Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Catholic Church needs to be honest about something.

OK, so let's be clear on one thing. The rape of young children is wrong. Male or female, it doesn't matter. Anyone who rapes a child should be force-fed his own genitals, lightly fried on a bed of blanched poison oak leaves. And then kicked in the stomach until they bleed out their ears.

Does that seem unforgiving of me? I'm sorry. Maybe I'm just cranky right now.

So, let's be clear on what's going on right now.

See, we have to take the Wayback Machine back to before Cardinal Joey the Rat was declared to be the Pope; this would be after he was a member of the Hitler Youth, but before he told the people of Africa that condom use would send them to hell, and still wouldn't prevent AIDS, so there, nyaah.

Now, back then, there was this priest named Peter Hullermann.

It seems that a psychiatrist, Dr. Werner Huth, told the Catholic leadership of Germany (which included the current Pope Benny) that this priest needed to be kept away from young boys and alcohol. Father Hullerman liked to get loaded and rape altar boys. And the nascent Pope ignored it. Transferred Father Hullerman to a different diocese. And then another. And another.

In Milwaukee, the Reverend Lawrence C. Murphy was sexually abusing deaf boys for years in his school.
For decades, a group of men who were sexually abused as children by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin reported to every type of official they could think of that he was a danger, according to the victims and church documents.

They told other priests. They told three archbishops of Milwaukee. They told two police departments and the district attorney. They used sign language, written affidavits and graphic gestures to show what exactly Father Murphy had done to them. But their reports fell on the deaf ears of hearing people.

This week, they learned that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, received letters about Father Murphy in 1996 from Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee, who said that the deaf community needed “a healing response from the Church.” The Vatican sat on the case, then equivocated, and when Father Murphy died in 1998, he died a priest.
In Ireland, hundreds of abused boys were hidden by the Catholic Church; at least two have come forward who were forced to sign confidentiality agreements saying that they wouldn't bring charges against the church. This is in the wake of charges against the church in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

Now, the fact that a major gay prostitution ring was being run out of the Vatican might look bad, right? Well, ironically, it was discovered in the same week where the Archdiocese in DC announced that they wouldn't offer health coverage to any spouses of employees, because there might be a chance that they'd have to cover a gay couple.

With all this going on, we get an op-ed from Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Now, Bill is usually good for a laugh now and again, as he rants his spittle-flecked way through whatever minor issue is raising his blood pressure this week. But he's outdone himself here.
Employers from every walk of life, in both the U.S. and Europe, have long handled cases of alleged sex abuse by employees as an internal matter. Rarely have employers called the cops, and none was required to do so.
Now, Bill, here's where you're sticking your foot in it already. There's kind of a big difference between Bobby from Records grabbing Susie's butt, and Father Murphy jamming his cock into the rectum of a ten-year-old boy, isn't there?
Beyond that issue, the focus on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is far out of proportion to the attention given by the media to the sexual molestation of minors when committed by non-Catholic clergymen. According to a report by the New York Times in October, the Brooklyn district attorney's office had filed charges in 26 cases of sexual abuse involving members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Just this month, Rabbi Baruch Lebovits was found guilty on eight counts of sexually abusing a Brooklyn boy. Yet the Times, which has run several stories on the decades-old cases in Ireland and Germany, never reported it. And none of it merits the kind of attention given to priests.
Hell, Bill, the answer is right in the question, isn't it? Rabbi Baruch went to jail, didn't he? (Oh, and it seems that there was, in fact, media coverage of it...)

(And just like clockwork, we have somebody trying to blame Obama with pedophile Catholic priests. Because Obama is responsible for every problem in the world, even the ones that started decade or even centuries before he was born. Which makes just as much sense as trying to blame the "permissive sexual culture that prevailed everywhere, seminaries included, during the silly season of the ’70s" - you know, I lived through the 70s, and I don't recall the rape of young boys being a popular spectator sport.)

Now, let's compare the case of Rabbi Baruch, currently getting gang-raped in the shower somewhere in the New York penal system, against the case of, say, Cardinal Bernard Law, who, after it was shown that he covered up the sexual abuse of altar boys in Boston for years, was promoted to a position in Rome, is currently "responsible for one of the four most important basilicas in Rome," and is hiding out in Vatican City, which doesn't have an extradition treaty with any country.

See, here's the problem, Donahue. You don't allow your priests to have sex. You don't even let them masturbate without it being called a sin. Which leaves you with a group of adult males, with all the hormones God put in them, denying their own sexual identities. That energy has to go somewhere, right?

And meanwhile, the Catholic Church reserves the right to lie (by omission, in this case). Baltimore passed a "truth in advertising" ordinance, which would have required pregnancy counseling services to advise women if they do not refer women to abortion providers or give help with birth control. And the Catholic diocese has sued to get the ordinance overturned, because they don't want to have to tell women those little facts.

Apparently, nebulous concepts like "the truth" aren't actually that important to the average Catholic.


Update (4/1/2010): And because Bill Donohue is basically a dishonest fuck, he's now claiming (and his Catholic League took out an ad in support of this viewpoint) that the problem isn't pedophilia, it's all the fault of those pesky gays! Because most of the victims were 12 or 13, so they were "post-pubescent"!

Here, Donohue. Let me see if I can help you out a little. Here's a handy list of the age of consent for pretty much every state in the US. Please notice that there isn't a single state, not even South Carolina, where it's legal to have sex with a 12-year-old.

Let me just say it now, for the record. Bill Donohue is a worthless bag of pus.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter among the heathens

You know, I usually avoid the World Nut Daily, because it's just a cesspool of everything that could possibly be wrong with religion. But because I took a look at Chuck Norris' column, I was curious about exactly what was going on these days in that rank, steaming corner of the internet.

And it turns out that they're just the gift that keeps on giving, aren't they? They're the all-Birther, all-fundamentalist, all-the-time network, and they don't care who knows how freakishly crazy they actually are.

CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Group) isn't conservative enough for him, so Joseph Farah, the head lunatic in this Internet Arkham Asylum, decided to set up his own convention. ("Taking America Back"? From whom? OK, Joey... we need to explain that whole "democratic process" to you, OK?)

I mean, maybe they should clear up the lawsuits from the first convention before they move on to the next money-making weekend. What'd'ya think?

(Hey, Joe! Maybe you could get Jeff Gannon to speak! I hear he isn't doing much these days...)

But World Nut Daily has these little problems with things like reality, and they really don't seem to care whether they're telling the truth or not, just a long as the story they're trying to tell fits their single-minded agenda.

For example, they have an article titled "Praying in park puts man in jail for 9 days," which is the story of Julian Raven from Elmira, NY, who... well, let's let WND tell you the story.
A Christian who prayed in a public park with six other people is serving a nine-day jail sentence for disorderly conduct even though his case is under appeal and charges against the others were dismissed or overturned...

"According to his wife, police escorted him out of a court hearing … in handcuffs in front of his crying children to begin serving his nine-day jail sentence," the organization said in a report.
But wait! There's more!

After a quick ad trying to sell you survival kits in case you aren't taken to Heaven in the Rapture, they tell you how Raven and three other people were arrested because they prayed in the middle of a Gay Pride gathering! Terrible, isn't it?
Three defendants were removed from the case almost immediately, leaving four to be convicted by Elmira city Judge Thomas Ramich of "disorderly conduct."

But the convictions for three – Gloria Raven, Maurice Kienenberger and Walter Quick – later were overturned in the Chemung County Court.
Funny thing, though. If you try to find this story in the media, some of the details don't quite match up. You know, little things. Stuff that really doesn't matter.

Like, well... you know, the other three people's charges weren't overturned by the court. It seems that they accepted a plea bargain. But our boy Julian? Yeah, he wasn't arrested for praying - he refused to pay a $100 fine. So the police picked him up.

That's the kind of high-quality journalism you find at WND.

But there's more than just twisted versions of the news on this site. Reality hardly ever intrudes into their little world. I mean, you poke around a little bit, and you suddenly discover that, even though WND has been leading the fight for years in the War on Christmas, suddenly, they decide to start their own little War on Easter.

I'm serious. Another guy named Joe (Joe Kovacs, this time) is opposed to Easter. The sight of fluffy bunnies, baby chicks and colored eggs apparently drives him into an incoherent rage (although, technically, many of these people are incoherent most of the time, so Easter just gives Joey a single topic to focus on).
...there's a very dark side to this centuries-old tradition, and it has to do with the famous Ten Commandments of God.
As opposed to the somewhat less well-known "Ten Commnandments of Google."
The very first commandment of the Big Ten is perhaps one of the most overlooked in everyday life.
You can't wear white after Labor Day?
In just eight words, it states: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3)
Well, yeah, eight words if you're using the King James translation. Nineteen words if you use the Lolcat Bible. ("No can has other ceiling cat!! U gotz other Ceiling Cat, I shoot yous wit mah lollazer eyes. Srsly.")
Most Christians, whether knowingly or unknowingly, violate this very first commandment of God each year by placing before God the actual name of a pagan goddess of fertility and the dawn.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, her name is – believe it or not – "Easter."

That's correct, folks. The word Easter is actually the name of an ancient, heathen goddess who represents fertility, springtime and the dawn.

Some of her symbols are flowers, bunnies, eggs, the sun and the moon. Who'da thunk?

...In different languages and through a variety of cultures, the name of this deity – who in reality does not even exist – is spelled different ways, including Ishtar, Astarte, Ostara, Eostre and Eastre.

Even in the Bible itself, many of God's own chosen people actually followed the customs of numerous Easter goddesses, with her name spelled in the King James Bible as "Ashtaroth" and "Ashtoreth."
And see? That's the real beauty of a WND column. This guy isn't just ignorant about his own religion, he's simultaneously ignorant on two entirely unrelated families of religions!

To be specific, Ishtar is Assyrian and Babylonian, which were essentially the same religion, although there are scholars who might argue the details, and Astarte was a northern Semitic deity, cognate but not identical to Ishtar; but then Ôstarâ, Ēostre and Ēastre are three versions of an unrelated diety from the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon tribes (Ôstarâ being Old High German, and the other two being Old English variants - Ēostre being the Northumbrian form, and Ēastre being the West Saxon version).

But since mass transit really wasn't all it could have been back in the Bronze Age, there wasn't a whole bunch of intermingling between the tribes in England and Northern Europe, and the cultures of the Middle East.

I mean, come on, Joey! Just because these particular mythological beings aren't your mythological beings doesn't mean you have to be completely ignorant about them, does it? That's like saying Odin and Zeus were the same god.

And anyway, it's a little late in the game to start complaining that one of your High Holy Days happens to be rooted in pagan tradition, isn't it? That was standard practice in the early Christian church: if the people were going to have a party on a certain date anyway, the local Christian priest just had to give them a good Biblical reason to have the party, to make their new religion a little more palatable to them.

Be real, Joey. If you're going to fuss about Easter originally being a pagan festival, you're going to have to do away with Christmas, too. And this website you publish your drivel on is pretty heavily invested in keeping Christmas as a Christian rite. You might make them a little cranky if you do that.

Ever hear of "Yule"? That's an old Nordic/Germanic festival, equally pagan in origin, that the Christians stole, and started claiming that Jesus was born on that day. And how do we know that Jesus wasn't born on December 25? (Assuming He was born at all, that is?)

Luke 2:8 - "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night."

Israel is north of the equator. So what do we know about December in Israel? It's winter! The shepherds don't take their flocks into the hills on winter nights unless they're trying to kill them. (Not a lot of call for freeze-dried mutton in those days.)

So, if the Bible is to be believed, Jesus was born in the spring or summer. Meaning that the early Christian Church just grabbed the biggest pagan festival they could find, and pasted the biggest Christian festival across the top of it, just to keep the former pagans happy.

So, yeah, feel free to do away with Easter. But be consistent and kill off Christmas while you're at it.

Of course, you can't expect consistency from Joey K, can you? I mean, after all, the man spends 1,200 words bitching about Ēastre and all her variations, and how this heathen goddess has corrupted the good bible-reading Christians, and then right toward the end, he says this.
And here's a Bible newsflash for you. We're not even supposed to be saying the E-word.

Crack open your own Bible and read it for yourself:
"Make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth." (Exodus 23:13)
Uh... yeah, Joey. That's nice. So, what is it you've been ranting about this whole time?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Patriots attack

From Thump and Whip

Tea party protesters scream ‘nigger’ at black congressman

WASHINGTON — Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “nigger” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.

Protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, spat on at least one black lawmaker and confronted an openly gay congressman with taunts.
. . and . .
‘Tea party’ protesters accused of spitting on lawmaker, using slurs

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus said that racial epithets were hurled at them Saturday by angry protesters who had gathered at the Capitol to protest health-care legislation, and one congressman said he was spit upon. The most high-profile openly gay congressman, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), was heckled with anti-gay chants . .

Democratic leaders and their aides said they were outraged by the day’s behavior. “I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus,” said House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking black official in Congress.
Barney Frank: ‘Mass hysteria‘ on Capitol Hill

Tea Party protesters disrupted Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s press stakeout at a House Office Building, yelling “you’re a disgrace to your office” and one protester yelled a gay epithet at Rep. Barney Frank again on Sunday, adding yet another layer of chaos to an already tense afternoon on Capitol Hill . .

Someone in the crowd yelled “faggot” — an epithet overheard by a POLITICO reporter — at Frank, who is gay. A group of Catholics supporting reform sang a chorus of “we love you Barney, oh yes we do.”

“It’s like the Salem witch trials, and healthcare is the witches,” Frank said. “There is mass hysteria.”
Conservative bloggers, to the rescue! Ann Althouse:
The members of Congress have a lot of power, and they ought to have to hear the anger their exercise of that power is causing. It’s outrageous for them to pose as victims without very good cause. So what if some idiot said a bad word? That’s a trivial distraction compared to the power they are about to exercise in the face of such strong opposition to what they are about to do.
So what if they spat on you and called you “n*gger”? Christ, you’re about to provide millions of Americans with healthcare — have you no decency, sir?

Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs:
Big media only deemed fit to cover the people’s revolution to smear, libel and sexually smear them (”tea baggers”).

This campaign of destruction culminated yesterday when a specious charge was made that a protester shouted “ni**er” at the Congressional Black Caucus. Color me skeptical. I am not sure why the Black Congressional Caucus deliberately chose to walk through the crowd as they shouted “kill the bill,” but it sure sounds like a set-up.
Walking through the Tea Partiers? Just what were the Black Congressional Caucus thinking? They know damn well that they’re Black. I smell a rat.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lies, legends, and Irish history

Today is St. Patrick's Day, which is a holiday composed entirely of legends and misreadings of history.

St. Patrick, who was probably born in Wales, the son of a Roman official, was historically a missionary in Ireland in the fifth century; a lot of the stories about him were probably stolen completely from the life of Palladius (sent by Pope Celestine I as the first bishop to Irish Christians in 431 CE or so). Paddy himself was supposed to have lived from about 387 CE until 17 March, 493 CE. Since damned few people lived to be 106 in those days (or these, for that matter), that's probably wrong.

The legend says that our boy Paddy drove the snakes out of Ireland. Since the fossil record is pretty clear that there weren't any snakes in Ireland after the last Ice Age, that legend isn't very likely. He was also supposed to have used the 3-lobed shamrock to teach about the Holy Trinity, but there's no real evidence that he did.

He's said to be buried, along with St. Brigid and St. Columba, at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down (notice a pattern there?). Nobody is has ever been able to prove it, of course.

The "wearin' o' the green" is one of the primary traditions around St. Patrick's Day. Until the 17th Century, the color associated with Paddy was blue, but then politics came into the mix.

The holiday was pretty much restricted to Ireland until the 1600's, when a scholar named Luke Wadding got it inserted into the catholic liturgical calendar. In most of the world, St. Patrick's Day is just an opportunity to get drunk, but since the Roman Catholic church is well-known for sucking the fun out of anything, it's long been a holy day of obligation in Ireland.

(Irish MP James O'Mara got St. Patrick's Day to be an official holiday in Ireland in 1903; later, when the drinking got out of hand, O'Mara got a law closing the pubs on St. Patrick's Day passed. That one was only repealed in the 1970's.)

The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in the world was held in Boston on 18 March 1737, and was primarily a political statement by Irish immigrants, who were upset with their low social status and the fact that nobody would hire an Irishman. (The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Ireland wouldn't be held until 1931.)

George Washington set up what's now known as the St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780, "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence." (So, mostly just to stir up trouble for the British.)

The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York was held in 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army, so that wasn't real popular. The first American celebration in New York was in the Crown and Thistle Tavern, in 1766, and the parades were again held to draw attention to the plight of the Irish immigrant. Over the years, the New York parades have become the largest in the world. (In case you're curious, the shortest traditional St. Patrick's Day Parade is held in Dripsey, in County Cork, Ireland, and runs about 100 yards. From one of the town's two pubs to the other one.)

Then, during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the United Irishmen wore all-green uniforms on March 17th, apparently just to draw attention to themselves.

The "traditional" meal of corned beef and cabbage is an American invention; the actual Irish tradition was to eat bacon and cabbage, but the bacon was too expensive. The Irish immigrants went for the cheaper corned beef made by their Jewish neighbors.

The tradition of puking up green beer is, according to the researches of the son of one bar owner started 75 years ago, in Iowa City, Iowa. (A lot of bartenders hate green beer, by the way. It stains the beer lines, and your beer runs cloudy and slightly khaki for the last few weeks of March.)

So overall, there really isn't a lot of truth to anything about this holiday. Of course, when you're drunk, does it really matter?

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Monday, March 08, 2010


World Nut Daily, in its crusade to provide infotainment to drooling morons everywhere, pays Chuck Norris to pen a column for them. In fact, they think that his insane rantings are so important that they've put a button to link to him on their front page. Admittedly, it's under their latest attempt to revive the "birther" corpse (they love fucking that chicken), but it's above the first ad-disguised-as-a-news-story. This must be big stuff!

So, in honor of his 70th birthday, I'm going to grit my teeth and try to read some of his senile rantings.
Obama's Oscar
OK, sorry, Chuck, but I have to stop you right there. See, what he won was a Grammy, not an Oscar. I mean, I know that they seem like the same award to you since you've never won either of them, but the distinction is important to some people.
Fulton J. Sheen once said, "Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals."

I am no pinnacle of humility,
...and I don't think they give out an Oscar for "Biggest Understatement," either. If they do, though, this one's in the running.
and I've learned my fair share of hard lessons from the camps of conceit.
Is this like those POW camps you pretended to break people out of, despite never having gone to Vietnam?
But I'm not sure the former Chicago politician occupying the White House has ever been schooled with a primer on the perils of pride.
OK, first, "President" is a lot easier to say. And it would be nice if you could get at least one thing right in this column.

Oh, and be careful, or Alton Brown will arrest you for Unlicensed Use of Alliteration.
It's one thing (though still distasteful) to be boastful in a sports or fighting ring...
And you should know.'s quite another in the Oval Office. We were promised change, but it seems to me this White House's smug swagger and strut rivals the great taunts and bluster of Mohammed Ali in his heyday.
Yeah, who can forget Obama circling the bruised and bleeding McCain, shouting "That's right, I said 'Keating 5,' bitch! What you gonna do about it?!?"
In fact, if I were handing out awards, President Obama would win hands down the Oscar for overconfidence and arrogance.
Is that another way to say "uppity"?
Here are a few examples of his Oscar political performances:

Who can forget the State of the Union back in January, when the president utterly disregarded and disrespected our military commanders and the U.S. Supreme Court?
What? What?!? Did you even see the same State of the Union that I did? I mean, yeah, he took the Supremes on about their pig-ignorant, pro-corporate ruling, but... the military commanders? Where?
President Obama rebutted the entire Supreme Court in its presence and before the whole nation, with a premeditated and prepared accusation that the justices "reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections."
Yeah, OK, Chuck. I know you've taken a few kicks to the head, but... Well, here. Check this out. That's a page listing all the US corporations, headquartered in the United States, but owned publicly by Mitsubishi. A Japanese mega-corporation. I'm just curious. Which one of them is prohibited from dropping a couple of million in support of a candidate?

Here's the argument. As Justice Stevens said in his dissent, this ruling "would appear to afford the same protection to multinational corporations controlled by foreigners as to individual Americans."

But... you're OK with that?
I ask you, which is worse: South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's impromptu outburst "You lie" to President Obama during his September 2009 address to Congress or the president's premeditated public innuendo and lie during the State of the Union that the U.S. Supreme Court justices are not protecting American sovereignty but handing over political sway to international powers?
Ooh!! Oooh!!! Me!! Pick me!! Wilson? Because he interrupted someone else's speech? We may become slaves to foreign corporations, but we should at least be polite about it, right?
And did anyone see the mainstream media afterward pressure the president to apologize the way Wilson had to?
Um... again, "interrupted"? The president at least had the floor. That's got to count for something, right?
And what about the faces on the military commanders during the State of the Union?
What? Did he hurt their feelings? Are you saying that they're thin-skinned and can't take a little criticism?

You really don't understand the military, do you? They get cussed out all the time.
Regardless of one's views on gays in the military, the president's smug demeanor...
"Smug"? Is that another synonym for "uppity"? pushing the issue and our military's stoic response prompted me to ask, "Is the State of the Union really the place for a commander in chief to cast in-your-face politics before his leading military personnel, with all America watching?"
Oh. Hang on a second. Let me see if I've got this straight. (So to speak.)

Is this the quote that hurts you so much? "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do."

Is that it? 38 words? Out of almost 7500? All it took to make the Joint Chief's cry was 0.5% of the State of the Union address? Man, our military is a bunch of wimps.
Consider even the recent so-called health-care summit. It might sound simple to some, but I believe it is symptomatic when, away from the teleprompters but still on C-Span, other members of Congress call the president "Mr. President," while he calls them only by their first name..."
Funny, I don't recall you complaining when Dubya called them, not just by first names, but by nicknames like Big George and Freddy Boy...

...oh, right. Obama's a negro. I forgot. Carry on (but we'll skip the paragraph of examples of the Commander-in-Chief taking liberties with the white folks. Shorter Chuck Norris - "Boy, you best not sass back to your betters!")
In addition, to Sen. John McCain's, R-Ariz., genuine concern for ramming a pork-ridden health-care bill through Congress by politics as usual, president Obama replied, "We're not campaigning anymore. The election is over."
Yeah, that was pretty funny, wasn't it?
And after Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., politely opened his remarks by saying, "Mr. President, thank you again very much for having us and for staying with us for the six hours. I appreciate that," the president sarcastically commented about the high stack of pages in front of Rep. Cantor by saying: "Let me just guess – that's the 2,400-page health-care bill. Is that right?"
Man, it really does irk you that he doesn't say "Massa" any more, doesn't it?
Is it just me, or does the president's lofty arrogance bother anyone else, too? Imagine how it would make headline news if anyone in that health-care summit addressed the president as simply: "Well, Barack, let me tell you my opinion..."
My lord, Chuckie. How you go on...
Down here, particularly in the South, we use sir, ma'am, Mr., and Mrs., your honor, etc., and every other fitting and proper title in addressing others. People call it Southern hospitality.

Southern hospitality in action

(You'll excuse me if I skip a little bit here. He keeps going on about the lawfully elected President of the United States neither stepping nor fetching. It seems to bother our boy Chuckie quite a bit.)
I mean, how much pride and arrogance does it take for a president to ramrod a national health-care bill through Congress and down the throats of all Americans...
Why does every GOP tool use that same phrase? "Ram it down our throats"? Is this some kind of Brokeback Mandingo thing?
...despite a majority of Americans have voiced opposition to it...
Actually, Chuckie, you got those numbers backwards - latest polls show a majority support healthcare reform.
...every Republican in the House and Senate opposes it...
Yeah, but that's all they do these days, isn't it? They even vote against bills they co-sponsored.
...and Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak and 11 other Democratic lawmakers vow to kill it?
Remind me to explain "Blue Dog" Democrats to you sometime, Chuckie.
And to those average Americans and others who oppose Obama's far left agenda...
Yeah, yeah. A radical, leftist, socialist, Marxist centrist. Right, Chuckie. Whatever you say.
...rather than respecting their opinion or working with their differences, the president spoke about them before a live audience a few months back and condescendingly declared, "To those who are trying to stand in the way of [my] progress, let me tell you: I'm just getting started! I don't quit. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started! It's important for those folks to know: We're just going to keep on going."
First, let's be honest. What he said was "...stand in the way of progress," not " the way of [my] progress." I mean, he's good, but I'm pretty sure he can't pronounce brackets.

But you're right. He should just fold the first time he gets any pushback. That's what any reasonable person does - principles are just there to give us something to abandon.
And President Obama had the audacity before an audience in France in April 2009 to call America "arrogant"?
It was actually a little more nuanced than that, Chuckie.

"Such an effort is never easy. It's always harder to forge true partnerships and sturdy alliances than to act alone, or to wait for the action of somebody else. It's more difficult to break down walls of division than to simply allow our differences to build and our resentments to fester. So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we've allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there's something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

"But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.

"On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.

"So I've come to Europe this week to renew our partnership, one in which America listens and learns from our friends and allies, but where our friends and allies bear their share of the burden. Together, we must forge common solutions to our common problems."

Funny how much better it sounds in context, isn't it?
The president believes he is above any opposition, and even tried to demonize No. 1 Fox News as an illegitimate news organization because some commentators disagree with him.
Technically, that would be "all commentators," wouldn't it? And really, they didn't "demonize" them, just mentioned that they're the propaganda arm of the Republican Party... which, in a sane world, would be demonization... OK, so one point for you, Chuckie.

Of course, if you're trying to claim that liberals idolize Obama, do you see the humor in you referring to that joke of a network as "No. 1 Fox News"?

No? (Somehow, I really didn't think you would...)

But he goes on for 500 more words. And my little debunking here is already crazy long. So I'm just going to skim through the rest:
Pat Buchanan...
Please, Pat is America's second most famous surviving racist, right after David Duke.
...drinking the political Kool-Aid...

No wonder one acrostic for E.G.O. is "edging God out."
...ummm... yeah, and another is "Eating Goat Ovaries" - is there a point to this, or have you stopped taking the medications that the retirement home gives you?

I mean, dude, you're seventy! And you've spent most of your life risking cerebral trauma. I'm surprised that you can still walk (with or without a colostomy bag), so the fact that you don't make a huge amount of sense is understandable. But do you have to waste so many words to do it?
President Obama described the Constitution as "an imperfect document … a document that reflects some deep flaws … an enormous blind spot … and that the framers had that same blind spot." In so doing, the president places himself above the Constitution and those "blind framers" who just couldn't see the big picture as he does today.
Chuckie, if you're going to repeat talking points, you should probably be aware that cutting and pasting a quote together doesn't make it reality. That's not what he said, and it's getting hard to understand you with your head shoved so far up Glenn Beck's ass.
...Al Capone...Chicago politics...
Come on, Chuck! At least try to write something original! You're just phoning it in at this point. Is it past your bedtime or something?
...he denigrated biblical books like Leviticus and Deuteronomy, ridiculed the issue of inerrancy and the Bible...
Yeah! Now look here, Barack! That's my job!'s a verse that might help you. Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
Here's a chorus that might help you, Chuckie. Gin Blossoms, from Empire Records: "Well, maybe I don't want to take advice from fools..."

I am angry

originally posted on Hoffmania by John Cory
I am angry.

I’m tired of pundits and know-nothing media gasbags. I’m tired of snarky “inside politics” programming. I am sick of the bigotry and hatred of “birthers” and faux patriotic cranks and their GOP puppet masters. And I’m really pissed at the Democratic Party that confuses having a plate of limp noodles with having a spine.

I’m going to vomit if I hear the word “bipartisanship” one more time.

It was “bipartisanship” that gave us this activist conservative Supreme Court. A Supreme Court that says money is free speech and corporations are persons except when real people try to hold them accountable for their greed and poisonous ways.

“Bipartisanship” gave us the Patriot Act and FISA and illegal wiretaps and two wars and “free speech zones” and “no fly” lists. God bless bipartisan America.

I get nauseated every time the Senate explains how it takes a super majority to do anything for the American people. Tell you what Senate Bozos, if it takes 60 votes to pass legislation than it should take 60% of the popular vote to get you elected.

When some Tea Party crank says, “I want my country back,” I respond, “No madam, you want your country backward.”

When a deficit-mongering politician says, “How do we pay for this?” Why not ask, “What did you Republicans do with the surplus we Democrats left you?”

When a compassionate conservative says, “Healthcare reform is socialism,” why not answer, “No, sir it is the moral and American way to care for people.”

Yes, I can hear it now: “You are naïve and simplistic. These are complicated matters and require sophisticated solutions. Democrats are a big tent and strive for balance. But Republicans block our path at every turn. We are thinking and considering new ways to work in harmony with everyone.”

Bite me.

The only thing you get with “harmony” is a Barbershop Quartet.

Democrats stop being Republican Lite. Stop whining about that mean GOP and their nasty messaging. Grow a pair, get a message, get a bumper sticker and hang it out there. Get some strong vivid talking points.

G-O-P = Greed Over People.

Greed Kills – jobs, people and the economy.

Terrorism is Viagra for Republicans: The more fear – the more excited they get.

When a soldier dies for America, who dares ask if they were gay or straight?

Don’t act so shocked, Democratic Party. Have you looked around lately?

You’re losing the young vote that showed up to elect Obama. You’re losing those old enough to remember real Democrats. Why? Because you don’t talk to them anymore than you talk to me. You talk at me. You talk around me. You talk down to me. You talk about me. You don’t talk with me. And you don’t inspire and you don’t champion and without that you are nothing more than an arbitrator of compromise and abdication.

You are facing a bully. Deal with it!

Republicans want the country backwards. They champion superstition over science because it entrenches ignorance and bigotry and captures the easily frightened.

Republicans treat the Constitution the way they treat the Bible, with selective interpretation and selective application to others while exempting themselves from judgment and accountability.

Republicans preach the gospel of fear because fear is darkness and darkness covers their theft of civil liberties and Constitutional principles.

For thirty years the Republican Party has claimed the mantel of law and order but now quake in dread of the American judicial system when putting terrorists on trial. How criminal is that?

Torture is illegal. Period. John Wayne and Jack Bauer were not our Founding Fathers – only in the make-believe world of Republican drugstore-patriots.

DADT needs to be repealed. Now. It is unconscionable, immoral, and disgusting.

Empathy, compassion and equality are not pejoratives. They are American values proven again and again throughout our history.

Republicans believe that bake-sales and cookies for chemotherapy best determine the value of life and healthcare because life is a pre-existing condition and the “free market” should not have to take on such a high risk – after all, no one gets out alive, so why should the corporation be left holding the bag? Unless of course the price is right.

Republicans believe that government should keep its hands off healthcare but should put its hands inside a woman’s body.

Republicans believe in small government – small enough to hold the “right” people and small enough to be owned and operated by the “right” people. And who are the “right” people? Them. Not you.

Democratic Party, DNC, DLCC, DSCC or whatever your acronym – I have only one question for you: Really?

You can’t win against these guys? You can’t get your message out against these guys? You can’t give America leadership against these guys?


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Poor little Eric

So, OK. I should probably apologize to anyone new to this blog. I've got a stalker. Mostly I try to ignore him, but recently, I got stupid and let his unfocused ignorance infect me. On the advice of somebody who had no way of knowing better, I went back and let the chubby guy with the tiny penis and tinier brain irritate me.

I shouldn't have. I'm better than he is (oh my god, in so many ways). But I did. So for anyone who doesn't know the story. let me catch you up.

See, I accepted a challenge to debate various topics from a guy calling himself Eman. (Apparently, "Eric" is too much work for some people, so they have to exchange it for another, easier-to-spell two-syllable word...).

Unlike me, he seems to believe that he is a "good Christian" - I haven't seen much evidence of that, though, other than him inserting Jesus in every other post.

I started asking questions that his talking points couldn't handle and made hamburger out of his golden calf. He got cranky and started blocking me.

I backslid a couple of times; I mean, the guy is such an easy target. Once I went and looked at his ramblings, and once when he started threatening Diogenes.

And then there was the foolishness from two weeks ago. I mean, yeah, I offered to kick his ass (an offer which still stands, by the way). He won't do anything about it, though - bullies never do. Despite his "righteous wrath" and threats of violence when Diogenes wrote exactly the same thing I did, he's going to stay hiding behind Mommy's skirts.

(All the links are there. Feel free to click through and decide things for yourself.)

Now, I checked back in there, and he was trying to give relationship advice. So I asked if he had confessed to his wife his obsession for me.

This seemed to make him cranky. He lashed out, saying, among other things
You will not allow for opposing views, which is why your readership is made up of 6 people, four of which visit once a month...
You’re a fagot. Nuff said.
You’re an asshole, as stated by YOUR OWN SON!!!! A statement he has never denied, since the only one he defends is his mother when he comes here. At least he seems wise enough to stay clear of your crap cake.
...foreskin-face is a snake.
...Bill, you have sucked a few to many dicks that were first up your butt, causing a severe case of butt brain, not to mention bad breath. Take your rotting stinking self back to the sewer, or the closest public bathroom, and tap some ones foot.
So I pointed out 3 things.

1. I'm not the one fixated on my visitor count. That's called "projection," Eric (was Pride the fourth or fifth Deadly Sin? You know, like in "in his pride the wicked do not seek Him. In his thoughts there is no room for God." [Psalm 10:4])

2. My son and I have a very good relationship. I harass him, he does the same to me. (Eric can't understand this, because his barbaric Bronze-Age deity would demand the death of Eric's son for that - Leviticus 20:9)

3. And I gave my final answer in the form of three Bible verses.
I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37)

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be this way. (James 3:9-10)

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (Matthew 12:34-36)
So there we are. A coward, a liar, and a hypocrite.

He couldn't take it. He pulled down that remark, and I'm "banned" again. You don't know how sad that makes me.

And, you know, Eric, I don't ban opposing viewpoints. Just yours. Know why? Because I usually avoid feeding your obsession. And no matter how you shriek that you aren't obsessed, Google doesn't lie. (Here's a hint. Each of those last three words has a link on it - I forget that you're unlikely to figure these things out on your own.)

Sorry, Eric, I'm just not that into you.

You lost the moral high-ground when you were caught frantically typing one-handed as you spun some fevered, pornographic fantasy, and then replaced your own image with me and my wife.
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)
There's a simple cure. If you don't like the things I say, you don't need to keep coming back.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For "Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it." (1 Peter 3:9-11)
And guess what? Leave me out of your rants, diatribes, and weird sexual fantasies, and you won't have to put up with me.

I don't "seek your counsel," because I don't see how you can live with yourself for all the stupidity and hypocrisy you show. Although, to be fair, you are Assembly of God, and Pentecostals, with your superstitious acceptance of "speaking in tongues," are just as likely to mistake Tourette's for prophesy.

So run along now. Shoo. Go away. And I'll go back to ignoring you.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Conservative Christianity is a myth

There are a lot of people in America attempting to claim that they believe in two philosophies simulaneously. Now normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but since the two philosophies are in complete opposition to each other, it seems a little bit hypocritical to try and embrace both at the same time.

These two philosophies are Republicanism and Christianity.

You wouldn't think that these two viewpoints would be completely at odds - after all, religions tend to be conservative by their nature - but if you really look into things, you'll see that Christianity is fairly incompatible with the current version of the Republican Party. Conservative Christians are the moral equivalent of Peta Members For Animal Testing, or maybe Gun Runners For Peace. Pro-Life Abortionists. It's a self-defeating philosophical stance.

Now I've explained at great length how the Bible doesn't oppose homosexuality, and how you have to twist yourself into theosophical knots in order to get the Bible to oppose abortion. So, rather than going over that ground again, let's look at some other issues that are key to the Republican way of life.

You can make the argument that the Republican Party currently only has two political goals.

1. Oppose anything that this uppity president supports.
2. Prevent Congress from doing anything.

And, while that may be a valid argument, there are issues that the average right-wing tool will have talking points that are loaded and ready to fire.

Now, I covered some of this before. Let's look at the current fascination with immigration. Apparently, if you listen to the teabaggers and their ilk, particularly if the odious Tom Tancredo is in the neighborhood, not only are the Mexicans going to come in and steal all of our high-paying jobs, but they're going to hold the door open so that the islamofascists can get in, too.

Which means that they never read Exodus 22:21: "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Or the New Testament. From Hebrews 13:2: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Or Matthew 25:44-45:
Then shall they also answer him, saying, "Lord, when saw we thee anhungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?"

Then shall he answer them, saying, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
You can also read that one when you're talking about Social Security, welfare, the national healthcare debate, or any of a number of hot-button topics for the Republicans. In fact, on that same subject, let's consider James 2:14-18 (just so it's more clear, let's use the NIV translation this time).
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
The teabaggers like to claim that they oppose taxes in general, and the increased taxes that they foresee Obama levying on them in specific. (Of course, they stick their fingers in their ears and squeeze their eyes shut if you point out that Obama passed what is arguably the biggest tax cut in history).

But what did the Bible say about paying your taxes? That's covered in Luke 20:24-25.
Sh(o)w me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's.

And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
The environment? At the same time that God gave Adam and Eve "dominion over… every living thing that moveth upon the earth," He told them to "replenish the Earth." (Genesis 1:28). In Leviticus 25:23, God says "The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with me." Sojourner is usually translated as "tenant," by the way. So do you think God's going to renew your lease?

Please, try to explain how you can claim to follow a guy who was crucified, and still support capital punishment or the torture of prisoners? Basically, it looks to me like the only Bible that the average Republican will follow was written by Anton LaVey.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Bible. Outside and In

Let's consider the Bible itself. Now, this is, according to many Christians, the inerrant Word, "breathed out by God" (2 Timothy 3:16). There is no wrongness in it; it is absolutely correct, flawless in its form, infallible


Now, some Christians (the Latter Day Saints, for instance) think that the Bible is only inerrant in its original form, which is a convenient excuse. Like Joseph Smith's golden tablets, the original documents don't exist any more. We have fragments of various versions of the Bible, from the Dead Sea Scrolls which date back to between 150 and 70 BCE, various fragments of the Septuagint back to 200 BCE, but the first complete copy is from the 4th century BCE.

Translation errors make up the most obvious problem with any claim that the Bible is completely correct. The Old Testament was originally in Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic, while the New Testament was probably written in Koine Greek, the language of the earliest manuscripts, even though some authors included translations from Hebrew and Aramaic texts. Some scholars think that some books of the Greek New Testament, like the Gospel of Matthew, are actually translations of a Hebrew or Aramaic original.

And then you get into deep archeo-linguistic struggles, and have people talking about George Lamsa's translation of the Peshitta New Testament, the Old Syriac Texts, the Sinai Palimpest, the Curetonian Gospels, the Diatessaron harmonies, and enough other multisyllabic nonsense to make your stigmata bleed.

And different sects of Christianity may use entirely different books. Do you accept the Septuagint translation, or do you go with the more common Masoretic text? Assuming that you're going with the Masoretic text, do you ignore the Apocryphal or deuterocanonical books?

Depending on what type of Christian you are, you may or may not use Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and Greek additions to Esther and Daniel. The Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, for instance, also recognize 3 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, the Prayer of Manasseh and include Psalm 151 (where the rest of Christendom cuts off at Psalm 150).

You get into the Eastern, Syriac or Ethiopian Orthodox Churches, and you run into books like 2 Esdras and Odes, The Apocalypse of Baruch, the Letter of Baruch, Jubilees and Enoch.

The Anglican Church, established by Henry VIII because he was tired of his wife, uses some of the Apocrypha, but doesn't think they're doctrine. (I'm not sure what that makes them, really...) So the Anglican Bible includes the Deuterocanonical books accepted by the Catholic church, plus 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh (which, if you really care, were in the Vulgate appendix).

There's also 4 Maccabees, which is only accepted as part of the Bible if you're a member of the Georgian Church; of course, it was included by St. Jerome in, once again, the Vulgate appendix (and in an appendix to the Greek Orthodox Bible). Are you arguing with Saint Jerome?

But then we have the New Testament. Most Christian sects accept pretty much the same 27 books, but there's little issues. Revelations, for example, is both accepted and disputed, depending on who you ask. (Which makes sense to me: it reads like it was written by some hippie dropping acid in the desert.)

And the New Testament has its own apocrypha. Ever heard of the Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement or the Acts of Paul? And some people, like the Armenian Apostolic church, occasionally include the Third Epistle to the Corinthians, but don't always list it with the other 27 books of the Bible. For that matter, they also didn't accept Revelations into their version of the Bible until about 800 years ago.

And this completely ignores the various "infancy gospels," the Jewish Christian gospels (the Gospels of the Hebrews, of the Nazarenes, or the Ebionites, for example), the Gospel of Thomas, the Passion Gospels, or any of the Gnostic texts. (What? You don't know about them? Where have you been?)

But OK. Enough of the structure of the Bible. Let's look inside it.

Remember the Virgin Mary? Yeah, depending on which translation you start from, the word may not be "virgin." Jews have been trying to tell Christians for centuries that the word almah just means "young girl," but does anybody listen to the people who actually speak the language?

Then you have Matthew 2:23:
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
As the Israeli's will cheerfully point out, Nazareth only dates back to the 4th century CE - you know, 400 years after Christ was supposed to have been born there?

Only one archeologist, Yardena Alexandre, claims that she's found ruins dating back to Jesus' times in Nazareth. Of course, the rest of the Israeli Antiquities Authority disagrees with her, so who are you going to believe?

There are plenty of errors in the Bible. It contradicts itself frequently. For example, look at 1 Timothy 1:4 (which starts "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies..."), and Titus 3:9 ("But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies...").

Now go read Matthew, chapter 1; it's the genealogy of Jesus. Of course, Luke 3:23-31 is also the genealogy of Jesus. But interestingly enough, Matthew says it takes 29 generations to get from David to Jesus, while Luke says it takes 43 generations. And except for David and Jesus, the two lists only share three names, and those three aren't even in the same order.

In fact, the inerrant Word of God can't seem to get even simple math straight. 1 Kings 7:23 says
And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
If that's the answer that God came up with, then He'd better show His work. Because He just made pi equal to three, and God has just flunked geometry.

But that's OK. God flunked zoology, too. According to Leviticus 11, the bat is a bird; of course, it also says that there are four-legged birds ("All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you") and four-legged insects ("Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you").

There's fascinating medical advice in there, too. Were you aware that leprosy was curable? It's in Leviticus 14. Here's how it works: take two birds. Kill one, and dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Now find a lamb and kill it; wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the poor bastard seven times with oil; wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Again, you have to kill one of them and dip the live bird in the dead bird's blood. Wipe some blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood seven more times.

But don't let that guy from PETA light a match anywhere near you. You've dribbled oil all over everything, remember?

So there you go. The inerrant Word of God. Everything in it is correct.

Unless it isn't.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Again, God doesn't care about abortions. Live with it.

You know, it was about a year ago last month that I pointed this out.

If you ask the standard pro-lifer "does the Bible oppose abortion?" their first answer will be "Of course it does! All life is sacred!" It's when you try to pin them down regarding where, exactly, the Bible says this that they start to get squirrelly. For all of the people who are willing to tell me that I'm "twisting Scripture" and taking things out of context for saying that homosexuality isn't opposed by the Bible, the only way to say that the Bible opposes abortion is to read things into the verses that aren't actually there.

You find arguments like "Psalm 78:5-6 reveals God's concern over "the children yet to be born." Yeah, that's a steaming pile. What it actually says is:
He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Yeah, so the fathers are going to teach the baby while it's still in the womb? Or is that just saying that each generation will teach the next? Poetic license is not equal to proof.

Or the anti-abortion people will feed you unsupported arguments like "Well, the Bible says 'thou shalt not kill.' And so abortion is murder, right?" But that doesn't answer when a fetus is considered a human being. For example, all throughout the Bible, "life" is equated with "breath." In Genesis 2:7, it says "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." So you could take that to read that life begins when the baby takes its first breath.

Alternatively, in Leviticus 27:6, the Lord tells Moses how much people are worth, to establish the tithe, and children aren't worth anything until they're a month old (anything younger apparently has no value). In the same way, the Lord told Moses to count the "Levites" (Jews) in Numbers 3:15, but not to count anybody less than a month old. So perhaps the baby isn't even human until then.

Another common argument is to use more poetic license from the Bible to show that God sees us as individuals even before we are born. For example, Jeremiah 1:5 (Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart), or Psalm 139:13-16:
or you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
So, we'll ignore the fact that in Jeremiah, we have a guy claiming to be a prophet pumping up his own importance. Let's just consider the statement in there: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." Doesn't that imply that God sees every person as important before conception? Which not only leads us back to the Catholic opposition to birth control, but, taken to its logical conclusion, any woman who miscarries should be charged at least with manslaughter, if not murder.

Same argument, folks. Let's not fool ourselves. So let's consider what the Bible actually says, as opposed to what people want to read into it.

Let's go to Numbers 5:19.
And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse.
First, that's another use of shakab-as-rape: "...If no man have shakab with thee," which is then contrasted with her willingly having sex with a man other than her husband. If it is suspected that a woman has been raped or had an adulterous affair, she will be forced to drink the "bitter water" (made from holy water and some dust swept from the church floor), which would cause her to have an abortion "to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot."

Or in Ecclesiastes 6:3-5, where Solomon is making the point that it is better to end a pregnancy early than to allow him to be born and live a miserable life:
If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he. For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.
So apparently, the "holiness of the womb" isn't quite as important as some conservative Christians would like you to believe. In fact, it wasn't even a serious crime to cause an abortion.
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.(Exodus 21:22-25)
It states right there that abortion is a civil matter - you only pay a fine. It's the other damage, to the mother (not, you'll notice, the fetus), that can get the abuser punished.

In Genesis 38:24, there's a pregnant woman convicted of prostitution. Though the leaders of Israel knew the woman was carrying a fetus, they still decided to burn her. Why does the fetus have to die for the mother's crimes?

And all through the Bible, it repeats that it's better to be aborted, to die before you're born, than to live a crappy life. That sounds kind of... well, pro-choice to me. Or at least a "quality of life" argument.
Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, "A man child is born unto thee," making him very glad. And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame? (Jeremiah 20:14-18)

Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. (Job 3:16-19)

If a man begets a hundred children, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but he does not enjoy life's good things, and also has no burial, I say that an untimely birth is better off than he. For it comes into vanity and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he. (Ecclesiastes 6:3-5)
OK, they were sad, so they're allowed to wish to have been aborted? Not just "never have been born," the wording is pretty clear there. "because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave"

And apparently, abortion is quite all right if it's performed on somebody you don't like, during wartime, or on someone who disagrees with your religion.
At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women. 2 Kings 15:16

Give them, O LORD—
what will you give them?
Give them wombs that miscarry
and breasts that are dry.
(Hosea 9:14)

The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open
(Hosea 13:16)
So basically, if you actually read the Bible, you'll find that it really isn't opposed to abortion after all. In fact, it's easier to make the case that the Bible supports pornography than it is to say that it opposes abortion.

No, really. It is. As evidence, I submit the following:
How beautiful your sandaled feet,
O prince's daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
the work of a craftsman's hands.
Your navel is a rounded goblet
that never lacks blended wine.
Your waist is a mound of wheat
encircled by lilies.
Your breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
(Song of Solomon 7:1-3)

Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit.
I said, "I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit."
May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine.
(Song of Solomon 7:1-3)
And even more than that, my favorite Bible verse:
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. (Ezekial 23:20)
Perhaps, rather than twisting passages from the Bible, the rabid anti-abortion activist should remember one or two. Like, perhaps, Matthew 7:1-2: Judge not, lest ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And, once again, my favorite verse from the Gospel of Matthew. "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9).