it’s a fucking miracle, is what it is

When brainstorming about what to do with the area, the idea of a gun range came up.

The area in question is behind the Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Jemison, Alabama. According to Pastor Philip Guin, the area was a gully “full of kudzu, snakes and other vermin.” Nobody in Jemison like kudzu, or vermin, or snakes. They fucking hate snakes in Jemison. Totally hate those slithering little bastards. So they decided to clear the area and turn it into…something.

Pastor Phillip Guin

Pastor Phillip Guin

We don’t know what other suggestions for the area might have been considered and rejected. A community vegetable garden, maybe. That would have been nice. Or maybe somebody suggested planting a few trees, maybe build a little gazebo — a nice, quiet place for community picnics or concerts given by the Jemison High School Jazz Band. Or hey, how about a couple of basketball hoops? You know, keep the local kids busy and out of trouble. A baseball diamond might work, or a soccer pitch (though that might be seen as unAmerican).

The thing is, there were LOTS of inexpensive, community-oriented options open to the Rocky Mount United Methodist Church. Options that would be in keeping with church doctrine. But no…the idea of a gun range came up.

It just came up! Just like that, out of the blue, completely unexpected. It was like divine inspiration! Like a miracle!

“We had quite a number of church members, some elderly ladies, for example, and some not so elderly women that had purchased guns, but didn’t know how to use them.”

Okay, I’ll admit the thought of a bunch of old folks unfamiliar with firearms having guns in their homes is disconcerting and alarming. But…a question: why the fuck are the elderly women of Jemison, Alabama arming themselves? We’re talking about a town with a population of about 2500 people. Total. There can’t be much crime there. The Jemison Police Department has only eleven full-time officers. Eleven. That includes the park ranger at Minooka Park. Who the hell are these women planning to shoot?

granny with guns

The whole purpose of this range is to provide recreational and gun safety in a warm, loving, Christian environment.

Uhh…well…lawdy. Okay, then. Recreational gunfire in a warm and loving…oh for fuck’s sake, are you insane? We’re talking about a church, here. A building used for religious activities, for worship. I’m not a Christian, but even I understand that there’s a fundamental disjuncture between a structure dedicated to a religious figure called the prince of peace and a goddam gun range. Jeebus on toast, what the fuck is wrong with you people?

“This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique.”

No. No, it’s not. It’s not even remotely an opportunity to reach out in the name of Jesus. It’s an opportunity to pimp some seriously distorted Jeebus figure into a flag-waving Second Amendment Martyr.

Don’t be blaming this bullshit on the old women of Jemison, Alabama. I’m just guessing here, but I really most sincerely doubt it was an old woman who raised her hand during the discussion of what to do with that overgrown area behind the church and said “Hey gang, let’s make a gun range! You know…for Jeebus!” I’m pretty sure it was a guy who suggested that. I wonder if anybody other than elderly women have a use for a handy firing range.

The range has also become a favorite of the Jemison Police Department

Yeah. Well, there’s a coincidence.

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the right to pick up sticks

For all the folks who keep insisting that the Lord Our God decreed that marriage was reserved for one man and one woman, it’s important to remember that the Lord Our God also decreed folks who picked up sticks on the Sabbath had to be stoned to death.

And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.

We’re not talking about some uneducated local magistrate making a bad judicial decision here; we’re talking about Moses. This is the guy they call the Law-Giver. This is a guy who has a burning bush for an iPhone. Moses is one of the Big Hats.

Moses was a serious guy.

Moses was a serious guy.

So when Moses checks in with the Lord Our God and says, “Lord, we got this guy picking up sticks on the Sabbath, what’ll we do?” he knows the Lord Our God is going to give him an answer. And that’s exactly what he got. The Lord Our God says, “What? Picking up sticks? On the Sabbath? We’re not having any of that. Kill that guy. Haul his ass out of camp and kill him. Kill him with rocks.”

Moses not having any of that picking up sticks bullshit.

Moses not having any of that picking up sticks bullshit.

And this is why we don’t base modern American civil law on Biblical law. This is why Americans can feel safe picking up sticks any day of the week. And it’s also why gay folks can now get married if they want.

You don’t have to pick up sticks on the Sabbath if you don’t want to, or if your religion forbids it. You don’t have to like folks who do pick up sticks. But here’s the thing: you can’t prevent them from picking up sticks on the Sabbath, and no matter what you believe the Lord Our God wants, you can’t kill them. With rocks or anything else.

 

horseshit hypocrisy

I declare, fucking Republicans…no respect for the law.

Remember back in 1976 when the Supreme Court of These United States ruled that money (in the form of campaign contributions) was political speech and  that the “quantity of expression” (the amounts of money) can’t be limited? Were Democrats angry about that decision? Hell, yes. But SCOTUS had made a decision, so it was the law. And Democrats followed the law.

And remember back in 2000 when SCOTUS, at the request of George W. Bush, stopped the recount of the Florida vote? And then, three days later, ruled that there wasn’t enough time to complete a fair recount — even though the recount would probably have been completed if they hadn’t stopped it — so the last recount would stand as official, thereby giving the election to Bush? Were Democrats pissed off by that decision? Damn right, they were. But SCOTUS had ruled, so that was the law — and Democrats followed the law and George W. Bush was given the chance to become the worst president in history..

And remember back in 2010 when SCOTUS ruled that corporations were people and therefore entitled to the same free speech rights (money, in other words) as individuals? Were Democrats furious over that decision? Totally fucking furious. But SCOTUS had issued a ruling and that ruling was law — so Democrats obeyed the law.

And do you remember back in 2013 when SCOTUS decided to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protected minorities from state laws that suppressed their ability to vote? Were Democrats pissed off about that? Yeah, they were totally pissed off. But hey, SCOTUS had spoken and even though Republican-controlled states immediately began passing laws that made it more difficult for minorities to vote, Democrats accepted it as standing law.

And now SCOTUS has said that prohibiting same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. And are Republicans angry about that? Fucking right, they are. But SCOTUS has spoken, so Republicans are…wait. When Democrats disagreed with the Supreme Court, they obeyed the law and tried to find legal ways to change it. But fucking Republicans? Not so much. They’re basically telling their people to ignore the law.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton -- Republican (not yet indicted).

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — Republican (not yet indicted).

The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, issued a statement saying SCOTUS…

…ignored the text and spirit of the Constitution to manufacture a right that simply does not exist. In so doing, the Court weakened itself and weakened the rule of law, but did nothing to weaken our resolve to protect religious liberty and return to democratic self-government in the face of judicial activists attempting to tell us how to live.

This guy is the state’s chief law enforcement official, yet he doesn’t seem to understand that the Supreme Court’s actual job is to determine the meaning of the Constitution. He doesn’t seem to understand that the same Constitution includes a clause that says the following:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Supreme law of the motherfucking land. Ain’t no getting around that. If there was, then President Gore would have kept us from stupidly invading Iraq. And even though it clearly says ‘every state shall be bound thereby‘ Attorney General Paxton told his county clerks of court they should feel free to refuse to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples. He also included this warning:

It is important to note that any clerk who wishes to defend their religious objections and who chooses not to issue licenses may well face litigation and/or a fine. But, numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.

“Go ahead, piss on the law,” he said, “I’ve got your back.” We sort of expect this sort of bullshit from Texas, and considering that AG Paxton is probably going to be indicted for securities fraud in the near future, it’s no surprise that he has no respect for the law. But we’re also seeing this same crap from Republicans in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota,

corporate same sex marriage

These fuckwits have the absolute right to disagree with the Supreme Court. They have the absolute right — and maybe even a moral duty — to work within the law to change it. They have the right to speak out against it. But damn it, they DO NOT have the right to flout the law by refusing to obey it. They DO NOT have the right to ignore the law or defy it, simply because they disagree with it.

This horseshit hypocrisy pisses me off.

 

jeb! and the little sisters

You know, in yesterday’s excitement apathy over Jeb! Bush’s announcement (Oh, did you miss it? Jeb! announced he was really seriously actually going to campaign to become the Republican Party’s failed nominee for President of These United States, plus he surgically attached an exclamation point to his name in the vain hope that somebody, somewhere in a non-vegetative state would show some enthusiasm for him) I missed something. Jeb! actually said something interesting in his speech.

Jeb!

Jeb!

I don’t think he meant to. Or I don’t think he — or anybody in his audience — would find it interesting in the same way I do. But it’s there and since I find it interesting I’m going to inflict it on you. Here’s what Jeb! said:

“[T\he shabby treatment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Christian charity that dared to voice objections of conscience to Obamacare. The next president needs to make it clear that great charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor need no federal instruction in doing the right thing.

It comes down to a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother, and I’m going with the Sisters.”

Like a lot of folks, you probably responded to this comment with a resounding “Huh? Who are these Little Sisters and what have they got against Obamacare?” Allow me to ‘splain.

The Little Sisters of the Poor is a religious order founded in 1839 by St. Jeanne Jugan. They’re devoted primarily to the care of elderly women who haven’t any other means of support. You have to love and respect them for that. It’s a big group, with more than two hundred institutions in over thirty countries. They’re pretty devout, obviously. After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Little Sisters sued the Obama administration, saying the requirement to provide contraceptives and other pregnancy-related services to their female employees violated their religious beliefs.

Jeanne!

Jeanne!

Okay, nothing new there, right? The Bamz went along with them, and his administration basically told religious institutions “You have a problem with providing contraception to your female employees? Fine, sign this form and you won’t have to. If your female employees want those services, we’ll find some other way to make that happen. But you’ll be off the hook.”

Problem solved! Right?

Wrong. The Little Sisters said even signing the form would violate their religious beliefs on account of it just shifted the sin from them to somebody else. In effect, the Little Sisters are saying that by signing the form they’re merely authorizing somebody else to commit the sin in their place — which doesn’t really absolve them of the sin at all.

There’s undeniable logic there, which we can apply to other situations. Let’s say, for example, a Commander-in-Chief signs a document that authorizes forms of interrogation that most of the world define as torture. That CiC doesn’t actually conduct the torture any more than the Little Sisters actually hand out contraceptives. But by the Little Sisters standard, that doesn’t absolve him of the sin.

W!

W! Torture! Sin! Jeb!

That sort of puts a whole ‘nother spin on

“It comes down to a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother, and I’m going with the Sisters.”

I wonder if the news media will ask Jeb! about this.

iowa this close to becoming oregon, probably

April is the cruelest month — for Jeebus. Oh, not because of that Easter thing. You know, that whole being crucified business, and having to rise from the dead and all. That’s part of the savior job description. That’s why he gets the big bucks.

No, I’m talking about April being the cruelest month in terms of respect. Respect from the Iowa House of Representatives. That’s right, Jeebus is getting dissed by legislators from the corn-fed state. We’re only halfway through April and we’ve already had three folks who ARE NOT CHRISTIANS offer prayers to begin the daily legislative session. Three! This month!

And last month? Last month there were…well, okay, there weren’t any non-Christians giving the invocation in March. Or February. Or, okay, January either. But that’s not the point. The point is in April there have been three. So far. A Wiccan priestess, a Muslim imam, and a Jewish rabbi (and c’mon, you know you want to follow that up with ‘walk into a bar’ right?). And Jews and Wiccans and Muslims ARE NOT CHRISTIANS.

It’s like the legislature is treating people who ARE NOT CHRISTIANS just like they were Christians. And Republicans who love Jeebus are totally upset.

That cranky woman with the big hair? Tamara Scott. She’s an Iowa representative of the Republican National Committee (for Jeebus). And on the day a Wiccan addressed the Iowa lege, she made the following point:

“I was there at seven o’clock, before the witch got there. I wanted to welcome her with prayer. The storm outside? That was my fault. I was praying for lightning. In love. In love. Just a little joke.”

No, wait. That wasn’t her point. That was just a lighthearted jest about killing witches. And people say Christians don’t have a sense of humor. No, this was her point:

[W]hen we’re not willing to defend our God in the public square, we shouldn’t be surprised when others try to replace Him.

You guys, we are totally replacing Jeebus by allowing three different folks who ARE NOT CHRISTIANS to offer a prayer in the Iowa House of Representatives. Those three prayers given earlier this month, they completely wipe out all of the 58 Christian prayers that were given during the rest of this year.

In fairness, Ms Scott admits people who ARE NOT CHRISTIANS also have a right to give the invocation. You know, technically and legally and all that. I’m just going to take a wild guess here, but I suspect she probably hasn’t actually read the decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, but it surely does say a pre-session prayer is okay so long as it “does not discriminate against minority faiths in determining who may offer a prayer, and the prayer does not coerce participation with non-adherents.” Ms. Scott understands they have that right; she just thinks it’s a shame that people who ARE NOT CHRISTIANS actually get to use it. Just because they have the right to do it doesn’t mean we ought to let them.

Jeebus would not approve of folks who, again ARE NOT CHRISTIANS, praying right there in the open in front of the people who have to make our laws. No sir, Jeebus ain’t having none of that. Jeebus would know exactly what to do. And so do his followers.

About half of the legislators skipped the Wiccan invocation so they wouldn’t be sullied by listening to somebody — and we’re talking about a woman here, a woman who IS NOT CHRISTIAN — say a prayer. Having to listen to people who believe something different, that’s persecution, right there. Others showed up for the prayer, but turned their backs to the Wiccan just like Jeebus would have done. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for my sake,” Jeebus said, “therefore shalt thou make your persecutors look at your butt.” Or words to that effect.

If you want to risk your immortal soul (or your mortal soul, if that’s what you have), you can hear what the woman who IS NOT CHRISTIAN had to say. You’ll probably be okay, though, if you turn your back to your computer while she’s speaking and engage in the Jeebus Butt Defense.

There. Did you hear that? She said ‘goddess’ and ‘spirit’ and right there are the end? She said ‘ah ho’ and you know what that means. Okay, you probably don’t know what that means, but you know it IS NOT CHRISTIAN.

Still, there’s room for hope. Yes, they let a Jew and a Muslim and even a Wiccan speak and pray, but at least they’ve kept the Buddhists and Hindus away. Once we let those people through the door Iowa might just as well give up and call itself Oregon.

Editorial Note Below is a list of every person giving the invocation before the Iowa House of Representatives this year. Invocations given by people who ARE NOT CHRISTIAN are in boldface:

1/12 Prayer offered by Darrin Whiting of Liberty Baptist Church
1/13 Prayer offered by Wayne Bahr, pastor of the Church of Christ Churches
1/14 Prayer offered by Brian Lund, pastor of Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church
1/15 Prayer offered by Pastor Nan Smith of Hope Methodist Church
1/20 Prayer offered by Pastor Mike Harvey of Carson Presbyterian Church
1/21 Prayer offered by Pastor Haddon Anderson of Garner Evangelical Free Churc
1/22 Prayer offered by Representative Bacon of Story County
1/26 Prayer offered by Pastor Brian Rihner of Grace Evangelical Church
1/27 Prayer offered by Pastor Jeff Erlemeier of Abundant Life Church
1/28 Prayer offered by Reverend Bob Dishman of Park Church of Christ
1/29 Prayer offered by Pastor Sarah Trone Garriott of Faith Lutheran Church
2/2 Prayer offered by Pastor Rod Rindahl of New Life Community Church
2/3 Prayer offered by Pastor Jerry Morningstar of Sully Community Church
2/4 Prayer offered by Pastor Dan Kuckuck of St. Stephen Lutheran Church
2/5 Prayer offered by Pastor Paul Willis of First Baptist Church
2/9 Prayer offered by Pastor Jim Mossman of St. Paul’s Lutheran and Presbyterian Church
2/10 Prayer offered by Pastor Steve Rowland of Rising Sun Church
2/11 Prayer offered by Reverend Erling Shultz of Sharon Center United Methodist Church
2/12 Prayer offered Pastor Tim Miller of Trinity United Lutheran Church
2/16 Prayer offered by Representative Baxter of Hancock County
2/17 Prayer offered by Pastor Bruce Smith of Macedonia Methodist Church
2/18 “God Bless America” sung by Aly Olson, Miss Iowa
2/19 “Our Father” sung by Senator Rita Hart
2/20 Prayer offered by Rich Taylor of Earlham Church of Christ
2/23 Prayer offered by Reverend Nathan Sherrill of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
2/24 Prayer offered by Bishop Walker Nickless from the Diocese of Sioux City
2/25 Prayer offered by Reverend Elizabeth Popplewell of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
2/26 Prayer offered by Representative Dolecheck of Ringgold County
3/2 Prayer offered by Pastor Wayne Sneller from First Reformed Church
3/3 Prayer offered by Representative Koester of Polk County
3/4 Prayer offered by retired Pastor Bob Bromley from the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ
3/5 Prayer offered by Pastor Eric Weaver from First Baptist Church
3/6 Prayer offered by Representative Hagenow of Polk County
3/10 Prayer offered by Representative Baxter of Hancock County
3/11 Prayer offered by Pastor John Taylor from Rock of Ages Baptist Church
3/12 Prayer offered by Father Ken Gehling, Chaplain from Mercy Medical Center
3/13 Prayer offered by Stephanie Erickson of Altoona,
3/16 Prayer offered Pastor Missy Brown of Keokuk Trinity United Methodist Church
3/17 Prayer offered by Father Dustin Vu from Blessed John XXIII Catholic Church
3/18 Prayer offered by Representative Gustafson of Madison County
3/19 Prayer offered by Sister Jeanne Hagedorn from the Congregation of the Humility of Mary
3/20 Prayer offered by Pastor Thomas Ross of Destiny Christian Church
3/23 Prayer offered by Retired Pastor Gene Bryant from Newton
3/24 Prayer offered by Pastor Darryl Larson from St. Matthews Lutheran Church
3/25 Prayer offered by retired Pastor George Hanusa
3/26 Prayer offered by Darin Dolecheck
3/27 Prayer offered by Aaron Britt
3/30 Prayer offered by Reverend Cindy Johnson from St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church
3/31 Prayer offered by Father Michael Amadeo from Holy Trinity Catholic Church i
4/1 Prayer offered by Rabbi Todd Thalblum from Temple Judah
4/2 Prayer offered by Pastor Richard Hendricks from Metropolitan Community Church
4/3 Prayer offered by Representative Cownie
4/6 “America the Beautiful” played by the Oskaloosa String Ensemble
4/7 “Star Spangled Banner” sung by Ottumwa Meistersingers Singers
4/8 Prayer offered by Mohammad Kahn from Mosque An-Noor
4/9 Prayer offered by Priestess Deborah Maynard from Cedar Rapids Unitarian Universalist
4/13 Prayer offered by James Thompson
4/14 Prayer offered by Pastor Gary Marzolf from Newton First United Methodist Church
4/15 “Amazing Grace” sung by the Pioneer Lawmakers Memorial Choir
4/16 Prayer offered by Pastor Thomas Ross of Destiny Christian Church

the fuckwit collective

Back in the early 1950s a biologist named James V. McConnell taught flatworms to run a maze. Well, not run exactly. We’re talking flatworms here. Dugesia dorotocephala. No legs, you see. And not much of a brain. Just enough brain to understand that turning left results in an electrical shock and turning right doesn’t. Just enough brain to comprehend that not getting shocked is, as Shakespeare put it, a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Elizabethan playwrights aside, the point is as follows: Dr. McConnell demonstrated that flatworms are capable of learning from their mistakes.

So why aren’t Republicans capable of that same intellectual feat?

Dugesia -- more clever than Republicans

Dugesia dorotocephala — more clever than Republicans

Assuming you haven’t spent the last week orally attached to an opium pipe, you probably noticed there was a lot of anger directed at Indiana’s Governor Mike ‘Tunahead’ Pence for signing into law a pretty reprehensible Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA, which, sadly, is often pronounced ‘riff-rah’). Spence, who seemed genuinely surprised that folks would get upset by a law that effectively allowed businesses to discriminate against gay folks, has spent the last few days engaged in a virtuoso performance of high wire stupidity without a net.

Having witnessed the outrage directed at Indiana and the ensuing havoc, what did the Republican legislators of Arkansas do? They decided to pass a virtually identical RFRA. Seriously. They watched Mike Pence slam a door on his own dick and turned to each other and said “Man, that looked like it hurt…let’s try it.”

Arkansas State Representative Bob 'Bag of Hammers' Ballinger

Arkansas State Representative Bob ‘Bag of Hammers’ Ballinger

Cuddly State Representative Bob Ballinger defends the Arkansas bill, saying it protects religious freedom.

“If it’s a butcher who is a Muslim and doesn’t deal in pork, you can’t make him deal in pork. If it’s a Christian who is against same-sex marriage, you can’t make him perform a same-sex marriage.”

Right there — those two sentences — a demonstration of densely packed stupidity. Flatworms reading those two sentences would look at each other in consternation and make unflattering comparisons between Representative Ballinger and a bag of hammers.

Allow me to clarify the issue. A Muslim butcher can’t be forced to sell pork, but if that Muslim butcher chooses to sell pork to the public, then he has to sell pork to all the public. He can’t refuse to sell pork to gay folks. What Ballinger and Spence and everybody else in the Fuckwit Collective that’s become the Republican Party want is the right to refuse to sell pork to gay folks.

It’s not that complicated. Thirty-three years ago the Supreme Court of These United States issued a ruling that spelled it out pretty clearly. Here’s the relevant portion of the decision in United States vs. Lee 1982 (emphasis added):

The state may justify a limitation on religious liberty by showing that it is essential to accomplish an overriding governmental interest… Congress and the courts have been sensitive to the needs flowing from the Free Exercise Clause, but every person cannot be shielded from all the burdens incident to exercising every aspect of the right to practice religious beliefs. When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.

Entering a commercial activity as a matter of choice. That’s it, right there. Becoming a butcher, a baker, or yeah, a candlestick maker is a choice. If you really truly honestly believe there’s a conflict between that commercial decision and your religious beliefs, you have to make another choice. Follow the law or follow your faith.

But refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding doesn’t make you a good Christian. It makes you an asshole.

Jesus and the Centurion

Jesus and the Centurion

Here’s a Bible story (seriously, I’m going to tell a Bible story here). So Jesus is noodling around Capernaum, right? And this Roman Centurion sidles up to him and says — wait, a tangent; you have to remember that Roman soldiers weren’t particularly popular with the native population of Palestine. So anyway, the Centurion comes up and says “Jesus, my body servant is way sick. Do us a solid and heal him, would you please?” Okay, body servant — another tangent here. Roman citizens who served in the military often had slaves whose job was to attend to their master’s bodily needs — everything from washing them to massaging them to dressing them to helping them release sexual tension. It was just part of Roman culture. So, back to the Bible story. This Roman asks Jesus to heal his body servant, right? Did Jesus say “Sorry, dude, I don’t serve the gays”? No. Did Jesus say “No cake for Centurions”? No. Did Jesus say “Oh, man, I’d really like to help, some of my best friends are Romans and boink their body servants, but sorry, no can do”?  No, he didn’t. Jesus just said “Okay, done.” And bingo, the servant was healed.

I’m not a Christian, but that’s a pretty good story. It’s a story that maybe Mike ‘Tunahead’ Pence and Bob ‘Bag of Hammers’ Ballinger and the rest of so-called Christians in the Fuckwit Collective might want to read. If Jesus can heal a body servant and dine with prostitutes and hang out with tax collectors, then you’d have to be a piss poor Christian to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

UPDATE: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who had previously pledged to sign the legislature’s RFRA, changed his mind today. He returned the bill to the legislature and asked them to change the language. But it’s important to note that unless the governor actually vetos the bill — if the Arkansas legislature refuses to change the language as Hutchinson requested — the RFRA will automatically become law without the governor’s signature.

The Fuckwit Collective strikes again.

punching the willow god in the snoot

The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives. (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

Sweet Lord Jeebus bounded in a nutmeg, what the fuck is wrong with these people? You got Mat Staver of the Liberty Council (which isn’t a council and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any liberty other than their own)  being cheered on for saying that even if the US Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, people should refuse to obey it.

“[A]s a believer, you cannot obey something that is contrary to God’s law. And we would easily say, well, what would happen if the government forced you turn over a Jew in Nazi Germany?”

If you’re like me (and by ‘like me’ I mean ‘not a total fucking idjit’) you’re probably wondering how issuing a marriage license is similar to delivering Jews to Nazis. On the one hand you have “Hey Nazi, here’s a Jew for you to imprison and maybe work to death or just murder” and on the other hand you have “Hey gay person, here’s an official document you need to fill out if you want to get married.” I’m just not seeing the similarities. Anyway, gay folks getting all married is apparently against the will of god.

Mat Staver - analogy-challenged

Mat Staver – analogy-challenged

Then you’ve got this mope, Andre Yokers, of Florida (where else?). Yokers has allegedly (and by ‘allegedly’ I mean ‘they’ve got video of it’) been repeatedly vandalizing the sign for a costume shop because 1) it has images of women wearing witch costumes and 2) it has the word ‘witch’ on ir and 3) the Lord Jeebus told him to do it. He was just following the will of god. In Florida, that may actually be considered a legitimate affirmative defense at trial.

It’s been reported (and by ‘reported’ I mean ‘I just made it up’) that Mat Staver thinks preventing Jeebus-induced vandalism is just like forcing Jews to eat a bacon sammich. In Mecca. On a Friday.

Andre Yokers -- thou shalt not suffer a witch advert to live

Andre Yokers — thou shalt not suffer a witch advert to live

We’ve also got this fucking guy. Pastor Jack Hibbs of California (because maybe Florida and Texas had met their crazy quota that day). Pastor Jack believes (and by ‘believes’ I mean ‘is reliably informed by the voices in his head’) that interfaith meetings between Christians and Muslims are a vehicle by which Christians are being targeted by the moon god Baal in order to…I dunno, something bad. But he’s pretty darn sure there are Christian heretics in the mix somewhere, and Pastor Jack don’t like no heretics.

“Now look, you may hold that view today simply because maybe you’re not a heretic, but you might be ignorant that this is a war against an ancient doctrine, an ancient god with a little ‘g,’ and ancient system that used to go around by the name of Baal. It is the moon god of the ancient Babylonian empire. Babylon had 360 gods. The chief god was the moon god. Don’t you think it’s interesting that all around the world, mosques have a moon symbol, a crescent on top of their buildings?”

Pastor Jack Hibbs - moon god fetishist

Pastor Jack Hibbs – moon god fetishist

You might not be a heretic (and by ‘you’ I mean ‘Pastor Jack Hibbs’), you might just be ignorant. Okay, let me amend that. You actually ARE ignorant.

Here’s a true thing: early Christians also used the crescent moon symbol. And they did it long before Mohammed got tagged by the Angel Gabriel and found himself in the prophet business. In fact, there’s a fairly famous painting of Saint John Chrysostom riding a white horse and toting a shield with the crescent moon symbol.

St. John Chrysostom -- notta moon god worshipper

St. John Chrysostom — notta moon god worshipper

This John guy, he is an actual saint (if you believe in that sort of thing). I don’t recall what he did to get himself sainted, but I’m thinking it had to be some really holy stuff. Whatever it was, you can be pretty sure it was more meaningful than a preacher with a three-dollar haircut and open-necked Oxford shirt ranting about moon gods.

According to sources (and by ‘sources’ I mean ‘probably somebody said something like this, maybe’) Mat Staver noted this alleged ‘saint’ looks like he has an Afro, which is suspicious. He probably wasn’t a white guy. Probably wouldn’t last a day in Ferguson, Missouri, even with that fancy moon god shield. But hey, you know. will of god and all.

Or maybe these folks have been talking about the willow god (distantly related to the moon god). Trashing witches, being afraid of Muslims, preventing gay folks from getting married, it’s all in a day’s work for the willow god.

Then Sir Terry Pratchett died. And I have to admit that for a brief moment I wanted to punch the willow god right in the snoot. Which is an appropriate response.

I think that sick people in Ankh-Morpork generally go to a vet. It’s generally a better bet. There’s more pressure on a vet to get it right. People say ‘it was god’s will’ when granny dies, but they get angry when they lose a cow. (Terry Pratchett)

Sir Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett

I don’t know anything about gods, willow or otherwise. But I know this. I know this with mathematical certainty. I know that Terry Pratchett made the world a better, kinder, more thoughtful, and happier place. Not many folks will be able to say that about Mat Staver, Anders Yokers, or Jack Hibbs.