Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Making Up Shit

I have been reading the blog Pharyngula (by PZ Myers) and have found it eminently enjoyable, especially if one likes to read about science. Well anyway, a couple of days ago my mom sent me an e-mail with samples of those silly billboards that christian folk have been putting up around the country that contain pithy little sayings all based on the template that god loves you. So it was an interesting coincidence that during my morning road trip around the Internet I wound up at Mr. Myer's place and found that he, too, has no problem with people wasting their money on these insipid exercises in religious masturbation; they make him laugh. This one did especially.

GOD knew my SOUL before I was born!

Myers wrote: "Of course it had the obligatory cute baby picture with it. I chortled. I want to see a sign like this."

GOD knew my SOUL before I was born!

"Do think about the logic of this kind of sign. It simply assumes the existence of a being called "God," of a "soul," and that the authors of this nonsense have knowledge of both this God's communications and the existence of individuals prior to their instantiation as physical forms. It's unwatered stupid. Who needs a rational argument for a position on human life when you can just make up shit.

And these things are everywhere. Really, I only laugh to keep from crying."

“Make up shit.“ Haven't you often thought this was true? Doesn't that line truly represent the rationale behind the anti-abortion forces (and that they hate women)?

And the line is very flexible. It's really an apropos description of the group thug hug held in Pewaukee this past weekend by the misnamed Americans for Prosperity. From all accounts, an excellent time was had by all and all reveled in what? Why, making up shit. Basically, their message was they've never had it so bad. I don't know, times get tough occasionally, but I'd rather be living here than some other country. I really have no sympathy for their supposed plight. What was that old canard? Ah yes: "America, Love it or Leave it.

Want more evidence of making up shit? Visit Illusory Tenant's blog (you know ... that hate blog) where he has a running discourse on the shit-making propensities of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the newest poopie-in-a-diaper maker, young GOPer Daniel Suhr, as they do battle on behalf of Mike Gableman v. the evil activist judge, his honor Louis Butler. It's hilarious.


  1. I find these comments much more offensive than the "c"-word, and I'm more or less supportive of the message you folks present.

    That is, I think a problem with the left is the reflexive mistrust, and mockery, of religion in any form. It's a mistake that alienates moderate and liberal religious people unnecessarily and in a way that leaves the stage open for frauds like McIlheran and McAdams, whose ill-thought religiosity is used like a cudgel. Not that I can blame you: I understand the impulse to run away from evangelization, but merely professing God's love for His children is not, by itself, repugnant. Using that as a rationale for, say, hating gay people or inserting oneself into private reproductive issues, is. Please, do yourself a favor and focus on the lies and perversions of the right, not the beliefs of the faithful. (And as for prosyletization, I subsribe to the teachings of that old flaming liberal Joseph Cardinal Bernardin: Preach, use words if you must.)

  2. Thx for the comment, ignats. I like to think of the post as making a mockery of the condescension of those religious people (it could be any religion, christianity is the only one I know that advertises on billboards) who seem to think their way or the highway.

    I have the greatest respect for any person who wishes to believe in a god ... I find it perverse that billboards are used for proselyzation.

    FYI: This post was mine alone and not represntative of any of the other authors on Whallah).

  3. I can see how the comment can be considered condescending, but in fact it is not meant to be.

    It is a vernacular drawn from several passages from Scripture, mainly in the Old Testament, in which we are taught that God knows our calling "before I formed thee in the belly," in one translation. This is a theological problematic because of the questions surrounding free will. The Scripture is mainly talking about the prophetic vision of the Church and the calling that was handed down, in this case to a particular biblical figure, Jeremiah, from birth. Another, better way to put it would be, "God wanted me to tell you how mean you people are." Wait. I guess that is condescending, but whatever, the Word was transmitted to the point that Christ came to fulfill it, giving us the New Commandment to "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

    This language is used often, and wrongly, by my judgment, as the basis for a so-called "pro-life" position. This misunderstands the concept just as much as I believe it misunderstands the passage to be a naive assertion of primacy.

    As for billboards, there's all sorts of secular preaching going on that I find much more offensive than this. Any billboard asking us to listen to Charlie Sykes, for instance.

  4. You stay classy, Wallah!

  5. And I prefer ignats' commentary to anonymous tattlers ... otherwise known as no class cowards.

    And if true ... these days getting fired from JS is a badge of honor.

  6. Capper: It's probably too late, but this is the most offensive and, frankly, dumbest thing Wallah has ever done. The righties will seize on this stupid post and use it to define everything here.
    Are there any standards?
    Any guidelines at all?

  7. capper scratches the surface and reveals the real problem with our political dialogue. One side seats and strains to argue from the reality based plane. As for the other side when their backs are up against the wall they fling reality out the window, be it climate change, the economy, second hand smoke, gun ownership, the war on terror, how we're doing in Iraq, how we got into Iraq, Teri Schiavo's brains.

    If it isn't making things up they just lack all level of perspective. Let's tick off so-called voter fraud, the extent of terrorism and the "crimes" of the Clinton administration -- and their bogus ginned up anger over these things.

    For a good example of this check out the totally off the wall blog of "concerned Christian citizen" Kathy Carpenter. As for even the best of them among the right there is a lot of screaming and name calling.

    capper may be blunt here but I am sure it is partially out of frustration. Some times it is like why we even bother.

  8. What's so offensive? The juxtaposition of Hitler with the billboard's message is just a graphic representation of the problem of evil.

  9. Anony 4:46-

    What would have me do? Other Side has full posting privileges here, and I will not tell him how to think or what to write.

    If you do not agree with what Other Side has written, feel free to debate him on it, like ignats has done. And like in the first few commnets prove, you will find Other Side a hospitable person who would willingly engage in a honest debate. If you want unilateral decisions on what is to be allowed, go to RDW.

    And the right has already labeled me and this post. Limiting Other Side's freedom of speech would not change that, even if I would condider doing that, which I wouldn't. There are many on the right who know me, and hopefully respect me. If the extremist don't like me, well, to be honest, I don't give a damn. That is their problem, not mine.

    kr-It was Other Side that wrote this post, not me.

  10. This post does more to define you guys than anything you have done before, including calling Jessica McBride, the c-word.

  11. Sick and offensive.

  12. Any of the anonys: What, exactly, did you find offensive? I truly want to hear your point of view, or is that too difficult?

    If any of do try to respond, please try to remain on topic and at least attempt to rein in your inner thug.

  13. Other Side has the right to be intolerant and mock the religious beliefs of Christians.

    Other Side has the right to say that pro-life people's beliefs regarding the sanctity of all life are "making up sh--" expressions.

    Other Side can say that people against aborting women actually hate women.

    And Capper can hide behind Other Side's post and pretend NOT to be complicit in the views set forth by Other Side.

    Very telling.

    It's another proud moment for Whallah!

  14. Well, thanks for commenting and not answering my question, Mary.

    I'm always amused when someone makes a negative remark about christianity and/or religion in general how the true believers are so quick to point out the author's supposed intolerance. What you are essentially saying, Mary, is that no one is allowed to criticize your faith. Sounds like you espouse a much better brand of intolerance.

    In fact, no where in that post did I say that ... in fact, I did write that I had respect for those who chose to believe as they did. How is that intolerance?

    I'll tell you what, Maery, I've seen your blog. When you provide the same sort of respect for Islam and every other religion on this planet and for those who do not believe in your/their superstiiton, maybe then I'll listen to you.

    Regarding abortion ... well Mary, did you actually try to follow the logic, or did you stop halfway through and make your decision based on, what, nothing but your own prejudging of liberals.

    Hating woman ... I see examples of your disdain for woman who choose to have abortions every day. How do you feel about a woman who is raped, Mary, becomes pregnant and chooses an abortion? Far too many on your side whould label this woman a crminal.

    Your last point about capper is totally bush league. I was a member of this site before capper. Capper has done a great job, but to denigrate him for something I wrote is lame and immature.

    You are always welcome to comment here, Mary, but I would respectfully ask that you leave your condescending attitude at the door and please, try, try, try, to answer the question I asked previously rather than flying off topic.

  15. For you anonymous Journal/Sentinel employees-

    If you want to bust someone out, have the decency to put your names to it. Otherwise, I'll just keep thinking your Charlie and Patrick.


    Why, yes, Other Side had a right to express his views, just as you have a right to express yours. If you feel it to be mocking, that would be more of an indication in some doubt of your faith. OS's atheism has no affect on my beliefs, any more than two homosexuals making a lifelong commitment would have an effect on my marriage.

    What is even more telling is that you are trying to read some sort of nefarious plot into someone expressing their opinion. Especially from someone who blatantly ridicules other religions on her blogsite.

  16. Well, thanks for commenting on my comment without reading my comment, Other Side.

    Oops, was that condescending? Please forgive me. I was trying so hard to leave my condescending attitude at the door.

    (Don't jump down my throat. I'm kidding. You do have a sense of humor, don't you?)

    Now, to address your points---

    You charge me with intolerance. That's baseless. I don't believe that you are familiar with my blog. You imply that I don't respect Islam. That's ridiculous. If you are referring to the Mohammed cartoon, I suggest that you read the posts I've written regarding the cartoon controversy, free speech, and the display of images of the Prophet Mohammed. Do a search. Read. That should clear up your confusion.

    As far as your intolerance for "christian folk" and their "religious masturbation," I think your refrain, "making sh-- up," speaks for itself. Some advice: You might not want to refer to someone's faith as superstition. That has a negative connotation.

    Another falsehood: You write, "I see examples of your disdain for woman who choose to have abortions every day."

    Really? Care to back that up? You can't because it's completely false. It's against my religious beliefs to "disdain" those women. You have completely mischaracterized my blog as well as what's in my heart.

    I admit I have trouble following your logic. Forgive me.

    About Capper: A couple of the comments on this post question Capper's judgment on allowing it to stand.

    Capper writes: "What would have me do? Other Side has full posting privileges here, and I will not tell him how to think or what to write."

    That gives me the impression that Capper has some responsibility when it comes to Whallah! Is that not the case? If I misjudged Capper's role, then my apologies to him.

    Other Side, I'm really not sure what your question is, the one you want me to "try, try, try" to answer. Is it about Hitler, abortion, souls, God? I don't know. Is the question: How could God have created Hitler? Answer: God gave us free will.

    It's clear that the use of Hitler's image is meant to be inflammatory. The intent is to mock Christianity and Biblical verse and respect for the unborn.

    "It's unwatered stupid. Who needs a rational argument for a position on human life when you can just make up shit."

    I don't need to say anymore.

    Now to Capper---

    If you're referring to the Mohammed cartoon on my site (that's the only possible thing you could be speaking of when you charge me with "blatantly [ridiculing] other religions"), I suggest that you, too, refer to my posts on the Danish cartoon controversy, Islam, and free speech. You must take that image in its proper context. To distort that into an indication of my supposed religious intolerance or a habit of ridiculing religions is disingenuous.

    You should be ashamed for making those accusations. It's time for your conscience to kick in.

    Bottom line: I'm sorry that I commented on Whallah! It was a mistake that I won't make again.

  17. I'm sorry you feel that way, Mary. You're always welcome back if you get tired of the echo chamber.

  18. I knew I should have added in parentheses (in general) when referring to "you". But then, I guess I thought Mary would get it. But I do love this:

    How could God have created Hitler? Answer: God gave us free will.

    See ... making up more shit.

  19. Actually, OS, I do believe Mary was making the statement that Hitler chose to be evil.

    The proper question would be why God, who is omniscient, and would know Hitler would do what he did, allow Hitler to do it.

    Which leads us back to the whole "problem of evil" problem again.

  20. First of all, Swifty got it right. How can you be offended by a philosophical problem?

    "Free will" doesn't much address the problem of evil. Nor does it answer the question, "How could God have created Hitler?"

    But, assuming God exists and assuming God created Hitler, and if humans have free will, then God must have free will, because humans can't have something that God doesn't have. God is supposed to be omni-everything.

    Nor could God "give" humans something he doesn't have Himself. How else could God give Hitler free will?

    That leaves us with God creating Hitler of His own free will, which is the heart of the problem of evil.

  21. Whoops x-post with capper. What he said.