April 30, 2013

Animal-rights nuts

Listen, I love animals. I wouldn't do anything to hurt any type of animal and I feed every creature that lives within 200 feet of my house. I'm even kind to insects, never killing them if I can avoid it.

But animal rights activists who burst into medical or scientific facilities to "free" the animals are bonkers. Scientists are doing experiments on those animals. And you're going to let them loose without even knowing what's in their systems?

PZ brought this up today, which is what prompted this post. But he didn't say the main thing that needed to be said:

Haven't these people seen "28 Days Later"? Do they really want to unleash an incurable virus on the public?

No, of course they don't. They're just nitwits who don't think anything through. Activists, my ass.

So let's see. What's new in Fukushima?

This must be the greatest nightmare imaginable. Click the link and look at the photo of endless, giant water tanks filled to the brim with radioactive water in Fukushima.

They need to keep pumping water over the nuclear material, which makes the water so contaminated that they can't release it. So it just builds and builds and...

They can't let it drain into the ocean. Really, there's nowhere sensible to put it, nowhere at all. And all the while, they can hardly keep up with the flow.

This won't end well. (Not that it began well.)

It must be Spring

It's finally warm in New York. Jeez, it was a long, cold beginning to Spring this year. But it seems like the good times have finally arrived.

Mind you, I like winter a lot. And I'm going to miss the comfort of getting out of the cold. There's something so cozy about that.

But dog made Spring so that baseball could be played. I agree with the sentiment. Baseball is worth getting hot over. (Now, if only the games were going my way, but that's another story.)

BTW, I found a route to walk where I meet no one. It's like whistling past a graveyard. Hooray!

Has Spring reached your area of the world?

Bruni on Collins

Frank Bruni has a good column about Collins coming out. Here's just a bit:
If you read all of Collins’s article, and you should, you’ll come away realizing that the gay part of him was and is so big only because his world — by which I mean America, and by which I mean pro sports — made it so. 
Note: I added the link to Collins' article at Sports Illustrated. It wasn't in the original.

I think I like this trend. Plus, it's fun to wonder who will be the next athlete to step out of that fusty old closet.

April 29, 2013

Conflicting messages on gay players and pro sports

So on the same day that an NBA player comes out, and the NFL distributes a flyer to players, reiterating its "anti-discrimination policy on sexual orientation", it seems Kris Kluwe might lose his NFL job.

He's the very outspoken punter who always stands up for gay rights, like a lion protecting its young. I love the guy because he's wildly intelligent and writes in a wonderful, slashing way. This guy can tear you into ribbons if he wants to. And if you're anti-gay, he wants to. He really, really wants to.

Seriously, on the same day all this happens, they're going to can a guy for his support for gay rights? Here's an outtake from an article about it:
“It’s a shame that in a league with players given multiple second chances after arrests, including felony arrests, that speaking out on human rights has a chance of getting you cut,” Kluwe reportedly told Pro Football Talk via a text message.
You see why I like him. He's never at a loss for words. Let's hope the aura of a good day for gay people in sports will prevail, and Kluwe will keep his job. I think of him as the Dan Choi of the NFL. We have to protect our allies. It's not like we've got a ton of them in pro sports.
“It’s a shame that in a league with players given multiple second chances after arrests, including felony arrests, that speaking out on human rights has a chance of getting you cut,” Kluwe reportedly told Pro Football Talk via a text message.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/04/chris-kluwe-reportedly-blames-social-activism-for-vikings-drafting-of-potential-replacemen

It begins

So NBA center Jason Collins came out as gay -- on the cover of Sports Illustrated, no less. I love the quotes in this article. He's seems like a terrific representative for gay people.

And where I've made fun of "brave" people like Hillary Clinton for coming out for gay marriage only after it's perfectly safe to do so, this guy is out there all alone. He is the first active, professional player to come out. Very cool. And truly brave.

The language of baseball

"His stuff is taking it to a whole ‘nother level!" So said a baseball announcer during a game. I love the way they talk about "stuff". Makes me laugh.

I also heard an announcer say, "He pulled the lampshade down on that one!" As in, "the show is over"? This was said of a pitcher striking a guy out. I don't understand the reference. All I can think of is drunk guys with lampshades on their heads. Any suggestions?

"And just like that, the inning is over." I love this all-purpose expression. You hear it in every other game. "And just like that, the score is 10-1!" It seems to key on the quickness of a change. "And just like that, the game is over," for instance, would seem to suggest a quick final inning.

Guy gets a hit. "He's makin' a statement out there!" Uh, no. He merely got a hit.

As always, I love the things Hawk Harrelson says. He's one of the regular White Sox announcers. In a game the other day, he said, "He's 4-5. And there's not a duck snort involved in there. They have all been hit right on the sweetmeat." I love the guy. He always sounds like he just emerged from a time machine. Very old school. (Aside: Siri knew exactly what I meant when I dictated what Hawk said. You'd think dictation would have a problem with "sweetmeat", but no. Siri knows everything about sports, including how to spell Hawk Harrelson.)

Okay, this one's not about language. I just want to say how nice it is to see Ryan Dempster sitting and spitting on the Red Sox bench. He looks very happy.

April 28, 2013

Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No

I post this each year during baseball season. If the blog can be said to have a tradition, this is it. True story.

It's Sunday!

Ah, Sunday, the day we don't go to church. Oh, wait a minute...we never go to church. Hooray for us! Jeebus, are we lucky or what?

If there really was a god (don't worry; there isn't) I'm sure he'd want us to have a lazy, fabulous Sunday where we did nothing but have fun. After all, surely god would be pleased if we managed to experience one peaceful day in this world that he designed with blood, pain, disease, suffering and death.

So go have some fun. And try to talk people out of their belief in god, if the opportunity comes your way.

Life is so good without god!

April 27, 2013

Now they're all talking about it

As soon as I wrote about the Vatican hating gay men much more than lesbians, the world began to talk about this very subject. (And no, of course I don't think I had anything to do with it. Wingnuts think like that, not liberals.) Though they don't mention the Vatican, the idea being put forward in these articles is that gay men face discrimination more often than lesbians. This is true. Ask any gay man or lesbian and they'll confirm it.

The question is "why". I don't think it's mysterious. It's because straight men (and a huge number of women) think having a penis and being "manly" is what life is all about. Women are hangers-on, according to these folks. They're just not important when compared with the ever-popular, let's-all-sing-songs-about-him straight man, the creature to whom god gifted the universe.

Hatred enters the equation because a gay man, particularly an effeminate gay man, is seen as throwing away this "god-given gift" of straight manhood. How dare they?!

Of course, being gay isn't a choice any more than heterosexuality is. It's just the way you were born. But it's also true that a gay man who is comfortable with his sexuality doesn't care about being a straight man. It's not appealing in any way. Again, how dare they not want to be straight?!

The bad reactions are all about male privilege and a misunderstanding of sexual orientation -- that it's a choice rather than a fact. Straight men believe they are the only important creatures on this planet -- and deserving of respect simply for being straight men. To think that any males throw this gift away causes a testosterone rage to explode in their heads. "He doesn't want to be like me?! How dare this gay guy insult me like that?" Sigh.

So that's why gay men suffer discrimination: because our gayness is seen as purposely pissing raining on the fabulous, straight male parade. Oy.

I'm reading Xmas Carol

It's strange to read your own book. After agonizing over every word during the editing process, I'm now sailing through the chapters of "Xmas Carol" as a reader. Doing this feels quite odd. Here are my impressions so far.

It was a strain for me to provide a "backstory" for the characters. I'm fine when the story's moving along, when I'm writing a scene with action and dialogue and I'm pushing the plot forward. Something's moving in those scenes; the words seem natural and alive. But telling the backstory for a character is more of a recitation: this happened and that happened.

As a writer, I don't like doing this. I have to become the omniscient overseer, the one who knows all, to reveal a character's history. This rubs me the wrong way. So I find the initial chapter a bit stilted. I was executing a requirement of storytelling rather than telling a story.

But as soon as the story gets going -- which happens late in the first chapter -- the tale flows. I'm pleased with the dialogue, descriptions and movement. They seem natural and free -- and much more graceful than the backstory segments that precede them.

I wish there was no need to reveal a character's history. In my earliest drafts, I tried to skip this. But readers told me they wanted to know why a character did a certain thing, which meant they wanted to know more about the character's history. Grudgingly, I supplied this information. I'm not sure how, but in my next book I will deal with this in a different way.

Anyway, this is all beside the point. The book works and I'm enjoying it. Once things get going, the story has a life of its own. It seems fresh and suspenseful. I'm quite pleased.

April 26, 2013

It's about time

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court has instructed police to stop detaining women for performing religious rituals that ultra-Orthodox Jews say are reserved for men. 
Why are religious men -- no matter the religion -- consistently appalling? Why must they attack women all the goddamn time? Why is that? Unfortunately, the article ends with this:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently gave preliminary support to a compromise plan to create a new section for mixed-gender prayers. 
I'm sorry but that won't do. There are no special places in this world where only men can talk to imaginary beings. That can be done anywhere. These guys must think that god adores penises. And why would that be, I wonder? Didn't their imaginary overlord create everyone, including women?

Twits. And remember, this attitude spans most religions. Muslims hate women. Fundamentalists hate women. The Vatican hates women. And Orthodox Jews hate women.

I guess the "truth" is that god hates women. There's no other moral that can be gleaned from these attitudes. What a weird imaginary creature god must be. Personally, I like Santa Claus much, much better. At least he's not a bigot.

Why does the Vatican hate gay people?

So the new pope is going to be as bad about gay issues as the last pope. You have to ask yourself why. Why is the Vatican pathologically focused on gays? And by "gays", I mean gay men. You know in your heart that it's the men they hate. For the Vatican, women are always a side issue, and a very unimportant one.

So what's their problem? I think about this at times. One possibility that springs to mind is that they feel obliged to fight gay marriage because of their fears for the priesthood. Perhaps they've come to understand that priests will continue to rape children unless they allow them to marry -- women, of course. So they see this in their future.

Imagine that the Vatican says, "Okay, priestly fellows. You can marry now." And at the very same time, gay marriage becomes normalized in society, worldwide. You don't have to imagine this last bit. It's happening right now.

Perhaps the Vatican is worried that this will lead to two priests marrying. And then two more, and two more, until most of the Catholic priesthood is composed of men who are married to other men. "What then?!!!" the Vatican shrieks. Horrors!

Okay, so maybe that's not the reason. But do you doubt they consider such things in that horrid building in Rome? The specter of gay married priests probably haunts their dreams. If so, it would add to the vehemence of their attacks on anything gay.

Then again, maybe not. Why do you think the Vatican considers fighting gay marriage to be more important than, you know, saving souls? 

April 25, 2013

News regarding Syria

I was going to write a post about the notion that Syria has used chemical weapons. But John Aravosis said it for me.. He's spot-on.

Just try to get a cup of coffee in rehab

In my fabulously glamorous life, I've gone to rehab about five or six times. Thankfully, I've been sober for a long time now but it wasn't easy getting here. Not easy at all. Anyway, this isn't that story. It's the one about the stupid rules in rehabs.

You go to rehab at the worst point in your life. You're shattered. You can't imagine giving up alcohol/coke/speed or whatever it is you're addicted to. In fact, you can't imagine anything. You're in shock.

Given the nature of your malady, you can't sleep. You used drugs to knock yourself out for so long that you've forgotten how to sleep without them. So you lie awake all night in bed, feeling terrible about your life. And then it's morning and after a quick breakfast without coffee, they haul you off to meetings and make you do embarrassing things in front of other people until late in the evening. And that was just day one.

Through all the miserable days you spend in rehab, they won't give you a goddamn cup of coffee. Why? Because some twit once freaked out after having a cup long ago in a distant rehab-galaxy far, far away. And because of that one unbalanced nitwit, the rules were changed for all of us. Coffee is a no-no in rehab.

You've got to be kidding. You won't let us enjoy this simple pleasure that would also wake us up so we could, you know, listen to and understand what you're saying in these endless meetings? No, you'd rather we nod out in our chairs all day and miss the meetings entirely. Because that's desirable, or something.

This goes on and on. Everyone wants a cup of coffee. And of course, we do get our coffee. In one rehab, a group of us broke out during the night and went to a deli and brought back several bottles of instant coffee. Suddenly we could participate in the day meetings. We were awake. Hooray!

In another rehab, they occasionally took us on walks and let us go into a convenience store for just a moment. Knowing this, we wore baggy sweatpants so we could stick jars of instant coffee down the legs. We couldn't pay for them because they checked your bags when you came out of the store. So we had to steal the damn coffee.

And of course, you have to hide it when you get back to the site. As the tallest person, it usually fell to me to lift a ceiling tile in my room and hide the felonious coffee up there. In the morning, everyone would come to my room with an empty cup, into which I would pour the magic crystals. It was like dealing drugs.

Hey, rehab operators. We give up a lot when we enter your chambers of horror. Don't make us give up coffee, too. If some twit has a cup and freaks out, just toss the asshole in the psych ward and let us make a fresh pot. We're junkies and drunks; we can handle a goddamn cup of coffee. Plus, duh, don't you want us to be awake? Isn't there something you'd like to, you know, tell us?

Serve coffee in rehab!

Hard water blues

While I wait for the news cycle to finish regurgitating tales of terrorism and return to normal stories -- like a rundown of all the terrible things the pope is doing -- I must turn to domestic topics for blog fodder.

Living in the middle of nowhere in upstate NY, I have hard water. This is a problem I never had to face when I lived in Manhattan. Hard water? What's that?

It causes all sorts of problems, like killing your hot water heater if you don't change the water regularly, and making it difficult to use bleach in your laundry. (Clothes turn brown.) But that's nothing.

The big problem is that the water has to be "treated" on a regular basis. A "water treatment" guy comes to the house and puts magic potions and powders into the water system to drive the hardness away. And voila -- your life is ruined.

For weeks after one of these treatments, the water feels slimy. You don't notice it when you're washing dishes. Nor does it taste funny. But when you get in the shower, the water is undeniably slimy. In fact, it's so slimy that you can't tell when you've washed the soap off. No matter how many times you rinse, it still feels like you have a layer of soap all over your body. There is no way to counter this. You step out of the shower feeling as if you're covered in soap.

I don't like hard water. I don't like it at all. And would someone please tell the news guys that we're officially tired of all the terrorism stories? It's time to move on.

April 24, 2013

Literature & Latte has a new note-taking program

Literature & Latte is the company that produces Scrivener, the program I use to write fiction. It's the best writing software in the world, as I've mentioned here before.

They just put out a new program, a simple app for note-taking. It's called Scapple and there's a rundown of it here. It's only $15 and it's a Mac-only app. Sorry, PC users. Mac folks can download a free trial here. Lasts for 30 days.

I bought it the second it came out. It's really just a big piece of "paper" on which you can double-click to create a note. You can move the notes around all you want. And if you want to connect notes, you just drop them on each other and a line connects them. It's no great shakes, just a simple tool. I think I'll use it, though I'm not sure. I'll let you know in a later post.

And no, I'm not the Keith who makes this software. He's a great guy, though. Responds to every email.

To be clear

If I'm blogging, I'm not writing my next novel. So when you come here and see a ton of new posts, you should say "Oh, the poor guy. He's still not writing."

And when you come here and find nothing new, you should say "Hooray! Keith's writing again. I'm so happy for him!"

I just wanted to sort that out for you. Carry on.

Fish use gestures to help catch prey

This one is new to me and it seems almost unbelievable. Apparently, there are three types of fish that work together to catch prey. Ah, but it's even stranger than that.
The roving coralgrouper, a predator fish of the tropical reef, uses sign language to advise fellow hunters of hiding prey.
The coralgrouper works with the giant moray eel and the Napoleon wrasse to capture prey. Apparently, the coralgrouper is the instigator. Here's how it works:
The grouper has "burst speed" to capture prey in open water, while the eel can slide into crevices where small fish lurk and the wrasse has powerful extendable jaws that can suck out prey from a hole or smash the reef around it.

The grouper has two signals it uses in these hunts, according to the paper.

The first is a "high frequency shimmy," or a kind of body shake, that it performs in front of the moray as a general invitation to join it in a chase.

The second is specific, or "referential."

It is a headstand, which the grouper performs vertically and head-down, indicating to the moray or the wrasse where a prey is hiding or where it was last seen.
I would not have thought this possible yet this study confirms the behavior. It's amazing. Once again, we learn that non-human creatures engage in complex behavior. I say it all the time: the difference between us and other creatures is a matter of degree, not a grand change in categories. We are not the only intelligent creatures on this planet. We're just smarter than the other creatures. (At least, that's the working supposition.)

April 23, 2013

Openly gay kicker for the NFL?

It could happen.

As a gay guy who worked out for most of his life, I can tell you that many straight guys have no problem sharing a locker room with gay guys. I worked out regularly with a straight NYC cop at my gym and we would shower together afterward. No problema.

It's time for the NFL (and MLB) to include openly gay players.

I love this story

It's just so sweet. G'wan, read it. It'll cheer you up.

World chimes in on Boy Scouts

It's nice to see all the articles bashing the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) for its new schizophrenic policy that says gay scouts are fine but gay leaders are representatives of Satan. These articles are popping up all over. Here's an excerpt from an article at CNN:
"They're teaching them to be bigots essentially," she said. "This world is changing so quickly. You can't raise leaders for tomorrow on principles founded 100 years ago."
It looks like the organization's effort to ooze on by while retaining their bigotry isn't getting rave reviews. Good. These people are as bad as the Vatican. Their hatred of gays is so intense, they can't let go.

I really don't understand the virulence of people like this. Why is hating gay people so important to them? Why is it similarly important to the Vatican? And why do the people at NOM and all the other hate groups despise gay people with such a passion?

I don't know what happened to these people to make them so ugly and hateful, but it's time for them to shut up and go away. They've harmed too many innocent people for far too long. And thankfully, the public agrees.

It's time, right?

Let us review. We've had a "terrorist" attack. We've seen inane and endless coverage of said attack. We closed down a whole city, populated it with SWAT officers and shot the hell out of a couple of guys. And all the while, we watched it live on the teevee. There have been conspiracy theories galore. (Here's one link among many.) And now we're playing the "shall we torture him" and the "where shall we try him" games -- both hugely popular. (Note: I wrote this yesterday. Since then, the gov't has charged him.)

Heck, there are even a couple of ricin letters in the mix. Bonus -- the letters were allegedly sent by an Elvis impersonator. (Ah, America. You have to love the addition of the Elvis impersonator element. Such a thing could only happen here.) And as all this occurs, a report comes out confirming that the United States engaged in torture after 9/11 -- torture that was approved by Bush et al. To be clear, torture is an internationally recognized war crime that requires prosecution.

The only thing missing from the American drama right now is an attack on the wrong country. It's coming, right? I mean, we've seen this show; we know the story line. It's time to launch the next war. USA! USA! USA!

The only question is which wrong country to attack. It's a target-rich smorgasbord out there!

April 22, 2013

Frankie speaks

AP has a rundown of statements the pope made when he was merely Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He was asked for his take on gay marriage. Here's his response:
Gay marriage is "an anthropological step backward. If there's a private union, then third parties and society aren't affected. But if they're granted marriage rights and can adopt, there could be children affected. Every person needs a masculine father and a feminine mother to help them settle their identity." 
Yup, he's going to be a gay-hating pope -- just like the last guy. Well, I have a few friends who will be happy to hear this. They're not gay but they're atheists. They were upset that Pope Francis was acting like Jesus and getting cred with the public. They feared the man would raise Christianity in the eyes of the world. So much for that. This statement, along with the news that he has renewed the Vatican's attack on American nuns, will set everyone straight.

This guy wears different outfits but he's going to spout the same popeyguy nonsense. Argentina's gays pointed the way for us. I've often commented here about their distaste for Bergoglio. Now we know why.

Belief in god makes people fearful

I know someone who lives in fear. Although he professes a belief in the Christian god, he worries that after death he will remain in his body, rotting away slowly while remaining aware of the process. This is where religion brought him.

You think this is an odd belief? It's not. The thing about Roman Catholics (that's his variety of Christianity) is that each of them "believes" in virtually nothing. It's very mushy, this set of beliefs. If you take ten Catholics and ask them about their faith, you'll get ten different answers -- none of which are compatible with the others.

That's because the god idea is so vague. Is he a good god? They hope so but the bible reveals a terrible god at times, so they're not sure. Are they themselves good enough to make it into heaven? Again, they don't know. It's even possible that they'll suffer for all eternity in an unending fire. They have no clue.

And what is this heaven that (hopefully) lies in their future? Again, they don't know. It may mean they kneel in a church for all eternity, looking at this god fellow and trying to worship him (whatever that might mean).

I'll say it again: they really don't know. Christianity is amorphous. It has no definite shape. Fear, hope, terror, joy, justice, punishment -- all these components come into play but there is no one to tell them what's right and true. Because no one knows. And so the fears of the faithful grow.

Atheists have no such fears. There is no reason to fear death, and certainly there is no reason to fear an afterlife that will never come your way. The time after you die will be exactly like the time before you were born. You didn't hate that pre-life period, did you? So you have nothing to worry about after you're gone. Atheism. It just makes sense.

April 21, 2013

Google Glass is just the start

Anyone who thinks Google Glass is intriguing should read Xmas Carol. It takes the idea twenty years into the future and shows how a tool like this will alter our lives. It's way bigger than you think. In the long run, this technology will change everything.

OD'ing on the Boston Marathon coverage

Big events drive me underground. I find it painful to watch our country's chicken-without-a-head media do its thing. Better to slip under and resurface later on. I peeked out today to see what's up. Sigh. Same thing.

Luckily, I can write fiction to keep me occupied. Dang, but it's a great hobby. You can even do it in prison! As long as you can get your hands on paper and a pen, you're good to go.

This week I've been working on a new short story. (Still haven't gone back to writing the novel; soon, very soon.) The focus of the new story is the hive mind. It's an impressive structure, even if we can't see it or understand it.

There was a short-lived series on the Science Channel that featured mathematics. One of the things they focused on was the hive mind. They asked a couple of hundred people (I'm not sure how many; a big bunch) how many beans there were in a jar, and recorded all their answers. When they totaled all the answers and averaged them, the result was something like ten beans away from the correct answer.

There's something there, something awesomely powerful that can do things our individual minds can't. It's the hive mind. Well, I've come up with a great story idea based on this concept. And writing that story is how I've survived this bombing episode.

How did you get through the week?

April 19, 2013

Gee, thanks!

Under pressure over its longstanding ban on gays, the Boys Scouts of America is proposing to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders. 
That will be a plus (I hope) for the gay boy scouts who are allowed in, though one wonders how they'll be treated by the bigoted staff and whether they'll be awarded badges like the normal other kids.

And when these gay scouts grow up and decide to share what they've learned by becoming adult scout leaders, I assume they'll be shown the door -- in a loving, godly way, of course. Like, don't let the door slam your ass on the way out, kid. What a wonderful experience for the child.

The Boy Scouts of America, like the Vatican, is determined to remain confused by sexuality. It's just too hard for them to understand.

BTW, the story hints at the responses the BSA received after sending out their dreadful survey. (I wrote about the survey when they announced that they were sending it out to members.) The questions were designed to elicit a negative response to gay scouts and leaders. However, it seems the BSA was surprised by the opposite response. In other words, everyone accurately sees them as bigots.

This decision only confirms the BSA's bigotry. It's a half-assed gesture that tells the world they've learned nothing during their self-imposed and very public period of introspection.

April 18, 2013

Ed Brayton nails it

Just go read this.

"Catholic Online" writers are ticked off

World-renown [sic] physicist and author, Stephen Hawking, gave a lecture last night at Pasadena's California Institute of Technology astoundingly claiming that God wasn't needed to create the universe, and that instead physical laws would cause the universe to spontaneously appear.
So begins a poorly thought-out, poorly written article at Catholic Online. I've never heard of them before and now I know why. Apparently they're shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- that Stephen Hawking said something that virtually every other scientist agrees with. They continue:
An entire auditorium and an outdoor venue were packed with thousands who gathered just to hear Hawking say that the universe didn't need God.
Uh, no. They were there to hear a brilliant man tell them whatever he wanted to -- because he's, you know, brilliant. Here's a bit more:
Hawking's elegant theories neatly explain how everything fits together, but that's about it. [Duh.] And when the physicist launches forays into the reasons and whys, he is so shut off from his Creator that he sees only darkness and concludes nothing is there.
Testy, testy. This is a nitwit article written by Catholic writers who never encountered a science book. (The byline is listed as "Catholic Online" -- apparently this tripe was a group effort! That makes it even funnier.) Go read the article if you want a laugh. Here's how they ended the piece:
God has explained what we most need to know. God has given us the whys that elude Hawking. Isn't the teaching of our Holy Church enough?
Uh, no.

This article is so off the beaten path. It makes me wonder if the writers are aware of the massive number of priests who raped children and then saw their predatory acts hidden from the authorities by the church itself -- including the last pope. This is the specific, real-life "teaching of [their] Holy Church".

April 17, 2013

Irony alert: L'Osservatore Romano

After the new pope sent a message to American nuns on Monday, saying "the pogrom is still on," (okay, I'm paraphrasing a bit here), I went to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper, to see if I could find a statement about the renewal of the church's attack on American nuns.

Since the paper is updated on a weekly basis, I wasn't surprised when I found nothing on this topic. However, I was shocked to see an article that is not just supportive of women, but wildly supportive of women. It speaks about the need for women to enter politics en masse because men have botched everything up. (And of course, the Vatican comes to mind as an example of men screwing everything up.)

You don't expect to see a pro-woman article at L'Osservatore Romano. You just don't.  Here's a link in case you'd like to read it. It's bizarre that this article -- which is resoundingly feminist in nature -- appeared on the Vatican's news site. I mean, really. They do everything they can to knock women and prevent them from participating in the church as full partners -- and then they post this at exactly the same moment that the pope says "Game on" to the American nuns?!

But I think that's what it is: a game. It's like when the Republicans trot out a braindead African-American guy and say, "See? We're not racists." Gotta be. This is psy-ops. Either that, or we're about to see a huge change in the church. And that seems extremely unlikely.

United States torture is confirmed

The Boston bombings overwhelmed the news cycle, causing other news to slide by without fanfare -- even earthshaking, vitally important news. One of the stories that slid by in this fashion deserves worldwide notice:
A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it. 
One day, the international community will demand a trial and accountability for US torture. Let's hope the whole crew is still alive when that happens. I didn't think I could ever be happy about Cheney getting a new heart. That changed when I read this story. I hope he lives for a very, very long time.

April 16, 2013

It begins. Again.

Hair-raising media coverage of North Korea's threats glosses over the reality that the country can't mount warheads or perhaps even fuel its air force - a typical example of the US creating "enemies" to generate fear and keep the national security machine fed with currency. The strategy also keeps the public blind to the fact that America's deadliest foe is itself. -- Tom Engelhardt
And of course, the Boston bombings will enhance the United States' fear-generation engine. It's all over, folks. What we used to be is gone forever.

April 15, 2013

The honeymoon is over

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis supports the Holy See's crackdown on the largest umbrella group of U.S. nuns, who were faulted for focusing too much on social justice instead of issues such as abortion. 
Ah, well. What were we hoping for, anyway? The pope is Catholic. Therefore he must be filled with hatred toward all things he perceives as less than totally male. It's the Vatican way.

It was a fun act, for a time. Lots of fun, in fact. But the sheen is off and the boxing gloves are back on. Stay tuned for the pope saying hateful things about gay people.

Darn. This is really going to upset Catholics in the US. They were hoping, too. So much for that.

Nicholas Maduro's idiotic claim

So Nicholas Maduro, Hugo Chavez's "hand-picked" successor, won Venezuela's election. He only got 51% of the vote, but that's all it takes.

Yesterday as I watched the news, I heard that Maduro claimed that Chavez's spirit visits him regularly "in the form of a bird". It really irritates me that a person can say something so colossally stupid, and then be elected.

But there's a reason for this. He was talking to people who already believe in an impossibly stupid idea: that there is a sky god. This paves the way for any type of idiotic remark to be taken as truth. It's an example of how the god notion transforms everything to muck. If you believe in a sky god, you'll believe anything.

Good column on hacktivists

The Stone, the NYT's "philosophy" column, is usually dreck -- at least when Gary Gutting writes it. But today the column is a smart opinion piece written by Peter Ludlow. "Hactivists as gadflies" tears apart the United States' inane and overbearing prosecution of computer-savvy activists.

Really, it reads like a chronicle of North Korean tactics. But this is happening at the behest of the United States -- the home of, you know, freedom and all.

It's like the government is Richard Nixon, come back to life, and the hactivists are every hippie who ever existed. It is insane that these prosecutions are conducted without a rational basis -- and with such venom. Just ask Aaron Swartz.

Good column. Go read it.

April 13, 2013

This and that

1. Recently I heard someone say that he was all "tapped out", when a stranger asked him for money. I wondered where the expression came from. Turns out it's British in origin. There they say (or used to say) that someone is "on the tap" when they're looking for a loan or a handout. So there you go.

2. Last night when the phone rang, I had an uncomfortable memory of the not-so-old days, when we had no idea who was calling us. In these days of constant caller-ID, it seemed a chilling idea. Not knowing who's on the phone?! Horrors. It's amazing how quickly these innovations work their way into our lives. And then we can't imagine living without them.

3. Have you heard about Rent a Mourner? It's a service based in the UK. Don't have people to wail plaintively at your mother's funeral? No problem. Rent a few. This reminds me of my post about the professional wailers in my Italian-American community, as I grew up. Those old Italian ladies dressed in black and would "wail" loudly at anyone's funeral -- for a price.

4. Here's an idea: Let's harken back to the days of "yellow journalism" and refer to Fox News as yellow media. They'd hate this! Yellow means cowardly; that's what they'd take away. I like it!


Yesterday, it rained all day here in New York. Settling in for the day, I turned on the TV to watch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and discovered it was also raining in Chicago. As I watched the game, I could hear the rain outside my window and hear drops hit the microphones in the game. It felt like it was raining all over the world. Weird.

I've also had the experience of watching a game on a cloudy day -- at a stadium far away, where it was similarly overcast -- and saw the sun come out at the game the same moment the clouds parted here. Weird.

But kinda fun.

April 12, 2013

Jonathan Winters is dead

What a joy he was. I thought he was the funniest man who ever lived. But he paid a high price for this achievement. Like George Carlin, Winters' demons pursued him. Their minds were just too active; they couldn't turn the flow off. It was endless. It's a strain, living with that much creativity. Just ask anyone who's in possession of this rare gift. It ain't easy.

This story about his life is a good one, despite its brevity. I remember this performance as if it occurred last week:
On Jack Paar's television show in 1964, Winters was handed a foot-long stick and he swiftly became a fisherman, violinist, lion tamer, canoeist, U.N. diplomat, bullfighter, flutist, delusional psychiatric patient, British headmaster and Bing Crosby's golf club. 
He was a great comedian, unlike any other (except those who imitated him). I was glad to see that he made it to the age of 87 and was content with his life. That's the one and only prize in life, kids. If you end up happy, you won. End of story.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Australian priests abuse kids; bishops hide abuse.

Al Jazeera has a story about the upcoming investigations and prosecutions of Australian priests and bishops who were involved in the sexual abuse of children. Here's an excerpt:
She then discovered another bishop’s letter, outlining a plan to cover-up the crimes of one of the most dangerous paedophile priests in the Maitland-Newcastle area, Father Denis McAlinden.
Bishop Leo Clarke wrote to McAlinden with an offer - if he agreed to be laicised or, defrocked as a priest, the church would protect him: "Your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of this process."
It's the same old story: protect the priests and the hell with the children. This one's going to end up with many priests -- and hopefully bishops -- in prison.

PS: I've added a new tag to this post. I don't know why I didn't append it to the other posts about priestly abuse. It just didn't occur to me. The tag is mortal sins.

What the hell

April 11, 2013

Roman Catholicism kills woman in Ireland

You probably know that a Hindu woman died in Ireland because the hospital wouldn't provide an abortion -- even though there was no chance that her fetus could survive. They simply let her die along with the unborn child. The case is now at trial.
DUBLIN (AP) — The husband of a woman who died after being denied an abortion in an Irish hospital accepted an apology Thursday from a midwife who, when explaining why the plea was rejected, said Ireland was "a Catholic country."
Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when, hospitalized for pain, doctors informed her that the fetus would die. As her miscarriage pains worsened over the next three days, doctors refused her pleas for a termination because they could still detect a fetal heartbeat. By the time the fetus did die, Halappanavar was suffering from blood poisoning and died of organ failure 3 1/2 days later. 
Roman Catholicism killed this woman as surely as if the pope positioned her head in a guillotine. Religions don't like women. They don't like them at all.

Same anti-women story in Jewish religion

As Muslims strive to keep women uneducated and hidden away, and Catholics await word from their new pope about the status of women in the church, another religion also keeps women underfoot.
Israeli police on Thursday detained five women at a Jerusalem holy site for performing religious rituals that ultra-Orthodox Jews say are reserved for men.
It's the same old story: women are unworthy of interaction with gods. They are intrinsically "unclean". Thus, they do not deserve male respect and mustn't be allowed to touch the super-special magic items that every man can touch. That would be a sin and it would make the baby Jesus/Allah/Yaweh cry!
About 120 women arrived Thursday morning for their monthly prayer service and police detained five for wearing prayer shawls, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Mustn't wear the magic garments! Nuh uh-uh. Can't do.

Religion doesn't like women. It never has and it never will. It amazes me that women don't secede from religion en masse. Wouldn't that be great? No religious man would have a religious wife, and the wives and girlfriends and daughters would laugh at the religious males. And of course, they would never have sex with a religious guy. This could be an effective movement if men weren't the vicious, hateful creatures that they are. Because let's face it: they'd kill the women if they wouldn't have sex with them and wouldn't "respect" their idiotic relationship with an imaginary being.

Religion is a cesspool. That's the short version of this and every story about religion. It needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth.

April 10, 2013

All-time killer post by PZ today

On the off-chance that you haven't already seen it, go read PZ Myers' list of all the things that would change if religion went away. It's truly the best rant I've ever read.

PZ is the king of atheism. He really is. Sure, Dawkins is great. So is Dennett. But no one trounces religion day after day like PZ Myers. He is my hero!

April 9, 2013

Near-death experiences

Fairly interesting article at CNN on NDE's (near-death experiences). People want to think of them as portents of heaven but they're really just shows your mind puts on in extreme circumstances. Still, an interesting read.

When I was in a coma and no one thought I'd live, my experience wasn't like the stories you hear about NDE's. When I was coming out of the coma, first I was five beings, then four, then two (I was never three beings), and then one -- at which point I woke up.

To me, this confirms that our consciousness is the result of several brain functions coming together to create the illusion of being a unitary, conscious creature. We are not one, we are many disjointed functions coming together to focus. And focus is consciousness.

So much for heaven and the afterlife. But I like my experience better than that of the godders.

April 8, 2013

Not blogging is fun

Now, don't get me wrong. Blogging is a wonderful pastime and I enjoyed every minute I spent blogging these past two years. But the idea was to drop blogging so I could refocus my energies on writing fiction. Gotta get that next book out.

I just want to report that it's going as planned. My creativity has redirected itself toward fiction and I've already came up with a great idea for a final short story to complete a book of transformational tales. The book's title is "Ink" and you'll have a chance to read it later this year.

Life is good. I hope you're doing all right without me. You know how I worry about you. I just can't help it. Be good to yourselves and to other people. It's not that hard, so get on the stick.

PS: Ever wonder why NYC has a humongous number of marijuana arrests? Ed Brayton has the answer for you and it's not pretty.

April 5, 2013

The time has come

The world has gotten so stupid that I can't blog about it anymore. For me, this means I have to toss the real world and dive into writing the next great American novel.

Don't worry. I'll still blog now and then. It's just that I no longer promise to be here every day. I know this will make you cry, but it's the way it has to be.

In the meantime, go read the last great American novel that I wrote. Yes, it's a horror/sci-fi novel. But it's also an uplifting, anti-god primer that points the way to a possible fantastic future for the human race. Be forewarned: I plan to quiz you on the finer points of the plot when I get back. If you've had fun visiting this blog, give the book a shot. It's only $2.99 (because I want everyone to be able to afford it). I promise you it will be the most fun you ever had while reading a book.

Be well and try not to be mean to anyone while I'm gone. Okay?

PS: Feel free to use this post as an open thread. Tell me things. In fact, feel free to reveal your darkest secrets in the comments. All the people who visit this blog are fine, upstanding, decent human beings. They'd never repeat what you say here. Never. This is a completely safe space. So go for it!

Not praying until the camera is on you

Wait! Don't pray yet. The camera isn't ready.

I've complained many times on this blog about baseball players who pray before each at-bat. It isn't the Major Christian League, guys. It's America's favorite game, baseball, and there are no gods anywhere in baseball (other than Bryce Harper, of course).

The pitchers are the worst offenders. Some even get down on their attention-seeking knees to pray. But lately I've noticed that timing plays an essential role in these celestial matters.

The pitcher could, of course, pray before he got on the field. But where's the aren't-I-godly percentage in that? No siree. A good Christian pitcher has to pray on the mound, where god intended him to pray.

But only lately have I noticed that many of these holy pitchers wait until the last moment, when they're sure the camera is on them. Why pray as soon as you get to the mound, right? After all, maybe some people aren't looking your way yet. It's far better to wait until everyone else settles down and you're sure the camera is on you. That's the godly time to pray.

Because you want to get your message out. And that message is:


April 4, 2013

Almost forgot to post this

This is an image from last night's TV news in NY. Can you believe the airhead who wrote such a thing? "All persuasions"?!! I haven't heard something that backward since I was a teenager.

This statement was issued in response to complaints about the church firing a gay volunteer because he married another man. The guy held three positions within the church -- without pay -- and is totally into the church (for some odd reason). Fired.

And why? Let us savor the wording: because he was of a certain persuasion. OMD. I really can't believe this one. Dingbats, all.

I have one question for the church

Cardinal Timothy Dolan's handling of the child sex abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church will soon be public...

All of the documents relate to the alleged sexual abuse of children by clergy in Milwaukee.

"I think the Catholic Church has learned a very painful lesson on what not to do in terms of dealing with sexual abuse," said Joseph Zwilling, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York.
Yes, the church learned a painful lesson -- not the kids but the church. As usual with such remarks, there is no grasp of the tremendous harm done to children by priests. It's all about the church and its mad game of hiding sexual abuse under the rug.

So here's my question, Zwilling:

Why is it that the Roman Catholic church, sole arbiter of Christian virtue and morals, had (and has) no clue that the abused children are the important end of the sexual abuse equation? Why, when the church got wind of the rampant sexual abuse of children by priests, did the church not immediately report the crimes to the police and try to help the children? And why are they still not trying to help the children?

That's the big question and the church has no answer, none at all. And they never will. This church knows nothing about moral behavior. It is a cesspool of evil. You only have to view Zwilling's final quote in the linked story, to understand this:
The sexual abuse of minors, Zwilling said, is a societal problem not just confined to the church.
They still don't understand what they've done. It's amazing and mind-boggling. There isn't a shred of morality in this church.

If I should die

There will be no need for this post until the year 2052. Yes, it's all settled -- I will live to the age of 103. (I thought about living till 104, but something tells me that will be a very bad year for me. So 103 it is.) Obviously, there's no need to read this right now. I just want it to be posted so my biographers and the media can look it up when the time comes.

There's one thing that you know and I don't: the method of my death. Was it a missile from North Korea? I knew it! Well, it was quick (I assume). The luck of the half-Irish.

I want everyone to know that I had a great life. Sure, it sucked. But it was great, too! The big problem was drugs and alcohol. Hoo boy. Really did me in. And before they invented SSRI's, I was a disaster. But here's the thing. They did invent SSRI's and I finally stopped getting high. That this happened at all is very, very cool.

After those magical events occurred, I had a terrific life. I helped raise two boys, wrote books, blogged and enjoyed my days thoroughly. As far as I'm concerned, a good ending obliterates the pain of a tattered beginning. I won! That's the deal: I won!

As for this idea of an afterlife, there'll be none of that for me (or you). I'm fine without it. Dying seems an appropriate ending for a life. We see creatures die all the time. Humans, animals, fish, insects and every other creature -- they all die. I think that's okay and I truly don't mind the fact that I'm dead and gone forever. I'm just happy to have been here.

I mean, think about the odds. If a different spermatazoa reached your mother's egg, you wouldn't be you. Another person would have lived in "your" place. Really, it's a miracle that you're here at all, which means you're very lucky. You are the latest in a line of successful creatures that reaches all the way back to unicellular life. You come from an unbroken line of winners. The luck involved in all this should amaze you -- and it certainly amazes me. To have been a part of creation -- that's the ultimate prize. And every one of us snagged a place in creation. We were very, very lucky.

And if you can write a book or two, to boot, you won. And I did. Thanks for reading my stuff, guys. You made it all so much better.

Going, going, gone.

Rosenhouse dishes Gutting

I wrote disparagingly the other day about the vague nonsense Gary Gutting pushes in his NYT column, The Stone. It seems Jason Rosenhouse is also not impressed.

As always, I love the way Rosenhouse dissects mushy-brained practitioners of apologetics. Go read it if you enjoy such things, as I do. (Perhaps "enjoy" is too mild a term. I relish JR's posts.)

April 3, 2013

Great post on gay marriage

Ed Brayton's post, "How the Bigots Slander Adoptive Parents", is wonderful. It links to an Esquire column written by Tom Junod. You really have to read Junod's piece. It's a great counter to the idiotic arguments people keep making against gay marriage. I won't even excerpt from it. Just go read the whole thing.

Judge speaks up, if a bit late

Justice Stefan Lindskog, chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, spoke highly of Julian Assange of Wikileaks in a speech he delivered in Australia.
Lindskog praised Assange's public information campaign.

"He'll be thought of as a person who made public some pieces of classified information to the benefit of mankind," he said.

"It should never be a crime to make known (a) crime of a state," he added. 
How do ya like them apples? There's also this:
Lindskog suggested that Sweden's extradition treaty with the United States would not apply to Assange.

"Extradition shall not be granted when alleged crimes (are) military or political in nature," he said.
Things are looking up for our hero, Julian. It's about time.

Sweeping out the Curia

As Pope Francis' PR initiative continues, I suspect there's a lot going on behind the curtains of the Vatican. It's time for Francis to sweep out the Curia and install new members.

Curia is a word denoting "a group of officials who assist in the governance" of a church, according to Wikipedia. The Roman Curia is the central government of the Roman Catholic church. Another way to put this is that the Curia is a group of evil, corrupt, old priests who run the Vatican.

If the reports about Benedict's spirit collapsing after he learned the extent of corruption within the Vatican are true -- and I believe they are -- Francis has one hell of a job on his hands. These "conservative" priests won't go down without a serious fight. Try to remember that "conservative" is a label often connected with crime. Crime and god are typically intertwined in the words and actions of conservatives. We see this in America all the time. And criminals always try their damnedest to hang onto a scam.

If I was Francis, I'd appoint someone to taste my food before I ate. And I wouldn't work my way through the crowds without protection. I believe the Curia is a group of dangerous men. Even though I'm an atheist, I'd like to see Francis straighten out this church. Mind you, Roman Catholicism is always going to be based on a lie. There is no god and this inconvenient fact can't be massaged away. But perhaps Francis can make his church a little less disgusting. I want him to have that opportunity.

Thoughts of the day

1. It's not that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. It's that men are children and women are grown-ups.

2. If you have size 14 feet, you'll never be the victim of a nighttime burglary. All you have to do is leave your shoes outside the front door.

3. The danger posed by wolves, bears, lions, hawks and other natural predators is the basis of the devil myth. It is our heritage from our animal ancestors. This is so obvious, it shouldn't need to be stated.

Eat, me hearties! Eat!

Perhaps the most surprising finding was that excessive weight may prove a boon for pedestrians in a collision. Victims with an above-normal body mass index were found to have less severe injuries than their counterparts. “It is not implausible that a greater proportion of torso and extremity fat may protect against injury,” the report said. 
So eat all you want (or be more careful).

April 2, 2013

Best baseball opening day ever

I had a great time watching the first games of the baseball season yesterday. I was sick with the flu (or whatever) but I hardly noticed.

The Mets won their game 11-2. John Niese -- one of my favorite pitchers -- was terrific. It was a pleasure to see the team play this well on the first day of the season.

But that was nothing compared to the Washington Nationals game. Baseball god Bryce Harper, after hitting .478 in spring training, hit a home run in each of his first two at-bats. And he threw a ball pefectly, all the way from the outfield to home plate, and started one of the best double-plays I've ever seen.

As if that wasn't enough, the Red Sox capped off the day by trouncing the evil Yankees. Seriously: Best. Opening Day. Ever.

A way to prevent massacres

I know this concept has its problems, but stay with me here. Now, we have this problem with crazy males, usually white and young, who think it's a grand idea to shoot up movie theaters, classrooms, malls, etc. And what do they want? Fame. (They don't seem to grasp the distinction between fame and notoriety, but let's not split hairs here.) The question is what can we do about it. Try this on for size.

What if we announce an award -- something like, but not identical to, a Bronze Star -- for those who stop themselves from committing a massacre, either by committing suicide or turning themselves in. To advertise the new award, we make a big media splash about the offer, and when the first almost-killer commits suicide before taking action -- he is treated like a true hero and awarded this Star.

Not only this, but we create a special prison for these lunkheads. And we promise potential massacre-stoppers that they can play violent video games for the rest of their lives with similar potential sociopaths in this prison. I mean, who cares, right? They're out of the way and they won't cause any deaths. Problem solved.

At first I thought of this only as an "If you commit suicide before killing anyone, we'll give you the award" notion. The problem with this is that it would encourage mentally unbalanced people to kill themselves. Not good. But by adding in the idea that they can also turn themselves in, and still score the award and a bunk in the video-game prison, I think this issue disappears.

I know it sounds nuts. But it also could work. All they want is fame, right? We'll do TV shows about how they stopped themselves in time. So the choice facing these poor souls is this: do you want to be remembered by people who hate you, or people who admire you?

I know the idea needs work, but what do you think?

UPDATE: A moment after publishing this, I came across a story that presents the messier side of a notion like this. Check it out.

Am I lucky, or what?

As an art-challenged blogger, I'm thrilled to have several relatives who can draw. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've surely seen drawings by my cousin Carmine and nephew Conor. And now a new up-and-coming artist has given me permission to run a few of her drawings.

This faaaabulous Easter girl was drawn by by Jessica Masi, Carmine's daughter. Isn't this a cool image? I adore the hair.

Things are looking up for the Worlds blog. So am I blessed, or what?

April 1, 2013

Gary Gutting explains his wide stance

I've always wondered why the writing of Gary Gutting, who produces "The Stone", a philosophy column at the New York Times, is so mushy and ineffective. He hasn't written one solid column yet. I know because I've read quite a few of them. He is the king of accommodationist thinking, always trying to find a parking spot for religion.

In today's column, I found this:
Critics outside the Church will ask how I adhere to an institution that has so many deep flaws.  My first response is that the Catholic tradition of thought and practice is the only stance toward religion that, in William James’s phrase, is a “live option” for me — the only place I feel at home.  Simply to renounce it would be, as I said at the outset, to lose my self-respect — to deny part of my moral core.
Gary, no one finds a moral core in Roman Catholicism. Because it's just not there. But thanks for answering my question about why you always present religion as compatible with reality.

But it's not, Blanche; it's not.

Baseball cometh

It's the first day of baseball season and I'm sick. See? There is no god. I'll watch the games anyway but I'm seriously out of it. In fact, I just stopped reading the news because I can't understand what I'm reading. It's that kind of sick.

Ah, well. No matter how I feel, it's still the first day of the baseball season. And that's a very good thing.

Gee, thanks

The Food and Drug Administration says smokers that are trying to quit can safely use nicotine gum, patches and lozenges for longer than previously recommended

Current labels suggest consumers stop smoking when they begin using the products and that they should stop using them after 12 weeks
The problem is that they don't say how long you can use them. To those of us who've been using these products for five or more years -- and there are a ton of us -- this is welcome but incomplete news. How long can you "safely" use them?

And as for talking about this with your doctor, I've brought the subject up with both my doctor and dentist. Neither had a clue how safe or dangerous these products are.

So gee, thanks, FDA. You're always such a big help!

One more thing

On Dolan's media-studded "friendship for the gays" tour yesterday, he also said this:
Dolan says he would tell gay men and lesbians that God loves them and they're entitled to friendship. But he says marriage is a union between a man and a woman "where children can come about naturally." 
It seems that as he bashed gay marriage, Dolan also felt a need to tell adopted children they're not as good as kids that "come about naturally". And that parents of adopted kids might as well not be married. What is wrong with this fellow?

We still have no answer to the biggest question involving this church: why do they attack gays? They're never able to explain it in a rational way. It boggles the mind. Why is their god so concerned with everyone's genitals? What a strange religion this is.