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religious freedom cartoonI’ve mostly stopped reading Andrew Sullivan — due to, e.g., the never-ending hair-on-fire hysterics over nothingburgers — but I always like to check in once in a while to pluck amusing bits out of the pile.

One of Sully’s ultra-fave pastimes is to engage in breathlessly disingenuous religious apologism.  Since childhood, he’s been ever-so-desperate to square the circle between his homosexuality and the pleasing vapors he still gets from the One True Church and has spent the past few decades furtively trying to shave the corners off the square peg so he can fit it in the round hole.

Here’s a recent delicious bit of whiny, contrarian sophistry:

There is a deep theological narrative and argument behind Christianity’s and Judaism’s and Islam’s anathematization of homosexuality that cannot be reduced to bigotry. I think it’s mistaken, but I sure don’t think it’s mere prejudice. In the Catholic tradition, Humanae Vitae – with which I strongly disagree – is nonetheless a coherent view of the role of sex and procreation in human life. Its “natural law” has never fully addressed the reality of homosexual orientation – but that is partly because the entire concept is so new in the context of the history of the great monotheisms. I think it should be engaged respectfully on these grounds. But it is emphatically not mere bigotry

I nearly died reading that “the entire concept” of “homosexual orientation” is “so new”.  Um, wut?  Did the Industrial Revolution create The Gays? (Hmm, I wonder…)

The best part is his repeated use of the word “mere“.  So, is Sully saying that, yes, religious anathematization of homosexuality is a bunch of bigoted claptrap, but that it’s a very elevated, non-pedestrian form of bigotry because important religious people put a lot of very serious thought into creating very serious doctrines with Latin names attached to them?  I don’t think that’s what he meant to say, but it would certainly be more cogent than characterizing religious contempt for homosexuality as being comprised of anything other than bigotry and prejudice.

As is often the case with these kinds of Sully posts, the wondrously impenetrable oracle called The Dictionary lays waste to his petulant mewlings:

big·ot noun \ˈbi-gət\ – a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and  prejudices;  especially  :   one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

pre·ju·dicenoun – \ prej-uh-dis \ – unreasonable feelings,  opinions,  or attitudes,  especially of a hostile nature,  regarding a racial, religious, or  national group.

Yup, from those definitions I really can’t see how “religious anathematization of homosexuality” could be viewed as being comprised of anything as pedestrian as bigotry and prejudice…  “Intolerant”, “unreasonable opinions”, “of a hostile nature” notwithstanding.

Everyone can easily agree that I am often an overly cynical a-hole, but even I continually find new hope in things like this commentary by a Dallas sportscaster:

(via Sully)

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A broken clock
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There’s a new award for best animated GIF.  I can’t resist posting this one (click pic to animate)

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Wow. There has been a flood of funnyawful stories coming out of the run-up to the Sochi Olympics.  A sampler (read the whole story):
imagesDogpocalype:  Sochi’s stray dog problem is so severe that local organizers had to contract a pest control company to “catch and dispose” of the animals, which have been spotted everywhere from hotels to Olympic venues. (Seriously, there are a lot of stray dogs in Sochi.) Said Alexei Sorokin, the director of the pest control firm: “God forbid [a dog runs in the stadium] at the actual opening ceremony. This will be a disgrace for the whole country.” Poison Pee Water:  Some journalists are being warned that the water in their hotels is too polluted to bathe in — let alone drink. “I just washed my face with Evian, like I’m a Kardashian or something,” tweeted the Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair, minutes after posting a photo of the cloudy yellow water coming out of her tap.
There was a funny bit on SNL two weeks ago that featured a character from a small village in Russia, commenting on Sochi’s selection for the Olympics.  Highlight: “What were other option? Haiti or middle of ocean!?
I wonder if the $51 billion figure being bandied around for building out the Sochi Olympics includes the bribes paid to the IOC.  Because Salzburg, Austria was obviously a less appealing choice.  #sochifail
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137523_600Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive today but I read this article in The Daily Beast that pissed me off something royal.

Senators: Kerry Admits Obama’s Syria Policy Is Failing
In a closed-door meeting, two senators say, the Secretary of State admitted to them that he no longer believes the administration’s approach to the crisis in Syria is working. Peace talks have failed, he conceded, and now it’s time to arm the moderate opposition—before local al Qaeda fighters try to attack the United States.

So John Kerry had a private meeting that included Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among the hawkiest of the hawks in the Senate.  After the “off-the-record” meeting, said Senators rushed out to tell the media that Kerry secretly told them that he agrees with them on everything and that Kerry called Obama’s approach a failure.

One wonders, is that true?  Hmm, who would we ask about that…?

Kerry’s spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said the senators are confusing their views with the Secretary of State’s. “This is a case of members projecting what they want to hear and not stating the accurate facts of what was discussed,” Psaki added.

How the fuck have we come to this point in American journalism?  … News flash to reporters everywhere: two heavily biased Senators who hate the administration and everything it does are going to lie about and distort pretty much anything they can think of… especially what they think they heard come out of the Secretary of State’s mouth.

I’ve stopped counting the number of concussions I’ve received from slamming my forehead into my desk…

Edit: Lol, also too:

UPDATE: Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Murphy issued the following statement Monday about the Kerry meeting: “We were both surprised that contents of our off-the-record meeting with Sec Kerry were made public. The characterizations reported on today do not reflect the conversation that we heard. Neither of us recall the Secretary saying the policy of the administration in Syria was failing, nor proposing new lethal assistance for Syrian opposition groups.”

A friend just turned me on to a hilarious blog called Margaret and Helen.
My name is Helen Philpot. My grandson taught me how to do this so that I could “blog” with my best friend Margaret Schmechtman who I met almost 60 years ago…  Philpot was my grandmother’s maiden name and

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