My recent post Keep Jesus OUT of Education drew a fair number of comments. One reader in particular, David, defended the decision by the archdiocese to deny a place to a small child because the parents were lesbians.
He argued that the school, being a private Catholic entity, had the right to take this action (a point with which I legally agree but to which I morally object – more on that below); that there is scientific proof of the existence of god – specifically (among others) the first law of thermodynamics; that there is absolutely no proof for evolution; that evolution is disproved by the second law of thermodynamics, along with a rather muddled rehashing of Pascal’s wager, all slawed together in a creamy mixture of petulant, insistent, dogmatic myopia with chopped Discovery Institute factoids.
I tried responding to his arguments with logic, reason and evidence – three elements almost entirely missing from his many comments. Much like the blithering, racist imbeciles featured in Where Do Idiots Come From?, this approach was completely ineffective.
It raises another question for which I may, again, have no answer.
I’m still not sure where idiots come from, but I’m curious what to do about them. There certainly seems to be more of them about than anyone needs or could reasonably consider useful.
In terms of posting comments on VNV, idiots can be entertaining and provocative…but they can also be insistent, stalkerish, stubbornly ignorant and a pain in the ass. If they weren’t so passionate, I’d ban them for trolling.
I’ve never banned anyone just for being stupid, although it is seeming more and more like an option. As Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”
The fact that JTF and The Mad Jewess might still manage to have a word is more than proof that I have the tolerance and patience of Job (who was a fucking idiot, himself…I’d reject on principle any cunting god who pulled that shit just to prove a point).
In any case, I haven’t banned David. He’s welcome to comment.
I am filtering him. If his comments are on point – connected to the discussion in some rational way, they’ll make it to the thread. But I don’t think I can handle any more unthinking, disjointed brain farts of unreferenced, illogical yammering featuring argument of the intellectual depth, “The sky is blue, the ocean is blue, thus they are made of the same stuff.”
Even if I were to explain the difference between air and water, David would show up with a link proving that everything is really made out of quarks…a fact that utterly ignores his initial argument which then fails to explain why everything isn’t blue.
The foregoing is all by way of explanation. I have decided to elevate my closing comment to David for this post. Between the lines, there is a loose elucidation of my developing comment policy. If I can ever express it more clearly than the Supreme Court can define pornography, I’ll post it in a tab. Until then, community standards are the rule. I am the benevolent, omnipotent god of THIS blog…don’t make me go all Old Testament on your ass.
The comment also addresses further the decision of the Catholic archdiocese to kick a toddler out of preschool and how the stated reason for this move – to protect the child from hurt feelings and confusion – is exactly the sort of bullshit, self-serving, nonsensical lie thinking people expect from an organization that steals from the stupid with fairy tale threats and promises.
A little more background: Sedate Me, a regular commenter who needs and appreciates the provocative idiots almost as much as I do, got into the record of the Catholic church as pedophiles, along with the fact that the church covered it up and permitted it to continue. David responded with stats and an unrelated link arguing that most priests were innocent, and not as bad as other groups of pedophiles. I’ll let the thread itself take it from here…
David, on March 12, 2010 at 2:23 am Said:
The fact is that nobody really knows, but fewer than 1 in 20 priests in the US and the world have been even accused, much less convicted. Statistics vary from 1 to 5 in a 100. That leaves the vast majority of priests as innocent. Incidents in US Public Schools vary from 3.5% to 50% of students being molested in school. Charol Shakeshaft, “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature,” U.S. Department of Education, 2004-JUN, at: http://www.ed.gov/
Raw numbers lie, considering that Catholics are 1 of every 5 or 6 people in the world.
cousinavi, on March 12, 2010 at 2:42 am Said:
David…(sigh). Your understanding of statistics is no better than your comprehension of physics.
Without digging any deeper than the face of it, the figures you offer compare the percentage of priests convicted NOT to the percentage of teachers convicted, but rather to the percentage of victims. I hope you can see that that’s an obvious case of comparing peaches to pedophiles.
How many children did each priest molest?
The figure “from 3.5% to 50%” is so damn broad that it’s meaningless. How many? Oh, somewhere between 2 and 650 at every school.
How was “sexual abuse” defined? Some studies would include suggestive remarks, others would set it aside; some would include making a person uncomfortable, others would not.
In any case, once again, the “evidence” you offer is meaningless.
There are FAR more teachers than priests. I would suggest that a figure much smaller than 5% of teachers molest students. One significant difference is that when a teacher gets caught, they don’t get moved to another school where they can continue molesting students, which is apparently church policy.
Your statement that “the vast majority of priests” are innocent is also meaningless. It could mean they haven’t been accused, charged or convicted. Nevertheless, the same words apply to teachers – the vast majority of them are innocent, so…yet again (and again and again) you are not making a cogent or rational argument, and what you think is evidence is irrelevant chatter.
In any case, if you want to start tossing around unexplained numbers, try comparing victims to victims and perpetrators to perpetrators…or SOME damn thing that’s rationally connected to the argument you’re trying to make.
If it’s now that teachers molest more kids than priests, absent some solid fucking evidence (you know…REAL evidence), I say you have your head stuck up your cassock.
Furthermore, David, you assert that between 3.5 and 50% of students are molested in school. By whom?
Other students? Teachers? Janitors?
In order for such a vast range of blithering nothing to be at all comprehensible, it needs to be tied to some information on who’s committing the crime. Unless you want to include all the attacks committed by Catholics, not just by priests. Or is it the crime scene that has you bug-eyed? Will you now argue that very, very few Catholic children are actually molested IN the church.
Jesus…we’re going to have to work up a curriculum for you. Physics, statistics, biology, basic logic. I don’t know if you were ever molested, but your teachers certainly did you a disservice.
David, on March 12, 2010 at 5:21 am Said:
If you cared to read the report, you’d know the answer. Or don’t. You think your opinions about me or anything else mean anything? I don’t. You have no basis for the blog you posted either. Did you bother to check out the facts of the story? I doubt it. Time for me to beam up. There’s no intelligence in this blog.
cousinavi, on March 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm Said:
If you cared to provide a link to the report, instead of just to the DoE main page (where there appears to be no link to anything like what you’re talking about), I might.
My opinion of you may not matter, David, to anyone (even me). My opinion of your argument, however, is directly relevant to this discussion. Your assertions contain no logic or evidence, lack cogency, consistency, and are constructed of nothing more than premises you haul out of your ass, which were in turn cobbled together based on the conclusions you’ve already reached, and (despite your insistence otherwise) utterly fail to support your position.
Rather than emulate you and merely sputter, “You’re wrong! It’s not true!” I have taken the time and effort to patiently explain to you why your evidence is not evidence, your premises are really conclusions, your conclusions are not supported by what you offer as evidence AND your conclusions are not logically connected to your premises. None of this seems to have any effect. I can only conclude that you are either incapable of understanding these things, or you’re just too stubbornly dogmatic to consider them.
The initial post – Keep Jesus Out of Education – is based on a cogent argument. Here an educational institution is denying a place to a small child; a PRE-SCHOOL is kicking a toddler out because it disagrees with private, perfectly legal lifestyle choices of the parents.
The reason given by the school – that they teach based on their religion and wish to avoid upsetting the child when he or she is told by the teacher that homosexuality is morally wrong – simply doesn’t hold up…and I’ll tell you why. The school admits Muslim toddlers as students. According to the Catholic church, Muslims (who most certainly do not accept Jesus Christ as the saviour) are sinners doomed to eternal hell.
Now, as between a teacher saying, “Your two mommies are doing something wrong by loving each other,” and, “Your two mommies are going to hell where they will burn in a lake of fire for ever and ever,” which do YOU think might be more upsetting to a small child?
For that matter, telling a small child that ANYONE is going to eternal hell for any reason is, in my opinion, despicable, contemptible behaviour bordering on child abuse. It presumes that children born to Catholic parents, while still too young to comprehend the dogmatic philosophical choice being imposed upon them, lack compassion and feeling for their fellow man; that they understand and agree (at the age of three and four years) that sinners deserve to go to hell and are nodding along with their teacher as they contemplate their eternal reward at god’s right hand.
It not only presumes children lack the compassion to be literally horrified by such a proposition, it ignores that they are children and may well believe such ugly stories much the same way they believe in Santa Claus.
Nevertheless, the stated reason for turning this child away is not only hogwash, it’s insulting hogwash – the sort of lie that implies the Catholic church (protectors of child rapists and celebrators of Hitler’s birthday) think we’re too fucking stupid to see through it.
And, given that it’s obviously false reasoning, one might then wonder if the rather more obvious rationale for this decision isn’t just what it appears to be at first glance: Homophobia and the unmitigated desire to force their morality on everyone else…or punish them if they refuse to comply. So much for “Love the sinner – hate the sin,” eh?
So what we have here is the Catholic church, so outraged that there are gay people in the world, insisting that they will refuse to provide educational services TO A TODDLER (a total innocent, no matter what her mommies do), in retribution against a private violation of an optional moral code (incumbent only on believers…who fall far short of it themselves far too often to be taken seriously) to which they do not subscribe.
Imagine what would happen were the church to get it’s filthy, gnarled hands on PUBLIC education. No child with any gay family member would be permitted to attend school. Which, come to think of it, would be rather a courtesy, since the school would be teaching that the earth is 6000 years old, dinosaurs and humans lived together, evolution is false, the earth is the at the center of the universe and the sun moves around it.
In any event, the idea that a bunch of celibate old men wearing dresses can deny education to a child based on their fantastic delusions about virgin birth, transubstantiation, and a magical sky wizard is prima facie evidence for the argument that these brainless, lying, stealing, murdering, heartless fuckwits never be permitted to lay a finger on the way in which children are educated in a world that values truth and justice.
So, David, I had a perfectly reasonable basis for the blog post.
And, I think you’re right…it is time you beamed up. How surprising you depart with reference to another dramatic fiction with a cult-like following. Your phaser was set to STUNNED when you arrived.
Filed under: Atheism, Blogroll, Creationism, Evolution, Fundamentalist Christians, Gender Issues, Intelligent Design, Law, Lies, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Sex, Social Commentary, Stupid, Teaching, Theology, Truth | Tagged: archdiocese, Catholic, children, denial of services, education, equal rights, gay, gay rights, homosexuality, homsexual, Jesus, lesbian parents, preschool |