OK. I know that round-up posts like this are a sign of lazy blogging. But, it’s been one week since we walked out of the hospital with our baby girl. Before that, it had been well over four years since we last had a new born in the house. There are things you take for granted in four years. Like uninterrupted sleep. And not having an almost-five-year-old to take care of at the same time.
I started this blog when Parker was about a year old, so I didn’t know how newborns and blogging mixed. Now, one week in, I have an idea. After a week of trying to keep up I’ve decided to take a day off and just post the best of what I’ve been reading between bottle feedings and diaper changes.
What is it about fundamentalist who are deathly afraid that some gay teenager somewhere might go un-harassed if schools make it policy to prohibit discrimination and harassment against LGBT students? Richard Rothstein of QueerSighted updates us on their most recent craziness in California and concludes with little gem that I haven’t even heard yet.
England noted that even more alarming is the policy of providing access to restroom and locker facilities that “correspond to the gender identity that the student consistently asserts…”
“If a male student ‘consistently asserts’ himself as a female at school, he will be granted access to female restrooms and locker rooms. As teachers and school officials grow accustomed to seeing boys entering female-only areas, they will be less likely to intervene for fear of offending a transgender student. Those with evil intentions will then gain access to innocent girls in otherwise safe environments. This poses a serious danger to the safety of young female students.”
Of all of the accusations we’ve heard against queers, my new favorite is the notion that little boys would pretend to be transgender in order to gain access to girl’s rooms so that they could rape and molest innocent females. Let me know if you’ve heard one better than that. Also let me know if you’ve thought up a better response to these people than a punch in the nose. I’m really at a loss.
Straight guys pretending to be transgender, so they can get into the girls locker room? Didn’t a couple of Wayans siblings make a movie about that?
But to present it as serious argument for why schools shouldn’t protect LGBT students from harassment seems, well, slightly less than rational. But, as PZ Myers points out, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Andrew Brown suggests that we shouldn’t suppose that religious belief is irrational, and I’m going to have to agree in part with him. I think theology is actually an exercise in reason — it is an activity that has engaged some of the greatest minds of the ages, and it is a sophisticated and elaborate logical edifice. It is a towering skyscraper constructed of finely honed girders of deductive logic, and I can appreciate how so many people respect it and admire it and want to protect it. I can also see how those who have dedicated much effort to working closely on the craftmanship of the structure are aghast at the idea that anyone should fail to see the work of the mind invested in it.
Step outside of it, though, and one sees immediately that flaw intrinsic to deductive logic: it’s only as good as the premise on which it is built. That magnificent skyscraper is tottering atop a flimsy foundation bobbing precariously in quicksand — it’s no surprise that many of the godly are frantically gesturing those obnoxiously inquisitive atheists away with such an air of desperate concern. A few pokes have made the structure wobble and sway, and if enough of us get together, we could push it all right over. All those exquisite arguments and detailed apologetics resting atop the rotting corpse of of god-belief … it would be such a shame if something happened to it, wouldn’t it?
And, if recent reports are to be believed, there’s cause for concern because the unbelievers are organizing.
New groups of nonbelievers are sprouting on college campuses, anti-religious blogs are expanding across the Internet, and in general, more people are publicly saying they have no religious faith.
More than three out of four people in the world consider themselves religious, and those with no faith are a distinct minority. But especially in richer nations, and nowhere more than in Europe, growing numbers of people are actively saying they don’t believe there is a heaven or a hell or anything other than this life.
Many analysts trace the rise of what some are calling the “nonreligious movement” to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The sight of religious fanatics killing 3,000 people caused many to begin questioning — and rejecting — all religion.
“This is overwhelmingly the topic of the moment,” said Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society of Britain. “Religion in this country was very quiet until September 11, and now it is at the center of everything.”
You mean not all of us were herding into the nearest churches after 9/11? Because the impression you’d have gotten from the media would have suggested otherwise at the time.
Come to think of it, that actually reminds me of something PZ said in his post.
Unfortunately, what collapses relatively easily with our nudging and poking and pushing is the fancy brickwork rising above the ugly foundation, not the foundation itself. And that foundation is worshipped by the unpleasant mass called fundamentalism, and the fundamentalists are also pushing at the theological structure — they’d like to replace it with their own bizarre (but also internally rational) construction. That should worry us, because there’s also another reason religion is rational. It’s an unpleasantly cynical, nasty reason, and I’m shocked that Andrew Brown would bring it up. Religion is politically useful as a tool for terror. What could be more intimidating than the idea that you can be tortured or executed for merely thinking heresy?
And the WaPo article suggests that the fundies have no one to blame but themselves for the uprising of unbelievers.
Christian fundamentalist groups who want to halt certain science research, reverse abortion and gay rights and teach creationism rather than evolution in schools are also angering people, according to Sanderson and others.
“There is a feeling that religion is being forced on an unwilling public, and now people are beginning to speak out against what they see as rising Islamic and Christian militancy,” Sanderson said.
Use religion as a tool for your own brand of terrorism and , guess what, you piss people off.
What kind of terrorism am I talking about?
That’s gonna require another round-up.