particularly culturally sensitive here. Some cultures are into this placenta-eating stuff, and I guess that's cool.

Wait, no it's not. It's disgusting. Go back to your home planet, you placenta-eating weirdos.

I've gagged 3 times and almost spit my Earl Grey all over the monitor just while typing this.

Placenta = gross. Don't eat placentae.

Should this be in lasagna? I don't think so. Should it be in an alien movie? Yes. Placentae are really aliens who are just using humans to make more of themselves.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Too Much Free Time: Diet Coke + Mentos = ???

Apparently dropping a bunch of Mentos into a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke is all the rage on the Net right now.

In other news, 4th grade science fair projects have shifted from the baking soda volcano to the Peter North moneyshot.

NPR actually has a video of the explosion, which looks like it takes far too much effort for the 45 milliseconds of excitement.

And just to fill out space, the FDA has now approved a monthly injectable form of naltrexone for actively drinking alcoholics.

Geez. A month-long buzz-killing opioid antagonist with the tradename Vivitrol. Sounds like a cross of vivisection and vitriol. But, oh the compliance!

Woof!: thalidomide puppy

Cute trumps freak. Faith rules.

Thanks to Liz for the link.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

LGBT: "Leave By Sundown"

The pompously re-named University of the Cumberlands (formerly Cumberland College) has recently expelled a student for being homosexual/admitting it on MySpace.

Links and discussion at Vindicated.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Religion: Bible Classes in Georgia Schools?

Georgia lawmakers OK public school Bible classes

By Karen Jacobs

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia lawmakers have approved a measure to fund elective Bible courses in public schools, raising concern among civil liberties groups the classes could violate the U.S. constitutional separation of church and state.

Under the bill, which now goes to Gov. Sonny Perdue for his signature, the State Board of Education would have to adopt curricula for two classes on the history and literature of the Old and New Testaments. School districts would then have the option of offering the courses.

The measure's enactment threatens to again inflame the debate between secularists and the religious right that has been invigorated under President George W. Bush.

The elective courses, according to the bill, are to "be taught in an objective and nondevotional manner with no attempt made to indoctrinate students," and should "not disparage or encourage a commitment to a set of religious beliefs."
You know, usually I get a little bit freaked by these stories, but I'm not sure if this one is such a big deal. So here's my quick commentary.

I'm not sure there's any such thing as objectivity to be found about this stuff, and if there were, nobody would recognize it as such. If you have an opinion about it or care at all, I don't think you can be "objective." You might be able to teach "non-confessionally," however.

If I were teaching this course, I'd freak people out. I don't believe that people named Adam and Eve existed, or that there was a worldwide flood, or that snakes talk very much. Genesis 1-11 is mythology. I also happen to think that Jesus did some ornery supernatural shit. I'm not bound to any kind of modernist orthodoxy that insists I can't say that. However, that's my reading of the text. I also know how to speak "historian." I can talk about the literature itself, and interpretation history, and historical criticism, and all that good stuff. For me, that's a good faith building exercise, anyway. Other people, and I suspect that would be most of the kids who would want to take that class in Georgia (to say nothing of their parents) would think I was trying to destroy their faith.

My point? I'm studying pastoral theology, and I hope to be ordained a priest. I think I could teach about the bible from an academic and non-confessional standpoint. Lots of people would think I'm trying to destroy Christianity were I to do so. Essentially, I think I would teach this way in a church as well, and then integrate the Church's confessional understanding of the Bible as somehow being "The Word of God."


LGBT: A Walking Hate Crime

So I'm finally getting around to blogging some of the links Garrett's put on offer. This looks like a good one to start with; I'm just going to make fun of it.

From PageOneQ (which boasts more purple than I've ever seen on a website!):

Some Gay Couples Adopt to Molest, State Rep Says

Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville, said she still believes homosexual couples should not be allowed to adopt children. In fact, in addition to e-mail correspondence with a master’s student at Vanderbilt publicized recently, in which she said as much, she has also said homosexual couples may molest the children they adopt.
That reminds me; I have to stop at the animal shelter to pick up a puppy. I'm out of stir fry chicken.
"We also have seen evidence that homosexual couples prey on young males and have, in some instances, adopted them in order to have unfretted access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse," she said.
Man, it's a good thing that heterosexual couples don't do that. Ever.

What's her citation for this evidence? A cover story in Klansman Weekly?
“In all cases to paint with a broad brush strokes is unfortunate,” said adoptive parent Dr. Christopher Harris.

Harris is a pediatrician by day and a single gay adoptive parent by night.

“She brings such joy into my life,” he said. “It's always said pediatrician doesn’t finished his training till he or she has a kid.”
Yeah. And molests them, apparently.
Harris fits every requirement for the state's definition of a good adoptive parent: loving, healthy and financially stable. He is also gay, and for Maggert, that means he's unqualified.

“I have strong convictions. I just feel kids in our foster have been through enough. They need the optimum family unit, and that is a mother and a father," she said.
And until that happens, foster care is like one long house party. Bitchin! Oh, and having strong convictions doesn't make them not stupid.
In the e-mail with the Vanderbilt student, Maggart said research shows most homosexual couples have numerous emotional dysfunctions and psychological issues that may not be healthy for children.
It was a nice heterosexual couple that first introduced me to puppy stir-fry. That's all I'm sayin.'
A lot of debate has circled around the evidence on whether gay adoptions are good for kids.

Harris said a career in pediatrics has shown children of gay and lesbian parents turn out just fine.

Maggert said it's just the opposite, and the research she's read comes from a variety of sources, including the ACLU and Focus on the Family, a Christian group.
Holy shit. You can't argue with facts. Well, at least they're objective sources. Ahem.
The gay adoption bill is still in the House committee on children and family affairs and has several more steps before lawmakers can take a vote.
This made me tired.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

My favorite line in defense of the argument that anti-gay Christians shouldn't have to support policies that support gay/lesbian equality:

"Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse."

The Gospel of Judas

The scoop? Nothing but media hype. Folks say, "oooh, it shakes Christianity to its core," but I've got news. Gnosticism isn't new. It does not shed any light on the origins of Christianity. And the only people saying that are sexy historians who make a living writing sexy books that tell you everything you always wanted to be true. Hm, which is actually how lots of people deal with religion anyway. Go figure. By definition, second and third century documents do not shed a whole lot of light on first century history. Time for some sweet linkage.

Get Religion offers "The Gospel of Ignorance" and "P is for PR Campaign."

Check out Amy Welborn's summary of the National Geographic program, and her note on the hype, "Points that Irk." You may continue to watch Welborn's blog and the American Papist for maximum linkage.

The Pontificator offers us "Another Hidden Gospel and the Hunger for an Esoteric Jesus" and links to articles by Philip Jenkins and Ben Witherington (HT: American Papist)

Catholic World News: "New Gospel Discovered!" (HT: GetReligion)
Gladly Suffering Fools: "An Excerpt" (HT: To the Quiet)

Meanwhile, the Pope is blessing ninjas. Or something.

Technorati Tags:

Online Funeral Ambushed!

Sometimes a story is so funny, so unbelievable that I have to come out of the dungeon known as my office to post. Not to mention the cyberplague...

Friday, April 7, 2006

Hypocrisy: We've Found the Leaker in the White House!

"It's the president."

Abortion cartoon raises $2,200 for choice

So cartoon that is offensive to crazy guy Sen. Bill Napoli raises thousands for abortion clinics. Wonder how much those cartoons of Muhammad would raise for the war against terror?

Napoli's response: "The cartoon generated a huge amount of filth, intolerable filth . . . Ninety-nine percent of the calls I got were just filth." Key word being filth.

Truth from Fake News: Goddamn Findings Fail To Support Researcher's Hypothesis

LANCASTER, CA—Test data on superconductivity in aligned-crystal bismuth-mercury ceramics failed to support physicist Charles Antonini's carefully-fucking-conceived hypothesis, he told the journal Nature yesterday. 'It seems the goddamn math is correct, so I obviously must not have taken other motherfucking factors into account,' said Antonini, who had dedicated the past nine years of his life to 'solving the cunt of an obstacle to miniature supercomputers.' An unexpurgated account of Antonini's studies in cryomatrix crystallography will be published in the journal Cock-Sucking Science."

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The Horror: Bush throws out opening day pitch in Cincy, threatens to brush back Iran

Proving that the Reds like to associate with loser jackasses nowadays, G-Dub throws out the ceremonial first pitch for new owner Bob Castellini, who was one of Dub's partners when he was an owner of the also-loser jackass Texas Rangers.

Not surprisingly, Jackass Incorporated loses to the Cubs, 16-7, on opening day. The Reds are now 1-3 on Opening Day at Great American Joke Ballpark.

And in other diamond news that shows that baseball and politics mixes like taco bell and toilet water, Jesse Jackson is throwing a racial bitch-fit over some sort of supposed mistreatment of Barry Bonds. A San Diego fan threw a toy plastic (needleless) syringe on to the field (because Bonds is black, of course). Jackson wants the fan lynched from a tree in the town square.

I kinda like Jesse Jackson most of the time. I mean, he does stick up for minorities and workers and other folks who need sticking up for. If only his jackass-o-meter didn't break back before he tried to run for president.

So yeah, this is a bad year for sports for me. There's something torturous about being a Kentucky Wildcats fan, about being a Cincinnati Reds fan. For one, you can't give up your fandom. It's a blood-borne virus that seeds the CSF twice a year to produce two distinct encephalopathies. And like an encephalopathy, you don't enjoy it, you can't enjoy it. You can only be infected with the rage borne out of your frustration. Nausea. Vomiting. Maybe, if you're lucky, some chest pain to distract you from Peter Gammons' bullshit.

At least with football, Kentucky fans and Cincinnati fans know to expect the worst. In basketball and baseball, our delusions of past grandeur preclude rational judgment. We suffer. We suffer.

The Reds won the Series in '90. Pitino won in '96, and Tubby in '98.

Like battered wives, we keep coming back for more.

Of course, unlike battered wives, it's at least just a frigging game.

Go Cats: Good Night, Good Luck, Good Riddance

Rondo to hire agent, enter NBA Draft

I hope the NBA enjoys Rondo's selfish, autistic basketball playing as much as I didn't. I mean, I'll miss the 14 steals per game, but I sure won't miss the 28 instances of debutante self-absorption per game.