In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens


Defining Marriage

In their talking points section, The National Organization for Marriage (or NAMBLA NOM) trains their people that “the most effective single sentence” to oppose gay marriage is:

"Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose,
they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

Then later in the section, they offer this pearl of irony:
“Who gets harmed? The people of this state who lose our right to define marriage as the union of husband and wife, that’s who. That is just not right.”

To summarize: gays don’t have the right to define marriage for the rest of us, that would take away our right to define marriage for them.

I dont know about you, but My marriage is Defined by My committment to My wife and Hers to Me. It has nothing at all to do with my neighbors commitment to His wife, or Hers to him. Neither can it be of any consequence who is married to who, or the make up of their personalities or sexual/gender identities.

I think it’s a curious perspective on marriage to define it by who else is getting married or by what authority sanctions it and not by your own personal commitment to your spouse. I guess I could be called short sighted but only because my concerns about marital status only project as far as my own.

I reject the idea that I fulfil some societal duty by who I choose to marry. I believe the state has a right to define the terms of some things, but not our personal relationships. I can hardly imagine something more fascist. It’s no less so when authoritarian parents dictate the relationships of their adult children or anyone tries to impose their standard of personal relationship on another.

Usually this type of fascism is supported by sanctimonious ideals. It’s proponents claim that marriage is sacred and eternal in it’s “traditional” deinition. Never mind that it’s definition ranges throughout hitorical and cultural contexts: from property agreements, plural contracts, family obligations and romantic courtly obligations; they’ve all made an appearance. Why do we not see NOM protesting Kim Kardashian’s sham wedding spectical? Other reality shows that mock marriage i.e. the bachelor. Are the drive through wedding chapels of no concern? How about the divorce rate of 50%? Afterall, in Mark 10:9 Jesus himself says: Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.

The official NOM talking point: “High rates of divorce are one more reason we should be strengthening marriage, not conducting radical social experiments on it.”

Seems to me that the only experiment is letting the state decide the make-up of a loving family.

One might ask how exactly they are achieving their goal, other than dictating who can get married. Free marriage counseling? Addressing proven factors that increase divorce rates, like economic hardship?? Where’s the campaign to tighten divorce laws, protests outside divorce courts?

Absurd Slippery slope arguments abound. My favorite is the concern that if gay marriage is legalized then people who are against it will be labeled bigots and homophobes. This amounts to: If I take my boot off of your neck, you might stand up and call me oppressive. We can’t have that, now can we? Giving you rights might impair my right to make unsubstantiated claims about your character and your family.

Another unsubstantiated claim is the apparent negative affect same sex parenting will have on children. But study after study (while preliminary at this point) points to no difference in childhood development while no serious evidence of a negative effect has been discovered. And when you consider their silence on the myriad ways children are abused, neglected or otherwise fucked-up by straight parents all over the place… you really want to argue that simply being raised by 2 moms or 2 dads is the most unacceptable of all scenarios; The thing that you have to prevent at all costs?? It’s a assertion based on Chrsitian “intuition”, not science. They’d let a kid sit in an orphanage until adulthood before allowing two loving men to adopt.

Then there’s the red herring of under-population. As if the world might run out of people if some couples didn’t procreate. Even though the population just crossed 7 Billion and is exponentially increasing while we tackle every manner of resource crisis. Never mind that the rate of infertile and voluntarily non-reproductive couples dwarfs the rate of those of the same sex. And there is nothing stoping a SSC from reproducing via fertility treatments or surrogates, well, except more discriminatory legislation, that is.

All of this anxiety seems to stem from the unfounded belief that queer is contagious. All the worry about the kids and populations and society all seem to require the premise that a failure to suppress the behavior will allow it to spread like a disease until the whole world is gay and (ironically) the hetero minority is discriminated against.

The National Organization for Marriage should be called The National Organization Against Gay Marriage. These groups love to put a positive spin on what they are doing when in fact they achieve nothing positive. The word “for” has no business in the title. Their’s is a campaign against something, not for something. They aren’t out to strengthen marriages or protect children. If those were their ultimate goals they would see the mountain of work they could do that would directly achieve them. Instead, they’re spending countless hours and dollars focused on defining gay peoples’ relationships with nothing but worst case bible based speculation to justify it. Because lets face it, there are no fact based arguments to defend marriage discrimination. There’s only a conservative “feeling” that it’s wrong, supported by a selective reading of the Bible and a total willful misunderstanding of homosexuality.

Mitt Romney Breaks Another Law By Hiding $10,000 Donation to Hate Group


It is no secret that Romney is a staunch NOM supporter because he signed their radical marriage pledge, and apparently followed directives from his religious cult to “spare no expense” to defeat gay marriage in California. Mormons in Utah spent millions of dollars for television attack-ads that spewed hateful lies and propaganda about the dangers to traditional marriage and 2nd grade school children if same-sex couples were allowed to pledge their love and devotion to their partners. Earlier this week, HRC released documents from Maine that revealed NOM “devoted virtually all of its resources in 2008 toward the Prop 8 campaign in California,” that  lends credence to the idea that Romney’s donation was explicitly to support the ban on same-sex-marriage.

read more

Got to love a group that has a section on their website called “how to dodge accusations of bigotry”.

One of NOM’s Top Secret Donors Revealed: Mitt Romney

We often talk about how hard NOM works to hide their donors – even if it means circumventing the law – but now, we’ve learned the identity of one of their high-profile financial supporters: Mitt Romney.

Financial documents obtained by HRC reveal that Mitt Romney donated $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage in 2008 – essentially funding NOM’s strategy of using racial division and unfounded scare tactics to attack LGBT equality, at the same time that NOM was fighting for Prop 8 in California.

Well surprise surprise! /sarcasm

(Source: sarahlee310)


Previously Confidential Documents Shed Light on NOM Strategy

Today HRC got a hold of internal NOM documents that shed light on the anti-LGBT movement’s overall strategy. These documents were just unsealed in Maine mid-afternoon.  The docs are part of the ongoing investigation by the State of Maine into the campaign finance activities of NOM in that state.

On PDF page 12, it talks about “sideswiping Obama,” painting him as a “social radical” and talking about “side issues” like pornography.

You can read the docs at the Human Rights Campaign site.