Other good news is that opposition to interracial marriage, at least overt opposition, is also fairly low, with only 11 percent of Americans balking at the idea of a new family member of a different race. (How likely you are to bothered by racial mixing rose with levels of conservatism, with only one percent of strong liberals opposing interracial marriage and 23 percent of strong conservatives doing so.) And Americans are even more welcoming to foreigners, with only 7 percent of respondents opposing marriage to someone born and raised outside of the U.S.
There's one group, however, that continues to cause fear and loathing across the land: atheists.
I don't even know what to say about this.
No: actually, I do. I'm pretty sure that several members of my mon's family would completely disown me if they knew I was an atheist. Which is why I just shrug off questions of religion whenever I'm with them.
But still, wow.
This website masquerading as a Christian website for kids is a joke. But at first glance, I wasn't sure. Be hot for Jesus, kids! The "spiritual safety tip" about what to do if you happen upon an atheist is truly bizarre. ZOMG TELL A GROWNUP! DON'T TALK TO THEM!!! *snerk*
Oh, and seriously, click through the "creation science" questions and their answers, which are HILARIOUS. Did you know Tyrannosaurus Rex was an herbivore? Or that Neanderthals were just regular humans who had big foreheads because of that pesky "flood-cloud-related rickets"? *sporfle*
Of course, it's less funny when you realize that people out there actually believe this shit. :-P
Edit: OMG, the art page! Check out the last picture here.
So did any of you get invites to post your fic there? FTR, I didn't get an invite, and frankly, I have zero interest in being part of something like that. Like almost everyone else, I have some serious fears about how this sort of thing could eventually be the death of fandom as we know it. But I had to go and see who in the HP fandom had joined up and was posting their fic there. I didn't recognize any names, and a scan of the summaries honestly made me think of FFN. And of mctabby's Summary Executions.
And now I'm thinking, oh perfect -- this will be the public face of fan fiction. :-P
So yeah, this is one of those weird American evangelical Christian things, like something out of Jesus Camp. (Think they take their pledge in front of a cardboard cutout of The Shrub?) And if you're not an American (and hell, even if you are), you might be reading this and thinking I'm making this shit up. There's a video segment from the Today show here that's pretty good (but lacks the WTF factor it truly deserves) and here is a web page for another purity ball. (Oh, and while you're there, scroll down and check out who the sponsors are.) More here and here.
So obviously I take issue with this sort of thing on many levels. First of all, let me say that dads and daughters spending time together is great, of course. I have great memories of my dad taking us to the movies and out to dinner on the weekends he had us. But the whole idea of this pledge really seems to be that girls have to be taught that their biggest value lies in their virginity -- not in their minds or their hearts.
And the idea that it's the responsibility of their fathers to impress this upon them does not sit well with me. What about their mothers? And what about their brothers, for that matter? Are they subject to the same sort of pledge? Oh, yeah -- they get Integrity Balls. Wait, it gets better:
- Baker told the young men that the women they had come with, their mothers, were somebody’s daughters, and they meant the world to those parents. He further told them that when they date a girl, she is somebody’s daughter, and they care deeply for her. “So you’re dating someone else’s future wife,” he told them. He also told them that someone else may be dating their future wife. “If you knew somebody was with your future wife,” Baker asked them, “touching her in ways you wouldn’t like, pressuring her, how would that make you feel?”
Um, what? The message seems pretty fucking clear to me: women are property, valued for their sexual purity and their ability to reproduce and be subservient, to be passed from one man to another. I mean really -- "How would you feel about someone else damaging your future property?" The people who run these things won't put it in those terms, but it's very clear that purity is important for girls (who must be protected by men), and it's important for boys to understand that the more they fuck around, the fewer marriageable women there will be available later. And god forbid you marry a woman who's been "used up" by other men:
- Detweiller told another story about a man and woman coming to the altar, about to be married, when another guy comes up from the audience and holds the bride’s hand as the ceremony is performed. More guys come forward, until six are holding onto the bride. When the groom asks her what is going on, she replies, “These are guys from my past. They don’t matter to me now, but I gave them a piece of my heart. What’s left of my heart is yours.”
Notice there aren't any extra brides hanging around the altar in that story. Apparently his prior sexual activity doesn't count.
I imagine that the whole thing seems bizarre and sexist to most people who are reading this. At least, I hope so. But I guess what disturbs me the most is that despite the fact that 88% of girls who make these pledges ultimately break them (stat from the video clip), the assumption is that the pledge is all they need. So there's no sex education, no information about safe sex. And when the vast majority of these girls do have premarital sex, they will likely be doing it in a situation where they aren't making an informed decision about their own bodies. Or worse, they unsafely engage in everything-but-intercourse sexual activity, because they're so uneducated about sex that they think the only unsafe sex is intercourse.
I'm so, so disturbed by this. I suppose I'm particularly baffled because my parents were pretty open with me about sexuality. I was given any information I asked for, and both of my parents emphasized the importance of education and independence. My mom wanted me not to get married young like she did and encouraged me to go out and explore the world, and my dad wanted me never to let a boy pressure me into sex if I wasn't ready. But they both made it clear that it was my body and my decision, and wanted me to have all the information I needed to make it. And so I did.
If I am lucky enough to have kids, I'd want nothing less for them.
It sounds too ridiculous to believe, doesn't it? Check out the pictures and tell me this isn't offensive:
Tarleton College pics
Clemson University pics
A BIG WTF to this. Seriously, WTF? What were these people thinking? How can you dress up like a caricature of a black person and go to a party ostensibly celebrating a slain civil rights leader? Of course, these are probably the same asshats who use "gay" as a synonym for "stupid", right?
I weep for the future.
ETA: On a related note:
You might have seen some of that before, but everyone should see it, really. Tell me you can watch those little children pick a doll and not cry. (Thanks to sciencegeek for the link.)
When I was in a Borders store recently I saw the big HP&DH posters there, with the whole is-Snape-good-or-evil thing going on. Great and all, but... did I miss something? ( Why does Snape have facial hair? (Pic under cut) )
I've been clicking on them all over my flist. Some of you will get double messages from me, probably. I apologize in advance!
I need to be better about crediting: Seen on Pandagon.
It just can't be real. It's waaay over the top, full of winks and nudges, and is hilariously campy at moments. It seems more like a parody of right wing bigots than a serious attempt to promote those bigoted beliefs. It's almost like one of Andy Samberg's SNL videos. The line about sodomy seriously made me choke on my coffee. That other guy who keeps popping up in the video is pretty hot. If it is real, I'm thinking this "ex-gay" Donnie Davies guy is a glutton for punishment. I love how he calls Oscar Wilde a "reformed homosexual" on the "ministry's" web page. 0_o
Oh, and he has a list of "gay bands" that parents should know about, because if your kid is listening to any of them, ZOMG THEY MIGHT BE GAY. Since when is Metallica a gay band? *scratches head*
I really can't tell is this is a joke or not. Is he a bigoted asshat or a very clever parodist? What do you think?
Edit: I fucking LOVE Michael Moore!!!
Edit 2: You Tube took the video down, but he put up a short video that says "God Hates Censorship" a half an hour ago (8:40-ish CST) here. Bwahaha, go spam him! Video can be seen here. (Thanks, puma_gottin!)
I should probably thank the person on my flist who pointed me to this wank, but... I'm not sure she'd like to be recognized for that. :-P
Edit: OMG, the ads on the sidebar of my gmail while I'm reading the comments in this thread! *sporfle*
Someone called "DracoMalfoy" has posted the first chapter of Left My Heart on a site called "Forever Fandom", word for word. And there doesn't seem to be a way to leave a comment for the author.
I've left a comment for the admin, but I have no idea what else I should do. Suggestions?
ETA: Wow! I emailed the admin and posted this right before I left work, and I just got home to see that it was deleted about 20 minutes after I sent my email. Those admins are on top of things!
Jensen was ordered to take the wreath down when some residents in her 200-home subdivision saw it as a protest of the Iraq war. Bob Kearns, president of the board, also said some saw it as a symbol of Satan. The homeowners' association demanded Jensen remove the wreath from her house, saying it doesn't allow flags or signs that are considered divisive.
Ignorant asshats. Geesh.
In other news, when did Britney and Paris start dating? I
ETA: Pics of Britney's snatch here (NWS, duh). Thanks to gryfindormia for the link. ;-)
2. ( So, WTF Faith Hill? )
Her publicist has apparently said she didn't know she was on camera and that she was joking. Don't those two things seem contradictory? Hmmm...
3. Have you ever Mary-Sued yourself into a fandom dream? I dreamed I was in a Buffy episode last night. I was totally a Mary Sue, too -- helping Buffy kick ass, giving Willow tips on magic, making out with Spike... I was a little mortified when I woke up. But I have to admit I liked it. ;-)