Linkdump for April 16th through April 19th

An automatically generated list of links that caught my eye between April 16th and April 19th.

Sometime between April 16th and April 19th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black: Dolezal is simply a white woman who cannot help but center herself in all that she does—including her fight for racial justice. And if racial justice doesn't center her, she will redefine race itself in order to make that happen.
  • Volunteers, Professionals, and Who Gets to Have Fun at Cons: If your fun is dependent using your status as a volunteer as an excuse to not act responsibly, if it requires victims to stay quiet about mistreatment: then it’s not really a fun time for “everyone” is it? It’s not the expectation of professionalism that’s killing the fun at cons, it’s the lack of it.
  • Time to Fix the Missing Stair: It’s time to stop pretending the missing stair doesn’t need to be fixed. Relying on word-of-mouth means that the people who are new, who are just entering, are the ones most at risk of trying to step on it.
  • seriously, the guy has a point: A global investment firm has used a global advertising firm to create a faux work of guerrilla art to subvert and change the meaning of his actual work of guerrilla art. That would piss off any artist.
  • Westboro Wannabes Picket Norwescon: Thank you for proving, by your actions, the value that Norwescon (and all such fan-run conventions) have in this world. Thank you for proving that we can’t be bullied. You gave us all a teachable moment, and we learned something about ourselves.

Without women, the story doesn’t even begin

But what the story really says, this story men made up to hold women down, is that women have the power to change the world. Women have the power to throw the world into chaos and they do it because the world as it is isn’t good enough.

So the Genesis story gets written as a justification for why women are they way they are, of how they’re the ones to blame, and of why it’s right for men to take charge, because when a woman decides for herself… well, isn’t that how everything ended up so terrible? But what the story really says, this story men made up to hold women down, is that women have the power to change the world. Women have the power to throw the world into chaos and they do it because the world as it is isn’t good enough. Adam is content and Eve is proactive. Women see God’s world and think, this could be better. Let’s make it better. And if that’s called sin than it’s the best sin there is because without change nothing would ever happen. Without women, the story doesn’t even begin.

— miccaeli miccaevelli

Mechanical Life and Intelligent Design

‘…this is proof that Autobots were not assembled on Cybertron by hurricanes or any other means envisioned by Darwin, and were Intelligently Designed. That makes the Transformers series a compelling parable for ID, and I expect several of this year’s Republican presidential candidates to recommend the movies on that basis alone.’

From On the Origin of Transformers:

The advocates of ID, who are arguing that their belief should be included in science classes in Texas, Tennessee and other states, say that if a living organism has a design that cannot be explained by the theory of natural selection, it is proof of an Intelligent Designer. If you consider a Camaro, for example, wouldn’t it obviously have had a Designer? Could its parts have been assembled by a hurricane (or a trillion hurricanes) blowing through a junkyard?

Certainly not. Therefore, this is proof that Autobots were not assembled on Cybertron by hurricanes or any other means envisioned by Darwin, and were Intelligently Designed. That makes the Transformers series a compelling parable for ID, and I expect several of this year’s Republican presidential candidates to recommend the movies on that basis alone.

Roger Ebert, making the case for Intelligent Design…at least within the universe of the Transformers.

To: Pat Robertson. Your Pal, Satan.

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher.

Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher.

The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth — glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven’t you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it — I’m just saying: Not how I roll.

You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That’s working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best,

Satan

Written by Lily Coyle of Minneapolis, first printed as a Letter to the Editor in the Star Tribune.

Everything But Marriage

I happen to be of the opinion that we should remove marriage from the secular system entirely — that is, courts would merely deal with civil unions, which would be identical and impart identical rights to any couple, straight or gay — and let the churches handle marriage ceremonies for people who want them.

I happen to be of the opinion that we should remove marriage from the secular system entirely — that is, courts would merely deal with civil unions, which would be identical and impart identical rights to any couple, straight or gay — and let the churches handle marriage ceremonies for people who want them. If God doesn’t want same-sex couples to marry, then fine, let the churches bar their doors. But there is absolutely no reason why same-sex couples shouldn’t get all the same legal rights and privileges that heterosexual couples do.

Barring that solution, however, this is a good step forward:

State lawmakers are getting ready to introduce a bill allowing same-sex couples all the rights and benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples.

[…]

The measure makes changes to all remaining areas of state law where currently only married couples are addressed.

The bill would add same-sex domestic partners to state statutes ranging from labor and employment to criminal law, to pensions and other public employee benefits.

Traditional Marriage

Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce.

If we are to let the Bible define what “traditional marriage” should look like, then our marriage laws should be amended as such:

> 1. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)
>
> 2. Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
>
> 3. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
>
> 4. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
>
> 5. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
>
> 6. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother’s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
>
> 7. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

(this particular incarnation by [gladkov][1], via [Daily Kos][2])

[1]: http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2008/12/9/221323/060/248#c248 “Daily Kos: gladkov: in an oldie but a goodie”
[2]: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/12/10/12118/336/767/671488 “Daily Kos: Traditional marriage, Bible-style”

Manufactured Controversy

If the ID folks actually were to do the work involved in creating such a theory, doing the experimentation and observation necessary to back it up and get their work peer reviewed, it WOULD be accepted by science. Unfortunately, the main proponents of Intelligent Design Theory have no interest in doing that; they’d rather just fabricate controversy, pretending that the mean-old scientists just won’t let them play because scientists hate Christians.

Jer does a very nice job of laying out one of the base-level issues with the ongoing and neverending “debate” over Intelligent Design: “[the actual issue is extremely simple: Intelligent Design is not science, and thus doesn’t belong in science classrooms.][1]”

[1]: http://nyquil.org/archives/1162-Manufactured-Controversy-Roger-Ebert-helps-illustrate-problems-with-the-debate-over-Intelligent-Design.html “Manufactured Controversy: Roger Ebert helps illustrate problems with the ‘debate’ over Intelligent Design”

> As of now, the opposition to the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classrooms is as follows: scientific theories are based upon the notion that observations and evidence overwhelmingly back them up. Intelligent Design theory posits no such testable, observable theories. All their time and energy is spent finding problems with portions of the evolution model, which, while actually pretty useful, is not the same thing as positing a theory of their own. The notion that everything was created by an intelligent force is a nice notion — one which I happen to believe — but it is not the same thing as a scientific theory. If you want to do science, then you have to do considerably more than just come up with a nice notion.
>
> ID proponents (and Ben Stein’s film) portray themselves as being “shut out” by science, that what they’re doing is being ignored on the grounds that it attacks the accepted model, and that science is akin to persecution of religion. This simply isn’t true. If the ID folks actually were to do the work involved in creating such a theory, doing the experimentation and observation necessary to back it up and get their work peer reviewed, it WOULD be accepted by science. Unfortunately, the main proponents of Intelligent Design Theory have no interest in doing that; they’d rather just fabricate controversy, pretending that the mean-old scientists just won’t let them play because scientists hate Christians.
>
> Sadly, it’s far easier to rile up congregations and make them feel persecuted than to actually do the science they purport they’re doing. By portraying evolution as anti-religion while claiming persecution at the hands of scientists, they’ve painted an inaccurate portrait of the “debate.” People with no understanding at all of science now feel that their viewpoint ought be represented where it simply doesn’t belong. This two-faced approach is nothing short of dishonest, and I personally feel that the level of dishonesty exhibited suggests that it’s not just misguided, but also intentional.

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham

Y’know, it’s really sad that this kind of polite, civil, and amusing discourse is so rarely seen these days. Two people on _very_ different sides of an issue who, rather than loudly proclaiming their absolute certainty that they are _right_ and the other is _wrong_, are able to amiably chat and joke with each other about the differences in their viewpoints.

Y’know, it’s really sad that this kind of polite, civil, and amusing discourse is so rarely seen these days. Two people on _very_ different sides of an issue who, rather than loudly proclaiming their absolute certainty that they are _right_ and the other is _wrong_, are able to amiably chat and joke with each other about the differences in their viewpoints.

Part one:

Part two:

Badass Bible Verses

Cracked has a list of the top nine ‘badass’ bible verses. Just for fun, I’ll list the verse citations here. Any guesses at what stories they’re referring to (before looking at the linked article, of course)?

Cracked has a list of the [top nine ‘badass’ bible verses][1]. Just for fun, I’ll list the verse citations here. Any guesses at what stories they’re referring to (before looking at the linked article or clicking through to the linked NIV versions, of course)?

1. [Exodus 2: 11-12][1]
2. [II Kings 2: 23-24][2]
3. [Ezekiel 23: 19-20][3]
4. [Judges 3: 16-23][4]
5. [Numbers 16: 23, 31-33][5]
6. [Deuteronomy 25: 11-12][6]
7. [I Kings 18: 24, 38-40][7]
8. [Judges 15: 15-16][8]
9. [I Samuel 18: 25-27][9]

[1]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%202:%2011-12&version=31 “Bible Gateway: Exodus 2: 11-12”
[2]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=II%20Kings%202:%2023-24;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: II Kings 2: 23-24”
[3]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023:%2019-20;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: Ezekiel 23: 19-20”
[4]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%203:%2016-23;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: Judges 3: 16-23”
[5]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2016:%2023-33;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: Numbers 16: 23-33”
[6]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2025:%2011-12;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: Deuteronomy 25: 11-12”
[7]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=I%20Kings%2018:%2024-40;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: I Kings 18: 24-40”
[8]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2015:%2015-16;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: Judges 15: 15-16”
[9]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=I%20Samuel%2018:%2025-27;&version=31; “Bible Gateway: I Samuel 18: 25-27”

Thomas Jefferson’s Koran

Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he’d take his oath of office on the Koran — especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.

Heh. [This is very cool][1] (that is, cool that a Muslim was elected, and _very_ cool that he’s going to be sworn in on the Koran and not the Bible…_not_ so cool that some idiots are up in arms about this)…

[1]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/03/AR2007010300075.html “Reliable Source: But It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Koran!”

> Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he’d take his oath of office on the Koran — especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.
>
> Yet the holy book at tomorrow’s ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We’ve learned that the new congressman — in a savvy bit of political symbolism — will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
>
> […]
>
> Ellison will take the official oath of office along with the other incoming members in the House chamber, then use the Koran in his individual, ceremonial oath with new Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Keith is paying respect not only to the founding fathers’ belief in religious freedom but the Constitution itself,” said Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert.
>
> One person unlikely to be swayed by the book’s illustrious history is Goode, who released a letter two weeks ago objecting to Ellison’s use of the Koran. “I believe that the overwhelming majority of voters in my district would prefer the use of the Bible,” the Virginia Republican told Fox News, and then went on to warn about what he regards as the dangers of Muslims immigrating to the United States and Muslims gaining elective office.

Excuse me? The “dangers of Muslims immigrating…[and] gaining elective office?” Just what ‘dangers’ _are_ there? And this guy’s a Representative?

How incredibly sad. I’m glad he doesn’t represent _me_.