I hate people

Apparently dancing = rip my clothes off!

I have no idea how this story eluded me for so long, since it’s the type of thing I generally get ten million emails about. A woman is suing Girls Gone Wild for using footage of her shirt being pulled off against her will in one of their videos…and lost the case:

But Patrick O’Brien, the jury foreman, told a reporter later that an 11-member majority decided that Doe had in effect consented by being in the bar and dancing for the photographer. In a trial such as this one, agreement by nine of 12 jurors is enough for a verdict.

“Through her actions, she gave implied consent,” O’Brien said. “She was really playing to the camera. She knew what she was doing.”

Told of that reasoning, the tearful woman said, “I was having fun until my top was pulled off. And now this thing is out there for the world to see forever.”

[…] Stephen Evans of St. Louis, her lawyer, argued Thursday that Doe never gave consent — and even could be heard in original footage saying “no” when asked to show her breasts shortly before another woman suddenly pulled Doe’s top down. Evans said the company usually gets women to sign consent forms or give verbal consent with cameras rolling.

Yes, “she was totally asking for it” was successfully used as an excuse in a court of law. What. The. Hell. Since when has dancing been consent to rip clothes off a woman? While she’s saying “no”?! It doesn’t matter how flirty she was being or how sexy she was dressed – that is not consent for what GGW has done.

This is the same bullshit argument people use to defend rape, and now a court has actually accepted it. For the sake of women across the country, I hope they try to overturn this ruling. The last thing we need is people getting off for sexual assault or rape because the woman was showing cleavage at the time of the crime.

This is post 14 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Bigotry is even better when it’s hypocritical

Okay, I’m trying not to make every post about this Constance McMillen story, but I keep finding new stuff that makes me want to bang my head into my desk. Like all of the ridiculous, hateful comments Constance’s classmates have been making about her on Facebook. But that’s not even the best part. Some students were stupid enough to post photos from the secret prom on public Facebook accounts, where some ingenious person stuck them on Flickr to preserve forever. I want to point out two things:Notice the two girls wearing jeans. Now, I’m not pointing this out to illustrate how tacky it is to come to prom in jeans (hell, some of those dresses were fugly enough fashion nightmares all on their own). I’m pointing it out because the school and community were against Constance wearing a tux. You know, an outfit that has pants, because the dress code required that girls all be feminine little ladies and wear dresses. Apparently Jesus makes exceptions for straight girls.

But okay, I’ll let the pants slide. The real issue at hand was keeping the gay away right? We were told repeatedly that seeing two girls dancing together would just be too distracting for the other students. Good thing the kids at the alternative prom didn’t have to see any of that. Wait a second…OH GOD. GIRL IN THE SEAWEED DRESS IS DANCING WITH ANOTHER GIRL! AND AND AND…nobody seems to notice. Because it’s totally normal and okay for two girls to dance together, as long as they’re straight. Heck, it’s encouraged. Bump and grind away, ladies, because the guys will pay so much more attention to you! Except if you were actually lesbians, in which case that’s just wrong and you’re making baby Jesus cry.

Though, I can’t be sure. Maybe Constance has been successful in recruiting more innocents to her cause. Damn those wily lesbians!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go weep for our future.

Lesbian teen sent to fake prom

Remember the story of Constance McMillen, the Mississippi high school senior who wanted to go to prom in a tux with her girlfriend, and then the school canceled prom? And then how the ACLU sued their ass off and the judge said she had to be allowed to go? Oh, well they sent Constance to prom alright...a fake prom.

A lesbian student in Mississippi who sued her school for the right to bring her girlfriend to the prom said she was sent to a fake prom instead.

Constance McMillen, 18, told The Advocate that last month’s invitation to an alternate prom was a sham, saying that most students attended another dance organized by parents at a secret location.

“They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them,” McMillen told the magazine. “The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to.”

“It hurts my feelings,” she said.

Itawamba Agricultural High School cancelled its prom over the controversy sparked by McMillen’s attempt to overturn the school’s policy banning same-sex prom dates.

Las month, a federal judge ruled that the school district violated McMillen’s constitutional rights, though did not reinstate the prom.

According to McMillen, the prom she attended was at a country club. She said of the five other students at the country club, two had learning disabilities.

“They had the time of their lives,” McMillen said. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”

…Fulton, Mississippi is officially the most horrible, bigoted, stupid town in the United States. How can you hate someone so much because of their sexuality to do this? This isn’t some neighborhood party where a couple of kids tricked Constance into going to the wrong place. These are parents and community members being cruel to a teenager. Just send all the undesirables to another building. Absolutely despicable.

Constance, get the fuck out of there and don’t come back. Use that scholarship to go to a good college, educate yourself, and rise above the muck that you happened to get stuck in. These people don’t fucking deserve you.

God Hates Haiti

No, this isn’t another post about Pat Robertson’s stunning ignorance. It seems that the Westboro Baptist Church were inspired by his line of thinking and have launched a new website: God Hates Haiti (NOTE: Visiting their site probably gives them money, so visit at your own guilty conscience). You’re greeted with an image of a smiling Westboro protester amidst the rubble in Haiti, and a list of links about why Haiti received God’s wrath.

Yeah, I really have nothing to say other that fuck you, Westboro Baptist Church. You hatred is so fucking predictable that I’m having a hard time being shocked by it anymore – and that’s pretty scary.

Being gay is a choice, but religion is in your genes!

No, I didn’t suddenly make a big discovery while working in my genetics lab – you can thank House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) for the insight:

In an email, Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner “supports existing federal protections (based on race, religion, gender, etc) based on immutable characteristics.” …”He does not support adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes,” Smith continued.

What the hell, really? How many scientific studies do we need to throw at you ignorant bigots before you’ll accept that homosexuality has a genetic basis?! This is not a matter of opinion – homosexuality is not a choice. That assertion is usually enough to make me want to bash my head against a wall, but coupled with the ludicrous claim that religion is immutable? Yes, because people never ever change religions, and adopted children always grow up to be the faith of their biological parents. Thanks for submitting that Christian gene sequence to GenBank, really interesting to know a single point mutation can make someone phenotypically Muslim!

Yes, I know – sexuality is fluid. There are definitely cases of people who once identified as straight as later identifying as gay and vice versa. There are bisexuals whose attractions skew back and forth over time. But immutability shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor for what becomes a protected class. Even if people change their religion, gender, and sexual orientation, they shouldn’t be discriminated for it. Regardless, it’s obvious this man isn’t talking about fluid sexuality – he’s talking about homosexuality being a “choice,” and that what annoys me so much.

It terrifies me that people like this get elected to public office.

(Via Pandagon)

I take it back: Screw you, Indiana

Just when I found a reason to give Indiana some brownie points, I’ve found a reason to take them away. Goshen, IN voted against changing an anti-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation. Yep, it’s still a-okay to discriminate the gays.

“Some speakers discussed religious reasons for their stance on the law.

“This is an issue of morals, if we start telling people in our schools everything’s okay, where do we draw the line? I want to know where do we draw the line,” said one resident who said he talked with his pastor about the ordinance.””

Oh no, the slippery slope of being an understanding, kind person! …Yep, this sure is an issue of morals: if you want to discriminate against the GLBT community because of your bigotry, then you sir are the immoral one.

It really doesn’t surprise me, though. Western Indiana is fairly religious, with very high numbers of Amish and Mennonites. I’m not saying those particular groups were behind this, but that area has a very small town, country, simple living kind of feel. I complain about Indiana a lot, but to hammer the point home, let me just quote some of my favorite comments from that article:

Want is happening to the morals of this country. Just because Christians choose to honor God and respect the fact that the Bible teaches that a man and woman belong together not a woman and woman or a man or man doesn’t mean we are bigots. A sin is a sin and to say you were born this way is just your way of justifying your sin in your mind. As a christian if I would agree that God made you this way than I would be responsible for your sinning. It doesn’t mean that I hate that person. It just means I hate your sin. Next we will have to make special concessions for sex offenders because they could use the same argument and same hey I was born this way. I’m glad I live in Goshen where the city officials stand up for what is morally right. Do you expect God to keep blessing up if we keep forgetting to follow the Bible.

If we made laws to protect Socially unaccepted behavior then we would have to protect All socially unaccepted behavior opening a Pandora’s box. There are already discrimination laws that cover these things. Let Goshen pass this ridiculous law and they can be the San Fran of Indiana because this behavior is SOCIAL and will attract all that want to engage in it.

Wow looks like the Sodom and Gamorra aficianados lost this one. Score 1 for decent family people.

I do not see where discrimination comes into play because the ordinance changes did not pass. The City of Goshen decided not to add on extra protection for people who have different preferences. There is NO discrimination in that. If I have a preference in having body piercings or a tatoo, I do not expect a town to add an ordinance to protect me. The “small town thinking” and “hypocricy” comments; give me a break. Your use of guilt and put down tactics on people who do not agree with you is sad. It is amazing the ugly ways people have responded to this ordinance not passing. Wow! Stop slamming God and anyone who does not agree with you. Just because Goshen choose not to add special protection for a lifestyle choice does not mean we are filled with hate. I don’t agree with the lifestyle choice, I can still love the person making the choice. We are all human beings and the current ordinance protects those rights. I strongly believe in Christ’s love, for ALL of us.

Everyone else seems to want to talk about how Goshen is so closeminded…Your asking us not to discriminate bc of your opinions and CHOICE to be homosexual…so guess what…if you expect to be heard…so do we. Just because we can actually back our beliefs up with the Bible…and your backing up homosexuality by what?? Bc it feels good? Excuse us all for still having some moral fiber in this sick world!

Where did the morals go? Just because your “gay” everyone else should deal with your problem? ITS WRONG, always has been, always will be – no matter how many laws are passed. Get some help, or keep it to yourself.

I’m just going to stop there because about all that’s going through my head is constant screaming of “IT’S NOT A LIFESTYLE AARRRRHRGGGHGHGHGHHH!!!!”

(Via Friendly Atheist)

Atheists teachers corrupting our youth, oh no!!!

I’m sure by now most of you have heard about the pure lunacy going on with the Illinois Family Institute and Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist. You know a group is going to be wacky if they have to put ‘Family’ in their name in order to prove their worth (because they have no other redeeming qualities). And now they’ve taken a break fighting the evils of homosexuality to focus on an even more threatening menace: atheist teachers! The super short version of the story is that they’re absolutely appalled that an outspoken atheist could be teaching your children (long story, please go here and here). Nothing else matters – Hemant has an excellent teaching record and never discusses atheism in the classroom, but he’s still a role model. And who wants an atheist as a role model? After a stunning lecture about acute angles, all of your children will burning Bibles and eating babies! I know I thought my high school math teachers were the paradigm of cool! …Hm, wait a second…

Anyway, IFI’s latest post is a feeble attempt at spinning the story (likely before anyone threatens their ass for libel). They claim they never called for Hemant to be fired. It’s technically true that they never used those exact words, but it was obviously their intention. Why else sent out an email to every faculty member in his school district(well, except him, how honorable), if not to alert his bosses of his evil ways? Why else email all of your members and encourage parents to pull their children out of his class? They can’t get him fired because of that pesky First Amendment and other laws, but parents have power. If they refuse to let their children attend his class, then hopefully the administration’s hands will be tied. They can’t exactly have him teaching a class with no students, can they?

The thing that really gets me (well, other than the blind hatred that these people have) is their flawed logic. They compare having an atheist teacher to having one who is racist or a Holocaust denier. In the most ironic statement of the century, they claim “It’s all about diversity and choice.” You shouldn’t have to have your student exposed to those evil atheists! This is ridiculous for so many reasons, please forgive me while I make a list:

1. If you’re that concerned with letting your children see ANY sort of subversive culture (gay kissing!! someone not believing in your God!!! oh noes!!!!), you basically have no choice but to home school them and keep them under house arrest with no television, radio, or internet for the rest of their life. I’m terrified to even joke about this, because I know people who do such things and it’s depressing. These children are being brainwashed by the hateful rubbish their parents spout and will never know an alternative.

2. The fact that atheists seem as bad as racists or Holocaust deniers (basically also racists) shows how insecure you are about your invisible Sky Daddy. The idea that our mere existence fuels doubt is both hilarious and rewarding.

3. If you’re going to pull your child out of every class where the teacher doesn’t conform to your narrow minded world views, then everyone has that right, yes? So when I reproduce, I in no way want my children to have religious teachers, or Republicans teaching history/government classes, or fans of modern art teaching Painting. They’re obviously a horrible influence. …Oh, wait, I actually want my children to be able to think for themselves, so I want them to be exposed to different viewpoints! That’s right, I forgot.

4. And finally, the idea that Hemant is somehow the only atheist you and your family may come in contact with… You know what? You may want to sit down before you read this, because it’s shocking: Atheists are everywhere! They’re your neighbors, your doctors, your friends, your family, and yes, your children’s teachers. Most probably don’t have blogs, many are probably still closeted (because cruel people like you go around trying to turn them into the town pariah), but some are definitely outspoken.

If you want to go on a crusade against atheist teachers, why pick on just Hemant? I’m President of an atheist club, I have a blog no where near as Friendly as Friendly Atheist – more like, Friendly Until You Show Your Ignorance in Which I am a Snarky and Pissed Atheist (doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it). And you know what? I’m going to be teaching starting Tuesday! Yes, I’ll be teaching ickle sophomores how to run gels and do experiments with peroxidase and all sorts of neat Biology things. And even though I will never bring up atheism in class, never wear my club shirt there, never bring in a baby for a snack – my sheer awesomeness will surely convert them all to the evil ways of heathenism. So you have a lot on your plate, IFI. There are a lot more atheist teachers out there than Hemant and me.

Atheist bus ad in Iowa…oops, never mind

Not even 24 hours ago, Hemant posted a story about the Iowa Atheists & Freethinkers succeeding in getting this ad on buses in Des Moines:
Aaaaannndddd now they’ve been taken down.

“When she met with us on May 27, we showed her the ads and asked if this could be controversial and she said she didn’t think so,” said the group’s president, Randy Henderson. “She thought it was a nice ad, a safe ad.”

The ads that went up on Saturday read, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”

DART said it immediately started to receive complaints.”

Drivers said people weren’t getting on buses or getting off the buses because of it,” said advertising director Kirstin Baer-Harding. “So with all the calls, it wasn’t something we wanted.”

The signs came down on Aug. 4. Baer-Harding said they never should have gone up.”The ads mistakenly got put on buses,” she said.

She said DART has the final say on any advertisements and its board decided at the last minute that it didn’t like the content. She said the mistake slipped in amid last week’s chaos with the DART-pedestrian crash and the release of its first hybrid bus.

jk lol!!!!1!!eleven!!!

Ok, in a warped and twisted way, I can understand the controversy behind “You can be good without God.” There are religious people out there who sincerely believe that you can’t be good without God, and that suggesting so is corrupting the innocent souls of their children. That’s obviously a load of bull crap, but I can understand the public reaction.

But this?

How dare someone suggest there’s more than one atheist out there! How dare they put a serene cloud background on their ad! Don’t they know serene cloud backgrounds imply God, since he’s up in the sky?! They mocked us! They hate Christians! Dey tuk ar jerbs!

This, my friends, is why we need to have these ads. Not only to find each other, but to let theists know we exist. Only with repeated exposure, over many many years, will they start to realize the atheist next door isn’t such a horrible person after all.

Kiss-In Protests Mormon Bigotry

A couple days ago Pharyngula covered a story about two men who shared a kiss outside of the Mormon’s headquarters in Utah. Security guards detained the men because the formerly public plaza is now property of the LDS church, and apparently gay kissing is considered to be “offensive, indecent, obscene, lewd or disorderly speech, dress or conduct.”

First of, fuck you, LDS church.

Ahem. Thankfully there are a bunch of awesome gay people in Salt Lake City, and they decided to hold a peaceful kiss-in on the square:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOL_RujTu2k&hl=en&fs=1&]

This kind of stuff needs to happen every time gay rights takes a hit somewhere. It’s peaceful and shows that gays are normal, loving couples just like heterosexual couples. I don’t want to live in a world where it’s not cool for a gay couple to kiss in a bar, but then I have to watch a straight couple basically having sex at their table.

And yes, I guess the plaza is private property now. And even though the LDS church promised this sort of stuff wouldn’t happen, that isn’t legally binding and they can theoretically do whatever they want. But you know what, whatever tiny modicum of respect I had for the LDS church completely went out the window when they fucked over California with their ridiculous funding of Prop 8. So screw you, Mormon bigots. I hope gays make out in front of all of your temples every day until you wise up.

*end rant*

(Video via Womanist Musings)

Grrr American Health Care

My dad just got the bill for my exciting trip to the doctor for my bronchitis last month. It was nearly $1,000! Holy hell. $400 was just for going to the emergency room, since I don’t have a family physician down at campus and I had a 103 degree fever, so I needed to go somewhere quick. Our lovely insurance is only paying $350 (to quote my dad, “Those crooks. I hope Obama puts them all out of business). Thankfully my family isn’t poor, but we’re not rich either, and having to pay $650 so someone can tell my I have bronchitis (which I could have guessed, since I was around my friend who had it) and prescribe me meds is pretty crappy.

I don’t claim to understand all of the inner workings of insurance, but this seems a bit ridiculous to me. I hardly ever get sick enough to go to the doctor. Other than regular physicals required for school and sports and my bronchitis last month, I think the last time I had to go was when I broke my foot when I was 5. So tell me again why we’ve put all this money into an insurance company for me, and then when I actually get sick, they only pay a tiny fraction of a cost? They won’t even pay for my birth control or my Gardasil vaccines because they consider it “optional” instead of “preventative.” Instead I shell out $600 bucks a year to make sure I don’t spit out a baby or having crippling periods. They should be paying me to make sure I don’t clog up the welfare system with another kid and that I finish earning my degree so I can some day have a wonderful job that stimulates the economy and cures cancer (or something like that).

Sorry to rant, but it’s pretty annoying. I know insurance companies love people like me who never get sick but keep putting money into the system. I just wish that when I do get sick, they would actually do their freaking job.

Not Cool, California

“California high courts upholds same-sex marriage ban”

California, I am very disappointed in you. You’ve been moved to the list of “Very Uncool States.” Yeah, I’m grouping you with the likes of Alabama and Arkansas now. How does that feel?

Sigh. At least they’re letting all the marriages performed before Prop 8 remian. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to tell someone “Nope, your marriage doesn’t count any more.” Probably only a little worse than “Nope, you’re love doesn’t count enough to get married.”

Grumble grumble.

Atheist Buses Approved in South Bend

After initially being approved and then unapproved, the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign has been approved again to have its ad on buses in South Bend. It completely misses the point of advertising while Obama was in town for Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony, but at least it was approved. One has to wonder if foul play was involved, though…

Because I’m a masochist, I decided to read the comments on the article. Oh boy. You know what, these don’t even need my commentary. Let me show you some of the gems:

“Running scared transpo? Afraid of a law suit? I would let them sue. I would not give these idiots the time of day.”

“I am appalled that we as citizens of a Christian nation are going to allow buses to have ads denouncing God. I am a veteran of a foreign war and I have seen enough crazy things in this world to let me know that there is most definitely a God. The 86% of us in this country need to tell this 14% minority to just be quiet and keep to themselves. Like the ten commandments debate on many courthouse steps; if you don’t believe in God fine, but aren’t the ten commandments a pretty good set of rules to live by anyways?”

“Exactly! This country and its democracy was built from Christian beliefs by Christian forefathers? Our money says, as a Nation “In God We Trust” If they don’t like living in a Christian nation, then move! Don’t use the Chrisian Money from the Christian nation if you’re affraid some good Christian values might rub of on you. Remember God said love your neighbor. Actually the best thing we can do as Christians is to prey for those lost souls. Hopefully before they die, they will be saved.”

“I agree 100% this is a sad statment to the condition of this country. We have gone from “In god we trust” to ” it isn’t wrong if you do not get caught” The Christian Majority need to stand up and say ” this is not right””

“You can be good without God, but you will still go to Hell. Should be what it reads…… Sorry to burst the bubble.”

“Thankfully we all have the right to choose our own religous preferances or none at all. Why atheists want to advertise the fact is beyond me. I don’t see what they have to gain by this. Maybe it’s the old “the devil made me do it” thing. Anyway, they will lose in the “end”, literally.”

“Atheists are stupid beyond belief………how the hell do you think you got here……………………..poof……..I don’t think so. The world is going to hell if you stupid people get ANY rights. God is GREAT”

And this is why we need to be vocal about our nonbelief.

By the way, there’s also a poll to the right of the article asking if you think the ads should be allowed. Yes is failing miserably. I think you all know what you need to do.

(Via Friendly Atheist)