anotheranon: (women)
Any of you who have been reading me for awhile knows that I'm a firm believer in better living through science and therefore the whole current (and recurrent) debate in the U.S. political scene about birth control is on the face of it a non-starter for me. I've been saying for years that it's the 20th (21st!) century, get with the program already!

Turns out I've been naively optimistic. Sara Robinson's article Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control -- And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now is a sobering reminder of how slowly the wheels of progress turn.

Given that it's been available my entire life, it's easy for me to forget that the existence of safe, effective birth control has created huge changes in the roles of women, of family, of sex, and in the power dynamic between men and women. We're only 50 years into this huge change so while I think resistance is ridiculous, I shouldn't be surprised that conservatives are still trying desperately to put this genie back in the bottle and will be for [sigh] hundreds of years to come.

I like to marvel at how far people have come in just my lifetime, and it's dispiriting to be reminded how much further there is to go.
anotheranon: (eggman)
The sight of religious extremists in my neck of the woods today reminded me that I meant to write a long-winded post on the subject of religion.

I'd initially thought of using this heretic quiz (hat tip [ profile] idragosani) as a jumping off point, because any result I would have received would have been inappropriate/wrong - it's very hard to be a heretic when you don't have an organized belief system to commit a heresy against, but I still would have scored as something because most of us start somewhere.

the long winded part )

I'm sure I've pissed off a good many people with this post, but I meant no disrespect. I'm genuinely curious - why do the quietly, confidently faithful still go to church? And other stuff.

Keeping it public in hopes that it will stimulate conversation. If it gets all flamey I'll make it friends only 'cos I know my friends tend to be a civil lot :)

more ID

Dec. 19th, 2005 08:17 am
anotheranon: (humor)
Of the bad kind, but we can all have a chuckle: Doonesbury comic found over at [ profile] aetiology.
anotheranon: (southpark)
....the trajectory of my costume. It is obviously that of a Pastafarian Acolyte (Reformed)*!

Reform Pastafarians can only consume whole wheat pasta. Ok, well, mostly. Well, we should :P
anotheranon: (eggman)
The Power of Nightmares, free, high quality, legal download of a well done BBC documentary about the origins of both Islamic terrorism and the American neoconservatism - turns out they both come out of the same place. From the BBC summary:
In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.

The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.

In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion.

It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media.

I've seen it and highly recommend it if you're interested in politics, current, events, and/or history. I would hope that someone like PBS or BBC America would pick this up, because watching at your computer screen isn't exactly comfortable, no matter how high-definition the file :P

Seriously - worth seeing. Five stars, A++, etc.

P.S. No, I still don't have a good "politics" icon.
anotheranon: (fear)
At last the articles about the Christian Dominionists from last month's Harper's magazine are online:

Inside America's most powerful megachurch

Feeling the hate with the National Religious Broadcasters

Still don't have a good "political" icon, but after reading these articles, I thought the "fear" one quite suitable. Sometimes you just have to take people at their word :(

Seriously - read them.
anotheranon: (eggman)
Almost saved this 'til tomorrow so no one would mistake it for an April fool, but it was too interesting to save.

Think I've found another Christian leader that I can respect - a thoughtful, progressive sort of along the lines of John Shelby Spong:

I first heard about Davidson Loehr on Air America's Ring of Fire archive from 3/24, discussing the relationship between fundamentalism and fascism and now both seem to be creeping along in 21st century America.

Yes, that's right, I said "fascism" and "America" in the same sentence, but before you cry Godwin, read over his sermon, Living Under Fascism and his essay The Fundamentalist Agenda, in which he discusses possible historical/biological reasons why religious fundamentalists are all the same and why fascism may be human society's "default setting" - and why liberalism is still the better way to go.

What's more, he offers solutions - ways NOT to feed the machine and better ways for liberals to frame the "moral" debate ("enlarge our understanding of who belongs in our in-group").

I'm inclined to take this guy seriously because he combines a strong faith (which despite my own irreligiosity, I DO respect, if that faith is humane and come to sanely and thoughtfully) with critical thinking, and he's got an educational background in the philosophies of both religion AND science (unlike many fundies of all stripes who I suspect have never actually read their respective Good Books).

Seriously, they're both interesting reads. Please feel free to discuss here - I'd love to get a debate going.
anotheranon: (quizzical)
I couldn't make this up: "I thought I would have to be single forever and live in Africa and wear unflattering tops. I was totally not up for it." (spring for the free day pass - you'll want to).

I'm not surprised that "evangelical raving" came out of Europe; electronic music is more "mainstream" there so perhaps the idea isn't as radical as it would be here (U.S.). As it is, most fundie kids I knew growing up were much too uptight to do something as hedonistic as dance all night, let alone nice enough to spend the evening handing out fruit to passers by, so their willingness to stay up late and get on down represents a favorable evolution, IMHO!

Reading this article, I'm not sure what to think. If the quotes in the article are representative, these kids (I shouldn't say that - most are in their early-mid twenties, technically not children by any country's legal standard) aren't cynically trying to gain converts, they're really earnest and I find it sweet, in an eerie, zealously wide-eyed sort of way.

I do question the ethics/effectiveness of preaching to the tweaked: I can't help but think it's unfair to press someone high as a kite into religious conversion (espeically when they'd happily find a bit of heaven inside their own skull, if left to their own devices).

Givng away free fruit and candy is nice - hell, my friends and I used to do that many moons ago when I was a raver - but we did it because we liked to, not as the opening pitch to try and save someone's soul. The idea that someone is only being nice to me in order to gently shove their views down my throat is frankly offensive. Besides, to me the whole "rave ethic" was one of tolerance and respect, not interference/attempted manipulation in your fellows' personal beliefs.

Putting this in my gray box for now. An interesting development in both the raving/clubbing population and in evangelical Christianity, at any rate.
anotheranon: (southpark)
Holy Disco Jesus! and other nativity monstrosities (scroll down). I think these are perhaps more offensive (or if I were Christian, I imagine I'd be more offended) than the neighbors I had as a teenager who put tiny Santa hats on their pink flamingoes (and eggs between their legs on Easter... and little Puritan hats on Thanksgiving)...

A new ugly nativity is promised each day. Stolen from [ profile] patgreene
anotheranon: (lister)
From Daily Kos lefty blog, suggesting a solution to the "gay marriage" mess that I've agreed with for a long time: get the government out of the marriage business.

Makes sense to me - the government shouldn't be telling religious institutions who they can and cannot marry, just as they shouldn't be denying the legal/civil benefits to anyone at all. Civil unions for any and all, in any combination, who want them, and if you want a marriage on top of that, take it up with your priest/rabbi/mullah/grand master/whoever.

Besides, it would stimulate the economy: think of all the gay couples who have waited YEARS to tie the knot, who finally get to. The wedding planners, florists, bakeries, etc. just know they're going to pay a minor fortune for hotel ballrooms, flower garlands, fancy cakes, wedding dresses/tuxes, etc.!

P.S. I voice this suggestion in silly words, but I'm serious - I really think that the "gay marriage" issue is as much, if not more, a church-state separation issue as it is a civil rights issue.

P.P.S.: I need a better "political" icon - Lister as "rebellion against authority" just doesn't cut it.

P.P.P.S.: Yes, this isn't politically filtered. I'm saving that filter for my rants :P
anotheranon: (crichton)
Or is it just silly? Discovered thru [ profile] geekchick's LJ: [ profile] christ_slash (see also: [ profile] bible_slash).

I'm not sure what to think - despite my own agnosticism and occasional urge to shock, I'm not sure I'd "go there" - religion can be a sensitive thing to a lot of people, and I'm respectful enough that I wouldn't want to ridicule someone's beliefs this way. Interestingly, I've scanned some of the posts and it seems some of the slashers profess belief, and some of them are simply motivated by their opinion that the actor playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's new movie is hot.

I suppose the idea of a young semi nude man being whipped and paraded through the streets might genuinely work for some people, and I don't completely exclude the humorous or erotic potential of Jesus/Judas getting it on, I'm just kinda surprised these communities are out there and moreover, that they aren't getting spammed or complaints (that I know of).

Just today in the supermarket checkout line I saw a National Enquirer or similar talking about "Bin Laden and Sadaam's love nest" with matching Photoshopped picture, so I suppose there ARE stranger fetishes out there!
anotheranon: (crichton)
From my sister, who seems to have an odd talent for finding stuff like this: Jesus jumping Christ on a pogo stick, this is tacky!

In Orlando Florida, of course, and don't forget to check out the menu items, so cleverly named but looking like something off of the Applebee's kids menu....

I'm not even Christian and I find this offensive. Just so cheap and shallow, how can this place possibly show anything good or pure or heartfelt about anyone's faith?

Man, it's just depressing.
anotheranon: (Default)
I found this through a circuitous route of email, BoingBoing, and Neil Gaiman's journal (don't think this has appeared on the LJ RSS feed yet): The Department of Education is deciding what will and won't get funding for closed captioning, and have chosen to exclude a bunch of shows that discuss witchcraft.

My first reaction was to launch a vicious diatribe re: how this violates church/state separation, how dare 5 people at the DOE decide what's worthy of captioning for the deaf, etc. And I do find it interesting that their choices for exclusion were deemed "inappropriate"...

But then I got to wondering - why does the Department of Education have ANYTHING to do with closed captioning? Shouldn't this fall under the FCC, or under the various government initiatives promoting accessibility for all? I also find it interesting that, like Neil Gaiman, this is the only article I can find on the subject, with no links to primary sources at DOE or elsewhere.

So much as I love to bash the Bush administration, I'm going to hold off until there's more to go on.

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